/ GPX on me phone or a special device

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SteveX 20 Jun 2018

Hi all,

         the what Bike should I buy thread will be coming shortly ;-), however it would seem that GPX is all the rage.

Would it be best to download an App onto my phone or just buy a dedicated device that I just bolt on my handlebars?

If so which App or which device, please.

Isn`t this cycling wonderful, all sorts of things to buy, I cannot buy stuff in climbing shops anymore, as I have everything, but cycling opens up a whole new world of Affluenza. Only joking, well kind of.

DancingOnRock 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

The Strava app (plus others) allow you to create and follow routes. You can upload GPX files to it. 

MonkeyPuzzle 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

There's a great open source app I use called OSMand, which you can set up to give you turn by turn from a GPX file (there's a tutorial online to show how and it's very straightforward). If you just want maps for cycling then Strava is grand.

SteveX 20 Jun 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

I am looking at this ride (and the rest of website) https://www.letsride.co.uk/routes/bowland-explorer and it has downloadable GPX files.
I think a You Tube tutorial is the way ahead.

DancingOnRock 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

Yes. If you want to download and upload GPX files you’ll need to be on  a desktop. It’s fairly straightforward though. 

richlan 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

Just buy a Garmin Edge 520 Plus when you buy a new bike.

thepodge 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

I use an old phone because:

I already had a load of digital OS maps

I already had an old phone

I don't like spending money

Hardonicus 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

Wahoo Element Bolt for a dedicated device - full mapping albeit monochrome. Very long battery life.

20 quid will get you a quadlock phone mount which is the best best for a smartphone related option. These are perfectly adequate when combined with google maps and a gpx app like Strava. However the battery life is a quite limiting for longer rides i.e. 3/4 hours+.

 

SteveX 20 Jun 2018
In reply to Hardonicus:

Yes Battery life is important, we found in the Netherlands at the end of the day my phone low on charge as we were using Google Maps as a Sat Nav.

Something else I have thought of. I do not want my phone in front of me pinging and dinging with emails, texts and facebook shite. I want to get away from that.

So possibly if we stick at this a proper bike GPX device is the way ahead.

 

DancingOnRock 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

Put it in airplane mode. 

1
SteveX 20 Jun 2018
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Will the GPS and stuff still work?

Hardonicus 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

no.

 

Element Bolt has full Euro mapping built in BTW.

Post edited at 14:30
Guy Hurst 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

Modern phones have far larger and better quality screens than the dedicated GPS units I've seen. Maps on my mid-range Samsung are easy to see in strong sunlight, whereas the screen on a friend's Garmin GPS is almost impossible to make out properly in similar conditions. I switch my phone off unless I actually need it, although this is a bit of a faff.

Lord_ash2000 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

I've been using the pretty basic Garmin Edge 250, its super small and can give directions although only basically, it won't show a full map just when to turn.  

But it'll do your speed, distance etc and track where you went plus upload to strava. With the right sensors, it'll also do heart rate and cadence which are great. 

It doesn't do power meters though and as I said won't display a full map on the screen, just a line and gives you beeps and arrows to follow, which is fine for 95% of the time but sometimes when a road splits at a narrow-angle or the road goes around the corner so the turn off appears to be carrying on striate it gets confused and won't tell you to turn off, but it will tell you when you've gone off course so you can soon correct. I've been on 100km rides in unknown areas and been okay with it 

Realistic battery life is about 6-7 hours which will cover most rides but on occasion, I've had to switch over to my phone for the last leg of a trip.   

jack89 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

I used to use an old phone with ~no apps and no sim. I'd plot my routes on a desktop PC using ViewRanger, download the app to the phone, download the GPX and download the offline maps to cover the route (or use any number of apps for it, avoiding often painful software that comes with dedicated units). Then, attach to the bike using https://getfinn.com/en/ with some clingfilm if it's a bit wet.

A phone a number of years old is perfectly adequate in terms of battery if you don't keep the screen on all the time. As others have said, the big clear screen (even on old phones) and added flexibility in mapping is probably better than most dedicated units. It also means your current mobile can retain its battery for photos and emergencies. I'd use this set up for long rides on unfamiliar roads in tandem with a basic gpx bike computer for speed, cadence (but you could get these recorded on the phone, too, with the right app).

captain paranoia 20 Jun 2018
In reply to Hardonicus:

Modern smartphones do not use the mobile RF circuitry for GPS. Therefore, GPS works perfectly well in airplane mode.

If you are using mobile data for mapping, then, yes, airplane mode would stop that. The answer is to use an app that supports caching or downloading of mapping data.

The advantage of airplane mode is that it will significantly increase battery life. My little Moto E2 used only about half its charge for fairly long days walking the TMB.

As for mapping sources, the OpenStreetMap series are very good. It includes maps specific for cycling.

captain paranoia 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

> I do not want my phone in front of me pinging and dinging with emails, texts and facebook shite

I never want my phone doing that, so I turn all those notifications off...

BTW, I'm not sure if you're using GPX correctly; you seems to be using it to refer to GPS devices, rather than the file exchange format, GPX.

Post edited at 18:07
thepodge 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

> Will the GPS and stuff still work?

You can put the phone in flight mode then turn GPS back on. WiFi, phone signal, etc will stay off. 

Keeping the screen on seems to be the biggest battery drain so I carry a poundland powerbank with me, weighs almost nothing and gives me a 25-30% recharge 

Ben07 20 Jun 2018
In reply to SteveX:

Some apps  will work with airplane mode on. Even the ones that need a data  connection to sHow you maps , will actually record your route without data..

I use an app called 'view ranger' for actually plotting routes and navigation when I'm out., It works In airplane mode as well because you download the maps to your phone.  You can use free maps or buy OS ones ,  you can buy individual tiles just for the areas you want to use so it works out really cheap.  

Strava is a great app as well. 

When your in airplane Mode your battery lasts way longer.   

SteveX 28 Jun 2018
In reply to jack89:

Thanks. Bought the Finn thing and used Viewranger tonight for a lovely ride on the fylde. Downloaded my GPX from Lets ride. co.uk and it all worked smashing.


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