I am looking to ride with strava, however as a teenager I receive very little to no money regularly and I do not have a smart phone. I would like a device that tracks my ride via gps and exports a gpx file so I may upload it to strava. It must cost less than $100 AUD.

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    What kind of phone do you have? Do you have any other mobile devices? I.e. iPad, tablet, e.t.c. Unfortunately for your price range, you might be better off buying a used smart phone and using the strava app, or an app that exports to strava. Actual gps systems that export in that manner are pretty expensive, usually about 2-250 for a barebones model that doesn't even export your ride. See if a buddy is selling an old iPhone or android for cheap and then just use that.
    – Weirix
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 10:24
  • There are GPS trackers (data-loggers) in the shape of a USB-stick. Some are quite cheap. (<US$50)
    – Carel
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 11:50
  • I like to second Carel's suggestion. GPS data loggers (aka GPS mouse) are cheap and some can run for more than 24h on a single charge of the battery. The battery life is what limits the use of smartphones in my mind.
    – corvairjo
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 14:19
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    +1 : I'd prefer going with an entry level phone from a reputable manufacturer (Motorola Moto E perhaps?) and the biggest USB power pack you can save up for. I would recommend staying away from second hand items unless you can really be sure the item is not damaged or otherwise flawed. @Carel: These GPS loggers require a host system too, right? May not be suitable for standalone logging.
    – kabZX
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 12:58

4 Answers 4


It's a little more than 100$, but you could have a Garmin Edge 20 for 130$. Maybe wait a little for a special or something*. According to the post it's a good little computer and I personnaly enjoy using their Edge lineup.

(* the website has a 10% anything coupon with their partner, might be worth a look, that would bring the Edge 20 to 117$, might not work for everything thought)

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    I'm much more of a fan of a dedicated device like this than a smartphone as they tend to fade in to obsolescence slower, come with bike mounts, and have better battery life long term.
    – Benzo
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 14:26
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    +1 for longevity. I've had my Garmin 500 for a few years and never had a problem. Battery life will be much better than a smartphone running an app and GPS.
    – Bibz
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 12:53
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    +1 for dedicated device. it is quite expensive but works better that a phone. Android phones will run off the battery really quick also you run the risk of over heating them and sure that you will sort battery life.
    – kifli
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 6:43

Instead of an actual GPS device, I would recommend buying a used smart phone, (The Strava app itself only works on either iPhones or Androids). A "Nothing Special" used smart phone you can usually find for maybe 40 bucks, depending on the model and brand.

Download the app and just take the phone with you wherever you ride. It's not a fancy system, but it works. This is the method I use now.

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    You probably don't need a contract or even a sim card if you've got WiFi, though you may not have maps (most apps work without Internet access or maps)
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 11:34
  • @ChrisH is correct. All you need is an Internet connection. I don't know about other apps, but I know that the strava app itself has a pretty decent mapping system. You just gotta play around with it
    – Weirix
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 11:43
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    Some models of smart phone won't go past the start up screen without a sim card - any sim will do - it does not have to be an active sim card.
    – mattnz
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 1:17
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    @ebrohman and everyone else, you do not need the phone connected to service to use the gps. The phone can be tracked through any apps gps system wether or not you are connected to date or wifi. I know, because this is the exact way I use my spare phone that is just for gps.
    – Weirix
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 4:12
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    @ebrohman many apps will cache maps downloaded on WiFi. Gps is independent of phone signal - it wouldn't be much use otherwise - but it might be a good idea to start it where you've got WiFi (agps uses a data link to speed up the first fix).
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 9:30

I'm surprised that nobody suggested to use an inexpensive hiking GPS, such as a Garmin eTrex 10 (US$ 89.99) or eTrex H (many available on popular online auction sites for US$ 50 or less). They have the same high-accuracy GPS chip that more-expensive GPS devices use, and they have excellent battery life: 20 hours on a pair of AAs.

The downside is that uploading to Strava is more complicated; a cable and a computer are required. I use the computer program GPSBabel to download from the GPS and output a GPX file, which can then be uploaded to Strava. GPSBabel can be a pain to learn how to use, but it can upload or download from nearly any GPS device, and it can input or output nearly any GPS file format. There are many other programs that can also do the job, including free software from Garmin for those running Windows.

I'll grant that a second-hand smart phone running the Strava app is easier to use, but an inexpensive hiking GPS is water-resistant, a lot more rugged than a mobile phone, and can also be used for backpacking. (Always remember that a GPS is a backup to a map and compass when backpacking.)


I picked up a cheap android phone wiht a cracked/broken screen for $5. No sim or cellular service is required to get GPS service, and I don't care if it gets dropped.

A USB battery might help if the internal is weak or small.... without battery the little 1500 mAh phones run strava for about 4 hours.

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