24

Yes, I know it's a duplicate of questions that have been asked before, for example this one: Are there advantages of dedicated bike computer instead of smartphone apps?

But I feel that most of the reasons given 8 years ago in response to this question have been invalidated:

  • The phone is larger → yes, but you still have to have it with you

  • glare → max screen brightness has improved a lot in recent years

  • not designed to sit out exposed to hot sun, extreme temps, and rain → not really true any longer, with the arrival of IP67/68 resistant phones

  • ease of use → new phone apps like Komoot, Strava, MapMyRide, etc. make the phones seriously better for bicycling than 8 years ago

  • battery life → much improved, with a new iPhone I'm getting at least 6 hours of use on the bike, and that's with the Komoot navigation on; for longer rides, it's easy to pack small power banks.

So my question to anyone who is still using and paying for specialized bicycle computers like Garmin and Wahoo, in 2019, what are you getting out of them that a contemporary smartphone doesn't give you?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Every of those 23 comments was chat or replies, none were comments to improve or clarify the question. Please make your answers as answers. – Criggie Jun 12 at 9:34
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    Maybe consider proper fitness heart rate monitors to your question; something like the polar m400*, a mid ranged, fully fledged heart rate monitor is durable, IP rated, tracks all sorts of metrics, connects to all sorts of apps and a strap that will fit most arms and bicycle bars, IMO is still a better option than specialized bike computers and cellphones for someone who's not a pro**. *Not affiliated with polar, worked in fitness industry and cycled for many, many years. **A cheap Cateye that measures speed and distance can be useful as a supplementary tracker. – BossRoss Jun 13 at 5:45
  • @BossRoss that's not a comment, that's an answer. Please make it an answer. – Criggie Jun 17 at 20:43

13 Answers 13

43

I used a phone for about two months, then bought a Wahoo GPS computer in March 2018. The primary motivation was that

  • My phone has lousy GPS (Huawei P10). Multiple times a week, it would claim that I'd teleported half way across town, lose signal and never get it back, or drift so that the track would look continuous but end up hundreds of meters from my destination. I hear that iPhones have pretty good GPS. My Wahoo has near-perfect GPS; the worst it does is beep at me in forests on cloudy days because it thinks I've wandered too far off the side of the road. Some speed sensors can talk to phones by Bluetooth, which may improve phone (and cycle computer) tracking accuracy.

Other advantages:

  • Size and mounting. My phone isn't big, but it's much bigger than my Wahoo and I found it somewhat inconvenient on my handlebars.

  • Battery life. My Wahoo claims 15hrs. I probably get more like twelve, but that means I only need to recharge it about once a week. Six hours of battery life would mean that, if I set out on a 4.5hr ride without having my phone fully charged and things took longer than I was expecting, I could easily be caught an hour away from home with no GPS and no way to call for help. Which is to say...

  • Redundancy. Having a cycle computer and a phone means that I have one device to keep me safely on the right track and a separate device that will give me backup navigation and, in the worst case get me help.

  • User interface. The Wahoo has six buttons. While I'm riding, I can press the buttons to get to the screen I want without looking, and then glance at the computer to find out what I need to know. Touch-screen navigation of the phone requires you to look at it and is awkward when things are bumping around. I put the phone inside a waterproof pouch (because, England) but found that made the touch screen awkward to use. Touch screens are a pain with gloves, too.

  • Crash resistance. The one time I've crashed, my Wahoo (and my knees and shoulder) got scuffed up against the concrete in a way that I'm pretty sure would have wrecked my phone, but which caused only cosmetic damage to the Wahoo. My phone was in my jersey pocket and was completely undamaged and available for use if I'd needed to take photographs or call an ambulance, or a friend or taxi to get me home. Of course, one can easily imagine a crash in which the contents of one's jersey pocket get trashed, while stuff mounted on the handlebars survives. On the other hand, the phone felt much less secure on the handlebar than the Wahoo does.

In other words, not much has actually changed. The only thing I've not mentioned that came up a lot in the previous thread was screen brightness. I guess my phone's screen brightness would probably be fine, but it was kind of moot, as I never did figure out how to stop it blanking the screen after a few minutes of riding. I'm not sure how my phone would have coped with being in its waterproof pouch on a really hot day; I only used it in the English winter.

