/ What GPS for running / biking

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Carpe Diem - on 22 Jan 2012
Endomondo on the phone is doing my head in,big style.Too many inaccurate readings, system pausing, affected by weather conditions, so on so forth blah, blah,blah.

So thinking maybe get a proper GPS i can use for biking & running ect.

What do the great unwashed masses of UKC recommend?
The New NickB - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

A garmin forerunner and a bike mount. You can cycle with a running GPS, but you cannot run with a cycling one.
Liam M - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: It depends upon what exactly you want, but Garmin seem to have a huge chunk of the market among runners and cyclists.

If you want decent navigation on it, I think the high end Edges are probably one of few choices.

If you just want pace/distance data during or after running/cycling then most Forerunners ( except possibly the 110) do this quite well.

The Forerunner 410(?) looks more like a watch, where the 205/305/310 are a big more bulky and less attractive looking. The 205 doesn't have a hrm, the others do I believe. The 310 is probably only worth it if you're into very long events.

Personally I use a 305, and in general I have no issues with it. I believe it is just about to be discontinued, so you may find a decent offer on it at the moment.
Liam M - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Carpe Diem)
>
> A garmin forerunner and a bike mount. You can cycle with a running GPS, but you cannot run with a cycling one.

Not strictly true - I know a few people who run with Edges, though generally in a waist pack for post run/race data rather than real time stuff. Quite often I find running to a time pace rather than perceived effort can disrupt my mental state, so not having it at hand can actually be quite good.
novik - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: Im using forerunner and when on the bike I even prefer without bike mount as I learned on my previous polar GPS that its easy to forget that your wrist unit is attached to the haldebars when changing the tube and turning bike upside down. But yes forerunner suit my needs 100%.
Run_Ross_Run - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

Satmap's good for the bike but prob a bit too large for running with. Accuracy has always been good for me.

Liam M - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: One thing to be careful of if you do go for a forerunner with bike mount, be careful with the unit on your wrist ( it uses a different strap for quick changes). A friend clipped it on a gate post and it pinged off - the unit survived but that's of no use if you don't spot it.

My other half hadn't taken hers off before filling the washing machine, and didn't notice it get knocked off - she ended up with a very clean but alas functionally useless gps!
Carpe Diem - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to all:

Thanks for the advice all. I think I'll have a bit of a look into the forerunner gizmo.
Cathcart_Alpinist on 22 Jan 2012 - 82.132.210.233 whois?
In reply to Carpe Diem: Beware that most of the Garmin Forerunner series is easily damaged by water, an irony in a piece of kit intended to be used outdoors! I own a Garmin Forerunner 310XT which does everything, is brilliant and is fully waterproof!
Carpe Diem - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Cathcart_Alpinist:

That looks REALLY nice.Can I update any workouts done to a site like endomondo ect?
andy - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Cathcart_Alpinist:
> (In reply to Carpe Diem) Beware that most of the Garmin Forerunner series is easily damaged by water, an irony in a piece of kit intended to be used outdoors! I own a Garmin Forerunner 310XT which does everything, is brilliant and is fully waterproof!

I wouldn't say they're "easily damaged" - they're not suitable for lengthy immersion but rain or an odd short dunking won't do them any harm. They do have an official level of water resistance, which I think is up to 30 minutes in a metre of water - they don't recommend you swim in them, for instance. I've had FR305, 405 and now 610 and none have ever been damaged by rain.

Although...the FR405 can be a pain in the arse in the rain - the clever "touch" bezel goes wonky and won't respond. I ditched mine and got a 610 which I can wear as a normal watch - and is absolutely fine in the rain as it uses good old fashioned buttons.

There's an upgrade for the 310XT (not sure of the number - 6-something) but again it's too big to wear every day. I wanted something I could use as a watch as I kept forgetting to put my "running watch" in my bag.

I've not used my 610 on my bike as I have an Edge 800 for cycling, which is top notch - touchscreen sat nav and every possible bike computer function you could imagine (and some you couldn't).
andy - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to andy: It's the 910XT:

http://sites.garmin.com/forerunner910xt/#

Good review here:

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/10/garmin-forerunner-910xt-in-depth-review.html

In fact Rainmaker's site has reviews for pretty much every sports GPS, so a good place to get some ideas.
Etak - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: Another vote for the forerunner i have a 305 is good for geekery but no use for navigation - wont give you a grid reference - also for me the battery life is a bit short (about 10 hrs) its the gps bit that shortens the battery life so the polaris ones where the gps unit is seperate is good if you want one you can use as a general watch as well.

