Garmin Edge – Which Garmin cycle computer best suits me? [Buyer’s Guide]
Bike navigation and cycle computers have become a common part of the arsenal of many cyclists, mountain bikers, and cyclo-crossers. In this extremely comprehensive Garmin Edge Buyer’s Guide, we will explain what you can expect from various Garmin cycle computers and which one suits you best. Let’s get down to business!
Garmin Edge Buyer’s Guide Bike GPS – Compare all Garmin devices
- Garmin Edge Sensors and Garmin Edge Bundles
- Garmin Edge 130
- Garmin Edge 520 Plus
- Garmin Edge Explore
- Garmin Edge 530 * New *
- Garmin Edge 830 * New *
- Garmin Edge 1030
- Differences between Garmin Edge models
- Garmin Edge accessories
A cycle computer not only keeps track of your speed, but it also serves as bike GPS and it registers your data such as heart rate, cadence, and power output. Everything is possible. And of course, Garmin has several sensors that measure all those data.
Pick the Garmin cycle computer that suits you best
Garmin is one of the biggest names in the field of Cycle Computers & Navigation and they continue to innovate in that area. But because of their wide range of products, it may be difficult to decide which bike computer is right for you.
That is why we wrote an extensive Garmin Edge Buyer’s Guide especially for you. This Buyer’s Guide tells you exactly what you can expect from each Garmin device and you can see for yourself which one suits you best.
In addition to cycle computers and bike navigation, Garmin also supplies many different accessories such as heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, and even a power meter. These can be paired to your device, depending on the bike navigation you buy.
Most advanced Garmin bike computers can display this information directly on your screen, so you know exactly how much Watt you’re producing, at what cadence, and with what heart rate. These additional accessories, apart from the heart rate monitor, are often offered bundled with various Garmin cycle computers.
So you can choose for yourself if you need these advanced extras. By the way, it’s always more beneficial to purchase a bike GPS with sensors in one bundle, rather than buying the sensors separately afterwards. But enough about accessories, time for a Garmin bike GPS overview.
The Garmin Edge 130 is the entry level model from Garmin cycle computers. It is easy to connect with sensors and always registers your rides very precisely thanks to GPS, Glonass and/or Galileo. Since it allows you to get a correct measurement even in a forest with thick foliage, the Garmin Edge 130 is also very suitable for mountain bikers.
The navigation functions are a bit limited. For instance, it is not possible to navigate with a map. However, you can load a route and then ride a route using simple arrows. This is ideal if you don’t necessarily want to cycle with a cycling map, but you do want to have an idea of whether the route is still a bit correct.
You can easily connect a Garmin Edge 130 with Strava to use Strava Live Segments. And with the Live Track function you can show your followers where you are cycling at that moment in real time. On top of that, if you pair the Garmin with your smartphone, you can even see incoming text messages on your cycle computer. Very handy!
The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is the successor of the Garmin Edge 520. The biggest and most important update is the addition of bike GPS with map. This means you can now easily create and follow routes with your Garmin.
In addition, the integration with Strava has been improved a lot as well. You can install the Strava app and then have instant access to routes created with Strava, always and anywhere. Do you have Strava Premium? In that case, you can see live which segments you are cycling and how your current attempt compares with your our own PR or the general KOM.
The Garmin Edge Explore is the perfect cycle computer for tour riders. It has good navigation and extensive possibilities to plan your route. And thanks to the touchscreen, you can easily and quickly scroll through the menus.
Needless to say, you can also connect your sensors and adjust the display in a way with which you will only see the data you chose to read. But the Edge Explore is mainly designed for you to be able to go out all day without a care in the world.
Pairing the Edge Explore with your smartphone is useful if you want to leave your smartphone in your pocket and receive text messages on your display. You’ll also see exactly who’s calling you when your phone rings.
Are you looking for a more advanced cycle computer that is aimed at performance-oriented riders? Then the Garmin Edge 530 might be a better pick.
The Garmin Edge 530 is perfect for cyclists that want to improve themselves day in, day out. It is also ideal for cyclists who want to analyse their data endlessly afterwards.
Physical buttons allow you to continue to use all the functions of your bike navigation in all conditions. The changes compared to the older models in the Garmin 500 series are quite impressive.
And of course, you can connect the 530 to your smartphone. That way using Strava and connecting sensors is a piece of cake. In addition, you can choose between GPS, GLONASS or Galileo for GPS reception.
The display is just a bit larger and that’s exactly what makes the Garmin Edge 530 useful for both road and mountain bikers. Manageable, but big enough for clear navigation or data display.
But the Garmin Edge 530 really stands out for its extra features. For example, with a preloaded route, you have perfect bike navigation. Did you lose or forget your Edge? Then you can easily find it with Find my Edge.
For those who like to do a lot of climbing, on a road bike or MTB, you can even see a nice altitude profile if you load a route in advance. The ClimbPro feature shows you exactly where you are on a climb and what’s still to come. In other words, it’s an ideal way to properly dose your strength and to see what percentage of the climb you’ve got ahead of you.
