My Garmin Edge 800 Review: I recently decided to splurge and purchase a touchscreen Garmin Edge 800 GPS Cycling Computer. A rider in our local bicycling club was already using a Garmin Edge 500. I was impressed that all of his ride data could be recorded, uploaded, exported, studied, viewed, printed, and even shared via Garmin's Connect online proprietary software.
UPDATE: If you are interested in this article and like fitness watches, you might also want to check out my Garmin Fenix 3 Review.
Garmin Edge 800 Basics
Every vital piece of your bicycle ride, including the mapped route, elevation, distance, time, speed, cadence, heart rate, temperature, calories, and power can be displayed and logged using the Edge 800. This information can then be uploaded to Garmin Connect. Of course to track any of those variables, you need to own a corresponding Ant+ sensor for each measurement.
I bought the basic level 1 Garmin Edge, which came with the Edge 800 computer, 2 bicycle mounts, a USB cable, AC Charger, and Manual. I already own a heart rate sensor, and have cadence and speed sensors on all of my bicycles. It should be noted that the Garmin Edge 800 level 1 does not come with the City Navigator, which offers detailed road maps, points of interest, and routed directions to any address. However, City Navigator can be added at any time for an additional $79.
Garmin Edge 800 Data Display options
The Garmin Edge 800 allows you to customize its display to show up to ten fields of data per page, in any order you want. Up to 6 custom pages can be setup and toggled right or left, directly from the touchscreen. So for example you could have a main page displaying elapsed time, speed, cadence, heart rate, distance traveled, temp, etc. A second page with all time and distance data, third page with all heart rate and cadence data, and so on. A built in Elevation Graph page exists that charts your altitude.
Built in Virtual Partner and customizable Lap summary pages also exists that can be used to help keep you in line with your personal goals. Last but not least, a Navigation page exists to help track where you are going and assist in getting you there.
Brightness of the back light can be adjusting by simply pressing the power button, and clicking +-. I tend to leave the back light on, as it doesn't appear to drain the battery much faster. You can do this simply by navigating to Menu > Wrench Icon > System > Display > Back light Timeout, then select Stays On!
Garmin Edge 800 Screen Navigation and Settings
Menu navigation and settings are a breeze, functioning much like an iPad or smartphone. Simply touch and drag to scroll, or tap to select. Here are some screenshots of the Edge 800 navigation menu and settings options:
Garmin Edge 800 Features
Some additional features I enjoyed were the Edge 800's ability to auto detect and calculate speed based on its own GPS calculations, and the ability to detect sensors automatically. This makes adding a new bike to the device a snap (Garmin Edge 800 supports up to 5 bikes). The Garmin will try to choose the correct bike for you at startup based on the sensors it finds. Additional information such as the weight of your bike, your age, weight, and height can also be stored.
Once you have saved a ride, you can upload the data from the Edge to Garmin Connect via USB Cable. Virtually all of your ride data for which you had sensors will be displayed. This ride data can then be compared, reviewed, shared, exported, printed, etc.
In conclusion, I've really enjoyed using my Garmin Edge 800 and think it makes for a great ride companion. Therefore, I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about cycling.