So I'd really appreciate your advice about navigation. Up to now we've used a combination of my garmin Fenix watch for the pre planned route and iPhone for places to stop on our route.
We would now like to transfer responsibility for navigation to the stoker at the rear and I think we're leaning towards a handlebar mounted unit. We don't require any power data, just great navigation screens and the ability to find pubs, toilets, restaurants etc at anytime during our ride. Something like the garmin edge explore 2.
So what do you recommend, what do you use? Any thoughts?
I tried a Wahoo device (ELEMNT ROAM), and found it inferior to mobile-phone based solutions, e.g. Strava or Komoot. (You can securely mount a mobile phone on the handlebar, e.g. https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/64-RideCase)
The only advantage of such a dedicated device is that you can connect it to various sensors, to measure cadance, to, more precisely than via GPS, measure speed, etc. For your purposes a mobile phone based solution seems better, at a small fraction of the cost of a dedicated device.
We use a Garmin 1030. This has been perfect for our needs. As a stoker I like it as it is big and easy to read. I can look up where the cafes or supermarkets are in relation to our route. It does give a lot of stats that you may or may not use like heart rate or power. The battery life is great. We used it for at least 2 full days whilst touring.
We plot all our routes on Komot and you can find toilets / campsites / cafe recommendations / special sights etc. on there beforehand.
We have been using a Hammerhead Karoo 2 for navigating some time. It has a handlebar mount which is on the stoker bar. The battery lasts all day. The screen is clear, and if you don't mind being upset it can optionally tell you all about forthcoming climbs!
But I don't think it will find cafe stops etc en route. I research and plan these beforehand and build them into the route which I create on RidewithGPS.
I used the 'cycle.travel' app this year for route planning on a two week trip in Italy. It was terrific - and I preferred it to Ride With GPS. It found excellent routes with lot of good traffic free sections that would have been difficult to find without taking a library of large scale maps. Routes can be planned on the phone app and sent directly to Garmin Connect which we then sync'ed with the Garmin Edge Explore on the handlebars.
The Garmin device was OK. We charged it every night but it might last two days. It has an annoying habit of dimming the screen and showing 'ride paused' when you stop at a junction - which is precisely when you want to look carefully at the route! If anyone knows how to stop this behaviour I would love to know.
On my garmin 1030 you can stop auto pause by going Menu....activity profile.....select the profile you use...... auto features. ....Auto pause....auto pause mode...turn off. Be aware this will mean the timer continues even when you are stopped so will affect your average speed. Assume it should be the same on the Explore.
Cancel the auto brightness menu....system....display....auto brightness (turn off) Hope this works for you