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I’ve decided to get a GPS computer for my bike.
All I’m interested in is using it for navigation. I want to upload routes to it to follow. That is all. I would like to see a map of where I’m going on the screen, not just turning alerts and arrows.
The Garmin Explorer looks good but I have no idea if there are better/cheaper/less complex units out there (i've seen units that look like they might fit the bill by Wahoo, Mio and Bryton). I like the fact that Garmin is a ubiquitous brand, which suggests to me that they might be ‘the best’.
Any help and advice would be most gratefully received.
Cheers!

10 comments

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pockstone [269 posts] 2 months ago
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Based on positive reviews, (and plenty of negative comments about Garmins on this website), I've just bought a Lezyne Mega C. It takes a bit of getting used to, smartphone needed to load routes onto the GPS unit(but not mid ride), No touchscreen, which for me is a plus, and Lezynes own route creation page doesn't recognise some local paths and bridleways. Ride with GPS seems to be the best way to load routes in new or unfamiliar areas but I'm yet to test one of the .TCX routes I've created.

Don't expect OS quality mapping. It's about as barebones as possible on screen, but must beat stopping at every other junction to unfold a Landranger. I'll be interested to see how well I can rely on the turn by turn directions in unfamiliar territory.  Major plus points: price compared to wahoo & garmin, advertised battery life and good screen visibility.  Negatives: screen is smaller than I expected and colour is probably not worth paying the extra for, given the rudimentary maps. No outfront mount included, although it does come with a (slightly over - elaborate) stem bolt mounting system. Good prices at Evans & Pro-bike kit when I last looked.

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alansmurphy [2155 posts] 2 months ago
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Garmin has been the market leader for years, the 520 and 820 would certainly meet your needs, they tend to be at the high end of the price range.

 

The Wahoo Elemnt brand has many ositive reviewers on here, some of whom have become upset after Garmin's having issues on occasion. The Elemnt brand is starting to run into issues now there are more units out there. It has better battery life (if you want to ride >10 hours) and a few nice features (including blinking lights to indicate to you the turns) however the mapping is black and white.

 

I have a Mio Cyclo 315 and you can occasionally get great deals on the Mio range.

 

If you get a device with ant+ then most sensors will connect.

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pockstone [269 posts] 2 months ago
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I forgot one other minus point for the Lezyne...over the top ugly graphic branding. But only skin deep.

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NorthEastJimmy [159 posts] 2 months ago
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A few years ago I wanted to get a bike dedicated GPS computer but resented the fact it would be only be used on the bike. I got a Garmin Fenix 3 (wrist worn) and now have a Fenix 5x plus.  Any of the 5 models have maps and are super easy to upload routes from strava or whatever else you use.

It has the advantage of being able to use it for any other kind of sport you can think of (literally) as well as using it as a smart watch.

edit: Might be wrong but pretty sure it smashes any other GPS unit for battery power.

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Supers79 [33 posts] 2 months ago
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alansmurphy wrote:

 

The Wahoo Elemnt brand has many ositive reviewers on here, some of whom have become upset after Garmin's having issues on occasion. The Elemnt brand is starting to run into issues now there are more units out there. It has better battery life (if you want to ride >10 hours) and a few nice features (including blinking lights to indicate to you the turns) however the mapping is black and white.

What issues?  I’ve been riding with my Elment Bolt for around a year now, wonderful device.  Rarely have to change it, picks up GPS quickly, never had a problem with it.  The only issues I find is that if you have it connected to your phone whilst on a ride, it can drain the phone battery and only being able to zoom in and out of the map at your current position, there is no way of searching on the map, you’ll need to get your phone out for that.  

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Joe Totale [144 posts] 2 months ago
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Happy Elemnt Bolt owner who's not had a single issue in over a year's ownership, contrast that to my friends with Garmin devices who constantly complain about them.

I'd happily recommend a Elemnt Bolt to others.

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paulbeckett [5 posts] 2 months ago
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Thanks everyone for your useful comments. I’ve bought a Garmin Edge Explorer. Mainly for the well supported software and the large map view. 

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alansmurphy [2155 posts] 2 months ago
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Supers and Jo, well done on not having a problem, many millions of Garmin users over a decade haven't.

 

There was a bit of a time on here where some Bolt owners would compare it to a 5 year old garmin or suggest Garmin was bad as you could find many more complaints online. The Bolt has developed some crash issues with the software apparently and the quarter turns on the back are proving slightly delicate on some units.

 

I thought I'd given a rounded brief review, I wouldn't be adverse to replacing one of my units with the Bolt though I do prefer a colour screen fro maps...

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John Berham [4 posts] 2 months ago
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GPS in iphone)

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Paul5f [22 posts] 2 months ago
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Ive tried Mio, Garmin and Wahoo computers over the years and the latest Wahoo Bolt is the best I have used, mainly for the battery life. Non of the computers I have used are really any good for looking at a map and working out where to go whilst on the move as the screens are to small, but all are fine for giving you turn by turn directions. Maybe the largest screen Garmin or a mobile phone might be what you need?