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No Frills GPS Computer or Watch

Old 06-29-21, 10:01 AM
  #1  
Noonievut
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No Frills GPS Computer or Watch

I'm looking for very basic GPS functions in a bike computer or watch:
- will be used with two bikes (both road)
- current speed (without a separate sensor), distance, avg speed, time of day, ride time, elevation is a nice to have
- not too concerned about battery life as the bike rests in an area where I have cables ready for charging lights
- easy to use at the start and during the ride is nice, but I don't plan on flipping screens much (given I want only basic information)
- I ride in low light and in darkness sometimes during winter, while not critical that it's backlit or has a button to show details in darkeess, it's a nice to have

I don't care about maps, colour, cadence, integration with anything at all (no HR, Power, Strava, etc.).

Will not be used as a training computer or for navigation, simply for basic details during and after a ride. I've used sensors in the past with basic displays and want to test out the GPS route.

I'm starting to research both bike computers and watches...but any experience and recommendations are welcome -- thanks!
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Old 06-29-21, 04:10 PM
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Watches, from what I'm seeing, are about as expensive as a lower priced dedicated bike computer.

Maybe a Garmin 520 Plus, $210.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Cycling Computer [010-02083-00] | Accessories - Performance Bicycle (performancebike.com)
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Old 06-29-21, 04:14 PM
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Instead of looking for devices that have no frills and none of the stuff you don't want or expect to use, why not just pick a price range and look for devices that have the things you want. If they have more features than you want then just ignore and don't use those "frills"
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Old 06-29-21, 06:16 PM
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Watches are great if you'll use them things that don't involve cycling. But if you're only buying this to use on the bikes, then other computers with larger screens are easier to use and preferred by everyone.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:01 PM
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XOSS G+ XOSS G+
. I've written about it in other threads in this forum. Best value in no-frills GPS wireless bike computers at the moment. Be sure to get the G+, not the G, in order to get support for most common Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:06 AM
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I bought my first GPS in 2001. It met all your criteria, the basic Garmin first version Etrex. But I do not know if anyone makes anything with that little functionality any more. But I doubt that you would be able to find the 20 year old handlebar brackets that you would need to mount it, and the handlebar brackets would be 26mm, not 31.8mm.

It had no internal map and I do not recall if you could attach it to a computer or not, but if you could it would use the proprietary Garmin plug on an RS232 port, that was before USB existed. It used AA batteries. I bought it for kayaking on Lake Superior, I manually entered the lattitude and longitude coordinates for campsites so if the fog came in while I was kayaking towards an island, I would not accidently miss the island I was paddling towards.

If you do not find exactly what you are looking for, you could look for any vintage GPS that is small and has the handlebar brackets available, as they all have had the functionality that you want. They all used AA or AAA batteries, so you do not need to worry about a proprietary Li Ion battery that won't take a charge any more. I use rechargeable NiMH AA batteries for that sort of thing, the white Ikea Ladda or Eneloop rechargables are the best batteries to get. But they might have lost their waterproofing.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:18 AM
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If you specifically want a watch, Garmin's Vivoactive 3 is around $100 right now. Has GPS + barometric altimeter and can give you all bike specs you asked for plus climbing data. Also records heart rate, running, hike/walks, exercise, daily steps, etc. if you choose. As a bike computer w/GPS, it runs about 8hrs on full charge. Or it will run several days as a basic watch without GPS, bike-running stuff. I use one for daily running, phone notifications (vibrate) and occasionally for biking. Detailed results on their phone app upload seamlessly to Strava or Ride with GPS once set up.

If you want this only for biking and don't need a watch, the Wahoo Element Bolt is a good choice and gives you turn by turn nav if you upload to it (helps navigate unfamiliar cities if you're touring). Or look at Garmin computers.
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Old 06-30-21, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by veloz View Post
If you specifically want a watch, Garmin's Vivoactive 3 is around $100 right now.
You maybe have a link to who is selling this for $100 ?. Cheapest I see it is $149. Not a bad price at that but I would not want a watch telling me my cycling metrics for riding. I'd rather have a larger screen that is easily readable.
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Old 07-01-21, 06:38 AM
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Wahoo Bolt
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Old 07-01-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Wahoo Bolt
You'd have to find new old stock, Wahoo is only selling the new color version @$280
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Old 07-01-21, 08:54 AM
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Noonievut the Lezyne Macro Easy GPS cyclometer is designed to be exactly what you’re looking for, and at $80, it’s hard to beat, IMO.

https://ride.lezyne.com/collections/...macro-easy-gps
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Old 07-01-21, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You'd have to find new old stock, Wahoo is only selling the new color version @$280
Shoot, didn't know that.

