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Garmin Edge 810 In-Depth Review


The Garmin Edge 810 is a cycling GPS with built in mapping navigation that aims to build upon the previous edition of the unit, the Edge 800.  I’ve been testing the unit for a while now, and have a pretty good grasp on how well it works and how the new features and functionality pan out.

Is this $499 unit worth the cash though?  And are the new features enough to make you want to upgrade?  The answer might surprise you.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews – Garmin sent me a final production Edge 810 unit to test out, though, it’s been running beta and release candidate firmware.   In the new few weeks I send them back to Garmin and then go out and get my own (to be able to support y’all in the comments section down the road). Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints. If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon or Clever Training links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background, and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So – with that intro, let’s get into things.


While I received a final production unit, the unit sent to me for testing did not have the final box with it.  So I’ll circle back for a proper unboxing once I’ve got a full retail kit.

Of course, I still have all the components and what’s included – so let’s dive into that.

The Edge 810 looks identical to that of its older sibling, the Edge 800.

In fact, the only visual difference between the two units is the outer case styling has “Edge 810” on it.


Like the 800, this unit features three buttons.  On the left side, you’ve got the power button, which also controls the light/display options, as well as allows you to access sensor state information such as ANT+ connectivity and smartphone connectivity (as well as weather).


On the front of the unit, there are two additional buttons.  The bottom-left button is for setting a lap, while the bottom-right button is for starting and stopping an activity (as well as pausing/resuming).


If you turn it over, you’ll find the USB port (mini-USB), as well as the MicroSD card for loading maps (or to use as additional storage):


The touch screen itself hasn’t changed any from the Edge 800.  It’s still a full color, resistive touch screen, which means that it works just fine with gloves and the like (unlike your smart phone).

Looking at the backside, you’ll find the familiar Garmin Edge quarter-turn mount that’s on all Garmin Edge units these days.


This mount is secured via industrial strength rubber bands.  These mounts and bands have proven themselves as being the industry standard over the last two years, primarily due to how easy they are to move between bikes – and because they just don’t break.


Within the box you’ll find a small flotilla of quarter-turn mounts and bands.  Enough to start a small rubber band fight.

In addition, there are third party mounts available for the Garmin Edge series, which I’ll dive into at the end of the review.

Also in the box will be a USB charging cable.  The Edge 810 uses a standard mini-USB cable.  This isn’t micro-USB like your cell phone, but instead more commonly seen a few years ago in devices:


You’ll use the USB cable to both charge the unit, as well as download workouts (if you don’t wirelessly upload via cell phone).  You can plug the USB cable into a computer, or the included USB charging block:


Also, depending on which bundle you buy, you’ll also get a soft-strap HR strap with the unit.

With the introduction out of the way, let’s dive into the size of these units.

Size Comparisons:

Garmin will often re-use their device casings for multiple iterations or variants of a device.  For example, the Edge 200 is in the same case as the Edge 500.  The Forerunner 110 and 210, and golfing devices share the same unit.  The FR405, FR405CX, FR410 , again, all share the same case.

And the same is true here of the Edge 810.  The 810 shares the same exact case as its older sibling, the Edge 800.  In fact, from more than about two feet away, you probably can’t tell the difference:


The only visible difference is the 810 includes the text ‘810’ along the edges, whereas the 800 does not.

Looking at a comparison of GPS cycling units on the market today, you can see the 810 is at the bigger range of things – though not quite the biggest:


Here’s an above shot showing the depth (excluding the Mio unit, since it was being temperamental standing up):


If we narrow it down to the most popular GPS units around these parts, you can get a better understanding of where it stands:


From the side, the 810 is of course identical to the 800, and nearly identical in height to the new Edge 510.  Though, it’s still a fair bit higher than the original 500.  If we put the four Garmin units side by side, the differences are more easily spotted (left to right: Edge 800, 810, 510, 500):


The Quarter Turn Quick Mount System:

The quick mount system found on the Edge 810 is identical to that found on the earlier Edge 800.  This mount system was introduced with the Edge 500, and has been kept the same since then – for all Garmin Edge units (as well as being utilized in the triathlon line-up too).

The Edge comes with a bag of two mounts and a bunch of rubber bands of varied sizes.  You can also buy a box of mounts and bands for $9, which is pretty cheap compared to most cycling accessories.

You’ll go ahead and grab two rubber ands and a mount, and then snap them to your handlebars:


Once that’s done, you’ll take your Edge unit and put it into the mount at a 90* angle.  After which, simply turn either left or right to lock it in place.


Quick and easy!

Here’s a quick video I put together showing how it works:

A few years ago when this system was first introduced folks (including myself) wondered how it’d stand up to long term use.  Now, three years later it’s clear this system works exceptionally well.  I’ve taken these mounts on and off bikes and other objects more times than I could ever count, and never in that time have I had a mount snap.  Nor have I ever heard of anyone’s mount breaking.  Not too shabby.

Touch screen:

The Edge 810 includes touch screen technology, which is used within the unit anytime you plan to change display information.  The unit does still include  tactile buttons though for Lap, Start/Stop, and Power.  The touch screen is resistive, which means that even with wet fingers, or with gloves, it’ll still respond (cell phones are typically capacitive).


The screen found on the Edge 810 is indistinguishable from that found on the older Edge 800.  Same size, same resolution, same colors, same screen.

While the touchscreen response isn’t quite as fast or precise as that found on smartphones, it does generally do the trick.  When navigating through menus, you can swipe up/down, though I generally find it quicker to just use the arrows at the bottom of the screen:


Additionally, while in regular cycling data display mode, you can always hold down on a given data field to go straight into the menu to change that data field:


Because the easiest way to demonstrate how the touch screen works is via video, here’s a short clip I put together walking you through some of the basic functions using the touchscreen:

Next up, let’s look at how glove use works out.  I’ve grabbed a stash of gloves from the winter glove box and will walk through a few seconds with all of them.  These range from common cycling gloves I have around, to big fluffy mittens.

Last but not least, use in the rain.  For better or worse, it seems to always be raining where I am here.  So this has been easy to test. I’ve had no issues, just like the Edge 800 before it.  I’ll look to get a nice rain video uploaded in the near future.

Note that you can lock the touch screen by tapping the power button (left side), and then pressing the lock icon.  To unlock the screen from touch, you’ll just do the reverse.  This does not lock the two top physical buttons however.


While I’m generally mixed on touch-screen devices in sport use as many often perform poorly, the Edge 810 generally responds well enough that it doesn’t annoy me.  The fact that they kept the start/stop & lap buttons as physical buttons is key in my mind, since those are the most commonly used buttons – and ones where you don’t want to be fiddling around with a touch screen.

Cell-Phone Integration:

Without question the biggest new feature in the Edge 810 is the cell phone connectivity and integration.  While Garmin first introduced cell phone connectivity to the fitness lineup in the Garmin Fenix, this is the first cycling unit (along with the Edge 510) to support it.

The Fenix though focused primarily on getting courses and activities to/from the phone.  Whereas the Edge 810 does all that, but then adds in new features like weather and live tracking with sensor information.  I can only hope we see those back-ported to the Fenix (no reason why it can’t be done).

I’ve split up this section into a bunch of smaller chunks, focusing on the different app components.  Note that this is current as of January 7th, 2013.  I’d expect (well, I’d hope anyway) that we’ll see further features and enhancements to the app over time.  So I’ll come back and update this section with those new features as they’re added.  With that, let’s get cookin’.

The Garmin Connect App and Basic Pairing:

In order to connect to the Edge 810 you’ll need to download a new Garmin app called ‘Garmin Connect’.  This is different from their previous apps including Basecamp and the Garmin Fit app.  Though, you will see some similarities.

Note that in my opinion Garmin made a critical revelation in calling it ‘Garmin Connect’ instead of ‘Garmin Edge Connect’.  I think this is just the start of similar connectivity for other devices down the line – such as the running watches.  Though I don’t foresee that happening anytime before summer.

The app is free, and can be grabbed from the iTunes store (it should be available in a couple days, a week or so at most).  There’s also an Android version, but I just had access to the iPhone version for my testing.


Once you get the app installed you’ll need to either create a Garmin Connect account, or use one that you already have.  This allows the unit to then upload workouts, pull course/workout/activity information, and publish Live Tracking results.  No Garmin Connect account, no go.  Fear not, it’s free.

After you’ve got yourself logged in, you’ll need to pair your Edge 810 to your phone.  Just like a Bluetooth headset, you’ll do this via the Settings control panel and then into the Bluetooth portion.

While on the Edge 810, you’ll navigate to Settings > Bluetooth and enable pairing from the device.  Note that you can pair the device to only one phone.  However, you can pair multiple devices to a single phone.


The approval passkey process only takes a second, and you’ll just confirm that everything is good.

Following which, you’ll get a notification that the Edge unit can connect to the phone.  It’ll prompt this notification each time you start the Edge 810 up in the vicinity of your phone.


With that set, we’re ready to use it.


Live tracking is probably the new feature with the biggest draw.  It enables you to transmit your location and sensor data to others out on the web.  It’ll show your current location, your past track (where you’ve been), and your past and current ANT+ data (Cadence/Power/Heart Rate/Speed).  Additionally, it’ll show activity time and average speed (as well as average pace for runners…woot!).

To enable LiveTrack, you’ll select the ‘LiveTrack’ option from within the app.

Once you do that, you’ll go to the LiveTrack configuration options.  From here you can edit the name of the activity broadcasted, as well as the recipient information:


Within recipients you can add in either direct e-mail addresses, or pull people from your contacts.  It’ll keep this list saved, so it’ll send to the same group each time unless you edit it.  This is nice because I’ve just been sending them to the same people each time (my wife, my coach, and myself).


Unlike the Garmin GTU tracking, people do NOT need a Garmin Connect account.  They just click a link and see your live stats.

You can also post a notification with tracking information to Twitter and Facebook.  By default it’ll leverage your default account configured on the phone.  If you have multiple Twitter accounts, it’ll prompt you.

Once you’ve selected those options – you’re ready to start!

What’s cool here is that you can send out invites ahead of time.  I’ve been doing it about 10-15 minutes prior to actually starting my ride.  Usually when I’m getting ready.  This allows me to validate they sent out.  The activity tracking won’t start recording until you press the start button on your Edge unit to start recording the ride.  The two of them are tied together.

Of course, you’ll need to ensure you press the ‘Start LiveTrack’ button.  A second or two later, the Livetrack icon will illuminate (photo taken a second before it illuminated, see the icon next to the Bluetooth one on the Edge 810):


This will also post a notification to the Edge 810 too.

Now, once you begin your ride, simply start as normal by pressing the start button.  The data will automatically stream to the site.  In my testing it seems the first minute or two may be delayed, but then it catches up.  The refresh interval is hard-set for every 30 seconds.  But it backfills in data from that 30-seconds, so it looks ‘correct’.  i.e. there’s no missing corners or anything between data points.

Here’s what it looks like from a normal web browser:


You can zoom in on the map as you’d expect, as well as swap back and forth between the satellite view and plain map view:


Every five miles you’ll get a 5-mile marker, which you can click on to get information about the previous 5-miles.  Mostly summary information.


Personally, I’d like to see this be a bit more customizable.  For example, I’d prefer the option to show every mile (or kilometer), as well as to show the laps as defined by me (the athlete) on the unit itself.  Often times those laps are more useful in that they define the chunks of my workout.

If you’re from the metric persuasion, you can easily change the units at the bottom of the site as well, along with the language:


As we look at the bottom you’ll find the lower half includes an expandable graph section – which shows your current ANT+ sensor data.  It records the full ride in real-time and the whole thing is displayed throughout the ride (meaning, it doesn’t slowly slide out of view):


You can click at any point on the graph to get more information about that point:


I’m super-appreciative of the fact that they allow you to switch between speed (MPH/KPH) and pace (minutes/mile – minutes/kilometer), which makes it function for running:


Lastly, at the top you’ll find total ride time and some high level average stats.  What’s cool here is that these stats do NOT include stoppage time, in either the ride time or average.  Meaning that if I stop along the side of the road to eat a Cinnabon, as long as I press pause, it won’t count against me.  Essentially, my coach wouldn’t know.  That’s key.  The way I like it.


From my testing, the battery life impact here is quite minimal.  I found repeatedly that it only impacted my iPhone 4s about 7-9% per 1 hour.

Automatic Workout Uploading:

Automatic uploading of workouts allows you to have the unit automatically upload your completed workouts to Garmin Connect, as soon as you press the ‘Save’ button on the screen.

This is configured within the app on your phone, and then it will save the setting for all future rides.


It will be using your phones data connection for transmission of the files – but the activity files are very small (typically about 100KB in size), so not much more than loading a web page or two.  So I wouldn’t worry about it putting a dent in your cell phone data plan.

When the unit starts the upload, it’ll display a notification on the Edge 810 (it’ll also display a completion message):


Additionally, you can also see the status of the upload within the Garmin Connect app:


While this is definitely a cool feature, I really wish that Garmin had a connector to other services (such as Training Peaks/Strava/etc…) – allowing the data to be pushed to them as well.  Ideally you’d configure this on Garmin Connect, and just select which data providers to push to.

Weather Information:

The display of any weather information is new to the Edge units.  It too depends on cell connectivity.  To enable weather transmission, you’ll go on the phone app and simply toggle the ‘Weather’ icon to the ‘On’ position.  You can also get basic weather information via the Garmin Connect app:


After enabling weather (default is on), you’ll in turn see the weather icon illuminated on the Edge 810 (you can access this icon by pressing the power button).  It’s the middle one along the bottom.


If you then tap the weather icon, it’ll show you the weather page with the current weather up top:


You can then scroll down to see upcoming weather over the next few hours.  Unfortunately though, only three hours worth.  It tells you the temperature, wind speed and direction, and the precipitation state:


Additionally, if you click the little information icon (looks like an ‘I’), you’ll get any weather alert information:


In my time using the 810, I’ve yet to find a case where a weather alert has been generated, though, it’s possible that’s a beta bug.  In talking with the engineering team, there’s some 84 different cases where a weather alert might be generated and displayed to the end user.  These are typically weather events that would impact a cyclist.

With that introduction, I’ll note that weather information can be pretty handy for a cyclist.  However in my opinion the current way it’s displayed isn’t terribly useful.  Let me explain.

Currently, this weather information is pulled from a nearby weather station.  In many cases, these weather stations may be upwards of 30 miles or more away.  In that case, it means that you as a cyclist have probably already accounted for the weather (i.e it’s really hot, or might rain).  It also means that the weather event might not impact me at all being so far away.

For most cyclist doing long rides (i.e. 50 to 120+ miles), the weather can and often does change significantly over the course of a ride.  When I lived in DC I’d often ride the full length of Skyline Drive along the top of the Appalachian mountains.  This could take 6-7 hours to complete the 110 miles of mountain fun.

In that time the weather would often change quite dramatically.  I’d usually see dark storm clouds off to my side or ahead of me.  But the key was knowing when – if ever – they might actually impact me.  I could well stay in the sun the entire time.

In my mind it would have been FAR more useful if the device had displayed some form of weather radar/image overlaid onto my route.  Given the unit knows my route, it knows where I’m going and thus it would be easy to then visually see if the weather was going to impact me.

To illustrate my point, I’ve mocked this up (the green is a rain cloud layer from radar imagery, the red line shows my course/route):


That would have been cool.  Otherwise, I just feel like the information is ‘blah’ useful at best.

The biggest drive of that blah-usefulness is that I have to have my cell phone anyway for this to work. As such, this feature should show me something truly useful since it ‘requires’ the use of my phone.  Showing me something that may or may not be valid for me isn’t super useful, especially given the lack of detail.

Search and download courses/routes:

Behind LiveTrack, this is probably the second coolest phone integration feature – at least, in potential.  This enables you to grab saved courses and routes from your Garmin Connect account and push them to your Edge 810.

Courses are essentially routes that you’ll follow.  They can be roads, trails, or anything else you want.

I say ‘in potential’, because it does require you to have pre-created the courses online.  But it does at least mean you can create the course quickly online without connecting your unit physically to your computer, and then just push it wirelessly to your edge.

So after you’ve created the course in Garmin Connect, then open the Garmin Connect app and select ‘Courses’ from the left side.  It’ll then enumerate a list of all Garmin Connect courses you’ve ever created:


You can also toggle into map view to view them.  Though, this isn’t terribly useful since it doesn’t show you the course/route.  Just a starting point.

Once you’ve selected a course you can browse it and explore it on the phone.


Then, simply select to ‘Send to device’.


Typically it only takes about 5-10 seconds to send the course over to the unit, it’s pretty quick.

Once the course is there, it can then be found along with your other courses in the ‘Courses’ section under the folder icon on the main screen:


You can then select to ride a course, which I’ll get into later.  Note that the course is NOT displayed during LiveTracking, which seems like a strange omission to me.

Search and download workouts:

The ability to download workouts works pretty much the same way as courses.  Workouts are preconfigured training sessions with identified steps in them (such as zones, power, cadence, etc…) – just like that you’d get from a coach.  You can set these up in advance on Garmin Connect.  For example, here’s an indoor trainer ride workout:


Once I’ve created the workout I’ll go into the Garmin Connect app and then enumerate the workouts in my collection:


Just like with a course, I can then send it to my device:


It only takes a few seconds and it’s successfully transferred, ready on my 810.

One interesting note is that you can only send cycling workouts to either the Edge 510 or 810.  Logical, but worth pointing out.  If you try and send a running workout, it’ll give you an error.


From there, you’ll be able to find all workouts (regardless of whether they were downloaded or created manually on the device) within the folder icon, and then under workouts.

While I appreciate the ability to download pre-created workouts, I wish there was a workout creator as part of the app.  Creating workouts on the device is hellish, and the same goes for trying to create workouts from my phone using the Garmin site.

Creating them via a normal desktop web browser is easy however.

Ability to search activity history:

Lastly, there’s one final item available today within the app – the ability to view your past Garmin Connect activities.  This pulls from Garmin Connect and includes all  workouts, including other sports such as swimming and cycling.


From within the app you can then look at the details of the activity, including maps and graphs, and lap and summary information.

And if you’re feeling social, you can go ahead and Tweet/Facebook/Text/E-Mail it out from there to anyone of your liking.

With that, I’ve covered all the cell phone functionality available today.  As you can kinda guess, I think it’s a good start, but I feel like it’s 80% there on each of the features.  Like they aren’t really fully baked yet.  Perhaps in time that’ll rectify itself.

Activity and Bike Profiles:

In the past, the Edge units have always supported multiple bikes.  But the Edge 810 also introduces the ability to create multiple activity profiles (in addition to the separate bike profiles).

Activity profiles are different in that they control your display field settings.  For example, when I’m on the trainer, I don’t much care about elevation or grade.  But when I’m out training, I do care about elevation and grade.  Similarly, if I’m on my commuter bike, I don’t at all care about power meter display fields.  Activity profiles also control settings such as which map layer to display as well as whether or not auto lap is enabled.