And mountain bikers too can go wild, literally. Your airtime is kept up to date, just like a jump-counter. So you can brag about who had the most airtime to your friends afterwards…
The Garmin Edge 530 also features incident detection, which automatically alerts one or more of your contacts in the event of a fall. Not a novelty, but very nice that they have retained this function.
Another useful feature is the bike alarm. This allows you to turn on an alarm when you park your bike for a while. Is your bike being moved? Then the alarm goes off, even on your mobile phone if you connected your Garmin via Garmin Connect.
And, most importantly, Garmin managed to pack a large-capacity battery into the Garmin Edge 530. The battery will last for up to 20 hours. Is that not enough? Then you can easily connect a Garmin power pack, because the Edge 530 has the necessary connection points.
The Garmin Edge 830 is very similar to the Garmin Edge 530 in many ways. The most important differences can be found in the display and in the possibilities for bicycle navigation.
First of all, the Garmin Edge 830 has a touchscreen. It works very fast and rain won’t bother you either. The display is the same size as the Edge 530 and that screen size is ideal for both mountain bikers and cyclists.
Another important difference is the ability to let the device create its own routes without any input. All you have to do is choose a destination and the Garmin Edge 830 will plan a route on the roads of your choice, because you can always indicate whether you’re looking for super-tight asphalt or off-road roads.
Furthermore, the Garmin Edge 830 has the same high-end features as the 530, with the same long battery life!
The Garmin Edge 1030 (review) is the successor to the Garmin Edge 1000. There is no longer an Edge Explorer version, but a single version that is packed with the latest techniques. First of all, battery life has been extended to an impressive 20 hours.
Moreover, add to that the fact that with the special mount you can wirelessly connect an extra battery and you can even spend 40 hours on the road. That’s enough for even the longest bike rides.
Furthermore, one of the nicest features is trendline routing. This allows you to let your Garmin Edge 1030 create a route based on popular roads in the area. Not only fun and convenient on holiday, but also ideal for discovering new roads at home. This feature can also be found on the Edge 530 and Edge 830.
The Edge 1030’s operating menu has also become a lot easier to use, and pairing all your sensors is a piece of cake. But of course you can also use Strava Live Segments, as long as you have a Strava Premium subscription.
As you’ve probably already seen with Garmin, the higher the number, the more advanced the device is. From the fairly simple bike computer such as Edge 130, to the latest high-tech bike navigation devices such as the 530 and 830. Or the top model from 2018: the 1030.
Most cyclists can work well with the basic models. But if you really go for a lot of data and lots of user possibilities, then the fun starts with the Edge 530 and the Edge 830. We made a nice overview of what Garmin cycle computers can do and what you can expect from them.
Garmin Edge models overview
|Feature||Garmin Edge 130||Garmin Edge 520 Plus||Garmin Edge Explore||Garmin Edge 530||Garmin Edge 830||Garmin Edge 1030|
|Screen Size||4.6 cm||5.8 cm||7.6 cm||6.6 cm||6.6 cm||9.1 cm|
|ANT+ Control Turbo Trainer|
|Create routes on device|
In addition to the Garmin bicycle navigation devices, you can also choose from a wide range of accessories. First of all, you can choose from different supports to attach your Garmin to. There is a fixed mounting point in the box with your new Garmin as standard.
But there’s not much you can do with that. A lot of people choose a different mount. For example, you can choose an outfront Garmin mount, with which you can actually mount your Garmin a bit in front of your handlebar. There are also mounts with which you can mount an action camera like the Garmin Virb under your garmin handlebar mount.
Sensors, smart bike lighting and a remote control
A lot of the Garmin Edge models are compatible with various accessories. The Edge remote control is useful for controlling your Garmin Edge from the handlebar. You can easily and quickly switch pages without having to swipe the screen. That’s especially useful when you have a touchscreen or cycle with long-finger cycling gloves.
Do you already have a Garmin and only want to buy a heart rate monitor or cadence sensor? That’s perfectly fine too. However, if you do consider purchasing a Garmin cycle computer, bear in mind that a bundle with sensors is cheaper than buying the sensor separately afterwards.
The Garmin Varia front and rear light are the pinnacle of high-tech. This rear light is specially designed to increase the cycling safety. The Garmin Varia warns you about traffic from behind. The light will even shine a little brighter when a car is approaching.
You can read the traffic alert on your Garmin bike computer or on the special additional radar indicator. So you always know if there is traffic behind you or not. Ideal if you train a lot and intensively and want to know if it’s safe without having to worry.
Garmin Vector power meters and Garmin Virb action camera
The Garmin Vector Power meters are really for the advanced cyclists. The Vector 3S has single-sided power measurement and with the Garmin Vector 3 you even get a double-sided power meter.
With a double-sided measurement you know the exact power output per leg. This information allows you to adjust your cleats even better and more efficiently and determine whether you can either stand or sit on a particular climb or sprint.
The Garmin Virb action camera is for true adventurers or social media addicts. Do you want to share your spectacular action shots with your friends? Then the Garmin Virb is your best friend.
Shock proof, easy to operate and large storage for all the imagery. And as a bonus, it’s waterproof so you can even film underwater, although we do wonder what you would do with your bike underwater… ;)