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what options to get with gps?

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I am thinking of a GPS unit to use when trail riding. Would like to be able to map where we are going, help keep from getting lost in woods, and be able to download maps of the areas we ride in. What are the cheaper basic models that will do this?

Will I need a externally mounted antena or will the unit still work when it is tucked in my fanny pack?

Probably would need a water resistant model too.

I see some have handlebar mounts, are those pretty solid or will they have problems on a off road bike when mounted on the bars?

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Magellan Sportrak from Costco. Comes with topo map cd, USB cable, and carrying case all for under $200.00. Ram mount connects it to the handlebars. Here's a pic of the mount. I'm very happy witht he setup. Where it's mounted on the handlebars looks like it would be in the way, but I never know it's there when riding.

GPS.jpg

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The Garmin Legend is a good basic unit, $130 shipped on Amazon.com with a data cable.. You'll also want a RAM mount $39.00 plus shipping from cycoactive.com.

I use Lithium AA batteries in my Legend and I've had four 4-hr+ rides on a set and they are still showing a full charge on the battery indicator. I've never had any problems with vibrations effecting the GPS in any way. The Legend is a waterproof unit.

I am thinking of a GPS unit to use when trail riding. Would like to be able to map where we are going, help keep from getting lost in woods, and be able to download maps of the areas we ride in. What are the cheaper basic models that will do this?

Will I need a externally mounted antena or will the unit still work when it is tucked in my fanny pack?

Probably would need a water resistant model too.

I see some have handlebar mounts, are those pretty solid or will they have problems on a off road bike when mounted on the bars?

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you guys ever have a problem with the gps unit coming out of the holder in a crash or rough terrain?

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you guys ever have a problem with the gps unit coming out of the holder in a crash or rough terrain?

I have my RAM mount on a bit loose so that it can rotate durring a crash. I've never had the GPS pop out of the "holder".

Just whatever you do don't get the POS plastic Garmin OEM bicycle mount they sell as it's not suited for this type of use. The RAM mount is only a couple bucks more and it's well suited for offroad use.

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you guys ever have a problem with the gps unit coming out of the holder in a crash or rough terrain?

Not at all. I made a simple modification to my Ram mount before I ever went on a ride. If you look at the rear of the mount in the picture you'll see two tabs on the fingers that spread when you snap the GPS unit into the mount. I drilled a small hole in each tab and I run a small zip tie through the holes and suck the fingers together so they can't spread. It also keeps the GPS from rattling or moving in the mount. When I get back I just cut the zip tie. I keep a bunch of them in the rear fender pack so if I ever need to remove it while riding it's no big deal.

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Some of the models are available with a connector to accept an external power supply (i.e. the bike's battery -- if your's has one). An oft-mentioned problem when running on the normal internal batteries is that vibrations from rough riding can occasionally break the battery connection for a millisecond or two....but after a few of those, the GPS unit either shuts off or resets itself. If you can't hook into the bike battery, make sure there is no room for movement in the battery holder of the GPS unit.

Also, I highly recommend getting a GPS with a color screen. It is so much easier to distinguish all the different markings on the maps when they are different colors. My buddy and I got identical Garmin units, but he opted for the black & white while I got color. He's trying to sell his now so he can buy a color one too!

Cheers,

Mac

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