Garmin Part Number: 010-03709-00. Prices (at the time of writing this review): on Garmin – USD 129.99, On Amazon: USD 120.99 (for current price on Amazon click here), In Thailand: 4,990 THB (approximately USD 139)
If you’re looking for an easy to use, compact GPS cycling computer to track your distance, speed and even share your rides with websites such as Strava the Garmin Edge 20 is a great choice. Weighing just 25 grams and measuring 4cm x 4cm, the Edge 20 boasts a compact footprint and is outfitted with a plethora of intuitive user settings including auto pauses to stop tracking when stopped at a red light, an indoor training setting when you don’t need GPS and an auto lap feature for designated times or distances. Continue reading
In a span of just a few years, GPS enabled bicycle computers have gradually taken over traditional devices for several reasons, most notably competitive pricing and excellent data gathering technology. Garmin has leveraged this new technology, and is the only company in this rapidly growing arena that is able to produce devices for a range of budgets and needs.
Billed as the company’s smallest ever bike computer yet, the Edge 25 is the second cheapest Garmin bike computer and is positioned one notch above the Edge 20 in the lineup. It is a successor to the successful Edge 200, and this time around the Edge 25 is smaller, lighter and a bit more capable. In fact the Edge 25 is extremely tiny, weighing in at just 20 grams and measuring 40x42x17mm, or big enough to house the quarter-turn mounts that sits underneath.
If you don’t need navigation and route mapping, and are just looking to track important metrics such as distance, speed and elevation, the Edge 25 is just what you’re looking for! The Edge 25 is appointed with a small and grayscale 128×160 pixel display, which is sharp to say the least and its lighter font allows makes it easy to get a quick view at how fast you’re cycling. One of the noteworthy features of the Edge 25 that makes it distinct from its competition is designed to withstand all weather owing to an IPX7 water-resistance rating, meaning its good when immersed 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
What’s in the Box?
Highlights of the Garmin Edge 25
Design of the Edge 25
The features of the Garmin Edge 25 can be accessed via four buttons, two on each side, where the upper left is to power on the backlight, lower left for selecting back and lap, upper right for making a selection and lower right for down, changing page and selection. Although the device is rather simplistic, the layout works really well and even gives you the ability to download courses t o the device either via the included USB or Bluetooth from your smartphone.
Adding to this, the Edge 25 also supports Garmin segments notifications and allows you to instantly upload completed activities to Garmin Connect. These activities can then be synced with third party sites such as TrainingPeaks, Strava, Sport Tracks and others via Auto Sync. Just like most other Garmin newly launched fitness devices, the phone connectivity of the Garmin Edge 25 enables Live Tracking, allowing you to share vital information such as heart rate and cadence and even your exact location with your online following.
The Garmin Edge 25 also supports call and text notifications as long as you have your phone within Bluetooth range, which is a feature that can be turned off and on as you see fit. With regards to metrics, the Edge 25 is able to display average speed, distance, time, cadence and calories. The Edge 25 bike computer can also be paired with a compatible heart rate strap to create a specific high/low heart rate value or heart rate alert for a specific zone.
Additionally, you can create specific distance, time and calorie goals and the Edge 25 will help you focus on completing workouts to achieve those goals. Settings such as language, miles and kilometers can also be configured as well as Auto Pause (ideal for city riding), Automatic Laps and Auto Scroll (changes your data fields automatically every few seconds.)
Using the Edge 25
When you power on the Edge 25, you will first be greeted with a Ride screen, from where you can head straight into a ride or navigate to the Ride Options menu and select the dedicated Indoors mode if you’re cycling indoors. Another great feature of the Edge 25 is its ease of use, so much so that you do not even have to reach for the manual to find your way around. For example, you can scroll down to Courses, History and Settings right from the Home screen.
