Solid GPS unit from Garmin. Very expensive but worth every penny, if you can afford there is no other choice! Simply the best cycling GPS in the World.
The Garmin Edge 800 is the current top model in the companies cycling range of GPS units and has a lot of features to offer. Features that make the nerdy [me] get all excited. Even better if you are a serious racing cyclist or a randonneur. So what features do you get? A lot! I first started testing the Edge 800 in England then brought it to Taiwan. The first thing is the ease in which you can install maps – open the rubberised slot and pop in the micro-sd card and turn it on – that is all you need to do. The display is big, bold, easy to follow with big touch screen buttons and can take clumsy hands like mine (or gloved fingers). The unit is solid and the mount system is quick and easy. There have been reports of the units mount being easily destroyed but, I’ve had no problems in 4 months.
The Edge 800 will record all your stats/data and depending on your set-up this will be everything up to watts if you run it alongside a power meter. The fun for me is getting home after a good ride and logging in to the Garmin Connect website and uploading my data and looking at the stats, some I know from the units display, others I wait for, like temperature and elevation. At first, I started using the Garmin Connect to make courses but, soon found that this was a little annoying as if I made a wrong turn it would want me to start again. So no good for but, useful for racers in many ways.
That led me to find a way to load my own custom POI’s (points of interest) which would constantly re-route me to my destination, allowing for me to make de-tours. Unfortunately this function is not on Garmin Connect. You have to install and run Garmin’s software Base Camp which is a little slow and clunky but, gets the job done and is free.
At any point on your ride you can change, search for a new location, return to the start and find addresses an amazing thing to have on a bike – just like a car sat-nav – and record the whole route. You can even set laps by a tap of a button. Basically I’ve used this unit in Taiwan and never have I got lost! Think about that for a moment, I’m in a land where I only understand a few written words and some spoken words. I rely on the device to get me home.
Garmin have worked really hard to put every imaginable function into the smallest device they can build (a bit smaller than a pack of cards). It's not cheap but I honestly think you get your moneys worth and no other unit can deliver these functions as well or clear as Garmin can.
Review date: 22 November 2011