Garmin Buyer's Guide | Cycling Weekly

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Garmin Buyer’s Guide | Cycling Weekly

Garmin is undeniably at the head of the bunch when it comes to cycling GPS computers. We help you choose the best Garmin Edge for you.

You could say that Garmin is a forerunner of the GPS market or that its GPS products are cutting edge (both puns intended). However, although Garmin’s success can’t be questioned, for many riders there are so many Garmin Edge devices available that it is hard to know which is most suitable for your needs.

To help you select the best Garmin Edge for you, we have set out below an exhaustive list and description for each Edge product.

Note: if you are struggling with some of Garmin’s features please see the Jargon Buster at the end of this article.

Garmin Edge 520
In short: The Edge for cyclists that want real time data and top end feedback
Price: £239.99
Weight: 59.9g
Display size: 4.7 x 3.5 cm

The Edge 520 really does sound like the Edge that can fulfil almost all cyclists’ needs. It has a commendable battery life of 15 hours and in addition to GPS tracking it also has GLONASS to increase the speed and accuracy of location data.

The Edge 520 has all the functions that the Edge 510 can offer. In addition, with its array of fitness and performance features, the Edge 520 is designed to provide you with the training guidance and analysis to quantifiably improve your performance.

The Edge 520 is compatible with Strava Live Segments which means you can upload segments directly from Strava and can get real time feedback (against your own best performances, friends, or the KOM) when riding your selected Strava Segments.

It can provide VO2 assessment by looking at your HR variation, your user profile and comparing this with your power output. It can also track your functional threshold power and provide your comparative wattage/kilo tracking over time.

Garmin Edge 820
In short: All of the features of the Edge 1000 but in a smaller, cheaper package
Price: £329.99
Weight: 68g
Display size: 58.4mm

The latest addition to the Garmin Edge range, the Garmin Edge 820 is effectively an Edge 1000 slimmed down to the sizes of an Edge 520.

The standout feature of the Edge 820 is the GroupTrack feature that connects your computer to your smartphone and allows you to track up to 50 riders within a 10 mile radius, helping you to keep track of your fellow riders on group rides and see if your mates are out riding at the same time as you.

This is also the lowest model in the Edge range (if you take the now defunct 810 out of the equation) that has a touchscreen, with the buttons around the outside only used to turn the unit on and offer, add new laps, and to start and stop rides.

Base maps mean navigation should be easy, while the Edge 820 is also compatible with all of Garmin’s other products, like Varia Vision, Virb action camera, and Vector pedals.

Garmin Edge 1000
In short: If money is no object, it has nearly everything you could want
Price: £439.99
Weight: 114.5g
Display size: 3.9 x 6.5 cm

The Edge 1000 is unquestionably Garmin’s top of the range Edge product. It provides the highest level of mapping, monitoring and features. It is also the only Edge device that can use WiFi.

The colour touch screen display is the largest in the Edge collection and the battery life is up to 15 hours. As you would expect with the flagship product the Edge 1000 uses both standard GPS and GLONASS technology.

From a data perspective, it is very impressive. In addition to the standard time, distance, speed etc., the Edge 1000 includes a barometric altimeter and temperature sensor.

It is also fully compatible with Garmin’s heart rate monitors, cadence and speed monitors, Vector power pedals and also Shimano Di2 electronic shifting. To further enhance your training and riding experience the Edge 1000 utilises Garmin’s Advanced Workout and Virtual Partner functions.

You can customise the Edge 1000’s training pages with up to 10 data fields and use different activity profiles to allow for easy transitions when you switch your cycling activity, such as road, mountain biking or touring.

One thing that really does make the Edge 1000 stand out from the crowd is its integrated light sensor. To improve the screen’s visibility the light sensor alters the screen’s brightness to reflect the changing light conditions.

Further, the Edge 1000 links up to your smart phone meaning you can easily upload your rides to Garmin Connect Mobile and make sure you are kept up to date of any incoming calls and text messages.

