Garmin, etc

Mar 10, 2014
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Funabashi, Chiba
#1
Well, the time has come where I finally think I need a cycle computer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I would guess the topic's been discussed at length already but since a low to medium effort at searching turned up nothing, yay for me I've created a whole new thread about it.

Done basic research on Garmin 510j, 810j, 1000j on the Internet, I know what the basic diff' are and how much they cost. The bundles that include the heart rate, speed and cadence monitors is just about right for me.

My questions are these:

How good is the turn by turn navi stuff on the units that have this feature?

How exactly does Garmin link to strava?

Would you recommend the 1000 over the 810 and why / why not?

Does anyone have a different brand (not Garmin) that they would recommend instead?
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#2
I have the 800 if it dies I'll be replacing it with the 510. The thousand has even more useless stuff than the 800.

It basically comes down to how much you need maps. The
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#3
Well, the time has come where I finally think I need a cycle computer.
Why do you think you need it? Why now? (I'm not trying to dissuade you. I love my Edge 810 (when it works))

I don't use turn-by-turn direction, as a rule. I find it irritating. I just display a course on the map and follow the line if I need to navigate. When I navigate on the fly, e.g., storm coming - take me to the nearest station!, it works just fine.

N.B. I am using the English Edge 810 with English map of Japan v5 from UpUpDown.

I can upload from my Edge 810 to Garmin Connect either by Bluetooth to a smartphone, by ANT+ to my PC, or by USB connection to my PC.

I can connect various other services to Garmin Connect if I want to. This includes Stravr, RideWithGPS, Training Peaks, etc. etc. If I set this up, everything I upload to Garmin Connect will automatically populate to those other services - usually quite quickly. If I don't set this up, I can selectively upload to the different services in the same way as for Garmin Connect.

I haven't played with an Edge 1000 but I'm not keen to upgrade yet because the battery life is worse and I would have to invest in new out-front mounts for all my bikes. Plus, as @theBlob says, there is too much social media fluffware on it.

As for other brands: @joewein reviewed his o_synce navicoach - he seems pleased with it.
 

Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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Ichikawa, Chiba
#4
I am siding with @theBlob on the 510 as the successor to my 800. The maps are grand but would I miss them?

@Half-Fast Mike Do you have to buy new maps from UUD or will he let you move existing ones? I have asked directly but no answer yet. I am debating not taking a laptop to foreign parts and so would like the uploading capabilities of the newer models.

Not decided yet.
 

Conrad

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Dec 8, 2014
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#5
There are also other alternatives. I'm using an app call Co-rider, which gives you turn by turn voice navigation from GPX and TCX files which you can generate from several online services (RidewithGPS etc). It cost a grand total of 650yen and if you take a back up battery you can have turn by turn voice navigation on long trips too.
 

Chrisisism

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Sep 6, 2014
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Mejiro, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
#7
Hello,
I have the Garmin 1000. Everything works great except bad battery time. I get about 10-11h battery life. This is on the low side as I go out at 7am and on occasion get home about 6pm. It is then drained. I have backlight and bluetooth turned off in order to save battery.
I have bought it in Sweden and downloaded Japanese Openstreet map for free. It works great. The maps are very good in my opinion with good details of roads and cycling tracks etc.

Turn-by-turn works but is as mentioned above mostly annoying. The screen i so good you just follow the route with ease.

As it has WIFI it automatically download the activity with garmin connect as soon as I get home and get WIFI connection. By the time I have taken off my shoes and sit down in the sofa with a post ride beer everything is automatically ready at Strava as it is auto synced with garmin connect. You automatically have your activities at 2 places which is good if one of the web sites for some reason goes down. I see this as a bit of redundance.

I also like the screen size as it is easier to have a glance at descents where hair pins come etc.

I think I am more dependent of maps than many other here at the forum since I am new to Tokyo. They give me more confidence to explore on my own.
 
Mar 10, 2014
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Funabashi, Chiba
#8
Thanks guys, if at all possible I'd like to go with the 510 if the maps stuff is a waste.

I barely use the navi in the car, don't unless I absolutely have to.

As far as maps, are the ones in the "j" series good to go for Japan? Do I still need more? I can survive without English, can't read kanji but I can read maps.

@Half-Fast Mike thx that's useful info - by "turn by turn" wrong terminology I was meaning to ask about how useful the maps and map display actually is on the road. Can you like, keep it on with the map unfolding in front of you the whole time and scroll in and out so see where you're going or does this eat up batteries too fast?

When I think about getting from the Arakawa when it turns to shit to the last 711 before shiraishi I think I really need maps (still can't commit that mess to memory) but how often do I go up there alone?

Well that's it exactly I don't because I don't want to face that bit alone. Maybe maps would open up more - pain in the neck pulling out phone again and again.
 

