Garmin Edge GPS computer line-up for cycling 2019

Cyclingnews' roundup of the best Garmin Edge GPS units available to buy this year

GPS technology giant, Garmin, is no stranger to the world of cycling having been involved as a headline sponsor of the WorldTour outfit Team Garmin from 2008-2015. Garmin’s sponsorship of a professional team represented a huge leap forward for cycling at the time.

Over the past decade, the company has remained committed to cycling and its participation in the sport has been monumental, despite it playing less of a serious role in recent years. As an industry leader and benchmark for GPS cycling technology, the company is still very much associated with top-tier cycling, which it uses as a testbed to develop and improve new products.

At present, the Kansas-based firm sponsors 11 professional teams with Garmin Edge computers and accessories, including EF Education First Pro Cycling, Team Ineos and Dimension Data.

The Garmin Edge has come a long way since the early years — who can forget the venerable Edge 605 and 705 or more recently the 500 and 800? With each model year, the Garmin Edge gets better and more refined while retaining its reputation as a durable and reliable performer.

The company has since delved into the manufacturing of other cycling-related components such as power meters and radar systems; namely the Garmin Vector power meter pedals, Varia RTL510 rear-view radar system and Varia UT800 Smart light, each of which pairs seamlessly with any Edge GPS cycling computer.

Which Garmin Edge should I buy?

The 2019 Garmin Edge range comprises five distinct models that cater for a wide variety of rider types. Which model is best for you comes down to a number of factors, such as training/riding frequency, cycling preference (road, mountain, cyclo-cross or enduro) and budget — the latter, of course, being a big determining factor.

Each Garmin Edge unit comes standard with a high level of specification and monitoring software and is available in two purchase options: device-only or bundle. Purchasing just the device is the cheaper of the two options but ancillary items such as heart-rate monitor and cadence and speed sensors are not included.

Every Garmin Edge will automatically upload your rides to the Garmin Connect app (granted you’ve registered an account), as well as third-party apps such as Training Peaks and Strava. You can also tailor your device using the ConnectIQ platform with free apps, widgets and data fields for an improved user experience.

Scroll down to see Cyclingnews’ roundup of the best Garmin Edge GPS units available to buy for 2019.

Garmin Edge GPS computers and products you can buy today

Garmin Edge 130

Verdict: The smallest Garmin Edge on the market also happens to be the most affordable

  • Price: Starting at US$199 / £149 / AU$299
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Companion App: Yes
  • Navigation: Breadcrumb
  • Claimed battery life: 15-hours
  • Weight: 33g
  • Screen: 1.8in/45mm diagonal, monochrome screen, button-operated

+ Price, battery life, low weight
- Lack of base maps

Despite sitting in the lower rungs of Garmin’s product portfolio, the Edge 130 has a premium feel about it. As a training tool and navigational device, it’s just as accomplished as its pricier Edge brothers, minus a few bells-and-whistles.

What it lacks in a colour and touchscreen display, it makes up for in function — not that its resolution isn’t up to the task. In fact, the monochrome screen is as sharp as some of the colour screen options currently on the market.

The 130 is equipped to offer limited and basic navigational assistance via breadcrumb trail (there are no pre-installed base maps).

As a dedicated training device, it can display metrics such as power, cadence and heart rate as well as Live Strava Segments. What makes the Garmin Edge 130 such a stellar choice is the no-frills, do-it-all functionality at an affordable price.

Garmin Edge 530

Verdict: The most complete 500-series Garmin to date

  • Price: Starting at $299 / £259 / AU$449
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Companion App: Yes
  • Navigation: OpenStreet Map
  • Claimed battery life: 20-hours
  • Weight: 75.8g
  • Screen: 2.6in/66mm diagonal, full colour, button operated

+ Lightweight, improved navigation, colour screen
- Initially quite complex to set-up

The Garmin Edge 530 is the successor to the ever-popular Garmin Edge 520 offering the same levels of GPS connectivity and training metrics as before in a far more premium and connected package. Based on the all-new Edge 830, the 530 gains a high-resolution 2.6-inch colour display and retains the button operation of its predecessor.

A collection of new metrics have been stitched into the interface to further bolster its credibility, such as ClimbPro which helps monitor your effort by displaying parameters like ascent and grade when you’re climbing.

Battery life is pegged at 20 hours which can be upped to 40 hours using Garmin's optional Charge power pack, a boon for those who enjoy a big day out. But it’s the all-new onboard processor that has taken things up a couple of notches, boasting improved performance and map-loading speed.

Garmin Edge 830

Verdict: An affordable touchscreen GPS for discerning athletes and elite-level riders

  • Price: Starting at $399 / £349 / AU$599
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Companion App: Yes
  • Navigation: OpenStreet Map
  • Claimed battery life: 20-hours
  • Weight: 79.1g
  • Screen: 2.6in/66mm diagonal, full colour, touchscreen

+ Touchscreen, improved navigation, fast processor
- Initially quite complex to set-up

The introduction of enhanced mapping capabilities and trickle-down technology from the Edge 1030 puts the Edge 830 head and shoulders above its forebear, the highly-successful Garmin Edge 820.

