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 20

Garmin Edge bike computers have become hugely popular, thanks to a winning mix of user-friendly features, good looks and effective navigation. There’s a huge range to cover all budgets and needs though, so which is the best Garmin Edge for you? We’ve put together an explainer to help you choose.

There are full-fat Garmin Edge models for performance riders who want all the data possible, models for touring cyclists who need good navigation in unfamiliar terrain, and low-profile models for those cyclists who just want to track the basics.

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

Garmin Edge 25

Garmin Edge 25 looks almost identical to its little brother the Edge 25, but adds some connected features and ANT+
Garmin Edge 25 looks almost identical to its little brother the Edge 25, but adds some connected features and ANT+
Matthew Allen / BikeRadar

Launched in 2015, The Edge 25 offers little more than the basic metrics you’d expect from a GPS bike computer: distance, speed, elapsed time and time of day, along with average speed, estimated calories, elevation and total ascent.

With the addition of extra external sensors, it will also monitor heart rate and cadence (but not power). When you ride, one page displays the time, date and battery life, while the data is spread across two pages, each with three fields. If you add a heart rate monitor, a fourth page shows beats per minute and HR zone.

It also offers breadcrumb navigation, meaning it will show a line on a blank screen, not a detailed map. If you load a pre-planned course onto the device, the tiny monochrome screen will point you in the right direction and give you a line to follow and it even offers turn warnings.

With Bluetooth, it can connect to your phone for data upload and LiveTrack, which can show your moving position to loved ones.

  • Weight: 25g / 0.9oz
  • Display size: 32.5mm / 1.28in
  • Retail price: $229

Read our Garmin Edge 25 review

Garmin Edge 130

Five buttons drive the unit: power (here at left), lap, start/stop, up/menu and down
Five buttons drive the unit: power (here at left), lap, start/stop, up/menu and down
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

The Edge 130 is the first step up and offers a few more metrics, most notably the support for power meters.

It can connect to external sensors with Bluetooth or ANT+, and your phone too, offering wireless ride syncing. It’s also got access to the GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite networks for ultimate accuracy and features a built-in barometric altimeter.

With a super sharp Memory-in-Pixel black and white screen the Edge 130 can display up to eight data fields per page and five pages of data. There’s still no basemap, so the navigation is of the breadcrumb variety.

The Bluetooth connection will also facilitate on-screen notifications, LiveTrack, weather forecasts and access to the Connect IQ story. It’s also compatible with Garmin Varia smart lights too. All of this comes with a claimed battery life of up to 15-hours

  • Weight: 33g / 1.16404
  • Display size: 45mm / 1.8in
  • Retail Price: £169.00 / $199 / AU$299

Read our Garmin Edge 130 review

Garmin Edge Touring

Garmin Edge Touring is based on the discontinued Edge 810 and looks pretty dated now
Garmin Edge Touring is based on the discontinued Edge 810 and looks pretty dated now
Cycling Plus

The Garmin Edge Touring is based on hardware from the discontinued Edge 810 and was launched way back in 2013. It’s starting to show its age now, however; the navigation capabilities were once cutting-edge, but now look a bit dated. You get a top-down map that’s easily overwhelmed with too much information and is hard to scroll around and there are no connected features like Strava Live, incoming call alerts or social media sharing.

You can choose between on-road or off-road navigation, using Garmin’s preloaded cycle map of Europe, and you can tell the device to suggest three different round-trip options based on a specified distance. It also includes points of interest relevant to cyclists and allows you to simply enter the address of where you want to go, leaving it to work out a cycling-friendly route for you.

The colour touchscreen is a healthy 2.6in across and offers 160 x 240 pixels resolution — not mind-blowing by modern standards, but usable enough. A nice feature is that the screen darkens between road junctions, to save battery. Speaking of which, battery life is up to a claimed 17 hours.

  • Weight: 98g / 3.5oz
  • Display size: 66mm / 2.6in
  • Retail price: £199 / $249 / AU$TBC

Garmin Edge 520

Garmin Edge 520 is a pared-down GPS bike computer for performance-minded cyclists
Garmin Edge 520 is a pared-down GPS bike computer for performance-minded cyclists
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

Launched in 2015, the 520 was the first Garmin Edge computer to offer Strava Live integration out of the box. It’s similar looking to the Garmin Edge 820, which came out a year later, but it uses buttons instead of a touchscreen.

There are scores of performance-focused perks, including FTP testing/tracking, and VO2 max and recovery time estimations when used with a power meter and heart rate sensor.

