Torbjorn Zetterlund

Fri 26 2015

My first ride with the Hammerhead bicycle navigation device

by bernt & torsten

Today I took my first ride with the Hammerhead bicycle navigation device before I left my house, I mapped a route using the Hammerhead app that I bike today.

When I got started everything came on ok, with the app communicating to the Hammerhead device, when I started to bike the Hammerhead device did not show me when to turn, I tried several things nothing seems to help. I carried two mobile phones with me, and I remember that I had pair both of them with the Hammerhead device, so I switch off the Bluetooth on both and then I switch on the Bluetooth on the mobile phone which I was using for the ride. That solves the issue and the device was working fine.

The first issue I found with the app is that it can not map bike routes that include a ferry ride, the app only uses bike routes that have a bridge. So as you can see in this first picture I wanted to head to Zaandam on the north side of the Noordzeekanaal (North Sea Canal).

The route given to me by the Hammerhead app took me through the city of Amsterdam to use the bridge to cross the Buiten-IJ to North Amsterdam that added about 20 km to my ride.

Hammerhead App

The 2nd concern that I have with the Hammerhead device is that when I had several direction changes in short time frame the device was not always keeping up so I passed the turning point before it show the turn, I have that down to the communication from the app on the mobile phone, that was busy at times with the re-routing of the route as I did not always agree with the apps pre route as I used different streets or ferry.

I took the ferry at one point and that confused the Hammerhead app, it gave me a warning message on the screen, I could not clear it, the app still worked in the background.

I need to test it on longer bike rides, to see how it works in other cities, today’s ride I tested the Hammerhead device and app in bright sunlight, light rain and overcast skies. I could view the app and devices in all the all conditions, If you have your route mapped out then you do not need to worry if you take a wrong turn or change your mind in what street to take the app automatically re-route your direction to your destination, that worked really good.

Overall I’m very happy with the performance, the Hammerhead device worked well, the main issue was with the mobile phone I do not get more than 4 – 4 1/2 hour out of my mobile, so for any ride longer than that I will run out of the battery to complete my ride.

Next, I will test the Hammerhead app with my Wahoo Cadence + Speed App – both using Bluetooth it will be fun to see if the app will work together. I will write something up about it on a later day.