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GPS Opinions

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by JontyG, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I am looking to get a portable/handheld GPS, primarily to use for city navigation on the bike, and it the car. I also do a fair bit of four wheel driving and mountain biking, and think a GPS would come in handy during these pursuits as well.

    I have been looking at the Garmin GPSMAP60C/CS and Garmin Quest, as well as the Tom Tom Rider (I like the fact that this is designed for use with motorcycle gloves, and it has bluetooth, which integrates with a bluetooth capable mobile). I realise that the Tom Tom will not be suitable for four wheeling and MTB use. For those that have seen it, what are your innitial impressions of this device (it's new on the Aus market)?

    I was after any opinions Re GPS systems for use on the bike, and GPS systems in general. All opinions/feedback appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Check out Magellan.

    I have a Meridian, and use it for mountain biking, motorbike touring, used it for four wheel driving, and boating as well.
  3. Some decent maps and I'm away. Add watch/ sun/ moon....the rest of my GPS came ex-birth. I'll rather be able to extract myself from Arsehole-East than rely on anything using battery-power. If it don't look right...I don't go there.
  4. I use a Garmin Etrex Legend. It has a bicycle mount that until recently I had tie-wired to the upper triple clamp.

    Since Saturday, courtesy of Roundman, I now have a cool stainless steel bracket.

    http://home.austarnet.com.au/mtaylor/gps1.jpg shows the mount sans GPS

    http://home.austarnet.com.au/mtaylor/gps2.jpg shows the GPS mounted.

    When the batteries for the camera have recharged, if you're interested I'll post shots of the new bracket.

    The Etrex has a moving map with reasonable details. Supposedly other maps can be uploaded to it.

    There's a color version that has a better looking screen but it's also a $150 or so dearer.

    It has an excellent trip computer function with distance to next stop, distance to end, ETA to end, time to end, average speed, elapsed time, moving time, elevation, etc.

    You can select a combination of the above features on the trip computer screen.

    You can use software to plan trips and upload routes to the GPS, download tracks (routes travelled) and superimpose them over maps.

    Only issue is that it chews through batteries. A pair of 2500 ma/hr cells will last about 10 to 12 hrs before they need recharging. Standard alkaline AAs last about 8 hours. If sitting there switched off, a coupla months.
  5. I have one as well, water and shock proof, floats. I have even had it come off the bike at more than 100kmh out the back of Broken Hill. (Someone had been playing with it) Stopped picked it up put the batteries back in and has worked faultlessly ever since.

    I was looking at buying a Garman but found that Magellan had a lot better off road mapping than the rest, so that’s the way I went. That was a few years ago though
  6. I agree, the mapping on the Meridian series is great. I have all of the Australian street level maps, and have used them in Vic and Tassie so far.

    Lots of fun ;)
  7. First post - be gentle!
    If you intend to get anywhere near off the beaten track, take some good maps and a compass, and learn how to use them. GPS technology is great, but batteries have a tendency to go flat. Also, not a lot of tracks out bush are in uploadable maps...
  8. If you're in no great rush, wait a little, and see what happens with the European scheme to replace the US sat's with their own.

    Etrex Legend is what I use, but for outside city touring. The maps are fine, but with no autorouting, makes it a little hard to use in the city for navigation.
  9. I will try.:LOL:

    When I am out 4WDing I do take the maps and compass as a backup. The only time the maps get any use is in planning and usually not at all during the day when you’re out and about. The GPS screen is just not large enough to plan a trip although planning a trip on a laptop is great and then downloading your waypoints.

    Depends what brand GPS you buy and the mapping it uses.
    Eberbachl wrote:
    Check out Magellan.

    I have a Meridian, and use it for mountain biking, motorbike touring, used it for four wheel driving, and boating as well.

    I have one as well, water and shock proof, floats. I have even had it come off the bike at more than 100kmh out the back of Broken Hill. (Someone had been playing with it) Stopped picked it up put the batteries back in and has worked faultlessly ever since.

