Monthly Archives: January 2010

First Look: Garmin Edge Bike GPS

I just purchased a Garmin Edge 500 because it will help me document my bike path explorations as well as keep an very useful log of all my runs, calorie burn.

As a Test I did a 3.33 mile run from the Little River Cafe to Ft. Ancient at Morgan’s Canoe Livery.

Utilizing a USB connection and the Garmin Connect Website, I downloaded and named my Activity Details: Little River Cafe to Fort Ancient 3.33 Mile Run

Photo: Gramin Edge 500 Mounted on my Treck Road Bike 2.1Oregonia to Corwin 037Garmin Edge 500 Mounted

Utilizing Google Maps, the Garmin Connect website allowed me to see exactly where I pushed the START button at the Little River Cafe.

That’s awesome because it is so accurate. I was just about to enter the bike path when I pushed the button. It tagged me exactly in the right spot.

Here is an image of the entire length of the 3.3 mile run.

Well, it was accurate at the start where it was wide open to the satellites. But the reception on the Little Miami Valley bike path is not great with all the trees. I ran this route yesterday, January 22 [read: winter]. I imagine in the summer I will get worse readings with lots of leaves on the trees. Still, one of the reasons I like this section of the Little Miami Bike Trail is due to the lower temperatures in the heat of summer.

Gets the Drift with a Weak Signal
At some points, the GPS line is 50 feet or more off the actual trail. I don’t know if you call that drift or what, but I could tell the reception wasn’t that good. Often times it would register I was going 14 miles per hour when I was clearly over 16mph. However with the GPS when it finally gets a position on me, it does get a fairly accurate overall calculation, even with the drift. I compared this with my Cateye bike computer and it was close. Stay tuned for back to back comparison of my Cateye Computer and my Garmin Edge 500.

In this image you can see the tracking is slightly off the actual bike path [see image for: Little Miami Scenic Trail]

The last mile, just past the I-71 Bridge, the signal was very weak. you can see the red line ends and the red pin (my final destination) ends. You can clearly see the bike path and just how far off the red line is from the path. This path is in a gully surrounded by trees, bad for reception.

4 out of 5 Star Rating
All and all, I am not too disapointed. After all, I can hook this up to my computer. I download the Garmin GPS data via USB port via a very cool garmin connect website. The Garmin Connect website downloads and journals, sets goals and makes graphis of all my bike trips. Not a bad feature to keep track of your progress or decline in your workout routine.

Here are some screenshot graphs of Speed, Elevation, Heart Rate, Cadence and Temperature found on the site.

Speed

Elevation

Heart Rate, Cadence (I don’t have a cadence device yet) and Temperature.
There is even a player that overlays any two metrics. This graph shows elevation and speed.

There are other features I wll be exploring with you and sharing on my blog.

Here is a winter bikepath slideshow I took of this stretch between Ft. Ancient and the Little River Cafe

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