Navigation And Bike GPS Tips For Your KAP sani2c Stage Race

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Bike Setup, Bike, Bike Events & Racing, Buyer's Guide, Safety, Skills & Setup, Sports

For several years now, sani2c and many other stage races have made use of personal bike mounted GPS devices on riders to ensure that they are not getting lost and reducing the amount of materials needed for marking out a marathon course.

Learning how to navigate efficiently with a GPS device on your handlebars takes a bit of time to get used to but once you’re into the swing of things, it means that you’ll never be off course, or too far off course at least! Those sugar cane roads of day 3 at sani2c can get pretty tricky to navigate at times so best you get your navigation plans and processes together before you’re in the thick of things!

Make Sure You'Ve Got The Right Gps For Snai2C
Get the right GPS, learn how to use it, and have a blast on the sani2c route!

To learn a little more about what makes a good navigation device as well as some tips and tricks on getting the most out of them, we reached out to Matt Walsh from easyBike (sani2c’s navigation partner) to get his take on things.

Find out more about the KAP sani2c stage race and nonstop ride here

GPS navigation device insights for sani2c with Matt Walsh.

WA: Thanks for taking some time to chat to us Matt! It would be great to hear a bit about your journey with sani2c. How long have you been connected with the event and how many rides have you done yourself?

Matt: We have been involved with the sani2c since 2014, that was the first year we started to offer GPS navigation to the riders as a trial. Things have come a long way since then in terms of technology and the event itself. I have ridden 5 sani2c events over the years and would like to get back on the bike again to get to 10 and join the Black Mamba Club.

WA: What are some of the key specifications and factors to consider in buying a GPS device for mountain biking navigation and which models have you found to be the best for navigation on the bike?

Matt: Some of the key features will be that the device must have the navigation function and the ability to follow a breadcrumb trail.  Battery life & screen size are also some of the other factors to consider. The Garmin Edge range seems to offer the best performance in terms of features, it is very user friendly and easy to load maps on as well as good value for money.

WA: A lot of the latest sports watches are equipped with good navigation functions. What are your thoughts on using a watch for navigation vs a bike computer?

Matt: Both have their advantages, the latest sports watches offer the navigation and breadcrumb features enabling you to follow a course. The bike specific computers are mounted on your bike and easier to see with the larger screens and offer more in terms of cycling specific stats, features and training. The sports watches offer more all-round features over several different sports. So, at the end of the day, I guess it depends on the rider and their requirements. The bigger screen for me on the bike computers and the fact that it is mounted on your handlebar is a big plus for the bike computers.

Sani2C Has Amazing Trails And You Navigate By Gps
The trails on offer at sani2c or unparalleled! There are area where you can get lost thought if you’r not paying attention making a GPS navigation device crucial.
WA: Which models or manufacturers have the easiest operating systems to use in terms of uploading routes, etc?

Matt: We find that the Garmin range offers the best in terms of uploading routes and general all round user experience and features. (More on this further down and the specials that they have running for the event.)

WA: When it comes to base maps, is it worthwhile buying more detailed maps and if so, which layers do you recommend for on-the-bike navigation?

Matt: It is nice to have but not necessary. The Southern Africa Topographical Mapping that is available online offers contour lines, farm boundaries, rivers, dams, paths, forests etc and it does add to the whole Navigation experience. You can see where you are in relation to your surroundings.

WA: What are some use tips and tricks you’ve found with GPS navigation on the bike? 

Matt: Have your zoom set to between 80m and 120m on the navigation screen, switch off turn guidance as it uses up extra battery. Load the correct file onto your GPS so that you get all the correct features such as water points etc. You can always scroll between your navigation pages and your normal stats pages; you don’t have to always keep it on one or the other.

WA: What are a few of the common navigation related struggles you see people facing at an event like sani2c and what are the common solutions?

Matt: We always encourage riders to test out their GPS units before the event and become familiar with them. A lot of the time it will be the first time that they are using the navigation function at the event, and it can be a little confusing if you have not used it before. The last thing you want on the morning of the start is trying to remember how to set your device to the navigation function.

The second thing is load the correct file onto your device so that you get all the correct features such as Water Points etc. Our GPS newsletter and website will be able to assist you and guide you through the process.

WA: Thanks for your time and expertise Matt! Will riders be able to find you at sani2c this year?

Matt: Yes, we will be at registration as usual this year assisting riders with any navigation questions or issues that they might have. Come and find us at our easyBike retail trailer near registration again this year!

Where to get a navigation device for your sani2c stage race

If you are looking to get a new navigation device you’re in luck as easyBike have some great specials running for riders of the sani2c. They can either ship your new device to you before the event or you can collect at registration preloaded and with a quick training course.

The new Garmin Edge 1040 is a fantastic device if you’re going for all the bells and whistles, or worth looking at are the Edge 530 & Edge 830. easyBike say they will have some deals for all riders on those devices and many more units across the various brands and ranges. If you are in the market for a new GPS checkout their website or email them on [email protected] if you are unsure about which model to go for and quote “Sani2C 2023” for some great deals.

Get your device ready ahead of time and learn how to use it so that it adds to your riding experience during your sani2c ride rather than being a pain!

Find out more about the KAP sani2c stage race and nonstop ride here

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