Anybody have a compass on the handle bars?

snorri

Legendary Member
Brock said:
I noticed that the OS 1:50 000 maps are more expensive than petrol.
Isn't petrol the cheapest processed fuel around. :?: :?:
 
OP
Bigtallfatbloke

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
I got a GPS system for Christmas a few years ago and I've never even taken it out of the box.
What is it? Ever thought of selling it at a rock bottom price to a skint newbie tourer who cant read maps on an internet forum? :?:
 

Pottsy

...
Location
SW London
The problem with GPS's is that they can run out of battery or fail and then what do you do if you don't have maps? So I always feel the need for maps even though I have a GPS. Mostly I end up just with the maps.

Maps are great for pouring over in the pub afterwards to see where you've been and where you're going tomorrow.
 
Location
Midlands
I always have a compass useful for finding way out or around wildernesses like Paris or Cadiz - best sort is one you can see when on move - handlebars is generally best place - not good for conventional magnetic sort so gps mega

(in souther hemisphers and northern hemisphere compasses the needle is weighted to allow for vertical declination of earths magnetic field)
 

oldwheels

Veteran
I used to have a combined bell/compass on the bars. No matter what I did the needle only pointed forward regardless of the direction I was going. It was not stuck. Useless object.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Never needed one except for cross country navigation. I'm a bit of a 'divvy'with maps (a diviner, a natural) and a quick glance, orientate myself with a landmark, and I'm away, so even then don't really need a compass. I did the Brirtish Army land navigation course and needn't have bothered - 4 weeks of training, and still all I ever did was look at the map, look around me, and I was off.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
I used to have a combined bell/compass on the bars. No matter what I did the needle only pointed forward regardless of the direction I was going. It was not stuck. Useless object.
What was the bell made out off?
 

mudsticks

Über Member
I always take a compass - partly because I'll often go off on day, or overnight walks over rougher ground when i'm cycle touring too ..

But a compass can also be really useful for navigating your way out of an unfamiliar town - particularly if a one way system - or featureless outskirts have disorientated you..

Its a standard silva type one - but i can see how a handlebar mounted one would be useful ..
 

MikeG

Guru
Location
Suffolk
Never needed one except for cross country navigation. I'm a bit of a 'divvy'with maps (a diviner, a natural) and a quick glance, orientate myself with a landmark, and I'm away, so even then don't really need a compass. I did the Brirtish Army land navigation course and needn't have bothered - 4 weeks of training, and still all I ever did was look at the map, look around me, and I was off.
Yeah, I'm a bit like that. But wander around a maze of backstreets in an unfamiliar urban environment, or, as I have done, endless mud tracks in and around un-mapped African towns, twisting here and there, and a quick glance at a compass to orientate yourself can be a godsend.

So the answer to the OP is yes, I have ridden with a compass on the handlebars, and yes, it was useful at times. I must tell you though that a mis-placed spoon or pocketknife in an adjacent bar bag can drag the needle off kilter, and by then you've been swallowed up into the inescapable morass of Preston's back streets, from which escape is vanishingly unlikely. There is a reason I know this.
 

Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
Yeah, I'm a bit like that. But wander around a maze of backstreets in an unfamiliar urban environment, or, as I have done, endless mud tracks in and around un-mapped African towns, twisting here and there, and a quick glance at a compass to orientate yourself can be a godsend.

So the answer to the OP is yes, I have ridden with a compass on the handlebars, and yes, it was useful at times. I must tell you though that a mis-placed spoon or pocketknife in an adjacent bar bag can drag the needle off kilter, and by then you've been swallowed up into the inescapable morass of Preston's back streets, from which escape is vanishingly unlikely. There is a reason I know this.
The OP has not been on the site since 2010 ........
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Maps can get wet, tear, blow away, so you can't be blase with them either - all artificial nav aids are fallible. Before you set forth its wise to have a general idea of the route, your orientation, how to establish north-ish without any aids, etc.
 
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