So activity profiles allow you to quickly swipe left or right and change all the display fields to a given preset configuration.


You can create up to five activity profiles, each having a separate colored background.  This allows you to match the colors to the activity – a critical aspect of any cyclist:


Next up is bike profiles.  They’ve expanded the number of bikes up to 10 bikes, with each one having not only their own ANT+ sensor sets, but also their own bike details:


Bike details include wheel circumference as well as bike weight:


And a new feature allowing you to specify a small icon as well.  There’s about 20 to choose from.

For me, I’ve setup a couple different bike profiles.  Some are for different physical bikes (triathlon vs commuter), and some are actually for different sensor sets that I use during testing. For example, one bike profile links up to the PowerTap power meter, while another to the Power2Max power meter.  For most people though, you’ll just use them for separate physical bikes:


Interestingly, bike profiles also contain crank length – a required component for the upcoming Garmin Vector:


And for the activity profiles, I’ve personally set one up for trainer, and one for training (outdoors), and then one for race.  The race one is a bit more focused on the core data fields I’d want to see.

Mapping and Routing Functionality:

There’s only one major reason to buy the Edge 810 over the Edge 510 or Edge 500, and that’s maps.  Or more specifically, routable maps.  Almost every other athletic GPS unit on the market contains some form of GPS track/course functionality, but those utilize breadcrumb trails, and aren’t routable.  Breadcrumb means that it’s simply following hundreds or thousands of little markers, without any real understanding that you’re on ‘Main Street’ and turning right on ‘Maple street’.  It’s just following little dots.

Whereas the Edge 810 supports routable maps, which means it knows that if you missed that turn on Maple street you can instead turn right on Nutcracker street and loop back.

With that overview, let’s talk about the five types of maps that the Edge 810 supports.

Base Maps

By default when you purchase the Edge 810 it’ll come with a ‘base map’, which is a default map set that Garmin loads on all mapping units.  The challenge here is that the base map is about as useful for mapping as a airline napkin.

The basemap unfortunately provides absolutely no value, because there’s virtually nothing on it.  Only a couple of streets in major cities.  For example, in Paris proper, it only identifies a handful of roads – usually roads that you wouldn’t want to take your bike on no less.

Here’s what the basemap looks like when I stopped during a recent ride.  Despite being on a road, with four other fairly major roads all intersecting right behind me – there was nothing shown (the blue circle you see isn’t the road, rather, my route):


The problem here (and this hasn’t changed since the first Edge cycling units), is that in order to make the Edge useful as a mapping device, you’re going to need to grab some maps.

The good news is there’s lots of options – including some free options.  So let’s walk through them.

Garmin City Navigator Maps

Garmin City Navigator maps are Garmin’s paid mapping options.  Typically these run about $100 for a region.  What defines a region varies quite a bit.  For example, some cover the entire US, yet other only cover chunks of Canada.  There’s also non-City Navigator maps that cover other purposes, such as Topos and the like.  Those are more useful for hiking and longer mountain biking trips.

Now to put things into context as to how big a difference these maps make over the basemaps, let’s look at Paris.  Below, is the default (included) Global Basemap for the city of Paris and surrounding areas.


And here’s the exact same view with the City Navigator map set:


To zoom in a bit more, two more examples.  First, the default map:


Now, the City Navigator set:


As you can see, exact same view – pretty massive difference.

If you zoom in further, you can get various shops and points of interest:


So, how does all this look on the Edge 810?

Well, here’s an example with the City Navigator maps turned on during the ride I was talking about in the section before:


Now the key benefit you get with any of the City Navigator benefits is what’s known as ‘routable mapping’.  Routable means that it’s not just an image, but rather, has underlying road information that the Garmin can take advantage of to route you to your destination – just like a car GPS.

I’ll talk more about routable maps in the courses and navigation section – but it’s an important distinction, especially as we look at Birdseye maps, which are not routable.  Think of them just as a photo on the wall, rather than than something with logic in them.

Birdseye Maps:

In addition to traditional maps, the Edge 810 also supports Birdseye Imagery, which is essentially just satellite maps.  Now, in most cases I don’t actually find the satellite maps terribly useful – the reason being that for road cycling you’re generally more interested in knowing about the roads than a specific visual on a satellite.  However, for some offroad cycling, or just other non-cycling uses, the Birdseye imagery can be useful.

The imagery costs $30 a year from Garmin to use, so it’s not free.  You’ll use a piece of software called Garmin Basecamp to get the imagery onto the Edge 810.  This is a desktop app that you’ll install.  Though first you’ll have to authorize your Garmin Connect.  Once that’s complete, back to Basecamp you go.


Within Basecamp, you’ll be starting with the Basemap, which as we established is useless.  That’s what you see above.  It has major highways in some countries, but not much more detail than that.  I think in New York city it shows a total of about 6 roads.

To start the Birdseye process, we’ll need to zoom in on the area we want to pull the satellite imagery for.  To do so, just use the zoom button.  I’ve gone ahead and zoomed in to Paris below:


As you can see, not many roads are shown.

Next, in the upper left where it says ‘My Collection’, you’ll go ahead and right click to create a new Birdseye collection, which will then open up a starting wizard, as well as highlight a chunk of your map.  You can resize the chunk as you see fit:


After selecting the required area, we’ll then be able to name it:


It’ll ask you for your credentials as well:


Following which, the download will begin.  Depending on how much you requested, this might take a short bit of time:


Garmin does limit you a bit in terms of how much imagery you’re allowed to download in one shot (about 100MB).  It’s kinda silly, as the limit hasn’t changed in years.  Especially for cyclists or hikers going a long way.  And even more silly when you figure that a simple 16GB MicroSD card costs all of $12.

Now, once you have it transferred to your unit (you can just check the box to transfer automatically when it finishes downloading), it’s added as a map layer.

Your Edge unit supports map layers.  Think of them as pages in a book.  If you have page three opened up, you can’t see what’s on the next page (another map layer).  So you’ll need to toggle map layers on/off so that you can see which information you want.  For the City Navigator maps, you’ll pretty much just leave it on all the time.  But for the Birdseye maps, you’ll likely want to disable it unless you’re really using it – as it’ll otherwise obscure the stuff you want.

Note that the menu for toggling the map layers is in a new place compared to previous units.  It’s under the Activity Profiles, and then under Navigation and Maps.


At first I was annoyed by this, but the more I use it, it actually makes sense.  This way I can create a ‘Hiking’ activity profile with a different map layer (such as Topos), and then still have my default road riding one be City Navigator.  Nice touch.

Finally, here’s what the Birdseye imagery looks like on the Edge 810:


Now, one interesting thing that I actually learned as part of this is that when you purchase a Birdseye Subscription, there’s a few options.  For most people you’ll want to select the $30 (per year) standard subscription – which covers everything I did above.  But in addition, there’s a few other options.  Some of them are Topo based, and others have names like ‘France Select’.  The other night while downloading them to the unit, I didn’t think and selected ‘France Select’.  Figured that’s what I wanted.

Turns out, that was a bad 1AM assumption.

See, France Select is actually this wonky tourist map looking thing.  As you can see below:


If you zoom in more, you can see what I mean.  All the major tourist/point of interests on there, but not satellite imagery.


In case you’re curious, here’s what it looks like on the Edge 810:


The moral of this story being just download the regular Birdseye Imagery one, not one of the other funky ones – no matter where you are.

Openstreet Maps (Free Maps):

In addition to the paid Garmin options, there also exists the ability to use free maps that are readily accessible online.  In past years, loading these maps have been somewhat difficult.  But now, they’re pretty straightforward.  To start, you’re going to head over to this site, which is where you can choose which regions you’d like to download:

You’ll then choose the map type you’d like (I choose Routable Bicycle), and then the predefined country.  You can override that and deselect certain maps, or if perhaps you’re crossing over areas, you can do that too.  This works for just about anywhere on the planet.


Next, you’ll click on “Download map now”, which will take you to the download page.  You’ll want to download the Basecamp Map installer.  Be sure that you’ve first installed Garmin Basecamp.  Note that if you’re on a Mac, you’ll want to use the installer two items below the one I’ve highlighted.


With that done, it’s time to run the installer.  It only takes a couple minutes to finish.  Essentially during this time it’s unpacking all of the map tiles (the .img files you see below).  Each tile represents a given area.


Once the install is complete, go ahead and open up Garmin Basecamp.  Within Basecamp, you’ll now notice there’s  a new map listed within the maps dropdown – that’s the Openstreet map:


In doing so, you’ll now notice you’ve got yourself a crazy amount of detail – all for free.


Now, go ahead and right click on your Edge 810 and the memory card within it, then select ‘Install Maps on Memory Card’.  Note that you will need a memory card, as there’s just not much storage space otherwise.  Fear not, memory cards literally only cost $10-20.  Like I said above, here’s a quick and easy 16GB one I use($12) – TONS of space for a gazillion maps.  These are MicroSD cards you’re looking for, not standard SD cards like for your camera.


Next you’ll get the screen to choose which maps to configure for the Edge 810, you can see I’ve selected the ‘Openfiestmap Lite’.  Then click Continue.


It’ll ask you to confirm it.  No problem, click okey-doke (Install):


And then wait a short bit:


Ok, make that a long bit:


As I said, might take some time.  Note though that you can select just individual chunks – and it goes MUCH faster.

Once it’s on your unit, you can go into the maps menu to enable/disable the layer, my default though it’s enabled so you don’t have to do anything.

Using the free maps, the detail is just as high:


Note though that in some ways, the detail is a bit too high, as it makes it really difficult to see the route outline in this picture (it’s the dark blue one):


But hey, I can’t complain about free!

Custom Maps:

Finally, there are custom maps.  Custom maps allow you to overlay a custom-made map on top of one of the other map sets.  An example of this could be a unique map for say a large amusement or national park, where the default city map information isn’t really as relevant as that by the given entity.  In most sport applications, these will likely be rarely used.  Perhaps on occasions like 24 hour mountain bike races with a repeatable and set course.  But in most cases, it’s just not as useful.

I don’t really have any good examples at the moment to show you.  But this page explains it a bit more.

Courses, Navigation, Virtual Partner and Virtual Racer:

The Edge 810 has the ability to follow a set course.  Courses allow you to create a predefined route.  You’ll create courses online with Garmin Connect, and then push them to your Edge 810 either via phone or USB cable.

Once you’ve created a course, you can load it via the Edge by going into the folder icon.  Alternatively, you can also access courses at any time via the little map icon while mid-ride.

Courses will give you navigational direction based on the predefined route.  For example, below, it’ll tell me which streets to turn on:


As I approach each street it’ll count-down the distance and/or time until I make the turn:


If the course is off-road, then it acts more as a breadcrumb trail to follow.

But you don’t need courses to navigate.  The Edge 810 supports freeform navigation – unlike the Edge 510 (which requires a known waypoint).  The Edge 810 is also unique in that unlike the 510 it supports on-road navigation, so it knows that there’s a river between me and the point I want to go to, and routes appropriately based on roads/trails.

Within the Edge 810 I can go into the navigation menu to bring up a host of things I can navigate to:


For example, eateries or points of interest:


Once I’ve selected them, it’ll then pull up directions on how to get there.  If I get off course, it’ll simply recalculate my route.


The database is pretty extensive – but does require that you have the City Navigator maps installed (or, have the Openstreet maps installed).

You can navigate to set addresses as well as known (predefined) waypoints.  For example, I added in my house as a waypoint, so I could quickly navigate back.

And, you can trigger the navigation on the fly as your riding.  Just this morning I pulled up a new point of interest across town as I was riding home, and navigated towards that – all at a stoplight.

In addition to courses and normal navigation, you can also race against a Virtual Partner.  The Virtual Partner is simply a set-speed computerized person.  As you ride it’ll tell you how far ahead or behind you are of him, based on your known speed and position.


In addition to Virtual Partner, there’s also Virtual Racer.  This is similar, except it has knowledge of the course, and you race against a known past effort on the course.  For example, you can race against a friends activity (or even a Pro’s file from Garmin Connect).  Or just against yourself.  Virtual Racer is different in that it’s aware of the speeds at different points on the route, so it knows that you aren’t going to go up a hill at 30MPH.

Creating and riding workouts:

Workouts allow you to create predefined parameters to follow while outside (or inside).  Typically these are scripted against values like heart rate, power, speed, cadence and others.  Think of it as guidance from coach.

It’s easiest to create the workouts online through Garmin Connect.  To do so, you’ll just drag and drop the different segments of the workout, specifying which goals you’d like for each segment:


Then, you’ll take these and sync them to the Edge 810.  You can do this via the phone app, or via the USB cable.

Once they’re on the Edge 810, the unit will alert you if you go over/under your set goal for that particular segment of the workout.

I often use these during races as a reminder to keep within given zones, which works fairly well.  I usually take my race plan and then translate it into the workout.  This helps to ensure that I don’t forget the different components of it.

Training Indoors:

The Edge 810 can work inside just as well as outside.  Given that’s where I do much of my training, it’s also an area I’ve spent a lot of time with the 810 on lately.


In order for you to get usable data indoors you’re going to need some sort of ANT+ sensor.  Otherwise it’s just going to be a really expensive stopwatch.

The good news is that ANT+ sensors work outside too, so it’s not wasted money.  Typically most folks use an ANT+ speed/cadence sensor to get speed and cadence information.  You can usually find these sensors for about $30-$40.


Do note however that speed indoors on a trainer is somewhat of a useless metric.  The reason being it doesn’t prove anything.  I can easily go 30MPH on a trainer with the same effort as going 9MPH, just by adjusting gearing on my bike.  So keep that in mind when comparing trainer rides.

The cadence sensor will give you that same cadence information both inside and out, so that’s of more value.  Plus, the sensor comes with most speed sensors.

Of course, you could always go the route of a power meter, which will give you wattage information, and that’s a much better indicator of progress when used correctly.  The 810 supports all ANT+ power meters on the market today.  But I’ll talk more about that in the power meter section.

The trainer is an ideal place to use the new ‘Activity Profile’ feature, as you can create a separate activity profile for the trainer that excludes data fields such as elevation or grade, as well as remove the maps.

Note that if riding indoors you’ll want to manually turn the GPS off.  Some legacy software applications don’t correct interpret the ANT+ speed channel, which means even if your speed sensor is showing 20MPH, it’ll see the GPS showing 0MPH and use that instead.


It only takes a second to turn off via the Settings menu, and next time it’ll automatically turn back on so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.


Finally, you’ll notice that you’ll still get elevation data indoors.  This comes from the barometric altimeter.  The data while indoors might look funky, since it’s slowly adjusting based on changes in pressure.  Just something to be aware of.

Otherwise, all other non-GPS functions will work as normal.

On-Device History and Personal Records Feature:

There are two history options within the Edge 810.  The first is your general activity history, which includes details about every ride you’ve done on the unit.  This shows data such as the route, your heart rate, and power/cadence data.  By default the Edge 810 has about 75 MB of free space on it for workouts.  With a typical 1hr workout taking up about 100KB space (with GPS and all ANT+ sensors enabled), this means you’re looking at close to 750 hours of workouts before you need to upload.  Of course, you could just stick that $12 16GB MicroSD card in there and have…well…a lot of hours.

The history menu is located within the little folder icon on the home page.  Note that this icon is NOT accessible anymore once you’ve started a ride.  Only before/after.  I’ve not got a clear answer on why this change was made, but it’s kinda lame.


Once you’re in there, you can look at your past rides, by click ‘Rides’.


You can select either the Last Ride, or All Rides.  All rides will give you a date-organized list of rides, and you can choose a given ride to dive into it a bit more.


Within that you’ll get summary information, as well as a map, elevation graphs, lap splits and more.


You can also create a course based on that activities route, which you can then follow for next time.  Note that this doesn’t get uploaded to Garmin Connect, so it’s just for this device.

It’s sorta better to instead wait for the activity to upload to Garmin Connect, then create the route based on it there, so it’s in both places.

In addition to ride history, there’s a new area – Personal Records (PR’s aka Personal Bests).  These PR’s are as recorded by the device through, and not the data stored in Garmin Connect.  Which kinda sucks.

PR’s include ‘Longest Ride’, ‘Highest Power’, ‘Most Ascending’, and more.  At the completion of a ride, a PR notification is displayed immediately upon saving the ride.


You can also access history of the PR’s you’ve set this far.  Again, remember these are just on the device (hence why mine are kinda wimpy).

It’s too bad that this feature doesn’t pull from the Garmin Connect PR’s feature, which is slightly more accurate in that it contains years worth of data from me.  Hopefully that’s something they can remedy, especially given the Garmin Connect tie-in via the phone app.

Uploading data to Garmin Connect via PC:

Most folks will likely just upload via their phone.  But if you’re phone isn’t handy (or compatible), you can upload via USB cable.  To start that process, grab the included mini-USB cable (or any one of the probably 30 of them you have around your house), and plug it into the computer and your Edge 810:


Then, navigate to Garmin Connect.  If you haven’t created an account, you’ll need to do so.  Otherwise, just go ahead and login.  Then click the ‘Upload’ button in the upper right corner:


Once that’s done it may ask you to install the Garmin Communicator plug-in.  This plug-in isn’t required, but it makes uploading new activities quicker and cleaner.

After that, you’ll go ahead and ensure that the screen says ‘Edge 810’ as the selected device.  Normally this happens by default.  You’re able to select whether to upload all new activities, or just selected activities.  You can also upload just health data (from a weight scale).  Personally, I just select ‘All New Activities’, and let it do its thing.  It’ll automatically select only ones not already uploaded (including from the phone):

After pressing the button, give it a few seconds to figure itself out:


Once that’s done, it’ll show you a list of new activities (if there are any).  You’ll simply click “View Details” to then view details about the activity.

From there it’ll take you to this page – the activity details page:


The map at the top can be switched between Bing and Google, as well as between map and satellite view:


The left side of the page shows you primarily summary information about the ride, while the bottom shows you graphs and sensor information from the ride.  This includes heart rate, speed, cadence, and power.


Additionally, along the left side you’ll find your TrainingPeaks TSS/NP/IF metrics, if you set your FTP ahead of time and had a power meter attached.


Within the graphs you can select any given point to see more information about that data point:


Additionally, you can then expand the graph and zoom into specific sections or chunks of the workout:


Lastly, up at the top you’ll find the ‘Splits’ tab, which allows you to see details about each of your splits.  Splits are the ones that you created by pressing the lap button, or, were created for you if you had auto-lap enabled.


There’s a fair bit more to Garmin Connect than just the activity information.  For example, you’ve got access to both a reports summary and list view of past activities:


And, if you track weight/health information, that’s automatically in there as well (see the weight scale section).


