Author Topic: Go to GPS?  (Read 559 times)

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Offline 50missioncap

Go to GPS?
« on: May 10, 2019, 04:32:01 pm »
Going on a small 2-3 day tour from Chicago to NW Michigan via Milwaukee and the ferry at the end of the month.  Want to get a GPS device.  Pretty overwhelming with all the options out there.  Is there a specific device the community would recommend?  Seems like the trex series are much better than the dedicated cycling options (batteries and such).  Do they give you a speed read out? 

Thanks,

Offline John Nettles

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 05:22:40 pm »
I have multiple GPS devices.  My current favorite is a Garmin 64S.  It does most everything you would need for a plain GPS.  It's display is smaller though but that saves a lot on batteries.  I go through about 2 AA batteries every 12 hours of use.  Comparatively, my Montana device goes through 3 AA in about 6-7 hours.  It adds up.  Look on Garmin's site for all the specs but yes the 64s does speed, distance, distance to go, distance to end, avg speed, direction in both compass and degree, elevation (up down, total up/down, etc.), even gives stuff like sunrise and sunset.  You do not need one with topo, etc. as you can by maps for that for the same money.

For my next one I might be interested in Garmin's combo GPS/InReach just because I also use an InReach tracker to make the wife less nervous.

GPS devices are nice but not required.  They just make navigating easier but be sure to know your route as they are by no means foolproof.

Tailwinds, John



Offline jwrushman

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 04:11:35 pm »
What features are you looking for in a GPS?  Would a smartphone suffice?

I've used my phone and RideWithGPS for the past 4 years and I don't know what a Garmin could add when touring.  RWGPS has audio turn-by-turn directions.  And if I had a dedicated bike GPS, I'm sure I'd still be bringing my phone.

John R


Offline John Nettles

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 04:43:44 pm »
JW, I have wondered if you loose data coverage, does it still work?  I go at times where I do not have coverage for days so that is why I use one.  However, with a decent see-through rainproof cover, I might stop if the phone still works.  Thanks, John

Offline jwrushman

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2019, 08:58:04 am »
Although I have not used it, I understand RWGPS allows you to download maps to be used when off-line. 

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2019, 01:55:22 pm »
Can't speak to RWGPS, but I've used Gaia on parts of the Tour Divide. You download the map tiles needed along your route, then ride in Airplane mode to save battery power. Works really well. I had the satellite versions of the maps, which came in very handy to determine which obscure trail to take. Not sure if it does turn by turn as I haven't tried.

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Offline John Nettles

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2019, 04:14:45 pm »
I understand you can download for offline use but does the phone's GPS work very accurately without cell towers nearby.  The GPS in the phone I had five to six years ago did not work worth crap in rural Wyoming when no cell service was available so now I'm a little bit paranoid even the newer ones don't work or work accurately enough.  That is why I am asking. 

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2019, 05:32:25 pm »
Yes it was surprisingly accurate. I don't understand why, but it worked when I was deep into the Flathead portion and without any cell coverage. I had also been in Airplane mode all day, so it wouldn't have pinged a tower  Just prior to using.

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Offline CanvasAndSteel

Re: Go to GPS?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 08:37:57 pm »
I understand you can download for offline use but does the phone's GPS work very accurately without cell towers nearby.  The GPS in the phone I had five to six years ago did not work worth crap in rural Wyoming when no cell service was available so now I'm a little bit paranoid even the newer ones don't work or work accurately enough.  That is why I am asking.
A phone made within the last few years doesn't need a data connection at all to read offline maps. My favorite mapping software for phone is OsmAnd. I've sampled all of them and keep coming back to it. A bit of a learning curve, especially with overlays and underlays, but worth investing the time.

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