What To Consider When Buying A GPS Device For Mountain Biking
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What To Consider When Buying A GPS Device For Mountain Biking

November 6, 2019

– I’m excited tonight it’s Garmin, our brand-new partner here at GMBN and it gave me a great idea for a video and it’s to talk you guys through how to choose the GPS for mountain biking, for tracking your riding,
and for navigating, of course for this video
I’m gonna use these Garmin products but the information here should help you choose
from other brands as well unless you’re gonna talk
through the features, you can expect to get with your money and which computer or wearable is better for the type of riding you do. (gentle music) Let’s start with the watch, so you may have seen me wearing a Garmin Phoenix Three, I’ve been wearing one of those for probably a year now, I do use that to track my riding, for certain types of riding and actually Garmin has sent us this
brand-new Phoenix Five so I’ve got that one on my wrist now, I’ll talk you through what it’s good for, what it maybe doesn’t do quite as well as one of the computers, so I’ve also got Wide Core, a compact computer, a mid
size, and a full size, gonna have that big ten feet, we’ll talk about those later, let’s kick it off with a watch
and this is a smartwatch. (gentle music) So it is an upgrade on the Phoenix Three I used to have, something I really like about these new Phoenix Five as well is they come in different sizes
so my watch was quite big, it was a 51 millimeter version but now you can get the Phoenix Five in a smaller version, it’s the 47 but you can also get it at 41 and I think, well actually I’ve gone for the 47 so I think a smaller watch is gonna work slightly better for riding,
it’s not gonna rattle around and cause much, of course it does depend on the size of your wrist
and things like that so start by looking at the pros of having a watch to track your riding, it works just like the others, it’s gonna track your GPS files, give you a GPS file so you can sync it with your favorite apps like
Gamma Connect or Strava, all those cool things,
and the best advantage I think about one of these things is you’re probably going to
be wearing it all the time so if you ever forget your computer that you’re gonna stick in the bars, you probably have your watch on, also I tend to use my
morphs of gravity riding whether I’m riding my
Angeria bike or downhill, I just find it’s nice
to have it on my watch rather than on the bar ’cause
I’m more likely to crash so it’s just safer having it on my wrist. So a nice little thing that
comes on the Phoenix Five is that it’s got this built
in heart rate monitor, so that just sits on your wrist and reads your heart rate, great for using it as a
sort of fitness tracker, I know lots of people use
things like Apple Watches, thing like that, to keep
an eye on your steps but also for exercising, it’s great to keep check on your heart rate, for most riding I actually stick a, an external, you know, a chest strap on that communicates straight to my watch, just cause it’s a more
accurate way of doing it and just like other fitness trackers, this is really a multi-sport watch so you can use it for all sorts of running on the treadmill, running outside, mountain biking of course, road cycling, it has all different profiles on this, even e-bikes, golf, rowing, pretty much anything you can think of, this thing will track it, of course you can do that with a computer, I’ve done it in the past
with all the computers where you just rather
than have it on your bar you chuck it in your
pocket and go for a run, but it’s just not quite as, you know, up to the job as a watch
with this on your wrist all the time, also this is a smart watch so it’s gonna talk to your phones, you can get notifications, you can get the weather on your phone, it can control your music, you can even download Spotify and get tunes onto your watch so it’s
definitely a bit more of a lifestyle thing
compared to the computers where you probably only use
that for riding your bike, this is much more all-round smartwatch. The good thing about these watches is that they’re super
customizable as well, I can download all sorts
of different widgets from different watch faces, the one that I really like is
the specialized e-bike thing, so it’s like another
little app inside the watch and I can get it going
when I’m riding the bike and it’ll show me how far I’ve been, how much battery I’ve got left, also I can scroll through the power modes so I can’t wait to try that one out, the cons of the watch compared to the other systems you might use, while they can be bulky but
it obviously it does depend on your wrist size and the
size of the watch you go for, I wouldn’t wanna ride in a
watch with metal straps guys but leather or rubber, absolutely fine, pretty comfortable especially
if you’re wearing gloves, navigation is probably
not gonna be quite clear as having a computer, especially on your bar as well so you got a heads-up display and you can check that out all the time obviously the screen’s a
bit smaller on your watch, you can get watch mounts
to put them on the bar but to be honest I
don’t think I’d do that, I think that’s when I would start looking for something a bit more bike specific and going for a bike computer. (gentle music) Right so let’s start off with a computer, I’d call it a compact
one, this is the Edge 130, comparable to other sort of inch level, smaller computers that are on the market, so why would you choose a computer over a let’s say, using your phone in your
pocket to record ride, well you will know it’s,
well something like Strava, if you look at a shorter
segment there can be wild differences in your
time if you compare it to a proper GPS computer, it just cause these are more accurate, they’ve got GPS and then Russian version,
that’s called GLONASS, much more accurate than using your phone, it’s also the cheapest way of doing it, it’s about a 150 Pounds one of these Edges and the smaller ones and that cheaper than having your phone
let’s say on the bar because if you smash your phone you can be in trouble so it’s just the most accurate,
cheapest way of doing it. So it’s compact, it’s also
super simple navigation so you can stick this up on your bar with different mounts, you’ve got nice, new mounter by Mounts they
create for short stems, it can sit on your bar and it comes back just above your stem or you got that which goes on the bar as well, all these original ones
that can go along the stems, just loads of options to have that exactly where you want to see it follow, some really simple navigation
but also if you get lost, it’ll take you back to where you were, it’s the cheapest,
easiest way of navigating, it’s also gonna give you
loads more information about your rides with data
like how far you’ve been, how many you’ve climbed,
the time of the day, all sorts of things, you
can connect these to sensors like a heart rate
monitor and power as well so you can see all that
information up on screen, completely customizable it’s also go LiveTrack as well, so great for emergency situations, you wanna let somebody
know exactly where you are, when you’re riding, and if
