Garmin Edge 800 Review

Here is a review of the new Garmin 800 cycling GPS unit. The 800 is a combination of the recent Edge 500 with the mapping capabilities of the 705. It supports any ANT+ devices so you have the ability to use third party accessories such as heart rate monitors, weigh scales and power meters.

My Reason for Buying the Garmin 800

Before taking the plunge and buying the Garmin i tried out various solutions involving my iPhone 3G and various apps. There were various issues that meant it didn’t work, the biggest (for me) being lack of heart rate/cadence reading. As a result until now I’ve has 3 units mounted on my bike; cheap bike computer, iphone for gps and Polar heart rate monitor. The Garmin 800 will give me all of this functionality in one unit.

Garmin-Edge-800-Unit

I’ve not previously owned any other Garmin GPS devices so am coming at this review with a fresh perspective.

Having thought about purchasing an Edge 705 for the last couple of years i decided to wait for the 800 as soon as
i heard of it’s release.

Unboxing

Inside the box of the standalone kit you’ll find the unit itself, A/C power lead, a (very short) usb lead, a mount kit to attach the unit to your bike and a quick user manual. I like the fact the power lead doubles as the usb lead (similar to Apple Iphones) meaning I have less leads to lose!

Box

Only a quick start manual is included in the box, the full version is loaded onto the device in pdf for or available to download from the Garmin website here.

Whats-In-The-Box

Initial Impressions of the Edge 800

The Garmin 800 is slightly smaller than i imagined before I got my hands on it. While the screen is nice and big  (6.6cm diagonally) the unit itself is compact (weighing only 98 grams and measuring 5.1 x 9.3 x 2.5cm) meaning it won’t take up too much real estate on the bikes handlebars.

The 800 both looks and feel slick. The Edge 705 is looking quite dated now and following on from the 500 the 800 looks like a well designed unit. The screen surround gets a nice carbon fiber finish that adds to the visual aesthetics.

Mounting the Unit

From reading about the 305/705 units a lot of people seemed to complain about the poor mounting system that was prone to failure. The mount that comes with the 800 is the same as the Edge 500, a 90 degree turn system.

Mount-Kit

Garmin include two mounts in the box – useful if you have a winter and summer bike or are a roadie who occasionally ventures off road.

The mount itself is held on to the stem/bars by strong rubber rings (plenty of which are supplied in the box). To mount/remove the unit you just need to align it with the mount and give it a 90 degree turn. The device seems well and truly secured and gives the impression it won’t fall off, while at the same time being incredibly quick and easy to mount/dismount.

The mounting system is very slick and a million times better than many previous devices (lights, heart rate monitors etc) i have attached to my handlebars over the years.

Touch Screen

One of the main differences of this unit over other bike gps units is the touch screen. Previous units such as the edge 305 and 705 have relied on push buttons and a joystick for navigation. On the 800 there are only three
physical buttons

1. The Power button on the side
2. The Lap/Reset button on the bottom left of the face
3. The Start/Stop button on the bottom right of the face.

All other controls/menus/maps are navigated using the touch screen.

My initial impressions of the touch screen are that it is very responsive, easy to navigate and highly accurate. The screen only requires a light touch to navigate and select what you want.

Being an iPhone user I’ve become accustomed to using a very responsive and flexible touch screen interface so i was a little worried the Edge 800 was going to let me down. However I’ve been impressed so far with the speed and accuracy. The only drawback so far is that through habit i keep trying to use pinch commands to zoom on the map like on an iPhone instead of using the +/- buttons to move in and out!

Another worry was the responsiveness in tough cycling conditions when I have sweaty, wet fingers or have them wrapped up in winter cycling gloves. After some initial use i can report the 800 works very well when using gloves
or wet fingers (ironically my iphone doesn’t!).

To back it up here is a video by DCRainmaker demonstrating the unit with different types of gloves:

The user interface seems well designed and integrates well with the touch screen functionality. The only thing I don’t like it that when you are buried in the settings menu the only way to get back to the main menu or mapping screens is to keep hitting the ‘Back’ button on screen. It would be great to see a ‘Home’ button (similar to on iPhones) that gets you back to the top level screen with one press.