14

I use a phone for navigating long rides (up to 400km/20 hours). I'm rare among distance riders, and if I had unlimited money might get a dedicated unit. For me the phone works well - a dynamo keeps the battery topped up, I've got offline mapping and setting the screen brightness manually means I'm not dazzled. I don't (usually) have turn by turn navigation, but following a line on a map suits me and I can import gpx files.

So why would I use a dedicated GPS?

  • The biggest issue is touchscreens and rain. My phone is fully waterproof but heavy rain makes the screen unreliable (big drops detected as touches, for example). I've made a little windscreen that helps a lot while moving forwards, but doesn't do much in stop-start conditions.
  • Having the phone as backup navigation would be nice - I probably carry more weight/bulk in maps/route sheets than a basic GPS unit (some form of backup is essential for what I ride).
  • Occasional all-night rides do require an external battery (9pm start in winter, riding 340km through the night and the whole of the next day) as my dynamo runs my lights after dark. That would also be the case on a GPS, and some of those don't like to charge while riding.
  • Thanks @ChrisH for the detailed answer. "heavy rain makes the screen unreliable" --> isn't this a very temporary problem by nature? Heavy rain rarely lasts very long. There are also fully enclosed phone holders/bags, e.g. a Topeak DryBag, I have one and rain drops are not a problem, however the sensitivity of touch input recognition goes down too. – ttarchala Jun 10 at 21:16
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    @ttarchala The windshield I made was prompted by a 17 hour ride with one or two brief breaks from the rain (and none from the headwind). Navigating through towns was hard when the screen zoomed by itself but wouldn't recognise me zooming back. I've answered about the merits of waterproof bags rather than naked phones - summary: a waterproof phone wins every time for me (the bag fogs up). – Chris H Jun 10 at 21:24
  • Curious that the bag can fog up, I never had this problem, considering that the phone itself heats it up from the inside. About the zooming, again a better navigation app might solve that; I'm not paid by Komoot by anything but this app does a nifty trick where it zooms in before a turn and then zooms back out after, automatically. The problem I have with the Topeak bag is that I have to mash pretty hard on the screen, through the thick foil, for my input to be recognised, and even then, it can be mis-recognised. – ttarchala Jun 10 at 21:39
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    @ttarchala if I get a few drops of water inside, such as while putting the phone in, the heat from the phone evaporates the water which then condenses on the inside of the clear plastic. I must admit I've never tried it when I've been able to put it in completely dry - no shelter or the phone already wet. Auto zoom can only possibly work with turn by turn navigation, and I haven't found an app that does that nicely, completely offline, while showing me exactly what I want; in comparison following a line on a map is easy, but the phone doesn't know a turn is coming up. – Chris H Jun 11 at 6:17
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    BTW this is the mount I now use after breaking too many plastic ones – Chris H Jun 13 at 9:32
12

Main reason not to use you phone has to be cost and crash resistance. While a dedicated unit may set you back $250-$350, many people have a decent phone with a replacement cost of over $1000. Given the number of phones I see with broken screens, the crash resistance of a phone has to be considered less than ideal at best. A dedicated unit is not only significantly cheaper, but also far more crash resistant.

For someone who Mountain bikes, a phone on the bike is going to work out more expensive than a dedicated unit. For many the risk of crashing is low enough its an option.

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    The initial impact may well be on the bar-end but that's by no means the end of the crash. Crashes can break bones, so they can certainly break phone mounts. Once your phone is free of the bike, who knows where it will land and what will land on top of it. I don't know people who cycle with a phone on the handlebars so the fact that I don't know of anyone breaking a phone that way doesn't say anything. – David Richerby Jun 11 at 10:23
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    @DavidRicherby Cycling with the phone mounted to the handlebars is certainly getting more popular. I was in a 3000 riders gran fondo-type event recently, and observed that perhaps 1 in 10 riders had this kind of setup. – ttarchala Jun 11 at 11:33
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    @MichaelHampton Out of curiosity, which mount/case did you try? Personally I've had the Topeak mount, with several cases for several iPhone generations, for the last 7 years, and it never once failed me (in terms of losing the smartphone), it is quite obviously reliable from the get go. I've heard good things about the Quadlock system too. But indeed I've seen some mounts - mostly in the bicycle sections of supermarkets - into which I would definitely hesitate to put a €1000 phone. – ttarchala Jun 12 at 9:28
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    Possibly stupid question, but why would you have handlebar mounted phone on black downhill trail? Is it too difficult to navigate without GPS or too boring to survive without checking social media? – ojs Jun 12 at 10:57
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    @ojs - How else will you take selfies while mid jump? – mattnz Jun 12 at 20:10
10

In addition to all the other advantages a dedicated cycling computer has over a phone, battery life when collecting data from wireless sensors such as speed and cadence sensors and power meters is much better with a cycling-specific computer compared to a smart phone.

