If you want a simple GPS cycling computer for tracking your speed and distance and sharing rides through a popular social training website like Strava, the new Garmin Edge 20 is very easy to use, compact and provides a decent battery life.
The Edge 20 GPS cycling computer costs £110. The more feature-packed Edge 25 (recently reviewed on road.cc - read the review here) costs £140. That £30 difference sees the cheaper Edge 20 do without Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility, which might not seem like much, but means you can't use a heart rate or cadence sensor with it. And for some, that might be the deal breaker that makes the Edge 25 the better long-term investment.
Those differences aside, the Edge 20 looks and functions identically to the Edge 25. If you want a GPS cycling computer so you can easily track basic metrics like speed, distance and elevation, and be able to easily upload to the web, using either Garmin Connect or any of the third-party training tools, the Edge 20 works a treat. And because it uses GPS, it's completely wireless and easy to swap between different bikes, with no setup required out of the box.
It's tiny, barely any bigger than the mount, and looks great on the stem. It measures 4 x 4.2 x 1.7cm with a 2.3 x 2.3cm screen. It's light as well, just 25g. Garmin's own quarter-turn mount hardware is a doddle to use and it'll work with the 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. The more expensive Edge 25 allows you to sync it with a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth, so you can upload rides without going anywhere near a computer. Battery life is a claimed eight hours and we got pretty close to that in testing.
The display is sharp and displays just the data you need to see. You get two data screens showing all you really need when you're riding. It's easy to switch between the screens when riding.
There are four buttons on the unit, to turn it on and off and navigate through the available menus. It's very intuitive to use, no manual is required, and after a couple of minutes you have the measure of the device. The buttons are easy to use with gloves as well.
The top left button switches the Edge 20 on. The top right button is the OK button, while the lower left button takes you back a screen. The lower right button scrolls down (you can only scroll down) through the menus and options. the home screen presents you with Ride, and you can very quickly go straight into action. Scroll down if you want to access your previous activities or adjust any settings.
While there's no actual navigation like the bigger and much more expensive Edge 1000, the course mode does allow you to download a route from Garmin Connect and follow a breadcrumb trail. It's not as easy as following a map, but does keep you on the right track.
The Edge 20 is a very good GPS cycling computer that is easy to use, light, compact, and with a decent battery life. But the lack of ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility does make the extra £30 for the Edge 25 a better buy if you want to be able to harness heart rate or cadence data.
However, the cost of a heart rate strap, if you don't already have one, has to be factored in. A Garmin heart rate monitor is going to cost you at least another £25 on top of that, so you could be looking at nearly £60 just to add heart rate data. If you're sure you're never going to want to use a heart rate monitor, the Edge 20 will be just fine. If you think you might one day want to upgrade, you're better off buying the Edge 25 in the first place.
Small and easy to use, but lack of Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility is a limiting factor
Make and model: Garmin Edge 20 GPS Bike Computer
Size tested: N/A
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Garmin says: "Go the extra mile. Edge 20 captures essential stats from your ride, including time, distance, speed, total ascent and location. Perfect for tracking progress or mapping out your daily commute on Garmin Connect."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Compact, Easy-to-use GPS Bike Computer
Tracks time, distance and speed
Plan, download and follow new rides
Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect™
Water-resistant, durable device
Solid and water resistant.
It's easy to use and provides accurate data tracking, but the lack of ANT+ and Bluetooth does limit its long-term investment potential. Great if you just want the basic ride data, though.
Tough and durable casing and screen – no USB charging port to potentially allow water and dirt ingress.
At 25g there are no concerns about weight.
It's the cheapest new Garmin Edge you can buy, but if you have any desire to add a heart rate or cadence sensor down the line, it might be worth finding an extra £30 for the Edge 25.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Super simple to use and setting up is a doddle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very compact design. Looks good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of ANT+ and Bluetooth means you can't sync with your smartphone for uploading activities or make use of heart rate data.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No – I'd save up for the Edge 25.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
If you have absolutely no interest in using heart rate or cadence sensors, the Edge 20 is a very good GPS cycling computer. The Edge 25 is a better long-term investment, though, in case you change your mind and want to use a heart rate monitor.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.