For me, the most  useful aspect of Garmin Connect though is planning rides.  It’s like a massive MapMyRide.com – but with every activity ever uploaded from other Garmin users.  Literally millions of activities (I heard once it was 50,000 per day uploaded).

You can then find an activity in an unknown land and save it as a course, and then send it to your Edge 810 via the phone.  Pretty cool.

Finally, if you use 3rd party applications you can always export out the activity files as both GPX and TCX formats, which are widely supported by just about every training log site out there.

In general, Garmin Connect is a good basic platform for simple analytics and creating courses/routes.  But for more comprehensive analytics I’d recommend other sites or applications.  Personally I use Training Peaks while online, and use a combination of Sport Tracks and Golden Cheetah for desktop usage.

Power Meter Support and Details:

Power meters are used to measure a cyclist’s power output, usually displayed in wattages (watts).  This value helps to remove environmental variables such as hills or wind, which speed would otherwise be impacted from.  While cyclists will often proclaim how many watts they put out (i.e. 300w!), in reality, numbers are best compared based on watts/kilogram – which simply takes the wattage obtained and divides it by your weight in kilograms.  This helps to even out the playing field between a heavier cyclist and a lighter one.

The Edge 810 supports ANT+ enabled power meters, which is essentially every power meter on the market today except the Polar power meters.  ANT+ power meters follow the Power Meter Device Profile, which dictates how information is communicated to the Edge 810.  The Edge 810 does not support Bluetooth Smart power meters, as the Edge 810 doesn’t contain a Bluetooth Smart capable chip (4.0 is required, and the Edge 810 only has 2.1)

There are a few types of power meters on the market today, based primarily on where the measurement data is taken.  They range from the rear wheel hub (PowerTap), to the crank spider (Quarq, Power2Max, SRM) to the crank arm itself (StageOne power meter).  Additionally, there are those coming down the line that are pedal or cleat based, such as the Garmin Vector or Brim Brothers Zone.

With that background out of the way, let’s get your power meter paired.

To do so, you’ll navigate into your bike profile settings, where you’ll see your ANT+ sensors displayed:


At that point, click the dumbbell icon, which is for power meters.  That’ll take you to a screen allowing you to enable the power meter search:


When pairing your power meter for the first time, it’s best to be nowhere near other cyclists (I’d suggest your living room/garage).  Once you’ve paired, you can be friends with others again, but otherwise it’ll find other people’s power meters.  Note that if you know your ANT+ ID (of the power meter), you can manually enter it in.  The latest Quarq power meter for example actually have it written on the outside of the device (four digit number).


With that paired, then go ahead and check out the calibration menu.  You’ll want to calibrate at least before you’re ride, as well as about 10-15 minutes into it.  In general, temperature affects most power meters (drift), so calibration never hurts.  Some power meters have introduced methods to minimize drift through auto-zeroing, but others haven’t.

With everything paired, you’ve got a few options for display of power data.  Here’s a snippet of some of what you’ve got.  I’ve pulled out the full table of options later on in the ‘data fields’ section down below.


Now personally, I prefer using a 3s and 30s smoothed power arrangement.  That’s because I use 3s (3-second) power instead of instant-power, as it’s a bit more stable.  And then I use 30s power to give me an idea of what I’m trending at.

Below is a bit of a massive look at the mother of all power meter screens (not what I use though day to day).


While we’re talking about display, you should ensure that you’ve included zeros within your power data.  By default, it’s enabled – which is what you want (yes, that penalizes you while you’re coasting).  Additionally, I also prefer to set zero-recording enabled on cadence as well.


Additionally, one super-critical item to validate configuration of is 1-second recording, you definitely want that, not smart recording.


Lastly, if you have a power meter that displays left-right power (either calculated or measured), the Edge 810 does support that.  You’ll see a few extra power fields above with the word ‘balance’ in them, these are for left-right power.

On the unit itself, when displaying left/right power it’ll show it as a percentage value (i.e. 52%-48%) with the left number showing left, and the right number showing right:


Later on, while online, you’ll also see the left/right power displayed a special graph on Garmin Connect:


Speaking of graphs, normal power is also displayed right above that as well (for those with or without left/right power capable PM’s):


And your Training Peaks TSS/NP/IF information is displayed along the left side, as well as your summary and average information:


Of course, remember that while power meters can make for an incredible training tool – they are just that – a tool.  Ultimately, you have to put in the work and follow a plan of some sort to make them truly valuable.

Display and Device Customization (i.e. Metric/Statue/etc…):

The display of the Edge 810 is pretty customizable.  Starting with the brightness and backlight, you can configure the backlight to turn off after a set time period (such as 15 seconds), or leave it on unless turned off.

At the same time, you can adjust the brightness via tapping the power button:


You can display GPS coordinates in more ways that I’d prefer to type.  I wrote up all of the different display options in the Garmin Fenix review here.  Literally about a hundred ways.


One pretty cool option in the Edge 810 is that you can configure different metrics with different display preferences.  For example, you can configure distance to display in metric (kilometers), while temperature remains in fahrenheit.


In addition to configuring the display preferences as you see fit, you’ll also want to configure your heart rate and power zones.  These zones can be set both on the device itself, as well as online at Garmin Connect.


Personally, I prefer doing it online as it’s way quicker to type it in there than on the device itself using the touch screen.

To access this, you’ll go into your settings on Garmin Connect and then choose Training Zones.  From there, you can set the zones as you see fit.  Once you’re done, you’ll click ‘Send to Device’ on the left side, which will then prompt you for the device to send to – in this case, the Edge 810.  After that click Continue, and you’re good to go.


For power meter users, and in particular, TrainingPeaks users, it’s important that your FTP be set exactly the same on both the device and TrainingPeaks.  Otherwise, your TSS/IF numbers won’t align when you go to upload your workout afterwards (or on the device itself).

Data Fields and Data Page Options:

I’ve already outlined how to customize your data fields, within the ‘Activity Profiles’ section.  This section instead serves as a table of all of the data fields available on the Edge 810.

Note that you can have 5 data pages, with up to 10 fields per page (or as few as one field).  Additionally, there are semi-configurable pages such as the map and lap summary page.  In general, it’s almost identical to the Edge 800.  Just slightly re-arranged from a category view.

Here’s the full listing of data fields you can configure as of January 7th, 2013:


Updating Firmware:

The Edge 810 is firmware updatable, which means that as new firmware releases occur from Garmin, you can easily update your unit.  Garmin has often in the past added new features and fixed bugs for past Edge units, and that’ll likely be the same for this Edge unit.

During the beta cycle I’ve updated my firmware a few times, and each time it did save almost all of my settings (all the ones that matter).  Of course, there’s no guarantee that it’ll do that in the future.

To update the firmware you’ll use the Garmin WebUpdater client, which is an application you download.  You then connect your device via USB and the utility will copy over a roughly 10MB firmware file.  After that you’ll turn back on the unit and wait about 3-5 minutes for it to finish installing.

Once that’s done, you’re good to go.

Running with the Edge 810:

While the Edge 810 is a bit clunkier than the Edge 510, you can still actually run with it.  Sorta.

The Edge 810 includes the same quarter-turn mount as the Forerunner 310XT does, and the FR310XT has available for it a quick release kit ($18) that includes the below wrist strap:


With that strap, you can then connect the Edge 810 into it:


It’s not pretty, but it works just fine.


Now, the biggest challenge here is that there’s no ‘Pace’ option on the Edge 810.  Instead, you’ll have to display everything in ‘Speed’ instead (i.e. MPH/KPH).  But, it does work from a recording your information standpoint.  Note, it will connect to your ANT+ heart rate strap just fine, but not to an ANT+ foot pod.

Lately I’ve been running with it to track my runs (via the LiveTrack option with my cell phone).  While you can wear the unit on your wrist, you can also just stuff it into a pocket.  I’ve been using the Spibelt to hold either the unit, or the unit and my phone.


Sometimes the phone ends up on an armband itself.

Just remember to lock the screen if you stuff it into the Spibelt or a pocket, otherwise you’ll find that it’s on some weird menu half-way through.

Here’s some tracking information from a few runs done this way:


The cool part here is that on the tracking site your followers can change it from ‘Speed’ to ‘Pace’ so they will see it more like a run than a ride.


Of course, taking both your phone and the Edge might be a bit silly, since there are free apps out there that do this just fine with just the phone.  But, it is an option for those that want it.

Weight Scale Integration Functionality:

Like the Edge 800, the Edge 810 supports ANT+ weight scale integration.  This means that if you have an ANT+ enabled weight scale, you can transmit that information wirelessly from the scale to the Edge 810.

To start, you’ll go ahead and navigate to the Weight Scale function within the menus:


Then, just tap it – and it’ll start searching for a scale:

Depending on how your ANT+ scale works, you’ll either need to step on it/kick it/or wait.  If you need to step/kick, then go ahead and do that to get it turned on. Then weigh yourself as normal.  If you’ve got to wait for the Edge 810 to initiate the connection, then do that and wait for the blinking light:


Once you’ve weighed yourself, the Edge 810 will update with the results (depending on the scale model, you’ll get both weight, or weight & body fat, or other metrics):


Those results are then stored on the device and will automatically upload to Garmin Connect the next time you sync the device (however, only via USB – and you’ll need to remember to use the ‘Upload Health Data’ button if you don’t have any new activities that aren’t already there).

They are then displayed on Garmin Connect within the Health section:


Now there’s a few different scales on the market that are ANT+ compatible, from about $80 to many times that.  Check out the accessories section below for details on some models.

Accessories (Garmin Branded & 3rd Party):

I’ve talked about most of these accessories already throughout the review, but here’s the roundup of what’s compatible with the Edge 810:

Garmin Branded Accessories:

1) Box of Edge quarter-turn mounts:

In the event you need more mounts for your Edge, you can pickup a box for $9 of them.  It comes with two full mounts and enough rubber bands for 10 mounts:


Really, I don’t know what people do with the extra 16 rubber bands.

2) Garmin Forward Mount

The Garmin forward cycling mount supports both the Edge and Forerunner units.  Note that in order to switch between the two you’ll need to use the little included hex wrench.


The mount is nice and sturdy, but it’s hardly my favorite.  Check out the 3rd party ones below for what I’ve been using.  I prefer the 3rd party options because they don’t require a tool to change orientation for those that have both Garmin Edge and Garmin Forerunner units (triathletes).

3) Garmin ANT+ heart rate strap

The ANT+ heart rate strap will measure your heart rate during activities and report it back to the Edge 810.  The Edge will display that information both in beats per minute (BPM) as well as a myriad of other metrics (see the data fields section).


This strap costs about $45.

4) Garmin ANT+ GSC10 Speed/cadence sensor

The Garmin GSC-10 is probably the most popular speed/cadence sensor in the world.  It measures your speed while indoors (or outside, such as in a tunnel), as well as measures your cycling cadence.  It does this via magnets that attach to your crank and wheel, the sensor then sits in the middle.  Cadence is the number of times your foot rotates around the crank, measured/displayed in revolutions per minute (one-side).


This information is then displayed both on the unit, and recorded for later analysis:


The GSC-10 costs about $35, but check out some of the other options down below too.

5) Garmin Edge soft-shell case

In the event you feel like your Edge 810 could be put in harms way (throwing it at passing motorists), you may want to grab the soft shell case, which might protect it.

I’ll have some hands-on time with them tomorrow and will be taking them home, so I’ll update this section with my awesome pics then, replacing the stock stuff:

810 silicon covers


3rd Party:

In addition to Garmin branded accessories, the vast majority of the ANT+ accessory ecosystem is not Garmin branded, but rather, made by other companies.  Lots of other companies.

1) Power meters

ANT+ power meters are probably the most expensive ANT+ accessory you can buy.  Some units stretch into the thousands of dollars.  Power meters measure your power output, typically displayed in wattage (watts).

There are tons of players out there on the market today, the cheapest being the Stages Cycling power meter (coming up later this month) at $700, and the most expensive being the SRM starting at about $2,100.  The most popular these days is the CycleOps PowerTap (about $1K depending on model).


Here’s a few ANT+ power meter reviews I’ve done.

SRAM Red 2012 Quarq Power Meter
CycleOps Joule and PowerTap Wheelset In Depth Review
CycleOps PowerCal In-Depth Review
(The Power2Max review should be up in the next week)

Note that there are also power meters that aren’t direct force (DFPM).  This means that they don’t directly measure your power output, but rather guesstimate it.  These tend to be cheaper but more inaccurate.


They start at $99 for the CycleOps PowerCal.

2) Mounts

Over the past year the 3rd party market for Edge compatible mounts has exploded.  There are now tons of options, from super-cheap to super-expensive.  For example, in parts of Asia you can find cheap $5 Edge mounts.

Lately I’ve been using the Barfly mount, as it’s compatible with both the Edge and Forerunner series – ideal for triathletes.


Here’s my review of the Barfly mount.

But there’s tons of options out there for them.  Check out this monster Slowtwitch thread for all the options, both those on the market, and custom-made.

3) Weight Scales

I detailed these out above, but the Edge 810 is compatible with ANT+ enabled weight scales.  This includes both those that transmit just weight, as well as weight and body fat.


The Tanita BC-1000 transmits body fat and weight, but lately I prefer the $80 Lifesource scale, which only does weight (but at 1/3rd the price).

4) Speed/Cadence sensors

The world is full of cool and innovative ANT+ speed and cadence sensors.  Personally, I use Bontrager Quick Release ANT+ speed/cadence combo sensor, since it allows me to move it anywhere I’d like – no zipties required!


The Girl on the other hand uses the Bontrager Duotrap, which is built into a hole in the side of the bike:


Again, tons of options.  See my full post here for all the information you ever wanted to know about the ANT+ speed and cadence sensor.

5) Other ANT+ Heart Rate Straps

There’s a LOT of other ANT+ heart rate straps out there.  And that’s good for you.  If you already have an ANT+ heart rate strap from another product, it’ll work just fine with the Edge 810.  Simply ensure it has an ANT+ logo on it somewhere.


Note, the Polar straps are not compatible with ANT+ devices, and thus not compatible with the Edge 810.  Same goes for Suunto heart rate straps, which are private-ANT, and not ANT+.

USAT (USA Triathlon) Official Ruling on using LiveTracking during events:

I reached out to USAT Commissioner of Officials Charlie Crawford late last night to get some clarification on the allowances of a device such as the Edge 510/810 with LiveTracking enabled with a cell phone.  I outlined four scenarios.  Some of them cover the Edge 510/810, and others cover future scenarios that the Garmin team could enable down the road.

Here’s what I asked:

“1) Using a cell phone to provide one-way live tracking of a rider (i.e. location/speed/distance/HR/cadence/etc…). Scenario: Cell phone sits in jersey or saddle bag and passively provides location info to family and friends.

2) Using a cell phone to provide two-way communications between an athlete and someone outside the race (i.e. text messaging/phone calls).  Scenario: Rider pulls out cell phone and texts/calls others.

3) Using a cell phone in conjunction with a bike computer on handlebar (i.e. a Garmin unit) to provide one-way live tracking of a rider.  Scenario: Rider has cell phone in jersey or saddle bag, which communicates wirelessly to their bike computer on handlebar. Communication is one way, transmitting position/athlete data from bike computer to phone to friends/family.  No inbound communications.

4) Using a cell phone in conjunction with a bike computer on handlebar to provide two-way communications (i.e. Coach could send message to rider to ‘rider harder’, without athlete having to touch cell phone, via bike computer on handlebar).  Scenario: Rider has cell phone in jersey or saddle bag, which communicates wirelessly to their bike computer on handlebar.  Rider is streaming ride data in real-time, and friends/family/coaches can communicate back to rider, which appear on screen in front of them (not on cell phone in saddle bag).”

Here was his response:

“The answer to questions 1-4 are all “Not Legal.”  We have made exceptions to the “carry” rule only to allow someone to make an emergency call while off the bike or not making forward progress on the run.  Modern smart-phones are also personal audio devices and are forbidden by Articles 3.4i, 5.8, and 6.3.” – Charlie Crawford, January 6th, 2013.

A bit of a bummer for those hoping to use this in long-distance events.  Though, technically, the Ironman branded (WTC) events don’t necessarily follow the full set USAT rules.

My thoughts on the Edge 810:

In general, my thoughts on the Edge 810 are pretty much in line with the Edge 510.  So parts of the below are the only section I’ve duplicated from both reviews.  I will say that my disappointment is just a tinge less with the Edge 810 than the 510.  The reason being it doesn’t cost more than the Edge 800 did, and because it’s not awkwardly larger than the previous unit without notable benefits.

Bluetooth: Garmin made the virtually unforgivable selection of going with Bluetooth 2.1.  In doing so, the unit will never be compatible with the host of new Bluetooth Smart sensors flooding onto the market – all of which require Bluetooth 4.0 (it’s a chipset thing, not a software thing).  This means that there can’t be connectivity to any new Bluetooth Smart heart rate straps, speed/cadence sensors, power meters, or other items.  Further, they couldn’t expand into areas such as connectivity to Bluetooth Smart trainers – like the Wahoo KICKR.  How cool would it have been if you could control resistance on your trainer from the Edge?  Simply can’t happen now.  They could and should have placed a full Bluetooth 4.0 chip in there (not just Bluetooth Smart like in the Garmin Fenix watch), which would have still been compatible with legacy smart phones as well as new Bluetooth Smart sensors.

(Small Technology Sidebar: Bluetooth 4.0 allows one to connect to both legacy Bluetooth devices as well as newer Bluetooth 4.0 only devices, like Bluetooth Smart.  Cell phones released in the last year or so have a full Bluetooth 4.0 chip that’s backwards compatible with any older devices.  These chips are usually more battery dependent, but share the same battery drain as Bluetooth 2.1.  Meanwhile, Bluetooth Smart is a subset of Bluetooth 4.0.  It requires a Bluetooth 4.0 capable phone.  The Garmin Fenix uses a Bluetooth Smart component, which means it must have a phone that supports Bluetooth 4.0.  Whereas the Edge 510/810 use a standard non-smart Bluetooth 2.1 chip.  This neither saves battery, nor provides access to Bluetooth Smart accessories.)

Some will speculate that perhaps Garmin went with a non-Bluetooth Smart compatible chip in order to slow adoption of Bluetooth Smart devices, in favor of ANT+ (which they own).  The problem is, I think it’ll actually only serve to reduce their market share (Garmin’s) in this market.  Garmin is facing a huge battle against cell phones as head units (including cycling), and by limiting itself, it only serves to isolate it further from the reality that consumers want both.  It had a golden opportunity to bridge the gap and be the only device on the market that could do both…instead fell off the bridge.

Weather: Yes, the unit displays weather.  But the detail of the weather data is pretty much useless in my mind.  It pulls from weather stations that can be upwards of dozens of miles away.  Why couldn’t the unit have shown weather radar information overlaid onto my route?  Or the weather map on my screen?  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been out for 100 mile rides and seen dark clouds in the distance.  The opportunity to have my known course with the precipitation information overlaid onto it would have been awesome.  Instead, it just shows me the super basic temp/cloudy/sunny/rainy information in hour chunks for three hours.  My phone already does that (and it has to be in my pocket anyway).  I just don’t see the value add here.  I see potential, but failed execution.

