Author Topic: Best GPS for touring  (Read 21798 times)

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Offline froze

Best GPS for touring
« on: November 27, 2014, 03:30:05 pm »
I've done a lot of reading on the various brands of gps's; and I live in the USA and only intend to tour in the USA maybe Canada. 

I was going to get the Garmin Edge Touring Plus but then started reading about how inaccurate it supposedly is, is this really the case? 

Then I started reading about the Magellan Cyclo 315 which on the surface seemed to have more detail about certain things like nearby bicycle shops, restaurants, and cyclo lanes that Garmin doesn't mention which I find odd since they both use the same OpenStreetMap.

I don't want spend a fortune on one of these things which from a cost standpoint the Garmin Edge Touring Plus is the better deal but if the accuracy is so bad I could get lost trying to get somewhere then what good is it?  The Magellan sounds better but it cost more which I'm will to stretch a wee bit if it will really make a difference.

So I'm hoping you guys can throw some light on this for me, thanks.

Offline mdxix

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2014, 08:51:04 am »
Both units will know exactly  your current location and get you to your destination.

How you get there & how both units support you along the way is a different matter. In this case, my preference is the Edge because of compatibility with large number of mapping sites, support for loading custom points of interest, and huge supporting community of Garmin users.

I was going to get the Garmin Edge Touring Plus but then started reading about how inaccurate it supposedly is, is this really the case?
What measurement is this accuracy claim in reference to?

For knowing your current location, no doubt that both units have the same accuracy based on the GPS chip, to within 3–5 meters of current location.

For calculating the route between two points, each unit has its own calculation method. I would not trust either completely without verifying the route in advance, unless it is necessary or required such as in the case of road closure, need for urgent bicycle repair, etc.

Regardless, while the calculation may be different or the units may have a different way to connect two points, they both will get you there. Just be sure to set your preferences correctly in the unit, for example, to avoid highways.

Then I started reading about the Magellan Cyclo 315 which on the surface seemed to have more detail about certain things like nearby bicycle shops, restaurants, and cyclo lanes that Garmin doesn't mention which I find odd since they both use the same OpenStreetMap.
The Cyclo did find more service points near me compared with the Edge. It also has a convenient top category for bicycle shops. However, when I select that category in Boston, it does not find any bicycle shops!

I would not rely on finding service points in either unit. Smart phones, if you have one, are far superior in finding services.

Note that the Cyclo does not support loading points of interest onto the unit from an external source. You can only define them manually in the unit.

This is where the Edge shines given all the external support you get from Garmin BaseCamp mapping software, Garmin Connect web site, and direct connectivity from most mapping web sites out there, such as Ride with GPS.

Offline froze

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 09:41:35 am »
I appreciate the response, Garmin Edge sounds like the better choice.

The error factor I read about came from this You Tube presentation and others commented agreed with the problems; see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHlLFHLvzjY

Offline RonK

Best GPS for touring
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2014, 02:44:53 pm »
Where Garmin does not shine is in navigation - route finding. The Cyclo 505 had much better navigation.

Whichever device you choose, expect to encounter errors and frustrations.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 02:46:26 pm by RonK »
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline mdxix

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2014, 03:36:19 pm »
The error factor I read about came from this You Tube presentation and others commented agreed with the problems; see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHlLFHLvzjY
This video deals with errors in recording the data, which is rare, but does happen with all devices, sometimes because of thick tree & cloud covers, and mostly because of the recording intervals of the unit.

When the recording interval is set to less frequent than each second (at 10 seconds for example) to save battery, the device will attempt to capture the satellite signal less frequently, losing it at times.

Offline froze

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 11:40:10 pm »
So I'm logically thinking I should not only use a GPS like the Garmin but back it up with paper maps from ACA just to double check stuff.

Offline RonK

Best GPS for touring
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2014, 07:26:50 am »
The most logical thing to do would be to get a Garmin Etrex 30, which runs on easily sourced AA batteries and download the ACA route waypoints to it. But yes, it's still advisable to have the paper maps.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 07:30:34 am by RonK »
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline mdxix

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2014, 08:27:42 am »
The most logical thing to do would be to get a Garmin Etrex 30, which runs on easily sourced AA batteries and download the ACA route waypoints to it.
The eTrex 30 is a workhorse of a GPS (recommended earlier) with sturdy body, long battery life, and many functions that serve just about every activity. The price is also right, even when not on steep discount sale. More information was posted in comparison chart.

The eTrex 30 does not come with maps. Follow instructions posted earlier to load them onto the unit.

Offline froze

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2014, 02:06:45 pm »
The Garmin eTrex 30, will this unit have the same turn by turn readout like the Garmin Edge Touring Plus?  Or do I have to purchase an additional map to get that feature?  If I have to purchase the map how much do they usually cost?

Thanks for your help guys.

Offline RonK

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2014, 03:42:36 pm »
Etrex 30 bundle is $370 at REI. Shop around you might get it for less.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline froze

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2014, 10:36:19 pm »
I found the Topo bundle which includes the 100k topographic card, carrying case, Birds Eye, and Belt clip for $243.95 including shipping on Amazon.  But TOPO USA the roadmap that I need for touring?

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-eTrex-Bundle-Topographic-BirdsEye/dp/B00AMAQ0SY

This Birdseye thing is some sort of 1 year Sat imagery which I don't think I'll be needing after the first year.

Any idea on how much the USA roadmap will cost?

Offline mdxix

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2014, 07:03:40 am »
The Garmin eTrex 30, will this unit have the same turn by turn readout like the Garmin Edge Touring Plus?
When you load the unit with predefined tracks to follow on your tour, no, the eTrex 30 will not give turn prompts. The Edge will give turn prompts, however, they are not very reliable.

Your best bet will be to follow the track as it shows on the screen.

Or do I have to purchase an additional map to get that feature?  If I have to purchase the map how much do they usually cost?
Follow instructions posted earlier to load free Open Street Maps onto the unit.

Offline froze

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2014, 08:10:21 pm »
Hmm, ok so the eTrex doesn't work like a car GPS where all I do is enter an address or place of interest, etc and it develops a course of direction to follow...or does it and I'm simply misunderstanding?

There will be a lot of times I won't have a predefined track, I may go and venture off course and take a road or more to see whatever, and I want the ability to get back on track eventually but not go back to where I left the main track.

Offline mdxix

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2014, 08:54:48 pm »
Hmm, ok so the eTrex doesn't work like a car GPS where all I do is enter an address or place of interest, etc and it develops a course of direction to follow...or does it and I'm simply misunderstanding?
Yes, the eTrex 30, Edge Touring, & Cyclo will all develop the course to reach an address or point of interest. Be cautious about the type of courses they develop for you—they may not be on the safest bicycle roads.

The Edge & Cyclo have the maps already loaded. With the eTrex make sure to add routable maps (for example, the topo maps you reference earlier in the bundle will not work as they are not routable). The OSM ones will work.

Offline froze

Re: Best GPS for touring
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2014, 11:45:38 am »
Great guys for all the help, it appears the Etrex is the one to get.  Now what's the difference between Etrex 20 and 30 besides cost?

Then I noticed Garmin has two types of maps, Topo US 100k and Garmin Street Maps and Navigation called the City Navigator NT, which of the two is best for road touring?  or can both be inside the unit and accessed separately?