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What's a good Satnav?

2008paul2008paul Posts: 47
edited August 2011 in MTB buying advice
Hi there,

I'm just wondering what is a good satnav for bikes but is also cheep? I want one that is 3D.

Thank you,
Paul

EDIT: Also, is it possible to just use a car satnav and then just buy a bike satnav holder?
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    AS long as you stay on the road it would work.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    Sorry, you want a 3d sat nav for a mountain bike that's cheap?

    Best get making one then!

    For a good performing bike sat nav, get a garmin 800. Not cheap, then again, no non-motoring sat nav is going to be cheap.
  • nilanila Posts: 12
    Use an Android Smartphone with google maps.

    You get a Sat Nav, also a route tracker and a billion other things with it ;)

    I use it on my motorbike (so much higher speeds to deal with) and it works fine.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    nila wrote:
    Use an Android Smartphone with google maps.

    You get a Sat Nav, also a route tracker and a billion other things with it ;)
    And horrendous battery life.
    And turn by turn sat-nav (for a car) that doesn't do it's job as well as a 6 year old Navman unit that was bought in Tescos for £115.

    Smartphones are fun, but they are not the right tool for, well, almost any job, really.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Disagree, used a nokia n8 in france alongside a garmin unit and it was excellent, better even.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    What garmin unit.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Nokia actually are a special case, their Sat nav, based on OVI maps is particularly good. Battery life still isn't great though.
    Trouble is, you still need a good mobile signal for the mapping. (Unless the N-series has it all in memory, I'm not sure on that one)
  • 101_North101_North Posts: 607
    nila wrote:
    Use an Android Smartphone with google maps.

    You get a Sat Nav, also a route tracker and a billion other things with it ;)
    And horrendous battery life.
    And turn by turn sat-nav (for a car) that doesn't do it's job as well as a 6 year old Navman unit that was bought in Tescos for £115.

    Smartphones are fun, but they are not the right tool for, well, almost any job, really.

    I disagree. I use my Android for GPS tracking and get more than enough battery life for a full day on the trails (over 7hrs on occassions). Also used it in the car as a sat nav and have had no problems whatsoever. Mobile signal can be an issue on the hills so probably not great as a navigation tool in certain circumstances - the tracking is fine though and downloading maps later when the signal returns works OK with the routes plotted accurately enough.

    101
  • Mojo_666Mojo_666 Posts: 860
    edited August 2011
    My iPhone is great except for battery life, this can be improved by switching running apps off but you will never get more than 4hrs off a full battery.....but my advice is if you have a smart phone use it, then work out what is missing, what's bad, what features you want then go spend the money on something else after some research (that was my plan but as yet I have not needed to buy anything else...yet)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    101_Northtracking, is not Satnav.
  • Slow LorisSlow Loris Posts: 128
    There are numerous excellent Android apps that will do most if not all of the tasks you'd want from a road/off road GPS.

    I'm using Oruxmaps at the moment, and it allows you to download sections of maps from most online providers (OS, Google, Cloudmade, numerous foreign providers for more localised maps - I prefer Microsoft Hybrid as it has the satellite view with street names added) which you can then navigate around even if there's no phone signal, you just need a GPS signal. You can import and export GPX files too.

    Oh, and it's free with no ads.
    2011 Genesis Latitude
    2009 GT Transeo 3.0
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    But the battery life is dire.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Define 'dire'.

    My old Nokia really was woeful, it would suddenly drop from full to nearly empty battery, the turn itself off. My Desire is much better though, I've used the GPS to drive to a trail, then tracked my ride for a few hours, then used GPS for some of the return journey, and the battery hasn't even been down by 50%.

    Tracking isn't satnav, as you rightly pointed out.

    But then 'proper' car style satnav doesn't exist off road. You won't get "Turn left at the trail in 200 yards" type instructions
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    bails87 wrote:
    doesn't exist off road. You won't get "Turn left at the trail in 200 yards" type instructions
    Nope, but a proper off-road GPS will show you a map, with your current location, and if needed, an overlay of your desired route.
    And will do so all day.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    bails87 wrote:
    doesn't exist off road. You won't get "Turn left at the trail in 200 yards" type instructions
    Nope, but a proper off-road GPS will show you a map, with your current location, and if needed, an overlay of your desired route.
    And will do so all day.

