Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB general

GPS units

BuckleBuckle Posts: 90
edited October 2009 in MTB general
I'm toying with treating myself to a GPS unit but don't really know if I'd need one. It'd be a nice gadget to play around with but unltimately, it might be just an expensive toy. I don't really know much about them.

I mostly ride the same places but might occasionally try somewhere new but as most places are either marked or have other riders around, would it be worth while?

Any thought would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Don't you just hate it when people ask rhetorical questions...
«1

Posts

  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    A GPS is only as good as the routes you load into them (or record with them). Bear in mind that there's no way that they can show as much detail as a realmap. They may show you your average speed, height above sea level, left armpit temperature and what colour knickers Cheryl Cole's wearing at any given moment, but quite frankly in my opinion they're about as much use as an inflatable dartboard. I'd be mad if I found one.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • abducteeabductee Posts: 189
    Completely disagree with dave hill on this.

    You can plot the route on a computer before you go and then spend your time riding rather than stopping every few hundred yards to get the map out.

    If someone is guiding you it will log where you have been so that you can do the ride again on your own.

    If you have one you will probably end up exploring places that you currently can't be bothered with the the hassle of navigating the hard way.

    Disregard this if you only ride waymarked trail centres, only ride trails that you already know or if other people do the navigation for you.
  • tjwoodtjwood Posts: 328
    dave_hill wrote:
    A GPS is only as good as the routes you load into them (or record with them). Bear in mind that there's no way that they can show as much detail as a realmap

    Mine has *real* maps.

    See my posts in this thread:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopi ... highlight=
  • +1 for Abductee.
    The Garmin Geko 2 is good value for 'dipping your toe'. All the necessary functions and PC connectivity.

    Not sure about Dave's post, he seems to be sitting on the fence again.
    Northwind wrote: It's like I covered it in superglue and rode it through ebay.
  • OH NO DanOH NO Dan Posts: 186
    I was a bit sceptical about them, but i was getting bored of riding the same routes and having to look at a map every 5 minutes. Its a great thing to own imo.

    Mines a Garmin Oregon 200. Got it for £160 on amazon. Thats a mint price i think they retail at £250+ so have a look at them, not sure if you can pick them up for that much though.

    It was a worthwhile buy for me because ive ridden so many new routes in peak district, and surrounding areas and makes life so much easier.
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    from the bottom of the range, I have an ageing Garmin etrex. About twice a year it proves invaluable if I download a route to it (off bikely or wherever) or plotting it (multimap) and then have fun following it without having to resort to maps.

    If you can justify the price of your chosen model for the two / three time a year when it comes into its own go for it.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    tjwood wrote:
    Mine has *real* maps.

    But how much of it can you see at once? My main gripe with GPS is that compared to a paper map, you can't get a proper idea of where you are in relation to the rest of the landscape. With a paper map, even if it you've got it folded up you can still get an idea of what there is at least a mile in any direction.

    I think the other thing is that I'm so used to maps that I can look at a route once or twice and just go and ride it with minimal reference back to the map. And my memory isn't so bad or cluttered that I forget where I've been within an hour of being there.

    I'm sure that GPS has its uses for somebody, but I can't see the point.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • gongagonga Posts: 225
    dave_hill wrote:
    A GPS is only as good as the routes you load into them (or record with them). Bear in mind that there's no way that they can show as much detail as a realmap. They may show you your average speed, height above sea level, left armpit temperature and what colour knickers Cheryl Cole's wearing at any given moment, but quite frankly in my opinion they're about as much use as an inflatable dartboard. I'd be mad if I found one.


    could be worth a shout for the cherl updates :lol:
  • BuckleBuckle Posts: 90
    Thanks for all your comments. Certainly leaves me with some serious thinking (and reading) to do. I do like the look of the Satmap Active 10 but it might just be a bit too pricey for how often it'd be used.

    *runs off to bone up*

    (that's study, BTW...)
    :wink:
    Don't you just hate it when people ask rhetorical questions...
  • scottoscotto Posts: 381
    what I don't get is the way ther maps are priced, so say £100.00 for all of the south and the £80.00 for the new forest for instance, but surely that's covered by the south east ones?

    I have been thinking about getting this one:

    http://www.handtec.co.uk/product.php?xProd=1940
  • VWsurfbumVWsurfbum Posts: 7,881
    I use my Iphone, but it's definatly a fad, peloaded or recorded it's only interesting to you or if your trying to show someone who doesn't know the area.
    Only bit I do like is the figures when recording a route like av speed etc.

