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Hands on with the new Garmin Edge Touring GPS bike computer

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Today (well, technically last night, just barely) Garmin announced the latest addition to their bike computer lineup – the Garmin Touring.

I had a chance to spend time with the product team last April and give them a bunch of feedback on it based on the early stages of development.

I’ll dive into some hands-on time here in a moment, but it’s probably useful to point out that if you’re looking for an Edge 500/510/800/810 replacement, this isn’t it.  This is really targeting a different (though equally as important) market: Cycling tourism.

The Touring is designed for…well…touring.  As in, multi-day bike tours.  These tours are incredibly popular in Europe, though in the states they are pretty limited (as in, basically none).  Thus think of the Touring as a highly simplified version of the Edge 800/810.  It’s not for the performance athlete.  It’s for someone who simply wants to go for a casual ride and not get lost.

Features and Functionality:

The Touring is really focused on a few core feature areas:

– Creation of impromptu round trip routes (not seen before on the Garmin fitness lineup)
– Navigation to and between POI’s (points of interest)
– Basic ride display information (i.e. speed/distance/time/HR/ascent/elevation)

Outside of these core areas much of the more advanced functionality found in other Edge units has been stripped out.

Looking at those three areas, the most interesting (I think anyway) is actually the quick creation of round trip routes from the unit itself.  To do so you’ll simply specify how long a ride you’re looking for (in either miles or kilometers).

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You can also specify if you want to start the route from where you are, or from another point on the map.

Once you’ve given it some instructions it’ll go off and come back with three routes (it’s like Monty Python – everything is in threes).  It did take a bit of time (perhaps 2 minutes) to come up with the routes.  Each route is roughly the distance you’ve specified, and all routes come back to where you started.

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You can select any given route option to get a map overview:

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Additionally, you can click to see the elevation profile of the route:

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There are a number of settings around routing and navigation within the options (applicable to round trip routing and generic routing), including how the unit routes and whether it, for example, minimizes routes with hills.

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Next up we have navigation to nearby points of interest (POI’s).  These can be places to eat, monuments, or simply an address.

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Garmin has pre-loaded the unit with free maps from OpenStreetMap – which is actually a pretty big shift for the company where most maps cost users money.  This past spring you saw the addition of OpenStreetMap to Garmin Connect for map creation – in preparation for this unit being offered.

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While navigating you’ll be given a map view, and turn by turn directions (like a car GPS):

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In addition to having the unit create a route by itself, you can also create routes on Garmin Connect and download them to the unit (called courses):

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You can customize the various data fields associated with that map view as well as specifying how detailed the map is:

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In total you’ll get four ‘screens’/pages of information.  You can customize a single data page (called ‘Timer’ below) as well with traditional fields found on the Edge units today (up to 8 fields at once):

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One final feature of note is that the unit supports ANT+ enabled eBikes and will add in the eBike’s estimated remaining range and battery information.

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The Touring does allow you to pair the ANT+ heart rate strap, but does not allow other sensor types (i.e. cadence sensors, power meters, etc…).

Comparison to other Garmin Edge Units:

I’ve put together a quick comparison table outlining the features and differences in functionality.  You can customize and create your own comparison table using the ‘Product Comparison Calculator’ feature on the sidebar.

Also, remember to click the ‘expand’ button at the bottom of the table to see all one gazillion rows of features.

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated May 21st, 2014 @ 5:38 pmNew Window
Price$249.00$299.00$279$399
Product Announcement DateAug 28, 2013Aug 28, 2013Aug 26, 2010Jan 7, 2013
Actual Availability/Shipping DateOct 2013Estimated: Nov 2013Nov 2010Jan 2013
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSBUSBUSBUSB & Bluetooth
WaterproofingIPX7IPX7IPX7IPX7
Battery Life17 hours17 hours15 hours17 hours
Recording IntervalTBDTBD1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerNoNoNoNo
Quick Satellite ReceptionYesYesYesYes
AlertsSound/VisualSound/VisualSound/VisualSound/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNoYes
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingNoNoNoNo
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoNo
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoNoNoYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableNoNoYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsN/AN/AYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFN/AN/AYesYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableNoNoYesYes
RunningGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Designed for runningNoNoNoNo
SwimmingGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Designed for swimmingNoNoNoNo
TriathlonGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Designed for triathlonNoNoNoNo
WorkoutsGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Create/Follow custom workoutsNoNoYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureNoNoYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoNoNoYes
FunctionsGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoNoYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoNoYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)TBDNoNoYes
Day to day watch abilityNoNoN/ANo
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNo
GeocachingNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoNoNoYes
NavigateGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYesYesYes
Back to startYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationYesYesNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoNoNoYes
SensorsGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Altimeter TypeGPSBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeGPSGPSGPSGPS
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleNoYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableNoYesYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoYesNoNo
Di2 Shifting IntegrationNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoYesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsNoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
PC ApplicationGarmin Training Center/BasecampGarmin Training Center/BasecampGarmin Training Center/BasecampGarmin Training Center/Basecamp
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppGarmin Connect (iPhone/Android)Garmin Connect (iPhone/Android)GARMIN CONNECT (IPHONE/ANDROID)Garmin Connect (iOS/Android)
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10WHP)LinkLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge Touring (Normal)Garmin Edge Touring (Plus)Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 810
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Pricing and Availability:

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The Touring will be available in the Fall of this year.  I’m hearing that’ll likely be late September or early October.  There are two variants of the unit:

Edge Touring (standard): $249US
Edge Touring Plus: $299US – adds ANT+ HR support, ANT+ eBike support, and the barometric altimeter

Ultimately, the Edge Touring is physically an Edge 800 hardware unit (thus, has the same battery life, screen size, etc…) with different firmware on it.  This practice is common with Garmin, and we’ve seen it done in other units – i.e. FR110/FR210, Edge 200/Edge 500, FR610/Golf Watches, Fenix/Quatix.  They take the same base hardware platform and slightly tweak the software to appeal to a different market.

I’ll be doing an in-depth review closer to the retail availability of the product, though in the meantime feel free to ask any questions here.  It’s a fairly straight forward unit with a simpler feature set, so there’s not quite as much to cover as compared to a more complex Garmin Edge 810 or similar product.

Lastly, do not expect an Edge 810 replacement anytime soon.  The Edge 810 is less than 8 months old (announced early January 2013, available  later that month).  Garmin product cycles are very pattern-oriented and tend to be no less than 2 years on the dot.

Thanks for reading!

Here’s how to support the blog and get a sweet deal:

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can pickup the Garmin Touring through Clever Training using the link below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Garmin Edge Touring (See dropdown to select normal or Pro variant)

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (all colors shown after clicking through to the left) or accessories (though, no discount). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

Edge Touring (non-Plus variant):

AccessoryManufacturerStreet PriceAmazon LinkClever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10WHP)More Info
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 7th, 2013 @ 7:49 am
Barfly Tate Labs Road/Mountain Bike Handlebar Mount (for all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with quick release kit)Barfly/Tate Labs$25LinkLinkLink
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount (for all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with quick release kit)Barfly/Tate Labs$30.00LinkLinkLink
Garmin Edge 810 Rubber Cases (Variety of colors)Garmin$12.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)Garmin$10.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car ChargerGarmin$10.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with Quick Release)Garmin$38.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin/PowerMonkey Explorer Solar Charger (co-branded)Garmin/PowerMonkey$89LinkLinkN/A
K-Edge Garmin Handlebar Mount X-Large for Edge units (including Edge 1000)K-Edge$45.00N/ALinkN/A

Edge Touring Plus variant:

AccessoryManufacturerStreet PriceAmazon LinkClever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10WHP)More Info
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 7th, 2013 @ 7:49 am
Barfly Tate Labs Road/Mountain Bike Handlebar Mount (for all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with quick release kit)Barfly/Tate Labs$25LinkLinkLink
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount (for all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with quick release kit)Barfly/Tate Labs$30.00LinkLinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1Garmin$37.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2Garmin$69.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3Garmin$50.00LinkLinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (with Running Dynamics) - HRM-RunGarmin$99.00LinkLinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)Garmin$28.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Edge 810 Rubber Cases (Variety of colors)Garmin$12.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)Garmin$10.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car ChargerGarmin$10.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with Quick Release)Garmin$38.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin/PowerMonkey Explorer Solar Charger (co-branded)Garmin/PowerMonkey$89LinkLinkN/A
K-Edge Garmin Handlebar Mount X-Large for Edge units (including Edge 1000)K-Edge$45.00N/ALinkN/A

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Welcome to Eurobike week! This week during Eurobike I’ll be tweeting from the exhibition show floor quite a bit, as well as posting frequently. Here’s a quick and handy link to all Eurobike-related posts.

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293 Comments

  1. Do you think this functaionality will also be made available to the Edge 810? (As a firmware update)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'm getting clarification on that.

      Reply
    • Micha replied

      Is there an update on this question, now gearing towards the MIO 505... unless Garmin updates the 810 in the near future

      Reply
    • Howard replied

      hi do you know if the unit will read the Garmin OS Discovery UK maps as the orgon/dakota series

      Ta

      Reply
    • David Ivory replied

      Thanks for another detailed review. Much appreciated. I had a Garmin Edge 800 but really hated the layout of the menus so I sold it and use my iPhone/Cyclemeter/Wahoo RFLKT. This new unit should be great in providing Sat Nav elenent. It looks pretty initiative?

      Reply
    • Tim replied

      I recently bought a Garmin Edge Touring Plus. Having charged it up and printed off the instructions I tried to program in a local route to a friends house. The screen kept 'freezing' up and I had to swith it off to clear it, then start again. It wasn't just when typing in the letters it also happened on the 'back' button. I spoke to the supplier who quickly sent me out another one - this had the same fault so a third was sent out. Again this one was prone to 'freezing up' and although I managed to get it to produce a circular route it then took me down a very rough country footpath (bridleway) and across a stream even though I had set it up for road use only (the ford was shown on its map). Another fault is that not all roads are shown (including an 'A' class road) and it didn't have a busy main line railway station shown.
      I can't help feeling that this may have been launched before the software has been fully developed/checked. Has anyone else had issues with it?

      Reply
    • PASCAL replied

      Hi Tim
      I have same issues. Did you get an answer to solve this?
      Thanks
      Pascal

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      As a general 'trick' with Garmin devices and freezes, it's oftentimes corruption somewhere on the device. A good first troubleshooting step is to remove all your completed activities (just cut/paste to your desktop). Also, validate when you plug the Edge into your computer, it doesn't say anything about the disk having problems (sometimes, it'll say that).

      If you can also move many of your saved routes off temporarily, that's another good troubleshooting step.

      Reply
  2. Craig

    What's the battery life like? Is the battery replaceable?
    The built in battery is a big weakness with the other Edge models - if you are on a long ride, you can't plug it in to charge.

    Reply
    • Sam replied

      You should try this : link to gomadic.com

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's the same physical unit as the Edge 810, so battery is the same there, 17 hours.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      The Garmin announcement I read on Facebook yesterday mentioned a solar powered recharging unit. Maybe they've solved that problem.

      What intrigues me more is the routing. You mean, finally, there's actually a Garmin unit that can do loops properly, that half the time won't frantically try to get you to reverse course and go back to the beginning that you just left?

      Reply
    • craigp replied

      I read in another article that Garmin are claiming 17 hours battery life.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      They've long offered the solar charger (made by PowerMonkey and rebranded). It actually works pretty well.

      Reply
    • davep replied

      The Garmin Edge 800 can be charged by a USB external battery charge. It keeps running while charging. (I use a Jackery charger).

      Reply
    • Craig replied

      Its a shame Garmin still don't get long-distance cycling.
      Yes,, you can plug a separate battery pack into the USB port, but that is extra weight and not waterproof, and I don't want cables running all over my bike. And solar charging would not be very effective where I am cycling.

      Reply
    • Tim replied

      Yesterday I went for a 52 mile ride. At the end of the ride my battery was at 7%. What!! That's not even close to 17 hours. Any tips? I set the backlight to go off after 30 seconds when I had set it to stay on. However, it seems to me that the backlight is on throughout the ride regardless of the setting.

      Plus the course you map out either with ride with gps or off of Garmin Connect does not seem to work when you take it on the road. I'm sure there is a learning curve here, but it is rather frustrating and leaves you with a feeling that you cannot rely on the unit. For example, I inputed a ride leader's route and during the ride was given wrong directions even though the ride leader riding just ahead of me was going off the same route and not receiving the wrong turn directions. Hmmm?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Double-check the brightness settings. If on full-blast, and if it didn't time-out, then that sounds right. Obviously, not ideal, but having accidentally left on full-brightness once or twice before, you won't get very much battery (massive difference). Obviously, if the backlight isn't turning off when it's supposed to, that's a bug.

      Reply
    • David Ross replied

      will the device stay on while being charged with the solar charger while riding?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I just validated that when an external power supply is plugged in (non-computer), it will stay powered on. I happened to use the solar charger, but it was leveraging the battery portion.

      Reply
  3. Paul

    looks great for a touring device, will there be a replacement for the edge 810 in a near future ?

    Reply
  4. Erik Wolla

    I'm interested in the display performance - is the display in terms of size, resolution and readability outdoors equal to Edge 810? In fact it looks very much like Edge 810 hardware (at lest what's visible from the outside, inside electronics and firmware may of course be different).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's the same hardware, just different firmware. The only difference from the 810 that makes this more like the 800 is that the 810 has Bluetooth and this doesn't.

      Reply
  5. SeanJapan

    Wonder how overseas use of the unit will go for Japan...Any info on that? I have other Garmin poducts with English menus and maps, but not much access or information in Japan with them.