    If the track is on the Forestry Maps its on the Magellan. What’s more all of Australia is on the Magellan and it is very easy to drive off the edge of a paper map.
  10. I use a Garmin XL12 for work every day. Others in our office use Garmin Map76 units. The XL12 uploads to MapInfo so I can produce maps etc. The XL has a simpler interface with quicker GoTo and Trace Back functions. Regardless of all this GPS in the bush will NEVER replace a good map and compas and NOTHING will replace common sense.

    You need to be sure what you want the GPS to do and find a system suitable.
  11. Ohh so true. In aviation we call it 'Gotoitis', and pilots get seriously lost when relying solely on GPS for navigation. I have a Garmin 96C which I use both on my bike, and in my aircraft, but I use it only to cross check my map to ground navigation. GPS is NOT always reliable. Go to the Airservices Australia site and you will find notes on GPS RAIM, a measurement of how unreliable GPS will be at any particular location and date. Another thing to remember when using GPS on a bike off road, is that most of the satellites we can see on Oz are low to the horizon, so even a modest hill between you and the satellite can kill accuracy. The other big thing off road is tree cover, GPS does not always work reliably under heavy tree cover. By all means use a GPS, they are great, but do not rely on one totally or you could find yourself lost.
  12. Now here's a really brave man; logging onto Netrider, the last refuge of the loony, and giving himself the nick of Bozo!

    Welcome anyway, bozo, we are a friendly lot, really :grin:
  13. When in Rome... :p

    :wink: :wink: :wink:
  14. I agree, that a paper map, a compass and some common sense should be available as a back up when going off the beaten track, but GPS's are great tools, and in the six or seven years that I've been playing with them, I've never ever had one fail me (anyone ever heard of carrying spare batteries just in case :p ).

    Regarding the Bush tracks on uploadable maps...you may be surprised. Magellan maps are great in this regard, and pretty much everything is there ;)

    I've been to some really way out places in the 4WD with the Magellan maps running, and all the tiniest bush tracks have been right there on the screen in front of me.

  15. If this is the last refuge of the loony then you Hornet with 7000+ posts must be congratulated and crowned as lord of the insane.
  16. Now that this thread has piqued my interest in what my Garmin Etrex Legend can do, I went looking for maps. I've discovered that I need to be able to unlock them, which means that I can only procure commercially available maps, such as Garmin's Mapsource or Metroguide. And they ain't cheap. All I want are 3 or 4 maps of Vic/SE NSW.

    What GPSes can be mounted easily on bikes? Mine's bolted on via a handmade bracket and the Garmin cycle mount (meant for pushbike handlebars).

    Can these others that you guys are talking about be uploaded to? ie: upload better maps than what they come with? Or do they come with adequate maps, for say, rural touring?
  17. The Magellan meridian series come with a Basemap installed. It gives you basic info on major cities and major highways etc...

    If you want street level mapping on the Meridian like I was talking about - you need to buy the Mapsend product CD from Magellan. It lets you create street level maps which are excellent for any area of Australia you want to go to and store them on an SD card. Then you chuck in the SD card, and select the map you want to use (you can store multiple maps on one SD card and flick between them as you move around if you like.
  18. Thanks for the input guys.

    I have decided to order a Garmin Quest. It comes pre loaded with City Navigator v6 and Tracks4Australia. It's small, waterproof, and appears to be well priced for what you get (@ ~ $850 incl City navigator (~$350 worth) and mounting hardware). I also ordered the motorcycle mounting kit (includes charger and audio wiring), as well as a RAM handlebar mount. All up it cost ~$1000.

    I was seriously considering the TomTom rider. I like the touchscreen, bluetooth capability and the 3D mapping. Problem is it's really expensive at $1300, pluss an extra $150 for a car mount. It has a really flimsy looking handlebar mount included in the package, and it is only good for city navigation.

    Decided against the Magellan, because apparently they don't have turn-by-turn routing nor auto-routing functionality, which i was after. I believe that they are amongst the best for rural navigation, but i was looking for a "jack of all trades". Hopefully the Quest will meet my needs