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I am interested in purchasing a GPS for my bike. I've looked at the Garmin 500 and it seems to do a lot of the things I want - speed, cadence, %grade, etc. But, I have a terrible sense of direction and hate to be lost. I need something that will not only allow me to map a ride but will also show me how to get back to the starting point on an "unmapped" ride. Does that make sense? Will the Garmin 500 do that? Is there something else that I should look into to?
 

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Two skinny J's
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You need a 705 or 800 for that kind of mamping or use your smartphone with Mytracks, Mapmyride, etc.


You might be able to use breadcrumb navigation with the 500 if you wanted follow a track back for where you started...doable but a pain me thinks :D
 

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Check out the Garmin 800. It's the Cadillac of cycling GPS's and will do all that. I picked up one a couple months ago and love it. Haven't really played too much with the mapping features since it's winter and have only been riding well known routes.
 

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I agree with Poolie just received my 800 couple weeks ago and love it, still learning all the features.
 

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If you do decide to go with the Edge 800 go ahead and get the cadence/speed sensor (around $35). You get way more accurate real-time speed with the sensor than letting the unit calculate your speed. For example the bike train I ride on has a pretty heavy tree canopy covering the trail, so the GPS signal is not the best. My bike computer (which I haven't removed yet) will be steady at 18 mph, but the 800 will be all the place. 15mph, them 18mph, then 16.5mph, etc... At the end of the ride both the Garmin and bike computer agree on the summary data, but of you want to know how fast you're going at any given moment you want the sensor. I imagine if you're riding with open skies this would be less of a problem.

It also allows you to use it with your trainer this time of year and get useful data.
 

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Two skinny J's
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For the GPS and data fields to populate using an Iphone, you need to be in an area with cell coverage, correct?
I would think satellite connectivity is key. I've used my DROID hiking with no cell connectivity.
 

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Just wondering with iPhone used as gps, how much cellular date would be used up in say, a couple of hours? Anyone have any idea?
 

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Two skinny J's
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Just wondering with iPhone used as gps, how much cellular date would be used up in say, a couple of hours? Anyone have any idea?
I don't think the GPS itself uses any cellular data. Don't take that to the bank tho. Apps I believe are what need/use that actual data.
 

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Cell phone battery wont last that long anyhow. I think Rola is right about the data.

By the way welcome aboard rollinrock. Do you happen to be from Fall River?
 

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I bought the Garmin 800 for this reason- because I can't find my way home. I love how Garmin will recalculate if I take a wrong turn. Love it!
 

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carlharsch said:
GPS usage has zero effect on your cell data plan. Battery consumption is quite another matter, however.
Correct about the GPS usage! However, you can cause an increase in data usage if your app is set to update the app's website after a preset time interval. Some apps allow you to toggle this feature and some do not while other apps just store the data in the phone until you update the web site at the end of the ride.

Battery consumption can be extended by stopping all apps running in the background and only having your cycling app running. Shutting off the screen also helps conserve battery life. I use approximately 25% of my battery life on a 2 1/2 hr. ride (total time) using Cyclemeter on my iPhone with a full charge.
 

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Thanks for all the info guys, and davereo I'm from Paducah
 

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I don't think the GPS itself uses any cellular data. Don't take that to the bank tho. Apps I believe are what need/use that actual data.
You are right. A data plan needs to be on your account for GPS service, but it does not count towards your data tx/rx.
 

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GPS does not count towards data, but the application you use might. In most cases, they pull maps down as well as other data, so that would be the biggest cost. I like Strava because I can turn it on, then stuff it in my pocket and go. However, if you are looking for a nav, there will be data fees with most if not all applications.
 
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