There’s a wealth of the connected features found on its more expensive siblings, like automatic uploads (via Bluetooth to your phone), LiveTrack, incoming phone call and text alerts, weather forecasts and social media sharing. It will also play nicely with Garmin Varia smart lights, ViRB action cameras and Shimano Di2 electronic shifting.

Finally, it also comes with dual GPS+GLONASS reception for faster, more accurate satellite fixes and a long 15+ battery life. Add in a barometric altimeter for more accurate tracking of your elevation variance over the course of a ride and this is a solid Garmin Edge for performance-minded riders.

  • Weight: 60g / 2.1oz
  • Display size: 58mm / 2.3in
  • Retail Price: £240 / $250 / AU$399

Read our Garmin Edge 520 review

Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Garmin Edge 520 Plus
The Garmin Edge 520 Plus can talk to all your peripherals, including your electronic drivetrain
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

Skirting in just above the Edge 520 is the plus version which is largely the same bar some upgraded navigation features and extended battery life.

While the navigation on the standard 520 is nothing to turn your nose up at, the 520 plus sees the Garmin Cycle Map instead of the ‘basemap.’ The Garmin Cycle map is based on OpenStreet map data, meaning with the 520 Plus you get turn by turn navigation, off course recalculation and back to start routing. Put another way, the navigation the 520 Plus is more like what you’re used to with Google maps or the GPS in your car.

In our experience, the battery life is also vastly improved, with the 520 Plus lasting about twice as long when using navigation.

You still can’t create a route on the computer itself; you’ll still need to drag it over from your laptop or sync from your phone via Bluetooth. If you’re creating routes on your head unit is a make or break feature you’ll want to jump up to the 820, 830 or 1030.

  • Weight: 63g / 2.2oz
  • Display size: 58mm / 2.3in
  • Retail Price: £259.00 / $279 / AU$449

Read our Garmin 520 Plus review

Garmin Edge 530

Garmin Edge 530
The Garmin Edge 530 sees upgraded mapping capabilities and advance training metrics

Just launched the Edge 530 is sleeker than its predecessors with a bigger 2.6in screen. Still, no touchscreen to be found, but you do get and claimed 20-hour battery life. The 530 carries over all the training features of its predecessor and adds the option of reminders when to hydrate and eat. Outside of a ride, the Edge 530 will show the previous four weeks of riding broken down in terms of low aerobic, high aerobic and anaerobic efforts to evaluate how balanced your training is and let you know areas you may need to work on.

As with the 520 Plus the 530 utilizes the Garmin Cycle Map for turn by turn directions, but the new model sees Tralforks integration too, with singletrack from 80-countries preloaded onto the device. The route finding has also bee upgraded and will direct you onto specific roads and trails based on what’s been uploaded as parts of other riders activities — think Strava Heat map.

With no touch screen, you still can’t create a route or search points of interest on the device; you’ll still have to do that on your phone or laptop.

Also new is the ClimbPro function which shows you how far you have to go on an ascent and Flow which rates how smoothly you descend a trail. At the end of your ride, the Edge 530 will also assign a Grit score which rates a ride using the GPS, elevation and accelerometer data. Garmin has also included a bike alarm for some piece of mind when you run into a gas station to buy a snack or coffee. In addition to ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, the 530 also sees WiFi connectivity, so when the computer picks up your home network, it will automatically begin to upload your ride.

  • Weight: 68g / 2.4oz
  • Display size: 66mm / 2.6in
  • Retail Price: £259.00 / $299 / AU$TBC

Garmin Edge 820

Garmin Edge 820 comes packed with connected features and performance stats
Garmin Edge 820 comes packed with connected features and performance stats
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

The Garmin Edge 820 (released in 2016) promises most of the smarts found in the top-end Edge 1000, but for less money and in a smaller, lighter form factor. It really is packed with features: you get a 2.3in colour touchscreen, oodles of advanced performance monitoring, Strava Live segments, navigation, handy text/call notifications and more.

It also gets a clever feature called GroupTrack, which helps you keep tabs on everyone in your riding pack. It gives you an on-screen map that shows where everyone else in your group is — providing they have a Garmin device that’s compatible with LiveTrack, that is.

Routes can be created by the unit itself, once you’ve inputted the address you want, but we would recommend uploading from a known ride, or using Strava’s Route Builder or Ride With GPS. As with other models like the Edge 1000, you can tell the Edge 820 to route you along bike paths, roads or trails, depending on your preference.