    Just my 2 penneth
    Kazza the Tranny
    Now for sale Fatty
  • pte1643pte1643 Posts: 518
    scotto wrote:
    what I don't get is the way ther maps are priced, so say £100.00 for all of the south and the £80.00 for the new forest for instance, but surely that's covered by the south east ones?

    Depending on the software you choose the National Parks (for instance) ARE covered on the "Standard" mapping software, (usually) at 1:50k scale.
    The "Dedicated" areas, such as the New Forest you mention, will be covered separately at 1:25k scale.

    This is the reason they are priced this way.
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    dave_hill wrote:
    tjwood wrote:
    Mine has *real* maps.

    But how much of it can you see at once? My main gripe with GPS is that compared to a paper map, you can't get a proper idea of where you are in relation to the rest of the landscape. With a paper map, even if it you've got it folded up you can still get an idea of what there is at least a mile in any direction.
    With the Satmap active 10 you can zoom in or out and you're looking at an OS map so its really just the same as a paper map or looking at MM on your PC etc 8) You can zoom out to road map scale if need be.
  • :D just got myself the oregon 300 , like what it dose . not only will it get me to my ride it gets me round my ride ,then gets me home . what more could you want :twisted:
  • scottoscotto Posts: 381
    pte1643 wrote:
    scotto wrote:
    what I don't get is the way ther maps are priced, so say £100.00 for all of the south and the £80.00 for the new forest for instance, but surely that's covered by the south east ones?

    Depending on the software you choose the National Parks (for instance) ARE covered on the "Standard" mapping software, (usually) at 1:50k scale.
    The "Dedicated" areas, such as the New Forest you mention, will be covered separately at 1:25k scale.

    This is the reason they are priced this way.

    I see, thanks for that.

    What's people views on satmap 10 versus the oregons?
  • irwirwirwirw Posts: 10
    Personnally I use an Ipaq PDA with Memory maps - you plot the route on the computer at home and load to the PDA with the relevant map in with 1:50k or 1:25k scale.

    the bluetooth GPS received sits in the top of the rucksack and the PDA talks to it with bluetooth and plots where you go against the planned route.

    I am only just getting into MTB but have used this combination for years hiking.


    Ian
  • x-islex-isle Posts: 794
    I use SatMap. I used to use MemoryMap, but found that the iPaq I was using it on was not waterproof, rugged or very quick at updating so splashed out on the SatMap.

    I find it invaluable for riding somewhere that you know the co-ords of a trail, or even when you find a new trail, mark it and you can get back there again.

    Also, it replaces the Cateye Micro computer I had on the bike as it shows the co-ords.

    It's has REAL OS maps and it certain DOES replace paper maps, don't agree with Dave Hill at all about not being able to see where you are, you can zoom out and the screen is big enough to pinpoint.

    Although the unit isn't tiny, it's certainly not too big to sit on your handlebar and doesn't get in the way.

    Very rugged and waterproof. I took a nasty high speed tumble a few weeks back and the unit was completly undamaged.

    The only gripe I have is the cost of the maps......
    Craig Rogers
  • dave_hill wrote:
    A GPS is only as good as the routes you load into them (or record with them). Bear in mind that there's no way that they can show as much detail as a realmap. They may show you your average speed, height above sea level, left armpit temperature and what colour knickers Cheryl Cole's wearing at any given moment, but quite frankly in my opinion they're about as much use as an inflatable dartboard. I'd be mad if I found one.
    Sorry to interrupt... but does it provide photograpic proof?
    Might have to get one of these GPS units after all!
  • I use Memory Map for plotting routes & overlay them on BikeHike.co.uk to validate there is a route there. Upload this onto my Sony Ericson phone with Bike mount & you get real time picture on an OS Map + all your logging etc.

    In the wilds of the North York Moors it has cut down the amount of times we've got lost compared with an OS Map & compass.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • scottoscotto Posts: 381
    x-isle wrote:
    I use SatMap. I used to use MemoryMap, but found that the iPaq I was using it on was not waterproof, rugged or very quick at updating so splashed out on the SatMap.

    I find it invaluable for riding somewhere that you know the co-ords of a trail, or even when you find a new trail, mark it and you can get back there again.

    Also, it replaces the Cateye Micro computer I had on the bike as it shows the co-ords.

    It's has REAL OS maps and it certain DOES replace paper maps, don't agree with Dave Hill at all about not being able to see where you are, you can zoom out and the screen is big enough to pinpoint.

    Although the unit isn't tiny, it's certainly not too big to sit on your handlebar and doesn't get in the way.

    Very rugged and waterproof. I took a nasty high speed tumble a few weeks back and the unit was completly undamaged.

    The only gripe I have is the cost of the maps......

    does it record where you have been and enable you te recall the route as well?
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    GPS can do well one of two things - few do both well..

