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OK guy's Christmas is coming and a possible for myself could be a GPS system. I only want a basic one to log where I have been and to put routes on to. I really have not done any research and until 6 months ago did not even know you could get cycling gps.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
I use a basic garmin etrex, which I use for walking and biking, but my experience has been if you're in dense woods, they loose signal quite quickly.  i've also heard that the fancy ones like the Edge 705 don't update quick enough for following trails off-road and are mainly suited for road use.

That's my experience of them.
Well i've got the cheap option. a free tracker on my nokia 5800. records routes, speed and other simple stuff.

For £20 I am thinking of adding viewranger. It shows OS 1:50000 mapping, records routes and lets you create and upload routes. (£20 is for smallest amount of maps you can buy, £50 will get you the whole country)

I know nothing about the proper GPS bike units, and others will advise, but as a freebie my current set up is doing me fine.

Here is an example of the free software, route from BBH last week
I use a Garmin Edge 305 - does everything I need.

Records all my rides, including location, speed, elevation, even does heart rate if you use the strap.

Can also be used a training buddy and you can "race" other peoples data.

As mentioned, if you are "Flying" through the woods or locations with lots of route options, the Garmin is not quick enough to keep up as it turns/updates every 1 second or so (which isnt fast enough) - However, if zoomed in enough, its fine.

I recently done the entire IMB GPS route for Surrey Hills using it, Ive never been to Surrey Hills before, and had no idea where we where going and trusted the course entirely.

If I can navigate the hundred routes through surrey hills using it, then its fine!!

Couple your unit with SportTracks (free) for logging your rides and Memory Map (not free, but easily obtainable) then you have a great system.

Do NOT buy a 705 - it has no better features than a 305, and HomerJ has one, and there is no "feature" difference, just a colour screen and some VERY basic base maps - which are pointless.
basic units are good as long as the route you put into it has been pre-ridden and you know its viable. The problem comes when you are planning a new route say on memory map put it into your garmin and find that some of the trails are not accessable, it is then hit and miss trying to find alternate routes, and in my experience usually ended up bush whacking!

just a thought but if you plan to use it on unfamiliar trails and for planning new routes I would go for something with quality mapping.
Quick question on the 305, am I right in thinking that you cant view maps on it?  

Say I wanted to follow a route I planned, is there a way of pre plotting the route on map software & uploading to the GPS device & then having it point the way.

If im right in thiinking you dont view a map how does it tell you the direction & where to turn, does it show an arrow or something like that?
you plan the route on something like multimap which you have to buy seperately. You then download it to the garmin. you get a choice in how you view your route, either a line showing the trail ahead or a pointer.
the maps are pretty basic though and only show roads, garmin do other maps which show some trails but they are not easy to read and lack detail. they may not be compatible with the 305 but worked with my old 705.

If you are planning new routes etc you should really consider something with OS mapping, they are more expensive but can get you out of trouble. I have a satmap which is awesome if a bit bulky. I used it on the south downs way and helped no end when it started pi**ing it down out on the ridge line west of newhaven, it was getting dark and due to the weather camping on the exposed hill was not really an option. as the maps are standard OS maps all i had to do was look for the nearest campsite and follow the map. This would not have been possible with standard garmin maps.
can only agree with Sailor, maps on Garmin are very basic and I would not rely on them apart from putting you back on a road. The garmin 705 is great if you download maps you have plotted via other softwares (MM, Anquet or free with <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- w --> for example). I thought the 305 could not even have the basic maps from garmin but could be wrong there. I believe there is a new Garmin coming out with touch screen/OS maps. Other alternatives like Satmap 10 are good but a bit bulky on the bike
The garmin 305 doesn't have any maps. You design your route using memory map, or even mapmyride. You then simply upload the track. You then have a line to follow.

In fairness this should get you through, you can always print your os map out like I do for those true getting lost days.

Satmap is indeed the current only bike gps with official os mapping, but each map is expensive.

My point regarding the 305 vs 705 was purely the fact the 705 was billed as the one with maps which it's far from.

In any situation anyway, one would hope you plan any route before you set out, by studying maps and even googlemaps satellite view for things.
Good thread & advice guys, I'm also considering a GPS bike 'poota at some point, and was wondering what all the options are. Good old Sketchy does it again :K)
The 305 'seems' like it'd deliver most of the goods for me, but I must admit I'd prefer something with real mapping, so I could go get purposely lost & find some unexpected goodies.

Did a lot of that kinda riding on the Isle of Man & loved it. It was a PITA carrying & scanning around a big ol OS map on a windy day, but I only needed it occasionally.
I'll keep em peeled for a bargain 305 on ebay etc and try my luck Smile

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