GPS recommendations

I’m looking into buying a GPS unit. Garmin seems to be the prevailing brand. Can anyone recommend a particular model? (I’ve seen the Edge 200, 25, 20 models all for modest prices, but is that a pretty basic unit?)
Any other brands recommendations are welcome too.

I guess it depends on what you want for features. If you just want to record your rides there’s lots of free phone apps that do just fine, that’s what I use on regular rides but I have one of these for exploration into the unknown or for cutting trail I build custom maps as transparent overlays on topo maps, there’s some great free maps available.

I’ve been eying the Garmin etrex 20/20x for a while. But I’ve been pretty happy with an app called Gaia GPS for my phone. $20 or so and it’s pretty intuitive. Lots of options for map layers, track recording, offline maps, etc. If you’re using it in the backcountry, battery life can be an issue (always use airplane mode) and a dedicated unit will serve longer per charge, but I have a decent backup battery and haven’t run into too many problems on 3-4 nighters.

Edit: Upon rereading your post, it seems like you’re looking for a computer-type GPS tracker with a speedometer/odometer? Garmin is definitely the standard in that case, but Cateye has some solid offerings, as well as the new stuff coming out at Interbike right now. Wahoo ELEMNT I think is the name of the hot new device.

Not having a phone, I have also been contemplating a GPS.
Any feed back would be helpful. I would want to track distance and be able to make maps of rides.

I currently use a free app as well. Although not cheap, my choice would be the 520 garmin because it has all the features possible. With the 520 just coming out with all the features plus real time strava there are going to be a good number of used 510s available soon. The biggest difference is the real time strava and wifi capability.

I have a Garmin Edge 500 and I like it. It’s nearly perfect as a GPS recorder and racing/training/commuting bike computer. Small, easy to read, super long battery life. It has been discontinued but you can still get new Taiwan (English & Chinese language only) version off ebay for ~ $200. The one thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t have a really intuitive way to return to start of your track, which is a desirable feature if you go for a ride some place and get completely lost.

On the other hand, you can get Edge 200 from MEC for $125 which is a super bargain.

Edge 500 has the following benefits over Edge 200 in my opinion:
Primarily: ANT+ capability (heart rate, wheel speed, pedal cadence, power)
Secondarily: Barometric altimeter (which basically gets you more metres ascent on Strava for bragging purposes)

If you don’t care about heart rate, wheel speed, cadence, or power for training or racing then you won’t be disappointed. I use all of those features so I wouldn’t go for an Edge 200 myself except as a less expensive backup for the 500.
Edit: Of course Edge 200 gives GPS speed when you are actually riding, wheel speed sensor is mostly interesting if you want to use it on a trainer/rollers.

I don’t know much about 510 other than I would stay away from touch screen for a bike computer. I like something with regular buttons. I used my phone for nav while cycle touring and the touch screen didn’t work well when it got wet. But maybe 510 is better than a phone.

I broke my 500 while riding with @bent6543 on Saturday (well he was riding, I was walking wimpily across a bridge and fell off; hilariously) and found out I can return it and get a refurb from Garmin for ~ $100. So if you do go for an Edge 500 you might want to get a North American version used because I don’t know if you can get this replacement deal if you buy Taiwan.

All this depends on whether you need real mapping or not. If you want to create maps after your ride, Edge 200 or Edge 500 will work perfectly. If you want to use a map while you ride, it’s pretty much useless because while you can load a GPX you can’t see any topo etc maps, just a breadcrumb trail and some text instructions e.g. turn by turn instructions for a pre-planned road ride.

So I would say get an Edge 200 (or 500) unless you need something that is useful for mountain biking on poorly marked trails you (and your ride mates) are unfamiliar with. Or if you want to use it for touring.

Hope this helps.

I’ll toss in my $0.02

I’ve got an Edge 200 and I’ve had it since they came out in 2012 (I think…I’m getting old…I forget things) Maybe it was 2013…anyway…

I like it for what it is. It’s been stable, rock solid, never failed to connect, never failed to save, never failed to download. Good, basic, lightweight GPS. My wife got one…her’s was a little finicky and ultimate it was replaced by the dealer. No issues with the new one.

If I were to do it again, I’d get a new Edge 25 that has ANT+. I don’t need a lot of fancy mapping (mine will create a course on Garmin Connect from a saved ride) and you can upload a course from Garmin Connect that you have created. I don’t often do this. Other sites like Strava I’ve had less success with (Although I understand it works better for the 500 and 800 series devices)

The 200 doesn’t have ANT+ and that’s why I’d go to an Edge 25 and add a cadence sensor and an HRM. Again…I’m getting old and decrepit and will likely have a heart attack on the road…so I want to see the high score before I take the big one!

Good luck!

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