On the bike mount issue someone else mentioned - likewise i found the supplied mount thing fiddly and a bit rubbish have found if i wrap a sock (work, brown) round the hadle bars i can use the standard wrist strap. No problems yet with rain
The New NickB - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Cathcart_Alpinist:
> (In reply to Carpe Diem) Beware that most of the Garmin Forerunner series is easily damaged by water, an irony in a piece of kit intended to be used outdoors! I own a Garmin Forerunner 310XT which does everything, is brilliant and is fully waterproof!

All the forerunners are fine to get wet, but only the 310XT and the new 910 are intended for swimming.
The New NickB - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

I should add that I have owed a 205 and now have a 610, both great, I just got sick of the bulk of the 205 on my wrist.
Liam M - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to andy: Though the issue with the 910xt seemed to be knowing when they were going to be available - Garmin seemed to just keep putting the release date back and back.
andy - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to andy) Though the issue with the 910xt seemed to be knowing when they were going to be available - Garmin seemed to just keep putting the release date back and back.

Don't care - my triathlon days are over - it took crawling out of the water in the last quarter of the field three times before I realised I'm just a born shit swimmer. To borrow a phrase - triathlon is just a good bike ride or run spoiled!
andy - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to andy) Though the issue with the 910xt seemed to be knowing when they were going to be available - Garmin seemed to just keep putting the release date back and back.

I think I got an email from Sweatyshop saying they had them? 350 without HRM anyway...
steelbru - on 22 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:
Another vote for the Garmin Forerunner 610 ( as long as you don't want maps to navigate by on the bike )

Great bit of kit, and as was previously mentioned small and smart enough to wear as a "normal" watch.

Another vote for the dcrainmaker reviews mentioned above - this guy goes into a LOT of detail !
haydn on 23 Jan 2012
If you just want a GPS track and heart rate to analyse after a run, then I'd recommend the Forerunner 110. It hasn't got all the bells and whistles and I was bit dubious as to whether it would be enough, but I don't want to train in a particular heart zone etc. and it's done me fine. A nice size and easy to use, with proper buttons.
kathrync - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

Another vote for the Forerunners. I have the 310xt and love it. It is a bit over-specced for the running I do, but it will give me an OS grid ref which is nice. It used to be the only model that would do that but I don't know if the feature has been retained in the 910xt.

To whoever asked above, Garmin have their own website to which you can upload your data and look at it/compare it. You can also upload to a variety of 3rd party sites but I don't know specifically if Endomondo is one of them...
steelbru - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to kathrync:
The 610 can give you an OS grid ref
mattrm - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to kathrync:
> whoever asked above, Garmin have their own website to which you can upload your data and look at it/compare it. You can also upload to a variety of 3rd party sites but I don't know specifically if Endomondo is one of them...

The 310XT looks like it's got a great set of features, but it seems really bulky, is it? Do you notice it much? The 910XT seems smaller, but does it give the OS grid refs as well as the 310 does? All I want is a watch that does the following:

Pace (eg 10 min miles etc)
Time
Altimeter
Gives you an OS grid ref
and has a good battery life and isn't too bulky.

The garmin devices all seem to output .gpx files, which you can load up pretty much anywhere. According to the endomondo website yes they do allow Garmin devices:

http://www.endomondo.com/help/garmin
andy - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to mattrm: I don't think any of the Garmin watches have a barometric altimeter - they'll give you elevation based on satellites but that's horribly inaccurate. Can confirm the 610 does UK grid refs.

Battery life's a funny one - with GPS on they're all pretty limited, but turn it off and you can get days of battery life. As I said I use my 610 as my "everyday" watch, plus running 20-30 miles a week, and only charge it at weekends.
r0b - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

Another 310XT user here and I love it, great piece of kit. It does look bulky but you don't really notice it when it's on your wrist (even with the quick release kit which makes it a bit bigger again). As already mentioned it's one of the few running GPS devices which will give you an OS grid reference which is very useful. Being able to load courses to it is great too if you are cycling on a route you don't know, saves having to stop and look at the map all the time.
Irk the Purist - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to andy:

The altitude on my 305 is as accurate as a barometric one as far as I'm concerned and certainly accurate enough for nav in the mountains.

It's done about 3500 miles on my wrist now and I never really notice it so not bulky. It's still going strong and no signs of dieing. If it ever does die I'll probably go for something with a longer battery life and OS grid references which are the only things I'd change.

