Tips & Tricks - November 26, 2010


1. Bing Maps on Garmin Connect; Has not gone down well ! Possible fix ??
2. Garmin Forerunner 410 release, Plus; win a free 410 before xmas.
3. Suunto M1 HRM works in water.
4. Edge 800: more coming soon.
5. Product reviewers wanted.

1. Bing maps replace Google maps on Garmin Connect
Last weekend Garmin introduced some changes to their online “Gamin Connect” software. One notable change was that they switched the displayed maps from Google maps to Microsoft’s Bing maps.

Clearly an inferior map system to googles, Bing maps lack the detail and satellite imagery, not to mention it just wont zoom any where near as close on a target nor around a 360 degree view.

This switch bought on a flurry of worldwide complaints on Garmins USA based forum with over 10,000 visits in only 4 days on just one of the plethora of threads running the subject. I dont recall having read one pundit suggesting they like the change to Bing. Universally hated.

Will Garmin reverse their decision? I would doubt it, as one high up exec stated the change was somewhat enforced upon them. I now am seeing some marketing persons within Garmin qualifying the changes as being a bit of a pain now, but going forward it will provide a better experience.

Should you want to stick with Google Maps; There are some solutions arising in various forms. People power and those with a strong desire to rectify what they see as a compelling issue, have produced fixes or workarounds. One such clever software developer has built a patch to install into Googles Chrome browser that gets you back to google maps very easily.

I am sure more such remedies will appear in the next few days also. Keep a watch on the Garmin forums HERE. (Scroll halfway down the page to “Threads in Forum”)

2. Garmin Forerunner 410
Released at the start of this week, the new Forerunner 410 is a slightly tweaked version of the 405cx.

Changes include a switch back to the more popular black colour with a new red ring facial to decipher it from the now ageing 405. The improved bezel is easier to use with a firmer positive touch required and the noticeable improvement in the feel of the buttons is a minor but welcomed addition. A complete shutdown option in the software allows the user to discard the watch function totally to save battery for your important upcoming event.

In stock now at $449 and a great gift this Xmas.
Suits mainly the urban runner, but will also work as a cycling computer.

Would you like to win a FREE Garmin forerunner 410. Visit our link here to find out how you can enter this free competition;  WIN a Garmin 410

3. Suunto M1 Heart Rate Monitor works in water
Yes this is what we have been told. A surprise to us all.
In the store, all day long we spiel about how none of the modern day HRM’s will provide heart rate readings whilst submerged in water. Surprise surprise, the Suunto M1 will actually do this.

What do you need for readings in water? normally a very old Polar unit from Circa 1990’s. As these units operated on a very low frequency. As HRM’s got popular, the pitfalls of these early Polars was that they cross-talked, ie, if someone else near you was wearing one in close proximity, you could pick up their heart rate instead of yours and vice-versa. As there was very few frequencies, this was a too common occurrence.

To rectify this, Polar and other HRM brands have increased the frequency by which the devices transmit your heart rate signals through the wireless connection, but unfortunately a by-product was that this rendered it useless in water. The higher frequency was not capable of transmitting through water.

How you read your heart rate whilst swimming is another blog another day, but for now, the simplest and almost cheapest unit on the market will give the swimmers what they want.

At $129, it makes for a good family heart rate monitor and an affordable gift this Xmas.

4. Edge 800 Bundle stocks
What a week, massive number of Edge 800 units went out the door and still many more waiting to get their hands on one.

Good news is that we have been advised that we will be getting some more in a few days. I am not sure if this will exceed the number of units we have deposits for, but anyone who has a pre-order with us will be given first chance at any new arriving stock. If there are units beyond the current pre-orders, then will be selling online and in store whilst they last.

If you want to obtain one for a Xmas present, I would strongly suggest you place a pre-order as this will continue to be sought after more and more as Xmas approaches.

EDGE 800 with HRM + Speed/Cad + Aust/NZ TOPO Maps
$65 deposit plus Full change of mind rights

5. Product reviewers wanted
Do you think you have what it takes to write a good product review, then we suggest you give us a call.

We are currently lending products to reviewers that can write up a good blog or technical review of some of our new release products.

How does it work; We loan you a device and after an agreed time we seek the return of the unit in fair condition and access to print the written article on our blog and/or product description. Acknowledgement of you being the writer is provided and feedback opportunities will also exist.

We will even supply the delivery to you and a return satchel for safe sending of it back to us once you have finished. If you wish, we may even come to an arrangement for you to buy the device at a significantly reduced price should you wish to keep it.

We are currently interested in reviews on;
Suunto Elementum
Bryton Rider
Garmin 110 and 410
Poolmate and Poolmate Pro
Suunto M1, M2, M4, M5, X10 and Core
Cateye Commuter

We are also interested in comparisons of products such as;
GU vs Endura
Skins vs 2XU.

The qualifications you need are not specific or mandatory, however we would prefer that you could demonstrate your ability to write technical reviews by showing us some of your previous work.

If this appeals to you, contact us at

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