Update: I’ve since discovered that at any point holding down the back arrow for a few moments takes you straight back to the main screen.

Navigating Screens

When you are riding navigating between screens is either a matter of hitting the arrow buttons at the bottom of the screen or simply swiping a finger across any part of the screen from one side to the other. In addition between the arrow buttons on all the screens is a menu button where ou can access the main menu.

There are a huge amount of data readings you can display ranging from the obvious like speed to slightly less obvious such as temperature. There are 3 screens that enable you to select any combination of fields to display. This is great as on your main screen you can have essentials such as speed, heart rate, cadence, time etc and have the readings you refer to less often such as average speed, calories burnt on a secondary or third screen.

Here are the two screens i currently have set up:

Training-Screen-Joint

You can select how many readings are shown on each screen and as a result, the size of the fields displayed. Select less fields per page and the readings get bigger and visa versa.

There is a huge amount of data fields you can display and select on these three training screen. I was going to list them them all here but quite frankly there are so many I can’t be bothered to copy them all out.  Rest assured there is enough options to satisfy even the most geeky stats freaks out there.

Mapping Screen

Swipe past your training data screens and the next screen you’ll see is the mapping screen. Touch the screen and large plus, minus and navigator buttons appear allowing you to zoom in/out or navigate the map to see what is ahead. Zooming in and out of the map is very quick. I’ve experienced none of the lags or delays i’ve read about on previous edge models.

One nice feature is being able to add 2 training fields to the mapping screen. If you are navigating using the maps it is nice to be able to keep an eye on two fields (I use speed and heart rate) without having to change display screens.

Mapping Options

As you probably know the base maps included with with the Edge 800 are pretty useless. Unless you live on an A road and prefer to cycle along dual carriageways you’ll need to add an additional map to the device. I opted for Garmin’s Europe Navigator 2010 (which is much cheaper on Amazon as opposed to direct from Garmin) which came pre-loaded on a micro SD card.

Simply pop the card into the micro SD card slot and navigate to the Map options screen and switch over from the Base maps (that are stored on the units internal memory) to the Navigator maps on the SD card.

Garmin-800-Map-Views

The level of detail is very impressive on the Navigator maps. As you can see on the left shot above the closet you can zoom in is to 20cm (see the scale bar). The shot on the left was in the middle of nowhere (hence not much of interest in the shot). The sample on the right was taken in Central London and as you can see Points of Interest such as restaurants, bars, cash machines etc are all shown.

I live in quite a rural area and not only are all of the small single carriageway roads included, but also many of the tracks and bridleways – very useful if I fancy taking the mountain bike out for a spin.

Navigating

Entering a location to navigate too is a simple process. You can enter a place, postcode,  point of interest, previously navigated location or even pick a point on the map. The unit is very quick to work out the correct route and reroutes quickly should you miss a turn.

DirectionsThere are several navigation options that allow you to turn on/off prompts, adjust how far from junctions you get prompted etc. As well as selecting your preferred travel method (walking, cycling or driving) you can tell the unit to avoid things such as main roads, toll roads to ensure you get the best ride possible.

Navigation is very easy. If alerts are turned on the unit makes an audible (but not too loud) beep when you’re approaching a junction and the map zooms in to show you the junction layout. As you can see from the screen shot the 800 also tells you how far from the junction you are and how long in seconds (based on your current speed) before you get there. Once you’re through the junction the map automatically zooms out again.

Having ridden over a couple of hundred mile now the only fault I can find is that it has occasionally (3 times i think) missed a turn when following a pre planned route. When I say missed I mean it has not prompted/alerted me to a turn, despite the route being shown on the screen. This has only happened when I’ve been following pre planned routes created on mapping websites (see section below on creating routes online) and not when the unit itself has planned the route for me. As a result I suspect the cause is something going wrong when exporting my routes from BikeRouteToaster to the unit. I’ll play around with this and see if i can get to the bottom of it.

