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GPS; Garmin vs Magellan (and others)

duckfoot1606duckfoot1606 Posts: 89
edited January 2008 in Workshop
Evening all

Having scoured the forum for info on cycling GPS it seems as if Garmin is by some margin the most popular maker of GPS systems used for route finding on audax rides/touring, so much so that that I have unearthed very little info on systems made by other makers such as Magellan.

Can anybody tell me the reasons for this overwhelming popularity?. Is it simply that Garmin got to us first, or are there more compelling technical reasons?.




  • willbevanwillbevan Posts: 1,241
    I had used a Timex system previously back in like 2003, and the thing that drew me to the garmin was its single peice design, unlike the Timex, which had a watch, a GPS box you strapped to your arm, and another box you put in your pocket to record the information....

    but then there was little information about other things on the net, as I looked like you(1 year ago when I bought my 305). I flicked through a bike mag and a running mag earlier today, and the only GPS systems I notieced being actively advertised is the Garmin , shrugs...

    Think its like you said, Garmin got there first, and have spent a lot of time marketing it

    Now I did compare the features on the competing systems, and most of the other systesm seemed crude compared to the Garmin. Now this might of changed, or I might just of missed a great alternative

    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon
  • Rob SallnowRob Sallnow Posts: 6,279
    Can anybody tell me the reasons for this overwhelming popularity?.

    Because the Satmap Active 10 has only been out for two months and is not available in as many outlets as Garmins.
    I'd rather walk than use Shimano
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,155
    I think Garmin offer the only dedicated cycling GPS - ie one that takes cadence, HR and speed into account. Having said that, the Garmin Edge 305 is not designed as a navigation GPS, lacks a map function and putting routes in is a bit of a pain. The 705 looks to have solved this and is due out in Feb I believe.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,153
    The 705 seems to offer an improvement on the previous version, but with only 100 waypoints it seems somewhat limited to me. As for the Satmap, I would have one now but my understanding is that it still can't receive routes generated on the PC. Also, once you include the mapping you need and the bike mount you are talking £400 plus, which is a lot for a gps system as far as I'm concerned.

    I think the Garmins are probably fine if you only want to ride on roads, but their topo software isn't much use for off road riding in my opinion. That is where you ideally need OS mapping.
  • bryanmbryanm Posts: 218
    I use a Garmin Legend Hcx coupled with Tracklogs digital maps for road riding and off road running. Never had problems navigating off road when running, but I take a printed map off tracklogs with me as well. Which for me is where the new Satmap falls apart - you can't print the maps out. I wouldn't like to be left stranded with no paper map and a failed gps unit. I also do races where gps isn't allowed, so I need to be able to print maps out. For me the Garmin Legend / Tracklogs combo is spot on. I take paper maps only on the few off road bike rides I do as I fall off to often and don't want to smash the gps!

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