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  1. #1
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    Garmin Nuvi 3790 vs Edge 800??

    Ok, so I did a little search on RBR and several of the other sites and came up with nothing on the Nuvi 3790 reviews. I was hoping to see if anyone has experience with it as a car GPS and also as a bike GPS. The 3790 is the top of the line Nuvi. Thin (< 9mm thick) and I believe it has a bike mode. Anyone use it? I am trying to decide between this 3790 or the Edge 800. If the 3790 works well as bike GPS, then it would be the one for me as I wouldn't mind a better car GPS than the one I have (Nuvi 2750). Thanks.
    Ordered and Fitted for my Custom DEAN Titanium frame on Sept 17th, 2008. Finally got it in Oct, 2010!!!

  2. #2
    B05
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    lower price/bigger size VS higher price/smaller size/ANT+

    ANT+ is the deal breaker here. Do you care for HRM and CAD sensors?

  3. #3
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    There's a whole lot more ANT+ in my opinion.

    The question to me is how do you want to use the device? If it's a cycling computer where you track miles, speed, HR, cadence, etc. and want it to blend in with a nice bike look, there's the Garmin 800. However if you are concerned about finding you want around and don't care about the other stuff (assuming you are carrying the GPS in a jersey pocket or someplace), maybe the Nuvi is okay.

  4. #4
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    The Edge 800 is also somewhat water resistant and can take a pounding, in case you crash. The Nuvi is built for being inside the car, so it's doesn't have to be water resistant and will probably break easily. You can install the same maps on either unit, so you can use either one to navigate via car/bicycle, it's just the Nuvi will announce the street names, while the Edge does not. The last thing is that the Edge 800 has a few bicycle mounting options, while the Nuvi probably does not. You can also use a wrist strap for the Edge 800, so you can also use it for running/walking.
    - Ed

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
    The 3790 is the top of the line Nuvi. Thin (< 9mm thick) and I believe it has a bike mode.
    3790 is not top of the line Nuvi. 3790 was top of the line Nuvi before 2012. Today it is a discontinued past model. The current top of the line Nuvis are 3490 and 3590 (4.3" and 5" screens respectively with the same pixel count). The weird model numbering convention sometimes confuses people, leading them to believe that 3790 "tops" 3490, while in reality it is the other way around.

    These units do not have bicycle mode (whatever you mean by that). It has pedestrian mode, which basically means that these devices have a built-in compass in addition to the actual GPS receiver. (Typically automotive GPS units have no compass inside).

    For me, "bicycle mode" would mean bicycle maps and autonomous power. These units have no such maps, at least officially. Of course, these units are not compatible with any performance-measuring bicycle accessories. On top of that, automotive units are much more flimsy. Also, they are less optimized for working in autonomous mode (i.e. conserving battery), not even mentioning that they typically have a very small battery built-in. They are not intended to be used without external power.

    In other words, automotive GPS unit is a very poor choice for a bicycle navigation. Maybe some day someone will come up with a product specifically designed for mixed car-bicycle use. However, the models you mentioned so far are not it.
    Last edited by AndreyT; 09-24-2012 at 11:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies fellas! All of you bring up some great points. To clarify, I don't use HRM/cadence functions anymore. When I used to care about being the strongest rider I could be, I cared. Avg speed, or current spd and distance is somewhat more important but what I'm really looking for is navigating the streets here in Europe. Maybe pre-planning some routes. I wonder if some company like Otterbox has waterproof/resistant boxes for Nuvis like they make for iphones? Unless there are boxes and mounts for the Nuvi, I think I'll go for the 800.
    Ordered and Fitted for my Custom DEAN Titanium frame on Sept 17th, 2008. Finally got it in Oct, 2010!!!

  7. #7
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    Another issue is the ability to download routes. The Garmin 800 can download a route from Ride with GPS while the Nuvi can download waypoints but wants to calculate its route itself.
    Jim Purdy - Mansfield, TX

  8. #8
    LC
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    I tried the Nuvi on a bike and was not impressed. Even if you overlook the big ugly Nuvi mounted on your bike there are other issues. Being able to download someones proven route and follow it is worth the price of the 800. The "Bike routing" on a Nuvi was a joke. While it did avoid the freeway, it still kept directing me onto a busy main roads that was a death zone for bikes.

    Another big issue with a Nuvi is the poor battery life which was less than half what they claimed I should get. So if they claim 4 hours, figure it dying in less then 2 hours.

  9. #9
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    There are basically three ways to navigate with the 800: 1.) Look at the map and ride. 2) Put in a destination and let it decide the route from where you are. 3) Figure out a route on your computer an download it to the 800.

    1 is difficult if not impossible IMO because of the small difficult to read display. You either see enough detail but not a big enough picture or a big enough picture without enough detail to figure things out. In situations like this I've sometimes resorted to using my smartphone with it's much larger, higher resolution and easier to read display for getting a better lay of the land.

    2 works well but you're stuck with whatever the route it decides based on a few basic preferences you select. Of course once it's navigating a route, you can use the route as a reference and chose to deviate it from it if you want to parallel it on less major roads, etc..

    3 works the best and is how I use my Garmin for navigating.

    I've used my Garmin in the car a few times but it's hard to see and distracting while driving so it's better if you have a navigator looking at it and giving you instructions. Decent auto GPSs are cheap enough that I suggest getting one for the car and sticking with the 800 on the bike.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  10. #10
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    I've also considered using my Nuvi 765T as my primary bike computer since it has a Bicycle Mode, and I like being able to navigate to my destination just by following its directions as well as the built-in POIs for those times when I needed something during a ride. But a few downsides makes me doubt whether this is a good bike tool.

    1. Size. It's 4.3" and it literally looks like having a dashboard if I'm going to mount it on my bike.
    2. Weight. It's heavier and bulkier than a bike-specific computer.
    3. Weather-resistance. As the other poster mentioned, forget that it can resist weather abuses like direct sunlight, dust, and rain. Don't think about snow either.
    4. Impact resistance. Not built for hard knocks.
    5. Bike-mount availability. As far as my research went, it's quite hard to find a Garmin-specific bike mount for the 765T.
    6. Warranty. If Garmin finds out that it was used other than its intended purpose then the warranty would be voided (that's how I interpret it, I might be wrong).

    Bottom-line, the Edge line was created for bikes, just like the other Garmin product lines. Happy researching!

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