As mentioned earlier, navigation is done via the four buttons on the Edge 25, where each is extremely tactile and easy to press owing to the knurled surface, making it easy to use with or without gloves. During a ride, you have access to three screens, where two of them can be configured to display a plethora of metrics. The first screen displays three data fields with distance, time and current speed, whereas the second screen shows tow data fields – accents and calories.
Each of the aforementioned data fields can be configured via the Settings menu, but note that there is no ability to increase the number of data fields in any of the screens or add any additional screens. This however is no big issue as the Edge 25 already displays a wealth of vital information. The device is able to connect to GPS rather quickly and there’s no waiting to locate satellites as soon it’s turned on. Although the Edge 25 bike computer isn’t designed for navigation, you can however download courses from Garmin Connect to the device and follow a breadcrumb trail.
The device even offers turn by turn navigation, but you can’t create a route on the fly owing to the lack of a base map. Live Tracking allows your near and dear ones to follow your endeavors combined with notifications from your smartphone. When fully charged, the Garmin Edge 25 is good for eight hours, which is impressive and much more than other devices in its segment.
Pros of the Edge 25
Cons of the Edge 25
The Garmin Edge 25 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a rather diminutive and lightweight GPS device that will log all your ride data. It offers Live Tracking and great basic course navigation support and can also be connected with a compatible heart rate sensor. Activities can be easily uploaded by simply connecting the device to your computer or via Bluetooth on your smartphone. With the help of GPS/GLONASS satellites, the Edge 25 is able to track how fast, how fast and where you ride even in dense environments.
The Edge 25 bike computer offers up to 8 hours of use when fully charged, which is sufficient for even long bike endeavors. Although the Edge 25 does not support Strava segments, you can compete with other cyclists on Garmin Connect segments and even view your results after your ride on the leaderboard. Activities can be uploaded to Garmin’s free online fitness community aka Garmin Connect, which enables you to view and analyze the path you travelled on a map and even share it with others.
All in all, the Garmin Edge 25 is a great and cost efficient bike computer for both novice and seasoned riders, and is feature rich compared to other similar GPS bike computers.
Garmin Varia Review
The number of bicyclists hitting the roads around the globe has surged to over 400%, but this consequently and considerably increases the number of bike related roadway deaths. If you’re an avid cyclist, you know the inherent danger of sharing lanes with motor vehicles, and Garmin’s Varia Radar helps create a safer cycling environment by warning you of approaching vehicles from behind up to 140 meters or 153 yards away – a trick most vehicles can’t even do!
Although the Garmin Varia will not completely eliminate bike-car crashes, it does offer cyclists better piece of mind knowing the distance of vehicles behind them. Adding to this, this bicycle radar is definitely not a substitute for remaining vigilant, but allows you to focus more on other aspects of the road. The Varia arrives with a bunch of mounting gear to ensure the pieces firmly attach to the handlebars and seat posts. Adding to this, these included accessories are easy to remove, and can be easily tucked away in your pocket after locking your bicycle.
Unboxing the Garmin Varia
The Varia can be had in two different variants, one with and one without the front display unit, where the latter option would need to be paired with a compatible Garmin Edge device. In the box of the Garmin Varia, you receive:
Radar Bundle Variant
Tail Light Only Variant
Garmin Varia Design
The rear radar of the Varia is lightweight at 63 grams, while the front display unit weighs 28 grams. The device is easy to operate with only a few options available on it, which is a good thing in this case. It does however transmit a lot of important data, by pressing a few buttons. Charged via an included micro USB cable, the Varia boasts a battery life of 10 hours in flashing mode, and roughly 5 hours in always on mode.
Highlights of the Garmin Varia
The status of the battery is clearly indicated on the display, and one of the noteworthy features of the battery is the latest Varia firmware will switch the device off and on automatically based on the usage of the Garmin Edge. And if you’d like to switch the Varia off and on manually, you can do so easily by pressing down the single button at the top for a few seconds. The Varia even allows you to toggle between two light modes, one mode that will keep the taillight in an always on configuration, while the second configuration keeps the taillight in a blinking position.