    Yeah, I just didn't want the OP thinking he could put in a destination and have the sat nav plan an off road route for him.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Nokia actually are a special case, their Sat nav, based on OVI maps is particularly good. Battery life still isn't great though.
    Trouble is, you still need a good mobile signal for the mapping. (Unless the N-series has it all in memory, I'm not sure on that one)

    You can download the maps for free and use it in offline mode (just the gps) or if you're not worried about data then use the mobile signal to enhance the gps. But the gps is fine without it, you just get a faster lock with the enhanced and easier destination searches.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    What happens if you find yourself in a place with no signal, and you need sat-nav? How do you download the maps then?
    Seriously, it's nice to have this stuff on a phone, but it's best to use the right tool for the job.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    What happens if you find yourself in a place with no signal, and you need sat-nav? How do you download the maps then?
    Seriously, it's nice to have this stuff on a phone, but it's best to use the right tool for the job.

    Well then you're stuck, but on my crappy old Nokia I had all of the UK as well as France, Belgium and Holland downloaded. If I wanted any more I could do it in a few minutes via PC.

    But I wouldn't have trusted the Nokia to last more than 30 minutes with the GPS on. :wink:

    I think we need more input from the OP on what he actually wants/expects the 'sat nav' to do. Is it just a Garmin type HRM/speed/distance tracker, an arrow that points towards the next waypoint, a map with his planned route overlaid or full turn by turn voice guided navigaiton. I'd guess one of the last two, given the suggestion of using a car satnav. But does he want to take it off road?
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Slow LorisSlow Loris Posts: 128
    What happens if you find yourself in a place with no signal, and you need sat-nav? How do you download the maps then?
    Seriously, it's nice to have this stuff on a phone, but it's best to use the right tool for the job.

    You're right, but then to avoid this siuation is quite straightforward - if you know where you're going to be riding, then download the section of map you'll need in advance at home using your home internet connection. The whole Surrey Hills area with 5 levels of zoom in satellite image mode is about 35mb. In Oruxmaps or similar app with an offline mode you can also follow a downloaded GPX track, or make your own. No phone signal required, in fact I switch it off to save battery.
    2011 Genesis Latitude
    2009 GT Transeo 3.0
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    What happens if you find yourself in a place with no signal, and you need sat-nav? How do you download the maps then?
    Seriously, it's nice to have this stuff on a phone, but it's best to use the right tool for the job.

    Eh? It's got the whole of the UK, eire and france on it. If I get lost in sweden it's my own damn fault I didn't download the map in advance.

    Seriously though, the only difference is it doesn't come preloaded with maps. And some low end sat navs only have the UK on them anyway.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Slow Loris wrote:
    What happens if you find yourself in a place with no signal, and you need sat-nav? How do you download the maps then?
    Seriously, it's nice to have this stuff on a phone, but it's best to use the right tool for the job.

    You're right, but then to avoid this siuation is quite straightforward - if you know where you're going to be riding, then download the section of map you'll need in advance at home using your home internet connection.
    Which (again :roll: ) is why a PROPER GPS unit, designed for the job trumps it. No need to think ahead and remember this and that, and to download first, and make sure to go offline.
    Oh, and did I mention battery life?
  • BikehawkBikehawk Posts: 102
    Have to agree with Yeehaw, smart phones are not designed to take the abuse that they will encounter on a trail ie vibrations and impacts. Dedicated units are more robust.
  • Slow LorisSlow Loris Posts: 128
    Slow Loris wrote:
    What happens if you find yourself in a place with no signal, and you need sat-nav? How do you download the maps then?
    Seriously, it's nice to have this stuff on a phone, but it's best to use the right tool for the job.

    You're right, but then to avoid this siuation is quite straightforward - if you know where you're going to be riding, then download the section of map you'll need in advance at home using your home internet connection.
    Which (again :roll: ) is why a PROPER GPS unit, designed for the job trumps it. No need to think ahead and remember this and that, and to download first, and make sure to go offline.
    Oh, and did I mention battery life?

    Having tried both a Garmin and a smartphone for offroad tracking I came to the conclusion I preferred the smartphone mainly because of the customisation possibilities. I also enjoy reccying a route before hand on the satellite view and I can download OS, satellite and terrain maps if I feel like it, at whatever level of detail I want too. There's also a map provider call 'Hike and Bike' which shows the usual map plus all pubs and bike shops in any given area too!

