How To Get The Most Out Of Your GPS | Mountain Bike Computer Tips

– Bike computers have become so much slicker over the last few years and they got loads of functionality now. Things from, obviously,
being able to track your ride to finding new trails and loads of other stuff that we’ll go in to. So this is how to get the best from your GPS bike computer. (thud) (wheel through water noise) (chilled electronic music) Garmin are a partner here at GMBN so I’ll be using their devices for this video but these tips should work on any brand of device or most of them at least. So let’s start off with usability. Things have improved so much here. Gone are the days of
having to move your device from your handlebars, and having to physically plug it in with
a USB to your computer. Literally a few seconds after
I press stop on this computer, it syncs over to my app on my phone and then it goes over to
other apps I use as well like, Commute, Strava, whatever. Pretty much all these devices
now will sync wirelessly. The same goes for pre-ride stuff. I can sit at home in front of my computer with a nice cup of coffee in the warm where there’s no midgies, plan my route, press save and as if by magic it wirelessly syncs over and is sat there on my computer ready to go. (chilled electronic music) (rattle and bumping of
bikes over rough terrain) You want to find somewhere good to mount your computer,
especially if you’re using it for navigation so you can just check the screen all the time. You do see some people
put it on the top tube, using a bit of foam tape,
3M tape or something. I’d rather keep it, sort
of, bolted on somehow, so I’ve got this Garmin
mountain bike mount which is nice because
it makes your computer sit right above the stem, super neat. There are other options
which I’ll show you, out my pocket. So after market things like
Nukeproof make this top cap. So that actually just
replaces your headset top cap. That’s pretty neat. Computer goes on top of there. Or Garmin have these other mounts, most computers will have them as well, that sits up on your bar and gets, uses on of those sort of rubber O rings. So that’s really secure
on the bar as well. One thing to think about is if your likely fall off the bike if you’re putting it on like a race bike, an enduro bike, maybe tuck it somewhere so it isn’t going to get smashed. I also like to use these sort of leashes. So tie that, well you know,
thread it round there, through there, stick it on the mount, so I know that if I smack that at all I’m never going to lose it, it’s just going to be attached to my bike. (chilled electronic music) Before you buy your device,
it’s worth thinking about what size head unit you want from different size screens to
batteries, things like that. So here’s a range, I’ve got the Garmin, the 130, that’s tiny, super compact. You see some of their
enduro team using that. So lightweight, really doesn’t get in the way of anything of course. 830 I’ve got on my bars and there’s the 1030, the really big one. You’ve got a really good screen on that, colorful, you can have
loads of information on there so great for doing epic rides. That’s one that I use for big days out, off on road bikes, things like that. Also you’ve got a bigger battery in there so it just lasts longer. Alternatively you can go super lightweight and use a fitness tracking watch. I’ve got the Garmin Fenix which has got loads of advanced stuff as well. So it’ll do the normal
fitness tracking stuff like steps, calories, you know, gym work. But it’s got cycling and mountain biking functions on there so I can even load Komoot up, follow routes on this. But the great thing about this is using it for things like downhill or enduro if I’m trying
to record times or rides. ‘Cause it’s on my wrist
it’s there all the time. It’s also nice and safe up there, it’s not likely to get smashed
if I have a massive crash. It feels like it’s
tucked away a little bit and definitely on a
downhill bike I think I’d way rather have this than
have a computer on my bars. (chilled electronic music) Some devices you’ll be
able to customize as well. So, Garmin have the IQ feature so you can download apps to your computer just to have things on there. So, I’ve got commute on there, so it’s a mapping and navigation app. So I can set up my route
on my computer if I want. Send it over, sync
straight to my computer. Also Strava is on there, so if you want to compare yourself to other riders. Also Trailforks is
preloaded on my Garmin 830. So if you want to find some good trails maybe somewhere you’ve never been before you can, sort of, customize
your device to help you out. (chilled electronic music) You can also then start digging in to the actual set up of your computer and working out what data
you want on the screen. I like to keep it fairly minimum and, sort of, group them together. So I’ve actually got five
screens I can swipe through. The first one is my, sort of, data. So I’ve got my distance, time of day, the timer, so how long you’ve been going on the ride, total
ascent and max speed. I don’t normally have max speed actually I normally have my elevation. So you can then swipe through. And then I’ve got my map screen. So if I’m riding using navigation that’s probably the one
I’ll use most the time. Then I’ve got my elevation grade. You know you see you’ve got the graph of how high you are and
what you’ve been doing. That also has a little compass
and my elevation on there. Swipe again I’ve got a compass. Swipe again and I’ve got a
heart rate and also a graph. I don’t probably use that
one very often to be honest. And you can get rid or