Highlights include Trailforks that allows access to trail maps and ratings from over 80 countries, along with a slew of new mountain bike-specific metrics that track jump count, jump distance, and hang time.

Utilising a Sony GPS processor the Edge 830 benefits from improved GPS accuracy, battery life and, for the first time ever, the ability to navigate to a specific address. In terms of turn-by-turn navigation, map detail and user prompting, the Edge 830 is exceptional.

Like the Edge 530, it also employs a 2.6-inch colour screen but gains touchscreen functionality with improved haptics —even in wet weather or when wearing gloves.

Garmin Edge Explore

Verdict: The perfect navigational tool for Garmin disciples who favour adventure riding over racing and training

  • Price: Starting at US$249 / £219
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Companion App: Yes
  • Navigation: OpenStreet Map
  • Claimed battery life: 12-hours
  • Weight: 116g
  • Screen: 3in/76mm diagonal, full colour, touchscreen

+ Price, navigation, responsive colour touchscreen.
- Lack of customisation, no support for power meters.

The Garmin Edge Explore is more about adventuring than focusing on training or racing. As such, it’s geared towards users who enjoy touring but still want the benefits of a large, colour touchscreen for navigational purposes.

That’s not to say the Edge Explore can’t track certain training parameters. It will measure heart-rate but that’s as far as fitness metrics go. There’s no support for power meters or workouts and the same goes for Live Strava Segments.

Customisation is limited to only two screens but can be tailored with up to ten data fields per page to go with separate stock pages for maps, elevation, compass and the GroupTrack.

But to shun this unit based purely on its inability to display power and Live Strava Segments would be to misjudge the concept completely — the Edge Explore does what it says on the tin and offers a niche experience to an audience quite unlike that of other Garmin Edge devices.

Garmin Edge 1030

Verdict: There’s a reason the Edge 1030 is the professional’s choice: it’s the most complete Garmin Edge device ever made

  • Price: Starting at $599 / £499 / AU$749
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Companion App: Yes
  • Navigation: OpenStreet Map
  • Claimed battery life: 20-hours
  • Weight: 123g
  • Screen: 3.5in/89mm diagonal, full colour, touch screen

+ Screen clarity, training metrics
- Price, weight

The Edge 1030 is Garmin’s flagship GPS device. Of its many highlights, the most impressive feature is undoubtedly the ultra-sharp 3.5-inch colour touchscreen which provides a commanding and unobstructed view of the display.

As a navigational device the Edge 1030 does it all: from turn-by-turn navigation and warning prompts, to course creation and routing. Like its smaller siblings, it’s also compatible with Connect IQ, third-party applications and Garmin accessories such as Vector power pedals, the Varia Radar system and Virb action cameras.

At two years old, the Edge 1030 still looks appreciably contemporary and fits in with Garmin’s current design language. Yes, the new Edge 530 and 830 are just as capable but they’re aimed at a very different demographic and price point. The Edge 1030, on the other hand, is an object of desire — a top-of-the-range cycling computer designed for those who want one of the best on the market.

Garmin Edge 1030 full review

How to make the most of your Garmin Edge computer

Garmin Varia RTL510 Radar Tail Light

Verdict: At £169, the Varia is a pricey add-on but the early-warning system makes it worth every penny

  • Price: Starting at $199 / £169/ AU$299
  • Connectivity: ANT+
  • Claimed battery life: 15-hours
  • Weight: 71g

+ Warning-detection system, Garmin Edge compatibility
- Price

The Varia RTL510 is great piece of kit as it provides visual and audible alerts to warn of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 metres. It can be synced to a dedicated radar display unit or paired with a Garmin Edge computer.

Doubling up as a 60-lumen tail light, it offers day-time visibility of up to 1.6km (1 mile) within a 220-degree range.

Garmin Vector 3/3S Power Pedals

Verdict: A convenient and reliable power-training tool

  • Price: Starting at $599 / £499/ AU$899
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 120 hours
  • Battery type: LR44/SR44 (x4)
  • Power measurement: Dual-sided
  • Weight: 316g

+ Dual-sided functionality, compatible with all cranks
- Price, limited cleat compatibility

Now in its third generation, the Garmin Vector 3 pedals have ironed out all of the idiosyncrasies of its forebears and packaged them into a near-faultless, sleek-looking product. At 316g a pair, they’re not the lightest pedals around but the convenience they offer as a portable training tool more than makes up for the added heft. Pairing them to a Garmin Edge via ANT+ or Bluetooth is simple — in fact, they’re compatible with most cycling computers.

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