The best Garmin GPS for bikes

It is quite an unlikely sight to spot a cyclist without a GPS computer installed on their ride in today’s day and age. However, not all the models which are available on the market are of equal standards. Some are just low-end models which barely cost a few dollars/pounds. While some can cost several hundred. Garmin GPS computers for bikes are up there with the best. 

When it comes to GPS technology, Garmin is obviously one of the top choices in the market. They are an American company that have been in the forefront of their business. Producing GPS systems for automobiles and vehicles for quite some time now. Owing to this huge experience that they have gathered over the years, they have gained a credible reputation in the field.

With skillful technicians at their behest and state of the art technology, Garmin is undoubtedly one of the best choices when it comes to GPS computers for bikes. No questions asked, they are a brilliant company. But it is important to evaluate the options that they have made available in the market and choose the best from them in order to get value for your money.

This article has been written after making a thorough comparison between the numbers of Garmin products. Here is a list of some of the best GPS computers for bikes from the company that is probably the best in the business.

Top GPS computers for bicycles by Garmin

The Edge 130

An image of the edge 130 GPS bike computer

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The Edge 130

The Edge 130 made available by Garmin can be regarded as a fantastic package in a small size. It has ANT+, Bluetooth sensors with connectivity available to smartphones. The GPS system has a decent battery life and easy button system for smooth usage. The best quality of this little GPS navigator is its utterly sharp display.

One of the disadvantages of this model is that it does not have a full-fledged navigation system like the costlier models that are available at Garmin. If that is not your greatest priority, this GPS device is pretty decent.

The system comes with a barometric altimeter that takes the help of sensors which are packed inside the small body of the computer and use the help of Galileo, GLONASS, and GPS satellites to facilitate its positioning. It is a device that is very quick to pick up satellite signals and drops in signals are very hard to encounter.

The system is set to default on GPS, but for areas which seem to have a bit trickier regions than the usual terrain, the help of GPS+, GLONASS or GPS + Galileo can also be taken. However, this feature comes with a bit of a hiccup as choosing these options seems to consume more battery than the default setup.

It is an entry-level device and there is no fancy touch screen facility. Rather a set of buttons on the side of it. There is a maximum of 8 viewable screens at once, but there’s no color screen included on it. However, the clarity of the given display is excellent and viewing it under any condition should not be a problem. 

The Edge 520 Plus 

An image of the edge 520 plus GPS computer for a bike

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The Edge 520 plus

The Edge 520 Plus is one of the latest models made available in the market by Garmin in the year 2018. Having an average size similar to the Edge 520, the Edge 520 Plus comes decked with a number of unique features. These are usually found in the more expensive models of Edge 820 and 1030 units. Garmin Cycle Maps has been integrated into this device which is a big change from the initial basic navigation system that was prevalent in the earlier 520 models.

Don’t ever miss the turn in front of you

The navigation has a turn by turn feature that is well developed for both on and off the road courses. There’s also a fancy alarm that sends you a tone when a turn is approaching in front of you. The device also has a unique rider to rider messaging service that was first seen in the device Edge 1030. In order for your bike buddies to be able to use this feature, they must also have a Garmin GPS system with the same feature available on their devices.

A fair price for the tech you get

The Edge 520 Plus comes preloaded with a number of features like the advanced performance feedback and the Strava Live Segment. It can be connected with other accessories like a heart rate device or power meters. Connectivity to Garmin Connect is also available on this device. The price of this device is quite affordable for your average cyclist.

The Edge 1030

The Edge 1030 is one of the most popular GPS computers that are available by Garmin. It is one of the flagship models that the company has made available on the market. The screen of this device is the largest as compared to any other GPS bike device available by Garmin. While the touch screen of the device, in the words of Garmin, can be used both in wet conditions as well as while wearing gloves.

The device is fitted with smart ambient light sensors that are capable of adjusting the brightness of the screen accordingly with the light available outside. Hence it can be considered to be an optimal choice when taking into consideration a cycle GPS device that is perfect for any kind of lighting condition.

The average battery life of the device as claimed by the company is set at 20 hours. If used along with an extra Garmin Charge battery pack the battery life can be extended to a total of 40 hours to suit perfectly while going out on a longer ride. This for me is my favourite Garmin GPS computer for bikes on the market today.

An image of the edge 1030 GPS computer

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The Edge 1030

Garmin Connect is a great feature

This device sees an upgrade in the navigation and course planning features that are provided by Garmin. Trendline makes use of the many activities that get uploaded on Garmin Connect to provide the rider with the best suggestions as far as road choice and routes are concerned. The most popular roads or the best on the road and off the road courses are suggested in this navigation system to ease the experience of the rider.

Cycle maps is a really nice touch

Cycle Maps comes as a preloaded feature on this device . It has directions provided with turn by turn instructions along with an alarm feature for any approaching elevation or sharp turn. As many as three round-trip suggestions can be chosen on it to make the rider aware of new routes. All the rider needs to do is choose the distance and select a starting direction and the Edge 1030 will do the rest.

Fans of Strava will be able to make use of the latest versions of Strava Live Segments, while the premium users will be given updates and access to real-time races that are decked against personal best times. A new feature called the Segment Explore is also included in this device, which allows the rider to view popular segments that are nearby.

The 1030 is excellent for workouts

If you are planning to use your cycling as a training exercise then the Edge 1030 has another unique feature which is known as the TrainingPeaks Connect IQ app. This allows you to put in the details regarding your workout up on the Edge 1030. This device gives you real-time alerts regarding targets that you need to reach in order to complete the workout or intervals that you need to take in between so as to not overextend yourself. The Edge 1030 comes with the latest flush mount for a sleeker look and is well worth a look.

The Edge 820

The Edge 820 comes decked with a number of impressive features that makes for a pretty impressive cycle GPS. The 820 is meant for performance cyclists and is not as bulky as the Edge 1000 variation. But don’t be fooled by its size it does have a lot of features as compared to the Edge 520 version.

The size of this device’s screen means that it is not on par with the Edge 1000 when it comes to navigation. But it does have enough features to be pretty decent for anybody’s needs. An excellent feature known as the Round Trip Routing is preinstalled in this device. This feature allows the rider to let the computer chart a route with recommendations and options that are based on distance, elevation, and intensity of the ride.

An image of the edge 820 GPS computer

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The Edge 820

The layout of the maps is very clear on this device and the turn by turn prompts that are available on the device are pretty neat and simple to follow. As is common with any other Garmin device there are different pages that can be customized to create different setup pages. These can be used for several different activities.

The GroupTrack feature is another helpful feature that is available on this device which allows you to keep track of as many as 50 riders within a 10-mile radius of you. This comes in handy especially when you are in a group and suddenly get left behind or lost.

The screen works well in the wet

The interface of the device is predominantly touchscreen controlled apart from two buttons at the back. However the response time of the touchscreen is a bit sluggish as compared to the Edge 1000. Saying that it does work fine with touchscreen-enabled gloves and while wet.

The incident detection is an awesome feature

This device has ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity and can also be paired with your smartphone. It also shows notifications from your phone on its screen. It has another unique feature known as the incident detection. This basically allows the rider to send in the location of the rider via text message. This will go to a contact that has been predetermined in case the rider has suffered a crash. The battery life of this device is up to 15 hours.

So if you are looking for the best Garmin GPS for bikes, you would do well to start with one of the above. Also if you are an avid cyclist then please take a look at this post and check out these smart helmets.

Categories: Cycling

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