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TECH NEWS

People's Choice: Your favourite GPS apps and devices revealed

Plan, navigate and record your rides

 

We thought the GPS debate was about apps v devices, but a surprising number of you still like old-fashioned paper maps. Let’s take a look at the numbers from our People’s Choice GPS survey.

The big news is a lot of you still love your Ordnance Survey maps. They were the choice of 16% of respondents, even though we didn’t mention them at all in the introduction to the survey. If it had been a maps vs apps vs devices poll, we’re willing to bet maps would have done even better.

Nevertheless dedicated GPS devices topped the poll, with 49% preferring them, and the remaining 35% going for GPS apps on phones. Set aside the cartographiles and that’s a 58/48 split among GPS users in favour of devices — close enough that the debate will doubtless continue forever in forums and comment sections.

But which devices and apps do people prefer? The envelope please:

7= Ride with GPS — 5%

Ride With GPS 1.jpeg

Route editing works really well on this planning site, and there’s an associated app so you can take routes with you, or you can download to your device.

7= MapMyRide — 5%

mapmyride.jpeg

One of the earliest and most popular route-planning sites also has an app for iPhone and Android.

5 Garmin Edge 1000 — 6% (from £326.18)

Garmin Edge 1000 - ride map

If you can imagine a GPS function, Garmin's big-screen top model probably has it, and more besides. It's functionally a big improvement on the previous range-topper, the Edge 810, and the price has come down to sensible levels from the initial £440 for the base unit.

4 Garmin Edge 520 —10% (from £189.99)

Garmin Edge 500 Black/Red plus extras!

Released just last year, the Edge 520 was an update from the popular 510, adding support for Strava Live Segments to the device's wide range of GPS functions so segment-chasers can see not only where your local segments are, but how you're doing against the leader, a chosen rider or yourself.

3 Garmin Edge 500 — 14%(£150 with cadence & heart rate sensors)

Garmin Edge 520 (1).jpg

Theoretically long discontinued, the Edge 500 is still available if you know where to look, and very keenly priced. This bundle from Halfords includes sensors, so you're getting a full-featured training aid rather than just the ride recorder the Edge 500 head unit offers on its own.

2 Ordnance Survey Active Map — 16%

Landranger Active Map 2.jpeg

The beloved Ordnance Survey calls its laminated Landranger series maps 'Active Map' to reflect their weather-resistance. If you've never pored over an OS map planning a route you've missed one of cycling's little pleasures (or you have a life). The advantage over web-based mapping tools is that you can see a huge area at once and all the tiny lanes and points of interest between start and finish points.

1 Strava — 19%

strava people choice.png

The all-conquering virtual time trial and ride recording app is number one, thanks, we're sure, to the addictive qualities of segment-bagging and the urge to get ranked in the KOM table to the top of your local killer hill, even if it's just a Fenland rail overbridge.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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22 comments

Avatar
Sadoldsamurai | 7 years ago
1 like

Whislt I too am a STRAVA addict.. (is there a STRAVA anonomous for older riders who can no longer get their heart rates up enough to get any more PBs?) I am surprised that Viewranger doesn't figure in the listings.

This could be because the vast majority of respondents were roadies, so OS style location is as crucial?

 

Avatar
1961BikiE | 7 years ago
0 likes

I'll give it a go with auto scroll turned off and see what happens.

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andyeb | 7 years ago
2 likes

Or if you can't face the proper competition on Strava, you could use one of the other apps like Endomondo.

Avatar
Ramz | 7 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

thanks, we're sure, to the addictive qualities of segment-bagging and the urge to get ranked in the KOM table to the top of your local killer hill, even if it's just a Fenland rail overbridge.

This is surely the least likely reason why Strava is so popular?

Avatar
kil0ran | 7 years ago
0 likes

The problem with most of these apps is that your data is locked away (difficult to liberate data from Strava for example if you want to stop using the service). I use the free Wahoo Fitness app which connects to pretty much everything. You don't need any Wahoo kit to use it and all rides are permanently stored on your phone. Every ride I do gets uploaded to Strava and exported to email in a Garmin format, that way I have a permanent record of "training" I can upload to any service of my choice. For Android + Strava users it will also get your rides into Google Fit if you want to use that.

