Garmin Edge bike computers: buyer’s guide to all the models

We explain them all, from the Garmin Edge 1030 all the way down to the Edge 130

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Garmin Edge GPS bike computer buyer's guide

Garmin Edge bike computers are one of the most popular go-to choices for cyclists.

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Over time, Garmin has increased the feature-set seen on its GPS bike computers and has extended these to all but its entry-level models.

So what does the Garmin Edge range offer and which one’s right for you?

What can a Garmin GPS computer do?

Garmin 830
A bike computer can track where you’ve been and performance metrics, as well as provide mapping on higher-end models.
Alex Evans

At a minimum, a bike computer will let you track where you’ve been, how far and how fast. It will usually have a GPS chip that keeps track of your position, although some budget models will pair with a smartphone and use that device’s GPS data. 

All Garmin Edge computers have their own GPS chips though, and get position data from the Glonass, Galileo and standard GPS satellite constellations.

That basic data can be augmented with a raft of extras. 

Most computers will give you mapping, letting you plan and follow a route, with turn-by-turn navigation. Cheaper models have just a breadcrumb trail that doesn’t superimpose your route on a base map. 

Garmin Edge bike computers
You can pair devices such as power meters, heart rate monitors and cadence sensors with a bike computer.
Simon Bromley

You can also pair your computer wirelessly with peripheral devices such as a heart rate monitor strap, speed and cadence sensors, and a power meter to get more information on your performance.

Entry-level Edge models are controlled using buttons on the sides of the unit, whereas more expensive ones include a touchscreen. The screen gets larger as you move up the range too, and goes from black-and-white to a colour display.

All Garmin Edge computers let you control Garmin’s Varia front and rear lights, with the rear-facing units using radar to alert you via your computer of approaching vehicles. Most of the range can also be used to control the Garmin Virb action camera.

You can also link your computer to the Garmin Connect web app, where you can view and analyse your data and plan routes. 

There’s a supplementary Garmin smartphone app too. This allows you to pair your Edge to your phone, and they will talk to one another, with the computer showing you notifications of incoming calls and texts. The app can also share your position and other metrics with other riders and family at home.

The Garmin Edge range explained

The Garmin Edge range starts with the basic models that feature simple black-and-white screen. Moving up the range gets you increasingly larger devices with larger format colour touchscreens and more training data available. That said, even the base models have a lot of Garmin’s features included.

As well as offering standalone computers, Garmin also sells bundles for each Edge model. 

These package up the Edge computer with other kit, such as a sensor bundle, which adds a heart rate monitor strap and speed and cadence sensors. 

Opt for the mountain bike bundle and you get an off-road-specific mount, a silicone case for the computer and a remote, so you can operate it without taking your hands off the bars.

Garmin has recently done some housekeeping on its Edge range, discontinuing some older longstanding models, so you might not see some familiar names below. 

We’ll start with the simplest, most affordable Garmin Edge computers, and work up from there.

Current models in the Garmin Edge series 

Garmin Edge 130

Garmin Edge 130 GPS bike computer
The little Garmin Edge 130 has a sharp screen and easy-to-follow menus.
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
  • Best for: Riders wanting easy set up and plenty of functionality without the bells and whistles

If you just want basic cycling data and don’t want a whole load of extra features, the Garmin Edge 130 gives you exactly that. 

That means you also won’t spend ages setting it up rather than enjoying your ride. 

The Edge 130 is compact too, weighing just 33g with overall dimensions of 62 x 40 x 17mm. 

You get a super-sharp 36 x 27mm monochrome screen. It’s not a touchscreen, with the unit being controlled by five buttons on its sides, but the resolution is higher than Garmin’s more expensive models.

A pre-plotted route can be uploaded, which is displayed as a breadcrumb trail without a basemap. You do, however, get notification as you’re coming up to a turn.

Connectivity is via ANT+ and Bluetooth, the latter letting you pair the computer to your phone. 

This will give you a notification for incoming calls and text messages, and also lets you push out your location via LiveTrack to a pre-defined list of email addresses.

Garmin quotes a battery life of up to 15 hours for the Edge 130.

  • Read our Garmin Edge 130 review
  • Navigation: Basic, breadcrumb-style with no basemap
  • Training data: Basic speed, distance, time, elevation, heart rate and power data field
  • Connectivity: USB, ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Garmin Varia, Connect IQ
  • Size: 40 × 62 × 17mm
  • Screen: 27 × 36mm, black and white
  • Price: £149.99 / $149.99 / AU$299

Garmin Edge 130 Plus

Garmin Edge 130 Plus data screen view
The Garmin Edge 130 Plus was released in June 2020.
Garmin
  • Best for: Riders that want a simple GPS with plenty of features, including mountain bike metrics

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus builds on the 130, adding an accelerometer that allows the device to include mountain biking metrics and incident detection, as well as Climb Pro functionality, which shows the profile of a climb from a pre-loaded route.

There is still no base mapping on the 130, so you’re limited to breadcrumb mapping, but the device retains the same super-sharp screen as seen on the 130.