    Reply
    • Richard Eckert replied

      I would like to second/bump this comment. When on the US Garmin site there are no maps available for Japan. Where can maps of Asia/Japan be purchased, and would they be compatible with this unit. If you don't care to tackle this question/issue, that's completely understandable.

      Reply
  6. I was really pumped up on the device. But then the bomb drop ".. But does not allow other ANT+ device" why Garmin, why?!?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's aimed at a different market. Further, if they added full-on support for all ANT+ devices it would cannibalize the 810 sales (at a price twice that of the Touring).

      Reply
    • Josh replied

      While sure it's a different market, to have ANT+ support but not at least *record* power meter data...feels like Garmin's pushing too hard. They could leave out all of the power-related functionality - workouts, even the display fields themselves...but at least record the data for later download.

      Reply
  7. I pray for that Garmin gives that "impromptu round trip routes" to Edge 800 & 810 via FW-Update too!
    That is something really interessing for just "dunno where, just give me 50km"

    Reply
  8. Stefan

    No cadans support? Only HR functionality?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That's correct.

      Reply
    • eli replied

      Control for their new camera?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No control, validated that hands-on. I can kinda see the point. I suspect there's not a lot of overlap for a cyclist that wants the lower-end Edge with a higher-end action camera.

      Reply
    • Michael Schonfeld replied

      I just got the Touring Plus with HR strap a couple of weeks ago. I intend to use it for road tours to POI's and (Rail to) Trail touring trips and their planning. I will use the HR strap only to ensure I'm not exceeding my maximum permissible heart rate.

      So far, I like the premise of the Touring Plus as I'm not pursuing any particular fitness or performance goals. However, what I find totally unacceptable and disturbing is the omission of Bluetooth Smart and the omission of Remote Control of the Virb Elite camera. There is no excuse for those omissions, and I truly hope Garmin's product manager elects to remedy those omissions in a future firmware update. To me those omissions greatly limits the appeal of both the Touring Plus in conjunction with the Virb Elite. That decision may send an erroneous message to potential customers that both products are dead end products with no future development plans.

      To me, integration of Garmin's Connect, Basecamp, and Virb iOS Mobile Apps with both the Touring Plus and the Virb Elite should be a foregone conclusion as these products are best used together. There should be no hesitation on Garmin's part to fully integrate the functionality of those software and hardware products if Garmin wishes to distinguish its product offerings from the many mobile cycling Apps for iOS and Android platforms that Garmin will end up competing with. Some of those competing mobile cycling Apps are impressive and well-received by many cyclists who are willing to record data using their cell phone during a ride.

      Garmin would be well-advised to remedy these concerns if they are to maintain their own "Edge" beyond competing mobile GPS and Trip Planning Apps.

      Reply
  9. Samuel

    When are we going to see custom firmware for garmins like cyanogen for android :)

    Reply
  10. Kirk

    If the loop functionality works and they could add that to 810 I'd be game for it. I would be interested to know if it looks for cycling friendly routes what would keep a road off of that, obviously highways are a no go but anything else get an automatic no? How does Garmin make that determination?

    Reply
    • Mutro replied

      Loop function does not work well as I've had erroneous "make a U-turn" especially at the beginning of a loop route on my Touring+ unit.

      Reply
  11. Jen

    This interests me. We are moving to Italy for 3 years starting next month. I want to start road biking while we are there--but as a newbie the "route me without too much elevation" option sounds like a real winner.

    I'd love to get an overview of the "beginner" road-bike landscape in Europe. I have no idea how to evaluate the models and pricing there.

    Reply
  12. eli

    Add me to the list of people wanting the functionality added to the 810. Do have a question though, if two different people are biking together how can they each be sure to generate the same route? Can one person create the route and send it to the other unit like the 705? Even if both people said the same distance and the same preferences their maps maps be slightly different causing rooting to do things different

    Reply
  13. David Hale

    DC can you tell me if this Garmin Unit and/or the 800/810 still have the terrible weakness of my Edge 705, that when you take a wrong turn, or choose a different road due to traffic conditions, that it takes FOREVER to recalculate. I've found the routing aspects on Garmin to be absymally poor, a shockingly cheap car version does it 100 times better, why are Garmin so poor, or have they improved? Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      The 810 is a nice bit faster then the 705 but car models will always be faster. Battery life on those doesn't need to be as good so they can have a much faster cpu in them

      Reply
  14. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out the target market for this. Ray, you said, "The Touring is designed for…well…touring. As in, multi-day bike tours. These tours are incredibly popular in Europe, though in the states they are pretty limited (as in, basically none)." Well, here in the States there are fully supported organized multi-day cross-state rides such as RAGBRAI, organizations such as Adventure Cycling sponsor a number of types of multi-day tours, and many people like myself will load up my bike and ride the coast from San Francisco to LA over a few days. Though those types of tours I mention are generally a point to point (or one big loop) over many days and don't seem suited for this device. Is there a different style of multi-day bike touring in Europe where people go to a fixed destination on holiday and ride a different loop each day from there? (Though if I were doing that, I would just use my 800 and upload a course to follow...)

    Reply
    • Tisztul_A_Visztula replied

      " Is there a different style of multi-day bike touring in Europe where people go to a fixed destination on holiday and ride a different loop each day from there?"

      I don't think so.

      I can see two options.

      First some people go for multiday bike touring, which is not perfectly defined in details, just the major places visited, so on the road you need the guidance where exactly to go.

      On the other hand maybe quite a lot people here tend to be more improvisative, I mean even if the ride has been planned in details, the rider has a feeling to diverge from the original plan. But I am not sure, whether it is adifference between us, since as you dont know us, I dont know you US people.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The difference is that in the US you tend to be the big multi-person rides (RAGBRAI). There are smaller rides with a few days with I sponsor sponsor, but when I say 'none', I mean you can probably count these sort of companies in the US on one hand. That's different btw than something aimed at a training camp where you may be going for rides from the same location day after day. That's a performance athlete market.

      In Europe, the 3-7 day cycling tours are incredibly popular. Primarily because the roads and routes are simply better for it than in the US. The Girl did two of these recently with her Dad, through the various wine regions and chateaux areas in France.

      In that case they're given a printed out set of directions for each day they they follow from stop to stop. Some of the tours now have bike computers with the same routing information on it, as well as information about each stop along the way. In most cases in Europe, you end up at a different destination each day - and typically a support vehicle drops your bags off ahead of time at that Bed & Breakfast.

      This is where the Touring sorta falls behind those units, in that those units can store background information and a photo about Castle X, Castle Y, and so on. The Touring can't do that. Further, they can also 'skip ahead'. So say you've got 10 stops along the way, and by time you get to castle #7 you just want to skip to the end (#10), you can just skip waypoints and get direct routing (as opposed to a potentially longer route).

      I think the concept of the Touring is really interesting, but I'm hesitant to see it doing well in the US. Whereas in Europe, if they spend the winter positioning it correctly with just the right firmware updates - I think it could do quite well (and the price is actually cheaper than most units on the market today in that segment).

      Reply
    • BikingBrian replied

      Looks like we're talking the same kind of bicycle touring, just that it may be more popular in Europe.

      It sounds like the key difference between the US and Europe markets (besides numbers) would be the level of improvisation. Generally speaking, I'm thinking that anyone doing a 3-7 day tour in the States is less likely to deviate from a preplanned route than someone in Europe. That's for a number of reasons: out in the west there's fewer roads and longer distances between towns, and almost anywhere it's real easy to find your way on to a bike unfriendly route if you deviate from the original plan.

      Perhaps Garmin may market this to bike touring companies to include these with rental bikes? Well, now we know why they dropped the price of the Edge 800 earlier this summer.

      Reply
    • davep replied

      $250 to get the navigational features (and more)of the Edge 810 (which is $500). There might be a big enough market for that.

      Reply
  15. Smokin'Schwalbes

    Hmm, unless I've misread the manufacturer's website a cycle computer that doesn't connect to the speed/cadence sensor - oh yeah, that's right, it's a Garmin we're talking about here. Carry on...

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Edge 200 doesn't have ANT+ and does quite well. The reality is a lot of people (that this is targetted at) simply don't care about cadence.

      Not saying I wouldn't like ANT+, but I just don't see the market overlap there.

      Reply
  16. Eli

    Would seem like this would have a big market in the US with "normal" club rides. You know the people who do long rides and want mapping but don't care about the extra ant+ sensors. This is a great Edge 200 with maps.

    I wonder how Garmin plans to keep the maps on the device up to date. If they have a download site to get them will the maps be available to Edge 800/810 users to? (I know there are other sources of free maps)

    Reply
  17. Will

    Excellent review, one little thing, it's Garmin Quatix, not Aquatix.

    Reply
  18. Remco Verdoold

    We are cycle touring people, often ride long distances over multiple days. Current we travel through Scotland. For the navigation we use a GPSmap 62s by Garmin which has a DEM (digital elevation model) basemap. So if I make a route it shows the altitude profile. My wife has a Edge 800 which does not show the altitude profile once you have made a new route. It only shows it when you make a route (TCX file) which has the altitude in there.
    I personally find this quite annoying so I tried to exchange the basemap of the edge 800 (16 MB) with the one of the 62s (50 MB) in the hope it could use the DEM capabilities of the map. Unfortunately this did not work, but I will try few more things.
    I guess here they made it work, and probably uses Garmin's DEM basemap used an nearly all other devices.
    I am curious if it can also measure Cadence?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No cadence measurement.

      It uses Openstreet maps, not any of the Garmin contracted maps.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      OSM supports elevation data: link to wiki.openstreetmap.org
      And looks like you can create DEM data from OSM: link to pinns.co.uk

      But I guess the more important question is will the Edge touring and 810 support the elevation data from the map without requiring a course downloaded from a computer where the course has elevation data in it?

      Reply
      • Rainmaker replied

        Yes for the Touring. The images I show above with the elevation data for the Touring were done with a course created on the fly, without any connection to a computer.

  19. Patrick

    It's interesting how the most recent route creation offerings (i.e., this device, Strava's "My Routes") only have options to "minimize ascent." What about MAXIMIZING? Surely that function would appeal to a significant subset of the target audience!

    Reply
    • Natalia replied

      As a huge Garmin n00b I originally found your site looking at your incredible Edge 200 review. I was all set to buy one until I heard about this new touring model! I was wondering if the standard touring model although wouldn't show you mid-ride altitude, post-ride when plugged into Garmin Connect showed altitude on a computer.

      Reply
  20. Ken

    The very useful functionality of creating a map online then downloading it to your device with turn-by-turn spoken directions: is there an iPhone app that can do that? (The key missing link for me is the spoken part).

    Reply
  21. Bill

    Does this unit show just regular roads, or can it pull up specific routes, like the Oregon Scenic Bikeways: link to oregon.gov ?

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      I'm guessing its the same as the 800/810 in supporting multiple maps, but don't know. Hopefully someone added those bikeways to OSM which will make it easier to see them

      Reply
  22. Jan

    Does it support Garmin Custom maps (i.e. kmz-files)?

    Reply
  23. Kyle Polansky

    You're in Dallas? I was just at White Rock Lake last Saturday for a race.

    Reply
  24. PhillC

    I'd be interested to see how this new Garmin unit stacks up against the Mio 305, or indeed Mio 500.

    I have a Mio 305, which it would at first glance appears to support many of the same mapping functions, including the Surprise Me option for a random route (impromptu round trips). I can also load a previously prepared GPX onto the unit if I wish to ride somewhere specifically.

    The Mio 305 is also Ant+ enabled. The one I bought was the HC model, which came with heart rate monitor and cadence magnet.

    The Mio 305 probably isn't anywhere as good as a Garmin 800 for serious training, but it might stack up pretty well against this new Garmin offering for "touring cyclists", with additional training features.

    The Mio 305 has been around for a while now, but for the HC model I paid £170 (USD265), which I thought was quite good as it included the heart rate monitor and cadence gear.

    Reply
  25. Ben

    I’m very likely to pick the Edge Touring up when it releases, as it appears to be everything I want in a bike computer. It sounds like a lot of folks don’t see the market for this, and I can understand that, but I will attempt to explain why I see myself as a part of the target U.S. market.

    I'm as serious as a casual cyclist can get without being considered a roadie. I don’t train, I have zero interest in racing, but I do love to ride. Typically long single solo day rides, occasional light muti-day touring, and commuting. Sometimes this means getting into unfamiliar locations and exploring (lots of “ooh! What’s that over there?!?”). One of my biggest worries is getting lost on rides that take me into areas I am unfamiliar with, or having to cut a ride short because I can’t seem to pick up my intended route. The ability to see where I am on a GPS, create routes on the fly, or pre-plan routes with the ability to keep myself oriented is huge for me.

    I have used cue sheets, but I would have more confidence in a device keeping track of where I am and where I need to go compared to my ability to track a cue sheet correctly. Sometimes I’ve gotten distracted, lost in my thoughts, or decided to deviate from my intended route, causing me to get turned around and lose track of where I was on my cue sheet. A small issue, but I don’t feel it’s unreasonable to want to avoid those scenarios. I also don't have a smartphone, so rule out the apps option.

    I have no desire to get a power meter, and see no need for me to have a computer with the ability to connect to one. Yeah, I think it would be fun to have cadence as well, but it’s not a priority for me. I just want to know where I am, where I need to go (or where I could go), and the basic riding metrics like speed, time on the bike, etc. Anything in addition to that is icing on the cake.

    I am totally willing to pay for the Edge Touring just to have the ability to get myself into adventures, knowing that I will be able to find my way back home easily enough. I view it as piece of mind, in a way. Also, it’s a fun toy to have. Not as fun as some of the others on the market, but it’s plenty enough to keep me busy and it’s cheaper than the 800/810.

    Tl;dr – I don’t need the training tools on other Edge devices, but want the mapping functions and basic bike metrics to direct me to and home from the adventures I enjoy on my bike.