add those as you wish. So all devices you’ll be able
to set them up like this. Nice thing about Garmins,
if I want to change one of the data fields, so if I want to get rid of max speed, change
it for something else, I just hold my finger on there then it pops up with all the options. Got all sorts in there,
navigation, graphs, cadence, heart rate, power. So I’ll change it back to my elevation. Also you can have different activities that come with their own
data screens and information. So that was my mountain bike one. Got the option for E
mountain bike, indoor. So if I’m using it on a turbo trainer, obviously then it can turn off all the GPS facilities so it just saves battery and stuff I don’t need. You can also set up
custom ones if you want. And have different data screens on there. So it makes it super simple, you can choose what you’re doing. And it gives you all the information you need and nothing you don’t. (chilled electronic music) I’ve already talked about using Commute to plan rides, for navigation. But all good GPS devices
will probably have their own software or third party software. You can get on there, start experimenting, planning your rides and
then sending them over. And obviously it’s much easier just to follow that route with prompts on your computer than
doing the old school way with a map in your backpack and a compass and stopping every 20 minutes to do it. I’ve actually found
Komoot really good for finding new places to go and ride. And also doing those big rides. Or otherwise you’d be
stopping all the time and worrying about getting lost. Plus I find actually the really fun part is sitting on my computer and just dreaming up a ride,
sticking it on there and then putting a date in
the diary to go and do it. Some computers, like this 830 here, have the ability to make a course on them. Not all devices will have that sort of map data on
there but this one does. Plus you’ve also got Trailforks which is great for getting in, come somewhere new like
this, in Fort William, I don’t know these woods that well, get in to Trailforks and you’ll be able to check out the routes in these woods, also check their condition. (chilled electronic music) The GPS functions of your computer are going to track you
and show you where to go but for fitness purposes
it might be good to hook up some sensors to
work with your computer. So a heart rate monitor is going to connect wirelessly and give
you that data on the screen. Or actually your watch, some watches, like the Garmin Fenix, have that inbuilt on there as well so it’s
reading my heart rate right now. What is it? 75, racing away. Something like a speed sensor. SO your GPS will give you
a pretty accurate idea but you can mount something on to your hub that’s going to spin round
and whilst you’re riding along it’ll give you a
super accurate speed. Cadence sensors that can go on your crank are good for fitness purposes. Or even a power meter will
use amp plus technology to hook up wirelessly to your device. Some devices will have safety and tracking software on there. So this Garmin comes with
that incident detection. So it uses it’s sensors inside, so accelerometers, things like that. And it will work out if you’ve fallen off your bike, it will then send a message to your emergency contact. Or it will go to your phone, and basically, set off a
little alarm on there. And it gives you a time limit to just disable that so, you know, you’re OK. Otherwise it will get in touch with your emergency contact, so
it could save your life. Also you’ve got group track on there so you can see, basically, where your connections are on the map. So if you go for a ride
with some other people you can see, maybe, how
far behind they are. You can use most bike computers to help evaluate your training either by sending the data to software, something like Training Peaks where you can really dig in to the data. Or even get a personal trainer to send you your training plan
to that computer to follow. I actually quite like
looking at my Garmin Connect so I can see how many
miles, how many hours I’ve done that week, but
also my training status, to see if I’ve improving or
maybe I even need some rest. Also setting goals can be really good. Use the software to keep
yourself accountable. Now you can set things like
a certain amount of hours, or a certain amount of miles per week. Or you could join a challenge, so a certain amount of steps,
or something like that. I know Strava do these quite often. So it’s really good to use a
bit of fun to help get you fit. Garmin’s also got a bike
alarm so you can set that. Of course this isn’t as safe
as locking it up properly but basically you set it with a pass code, get a little bit of a count
down to park your bike up, and then if anyone starts moving your bike or rides off on it, it’s
starts to set an alarm off on the head unit, but also
send an alert to your phone so that you know your bike’s moving. So there’s a few tips
on how to get the most from your GPS bike computer. It’s probably worth digging
in to the manual as well and looking at the support section online on the website for the device you’ve got, you might find something else out. If you want to see a
couple of videos where we use our Garmin devices. Over there for the flow, me versus Blake, where we use that feature, see who’s got the most flow and
how you can improve that. Also up there how to
plan a ride using Commute and then you can send over to a device and find some new trails hopefully. Thumbs up if you like
Using Your Bike Computer and hit that subscribe button
if you’ve not done it already.