Chrisisism

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Sep 6, 2014
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Mejiro, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
#9
When I think about getting from the Arakawa when it turns to shit to the last 711 before shiraishi I think I really need maps (still can't commit that mess to memory) but how often do I go up there alone?

Well that's it exactly I don't because I don't want to face that bit alone. Maybe maps would open up more - pain in the neck pulling out phone again and again.
Garmin maps have made me do this on my own a few times and I am soon to have memorized it... I would never have done these rides without the Garmin
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#10
I had an 800 but it was crap, really, so I gave it away. (Its recipient was impressed and grateful for a few minutes despite my warning that it was crap, but he tells me that he too never uses it.) Of course it had a map, which was actually legible and even sometimes useful if I stopped the bike and bent down to take a good look -- when I was moving, I could see reflections of the sky, speed/distance readings that were less legible than those of a Cat-Eye "Padrone", or lots of other numbers that were of little or no interest to me. The battery ran down more quickly than was advertised, and attempts to charge it deleted its data. (I believe that the 500 does this too.)

So I got the "twist" version of the O-Synce model that @joewein reviews (and of which there's a detailed review here). NB one update: although

I've been told it's even possible to pop out the internal BL-5B battery and replace it with a charged spare while the device keeps recording, as long as the USB cable is plugged into a power source
this isn't possible with the "twist" version (or maybe recent examples of the standard model): the battery is only accessible via the use of a minuscule screwdriver (and perhaps additional annoyances beyond): definitely not the sort of thing you'd want to do away from a well-lit desk; and the company tells you that attempting it will void the warranty blah blah.

Early days, so I can't yet add a meaningful second review. But in the meantime, even though Garmin seems to out-advertise all its rivals together, alternatives worth considering do exist.
 

Andy in Tokyo

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Tokyo
#11
I've used the 800 for a couple of years now and think it's great. I know that, when I started cycling "properly" in Tokyo, I wouldn't have done a lot of rides on my own had I not had it. It crashes once every few months but I've never lost any ride data when it's done so: just turn it off and on again and you're ready to go.

Maps are useful if you like to know where you are without resorting to Google Maps on your phone. Like @chrisism I particularly like it when descending on unknown roads as it gives me a good idea of how fast I can take corners.
 

Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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Ichikawa, Chiba
#12
The maps on the 800 have, for me, been a mixed bag. Out on my own following a route they are mostly fine but get lost or try to find somewhere on the map and they aren't very useful or easy to use. Zoom out and you can't see the track anymore, scroll around and you have to wait for the sections to load up. I have the English one with upupdown maps on it. If, as @Chrisisism says, openstreetmaps works well I think I'll go that way next time. I have loaded those for England and France for the summer so I will be using them soon.
Battery life was not a problem one I learned from @leicaman that I should keep the backlight off always. It has been said on here that using the maps and following a route does not affect the battery life at all.
Having the maps doesn't mean you have to use them if others around have them but you never know how things will go.
The breadcrumb map is enough I think, looking up places doesn't work on an English one in Japan with the unofficial maps, as far as I know.
Syncing rides without need of a computer would be nice but the displaying my messages and letting me know about phone calls in more than I require from a cycle computer. I always have my phone and it's often easier to use google maps if I stray from the course. The RideWithGPS app is good to use for this, too and it can you you where you are in relation to the route you're meant to be on.
 
Mar 10, 2014
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Funabashi, Chiba
#13
The maps on the 800 have, for me, been a mixed bag. Out on my own following a route they are mostly fine but get lost or try to find somewhere on the map and they aren't very useful or easy to use. Zoom out and you can't see the track anymore, scroll around and you have to wait for the sections to load up. I have the English one with upupdown maps on it. If, as @Chrisisism says, openstreetmaps works well I think I'll go that way next time. I have loaded those for England and France for the summer so I will be using them soon.
Battery life was not a problem one I learned from @leicaman that I should keep the backlight off always. It has been said on here that using the maps and following a route does not affect the battery life at all.
Having the maps doesn't mean you have to use them if others around have them but you never know how things will go.
The breadcrumb map is enough I think, looking up places doesn't work on an English one in Japan with the unofficial maps, as far as I know.
Syncing rides without need of a computer would be nice but the displaying my messages and letting me know about phone calls in more than I require from a cycle computer. I always have my phone and it's often easier to use google maps if I stray from the course. The RideWithGPS app is good to use for this, too and it can you you where you are in relation to the route you're meant to be on.
Ahh I see so it's not like you can use the maps like Maps on an iPhone? Slow squares loading - that's all I need to know, super annoying.

But yeah I agree I suppose it's better to have something there than not.

About winter gloves - the Garmins work fine with gloves on right? (Not the special smart phone ones)

England and France? Ooh a bit jello about that!