you’re not back in time, they can look on their phone or on their computer
and see where you are. Cons, well it’s a small screen also it’s not going to have as much detail and quite as nice a screen
as the larger computers, so let’s move on to
what I call the midsize, this is Edge 520. (gentle music) So both the smaller computers actually work with other products as well, so the Garmin Lights these talk to them, they’ve got a radar, you can put them on the back of the bike, if you’re riding on the road, to warn you about any
cars that are coming up. Also moving on to the 520 Plus, you can actually do
rider to rider mastings. So if you’re riding in a group, it can or might be a
bit more of a row thing where you might be a bit spread out and you can chat should you need to, but there are loads
more options on the 520 that make it work really
well for my own bike as well. So you’ve got a bigger color screen so for navigation it’s
just that next level up, much more detailed, easier to read, it’s got really good
turn by turn navigation on one of these things. (gentle music) Another cool feature of these computers is called Strava Live Segment so, if you ever fancy racing yourself or racing on of your friends, get that up on your screen and you can actually see live results, to see how you’ve got on, that could make you pretty competitive. Bigger computer, bigger screen, but it’s got about the same battery hours, so that’s about 15 hours with this thing, which is impressive because
you’ve got that color screen, all that extra information. So the more money spent,
basically the more software, and the more intelligent that thing is. So this works with Shimano Di2, it gives you the information on that. It’s got more training software as well, so you can do FTP tracking, V02 max, it’s got a display for turbo training, also big one for mountain biking is it works with the Trailforks app. So Trailforks, you can
download the routes offline, it’ll give you all the
information about the trail, the condition it’s in and basically how to find the best mountain bike trails using that heat map, so really important for mountain bikers. The cons to a bigger computer, well more software and things like that is gonna cost you more money, it’s gonna weight a little bit more, potentially less, it’s more gnarly riding if you wanna put it up
on your bar or your stem. Maybe you fall off, it’s a
bit more likely to get damaged than a watch or that smaller
computer up on the bar. (upbeat music) Right let’s go with the big
boy, the full size computer, this is the EDGE 1030. (upbeat music) Start with obviously the pros, well it’s got all of the
same stuff as these have but way more than that. It’s the size really does
help for proper navigation, so if you’re riding big rides,
lot’s of different turns, you’re gonna use that big screen to get all that super detailed stuff. Three and a half inch screen, they’re all completely waterproof, I should say well this is a
touch screen version as well. You got 20 hours battery life on this, but also you can use the
Garmin extra power pack, so when you’re riding
you can click that on for an extra 40 hours of
battery on this thing. The big computers are
really all about navigation, it comes preloaded maps,
it’s got a big touch screen that you can use with
gloves and in the rain, it’s all about giving
you the most information you can really use on the ride
and in front of you as well. The good thing about these two computers, these two high rank computers, it’s got that incident detection as well. So should you fall off, it’s using that accelerometer
and information in there, and basically it’ll give
you a certain amount of time and you can turn it on or off but it’ll give you certain amount of time, if it thinks you’ve fallen off,
to respond using your phone and if you don’t respond,
then it’s gonna send help, it’s gonna notify one
of your friends, family to come out and find you exactly where you are, with this computer. This computer also features
Trendline Popularity Routing, basically using loads of data to show you where other people are
riding, on and off road so, great if you don’t know the area, you can find the most popular trails just using the computer. So the cons of going for
one of the bigger computers, of course size and weight that
is now quite a large thing if you’re riding off road,
I think it’s more suited to cross-country and epic rides where you’re less likely to fall off. But where you need loads
and loads of information and loads of connectivity
with your power meters, with you know heart rate monitors, your DO2 whatever it is, that’s gonna give you all the information and do everything you need it to. Don’t forget, it’s the most expensive. Because there’s a range of
different Garmin products, again this does sort of go
across different brands, those different features, you’ll
find on the brands as well. All these will connect to
your different sensors, so things like heart rate monitor, I used one of those quite a lot, I use a power meter occasionally, all of these will connect to those things. Also you can connect them
wirelessly to your phone or to your computer desktop
just to customize them, change any settings and do
the initial set up as well. But it doesn’t necessarily
mean the more money you spend, the better that product is
for the type of riding you do. Of course the big 1030
will work really well for maybe cross-country riding or if you do a bit of road riding as well and you do some epic rides, you wanna navigate and you
need all those features. But actually some these like the Edge 130, I know the cube in Jerible Seres team used these small computers
for riding or racing in fact, so they can keep an eye on the simple data like how far they’ve
been, keep an eye on that, they’re on the right
track but also you know, how far it is to the next
stage, if they’ve got time, and they just don’t want
anything big on their bars, and we keep it nice and light,
keep it nice and simple. Obviously a watch is great for
recording everything you do from running to riding, it’s
a good bit of rival technology but it’s probably not
as good for navigation, so I’m less likely to put that on the bar or use turn by turn navigation that all the other things do. (gentle music) Right, thanks to Garmin
for hooking us up at GNBN, I love using their stuff and can’t wait to show you some more video
featuring these things. Actually myself and Blake are
going out to South America, in just a few weeks. I’ll be racing down the Pacific with one of these things on, and you’ll be able to
see just how many times I hit my max heart rate and
how long the trails are, and things like that. Leave any comments down below, with questions about any of these things and any suggestions for videos, because we’ll make loads
more videos featuring these, show you basically how
we use them in real life. If you want to see a video
about a brand new car niche, right click over there,
give a thumbs up, like, if you love gadgets, just like I do and hit that subscribe button.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Do you ride with a bike computer? Or would you prefer a using a smart watch? Let us know in the comments below ?

