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Thread: GPS tracking tools

  1. #1
    americancyclo's Avatar
    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Question GPS tracking tools

    I know that there are data dorks among the cyclist set, and I'm curious how y'all track your rides. I've played around with a few apps, and would love to hear others opinions on what works and what doesn't. I'm only using smartphone apps now, but dream of moving up to a garmin device with cadence and HRM. I like to see how small changes in my route can affect how quickly I can get to/from work.

    Runkeeper: I use this the most, but have been annoyed recently with the 30 second delayed start if you don't have a GPS lock. My evening commute starts in an underground garage with no GPS signal. I like the fact that I can export my ride data as a GPX.

    MapMyRide: Started using this during their TdF challenge. Really annoying that 'Workouts' can't be assigned to 'Routes' from the mobile app. That's nearly a dealbreaker for me. I do like the hill climb data on the webpage and the way they identify the classes of climbs.

    Strava: Just started using this morning. Simple interface and the competitive aspect of it is interesting.

    Anyone have thoughts on these, or experiences with other programs? I know there are a lot out there.

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    For training rides, I have a Garmin 310XT and track mileage as well as normalized/average power (with all sorts of other stuff like HR, VI, peak power, 5s power, etc...). I load the files into WKO+, which assigns me a training stress score so I can track acute training load and cronic training load based off of my functional threshold power over time. I have two years worth of data for this and I use the Training Peaks online program for sharing workout files with coaches.

    Otherwise, the daily commute and errands are pretty simple and don't change much, so I just add those miles into an excel spreadsheet where I keep track of my workouts and distances on a day/month/year basis.

  3. #3
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    I'm an engineer, so data dorkiness is an occupational hazard and likely genetic. Plus I have an annual mileage competition with a college classmate. I started using a Polar 710 several years ago and switched to a Garmin 500 about a year ago.

    For training rides with power, I use Golden Cheetah. I log everything at the Garmin site (good for keeping that annual mileage log current). I keep a spreadsheet for tracking my commuting (started it when my commute went from 4-5 to 11-12 miles each way). I recently found out about Strava and it looks very interesting, especially the Android app. I am pretty pleased with what is available for the Garmin devices; the upload process is reasonably effortless. Strava may become the 1st Android app for cycling I actually use. I don't like the battery consumption the phone apps require and prefer the dedicated bike systems.

    I was not impressed with Polar's software when I was using it; the competition from Garmin & others may force them to fix the PC and web-based software.

  4. #4
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    I've got a Garmin Edge 305. Upgrading to a 800 in the near future.

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    Edge 705. RideWithGPS.com has weededm e off of MapMyRide. It is easier for me to use and I get better results.

  6. #6
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    RunMeter on my iPhone. Syncs pretty easily to Google Calendar, Twitter, etc. Good "route" capabilities for commutes and frequent trips. Even gives you "behind best by 2 mins" announcements.

  7. #7
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    +1 data geek.

    I like seeing things on Google maps.

    I've tried Mapmyride and wasn't sold, or got bored I forget.

    I'm not convinced my phone (which is always on me and charged) can't do a better job than a garmin, maybe with addition. I picked up something weird online, a Mainnav md-600. It has all the functions of a decent computer with coordinate logging. It worked great for training. As a beta software aficionado the accompanying software (written in Taiwanese) does actually work despite the manuals repeated attempts at foiling my attempts.

    The Move bike computer software wasn't bad, nice and simple.

    GPS is great unless your under high tension lines. (I've seen people hit mach 3 in a fraction of a second) Crazy things happen there.

    Good thread I had been curious about this topic. +1 internets.

  8. #8
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    As for others' complaints that phone apps drain the battery... I've never had a problem with it.

    Also, the GPS on my iPhone does tend to jump around near tall buildings downtown. Further afield is no problem.

  9. #9
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    I can't imagine a phone working well for long rides. I'm not aware of a smart phone that can deal with constant use of the GPS for more than a few hours without killing the battery. My Garmin Edge 705 has survived quite a few 14+ hour rides.

  10. #10
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    Ah... yeah, I never ride for more than a few hours. My maximum probably coincides with the phone's

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