ANT+ is designed for low power consumption, so battery life for ANT+ components is much better. And that longer battery life doesn't only apply to the dedicated cycling computer - it applies to the sensors, too. I've had to replace the battery on my ANT+-only SRM power meter only twice in the 8 years I've had it. I've had to replace the battery on my PowerTap C1 crankset that transmits both Bluetooth and ANT+ three times already in the six months I've owned it. And I'm not riding anywhere near as much as I was when I first got that SRM. Back then I was averaging 50-60 hours per month. Now I'm at more like 20-30.

Another benefit that I haven't noted mentioned yet - try using your touch-screen phone while wearing heavy gloves or even mittens because it's -5C. A touch-screen cycling computer is designed to handle gloves and even mittens just fine. Nor does a cycling computer go crazy from misinterpreting rain drops as "touches".

As a cycling computer, a phone makes a pretty good phone. For a lot of reasons.

All the mental gymnastics in the universe can't make a general-purpose device that has to have a relatively fragile and large screen work as well as a device dedicated for the purpose.

  • Thanks for reminding us about the below-zero scenario and the ANT+ battery advantage. In your experience, in low temperatures, do the dedicated cycling computers lose less battery capacity than smartphones? – ttarchala Jun 12 at 10:35
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    About the "mental gymnastics", honestly, I'm not trying to engage in advocacy. The reason I asked the question is that I've been so happy riding with smartphones for the last few years that I seriously started wondering why would anyone do anything else. I talked to some friends with Garmins and their answers were, mostly, for historical reasons - they had accumulated a lot of Garmin compatible equipment or they were on the Garmin site/social network etc. So I asked the question here. – ttarchala Jun 12 at 10:38
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    +1 - ANT+ is awesome - and most android phones have it already. The exceptions being really old ones and very cut-price bottom models. No Apple phone has ANT+, so you'd need a head unit that can act as a bridge/translator. – Criggie Jun 13 at 3:55
  • +1 for mentioning riding in winter. My edge 520 had no problem this winter with -20C but the screen of my phone became unusable – k102 Jun 13 at 14:54
4

My GPS is powered by AA batteries. No need for recharging in the field (powerbank or so), I can just take a sealed pair of alkaline batteries with me so if something unforseen happens, the trip takes much longer than expected, I have at any rate still backup power to navigate. Even if I'd forgotten those, I could easily get fitting batteries at any supermarket or gas station and can immediately continue with navigation.

(The batteries I'm actually using normally are NiMH, and I recharge those.)

For another thing: I personally reject phones out of principle. Google, Apple or anybody else has no business knowing where I go with my bike.
Clearly, this doesn't bother 98% of other people though, so...

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    I'm not sure what the downvote is for, I thought your answer was useful because you brought up a point that nobody else made. I occasionally use a hiking GPS as a bicycling computer because two AAs will easily make it through a long day, and I can easily take spare batteries also. – rclocher3 Jun 12 at 22:11
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    @ttarchala Apple uses closed-source software. How could you possibly know there's no backdoor, perhaps one mandated by US government agencies? – Anyways, that was only a side note. As I said, I'm well aware that you and most other people won't care about this. – leftaroundabout Jun 12 at 22:15
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    As for the batteries: maybe I should have clarified: the normal batteries I use are NiMH, which are easily recharged. The point is that I can have the backup primaries, which I don't need to worry about ever (expect perhaps check the best-before every year or so). With a power bank, it's another device that needs to be charged, a connection cable to pack and unpack (which I may forget), etc.. – leftaroundabout Jun 12 at 22:18
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    I'm not saying that cell batteries are generally better – for a laptop or indeed phone, which are normally operated close to wall sockets, built-in lithium batteries are certainly superior. But for an outdoor device, it's different. – leftaroundabout Jun 12 at 22:22
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    @ttarchala it's the Garmin eTrex series, which is still available. – leftaroundabout Jun 12 at 22:45
3

I use a Garmin 510. I keep telling myself that I will retire it for the newer 520 when it breaks but the darn thing won't break.