Last edited by cb400bill; 07-01-21 at 10:14 AM. Reason: No selling in regular forums
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Old 07-01-21, 11:57 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
Shoot, didn't know that.
There's certain to be some NOS around. Competitive Cycles shows the B&W Bolt @ $230. Good unit for that price (Putting it in the cart says Out of Stock)
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Old 07-01-21, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You maybe have a link to who is selling this for $100 ?. Cheapest I see it is $149. Not a bad price at that but I would not want a watch telling me my cycling metrics for riding. I'd rather have a larger screen that is easily readable.
​​​​​​For that price it would be a great gift! There are newer models with more feature but the VA3 feels like a mature product.
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Old 07-01-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​For that price it would be a great gift! There are newer models with more feature but the VA3 feels like a mature product.
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...c-2e0c20be0e0b
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Old 07-01-21, 04:20 PM
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Check out the Garmin Edge 25. It displays time of ride, distance and speed on the main screen using GPS. The other screens are easily accessible with a simple button push.

Mine came with 2 handlebar adapters so it would be easy to move from one bike to another. Biggest negative is that it has a proprietary micro-USB charger; it charges fine to any USB port but if you lose the charger you'll have to get another one from Garmin.

If I had one missing wish list item it would be better data on inclines. I don't know how many rides it saves -- maybe 10? but you connect it to your laptop and save your history to Garmin's website for a complete database of your ridges.
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Old 07-01-21, 05:45 PM
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The Garmin Edge 25 was disco’d back in ‘19 or ‘20, when the 130 Plus launched.
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Old 07-02-21, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
The Garmin Edge 25 was disco’d back in ‘19 or ‘20, when the 130 Plus launched.
I can get the 130 Plus with some BestBuy points I have...it’s the only cycling computer they carry on their site that isn’t much more than I need.
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Old 07-02-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
I can get the 130 Plus with some BestBuy points I...it’s the only cycling computer they carry on their site that isn’t much more than I need.
Oh, the 130 Plus is *definitely* much more than you need and asked for in the OP.

I’m not saying don’t buy it, just be aware that it’s way more than “very basic GPS functions.”

As another example of a more basic unit in addition to the Lezyne Micro Easy I linked upthread, the Bryton Rider 15 Neo, $70 on Amazon, has far fewer capabilities, features, or menu options than 130 Plus:

https://www.brytonsport.com/#/R15NEO

Last edited by chaadster; 07-02-21 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 07-02-21, 07:35 AM
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I think any GPS cycling unit is going to provide more features than what the OP stated he needed. It is just stuff that comes with the device because the features are just easy to add. OP's choice to use them or not.
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Old 07-02-21, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I think any GPS cycling unit is going to provide more features than what the OP stated he needed. It is just stuff that comes with the device because the features are just easy to add. OP's choice to use them or not.
Sure, you could render the OP’s request meaningless since there is no GPS unit so basic, but the fact is that some GPS devices have more features and capabilities than others, and many of those wind up adding menus, sub-menus, and other complexity (e.g. buttons and phone apps) and cost which impact the user experience.
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Old 07-02-21, 09:10 AM
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Thanks everyone, I learned a lot in terms of basic vs. more features, and have some options. My friend has the Bryton so I'll look into that and the Lezyne. Here in Canada some of those deals/prices you get in the US are not as sweet...but I definitely have options.
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Old 07-02-21, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Sure, you could render the OP’s request meaningless since there is no GPS unit so basic, but the fact is that some GPS devices have more features and capabilities than others, and many of those wind up adding menus, sub-menus, and other complexity (e.g. buttons and phone apps) and cost which impact the user experience.
Agree.
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Old 07-08-21, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
XOSS G+. I've written about it in other threads in this forum. Best value in no-frills GPS wireless bike computers at the moment. Be sure to get the G+, not the G, in order to get support for most common Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors.
Where is the data stored? There doesn't seem to be a way to sync or transfer it to ridewithgps, unless I'm wrong. I'm pretty loyal to that platform for now.
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Old 07-08-21, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Where is the data stored? There doesn't seem to be a way to sync or transfer it to ridewithgps, unless I'm wrong. I'm pretty loyal to that platform for now.
"No frills" must mean something, right?

If the device creates GPX (or whatever) files, you can upload them to RWGPS. (Yes, it's more work. But "no frills" means "no frills".)

The XGOSS G+ has a phone app and it can connect to Strava and Training Peaks. RWGPS can pull data from Strava (but I don't think it can pull recorded rides from Strava).

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