I hear lots of problems with software generated elevation gain calculations. Probably due to topo map accuracy but more importantly, how the software calculates the total (how often it creates a waypoint... how it fills in the 'gap' between the last marker, etc.
I have seen on forums where people discovered such things like:
"veloroutes reported the 1800' I climbed on Saturday as 6800'"
"I have tried several of the freebie (and not free) computer mapping programs. They ALL give wildly inaccurate cumulative elevation gain numbers. For the same route, one of these programs might report 3 times the elevation gain of another program."
if you really want accurate results, it appears that a software solution is not the way to go. The only folks who seem to have any confidence in the elevation gain results have barometric altitude computers like Polar, Garmin, Cateye, etc which are usually within 5% of the actual.
I've always liked the altitude feature on computers, especially real-time %grade readouts when climbing. FWIW, I used a barometric cycling computer for 12 years:
- Cateye AT-100 (one of the first) no % grade though
- Specialized (forget name, P-Brain..?, it was the Festina colored "Pro" model). Worked well.
- Garmin Edge 705 - altitude, % grade... plus tons more.
Similar problems exist for 'calories burned' calculations... you can get wildly different numbers depending on computer, or software used. I know my computer generally overstates calories by 70% so I just program in my weight as 95lbs :)
Edited by: SCOTTCR1 at: 5/18/2009 (16:33)
| current weight: 158.0