With regards to mounting the Varia, Garmin has used the same 6 year old quarter turn mount concept on all its cycling products. As mentioned before, the Garmin Varia package arrives with a few different seat post mounting options, where you can use the round mount (included) for round seat post and triangular mount (included) for an aero seat post. The display unit of the Varia pairs wirelessly with the rear radar, and can be charged in the exact same way, i.e. via micro USB.
When successfully paired, the unit of the Varia will display a small white dot as a car approaches from behind, and this dot will gradually move from the bottom of the display to the top as the car gets closer. Along with the white moving dot, the unit will also display a yellow light at the top, and a green light to indicate the coast is clear. Adding to this, the display of the Varia will be populated with multiple dots for multiple cars, whereas the two white dots located below the blue dot indicate the battery status for display unit and the radar.
Pairing the Varia with a Garmin Edge Display
If you purchase just the radar package, you can pair the device with a Garmin Edge device. Compatible devices include the Edge 25, Edge 520, Explore 1000, Edge 1000, Edge Explore 1000, Edge 810, Edge 510 and Touring Plus. When you pair the Garmin radar with any of the aforementioned devices, the information will be indicated directly on the Edge. To connect with the radar, the Edge device uses ANT and ANT + to transmit the radar related information.
When you switch to the ride mode, you’ll notice a sort of upside down Wi-Fi like symbol at the top of the Edge screen, which is actually a radar symbol that indicates the radar is connected and transmitting to your bike computer. A missing symbol could mean one of two things, either the radar unit is turned off or fell off. If you’re riding on a clear road with no cars, the side of the Edge screen will not display any information, but as soon as cars come into view, the Edge device will beep and display a cautionary color on the edges of its display.
Out of the white dots and indicators, you may at times notice a red color dot, which represents a fast approaching vehicle. This is just to alert you that you’re about to be overtaken by a high speed car. While all this action is displayed on the display of the Edge, the light of the rear radar is actually changing to react to the traffic as well. Closer approaching vehicles will trigger the red taillight bar to expand, and sounds are only emitted from the Edge device not the taillights.
Pros of the Garmin Varia
Cons of the Garmin Varia
The Garmin Varia is an expensive device, but could mean the difference between life and death. And if you’re a cycling enthusiast, this is something worth considering. It can be paired with an Edge device, saving you money if you’re device is compatible. Additionally, the Varia eliminates the cumbersome task of riding with mirrors resulting in a smoother cycling experience.
Vehicles these days are equipped with a plethora of high end security features such as rear sensors, lights, airbags, etc, whereas apart from helmets cyclists have to be extra cautious on the road. The Varia not only keeps you safe knowing what’s behind you, but also allows you to focus on other aspects of the road.
After 3 years of the initial release of the Garmin Edge 500, Garmin has introduced the Edge 510 GPS cycling computer, which stacks up well compared to its predecessor and other similar devices in its segment.
In the Box
The first thing you’ll notice after unboxing the Garmin Edge 510 is the device itself. The lower half of the box contains two mounts and a pile of rubber bands. These industrial grade rubber bands are tried, tested and proven, and have pretty much set the benchmark for bike GPS computer to handlebar connectivity. To add to this, the Edge 510 can also be paired with 3rd party mount accessories and is charged with the included mini-USB cable, which can either be plugged into a wall outlet or a computer USB port. Lastly, the Garmin Edge 510 arrives with a lanyard that connects just like a baggage tag, allowing users to comfortably tag it along.
Features and Design
The Edge 510 is exclusively designed to track and manage your cycling workouts and races. It is a bit more heft at 80g compared to the 500 Edge at 58g, and measures 85x52x24mm vs. 69x48x22mm. With more screen real estate, the Garmin 510 Edge showcases a stunning visual appeal complete with smooth squared off edges compared to the rounded design on its previous sibling.
