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Bike computer/PDA/Phone/Camera/MP3/Wifi/GPS combos

petewpetew Posts: 47
edited September 2007 in Tour & expedition
It occurred to me that instead of taking separate Phone (for emergency), Camera, Radio, Bike computer (distance, possibly cadence with an extra pickup etc) on my next tour I could just get something like an Ipaq hw6915 with a nice waterproof diy handlebar mount.

* a lot lighter
* I'd only need a single charger (solar or dyno).
* better from a security point of view - easier to hide
* I quite like the idea of free wifi for skype/email when I visit cities (I generally avoid them though)

* I haven't used GPS before and think I might miss paper maps
* poor camera performance (although I'm not a good photographer anyway)
* if it breaks I lose everything

has anyone ever used one of these supergizmos for bike touring?


  • adifiddleradifiddler Posts: 113
    My Nokia N80 mobile does all of those things in one small package plus a GPS antenna.

    Well everything bar the bike computer but then GPS would give me time, speed and distance.
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  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I've just bought a PDA (Acer 311) with the idea of using it to save carrying a french dictionary/books to read/guidebook/reference material, as well as Memory-Map or IGN GeoRando mapping.

    Email is fine, Opera Mobile makes web browsing a lot easier than with the mobile version of Internet Explorer but the beta of the new version is still buggy. I'm not sure how common free WiFi is outside major cities. I suspect it's still going to be easier to find a traditional internet cafe and use a full-size keyboard and screen.

    I suspect you might find that battery life is an issue if you plan to use as a GPS: battery capacity is about half that of good-quality NiMH AA batteries and I'm assuming that the PDA display would use more power than a GPS display. Still you can get spare batteries for under a tenner on eBay.

    Otterbox make nice water-resistant cases for PDAs but they weigh in at 320 grams which is about the weight of a Garmin GPS (maybe a bit more). So no weight-saving there.

    You can use your PDA to show your position on a map. My own approach at least for the moment is to use your mapping software to printout a map on waterproof paper that I can fold into a pocket. But that's for off-road riding. If you are doing on-road riding you might find on-screen mapping a viable substitute. (I'm looking to the PDA to provide a substitute for carrying a big stash of full-size paper maps - the idea would be to export a series of maps to memory cards).

    I think my PDA is a brilliant gizmo, but for now I'm taking the cautious approach and I plan to carry a GPS and a mobile phone and keep the PDA as backup - the major issue for me is cutting down on the number of chargers and cables.
  • Hi Peter, Try looking at some of the smartphones on as there's a few news phones like the Nokia N95 that has GPS built in now too and is a really nicely sized phone! Good luck, sure you'll easily find something though.
  • daviddddaviddd Posts: 637
    I use a good ol' Dell Axim X51V PDA with a Nokia 6310 as modem - both obtainable fairly cheaply on Ebay. The Ax has an amazing display - still the best available as far as i can see.
    Although the Ax has all the maps I need for Oz loaded up, and has bluetooth GPS, I also have a Garmin Edge 301 with cadence and HRM - I like my gadgets, no apologies! The 301 is a great little unit but rather heavy on juice - 7-8 hours ride before recharge, however on my Oz tour I'll be carrying 13W of solar charging capability to keep this and the Axim Etc. going.
    Oct 2007 to Sep 2008 - anticlockwise lap of Australia...
    French Alps Tour 2006: ... =1914&v=5R
    3 month tour of NZ 2015...
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