Avatar
Trickytree1984 replied to kil0ran | 7 years ago
1 like
kil0ran wrote:

The problem with most of these apps is that your data is locked away (difficult to liberate data from Strava for example if you want to stop using the service). I use the free Wahoo Fitness app which connects to pretty much everything. You don't need any Wahoo kit to use it and all rides are permanently stored on your phone. Every ride I do gets uploaded to Strava and exported to email in a Garmin format, that way I have a permanent record of "training" I can upload to any service of my choice. For Android + Strava users it will also get your rides into Google Fit if you want to use that.

Not true. You can export all your rides in GPX format from the settings page of Strava. You could also use a free service like tapirik to sync with other services. You'll find anyone who is anyone already offers Strava sync

Avatar
1961BikiE | 7 years ago
1 like

Edge 25 - Just got one from Aldi last week. What battery life are folk getting. The manual reckons "up to 10 hours". Did an hour yesterday and the level indicator showed about 50%. I've turned off GLONAS & don't run it connected to anything else during ride. Do have the auto scroll running. Would that really use more power than on fixed screen? I intend to get a hrm strap but that will just add to consumption.

Anyone care to comment?

Avatar
tomascjenkins replied to 1961BikiE | 7 years ago
0 likes
1961BikiE wrote:

Edge 25 - Just got one from Aldi last week. What battery life are folk getting. The manual reckons "up to 10 hours". Did an hour yesterday and the level indicator showed about 50%. I've turned off GLONAS & don't run it connected to anything else during ride. Do have the auto scroll running. Would that really use more power than on fixed screen? I intend to get a hrm strap but that will just add to consumption.

Anyone care to comment?

Used a Garmin Varia Radar with the 25, drains the 25 quickly. Plus used it with Bluetooth on for text alerts. Using a heart rate monitor would drain it quick as well. Now got a 520 great battery life and synch's about a zillion times quicker than the 25

Avatar
francis40s replied to tomascjenkins | 7 years ago
0 likes
tomascjenkins wrote:
1961BikiE wrote:

Edge 25 - Just got one from Aldi last week. What battery life are folk getting. The manual reckons "up to 10 hours". Did an hour yesterday and the level indicator showed about 50%. I've turned off GLONAS & don't run it connected to anything else during ride. Do have the auto scroll running. Would that really use more power than on fixed screen? I intend to get a hrm strap but that will just add to consumption. Anyone care to comment?

Used a Garmin Varia Radar with the 25, drains the 25 quickly. Plus used it with Bluetooth on for text alerts. Using a heart rate monitor would drain it quick as well. Now got a 520 great battery life and synch's about a zillion times quicker than the 25

Hm, I haven't had any massive complaints about the battery life of mine, I usually charge it every 5 or 6 hours of riding and it still shows plenty of juice left even using with bluetooth, HRM, speed, and cadence sensors. I do go fixed screen though. 

I will also agree that sync is irritatingly slow though, and omitting power meter compatability is a bit frustrating (will probably also end up switching to a 520 once I'm at a level that I can justify getting one). 

Avatar
slbovey replied to 1961BikiE | 7 years ago
0 likes
1961BikiE wrote:

Edge 25 - Just got one from Aldi last week. What battery life are folk getting. The manual reckons "up to 10 hours". Did an hour yesterday and the level indicator showed about 50%. I've turned off GLONAS & don't run it connected to anything else during ride. Do have the auto scroll running. Would that really use more power than on fixed screen? I intend to get a hrm strap but that will just add to consumption. Anyone care to comment?

 

When i first got my Garmin 500 the battery never reported less than 99% even after a 7 hour event - Garmin suggested leaving it powered on to flatten the battery and then do a full charge - has worked perfectly since then (just for info when i did that my 500 lasted nearly 20 hours with the backlight turned on as well - it wasn't recording but GPS was on)

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
1 like

I use the Edge 1000 but look forward to the day phones are waterproof and have ANT+ and don't need seperate dongles to connect to sensors. Strava App really will be king and conqueror then.

Avatar
CycloTron07 replied to tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

I use the Edge 1000 but look forward to the day phones are waterproof and have ANT+ and don't need seperate dongles to connect to sensors. Strava App really will be king and conqueror then.

 

If you're not an Apple devotee, then the Android world already offers such functionality.