GPS

The GPS seems very quick to acquire satellites. I timed it a few times and it only took about 15 seconds to find a GPS signal and work out where we were – this was despite being in quite a heavily tree covered area.

So far i’ve not experienced any drop of signal or other issues with the GPS signal.

Training Partner ScreenTraining-Partner

This is a good little screen. At it’s most basic you can set an average speed you want to maintain (on the fly) for your ride and the screen will display how well you are performing against your target. As well as a nice little graphic (see right)  showing you ahead/behind a ‘ghost rider’ the screen also tells you how far ahead/behind the other rider you are in terms of both distance and time.

If you are riding a preset course or following a previously recorded route, the training partner screen will show you performance against the original route. This looks like it will be a great tool to train with, especially useful for creating a time trial ride with which to benchmark your training progress.

Ascent Screen

This screen displays the historical profile of your ride, updated in real time. As well as current elevation and total ride ascent a nice little graph displays a graph of the profile. What i like is the ability to alter the scale of the graph. I’ve not had much of a chance to play with this screen – i’ll report back in a couple of weeks once i’ve been out on some longer/hillier rides.

Alerts

There are a number of alerts you can manually configure and set to go off when you reach a certain metric. Here are the different measure you can set alerts against;

  • Time
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Heart Rate
  • Cadence
  • Power

Workouts

This is a nice feature. It allows you to build tailored workouts to follow using any number of the measures above.

This is great as it means you can create your own intervals, pre-programing how long each interval is, what your targets are in terms of heart rate, cadence etc.

The flexibility of this functionality means you can build the workouts to be not just based around time or heart rate but anyone of a large number of metrics. For example you can create a certain interval (or ‘step’ as the unit calls them) to last until a particular heart rate, speed cadence etc is reached.

Workouts

You can see in the screen shots above the saved workout I created very quickly on the device. On the middle screen you can see the details of the workout (in this case my old friend the 2 x 20 min Lactate Intervals). The screen on the right shows the current progress when you are doing the workout. As you can see based on your inputs it tells you exactly how hard/fast you should be riding for the next period of time.

This functionality is great, particularly for structuring and providing motivation to get through tough interval workouts on the turbo trainer.

Creating Routes to Follow Online

As stated above I have a Garmin City Navigator map loaded onto a micro SD card. The unit reads the map incredibly quickly and as mentioned already scrolling around the map (as well as zooming) is very responsive with no perceivable lag.

Creating a course and loading it onto my Garmin was relatively simple. Here are the steps I followed:

1. Ensure you have already registered and successfully connected to Garmin Connect.

When i first logged on to the site with my Garmin 800 connected to the PC via the USB cable i was prompted to install a plugin for Firefox that enables the 800 to load activities directly to myGarminConnect without having to move gpx files around. I’d recommend you do this too. Unfortunately the plugin isn’t compatible with Google Chrome.

2. Go to BikeRouteToaster and on the ‘Map’ tab, create your route by dropping markers along your proposed route.

3. Once you’re happy with your plotted route go to the ‘Summary’ tab. Look in the Download box and select ‘To Garmin GPS: gpx’. In my case this pushed the route straight onto my Garmin 800.

4. Disconnect your 800 from the computer, and go to the Courses menu. You should now see your course at the bottom of list!

Update # I have found occasionally the 800 tries to recalculate my route if it thinks i have veered off course (as all sat nav devices occasionally do, especially on small country roads). IN order to get round this I have simply switched of the re-calculate functionality in the main GPS settings menu.

Recording Your Training

To start the unit recording you simply hit the Start/Stop button on the bottom right of the unit. You can split your ride into laps by pushing the button on the left at any time during the ride. Once you’ve finished simply press the start/stop button again then hold down the Lap/Reset button to save the workout.

I find it a bit strange that when you want to save a workout you’ve just finished you have to hold the Reset button and the unit warns you it is resetting the workout. At first I thought I was deleting the workout, however the device is not just re-setting the displays, but also saving the workout. Surely it would be more intuitive for the device to say something like “Saving”. This isn’t a major issue but did give me  slight scare the first couple of times i tried to save a ride.

