A bit of a belated heads up on the latest Garmin device. I’m not going to go into a detailed review at this moment as there are a lot better than me at doing this sort of thing and they get paid for it.
If you are a first time Edge user you need to buy a map, preferably with with your 800 as there are some good bundles available on the microSD card maps. You’ll be up and running a lot quicker this way.
First up, it is an improvement on a 705, the screen is better, it is touchscreen and it works with a heavily gloved hand.
The downside, out of the box the level of information about it is possibly the worst I have seen from Garmin. The woeful instructions about operating the device are now a PDF on the Edge 800. No CD in the box.
Links to software you need for the device to function as it should are next to none existent.
It’s a complicated device with a steep learning curve at a premium price and as a consumer a first time buyer deserves a lot better.
Buy a bundle with a map, in the UK you can get ALL of the UK on OS map 1:50,000 for about £50 which is a good deal.
The OS mapping is an overlay on top of the Garmin vector maps, so you get the best of both worlds, an OS map that is now routable.
If you have previous experience with Garmin Edge devices it is not such a big deal but if you are coming in to it as you’re first device it is a big step.
The carbon fibre finnish looks great but buy the rubber cover for it, you need to protect your investment.
The route planning software from Garmin is still non existant for a company of it’s size, I don’t consider Mapsource as route planning software.
See the RideWithGPS.com link at the bottom of the page, an excellent write up of 800 routing methods.
One last thing, there is a rate of climbing indicator. You can now climb like a God for a 100 mtres or so, pity it doesn’t record in training centre.
A worthy upgrade to the 705 but with the same lack of support for a first time GPS/Training device user. The manual is still a list of features, not how to to use the device in the real world. The screen is better with more information, just make sure your eyesight is up to it. If you wear spectacles but don’t ride with them your going to have problems with any Garmin device if you can’t focus on the screen.
Had a problem on a ride with the screen not unlocking after being locked but that is the only bug so far.
One problem that has come up since a software upgrade is a cadence sensor problem. The GSC10 not getting recognised despite a new battery, a rescan would find it again but it could lose it again later in the ride after a stop.
Another is the data screen altering while in the back pocket, one of the disadvantages of a touchscreen. How this happens is beyond me as the screen is nested 3 or 4 deep and then you have to come back out, strange how it wanted to display fat calories burnt. Other than that it’s been fine, powers down after 15 minutes of inactivity so shouldn’t ever go flat.
Did a Workout under the Training section for the first time. Rather than buy a watch I just took it to a spinning class in the gym after setting the screen to Heartrate, Calories and Time. Worked really well. I do have a problem removing false starts that have been uploaded into GarminConnect.
I’ve had no problems with sweat spashs turning to screen on so guess rain is not going to be a problem.
Hey Frank, so I took some more time to further document things – here is what I have so far. It’s rough with no screen shots, but it has all the info on GPX Routes, GPX Tracks, GPXX files as well as TCX. TCX files, with Virtual Partner off, Turn Guidance on and Off Course Warnings set to on is the clear winner for the Edge 800.
Edge 800 instructions http://ridewithgps.com/edge_800