If you’re thinking about buying a GPS bike computer, chances are that at least one Garmin Edge has made it on to your shortlist. How do you choose between them? That’s where we can help.
We’ve reviewed most of the Garmin Edges here on road.cc, so whether you want something simple to show your speed and track your ride, or you want advanced navigation and/or high-tech training features, we can talk you through what’s on offer.
As ever, we've cited the best on-line prices we can find at the time, but they do vary. If you really want to save money you can also consider older Garmin Edge computers like the 510 and 810. These have been superseded in the range but are still available through dealers.
RRP: £169.90 - Performance Bundle £199.99
Size: 41mm x 63mm x 16 mm
Display size: 45 mm diagonal, 303 x 230 pixels
In many ways the new Edge 130 is the spiritual successor to the classic Edge 500, still considered by many to be the best cycling computer Garmin has ever produced. Simplicity is the key with the new 130, just the essential features you need and lots of the extra stuff you don't.
The 130 gets your location with GLONASS and Galileo satellites as well as GPS for precise tracking, and also has an altimeter. The pre-loaded maps have 100 locations and 15 course routes, with a built-in barometer and turn prompts.
The 130 packs a lot more data screens in than Garmin's previous entry-level GPS devices, with up to 8 viewable at once. There's no fancy touchscreen, just simple buttons on the side of the unit, and there's no colour in that screen either, but clarity is said to be good in all conditions.
We'd like to be able to point you at a review, but Garmin won't send us a review unit despite us asking very nicely.
RRP: £259 - Performance Bundle £299.99
Size: 49mm x 73mm x 21mm
Display size: 23 mm diagonal, 200 x 265 pixels
Brand new for 2018 is the Edge 520 Plus. It packs many of the features from the more expensive 820 and 1030 units into a unit that is the same size as the regular Edge 520.
The big new feature is the integration of Garmin Cycle Maps as opposed to the more basic mapping and navigation on the first 520. The turn-by-turn navigation works for on and off-road courses, and also has alerts that notify you of upcoming turns. It comes with the rider-to-rider messaging service first seen on the Edge 1030, although your ride buddies will need a Garmin computer with this feature too in order for it to work.
Other highlights of the Edge 520 Plus include preloaded Strava Live Segments and advanced performance feedback when used with Garmin Connect and accessories such as power meters and/or a heart-rate device.
road.cc hasn't yet tested this computer despite asking Garmin very nicely for a review unit. Hopefully that changes soon so we can test it for you all, but in the meantime scroll down to read our review of its predecessor, the Edge 520.
RRP: £549.99 (Performance bundle)
Size: 58mm x 114mm x 19 mm
Display size: 88.9 mm diagonal, 282 x 470 pixels
The Edge 1030 is Garmin's flagship on-bike GPS. It boasts the largest screen of any Garmin cycling GPS, and Garmin says the touch-screen function works in the wet or with gloves. It also has ambient light sensors to automatically adjust the screen brightness to suit the riding conditions. Battery life has been extended to a claimed 20 hours and there’s a new Garmin Charge battery pack accessory to double the run time to 40 hours for longer rides.
Garmin has beefed up the navigation and course planning features. Trendline utilises the many activities uploaded to Garmin Connect to provide routes using the most popular roads and off-road trails, backed up by preloaded Cycle Maps for turn-by-turn directions on all terrain with alerts for sharp corners and elevation information. You’ll also be able to choose from three round-trip suggestions by choosing a distance and starting direction if you want the Edge 1030 to recommended new routes.
Strava fans will be able to make use of the latest version of Strava Live Segments, while Strava Premium users will get further access to real-time races against personal best times. There’s also a new Segment Explore feature that lets you view popular nearby segments. If you want to use the Edge 1030 for serious training, Garmin has developed the new TrainingPeaks Connect IQ app to let you put your daily workouts on the Edge 1030, and it’ll also guide you through the workout in real-time with intensity targets and intervals.
The new Garmin Edge 1030 will cost £499.95 while a bundle option, which includes a premium heart rate monitor as well as cadence and speed sensors, has a suggested retail price of £549.99. There’s a new flush mount that puts the Edge 1030 in line with the handlebars — not above them — for a sleek appearance.
Buy if: You want the latest features, largest screen and longest battery life
Read our review of the Garmin Edge 1030
Size: 40mm x 42mm x 17mm
Display size: 23mm x 23mm
If you want a simple GPS cycling computer for tracking your speed and distance and sharing rides through popular social training websites like Strava, the Garmin Edge 20 is easy to use, compact and provides a decent battery life.
