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Etrex 20 - Is it what I want


JimM169
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Hi all

 

First time post so please be gentle with me !

 

I'm looking to get a GPS unit for use on my bike so that I can explore new routes etc. I know there are bike specific products eg Edge 800 but these are expensive and as I already have the basic Edge 200 for tracking my ride the 800 would be a bit overkill. After looking around I think the Etrex 20 would fit the bill but can I check a couple of things first

 

1. My main priority is that I can create a route on my PC, download this to the unit and the unit will then follow the same route ideally with some sort of notification of turns etc If I use the CityNavigator maps will the Etrex be able to do this? I have seen some confilicting posts that the unit ignores the downloaded route at times and tries to force its own suggestion of the best way from A-B

 

2.Can I have more than one set of maps on the unit at a time eg. CityNavigator, OS 1:50 & OSM

 

3.If for any reason I go off course during the ride will the unit navigate me back to the next waypoint or straight to the end destination

 

I'm sure I'll have more questions but it'd be great to answer these for the minute

 

Thanks

 

Jim

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The eTrex 20 is not the GPS you are looking for....

 

For bike riding, I would highly recommend considering a Garmin Oregon 450 or 550 -> the scrreen is much larger and easier to read and with touchscreen interface much easier to manipulate while riding.

 

The Oregon 450/550 are very mature products with very stable software, and many options exist to mount them to your bike, etc.

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The Oregon and Dakota's have a very accurate odometer in my opinion, and the average MPH features (moving, stopping, total) work very well on those units.

 

However, the one huge downside to the Garmin non-bicycling series is you can't easily reset the overall odometer, only the trip odometer. Which means if you use your unit for anything else but bike riding, the overall odometer will be wrong. The Edge series allows you to reset your odometer (and I think edit the numbers as well).

 

Thus the reason why I maintain that on the Oregon/Dakota/Etrex 20 etc series the feature to reset or edit the odometer is left out on purpose, because the Edge has this feature, and it's the same software more or less.

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Yes, An Oregon 450 would be better as mentioned. They are pretty cheap these days with the new Oregons being released.

 

1. Yes, you can follow a route. If you have routable maps, it will calculate the route between route waypoints on the unit. City Nav will work as long as you are staying on roads. There are also free maps that will work such as Openstreetmaps.

 

2. Yes.

 

3. It will take you to the next waypoint.

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Thanks guys, based on the replies been doing a bit more researching and the Dakota 20 looks like definite maybe. Not quite as bulky as the the Oregon but bigger screen than the Etrex. Only concern is that I've seen a number of posts that mention the display can be hard to read, does anyone have any realtime experience of the Dakota when attached to a bike and could comment on this issue ?

 

Just for clarification I intend to keep my Edge 200 for data logging etc so the odometer issue is a non-issue, the extra unit will be for navigtion only.

 

Thanks

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Thanks guys, based on the replies been doing a bit more researching and the Dakota 20 looks like definite maybe. Not quite as bulky as the the Oregon but bigger screen than the Etrex. Only concern is that I've seen a number of posts that mention the display can be hard to read, does anyone have any realtime experience of the Dakota when attached to a bike and could comment on this issue ?

 

Just for clarification I intend to keep my Edge 200 for data logging etc so the odometer issue is a non-issue, the extra unit will be for navigtion only.

 

Thanks

 

I also have a Dakota, and find the smaller screen much harder to see and/or use even a arms length. It would be a matter of personal preference, but the Oregon has bigger screen, easier to touch interface, and more pixels of data to display.

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One strength the eTrex series has is battery life. The screen is very sunlight readable but smaller, not terribly small though. The sunlight readable helps a lot with battery life.

It also stays out of the way with it's smaller footprint.

 

The Oregon is definitely a better unit - particularly the new ones set to come out, but you need to assess all your needs. I am now changing batteries weekly instead of daily with my Colorado.

The accuracy is pretty good with the GLONASS system on my eTrex 30, noticably better than it was on my Colorado. As for the bike mounting options, I have no issues with that. You can buy a clip for $10 from GPSCity and use a couple zip ties on the handlebar, or you can get more fancy if you want.

 

If you can find an outdoor shop nearby you should really pick up an Oregon, Dakota, eTrex and compare the screen/chassis for what is your preference. My eTrex is optimized for my needs hiking and canoeing, both tasks it performs fantastically. I use it in the car for navigation as well to be honest, even though I have a Nuvi I tend to be routing to a cache and I don't bother loading caches to multiple GPS units.

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