Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

To Garmin or not to Garmin?

nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 865
edited June 2012 in Tour & expedition
Yes, this is the question.

I am off the the Northern Alps in about 6 weeks time with the intention of riding some of the major Cols (Telegraphe, Galibier, Madelaine, Croix Der Fer, Alpe D'Huez). I will be based in Valmeinier near St Michel De Maurienne for a week so well placed to reach most climbs. I have researched Garmin 800 in this forum search & others but haven't really found an answer to my question. Which is this.

Being a newbie to riding in France & not knowing the area much, will i be able to navigate well enough without a Garmin 800? Are the roads well posted & what are the chances of getting lost? Admittedly i am not the best at map reading but how difficult is it to get around the area using one? I have found an 800 online for £245 & a Europe map for £65, so it's quite an expense.

Will it be worth the outlay to save the hassle & avoid getting lost? Or is it an unecesarry luxury?

Thoughts & advice appreciated. Particuarly from those who have been to the area with or without one.

Cheers all



  • JamesBJamesB Posts: 1,184
    You will probably be able to as I guess there are not too many roads to choose from !! , but using my 705 in the Alps (Raid Alpine route) I found it very useful indeed, as in addition to navigation uses on descents (when using courses ) could visualise upcoming road and hairpins, useful if going flat out on straight to have extra advance warning of hairpin or just a moderate bend coming up. In addition you get all sorts fun info such as gradient, altitude, cadence, speed etc, thay can become quite addictive :)
  • lpretro1lpretro1 Posts: 237
    I have the Garmin Edge 800 and like it a lot. It saves the hassle of having to get the map out all the time saving ages. Plus it records all your ride data. You can plan a route in Bikehike or similar and then simply download it to your Garmin and go ride!
    On saying that navigating in France is no different to here - signage is good (often better than the UK. Just don't forget which side of the road! But watch out for the 'Priorite a droit' junctions - they can catch you out.
  • andrewleckandrewleck Posts: 45
    France as one of the most extensive and dense road networks of any country, so yes very easy to turn down the wrong road/track.

    Whilst the signs must make sense to someone you will note that a road will change number AND designation as it crosses towns and commune/ department boundries.

    Have a look at the Bryton Rider 50 ... ack%2fBlue I have one and it came with basic maps for Europe (that is to say not HD mapping, but the maps still show every road) I will be relying on it for my French trip in a couple of weeks.
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