Minimalistic GPS device for bikes

Hi all, this is my first post here :slight_smile:

I am considering buying a GPS device that I can attach to my (cross-country) mountain bike’s handlebars and can be also used as a ‘bike computer’.
There are many ‘smart bike computers’, like the ‘Garmin Edge 130’. However, I am not interested in any ‘smart features’ at all. Quite the opposite, I only own a ‘dumb phone’ and don’t want to be tracked by companies. Needless to say that I am not interested in (now commonplace) features like ‘strava integration’ etc. :expressionless:

Basically, the features that I would like are quite minimalistic:

  • Easily transfer of GPX data from/to GNU/Linux (best would be via an SD card or via USB)
  • Navigation following a GPX route (for cross-country tracks) that I prepared on my PC (I don’t want to create routes on the device) using FOSS software like QMapshack
  • Displaying actual maps on the device is optional, but if this is possible I would like to display OSM maps.
  • More or less precise GPX logging (as I am also interested in contributing to OSM :))
  • Basic ‘bike computer’ features like displaying the current speed & distance
  • Not to heavy, but a very tough and reliable attachment to the handle bars
  • the less ‘smart features’ the better
  • Doesn’t distract me during the ride too much – no flashy animations or annoying beeps, etc.

Do you have any advice regarding GPS devices for bikes?

I have many doubts regarding aforementioned devices like the ‘Garmin Edge 130’:

  • Pay for the brand name
  • Pay for features that I don’t want
  • Often no SD card; limited storage (only X waypoints and Y routes, etc.)
  • Often no replaceable battery – I don’t want to throw the device away just because the battery broke after 6 months. Glued-in batteries are not sustainable at all.
  • More/less require you to use a ‘smart phone’ with proprietary (spy) software

PS: The solution that I used before was to put a tablet computer with OsmAnd~ (from F-Droid) in my backpack and turn on text-to-speech navigation. This option was very unreliable (as the GPS connection was often bad and the digital compass was broken. Ironically, my backup compass also broke, so getting the right direction was often difficult…). Later, my tablet computer broke completely, and I am now looking for a new solution to go on large trips w/o having to rely on track signs. I’ve already got a new Suuntru compass that I really like and often have with me as a backup, but making/getting printed cards for bike trips is often difficult, and even more using them during the ride.

Sounds like my old Garmin eTrex with a bicycle mount would fit your needs. Designed for hiking, etc. so it won’t be easy to use while bicycling. Actually, not easy to use at all compared to newer GPS devices. But pretty rugged, uses AA batteries. Uses a USB cable to load maps and waypoints into the device and to pull GPX tracks out. Not sure they still make it though.

The eTrex 10 is the most simple gps and is ok for your needs.

As Mr. Morris explained, it is not currently possible to microchip kids as if they were puppies. … To implant a GPS tracker in a child, you’d not only have to insert a chip under their skin, but a bulky cellular receiver and battery, too

For what it’s worth, that’s what I use. You can customise the page sequence and the screens on an eTrex, so you can have the top right button just cycle through the screens you are interested in.

I’ve never bothered with an official “bicycle mount” - just tie-wrapped the “other half” of the standard Garmin clip (that came with it or another Garmin I’ve got) to the handlebars.

Thank you very much for your suggestions. :slight_smile:

The bicycle mount is probably important for me since I sometimes also ride on very rough trails.