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Best GPS unit?

JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
edited January 2018 in MTB general
Hi all

What’s a good GPS unit for mountain biking?

I want to be able to create my own routes then follow them, or upload routes. For example if I ride some where new with a group I record it on Strava then manually plot the route on a GPS app on my phone, problem is phone battery doesn’t last long enough :x

Cheers

Jay

Posts

  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    I use a Wahoo Element Bolt on my MTB and road bikes. Does everything you have asked for, is robust, waterproof, reliable and pretty intuitive. Yes, it has a monochrome screen and you have to use buttons rather than touch the screen but I have always managed to get where I want to go and record the ride as I go.
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    figbat wrote:
    I use a Wahoo Element Bolt on my MTB and road bikes. Does everything you have asked for, is robust, waterproof, reliable and pretty intuitive. Yes, it has a monochrome screen and you have to use buttons rather than touch the screen but I have always managed to get where I want to go and record the ride as I go.
    .

    To be honest I’d prefer buttons as thy work with wet gloves! I’ll take a look.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Not sure it’s what I’m after, I don’t use turn by turn navigation like you would on the road (not sure how good it would be for off road anyway?). I like the OS maps on my phone, I’ll find the trail/footpath from map and I’ll just look at the map every now and again to make sure I’m on the right track.
  • Element has some thumbs up from my buddies.... just a line for direction though I think...no mapping. I use an old Garmin with downloaded maps that show most FPs, Bways etc. Only trouble for me is there's no distinction between tracks on it so it'll always put me on the shortest way to the destination even if I'm on a road bike!
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    I don’t use turn-by-turn either. I create a route in Strava and sync it to the unit, then follow the line on the screen, which shows a map and where to go but doesn’t actually ‘direct’ you (if you go off route you have to find your own way back, but you can zoom in and out). If I’m just out and about I have the unit running and if I want to know where I am or where to go I can scroll to the map page. If you need to you can create a route whilst you’re out using the Wahoo app (like, take me home or something).
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • batmobatmo Posts: 277
    I've had a Garmin Edge 800 since 2012 and it has worked very well. The screens are customisable so you can show the parameters you want (speed, distance, time, averages and lots more) in whatever layout suits you.

    The unit came bundled with OS 1:50,000 maps of the whole UK. This was okay and what I was used to, but if you zoom in you just get the same picture, there's no more detail. To buy the OS map separately is £150+, so when I wanted to get more up to date maps I chose the Garmin TOPO map which gives more detail when you zoom and was £20! This map also has more paths and tracks defined in the data so gives more scope for the turn by turn navigation.

    I like to kid myself that I cycle enough to get some fitness improvement, so i find it useful that the Garmin is compatible with a heart rate monitor.

    The only issue I've had was needing bi-focal cycling glasses so I can still read the map!
    Viscount Grand Touring - in bits
    Trek ZX6500 - semi-retired
    HP Velotechnik Spirit
    Brompton M6
    Specialized Camber Comp
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    If it's decent maps you need with a more detail than the topo maps have a look at this, one mass of detail and usefull information as you zoom in all for £11.

    https://talkytoaster.me.uk/maps/british-isles-ireland/

    The OP hasn't said whether he rides with prescription glasses or not as some of the smaller GPS units can be a pain to read when blasting along the trail.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    Have a look at the memory map site - they have plenty of OS based GPS - reliable and better price than Garmin.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Cheers :D

    Basically as you all have said I really just need OS maps - but I also want the ability to import routes to overlay onto the maps. I don’t follow the GPS, I just ride the trails/paths and check where I am every so often.

    I have Viewranger on my phone, which has free maps which have footpaths and cycle routes on, and I can create and import my own routes - but the battery doesn’t last that long :x I’ve changed the settings so
    That the GPS is only on when I’m looking at the map (so powers down when it’s in my pocket) which may help.

    Will have a look at the Garmin....are there any other colour map GPS units worth looking at?
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    Yes - memory map and you can import .gpx files. Get with 1:25k or 1:50k 2018 maps.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    FishFish wrote:
    Yes - memory map and you can import .gpx files. Get with 1:25k or 1:50k 2018 maps.

    Looking at £300+ :shock:

    Will see how I get on with my phone, may be cheaper to just get a spare battery pack for my phone
  • I use an android app called osmand on an old samsung s3 with an oversized battery in rugged case. Cheap enough and works well.

    Lasts all day. Offers turn by turn which really does work well - riding across a trail in the middle of nowhere and it will correctly tell you to bear left in 100 feet etc. Great for keeping eyes on the trail..
    Although, going up a steep trail and hearing it say "follow the course of the road for 4 tenths of a mile" and knowing you have another half a mile of steep climbing can be hard work!
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