I was looking for a SatNav for biking and picked up a Garmin Edge Touring as it recorded the important aspects of the ride while providing good navigation options. You don’t get the option of displaying your cadence (pedal revolutions per minute) or power or setting up interval training sessions or racing against a virtual opponent so the emphasis is on the navigation side – i.e. aimed at touring bikers.
In the box
- Edge Touring
- Quarter-turn bike mount
- USB cable
- Garmin cycling map on microSD™ card (pre-inserted in Edge)
- Quick Start Manual
One thing that is missing and would, imo, make a great addition, is iPhone connectivity so live tracking etc could be used. Without BT I can’t connect my HR monitor either. I see that Garmin have now released the Edge 1000 which, I think, provides this so maybe an upgrade is in order (but see the post on the Wahoo Fitness Reflex which sort of makes me not want to bother). You can upload to Garmin Connect when you get back to your PC and then interface with Strava etc so it’s not all bad.
The unit 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. It doesn’t have the Swiss Cycle Routes but you can build these in as routes using the guides at the Veloland website to set them up in Garmin Connect.
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 unless you set “stay on road”.
One other interesting navigational feature is the RoundTrip routing. Say you have time for a ride of about 50 miles: you tap that distance into the Edge Touring 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. The Edge Touring also includes points of interest specifically for cyclists: sights to see, places to eat and stay, for example.
The touch screen interface is pretty easy to use and there is an auto stop-start function which detects motion and records the ride only when moving. Rides are stored either internally or on the SD card. I found uploading was a smoother process when saving to the internal memory.
Garmin Connect routes can be downloaded to the Edge Touring too, so you can plan your route at home then go ride it. You get turn by turn directions and audible warnings when a turn is coming up. One annoying thing I noticed. When downloading routes to the device they go into a temporary folder first and only become active routes the next time the Edge is turned on. If you are using Windoze Explorer to monitor the sd card you won’t see the route pop up in the routes folder until you restart the device. Seems a strange one to me.
The screen is backlit and easy to see but the battery suffers accordingly. 5 hours is about it which isn’t much good on a 6 hour trip. To combat this it’s a good idea to only have the display come on when approaching a turn. If you want the comfort of the map all the time then there is an option of buying a Gamrin External Power Pack which I think I’ll get as it extends the battery life by 20 hours.
I used it on my Birthday Bash ride and it took me 100km without any issues. Navigation was flawless.