@Andy in Tokyo so the crashes are real eh. Hopefully this does not happen too much. Better than the crazy elevation numbers I'm getting from time to time off the iPhone strava app anyways.

@Half-Fast Mike thanks I tried to read that review of the other bike computer but kinda got lost after volume 11 chapter 19...

So now it's looking like maybe the 810 and the 1000 if I've got the cash, I'm ruling out the 510 for now after I thought about pulling my phone out and getting my gloves off etc when it's cold.
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#15
@Half-Fast Mike ... Can you like, keep it on with the map unfolding in front of you the whole time and scroll in and out so see where you're going or does this eat up batteries too fast?
On the Edge 810, yes I can do that. This did not work well on the Edge 800, as @Musashi13 attests. I would hope it works better on the Edge 1000 as that should have a better processor. On an all-day ride I will only use the map screen when I need it, and switch to another screen when I don't need the map, to preserve battery life. And for very long rides I take a backup battery.
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#16
it's looking like maybe the 810 and the 1000 if I've got the cash,
Someone recently wrote that it doesn't make sense to buy an Edge 810 now as it has been superseded and is never going to do anything new. In contrast, the Edge 1000 is Garmin's flagship product and will have new features added (and bugs fixed) over the next couple of years. I suspect this is true.
 

jdd

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#17
I've always been happy with my 500, maybe 4 years now. But in my area maps are not necessary, or maybe I go out and cruise and only need to see where I've been.

Part of the appeal of riding is wavering on the line between stumbling upon things, discovering, and being lost.

(Space does sometimes seem somehow warped/curved here--and I occasionally get to someplace I know and recognize, via a way that I never thought would have led me there.)

On edit: I don't want some piece of electronics to take all the fun out of it.
 
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bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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Miura, Japan
#18
I have an 800 and feel no need to upgrade.
I bought the 800 well after the 810 had come out... meaning I got it on mega sale.
I resisted it for a while - however it has seriously opened up exploring for me when I first got it.
I actually did use the turn by turn... and it was annoying.... however I used it when I didn't know where I was going anyway... so a little annoyed riding and discovering is better than not annoyed and doing the same routes.

I have done up to 9 hour rides with the 800 and never had a meltdown as some others have reports.
Never experienced data loss either.

- Regarding getting lost as @jdd noted... I do that hiking and on my MTB. The discoveries are fantastic.
I used to deliberately get lost on my road bike too... and used the convenient "back to start" feature when it was time to go home.
bread crumbs are great if you want to go back the way you came, but when in a hurry, fastest way is usually best.
 
Mar 10, 2014
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Funabashi, Chiba
#19
Someone recently wrote that it doesn't make sense to buy an Edge 810 now as it has been superseded and is never going to do anything new. In contrast, the Edge 1000 is Garmin's flagship product and will have new features added (and bugs fixed) over the next couple of years. I suspect this is true.
Thx for this, it prompted me to dig a little deeper - got the wife to translate some customer reviews of the 810 off the Amazon.jp site and it's a bit ugly. Maybe no half measures then, 810 or 1000.
 
Mar 10, 2014
440
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Funabashi, Chiba
#20
I've always been happy with my 500, maybe 4 years now. But in my area maps are not necessary, or maybe I go out and cruise and only need to see where I've been.

Part of the appeal of riding is wavering on the line between stumbling upon things, discovering, and being lost.

(Space does sometimes seem somehow warped/curved here--and I occasionally get to someplace I know and recognize, via a way that I never thought would have led me there.)

On edit: I don't want some piece of electronics to take all the fun out of it.
That's cool always nice to find interesting stuff. I agree that your equipment should not interfere with what you enjoy doing!

@bloaker yeah it seems these Garmins either work fine or don't depending on who you talk to. Doesn't fill me with a sense of confidence but there doesn't seem to be much choice with these things, is there. Glad yours is working ok.

@Half-Fast Mike asked earlier on what my reasons for getting one were - if I break the type of riding I do up into categories like exploring, commuting, racing, training, touring, etc id say 90 percent of it falls under "Training" and the other 10 under "recovering from training" - even my commute now falls under what I'd classify as "Training". (*note: I see the irony in this since exactly zero percent of my riding falls under "racing")

I think I'd like to make more time to explore and enjoy the bicycling in general but I'm too hung up on getting faster and stronger.

On the Rocky / Ivan Drago continuum I still see myself very much on the rocky side, but I do recognize the benefit of a training tool such as a computer. I do like the idea of planning a route in the mountains and following it instead of feeling my way through or following somebody as I do now.

Curious about my heart rate and maybe my cadence is not what I think it is off feel. Speed is speed can take it or leave it but it will also be more accurate than the iPhone I hope. I want accurate ride data as well, not 5000m climbing when everyone else shows 2100.

Am I hoping for too much? All I want is something that tells me where I want to go and where I am and most importantly something that does what it's supposed to do.