  2. Looking for essentially a SatNav for the bike (off road mainly). Don't really need all the power meter options etc. Is there anything out there?

  3. I use a watch. Its a Garmin Forerunner 410. Had it for about six years now. It doesn't have all the extras of a smart watch but works good for mountain or road rides and automatically downloads to Garmin and Strava. My only issue with it is in winter when my left wrist is exposed to the cold. I have been considering a handlebar computer but am concerned about battery life on cold winter rides.

  4. Great video, thank you very much! I leave you a review of the latest technology for your biking trips, including GPS too, I appreciate your tips showed in the video https://wavefindyourfriendsblog.com/2018/11/29/bike-gear-the-latest-outdoor-tech/ I hope you are interested, otherwise, I apologize

  5. All of which is made obsolete yet again by ones smart phone! Using free apps that do all the same work in airplane mode, boom done. I use one such app that can even record down to the second if I want to a web server even. My smart phone is my bike computer and is programmable so I can display exactly what I want using bikeometer app.. so why would I waste money to buy something my phone already can do and do better?

  6. in a case of a crash ,isn't a watch just as much prone to get damaged as the bar mounted unit? also, after a whole day of riding your wrist will get tired, no matter which strap you're gonna use – these watches are quite heavy!

  7. Is it possible to see the heart rate of your watch on the gps computer? When you have both and you start an activity on the gps, will everything be synced in the garmin connect app?

  8. Thanks for the video. I'm happy with recording rides on my Vivoactive 3 music, but would like to have a screen on my handlebar for checking my cadence and for navigation to get flow on trails rather than pulling out my phone.
    Been considering the new Garmin Edge Explore (smaller than the Edge 1030), the Edge 520 plus and the Wahoo elemnt bolt.
    I don't need to Strava live segments, power meter compatibility or even turn by navigation (does that even work on forest trails?)
    I do half-day explorations on mtb or gravel bike, and commute with several different route options.
    Which would you recommend and why?

  9. Just bought the Garmin edge 520. I'm a MTB rider. Loving the review. Not so much the 80s porno music in background though.

  10. Hello GMBN! I'd like to know which one I should get for some 20/30mi ride with alpine terrain and a lot of off road? I was thinking about the 520 plus, or if you have any ideas about other devices?

  11. Hey Neal, what sat nav would you choose. I'm looking at buying one .
    530 or 830 possibly, your thoughts or anyone else's would be cool.

  12. How weird. I searched for bike computers on YouTube as yesterday I was annoyed constantly rummaging in my pocket for my nearly flat phone every 5 minutes, trying not to get lost in the New Forest. I ended up coming out not quite where I intended on to Beaulieu Road at nearly midnight. It says Beaulieu Road on the picture of that 520 Plus on it's box?!?! ? WTF? It's a sign from the heavens I should buy it! ?

  13. .I wanted to use this medium to alert the bike community about MAGELLAN / MIO CYCLO in its entire line, if they buy that device and leave outside the area of their map, they CANNOT follow a track, nor use STRAVA LIVE even paying for example in SOUTH AMERICA where there are no maps, the device is locked to follow a WIKILOC track for example, which they do not clarify anywhere, they even cheat saying they use OpenStreetMaps use it but no one but them can use those maps that are in the public domain . Already exhausted all means and it seems that they are not willing to solve the problem.
    Regards, Mario Camps

  14. FYI at beta firmware 4.19 the pop up turn notification is not working…..the distance to the turn will not change. I've missed a few turns on my rides because i thought the turn was still far away.

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