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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Location: Aarhus, Denmark
I have a trip to Belgium planned when spring comes along. Me and a couple of friends will go there to watch the professionals race as well as attempting to complete the 240 km RvV sportive. In between these fixed events we plan on exploring the terrain in Belgium with a focus on the famous cobbled roads and muurs.

I personally am in the need of a new cycling computer and thought that i might as well upgrade to something a little more fancy. Now i have to choose between the Edge 500 or the 800. My personal needs will be fulfilled completely by the 500, but i keep coming back to the 800 for it's navigation add ons which will come in handy in Belgium. The question is if i really need them? People have made similar trips without a gps unit so why can't I?

/Emil

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:00 pm 
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Location: Out there
No need. A decent OS map will be far better for navigating those roads.


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Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:00 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:22 pm
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Location: Bristol uk
I was in a similar situation,i had the 500 and was thinking about the 800 with maps,
Sold the 500 this week bought the 800 and wow.

The 800 imo is so much easier to use with the touch screen
and larger display, which i find easier to read when cycling,compared to 500.

The maps are awesome, mini sat nav,although i know my way around my area
as i drive for a living,the maps will come into there own for when i go into europe.

For me great purchase and the 500 is great to.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:22 pm
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Location: Les Pays Bas
I have a Garmin unit without maps and I download all my gpx-routes online, mostly from http://www.gpsies.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. That works very well, if you take some time to search for routes with enough points, so enough of detail. The RVV is on the site as well btw.

I never rode around with a navigation device with maps, so I am limited in being able to compare but I find the breadcrumb-trail perfect for navigation. Good luck making a choice! And have fun in Belgium!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:22 pm 
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No. Man up, get lost and rack those km's up.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm
Posts: 537
Location: it's raining, it must be uk
well, you don't *need* it, if you know what area you need covered, a paper map or some google earth printout is fine, the question is do you *want* it

i've got a 705, it doesn't get much use, but it came with garmin's city navigator europe maps, one memory card gives excellent coverage of multiple countries, so if i'm heading into the unknown and can't get a paper map then it comes along for the ride

i like the option to explore at random, so a map or garmin both make it easy to find how i get back to where i'm staying if i don't just want to retrace a route, much prefer finding loops to just going out and back

if you are getting a new computer anyway, and will be doing more travel in future, 800 is probably worthwhile


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:23 pm
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I travel for my job and the 800 has been great to use.
I ride from my hotel room until I get lost and then use it to get back.
The touch screen is great to use and once I go with a power meter, I already have the head unit.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:02 pm 
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Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Thank you for all the answers. Maybe i wasn't clear enough, i really only want to know if it is possible to navigate Belgium without the 800. And even possibly a good source of those OS maps as they seem to be perfect for this type of application.

/Emil

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Location: it's raining, it must be uk
yes, certainly you can do it without a garmin

i would start by using google earth to research the area and give an idea of good routes, towns for potential stopping points etc., streetview can be useful here

then you can either buy paper map(s) or print your own, either from ge, or osm

http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/earth/index.html
http://www.openstreetmap.org/
http://www.navmaps.eu/ osm in garmin format, has a benelux map ready to use

but if you've got a smartphone with ge/other mapping, then that plus a simple hand drawn waypoint diagram will be plenty

a small compass can be useful, but if it's a bit sunny - yes, even in belgium, it can happen - you can just go by that if you need to check orientation, there's nothing quite like going a long way down the right road in the wrong direction!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:20 am 
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Location: Brooklyn
I totally disagree I hate spending time finding my way when I ride and love my Garmin 800. You can plan out routes before you even get there and use Garmins site to find the good bike routes too.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:30 am 
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Location: Germany
Do yourself a favour and buy the Edge 800 (and use Open Streetmaps). Navigating in Flanders is simply a pain when you have to rely on printed maps.

gpsies is btw indeed a good place to download tracks ridden by other people, which will make things even easier.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Location: Canada
Yes, I agree that you definitely can navigate without it, but you will have a much, MUCH better time with the Garmin 800.

Disclaimer - I work for a cycle-touring company and we're sponsored by Garmin... however, I can say with no hesitation what-so-ever that my favourite feature of the 800, whether I'm riding for work or personally, is the ability to show up somewhere you've never ridden, having done just a bit of research, and you can ride EVERYTHING you want to, without stopping, back-tracking and second-guessing, because you know you've done the work in advance. All you do on the day is just ride. It's something I like enough that having my Garmin for the off-season is a massive perk of employment!

I use a Michelin.co.uk to get the details for routes. You have to map in a different program, but it's always nice to know where the scenic routes are, as well as which of Google-maps three yellow streets through a town is the proper one to take.

Between the Michelin site for getting around and the race sites for knowing the routes, you should be able to pre-plan some amazing routes to connect things there, so that you can maximize your rides.

I do love the idea of 'suck it up and get lost out there - the extra km's will make you a man', but even that gets trumped by the suck it up and do those extra km's on a loop that counts!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:02 pm 
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I have both the 800 and 500. You definitely don't need the 800. The 500 can do basic nav with courses. The turn by turn and moving map of the 800 is really nice, but I can definitely survive with the 500. That said, I rarely use my 500 anymore. The touch screen and extra data fields on the 800 are very nice.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Location: Aarhus, Denmark
@js - Which program do you recommend for route planning?

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Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:34 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:21 am
Posts: 258
Kastrup wrote:
Thank you for all the answers. Maybe i wasn't clear enough, i really only want to know if it is possible to navigate Belgium without the 800. And even possibly a good source of those OS maps as they seem to be perfect for this type of application.

/Emil



You certainly can navigate Belgium without the 800, but it makes things so much easier. Most of the roads in Europe are very unlike North American roads, in that they very rarely will go in a single direction for very long. It can be difficult to manage if you do not have a good sense of direction.


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