Does navigating via breadcrumbs work?


just wondering if any of you use a bike computer or watch which do not more than breadcrumb navigation. How often do you get lost?

Or does it work ok? thanks

If you create route with Ride With GPS you have annotations and warnings about turns, POI and route so this way it work pretty good. If you use route directly from strava - it is useless as navigation (for me). I use Wahoo Bolt (previous generation).

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but even the Bolt V1 does not have a real breadcrumb navigation… there is a map under the crumbs so it makes navigation and orientation much easier - had the Bolt myself. That kind of nav works quite ok.

I mean the real old school blank screen only thin line and arrow navigation… any experiences?

this is quite standard on various devices: Edge 130, Forerunner 745, 245 etc

Ahs sorry. Despite the fact that the map on the bolt is quite useless to use without comments, so it is at least a little easier to orientate yourself. I have completely forgotten that navigation without the some map even exists these days :slight_smile:

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I’ve had full mapping GPS for the last 7 years but beforehand I had the Edge 305 which predated full mapping and used bread crumbs and I successfully navigated tons of miles with it. In a city with a few ways in similar direction (ie 2 right turns close to each other) it can be hard to decide but if you pick one and its wrong you quickly see it on the breadcrumb map and you double back. The only advantage of full colour mapping for me is that you feel more confident about exploring of route when you can see a clear way back to it when you do.

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I almost exclusively navigate via breadcrumbs, and the actual navigation bit works very well. The only difficult bit is how you create a route. Routes created with Wahoo’s app (where you have turn-by-turn navigation) are generally not very good in my experience. It tries to hard to avoid major arteries, which could be good if properly done via heat maps, but in practice isn’t. And sometimes it wants me to ride on gravel or worse — with an aero road bike. Routes created by Strava and hand drawn maps created via e. g. MapOut work well, though.

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I have a Garmin 810 which I have never put maps on. The blue line works fine for me (hence why I have never bothered putting maps on it…). YMMV

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I used to have a Garmin forerunner 920xt and you could load a breadcrumb trail with direction arrows (via rwgps). It worked fine for riding on the roads when the turns were obvious. I did get a bit frustrated at times and I eventully bought a Garmin edge 830.

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I have the Garmin 130 (first gen) and breadcrumbs is the only available navigation option.

For me breadcrumbs works fine the majority of the time, as you can clearly see where to go in the intersections. The only bit I struggle is when you have too many options to turn (city environment).

But if you are in the countryside you can clearly understand were to go.

To add context: I create my route in Komoot and then import it via Garmin Connect.

At the moment I’m actually transitioning to use a cheap smartphone instead of a bike computer. You can use whatever app you want (Komoot in my case for mapping)


I had the edge 25 (even more basic then the 130), and did quite some rides with the breadcrumb trail.
Some MTB rides in new environments and some road cycling. it works OK, but expect to take a few wrong turns now and then or miss some turns. When you are too far off the loaded track, you get notified and have to find the correct turn, which is sometimes easy and sometimes very unclear depending on the road/trail situation at that specific location. So your avg speed will probably tak a hit when you navigate new routes like this :slight_smile: if you don’t care, to stop and check, it works ok and you definately will get home again.

When you just want to keep riding, the benefit of a map and the visual feedback of e.g. the 2nd street left of the 3rd on the roundabout is a huge timesaver and prevents 9-10 errors navigating.

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Is this what the edge 520 has? If yes, yeah, it works fine, unless there are two similar options (like a bit left and a bit more left), and you have to guess which one it is.


hi, thanks - interesting to see so many positive impressions. I used my forerunner 245 today first time for navigating on the bike. The little screen can be a challenge, but it is on the handlebars closer than the edge uses to be on the mount in front. So it is probably just something to get used to.

But still:

I am not sure if this setup would take me through unknown territory.

For running it works flawlessly, even in thickest forests I have GPS.

So not sure if I might stick to the edge additionally to the forerunner.

I stopped using breadcrumbs years ago. Damn crows.


Use breadcrumb navigation on by Garmin edge 500 (still works perfectly and super reliable!) regularly, and have done several 100 mole plus rides to random places I’ve never been before and only VERY rarely gone wrong. Occasionally wrong turn but clear gone wrong very quickly and easily corrected. Never felt need for more than breadcrumb to be honest. This is all road cycling though.


"just wondering if any of you use a bike computer or watch which do not more than breadcrumb navigation. How often do you get lost?

Or does it work ok?"

My favorite on-bike navigation interface is still the Garming 200. As long as the little black triangle stays on the little black line I’m ok. The screen has zero glare and good contrast & the backlight works all night long.

Even though I use the Garmin 520 now because the 200 doesn’t integrate external wireless sensors I still miss the Garmin 200 completion bar and the way the Garmin 200 would zoom out forever if I decided to explore off course…the off course route shows up as a dotted line and the 200 zooms out to show where the solid ‘on course’ and the dotted ‘off course’ lines intersect. Always easy to pick your own route back to the course.

On the other hand! :smiley: Bryton and Giant Neostrack breadcrumb navigation are almost unusable. It’s better than nothing but you often have to try at least two different ways for a few miles at an intersection before it’s obvious on the screen which was is the correct one. Jankiest nav interface ever.

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i tried it now a couple of times - for running, hiking etc more than enough, works really ok.
For biking maybe it is rather the small screen of the watch - but I find it not enough good information to make a quick decision on the bike.

Maybe using a small watch with only breadcrumbnavigation (and not having a map underneath like the bolt v1) is dangerous as you might be confused by the instructions, not sure about where to turn and eventually be looking longer at the screen.

I will stick to the Edge and its good navigation/maps. thx for all your input