When I ride, I don't want to be interrupted by life outside of my bike. Yes, I will always keep a phone on me for all rides for emergencies and to send my location to my wife, but it will be on silent and tucked away safely in my back jersey pocket. I turned off all notifications on my Garmin watch as well. This is my time, whatever happens off the bike I will get to when I finish the ride. By the way, that is also the way that I drive too.

  • Phone is larger, too large to be put on my handlebars. I have an Note 8 and although I will have it with me, it will be tucked in my jersey pocket.
  • Glare is not a problem on my bike computer or my phone due to being a super bright phone but again, it is really big and very breakable.
  • My phone gets hot in the sun and yes, it is water proof but not nearly as tough as my GPS Garmin. My Garmin has survived an accident that put me in the hospital for days. At the time I was using my summer phone [Samsung Active] and it was built to be tough but since I gave that one away, I have only a pair of Notes that I use. They aren't known for being all that tough and they are expensive. Would you want to strap a fragile $1000 devise on your handlebar that is so big that it could act as a sail?
  • Ease of use. Sorry, doesn't get much easier than my Garmin.
  • Battery life. My Garmin will last a 16 hour ride, long after I have given up.
3

I work for the world's largest bike parts distributor, and we sell a lot of Garmin equipment. The appeal, especial with Garmin (and what they're pushing) is the device independence and precision. If you buy a Garmin, that device will literally be supported forever, and with quality that meets and exceeds military / naval standards. I have an old Garmin from 1995 meant for surveying, and the software will still work in windows (albeit in compatibility mode). No phone does this. Not even your top of the line Samsung and Iphones.

Now my education is in electrical engineering, so let's allow for room there as well. The GPS on your phone is, at the very best, Half-arsed. It really has to be, as, for example, the Samsung galaxy s9 has the board area equivalent to about 2.5 SD cards, and likely 8-12 layers of copper traces. With all of these traces carrying information, It's very difficult to actually read a GPS signal. at the best of days, you'll likely get accuracy with a radius of 2 meters (6.5ft), and that's with a clear shot of the sky. With a dedicated GPS, you get much more consideration into the GPS itself, and as a result, the accuracy (on the best of days) can get as low as 2 inches, and if you're using some of the fancy tech that the DNR has, 2cm. On the more overcast days, you'll get 2-3 feet.

If you're a data nerd like me, increasing accuracy by such a factor is an amazing benefit, especially if you're off-roading and there's no trails that you can snap your results to. In a road situation, you probably would not need more than a phone. almost anywhere else, it's worth your money. I highly recommend a detachable one, as then you're not limited to just your bicycle.

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    Great stuff - thank you for joining SE, and also well done for declaring your connection up-front. Feel free to have a crack at any other outstanding questions – Criggie Jun 25 at 4:52
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    Thank you for the answer which really underscores and explains the one unique technical point of the dedicated devices. It's not a big problem for me on the roads, but on a MTB, especially in wooded areas I can frequently observe a momentary GPS drift by up to 10-15 meters. This can cause missed Strava segments... so I understand the appeal to the competitive crowd. Personally though I'm still not convinced that it's worth my money. – ttarchala Jun 25 at 15:38
  • @ttarchala for biking alone, I can agree, but I also do things like geocaching, hiking, an the like on occasion. – tuskiomi Jun 25 at 21:21
2

In my case, I went on a six hours ride in a hilly, forested area (where GPS lost its signal), and there was a distinct lack of phone coverage (for an hour or so).
Surprisingly (or not), the Strava application recorded a ONE WEEK trip (which the Strava site wouldn't accept for uploading).
Also, I've had another ride where the GPS "registered" the ride 200 meters away from the road (part of it on a 70% incline :), and part of it through houses and gardens ) and a 140 km/h maximum speed (compared to the 60 km/h max or so recorded by the $20 bike computer). Now the speed sensors might be "slaved" to the mobile phone and be used by Strava to improve "reckoning", but usually mobile phone plus GPS application means no wheel speed sensors, no pedaling rate sensors, ...

