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TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Steveindenmark (IP Logged)
Date: September 01, 2010 04:15PM

I have a TomTom GPS that I use in the car and on my motorbike.


Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: RobH (IP Logged)
Date: September 01, 2010 04:52PM

Don't they only have a couple of hours runtime?

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Steveindenmark (IP Logged)
Date: September 01, 2010 06:31PM

Not even that Rob. Away from the power scource mine has about 15 minutes runtime.
I tried to use it for walking around the town in Pisa, it was useless.

I was thinking of rigging something up with 8 AA rechargeable batteries or a very small 12v rechargeable scooter battery.

I have my Garmin Edge but there is a lot more information on the TomTom and a much better screen. I know people who use their phones with GPS for navigating but I do not want to go to the expense of buying one of those.

I will do a couple of tests over the next few days and see what I think of.

I use a programme called TYRE with my TomTom which allows me to create and download routes from the internet, a bit like Bikely. It works very well once you get the hang of it.


Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: RobH (IP Logged)
Date: September 01, 2010 06:51PM

I'm using a Satmap Active 10 for on-bike navigation. It is a moving map display that you can pre-plan routes on rather than turn-by-turn navigation. 20-30hr runtime. Not cheap but really nice piece of weatherproof kit. I have the full UK 1:50k maps on it, and 1:25k where I go walking. Looked at the Garmins but I didn't like there topo maps, tho I'm running a Garmin Edge 500 computer. Haven't tried getting that to navigate but it is supposed to be able to...

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: hercule (IP Logged)
Date: September 01, 2010 08:44PM

I still swear by my OS maps (apologies to non-UK forumites), usually swear at my GPS.

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Geoff (IP Logged)
Date: September 02, 2010 06:48AM

I like my Garmin Legend HCx. With either City Navigator or Topo micro SD cards it works as a Sat Nav or a plain GPS. I can plot routes on Memory Map on my computer and transfer them to the unit. I can also transfer the track log of a ride and see how much climbing I did or how fast I was going there.

"I thought of that while riding my bike." --Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

2007 ICE QNT
2008 Hase Kettwiesel AL27
2011 Catrike Trail.
1951 Engine in need of partial rebuild.

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: FlyingDutchman (IP Logged)
Date: September 02, 2010 12:03PM

I recently bought a Garmin Oregon 300. It came with Garmin basemaps, and I downloaded free cycling maps for it from Talkytoaster. Download routes from and you can use them as routes on the bike. I used it on a 3 day (nearly) CTC ride on my upright bike in July. It rained a lot, and it was completely waterproof. The 2 rechargeable batteries last about 5-6 hours, so I take an extra set with me. Changing them is quick. I find it entertaining to look at the map, speed, elevation plot etc while cycling. Once home, I convert the log of the route into a file viewable in google maps. Conversion to google earth did not work first time - need to spend some time getting that right.
As it does not 'speak', it is less useful in the car. Also, the screen is smaller than on the Garmin Nuvi 350 I used to have for driving - too small I would say.
We also had it with us over a 3 week stay in Holland, where we cycled a fair bit, and used it to navigate and now have logs of all the rides. All in all highly recommended. No more hassle with maps. I should add that I tend to plan routes on the computer/internet in advance. The on-the-fly routing is ok, but not faultless.

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Steveindenmark (IP Logged)
Date: September 02, 2010 01:41PM

The Garmin Oregon sounds a little like the Garmin 305.

I just wanted to see if I could utilise the Tom Tom seeing as I have it. I can also download hotels, campsites, POIs onto the Tom Tom, depending where I am going.

I have had a lot of success with this idea today.

I bought a small 12v scooter battery which measures 11cmX9cmX3.5cm which is not a bad size. It weighs 1kg. 1kg is ok on a trike or bike but maybe a little on the heavy side to carry around a city for example.

I attached a cigarette socket to the battery with 2 spade connectors and then plugged in the GPS....Hoooray it works.

I left the GPS attached for 9 hours today and the battery charging level has not moved at all. The GPS worked as normal to work and back.

The battery charger for the battery weighs 45g.

There are often concerns about using a GPS other than in a car both because of rainproofing and because it gets bounced around more than in a car, and I can address this.

I use a `normal`GPS on my motorbike. The last one I used was a Packard Bell GPS and still works well after spending about 30,000km, constantly attched to my bike in all weather and never covered up. My current TomTom has only covered about 15000km and did let me down last weekend for about 2 hours when it drowned in a biblical size rainstorm. It is ok now.

I have now made a raincover for it, just in case I ever get into that position again.

I will get this attached to my trike somehow and take it for a test run and come back with some photos.

The downside with the battery I have is that it is not a dry cell battery but I am sure I will find one small enough for my needs.

I am also going to find a powerpack with AA batteries as I doubt if they would either let my battery or a dry cell battery onto an aeroplane, if I ever needed to take it on. This should also make it lighter.

I do not know how long my battery would last but it looks promising for a long tour.


Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Borntoolate (IP Logged)
Date: September 29, 2010 12:29AM

Surely a TomTom will last until your arms get tired? Im not sure the noise will travel far enough to get me home though.
Alternatively I've never known an O.S map to crash or go flat.

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Jonty_biker307 (IP Logged)
Date: October 09, 2010 05:04PM

Hi I'm new - but I have a couple of GPS devices in my time! The best ever for robustness is the Garmin edge 205. I bought mine off ebay for ?50. It has been washed, through the drier (at least twice). Down the side of a quarry (with me ... head 1st on the MTcool smiley Hit by a car, in a river (2 weeks ago) and still works 100%. You can connect to Google Earth, Garmin training site. It is brilliant. You can also upload maps and routes to it (gives basic directions to follow). No hr monitor or cadence though.

Garmin 605 - rubbish. One fall and it broke.
Garmin 705 - managed 3 falls with this ,, then it broke.

Cateyes - look great.. superb for road biking. As soon as you are off road they fall to pieces. Just about to order another GPS (insurance pays up each time I break them)

Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Steveindenmark (IP Logged)
Date: October 09, 2010 08:43PM

Jonty maybe you should get your mum to do the washing and pack in cycling ;O)

My Garmin 305 seems to take the knocks ok as well.


Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: ants (IP Logged)
Date: October 31, 2010 12:11PM


I have a SATMAP active 10 I use for walking. Yes they cost a bit. But it is a great little unit. You can save your trails. It works out your total ascent, decent, time out average speed etc etc. The cost of the maps can vary in price and they also do a handle bar mount for bikes. The unit also has 2 setting for up dating from the GPS 4 secs or 1 second. (4 seconds used for walking).

I have had the satmap location down to 3ft where as a friends GPS had the location to approx 36ft and we were standing next to each other.
The satmap you can replace the top screen so if it gets damaged or scratched it can be changed. It is very waterproof, mine was in my bag that fell into a river, pulled out the satmap dried it off and it was fine.



Re: TomTom on a bike
Posted by: Seamus (IP Logged)
Date: January 20, 2011 02:51PM

ages ago one party have a GPS and he was dismayed that wed stop of at a cafe beside the lake that have realised was there.

His GPS had a sceen not very big whereas our maps could show the route and more properly,

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