Replacing Garmin with iPhone?

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scapie
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:19 am

by scapie

Does anyone here use their iphone instead of a garmin unit?

What prompted me to consider this was the new quadlock out front mount.

Also I have some wireless bose headphones and I thought it would be quite nice to just skim through mixes or tracks straight from the bars.

The things I’m worried about are the quality of the gps tracking and also it getting hot from the sun esp when the days are in the high 30s and even low 40s. Battery life isn’t really a concern, I think an iphone 7 would last 4-5hrs in 1 go no problem.

If you do use a phone instead of a computer which apps do you use?

by Weenie


MountainAddict
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:04 pm
Location: Colorado

by MountainAddict

I would pick the Garmin over the iPhone. I'd be afraid of: water damage, overheating, and battery dying in the cold.

Also, you'll be missing out on a lot of functions such as programmed workouts, lap button, multiple riding profiles, etc.

If you lived in California where it's always good weather and you were just going for leisure rides, I think the iPhone would suffice. For any sort of serious training/riding, I'd use a Garmin.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

scapie wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:33 am
I think an iphone 7 would last 4-5hrs in 1 go no problem.
We use iPhone 6 at work for some data gathering, (GPS, Speed, etc etc) even in a nice warm car, you'll struggle to get that much. Especially if you are going to be bluetoothing music to some headphones. More screen on time than usual as well. And increased brightness to be visible.

Pop the phone in your pocket and use a garmin. A basic edge 25 is cheap enough, and will even give you basic notifications from your phone.

AJS914
Posts: 3398
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I've shattered a Garmin in a crash. Garmin only charged me $80 to swap it with a refurbished unit. I wouldn't put a $700 iPhone on a handlebar or stem in a vulnerable position.

If money is an issue, install a cheap cyclometer and run Strava on your phone while it is in your pocket. The cyclometer gives you speed/distance to look at and the phone takes care of Stava tracking. The Edge 25 looks great as well if you don't need ant+ for a power meter.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Oh, another thing i noticed when riding alongside someone using a phone.

It wobbles, All. The. Bloody. Time.

On anything other than mirror smooth tarmac you have to steady it to look at it, steady it to press/swipe/whatever, steady it to do anything.
The garmin just sits there. Even offroad mines readable at fairly silly speeds. Once i get to the level of vibration i can't see it, i've got more important things to look at.

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shoemakerpom2010
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:28 pm
Location: Palm Coast, Fl.

by shoemakerpom2010

I use an Iphone SE as I do a smaller commute and weekly rides of about 40-60 miles max. I use the Topeak system since the case works for the phone ,has screen protection and a bar mount that the phone will never detach even in a crash. The Topeak works perfect and is spot on coupled with their cadence sensor and heart strap but thats about as far as I would push the system. While I have Strava Pro the phone it does not work with it and will go to sleep or stop collecting data during the ride. If you use any other app with straight GPS youll get max two hours from the battery since that seems to burn it up quick. The sun does not work well with the screen and if your like me in Florida mid day full sun exposure makes it almost impossible to see not to mention hot. If you want to get serious and may dabble with an ant sensor in the future then a Garmin makes more sense and the screen is designed for the sun. Since I am used to a bigger screen then the Garmin 1030 is about the best I have seen with all future features covered....

RTW
in the industry
Posts: 3500
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:32 pm

by RTW

I used to do this. I used an iPhone4 and an iPhone5. Both times I was a product tester for BioLogic and their cases. They did one with a battery in it which would work in tandem with the phone's battery. The system was okay. I'd use MotionX GPS as the app and get 5 hours if I was VERY lucky. That would be with screen brightness turned right down, and 3g / 4g / Data turned off. The app allows downloading of mapping, so this wasn't an issue, and if I needed to use the data functions, I could turn them back on. I would also turn off Bluetooth to extend the battery. Eventually I decided I wanted to NOT KNOW if someone called me / text me or whatever when I am on the bike, so no longer saw the point in having the phone on the bars. I then got and used a garmin, and was delighted by how steady it was on the bars.
Your cycling kit is one size too big!

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Lewn777
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I think there's just too much risk with an iphone. I used an iphone 6S with a Biologic case. The thing is iphone warranties are very short and they don't really like any water or cold and are happiest in a warm back pocket, where you can still use the Strava app and listen to music or podcasts. However with better mapping like maps.me there is a reason to have a phone on the bars if you are in an unfamilar area in warm summer dry weather, but I feel this can be just as well achieved by a modern Android $100 phone, but the attachment options are more limited.

NickJHP
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:22 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

by NickJHP

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:09 pm
If money is an issue, install a cheap cyclometer and run Strava on your phone while it is in your pocket.
I wouldn't cycle with a phone in my pocket. In the event of a crash, nasty things can happen if the battery is damaged and catches fire. e.g. https://www.smh.com.au/technology/sydne ... qirdx.html. On bikes where I have a saddlebag, that's where the phone goes, otherwise I use a Quadlock mount.

And as far as the OP's question goes, you can certainly use a phone for navigation - I've done so when touring in Europe using the RideWithGPS app - but the phone battery won't last a full day of riding, so you'll need a powerbank to keep the battery topped up, plus a waterproof case if your phone doesn't have decent IP ratings - eg both IP65 (water jet) and IP68 (immersion) protection.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

NickJHP wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:52 am
I wouldn't cycle with a phone in my pocket. In the event of a crash, nasty things can happen if the battery is damaged and catches fire. e.g. https://www.smh.com.au/technology/sydne ... qirdx.html.
Thats one thing that confuses me, why would anyone want pockets on their thighs while pedalling? WIth anything in them...... Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce........... it'd drive me fkng mad. Back pocket in a case. And probably more likely to get damaged in a saddlebag anyway.
NickJHP wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:52 am
And as far as the OP's question goes, you can certainly use a phone for navigation - I've done so when touring in Europe using the RideWithGPS app - but the phone battery won't last a full day of riding, so you'll need a powerbank to keep the battery topped up, plus a waterproof case if your phone doesn't have decent IP ratings - eg both IP65 (water jet) and IP68 (immersion) protection.
It'd be cheaper to just get a second hand or basic navigation only GPS. (Edge touring?)

moyboy
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:19 am

by moyboy

I've tried the iphone option.... Didn't go well. The touchscreen was great but just wasn't usable and overkill vs. a dedicated computer.
Switched to a Bolt then a 1030.... using the 1030 now.

iphone battery life sucks when it's cold.... it will crap out with the wind chill for rides around 10C and dramatically reduced battery life.

Also the older iphones weren't as waterproof as the new ones.

by Weenie


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