One GPS to rule them all...

W

whpprsnppr

Guest
So, I must have fooled Santa because he thinks I was good and is willing to chip in for a GPS this year (sucker). I've been doing a little research and it looks like I'm down to a couple finalists.
I'm looking for a unit that can be friendly to use on the bike (road and/or mtn.) and in the car. A lot to ask, I know, but some come close to having the abilities I'm looking for.
I had a forerunner 205 for a couple years (until it was stolen) but I never used the way points or route functions. I just picked up a Forerunner 305 because the price was too good to pass up. So, if I can do what I want with the 305, skip the rest and please let me know how you set up your long road rides and such.

#1 Garmin Oregon 400t
This one has a bike and car mount option. You enter your destination just like an automotive unit, it's about the same price as the EDGE 705 and seems to come with better base maps - See #2. It has the ability to pick up HR and Cadence data from Garmin sensors, but doesn't have the abillity to download that data into Training Center.
#2 Garmin Edge 605/705
The 605 does everything the 705 does so the question is do I want to bring both my 305 and the 605 along on the days I care about downloading HR data for fun later or is the extra $100 worth it to me to just have one unit on the handlebars. The 605/705 do not enter data the same way as an automotive unit does and I found the interface cumbersome if you don't know where you're going. Also, please tell me if I'm wrong, but the base map on the display unit had no side streets and liked to take highways... do you have to buy additional maps to make the 605/705 useful?? There is no car mount from Garmin for this unit.
#3 Delorme Earthmate PN-40
Seems to do everything the Oregon series can do. Cheaper, more/better base maps maybe, car and bike mounts available and has the ability to monitor HR from the Delorme site story on the guy doing the Mt. Washington road ride. I have no idea how you enter addresses into this unit and/or how well it navigates. Also, does it have a bike routes only feature? If someone has info on this one please let me know. This unit seemed much bulkier than the Oregon in the pictures on Delorme's website.
#4+ Garmin 60 series, etrex, Colorado, NUVI - all of these have some of the same benefits and a lot of the same failures as #'s 1-3. The NUVI 500 is supposed to be bicycle friendly, but has no bike mount available right now. Does anyone use their NUVI outside?? Inquiring minds want to know.

That's it for now. I'm about to go sit down w/ my Forerunner and try to figure out the route options. If you'd like to save me the headache, I'll be checking in later.
Thanks!
 

Sircrashalot

New Member
I avoided asking one unit to be good for driving & riding. Have an edge 305 for the bike that I love & that is more than adequate (how often do you really stare at your bars to follow a map in a trail?) & does a great job at telling me how badly I suck at riding/works great with motionbased website & TC.

I then have a garmin C320 for the car....low end unit no bells or whistles= fast calculating & drawing speed. I go 5 places I have never been before every day for work & it hasnt screwed me in 4 years!

Combined price for these two would total less than either the 705 or your other ideas.

Just a different potential solution......in the end its gonna come down to pers. preference!
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Delorme

RE: bike routing

I have the PN-20 and it can do a route using trails. Once really nice function is that you can add your own trails to TopoUSA program. I basically have the trails from almost all of the parks I frequent. The trails have been added and appear as a normal trail in the basemap. The key function is that they are routable. You can select Trail or Road for routing.
 

larkin42

New Member
I just got the PN40 for Christmas and its pretty damn cool. I haven't even begun to explore all of the options and features yet. I took it out on its maiden voyage around Hartstone on Tuesday and loved it. Just have to figure out how to use all the bells and whistles. It does feel a little bulkier than some of the other GPS I looked at, but that in my opinion is a good thing. It seems like it can take a beating and keep on going.
 
W

whpprsnppr

Guest
Follow-up

Sircrashalot - You're right, I'm not really looking at the handlebars on the trails in the woods. I'm really looking to try a longer road ride or two this year and if I can combine gear and limit the number of GPS's hanging around it would be that much better. Do you use your Edge 305 for navigation from point to point on the road?

Sparta Brad - Thanks for the reply on the 20. How do you put in the address/destination you're trying to get to? Is it a touch screen? Do you have a virtual keyboard that you use the arrows and enter button to select what you want to type? Do you have to input all of your destinations at a computer before you leave?

larkin42 - Same Question, how do you tell the 40 where you want to go?
 

larkin42

New Member
I have only entered information through a virtual keyboard. I just put the software on my computer last night, so I haven't had time to play around with it much.
 

Sircrashalot

New Member
Sircrashalot - You're right, I'm not really looking at the handlebars on the trails in the woods. I'm really looking to try a longer road ride or two this year and if I can combine gear and limit the number of GPS's hanging around it would be that much better. Do you use your Edge 305 for navigation from point to point on the road?

