Which computer?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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JackL
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:53 pm

by JackL

I'm after a new wireless computer and am pretty confused about the different models out there. I like using strava so it's a must to be able to upload my rides to it. I want it to display max speed which apparently the 500 does not. I also would prefer it to be compatible with cadence and HRM but I do not need them for the time being.

I know the more expensive Garmins have all the options listed above but I honestly can't see myself spending over £150 for it. I will probably go with the 500 in the end but just wanted to see if anyone has/is using a computer that you think will suit my needs. Thanks.

aaric
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm

by aaric

I have max speed shown on page 2 of my Garmin 500.

JackL
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:53 pm

by JackL

http://m.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ac ... 7460/#next

This review says otherwise, but obviously you're right so, thanks for that. Also do you ever notice losing signal or have and negative comments about it?

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btompkins0112
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Location: Mississippi

by btompkins0112

The Wahoo Fitness RFLKT would be an interesting option since it is cheap and if you carry an iPhone anyway it saves weight.....since this is WW, after all.


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Imaking20
Posts: 1538
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:19 am

by Imaking20

Yeah, the 500 can most definitely display max speed. The ability to display such a variety of fields is probably the strongest part of the 500, for my use.

I just had my 500 replaced after ~6 months and finally having enough of it's inaccuracies and general issues - like losing input on ONE field but not another which is paired to it. Example: speed data freezing despite having a speed sensor and... that whole GPS thing... but cadence still working. And visa-versa. And there's nothing like the satisfaction of hitting a segment so hard you're about to shite yourself - for the sake of taking a KOM back from a buddy - then uploading and your Garmin decided you weren't actually riding on the road afterall. Yeah.

So the 500 is far from perfect. If there was a GPS enabled computer with anywhere near the customizability of the Garmin, I'd be using it.
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JackL
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:53 pm

by JackL

btompkins0112 wrote:The Wahoo Fitness RFLKT would be an interesting option since it is cheap and if you carry an iPhone anyway it saves weight.....since this is WW, after all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD



I am currently using my iphone using the strava app. Its fine recording the actual route but elevation is an absolute joke. I think one ride of 50 miles I had a gain of less than 50 foot, and it was a hilly ride!

Id rather keep phone and computer separate however it is a very interesting bit of kit. I will definately keep it in mind. Thanks

JackL
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:53 pm

by JackL

Imaking20 wrote:Yeah, the 500 can most definitely display max speed. The ability to display such a variety of fields is probably the strongest part of the 500, for my use.

I just had my 500 replaced after ~6 months and finally having enough of it's inaccuracies and general issues - like losing input on ONE field but not another which is paired to it. Example: speed data freezing despite having a speed sensor and... that whole GPS thing... but cadence still working. And visa-versa. And there's nothing like the satisfaction of hitting a segment so hard you're about to shite yourself - for the sake of taking a KOM back from a buddy - then uploading and your Garmin decided you weren't actually riding on the road afterall. Yeah.

So the 500 is far from perfect. If there was a GPS enabled computer with anywhere near the customizability of the Garmin, I'd be using it.


Where abouts do you ride? And which computer are you upgrading too? Plus are you selling your old one? ;) cheeky me.

aaric
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm

by aaric

I've had 2 Garmin 500s, both have been fine (one of them was misplaced by my infant daughter for about 6 months). GPS accuracy is good enough most of the time. Fog, trees, etc do interfere at times though. Comparing Garmins on the same ride can be interesting - Fluctuations of +/- 12seconds are pretty common, due to how often people have them set up to sample / store data.

Various firmware updates can be a bit sketchy with garmin. The company seems to have a spotty track record with breaking things over the past few years. But, its rugged, has long battery life, and tons of customizability. I'm somewhat surprised nobody has come along and improved on it in the past few years. The 510 looks interesting to me, just to be able to more easily swap it between bikes, and have separate screen configs for different activities, but I'm hesitant to add weight over the 500.

I also carry my iphone with me all the time, but having a dead phone in an emergency makes carrying both a bit more palatable. The RFLKT looks pretty promising. Perhaps if I had more time to tinker, I'd try using one.

My sense of the 500 is that its good, but somebody should be able to do a bit better.


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kbbpll
Posts: 409
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by kbbpll

My 500 definitely has avg speed. Lots of other stuff you can add to customizable display pages. The owners manual https://buy.garmin.com/shop/store/manua ... 28&ra=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has a list of data fields starting on pg 38.

Altitude, total climbing, and temperature are the things I've noticed to be fairly inaccurate. A typical 27 mile climb for me might show 3089' when a mapping site like ridewithgps shows 3494'. I think I read that it uses barometric pressure for altitude; not sure what other units might use. Temperature is wildly off - can show 20F higher than actual. Manual says this "may" display higher than actual if unit is placed in direct sunlight, which amuses me a bit - where I ride I'm almost always in direct sunlight. :)

Overall it satisfies my limited needs. 18 hours of battery life specified is pretty accurate - I've had mine running for 12-13 hours and showing 35% remaining.

FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

DCnoJ wrote:500 is plenty. 510s extra features will be hardly used with most average users.


i completely disagree. I have an 810, which has many of the same features as the 510, and I can tell you that the Livetrack feature is worth the upgrade. When I ride without my wife, she checks my progress periodically. She can find our where I am, where I have been, and my general metrics. If you are getting a new GPS, I can't find any reason to go with a 500, other than trying to save a couple of bucks over the newer units.
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DCnoJ
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:50 am

by DCnoJ

For sure the Live Tracker is an awesome feature but my experience working at a bike shop has shown that many people who own the 510 barely if at all use that feature regularly. Besides there are already live tracking apps such as Glympse that have been around longer and are completely free. With that said, the benefits of the additional $80 difference, $2 for the Garmin Fit app, and annual $20 subscription for Garmin's Live Tracking feature is again not needed for most average users.

eric
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by eric

I've had two 500s (first one disappeared from my bike when it was parked at the summit finish of a race). Both have been reliable. They both loose the GPS signal in heavy tree cover. The elapsed time of intervals will be correct but the ride time that the 500 shows will not include the time during drop outs. If the drops bother you get the speed/cadence sensor.

Being configureable is a big strong point.

The maps and ride direction features are completely useless. Get a different computer if you need those.

ridewithgps's total elevation gain is off. The Garmin's agrees with my previous Polar, another barometer based unit. GPS based elevation gain numbers tend to be higher than reality unless the jitter is filtered out. (check the 500's elevation while you are standing still to see what I mean about jitter). Barometer based units tend slightly low. The temp does read high since the unit sees not only heat re-radiated and convected from the road but also directly radiated from the sun. But since it's used to compensate the barometer, that is valid as the barometer is inside the unit. And its arguably the heat your body is seeing as well unless you can manage to ride in the shade while the computer is in the sun.

You don't need to use GarminConnect to update the device. In fact you can do it from Linux, which is an advantage for me.

Imaking20
Posts: 1538
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:19 am

by Imaking20

@JackL - I ride in the PNW. Lots of hills and trees. As aaric said perfectly in his response: "My sense of the 500 is that its good, but somebody should be able to do a bit better" ...until that "should be" comes to fruition I'll be using the 500. It's not perfect by any means but it suits my needs better than anything else I've seen or used.
Current:
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Retired:
Blue | Project C6.0 | Felt AR FRD | Colnago C59 NERO | 2014 S-Works Tarmac | S-Works Venge | Wilier Cento Uno SL | Tarmac SL2

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