Garmin Edge 800

£399.99 (depends on bundle) available from www.garmin.com

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.

Verdict

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.

Rating

Review date: 22 November 2011

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  • Antonio Norberto Martins

    Hey
    I do agree with all your coments, but i need your help to know how can I buy maps to bike in Taiwan.
    I am a Brazilian, living in Rio de Janeiro.
    Thank you.
    Antonio

    • Steve

      Hi Antonio,

      Garmin has only one map for Taiwan, the only trouble is Pinyin and that names can vary, although you can usually find something with a little thought.

      Check it out here: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=89354

  • Antonio Norberto Martins

    Hi Steve,
    Thank you very much.
    Does the cities and all directions come writing in Pinyin, or only the cities.
    I am starting to learn something in Piyin but I am quite sure I will not understand anything.
    Antonio

  • Antonio Norberto Martins

    Hi Steve,
    Unfortunately my GPS is from USA and it is not compatible with City Navigator Taiwan download. The GPS has to have an pre instaled map of Taiwan to be download and updated.
    Thank you again.
    Antonio

  • Steve

    Neither is mine! When I arrived in Taiwan I bought the map on a mini sd card, which slots into the 800. Do you have an 800? This would be the best option, you can purchase them from ebay, or your local Garmin dealer should be able to order for you.

  • Antonio Norberto Martins

    Hi Steve,
    I bought one Edge 800 Taiwan preloaded, but whem I go to navegation I got a probem !
    I set “Where to” / “Addresses” / “Spell State/Province” / “Type Taipei ” or ” Taiwan” and appears ” No Results Found”.
    Could you please tell me what am I doing wrong ?
    Thank you very much.
    Antonio

  • Steve

    Hi Antonio,

    I’m not sure it should work! There is a problem with spelling, i.e. Taiwan suffers from many attempts at Pinyin so getting it right can be a problem. Try loading your device in Garmin Basecamp, see if the map loads there. You can always got to Garmin’s Taipei office (preloaded, if it works). They will help you. Cheers Steve.