There are a couple of nice features included, especially useful for a goldfish like me. The unit has a motion sensor that will alert you if you are moving and have not yet hit record, something i am often guilty of! Also there is an auto pause feature that will stop the device and restart it for any short stops, useful when stopping at road junctions. You can also set the auto pause to kick in if your speed drops to a particular level, not just when you stop.

Battery Life

Garmin state that the battery life is 15 hours. Obviously if you have the back light on all the time this will be reduced. I went out at the weekend and did about 5 hours riding (with the light on full time and had over half of the battery life left so 15 hours sounds about right.

Speed Cadence SensorCadence-Sensor

In order to get cadence readings you need the Garmin Speed Cadence sensor – this comes bundled with some of the 800 packages. The sensor sits on your rear chain stay and picks up readings from two magnets, one placed on the rear wheel spokes (to measure speed) and one placed on the crank (to measure cadence).

The thing I love about this sensor is that because the speed readings come from the rear wheel, you can have distance readings while using a turbo trainer. My previous bike computer was mounted on my front wheel so until now i’ve not had speed readings on my turbo trainer.

Price: £33 on Amazon UK or $35 on Amazon US

Garmin 800 Screen Protectors

To help keep my Garmin 800 looking nice and new and scratch free I have bought a pack of screen protectors similar to the ones I use on my iPhone. These are simple pieces of thin clear plastic that are cut to exactly cover the screen of the 800 unit.

These protectors are not adhesive so can be easily removed if required without leaving a mark on the 800. In addition they do not hamper the functionality of the touch screen in anyway.If you are spending this much on a high end gps device you really should spend a few more pennies and protect the screen.

Price: £7.55 on Amazon UK or $15 on Amazon US

Garmin 800 – Summary

I’ve got to admit that having come close to buying an edge 705 for so long my expectations of the Edge 800 were not great based upon my research of the 705. I was expecting a poor user interface and lots of software bugs and constant crashes form the unit.

Having spent a week playing with the device and riding over 200 miles with it so far I have been very impressed. No crashes, no software issues no crazy readings. The user interface is well designed and easy to navigate while riding.

I like the high level of customization available. Now I have configured the data displays how I like, when riding the only time i need touch the device is an occasional swipe of the finger between the map screen and the training data screen (I only use one when riding, though you can have up to 3 if required).

In short i’m very pleased with the 800 so far. I’ll try and update this post over the next few weeks and months as I use the 800 more. In the meantime let me know if you have any questions about the Edge 800 by leaving a comment below.

Garmin 800 Pricing & Availability

Many stockists are struggling to fulfill demand for the 800 as it was only released a few days ago. Both Wiggle and Amazon have stock currently. Below are prices for both the UK and US.

Garmin Edge 800  – Unit Only

Wiggle UK – £350

Amazon UK – £350

Amazon US – $450

Performance Bundle – Includes Cadence Sensor & Heart Rate Strap

Wiggle UK – £400

Amazon UK – £400

Amazon US – $650

Performance & Nav Bundle – Includes Cadence Sensor, Heart Rate Strap AND City Navigator Maps

Wiggle UK – £450

Amazon UK – £450

Amazon US – n/a (maps available separately here.)

{ 2 trackbacks }

Garmin Edge 800 Review | Fly Racing Gloves
May 24, 2011 at 5:14 am
On Bike Nutrition — century training, endurance cycling tips and articles Bicycle Century Training
June 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin g November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I’d be hesitant to knock the 705 especially if you’ve not used it. I’m a very happy owner of one. You’re likely getting your info from the Garmin forum where people with problems with their units post about them. You’ll find that those of us whose units are in working order are unlikely to say so. Problems are already being talked about with the 800.

The main issue I have with the 800 (and why I have little interest in getting one) is the touch screen. I love a clean screen but I can only foresee a smudged screen with the 800 once my sweaty and sticky fingers (from gel packs) have had a chance to dirty it.

But to each their own.

Enjoy

Kevin g

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Anonymous November 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

Kevin – I don’t mean to bash the 705 and you’re right that most of my opinions of it come from several forums. I just get the feeling Garmin in general have a reputation of producing great hardware and rather poor software.