Live Tracking: Live tracking on the Edge 810 is a cool feature, no doubt.  But ultimately, it’s hamstrung by the fact that it has to have a cell phone connected to it.  They really should have leveraged the GTU10 technology to include that within the Edge 810 – allowing upload of data in real-time, without a cell phone.  In talking with Garmin, the concern was that products like the GTU10 are just now getting into some countries (for example, Brazil) due to regulatory slowness.  While I understand that concern, ultimately I feel that Garmin selected to stay behind the technology curve for the benefit of a few countries – instead of leaping ahead.  This problem is faced by every technology company on earth, and while I understand it’s tough to leave some markets untapped – it’s even worse to lose the war.  There are other companies that are coming out in the spring with this functionality (such as Bia).  Garmin has two years of GTU10 experience to rock this functionality.  And yet still completely missed the boat.  If you’re catering to “high performance racers” – how many of those are going to take their cell phone with them during a race?

Cell Phone Integration: There’s just so many things in my mind that could have been done here.  Why doesn’t it allow pushing to Strava, Training Peaks, etc…?  Why not allow 3rd party connectivity via Bluetooth to the Edge – imagine the Strava app talking directly to the Edge unit?  Why can’t two Garmin Connect mobile phones talk to each other, à la race radios?  Why can’t I search other people’s Garmin Connect routes, only my own?  Why can’t I create workouts on the app?  Why don’t you show my incoming text messages from people allowed by the Do Not Disturb feature?  I don’t want to answer them – I just want to see when my wife is urgently trying to get ahold of me.  Again, so many possibilities.

Many of you with the Edge 800 may ask whether or not you should upgrade to the Edge 810.  Here’s the advice I would give to my Dad, who has the Edge 800 today.  Likely, he’ll call me later today and we’ll chat about it.  I’ll explain to him that due to the limitation of the older Bluetooth version, I think it’s a poor choice to upgrade to the 810 today because it would limit him in his accessory purchases for the next 2-3 years.  I’d continue that I think he would be much better off waiting and seeing if Garmin removes their head from their back tire and updates that chip to Bluetooth 4.0.  If they did that, then I’d recommend it.

Until then, I’d tell him to keep on using his phone for doing all the things that the Edge 810 has added – be it tracking or weather.  For downloaded courses on the fly, I’d explain that while that’s definitely cool – as long as you know your end point, you can do that on the Edge 800 today.  Thus the only thing lost is downloading courses you’ve already created (you can’t search others) to the unit.  And since you’ve already created them, you’ve probably already downloaded them to the unit anyway.

Again, just my two cents.  Make sense?

Overall, I feel like the phone integration is highly limited.  It feels rushed, last second, and half-baked.  The best analogy in my mind is of a college student who the night before a big project realized it was due, started working on it.  He ended up copying someone else’s work (in this case, previous units), and only changed a few things.  There wasn’t any original thought.  At the end of the day, we’re talking three years for someone to think up kickass ideas.  And virtually none of the things that people have been asking for were truly executed upon.


Comparison Chart:

Below is a comparison chart comparing the units in this category.  I’ve selected the units that are most comparable, and most likely to be compared.  However, if you want to compare other units, simply go to the full product comparison page here, and you can mix and match units till your hearts content!

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 9th, 2021 @ 10:29 am New Window
Product Announcement DateJan 7, 2013Aug 26, 2010Jan 7, 2013SEP 1, 2009OCT 4, 2011Jun 15, 2011Jan 7, 2013Jan 8, 2012JUN 13, 2012
Actual Availability/Shipping DateJan 2013Nov 2010Jan 2013Dec 2009JAN-APR 2012Jun 2012Jan 2013Feb 8, 2012JUN 2012
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB & BluetoothUSBUSB & BluetoothUSBANT+ WirelessUSBUSB & BluetoothUSBUSB
WaterproofingIPX7IPX7IPX7IPX7Yes - 50mIPX7IPX750 MetersIPX7
Battery Life (GPS)17 hours15 hours20 hours18 hours20 Hours17 Hours17 hours8 Hours15 hours
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1s or Smart1-second1-Second or Smart1-secondConfigurable: 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s
AlertsSound/VisualSound/VisualAudio/VisualSound/VisualVibrate/Sound/VisualYesSound/VisualAudio/Visual; Vibrate for UpAudio/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGoodGreatGreatGreatGoodGood
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingNoNoNoNoVia Wahoo Fitness AdapterNoNoNoNo
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceQ3 2015Q3 2015NoQ3 2015
RunningGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for runningNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesCan show Pace
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)N/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AYesN/A
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)N/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
VO2Max EstimationN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
Race PredictorN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
Recovery AdvisorN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
Run/Walk ModeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/ANoN/A
SwimmingGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for swimmingNoNoNoNoYesNoNoBasic supportNo
Openwater swimming modeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/ANo (Swimcap only)N/A
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Record HR underwaterN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoN/A
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor Drill ModeN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/AN/AN/A
Change pool sizeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/AN/AN/AN/A20m/22y to 100y/mN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor AlertsN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
TriathlonGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for triathlonNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
Multisport modeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AYesN/A
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesNoYesNoYesNoYesNoNo
FunctionsGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureYesNoYesNoYesNoYesYesNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
NavigateGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (Barely)
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Back to startYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
SensorsGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricGPS, Barometric for UpBarometric
Compass TypeGPSGPSGPSGPSGPSMagneticGPSN/AMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyN/ANoNoN/A
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Lighting ControlQ3 2015Q3 2015NoQ3 2015
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationQ3 2015Q3 2015NoQ3 2015
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesYesNoNoNoYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYesYesNoYesYesUp OnlyNo
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin Training Center/BasecampGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressGTC/ANT AgentPowerAgentGarmin ExpressNoneTraining Peaks Agent
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectTraining CampGarmin ConnectMagellen ActiveTraining Peaks
Phone AppGarmin Connect (iOS/Android)GARMIN CONNECT (IPHONE/ANDROID)Garmin Connect (iOS/Android)Garmin Connect Mobile (not direct to device though)iOS/Androidvia MapMyRideGarmin Connect (iOS/Android)NoneTraining Peaks
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
PurchaseGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, to see products beyond these, simply use the full product comparison tool.

Pros and Cons:

At this point, you probably have a pretty clear idea of what I like and don’t like.  But just in case it needs to be highly distilled from 12,000+ words to a couple lines, here we go:


– Cell phone integration for quick access to online workouts/courses
– Living Tracking works well
– Clean and clear mapping
– Routable navigation
– Supports major ANT+ cycling accessories
– New cleaner interface
– Easy uploading of rides via cell or PC


– Bluetooth 2.1, not Bluetooth 4.0 (no Bluetooth Smart support)
– Cell phone integration seems half-baked, rushed
– Default map set (basemap) completely useless
[Update] At this point, if you’re a power meter user, I would further not recommend this unit. The Edge 510/810 currently have issues where they have power drops within the data set, making power meter collection useless on the device. With the current firmware (Aug 2013), I’m seeing this as fixed best I can tell in my testing, and watching forums.

General Beta FWIW FYI: While the unit I used for this review was a final production unit, it was running beta software.  As such, it’s plausible (though highly unlikely in the case of the Edge 810) that there could be slight changes to features and functionality between now and when the unit lands in your hands.  Again, pretty unlikely given it’s supposed to land in your hands in a week or two.  Additionally, because the software was beta software, it’s possible that functionality that worked above, may not work in future builds.  That’s the reality of beta software.  The inverse is true as well.  Certainly, with beta software, I saw some minor bugs (though, fewer than the Edge 510, which is a bit further away).  As always, if those bugs are still present in the final release of the software and I find them, I’ll note them accordingly.

As always – thanks for reading.  Feel free to drop comments or questions into the comments section below and I’ll try and run down the answers!

Found this review useful?  Or just want a sweet deal?

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

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 Edge 810 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 810 Cycling GPS Base Model
Garmin Edge 810 Performance & Navigation Bundle

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase accessories (though, no discount on either from Amazon).  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.

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
2013 - DCR - Gear I Use: Bike
2013 Recommendations: Cycling GPS Units
2014 Summer Recommendations: Cycling Units
2014 Winter Recommendations: Cycling Units
2015 - DCR - Gear I Use: Bike
Garmin Edge Units
Left/Right Capable Bike Computers
Barfly Tate Labs Road Bike Handlebar Mount
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount
PowerTap G3 ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)
$790 (hub only)
$790 (hub only)
PowerTap Pro ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)
Garmin City Navigator Maps (Various Countries)
Garmin Edge 810 Rubber Cases (Variety of colors)
Garmin Edge Remote
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car Charger
Garmin Solar Charging Kit
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT/920XT with Quick Release)
Garmin/PowerMonkey Explorer Solar Charger (co-branded)
K-Edge Garmin Handlebar Mount X-Large for Edge units (including Edge 1000)
Lifesource UC-324 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale (My recommendation)
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!
Power2Max ANT+ Power Meter
$970 (no cranks)
$970 (no cranks)
PowerCal ANT+ Estimated Power Meter
SRAM Quarq Cinqo (Original) ANT+ Power Meter
SRAM Quarq Elsa & RED ANT+ Power Meter
$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)
$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)
SRAM Quarq Riken ANT+ Power Meter
$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)
$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)
Shimano SM-EWW01 Wireless Unit for Di2
Stages ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Power Meter
Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale

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! Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

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  1. ChrisB

    Great review as ever Ray.

    I pulled the trigger on an Edge 800 last week – I saw some leaked stuff about the 810 but hadn’t realized it was so close to launch. I did have a nagging thought to wait for the 810 but it seems it will need a few firmware revisions to be a really good tool.

    • HB

      Thanks for the useful info. For a first time Garmin purchase would you suggest Edge 800 still
      better value for money than the Edge 810?
      Is an Edge 820 on the cards anytime soon


    • I think I’d go 810 these days, just so many more features they’ve added to it along the way (and heck, are still adding). I don’t expect a new 810 variant anytime soon.

      They would have announced it at Interbike today if they were going to announce anything for the fall. The next ‘stop’ on the bike announcement train would be CES the first week of January, but typically those devices aren’t available till March-April.

  2. Marcus

    Good review as always.

    Any news on whether the 810 acts like the 800 above around 350kms on a ride? i.e. complete death and a nightmare to get back up and running!

    It’d be nice to record a whole long ride.

    • DC Rainmaker

      I can’t say I’ve put 350KM in a single ride yet on the unit. ;) Something about lack of desire to cycle 200 miles in the middle of winter.

      That said, I’m happy to hook it up to a ANT+ simulator and leave it alone for a while. Roughly 24 hours or so should..

      I did note though that the LiveTracking only ones for 24 hours sessions (meaning, leaving it live for 24 hours), at which point you have to restart the LiveTrack session. Not a big deal since it’s only two taps to resend out a new notice, but an FYI nonetheless.

  3. Edward

    Thanks so much for posting this incredibly helpul and thorough review – it’s a fantastic resource.

    I can’t decide whether to buy the 810 or to buy an 800 when, inevitably, the price falls.

    Relevant considerations:

    1. I use a BlackBerry not an iphone/smartphone, which I assume means that my connectivity options will be the same on both models (i.e via the USB).

    2. I am a big fan of Strava, which works well with my BlackBerry (via 3rd Party App). I do not want/need to analyse my data in too much detail. Strava gives me all the detail I want/need and I don’t need the further info which is available on Garnin Connect.

    3. I am basically a commuter who does the occasional “long” ride at the w/e (on roads, not off road). I don’t really *need* mapping at all, but it seems like fun and I’d like to have it. I’m planning to cycle London>Paris in 2013, so it would be useful then.

    I assume that, provided I am happy to use a USB, uploading details from either the 800 or the 810 to Strava will be pretty straightforward, but please do say if that is not the case!

    Any thoughts / advice would be much appreciated and thanks again for this amazing review!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Agree, given your mobile platform, you won’t get much of anything out of the 810. Without the cell connectivity, you’ve basically just got the 800 + Activity profiles, which aren’t super awesome.

      I’ve asked for clarification on whether the 800 will be reduced in price (only logical). If so, and if more than say $100, then go 800. Otherwise, for the same price, I’d just get the 810 so down the line if you move away from the Blackberry you have some options there.

      Just my two cents.

  4. Bret

    any word on if this software package may be available to upgrade my edge 800 with?

    • DC Rainmaker

      No, I wouldn’t expect that to happen. Two reasons, one, it would undercut their sales. And two, without a Bluetooth chip in the Edge 800 (it doesn’t have one), all of the new connectivity features wouldn’t work. The only major things that you’d gain would be the new Activity Profiles and new user interface.

      Wish it were the case though…

  5. Steve Knapp

    Can either the 800/810 be easily set for “car” navigation/routing as well? Maybe via a profile?

    If so the 800/810 would prove useful on motorbikes as well.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yes, via the map layer settings within a device profile you could remove the options that pertain to keeping you off highways as a cyclist – and then be good to go.

  6. Norm Corriveau

    Does the lack of GLONASS support in the 810 make it slower than the 510 (which has it) to pick up satellites? It seems odd that this one feature that many have asked for is included in a lower end product.

  7. Richard

    Is the volume of the alerts for upcoming turns loud enough to be useful? How loud are the alerts relative to the volume on an older unit such as the 705? Tnx.

  8. Bret

    ahh, makes sense. Thanks for the response! Great review!!

  9. Greg Gibson

    Is it possible 3rd parties could tap into the unit with their own Apps? For example, could the Strava app tap into the Garmin data stream and push the info out to the Strava site themselves?

    Also, you mention you can set up the personal racer function with routes downloaded from other uses on Garmin Connect. Is it a logical assumption that you would be able to do the same thing with a GPX file downloaded from Strava so you could “race” against another user’s KOM data?

    Thanks again for the detailed review. Your site is invaluable.

  10. Turn The Damn Cranks

    Killer review, as always. Two questions about the live tracking. First, when you say “From my testing, the battery life impact here is quite minimal. I found repeatedly that it only impacted my iPhone 4s about 7-9% per 1 hour.”, do you mean that it eats 7 to 9% of the battery per hour? Or that it is 7-9% worse per hour than “normal” use? (I assume the former, but it’s a bit unlcear.) Second, how much of a data hit is the live stream?


    • Turn The Damn Cranks

      Uh, “unclear,” not “unlcear.”

    • DC Rainmaker

      Sorry for the confusion, as in, “I went for an hour ride, and upon returning my battery was 7-9% lower”. Repeatedly. Now, my phone was doing other things (e-mail streaming in, Twitter, etc…) – but I’d call that usual things people have running. So that’s my baseline.

      I’ve asked about data rates, but no clear answer. I’m going to try and test it, but it’s tough since e-mail still streams in.

  11. Eli

    Great review as always. A few questions:
    Does the speed of the microsd card matter? (how fast it can calculate a course over a map, how fast it draws a map or the birds eye view)

    Max microsd card size?

    Can data transfers happen with the microsd card directly in the computer? (load maps faster)

    How does it orient the map? Same as the previous edges using just the GPS or does it use a magnetic compass?

    Does activity profile alow changing the setting of auto pause? (so hiking can have auto pause turned off but biking can still use it)

    Seems like there are multiple versions of OSM for biking. So some just use OSM data directly and some massage the data so they claim it becomes more useful. So far I’ve seen:
    link to osmmaps.com
    link to daveh.dev.openstreetmap.org
    link to osm.blog.mantlik.cz
    link to garmin.openstreetmap.nl
    link to velomap.org (seems like this is the most customized for the edge gps)

    But never had any good comparisons. Also seems like some areas have better or worse OSM implamentations. (some give countour data too)

    Is the processing speed any different from the 800? (useful for when it has to recalculate or starting a course)

    Will the API to communicate with the edge be open so then other places like ridewithgps can send courses to the unit?

    Minor point, that looks like a 5 digit number on the quark, not 4 for the ANT id.

    Does the screen look the same in sunlight as the 800?

    Going by Garmin’s web site seems like the 510 has a better GPS in it as it can use the russian version of GPS too. Anything to that?


    • Eli

      With battery life being better then the 800 with a screen of the same size and the added battery drain of the bluetooth chipset either the battery got bigger or there were other changes to the hardware. So not sure if the logic to explain the 510 having the new gps chipset holds up cause it seems like the 810 is different inside too.

    • Eli

      Would be nice if you could track others directly from the edge bike computer. For example if you’re doing a big group bike ride would be nice to be able to see on the map where other people you know are. Do you know if there are any plans for that?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Eli-

      RE: MicroSD Card

      No impact

      RE: MicroSD card transfers via computer

      Yes, in fact, that’s exactly how I transferred maps to it. You do need to have the Edge 810 plugged in though, even if the card is directly in the computer (it does a validation check)

      RE: Orient Map

      Your choice.

      RE: Auto Pause

      Yes, that’s now within Activity Profiles. I thought I covered that, but realized I covered that in my 510 review. But, same-same.

      RE: OSM

      Good notes. I just used the default one I linked to, which worked fine for city riding.

      RE: Processing speed

      Starting the course is about the same as 800 (a touch slow), but on recalc I’ve always seen both my units pretty quick.

      RE: API

      Unknown, I keep hoping.

      RE: Screen in sun

      Same as Edge 800

      RE: Improved GPS

      Correct, it has GLONASS, which the Edge 800 doesn’t. I haven’t seen any substantial improvements in day to day riding. But I’m going to try a test today in Vegas where I’ve never turned the units on to see how they fair.

    • Eli

      RE: Orient Map
      I have a 705 now and I know that one uses movement to figure out orientation (i.e. from the GPS) So if I’m stopped at an intersection sometimes it assuming the wrong orientation (moved bike slightly to the side or something like that) I’m pretty sure the 800 was the same way so was wondering if the 810 added a magnetic compass the same as many smart phones these days.

      RE: OSM
      I’ve tried the velomaps one in the DC area on my 705, the details seemed great and much better then the garmin city navigator maps but was way too slow for the 705 to process so was mostly useless but I’m guessing the 810 should be fast enough.

      Sad you can’t use nüMaps Lifetime with the Edge series so it would be easy to keep the map always up to date which is a big advantage of the OSM


  12. Josh

    Maybe I’m just missing a few things, but what’s the difference between the 810 and say an iPhone with the Wahoo bike mount (and dongle for later export) + extra battery? As far as I can tell the iPhone is actually *more* functional at that point, right?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yes and no. It’s more functional as a collection of apps, but I really haven’t seen any single app that fully does what the Edge 810 does. So across many apps, yes, but not in one app.