    Reply
    • BikingBrian replied

      @Ben - Those are many of the same reasons I got my Edge 800 when it was available via a special deal for $270. (Although I do train, but have no desire to spend $$ on a power meter, etc.) When I wrote my earlier comments, I had somehow forgotten that the 800 will essentially disappear. So it's like the 810 moved up a notch, and the touring model will be like an "810 lite".

      Reply
    • surfergirl replied

      Ben, you hit the nail on the head. This is for casual cyclists. I'm a canadian living in Germany and over here you loads of touring bikers...often retirees with a map attached to the front of their touring bike. They'll do a scenic 20-30 km a day stay in a "pension" overnight and carry on like this for several days. They have never heard of and have no interest in power meters or cadence, they just don't want to get lost. My husband, 2 boys (ages 6 and 8) and I have done several of these types of trips as our holidays. Europe is great for this type of biking!

      Reply
    • georgemoe replied

      Excellent post Ben. Your needs and wants seem to match mine fairly closely. Being in New England though, ant+ is something I may need should I decide to put my bike on a trainer in the winter. Or I could just run in the snow with my Garmin 10 if I want to populate Garmin Connect with something. :)

      Reply
    • Steve K. replied

      I concur with what Ben said. It seems like something I'd like to have. I don't train or race, I just ride. I do like recording my rides though. One thing I was wondering though...does it list trails for mountain biking? If it has that, I'm sold. I might even consider springing for the Edge Touring Plus $299 for the barometric altimeter. I'd really rather not spend $500 or $600 on a GPS.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Uses OSM maps which tend to include all sorts of trails and you can always add the ones missing (how long it takes for garmin to pickup the updates I'm not sure)

      Reply
  26. RickH

    Hmmm.
    I too was thinking about the Mio when reading this. If the Garmin can be loaded with differing regions of maps then it will trounce the Mio.
    If on the other hand the Mio could be loaded with maps from other regions then I would choose that. I much prefer the Mio functions plus glare free screen over the Garmin.

    Reply
    • PhillC replied

      My Mio305 came with 22 European country maps pre-loaded, which is a deciding reason I purchased it. Having all these maps is a real winner, especially not having to rely on my Android phone and excessive data charges when roaming.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Not so useful in the US where the Mio has no maps

      Reply
    • Rick Harker replied

      Sadly no. The Mio is basically useless outside of Europe for any mapping. I don't know if it would record data like a regular training GPS but then Garmin devices do that anyway, anywhere.
      After going through the Mio video again the user interface is much better than Garmin.
      For the serious athlete like most of use are not the Garmin is best.

      Reply
  27. Will2

    This would be great for touring in, say, Europe. A typical trip for me would be 4-6 weeks, start in Rome, ride towards Paris to catch the plain back home. Or start in Lyon, ride towards Amsterdam. Munich to Madrid. I might have a plan, before I leave, to see some specific places. Other than that I will go where the traffic is sparse, the scenery is spectacular (the big mountains are normally reliable) and where campsites are 80-130km apart. I carry tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, clothes etc etc. I might have to catch a train or a ferry the final few hundred kilometres if I run out of time because I have meandered about in the backblocks a couple of days too long.

    The navigational challenges are most acute in a place like Italy, where there are heaps of roads leaving each town or city, campsites are not marked on paper maps, signage is poor, internet access is complicated (by, yes, antiterrorism laws) and a wrong turn might mean an extra 2 hours or 500m climbing at the end of an already long day. Something like the Touring would help a lot, especially in the late afternoon when beer, food and a flat tentsite are required. For me a cadence readout would be good but I guess after 25 years of serious cycllng if I can't get the revs right...

    Straightforward interaction with an iPad Mini or similar is essential, although a GPS/4G iPad Mini, or any of a bunch of smartphones, might make these on-bike GPS units redundant when I go on my next big journey.

    Reply
  28. Scott Buchanan

    Yup, +1 for the Edge 810 firmware upgrade.

    Reply
  29. Daniel

    Is it possible to transfer courses recorded on my Edge 800 series to the Garmin Touring either via Garmin Connect or via my computer?

    Reply
  30. Kev Dwyer

    Hi Ray,
    This looks promising. My wife is in the stages of planning to cycle from our home on the South Coast of the UK to visit our daughter in Edinburgh ( 600+ Miles ) She is working her way through a series of maps to find cycle friendly routes.
    Would this unit be capable of storing her complete route and automatically pick up each days navigation if you understand what I mean.

    Regards,
    Kevin

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The way it works currently, it seems like pre-creating separate routes for each day would be a better plan. One gigantic route doesn't seem like it would work out as well based on playing with it thus far. It would technically work, but I'd see it having a high potential for failure.

      Reply
  31. Kev Dwyer

    Thanks Ray,
    Very helpful :-)

    Reply
  32. Tim Ford

    Can't help but think these are launched to try to match the Bryton Rider 60, although this has yet to appear - it was announced in May but Bryton won't say when it will be available in the UK. This has all of the above and more, inc bluetooth and optional OS maps (in UK at least).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I suspect the Garmin unit was a bit more in response to the Mio units. In the case of the Touring, I saw it previewed in April, but it wasn't quite ready for prime-time then, hence why they held off.

      Reply
  33. Matt Williams

    The maps are from "OpenStreetMap", not "Openstreet".

    Reply
  34. Duncan

    Could be useful for randonneurs if routes could be downloaded onto it.

    Reply
  35. Brion

    I'm prepping and getting gear together to ride the Tour Divide next summer. Any thoughts on best Garmin Edge Series to use for bike computer/navigation.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Your best options will be the Edge 800/810 or Touring. Mostly it will come down to budget and preferences honestly. The 810 offers live tracking - so if folks want to track you, that's the best option. However, cell connectivity can be rough on the Divide, so that may not be as useful as something like a Spot device (Satellite connected transmission).

      If it were me? I'd go with an Edge 800 or 810, and then add a Spot GPS tracker for friends/family.

      Reply
  36. Brion

    What are major advantages/differences of 810 over Touring Plus. I'm a serious cyclist, but don't race and don't care about power meters or even cadence. Thanks so much for the information and quick response.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Outside of connectivity, a lot more functionality around workouts, sensor tracking (though it doesn't sound like that matters for you), as well as connectivity to the VIRB cameras. The tables up above help to highlight all the smaller differences (click expand).

      Reply
  37. SteveP

    Interesting unit. I have an Edge 800 and find it useful enough, although I always recommend people buy the Edge 200 as it does most of what you want for a lot less. Yes, my bike has a cadence transmitter, so I can see it on the 800. Yawn. I can also count.

    As with most Garmin products, they tried to do too much with one unit and didn't really provide for different users. I like to plan a ride (when the website functions) upload it to my 800 and then go ride it. The Garmin Connect site is bad enough, but the 800 is much too complicated - I've got a "virtual touring partner" (I call him the Garmin Idiot) who rides along with me. Meanwhile, the mapping is so bad I have to stop at every other turn and see which way to go, since there are NO DIRECTIONAL ARROWS. This from a GPS company? Astonishing. The Edge 200 is as good as the 800, except on the 800, you get an illegible map to squint at. I'll probably buy the Touring and sell my 800.

    I wonder if Garmin even bothered to check with some touring (or even recreational) users?

    Reply
  38. Erica

    Does it have a "find a bike shop " feature? My 800 shows car dealerships, but not bike stores.

    Reply
  39. RickH

    The touring would be good for randonneurs/audax riders like me who get lost often. Bear in mind I usually end up in the peloton of one and my imaginary friend never helps me. Mobile phone transmission is, er, somewhere else most of the time too. My Garmin 800 does crazy things at times like saying I'm finished at the start and squeaks out a fanfare to the amusement of riders around me (embarrassment). Somehow the plethora of settings with the Garmin units are not clear.

    Since reading this post I contacted Mio, Europe and asked about regional mapping outside of Europe. I surprisingly got a pleasant reply saying they are working on one for here in Australia which will perform exactly like those in Europe. They will be working through a navigation company called "Navman". I've been given a contact for further discussion. I would like to think they will also be available for other cycling mad countries too.

    Reply
  40. Duncan

    Not much use for Audax if you can't "Download courses/routes from phone to unit".

    Reply
  41. Bruce

    Ray,
    Does the Touring model have an option to show the elevation profile graph as you ride, i.e. can I see my position on the elevation profile as I ride to know if I am near an upcoming hill?

    (The Edge 500 does something like this when I follow a course though it is focused on showing me relative to the virtual partner. As we get further apart the elevation profile gets zoomed out so it is difficult to see and I haven't figured out a way to zoom it)

    -Bruce

    Reply
  42. Tony

    I am disappointed to hear that the Touring is not powered with AA batteries. Double A batteries would make this unit much more attractive for randonneuring!

    Reply
  43. middbiker

    I have used that Dakota 20 for touring in Europe. I purchased the City Navigator map for the country I was visiting and put it in the micro SD slot. I could not pre plan a route and have the Dakota 20 navigate the route - it would not give accurate turn by turn directions. BUT I could use it as a track and simply follow the highlighted line. It worked. Having turn by turn directions would be better. How do maps work on the Touring model? Do I still use City Navigator or is Open Street Map available for other countries? Is there a micro SD card slot? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It remains a bit unclear on how additional maps can be added. There was talk about doing it from the Garmin Connect site for Openstreet maps. Certainly you could do it from the Openstreet maps site(s). I suspect we'll see those details get clarified i the coming weeks.

      There is a MicroSD card slot though, so expansion is easy.

      Reply
  44. Eric

    Looks very promising. Loving the idea of choosing a route based on the amount of elevation gain! The onboard maps must utilize some kind of topography data if elevation can be determined without a barometric altimeter in the base model. Do you know how that works? I'm very surprised that bluetooth ride downloading/uploading was omitted from the touring plus model.. MOST people don't tour with a laptop, do they??!

    Reply
    • Ruth replied

      Yeah, I am planning a trip from DC to Pittsburgh on the GAP/C&O towpath trail, and being able to upload info to an iPad for sharing with family and friends would make the Touring the perfect model for me! Seems a no brainer to allow tablet connectivity at least. As is, I wonder how many days of date the unit can hold...

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      A long time. Months realistically, more probably because it's not storing a bunch of power sensor data.

      Reply
  45. Charles Arnold

    Hi, and thanks for info about this GPS. Looks interesting to me for things like club rides, etc. I have no interest in cadence, because I can estimate that pretty well, and power, because I don't need to know how little power I generate. Question: Do you know if will upload to Strava or MapMyRide accounts? I do like logging my rides.

    Chuck

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, no problem there. It just exports standard .FIT files that both those sites support.

      Reply
  46. Charles Arnold

    Thanks. Great blog, by the way. I found you when I googled "Garmin GPS reviews," and I'm looking forward to reading your other posts. And I love Paris! My wife and I have visited, but never had a chance to cycle in France. Someday...

    Reply
  47. Paul

    Very informative review. Many thanks.

    Can I ask how a point to point route is created, specifically how the user plots a route and then tweeks it?

    Kind Regards

    Paul

    Reply
    • Paul replied

      Just to be more specific! Does the user use the finger to create a route by touching roads/places. Can the user then more the route by pulling the route over to another road , for example. Can the screen be zoomed in and out.

      Elevation and map/GPS is a very attractive combination!

      Paul (Bike tourer, recently back from Italy, where we, unusually, got lost!)

      Reply
  48. philip crisswell

    Like the look of this, does it support the Natioanl Cycle Routes here in the UK?

    Reply
  49. G

    Hummm i see Garmin have not bothered to increase the resolution of the screen beyond the 160 x 240 pixels found on the 800/810. I sent my 800 back as I found it completely useless for navigation when following a track. They really do need to update the display to something better that a mobile phone from 6 or 7 years ago. Disappointing update to the edge line.

    I have been using a Garmin Oregon 600 which has a 3" screen with 240 x 400 pixels (i.e. mobile phone from 4 years ago).. Its not too bad.. has most of the features of the edge when in Cycling mode (as well as great hiking and auto modes). Its definitely a HUGE improvement over the edge in navigation in my opinion.

    Overall, Garmin's continued stance over asking for £300 to £400 (and more) for seriously outdated tech has completely put me off the brand.

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      The Touring is the Edge 810, just with less features so not too surprised the screen is the same. (thought the 810 would improve on the 800 screen)

      While I do agree the edge should have a better screen, a cell phone screen is a poor comparison. They draw way more power and all the ones I've seen are much worse in bright sunlight

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      G - Just out of curiosity, what competitive product has a better screen?

      Reply
    • G replied

      Rainmaker, I've used a friends Mio 300 GPS cycle computer which has a 3" 240 x 400 resolution screen and thought that was a huge step up in terms of clarity. I also think my Garmin Oregon 600 is superior alternative to the edge 800/810 in terms of cycle navigation, though it more limited as a training tool.

      Cheers

      P.s. really fantastic website!

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'll give you that, the Mio does have a nice screen. However my primary complaint there is that it's just so darn big as a unit. If it were just the screen it'd be fine, but the edging around it is massive that I find it awkward to mount to the bike and not feel like I was placing a full TV on my handlebars. ;)

      Reply
    • G replied

      Rainmaker, I agree regarding the size of the Mio Cyclo 305, but have you seen the new 315 and 515... much smaller bezel, smaller unit and a much slicker looking device all round :-)

      Reply
  50. Just as a general FYI to folks - current timelines for the Touring put it into November for release. Based on what I'm hearing, that's still a bit of a moving target and will vary slightly by which markets (i.e. Europe or US), with Europe actually being earlier.

    Reply
    • SteveP replied

      Thanks for that - based on that info and other comments, I think I will cancel my "preorder".