Syncing between apps such as Strava and Komoot has been greatly improved with Garmin opening up its API. Battery life has actually shrunk to 12-hours, but that should be more than enough for the majority of riders.

Future firmware updates will also allow the 130 Plus to control smart trainers.

  • Read our Garmin Edge 130 Plus first look
  • Navigation: Basic, breadcrumb-style with no basemap
  • Training data: Basic speed, distance, time, elevation, heart rate and power data field, mountain bike metrics and Climb Pro
  • Connectivity: USB, ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Garmin Varia, Connect IQ
  • Size: 40 × 62 × 17mm
  • Screen: 27 × 36mm, black and white
  • Price: £169.99 / $199.99 / €199.99 / AU$349

Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Garmin Edge 520 Plus
The Edge 520 Plus improves battery life and adds a few extra features over the old 520.
Bike Radar / Immediate Media
  • Best for: Riders looking for lots of training metrics in a compact package

A bit larger than the Edge 130 at 73 x 49 x 21mm, the 63g Garmin Edge 520 Plus packs in a colour screen that’s 47 x 35mm. It’s still controlled via an array of buttons – seven in total – rather than a touchscreen.

The 520 Plus gets more features, including displaying Garmin’s Cycle Map basemap, so you get turn-by-turn navigation both on and off road. As with the Edge 130, there’s also Strava Live Segment compatibility (though to use this you need to be a paying Strava Subscriber). 

Pair the computer up with a power meter and you can also track functional threshold power (FTP) and other performance metrics. It will also pair with SRAM and Shimano electronic groupsets to show you which ratio you are using.

  • Read our Garmin Edge 520 Plus review
  • Navigation: Good, with turn-by-turn directions, Garmin Cycle Map, automatic rerouting colour mapping and back-to-start feature
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gear selection (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, sunset time, workout counters and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap
  • Size: 49mm x 73mm
  • Screen: 35mm x 47mm, 200 x 265 pixels, colour
  • Price: £259 / $279 / AU$449

Garmin Edge Explore

Garmin Edge Explore GPS bike computer
The overall dimensions of the Edge Explore are similar to the top-end Edge 1030.
Garmin
  • Best for: Riders wanting navigation functionality but not interested in performance metrics

There’s just one Garmin Edge Explore now, and it’s a big one. In terms of form factor, it is most akin to the Edge 1030, with a large color touchscreen, a weight of 116g and up to 12 hours battery life.

At under half the price of the Edge 1030, the Edge Explore cuts out many of the performance features of the latter to concentrate on navigation, including the Garmin Cycle Map and turn-by-turn navigation. There’s also the ability to create a route on the device itself. 

You get the basics such as speed and distance, and can hook up via ANT+ or Bluetooth with peripheral devices.

  • Navigation: Turn-by-turn directions, Garmin Cycle Map, automatic re-routing, colour mapping and back-to-start feature
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, distance, time, temperature,
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Size: 105mm x 55mm x 22mm
  • Screen: 39mm x 65mm, 240 x 400 pixels, colour touchscreen
  • Price: £219.99 / $249.99 / AU$N/A

Garmin Edge 530

GPS bike computer
The Edge 530 is the first computer with WiFi connectivity.
Matthew Allen / Immediate Media

Best for: Riders wanting the functionality of Garmin’s larger computers but in a compact package.

A bit larger than the Edge 520 Plus, the Edge 530 weighs 76g and has a slightly larger screen too at 51 x 38mm, while battery life is increased to a claimed 20 hours. 

It ups the training emphasis, adding effectiveness measures and VO2 max, as well as recovery time. It also adds the ClimbPro feature, which tells you how much further a climb goes on and how steep it gets ahead. 

The Bike Alarm is also a nice security feature that tells you via your smartphone if the bike is moved while you’re away from it. 

It’s also the first model up the range to get WiFi-connectivity built in, so you can exchange data wirelessly, rather than needing to use a USB cable to connect up to your computer.

As with the Edge 520 Plus there’s a colour screen with basemaps. What you don’t get with the Edge 530 is a touchscreen. For that you’ll need to step up to the Edge 830 or Edge 1030.

  • Read the full review of the Garmin Edge 530
  • Navigation: Good, aimed primarily at following courses created in advance, with excellent turn-by-turn instructions and hazard warnings. Non-touchscreen means browsing map is mostly a waste of time
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gear selection (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, navigation, performance monitoring and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, BLE, WiFi
  • Compatibility: ANT+ and ANT+ shifting, power meter and bike trainer, Shimano Di2, Vector power meter, Garmin Varia and Virb
  • Size: 85mm long × 51mm wide × 16mm thick (20mm total including protruding mount)
  • Screen: 38mm × 51mm (2.6in diagonal), 246 × 322 pixel colour screen (non-touchscreen)
  • Price: £259.99 / $299.99 / AU$499 as tested, now £229.99 / $299.99 / AU$499

Garmin Edge 830

Garmin Edge 830 GPS bike computer on-device route creation
The Garmin Edge 830’s route creation feature is good for an on-device function but lacks the intelligence needed to really make it shine.
Alex Evans
  • Best for: Riders wanting a larger format device with a touchscreen

The Garmin Edge 830 is the first model in the Edge range to get touchscreen control of its functions. It’s larger, but not a lot heavier, than the Edge 530 at 79g and with a larger 74 x 48mm colour touchscreen.

