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Bike computer. Which one....?

ct8282ct8282 Posts: 414
edited June 2013 in Road buying advice
I ride a Giant TCR Advanced with built in ANT+ cadence sensor and would like to get a bike computer up front to show my speed, cadence and maybe heart rate too.

I've been considering going for one of the Garmins, either the 510 or 500, or alternatively saving a boat load of cash and picking up a Giant Neos Pro or other small and cheap computer that will accept ANT+. I use my iPhone in the back of my jersey with Strava which accurately logs my distance and route so is a Garmin a waste of time and money? Will a cheapo computer be enough or am I missing something which makes it much more sense to go for a Garmin??

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  • ct8282 wrote:
    I use my iPhone in the back of my jersey with Strava which accurately logs my distance and route so is a Garmin a waste of time and money?

    Who told you this accurately logs your distance and route?


    What if you wanted to ride without taking a phone with you?

    What if you fell off/ crashed, how much to replace your phone?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • ct8282ct8282 Posts: 414
    ct8282 wrote:
    I use my iPhone in the back of my jersey with Strava which accurately logs my distance and route so is a Garmin a waste of time and money?

    Who told you this accurately logs your distance and route?


    What if you wanted to ride without taking a phone with you?

    What if you fell off/ crashed, how much to replace your phone?

    I would never ride anywhere without my phone. You made the point yourself, what if I fell off, got injured and needed to call someone. What if I get stranded? What if I see a cute little fox with a broken leg and need to get it some help.....

    I will always have my phone on me and my guess is Strava is pretty damn accurate which I can confirm seeing as I have also worn my Polar RCX3 with GPS and it shows the exact same distance as Strava, give or take 0.1mile.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    If you are after something cheap and that covers all you mention, The Bryton 20 would do the trick. If you want something for routes etc then look at something like the Garmin 800. I have the Garmin 500 with cadence and HRM and it does all I need. Not the best for routes but for the info It gives me is good enough.
  • Rod11Rod11 Posts: 293
    +1 for Bryton 20. If you're not needing the navigational capabilities then it's great and does everything you need.
  • MyersngMyersng Posts: 25
    I have a Garmin 200 and I think it's great, I know the 200 won't do what you need it to but the ones you mention will. The great thing about the Garmin is it is on the handlebars and unlike my phone doesn't go flat on longer rides :) also if you program a route it will track it and tell you how far you have to go, both mileage and percentage. I did love my phone for tracking my rides until I got the Garmin. I can't comment on other computers but i think dedicated cycle computer is better than phone.

    I still always take my phone with me on my bike and if it's a shorter ride have endermundo running too :)
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    What if you wanted to ride without taking a phone with you?

    Why? I for one don't leave the house for any reason without my phone. Hell, I don't go to the living room without my phone with me.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    If you are doing a long ride 4 hrs plus, Strava will drain an Iphone battery, which negates is use for emergencies / post ride logisticss and for using goiogle maps etc if you get lost / need to find a cafe. Plus an iphone does give you a constant display of speed distance cadence HR etc, it just logs what you have done to look back a later.

    That said, the price of Garmin 800 is difficult to justify!
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  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,144
    Garmin all the way!
    When my Giant was built up I sent for the Neos Pro as I thought it would be the best to get.
    Thankfully, I got one that was a bit faulty so I replaced it with a 500.

    I'd originally dismissed a Garmin etc as being too expensive but got one for £148 delivered from Handtec.
    Wish I'd got one sooner :D
    With the spare mount I can swap it between bikes. I stick to routes I know so don't need mapping and don't use a HRM.

    Main thing is the variety of screen view set ups you can get with the Garmin :)
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Get the 500. You can find them near the 100 quid mark these days and you won't be disappointed.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • ct8282ct8282 Posts: 414
    Grill wrote:
    Get the 500. You can find them near the 100 quid mark these days and you won't be disappointed.

