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GPS Computers(6 posts)

GPS ComputersRyan Oliver
Sep 29, 2002 12:19 AM
This is the most informative forum that I've ever used!

I've got 4 bikes and rather than buy 4 computers, I'm really interested in these new GPS computers that tell you your distance and speed. I believe that Nike and some other company have models out there.

Any opinion on a) whether they actually work and b) which company makes a better model?

I'm concerned as to how they would work with changes in altitude. How would satelites know when you are climbing vs on the flats?

re: GPS ComputersAkirasho
Sep 29, 2002 4:55 AM
GPS units use triangulation to determine relative position so altitude per se is calculated by default (x y and z axis).

The key to providing accurate cycling info would be in the unit's refresh rate (how often it queries for signals)... and it's ability to recieve at least three clear signals.

I don't have one for cycling, but I look forward to a day when the size of the units allow for true integration into what we now consider to be the common cyclocomputer.
Motorola just announced a new small GPS chipPdxMark
Sep 29, 2002 9:50 AM
re: GPS Computershallcd7
Sep 29, 2002 5:17 AM
I use a Garmin etrex Legend mapping GPS on a handlebar mount, in addition to the cyclecomputer. Gives me stop times, altitude, as well as speed (though not as instant as computer, due to refresh) avg, distance. I can pre enter waypoints and have it indicate next turn, etc. After the ride i download the data to Mapsource software from garmin, and display my route on a street-level map, plot my climbs/descents. Great for mtn biek rides on unfamiliar trails. Adds to the fun factor for a biker/geek.
GPS wristwatch experienceFez
Sep 29, 2002 6:31 AM
I've used Palm based GPS devices and e-trex devices on hikes and on the road (car w/ cig lighter backup). They are too big and run thru batteries too quickly to be used on a bike. But recently I used the Timex wristwatch w/ a Garmin GPS sensor that you strap on your arm. It gives speed, distance and pace (x minutes/mile). Ideal for runners, who cannot use cyclecomputers. No altitude function.

Other than the fact that the Garmin GPS unit was about the size of a pack of cigarettes and was strapped to your arm, it worked pretty well. I think it read distance miles a little higher than actual. Often times while I was stationary, it kept on increasing my distance by a few 1/100ths of a mile, and over a long ride, I think the error added up to 2 to 5% higher readings. It also will not work under obstructions like tunnels and bridges.

If they become more compact, I will consider using them. As for 4 bicycles, just get 4 computer mounts and use 1 computer.
re: GPS Computersroadiebrodie
Sep 30, 2002 9:47 AM
I too have a Garmin etrex with a handle bar mount. I use for mountain biking when I don't know the terrain,I did have to rely on it once to get me home. I have also used it to profile race courses, plot out routes for road rides and centuries. It works great even in my jersey pocket (before I found the handle bar mount) gives time, speed, avg speed, dist, elevation. If you have the Topo software you can even do course profile that will show you things like total elevation per lap, where the high points are etc. It's pretty cool.