No I actually just throw the 305 in my backpack- believe it or not it still gets excellent signal. I am only interested in the route, avg. speed, elevation, heart rate, etc. so its fine. I love it...nuthin on the bars at all, no distractions when riding, you can still hear the sound so if you program an interval or min/max speed you can hear it yell at you. I crash a lot....so I try to avoid anything expensive & plastic attached to the bike :D

I don't road ride much (trees rarely hit cyclists...usually the other way around) and have not really played with it much on the road bike. I was thinkin you meant for driving, posted and then the little light bulb went on that you might want the nav. features for riding the road.

Have to say this pn-20 sounds cool though....
 

B737

New Member
how are you guys mounting these things? handle bars? Id be terrified that its going to get smashed....

with all kidding aside you guys probably dont crash as much as i do ;)

edit i'll start a new thread to avoid the drift....
 
Last edited:

larkin42

New Member
I actually got the Handlebar mount from Ram Mounts. It locks the GPS so tight to the bars that its actually hard to take it off when I go in the house. Its mounted right next to my stem.
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I have the same handlebar mount, the Ram mount. I have not had any issues with damage in the two years I have used it, and I have had quite a few crashes in that time.

I actually rarely use the routing function, but by far the easiest is to make your route using your PC on TopoUSA, but you can use a virtual keyboard/directional arrows on the unit, which is less user friendly.

I have to say the fact that it comes with the TopoUSA program is probably one of the best aspects. Also you can upload all kinds of additional map files such as aerials, satellite, USGS topo quads and even NOAA nautical charts.
 

de00304

Well-Known Member
I have the 705 with the optional north american map, so I don't use the base map and cant comment on how good it is. The optional map has all the streets, plus the usual ability to search for locations (i.e. atm's, resturants, shopping, etc) that you would find on any GPS.

I do not use the 705 for point-to-point nav while road riding, but it can do this. I do however use it for point-to-point nav while in a car on occasion. For instance, I was out west and I used the 705 as a car gps by putting it in "car" mode on the routing options page. It then functions more or less just like a normal car gps (albeit with a smaller screen than you would usually have with a car gps)

True, no car mount available that I am aware of, but I have found that with the car charger connected, I can just drape the 705 over the rear view mirror and that works out pretty well as the usb connector holds the 705 up.
 

rlb

Well-Known Member
I have to say the fact that it comes with the TopoUSA program is probably one of the best aspects. Also you can upload all kinds of additional map files such as aerials, satellite, USGS topo quads and even NOAA nautical charts.

Do you have to use the data from Delorme, or can you download the topos from USGS and load them into the unit? I've been interested in the PN-20 for a while now but I haven't done all of my research just yet. I do GIS for a living (short definition of GIS: digital mapping) so I've got a lot of data on my hands that I would want to use w/ any GPS I get. What I don't want is to be stuck w/ a unit that uses proprietary data formats rendering all of the available free data as useless.

How do you have the trails loaded into the unit, as routes? If you have a park w/ a red trail and a blue trail are you able to color code them? And would you have to add those as 2 routes or could you load a single park as one route? Also, did you capture all of your routes yourself, or were you able to load them in from KMLs off of motionbased?

Sorry to hijack ;)
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Do you have to use the data from Delorme, or can you download the topos from USGS and load them into the unit? I've been interested in the PN-20 for a while now but I haven't done all of my research just yet. I do GIS for a living (short definition of GIS: digital mapping) so I've got a lot of data on my hands that I would want to use w/ any GPS I get. What I don't want is to be stuck w/ a unit that uses proprietary data formats rendering all of the available free data as useless.

How do you have the trails loaded into the unit, as routes? If you have a park w/ a red trail and a blue trail are you able to color code them? And would you have to add those as 2 routes or could you load a single park as one route? Also, did you capture all of your routes yourself, or were you able to load them in from KMLs off of motionbased?

Sorry to hijack ;)

Short answer, yes you can, however you would need to use their XMap GIS program in order to match it up correctly.

RE trails, you can add them either as "draw files" or as "routable trails". When you add them as draw files, they will come up as any color you would like, but are not routable. If you add them as trails, they will appear as dashed black lines. In order for the routing to work correctly, each segment of trail needs to be separate. You can easily load any .gpx file which is a download option from MB, and you can convert kml files into .gpx using a converter.

Regarding my trail data, for the most part I captured the data on my own, but have loaded data from both MB and GE to fill in some blanks.
 

rlb

Well-Known Member
Short answer, yes you can, however you would need to use their XMap GIS program in order to match it up correctly.