Unlike the £30 more expensive Edge 25, the Edge 20 isn’t Bluetooth or ANT+ compatible so you can't use it with a heart rate or cadence sensor. For some, that might be a deal breaker.
Those differences aside, the Edge 20 looks and functions identically to the Edge 25 and works a treat. It's completely wireless and is easy to swap between different bikes.
The Edge 20 is tiny, barely any bigger than the mount, and looks great on the stem. Garmin's own quarter-turn mount is a doddle to use and the computer will work with a vast number of aftermarket mounts.
The battery is charged via a special cradle that clips to the back of the computer, and the USB lead also uploads your activities to the web. Battery life is a claimed eight hours and we got pretty close to that in testing.
The display is sharp and shows all the data you really need when you’re riding. You get two different screens and it’s easy to switch between them.
It's very intuitive to use, and after a couple of minutes you have the measure of the device. The buttons are easy to operate when wearing gloves as well.
While there's no extensive navigational capability, you can download a route from Garmin’s Connect website and follow a breadcrumb (non-detailed) trail. It's not as easy as following a map, but does keep you on the right track.
If you're sure you're never going to want to keep an eye on your heart rate the Edge 20 will be just fine, but if you might want to add a heart rate monitor in future the Edge 25 (below) is a better buy.
Buy if: You want a simple GPS bike computer without Bluetooth or ANT+ compatibility.
RRP: From £139.99
Size: 40mm x 42mm x 17mm
Display size: 23mm x 23mm
The Edge 25 is very similar to the Edge 20 (above) but with the addition of Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity. The former allows you to sync the device with a smartphone and Garmin's Connect app so you can easily upload completed rides.
ANT+ allows you to pair heart rate, cadence, speed sensors, although the Edge 25 isn’t compatible with power meters.
While the Edge 25 isn't designed for navigation (the bigger Edge 1000 is far better at route mapping), you can download courses from Garmin Connect to the Edge 25 and follow a breadcrumb trail which works reasonably well. It even does turn-by-turn navigation, but there's no base map so you can't make up a route on the fly.
The Edge 25 will also provide Live Tracking so friends and family can go online and see where you are.
You get three screens during a ride, and you can configure two of them to display metrics from a whole range on offer: ride time, distance, current speed, ascent, calories and so on. You can't add any extra screens. If you're a data hungry cyclist that might be an issue.
Still, the Edge 25 is an excellent option if you’re after something small with a good set of features.
The Edge 25 costs £139.99 on its own and £169.99 with a heart rate monitor
Buy if: You want a compact GPS computer that’s offers compatibility with a heart rate monitor
Size: 51mm x 93mm x 25mm
Display size: 36mm x 55mm
The Edge Touring, which is getting a bit old now, is based on the superseded Edge 810 – the same waterproof housing, display size and resolution (160 x 240 pixels, touchscreen), the same rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a claimed runtime of up to 17 hours, the same buttons, the same quarter-turn mount system…
Garmin bills up the Edge Touring as “the sat nav for your bike”. Isn’t the 810 (or the newer 820, below) a sat nav for your bike, then? It is, but it’s equally a training tool. The Edge Touring, as the name suggests, is aimed at tourers, plus Audax riders and leisure cyclists, people for whom the training aspect is less important.
The Edge Touring still measures a whole load of different aspects of your ride, but you don’t get the option of displaying your cadence or power, for example, setting up interval training sessions or racing against a virtual opponent. You don't get Garmin's Live Tracking features either, allowing other people to follow you online.
The Edge Touring concentrates on navigation and it comes with a preloaded Garmin Cycle Map of Europe and the ability to add further maps via microSD data cards. Like a sat nav for the car, the Edge Touring allows you to enter an address and it’ll give you turn-by-turn directions to get you there.
There are three different modes to choose between: cycling, tour cycling, and mountain biking. As that suggests, the mapping includes unpaved roads, paths and trails so it will come up with off-road routes too, if you want them.
The Edge Touring features Garmin’s RoundTrip routing where you enter the distance you’d like to ride and it’ll come back to you with up to three suggested routes with the same start/finish point, along with a route elevation profile for each. You can also get points of interest such as sights to see and places where you can eat and stay.
