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GPS accuracy of cycling devices

The GPS accuracy of cycling devices is often discussed! Therefore, I show here some activity recordings of mountain bike trips in Germany, Italy and Switzerland – so that cyclists can evaluate the GPS accuracy of current Garmin, Hammerhead, Wahoo & TwoNav devices themselves.

One important point should be noted when comparing the cycling devices: Since the devices are mounted next to each other on the handlebar, it cannot be ruled out that the GPS receivers influence each other. In addition, the receivers are shielded by the body.

This is something to keep in mind when looking at the map!

GPS devices when mountain biking (Valle Maira, Italy)
GPS devices when mountain biking (Valle Maira, Italy)

Recording conditions:

  • Recording interval always 1s
  • Altimeter with manual calibration at startup (unless I forget …), auto calibration activated
  • GPS receiver with the GNSS listed below
  • Garmin Edge 1030 Plus: GPS + GLONASS
  • Garmin Edge 830: GPS + GLONASS
  • Garmin Edge 530: GPS + GLONASS
  • Garmin Edge Explore: GPS
  • Hammerhead Karoo 2: GPS + GLONASS + Beidou + OZSS (review)
  • TwoNav Cross: GPS + GLONASS + GALILEO

GPS accuracy of cycling devices – Examples from mountain biking

In some examples, a Garmin GPSMAP 66sr outdoor handheld is used as a reference. Important: The GPSMAP is more favorably attached to the backpack in terms of GPS reception, which is clearly evident in some tracks!

Mountain bike regions:

  • Bavarian Alps (Germany)
  • Ascona, Lago Maggiore (Switzerland)
  • Valle Maira, Piedmont (Italy)

To display the color coding, move the mouse pointer to "Tracks", where you can also show/hide individual tracks. Full screen mode via the symbol in the upper right corner; map selection via the layer symbol on the right side.

Loading the data may take some time!

Elevation Profile

GPS accuracy of cycling devices – summary

In my opinion, there are no really drastic differences between the used cycling devices – all GPS devices provide convincing records in total. Each device weakens here and there, but the deviations are completely within the usual range and should be insignificant for mountain biking, gravel biking and touring.

How the GPS accuracy affects the recognition of Strava segments was not part of this review!

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3 thoughts on “GPS accuracy of cycling devices”

  1. Thank you very much for this great data. It really looks rather pointless to compare these, AFTER your comparison. The only thing I am wondering is what the Bolt V2 (which would be my favourite) has done on track 8. It is often quite far OFF, AND it lost about 100m in elevation and even showed a drop where you went up.
    It even dropes quite clearly lower at mid track while having started higher!? Pretty strange and not that good :-/

    • The bolt v2 showed 1595 while you have been at 1660 (65m too low) and earlier 1588 while you actually have been at 1530, which is 50m too much!? In comparison to the other devices it missed about 200m of elevation. This is really bad. Any idea what happened there?

      This is not "insignificant for mountain biking"…but just too much to tolerate. Strangely the performance on other tracks was not that bad but comparable to the others. What do you think?