Reviews google maps turn by turn navigation for cyclists

Published on November 16th, 2015 | by admin


Road Cycling Turn By Turn GPS Navigation

As road cyclist’s we now have a range of GPS devices to help us find our way no matter where in the world we are. To be honest I have found the Garmin dedicated bike computers, including the Edge Touring version a bit of a let-down. The main drawback of course in using your Garmin Edge for navigation is of course you have to switch to a mapping screen so are unable to view your current cycling metrics without switching backs screens. Also I have found that the actual mapping display of the Garmin Edge is not up to the standard of dedicated sat nav devices we all us in our cars or indeed on our phones. With the limitations of my Garmin Edge in regards to mapping, especially looking to 2017 where I will have to navigate London to Edinburgh and of course back again, I decided to opt for a two device setup.

Firstly let me say that I believe that my navigation setup is not only better than a dedicated touring bike GPS computer but also a lot cheaper.  You see I’m using a standard Android phone, in my case just a cheap Samsung Mini which I use as a bike phone. Take a look at my cockpit setup below.

turn by turn  gps navigation for cyclists


My Samsung Mini phone is attached to my stem using a Quad Lock Mount which is by far the most secure way of attaching a phone to your bike.

Google Maps Navigation For Cyclists

I have experimented with most if not all of the mapping Apps available for Android devices and simply can’t better the bulk standard Google Maps which comes preloaded on most Android phones.  I simply select the options to avoid motorways, toll roads and ferries and let Google Maps show me the way with turn by turn visual and audible directions.

google maps turn by turn options


Recently Google Maps has given users the option to download selected locations so that a data connection is not needed for navigation. I prefer to use a data navigation as I have found very little data is actually used plus I always sure the maps are up to date.

Using Google Maps Turn By Turn Navigation

Using Google Maps for navigation is a breeze so don’t worry as you do not need to be a tech wizard to use it. You simply select your start point and destination, set the options such as road types then let Google Maps search for routes for you. You simply decide which route you want to follow.

Once the route is selected all you have to do is follow the blue line. Before each turn you will be given on screen directions plus you will also be given audio instructions of the next turning or indeed exit.

google maps turn by turn gps navigation for cyclists

Battery Life Using Google Maps For Navigation

Of course if you are using a phone with GPS and data plus having the screen active most of the time, then it’s a no brainer that the battery is soon going to drain. In my case the battery life issue is complicated as I also need to keep my Garmin charged for some times up to 20 hours plus I also need battery power for lights. I simply use USB battery packs which I carry in a small aero top tube bag as shown below.

garmin maps usb battery


USB Power Packs seem to becoming more and more powerful each month. Even a pocket sized mini tubular USB power pack, priced now at only around £10, can keep my phone running Google Maps Navigator all day and another will keep my power sapping Garmin Edge 1000 powered for way over 24 hours.


For lights though I prefer to use a higher power dual port power pack.


So if you are looking for the very best on-bike GPS navigator, then the chances are high you already have it as it is your phone running Google Maps Navigator!

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