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Planning Routes Using the Garmin 800

alesupperalesupper Posts: 286
edited July 2011 in Routes
Hi

I am an experienced roadie who has just treated himself to a nice new hardtail MTB and have only done two rides on it so far. On Saturday I rode a route from a book I have and I did this by following a map. I have to say I found it very frustrating having to stop every 5 minutes to check the map to see which way to go and I wondered if it was possible to use the Garmin 800 to guide you around an off road mtb route?

BTW - I don't own a Garmin 800 but would consider buying one if it can do the above.

Cheers, Alesupper

Posts

  • EnglishChrisEnglishChris Posts: 210
    alesupper wrote:
    Hi

    I am an experienced roadie who has just treated himself to a nice new hardtail MTB and have only done two rides on it so far. On Saturday I road a route from a book I have and I did this by following a map. I have to say I found it very frustrating having to stop every 5 minutes to check the map to see which way to go and I wondered if it was possible to use the Garmin 800 to guide you around an off road mtb route?

    BTW - I don't own a Garmin 800 but would consider buying one if it can do the above.

    Cheers, Alesupper

    Hi... I bought an 800 recently specifically to use it for this as I am fairly new to the area. I transferred a route that I rode with others and which I logged using a gps app on my iphone. I managed to transfer the file and to follow it on the 800, though I don't find it that easy to read whilst biking. But it is easier than stopping to get a map out...

    You need to get the Trail package which has the OS maps on it....
    Offroad: Canyon Nerve XC8 (2012)
    Touring / Commuting: On-One Inbred (2011)(FCN9)

    http://uninspiredramblings.wordpress.com
  • FudgieFudgie Posts: 68
    I've followed a few routes from maps in books and while they give a general idea of which way to go you definitely need a 1:25000 OS to make sense of it. But after the first time you don't need to use it again so spending £500 on a Garmin and OS mapping seems a bit extravagant compared to a paper map.

    I'm a bit biased as I love map-reading and exploring so my first ride in a new area involves a lot of stopping, getting coordinates from my cheap GPS and reading the compass. It can take all day as I check out other interesting looking trails and then go home and pore over the map trying to link them together into the best possible loops.

    I've often looked at satnavs like the Garmin but although I could afford one I don't think they'd offer me as much satisfaction as OS maps. So I understand the attraction of the technology but can't imagine ever justifying spending that amount on a navigation tool that isn't as good as a simple map. It's just easier to carry. But then again, I've never had one so I may be missing something :lol:
    Canyon Nerve XC 8.0 2011
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    Fudgie wrote:
    I've followed a few routes from maps in books and while they give a general idea of which way to go you definitely need a 1:25000 OS to make sense of it. But after the first time you don't need to use it again so spending £500 on a Garmin and OS mapping seems a bit extravagant compared to a paper map.

    The 800 does a bit more than just map reading.

    I love my 800, and to the OP yes you can download/plan out routes and upload it to your unit and follow the directions easily.

    Just make sure you got the trail package at least which includes the UK OS 1:50k mapping.

    However I usually take an OS 1:25k map with me as backup incase the Garmin fails.
  • alesupperalesupper Posts: 286
    Hi All, thanks for the replies.

    I am such an idiot! After doing some Googling I have discovered that my Garmin Edge 500 can follow routes using the course feature. So no need to upgrade to an 800 which will please the wife :D

    Cheers, Alesupper
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I have had a few problems with my Edge 800. I lost all my data from Saturday's Southdown Randonee, because the battery went flat and corrupted the FIT file. I have also had problems with it failing to pick up satellites and needing a reset.

    However, I would say as a do it all navigation and training aid it is spot on. I reckon I must have saved 30-40 mins in not having to work out where the trail was going and not missing turns. Plus in the thick fog up on the hills it was nice to know which forks to pick, when you couldn't read the signs.

    Personally I wouldn't waste money on the map packages when there are perfectly good open source maps available for free like open mtb map. All you do is download the tool generate the gmapsupp.img file and copy it to a garmin directory on any cheap microSD card and select the map on the device. I have both the mountain bike version and the road version which go nicely on a 1GB SD card and still give you 1-200MB free for data,

    You have the added advantage that many of the mtb trials are already loaded on the map unlike the OS maps which are more generic.

    Currently I give the 800 3.5/5 until they fix the problems with FIT files. Then it would be 5/5.
  • PiquetPiquet Posts: 83
    Fudgie wrote:
    I've followed a few routes from maps in books and while they give a general idea of which way to go you definitely need a 1:25000 OS to make sense of it. But after the first time you don't need to use it again so spending £500 on a Garmin and OS mapping seems a bit extravagant compared to a paper map.
    :

    i ride trails criss crossing much of Surrey - most often with a guy who knows the area so well he is like a human gps and we rarely use the same route twice. The 800 is invaluable in re-finding routes we have been on and plotting new combinations of my own.
  • FudgieFudgie Posts: 68
    I do like technology and would love to be persuaded that a Garmin 800 could do more for my navigation than a map. I keep looking at it but I'm still not convinced that it can do much more than an £8 map and a compass (admittedly backed up by a £60 handheld eTrex to get coordinates when I'm really lost! Although a smartphone app would also do this).

    Piquet - I do a similar sort of riding to you over a variety of trails crossing Wiltshire and Somerset and often mix and match different bits or spend a day exploring new paths. It only takes a few minutes looking at a map to decide where I fancy going today and the map's always in the big pocket of my baggies if I'm not sure.