    The Garmin I used (admittedly only once on a hire bike in Spain) I found was difficult to follow as the on screen map didn't bear much resemblance to the real world I was actually cycling in.

    I expect new Garmins come with better maps that this, but I also assume you could get the same maps and more besides using an Android device.
    2011 Genesis Latitude
    2009 GT Transeo 3.0
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    Clearly you used an older Edge that either had no mapping functionality like say the 305 or you had one like the 605 with just topographic mapping which was ok-ish but very basic.

    The dakota/edge 800 (and another, cant think) use OS mapping.

    Theres no way I would use my smartphone over my 800, simple as that, it's so much better in everyway. For all those that are saying phones are better, have you used the 2 to compare? I doubt it.

    Also Bails you can do turn by turn directions even off road, you just need to set up the course correctly to do so.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    A smart phone can be the right tool for the job. Owning as smartphone and a GPS device makes you a mug.
    I own a Motorola Defy which is extremely batter resistant. I use it as a GPS tracker with full OS maps from Viewranger. I create routes prior on the net and download the .gpx file which I follow when I'm hiking or riding in the wilds. Viewranger will give warning beeps if I take a wrong turn and go off track. In flight mode (no signal searching) the battery has never been a problem. I can run the phone for a whole days tracking and can use the 'phone' part of it at the touch of a touch screen. Seriously, if you are still using a GPS device you need your head looking at. And if you can't go out prepared and need a GPS device because it's dumbass friendly, you need your head looking at.
    Using google maps for off-road is a very bad idea. Make sure you have more detail than that.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    bluechair84, Like I said, you could be camping somewhere with no signal - unable to download or cache maps. How the farking fark do you get them on your phone then? Muppet.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    it's about prepartion. why on earth would you leave the house without the right map on your phone? It's very simple to be prepared. It's stupid to spend another few hundred pounds on a device because you're too lazy to put a few maps on it. And if that is too complicated, you shouldn't be allowed in to the dangerous world that exists beyond trisha.
    Smartphones live up to dedicated device standards if you have the right phone and software. I can download routes via wifi or mast prior to going out, I can get pictures of way marks, I can check the weather, I get full signal atop snowdon. without any signal at all, I have a gps device at least as competent and feature rich as a gps device. What else can a gps device do exactly? Honestly, the defy + viewranger will eat a garmin alive.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    it's about prepartion. why on earth would you leave the house without the right map on your phone?
    Because you change your plans, whilst already in the wild, say, whilst camping. Weahter changes, you can;t always stick to your original plans. Any muppet who actually goes outdoors instead of sitting inside watching "Trisha" knows that :roll:


    I get full signal atop snowdon. without any signal at all
    Now you're not even making any sense.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    Seems unlike you to fight for the underdog yeahaa, and finding fault with my argument by ignoring punctuation is an odd approach...
    Viewranger does the same thing as a gps, when I have signal the added functionality of a smartphone just kicks a gps' censored . I'm not sure how memory map works, but can't you download the maps from the software to your phone? Both allow you to download other people's routes so you don't have to make your own and get stuck up an impassable gulley. I can read guidance on peaks, so i would know that the north face of tryffan is tough. back to the snowdon point, if i wanted advice on a good place to eat, I could find out about pete's. I can take photos and geotag them for other walkers or view others'.

    the map tiles aren't so small that you can't find alternative routes, and you work with the device, not under the assumption that it's capable of saving your life. If you want to be prepared then you make sure you have enough os tiles to cover other ranges. But that's only the same as making sure your gps maps cover alternatives. They are sold by region I believe, you could just as easily end up beyond the spread of map on your gps. Seriously, any prep you are talking about putting into a smartphone should be done with a gps. If you want to be able to just walk out the house with it, then throw some money at it and get maps for the whole country as you might do with a gps.

    The only advantage a gps has is battery and speed of lock. But my defy is fine at both, plus it's very rugged.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    I will give you one thing, I worry that if view ranger goes bust i'm left with a lot of unsupported maps. At least with memory map you could have the entire country at your disposal and it wouldn't master if mm stopped supporting. Is that a concern with gps devices? can anyone produce maps for the device or are you stuck with proprietory software like VR?
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