Technology thread. Garmin's, iPhones and other gps devices.

Splatter Paint

Retrobike Rider

I tried a used Garmin with ‘breadcrumb’ navigation, it was OK, certainly better than a damp crumpled map in the back pocket. However the lack of an actual map is frustrating - time to put my hand in my pocket I think. They’re not cheap!


Retro Newbie
When it was necessary to download the first application that offered me a phone Strava. I need data only about the amount of the path that I have overcome, then compose it with time. The remaining parameters are not interesting to me :)


Dirt Disciple
Can anyone recommend a watch type GPS that links with Strava and is lower priced? Don't need anything fancy, just the basics without spending hundreds of dollars. I have a Bryton Rider 530 on my modern bike but a unit that big wouldn't look right on my vintage bikes. With a watch style I can attach it to the handlbar and it won't be too big.


Dirt Disciple
The History Man":1miy4tmd said:
not a watch but a garmin edge 25 is tiny and does the job. a 500 isn't much bigger

I actually went another route. I got the free Wahoo phone app that will record rides and you can download to Strava. I tested it when I went on a ride with my modern bike that has my Bryton gps. I kept my phone in my jersey pocket. When I got back home I downloaded both the Bryton and Wahoo recordings to Strava and they were almost exactly the same. Over a 34.XX mile ride they were less than .25 mile and one minute different.

Wahoo is actually pretty outstanding. So I'll keep the regular computers I have on my vintage bikes and just record the ride with my phone in my pocket. I'm an older dude, this new technology makes my head spin haha


rBotM Winner
Hi I’ve just resent this earlier post. Adding that this app is free, and works great on any smartphone with gps. I’ve used it many times I even store my own offline routes produced as described below on my phone. Carrying the battery pack certainly stops the reception running out of power. It even saved me getting totally lost in the Black Forest in Germany. I was using a paper trail guide when we ended up not being where we wanted to be, fortunately I had tracked my route on my phone using ViewRanger and just reversed my tracked route which easily took me back to my car.

Previous posting details for anyone interested.

Just found this thread and personally I now use a smartphone for all my mapping/ gps cycling/ hiking requirements, and for designing my own off road and road rides. I use an app called ViewRanger and have found it to be both efficient and accurate. You register with a psuedonym name, your email address and password, you can download both free and bought map tiles just for the area you want and the maps I use are the open cycle maps. These show mountain trails suitable for bikes as well as footpaths etc. I have used it regularly in the UK, Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany. You can plot your own routes on a laptop at home on a larger screen setting waypoints from the map you can then sync to your phone and download the route for offline use, it gives you loads of information and I set my off road mountain trail routes to warn me with an alarm if I venture 10 meters off my designated route if it is a new route that I have not cycled before. I simply put my smartphone on my handlebars (in a suitable waterproof case and holder) I link the phone with a usb cable attached to a pre charged battery pack on my down tube bag and then have no problem with the phone battery running down in the middle of nowhere. I click on start route and follow the directional arrow on the screen. You can also record a route as you ride/walk if that is your preference. You don’t need the internet just set the app setting on your phone to allow location whilst using the phone. I believe you can also link the route to a friend who can track you while you are riding (although never used this option) Other people can also publish their routes, just be careful, some have not tried them and these can be dangerous. I did one in Spain, off road and the track definitely was not rideable. I came off twice , once with a sheer drop to my right, also always wise to ride with another person in case you get into difficulty. Hope this is all helpful.


Old School Grand Master
Bad news. My G armin seems to have given up the Ghost or gone home as my Devonian dad would say.

It fires up without issue but goes straight to some sort of diagnostic page that keeps looping me through all these different pages showing available colours etc.

I am in the market for a new one. It was seeming like a shoot out between the Garm in 830 and the Wahoo Roam. I have since seen a Bryton online that looks OK as well.

Can anyone give me any feedback on these?

Also, is it possible to use one without a smartphone? I see you can set them up with a phone 'app'. The mere word app sends me into a rage. My Nokia doesn't do them. It does do Snake though!

Thanks in advance.


Retro Guru

You need the app and wifi to update the Wahoo, there is no software for it. A benefit, if you are running linux at home. Otherwise you can't update the Garmin without software, as far as I know, and need the app, as well. It's tricky :LOL:


Dirt Disciple
About 20 years ago, I had an Campagnolo ergobrain with Polar s710, which gave me loads of info (speed, distance, altitude, power, HR, temperature, calories, etc). Then some other road rider passed by me and I noticed they didn't even have even the most basic cycle computer! Eventually, after about 5 years, I got sick of all the wires and sold everything, rode without anything (because it's lighter and I hate replacing batteries). I stayed that way for about 15 years.

Fast forward to 2020. I had a bit of a fear of traffic after 2 car accidents in Australia. So I decided to get (or try) a garmin varia radar (based on word of mouth on cycling forums). To get this working, you either need a smartphone (my old one with Android 4.2 didn't cut it) or else buy some kind of head unit. I settled for a wahoo elemnt bolt. I like it because it's wireless.

I didn't get it for the GPS function. Because I mainly know where I'm going. But I'm about to go on a "gravel" route that I 'programmed' into the device (using both komoot & ridewithgps)... offroad trails aren't shown on the default maps on the bolt... There was a bit of a learning curve, but it worked. Hopefully I'll be able to test it out some time next week!

I'm one of those people who not lag behind new technology a fair bit (now that I'm older, when I was young I embraced it all).
After reading the book "future shock", I find it all very stressful (the decisions and button presses).
The last bike I bought was in 2007. I don't really use my smartphone much and not addicted to strava/zwift (don't have either).

I do like riding with the varia (at least on quiet roads, on busy roads it's of little use).

But I'm not really into all the modern electronic technology on the bikes themselves, such as electronic shifting.
Maybe if I tried it I'd like it, but I get sick of plugging in devices to charge, so I'm trying to keep them all to a minimum.

Old and Creaky

Retro Newbie
I have a Garmin 520 for everyday use. I rarely need the mapping, but when I do it does the job, albeit with difficulty seeing it - tiny screen. I keep the phone for back up maps, but never use it for in-ride logging these days as when I’d did the battery didnt last an all day ride, removing the main reason for carrying a phone in the first place.
Before the 520 I got a Garmin 20/25. Perfect for retro rides as it is small, a bit like an old computer.

I love GPS, even on retro (As the Garmin 20/25). Means I can log my ride, my wife can keep tags on me and best of all I only need one computer. They may seem expensive, but weighed against the cost of needing a computer per bike they aren’t. Plus, as mentioned above, if I need to phone someone or want photos or a bit of google mapping help, the phone hasn’t been discharged.