      I'm looking for a good, cycle-friendly "touring" GPS - maybe the Montana is a better option? I don't care a bit about heart rate, cadence, virtual training partner, or calories burned. I do use the Garmin Connect service to download and save post-ride info from unplanned rides when I just wander and also to follow planned course I set up and then load to the device.

      I've used a Garmin 200 Edge and 800 Edge, and while the 200 has no map, it does 80% of the 800 for me. I find the 800's screen small and the lack of any turn instructions on both frustrates me. If I am on an unfamiliar route, and come to a fork in the road, I have to guess. If I guess wrong, I get an alarm after 100 feet (if I am lucky) to go back. The map is so tiny you have to zoom it to see the route and then it gets confused about what to show and just stays there, without defaulting back to following the route. I suspect it was designed in Nebraska or somewhere where six small roads don't come together.

      Why can't Garmin use the same type of directional aids as on car GPS units? I am on a road, after all. How about a big left or right arrow for next turn? (It appears it does do this for some routings I don't use - can't be sure but perhaps if you use it to "goto" somewhere and not follow a preplanned route?)

      I'm thinking the Montana may be a better choice but I'm not finding a lot of cycling specific info on its use. One bonus is the use of AA batteries. But I'm not sure it can give turn-by-turn of preplanned courses (seems the most basic feature you'd want). The 800 claims to do t-by-t but in reality it is very limited. Courses planned in Garmin Connect and loaded onto the 800 will not provide any turn-by-turn guidance. Why not? Ask Garmin.

      Garmin Connect is a frustration in itself - it seems to have days when it just doesn't want to talk to you. The default map is always displayed and you can't have it default to someplace else - like where you live or where you are traveling. I've not found a simple way to do overlays or "heat maps" of rides. But it does have useful functions.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That's odd, it sounds an awful lot like your turn by turn navigation instructions got turned off.

      All my units do big turn arrows, notifications of turns ahead of time, etc. I mean, that's all kinda the only reason to buy the Edge 800/810.

      Further, it automatically zooms in on the map to the intersection when you're approaching it.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Could also be the maps. In my experience, turn-by-turn on the 705 and 800 work right only when you use routable maps and you use the same maps to create the route that are on the 705/800. I had some weird experiences with my 705 when I used a newer City Navigator map to create a route than was on the device; it basically prompted every change in direction ("Go Northwest") without naming roads and was frequently beeping. If your route is a loop, you should also start navigation after you've left the starting point behind (I usually wait a mile or so). But as Ray says, the 800 shows big arrows, beeps, and closeups of the upcoming intersection. Something is wrong if yours doesn't do that.

      Reply
    • Chaim Nudell replied

      My device, at at least 50% of the time, stops giving the turns sounds, prompts, and the zoom-in feature. It happened after a food stop, of if I divert for a few minutes from the original rout. I still se the purple route but not turn sounds and prompts. I restarted the device and restarted navigation multiple time but no prompts. Any Idea what is happening? My friends with other Garmin devices don't have this problem.

      Reply
  51. SteveP

    Thanks for the feedback. I just was out trying various settings on the 800. The only one that gave me "turn by turn" was if I selected a point to route to - then I got the usual, expected type of directions.

    I have the Garmin basemap, plus a newer (updated) Garmin card (so both Gramin OEM) and I use Garmin's "Connect" website to plan and then load courses. The file is loaded directly to the 800 from Garmin, although I have never checked what format it is.

    And I never get a turn instruction, no pop-up (zoomed) maps. Just a colored line on a map full of colored lines already (would be more visible if the basemap defaulted to B&W). I get an alarm (beeps and a message) if I go off-course. Never any indication of which way to go at the next intersection beyond the often-invisible course line. Works great if I know where I am going :-)

    I'm not sure why Garmin would think following a course would not need or want turn-by-turn? I've searched numerous sources and I am not alone with this problem. It may result from the "course" file format, but as I am using the "stock" OEM method...

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Because in Garmin-speak a "course" is not a "route". I've only used a course once or twice just to see how they worked, but it seems to me that the intent is that a course is something you do all the time, so that you don't need turn by turn directions. Routes are for rides that you don't do that often or are doing for the first time, so you need directions. As I recall from my limited tests, and as you say, all you get from a course is a line on the map showing the course and warnings if you leave the course. Navigating a route get you full turn-by-turn directions. Routes you set up using (these days) BaseCamp and then transfer to the Edge. As far as I've been able to determine, you can't create routes on Garmin Connect (nor would I want to).

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Just to follow up what I just said, I just turned on my Edge 800 to check on something for tomorrow (it'll probably be too wet to ride in the mountains tomorrow, so I'll probably stay on pavement) and was reminded that on the Edge 800 routes are accessed by Menu->Courses. I must be remembering using courses on my old 705. I notice that when I choose a "course" and then press the wrench icon, I get a choice of whether turn-by-turn is on or not. For some of mine it's off, for the ones I've done recently it's on. Try seeing if that fixes your problem. It may be that BaseCamp routes have it automatically turned on, while Garmin Connect courses have it automatically turned off.

      Reply
  52. SteveP

    Just a bit more - take a look at this link to a seller's site - check out the screen shots

    link to gpscity.com

    I get the B&W numerical value map on all my "course" rides. It's one of the screens I can scroll through (along with that idiotic virtual partner - even though it is disabled). The "normal" directional screen with the big arrow I NEVER see, And the third screen - a location "dot" on the map I see but without the text displayed on the top. If I turn on "Guide Text" I then get system messages (Locating Satellites, etc.) but never "useful route info or speed. So I never see my speed or distance info on a "map" screen. Perhaps this is a device setting? - there is precious little documentation.

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Yes, in order to get speed on the map page, you have to set it up to show data fields (there's a large selection you can show). There are a lot of things you can set up the way you like on the 800, and nothing will happen automatically. You just have to wade through the various set up menus to get things the way you want.

      Reply
  53. SteveP

    Thanks again for the help and suggestions. Looking at other sources and comments, there does seem to be some "magic" combination that works, and I suspect you are correct it is the map source that is the issue. Despite Garmin's Connect service being an OEM "link" it seems probable that routes must be created in another product and then loaded. I'll give that a try next.

    There is so much "extra stuff" on the 800, it is hard to wade through to the parts one particular user needs to work well. FWIW, I have tried every combination of settings within both the 800s "System" menu and the "Course" menu. The only time I see the turn prompts is when I select a "goto" and the device routes me there itself, just as you would expect it to work.

    I don't know why Garmin seems to have disabled this function in courses loaded from Garmin Connect - perhaps it makes the file sizes smaller. I will try making a route in BaseCamp and using it instead and report back (next week). Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'll write-up my instructions tomorrow. But I actually do use the courses from Garmin Connect all the time to get turn by turn directions. That works just fine to get the usual notifications, assuming the base map is all enabled.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      The 810 is very buggy for me in following courses with turn by turn directions. Ride I did Sat as an export from mapmyride, the 705 prompted at each turn fine, the 810 prompted at some then stopped. Same again with a ridewith gps export Sunday, 705 always routing, 810 sometimes routing sometimes not.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      There are a lot of complaints in the Garmin forums about the 810. To be fair, there are also complaints about navigating with the 800 and the 705. The 810 seems to suffer from new device syndrome.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Thats why I'm hoping the touring shares a code base with the 810. Garmin obviously needs routing to work well on touring so the improvments on it should hopefully appear on the 810 too

      Reply
    • G replied

      Rainmaker, did you write up instructions? If so, could you share, as I have also struggled to get turn by turn from courses created in Garmin Connect and only found it possible by turning routes into tracks with a max of 50 'via' points in basecamp. Thanks

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      1) Create course within Garmin Connect using courses feature
      2) Upon completion, save course, then click "Send to Device"
      3) Select the Edge unit, then click "Send Course"
      4) On Edge unit, open courses, select course, select Go, let it finish calculation.

      Note: If looking at settings, be sure that "Turn Guidance" = On, "Off-Course Warnings" = On, and I set map "Always Display" to "on". Additionally, other settings to validate are Recalculation, Activity Type, Lock on Road. The names vary slightly between the Edge 800 and the 810.

      5) At this point you should have normal turn by turn navigation. It's what I use most weekends when creating routes.

      Reply
  54. Michael

    How do Garmin devices work for bikepacking? Garmin's website says that the Touring unit can be used on or off road, and I was wondering if it would pick up fireroads and trails. I'm new to bikepacking and mountainbiking and so am looking for a gps unit that can fulfill the needs that come with that. Any thoughts on a suitable device for that application would be great. I also spend a ton of time riding road, so having a device that could do both would be great. I don't care about HR/cadence. Thanks in advance for the response.

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      That depends entirely on the maps installed. If the maps have routable trails, then you can navigate trails. So you don't want to buy City Navigator, which won't have trails. I have Garmin's "TOPO U. S. 24k Northeast" installed on my Edge 800, and a quick check in BaseCamp just now shows a few of the major trails in my area of Central Pennsylvania (Mid State, Long Mountain), but it doesn't show some of the others (Longberger, Tussey Mountain), and doesn't show minor trails. It also doesn't show the more recent reroutes of the Mid State trail. If I switch to OpenStreetMap, then suddenly all of the trails show up because of the crowd sourcing that goes into making them, but I lose the lovely topo rendering BaseCamp does with the Garmin maps. I don't know on either map if the trails are routable; sometimes they're just lines on a map, and don't contain the extra information to allow the GPS to route along them.

      If you're talking about a device other than the Edge, then things are different. Even though by lucky happenstance (not something intended by Garmin) you can put maps on a Fenix, I don't think the Fenix can navigate by map. I've never tried navigating with my Fenix, since from what I've read all you get is straight line compass directions to the next waypoint.

      Reply
  55. Dan B

    I'm new to gps cycling. I have been using mapmyride app for several months now. The one thing that is missing from that app is turn by turn navigation. One thing that I do like about mapmyride is the ability to customize routes by "click and drag" . Can that be done with the Garmin Connect as well?

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Don't think so, but it can be done with BaseCamp.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      I was wrong. You *can* edit courses with drag and drop in Garmin Connect. I'd never do it there, but if you want to, you can.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, in fact, I'm doing it as we speak for a running course for tomorrow. :)

      Reply
    • Dan B replied

      Thanks for the quick response. OK on both basecamp and garmin connect. With basecamp can one tweak the route easily? I very much prefer to make my own routes ahead of time. Is basecamp a free download?

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Yes and yes. The Mac version is at link to garmin.com I don't know where the Windows version is. There's also an iOS (and Android?) BaseCamp, but you can't create routes with it so far as I can tell. You can drag and drop to tweak your route in BaseCamp, as well as set up more formal waypoints.

      Reply
  56. jsm

    Can you get the coordinates of the location in a grid reference from the device?
    other garmins have a position format setting e.g. national grids?

    Reply
  57. David Lang

    I live in Scotland but am interested in touring across the USA. I plan to purchase the edge touring as soon as it becomes available, but! , will I be able to install american maps or the gps files from the (ACA) american cyling association website? I managed to do this on my garmin etrex 20. I read with interest that the edge touring can be recharged using an external battery pack. Will any USB battery pack work? I was thinking of buying one from amazon to charge my smart phone whilst on tour. I could store it in the handlebar bag whilst riding. Mmmm!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, you'll be able to download American maps from Garmin Connect. And yup, basically any USB battery pack will work. I'll include some units as part of my full-in-depth review as well.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Whoa, what? Download maps (for free?) from Garmin Connect? That doesn't sound like Garmin. Maybe you mean you can buy maps that are locked to a single device from Garmin. But I just looked at the Garmin Edge Touring on the Garmin Store web site (at link to buy.garmin.com), asked for North America maps, and got back "We did not find any compatible maps for that region or category. Please make another selection." Somewhere (and it pretty much must have been the Garmin press release) I got the impression that the Edge Touring comes preloaded with maps, and that's all you're ever going to be able to use. Ray, do you know that you can add/replace the maps on it?

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      I think I just answered my own question. According to the buy.garmin.com web site I linked to, under "Specs" they say "Ability to add maps: Yes". So, since it's not actually for sale yet, they must not have the "Maps" tab working yet.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Correct. It's coming and will be there upon release.

      The shift for Garmin is towards OpenStreetMap's going forward, this is really the beginning for what's down the road for mapping for them. ;)

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Wow! That's fantastic! I have a lot of minor peeves with Garmin (why doesn't Tempe work with Edge?), but the major peeve has to be with how restrictive they are about maps and how hard it is to find out how to send them corrections. (A large fraction of the roads in Rothrock State Forest here in Pennsylvania are misnamed on the Garmin Topo 24k map for this area.) OpenStreetMap maps don't work quite right with BaseCamp yet (no altitude information), and look ugly on my 705 (haven't tried with the 800), but at least they work and sending in corrections is straightforward.

      Reply
  58. Macpaul

    I am thinking to buy this GPS for my new race bike as I like the compactness of the unit, the feature set and the mapping functions. The only thing which is holding me of buying it immediately is the lack of Cadence support. This makes me doubt between this unit and the new Mio 315HC which has cadence support but which is probably going to be bigger in size. So I need to compromise on either size or cadence.

    Any chance that the Garmin Touring Plus will get cadence support via a firmware upgrade? Alternatively, will it work in combination with a Garmin forerunner 610? Would it be possible to merge the output of a training on the Touring plus together with the output of (the same) training on the forerunner 610 on Garmin Connect? I don't want to create 2 events for the same training but 1 event with all results including cadence on Garmin Conect.

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Doesn't look any smaller than the Edge 800 sitting in front of me. Why (besides the price) would you want it rather than an 800/810? Both of those already support cadence.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You wouldn't. It's the same physical unit, just less software features (well, except the round-trip-routing piece).