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27 Comments

  1. Kryghyzho on December 9, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Here’s my Garmin buyer’s guide: if you want a proper cycling computer or GPS computer, buy another brand. If you want something suboptimal – buy a Garmin

    (… and yes I own a Garmin…)

  2. taurus20077 on December 9, 2019 at 7:27 am

    What do you mean Garmin Edge 520 still uses buttons? 510 uses touchscreen and I guess most people hate it (including me) so Garmin went back to buttons when they upgraded 510 to 520.

  3. Evan O'Connor on December 9, 2019 at 7:27 am

    terrible touch screens not mentioned ? sponsored video alert

  4. Barron James on December 9, 2019 at 7:27 am

    To be fair i think there all over priced. The 520 is £200 and it’s 3 year’s old .just going to carry on using Strava on my phone

  5. I Roberts on December 9, 2019 at 7:31 am

    no touring?

  6. Fabrizio Rossi on December 9, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Edge 520 best of them all!

  7. Reginald Scot on December 9, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Buy a Polar… it’s better.

  8. Michael Leers on December 9, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Interestingly, with a power meter and Strava (among other apps), I get all that info on my iPhone.
    This is nothing new. In addition, I get music and great bone induction headphones so I can hear the traffic.
    My iPhone Strava app tracks all of my segments.
    Why does anyone need a Garmin these days?
    Sorry, just my 0.02.

  9. Earl of Lemongrab on December 9, 2019 at 7:36 am

    don’t buy Garmin, just don’t

  10. Erick Hjort on December 9, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Can’t wait until they release the 420, haha.

  11. Nazi Ur Rahman on December 9, 2019 at 7:37 am

    520 should have all the software features like Grouptrack and all like it’s touch screen mate 820, as far as I knew. Can you confirm it is not? thanks

  12. Dmitry Shevyakov on December 9, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Happy with my 810. new models has small amount of new features, but do you need one? waiting android cycling pc from croudfinding – that may be better than garmin, but a lot of features can be added to cycling pc – 3.5 jack, sim card and android in small box with replacable battery?

  13. gjosed on December 9, 2019 at 7:41 am

    I have an 820 unit and is TRASH, touchscreen is a test to your sanity, battery last 2 medium rides, and strava segments is a giant glitch. I wish i had purchased a 520..

  14. Kawaspresso on December 9, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is far better than any Garmin

  15. Andy Jelagin on December 9, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Much happier with my Elemnt

  16. Adrian Lau on December 9, 2019 at 7:56 am

    if you are going to buy the edge 20/25, go get a lezyne gps computer instead!!!

  17. Doug Hungerford on December 9, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I love my Garmin 510. I’ve had it for 3 years and absolutely no issues. You seem to only hear from the users who have had problems but the reality is, these are very good units with little trouble.

  18. Hugh Geaney on December 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

    520 is great. never had an issue

  19. Harry Jukes on December 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Thank you this helped tones!!

  20. Jason Inrikes on December 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I don’t care about those extra bit of any cycle computer,, why not design to a good road map like car gps… who cares about ftp or power if ur just a commuter.. garmin should consider regular riders like me.. i got lost using garmin 520.. map is too small and impossible to use when riding..
    Can’t afford garmin 1000.. too expensive coz of the extra features that I don’t need…

  21. Yo-yo on December 9, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Long gone are the Garmin’s monopoly on computer head units.

  22. Kenneth Shores on December 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

    why in the hell somebody wants to buy wasting money on a mini computer when a smartphone can do all of it and then some download Strava

  23. Roxic12 on December 9, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I’m getting a Wahoo Elemnt. Garmin is too glitchy

  24. John O'Neill on December 9, 2019 at 8:14 am

    What models can you upload direction data to so you get turn by turn navigation while riding?

  25. Ben C on December 9, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Does anyone know a tracker/ computer I can use on my rear wheel when on the turbo trainer?

  26. TheAegisClaw on December 9, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Buggy horrible things. Sold mine and won’t be buying anymore.

  27. Nizar on December 9, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Great video, well done

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