Tech Garmin Question

Karl

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#21
@dastott I never had my bluetooth enabled on the 520 and after about 5 or 6 hours, it needed recharge. So, don't know how we could have such different experiences on battery life. I never got more than 7 hours. Maybe I had something connected that I didn't realize, or maybe my GPS was using GLONASS and your's wasn't?

@OreoCookie Yeah. I can use my phone if I need to but don't like to use it for navigation unless really necessary. Personal preference. I'm hoping the larger screen on the 800 will make it less necessary. If you have a chance to look at a Bolt, try zooming out on the map to get the 'big picture.' In my experience, once you zoom out beyond a certain point, you get what looks like spaghetti instead of roads. The point at which this happens is sooner than I would like. My Bolt still works although I've got to do work-arounds to sync a route and I'm never quite sure anymore if a route I've updated will make it to the unit. This being my 2nd Bolt and this problem being annoying and recurring, for me, it's time to go back to Garmin (and perhaps remember why I switched to Wahoo in the first place?). Sigh.
 

OreoCookie

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#22
The Bolt, just like the Garmin 520, isn't really optimized for navigation, so it isn't surprising that you won't be happy with the navigation experience there. As far as I understand, the big Wahoo Element is better, but still less suited (optimized for) than Garmins (due to the lack of a color display and touch screen). It seems that Wahoo built their cycling computers around the smartphone, while Garmins can act more as a stand-alone device (with all the benefits and minuses that come from that).

Let me know if the 800 works out for you. I will probably be in the market for a cycling computer next year, so any first-hand experiences would be welcome. (Plus, I have yet to hear from someone with an 800 series Garmin.)
 

OreoCookie

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#23
@Karl
By the way, I found this video comparing navigation on the Wahoo Element to that on the Garmin 820. (Keep in mind that GPLama figured out only during the review how to change to setting so that during navigation the Element rotates the map in the direction of travel.) But honestly, nothing I see on the Garmin impresses me here. Have a look at 8:20 of the video: Zooming seems janky, the touch interface very, very laggy and it shows how long it takes to calculate a 20 km route (about 5 minutes!). Honestly, at least for me this would be a deal breaker.

The video is from 2016, so there may have been improvements due to software updates (on the Wahoo side this is allegedly the case), but at least hardware-wise, both the 820 and the Element are still sold as new.
 

Karl

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#25
@OreoCookie After looking at that video, I'm reminded of how long it took my old garmin to recalculate a route. Also, the reviewer looked to be pretty disgusted with the unreliability and difficulty of both models, especially with on-the-fly rerouting. My Wahoo Bolt is still doing OK except for syncing routes. Just saw there is a new software update, so maybe that will fix the problem and I'll get automatic syncing of Stava and RWGPS back. Have to install it tonight. Regardless, I'm going to try to nurse my Wahoo along for as long as I can. My 'work around' of syncing routes from the app to the unit is working, but it isn't very convenient.
 

OreoCookie

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#26
@Karl
It is kind of a pity that this is the state of affairs in 2018. Even if you wanted to switch back to Garmin, I'd at the very least wait until they have released the successor to the 820 — which, as far as I understand after 2+ years is still the latest model.
 

Karl

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#27
Holding out for a new model from Garmin only means that it is a new model with most of the old software issues and glitches. I remember always holding my breath after an upload to see what would be screwed up now. After having dominated the market for so long, you'd think they would attend to some of the recurrent issues everyone is complaining about (touch screen issues, recalculation time, counterintuitive UI, etc) If the navigation on these units worked as advertised, it would be great, but their unreliability (both Garmin and Wahoo) makes it hard to justify the cost (IMO). Paying nearly as much as an iPhone for a cycling computer should mean similar quality, but it doesn't. And Garmin's CS is abysmal. I'd like to see Apple enter the market. You'd think it would be an easy thing for them to make given they already have the tech, and I imagine they'd do it much better. When these computers work, they are really great, but when they don't work, or key features go fubar, they can be really frustrating. Maybe the best way is to get a cheap non-GPS computer and use my phone for nav when I need it.
 

OreoCookie

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#28
You correctly identified the Achilles heel of all modern devices — software. You see that also in cars, with the possible exception of Tesla, all cars run toy software.