You can upload and save rides to the Garmin Connect website, plan new rides and download them to the unit, and you can use it with Strava and other websites of that kind.
One other thing that's worth considering if you're touring in the back of beyond and you don't have access to a mains power supply every day is that Garmin does an external power pack (£69.99). You can recharge the external power pack from the mains, from a USB charger, or via its fold-out solar panel.
RRP: From £279.99
Size: 49mm x 73mm x 21mm
Display size: 35mm x 47mm
The Edge 520 is one impressive piece of kit. It works smoothly with a good interface and clear display, and is bang up to date with all the features (barring full mapping) you could want from a cutting edge performance monitoring tool.
Headlining with the built-in ability to support Strava Live Segments (also available on the 820 and 1000, below), Garmin takes live monitoring of your performance out on the road to new levels here. It's a development that will delight segment hunters out there, and it works very well, although you need to pay for Strava Premium membership to enjoy this feature.
Your Strava starred segments are used to populate the 520's database of live segments, along with a selection of popular segments from your local area. You just ride up to the segment and the device cuts in with warnings of its approach and live comparisons against the KOM, the fastest person you follow, or your own PR.
The Edge 520 has a button interface rather than being touchscreen, and we find that that makes for faster response to commands. Course uploads from Strava and Garmin, and syncing with Garmin Connect, are much quicker than with previous units too.
The 520 is packed with features. It includes GPS and GLONASS satellite chips, a barometric altimeter, phone message compatibility, all the usual sensors including left and right pedal power recording from Vector pedals and compatibility with other power meters, Shimano Di2 integration, LiveTrack, Varia bike radar and light compatibility, training zone measuring, Functional Threshold Power monitoring, VO2 recording, and recovery time predictions.
It even boasts a basemap although this can't be used to plot a route home. Still, it gives a general idea of where you are.
With all the features stashed inside, as well as that improved display and smaller, lighter design, you might expect battery life to take a hit. It has, compared with the previous 510, but the 520 still offers up to 15 hours of life – long enough for a full day's ride and then some, even with the backlight working and scrolling through multiple pages.
Garmin offers the 520 as a single unit (£279.99) and as a bundle with a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and speed sensor (£349.99), all of them communicating via ANT+.
Buy if: You’re after lots of data in a customisable format and don’t need high-tech navigational features
RRP: From £439.99
Size: 73mm x 49mm x 21mm
Display size: 35mm x 47mm
The Garmin Edge 820 is a feature-packed, compact and neat computer – an impressive piece of kit.
It’s aimed at the performance cyclist who wants to be able to navigate, so isn't as bulky as the 1000 (below), but packs in more features than the 520 (above). The size of the screen means it's not at the same level as the 1000 in terms of navigation, but it might be enough for your needs.
You get some excellent navigational features such as Round Trip Routing which allows the computer to create a route for you, giving options based on distance, climbing and intensity. Maps have a clear layout making it easy to see exactly where you are going, and turn-by-turn prompts are simple to follow. After adding in a postcode, town or specific site, the 820 will get you to the correct place without fuss.
As with other Garmin units, you can customise the data you see on each page and set activity profiles, which means you can have different setups for different uses.
Garmin has also added GroupTrack, which allows you to track up to 50 riders (they must have compatible Garmin computers and follow you on Garmin Connect) within 10 miles of you. If you get dropped or lost, you can easily see where others are.
The unit is operated predominantly through touchscreen, but with two buttons at the bottom and the on/off button on the top left. The touchscreen works okay, but compared with button-controlled computers and the 1000 it seems a little sluggish, sometimes taking a second to react. However, it worked just as well with touchscreen-enabled gloves and was still usable in the wet.
The unit is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible and is simple to pair with sensors on the bike. It also shows notifications and information from your smartphone.
Garmin is catching up with other bike computers in delivering 'incident detection', which means that a text message and location can be sent to a pre-determined contact number in the event of a crash.
Recording is as good as anything we have seen from other GPS computers. There can be a little loss when riding under cover (trees and tunnels, for instance), and occasionally you can see an erratic twitch in your recorded route when riding between tall buildings.
Uploading from the 820 is done through Bluetooth to your smartphone, which is quick and easy through the Garmin Connect app. From there you can either download the file to your desktop or share it with other sites like Strava.
Battery life is around 15 hours, and there are also battery saver modes that can help to extend this, essentially turning off the display while still recording.
