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What do you need in a MTB GPS?


RobMobius
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I am looking at getting a GPS for MTBing.

 

I have used them extensively for sailing but I am interested in what features are the most important for riding off road.

 

Most of my off road rides are races but I would love to track the route so I can go over it later or redo the ride as a training ride. So for this I need GPS more as a tracker rather than a navigator. The unit would also have to be small enough to attach to the bike, be waterproof and rugged to take the knocks. Battery life would also have to be more than 6 hrs for some of the longer rides.

 

I would assume the unit must also have excellent satellite tracking abilities to cope with forest sections.

 

What about map functionality, necessary? I would expect it not be important as the map software only really covers major (read tar) roads.

 

What specs and models would you recommend? Keeping in my that I don't want to have rebond my house to pay for the unit.

 

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What you need in a GPS on the MTB is very much a matter of personal preferance.

 

Some people want a complete training device including features like HR

and cadence monitoring while others are happy with GPS type functions

only.

 

 

 

As others have said the Garmin Edge range is good for cycling.

 

See https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=160

 

If you want mapping in a cycling GPS, then you could wait for the new Edge 605 / 705 due for release end of the year.

 

 

 

If you just want to log your track, then the basic Edge 205 or even one

of the Forerunner models will do. Track log setup is not customiseable

on the Edge as can be done on the GPS models more suited to navigation,

but it does a good job.

 

 

 

Note that if you want to use the Edge on an indoor trainer, a model

with a cadence/speed sensor is recomended else you can only train per

time.

 

 

 

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All round, considering that you also want your GPS for other uses, I beleive that my Garmin 60CsX is the most practical for my uses.  Bike mount and car mount and waterproof and enhanced receiver for forest and canyon use....it is the bomb :)

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Rob, I got a etrex legend cx, the color screen one. as big as a cellphone and mount it on the handlebar.

 

Route maps ? I will quick make you a copy of MTB trails that is available and that you can download on your GPS.

 

I'm going to show you Jonkershoek, outside stellenbosch
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Rob' date=' I got a etrex legend cx, the color screen one. as big as a cellphone and mount it on the handlebar.

 

[/quote']

 

I also have the etrex legend and found that the unit and handlebar mount could not handle rough terrein. Once my garmin bounced out of the mount and broke and another time the circuit board gave up. Two replacements. Now I have the gps in a cellphone cover which I clip to my camelback harness.

 

The quads and mx bikers use the 60 series as it is more robust.

 

 
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Popeye

 

That is the tracks4africa map.

http://www.tracks4africa.com 

The Jonkershoek tracks are mostly my doing...

Recorded with an old monochrome Etrex legend.

 

I have recently upgraded to the Legend HCx (I think they have just become available in SA; ordered mine from USA and saved alot).

 

The H (high sensitivity receiver) is definitely worth it.

The Edge range also have "high sensitivity" receivers.

 

The 60CSx is a very nice unit too if it fits in your budget...

 

As you can see T4A add contours in certain areas (but for some reason they do not include the contour elevation labels).

This was not good enough for my mountaineering needs (my primary GPS use) and a few years ago there were no other contour maps available for SA. So I made my own:

http://madmappers.com/AfricaTopo/

This is a hobby project and I don't actually do any marketing for it, but every now and again Madmappers do sell a copy - some pocket money for me...

 

mountain_lion2007-09-10 08:27:24

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Wow, Popeye, thats awesome. Are the maps compatible with most map enabled GPS's?

 

Thru my kite surfing connections I can get this GPS at a ridiculous price.

 

http://www.locosystech.com/product.php?zln=en&id=5

 

Its the bomb for speed kiting as the chip is apparently something special and super accurate blah blah etc etc.

 

It is more suited as a tracker than a navigator as the display is basically on over grown digital watch display. It has all the functionality and can link with a PC for mapping. I assume I could download a route to it, from, for eg, Popeye's Jonkershoek map. Obviously it cannot display the map but it can navigate way point wap point along a predefined route.

 

What do you think?

 

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Hi Mtn Lion,

 

Thanks for the link. Most of the time I will just need a datalogger but from time to time I will want to make use of the navigation abilities.

 

 

 

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I also have the etrex legend and found that the unit and handlebar mount could not handle rough terrein. Once my garmin bounced out of the mount and broke and another time the circuit board gave up. Two replacements. Now I have the gps in a cellphone cover which I clip to my camelback harness.

 

The quads and mx bikers use the 60 series as it is more robust.

 

 

I never used the Garmin mount on the MTB - looks very flimsy and is expensive considering it is just a piece of plastic.

I made my own very simple mount for my Legend.

Just a bent plate cable tied to the bike stem. It has a tab that fits the little hole where the lanyard is attached. Unfortunately don't have a photo of my mount handy, but it is similar to this one from the internet:

http://members.aol.com/dirtroadie/EtrexMount.jpg

http://members.aol.com/dirtroadie/EtrexMount.jpg

 

 

By fastening the lanyard to the bike it makes for a nice tight fit and also acts as a safety cord.

Never had the Legend come out of my mount not even with a few hard falls.

I did get my first mono Legend replaced under guarantee due to the dreaded "lines accoss the screen" problem, which could have be aggravated by vibration on the MTB. Replacement unit is still fine 3+ years later.

 

 

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I have got a Gramin forerunner 201. it records the track and you cab review it on the pc but you can't race your self on it again only later models can do it. but it is chaeper i got it for R1600 from have 2 have[www.have2have.com]

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