What do you have to do in XMAP to match it up? Also, what is the file extension of the topos etc that you load on to the unit?

I think draw files are what I'm after. I'd like a unit that will allow me to display background vector data (points, lines, polygons) that I will create on my own. What file types are supported for draw files? If it lets you bring in shapefiles (shp) that would be awesome, otherwise I can hack them into whatever file type I need.

Thanks for the info, looks like the delorme is really what I'm after as long as I don't have to buy XMAP. I think that software is fairly pricey, right?

Now back to the OP....
 

joeschaar

New Member
I have the Garmin edge 705 and I LOOOOVE it. I bought it with the dual purpose in mind. However, i find that for a car GPSS it's users interface is cumbersome.

As a bike computer it is awesome. I'd only recommend it to you if the car need is occasional.

Cheers,
:hmmm:
"slow" Joe
 
W

whpprsnppr

Guest
de00304 and joeschaar, I wasn't aware that the 705 had a "car" mode. I played with it for a while in the store and I guess I didn't find that option. Having the sales guy bug me every 2 min didn't help... If you put it into car mode, do you have a way of entering destinations in the unit on the fly - meaning without a computer? I assume De00304 that if you are searching for ATM's, shops and such then there must be an additional screen in car mode that allows you to put in what you're looking for. Is that right? So I could get done w/ a trail ride and decide on the spot I need to find grocery and just switch over to "car" mode and enter the info some how?
 

Mr_T

Member
1 Vote for the Garmin edge 705

Being that I did not have a GPS for the bike or the car, I justified the $$$ given the dual use potential. I had a 30 day money back deal from J&R, my biggest concern was how well it would work in the car. The only real difference I see from other car GPS units is the 705's screen is obviously smaller; the re-calc of routes also takes a bit longer. The usability of the interface to setup go-to locations and finding locations is not all that different from most common car units. I'm totally satisfied and happy with my purchase.


Other comments:

1) If you want to use it for the car, I highly suggest the North American Maps.

2) I used one of the handle bar mounts and some zip ties and rigged it on my driver side AC center vent.
 
Last edited:

de00304

Well-Known Member
de00304 and joeschaar, I wasn't aware that the 705 had a "car" mode. I played with it for a while in the store and I guess I didn't find that option. Having the sales guy bug me every 2 min didn't help... If you put it into car mode, do you have a way of entering destinations in the unit on the fly - meaning without a computer? I assume De00304 that if you are searching for ATM's, shops and such then there must be an additional screen in car mode that allows you to put in what you're looking for. Is that right? So I could get done w/ a trail ride and decide on the spot I need to find grocery and just switch over to "car" mode and enter the info some how?

The "car" option is part of the settings for Routing (either bike, pedestrian or car routing). If you leave it in bike and try and drive with it, it is unusable as it is constantly recalulating.

I actually just leave it in car routing mode all the time, as I dont use the GPS to route while on the bike. Instead I just use it to track my rides, usually while displaying a "course" that provides a map of the tracks either myself or others have done before in that area. The course appears as a purple outline of the previous track, and I use it as a guideline as to where the trails are (in other words, you dont have to follow it if you dont want to, but can instead just use it to get your bearings).

You enter destinations via a "where to?" function, that is pretty much the same as a car GPS interface - I think this menu function may only be available if you have the north american optional map card installed.
 

hooples3

Member
I bought the colorado 300 with the hopes of using it for hiking and biking. While it is great for hiking it was a little bulky and difficult to use for mountain biking ( which I do more of). I borrowed a friends edge 605 and loved it. So of course i purchased one and i have been extremely happy with it.

Actually I am looking to sell the Colorado 300 if you are interested. I have all original packaging, stuff it came with, bike mount and i bought the additional topo maps which are really nice. PM me if your interested.

Click Here to see posting
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
What do you have to do in XMAP to match it up? Also, what is the file extension of the topos etc that you load on to the unit?

I think draw files are what I'm after. I'd like a unit that will allow me to display background vector data (points, lines, polygons) that I will create on my own. What file types are supported for draw files? If it lets you bring in shapefiles (shp) that would be awesome, otherwise I can hack them into whatever file type I need.

Thanks for the info, looks like the delorme is really what I'm after as long as I don't have to buy XMAP. I think that software is fairly pricey, right?

Now back to the OP....

You are getting outside of my area of expertise here, but yes Xmap is expensive, maybe your employer can pick up the tab :) I don't have it and have not imported any maps other than maps I have purchased and downloaded from Delorme.

For more detailed answers to some of these questions check out the forum on Delorme's website.
 
Top Bottom