Something like the 310XT. But I can't really justify the price when my trusty 305 is still going like a trooper.



steelbru - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to mattrm:
If you want both a barometric altimeter and a GPS built in to a watch then very limited choice.

Suunto have just announced a new model that has both of these for the first time ( I think ) called the AMBIT, not sure if it does OS grid ref, would guess so :-
http://www.suunto.com/global/en/about-suunto/news/company-news/suunto-launches-the-ambit-gps-watch
steelbru - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to andy:
Andy, the 910XT does have a barometric altimeter
kathrync - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to mattrm:
> (In reply to kathrync)
> [...]
>
> The 310XT looks like it's got a great set of features, but it seems really bulky, is it? Do you notice it much?

It is kinda bulky...I wouldn't use it as an everyday watch. I have scrawny little wrists and it looks really ridiculous on me, like one of those 80s calculator watches. The strap is good though, it sits securely on me and doesn't bug me when I am running.


kathrync - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to steelbru:
> (In reply to kathrync)
> The 610 can give you an OS grid ref

Ok, I stand corrected :o) I don't think it had been released when I was researching these.
ads.ukclimbing.com
PGD - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> The altitude on my 305 is as accurate as a barometric one as far as I'm concerned and certainly accurate enough for nav in the mountains.
>
I've been using a 205 and it's accurate. Fun to record days out. I also use an Etrex H for hill use/ kayaking as It gives me a os grid.

Just trying to find something that combines the best features of both.
mattrm - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to steelbru:
> (In reply to mattrm)
> If you want both a barometric altimeter and a GPS built in to a watch then very limited choice.

Don't mind if it's barometric or not, as long as it has a reasonably accurate altimeter function built into it then, that's fine.

The 910XT does have a barometric altimeter on it. Looking at DC Rainmakers review it does look smaller than the 310XT. Ticks all the boxes (and then some), just have to see what it's actually like on my wrist.
steelbru - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to mattrm:
I would strongly agree with andy - altitude from satellites can be wildly inaccurate. If you need altitude to be accuraue, eg for navigating in mist, then I would say only rely on a barometric reading. If it's just a bit of fun ( ie how much did I climb on my run ) then the satellite based figure will give a reasonable indication.
Irk the Purist - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to steelbru:

That doesn't tally with my experience at all. My 305 is always within 10m altitude when I check it.

Barometric altimeters can be wildly inaccurate because of pressure changes so I wouldn't rely on them for navigation either.
kathrync - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to steelbru:
> (In reply to mattrm)
> I would strongly agree with andy - altitude from satellites can be wildly inaccurate.

I would agree with this too...although the important bit is that is CAN be inaccurate, not that it always is. It depends a lot on your line of site to the hoirzon iirc, although my knowledge on this is hazy...

Garmin's software will retrospectively correct the GPS-derived elevation values based on the data from the maps when it overlays your route. If you want a reasonable assessment of your ascent/descent during your run for a training log or whatever, that works fine. I wouldn't rely on the elevation data from the GPS for navigation though.
The New NickB - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to kathrync:

Garmin Connect seems to over correct the ascent and descent data to consistently give a figure that is 20% low, I have tested this quite extensively and the good people on the FRA forums agree as well, but I don't know why.
kathrync - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to kathrync)
>
> Garmin Connect seems to over correct the ascent and descent data to consistently give a figure that is 20% low, I have tested this quite extensively and the good people on the FRA forums agree as well, but I don't know why.

Interesting...I haven't had mine that long and most of my local routes are fairly flat so I hadn't noticed. I'll keep an eye out for that one!
mattrm - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

I'm aware that neither a barometric or a GPS altimeter is 100% accurate. I've done with out a GPS or altimeter for the past 5/6 years fine, but it would be nice to have them as a useful aid to navigation, I won't be relying on either 100%.

To be honest, after reading DC Rainmakers review, I'm tempted by a 910XT. Might wait for the price to drop a little tho, as it's just out. Just want to see what it's like on the wrist so to speak.
Liam M - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:
> (In reply to steelbru)
>
> That doesn't tally with my experience at all. My 305 is always within 10m altitude when I check it.
>
That's certainly not the common perception. I've seen an amusing data set that suggested someone had climbed 500m whilst it was mounted on the handlebars of a bike on a turbo trainer!
andy - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Liam M: Agreed - a bloke on Runners World who trained round Coventry reckoned he'd done over 1,000' of ascent on a five mile run round the streets near his house.
Irk the Purist - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Liam M:

I can only go on my personal experience. If the reception is good, it's fine. I have to say when I say check it, I mean look at the altitude at a known spot height. I've never had cause to check the total ascent/descent of a route.