While the turn-by-turn directions are great, the relatively smaller size of the 820 compared to the 1000 makes it a little cumbersome if you want to zoom in or zoom out to see more detail.

Other high-end features that make an appearance on the Edge 820 include incident detection, compatibility with Garmin Varia smart lights and ViRB action cameras, and dual GPS/GLONASS capabilities.

  • Weight: 68g / 2.4oz
  • Display size: 58mm / 2.3in
  • Retail Price: £329 / $399 / AU$599

Read our Garmin Edge 820 review

Garmin Edge Explore 820

Garmin Edge Explore 820 is aimed at touring cyclists and includes plenty of tricks
Garmin Edge Explore 820 is aimed at touring cyclists and includes plenty of tricks

As we’ve already seen, Garmin likes to target touring cyclists with exploration-friendly versions of its bike computers, which is why the Garmin Edge Explore 820 could hit the sweet spot of price and features for many riders. It’s based on the same form factor as the Edge 820, but eschews high-performance data like functional threshold power estimates and Strava Live integration.

You’ll still get Bluetooth Smart to alert you to incoming phone calls and bad weather, and it keeps the incident detection capabilities of the Edge 820. There’s a 2.3in colour touchscreen that works in the wet and with gloves, and the GroupTrack and LiveTrack features remain too, which some might find useful. It’ll connect to a heart rate monitor as well.

Most potential buyers will be asking if the navigation features are any good and it’s the same story as reported above for the Edge 820. The good news is that it’ll create a route for you on the fly and delivers turn-by-turn navigation with alerts as appropriate. The bad news is that it’s still limited by screen size — just too small for many users, who’ll soon tire of trying to zoom in and out by poking at elusive on-screen icons.

One impressive feature that this model shares with the Edge 820 and above is WiFi uploads. This means your ride will appear on Garmin Connect and Strava mere moments after you enter within range of your home WiFi network or sync the device via Bluetooth with a smartphone.

Also worth mentioning is the battery save mode, which can extend battery life by up to 50 percent while still recording your ride.

  • Weight: 68g / 2.4oz
  • Display size: 58mm / 2.3in
  • Retail price: £299 / $349 / AU$TBC

Read our Garmin Edge Explore 820 review

Garmin Edge 830

Garmin Edge 830
The new Garmin Edge 830 features a bigger screen and longer battery life

Launched alongside the Edge 530, the Edge 830 carries almost the exact same feature set, however, as with the other Edge 800 series computers gets a touch screen.

This allows for on-device route creation, both on and off-road, and the ability to search for points of interest—no phone or laptop needed.

The Edge 830 also gets the new ClimbPro, Flow and Grit scores, Trailforks integration, advance training summaries and bike alarm seen on the Edge 530.

  • Weight: 68g / 2.4oz
  • Display size: 66mm / 2.6in
  • Retail Price: £429.00 / $499 / AU$TBC

Garmin Edge 1000

Garmin Edge 1000 can do pretty much everything except offer long battery life
Garmin Edge 1000 is the brand’s top-end bike computer and can do pretty much everything
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media

Until the Edge 1030 was announced in late 2017, the 1000 was the premium Garmin Edge bike computer. It has a slew of features: turn-by-turn navigation on a huge 3in colour touchscreen that automatically adjusts for light conditions, data tracking for a vast array of rider performance metrics, workout and Virtual Partner features, Strava Live integration and lots more. It comes at a hefty price, though.

The Garmin Edge 1000 was launched in 2014 and is comparable in size to an iPhone 4, albeit a little deeper in the belly. It’s got both GPS and GLONASS (the latter speeds up satellite reception, at a slight battery life cost), Bluetooth Smart so you can receive text/ call alerts and weather reports plus upload your ride, WiFi uploads, and compatibility with the latest Garmin Varia smart lights and ViRB action cameras. Thanks to ANT+ it will connect with nearly any sensor out there.

And the navigation is superb, with detailed mapping that can be switched between a top-down bird’s eye view and a 3D purple line to follow. You can select a routing mode so that it knows whether to guide you across bike paths (‘Tour Cycling’ mode), trails (‘Mountain Biking’) or tarmac (‘Road Cycling’).

But it’s the enormous range of possible data screens that make this unit stand out for data-hungry cyclists — you can configure up to 10 screens, which you swipe through like a smartphone. Metrics include variations on speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gears (for Shimano Di2 and SRAM eTap), distance, time, temperature, sunset time, workout counters and more.

