Reading Garmin while cycling

Big Mo
Big Mo Posts: 7
edited January 2013 in Road general
I received a Garmin 500 as a Christmas Present and it looks like an impressive piece of kit.
I require glasses for reading only and I'm wondering if anyone has any tricks for reading the Garmin on bike without having to put glasses on. Suggestions would be appreciated.


  • simona75
    simona75 Posts: 336
    Maybe set it up so you only have one or two things displayed on each page. The font is much larger then
  • Pigtail
    Pigtail Posts: 424
    It's a bit of a struggle for me too. I can just about see it but focusing can take a bit of effort - with the risks that involves!

    Cut down the amount of data on each screen as said above. Get your most valuable field on the biggest (top) space. Increase the contrast from the default setting to increase it. I've also found wearing cycling glasses impairs it. I have glasses with 3 different lenses. The sunglasses one is pretty impossible, even the yellow one affects it but the clear one is much better.

    I have my garmin set to laps of 1 mile and when it updates the light comes on. I try to sneak a look then as it's easier to see.

    Despite all that I think its a cracking piece of kit and wouldn't like to be without it. Just remember to remove it from your bike!
  • n1ckster
    n1ckster Posts: 158

    You could also mount it out in front of the stem, more in your natural eye line, with a K-Edge Garmin mount (other makes are available).

  • Thanks for the advice folks.
    As I said this is just a new piece of kit so I'm still learning about what can be achieved.
    Bigger font and less info on screen might work ok.
    I've yet to fit it to the bike so I'm hoping I'll be able to read it ok.
    I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this problem.
    Thought perhaps someone might have made a magnifying attachment by now since these devices are so popular.
  • You could always stick some contact lenses in...
  • Sadly contact lenses would not work as when you are able to read you cannot focus on anything in the distance.
  • ovi
    ovi Posts: 396
    Sadly contact lenses would not work as when you are able to read you cannot focus on anything in the distance.

    Contacts work for me. I'm long sighted with an astigmatism.
  • deadhead1971
    deadhead1971 Posts: 338
    edited December 2012
    Just to echo the advice given above, and to share a little video review we did when my mate Dave got a K-Edge "out front" mount for his Garmin: ... dge-units/

    I've since bought one myself, and they're great. It makes a big difference having it placed just in front of your stem, and you have control over the angle too, which you wouldn't if you used the standard mount on a stem.

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  • proto
    proto Posts: 1,483
    Having exactly the same problem as you, I stumbled across these:

    Basically plain lenses, non magnifying, with a small section of 'reading glass" at the bottom of each lens. So distance, middle and far vision is unaffected, but look down through the 'reading' bit, and er ...... you can read! No need to move your head, just your eyes. Work a treat.

    Absolutely brilliant. Ordered from the USA, they take about a week to arrive. Two sets of lenses - clear and tinted. Comfy, look good, and they WORK.

    There are cheaper alternatives, but they look, how can we put it, "industrial', in fact they are safety specs. The Dual Eyewear ones are specifically designed as sporting equipment.

    What amazes me is that the mainstream sunglass manufacturers haven't got in on the act. With the increasing numbers of MAMILs out there, sales would be booming

    PS, agree about the Garmin 'Barfly' mount. Well worth getting.
  • proto
    proto Posts: 1,483
    PS don't bother with stick on lenses for your sunglasses. They just don't work well enough. Hopeless.
  • bobones
    bobones Posts: 1,215
    Change the settings so the backlight stays on when switched on. Much easier to see in gloomy conditions and doesn't cause a problem with battery life. Have one or more of the 5 data screens with only a few fields so the figures are larger.
  • I use vaifocal lenses in my cycling specs, with the lenses designed by my optician such that i can see distance when looking ahead, and the reading bit is designed to focus exactly on my Garmin. Even had me sit on the bike in the optician's! A new angle on bike fitting!
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I suggest you try it out first. You probably won't find it an issue at all. I don't wear glasses when I'm riding and have no probs. have done over 3000 miles with mine in all sorts conditions including dark sunglasses and always perfectly readable
  • Big Mo
    Big Mo Posts: 7
    Just working through all the replies now.
    Contacts wouldn't work for me. I really only need glasses for reading close up.
    Reading anything at distance is a blur unless I look over the top of the glasses or take them off.
    You know that annoying wearing the glasses at the end of your nose look.
    I have to agree though with one of the replies that perhaps the industry giant's are missing a trick here for a device that works with the range for "MAMIL" folks who are only new to wearing glasses.
    Many thanks for all the replies I will be working my way through them to "see" what one or combination works best for me.
  • Big Mo
    Big Mo Posts: 7
    Deadhead 1971
    Great video and looks like a useful bit of kit.
    Would have to agree that this would be a safer way to mount the device especially when going downhill.
    Don't think I'll be looking at the Garmin too much while going downhill though.
    This might just work for me as it will add a few extra inches distance.
    As the man says I don't need glasses just longer arms.
    Many thanks again for taking time to answer.
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,926
    I wear these Wrap Around Bifocal Safety Glasses
    I've got the in Yellow and Smoke and you can choose what prescription - although it has to be the same for each lens.

    i know these won't appeal to everyone or be cool enough but they work for me. A quick glance down at the display and I can now clearly read what I couldn't before.
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  • Big Mo
    Big Mo Posts: 7
    Proto & Dabber
    Thanks for these links.
    Inow think I'll be trying a combination of the K-Edge or Barfly mount with a pair of the glasses.
    The sample picture of the blurred garmin in Proto's link is what I feared I would be experiencing.
    Christmas present may just be the big success I expected after all.
    Thanks again guys for taking the time to answer.
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,926
    edited January 2013
    One tip. If you do end up buying the safety glasses I put the link to just check the rubber nosepieces are firmly attached.
    The glasses have had no problems but I have had one of the nosepieces come off. Since I superglued it back it has been fine.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • FatTed
    FatTed Posts: 1,205
    you could try just having one contact lens in one eye, so you lose stereoscopic vision, but you will be able to train yourself to see long distance with one eye and close up with the other. You will need to do this all the time not just on the bike.