  13. Tom

    Wow, pretty boneheaded move to put a BT2.1 chipset in there. I’m hoping that it was some form of technical reason (eg the Edge 800-era SoC didn’t support the newer BT chipsets) and not just a short-sighted business move (ie attempt slow adoption of BTLE). I’d still rather use ANT+ sensors when given the choice (for their one-to-many capacity), but having the flexibility to work with pretty much any sensor on the market would have been a huge benefit.

    Either way, from the sounds of it the addition of the Bluetooth functionality is pretty much the extent of this upgrade. While the live-tracking is certainly interesting, it’s not really enough to be worth considering an upgrade from my Edge 800 (especially if you can’t legally use it during a race where it would be most useful). I say this as someone who upgraded from the 705 to the 800 as soon as they were available, so it doesn’t take a lot to tip me over the edge – heck, had they added Bluetooth Smart to this unit I’d likely be seriously thinking about it.

    The other thing that may have made this unit tempting would be if 810/510 devices could communicate with one another using their attached cell phones. It’d be incredibly useful when riding with friends to be able to see where others are in real-time if you ever get separated (eg someone gets a flat, stronger riders go ahead in a particularly challenging section, etc.). Naturally, with this implementation you can always pull out your phone – but being able to see them on the map without taking your hands off the controls would be quite valuable.

    A few quick questions:
    – Do the ‘activity profiles’ allow you to configure the GPS status – that is, if you set one up for trainer use, can you have it automatically switch off the GPS when enabled? At least around these parts (Canada), I spend pretty much the entirety of the winter riding inside and having to go in and switch off the GPS every time I go for a ride quickly becomes a PITA. Being able to just quickly select a profile and go would be quite beneficial. It’s not a huge thing, it’s just a bunch of annoying and repetitive steps that could quite easily be simplified.
    – Given your description, I’m guessing that the underlying hardware is basically identical to the Edge 800. As such, is there any possibility that Garmin might consider making a for-pay software upgrade to bring the older unit in-line with the new code-base? The new features/interface aren’t really a huge thing (although they’d be nice to have), however ongoing support for new ANT+ sensor types would be worth a modest price. If the platform is the same, the amount of work to disable BT-related features would be minimal (lots of manufacturers share firmware across similarly equipped models). Charging for the upgrade would serve to prevent the 800 undercutting the 810, and not orphaning existing users would do a lot to keep loyal customers happy. Further, it’d simplify support tasks on their end as it’d be one less disparate UI their people would have to worry about.
    – Does Garmin have any plans to offer an SDK to allow third-party software on the smartphone to access the 810? The biggest benefit that their smartphone-based competitors have is their ability to exploit third-party developers to do new and unique things. A lot of the shortcomings listed above could easily be addressed by aftermarket software running on the smartphone, but barring someone reverse engineering things that will largely depend on Garmin providing explicit access to it. Given what you’ve described, there is a lot more potential to this device than Garmin has already unlocked.
    – Does the 810 offer ANT+ wireless transfer of exercises, or is the wireless functionality limited to cell-phone based transfers? Garmin has talked about adding that to the 800 for a while now but never moved on it, just wondering if it made it to the 810 or not ;)
    – I noticed in your comparison table that you rated the Edge 800 as 9/10 and the 810 as 8/10. Despite limited advances, it doesn’t look like the 810 has any shortcomings related to the 800 – just wondering why it is rated lower?

    • DC Rainmaker

      RE: Activity profiles and GPS

      No, GPS is ‘centrally’ controlled.

      RE: Pay for ugprade firmware

      It’s something I’m going to ask about today. I’d be curious (and I’m sure they would) what a reasonable rate would be.

      That said, I don’t expect them to offer this.

      RE: SDK

      I hope they do, and perhaps some of the feedback they are seeing across the Interwebs will change this.

      RE: ANT+ transfers

      Yes, limited to the app (via BT), it’s not doing it to computer via ANT+ or to the Wahoo dongle via ANT+.

      RE: Ratings

      Ratings are somewhat point in time. A the time, the Edge 800 was a 9/10 relative to the market offerings, etc… I’m still grappling with how ratings change over time (if at all), as the ratings are somewhat new. It’s a work in progress.

    • Tom

      > No, GPS is ‘centrally’ controlled.

      Figured as much from your description, but figured I’d ask to check.

      > It’s something I’m going to ask about today. I’d be curious (and I’m sure
      > they would) what a reasonable rate would be.

      Something in the ballpark of $50 would be a no-brainer for me, but I might consider it for upwards of $100 if it meant ongoing support and significant additional features down the road. Much beyond that then it’d likely be more rational to look at buying the 810 and selling off the 800 (and at $100 it’d be pretty darn close). Whether I’m typical or not, that’s hard to say but that’s roughly where I stand.

      One of my reservations with buying high-end devices like this is limited lifecycles. It’s not so much new features that are important (although they’re welcome), but with these non-programmable devices we are dependent on firmware updates to support simple things like new ANT+ sensor classes (smart trainers, more sophisticated power meters, etc.). Given how quickly that stuff is progressing at this point, that support is a somewhat critical component. As such, discontinued support often means having to replace a perfectly good device because you need support for something that it doesn’t do. For a $200 watch that’s not a huge thing, but the Edge 8xx models are upwards of $500 and thus I expect to be able to use it for a good length of time.

      Under normal circumstances, I’d just sell off the old unit and buy the new one (as I did with the 705->800 step), but in this case the differences are so limited that it’s very hard to justify the expenditure. Ongoing upgrades and a fresh warantee are certainly of some value, but not enough to cover the spread on their own. Waiting for the eventual replacement (820, 900, etc.) will likely mean enough depreciation (two generations old, plus probably five years of use at that point) that such an approach would no longer be viable (ie better to just keep the old unit and use it as a backup) :(

      Given they’re competing against smartphones, this is a significant pain point with high-end fixed function devices. Even if the phone doesn’t get firmware updates, it’s ability to run third-party software allows you to stretch out it’s useful life to support new accessories/usage models. Now, if they made an Edge device that could run third-party apps that would be a different story ;) Baring that, having some sort of written policy on how long they will support legacy devices would do a lot of engender confidence in spending money on these units (rather than just buying the basic models as disposable solutions).

      > I hope they do, and perhaps some of the feedback they are seeing
      > across the Interwebs will change this.

      Fingers crossed :)

      > Yes, limited to the app (via BT), it’s not doing it to computer via ANT+
      > or to the Wahoo dongle via ANT+.

      Figured that might be the case. Oh well, not a huge loss one way or the other – now that I’ve actually used it (on the 910xt), the USB-based method seems like a better option anyway.

      > Ratings are somewhat point in time. A the time, the Edge 800 was
      > a 9/10 relative to the market offerings, etc… I’m still grappling with
      > how ratings change over time (if at all), as the ratings are somewhat
      > new. It’s a work in progress.

      Ahh, that makes perfect sense ;) Leaving the ratings as-is probably does make more sense now that I think about it, as having to routinely go back and re-rate everything you’ve ever reviewed each time the market changes would be a bit of a nightmare!

  14. Chris

    I have to agree with Tom, in that it was a bonehead move not to add the BT2.1 chipset. Are they following the apple route of planning to make products obsolete? I really hope it was just cheaper to add the old BT to the 810/510. But if people don’t buy it because of the old BT will Garmin see that as consumers do not want BT or rather they are waiting for BT2.1?

  15. Hi Ray,
    Great review as always!
    Bummer that that chose BT 2.1!!!
    Being a gadget junkie I will have to get one anyways :-)

    One question, did you notice much of a hit on battery life on the iphone keeping it paired with the 810 durring your rides? Specially, just using the weather function and not the live tracking?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Typo city! I meant to say..

      Hi Ray,
      Great review as always!
      Bummer that they chose BT 2.1!!!
      Being a gadget junkie I will have to get one anyways

      One question, did you notice much of a hit on battery life on the iphone keeping it paired with the 810 during your rides? Specifically, just using the weather function and not the live tracking?

      Thanks in advance!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Kari-

      As noted above, about 7-9% hit on battery per hour. But that’s total. So if I went out for a ride for 1hr, it came back about 7-9% lower each time. Other stuff was turned on, on my phone – e-mail, Twitter, etc… but I figure that’s a baseline for most people.

      I haven’t tried using just weather and not the live tracking from a battery standpoint.

  16. Talk about thorough! Great job :)

  17. ekutter

    It seems like the biggest benefit to me would be the profiles. One for the trainer, one for the road bike with power meter, one for the mountain bike without. Being able to customize the fields depending on what data I have available (ie power meter) would be really nice. Hopefully GPS enabled/disabled is one of those.

    As for advantages of an edge over a phone, having a touch screen that you can use with gloves and longer battery life. Also, not sure I want my phone to be that exposed. Damaging a bike computer is one thing, your phone would be a much bigger deal. Also, for mapping, you don’t always have cell coverage, especially in the mountains.

    That said, there are many advantages to just using the phone for your bike computer. More flexible, bigger brighter screen, you carry it with you anyways, lots of options for software, always up-to-date maps.

  18. Great review, thanks. I already use the 800 and all the mention of Garmin Connect registration makes the 810 a pointless upgrade for me as I only use Strava and have no interest at all in joining a different grouping on Garmin Connect.

    So all I really want to know is, can I upload ride data directly to Strava? Can any other File apps connect to the 810 and suck out the ride data for example.



    • Edward

      I am thinking of buying an 800 rather than the 810 because I too am not interested in Garmin Connect etc; I’m happy with Strava (and I use a Blackberry, not an iPhone).

      Although this is not an answer to your question, I was just wondering how easy it is to upload data from the 800 onto Strava. I appreciate that this has to be done via a USB, but am I right in thkinking that it can be done easily and directly from the unit to the Strava website.

      (At the moment, I use a Blackberry which uploads my data to Strava via an App and it works brilliantly).

    • I wonder what API support Garmin will provide for these units. If sufficient, Strava could support them from their phone apps, in which case upload to Strava directly through the phone should be possible. Check link to developer.garmin.com .

    • Hi Edward. Uploading to Strava via a computer and USB is easy, but it means you have to have a computer of course! Not so easy when you are away from home for a few days and don’t want to carry a laptop around with you.

    • DC Rainmaker

      No, no direct upload to any 3rd party services – including Strava.

  19. Super sympa, très détaillé.
    Un anglais à paris pour un GPS américain. Vive le mondialisme intelligent. ;))

  20. ProPeloton

    Garmin really had the golden opportunity to extend its dominance over other cyclometers and stave off the smartphone app threat, but didn’t do so. There’s far more integration that could have been done with the phones, as touched on here and on other gadget websites. That means that I’m still a happy user of the 800 until the 900 comes out.

  21. Chad

    I’m more stoked about the soft cases. Where can I find these?

  22. Gunnar

    Thanks Ray for another great review. The only positive I see for the unit is the direct upload to GArmin Connect. I’m really trying to get away from using my computer for downloads. I like to finish my ride and upload data to Strava and GC right away. That way I don’t have any wasted time at home in front of my computer. Plus…..I now travel sans laptop and have to rely on my garmin 310xt and wahoo Ant + dongle with iphone to get data to Strava and GC.

    Oh well…and here’s hoping maybe Garmin will allow my fenix to upload to the new Garmin Connect App….what do you think the chances are with that? Thanks!

    • Hi, can you explain how the “wahoo Ant + dongle with iphone to get data to Strava and GC.” works? I looked at this but came to the conclusion it wouldn’t work. If it does then I’d have even less interest in the 810! I’m guessing what app you use on the iPhone to be able to see the files on the 800?

    • Gunnar Christensen

      Keith, have a look at DCRainmakers review of either the 910xt, 310xt or 610 and he explains Ant+ upload towards the end of the reviews via iPhone or iPad and the Wahoo fitness app with Ant+ dongle (also by Wahoo). Works great….but I want my fenix to upload this way too!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, as others noted, it’s on most of my other reviews, but here’s a quick post to it: link to dcrainmaker.com

  23. stuckinanaerobic

    Garmin lists the Edge 810 for $699 USD on their website:

    link to buy.garmin.com

    Besides the BT 4.0 omission, I’m more disappointed by the screen resolution. Really, they couldn’t offer something with better resolution than year 2002? I really see no reason to buy the 810 versus the 800 for $450….

  24. Bob

    Nice review, as always. I do have one question though, which probably will be the same on the Edge 800 (I own a 500 myself). Is it possible to change the data field while navigating? I don’t really care to see the time and distance to the next way-point (not on a Edge 8×0, nor on my current 500). I rather see, cadence, speed, HR, …

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, simply hold down the field that you want to change. In fact, I actually did it Sunday while gathering those pics above showing the navigation. I had started navigating from one point riding cross town, and then about half-way I realized it just had the default speed metric on the map and navigation page, so I simply held the button down and changed it to ‘Distance till next’. Works great like the other screens.

  25. Jari Lilja

    I am just wondering if this update was software only. Was the 2.1 bluetooth already on edge 800? It look like they have run out of time with the project and therefore made this limited improvement. From my point of view it seems that there is also a flagship model to be released. Perhaps the schedule was too thigth for coming season?


    • DC Rainmaker

      I’ve been wondering the same thing…I looked back at past FCC database releases, and can’t find anything indicating it was there (in the Edge 800 submission). I’m not clear on how to search CEE databases. That said, I’m looking to poke around on this. I was hoping to find a few pics of broken Edge 800’s online, no luck. I may (though haven’t fully decided on it) take apart one I have, but that’s an expensive proposition…

    • Eli

      link to apps.fcc.gov

      This shows it has a transmitter but doesn’t say what type:
      link to apps.fcc.gov

      (ANt+ works at the same frequency as bluetooth)

  26. Laurent

    Bonjour hormis le bluetooth, je ne vois pas les fonctionnalités supplémentaires par rapport au edge 800.

    Pensez vous qu’il soit possible d’installer le firmware du 810 sur le 800?

    Si personne ne veut tenter, je suis prêt à tester mais il faut m’envoyer un firmware 810.


    Good morning except the bluetooth, I do not see additional functionalities in comparison with the edge 800.

    Think of you that it is possible to install the firmware of 810 on 800?

    If nobody wants to attract, I am ready to make out a will but it is necessary to send me a firmware 810.

  27. Peter Burke

    As usual a great indepth article.
    The 810 seems to be just a minor upgrade on the 800 unit.
    I’m still running a garmin 705. Do you think it’s worth upgrading to a run out 800 or buy a 810?
    Do I just put up with what I’ve got and wait for the 900 series unit?
    I’m thinking that Garmin maybe using the 810 as a stop gap (to maintain market share) and will bring something else sooner than later to the market with all the bells and whistles. Otherwise the market leader will begin to loose market share! ( I will buy another brand of unit)
    Also is there a power consumption issue with blue tooth? There is sometimes a trade off between the chipset and power consumption and maybe that’s why they haven’t changed yet. Battery life could be the issue


    Peter Burke

    • DC Rainmaker

      If you have an Edge 705, the Edge 810 is a nice upgrade from that unit. I’m not seeing any clear battery life impacts of the BT chip yet.

  28. Edward

    I agree that Garmin will have to release a new model very soon and that when it comes it will have to be a MAJOR upgrade, unlike this one. Otherwise Garmin will soon be overtaken by Smartphones/Fitness Apps, which have the major benefit of not requiring a separate device to upload the data (unlike the 810). Also, the 900 will have to allow users to upload data directly to other websites, such as Strava, rather than simply uploading onto Garmin Connect.

    But I cannot see Garmin releasing the 900 (or whatever it is called) before 2014 at the earliest.

    So, for me, I will buy an 800 for now and save my money. (In the UK you can pick up an 800 with HRM/Cadence and City Navigator) for £320, and the price is bound to drop further in the coming weeks. The RRP for the equivalent bundle with the 810 unit is £479.)

    • DC Rainmaker

      I would agree, I definitely wouldn’t expect a new unit before next year – unless the general ‘blah’ reviews that people have given kickstart that.

  29. Philippe


    thanx very much for this detailed review.

    Since you seem to be a real specialist on Garmin products, allow me to ask you whether the ‘quick release kit’ mentioned higher, would also fit for the Edge 800.
    I would be interested to use the kit on my Vespa scooter.

    Best wishes from Belgium


  30. simon

    thanks for the review.

    I find it a little sad. I love my 800 and was hoping that the next generation would be an improvement. I see NO reason to upgrade.

    If they would enable ant uploads on the 800 (which is a fairly straightforward firmware tweak) then I’d have more or less everything that the 810 has.

    opportunity missed I think.

  31. When performing intervals on the bike, does this 810 have the ability to show your average power for the interval when you press the lap button?

  32. Edward

    I realise that you’ve made this clear already, but just to make sure that I am not missing something …

    When you say (above) “No, no direct upload to any 3rd party services – including Strava”, does this mean that the only automatic uploading is to Garmin Connect and if you want to upload to, say, Strava, this will have to be done via a PC in much the same way as you have to do with the 800?

    if so, then much as I am trying to persuade myself to buy the 810 (I hate buying “old” technology and I am desperately trying to justify the additional cost of the 810), I simply cannot see any point at all!

    The only feature which I like the look of is the “virtual racer”. As I understand it (please correct me if I am wrong), the 800 has a “virtual trainer” whereby you set the speed you want to achieve over the entire route, whereas the “virtual racer” allows you to have a “real time” race against yourself (or others) over a specific route.

    That seems like fun and much more useful than the “virtual trainer” feature beause it takes into account the fact that a course is not entirely flat. But spending an extra £150 just for this feature is more than a little extravagant even for a gadget-junkie.

    Thanks again for all your useful comments and replies so far!

    • Eli

      For 3rd party service support I guess there is a big difference between Garmin itself coding up the feature to upload to a 3rd party (i.e. garmin’s smart phone app interacts with the 3rd parties) or if garmin will release an API or the spec for how the bluetooth communication happens so a 3rd party can create an app that directly talks to the device. I’m hoping for the 2nd option

    • DC Rainmaker

      Correct, nothing from the Edge unit, phone app, or the Garmin Connect online site.

      You can of course still plug in the Edge 510/810 and upload the data like in the past (USB).

      As for Virtual Racer, your understanding is correct.

    • Tom

      Is Virtual Racer new though? Whenever I’ve used a course (tcx file generated by bikeroutetoaster) on my Edge 800 it always placed another icon on the navigation screen indicating the position of the course file (ie my ‘competitor’) at any given time. BRT generates the course file including the consideration of hills (you enter a fixed VAM rate so it estimates speed), and my experience with it has indicated the 800 follows this (ie I tend to pass it on the hills and it catches up on the descents, which is the opposite of what you’d expect with a fixed speed ‘partner’). When I get to the end of the course before the time in the file it plays a little tune and tells me I ‘won’.