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    Thanks for your answer. I think your experiences might be Strava-specific. I use Strava myself, but only as a background recording app, because I also found it unreliable in similar ways (e.g. crossing a river on a 100-meter tall bridge, Strava recorded a 100m downhill then 100m uphill...) The best apps for general cycling I know are Komoot and RideWithGPS. – ttarchala Jun 11 at 11:19
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    @DanK Not all GPS receivers are equal. My phone's GPS is terrible; my bike computer's GPS works perfectly in exactly the same places. – David Richerby Jun 11 at 14:10
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    @DanK Honestly no, all comes down to the type of GPS antenna in the device, quality of antenna, placement of antenna etc. mostly. A cheap patch antenna vs an expensive patch antenna, whilst from the outside looking basically identical, can be a night and day comparison in my experience. – Trotski94 Jun 11 at 15:35
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    @Dan, we don't usually realise how incredibly weak GPS signal is (<-130 dBm); its by far the weakest useful radio signal in common use. Consequently, the demands to the antenna and processing quality are very high. This by itself doesn't 'prove' the point, but in practice a dedicated GPS device nearly always wins. Another point is that practically all phone GPSes are A-GPS. While this improves things in some circumstances, in practice they are so reliant on this 'assistance' that they often refuse to acquire satellites without the data/phone... – Zeus Jun 12 at 4:12
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    @ttarchala, evidently, the Strava app doesn't trust the GPS-reported elevation (which is indeed the least accurate) and uses a topo map for elevations. Which doesn't know about bridges or tunnels. I'm surprised though this is a 'normal' behaviour (I don't use Strava); in RideWithGPS you can replace elevations with topo as an option later if you don't like the recorded ones - which is exactly as it should be. – Zeus Jun 12 at 4:25
2

Once we had scientific surveys (in the middle of the desert) with the teams using mobile phones (with specialized software) and also Garmin devices (for positioning). Since then I remember that navigation devices were easily readable in very direct and bright sunlight, when nothing was visible on the phone without raising it close to the eyes and covering with hand from the sun.

Probably some different technology is used for displays that work in the direct sunlight.

1

Other answers cover other issues very well, and the question kind of mentions this, but I think it's still a valid concern.

I have an iPhone 7 Plus - so not the newest smartphone in the world, but still fairly new. With the screen turned on, when exposed to sunlight, it can heat up a lot. This can affect performance and I don't think is without effect on the lifetime of the battery at least. Where I live, temperatures can sometimes exceed 45 degrees Celsius - and frequently exceed 30, and having the phone exposed to sunlight for hours at a time in these conditions is a no go. My Garmin, on the other hand, never really feels like it's overheating.

And, on top of that, it's got better GPS, better battery life, independent battery so it dying won't make me unable to make calls, is more handy and smaller, has a dedicated mount, integrates well with a whole bunch of sensors and so on and so forth...

  • Thanks for your answer @Lasooch. I haven't ridden in recent years beyond temperatures in the 35-37 range, and indeed the phone can get hot - unless you are riding, when it's cooled by the wind. But normally when you stop, you take the phone with you so it's not a problem. Did you find the phone getting uncomfortably hot while riding ? – ttarchala Jun 12 at 9:48
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    @ttarchala to be honest, no - I never actually tried putting it up on the handlebars and keeping the screen on. It does get very hot in the car though, even with the AC running, if the screen is on and it's exposed to sunlight. Wind cooling vs much lower temperature - a bit apples to oranges, but that's the best I've got ;) – Lasooch Jun 12 at 12:20
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    "cooled by the wind" stops working for me when I start climbing. You may be faster than I am! ;) – Matt Holland Jun 12 at 17:33
1

I use both - I have a $4 "cycle computer" attached to the bars of one bike. Its sole purpose is to display my current speed, and the clock. Those are literally the only two functions I care about. Its not even pretend-waterproof, but has survived 6 months. Being so cheap, the battery life is abysmal, so its going to get replaced with a low-end $20 Cateye.

The cheap cyclecomputer stays on the bike at all times. I don't even bother unclipping it when in a shop.

On the same rides, my fancyphone is tucked safely into my bag or jersey pocket. Its job is to run Strava and I don't touch it during the ride. Sometimes I ride with a HRM, but that info is logged by the phone, and I don't use it for training.

Would I use an expensive Garmin or Wahoo head unit? Definitely, if I owned one. But they're ridiculously expensive, easily costing 3-5x as much as my bike, so I couldn't justify buying one while other things demand payment first.

