Bike Sat nav

Are there any alternatives to Tom Tom? If so, how do they compare? Cheapest place to buy one? Easy to fit? Where to get brackets from so I can fix it on another bike, too?

Ahem! Not sure how much this will help you Paivi but I know 7 people who use Tom Tom sat nav and I have used it before and it is absolutely brilliant (in a car though not on a bike). They all say they wouldnt use anything else. I know there was a system which came out which got loadsa complaints, drivers getting lost n stuff

I know my ex bosses Tom Tom cost in the region of £300

Hope this helps

Garmin streep pilot i3 pour moi!! great / cheap / water restistant / bracket / gets u everywhere. £159 from Maplins

That’s suspiciously cheap compared to Tom Tom (£500)! What’s the catch?

The catch if you want to call it a catch is that the units is basically designed to display your route, and it is operated simply by 3 buttons and a click wheel like that of your mouse, it doesn’t have nor need a touch screen, it is not bluetooth enabled so that you could couple it with your moby, and you cannot expect it to tell you the route in a John Cleese or Darth Vader voice which is what makes the Tom Tom xpensive. But as I’ve said it does exactly what it says on the tin, just like Ronseal!! lol.

You enter a postcode or a street address and it takes you there. End of story. It tells you where the speed cameras are and when you are driving or riding over the speed limit in that particular road. You can choose it to talk in all the major european languages. What more can anyone want?

I have had mine for 6 months now, knocked it off the bike on the run once and it didn’t break when it landed on the tarmac, I used it under the pishing rain a couple of times so for me its a 10 out of 10. you can download maps updates from the web from the official Garmin site.

Tom Tom is totally useless in londinium. Signal gets lost due to high buildings.

Have got one, is more trouble than it’s worth.

How coincidental you have asked the question about which sat nav… Biggus has just bought round the RIDE mag dated May 2006 and they have in there a comprehensive guide about which is best…

On test was:-

BMW navigator 2 £985.00

Garmin Quest £418.00

Garmin Quest 2 £589.00

Garmin Streetpilot 2610 £760.00

Garmin Streetpilot 2720 £931.00

Tom Tom Rider £600.00

In a nutshell the results these are based on ease of fitting hosing the units down with water to represent torrential downpour, ease of use with gloves on and road testing.

1st Garmin streetpilot 2720 but extras are needed like brackets etc but does come complete with car kit. Ease of fitting 6/10 ease, of programming 8/10, screen visibility 10/10, waterproofing 10/10, road testing 18/20.

2nd Garmin quest 2 extras like above are needed but car kit included too. Ease of fitting 6/10, ease of programming 5/10, screen visibility 10/10, waterproofing 10/10, road testing 16/20.

3rd Garmin Quest brackets again required at extra cost but with car kit. Ease of fitting 6/10, screen visibility 10/10, waterproofing 10/10, road testing 15/20.

4th Tom Tom rider no brackets required as all included but there is no car kit included thats more. Ease of fitting 8/10, ease of programming 7/10, screen visibility 10/10, waterproofing 10/10, road testing 10/20.

5th Garmin streetpilot no brackets again but car kit included. Ease of fitting 6/10, ease of programming 6/10, screen visibility 10/10, waterproofing 10/10 road testing 12/20.

6th BMW Navigator2 no brackets and no car kit. Ease of fitting 6/10, ease of programming 6/10, screen visibility 10/10, waterproofing 10/10, road testing 12/20.

With everything you get what you pay for. Although it seems here the most expensive isn’t the best but if you use a car one with fiddly little buttons and not proper screen visibility you really should go for the proper bike ones…

The verdict…

The all singing, all dancing garmin 2720 is the best on the test. It was easy to plot a route, simple to follow and has a range of other functions that would keep the technical wizard happy. For those who like spending hours in front of a computer, plotting routes and exploring new functions, this is the unit to have. Bit its high price stops it getting the best buy.

That honour goes to the little Garmin Quest, which is the cheapest on test. We liked it clear instructions and compact size, which stops it obscuring the clocks and makes it easier to carry around when not on the bike, Its a bit fiddlier to programme in routes, but the cost saving makes up for that. As a simple navigational tool, the Quest is perfect. The Quest 2 is recommended as it is an improvement on the Quest with UK and European street maps, plus warnings of speed camera hot spots. The quest is being phased out and the Quest 2 is a good replacement.