      I’ve never really cared much about that functionality as it was just an inadvertent consequence of using a course to navigate, but as described it doesn’t really sound new to the 810?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Close. What you are describing (courses) can indeed have a ‘known pace’ component to it. The key difference is that Virtual Racer doesn’t actually require the course element. Meaning, it allows you to just grab any old activity off the Garmin Connect site and race against it in a non-course mode.

      In the end though, it’s true that it’s pretty darn similar.

    • Kevin K

      Hi Ray,
      Sorry if I am being dumb but I have just plumbed for an 810.
      So far I am very happy with it but am totally confused by the Virtual Partner / Virtual Racer?
      Here my understanding so far. Virtual Partner – I log into Gamin Connect on my PC create a course and while doing so set an average speed. Send to my device and whilst riding the course the Virtual Partner continually rides at the set average speed and doesnt consider hills etc… Is this correct?

      As for Virtual Racer Im a bit lost, At first I thought I had to find an activity on the Garmin Connect website whether that be one of my own past efforts or a friends/public one. Then save this activity as a course as before but this time the course has the actual speed at points along the gps track of the creator, then load this course and ride it so the Virtual Guy is now riding at the creators speeds not an average…

      BUT …!

      You stated that:
      Virtual Racer doesn’t actually require the course element. Meaning, it allows you to just grab any old activity off the Garmin Connect site and race against it in a non-course mode.

      How do I just select an activity and race against it WITHOUT the course element?

      Cheers mate
      Totally lost here?

  33. Daniel

    at the German website i found a specification pdf. There are the following words:
    “Drahtlosübertragung via ANT+ und Bluetooth / Bluetooth low-energy”
    In my opinion BLE is part of BT4.0???!!!
    Or am i’m wrong? Maybe a hugh difference between the prototype and the final version???
    Regards from Germany

    • DC Rainmaker

      It’s wrong (that site). They made an assumption (even a logical one), but unfortunately, the unit didn’t follow logic, and thus didn’t use 4.0. I’ve checked this over probably 5-6 times with Garmin, from their PR team, engineering teams, and executive teams. Along with the folks from ANT+. Sorry!

  34. Rick Harker

    Hi Ray,
    Your review was directed from Bentrider Online. Its my first visit to your site and I appreciate your in depth use of the Garmin810.
    The initial Garmin (and other) manufacturers sales pitches will have you believe it can do wonders but, they never tell you how. Your review explains things from a user perspective and gives details (of some things) that Garmin may wince at. This should be seen as good because I agree with what you have detailed and Garmin should listen.
    I was ready to jump out and upgrade from my 705 but will take the same advice your dear ol’ Dad got.
    Many thanks,
    Rick (Australia).

  35. Keith Hatounian

    Thanks for the great in-depth review. I think I will stay with my Edge 800 for the near term. I have a Wahoo Bt Heart strap and an “old” iPhone 4s sitting around. If I break down and buy a Wahoo BT crank sensor I may replace the 800 with an iPhone and give it try.

    Is the premium heart rate strap mentioned an update or the same as the old one? I had 3 premium heart rate straps replaced by Garmin in the last 18months. At Interbike Garmin acknowledged they have reliability problems with them.

  36. Matt

    Is there any reason why someone, ie. Strava, couldnt make an awesome app that would do everything that this does – therefore you could run it from your mobile phone and not been to carry a second device? I guess the GPS is much better than the mobile version of GPS, but still it would still cut out the middle man, and then it could do live Strava leaderboard updates, ie let you know if you get a KOM, etc, as well as providing something for a wife or someone to see how far from home you are with the live positioning on a website.

    • Tom

      There are already apps that do this sort of thing – not sure if there is anything specifically for Strava, but there is nothing stopping them from doing that. This is a major competitive threat for this market, and was likely the primary motivation for adding these online features to these devices.

      With that said, cell phones really aren’t ideal platforms for this sort of use. While the Edge 810 may be big compared to most dedicated devices, it’s downright tiny compared to most cellphones. Further, the protective enclosures typically necessary for practical use on handlebars (assuming you don’t want them to die the first time you get caught in a downpour) make them even more unwieldy. They also generally have extremely limited battery lives (LCD backlight, GPS and data on continuously for hours is a lot more demanding than the intermittent use they’re designed for), their touchscreens won’t work on gloved fingers and are often hard to see in direct sunlight. Finally, many races prohibit the use of communications devices (regardless of whether they’re used as such) so you need a dedicated device if you want any telemetry during those events.

      With this sort of solution, the smartphone is still needed but it doesn’t need to power the screen/GPS (hence much longer battery life) and it can stay protected in your back pocket (so no kludgy enclosure). It’s a pretty decent compromise that lets you get the best of both worlds, although a good deal of additional work will be required to unlock all of it’s potential.

      Regardless, many users find cell phones to be good enough for their uses so they’re eating into demand for devices like this. Further, given their ability to run third-party software, always-on Internet access and higher resolution screens they are beginning to offer things the dedicated devices don’t have. For many people those benefits may outweigh the advantages of dedicated devices. Either way, this is going to become an increasingly harder market to survive in and if the dedicated device vendors don’t step up their games it’s going to be harder and harder to maintain a viable business.

      I really have no interest in using a smartphone for this sort of task, so I sincerely hope that we see these companies find a way to strike back. With that said, I’d kill to be able to run aftermarket software on a fitness device – just hoping that I won’t have to resort to a kludgy phone to get that. The online features are certainly a good first step, but leaving the rest of the device identical to a 2+ year old unit isn’t a good move when their competitors are making dramatic upgrades every year.

  37. DeWayne

    Thanks for the thorough review! I just ordered mine (with discount) from your link to Clever Training.

  38. Eli

    Something I noticed, the Edge has a ~110 pixel per inch screen while the new Oregon 6×0 gets a new ~160 pixel per inch screen and is supposedly easy to read in sunlight. Why can’t the screen be improved on the Edge? Sure may not be needed on the data field display modes but in the map would allow details to be more easily shown like street names and be more readable.

    (The Edge 705 had a ~128 ppi screen so the 8×0 is worse in screen density then the 5 year old device)

  39. Marek

    Hi Ray,

    comprehensive review!
    But: what about “tourist options” in new Edge?
    I mean:
    1. is there a way to customize data fields in that way that there are “turned on” when navigating and “turned off” when stop navigation (automatically, to have a bit bigger map display when navigation is stopped),
    2. is there a way to switch between various BirdsEye maps (switch on one and switch off the another?),
    3. what about elevation plot and air pressure plot?
    4. is the screen “glove friendly” – I mean: is there a way to move the map (to the right and to the left, upwards and downwards) in ordinary woolen gloves (or professional full-finger cycling gloves) in winter?


    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Mark-

      1) Yes, each activity profile can have different data fields and customization. Just create one for navigation.

      2) Yes, via the activity profile map layers.

      3) Elevation plot yes, air pressure plot no.

      4) Yes, glove friendly. See the section with the glove videos. ;)


  40. it’s too bad they didn’t combine the functionality of the GTU-10 with this device. The GTU-10 dropped down to $129 back at Christmas so I figured they had something up their sleeve with a new release of that device or a combination with their current devices. I think they missed a real opportunity there.

  41. Lach

    Hi, great review.

    I have a FR610 and Edge800. The thing I like about the 610 is the ability to use my ipad/wahoo dongle with it, eliminating the need to use my laptop. The Edge800 (also equipped with ANT functionality) requires activities to be sync’d via the USB cord though. Do you know whether wireless (ANT) sync is available on the 810? If so, have you heard if this will be included in a future 800 firmware release?

    • DC Rainmaker

      No, no ANT+ sync to computer, only via phone over Bluetooth. And no plans to my knowledge to port any of this back to the Edge 800.

  42. Jipe

    I own an Edge 800 and for me the biggest drawback of it is the screen quality especially in sunlight. This is very important for a device that provides mapping and turn by turn navigation which is also the main difference between the Edge 800/810 and Edge 500/510 and the main reason to buy a 800/810 instead of a cheaper 500/510.

    Turn by turn navigation on the device is also great because, even if you have it on your smartphone, you probably don’t want to mount a non waterproof, fragile, expensive smartphone on your bike handlebar. Moreover, the battery life of the Edge is much better than the typical battery life of a smartphone in navigation mode.

    Actually, the Edge 800 offer great mapping and navigation possibilities, similar to many car/motorbike GPS units but the actual usability of those possibilities is limited by the screen quality: resolution, contrast, overall readability, especially in sunlight.

    There was a lot of progress in screen technology/quality since the Edge 800 was released and it is a shame that Garmin kept the same, obsolete, screen on the 810.

    One remark about maps: you forgot to mention routable topographic maps which are also available and great for offroad cycling.

    • Edward

      I’v been thinking a lot about the “Dedicated GPS versus Smartphone” debate and I’m beginning to wonder whether Dedicated GPS units are going the same way as Blackberrys…?

      As for mounting an “expensive smartphone” on your handlebars, presumably there are good/waterproof mounts on the market? And unless you cycle off road, what are the chances of falling off and breaking the unit? Personally, I’m prepared to take the risk. Anyway, it’s not as if the Garmins are cheap! If you break it, there will still be a significant cost involved.

      I did have one thought which I’d be interested in knowing if others have tried. What about a bluetooth headset connected to your smartphone with the “turn by turn” navigation being relayed to you via the headset? That way you could keep your smartphone in your jersey/pocket and not mount it on the handlebars. Would that work??

      I take the point about battery life, but that would not be such an issue for me, I don’t think.

      Would be interested to know if anyone else has tried navigating using voice control / bluetooth headpiece and if this can be done easily (eg using GoogleMaps)…

  43. Chris Fahner

    Are the weather stations that it uses only “official” weather stations or does it use personal weather stations also. My guess is only official weather stations but if it allowed personal ones it could help getting more accurate information based on your location and not one 20-30 miles away.

  44. Did they update the software with the latest FirstBeath Tech. For Cal/Kj calculation like the 910XT? Also did they implemented the power zone avg 3,10,30″, lap?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Just the data fields listed above in the chart.

      I haven’t checked it with Firstbeat yet to see if they made it compatible there. As you probably know, Firstbeat actually charges companies for different levels of compatibility, so I’m just not sure if Garmin decided that was worthwhile. I’ll check it out.

  45. Sébastien

    Great in depth review, thank you!!
    I’m not sure yet I will upgrade my 800 to this new unit. Too bad the 800 is not upgradable with the new sofware because the activity profiles are really usefull !
    The pixel density is still a joke, even worse than my old 705, It’s a shame :(
    The smartphone connectivity is somehow interesting, I hope there will be an SDK available to incorporate the live stuff in a dedicated site.

  46. Frank

    i was excited for the 510 and 810 but after skimming (Planning to read in length over the weekend) the reviews it looks like they might not justify the cost. My hope was to ugprade from the Motoactv I have to a 510. Do you consider that a worth upgrade or ride out the Motoactv? I don’t use the music feature at all so that doesn’t appeal to me in any way. I was more looking for tracking and wireless sync.

  47. Pete

    Does the 810 support custom POI’s?

  48. Jack

    Ray, I’m new to your site. Just read your story. Love your site and appears to have great info. I used to be a runner (did a couple of marathons) but due to a knee problem turned to mountain bike riding. I’m an oldie (66) but still get out on the bike regularly (3 times a week) and play tennis once a week too.
    I’ve had an Edge 705 since 2008 and during that time I’ve gone through agony and ecstasy with the device (mainly agony!). I’ve even been though periods when I wouldn’t use it at all for months on end. A couple of weeks ago I brought it out again and started using it and now it won’t mount on my computer for more than a minute or two before disconnecting itself, usually when I’m I’m part-way through downloading a track. I did all the usual things – update software, Garmin Communicator, etc – all to no avail and then tried a hard reset and still it disconnects. So, I’m thinking that at my age I need not stuff around anymore with this device and that maybe its time to upgrade to the latest version in the hope that Garmin has solved most of the problems with these devices. But I see from your reviews that there are still niggling problems with all the devices. But my question to you is: Is the Edge 810 going to be something that I’m going to love after persisting with the Edge 705 for so long? I’d hate to shell out good dosh and find that its not much better than the 705 (a working one, that is). I was even considering getting one of the non-biking GPS like the MAPS 62s (thinking it might be a better quality unit) but I do like some of the Edge specific biking features. Andy suggestions?

    • DC Rainmaker

      The Edge 800 and then the 810 both have changes in the file system to reduce some of the issues like you’ve seen around the 705 and corruption, which sounds like it may be the case. I wouldn’t go the way of the non-cycling units, as I tend to find them limited once you start to use them long-term for cycling purposes.

  49. John T. Manly

    Fantastic reviews on both the Garmin Edge 510 and 810. Both reviews were the best/most detailed product reviews I’ve read to date online. Thank you for taking the time to do such a great job! I’m sure anyone who takes the time to read these reviews will agree. I’ve been using a Garmin Edge 500 for quite awhile and love both the physical size and the workout data that it provides. I was hoping to upgrade to the new Garmin Edge 510 or possibly even an 810, but as you’ve pointed out, the “deal killers” for me on the 510 are the physical size and Garmin’s decision to use Bluetooth 2.1 vs. 4.0. Hopefully at some point in the not too distant future, Garmin will offer Bluetooth 4.0 in both devices.

  50. Jackson

    FYSA: The Garmin Connect App is now on the Itunes Store

  51. Kostas antoniou

    I own an 800 i have no reason to buy it !!

    Thanks , good job!!

  52. Ryan

    Do you know what their plans are for the Garmin Connect App, down the road? Right now it feels like it’s strictly for syncing to the iphone and for the tracking feature. It’s REALLY weak on the charts section (like unusably weak, especially for swimming). The ‘Courses’ section is also less than ok. Feels half baked. A quarter baked even.

    • DC Rainmaker

      No stated plans, but it’s pretty clear it’ll eventually expand out into the non-cycling world (likely running first). It’s a bit odd in that they had the Garmin Fit app, which in my opinion they should have just expanded/revamped that. Having two separate apps with different UI’s is wonky and causes duplication of work on their end. Plus, software history has told us that long term that’s not sustainable for any company (big or small).

  53. mark

    Two good reviews. I will wait for the next iterations of the Edge series. No reason for me to upgrade until there is a model with a better screen.

  54. Yeah, same here on the waiting part. I’m pretty pi55ed at them as an Edge 800 owner myself, which was the first and will be the last thing I will ever buy from them. They didn’t release a firmware update in over a year now and there _are_ some annoying bugs in the unit. In any case, @Ray: It was and still is fairly easy to install OSM Maps onto the Edge: simply visit link to openmtbmap.org and download the appropriate EXE for windows. That guy updates his stuff every week, so you can edit the OSM yourself and have the changes on your device a week later. I found the classic style to look best on the Edge. Cheers

  55. James Hadfield

    Hi, thank you for such an in depth review. I have previously read your reviews, most notably before purchasing my garmin FR610. I have never had a garmin for the bike, but was wondering if you thought this is worth/ not worth the money and maybe would it be better for me to get a lower model for my first edge??

    • DC Rainmaker

      The FR610 is pretty limited on the Edge side of course. So looking at the functionality there, it’d be on par with a being slightly above the Edge 200 (except the Edge 200 doesn’t have ANT+).

      Generally the way I’d decide whether to go with the Edge 500 or the Edge 800/810 is to determine whether or not you often ride in places where you’ve never been. Meaning whether or not you truly need maps.

      For me I find that for the most part I’m riding the same routes over and over again, so mapping isn’t super-necessary.

    • James hadfied

      Hi, thank you for your reply. I was more interested in whether or not you believe it would be worthwhile getting the 810 over the 800 or vice versa, obviously taking the price difference into account. I’m tempted to want to wait for a model with more of the upgrades you have suggested above, but have been waiting for nearly a year for an upgrade to the 800. Your help is much appreciated.

  56. Mike

    Your in depth reviews are outstanding. Much appreciated.
    Do note however that speed indoors on a trainer is somewhat of a useless metric. The reason being it doesn’t prove anything. I can easily go 30MPH on a trainer with the same effort as going 9MPH, just by adjusting gearing on my bike. So keep that in mind when comparing trainer rides.

    The cadence sensor will give you that same cadence information both inside and out, so that’s of more value. Plus, the sensor comes with most speed sensors.

    Regarding these comments you made, I have a garmin edge 800 bundle. Currently I am riding indoors on a cycleops fluid2 bike trainer. While Im kind of new to all the technology, I know something is up with the speed. Why is speed a useless stat on the trainer? I have been training with my own intervals. I ride all out for 2 minutes and then let my heart rate come down for next 2 to 3 minutes and then go all out again etc… I see the rpms (cadence) fluctuate as I do this, with more or less effort. I also track the speed. I figured “no hills” have to be factored in, but I was trying to ride a certain amount of mph. Can you explain to me why this isn’t accurate? I know something is up, because changing gears effects my speed and cadence too. I notice that cadence is also affected by gear choice. I just can’t put my finger on it, though. I was trying to increase my mph over the colder months where I’m on the trainer. Can you recommend anything to educate myself more about cadence etc…

    • DC Rainmaker

      I probably should have noted that it depends a bit on the type of trainer. If the trainer supports any method of resistance control (be it manual or automated), then speed gets thrown out since you could adjust the resistance and get the same (or higher) speed with less intensity.

      On cadence, that impacts speed – but its still tied to gearing. You could increase cadence but make the gearing easier, and your speed will be less than if you increase cadence and make the gearing harder (aka big gear).

      Ultimately, ones ability to increase cadence is primarily linked to sprints in cycling, where you may go rather high on cadence in order to get every last little bit out of it. So ideally, you’d not want the mere act of pedaling higher to impact your HR (or other metric). But that starts to get into the whole concept of cadence theories…

  57. Notdroid

    Does someone know if the Android app is going to be compatible with Android tablets? I have a Android tablet, but no compatible phone.

  58. Randy

    Thanks for your great informative reviews. After reading the reviews on both the Edge 800 & 810 and with the cost differential not a factor, nor all the “improvements” on the 810, which unit would you recommend someone buying?

  59. Tim

    I noticed on the Power Balance chart you present that there are several spikes on the Left side of the Left/Right Balance chart. I assume you are using the Sram Red Quarq Power Meter (I’m using the that power meter too). I’m assuming that the chart at the same time/distance would reflect 0 Cadence indicating that you were not pedaling during that time whereby the balance shifts 100% to the left side as evidenced in your chart.

    I experience the same problem. Seems like it should show 50% balance L/R. I’ve asked this question to Garmin, but have not received a very good explaination.

    Any idea why the charts on garmin.connect show the power balance entirely on the left side?