I’m glad there are competitors to Garmin now. As far as I can tell, the Wahoo has become a serious competitor and according to dc rainmaker’s review of the software, is much better at analytics for serious athletes. What I like conceptually about Wahoo’s cycling computers is that they made deliberate choices, fully accepting the trade-offs and embracing the advantages. However, that means the Wahoo’s black & white screen is less suited to navigation.

A provocative thought: are you sure you even need a cycling computer. If it weren’t for my ambitions to train seriously, I’d probably be ok without one. Right now I use my iPhone to record rides to Strava and do other things like navigation. I get 8+ hours of GPS tracking time on my iPhone 7.
 
May 22, 2007
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#29
For what it's worth, I use a Garmin 1000J and am mostly happy with it. When I don't know exactly where I'm going, I typically plan my VV tiling rides in fine detail before setting out, upload, and then follow the track on the map rather than using turn-by-turn navigation. It's good for 6 to 8 hours of riding like this, but I carry a backup battery for longer rides as I don't want to end up lost or losing data. It's saved my Assos several times when the weather has turned nasty and I need to get to the nearest station PDQ.

I primarily use the English-language UpUpDown mapset on a microSD card, rather than the built-in Japanese maps or OSM; the former is easier for me to follow without reading glasses, and shows contour lines as well as roads so I know what hills I'm facing. The UUD mapset hasn't been updated since 2012, but most of the road changes since then are either expenseways that don't affect my cycling or I can just follow the planned line on the map even though there's no road shown on the Garmin.

Instant upload via Bluetooth or wifi generally works well. I won't say the 1000 is perfect - I've had a few GarminFarts™ over the years, but far fewer than with the Edge 800 or 810. My favourite ever Garmin for navigating was the Vista HCx hiking model that featured a proper magnetic compass, but it was never going to pick up data from cycling sensors.
 
Likes: Karl

Karl

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#30
It seems to me to be hit or miss in the land of cycling computers. I had a Garmin 500 that lasted about 6 years. It was glitchy, especially after a new software update, but held together until one day, it wouldn't boot up past the start up screen. I figure 6 years is reasonable, but got tired of dealing with glitches and clunky UI.

Moved to Wahoo world in hopes of escaping the glitches. Wahoo, at first seemed like a great improvement. Set up was a breeze by using my phone. More intuitive, easier to use, zoom feature was nice, and it uses buttons vs. touch screen, which I think is a plus. Again, some people have had almost no problems with their Wahoo, others have lots of problems right out of the box. I've had one unit with a fried screen and now my replacement unit refuses to sync routes or update synced routes. Hit or miss.

Just weird that the tech and software for phones is available and much more reliable. For what these computers cost, you'd think that a phone company would be able to strip down the phone a bit, put a tough case on it, and sell it as a bike computer.
 

OreoCookie

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#31
Phones are built and used on a much larger scale, so they have the economies of scales by several orders of magnitude. Any modern smartphone will run circles around these bike computers. Plus, there are robust operating systems available that are true platforms.

That isn't true in the bike computing world. And you see something similar in the camera world, even expensive cameras run, apart from the image processing algorithms, baby software.

So while I had the same instinctive reaction, I reckon it is still much more complicated than that. Moreover, it isn't 100 % clear to me that touchscreens are always the best choice, especially if you can make the reasonable assumption that you always have your phone with you.
 

Karl

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#32
FWIW, my Wahoo has officially BTD. Plugged it in to recharge and the screen would turn on and off continuously. Once unplugged, it is stuck on the Wahoo screen and that's it. So, that's two for two. Back to using my phone.
 

Karl

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#34
Here is the email response I got today. Not impressed....


"Thank you for letting us know about your experience. We apologize for the issue and have raised a ticket with our developers who are actively working on a fix. Though we do not currently have an exact delivery date, the problem is a priority on our road map for future app and firmware revisions.

Since we have an open ticket with our development team, all customer service tickets related to the issue (including this one) will be marked as “On-Hold” and merged with the developer ticket to be monitored internally. This process allows us to send automatic notifications when changes are complete. Full release notes are posted on....

Be sure to keep your app and device up-to-date to receive the fix, when available.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience and support as we strive to serve you better. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns in the meantime."