The 820 costs £369.99 as a standalone unit, or £439.99 more with a heart rate monitor, speed and cadence sensors. However, at the moment the bundle only costs £15 more than the standalone unit, so you'd be daft not to get the extras.
Buy if: You’re a performance-focused rider who wants navigational capability
Size: 73mm x 49mm x 21mm
Display size: 35mm x 47mm
The Edge Explore 820 is similar to the Edge 820 (above) but it comes without some of the performance-focused features so it’s cheaper. This computer is aimed at touring and adventure riders.
So, for example, the Explore 820 isn’t compatible with Strava Live Segments, electronic shifting or power meters and it doesn’t offer the same level of performance analysis.
You still get bike-specific navigation, of course, along with GroupTrack (see above) when the Explore 820 is paired with a compatible smartphone.
Buy if: You’re want mapping but you’re not after performance and the Edge 820’s performance-focused features.
RRP: From £499.99
Size: 58mm x 112mm x 20mm
Display size: 39mm x 65mm
The Edge 1000 is larger than any of the cheaper models in the range, with a screen that’s bigger and easier to read. It's nominally been superseded by the Edge 1030, but there are still plenty in the shops.
Unless you're planning to go somewhere incredibly remote, you'll probably find the OpenStreetMap-based mapping to be complete and accurate. The maps are good enough that you can plot yourself a route around an area you don't know just by using the screen. The maps lose a lot of detail as you zoom out because the screen resolution can't show you all the little roads on a wide view of an area, so a certain amount of zooming in and out is required if you're in unfamiliar territory.
The Edge 1000 is capable of turn-by-turn navigation over a prescribed route, or of routing you to a location (or a series of locations) by itself. There are myriad ways of making a GPX file containing a ride you want to do; Garmin's own Connect portal will do it, as will any number of third-party websites. Once you have your file, you can connect your Garmin to your computer and download it.
Rather than the resistive screen of the 820 (the touchscreen works by sensing the pressure of your finger, not its electric signature), the 1000 uses capacitive technology, like a smartphone (the screen carries a charge and the natural conductive properties of your finger affect the screen's charge when you touch it). We’ve not had any false input from rain and it has worked fine with gloves on.
The Edge 1000 will pair with ANT+ devices including various power meters and Shimano's Di2 widget. Displaying the data is simple enough: within each profile (you can set up as many as you need) you can configure five data screens with up to 10 metrics on each. Essentially, f it can be measured and you have an ANT+ sensor capable of measuring it, it can probably be displayed!
The Edge 1000 also has a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chipset, predominantly so that it can pair with a smartphone. This makes uploading rides simple via the Garmin Connect app. As soon as you save a ride it's automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect, and because Connect now plays nicely with Strava, from there it's automatically synced to Strava.
The Bluetooth tether to your phone also allows you to use Garmin's Live Tracking to broadcast your position to whoever you choose using the phone's data connection. It relies on a data signal being available, so if you're riding through somewhere with limited coverage, updates will be patchy.
The Edge 1000 is also WiFi enabled. That means you can set it up on your home or work network, and as soon as you get back it can auto-sync your ride data that way instead.
The Edge 1000’s stated run time is up to 15 hours, but we’ve found that in real world conditions it's more like 10-12 hours. The screen backlight has the most obvious effect on battery life; if you have it always on at maximum brightness you'll not get anything like 10 hours out of it.
The Edge 1000 on its own costs £499.99 while the performance bundle with a heart rate monitor, speed sensor and cadence sensor is £549.99.
Buy if: You’re after a dedicated GPS unit with good connectivity to other devices and a large, easy-to-read screen
Size: 58mm x 112mm x 20mm
Display size: 39mm x 65mm
The Edge Explore 1000 is to the Edge 1000 what the Edge Explore 820 is to the Edge 820: a slightly simplified version with some of the performance-focused features stripped out, at a cheaper price.
You don’t get the option of using Strava Live Segments, for instance, nor of advanced workouts or riding against a virtual partner, and there’s no Shimano Di2 electronic shift integration.
The Explore 1000 is compatible with power meters, heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors, and so on.
Unlike the Edge 1000, the Explore 1000 offers incident detection via an integrated accelerometer. The idea is that the sensor can tell if you’ve had an accident and will send your location to emergency contacts.
Buy if: You want the navigational capacity of the Edge 1000 but can live without some of the performance features.
For more info go to www.garmin.com
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.
As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.