    • DC Rainmaker

      I’ve gotta dig into the files, and see if it’s a P2M/Quarq issue, a Garmin Edge issue, or a GC issue. I’ve gotta crack one open and see if they are reporting the ‘Balance’ as 50/50, or at 100/0 – at times of non-pedaling. I think that TP displays it correctly, pointing to a potential GC issue. Adding it to my list for tomorrow…

    • brent

      I’ve noticed the same thing. However, I feel it is effectively just a display issue – when you look at the actual average L/R balance for a ride/lap, I am fairly confident that the non-pedaling 100% left period is not taken into account as does not skew average balance to the left (or even if it is showing 100% power in the left, it is presumably multiplying by a zero power output, so no effect).

  60. Pete

    I think you misunderstood my question about custom poi’s. I have a Garmin Oregon 450 which I have mainly used for navigation while os touring. On this unit unit you can have 2000 waypoints (Edge is 200 or 400 I believe). These can fill up pretty quickly. On the Oregon you can load multiple maps which you can turn on and off meaning you can have the Garmin maps, Open Maps and maps that you have made yourself (such as a Strava sector map). Each of these maps contain poi’s but also with the Oregon you can add more files containing you own Custom Poi’s. This gives you the option of having many 1000’s of additional points. Very handy when travelling. I usually put in bikeshops, mountain passes, accomdation booked, speed cameras etc etc. Each point is able to hold a lot more information than a waypoint can. On the oregon you can also set an alert so when you get close to a point it will alerty you of it’s proximity.
    To search for these points on the Oregon, select where to -extras. I’m not sure the edge can do this.
    ps thanks for your website

    • DC Rainmaker

      Gotchya. Hmm, I’m not seeing a way to do that, I can save Waypoints, but as noted, I can’t find a way to create a custom POI. Not saying it’s not hidden away somewhere – but I’ve done a lot of tapping and can’t seem to find it.


  61. Hi Ray, any news about the updated First Beat Tech algoritm within the 810? i wish they’ll update the fw with AVG Power Zone 3,10,30″….could you note and check with them net time?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hmm, my trial First Beat software expired. But, if you want to import in one of my .FIT files and post back the results – here ya go: link to sites.google.com

      (From an Edge 810, with Garmin ANT+ heart rate strap, an ANT+ power meter (can’t remember offhand which one), and a speed/cadence sensor).

  62. Fast Shark

    Thank you for posting this review. I was debating between an Edge 800 and an Edge 810 and you answered this question for me. I am going to save money by going with an Edge 800.

  63. brent

    Great reviews as always. I just purchased an 810. Unfortunately it is not pairing with my Sram Red Quarq power meter. I have a number of other Garmins (500, 800 and 910) and all of them pair with the power meter (the Qalvin app also recognises the Quarq). On emailing Garmin Support, they basically said not their problem, we don’t test 3rd party power meters. I’m about to start the process with Sram to check the power meter is okay, but given other garmins are pairing with it perfectly, it seems odd. Wondering if you have heard of anything like this happening?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hmm, any chance that the Quarq battery is simply going low?

      Also, try manually pairing using the ANT ID. It’s written on a small tag on the front of your Quarq Red (see above photo example). Remember that if it’s a four-digit ID, you need to add a zero at the beginning, then the four digit ID.

    • Brent

      Thanks Ray. Replaced battery (checked with Qalvin and reading 3.1v). Tried mannual pairing. All seems very odd…

  64. Kris

    You already have some pics of the colored soft-shell cases ?

  65. Andrea

    Thanks! about First Beat i meant the algoritm inside the 810 for Cal computation, T.E. …..like the 910XT has.
    Than about AVG Power Zone 3″, 10″, 30″, lap would be nice to xcheck with Garmin if you can ;-)

  66. Max Spiess

    Great review!

    In my opinion, one of the main drawbacks of Grar,in devices is the lag updating inclination grade on the road. The delay may take critical time, making you to lose precious the momentum for an attack/defense in the mountains… Where every move is deceive.

    Same thin afterwards… GarmingConnect does not show the gradint info recorded. That is a key piece of info!!! I cannot understand how they skip this issue. I’ve sent them a message encouraging to include this data field but they don’t event have the good manners to sent a message back refusing and explaining why not.

    Anyways, I keep on trusting they will repair this flaw sometime in the future.

    Best regards,


  67. Mitch

    A question on navigation method and profiles. I have a 705 and have used to help navigate both in car and on foot when in Europe. Eg cycle holiday (bike stuff) but also driving between locations or walking around.
    Some operator errors I made was forgetting to switch from different transport modes, which can lead to confusing directions or simply time taken to recalc a new route to take way to long causing all sorts of grief.
    So the question is can the bike profile be uses to set which method to find best route. Ie walking, car/motorbike, road cycling off road cycling, avoid main road, dirt road etc.
    One other question relates to the processing speed of loading a course and just boot time to record a ride compared to the 705.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, exactly. Except, Activity Profile now instead of bike profile – it’s where the navigation settings live, and thus where the ability to change what road type. So you could literally make one for driving, one for offroad, and so on.

      It’s much faster than processing on the Edge 705…so.much.faster. Though, those speeds largely came at the Edge 800 too.


    • Mitch

      I have a 705 which has a failing battery. I would guess I would be in a growing group who will be forced to replace the battery or upgrade

      On your reply above, around processor speed, do you have any comparison on performance? My specific interest is around recalc’ing directions. i.e. on a 705, it can take a long time to recalc a direction if you have to make a deviation….which is frustrating and can get you more lost as you can give up on waiting for guidance to be redone, and just explore your way to find your route

      So my question is around how much faster the 810 is….. I sort of have the same question around the 1000 as well

  68. Mike Harper


    I just upgraded to a 810 solely for the livetrack. As a father to young ones, my wife is always calling me asking me when I am going to be home, so this saves answering the phone on the bike. But I have to tell you, I am bummed beyond words that my map card from my 800 is locked and can’t be used in my 810. I bought both of them without it, since the bundle came with everything else I already had.

    I am going to try and use the free maps, but man….bad customer service from Garmin not letting me used what I already paid for…..

    If you have any other suggestions, let me know!


    • DC Rainmaker

      I ran into the same problem. I had my map card from the 800 (though I had downloaded maps to it from online), and simply thought ‘Oh, I’ll just stick it in my 810 and be good’. Of course, I did this with the intention of going out for a ride 10 minutes later. No love.

      I had to re-purchase and re-assign to the device (because I didn’t buy the card separately). Completely agree, it’s stupid.

      At some point Garmin will understand that when selling a $400+ mapping product…it should sorta include maps (or at least the maps I already bought once). Try out the free maps though, they are very solid.

      (Side note: I think competitive pressure from the likes of Leikr and other devices will eventually force them to cave on this. It’s already proving to be the case in cell phones.)

  69. Mr. M

    Great review. I have a 705 that I bought as a bundle. Now I know every thing in that bundle Will work. I also got city navigator 2007 . Now I know its outdated. But
    1. will it still work with the 810. And
    2. is there anyway To update City navigator

    • DC Rainmaker

      If you bought the SD card completely separate, my understanding is that its’ supposed to be movable.

      Updating City Navigator you can do on their site. I don’t very well understanding all of their licensing and updating rules though. They seem wonky and crazy to me every time I try and figure it out.

  70. john m

    OK so we can add mapsets “manually” to the SD card, but any thoughts on putting
    courses on the same way ? With the 800 you simply put the exported course GPX file
    into newfiles and rebooted the edge.
    A friend tried this with an 810 and it crashed requiring a full reset to recover !!!!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Ick. Did he report it to Garmin Support by chance? They tend to aggressively nail bugs like that just post-release, whereas 3-5 months down the road it gets quiet.

  71. Dominic Johnson

    Who’s the mfgr for garmin products. I have a great idea, I’d like to collaborate with Garmin to design a new product.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Garmin makes almost all their own products*, and owns their own factories in Asia.

      *The exception being those units from Dynastream, a wholly owned subsidiary, which largely leverages Dayton Electronics. These are typically ANT+ speed/cadence/HR sensors.

  72. Marcelo

    I had bought the 810 and I have an Android device. What I have seen is that the Android App is diferent than the iphone app. It does not appear courses or workouts on the screen and I haven´t been able to upload anything from the phone to de device.
    ¿Do you know how to do it?
    ¿Do you have any information about an app update?
    Thank you

  73. Brian Ogilvie

    Great review, as I mentioned in an email. One thing to add: the “France Select” maps are the excellent IGN maps of France. They’re not so good for city navigation, but when you’re riding in the countryside, or planning a ride, they can be invaluable. The Top 25 and Top 100 series are the most useful ones (the old 1:50 000 series is no longer being updated, as far as I can tell). Your second screenshot is the 1:25K map If you have an iPad, the IphéGéNie app allows you to access them via a year’s subscription as an in-app purchase, which is far cheaper than buying a set.

    OSM maps of France are generally good, but in rural areas they’re sometimes incomplete. I’ve added several tracks based on the rides I did in 2011-12.

  74. One glaring omission I’ve found on the 810 is that it does not support .tcx files. At RideWithGPS I create routes from which I and others can download both .gpx and .tcx files. There are some significant advantages to .tcx files but the 810 won’t accept them.

    I also don’t like the way the 810 dims the entire screen when putting up a message such as Auto Paused and Auto Resume.

    Other than that I think it’s a great unit as you so beautifully pointed out in your review.

    • DC Rainmaker

      It should. Just create a folder called “NewFiles’ and plop them in there. The unit will accept them then.

    • Dale Blanchard

      I agree that it SHOULD accept .tcx files, but it does not. It accepts .gpx files but leaves the .tcx file sitting in New Files.

  75. Michael

    hi Ray
    Wondering if you can reply to my post #109?
    thank you

  76. Hi,
    thanks for the comprehensive Test.
    One question come to my mind:
    Is 810 able to scroll left/right in the elevation profile of the current active course? 800 is not providing this feature.

  77. Sean

    Wow. That is some review. I’m glad I found this page, thanks. I own a 705 that I use for mountain biking that I’ve been satisfied with but I’m always up for the updated gadget. I didn’t see the upside in the 800 but the 810 seemed like a possibility.

    My problem with Garmin in general is the confusing web site/maps thing. I’ve designed and written software for a living and it seems like the garmin site(s) are almost purposely confusing. Which Maps do I get for free? Which ones do I have to buy? What site/logon does what? What a mess. This review is the first time I’ve seen an explanation of how all of it is supposed to work.

    From the reviews I read of the 800 it seemed like a Beta release. I was waiting for the next iteration and the 810 has some things that appeal to me. The live tracking, social media sharing (to annoy my friends) and bluetooth/iphone integration.

    I get most of that from the free Runkeeper App on my iphone that I use in addition to the 705 for on the handlebar info but it would be nice if Garmin could do that all in one. Although the Runkeeper website is pretty nice with integration to all kinds of things like Withings scales, heart rate monitors, diet/calorie appps like LoseIt!, etc. So I don’t know that I’d stop using Runkeeper.

    But, like I said, I’m always up for the latest gadget so I was ready to buy the 810.

    Until I read this review. The deal breaker for me is the old bluetooth technology.

    That just aggravates me when companies do that. I’m supposed to drop $500 and not get the latest technology widely available? Even though it would likely be good enough for what I need now, I’m not willing to drop that cash and then be looking at the next model that does have that technology in it with new features that aren’t possible with the 810.

    Without this review I would have just assumed the 810 had the latest bluetooth. Why wouldn’t it?

    So Garmin loses out on my $500 this time. I’ll wait to see if the next model is any better and stick with my 705 which still does what I need it to do even though it’s gotten pretty beaten up from MTB crashes the last few years.

  78. Billy

    Hello! I recently purchased a Garmin 810 and have had problems with it on my first ride. As I was going to the map feature the device simply just turns off by itself. I turned it on again and attempted to do the same things by trying to go to the maps and the device turned off pence again. Do you happen to know what the cause of this might be?

  79. I’ve had an Edge 800 since they were released and it’s been a solid product. That said, here are my annoyances with it:

    1) No ANT+ upload of data, so I have to have a laptop to get my data to TP when I travel for my coach to see.
    2) Five bike limitation. I have more, plain and simple.
    3) Slow mapping updates when trying to “scroll” around on the map to see what the roads around you look like.
    4) I bought the Garmin map card for it before the free maps were nearly as useful.

    So my understanding is the 810 doesn’t help with the first item at all even though I’m an iPhone/iPad user, since it’ll only send to GC (at least until someone writes an app to let me download back from GC and upload to TP and Strava).

    The second item is “better” since I can have 10 bikes. I still think this should be as many as you have memory for, but 10 is probably “enough.”

    The question is the third item. Is it any better on the 810? The only mention of CPU speed I’ve seen in any of this doesn’t really address map use. Sounds like routing is about the same speed, so I’m not hopeful.

    As for the fourth, it’s a major bummer, but I’d get by, I suppose.

    And this weather issue is REALLY DUMB. Garmin has known how to overlay weather radar data on their GPS maps for OVER TEN YEARS. The Garmin 376C has been out a long time and does this with XM Radio weather data. No reason why they couldn’t get this from the phone via the Internet now. If the 810 did this, I’d have ordered it DAY ONE. But in reality the improvements seem so minor and my 800 still works fine so I have little reason to jump on the bandwagon.


  80. Travis

    Will you the unit provide a % grade number for display and is it accurate? I know it provides an elevation number but watching the number change isn’t useful in real time. Thanks.

  81. Kris

    Hi Ray, thanks for the great review (as they all are).

    Quick question – I have….. no, had, an Edge 800 unit. Had in mounted on a K-Edge unit that came apart and was driven over by a car (all this during a race).

    So, I now have the option of replacing the unit or ‘upgrading’ to either the 510 or the 810 (when it lands in South Africa. Although I do like to option to download maps and use the unit like a car GPS so it puts a minus in the 510 camp). Is it worth the wait?

    I only have 2 races left for the season and then it’s back to base training. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • DC Rainmaker

      I would just replace like with like. So if you liked the 800, I’d go with the 810. Otherwise, I’d just save the cash and get the 500, since the 510 changes are fairly minor, but with more real estate.

  82. Peter

    Hi, nice review. I received my edge 810 yesterday. Before I used a edge 500, but was not happy with the course functionality.
    I have some questions:
    -are you able to save courses created on garmin connect onto the microsd card? since the internal memory is limited, I’d like to save the courses on the bigger microsd card
    -I used to use http://www.fietsnet.be to export a route I created as .tcx (I read that the edge 810 does not support this file type anymore when you drag it in the newfiles folder). What’s the best way to load .tcx routes when you want to use another service other than garmin connect?
    -this one I have to try out when I have some time and when the weather is a little better: but when you start at a point a few km away from the start point of your course, does the edge 810 navigate to this starting point?


  83. MT

    Fantastic site. Truly in a league of its own.

    Would the hr monitor from my forerunner 210 work with either the 800 or 810, or would I need to purchase one with the unit? I’m “this close” on an Edge unit (FR210 first garmin product purchased) and leaning towards the 800 – Dont need live tracking or weather updates. Biggest draw for me is the routable maps like on a car gps. New to Califronia and i get lost. a lot.

    Thank you…

    • Ralph2244

      It should. I have a Forerunner 305 and I used that one since I use both 305 and 810 on my rides. Just need to pair with 810

  84. Rob

    Hi Ray,

    Great review, very in depth. I was looking to upgrade from an Edge 500 for some time and mine broke a few weeks after you published your review, so based on the new UI which I thought was a very nice (I won’t be using the bluetooth features so these do not matter to me) I bought an 810. However, I am disappointed with it. I have gone through 2 units already, the 1st returned due to dead pixels, now the second is being requested back for replacement due to power issues. Before I return it, I wondered if you have any input (because I am not convinced it needs to be returned and exchanged) as you use the same PM as me (your review of the SRAM Red Quarq was very informative and I found it very helpful in my process of buying a PM).

    I am using a Quarq PM (SRAM Red Exogram) and am seeing lots of power drops in my data where the power values drop to approx half of the current power, for between 2 and 4 seconds then returns to the correct power. This then effects average power, normalised power, IF & TSS.

    It appears I am not the only 1 with such issues (link to forums.garmin.com), but Garmin seem to be responding with completely different comments to different people. To some, they say it is a known issue and they are working on a fix, to me they say, never heard of it, we need to replace your unit (AGAIN FFS?).

    Have you experienced any such issues either with your test uni or a subsequent unit you have since purchased?


    • Alex

      Suffering exactly the same issue

    • DC Rainmaker

      I’ve been pressing them on it behind the scenes (pretty hard).

    • Rob

      So I am assuming you have this issue too then Ray, hopefully with your input and knowing your review is very in depth and right on the front page of Google they pay attention to your comments. Really hoping they drop a new firmware release within the next week or so that includes a fix to this problem.

  85. Richard Smith

    To be honest, the best thing Garmin could do is employ you as a product consultant/tester/futurologist. Garmin are you listening?! Your reviews are universally excellent, honest, and go into far more depth than most normal product reviews

    I’m a software dev, who loves poring over “geek” statistics, but even I have to surrender at times and move on when it comes to how much detail you convey in your reviews.

    You’re obviously passionate about how technology can be leveraged to improve athletic performance, both for yourself and for the rest of us.

    We all know that the average smartphone has more than enough power to run apps which far surpass the features provided by the dedicated devices supplied by Garmin. The limiting factor has been form and battery life. In the next 2-3 years both of these will be addressed. I can see dedicated running/biking android based training devices flooding the market soon at a 1/4 of typical Garmin prices. Where will this leave Garmin?

    I particularly liked your argument about the Garmin’s bluetooth strategy, which strikes me very much like Apple’s strategy of trying to keep control of their “ecosystem”. And look how that’s working against the Android invasion…

    • Well you can already get an Xperia Active which has all the equiverlent critical hardware features for well less than half the price of an 810. Battery wise I have done a 5 hour ride this winter with the screen at 50% and still had 21% left at the end.

    • Richard Smith

      Hmm, looks ok. But I don’t want to replace my Samsung S3 with one. I can’t believe that no other mobile phone manufacturers haven’t noticed the gap in the market for a mob which is weather proof, has enough battery life for a 10+ hour ride and has a tough shell.

      I don’t think the likes of Garmin could respond. Why would anyone buy a dedicated bike computer at £300+ when a phone costs nothing over a 2yr contract and has more than enough power to match an 810?

    • DC Rainmaker

      The challenge today is that none (really, none) of the software apps out there for cycling have ‘all’ of the features of the 800/810 (even more so applicable to the ones on Android). It’s a hodge podge. In total, across numerous apps, you can get the same (and quite a bit better) functionality. But not in one.

      And that’s where things are stuck.

      Until there are more Bluetooth Smart accessories (or, until Viiiiva comes along and renders things moot by just translating ANT+ to BLE), then it’s going to be a tough game. The Wahoo RFLKT starts to bridge that gap, but the current editions don’t have ANT+, and for more cyclists, that’s a bit of a deal breaker.

    • Richard Smith

      Surely implementing Ant+ (and/or protocol of ur choice) in a semi-dedicated training device/phone would be easy for any phone manufacturer?

