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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At first I didn't even consider it due to the high price, however, there is a $100 mail-in rebate if you buy it within the next month. So, do you guys think it is worth it or should I just go with a simpler, cheaper model with only speed, distance, and cadence (any recommendations?). Also, if I were to purchase the 800 would I need to buy additional maps (Montreal, Canada), kinda confused about that aspect.

Thanks!
 

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If the money's not an issue for you, go for it, and enjoy it. If the money made a difference for me in terms of buying a bike, I'd put the money towards the bike instead of the computer.....but if you're happy with your bike and have the $$ to drop on the 800, go for it!

It's a nice little GPS computer that's easier to read on the bike than some earlier Garmin offerings, and chances are as you grow into the sport/hobby (whichever it is for you), it will accommodate your advancing goals. If you travel and walk around on tours/vacations, it's also a convenient pocket GPS.

As a personal aside, I really don't care for the whole "beginners don't deserve XYZ" thing--in any hobby or sporting venue--(that's just me, that's not directed at you personally!)--I consider myself a novice at just about all of my interests; and I couldn't care less if someone else thinks my toys are beyond my station in life.
 

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I think if you're serious about cycling, then it's a great investment. If you're just starting out, who knows if you'll stick to cycling. As stated above, if the money isn't a big deal, then go for it.
I use it to track my rides, and to see how hard I'm pushing. I have the HRM, but one day might get a power meter. If you ride in a lot of unfamiliar areas, the navigation can be nice too.
 

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I've been riding for many years and still can't justify the expense... but that's me. You need to just go for it. It may get you on the bike more and for longer rides. Anything that gets you on the bike is a sound investment, beginner or not.
 

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I don't think being a beginner, or not, has much to do with this decision. You either give a crap about the information the thing will give you or you don't.
I cycle between 7-8K miles a year and while I haven't been at it for that many years I wouldn't call myself a beginner and I couldn't give two shts about having one. In fact if I was given one for free you'd see it on ebay within the hour. But I've met some beginners or not at all serious cyclist who love gadgets like that. Good for them. Neither is right or wrong and certainly no beginner needs justify wanting/having one just like no very experienced cyclist needs one to get all they want to out of the sport. You're either into that type of gadget and it's information or you ain't.
 

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Personally, there would be a number of bike related items on my list ahead of the Garmin. But as Jay says, you either need (or will at least make use of) the info or you won't. If you won't, it seems a waste of money (IMO), but it's yours to spend as you like.

Similar to any upgrade, maybe ask yourself what this purchase will do for you/ attaining your goals as a cyclist that something lesser won't. If you have a solid answer (or answers), go for it. If not, hedge on the purchase and look for other options.
 

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I can't imagine not having a bike computer. I got one when I first started and tracking my progress ( distance and speed) on the same routes is the only way I could tell how much I was improving. Looking at cadence and heartbeat for every ride is very valuable to me.
 

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Even though there is a 100 rebate - they jacked up the price

I ought mine a few months ago at biketiresdirect for 499 with a 50 store credit. Now it's 649

I would wait till the rebate is over and I bet the price goes back down.

besides the price - I really like it
 

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Don't buy the bundle! I bought myself one on amazon last year for 649 and then I bought a couple of cadence sensors for my other bikes for $20 or so. A couple months later I bought my dad the "base" 800 for 499 plus one cadence sensor- exact same thing! ( we both had HR monitors)
 

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BTW, forgot to mention in my original response--sometimes you can find a good deal on Garmin factory refurb unit. We bought one of our computers that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thankfully someone gave me really good pedals/helmet/shoes/clothes etc so the only money I really need to spend is on the computer and other misc items. It's selling online for $450 just the unit itself, and $350 after the rebate. I would mainly use it to not get lost when biking dowtown-ish area of Montreal. I am still wondering however if I need to purchase maps for my area or does the unit come with default maps? And for the cadence and heartrate monitor I assume I can just purchase that at a later point if I feel it would be useful.
 

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I didn't read what the others said, but here's my opinion on this. If you can afford it, get it (or the 810). The fact that you're asking this, means you want it. If you don't buy it today, you're going to want it in the future. Which means whatever else you buy, you'll eventually throw away money on and get it anyway.

I'm only speaking from experience (I went through 2 other computers before I got the 810).
 

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I found the navigation to be very useful. I have quite a few routes saved into it and do keep changing where I ride to keep things fresh and it helps not having to wonder if I'd taken a wrong turn and concentrate on turning the pedals.

I only have the cadence meter, but it is good that I can have a HRM later should I want it. Or a power meter!

The basemap is not good for the small lanes that I use here in south-east UK. I have a Discoverer 1:50k map with my unit as I take it on my MTB as well and it is good to know I can roughly go back to where I am more familiar.

All the best.
 

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wyrd bið ful ãræd
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I downloaded some free OSM maps from this site.

I just got myself an original SanDisk micro SDcard and saved the .img file to it and away I went. Will try to take a picture of how it looks and load it here. If I were to stay only on the roads, I would have just got the unit without the maps as the OSM map is very good and sufficient for UK.

Select generic routable, none, leave it alone, put a tick on manual tile selection and enter your email address.

Just get the maps you need as the larger you select, the larger the file, up to a limit. eg: UK and Ireland came up to about 1.2GB I think. The larger the file the longer your unit will take to start up.

I am not sure how good the maps are for Canada but, do check before you decide to go without the maps. Select the area you want and the site will send you a couple of files, one of which you can use on your computer, using Garmin Basecamp, which you can download from G. Then you can zoom in to see if all the small lanes in your area do show up on the map. Yes ... you can do all this without even having a 800 or 810.

Good luck
 

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Well ultimately I decided to save some cash and went with a cheaper computer with cadence. I figure I'll just learn the area and roads the old-fashioned way! Thanks for all the opinions
If you have an old smart phone get the Cue Sheet app. Now that I upgraded the old cell phone is going to get strapped on the bike for longer exploring rides.
 

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If you have an old smart phone get the Cue Sheet app. Now that I upgraded the old cell phone is going to get strapped on the bike for longer exploring rides.
I agree with this. I asked some friends who I knew upgraded their smart phones and they were fine to let me have their old one... I downloaded a couple apps (ibike, strava, a battery saver app as well) and strapped it on my bike. I only use the information for post-ride data because I have a simple computer on my bike as well but it is great for loading things online after the ride. I haven't tried attaching (via bluetooth) a HRM but maybe this summer :) It just uses GPS so it doesn't need a carrier.
 
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