Garmin eTrex 10 Worked Like a Charm
Late last year when I decided to sign up with Rusa.org to be able to do long-distance bike ride events in 2017 I did a little research into what Garmin GPS devices were ideal for handling digital cue sheet services. I had had a little experience in 2015 using a Garmin Edge Touring device to provide me with digital cue sheet services on longish rides. And I was not overly happy with the Edge Touring’s results. The two main problems with it were the fact that the device constantly recalculates the planned route depending on where you are on the route (and ultimately screws it up). And the second problem was that if you went for a particularly long ride the battery might go dead (and since the battery is built into the device you are out of luck).
My research lead me to believe that the two best options for reliable digital cue sheet services included the Garmin eTrex 10 and the Garmin eTrex 20x. They don’t cost that much. So I went ahead and purchased one of each. In early January I used the eTrex10 with alkaline batteries on a very cold day (in the teens) and the batteries refused to function about 20 miles into the ride. I learned that I should have used rechargeable NiMH batteries instead. Two weeks ago I used the eTrex20x with rechargeable NiMH batteries (1000 unit capacity each) and those batteries refused to function after 60 miles. I later figured out 1000 unit capacity batteries are quite low in capacity. AA batteries can be obtained with capacity exceeding 2500 units.
Yesterday I went for a 126 mile ride using my eTrex10 powered by two rechargeable NiMH AA batteries with supposedly 2700 unit capacity each. The temperature outside was quite cold: 15 degrees at start and 34 degrees at finish. I made it through the entire ride without the power in my Garmin going out. My hunch is that my eTrex20x would have gone the distance, too, with these new super batteries. However, it should be noted that the eTrex20x uses a little more power generally since its graphic interface is more complex and displays at a higher resolution.
I was especially thankful that my eTrex10 was working at the end of the ride since the last 10 miles was performed without the benefit of daylight. I was riding in the dark with head and tail lights on my bike, AND with the backlight at its brightest in my eTrex10. The display in my eTrex10 during those last 10 miles made it so easy/simple to navigate the route in the dark.