GPS recommendations?


New Member
Following on the heels of my recent experience lost out in the woods at night, I have decided to add a GPS to my holiday gift wish list. Unfortunately, I know nothing about GPSs. :confused:

I see that people post GPS trail maps. Do all GPSs have the capability to download these maps? I don't actually want to ride a trail with a GPS strapped to my handlebars, but I would really like to be able to pull it out occasionally to see where I am on the trail.

Also, how do people create the GPS trail maps? Is that a special feature of some GPSs that allows you to 'record' a ride?

Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.


The Moped
I nabbed a garmin 705, the top of the line garmin bike computer off ebay for $300. It was used but almost perfect.

I don't use it to navigate much, but when I'm at an intersection and I want to know which way back to the car its just a glance down to figure it out. You can create breadcrumb trail maps of where you have been that day to upload online, and you can import those that others have done into your gps to follow.

I use it on the road sometimes to navigate to work and back avoiding the main roads and it is really nice to have. it beeps and shows you an arrow of where to turn and you can see the live map under it. I really like it.


The Moped
Oh yeah one cool thing about the garmin is you can have multiple maps. I keep topo maps on mine as well as the regular street maps, AND detailed street maps.
Just pop a 1gb micro SD card in there.


Don't piss off the red guy
I have a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. It's not too expensive and has a high sensitivity antenna for riding in the woods and a color screen. You can download your path onto motionbased website which is owned and run by Garmin. I don't know if GPS units from other manufacturers will work with motionbased but I would stick with Garmin. If you don't want to have a GPS unit on your handle bar then you can get a Garmin Forerunner that you wear on your wrist like a watch. The drawback to that is you'll have to take your hand off the grip so you can view where you are and where you want to go. The screen is also smaller. I would recommend the Edge or eTrex. If you decide to go with the eTrex make sure you get the high sensitivity one with "HC" in the model name.


Not-So-Venerable Asshat
I have the GPSMAP 60Csx and really like it. Its easy to use and has a big, fat color screen. Too big for a handlebar mount but perfect for stowing in a pack.

Another alternative is my mom. She has a tremendous sense of direction.


Wet Rag
do they make any gps' that you can use in your car for driving as well as mounting on the bike?

I think other companies have done it in the past, but the latest (handheld form factor):

The Oregon is Garmin's latest generation of handheld mapping GPS units, and the company's first handheld model to use a touch screen interface. Available in five different models, the 400t ships with preloaded U.S. Topo maps, has pre-configured profiles for recreation, driving, Geocaching, boating, and fitness, has an electronic compass and altimeter, and can be expanded with additional maps.

And also the nuvi 500 (akin to automotive type form factor):

Once upon a time you had to buy a GPS for the car, a handheld unit for outdoor hiking and Geocaching, another one for cycling, and yet a different GPS for boating. Enter Garmin's nüvi 500: one GPS, four modes.

The nüvi 500 combines the best of Garmin's various GPS products into a single, easy to use device that's equally at home on the road, trails, or water. Preloaded with topographic maps of the U.S., the nüvi 500 boasts water-proof hardware, a removable 8 hour battery, electronic compass, and can be upgraded with additional maps, traffic, and MSN Direct.
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Wet Rag
FYI automotive GPS work in jetliners but make sure you don't have a route in progress when you turn them on, they go ape sh*t recalculating road based routes at that speed:D


Given that I don't have GPS in my car, I decided on the 705. I picked it up at J&R for $580 (Full Package=> HR/Speed/Cadence, and City Detail Maps) I use it on the bike and in my car. It works real well for me.


New Member
Yeah, we use the Garmin 705 for bike and car. Not the easiest to use in the car when you are solo since it is small and hard to read. We have a full size Garmin for the car, however, being small it is great for travel since I am navigator and can speak in a computerized tone to tell my husband what to do :D

Warning; Gamin has some silly software quirks you should check out the forum on Motion Based some good info here.


Don't piss off the red guy
Garmin 705
Do you mean the Garmin Edge 705?

I tried using my eTrex in my truck before I bought a car with an OEM Navi in it and it was a pain in the arse. It worked well and got me from NJ to Ontario, Canada and back in my truck but I had to have one eye on the GPS screen and one eye on the road while driving a stick shift, talking on the phone, and find a decent radio station. Now I get to do all that hands free. :)
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