So far the touchscreen is working well for me. I’ve been out oin rain, mud and sweat and not faced any issues with it yet. I have yet to give it the gel treatment though!

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gabriel December 4, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Your review is great, I’ve a question, if it’s necessary the speed cadence sensor or the speed is calculated for the gps? Thanks…

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Gabriel – The speed and cadence sensor is not required. If you don’t have one you obviously won’t be able to track your cadence however the unit will calculate your speed via the gps functionality alone. I’ve not tried it without the sensor but have read that the speed readings are marginally more accurate and responsive with the sensor as opposed to relying solely on the gps readings.

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Michael Anderson December 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I currently use a Garmin Etrex Vista CX. The downside with this unit is that on a planned route (I use Tracklogs to compose my routes) the Etrex only allows 50 waypoints. Is there a similar limitation of waypoints on the 800?

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Anonymous December 10, 2010 at 9:50 am

Michael – The garmin website says there is a limit of 200 waypoints/points of interest.

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Georg December 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm

You have an iPhone and do not mention the poor screen resolution of the Edge 800 compared to the iPhone?
That was the first thing I noticed when I first fired up my new Edge 800.
Kinda disappointing.

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Anonymous December 31, 2010 at 9:45 am

Georg – True the display is nothing like as good as an iphone. I guess it all comes down to expectations. You musn’t forget that iPhones are designed to view media such as photos and video so need a much higher resolution. However in my opinion i thin the resolution is fine for mapping purposes.

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simon January 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

Hi James. Thanks, great review. I have a question for you. I currently have a Joule which is great and have always thought that GPS would be of limited use to me. What I like to do though, especially when I’m away, is just ride off into the distance for xx hours having fun exploring and then turn around and reverse the trip. This can obviously be a bit stressful and means making lots of mental notes on the route. Is it possible for the 800 to “learn” your route on fly and guide you home?
Cheers
Simon

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Anonymous January 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Simon – Sure. As per p26 of the user manual at any time you can navigate back to the start. To do so simply hit the Stop button. Then navigate Menu > Where To? > Back to start > Go. I hope this helps?!

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Gary Evans January 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Hi James,

Fantastic review, very informative and much better than anything else I have seen.
I am about to purchase the full package with navigation bundle and performance pack from Wiggle.
I notice that they also offer a package with a trail bundle, what is the difference.
Also if Garmin bring out any upgrades to the software and address some of the jiggles mentioned or
generally improve things. Will it be possible to upload these to the unit.

Thanks again for a great review

Gary

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Gary,

Glad you found the review useful.

You’ll be able to upload any software updates for free – i have just installed the first one (v2.1) via the garmin connect website. I’ll add the main features to this review soon).

The trail bundle is more for off road/mountain biking. It contains Ordanance Survey standard mapping including contours, elevation markings etc. If you’re only road riding (like me) then the standard Navigator maps will be fine – they contain even the smallest roads.

Good luck and don’t forget if you buy via wiggle please help support this site and use this link to make your purchase.

Good Luck!

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Gary Evans January 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

James,

I do Mountain and Road, is there a bundle at Wiggle that will cater for both.

Thanks

Gary

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Anonymous January 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

Gary Evans – The GB Discoverer 1:50 Trail maps are what you need then. The contain full OS road mapping as well as all the elevation/topographical features you’d need for off road mountain stuff. Here is the Wiggle bundle you should go for.

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Bidston Kid January 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

James, you’ve done a great job there and almost convinced me I need one!

Like Michael Anderson above I’ve been using an eTrex H and for his information I found you can upload gpx tracks into the unit giving – in my case – a 750 point limit. I move my data between various conversion websites and can get the most complex and long routes simplified and absolutely useable inside 750.

The 800 though seems to have everything I need (want?) and I’m having to hold myself back from an impulse buy as Wiggle have just posted a 24h 15% discount.

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Anonymous January 29, 2011 at 3:32 am

Bidston – Thanks. After a couple of months of using the 800 I still love it and the recent software release has solved the only glitch I have encountered so far.