      I don't expect to see cadence added, because then they'll cut into their Edge 800/810 lineup (at a much higher price-point).

      You can record both the FR610 and the Touring at the same time, but there's no way on Garmin Connect to combine the two together (fwiw, TrainingPeaks can do this however).

      Reply
  59. Macpaul

    Do the 800 and 810 show cadence while cycling or only in Garmin connect after training?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      While training.

      Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Yes, but since there seems to be some confusion about this on the Garmin forums, I'll mention it here. It shows cadence, but it's not something that automatically happens when you install a cadence sensor. It's something you have to set up to show on one of your data pages.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Correct. Though, there are lots of data fields that won't show unless one enables them. :) I agree though, I could see the logic in using an unused data field to automatically add it - since I do occasionally see questions on it.

      Reply
  60. Martyn P

    Picked up my Edge Touring yesterday, great kit and does what I need. the only thing I would like it to do is read GPX files and Strava to recognise the device, but sure that will come in time

    Reply
  61. SteveP

    Just a minor update. I was out for a ride with my Garmin Edge 800. Instead of loading a "course" via Gamin Connect, I simply chose a POI from those included as you might with a car GPS unit. The 800 then gave me the expected turn-by-turn instructions, warning me in advance of turns with a large zoomed-in arrow displayed. This is what I had been looking for. Looks and works great.

    However, when I load a "course" I have created and saved in Garmin Connect, I get no turn-by-turn - just a belated warning if I am off-course. I will continue to play with the settings, but the conflict seems to be that Garmin didn't really think this through. When navigating to a point, there is a lot of calculating going on in the background and the 800 is actively guiding you.

    On a "course" however, the 800 isn't doing much from a navigating point of view. By nature, courses are circular (begin and end at the same point) so that may also be an issue - the 800 isn't figuring out "how" to get you somewhere - you're already there. So instead of taking a different approach in the software (let's call it directing a course instead of navigating to a POI) Garmin just disabled what could have been very useful facility.

    It may be possible to get turn-by-turn by loading a course as two routes to a POI, but the Garmin defaults are faster or shorter (found out that it doesn't factor in altitude changes, either, so it's happy to direct you over a mountain if that is shorter). That means if you try and ride a course where there are lots of variable ways to get to whatever end point you created (so you get turn-by-turn) you might follow a completely different route than you intended, based on Garmin-knows-best.

    I suspect the only way around this is to set waypoints just after every turn - a rather laborious process. Obviously, Garmin Connect promises more than it delivers. It would seem simple enough for Garmin to tweak the files sent to your device to allow turn-by-turn on courses. But they are probably too busy working on the next Nuviphone (collector's item, I bet).

    Reply
    • P replied

      You actually need to tell it to do turn by turn. its not on when you load a course but when you do, before you hit start there is a menu and there is a field that says turn by turn and its off, flip it to on and you will get turn by turn.

      Reply
  62. Jeff

    Does this connect with the bontrager speed trap for Trek Domane's?

    Reply
  63. Scott buchanan

    Hey,
    Any news on if Garmin intend to extend some of the new 'touring' features to the 810?

    Sorry (seriously!) to harp on about this but what's the deal on the Virb review?
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Unclear on 810 porting.

      As for Virb, the non-Elite version was just released to retail about 10 days ago, but the Elite isn't set for another 2-4 weeks. I'll be doing both at once, merely due to the significant number of devices and how similar both devices are. Given those timelines, it's going to probably be closer to mid-November.

      Reply
  64. Scott buchanan

    As ever thanks Ray :)

    Reply
  65. Richard Barratt

    I purchased the Mio 505 here in the UK, the size is much smaller than the old 305 and the specification,WiFi/Bluetooth 4/ant+ and bigger/higher resolution screen than the Garmin swayed my decision. Well, there is one major problem, the screen is far too sensitive. When it rained it acted as though I was pressing the screen with my finger then as water ran down the screen it came up with the pause, cancel and stop buttons whilst I was trying to record a ride, then the rain decided to cancel my ride. This happened on two devices. At a cost of £200 (online offer and british cycling discount) it's spec is far better than the Garmin, and getting home and pressing sync to send my rides up to strava using the devices WiFi was a joy. Now as of this evening I have reluctantly exchanged the Mio for the Garmin touring. All the specs in the world at pointless if the device doesn't do as it was meant to in our wet weather climate. I'm hoping the Garmin is as much of a joy to use as the mio was in the dry but works better in rain. If Mio can sort out the rain issue I'd buy one of their devices in a shot over the ageing Garmin technology.

    Reply
    • Mario H replied

      I have Garmin Oregon and when raining I lock the screen. In this case rain can not "touch" my screen. Otherwise I have similar problems like You. Does Mio have same function? Find it and try if will be better.

      Reply
  66. SteveP

    Rain? In the UK? Unheard of! :-) I've read reports that the Garmin Edge units' water resistance is not so great either - even with the optional silicone jackets. I wonder if one of the "real" Garmins like a Montana series would be better for touring? Something really waterproof, that accepts AA batteries? Coud I actually get one of those to give me turn-by-turn instructions on a "course" downloaded from Garmin Connect? I don't care about Ant connectivity or Strava, providing I can record my "random" rides back to Garmin Connect.

    Reply
  67. Richard Barratt

    I know Steve crazy, huh?

    Great test for waterproofness, and very brave of you! The Mio was waterproof and I'm sure it would have passed the test it seemed to be the impact of the raindrops (and their weight) that caused the Mio 505 issues.

    I don't often submerge my bike in the sea (though it has been known) but I ride in the rain a lot. seems like the ipx7 bath standard doesn't mean functions well in the rain. In my opinion the computer manufacturer would be wise to also simulate heavy rain on the resistive screens.

    By the way just wanted to say Ray I love the site, and your reviews are by far the most educational and informative I've come across.

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Thanks, I appreciate it.

      I've never had any issues with my Edge 800 or 810 in the rain and riding with droplets causing touch issues (and regrettably, like you up north from me, I see lots of rain).

      For fun, I'll actually be doing some much deeper tests of units at some point in the next few months... link to en.wikipedia.org - should be fun (for those units that claim 50m depths).

      Reply
  68. Richard Barratt

    That's good to hear should mean my touring copes well with the lovely autumn downpours. I'll report back once I've been rained on!

    Look forward to your future tests.

    Reply
  69. Richard Barratt

    First thoughts on the touring vs the mio 505, the Garmin needs to do some catching up when it comes to on device navigation. Despite setting my routing options to cycling and not using unpaved roads for road cycling it's routes constantly took inappropriate roads and unpaved bridleways. The Mio has the option of avoiding cycle routes/paths in addition to the tourings option and that device successfully avoids the majority of unpaved routes when it creates them. This means that setting up "surprise me" type routes as a road cyclist the touring can get you in all kinds of trouble and your only option really is to plan the routes on Garmin connect. This really defeats a lot of the reasons for having a Garmin touring as a road cyclist, if you were a cyclo cross or mountain bike rider you would be fine.

    Another useful feature of the Milo I find myself missing is the navigate to the nearest point of a downloaded course option. This let's you download any course then use the navigation to take you to the nearest point on that course then navigate the course from that point. I may be wrong on this (and please correct me if I am) but the touring seemed to just want to take me to the start point of the course, which in this case was out of the way and I wanted to take up the course a bit further on. As I rode along the device constantly told me to turn around and bleeped at me despite me being on the course (albeit further on from the start point it was trying to take me to).

    I've also found the Garmin software less user friendly and the onscreen keyboard is awful, I'm constantly pressing letters above or below the one I want, didn't have that problem on the Mio. But on the plus side things it has over the Mio that I really like: auto pause recordings at junctions and starting again on once movement is detected is great and very quick. The screen works much better than the Mio, it works with gloves on (the Mio struggled for me) and seems like it won't be affected in the rain the same way the Mio was. I like the physical buttons, much prefer the glove friendly start/pause/stop button to the Mio's tiny on screen button that the rain can activate if heavy enough.

    If Garmin could just improve on the above and match the Mio's functionality/ease of use I'll be pleased as punch, at the moment I'm dissapointed again, this time thanks to a GPS devices software rather than flaw in the hardware design.

    If anyone has any advice on improving the Garmin touring navigation that'd be great, where do I send messages to regarding these issues at Garmin, or could you pass them on Ray? will Garmin sort these kind of issues out? I know Mio have been putting out updates fairly regularly to improve their devices functionality, starting to wish I'd just strapped a car/motorbike GPS to my bike and tracked my rides with my phone.

    Cheers
    Richard

    Reply
  70. SteveP

    Very informative comment - thanks for that on this great site. I will research the Mio as I am less likely to press on in the rain. My experience with Garmin units (having used their GPSes from the first hand-held hiking units) is that software upgrades are usually only serious bug fixes, and that additional features only come with new models. Obviously, I've not used all their offerings, but I currently have about a dozen functional Garmin GPS units, and the older models are pretty much ignored by them. And as far as useful tech support.... I have not had any success. Most useful Garmin info comes from other users and sites such as this.

    Reply
  71. jsm

    I returned my touring in the end. I use my gps mostly to follow a course. It had no way to stop it from recalculating according to to minimise descent/time/distance. All is was after a equivalent of the old tracback function where ask it to follow a route and do just that.

    Reply
  72. SteveP

    I'm beginning to suspect there are "flavours" of Garmins. When I select a course loaded from Garmin Connect, I get a great big GO button. Just did this again on Friday - even in a point to point route, no turn by turn, just an alert when off course. I find it odd this is the default. Who wouldn't want turn by turn as default?

    Reply
  73. richard lapierre

    what I'm wondering is how much bike path is there on the actual included maps, and how much does it included the bike path when the gps chose the route to get to your destination. I'm from Québec and with a bike route system like la route verte all over the province if the gps is able to select the route to keep you mosty on the bike path that would be fantastic. For exemple I can get from Montréal to Sherbrooke back to Québec city without getting off of a bike path. Definately not the shortest route but the route I would like the gps at least to suggest in the 3 route possible. Anybody knows if It can do that ? Also since I already own a 800 will that fonction (if it exist) be available to other edge unit ?

    Reply
  74. Moritz

    Thanks for the fantastic review. Is there any news on the custom map compatibility of this device? Question is if the firmware supports other maps than the ones delivered with the Touring. I'm looking for a gps device for mountainbiking only. Don't need any of the training functions of the edge 800/810. Active navigation of the Touring is also just a gimmick for me. Most important for me is to have precise maps (containing hiking path / contour lines), so I wonder if i better go with the edge 800 than with the new Touring?

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      According to the Garmin Store, you can put additional maps onto the Touring.

      As for whether to get an 800 than a Touring, I use an 800 for road and mountain biking. It works very well (but not perfectly), and I use Garmin's TOPO US 24k maps, which contain contour lines and some, but not all of the trails in PA's Rothrock State Forest where I do most of my mountain biking. Missing are some of the famous ones like the Tussey Mountain Trail and many of the trails on the IMBA R3 epic ride. Since I don't do much single track, that doesn't bother me very much. If you want maps with every trail, the OpenStreetMap maps of my area contain all the trails in the area; given how they're produced, I'd guess that's true everywhere. But, since Garmin uses some kind of proprietary method to include contour lines in its maps, you lose the contour lines (and the 3d rendering that BaseCamp does with Garmin maps).

      The other thing you need to be aware of is that the Touring seems to be based on the hardware/software of the 810, and there are a lot of complaints about the 810 and the Touring on the Garmin Forums. You might want to get an 800 just to avoid the hassle, but it will cost you more than the Touring. I bought an Edge 705 when it first came out, and as I recall it took about 6 months for the major problems to be resolved through updates.

      Reply
  75. SteveP

    Six pages of "regrets" from those who have upgraded to the 810. I would say that's about par for any new Garmin device - it's always worthwhile to wait or just go for a previous "proven" product with Garmin. (And always read the 1-star Amazon reviews) I've had the worst imaginable customer service from Garmin in the UK (years ago) and while I have continued to use their products, I remain wary. Like similar companies, they are in a bind. Smartphones offer more than their devices and with more flexibility - possibly even at lower cost. You can get an Android phone with a decent screen and a bike mount for $200, pop in a pay as you go sim, download local maps and you're off.

    I'm still frustrated in trying to get my 800 to display turn-by-turn on circular "courses" I download from Garmin Connect. I'm in the process of trying other ride planning sites (like MapMyRide, etc.) and it will be ironic if they work better than Garmin's own site. I mean, how "odd" is it that I would like to ride form my home (or where I am staying) out 20 km and then back to the start? That would seem to me to be one of the most common "cycle-specific" actions....

    Reply
  76. Jen

    So I put this on my Christmas list and it has raised the question of where to buy it. I live in the Italy (and will for another 3 years) so I clearly want European maps on it. Does this mean we should purchase the unit here rather than let relatives pick it up in the US? We will want to use the US maps on it sporadically...so I'm guessing there is not a perfect solution.

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      Seems to have a microSD slot, so problem solved. You buy a chip, put the maps for the place you didn't buy it on the chip, and insert the chip when you need it.

      Reply
  77. SteveP

    Can't speak for the Touring, but US OpenStreetmap micro SD cards work fine in my UK-purchased 800, and UK cards work fine in my US-purchased Etrex 30. I also have a Garmin OEM update on µSD- not sure the differences - probably in POIs?

    Reply
  78. Love your website, very informative. It sounds like the Touring Plus is what I'm looking for. Does it give you an audible beep when a turn is approaching? Can I call up a map, as I ride, to see where I am and where I can go?

    Reply
  79. Edward

    Great review - as ever. Big thank you for all your efforts!

    I bought an 810 when it came out. I'm a recreational cyclist, not a serious athlete. I don't use a power meter and nor do I use the Bluetooth feature. I do use a HR/cadence monitor (but I suppose I could live without cadence if I really had to).

