Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

BUYER'S GUIDE

Get to know the Garmin Edge GPS bike computer range

Which of the wide range of Garmin Edge GPS cycling computers should you buy? Check this in-depth guide

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.

  • Garmin pioneered the cycling GPS unit back in the
    mid-2000s; that first-mover advantage has kept them at the forefront of
    the category despite strong competition

  • Like other cycling GPS units, Garmin's fall broadly
    into two categories: with and without maps. Non-mapping Edge models are
    good for ride-recording and fitness tracking, mapping units add detailed
    navigation capabilities

  • Garmin Edge GPS units capable of ANT+ and Bluetooth
    communication are available with and without sets of sensors; unless you
    really need a speed and cadence sensor, the premium is usually silly
    and you're better buying a third-party heart rate sensor

  • Nominally discontinued Garmin Edge devices often persist in the retail channel for years at heavily-discounted prices

The Garmin Edge GPS bike computer range

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 Edge 510 and Edge 810. These have been superseded in the range but can still be found second hand.

Read more: The stuff they don't tell you about GPS bike computers

Edge 1030 Plus — £423.57 | £494.17 (bundle with sensors)

RRP: £599.99 (Performance bundle)
Size: 58mm x 114mm x 19 mm
Display size: 88.9 mm diagonal, 282 x 470 pixels
Weight: 124g

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

The Edge 1030 Plus is Garmin's flagship on-bike GPS, but it's an
incremental improvement over the Edge 1030, below, rather than a great
leap forward.

In addition to the Edge 1030's features and 282 x 470 pixel screen,
the Edge 1030 Plus gets Garmin's Climb Pro app which gives you a load of
data about the climb you're toiling up to a) distract you from the pain
and b) help you pace yourself so you don't blow it all on the first
steep bit. Climb Pro was first launched on the Edge 530 and has been
added via a software update to the Edge 1030.

For off-road riding, the Edge 1030 Plus has the Trailforks app,
preloaded with trail details from “more than 80 countries.” Its
Forksight mode lets you know about upcoming forks in the trail and shows
you where you are in a trail network.

The Edge 1030 Plus also lets you pause turn guidance on a route
you're following and pick it up later. That means you can go explore a
newly-discovered byway, or divert into a town for cake without the unit
trying to recalculate your route or tell you you're off course.

Last but not least, Garmin has beefed up the battery compared to the
Edge 1030, and now claims it'll go up to 24 hours even with multiple
paired sensors and connected features, including LiveTrack running.

Buy if: You want the latest features, largest screen and longest battery life

Edge 1030 — £338.86 (performance bundle) | £399.99 (unit only)

RRP: £549.99 (Performance bundle)
Size: 58mm x 114mm x 19 mm
Display size: 88.9 mm diagonal, 282 x 470 pixels
Weight: 123g

garmin-edge-1030-7.jpg

The Edge 1030 boasts the largest screen of any Garmin cycling GPS,
aside from the recently-launched Plus version 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 a big screen and long battery life, but can live without the extra features of the Edge 1030 Plus

Read our review of the Garmin Edge 1030

Edge 830 — £324.99 (£399.99 with sensor bundle)

RRP: £349.99 - with sensor bundle: £429.99
Size: 49mm x 73mm x 21mm
Display size: 66mm diagonal, 246 x 322 pixels
Weight: 79.1g

Garmin Edge 830

The Edge 830 is the Edge 530's big brother, with a touchscreen and fewer buttons but otherwise almost identical set of features.

The significant differences between the 830 and 530 relate to
navigation. The 830 can find and navigate you to a specific address or
point of interest, which the 530 can't, and you can use the 830 to
create a course linking a series of points, or create a roundtrip
course. In combination with popularity routing, which uses Garmin's vast
database of rides to point you down the rods other riders use, it
should substantially improve navigation compared to previous Edge units.

Edge 530 — £246.00 (£332 with sensor bundle)

RRP: £259.99 - with sensor bundle: £349.99
Size: 50mm x 82mm x 20 mm
Display size: 66mm diagonal, 246 x 322 pixels
Weight: 76g

Garmin Edg 530

The cheaper of the pair of new GPS units that Garmin launched in April 2019 is physically the larger of the two because its case has room for buttons, while the Edge 830 is mostly touch-screen operated.

The Edge 530 is a mapping GPS with a colour screen and a claimed
battery run-time of 20 hours. Plus, it can be used with Garmin's Charge
power pack which was introduced with the Edge 1030.

In fact, what Garmin has done with the Edge 530 is bring the Edge
1030's feature set to a cheaper unit by trimming the screen size and
dropping the touch screen. You therefore get a plethora of training and
fitness features such as VO2 max, Recovery Adviser, FTP/Watts/kg
tracking, and performance condition/lactate threshold/stress score,
among others.

Most importantly, the 530 and 830 boast new processors which
substantially improve the speed with which they perform tasks like
loading and planning routes.

One major new feature is the ClimbPro app which shows you the
remaining ascent and grade when you’re climbing, while following a route
or course. The idea is to help you gauge your effort over the remainder
of your ride, so burning out on your first climb of the day when there
are plenty more to come should become a thing of the past.

Edge 520 Plus - £159.99

RRP: £200 - With sensor bundle £290
Size: 49mm x 73mm x 21mm
Display size: 23 mm diagonal, 200 x 265 pixels
Weight: 60g

garmin_edge_520_plus.jpg

The Edge 520 Plus was launched in 2018. 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.

