Garmin or TomTom?

On 15/09/2018 at 21:07

Hi, we’re new to Bikershub.
We’re looking to buy a satnav that’s biker friendly, and were hoping for some advice.
What’s better? .... Garmin or TomTom?
We want to be able to reprogram whilst out and about without computer access, but we want to be able to choose our route not leave it to the satnav to make that decision.
We prefer the 5” screen to the smaller one. We have Sena S10 comms so want it to be compatible to those. Looking for Europe, don’t need world wide maps.
We’re interested to know how user friendly these are in terms of fitting/viewing whilst on the move, and programming.
Can anyone offer us any advice before we take the leap and buy one!
Thank you.
TheNotSoBigCheese
TheNotSoBigCheese
Moderator

On 16/09/2018 at 21:38

Hi and welcome!

Sadly I can't help much in the Garmin vs TomTom debate. I always use my phone with an app called CaliMoto. It's designed to take you on the "bendiest" route and records your average speed, top speed during the journey and you can also plan your own routes.

One feature I liked was that you can enter a start point and say how far you want to ride and it will make a round trip for you to follow :-) Guessing the Sena S10 can bluetooth to your phone so you will hear the instructions?
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On 20/09/2018 at 17:52

I've used both Garmin (car and then a Zumo for the bike) and a TomTom Rider 450.

Personally, I prefer Garmin. In fact, had I known what I know now about how the TomTom, and its associated software, works, I don't think I would have bought it.

These are few of the issues I've had with the TomTom in comparison with the Garmin...

1. Software. The TomTom has to be logged onto the internet, otherwise it wont work. Although I've now found that the Garmin "Basecamp" software will, apparently, work with the TomTom, but I've not tried it yet. The Two TomTom software systems I've used are the TomTom own 'webpage' based system and Tyre, and tyre requires a connection to the TomTom online "MyDrive" site to send and received from the SatNav anyway. The TomTom stuff seems very clunky, to me. I tried making up a route the other day and couldn't figure out how to specify an End Point and then add in waypoints along the way. After an hour of trying, I gave up.

2. Downloading 'Waypoints' and 'Tracks'. Waypoints are the places along the way that you want to save to plot on a map, or use again as a destination. On the Garmin I found it fairly straight forward, on the TomTom it was more of a pain, maybe because the TomTom uses a different touch recognition system and, no matter what setting I put on it, it seems to detect entries, duplicate letters or chooses other letters than the one that I wanted. The recording system has to be enabled on the TomTom every time you switch it off and back on. The Garmin just carries on recording when you switch it back on. To download the tracks that you have saved on the Garmin can be done through a USB link to the PC (again, no need for an internet connection, you can do it offline) but on the TomTom you have to insert a memory card, scroll through the settings until you get to the "Tracks" section, enable "Sharing", click on the track that you want to export, export it to the card, eject the card, insert it into the PC before you can even get at the file. To see the waypoints on the TomTom you have to make sure that both the "MyDrive" website is on, *before* you also then have to sign on through the Setting section of the menues on the TomTom unit. It will then, hopefully, synchronize the waypoints with the MyDrive. I have not yet found a way to save those waypoints to use with other programs, like BaseCamp and I even struggle to get Tyre to import the Waypoints as well..

3. Route planning. This, in my experience, is a frustrating task on the TomTom system, it seems to decide to send you off up dual carriageways, to come back to where you were, instead of just crossing a bridge over a dual carriageway. Even if you import a set of tracks, that other people have created whilst riding, and import them into the TomTom, it seems to take you some strange routes. Yes, there are options for "Twisties" and the usual "Avoid Motorways' and stuff. I bought it thinking that the "Twisties" option might be nice, but I've never used it yet.

To cut a long story short, unless you've used TomTom in the past, and really, really like that manufacturer and know the ways and means that make it work, I'd suggest getting a Garmin, probably one of the Zumo range, as they are designed to be used on a bike. I'm planning on putting my Zumo back on the bike. The only downside is the connecting cable, which was a reason why I strayed off to TomTom, for the use I give my stuff, the cables last about 12 months before one or other of the little spring loaded bullet connections fall over and stop making contact with the flat plate contacts on the back of the Zumo.

On 20/09/2018 at 21:38

To cut a long story short, unless you've used TomTom in the past, and really, really like that manufacturer and know the ways and means that make it work, I'd suggest getting a Garmin, probably one of the Zumo range, as they are designed to be used on a bike. I'm planning on putting my Zumo back on the bike. The only downside is the connecting cable, which was a reason why I strayed off to TomTom, for the use I give my stuff, the cables last about 12 months before one or other of the little spring loaded bullet connections fall over and stop making contact with the flat plate contacts on the back of the Zumo.

Thank you to everyone. We decided to go with Garmin. The instructions seem complicated, but I reckon once we start using it it should make sense. My husband doesn’t have a smart phone so the Calimoto wouldn’t work for him. He's not good with technology so this is going to be quite a learning curve for him.

On 28/09/2018 at 15:49

I've just fitted a Zumo 595 to the bike, so I'll be boxing up the TomTom and selling it on. It works OK, but I just couldn't get on with it.

On 19/11/2018 at 11:29

Hello and welcome, I also use Zumo 595 and find it really good and absolutely pretty to use.
As for TomTom, I never used this satnav brand, but also heard that its interface is not simple to understanding and it doesn't work without permanent network connection. It influenced my decision in choosing Garmin.

So, hope you're also satisfied.
Road is my religion
My bike: Ducati XDiavel / Spidi Airtech Armor Jacket / Typhoon motorcycle helmet
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