Customer Review

18 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply disappointing, 26 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Handheld GPS System (Electronics)
I've hung off buying a GPS for my road bike because I was waiting for them to mature beyond being simply another 'gadget' until they became genuinely useful. I thought that time was now, but having taken the plunge I think I've been proven wrong.

There are several problems with this device:
1. When it says that it comes with base maps it means "base maps", as in, "for all practical purposes no maps"; just A roads round where I live: not enough for any form of road navigation. They are available from Garmin at £130 extra; making the device effectively £340 (plus a bicyle mount which will set you back another £10 at least). £350 seems highly overpriced compared to sophisticated car based navigation systems. Of course you can lay in your route in to the device without maps (use something like the excellent tracklogs product), but in which case you may as well buy a cheaper model without 'mapping capability'.

2. You will also notice that the colour 'sunlight-readable' screen can be barely readable in all but the brightest 'sunlight' conditions: if you are using a road bike and are down on the bars the light you obscure makes it very difficult to read. A higher contrast black and white version might be a better bet (especially if you aren't just a fair weather cyclist!) With the backlight on, the screen is a delight to behold, but I can't imagine the batteries would last very long with this on continuously, and pressing a button every 5 minutes to get the screen to come on to check your speed/navigation reminds me of the early days of Sinclair LED watches!

3. Also note that the product can not seem to tell which way North is unless you are moving (Garmin's vista product contains an electronic compass). I believe this is due to some genuine technical reason, but again, it diminishes the value of the device. Note that I gave up on mine and returned it before I managed to explore this much further, but if you just want to be able to point the device in a direction and figure which way it is then the next model up (the Vista) seems the better bet (despite therefore paying extra for the mapping capability which allows you to pay an extra £130 for maps!)

Overall I found the product hugely disappointing and just not very practical for navigating a road bike. If you want a bling bling gadget go for it - it seems to fit that bill, if you want to do some serious road bike navigation in overcast conditions then I think you will probably be better off buying the black and white version (with - I presume - far better screen contrast) or, like me, stick with a good old fashioned map shoved in your pocket.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Jan 2008 22:21:59 GMT
Bruce Cowan says:
What do you expect with a GPS without an electronic compass? You can't find which way you are facing from satellites.

Posted on 9 Mar 2008 20:42:06 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 27 Apr 2012 10:35:09 BDT]

Posted on 10 Apr 2008 00:33:41 BDT
B. Douglas says:
I have to agree with M.P. Cochran. The review reflects the fact that the user bought a GPS that was not specifically designed for use on a Bike. No GPS or Sat Nav will orientate north unless you are moving, and the ones with a compass built in have to be held level and would be affected by any iron used in the bike.

I would encourage anyone reading this review to research carefully the GPS they need for each purpose. I already own two - one for hiking and canoeing (from the eTrex range), another for the car (Garmin Nuvi 360). Unfortunately there isn't a single GPS that is good at everything, but this one comes close if you are willing to invest in the appropriate software I.e. routable maps, contour data and chart data can be transferred to this device if you have the technical skills, time and money!
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