  • I didn't mention the cheap cyclocomputer as an option, because the acknowledged need for GPS and navigation on the bike is sort of a prerequisite to asking the question... what do you use as a GPS/navigation/turn-by-turn/attraction discovery solution then? – ttarchala Jun 12 at 9:54
  • @ttarchala I plan my route before going, and learn the significant points/turns. Generally speaking I know my way around my city and the adjoining province. On the off chance I get really lost then I'd stop and use the phone, but absolutely not while riding. – Criggie Jun 12 at 10:20
  • @ttarchala if this answer misses the point of the question, let me know and I'll simply remove it. – Criggie Jun 12 at 10:21
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    Thanks for your answer, I still think it adds to the overall information contents by reminding everybody about the simple cyclocomputer option. In fact, it made my think that if I had one in addition to my smartphone mount, this could perhaps help save some battery because I wouldn't have to wake up the phone as often to check the time/speed/distance. – ttarchala Jun 12 at 10:24
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    @Criggie: I have no idea how long a battery in a $20 CatEye holds - mine is still on the original battery after two years and 3500 km... – Calin Ceteras Jun 12 at 18:39
1

IP67/68 resistant phones do exist, but regular phones offer a much larger choice (especially if you exclude the non-rugged IP67 phones which are not quite comparable to bike GPS in terms of protection). If you want to use your phone as a bike GPS, you will be limited to those sturdy phones. And such phones themselves result from a compromise between the sound / microphone quality (which require more holes and/or larger holes) and the IP rating (which ideally requires to have no holes at all).

Bigger weight of the phone is also a significant disadvantage which is not completely countered by "you still have to have it with you". Having extra 200 grams in the backpack is rather insignificant, while having extra 100 grams (200 grams phone instead of 100 grams bike GPS) mounted on the handlebars does make a difference: the amount of shaking you can take is reduced by two, assuming the same mount quality.

  • Not sure what you mean when you make a distinction between the IP6x resistant phones and "regular phones" - don't most flagship phones nowadays feature IP67 or IP68 resistance? And there are a lot of people already using the "regular phones" as a bike GPS with success? – ttarchala Jun 12 at 12:04
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    @ttarchala Most phones I see around have an audio jack, and it's never sealed, so if these phones have an IP67 rating, it's only on paper. – Dmitry Grigoryev Jun 12 at 12:43
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    The audio jack (as well as USB) is actually sealed: this is not too difficult to do. In any case, IP67 is quite sufficient for riding in the rain. However, I agree that selection of such phones is rather limited in mid-range (which to me make most sense: I wouldn't like to to mount a "flagship phone" (as @ttarchala implied) on the handlebars, esp. without a full protective case - which defeats the point of having IP67). – Zeus Jun 13 at 1:16
  • My IP68-rated phone uses rubber bungs for the USB and headphone sockets, for example. This means it ends up with not-quite-standard connectors, but it works well. That's a cheap phone. My previous waterproof (can't recall IP rating) phone was a rather nice Sony, but the seals were fiddly. It did have the ability to charge without breaking the seals though, using a magnetic 2-pin connector. The newer version was just too expensive though – Chris H Jun 13 at 9:19
  • @ChrisH I didn't mean it was impossible to seal the audio jack (otherwise the phone wouldn't get the rating), just that the seals tend to be not used / lost / broken. It doesn't have to be the case of course. – Dmitry Grigoryev Jun 13 at 9:30
0

Another good reason, maybe not fully bike related to use a phone instead of a bike computer, is that you can take pictures with your phone.

I used to use the quadlock mount with my phone, and it was very easy to remove the phone to take a quick picture.

Now, because I'm using a garmin device my phone is in my bag and if I need/want to take a picture, I have to stop, remove my bag, pick my phone, take a picture and reverse all that.

Even if my phone is in one of the pocket in my bike jersey, it is not as easy as picking it up from the mount.

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    You find it easier to remove your phone from a secure handlebar mount than to simply take it out of your pocket? Does not compute. Also, this doesn't answer the question. The question is asking why one would use a bike computer instead of the phone, and you're explaining why you would use a phone instead of a bike computer. – David Richerby Jun 13 at 14:15
  • @DavidRicherby Yes, not only it's super easy to disengage the phone from the mount, but on the Topeak mount, it takes literally three seconds to flip the phone to a vertical landscape position and start recording video, hands-free, while riding. The video will be shaky but certainly usable e.g. in case of a dispute about a traffic incident. ... And hey, weren't we supposed to "stop trying to engage every answerer in lengthy discussions about every single thing they say"? – ttarchala Jun 13 at 15:02
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    @ttarchala I'm not trying to engage in discussions. I'm trying to get Max to justify a claim made in their post, and to point out that the post doesn't actually answer the question. Your comment, in contrast, is mostly about proposing a new non-answer (a mounted phone can be used to shoot video, which is a reason not to use a dedicated GPS unit) and about arguing with me. Please stop. – David Richerby Jun 13 at 15:12

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