Read our review of the Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Edge 130 Plus — £169.99 | £219.99 with heart rate

RRP: £169.99 - Performance Bundle £219.99
Size: 41mm x 63mm x 16 mm
Display size: 45 mm diagonal, 303 x 230 pixels
Weight: 33g

Edge130Plus_HR_1001.4-2

The latest version of Garmin's smallest GPS unit gets the Climb Pro
app from the Edge 830 and 1030 Plus, and mountain bike metrics, that'll
tell you jump count, jump distance and hang time after you've been out
shredding the gnar. It's very much an incremental change over the Edge
130, below.

Edge 130 — discontinued (eBay search)

RRP: £169.90 - Heart rate bundle £219.99
Size: 41mm x 63mm x 16 mm
Display size: 45 mm diagonal, 303 x 230 pixels
Weight: 33g

edge_130_main_2.jpg

The Edge 130 offers a lot of performance in a small package, with
ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor and smartphone connectivity, decent battery
life, an easy-to-use button-controlled layout and, perhaps best of all,
an absolutely pin-sharp display. You don't get fully fledged navigation
like the pricier Garmin models but the basic setup is usable if that's
not your top priority.

Packed inside the small unit are sensors that use GPS, GLONASS and
Galileo satellites for positioning, with a barometric altimeter. We
found it picks up the satellites very quickly so there's no delay to
starting a ride, and it hasn't shown any sign of dropping signal during
any rides so far. That's using just the GPS mode, which the Edge 130 is
set to by default. It worked fine. For more challenging areas you could
try either the GPS + GLONASS or GPS + Galileo but they come with a
battery penalty. Unless you're having issues in the stock mode you
shouldn't have to worry about changing anything.

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 excellent in all
conditions.

Read our review of the Garmin Edge 130

Edge Explore — £189.99

Garmin Edge Explore

RRP: £219.99
Size: 105mm x 55mm x 22mm
Display size: 39mm x 65mm, 240 x 400 pixels
Weight: 116g

Relatively new to the Edge series, and not to be confused with the
Explore 1000 or Explore 820, the Edge Explore is a mapping GPS unit for
riders who don't need all the training and fitness orientated features
of the more expensive Edge units, but who do want a decent-sized screen
and map, and the ability to connect to heart rate monitors for basic
fitness measurement.

You don't get the level of customisation of the 1030, 830 or 530; the
unit assumes you have just one bike, for example, and there are just
two customisable screens. But you still get features such as LiveTrack
and GroupTrack for keeping in touch with home base and other riders,
support for Connect IQ apps, incident detection to send an alert if you
crash, Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity for everything but power meters
and loads more.

And unlike previous Edge Explore and Touring models, the price is sensible.

Buy if: You want a general cycling and navigation GPS without
the power measurement and training bells and whistles of the more
expensive Edge units.

Edge 520 —  discontinued (eBay search)

RRP: From £279.99
Size: 49mm x 73mm x 21mm
Display size: 35mm x 47mm, 200 x 265 pixels
Weight: 60g

Strava Edge 520

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.

Garmin Edge 520 GPS Bike Computer

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+.

There are still a handful of Edge 520 units in retailers, but unless
you can find one at a significant discount, you're better gettking the
Edge 520 Plus.

Read our review of the Garmin Edge 520

Buy if: You’re after lots of data in a customisable format and don’t need high-tech navigational features

Edge 20 — £98.99

RRP: £109.99
Size: 40mm x 42mm x 17mm
Display size: 23mm x 23mm, 128 x 160 pixels
Weight: 25g

Garmin Edge 20 GPS Bike Computer.jpg

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.

It's discontinued, but there are still a few around. However, it's
now as expensive as the more capable Edge 130, so it's hard to see why
you wouldn't buy that instead.

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.

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 130 is a better buy.

Check out our review of the Garmin Edge 20

Buy if: You want a simple GPS bike computer without Bluetooth or ANT+ compatibility.

Read our guide to 9 of the best cheap GPS cycling computers here.

Edge 25 — discontinued (eBay search)

RRP: From £139.99
Size: 40mm x 42mm x 17mm
Display size: 23mm x 23mm, 128 x 160 pixels
Weight: 25g

Garmin Edge 25 ANT.jpg

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 Edges are
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.

Check out our review of the Garmin Edge 25

Buy if: You want a compact GPS computer that’s offers compatibility with a heart rate monitor

Edge 820 — discontinued (eBay search)

RRP: From £299.99
Size: 73mm x 49mm x 21mm
Display size: 35mm x 47mm, 200 x 265 pixels
Weight: 67.7g

garmin edge 820.jpg

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.

garmin edge 820 24.jpg

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.

If you want heart rate and speed and cadence sensors as well, it's
currently cheaper to buy them separately than to buy a bundle that
includes them.

Check out our review of the Garmin Edge 820.

Buy if: You’re a performance-focused rider who wants navigational capability

Edge 1000 — discontinued (eBay search)

RRP: From £499.99
Size: 58mm x 112mm x 20mm
Display size: 39mm x 65mm, 240 x 400 pixels
Weight: 114.5g

Garmin Edge 1000 - map

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 been superseded by
the Edge 1030, and has just about vanished from retailers, but there are
plenty around second hand.

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,
if 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.

Garmin Edge 1000 - ride summary

Check out our review of the Garmin Edge 1000.

Buy if: You’re after a dedicated GPS unit with good
connectivity to other devices and a large, easy-to-read screen (and you
find a great deal on a second-hand unit)

For more info go to www.garmin.com

Explore the complete archive of reviews of cycling GPS units on road.cc

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

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.

Here's some more information on how road.cc makes money.

You can also find further guides on our sister sites off.road.cc and ebiketips.

Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Latest Comments