The new Tom Tom is only marginally behind the top three, but lost points for problems on the road, where it really matters, It has plenty of “cool” features like being able to choose different voices for the instructions, but more advance notice of turns is much more important and the Tom Tom suffers there. The Garmin 2610 and the BMW Navigator 2 are inferior to the test winning 2720, cost more than the Quest units and Tom Tom, and are also bulkier, so no triangle for them.

I hope this helps…

Wow, your ladyship, that’s impressive! So, Tom Tom’s out of the window then.

Fran, how does yours differ from the Quest, as by the sound of it, yours seems to have what the Quest2 has at almost £600?

I use the latest model of this and it even has the camera locations on it, all for under a tenner



But the speed I’m going, I won’t have the time to turn the pages!

(I think I was the only one stopped for speeding during the St George’s ride-out…)

Don’t worry about that, the wind does it for you

Piavi, I too have the Garmin streetpilot i3. Its not a bad unit for the money, which is now down to just a smidge under 130 quid in halfords.

Its features are quite good for the price. The speed camera data base has to be download from the net and then up loaded to the unit. For this you need the Garmin POI software which you can also download. The GarminPOI is free but the speed camera data needs to come from a 3rd party and normally costs. Its basically a list of csv files which is just a format of lat/long with tags the unit needs to thro up the warning of an approaching camera. Not a bad feature really, but it doesn’t detect cameras as some will have you believe. So any new cameras will not be shown on the unit. You need the latest updates for this. In short its not 100% reliable, but then none are.

Theres some good features on the unit such as nearest fuel/shopping areas/food and eateries etc. The graphics are basic but easy and clear to read. The mapping software will show anomalies with what you see on the road in front of you. There may have been a mini roundabout put in but the unit won’t always know this. It needs to be kept up to date as do they all.

The route preferences is a good little touch. While I’m at work in the cage I tell it to use the fastest route so it’ll use motorways A roads etc. While out on the bike I tell it to avoid these roads. It is very good round town. In london it will find 99% of addresses. I’ve only ever had one prob with it not knowing where an exact address was.

The voice commands can just be heard if the volume is set to max and your not running Leo Vince’s on a firestorm at 80 mph! In the car I have it set to min.

I’d recommend it for a good cheap tool for getting from A to B with a point or two in between. As with all these basic units you can programme a route in to it. You tell it your start and finish points and it takes you there, normally by the quickest route. Fine for day to day work not really for a sunday discovering little known biking roads. But then for under 130 quid what more can you ask?

I’m not too fussed about speed cameras, as they tend to be visible anyway. I commute from A to B every day and could do it in my sleep (and probably do some mornings…); I’d want it for weekends, when I head out of town.

I’ll be organising the Ladies ride-outs and as such, would need a unit. I’d want something that can be used with gloves on and, preferably, with voice commands that I can plug into my Autocom. The latter is not a must, though, as it would interfere with my music.

Roundabouts are a must, as I hate them, I utterly utterly hate bloody roundabouts!

I’m not too fussed about money, but I want something which is practical, i.e., good for weekend rides and gloved hands.

I doubt the little Garmin unit is for you then. The stumbling block I can see is “gloved hands”. Probably better off looking at a bike specfic unit.

Oh and the Garmin is not waterproof as someone said it was earlier in the thread.

Paivi if you are at the Cubana this wed i’ll show u mine

What? You show me yours if I show you mine?

Probably not coming Wed night, so catch up another time.

Correction! i’ts not waterproof but water restistant to rain showers. I wouldn’t it immerge in the juice, but i got caught out in the rain a few times and didn’t bother to cover it so yeah to my opinion it does work well even under showers.

The ones that were tested in RIDE. Were plotted for routes with gloves on to simulate programming when you are out, also the water test was a complete shower with a garden hose to make sure they were not going to get wet… Shower proof is ok if you are only going to be caught in a shower but if its torrential then really you are wasting your money… None of us plan to go out in the rain when its heavy but its another thing getting caught in it…