    Ooh, please show me where. And will this accept the ridesense sensor on my Giant using ANT+ and a heart rate strap using ANT+??
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    The 500 is ANT+ so should accept any ANT+ device. Handtec has it for 127: http://www.handtec.co.uk/garmin-edge-500-neutral-black-silver-010-00829-06.html
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    t4tomo wrote:
    If you are doing a long ride 4 hrs plus, Strava will drain an Iphone battery,

    Don't necessarily agree.

    I've used my Android phone with Strava for a whole day and it barely used a third of the battery. The trick is to get Strava recording then switch off mobile data. Strava then collects the GPS data but cannot use data to map it as you ride. When finished, save the ride and then switch data back on. Strava then uploads the ride and the online software links it to a map. The battery uses very little power to take the GPS signal.

    I only found this out when skiing in France and wanted to avoid roaming charges. Before leaving the chalet in the morning I'd connect to the wifi, start Strava, switch off wifi and head out on the slopes. Data roaming was off for the entire holiday.

    I've successfull used this technique cycling in the alps in the last few weeks.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Navrig wrote:
    t4tomo wrote:
    If you are doing a long ride 4 hrs plus, Strava will drain an Iphone battery,

    Don't necessarily agree.

    I've used my Android phone with Strava for a whole day and it barely used a third of the battery. The trick is to get Strava recording then switch off mobile data. Strava then collects the GPS data but cannot use data to map it as you ride. When finished, save the ride and then switch data back on. Strava then uploads the ride and the online software links it to a map. The battery uses very little power to take the GPS signal.

    I only found this out when skiing in France and wanted to avoid roaming charges. Before leaving the chalet in the morning I'd connect to the wifi, start Strava, switch off wifi and head out on the slopes. Data roaming was off for the entire holiday.

    I've successfull used this technique cycling in the alps in the last few weeks.

    Android phones are generally better on battery life in general than iphones. i have heard of this "technique" but I've also heard if for whatever you lose GPS whilst riding it then doesn't reconnect.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    iPhone apps are no good as a replacement for a bike computer, they are only really good for logging for post ride analysis. As said much beyond 4 hours then battery life becomes an issue. I've got a mophie powerstation external battery, which solves this to an extent but it's bulky to carry around.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Get a Garmin 500 - you won't regret it
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    When I first started using Strava, I was using my iPhone. Mainly just to lof the route with it in my middle pocket on my jersey. I had a normal computer giving me speed and distance etc. I did look at putting it on my handle bars but the size of it looked ridiculous. Now, looking at the average Android phone, the best selling are Samsung Galaxy phones. All since the S2 are notably larger than an iphone. The S4 Is massive. Imagine having a Galaxy S4 sat on your handlebars. It would be nearly the size of a in car sat nav. Yes there are smaller phones out there. But not all the smaller and older support gps or a decent software to run the app. I know this is not always the case. Some do get by with a fairly decent setup. But as good as an app for a smart phone is, it will never truely replicate the job of a dedicated GPS computer like a Garmin. I don't particularly like taking a phone worth a 400-500 quid on a ride. I have a cheapo nokia for emergency calls that fits in my pocket with my pump and innertubes. I would rather have my Garmin 500 get a few scuffs on the casing as I know it could handle a fall. Not sure a smartphone could handle a fall if it was you were to have a coming off. And if you do break the screen it possibly could make it unusable for an emergency call.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I don't know about that. I've fallen off twice with an iPhone in my jersey pocket and it's been fine.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    I don't know about that. I've fallen off twice with an iPhone in my jersey pocket and it's been fine.

    In your pocket is not on your handle bars being used as a computer is it???????
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I don't know about that. I've fallen off twice with an iPhone in my jersey pocket and it's been fine.

    In your pocket is not on your handle bars being used as a computer is it???????

    No because that's a silly thing to do.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Well, considering thats the main topic of this thread I think you it the nail on the head there dude.

    What would be the point of having an phone recording cadence and heart rate if its sat in your pocket where you can't see it?? Can't use it for doing a preset route, can't see speed, distance or elevation. Only can do all that if its in sight. And out in the open where its exposed to damage in the unfortunate event of a fall.
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