In other words, I would want to be able to be in an arbitrary location and tell the device that I want to go to a specific destination (by entering an address or town name) and it would calculate a route from where I am to that destination and ideally re-calculate if I went off-course.

From researching such devices, it seems that you need to prepare the routes at home and then physically copy them to the device, or download it through an app onto the device. I could cope with having to use a smart phone to create the route (by specifying a destination) and transfer that the GPS device, but I want to be able to do this out on the road.

I do not have any experience at all with any bike GPS devices other than just purely to tell me speed (presumably all bike GPS devices can display the current speed). I only have experience with car sat-nav systems and the above is how they work.

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    The higher end of the Garmin Edge range, probably lots of other manufacturers have devices. A cell phone and Google Maps.
    – mattnz
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 2:42
  • 1
    google maps and waze both have bike option. Depending how good the cell reception is in your area, these are probably the two easiest things if you already have a phone/ Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 21:01
  • Yep, many options on a phone. Komoot is also there though I wouldn't recommend it without you being able to visually verify the route is okay for you.
    – user33335
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 5:54

3 Answers 3



  • The Garmin Edge 530/830/1030 can be loaded up with extensive map data, and can give you live routing, even without a cellular connection.
  • Wahoo's ELEMNT ROAM can also do routing on the fly.
  • The Sigma Rox 12 also has extensive navigation functions.
  • Probably others.

There are some smartphone apps that can do this—I think the best-known are Ride with GPS and Komoot. The idea with these apps is mostly that you would use them instead of a dedicated bike computer, not together with one, but you can do that too. They create a route stored in the cloud that you can sync down to your bike computer (using the phone as a hotspot, of course).

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    Even Google maps is an option if you're using a phone, and you can cache the maps for a given area (though search is limited). It's not great for planning real routes but more than adequate for getting you to the nearest open bike shop/supermarket/station. So it's good for unplanned issues, and passable for adding a day's sightseeing in the middle of a tour
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 7:16
  • Is that definitely the case with the Garmin 530? I found this review on YouTube youtube.com/watch?v=zh6vcJlkGGM&feature=youtu.be&t=278 and he says at 4:38 that it does not have select address navigation. It's implied that the 830 might have (he just says it's better). Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 17:14
  • With the 530, you can drop a pin on the map and route to that point, but apparently it is true that you can't enter an address and route to that. So perhaps I should put an asterisk on the 530.
    – Adam Rice
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 17:59
  • @AdamRice that would be an OK compromise to be honest, as long as I can do that entirely from the device itself (I just checked the companion android app and my phone is too old to install it). Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 18:18
  • Having bought a 530 I can confirm that it can route to a destination out on the road. As @AdamRice says, you can't enter an address, but you can position the map to the desired location and it will then calculate a route to it. Also if you deviate, it will will recalculate. Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 18:45

If you're up for a phone app, I've been using Navmii to do this recently.

It uses OpenStreetMap mapping and calculates its routes in the phone, not on some server. So it works offline. The maps include cycle paths and bridleways.

It carries some adverts but there's an option to pay to turn them off.

I've not been using it long enough to give a detailed review but it seems promising. I have nothing to do with the company.

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    There is also BRouter, which is a bit cumbersome to set up but also works offline, integrates with OSMAnd and produces quite good results. No ads, as it is a background service, but it needs compiled index files generated from OSM data that need to be downloaded in addition to the normal OSM maps, from a server that is rate-limited, so setup takes a while. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 10:56
  • Rather not use a a phone app as I don't really want to put my phone on the handlebar as it will be much bulkier and more likely to be damaged if it falls off etc. Plus the battery life probably won't be as good. As I say, if I have to use an app to add a new destination that's fine, but I then want to be able to see that route on the GPS device without having to set that up at home or keeping the phone on. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 17:22
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    @CuthbertAnnihilator So Wahoo, e.g., will let you 1) make a route on Komoot, 2) connect your phone to the headunit, and 3) sync the route to the device. You can do all that on the road, but you can't route completely on the headunit (although you can with some Garmin ones and you can in a limited way with the latest one from Wahoo, the Elemnt Roam).
    – JakeD
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 18:20
  • @JakeD: It's interesting how seemingly simple functions take three or four steps in reality. I make routes on Komoot, upload these to a TomTom server, and then I need to manually connect my watch to a PC for the server to download these (as, for some reason, it can't update the routes over Bluetooth).
    – user33335
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 5:58

The Garmin Monterra can do that (and android-based Garmin GPS). I say 'can' because apparently it is still for sale, but i am not sure i would actually recommend someone else to buy it. You load an OpenStreetMap of the area, then the routes can change offline, and also depending on which mode you choose (walking, bike, road,..)

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