Turbo trainer? Indoors presumably. GPS signal poor.
Coventry? Tall buildings. GPS signal poor.

The only time mine has ever gone awry was in Docklands on the London marathon.



Carpe Diem - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to PGD:

So does the 205 have an in built HR monitor or do you have to get the chest strap thingy?

No issues for recording MTB routes as well as road routes ?
andy - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: They all have to have a chest strap - don't think the 205 does HRM.
FreeRadical on 02 Feb 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: I use the Polar G3. Sensor can be clipped away from the watch on a belt or in the top of a daysack etc. Waterproof unit with a good battery life as there are no bells and whistles. The data is stored on the watch and syncs really easily with the PC if you want to use the training calendar and/or view your routes on Google Earth or other mapping software.
It is possible to get a grid reference out of the watch but it's not ideal for nav purposes. I find the GPS unit quite accurate at tracking distance and altitude both running and cycling. Only minor annoyance is having to stand still for about 40 secs after turning it on to get the first fix - if you're moving it takes about 3 - 4 mins. If you're a cyclist then the watch can also suck in data from cadence & speed sensors and be set up for multiple bikes.
crispy on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

I'm a great fan of the Foretrex series, I've got the 401. They are a wrist mounted GPS with a bikemount. Similar functions to Forerunners although doesn't do lap logs. I use it for running, biking and walking. The major advantage I find over the Foreunner was that it can display an OS Grid Ref whereas the forerunner doesn't. It also has barometric altimeter and can link with HRM or cycle cadence sensor.
M Br on 10 Feb 2012 - host86-150-0-148.range86-150.btcentralplus.com
In reply to steelbru:
I have checked with Suunto, the Ambit does not support OS Grid which is a big disappointment for a watch claiming to do it all. It actually only has Long/Lat, UTM and MGRS which are pretty useless in the UK, with the exception of uploading to google to see your route.
Carpe Diem - on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to all:

I've gone for the Garmin 310XT.

Came today, easy to set up, upload was simple, works a dream and doesn't look bulky or feel bulky.

Happy days!
IainRUK - on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem: Good choice.. I'm not a huge fan of the 405? Its just a watch, in many ways better.. but the bezel doesn't work when you are sweating or its raining.. so as a training aid it fails..
Carpe Diem - on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

Been out twice already - knackered now....
andy - on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to IainRUK: I think they brought out the 610 and others so fast precisely because the 405 was a bit pants.
chriss49@btinternet.com on 22 Apr 2012 - host86-156-37-234.range86-156.btcentralplus.com
In reply to kathrync:
> (In reply to Carpe Diem)
>
> Another vote for the Forerunners. I have the 310xt and love it. It is a bit over-specced for the running I do, but it will give me an OS grid ref which is nice. It used to be the only model that would do that but I don't know if the feature has been retained in the 910xt.
>
> To whoever asked above, Garmin have their own website to which you can upload your data and look at it/compare it. You can also upload to a variety of 3rd party sites but I don't know specifically if Endomondo is one of them...
We are about to go walking the Pennine way tomorrow and cant seem to get OS grid references only lonitude and latitude.How do we do it?

syv_k - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to chriss49@btinternet.com:

Mode - system - settings - units - position
hokkyokusei - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to haydn:
> If you just want a GPS track and heart rate to analyse after a run, then I'd recommend the Forerunner 110. It hasn't got all the bells and whistles and I was bit dubious as to whether it would be enough, but I don't want to train in a particular heart zone etc. and it's done me fine. A nice size and easy to use, with proper buttons.

I agree. When I started running I couldn't decide what to get, so I got a Forerunner 110 and the basis that if it was a mistake, it wouldn't be a particularly expensive mistake. It lest me see how long I;ve been running, how fast I'm running, how hard I'm running (via HR) beeps every km, you can upload the track very easily and it's a reasonable every day watch. I use it for hiking, running and cycling and am very happy with it.
Irk the Purist - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Carpe Diem:

Quick update. I took a massive tumble wearing my 305 (tripped over a knee high fence, very painful, pride destroyed) and I thought it was ok. Scratched and beaten up but still working. What a trooper.

However, I now notice that after running in heavy rain the screen fills up with water. Still works though so it's definitely well built.

Having said that, I'm clearly going to need a new one sooner rather than later. Is there a newer version of the 310XT out yet?


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