52 comments on “How To Get The Most Out Of Your GPS | Mountain Bike Computer Tips”

  1. Sam Katz says:


  2. Harrison Lee says:


  3. Keaghan Willamson says:

    I have a old Garmin gps

  4. Vuk Vidic says:


  5. kade ellery says:


  6. Global Mountain Bike Network says:

    Do you use a cycle computer? Let us know below 👇

  7. Cooper Minto says:


  8. Aiden Robertson says:

    Great video again guys

  9. Jędrek Horodeński says:


  10. Jason Millar says:

    More downhill stuff please!!

  11. B.F. C fingerboarding says:

    what if you live somewhere and there aren't trails?

  12. prototype art says:

    Please suggest an app for Android that can tell the speed of my bicycle while I am riding it.

  13. Pienimusta says:

    Really should get one. Have to stop every 5 minutes to check which turn I should take so I don't end to middle of wilderness =P

  14. Ross Stewart says:

    #GMBN can you use the Garmin GPS also for walking /hiking?
    I want to get a GPS for my bike but also be able to use it out walking (if that's a possibility with them)

  15. Bec Hall says:

    777 views in get this 57 minutes ha awesome come to australia for us aussies

  16. CW Spencer says:

    It's 5:30am down here in Southwest Florida and I'm watching this on my lunch. And yes I need one of these.

  17. Marius' mtb adventures says:

    Your videos never dissapoint, go on guys🤘🏻🔥

  18. VTT Giant All M. Phil91 says:


  19. Chuck Finley says:

    I use trailforks for when my degree in geography ass gets LOST lololol

  20. Hudson’s Adventures says:

    Amazing video guys you’re are the best MTB YouTube
    and riders ever #GMBN 👍

  21. Bec Hall says:

    #ASKGMBN i have a department store hardtail do you recommend a budget full sus or a $1000- $2000 hardtail

  22. Gary G says:

    I have a Bryton GPS bike computer….it is F##KING S#IT! Gonna be investing in something better for a coastal ride I'm planning next year, interested to hear on how the battery life performs on the 830

  23. Rupert Wenn says:

    Love to get one…using phone with Viewranger is pretty good tho til I can afford one…

  24. Dale Lakusta says:

    I picked up a 530 and like it. didn't like the previous 520 that much as it was super slow and kinda wonky.

  25. Ronn Rider says:

    I use the Garmin Edge 1030 and have just started back mountain biking. How do you get Trail Forks on to your Garmin?

  26. Bendis Utd. says:

    Still the unusual aggessive YT ad settings activated…

  27. Better & Better says:

    use the group mode to "see how far behind" your friends are 🤣

  28. Stuart McCavera says:

    Can you loads the Ordinance Survey Maps App on the Garmin ?