We also found it relatively easy to input a destination onto the device, although route calculation isn’t great, despite its Trendline routing based on riders’ most popular roads and trails.

  • Read the full review of the Garmin Edge 830
  • Navigation: Good, maps and navigation features are easy to understand and it’s relatively simple to programme routes. On-device route calculation isn’t great, though
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gear selection (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, navigation, performance monitoring and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, BLE, WiFi
  • Compatibility: ANT+ and ANT+ shifting, power meter and bike trainer, Shimano Di2, Vector power meter, Garmin Varia and Virb
  • Size: 48mm x 74.5mm
  • Screen: 50mm x 82mm, 246 x 322 pixels, colour touchscreen
  • Price: £349.99 / €399.99 / $399.99 / AU$599

Garmin Edge 1030

Garmin's Edge 1030 GPS computer packs in a ridiculous number of features
Garmin’s Edge 1030 GPS computer packs in a ridiculous number of features.
Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
  • Best for: Riders wanting all the bells and whistles

The Edge 1030 gives you a comprehensive feature-set in Garmin’s largest format. That’s 114 x 59 x 19mm with an 89mm diagonal colour touchscreen and a weight of 123g.

Battery life is around 20 hours, though this can be extended with an additional external battery that connects via terminals on the base of the computer’s mount. 

You can store up to 200 hours of ride history and the Edge 1030 is the only model where you can add a MicroSD card if you want more storage.

That large screen means you can fit up to ten data fields at once and change them on the fly. Plus you get a really detailed basemap and the turn-by-turn navigation alerts you to hazards like sharp bends ahead.

  • Read the full review of the Garmin Edge 1030
  • Navigation: Best in class
  • Training data: All the metrics you can think of, plus a few dozen more, displayed in standard numeric form or, with Connect IQ apps, in a variety of infographics
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS
  • Size: 59mm x 114mm x 19mm
  • Screen: 3.5in / 89mm colour touchscreen, 282 x 470 pixels
  • Price: £499 / $599 / AU$749

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus data screen view
The all-new Garmin Edge 130 Plus.
Garmin
  • Best for: Wanting every possible feature imaginable (with the price to match)

Top of the Garmin Edge tree, the brand-new Edge 1030 Plus gives you every single feature you could ever want in a bike computer in the same overall format as the outgoing Edge 1030. 

The new computer gets an updated processor and an improved touchscreen over the old model.

Battery life has also grown to 24 hours, though this can be extended to an enormous 48 hours if you run the computer in a stripped-down mode. 

The SD card slot has been removed but internal storage has grown to 32gb. TrailForks is also installed as standard on the unit.

  • Read our first look on the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
  • Navigation: Every bit as good as the 1030 with a faster processor for quicker route recalculation
  • Training data: A bewildering number of training metrics that can be customised to your heart’s content 
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS, Garmin Varia
  • Size: 59mm x 114mm x 19mm
  • Screen: 3.5in / 89mm colour touchscreen, 282 x 470 pixels
  • Price: £519.99 / $599.99 / €599.99 / AU$999

Are there other options to consider?

It’s worth considering other brands’ bike computers too. Whereas a couple of years ago, a bike computer was a Garmin, there are now alternatives from the likes of Wahoo and Lezyne, which in some cases offer other features, such as better aerodynamics, or lower price points. 

You can also get a lot of the functionality of a bike computer in a GPS watch/smartwatch, with more versatility if you’re into other sports besides cycling.

Garmin has a comprehensive range, but other brands to look out for include Fitbit, Suunto and Polar.

Discontinued Garmin Edge bike computer models

Garmin has done quite a bit of housekeeping on its Edge range recently, trimming its offering down to six. So gone are the smallest entry-level Edge 25 and the superseded Edge 1000 series, with the 1030 taking over deluxe duties.

Here’s a full list of discontinued models as at May 2020:

Are there other options to consider?

It’s worth considering other brands’ bike computers too. Whereas a couple of years ago, a bike computer was a Garmin, there are now alternatives from the likes of Wahoo and Lezyne, which in some cases offer other features, such as better aerodynamics, or lower price points. 

You can also get a lot of the functionality of a bike computer in a GPS watch/smartwatch, with more versatility if you’re into other sports besides cycling.

Garmin has a comprehensive range, but other brands to look out for include Fitbit, Suunto and Polar.

Discontinued Garmin Edge bike computer models

Garmin has done quite a bit of housekeeping on its Edge range recently, trimming its offering down to six. So gone are the smallest entry-level Edge 25 and the superseded Edge 1000 series, with the 1030 taking over deluxe duties.

Here’s a full list of discontinued models as at May 2020:

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