Lots of Sony phones (and I'm sure other brands but I have a Sony) are IPX7 rated and come with built in ANT+.

Don't use Strava, but IpBike on Android (and only Android) is one heck of an App.  Not the prettiest but certainly functionally excellent. Also comes with a ~2000km "trial" period before having to pay the one-time fee ($9.99).

Avatar
Guanajuato replied to tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

I use the Edge 1000 but look forward to the day phones are waterproof and have ANT+ and don't need seperate dongles to connect to sensors. Strava App really will be king and conqueror then.

Some sony & samsungs already have ANT+, and some or those that are sort of waterproof-ish.

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Condor Andy | 7 years ago
2 likes

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

Avatar
MartyMcCann replied to Condor Andy | 7 years ago
1 like
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

I had the same request just today.

Avatar
Redvee replied to Condor Andy | 7 years ago
0 likes
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

Can beat that, 'she' made two follow requests. One overnight and by time I looked at the request 'her' profile had been deleted but it didn't stop 'her' making another profile and follow request. Looked like Lizzie Armitstead in her avatar.

Avatar
drpau replied to Redvee | 7 years ago
0 likes
Redvee wrote:
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

Can beat that, 'she' made two follow requests. One overnight and by time I looked at the request 'her' profile had been deleted but it didn't stop 'her' making another profile and follow request. Looked like Lizzie Armitstead in her avatar.

Whats the agenda with this? Is it so they can gain more specific location info to pinch your bike? I had one the other day from Axel F.

Avatar
Condor Andy replied to drpau | 7 years ago
0 likes
drpau wrote:
Redvee wrote:
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

Can beat that, 'she' made two follow requests. One overnight and by time I looked at the request 'her' profile had been deleted but it didn't stop 'her' making another profile and follow request. Looked like Lizzie Armitstead in her avatar.

Whats the agenda with this? Is it so they can gain more specific location info to pinch your bike? I had one the other day from Axel F.

That's my thinking too.  Either that or it's a really pathetic attempt to get you to click on the link in 'her' bio.

I've had two requests today from two different people in Amsterdam with a weird link in their bios.

Avatar
leaway2 replied to Condor Andy | 7 years ago
0 likes
Condor Andy wrote:
drpau wrote:
Redvee wrote:
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

Can beat that, 'she' made two follow requests. One overnight and by time I looked at the request 'her' profile had been deleted but it didn't stop 'her' making another profile and follow request. Looked like Lizzie Armitstead in her avatar.

Whats the agenda with this? Is it so they can gain more specific location info to pinch your bike? I had one the other day from Axel F.

That's my thinking too.  Either that or it's a really pathetic attempt to get you to click on the link in 'her' bio.

I've had two requests today from two different people in Amsterdam with a weird link in their bios.

I'm feeling left out. What have you got that I havn't (dont answer that!) sad

Avatar
The Rake replied to leaway2 | 7 years ago
0 likes
leaway2 wrote:
Condor Andy wrote:
drpau wrote:
Redvee wrote:
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

Can beat that, 'she' made two follow requests. One overnight and by time I looked at the request 'her' profile had been deleted but it didn't stop 'her' making another profile and follow request. Looked like Lizzie Armitstead in her avatar.

Whats the agenda with this? Is it so they can gain more specific location info to pinch your bike? I had one the other day from Axel F.

That's my thinking too.  Either that or it's a really pathetic attempt to get you to click on the link in 'her' bio.

I've had two requests today from two different people in Amsterdam with a weird link in their bios.

I'm feeling left out. What have you got that I havn't (dont answer that!) sad

 

she will get round to you. Going through the Andy's at the moment...she has been stalking me for a week, as have those ones in Amsterdam. They have no rides logged.

to me, if they don't ride they don't follow and I have blocked them

Avatar
ososxe replied to Condor Andy | 7 years ago
0 likes
Condor Andy wrote:

Better watch out on Strava.  I've had numerous follow requests recently from several accounts all claiming to be someone called 'Chloe Hunter' who wants me to 'check her out' on Snapsext(dot)net.......

How about no! "Chloe".

 

You too? And I thought I was special....  7

Avatar
MrB123 | 7 years ago
5 likes

Got yer Garmin pictures the wrong way round there...

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