Bicycle Travel > GPS & Digital Data Discussion

GPS Watches


Does anyone here use a GPS watch for turn by turn directions?  I am considering a Garmin Instinct 2 Solar model for collecting workout data and other daily usage and it would be nice if it were also useful for turn by turn on ACA routes and backpacking trips.

How easy was it to load routes?  Did it work out well on the road?

I've always carried paper maps and likely still would do that or have electronic ones on my phone, but it would be nice to not need to refer to them much if at all during the day on the road.

I haven't tried it but I got a Fenix 7 Solar as a gift and the display is awfully small.  Instinct does not work with power meters, so Fenix is their bicycle watch.  Battery life is far less than  claimed life with GPS on and solar does very little if anything to increase that :(. 

Warranty is only one year, and heart rate monitor just died after 2 months(!), so trying to decide if I should return (REI allows returns for first 90 days on outdoor electronics), or get it fixed under warranty.  Expensive as heck so I expected better reliability.  I'm under warranty, but thinking about returning to REI. 

Googling I see mixed experiences with repairs out of warranty, a quote of 1/3 retail price, a quote of $160, and someone who was not charged by Garmin.  Best Buy may offer their usual extended replacement warranties(?), so that may be the best choice assuming they stay in business.

Not worried about power meter so I chose an Instinct.    In my use so far the battery use has been about what they claimed.  I don't use the pulse ox which I have read really sucks battery.

So far I have only used the watch around home for monitoring normal activity and local riding, so I have not tried to load maps or do any turn by turn directions, but I don't expect the disply to really be useful for showing map data.  What I would hope for is just reminders popping up for turns more so than any useful maps.  That would allow having the phone turned off the large majority of the time.  Maybe even just checking the maps once on the phone at the start of the day and then just relying on the turn reminders all day.  If needed the phone could be turned on to clear up a confusing situation or to find a poi.

Let me know how it works for turns, interesting.

Pulse ox is useless on the wrist I'm told so turning it off makes sense

If I get around to trying it I will.


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