GPS or ? as a personal travel assistant

I have a bike computer set up on my 29’er already and love knowing how far I’ve gone on a given ride. But now I wish I had the same for my MUni, my two wheeler, my electric scooter, my kick scooter… OK so I’ve got a lot of wheels that I use to get around. …but’s it a bit much to think of setting each of them up with a bike computer. And a GPS sounds like its kind of overkill to use just as a portable mileage gauge. Or is there a totally simple one that would do the job?

Basically I’m looking for ideas of devices that would serve as a means of being able to establish speed and distance traveled that I could use with any of my wheeled toys. Got any suggestions?

ive tried using a GPS for this purpose. It’s a Garmin one although not sure which model. It is pretty good out in the open but as soon as you go into any woods or shelter it loses satelite reception and is pretty useless which can be quite frustrating. Other GPS units may be better, I have fairly limited experience of them.

As for an alternative device i’m not too sure… but i’m sure someone will come up with a better solution than me.

I recently was in a similar situation. I bought a Garmin forerunner 305 wrist gps unit. I also bought a bike speed/cadance transmitter for it. I was fairly skeptical about how the reception was going to do. I took it around the neighborhood and it did much better than my previous handheld GPS unit (garmin gecko 201). Then I took it on a mtb ride in a heavily wooded area where my old unit barely worked… It did GREAT! It actually did so well that I don’t even use the bike speed transmitter unit. It also has a heart rate monitor. Now no matter what sport I do I just grab it strap it on my wrist and go. Very satisfied with it. If you are into downloading it to a pc you can do that as well, you can graph any of the data it collects (like elevation, heartrate, speed…) I’m normally a pretty tough customer for these kinds of things, but am very satisfied. It is pretty easy to use and not much setup is required, but at the same time you can setup alot if you want to (depending on which sport profile you use it displays different info on the unit ( up to 4 fields of your liking).

Thanks guys, that’s really helpful information!

I’m going to be looking into the Garmin GPS units that you mentioned.

Ohh, the ‘edge 205’ would definitely be the unit to have on a bike…but pricy new and hard to find used. I wonder if there are some other units that do a similar thing but are cheaper (is there such a thing as a garmin knock off? :astonished: ). Or perhaps another older garmin that would work with a bit of adapting…any ideas?


You will get the Garmin foretrex or ForeRunner 101s(AA batteries) and 201s(built in batteries) or even the ForeRunner 301 (Built in battery with usb and heart rate) cheaper than the Edge and ForeRunner 205s and 305s and they work pretty well if you are out in the open. However they take much longer to aquire satellites and do not cope well with being in low receptions areas (under trees, built up areas, etc)

For convenience the new ForeRunners are better as you can strap it to your wrist as it comes. I have an Edge and for using on my Uni’s I have an mp3 case that straps to my wrist. This works but is more bulky. The bigger screen of the Edge is better when used for navigating and displaying lots of fields.

If you do get a GPS make sure you check out Sporttracks - it’s a donation ware logging application that uses google maps - definitely recomended.

Does wearing wrist guards effect the strapping to the wrist aspect of the forerunner?

Does it still work ok though?

I don’t think I’ve got particularly thick arms.

yup, I have HUGE arms :wink: and use the large strap (kind of impressed it came with it, actually) I use the same gloves as gkmac, and also have to loosen and slide it up my arm a bit. It is a bit annoying, sometimes it rotates on my arm so I have to spin it back to see the display, but not everything is perfect. I thought it would be cool to have velcro on it and just slap it onto the glove itself.

Likewise I use an Edge in an MP3 case, although I have mine mounted on my upper arm. Also useful when fitted to a bike - commuting :wink:

Equally I agree is a very good product, can’t wait for the new version.

Forerunner users the wrist guard question has been answered but if your wearing waterproofs can you see the screen?