    I mostly use my Garmin for 50-80km rides at the weekend. The thing that REALLY bothers me is the hopeless navigation system and the awful map quality. The Garmin works reasonably well following a pre-planned route, which is a feature I use a lot. HOWEVER:

    1) The map quality is dreadful so if you go off course (deliberately or otherwise), it is almost impossible to use the map to find your way back to the route. The visual graphics are just far too poor (I paid for the Garmin maps, btw). My friends who use an iPhone with GoogleMaps have MUCH MUCH better maps on their phones and we have to look at them to work out where we are.

    2) Similarly, the directions are not very clear when you are following them on-screen. It's not the same as a 3D map which you have on a car sat-nav, and it's easier than you'd think to go off route by mistake. This happens more often than I'd like as a result of unclear graphics / instructions.

    3) If you do go off course, it is almost impossible to use the Garmin to navigate you back on track. Last week we were planning a 100km route. We went off course by mistake (see (2) above) after 30km and then Garmin tried to take us back to the course. But we soon realised that for some reason taking us in completely the wrong direction - it was taking us back to the start point! It was a complete disaster and we had to give up and go home because we ran out of time to complete the ride.

    4) I had to roll-back to a previous version of the firmware. When I upgraded the firmware, lots of the navigation features ("Dist to Next", "Dist to Destination" etc etc) simply stopped working.

    So my question is: would the TOURING+ be any better and would the problems identified above be improved by replacing the 810 with the Touring+.

    I'd be really interested to hear your views. Thanks so much!

    3

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      You should check out Garmin's forums for the comments about the Touring and the 810, keeping in mind that they're going to be skewed towards people that are having problems. I'm also a recreational cyclist, I have an Edge 800, and if I were you, with an 810 already, I wouldn't even consider getting a Touring. The 810 is Garmin's top-of-the-line, and whatever improvements they may have made to the routing software on the Touring are going to make it back to the 810 sooner or later. Otherwise, there's no reason to think that the software isn't mostly the same. Maybe the screen is better, but I'd be surprised. (For what it's worth, I'm partially color blind and had two cataract surgeries earlier this year, and I have no trouble seeing the maps on my 800.) The 810 seems to have a severe case of "Garmin new device" syndrome, but there's no reason to suspect that the Touring doesn't have at least the normal case from what I've read.

      Reply
  80. Hory

    I'm planning to go from Romania straight to France using the navigation feature. I just buy the Edge Touring, set a waypoint in Paris and it'll guide me?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Technically you might be able to do that (that far), but I'd have to check.

      I guess though, logically, you wouldn't want to. If you just told (any device) to take the shortest route between Romania and France, you're probably going to get the least interesting and least exciting route.

      There's a lot of interesting things in Europe between those two points - I'd focus on breaking up the journey as different segments between interesting towns/cities.

      Reply
  81. Hory

    I wish I were able to sight see. I hesitate to spend too much time in cities mostly because I will be sleeping in a tent - so no showers until I reach France where I'll get a fairly-poor hotel room which is roughly 3 times as expensive as one in my country. At some point in the future I'll probably end up looking for rivers in which to shower. Sad.

    Reply
  82. Ejprez

    Maybe I missed it in the review or comments, but how is the map detail compared to the 800. Can you use a city Navigator card or OSM and still get the same road detail to maybe see where a road will take you or where to detour on the fly. So I guess to keep it simple can I use my City Navigator card and still get the same mapping display detail like on the 800/810?

    Reply
  83. Phil

    Got mine about two weeks ago. So far...

    Reply
  84. Phil

    Got mine about two weeks ago. So far...
    - recorded a ride yesterday, which it did very well. Attempted to upload it to Garmin Connect, it couldn't find it. Had to move the ride from the devices External Drive to its Internal Drive before it could be found. Uploaded successfully.
    - POI isn't impressive. For a touring device, lacking a Bike Shop catagory isn't good. Searching for "Bike", it couldn't find the shop where I bought it (yes, the shop had "bike" in the name and has been there for 7 years). It can't find my local hospital, by catagory nor name, though my NU 40 can. Still lists Borders. Seems to be outdated and a "lite" version.
    - POI uploader doesn't work. Will only upload to the External Drive and the device can't find it. Moved the .gpi to the Internal Drive, still no luck. Garmin's developers, according to the e-mail, are looking at it.
    - was able to upload a route I created
    - was able to upload routes created by others
    - haven't found a way to display, or incorporate, a .pdf of a local mountain bike route. Was hoping to be able to do this. Short of finding routes that others have recorded, don't know how to get mountain bike routes into the device.
    - I've had a display, at times, where the east coast is displayed like its the west coast (ocean to the left), with the cities upside down (Atlantic City below Cape May). Haven't quite nailed down the circumstances, but may be when GPS is having difficulties.
    more later...

    Reply
  85. Peter Gordon

    I am trying to figure out a GPS for touring - with the ability to charge it from my bicycle generator hub. In most of the comments I have seen, that subject hasn't been raised - but for many of us touring cyclist, we may go many days without access to a power point. So is there a GPS unit that I can charge from my bicycle - I generate 5 V from my hub??

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'm not aware of any GPS product on the market with a kit to charge from a hub.

      I am aware though of a kit I saw on Kickstarter a while back that provides a USB port powered from a hub. That would work in this case.

      Reply
  86. SteveP

    You might want to check out Garmin's Etrex 30. It's more of a "real" GPS and takes AA batteries, so you could use a more generic charger (and you probably have other uses for AAs). If nothing else, AA batteries are available to buy everywhere.

    The Garmin cycle units seem more aimed at racers or fitness freaks, with navigation secondary. I doubt you will find any GPS that does much with a PDF other than possibly display it as an overlay as the data is not location-specific. But you can plot off-road rides in any of the many online ride mapping sites and then upload the info to these units. Open Streetmaps have very reasonably priced mapping options for any device that accepts µSD cards

    Reply
  87. Peter Gordon

    I have a garmin Oregon 550. It was a 550 T, with US topo maps, but it got replaced in Australia as it was faulty, with the 550, and a simcard of Australia.NZ maps. However, I want to ride the Great Divide Ride - Banff to Mexico, I got 1/2 way last year, stopped by snow. New maps for my 550 are $99 each for Canada and the US. Which is why the new Garmin touring GPS was attractive, as it already has the maps, and at $249 is only slightly more expensive. I have a Sondelux generator hub - so far I seem to be able to charge AA and AAA batteries on a little USB charger, but can't charge my tablet, or my Garmin Oregon 550. I am trying by using the eWerk USB converter. In an ideal world, I want to run my hub, through ???? something, whether it is the eWerk and a cache battery, or the USB eWerk that I have. I know I can charge AA batteries - but using the same GPS I have, I'd have to buy new maps. I'm interested in the new Garmin touring GPS, but if I can't charge it, then it isn't any use. I am sure there are many more touring cyclists, who, like me, freedom camp for days at a time, and don't get to power points. I have used solar, power monkey, etc, but they are not that convenient, and I am trying to go ultralight - gone are the racks and panniers, I now use frame, seat, and handle bar bags, so space is at a premium. I'm frustrated, in that I have a power source, but don't seem to be able to find an efficient way of using that power, other than for lights.
    Any suggestions out there??

    Reply
  88. Peter Gordon

    no, not looking for a GPS with a kit. Looking for any product that will give me the power from my hub, to power a GPS, as I don't get to a power source every day on my tours

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, I'm not super-familiar with all the options. Here's one:

      link to thinkbiologic.com

      Most people though tend to go the Solar route instead, since it's more easily adapted to bikes. For example, Garmin rebrands a PowerMonkey solar charger that works with the Edge (tested it).

      Reply
  89. Peter Gordon

    that one doesn't get the greatest of reviews.
    I have a power monkey extreme - but it kind of defeats the purpose of having a hub generator. I know I should be able to power my devices through it, just san't find anyone who has the SonDeluxe hub, who has a GPS, and who has "successfully" powered the GPS through some sort of intermediate device such as the eWerk. Just don't want to personally be the person who buys one of each trying to figure out which one works - and I can't afford it.
    Took the power monkey on a ride from Banff to Colorado along the Great Divide Ride, but it wasn't a great success, and it's heavy

    Reply
  90. Rooth

    Hi,
    Do you know if there is a way to turn off charging on the device? It seems that the "requires too much power" issue is the obstacle to iPad compatibility and I noticed on some apple forums that folks who got that message when connecting various cameras to the iPad were able to fix it by turning off charging on the camera. I have never seen this feature on a device, but, then, I have never looked… This would solve my only reservation about the Touring model, since I can't imagine why it isn't more upload friendly when touring often involves extended time away from a computer.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      I suppose you could construct a special cable with the wires missing from the pins that do the charging. But then what? On a Mac, an Edge shows up on the desktop, and then you do what you want using regular file operations. Some software, of course, knows how to "sync", but I get the impression they just look for /Volumes/GARMIN and go from there. It's always faster just doing it by hand, anyway.

      But on an iPad? It may be the same OS underneath, but no desktop, no regular way of mounting external devices or accessing files. Someone would have to write an app (and don't count on Garmin doing it), and it's not even clear that would be enough. The USB dongle that you can get for iPad is intended for cameras, not for general USB devices. You'd be better off with an Android tablet with a real USB connector.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Paul is pretty much spot on. At the end of the day, without Jailbreaking your device, there's no way around getting the unit to mount and then show the .FIT files.

      Reply
  91. I cannot find how to display average speed, is that an option?

    Reply
    • Tim replied

      Cindy,
      I don't think that is an option, that is, the display does not post the average speed only the speed that you are traveling. Once you download the ride you will get the average speed calculated.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I don't have a unit with me at the moment, but in looking at some photos I took of all the menu's, there should be (or was) an option within Data Fields for Speed > Speed (Avg), which will show you the average speed for the entire ride.

      You can access that by just holding down on one of the data fields on the screen for a few seconds and it'll open up a menu to change them.

      Reply
  92. Bill

    Trying to choose between the Edge 800 and the Touring. Do they both show average speed during a ride? Also do they show temperature?

    Reply
    • Paul S replied

      The 800 does both. Don't know about the Touring. But with the 800, and probably with the Touring, it comes with some default data pages which may not include something like average speed. You have to set it up to suit your tastes.

      You should also be aware that the temperature sensor does not equilibrate very fast. It takes about 10-20 minutes before it reaches outdoor temperatures after being indoors. And it's affected by the sun. On cloudy days, the temperature it shows is pretty accurate after it reaches equilibrium. On sunny days, you can tell which direction you're riding from the temperature it shows, and if you stop for a few minutes in the sun, you can get 10 - 20 F spikes in the record. Don't expect to do meteorology with it.

      Reply
    • joe replied

      I have the Edge Touring. As for the display, when you turn it on, you'll see a wrench and screwdriver in the lower right-hand corner, touch it.
      1) select Trip Pages
      2) select Timer
      3) this will be one of the 4 screens you can see while riding. You can display up to 10 catagories on this screen. Touch any box.
      4) you will be offered 7 catagores, each with it's own displays. Average time is under Speed (hit the down arrow)
      5) hit the check mark and exit
      You can also select what data fields you want displayed on the Map, Compass, and Elevation screens.
      Hope this helps.

      Reply
    • Bill replied

      Thanks guys. One more question. Can you program the Touring to use on a couple different bikes like you can on the 800?

      Reply
  93. Thanks Joe! Got my average speed now on display!

    Reply
    • Joe replied

      The Edge Touring does show temperature and average speed. Things I display on my "Timer" page - distance, time, calories, speed , temp, grade (love this), elevation, total ascent, time of day, sunset time. Other options include ETA, distance to destination, vertical speed, battery level, GPS info, sunrise, heart rate info (for Plus, if you have a monitor), max speed etc, lap times.
      Don't have an 800, so I don't know how it handles two bikes. Does it keep two totally segregated totals? The edge keeps each ride as a unique venture and you can categorize it as road, MTB, etc. It supplies two mounts for the bikes (and you can just keep it in your pocket), but I don't see anything for bike1/bike2.
      Used it for the first time today with a course created in Garmin Connect. After some initial frustration with it telling me the course was complete because I turned it on prior to the start of the course, it worked pretty well. I was able to keep up the screen with speed, distance, etc, but have it switch automatically to the "next turn" screen when getting close. The map screen starts off at a miles high elevation. You have to repeatedly hit the + key to show the road your on. Found out one of my favorite hills is 14% - cool. Was disappointed that it doesn't keep a history on grade, however.
      In two attempts to allow it to pick a route, it opts for the most direct route. This typically means narrow, busy, and fast roads which attract cars. Judging by the routes it selected which I'm familiar with, don't trust it. Also, the purple route line didn't match the turn by turn instructions. In fact, the latter was indicating turns on roads that weren't connected nor near. Trying to do waypoints on the device quite difficult. As a device that is supposed to guide you in unfamiliar areas, its disappointing.
      For POI, they told me where their mapping info comes from, which users can update. I did so, adding my LBS. They couldn't tell me how to update my device with the new info, however. I suspect Points-Of-Interest will never be of much use.

      Reply
  94. Tim

    Thanks Joe. Your posts have been helpful. However, you say you have 'grade' on your display as well as temperature. I cannot find temperature in any of my settings and as for elevation I have total ascent or total descent as well as elevation but all of these are in ft. It would be nice to see the %. How did you get to these settings? They don't seem to show up in any of my choices and I have the Edge Touring as I believe you do.

