… but I don’t know whether switching to a Bolt or one of the lesser known computers will help.
I enjoy long, rambling outdoor rides with lots of stops for photos. I was happy back when I built routes in Strava, mounted my phone to my stem, and followed the directions. However, that killed the camera microstabilizers on two phones - so I bought a Garmin 830 because I’ve been using Garmin products for decades.
I train inside. I ride outside. I don’t race. I care about exploring, and about catching my next great photo. My Mt. Sufferlandria, a daunting climb up a steep mountain, won’t be timed. I don’t need to know my cadence or speed at any given moment. I just want to ride my bike and explore new places.
Which brings me to my problems with the Edge 830.
First, I can’t prevent it from showing me at least one data screen. This kills me. When I’m riding, my head is up: I’m looking for traffic, for dogs, for potholes, for photo opportunities. When I glance down, I want to see the next couple of miles in my map, the next turn, and preferably the name of the next street: every time. I’ll look at my data later, on Strava. When I’m approaching an intersection at which I’m supposed to turn, I want a loud beep, a bright flashing light, something to get my attention. All too often, when riding quickly or navigating traffic, I’ll blow right by a turn.
Second, I want better mapping. Garmin has all kinds of weird artifacts. For example, there’s a stretch of road near my home with a T intersection extending to the left. My Edge always tells me to turn left at that intersection, then make a u-turn, then make another left to continue on the road I’d been on in the first place. That’s not a problem when I’m in familiar territory. When I’m somewhere new, however, bombing down a long hill and building momentum for the next climb, I don’t need my navigator telling me to slow down at the bottom, turn off, make a u-turn, turn back on, and trudge up that next hill with zero momentum on my side.
Third, I want better return-to-course mapping. If I get way off course, my Edge will be happy to calculate a new route to my destination. But I don’t want to beeline to my destination: I want to get back on the course I’d planned. If I take a shortcut, or just wander off to check out something that looks interesting, I don’t want to be told to make a u-turn: I want to get back on course in a way that makes sense. If I ignore the directions and get myself back on course, I want my GPS to realize I’m ok and not spam me with “make a u-turn” messages to get me back to some waypoint I’d missed five miles ago. I want it to calculate quickly, like Waze does. And I don’t want to be screwing around with fixing the the darn thing while doing 15 mph down some bumpy road.
I’ve read the reviews of the other head units, and none that I’ve found speak directly to these concerns. So I’ll ask you, the community, before gambling a few hundred dollars on a new head unit: does the Bolt solve these problems? Does any unit? Where should I look to find what I want?