Battery life is the only issue; when using turn-by-turn navigation and a bright screen we were seldom able to get more than 5 hours from a full charge.

  • Weight: 115g / 4oz
  • Display size: 3.9cm x 6.5cm
  • Retail price: £343 / $599 / AU$N/A
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Read our Garmin Edge 1000 review

Garmin Edge Explore 1000

Garmin Edge Explore 1000 is the touring-specific version of the Edge 1000 and is a highly impressive unit with superb navigation
Garmin Edge Explore 1000 is the touring-specific version of the Edge 1000 and is a highly impressive unit with superb navigation
Jamie Beach / Immediate Media

Touring cyclists, this is the top-notch Garmin bike computer for you. It’s based on the Garmin Edge 1000, so you still get that massive 3in colour touchscreen, superb turn-by-turn navigation and weather alerts. It still offers a lot in data terms — there are three customisable data screens (rather than the 10 available with the Edge 1000) and it can display metrics including heart rate and power. The barometric altitude sensor remains too.

However, it lacks advanced performance features like Strava Live integration, structured workouts and recovery predictions, which are all big reasons for performance-focused riders to buy the Edge 1000. And although the Edge Explore 1000 is a little more affordable than its bigger brother, it’s still quite pricey.

The Garmin Edge Explore 1000 does offer one notable feature missing from the Edge 1000 though, incident detection. This relies on accelerometers to sound the alarm when you’ve had a crash and offers automatic or manual alerts to an emergency contact, telling them where you are (you can cancel the alert manually if you want).

It also include Garmin’s Live Tracking feature, which we really like. This uses your smartphone’s data connection to broadcast your position (and other data like speed and heart rate) to a nominated recipient, who receives an emailed link and can then track your progress in a web browser.

But it’s really the navigation features that make this unit appealing for touring cyclists and those with a habit of getting lost (guilty). The best bit is the superb 3D Mode that gives you a nice big purple line to follow, plus audible alerts and a countdown to when you need to make that turn. There’s also loop suggestions, which let you tell it how far you want it to ride and leave the Edge Explore 1000 to figure out three possible bike-friendly routes.

And finally, there’s also a search function that lets you find destinations by postcode and points of interest (including some very useful ones like bike shops and hospitals, and some less useful ones like ice rinks and cinemas — clearly derived from Garmin’s range of car sat navs). In summary, a very capable bike computer for cyclists who want to explore rather than chase KOMs.

  • Weight: 115g (4oz)
  • Display size: 76mm
  • Retail price: £389 / $449 / AU$N/A

Read our Garmin Edge Explore 1000 review

Garmin Edge 1030

The brand new Garmin Edge 1030 steps up the navigation game, but perhaps the biggest upgrade is the massive (20hr) battery life
The brand new Garmin Edge 1030 steps up the navigation game, but perhaps the biggest upgrade is the massive (20hr) battery life
Courtesy Garmin

Battery life that is as massive as the 3.5in color touchscreen headlines the new range-topping Edge 1030’s list of features. (20 hours claimed, plus 20+ more with a battery that clips into the new mount.)

This 123g handlebar supercomputer monitors and records every cycling metric you can think of, plus a few dozen more.

Garmin upped the ante on navigation, too, offering something it calls ‘Trendline Popularity’ to highlight cycling-friendly routes when out on the road. We haven’t tested this enough yet to confirm its promise, but a cool promise it is.

Garmin’s already superior turn-by-turn navigation gets a boost with sharp-turn alerts and improved maps.

Strava Routes and TrainingPeaks Connect IQ apps come stock, and you can easily add more.

The Edge 1030 does everything the 1000 does, plus adds things like rider-to-rider messages and rider-to-phone messaging via pre-written notes. So, say your friend texts you when out on the bike; instead of pulling over to respond, you can just hit the ‘be there asap’ button without slowing your cadence.

  • Weight: 123g
  • Display size: 89mm
  • Retail price: £499 / $599 / AU$749

Read our Garmin Edge 1030 first ride review

Discontinued Garmin Edge bike computer models

There have been a fair few models that have fallen by the wayside as Garmin continually updates its range. Here’s the list of discontinued models, as of April 2019:

  • Garmin Edge 20
  • Garmin Edge 200
  • Garmin Edge 205
  • Garmin Edge 305
  • Garmin Edge 500
  • Garmin Edge 510
  • Garmin Edge 605
  • Garmin Edge 705
  • Garmin Edge 800
  • Garmin Edge 810