    Thanks again,
    Tim

    Reply
    • Joe replied

      Hey, Tim,
      I have the Edge Touring Plus, which has the Barometric altimeter, which might make a difference.
      I do:
      1) wrench and screwdriver
      2) Trip Pages
      3) Timer
      4) tap one of the boxes
      5) Grade is under Elevation, Temperature is under General

      They can be added to the Map, Compass, and Elevation screens as well.
      Joe

      Reply
    • Joe replied

      p.s. I just looked at the comparison chart for regular vs plus, temperature is one of the differences.

      Reply
  95. Tim

    Joe,
    Ah, I see. Thanks again for the help.

    Reply
    • joe replied

      Cool -
      Was trying to find an activity in Garmin Connect that would get me from Eugene, Oregon to Portland, Oregon, but was having little luck (really poor searching capability) . Did a web search and found this site -
      link to bikely.com
      which had this -
      link to bikely.com

      I selected the "Download .GPX file" and pointed it to E:\Garmin\NewFiles
      Disconnected the Edge Touring Plus, turned it on, and the route was there. Excellent.

      Reply
  96. Peter

    when following a preloaded course on the Edge Touring GPS, is it possible to bring up turn by turn directions, rather than have the map up?/

    Reply
    • joe replied

      At the top of the map, in text, it will tell you the next turn coming up. Tap on that and the turn by turn is listed. Also, you can swipe your finger across the screen and see three other displays. If you tap the bottom of the screen, Left and right arrows are displayed for changing screens and a home icon for getting out.

      Reply
  97. Peter

    Thank you.
    Any idea how strong are the "rubber" bands supplied to hold the base onto handlebars.
    And longevity - especially when exposed to sunlight. A little worried about them breaking and sending the GPS flying

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No problems. They were introduced on the Edge 500 device four years ago, and I don't think I've ever heard of anyone breaking one.

      Reply
  98. Peter

    fantastic, thank you again

    Reply
  99. Robert

    Thanks for the great review and comments-really very helpful. I live in Italy and have done a lot of European touring using the Etrex Vista HCx, which I have found to be mainly excellent in dealing with what I consider to be the essentials for touring: to, one, allow me to easily load and follow-in breadcrumb fashion-gpx. tracks and waypoints that I’ve created, and, two, to record the routes I’ve ridden on an sd card. I’m assuming the Edge Touring will perform these most simple of functions. But what I really find lacking and annoying in the Etrex Vista is the 20 track limit, especially for anyone trying to do a multi-week tour without a netbook onboard. Am I to understand that the Edge Touring will allow a huge amount off tracks and waypoints to be initially, pre-tour loaded onto its data card, thus allowing me to put aside once and for all my heavy netbook? If not, am I mistaken to think that the Edge Touring would still allow one to load his waypoints and gpx tracks from any computer, i.e. in an internet café, something that is impossible with the Etrex? Thanks for any answers!

    Reply
    • joe replied

      Concerning routes with many waypoints, I created one with 25 in Garmin Connect and uploaded it to my Edge Plus. It worked, but it took quite some time to process it after hitting the "RIDE" prompt. It would probably be better to break the multi-day rides into daily routes and upload them individually. When uploading, it defaults to the hard drive. The ride I created was 789 KB and fitted easily. I tried moving the file to the SD, using the laptop, and that worked (though when I fired up the Edge, the course appeared twice, so it didn't erase it from the hard drive. You could probably give it a different name on the SD, then erase the original when using the Edge (like Bono). The included SD is 7 GB, 5 of which is preloaded with maps. I have used the Edge on three different computers without issue. Just needs a USB port and a download of Garmin Connect (don't know if you can do that at a cafe). Hope this helps.

      Reply
  100. I just received my until at Christmas; tried to use the downloaded course yesterday, for the first time, and the unit keep shutting itself off. I don't get past the "loading maps" part before it shuts down. I tried a "reset" by holding power button down for 10 seconds, but that did not seem to work. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Reply
    • joe replied

      Haven't had any issues with it dying while loading maps. Its not a display timeout, is it?

      Reply
  101. nicos Loucaides

    hi,,

    does the guide for adding maps from openstreet for edge 800/810 work for touring as well?

    Reply
    • joe replied

      Concerning Openstreet, I was told by Garmin that my complaints about the poor POI could be fixed by updating Openstreet, only. I managed to update the map, adding my local bike shop, but didn't have much success updating my Edge with the new map. If you could give me the procedure for your 800, I could give it a try on the Edge.

      Reply
    • Nicos loucaides replied

      Thanks. I was referring to the guide provide by dcrainmaker on hoe to download from osm maps. Its called How to download free maps to your Garmin Edge 705/800/810

      Reply
    • joe replied

      I found DCRainmaker's procedure - link to dcrainmaker.com
      (Thank you, DCRainmaker, for the forum and the procedure!) and gave it a try. Success! The updates I applied previously to Openstreetmap, two bikes shops, now appear in POI. Also the local Hospital, etc, that Garmin somehow left off the initial load. Thank you, both. If you'd like to update your local map, to help us all out, you can do so at http://www.openstreetmap.org.
      P.S. I tried updating openstreetmap and running through the process again. It doesn't seem to put an updated .zip file out there on the index page. Does your initial request have to clear before you can do a new one?

      Reply
    • Joe replied

      Of note, after updating OSM, getting a new upload to the Garmin didn't reflect the OSM adds/changes. Waited a week and it did.

      Reply
  102. Cindy

    Ref #214; I don't think it's timing out; I cannot get the screen back on until I use the power button again. Touching the screen does not bring the unit back up. It just keeps shutting off while trying to load the maps. Should I send back?

    Reply
    • joe replied

      I would certainly contact their help desk and ask about it.

      Reply
  103. tim

    would I gain anything by switching from my edge 200 to an edge touring? My 200 keeps switching off and is being returned to garmin, so should I replace with the touring, or replace with another 200. I only use the basic functions, so cadence/ant etc wouldn't be much use to me

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It depends. If you're looking for mapping directions, then the Touring is a good way to go. But, if you just want a unit that's like your Edge 200 - then honestly, either another Egde 200 or the more powerful Edge 500 is the way to go.

      Reply
  104. Jeffrey Helm

    I just moved to the Dallas/Irving Texas so I am currently using Mapquest to try and route rides. As you can all guess not only does this mean that I have to consult a cheat sheet in my pocket, it does not always give me the most bike friendly routes (i.e. ended up on a road under construction with no shoulder and no way out). I would like a unit that that I can put in a starting point and an ending point and get a safe route with the turn by turn feature and keep me safe. Based upon the reviews this unit will also give me a looped route for any distance I choose to ride. Thanks in advance for the help with my questions.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      What you describe is pretty much spot-on for what this unit is designed for.

      Reply
    • Joe replied

      It can give you routes and loops, but don't expect any insight into your area. Allowing it to pick routes in my local area, it didn't pick the safer roads that a cyclist would (based on speed of traffic, volume, and shoulder width). Also, it doesn't know about ghettos, if that's a factor. Best to look for routes others have ridden on Garmin Connect, then download them to your device.

      Reply
  105. Jeffrey Helm

    Thamks for the reminder Joe. I guess I knew that, but it is nice to have someone bring it to the fore front. Rainmaker addressed in his blog about how he found a route around Paris. As long as it directs me back to the main route if I have to make on the fly adjustments it should work just find, if my assestment of the reviews is correct. If I am missing anything else major please let me know. Nothing takes away from what could be an enjoyable bike ride than having to worry about getting lost or ending up somewhere you don't want to be and not knowing how to get out. Smart phones work in a pinch,but a pain to use.

    Reply
    • Joe replied

      Did an experiment, picked a POI, the local movie theater, and allowed the Edge Touring Plus to create a route.
      1) it picked the shortest route, through the bad area bordering Atlantic City, NJ
      2) I ignored it, deciding to go in the opposite direction, through a better area.
      3) for the first 5 miles, it told me to make a U-turn
      4) it finally caught on, put it pointed me to the busiest road in the area (White Horse Pike).
      5) As I approached my destination, I just had to make a left onto the bike path and go a mile to the theater. The Edge had a different idea
      6) it said take a right on the path, circle around on two very busy roads, take the ramp to the Garden State Parkway (super highway, bikes illegal)
      7) then, take the exit ramp and get on the Atlantic City Expressway (super highway, bikes illegal)

      Bottom line, trusting the Edge might be the last thing you ever do.

      Reply
  106. Gabe

    Anyone know what's the lowest temperature this unit can withstand? I do a lot of winter cycling and my smartphone shuts off due to low temperatures so I'm looking at this unit to solve this problem

    Reply
  107. Dom

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your, as ever, extremely thorough review. One question I'm not sure I'm clear on though and would appreciate your input.

    Is the mapping/satnav experience different between the touring and 800 models? As I understand it the tourings have the new OpenStreetMap based "Garmin Cycle Maps" while the 800s have the "Garmin City Navigator". Is there a noticeable difference between the two in terms of mapping or on screen satnav? Or is the only real distinction between the units that the 800 does cadence/power/training and the touring does the point to point or round trip self routing?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The user interface is similar in terms of how the units provide directions. The maps themselves though look different. Most people have a preference of one style of maps over another, but ultimately, I find both get the job done. In some places one might be slightly better than the other, but that's often the case with different mapping providers.

      Of course, there are different functional areas between the two units beyond just ANT+ sensors as well. I tried to capture those in the comparison tables.

      Reply
  108. Jen

    The rain finally stopped in Milan long enough for me to try my Touring out here. I haven't tried anything extreme (multi-day trip for example) but so far I'm pleased. The recording function works as expected. The round trip routing function has worked well for me here. It hasn't suggested anything crazy (like taking the auto-strada). The beep indicating an upcoming turn are very useful and the zoom into the turn area on the map is great as well. The one downside is that road signage is pretty bad here in Italy. I made the inevitable wrong turn despite those beeps and zooms. The unit was quick recalculate (good!) but it was with the absolute intention of putting me back on the previous route. In this case it only added a couple of kms to the intended ride. No big deal. But if you are sensitive to distance and riding into a new area you might want to err on the side of asking the unit to generate routes a a little shorter than your "max" distance. Give yourself a buffer in case you take a wrong turn and end up with a little more hill or distance than you intended. I will likely break down and buy a handlebar mount for this instead of using the bands that came with it. They hold the unit securely, even on bumpy terrain, but they are allowing the unit to rotate forward or backward a little making it hard to see unless you reset it to the desired angle.

    Reply
    • Robert replied

      I live in Senigallia. Yes, it finally looks like good weather for the next 10 days or so! As for your idea of using another mount, if you use a handlebar bag, or don't have much space on your handlebar, you may want to consider something like the K-Edge Stem Mount. It goes between the top cap of the headset and the stem (you have to make sure you have space there, either substituting it for a spacer that you have above the stem or making sure the headset bolt is long enough). It's a bit steep in price, but I've been very happy with mine. It doesn't get in the way, the unit clicks very firmly in place, more so, I thought, than with the stock Garmin mounts, and if you buy the adjustable option, the angle can be shifted in order to reduce screen glare. I ordered it from Wiggle (link to wiggle.co.uk). I use a Garmin 800, but I would think the mount is the same as the Touring.

      Reply
  109. SteveP

    The SRAM 31.8mm handlebar mount is about US$15 (bad enough for 25¢ worth of plastic) but can be mounted to point backwards, over the stem. That allows the use of a handlebar bag and provides a solid mount over the stem. And don't forget the included O-ring stem mounts.

    Reply
  110. Nigel

    I used to use the Garmin 800 as my car GPS. I was hoping to do the same with the Edge touring. However, because of the three routing options (touring, cycle, mountain) it cannot be used for driving. Major roads, highways etc are avoided with the routing, make the driving 'route' undesirable. Is there any way to remedy this? If I download my own maps and use them instead of the provided ones, will this help?

    Reply
  111. Awesome website just got my garmin edge touring and it nows starts up with the message to return it to me with my phone number. Info I got from Mr Rainmakers site and it was just as easy as he said it would be. Thank you sir.

    Reply
  112. Steve Nordt

    Great info on this site! Does the "add maps" tutorial work for the touring series? The included OSM map on the touring model is on the included micro sd card vs the basemap on the other edges in internal memory ( I think?) Doesn't seem like you can install/select/use both maps like on the other Edge units. What am I missing here?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's on my list of things to test in the coming days actually. Only because I thought it was interesting the manual says you can add maps from other regions (such as through Garmin Express), but in reality, no other regions show up for me.

      Reply
  113. Crazyfox

    Rainmaker. I am in a real quandary. I have been using a GPS watch computer for 2 years and I want to replace it with something modern and with more functionality and having gone through most of your related reviews, it seems that the Garmin Edge Touring pretty much meets my requirements.
    Since it has been released, has it stood up to being used? I have read that the route planning for mountain bikes is poor, as the GPS functionality send you onto busy roads. Is that true?
    Also, the 17hr battery life seems a bit OTT. What is your opinion of the normal life of the battery?
    Finally can you display current assent and decent during the ride. It seems that there are some complaints about the altitude readings.
    Thanks for your help, I have found your reviews very informative.

    Reply
  114. GBS

    Well done, better info than the official site! The comparative table is unique as far as I know and answered my my qn re "what more does Touring Plus offer". A few minutes before reading yr pages I spoke to Garmin UK who assured me that for £50 I could add on a cadence package. That contradicts your table. Perhaps the product has moved on since your review last year

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, Garmin UK is unfortunately confused. The Touring (regular nor Plus) does not support the ANT+ cadence/speed (or just cadence sensor). It hasn't, and it still doesn't.

