Dagnabit… Lost Again! What’s the Hot-Ticket in GPS These Days?

Here’s a twist for regular readers; I’m asking YOU a question.

What’s the hot-ticket these days when it comes to on-bike navigational aids?

This subject came up when a friend wrote to ask me what I knew about GPS and iPhone apps for cyclists and I had to confess that I was absolutely clueless.

In fact, I’m somewhat embarrassed to confess that we have a Garmin Edge 305 and Edge 705 on our tandem when we ride and I don’t have a hot-clue how to upload maps or transfer GPS files, despite seeing friends and rally-goer do it 100’s of times in the past.

That’s not to say that I don’t use some of the Garmin Edge 705’s navigational capabilities, as I do use the color map to confirm street names when — as is often the case in rural areas here in the South — there simply aren’t any street name signs.  We’ve also used “bread crumbs” to back-track and have asked our Garmin to plot us a route home when we needed a short-cut and our ride hosts didn’t provide us with maps, just cue sheets.

So, here’s your chance to share what y’all know about the latest and greatest in on-bike technology.  Our friend from Indiana noted that the iBike technology depicted in the screen shot at the top of this entry is something that has captured his attention and imagination as I believe he has an iPhone.

Reply to share your thoughts….

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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15 Responses to Dagnabit… Lost Again! What’s the Hot-Ticket in GPS These Days?

  1. Pete Templin says:

    I have a Garmin Edge 705, and my stoker has a Garmin Edge 800. The 800 is touch-screen (some drawbacks, but generally a plus), and has much better back-track capabilities (you can say “return to start” and it’ll calculate a route back to wherever started, whereas the 705’s return to start is a route reversal with terrible guidance).

    If you want to do full route guidance on either, it’s tedious: buy a 2GB micro-SD card, and buy the Garmin MapSource NT software (NT is just a typecode, it has nothing to do with Windows NT) ON DVD. Do not buy it as a map download – you need the physical DVD so you can install MapSource on your PC. Now you can build a route using intersections and other points, then push the route (and map database) to your Edge.

    Tedium of route building aside, I’ve been happy with my 705 and quite impressed with her 800. I hope to upgrade/add the 800 soon, and move the 705 to “stoker monitoring duties” soon (I’m geeking out our daVinci with twin Quarq Cinco powermeters, so the 705 will allow me to watch her power, cadence, HR, and HR zone).

  2. Chris says:

    I’m a late adopter for GPS, but will gettting a Edge 500 sometime this fall. Not interested in the on-bike mapping features you discuss since we mainly ride in our local area, but want to add altitude and ability to download detailed ride info to an online site.

    I know at least one guy who had a Gen I iBike unit, he gave it mixed reviews as a power meter alternative. No idea if the later designs are better.

    YMMV.

  3. Mr Peter Leiss says:

    Garmins for me starting with a 305 a number of years ago, still in use not really useful for navigating other than the breadcrumds to find your back.

    Then a 705 which will allow you download routes, record routes and ride them again and again with directions for upcoming turns. It will also get you back with directions and show you where you are as well as points of interest along the route.

    I also have the 800 with the touch screen pretty fancy does all of the above in a more high tech way. Links to satellites quicker and has a bigger screen.

    They all record data to download after the ride and as with all tools there is a learning curve. Mapping can be a bit of a pain until you learn the system and use a few tricks keep you on track.

  4. Jeff Bequette says:

    Love the iMapmyride app on iPhone, hate the battery life that only lasts 3.5 hrs… So a bike powered charger and a secure mount seem like they should be strong sellers.

  5. Shirley DiLorenzo says:

    Hey! Is Pete Templin related to Rob Templin by the way??? Thanks for searching out this info, Mark. We are currently dealing with a surprise broken Sweet Sixteen wheel and heading tomorrow to the MTR in Ann Arbor!!!. Got in touch with a local dealer there who will open early for us and put on some sort of subsitute wheel he’s lending us for the weekend. How great is that??? Back to the GPS info after…

    Stoker d

    • TG says:

      On the relationship, I have no idea. Pete and his wife Alison have an amazing daVinci tandem so that makes them part of the tandem family, but Peter will have to advise if there’s any common DNA with Rob.

      As for the Sweet 16, I’d say I was shocked…. but it always seems to be “when” and not “if” for a lot of owners. Good to hear that a local dealer (Joel Hakken??) is taking care of y’all and salvaging your MTR weekend!!!

      • Shirley DiLorenzo says:

        Yes, it was Joel! What a great guy and knows so much. We sure enjoyed his shop and think we may just go for one of his CoMotion tandems instead of trying to get help from Santana parts which takes weeks. Rich will be writing you about the MTR. His stint as stoker for a day was an enlightening experience for him…once was enough! I’ll send the photo along later. My friends and I call each other “Stoker Sister” but are not yet sure if this once-in-a-lifetime experience will quality allowing him to be our “Stoker Brother”!

      • TG says:

        I think I may have seen a photo of Rich & Ken Bills on Facebook; I had to look away before the image was burned in too deeply!!!!

        I’ve stoked a few times and, frankly… I’m in awe of all stokers and their willingness to put their trust in their captains. I simply “need” to be on the wheel or rudder when I’m in motion on or in any type of a vehicle. I don’t know why… but I do know that I’m an awful passenger.

        Looking forward to Rich’s post rally updates and you can never go wrong with a Co-Motion as a consumer.

    • Pete Templin says:

      No relation that I know of – I have an uncle Bob outside of Philly, but he’s not a cyclist. I’ll ask my wife, who enjoys researching the family tree. And TG, thanks for the compliments on the bike!

  6. Jacqueline says:

    I’m doing a workshop on GPS navigation at the Midwest Tandem Rally in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The team is still working on our presentation, but we can make it available when we finish.

    I use a Garmin 705 on a Mac, and create the maps using RidewithGPS website. I also just starting playing with the new Cateye Inou (it records your ride with geotagged photos and videos, but does not provide any navigation help).

    Pedalpink (Jacqueline)

  7. Shirley DiLorenzo says:

    Oh, I just saw Jacqueline’s comment here now that we’ve returned from the MTR. We did attend the GPS workshop and learned a lot from all four presenters, two of whom are Indiana members of HOOTS so we can get in touch with the easily when we have more questions. Jacqueline is an amazing gal and the presentation she gave was very helpful.

  8. Ken says:

    Maybe reviving an old thread, but we are looking for some advice. I am currently riding with a Garmin 305. My end state is for my wife to be able to see our speed, distance, cadence, etc as well as both of our heart rates so she can track our efforts. I know two Garmins cannot track two different heart rates. Here is what I was thinking…
    Get the Garmin 500 or 510 for me, put the Garmin 305 back for her info as well as my heart rate. Add a Polar (or another brand which uses proprietary communications link) for her heart rate. Anyone have any better ideas?

  9. Peter Leiss says:

    You can actually use two Garmins to record individual heart rates as the Garmins use HR straps that linked to the individual Garmin. For example my wife and I both use 910XT gramins she records her heart on hers and I do mine on mine as well as the on the 800 on the handle bars overkill but it works. So you record your HR on the 510 and she can record her HR on the 305

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