The bulkier and heavier footprint of the Edge 510 allows it to accommodate a full color LCD screen that measures 57mm diagonally compared the Edge 500’s 45mm monochrome insert. Unlike your phone screen, this resistive touch screen allows the use of gloves, making it easier to access while working out. With regards to the screen, the Garmin Edge 510 does away with most of the physical buttons, retaining the start/stop and lap triggers placed at the lower end of the face and a power on button that also displays the brightness and screen lock functions located at the upper left side of the unit.
The rear of the Garmin Edge 510 features a mini USB port shielded by a rubber cover with a quarter turn mount interface. First introduced three years ago, this interface allows users to quickly connect a mount with the handlebars with two included rubber bands. Then, the device can be fixed with a quarter turn into the mount. Garmin also provides the option to buy additional mounts and bands, but it is unlikely you will need them considering the retail packaging comes with a ton of rubber bands in various sizes. The all new tether case is outfitted with a loop to ensure the Edge 510 stays on the mount even in the event of a crash.
The most notable characteristic of this screen is the ability for users to simply hold down a data field while in cycling mode to switch it on the go. As mentioned before, the touch screen of the Gamin Edge 510 is highly sensitive, but there may be instances where you wouldn’t want such a spontaneous response. For example, you may want to ride and record for later by placing the device in the pocket of your jogging pants. In this case, the Edge 510 supports lock functionality, where users can lock the device by simply tapping the power button and then selecting the lock icon. The device can be unlocked by repeating the process.
The biggest change to the latest Garmin Edge 510 is cell phone integration, and is unlike pairing a cell phone with their lineup of fitness and outdoor units such as the Garmin Fenix. Pairing a cell phone in the fitness and outdoor products limits users to download/upload routes, courses and activities to and from the phone. The Garmin Edge however steps it up a few notches and allows users view the current weather and adds fitness sensor tracking coupled with live location.
Garmin’s app is free to download and use and compatible with Android and iPhone OS cell phones. Once installed, the app – Garmin Connect can be configured with the users Garmin Connect Account, which is a crucial step to stream information back and forth from the app. After configuring the Garmin Connect account, the next step is to pair the Edge 510 with the cell phone. This is easily done by hovering to settings in the control panel and then the Bluetooth area.
Simultaneously, the same pairing process must be performed on the Garmin Edge 510, and take note that only one device can be paired with one cell phone. Once complete, the Edge 510 will connect with the configured cell phone automatically once turn on, and a notification appears a second later on the phone asking to connect to it.
The Live feature of the Garmin Edge 510 literally puts you on a map as a blue dot for other people to track in real time. Along with your location, other authorized people can view data such as average speed, ANT+ sensor data (Cadence/Heart Rate/Power/Speed) and overall activity. The feature can be enabled from the Garmin app on the cell phone, from where the name of your recipients as well the name of the activity can be configured.
Recipients can be added through your contact list or with their email addresses, and are saved automatically for future reference. For social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook, the app will prompt you for the one you?d like to use. What?s impressive about the Live feature is that users can send invites ahead of their course, but the actual tracking will only start once the start button is pressed on the Garmin Edge 510.
Users can upload their workouts to Garmin Connect effortlessly by first configuring the cell phone app. Once Garmin Connect is configured to accommodate this feature, it will transmit the data via the cell phone data plan when you hit the save button. The cell phone will display a notification once the files have been uploaded. The weather feature is a new offering with the Edge 510, and can be configured through the Garmin Connect app. After it?s enabled, the Edge 510 displays a weather icon, which can be accessed at any time with the power button.
It is evident that the Garmin Edge 510 has received a major overhaul, and one most users were expecting. The device comes with a ton of useful features that are designed to cater to individual needs. Regardless of a few minor bugs, the Garmin Edge 510 is a must have device for fitness enthusiasts.