    The latitude and longitude are printed on the edge of the map and the eTrex is accurate enough to give me a precise location. But that's a last resort for when my map-reading skills have failed so I only have to do that rarely.

    I come from a time when maps were the only alternative, so I've grown up with them. Perhaps they're a bit intimidating to younger people. But I'd still like to be convinced that I should spend £500 on a device that would do the same but just save me a few minutes occasionally. I'm not knocking them - I want one - but want somebody to be able to justify it for me! :D

    Here's a sales opportunity for any Garmin salesmen out there!
    Canyon Nerve XC 8.0 2011
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    it gives you tom tom like instructions, clearly shows the type of turn you need to make e.g. dog leg, double back etc.

    It tells you when you will arrive, when you are off course and if you use the MTB maps where all the decent trails are near you and if you are following someone elses course you can even race them.

    I have had an edge 305 which was great, but for the few quid extra the mapping and external storage function of 800 is worth the money.

    On Saturday when I was doing the SDW100, the fog up on the hills was so thick that you could not see the sign posts let alone any landmarks. If you haven't been paying attention a map and compass is no use in thick fog as you will have little to get a reference from.
  • I've been considering GPS for my MTB for a while now and i'd justify
    it in addition to carrying a paper map in the following ways.

    1. It will tell you where you are (most of the time) - you can make errors in pinpointing yourself - which can be costly in time and distance.
    2. In bad weather - fog etc it's harder to orienteer with a paper map.
    3. Auto Route logging, upload & sharing.
    4. Performance data - how fast you are - calories etc etc (certain models only)
    5. Emergency situations
    6. Going off piste and just discovering new routes should be easier and you can link it to (3).
    7. It should stop the group arguments with your m8's at every possible junction - you
    know where you are definatively so you will check less as you know your on the right track.
    We all do it take a turn and the next mile or so your constantly thinking - "is this right.. am
    i going the right way". Part of the fun but sometimes its a pain.

    Still they can run out of batteries or just break so you still need a map/compass and
    know how to use em as backup.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    Fudgie wrote:
    I do like technology and would love to be persuaded that a Garmin 800 could do more for my navigation than a map. I keep looking at it but I'm still not convinced that it can do much more than an £8 map and a compass (admittedly backed up by a £60 handheld eTrex to get coordinates when I'm really lost! Although a smartphone app would also do this).

    Smartphones GPS isn't quite as accurate, smartphones battery isn't going to last as long. You can use a map and a compass but you have to keep stopping to get your bearings, and if its thick fog then the fun really begins.

    The fact it acts as a Satnav which enables you to focus on your riding and not your next direction, then throw in the stats it records (far more than a smartphone can with the additional sensors) and its awesome.
    Fudgie wrote:
    I come from a time when maps were the only alternative, so I've grown up with them. Perhaps they're a bit intimidating to younger people. But I'd still like to be convinced that I should spend £500 on a device that would do the same but just save me a few minutes occasionally. I'm not knocking them - I want one - but want somebody to be able to justify it for me! :D

    Its hard to explain, I used to use maps as I got trained into using them in my scouting days, OS maps are easy to read but with the garmin it just makes riding so much more enjoyable instead of stopping every fork or turning.

    Suppose it depends on what you want, if you want a true adventure then dont use a GPS.

    If you want to enjoy your riding while still having an adventure but slightly quicker, with the added benefit of being able to look back and see where you have been and show others then the Garmin is top notch.
  • GrowmacGrowmac Posts: 117
    I've been logging my routes for a while with the iPhone app Runkeeper, but this thread has convinced me to buy a Trail Pack 800. The idea of not having to stop every 200 yards when riding cross country is very appealing!

    From what I've read, I might just continue tracking the rides using the phone though. It's very convenient not having to connect anything up to get the full ride summary.
    1994 Clark Kent F12; 2004 Mount Vision; 2011 Canyon AM 7, 2012 Canyon Torque FRX 6, a unicycle and a Brompton.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I would certainly try the open source maps first. Particularly since you can get the road version and the mtb version on a single 1gb card which will cost you about 5 quid.
  • GrowmacGrowmac Posts: 117
    Hmm, I'm with the traditionalists on this one in that I like a 'proper' map. Wouldn't ride in the wild without one, and so I wasn't happy not having proper maps on the unit. It's a luxury anyway, so I figure I might as well do it properly and get OS maps on there.

    We shall see...
    1994 Clark Kent F12; 2004 Mount Vision; 2011 Canyon AM 7, 2012 Canyon Torque FRX 6, a unicycle and a Brompton.
  • GrowmacGrowmac Posts: 117
    Well the Garmin has turned up. Nice piece of kit, but bloody hell, the interface to program it is not Apple!!

    Three or four different programs, and a thousand different settings to change if you want it to guide you round a route.

    I think I have it now - feed it a GPX route, don't let it snap to roads (it knows about all roads from teh 1:50 map apparently) and don't lt it recalculate and it will allegedly let you ride your own routes. I will let you know this weekend.

    One thing that annoys me almost enough to send it back though. Garmin obviously hope to not poach customers from their walking ranges, so you can't set your current grid reference to be a displayed field. It knows about the OS grid, you can get to the OS grid ref from the map with a couple of clicks, and obviously it show you where you are on the map, but this just strikes me as a deliberate attempt to make you buy the maps. To me, that's cynical. We shall see, I'll give it a proper test run this weekend and report back.
    1994 Clark Kent F12; 2004 Mount Vision; 2011 Canyon AM 7, 2012 Canyon Torque FRX 6, a unicycle and a Brompton.
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