Oh and that Wiggle offer is good! ;-)

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CJ January 30, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Great stuff James. Just ordered one myself. See others having problems with screens chipping and scratching. You experienced any damage to it despite the mud and rain?

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Anonymous January 31, 2011 at 10:22 am

CJ – I’ve experienced no issues with screen cracking/chipping. From what i can see online i think this seems to have only affected a early batch of devices. Enjoy your new toy and happy riding!

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phil February 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for this. I had questions, and you answered every one of them. phil

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john February 19, 2011 at 4:44 am

I am a long distance surfski paddler. Does the 8oo operate ok in the sea. (salt water splash and occasional dip in the ocean)

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Anonymous February 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

john – i’ve not tested it at sea but here is a good link to some water immersion tests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iS7TtUmJmY&feature=player_embedded

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Chris Goulder February 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Hi, thanks for the review. Based on this I purchased the edge 800 and have been very pleased so far. You suggested upgrading maps to garmin’s europe navigator 2010 and gave a link to amazon. When I clicked through there seems to be a number of options and I don’t want to get it wrong. I want the full europe version. Which specific set of maps should I purchase. Can you help me with this. Thanks.

Chris

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Anonymous February 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Chris – If you want the Europe maps pre-loaded on a micro sd card here is the link. If you want them on DVD you’ll need this one.

I opted for the sd card version as it is slightly cheaper and you can easily move it to different garmin devices. The main advantage of the dvd version is you can pre-plan your routes offline on your computer and transfer them to your 80. However with the sd version you simply have to preplan your routes online using a service like BikeRouteToaster (as described in my post above). I hope this helps?

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Scutrr February 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Great review. I have owned a Garmin Quest GPS for seveal years and also the Edge 305 with cadance.
I would love to update and combined both systems in one. From the looks of it this is the way to go.
I was wondering if you might no are the cadence and or speed sensers the same for the 305 or 705 and now the 800?
Would you be able to just swap out the 305 bundle I am useing for a 800 stock and just turn on the cadence in the computer and synce the two?

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Anonymous February 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

Scutrr – Yes, the cadence/speed sensors (the Garmin GSC10 to be precise) are compatible across different edge units. You should be able to leave the sensor on your bike, attach the 800 and away you go.

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Simon February 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm

James,

Just found your excellent review – it’s the only one on the internet (that I’ve found) that has screenshots of the City Navigator at work!!! I read what you said about virtually all roads (and even some bridleways) being included in the map but have you had any experience of planning a route online where the road was missing? Does the unit simply show a line with no road or does it attempt to re-route you along roads which are included within the map?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Anonymous April 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Simon – I’ve not experienced this. I use BikeRoutToaster (which uses a Google API) to plan routes and have found they include even the smallest of lanes and bridelways.

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José May 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

Hi James

Excellent review mainly because it focus on riders point instead of hardware just point of view…… i’m an off roader and, like you, i’m trying to have a unit that replaces the all junk that i ‘ve attached to my bike… my main doubt is that this unit, seems to me, that fulfills the major needs for “roadies”… but may be a little disappointing for “off roaders” like me…

I’ve a few questions, if you don’t mind…

Being me only a road biker for reaching off road trails… would this unit be good for me or the oregon 450 would be better for this purpose… (forget dimension issue – that is obviously an handicap for the oregon)

In regard with elevation plot, when we enter a course to pursuit… would that graphic screen show the whole course elevation graphic or only the trail elevation that we have just ride… In oregon we have two zones… one blue – for the done trail – and a green zone for the undone course…

What about waypoints… We can easily mark them while we’re riding…

Thanks for your time

Best regards

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Teri May 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Hi James,

Thanks for all the information on the Garmin 800. Just bought mine on Friday and used it Saturday. So far I love it. Very easy to use. The touch screen is great. This is my first Garmin. I added 10 fields to the timer screen and was able to view all my ride data in one place. I haven’t loaded any routes on it yest, just used it to track myride. I will need to figure that out.

