So I have had a few people contact me asking for advice on which Garmin to get and thought I would quickly highlight the major differences between their Edge cycling line.

There are two options when it comes to navigation. The first is a bread crumb style line you follow on screen. There are no turn-by-turn directions, POI or really anything else. You are either on course or off course and if you are off course you will get an arrow pointing you (as the crow fly’s) in the direction of the course. This style is used in the 200, 500 and 510 units.
garmin 1 (1)
The second is a full sat-nav style turn-by-turn system that allows you to pick a point on the fully featured map and navigate there via a number of different suggested routes. You can set the route options to include or exclude things like, road type, unpaved paths, narrow trails, shortest distance, flattest route etc. This style of navigation is found in the Touring & 1000 and also in the 800 and 810, although the 800 series use older style maps.
Edge-Explore-1000-1 (1)
Whether you use bread crumbs or sat-nav style routes you will need a PC to create the route on (I use Strava for this)  and then connect your Garmin and upload the route. Only the Touring and 1000 allow you to make routes on the fly on the device itself.
Data & Connectivity
500, 510, 800, 810, 1000 give u much more detailed training data including cadence, HR, power (if you have a power meter) and the 510, 810 and 1000 allow you to connect via Bluetooth to your phone, tablet, PC etc. This allows you to send routes wirelessly to your Garmin and send ride data to your device to upload directly without the need for a PC.
So if your after proper maps, to create routes on the unit itself and don’t have a power meter go for the Touring for around £170. If you have a power meter, phone and a big wodge of cash laying  around go for the 1000 for £500!! I almost went for the new 1000 after 2 of the early touring models broke on me, but just couldn’t justify the price as i don’t have a Power Meter or phone. My 3rd (newer version) of the Touring is working flawlessly 🙂
I hope this helps to clear up a few of the major differences between Garmin’s offerings and do keep an eye out for a future video review of both my Garmin Touring and the Edge 200.

  1. Paul
    Feb 06, 2015

    Nice review and a nice website. I too own no car but have 17 bikes in the garage! I have a Garmin 200 which I really only use as a reliable mileometer and dont really think it is useful for much more than that. The main difficulty i have with it is that in certain weather conditions, satelite connectivity can be delayed considerably, meaning that I may have travelled a couple of miles before the position is acquired, but that is a little niggle. My main question about the more expensive and more technical units is that I really only want one to use as a Sat Nav – to simply download a route and for the Garmin to guide me through it. I also need to know whether it will pick up everything, for instance last weekend we cycled the Shipwright’s Way (from Bentley to Portsmouth) a designated mainly off road route but badly signposted in places and we had paper directions which in part were useless. Would I have been able to upload the route to the Garmin and how would I have done this and more importantly would it have ben reliable? Oh, yeah, I have bought a couple of things from Bike-you-like in the recent past and found it a great little LBS. Good service and reasonable prices.

    • Look Mum No Car
      Mar 24, 2015

      Ok so you are after the Garmin Edge Touring. All the sat-nav capabilities of the new 1000 without any of the performance extras like power, cadence etc. I use Strave to plan all my routes as find it the mist user friendly compared to Garmin Connect. For road you just click where you want to go and your away. There are a few cool features on Strave like avoid hills and stick to road or switch to freehand which allows you to add in known shortcuts and off road tracks. When done download as a GPX file to your desktop, plug in the Garmin and copy the file to the folder named something like ‘New File’. Eject the Garmin, turn it on, go to ‘where to?’, select ‘saved’ and your ready to start riding