  29. Elliott says:

    Garmin mountain bike network?

  30. Tomb Rider says:

    Since I don't own a mobile phone I found it quite hard to buy a bike GPS that didn't require using one.
    I feel that all that app stuff is not needed, just track the ride & put on strava later. Getting lost & enjoying your day without a touch screen is all part of the fun.

  31. Charge Ride Repeat says:

    Riderless bikes next, you sit at home and your bike shreds for two hours, comes back and high fives you.

  32. 出售电棍催情药微信 pro668899 says:


  33. Jorst Von Doom says:

    Ye gods we're over complicating cycling. Are they handy? Yes. Is it mostly a vanity thing for social media? Yes. Do you need one to enjoy your cycling? No you bloody well don't.

  34. Paul Cunningham says:

    What's the difference between this and using mapmyride?

  35. Jon The Beast Bowler says:

    Hi Neil been using a Garmin Edge tourer plus its ok but the battery malfunctioned so had to send it off n had a replacement n hasnt heen the same since!

  36. geddy1972 says:

    why does everything involve a blooming App these days ! if we had every app that companies want us to have we would need the memory capacitor of all the super computers in the world !

  37. Blue Line Rider says:

    oh yes edge 520 and forerunner 235

  38. Harry says:

    To save a million dollars just buy a phone mount and use maps 🙂

  39. Juan Carlos Alpízar says:

    I'd really love to have something as the Garmin software for a smartphone, is there any hardware limitation for that to happen? batteries have become so good nowadays that you can run for maybe 6 hours straight or longer with your phone GPS, which is great for weekend rides, and apps like Strava already track a ton of useful information, not to mention you can also pair sensors and most of phones nowadays have anti shock cases and IP certifications The only limitation you got is not having a software like Google maps directions for off road trails and that is the only reason I'd consider a bike computer whenever I have that much free money to spare 😂

  40. roel Schouten says:

    In the Netherlands we've got a site . It has nearly all routes in the Netherlands . is there something simular in the UK.

  41. J Kirk says:

    What about uploading GPS Routes so we can “ride along”?
    For example, Neil chooses a trail, rides and uploads his metrics, then everyone can try to match his performance when they ride the same course.

  42. Claudio Freitas says:

    Which apps u guys recommend for nice off road trails in UK? Thank you

  43. croog1 says:

    If you have Specialized ebike, check Ebike Field app:

  44. Claire Ashton says:

    Neil, as always, is the best at explaining anything technical.

  45. Charge Ride Repeat says:

    Ive has viewranger since my nokia N95.
    Cant beat it.

  46. ChromeStrand says:

    Oh hey! I didn't knew there's theft protection on Garmin, anyone know how to activate it? got garmin edge 1030.

  47. Jonathan Lapierre says:

    Can you show us the trailforks basemap on the 830? No one has a good video of this, and being in an area with lots of short trails, it's easier to see a map to navigate than choosing from a list.

  48. Jamie Campbell says:

    The speed on your GPS is way….way more accurate than a wheel sensor setup will ever be.

  49. Dave Marson says:

    Midge-tastic! Well done for sticking with it.

  50. Blue Maldonado says:

    Thanks God for this video! I got lost in the woods that I just moved near by. I figured this video was a sing I needed a GPS unit. Then you mentioned that you could us a smart watch! I have a galaxy wat h and had no clue about the info and tracking it could provide. After I got home finally, I looked at the app for my watch and it had speed, elevation, heart rate, time, distance, route and more! I had no clue! Thank you Gmbn!

  51. Bartosz Rosołowski says:

    Where did you find this HR Zone Graph? Cant find in mine 830…

  52. Ray Ning says:

    Buy a Garmin Edge 830
    Use it for 3 weeks
    Fails to connect to any phone any more
    Send it back, they've had it 3 weeks
    Keep getting notifications of Neils rides
    Good use of £400

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