    1. Do I want a navigation device to help me navigate my route?
    2. Do I want a training device to help me improve my fitness/training?

    I went for the Edge 305 Cadence and HR.. it does 2 really well and is ok at 1. There are enough sites where people upload there routes to enable a training sat nav like the 305 work as a navigation aid. And a map + training GPS is a perfect combination. I looked at the 605 and 705, but people were saying that the maps are too expensive, not easy to use and run times are quite poor..

    My 305 runs easily for 6-10 hours without a charge (rated for 12 hours), is quite small and enables me to download other people's rides to navigate without needing a map.

    When you are following someone elses route its as easy to use as a tom tom.
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    scotto wrote:

    does it record where you have been and enable you te recall the route as well?
    Yes.It has a "snail-trail" feature that you can turn on/off then you just save the data when you've finished the route.
    I've tried/used a few units before,nothing comes close to satmap.Maybe that's why the majority of mountain rescue teams now use the active 10?

    Memory Mao have just brought out there own unit now aswell

    http://www.memory-map.co.uk/adventurer/index.html

    Worth a look.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    ibbo68 wrote:
    With the Satmap active 10 you can zoom in or out and you're looking at an OS map so its really just the same as a paper map or looking at MM on your PC etc 8) You can zoom out to road map scale if need be.

    I understand that, but how big's the screen?
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    dave_hill wrote:
    ibbo68 wrote:
    With the Satmap active 10 you can zoom in or out and you're looking at an OS map so its really just the same as a paper map or looking at MM on your PC etc 8) You can zoom out to road map scale if need be.

    I understand that, but how big's the screen?
    That's one of the downfalls,its quite large 3.5"X2.5"(90X64mm)compared to my Garmin 2.25"X1.25" (58X32mm) but it needs to be for the detail 8).
    It extremely clear and easy to read,easier than a bar mounted map,because the cross tells you exactly where you are.
  • scottoscotto Posts: 381
    ibbo68 wrote:
    scotto wrote:

    does it record where you have been and enable you te recall the route as well?
    Yes.It has a "snail-trail" feature that you can turn on/off then you just save the data when you've finished the route.
    I've tried/used a few units before,nothing comes close to satmap.Maybe that's why the majority of mountain rescue teams now use the active 10?

    Memory Mao have just brought out there own unit now aswell

    http://www.memory-map.co.uk/adventurer/index.html

    Worth a look.

    Excellent, thank you, looked at the memory map one but it has an internal battery, which means you can only charge that up and that's it, I want one where I can carry spare batteries, I dislike panic and paper maps so need to be prepared !

    So with the active 10 am I right in thinking the software is similar to memory map really with regards to functionality?
  • x-islex-isle Posts: 794
    dave_hill wrote:
    ibbo68 wrote:
    With the Satmap active 10 you can zoom in or out and you're looking at an OS map so its really just the same as a paper map or looking at MM on your PC etc 8) You can zoom out to road map scale if need be.

    I understand that, but how big's the screen?

    3.5 inch so when using 1:25K maps, you can have enough on the screen to plan ahead.

    The "snail trail" is great, and you can also export it to other apps such as memorymaps or even google earth.

    You can also plot a route on these apps (as well as on the device) and import them to the device to use.
    Craig Rogers
  • pte1643pte1643 Posts: 518
    scotto wrote:
    I dislike panic and paper maps so need to be prepared !

    It's important to understand, also, that a gps unit is NOT a full-time substitute for a map and Compass.
    I bought my unit initially for walking, and while I rarely use the paper map and compass they are always in my bag.
    This may not be a massive consideration in your circumstance, of course, but it's good to have a fail-safe back up.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I find 1:25,000 OS maps dont show all the paths that 1:50,000 maps do - at least using the maps on bike hike etc. Doesnt that make them a bit useless for cycling?
  • _Ferret__Ferret_ Posts: 660
    I love the idea of GPS.

    I'm always trying new routes out to see if they lead anywhere and sometimes I can't remember my start point.
    My only concern is that I tend to hammer down hills quite a lot and would be worried about it flying off. I lost my last bike computer after a heavy bit of downhill - it just pinged off mid-rock. If that happened to a GPS I'd be gutted.

    The idea is great - it just needs to be refined for my needs first.
    Not really active
  • x-islex-isle Posts: 794
    apreading wrote:
    I find 1:25,000 OS maps dont show all the paths that 1:50,000 maps do - at least using the maps on bike hike etc. Doesnt that make them a bit useless for cycling?

    :?: 1:25K shows a lot more detail than 1:50K? confused
    Craig Rogers
Sign In or Register to comment.