Teri

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dave July 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Iam wanting a garmin edge 800. Iam solely a road cyclist. In the north east of England. Now iam really confused about all the different maps u can get with this unit. Iam not that bothered about the hrm or the cadence unit (at the moment, I will probably get these at a later date) I just want the edge 800 unit and the suitable map I need 4 this area, I don’t want 2 waste money on the wrong map, can u tell me the right thing 2 get.

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Anonymous July 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm

dave – you’ll want the City Navigator maps. you can buy just the UK version or for a little more the European one which include most European countries so worth it if you think you might ride abroad at any point. You’ll need to decide between buying them on SD card or DVD. I got the SD card version as you can then use it in different garmin units (future proofing your purchase). I believe the DVD versions only work on one computer.

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Bas August 13, 2011 at 8:29 am

Hi James,
Good article. I installed the Egde 800 on my bike and everything seems to be connected. The only problem is that I am not able to read the cadence on the display. I followed the instructions but someting is not working. Any ideas?

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James October 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Bas – Stupid question but have you fitted the cadence sensor correctly? You might need to adjust the angle of the sensor so that it passes close enough to the magnet you’ve attached to the crank so that it can register each turn of the pedals. Mine was a bit fiddly to set up initially. Hope this helps.

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Phil August 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm

James
As others have found – you have provided a brilliantly helpful review with the clearest instructions, not least about creating and downloading a course. I have found, though, that bikeroutetoaster keeps thinking I have gone off course, tells me to go back, recalculates the route but then obviously isn’t very happy with the route I’m on. So, I went back to your review and read: ‘what I have found occasionally the 800 tries to recalculate my route if it thinks i have veered off course (as all sat nav devices occasionally do, especially on small country roads). In order to get round this I have simply switched of the re-calculate functionality in the main GPS settings menu’. I think this is probably what I need to do but for the life of me I can’t work out what to do to switch off the recalculate functionality, having opalyed around in setting sfor about half-an-hour. Your guidance would be gratefully received. Many thanks, Phil

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James October 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Phil – On the device navigate to ‘Settings >System > Routing’, then switch ‘Recalculate’ to Off. This should solve the problem!

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Lori October 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Great review. Very thorough. I of course have a couple questions.

I’ve been thinking of getting my first GPS. I’d like to get something that will be useful in several capacities. I road bike, mountain bike, and hike and am looking for something that can work for all of these. I considered the 705 a couple years ago, but decided that since I was mostly road cycling at the time, that I didn’t really need a GPS as much as cadence, speed, distance, etc. I know the roads well, so GPS isn’t important to me when road cycling. But now that I’ve started mountain biking more, I’ve been considering it again.

What I’m looking for is a device that will map my routes as I ride them. Pre-planning is completely unnecessary for me. My concern is that it won’t pick up the satellites in the trees. I live in British Columbia and it’s very lush with mountains and deep canyons. I also do a lot of hiking and would like to be able to carry it with me on my hikes for the same purpose. In the end, I would like to take all of rides and place them onto one map so that I have a map showing all the trails I’ve done at once. Similar to a trail map you’d find at a ski resort. Would this be possible? Can you edit your routes. For instance: I often ride to the mountain, and while I’d like to monitor my entire ride to keep track of my HR, calories, and distance, etc.., I would also like to be able to just cut out the portions of the ride that I’d like to add to my “trail map.” I don’t want to have me riding TO the mountain on the map 100 times.

I’m sure much of this has to do with the program I use after? Forgive me if I’m not making sense, I’m just struggling to find the words to articulate what I’m after here. I’ve also never used a GPS device, so perhaps these are obvious questions. I’ve been unable to find the answers online though.

Again, awesome review, and thanks ahead of time.

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James October 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Lori – The 800 holds and maintains a pretty good signal so I wouldn’t expect to have too many problems in the woods. However you can never guarantee it. As far as the recording your routes, the 800 will record everything you want. When it comes to overlaying routes, amending them, creating new ones, you’re right in that you’ll have to do all of this using external third party software/sites. I use bikeroutetoaster which is great for creating sites from scratch, I don’t think you’d be able to cut sections out really, there might be other sites out there that can do this. Sorry i can’t be of more use, James

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