      It only supports two ANT+ accessories: The ANT+ HR strap, and ANT+ enabled e-Bikes. And that's only the Plus model. You can't buy the regular model and connect ANT+ accessories to it.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  115. Tom

    I've read this entire comment list and still can't find a definitive answer to what seems a very critical question:
    Does the Touring/Touring Plus unit support City Navigator maps?
    My perception is that is does NOT. With the Touring models, you are constrained to the Open Street Maps maps. But I'd love to hear directly from someone who has successfully (or unsuccessfully) tried to insert an SD card w/ City Navigator into a Touring model.
    My second, equally critical question: can European (or South American, or Australian . . .) OSM maps be loaded into a US-purchased Touring unit? I read a blog online that indicated there is no inter-regional functionality; in fact, Garmin's advice to this person who owned a US Touring Plus was literally to purchase a Euro model when they get to Europe.
    I have City Navigator on SD for US, Europe, portions of South America, etc that all function well on my aging 705, but I fear none of them can be used in a Touring model.

    Reply
  116. Tom

    For those folks looking for solutions to keeping one of these charged while on tour, I have two suggestions:
    1) Without a dynamo hub: go to Amazon and search on Anker Astro Mini. It is a 3000mAH lipstick-sized USB chargeable lithium battery pack. It will fully charge my Edge 705 at least twice, which gives me a 3 day range (minimum). It will charge my Edge 705 while in use, which has been handy for some super epic 20+ hour MTB events I've done. If you need more capacity, I suggest buying multiple Astro Mini models rather than a 6000 or 9000mAH model, because the Mini's are much easier to handle (easily strapped to frame tubes) and you'll benefit from redundancy (these things do fail sometimes). Another nice thing about these small/cheap backup batteries is I feel OK leaving them charging in a campground bathroom for several hours, since they aren't that attractive to steal. I'm not so comfortable leaving my Edge unit hanging from an outlet in the bathroom for 3 hours . . .
    2) With a dynamo hub: You'll need one of the dynamo-to-USB products on the market. My personal preference is the Sinewave Cycles Revolution. Even with these products, I suggest charging a backup battery rather than the GPS directly. The reason is that many phones and GPS units are sensitive to the input current, and as the current varies with your riding speed (or stopping) many electronic units will turn off when the charging power goes away. Or you'll see the "external power lost" message all the time on your unit. So charge the backup batteries while riding, then use those to charge your phone and GPS at camp.

    Reply
    • Jeffrey Helm replied

      Thanks for the heads up Tom. This is the only real issue I have with my touring is that I only get about 9 hrs of battery life.

      Reply
  117. Sébastien

    Is the touring plus working with garmin connect mobile the same way that it is with garmin connect for pc? What about the fonctions of the app.? Is the touring plus able to linked with a surface rt or any other tablet?

    Thanks,
    Seb

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Touring (Plus) lacks any Bluetooth, so it won't talk directly to any mobile device. However, with the Surface RT you can plug it in and connect to Garmin Connect, but can't use Garmin Express.

      Reply
  118. This is a really helpful review; thank you!

    I have a couple of questions that it doesn't answer, though: I'm a Canadian who cycles often in Europe (especially the Netherlands), and I'm thinking of buying one of these. I can't seem to find any detailed specs on how much memory is included on the device, though, and that's frustrating me. Is it possible to easily fit both the European maps and the North American maps on the device and still have room to download other things in the future?

    Reply
  119. Dan

    When you enter an address does it take you on bike safe roads?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Generally, yes. At least, it shouldn't take you on highways, etc...

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I should add though that what is 'safe' to me would be different than what is 'safe' to my Mom, or someone else.

      You can configure some options within the unit around what types of roads, but as Steve noted below - you do always want to do a simple sanity check if it looks like you're entering a highway onramp (though, I've never had it route me on one).

      Reply
  120. SteveP

    I have the 800 and it comes with a base map relative to where you buy it (so North American or EU). But you can add whatever maps you want via the µSD slot on the unit. There are many options - I recommend Open StreetMaps. So your unit will work wherever you want it to. I bought mine in the US but live in the UK and cycle in Europe and South Africa. It works as well as the mapset allows (i.e. degree of detail).

    I would not rely on the unit or the maps to provide "bike safe" routes, or really even bike-accessible routes. many time Garmin's own maps have directed me onto tracks only suitable for horses or 4X4s. You need to look at the route carefully - ideally on a computer in advance, or carry a paper map. The small screen (it's quite a bit smaller than it first appears) on the 800 lacks enough detail to plan very well - perhaps the new 1000 screen will be better.

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Steve. One question about that: is it possible to add more than one set of maps to the card at a time? If so, how many sets are realistic?

      I'm very concerned about this because the Garmin unit I'm replacing (one of the older nüvi models) is no longer able to have its maps updated due to a lack of memory on the device. I'm hoping that this device has lots of memory expansion possibilities so that this won't be an issue in the future.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The card is as big as you purchase. Even a 16GB card is typically $10 these days, and that's a LOT of maps. All of Europe is roughly 3GB.

      Reply
    • Thanks! That's very helpful. What sort of card is it? Is it just a normal SD card like you'd find in a camera?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Close. Micro-SD card, but yup, totally normal.

      Reply
    • Thanks! One last question about maps: if I were to buy the unit from the U.S. Garmin site (I can't seem to get it through the Canadian site), would it still come pre-loaded with the Canada maps too? Or is it U.S. maps only?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      My understanding was that it's a North American version, and not just US or Canada. But, I actually only have the European variant (simply has Euro maps instead). So perhaps a reader can validate 100% that the mapset says "North America" and not "United States".

      Reply
  121. Jen

    I have had my touring try to navigate me onto the Autostrada here in Italy a few times. (For those unaware, that is basically the Italian interstate system, no bikes allowed.) If I just don't get onto the Autostrada and keep going the general direction of my destination then it will reroute me another direction.

    Reply
  122. Paul

    I have downloaded a Garmin Birds Eye Map to the Memory card of my Edge Touring using BaseCamp. How do I select this map to view it on the Edge Touring please. I have checked settings and cannot see any suitable option. Thanks for any help

    Reply
  123. Thrill Killer

    Concerning the custom maps that one can make and install. Can a setting be made so that on the main Nav Screen (Map View) with a Street Map up and running. Can one set one of the little info windows to display not "Miles Traveled". But "Miles Left to go"? Say I create a 200 mile map. And after 1 hour I've traveled 18 miles. Can I set one of the little info boxes to display "172 Miles To Go"?

    Also,concerning the Turn by Turn feature. Can the screen be set to "Time Out",then come back on like a 1/4 mile or so? before a turn/change in direction is going to be made? As directed by the map?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  124. SteveP

    Yes - pretty sure one data field is "miles/km to destination". (Just confirmed) And in such use you should also be able to have it pop-up and warn of each turn. It doesn't really time out though. Screen lighting goes off but it's still active (has to be, really). It will beep and pop up a larger turn arrow map. Great when it works :-)

    Getting it to work as I want with typical circular routes and give turn-by-turn is another matter Garmin never thought of, I guess. (Mine is Edge 800)

    Reply
    • Thrill Killer replied

      Thanks Steve P.

      Reply
  125. Neal Becker

    So just to confirm, I can download maps from openstreetmap onto an sd card for this unit, right?

    Also, I can download tcx file from ridewithgps to get turn-by-turn directions?

    Reply
  126. Wim

    I would like to decide today to which model to buy. The edge Tourer Plus fits my demands I guess. The only question I have: can this device deal with predefined courses of around 150 km?
    Thanks for a quick response.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, no problems. Simply create the course on Garmin Connect first and then transfer it to the Touring.

      Reply
  127. Neal Becker

    Howto follow route exactly?

    I prepare a route on ridewithgps. I download a tcx file to my computer. Hook up the garmin via usb, copy the tcx file to 'New Files' on the garmin.

    Now I see the route on the garmin. If I select 'ride', the garmin then goes through 'calculating...'.

    I don't want the garmin to alter the route in any way. Just follow what I planned.

    If I review the route on the garmin, it's not clear to me whether it's doing what I want. For example, a number of "continue straight" where road changes name are not show on the garmin. I definately don't want it rerouting me onto some bike trail.

    What do I need to do?

    Reply
  128. SteveP

    I've never had a problem with the Edge not following the route I planned. Planning the route is a pain (click *past* any turn) and turn-by-turn seems somehow random (no way to default to that preference). Circular routes where you use a length of the same road in and out are just too much for the Edge to comprehend (so you have to "start" or "end" it somewhere artificial. But it follows the route you set unfailingly - I'll give it that.

    Reply
  129. Neal Becker

    So what's the difference between routing options "cycling" and "touring cycling"?

    Reply
  130. Damiana

    Hi,
    I just peddled from Madrid to Geneva, wonderful trip. It would have been better if I did not had to spend two hours on my iPad every night grazing the route for the next day.
    Do you know of any GPS that could have done the work of taking me on any route where bikes are allowed? I see that the edge touring only takes you on bike routes which is believe it is not the same as to say routes where bikes are permitted. I need a device which can mimic what google maps does when you select no highways, tolls, etc. I do not care about the add ons ( HR, cadence, etc). I just want to get to point A withouth having to interpret my little paper with directions and asking around to make sure I am not lost. Any ideas? Should I look for a car like GPS model?
    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Touring (as well as the Edge), allows you to specify things like no highways, etc... within the options.

      Reply
  131. Damiana

    Thanks for the reply. The edge touring is great for Europe cause bike routes are well defined, but it would not be helpful if I want to ride across Argentina for example as there are no bike routes there. Or could I download regular road maps, like the ones used on car GPS to move around countries where bike maps are no available on the edge touring?
    Thanks for your time!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      OSM Maps are global, including Argentina. So you can just grab (free OSM) maps for Argentina and load them onto your Edge Touring. And from that you can select bike-appropriate maps. Details on maps here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
    • Damiana replied

      wonderful input, thanks you very much. I now have what I wanted to know.
      I appreciate your time and dedication to answering my questions.
      Best

      Reply
  132. Daewoo Kim

    So far, I really like it. Luckily, I do not have any problem with my GPS. I concern about only battery life. I will go for bike touring in U.S next week. I may will spend most of time on the street, so I could not charge all the time. Hopefully, I could...anyway, this is good price, functions and easy to use. Thanks.

    Reply
  133. Mark Worthington

    Another great article, thanks! When is the "In-Depth" coming out? :)

    I am finally going to make the jump from an Edge 205 to a mapping GPS, the Edge Touring (thanks to your other article about OSMcycle maps etc). May I ask, please, can the device be set to follow a created & uploaded course in breadcrumb mode (ie with no mapping)? Odd question maybe, but sometimes there’s just too much detail for my old eyes and a blank screen with a clear trail (as with the edge 205) can sometimes be quite useful.

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Reply
  134. Mark Worthington

    Thanks. But could you please elaborate .... a course created in something like bikehike or Tracklogs can be uploaded to the Touring via the TCX, GPX etc format (and get converted to FIT by the device on start up. I think that's right. Does the format then determine whether a breadcrumb trail is shown rather than a highlighted trail on a map? I was expecting an option to disable the maps or use a "blank" map.

    I have to ask again ...! Any "In-Depth" in the pipelne, or how to add maps ( I think you mentioned that in a previous comment).

    Cheers,

    Mark

    Reply
  135. SteveP

    Good question and I'll be interested in the correct answer(s). AFAIK, the map units default to a base map and then search for and load any add-on maps on the µSD card at each startup. So if I use my Edge 800 with NA base map in South Africa, I get VERY basic local info (large cities are identified, but I think that's it). So that's sort-of a solution - that is, buy a model that lacks the base map for where you intend to use it, and load any maps you want on the memory card. Garmin is pretty good at "regionalizing" their units to restrict the gray market sales.

    It may also be possible to delete the base map, but that may result in losing it permanently.

    BTW - here's a tip for those who have several memory cards for different regions or uses - buy a white paint pen for a few bucks and ID each card when you get it. They all look the same :-)

    Reply
  136. Mark Worthington

    When purchased, the device somes with a "Garmin cycling map". Is this effectively fixed in time, or are updates available from Garmin? If not, I assume we must used the techniques nicely supplied in the article "How to download free maps to your Garmin Edge 705-800-810"?

    Mark

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Actually, both the Garmin Touring and the Edge 1000 do indeed get map updates. Simply install Garmin Express and then connect the device. It'll show up in the list. In fact, I just saw one come across yesterday...

      Reply
    • Mark Worthington replied

      Thanks for the pointer .... I had seen Express but not paid attention to it, yet.

      Mark

      Reply
  137. Mark Worthington

    As for maps, let say one has loaded on a number of them. Do you then select the map you want or does the device pick up "the" map of the local area? What if you have 2 maps, a road map and a topo one?

    Also, is it any quicker/better in practice to use a small map of just the area (or wider) that you are cycling in, or to use the entire UK map (in my case)?

    Cheers,

    Mark

    Reply
  138. Gerry Durishan

    I bought the basic model 2 weeks ago for a trip to Nova Scotia to cycle the Cabot Trail and Bar Harbor Maine to ride to the peak of Cadillac Mountain. I was interested in the MIO, but went w/the Edge Touring because I didn't need a lot of features and the MIO did not have Canadian maps, nor a way to add them. That disappointed me. The Touring worked well for me. I was able to see/plan for turns (s-turns on steep declines). If you get one, follow the suggestions in this thread. The recalculation feature will drive you nuts. The maps had all the trails in Acadia National Park as well. For a basic mapping GPS, this isn't too bad considering the price of all the other units. As for battery, I was able to ride a good 6 or so hours and have battery life left. I carry a handle bar bag for camera equipment and had an external USB battery that I used because I forgot to charge it one night. That worked well during the ride. So you can charge and map at the same time. Uploading to Strava was a piece of cake.

    Reply
  139. phil

    All I need to know, and have not yet found out, is how to set up the Touring Edge Plus so it displays
    just speed, distance and assents. Use to after I charged it, but yesterday it only displayed distance
    and accuracy...

    Reply

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