Riding with a Garmin

garmin_LogoGarmin computers are consistently some of the best-selling items at Performance Bicycle, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re an experienced rider looking to upgrade or shopping around for your first cycling computer, there’s a Garmin Edge that’s going to help you take your cycling to the next level. If you’re unsure what model is for you, we’ll walk you through the models below.

Garmin Edge 200

The Garmin Edge 200 is the entry-level computer, but don’t let that fool you. Many racers prefer the Edge 200 because of its simplicity, and if you’re looking for your first computer, going with the 200 means you’ll get it right the first time. This device tracks your time, distance, speed, location and calories burned, plus it’ll upload your stats to Garmin’s free website for data analysis, mapping and sharing. It’s like having a personal trainer, cycling computer and GPS in one.

Garmin Edge 500 & 510

The Edge 500 and Edge 510 are more geared toward the performance-driven cyclist. Edge 500/510 computers tracks your distance, speed, location and elevation with high sensitivity GPS. Add an ANT+ compatible heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor or compatible power meter for a finely-tuned analysis of your ride. Click here to learn more about the differences between the Edge 500 and 510.

Garmin Edge 800 & 810

And finally the Garmin Edge 800 and Edge 810 are for the cyclist who wants it all. The Edge 800 and Edge 810 are touch screen computers that provide navigation and performance monitoring and are ideal for touring, commuting, competitive cycling or mountain biking. These have a built-in basemap and track your distance, speed, location and ascent/descent. Combine one of these computers with an ANT+ heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor or compatible power meter for even more advanced analysis of your ride. Click here to learn more about the differences between the Edge 800 and 810.

garmin_edge_810_roadIf you want to get even more performance out of your Garmin Edge, check out these accessories that can help you maximize your ride.

  1. The Garmin Out Front mount is a big improvement on the stem mount included with the Edge computers, and helps make it easier to view the screen without taking your eyes off the road.
  2. The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor gives you highly accurate, wireless transmission of your heart rate to the Garmin Edge 500/510 and 800/810 so you can get more out of your riding and training.
  3. The Garmin Speed/Cadence monitors your pedaling cadence as you ride, or lets you track your speed while you’re on the trainer. It’s compatible with the Garmin Edge 500/510 and 800/810.

2 thoughts on “Riding with a Garmin

  1. I don’t want or need all the information that the higher-end Garmins provide, so when this less expensive version came out I ordered it as soon as it was available. I’ve done two rides with it so far, and it works as advertised. It has no problem acquiring satellites, even with a lot of trees around. When I examine the track closely I can see there are points where it loses the signal (there are lots of trees where we ride) and then picks it up again. The giveaway is that between those two points there is straight line that has us going through buildings in cases where we made a turn while the signal was lost. But overall I’d say it’s 98% accurate and the speed and distance figures I think are much more accurate than my previous computer. Obviously it requires no calibration, eliminating the errors inherent in that process. Uploading to the Garmin website is very easy once you’ve registered and installed their interface in your browser. The user interface is very basic and easy to understand. You can save a ride as a course and download it back to the device so that the next time you do that same ride you can get real-time comparison. I haven’t tried that yet. Garmin says the battery life is 14 hours. Based on a 2-hour ride that left 86% of the charge in the battery I’d say that’s likely accurate. When turned off it does not appear to lose any of its charge at all; after being off a week it was still 100%. The bottom line is that it works exactly as advertised, and gives continuous speed and altitude information for the entire ride. It also tells moving time, overall time, average speed, average moving speed and calories burned (you program in your age, height and weight). This is all I wanted, and the price is reasonable. I’m very happy with it.
    One more thing: It comes with two bike mounts which is very handy, and I like the rubber band mounting system. (A bag of bands of varying size is included). It mounts with two bands in such a way that if one breaks, the other will still hold it securely.

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