      It’s easy to divine the best features from training devices/apps already on the market. It just seems to me phone manufacturers are missing a trick by not getting into this area seriously.

    • I think the only major features I am missing in IpBike that is in an Edge 810 is turn by turn navigation and the virtual race stuff. I Support all the cyceling sensors plus footpod and temperature. Workout support with .fit based repetitions etc. Maps with offline support with a couple of OSM based formats as an alternative to Google maps. I don’t have turn by turn navigation but you can upload a .gpx to follow and the map auto-rotates for you so fairly foolproof. I have a number of feastures not in an 810 like direct upload to Strava, Runkeeper, TrainingPeaks. Post ride plots are avalible on the device and you can export a plot of the profile of a climb directly from the app. Intergration with Sonys Smartwatch.

  86. Marc Mas

    First of all thanks for this fantistic website, I use to visit almost every day! But this is my first post.

    Regarding Edge 810, I’ve already have one since two weeks ago. I owned 705 and then 800.
    One main thing I miss is, when following a course, the elevation screen doesn’t show your and the virtual partner position dots. Have you noticed it? Is this a bug?
    Other thing I miss is the data FC GRAPH. Vey useful when I am training.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    • Russell

      It’s a bug.

      I have the same issue with the elevation screen. I called Garmin and reported the issue. They were able to replicate it with their unit while I was on the phone with them so I’d guess they will fix it in the next firmware update.

  87. Kevin

    First of all, this is a great and good review! Congrats!

    But still a few questions:
    It seems like you were able to push your courses and workouts to your garmin edge 810 using the garmin connect mobile app, which is by the way really nice and handy. But with the released app on the android market, I don’t have that opportunity with my cell phone. Am I the only one with this problem?

    A second question, while I was doing a live tracking activity, my folowers were not able to view my heart rate and cadans. How is this possible? Is there some setting which needs to be made? I’m using the standard ANT+ sensors from Garmin, so this can not be the problem.

  88. Ben

    I’ve been using the Edge 800 for a couple of years and love it. I like to plan my routes on Garmin Connect, but Garmin have still not fixed the problem of elevation data no transferring to the device so you just get a ‘flat-line’ and no idea of when a hill is coming up. How have they developed a new device but not fixed what must be a simple problem???

  89. Russell

    I noticed my total elevation when uploaded to Strava was much higher than the 810 shows on screen (which matches Garmin Connect). I contacted Strava and was given this info:

    “This is actually a design function of the Garmin itself. The issue is that on the 800/500, Garmin smoothed/filtered the data before writing it to the FIT file. With the 810/510 they use the same smoothing process to compute the ascent/descent, but they don’t write the smoothed data to the FIT file. Instead they write something that is much closer to direct readings. Hence it has more ripples, that could impact the calculation by 3rd parties – since each little up and down caused by the stray reading is now counted in that calculation.”

  90. Andy Hines

    Outstanding review. Thanks a lot!

  91. JK

    Hi Ray, thanks for the great thorough review. I decided to get myself one after reading your review, what’s more there’s a 10% off at CleverTraining. I thought CT should be a reputable site by your recommendation and with “USA Triathlon certified retailer” logo. Unfortunately, it appears to be otherwise, a scam site in precise. I clicked on the link in your review, checked that the Edge 810 is “In Stock” and “Ship within 1 business day”, placed my order with the discount coupon code and paid for “Expedited Shipping” (I am a Malaysian whom currently in the States for business and needed the item to be delivered to me before my departure). The order was placed on 21 Feb 12:30pm ET but until today I received no status update at all from CT, the order history still shows “Not Yet Shipped”. I called the customer service number and was directed to the voice mailbox which is already full, perhaps by many anxious online buyers. So now I am left with nothing but a loss of 470 bucks. I should have ordered from Amazon that never fails me.

    This is just to share with you for your awareness. Such irresponsible retail store might / might have dented your reputation (as well as USA Triathlon). You might want to remove all links to CT on your side and perhaps to distant yourself as well. Just my 2 cents.

    Thanks again for your great review!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi JK-

      Sorry to hear about the troubles. I’m forwarding over your e-mail to them and we’ll see if we can get it sorted out. I’ve generally heard good things from many folks, so hopefully this is just a rarity.

      I’ll follow-up with you via e-mail as soon as I hear back.


    • JK

      Hi Ray, thanks for your help! Zack from CT have contacted me to sort things out. Appreciate your help (and reviews)!

    • Motorhead

      Congratulation Rainmaker for the great review it was decisive to my choice. But I’m with the same problem of JK. I made a purchase of a Edge 810 at Clever on March 6 and the Shipping Status remains Not Yet Shipped. I am in vocation in USA for few days. I’m worry about that don’t delivered in time. I sent a email to seller about that yesterday and they didn’t respond yet.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Motorhead!

      Thanks for the support, I appreciate it!

      I chatted with the Clever folks, and it sounds like there were a few items on your order and because the box had been checked to wait to ship all items at once, they were waiting on one or two of those items that were listed as shipping within 5-7 days (the 810 was/is available for immediate ship). The e-mail you sent on Saturday to them, you should get a response this morning (Monday) – if not already. They’ll get you all sorted out.

      Thanks again for the support!

    • Motorhead

      Sorry for the delay in replying. My orders were delivered on time. The only problem I had was relation with two boxes of 24 unit PowerBar Energy Gel that I bought and they sent four boxes instead of two. I contacted the vendor about the incident but did not answer me right until now. Thank you for your support Rainmaker!

    • Motorhead

      Sorry for the delay in replying. My orders were delivered on time. The only problem I had was relation with two boxes of 24 unit PowerBar Energy Gel that I bought and they sent four boxes instead of two. I contacted the vendor about the incident but did not answer me right until now. Thank you vary much for your support Rainmaker!

  92. Dimitry

    Thanks for the solid review. Almost impossible with such a thorough analysis, but I still have one question. When buying the City Navigator, what is best option: buying it on SD or the DVD version? What are the pro’s and cons on user frienldliness, features, etc.

    Merci beaucoup pour votre reponse (so far for the French

    • DC Rainmaker

      The SD card version allows you to move it between Edge units (though downloading doesn’t). I haven’t messed with the DVD version in a few years unfortunately.

  93. ljcico

    hello, where can i get bracket the you have for garmin on aero bars?

  94. ljcico

    Excuse me because I was not precise enough. i need it for light.

  95. Hi there!

    Thank you so much for your detailed review of the Edge 810. I really admire your effort.

    I was wondering whether I should get the 810 or 800 and your comprehensive report confirmed that the 810 is what I need for the upcoming season.

    I hope, it will arrive soon, so that I can make myself familiar with all its functions before hitting the road again in April.

    Actually, my plan is to review all the equipment I choose on http://www.cyclingparents.com. However, as a mum of currently 1.5 kids I often lack the time to write more than just a few lines.

    Thus, I would like to ask if you mind if I refer our readers (lately up to 1,000/day) to your report, so that they can obtain some more authentic information about the Garmin Edge…

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Alexandra aka Spinning Mum

  96. Simen

    I would like for my Garmin device to be able to recognize which bike profile to use depending on which mount it is mounted with. It’s so easy to forget to modify the bike profile, that I’d love for this bike detection to be handled automatically (e.g. through some wireless pairing between the mount and unit). Unless I’m the umpteenth person to mention this: Could you relay this to your Garmin contacts?

    • DC Rainmaker

      There’s the concept of ‘Proximity Pairing’, which is something I think we might see in the future. Essentially devices know how close they are. Many BLE devices are using this today (very rare in ANT+, though quite possible and I’ve seen cool demos with it).

  97. alex

    Can you sync the 810 with an Android tablet? I tried with a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 running 4.1 and had no luck. I thought it should work the same as a phone with bluetooth connection. I downloaded the Mobile App and it still wouldn’t connect. Am I doing something wrong? I want to download routes this way.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Eek, I don’t have an Android tablet at present (mine is in the mail). Sorry! I’m sure someone else here should be able to validate.

  98. Jeff

    Hi Ray – another fantastic review. Your detail never ceases to amaze me. Time to get you back on IM Talk too I think! I am considering the Edge 810. Apologies for my ignorance but what I really want to know and can’t completely tell from your review is whether the 810 can act much the same as a SatNav in a car does – with map and arrows for direction on pre-programmed routes. This is a feature I would really like on my GPS. If not – then would it make more sense to buy a cheaper 800 / 510 or 500?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yes, it’s pretty much exactly like a SatNav in a car (the 800/810 does this), while the 500/510 does not.

  99. Nicholas Saraiva

    Congratulations on the review, wonderful, helped a lot!
    I bought an Edge 810 this week and I’m having difficulties at one subject that I would like your help.
    It is this: every time I create a new point (new Locality), when I restart the GPS it lose the marked point. It’s strange, because seems that the GPS “understands” that this point exists in the database, because every new points follow the numbering of the previous points.
    You know what might be happening?

  100. Matt

    Have you had any issue of the 810 locking up while swiping screens ? Had it happen twice over 2 week span and had to so full system restart and lost all data .

    • DC Rainmaker

      I haven’t seen any locking up (swiping screens or otherwise). Sorry!

      However, historically if you see Edge lockups, it’s best to see if there’s an issue on the disk of the unit. Support has procedures for doing a check-disk, usually that fixes it.

  101. Francisco Araújo

    Have you seen this review of the 810? It even links to a post of yours.
    link to bikehugger.com

    It appears the frustration with the intentional sluggishness of the sporting electronics is mounting.

    And I quote:
    “For many iterations of the Edge, Garmin would create a device that came tantalizingly close to being perfect, albeit with one or more features not-yet developed. (This was also the development cycle on the other product lines as well.) A model might offer climbing data but be missing a barometric altimeter to make the data more accurate. Or there would be mapping but no digital compass so it would point in odd directions when not moving.

    This smart pre-obsolessence made many Garmin users hanker for a trade-up before they’d even opened up the packing on their model. “

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, I saw it. I agree with many of the overall themes, though I didn’t quite have the same experience with it.

      I didn’t see sluggish/slowness issues, nor crashing issues. My issues are more conceptual and feature-driven (or lack thereof).

    • Francisco Araújo

      My phrasing wasn’t very clear… I meant the purposeful slowness of development and product cycles…

    • DC Rainmaker

      Gotchya. I don’t think it’s purposeful. I think it’s internal corporate culture that lacks a clear understand of the competition and how quickly it’s catching up. To be clear, it’s caught up in certain areas of cell phones, but not in all – no single device and/or single app can fully replace the 800/810 line. Someday, but not yet today.

  102. Lone P

    I do long distance riding, in excess of 15 hrs and have recently bought the Edge 810. I’m now looking into being able to charge it while riding and recording a ride or following a course on the same time?

    Do you have any suggestions.

    Thank you.

  103. Helge


    will you review the new Mio Cyclo 500 series?

    • DC Rainmaker

      I haven’t decided. The challenge I have at the moment with a portion of that series is just how darn big they are. Massive units that aren’t really catered as much to the crowd that reads here, but rather focused more on general touring where size isn’t an issue. I’m still TBD.

  104. Edpd1

    Hi, great review and has made me think…

    If you did not have a GPS and were going to get one would you go for 800 or straight to 810…I dont have a smartphone as yet.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Oh, definitely straight to the Edge 810 if price was no concern and you didn’t have either.

      Note there are some funky power meter recording bugs on the Edge 810 in the current firmware version. I’ve been pestering Garmin on them, as it somewhat renders PM data useless at the moment.

  105. Jane Sales

    I’m confused about Garmin maps and pricing.

    Hi there – I was wondering if you could help me understand Garmin maps, particularly as sold in the UK. (I realise you probably know more about the US and France, but if you can’t help I don’t know who can!)

    I’m thinking of buying the Garmin 810, and certainly want turn by turn directions, both for an upcoming holiday in Sardinia, and generally for exploring the UK. My husband and I like to do a new road ride each weekend, so avoiding mistakes is good, and we need turn by turn directions. I’m thinking we need City Navigator Europe for that – is that right?

    Then we start looking at Garmin 810 bundles as sold. We already have HRM and cadence etc, so we just need the device, with or without bundled maps. It seems that you can either get the device alone for (e.g. from Sigma Sports) £379 or the 810 Trail for £429.

    link to sigmasport.co.uk

    The latter includes (I think) the Discoverer 1:50 OS mapping of Great Britain, and I’m guessing its main use is for off road. We don’t currently ride off road much, but may do in future. It seems as though the 1:50 mapping alone, on Amazon, costs about 180 quid – link to amazon.co.uk

    So the 1:50 maps cost 50 quid with the 810, or 180 quid if you buy them later – but is that right? I’ve heard things like the stand-alone, more expensive maps can be installed on multiple devices, and the bundled ones can’t? Is that true? If so, it might be worth paying three times as much to be able to use them on the Garmin 5000 in 2030.

    Also, does the Garmin 810 do turn by turn directions with the Discoverer maps?

  106. Bob P

    the grade % doesn’t work like the 705 it jumps around +4.0 to -6.0
    yesterday two of us that have 810’s went out and tried to compare while riding on a relatively flat grade and the numbers were every where even when we went down a small hill mine went to +4.6 it was totally useless, ive had two 305’s and a 705 over the last 8 years, and have never seen this….what gives

  107. Frank

    What do you mean when you say that courses are not shown while the live tracking is active? Does that mean the directions function is unavailable?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Meaning, they aren’t shown to the person watching the live-tracking. They’re shown as normal to the rider.

  108. SteveO

    Thanks for the detailed review. I have had my 810 since 2/28! It has been a great upgrade from my 705. I have noticed that the Auto Pause does not work when I am only using the Speed / Cadence (GSC-10). Have you seen the same?

    • DanH

      I’ve been looking at this for a couple years on and off. Yesterday I spent close to an hour on the phone with Garmin. After talking with the tech, the helpdesk and finally the people who actually program the things I was told auto pause was specifically turned off when the GPS was off.

      So it’s an 800 for indoor riding and the 810 for outside.

  109. Mark Duncombe

    Great review as always.

    I am thinking of an Edge810 with UK Discoverer Topo maps but want to use it for various activities. Ca you think of any reason why it would not be good for any of the following

    Mountain Biking (Fun)
    Road Cycling (Fitness)
    Sea Kayaking

  110. nbt

    I just buy 810 and use in Thailand. I found that it still not complete product.

    1. Android. I still cannot found the apps in google play.

    2.iOS. for my account in Thailand. I will not found this app in store. I have to sign in another account and locate address in US. so I can found app in store. my first question ,Is it support only some country?

    – when I pair , and start LiveTrack, after few minute. it shown “Network Connection Error” ( At this time, my invite still can see start position, but it do’not move)
    link to facebook.com

    I don’t know what is my problem , Is it support only in US now?

  111. K7

    Very disappointed with the 810. I love the form factor, the design, etc but it’s locking up, dropping the power readings, the HR and cadence. Garmin updated the version already but it hasn’t had any impact. It’s a lot of $$$$ to spend on something that, to date, has been so poorly executed.

  112. Michael F. Smith

    Anyone have any issues with the 810 shutting down during a ride while scrolling through the different training pages?
    My 810 has shut down at least 5 times while scrolling manually from page to page during a ride.

  113. Dale Blanchard

    I haven’t had it lock while scrolling, but it sometimes locks up while just sitting still. And probably 20% of the time I find it locked when I unplug it from the charger in the morning.

    • Michael F. Smith

      I have had it lock coming off of the charger as well. I generally shut it down and bring it back up and it works. But that is when it shuts down when I scroll it.

  114. Andre


    I have both the 800 and 810 and i must say i don’t see a very big difference. To be honest I’m pretty disappointed in the 810. The new features don’t really add any significant value to the device. The user interface has changed and that’s about it.

    Weather Data is totally limited and actually pretty useless. I was hoping that the device would give an alert if there was a chance of running into rain on my route or direction I’m heading.
    I also need to have my cellphone with me to even receive Data. My App on my phone gives me a way better forecast.

    Live tracking is nice to have but while I’m riding i don’t have anything of it.

    I was hoping the device had lots of new features.

    The 810 is exactly the 800 just with Bluetooth and a new user interface…thats my opinion.

    PS: My Batter % never shows 100 it always stops at 98…hmm…

  115. Rob

    Thanks for this great review. Your review is better than the manual!

    I just got the Edge 810 and a new CycleOps Power Hub power meter, which I have successfully paired. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to access the screen you show above (which you called “mother of all power meter screens”). How do you get to that?!?! Do you have to create it by customizing the display setup?I’m sure it’s my own lack of technical prowess, but I just can’t figure that out. I’ve gone through every possible screen option (at least those I can find) many times and don’t find that screen, or anything similar, or anything customizable. The user’s manual doesn’t tell you how to get that, either. I assume this is a related question, but how do you customize screens using the various available fields?!?

    Also, I can’t find any display pages that show cadence, even though I’ve also successfully paired it with my GSC-10.

    I know, I’m probably just clueless, but please tell me what I’m missing. Even if you can just point me to an outside source telling me how to do this, I’d REALLY appreciate your help. Thanks again for your great website!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Indeed, I just created that screen by adding in the data fields manually. To customize screens (which will also show you cadence), you’ll go to:

      Settings (Wrench Icon) > Activity Profiles > Choose a Profile > Training Pages > Choose a Page > Increase/Decrease number of data fields > Choose the checkbox > Tape a field to change it.



    • Rob

      Thank you!!

  116. Bart

    Hi someone have idea Why android app. Are so different fron iOS version?
    The Android app miss many function that iOS have and its ridiocolus….

  117. Reb

    Just got my 810 this morning. Thanks to your fantastic review/setup. Because of your review I was able to setup my Garmin 810. The Manual does not show how to change “Page views”. If it does, it is not easy to find. Your paragraph on showing that option made it very easy to find. I spent 20 minutes trying to find it. I had a feeling that your site would cover this new Garmin and I was right. Thanks for all you excellent reviews and setups. You need to be getting paid big dollars for your reviews.. You deserve it!! Lunch is on me the next time you are back in D.C..

  118. Steely

    I am really surprised that the GPS on/off feature isn’t in the Activity profile. Would have been nice to have a profile for “Trainer” and in that profile have GPS off and on in the other profiles.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yeah. I think it goes back a little bit to the concern the Garmin likely has that someone would forget they were in trainer mode, and then go for a ride outdoors and record zippo.

  119. allan

    Just ordered my 810 yesterday from Clever Training (thanks for both the review AND the discount!) since my local place was out of the 800 units except in a $700 bundle ended up getting the 810 for the retail price of the 800.
    I live in the New York City area (Brooklyn to be exact) and there are HUNDREDS of miles of bike paths (and more announced recently). Does the unit take into account bike paths vs. streets when using the turn by turn similar to Google Maps? I try to stick to streets that offer the paths vs. riding through NYC traffic and it would be fantastic if the maps offered did that.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Thanks for the support, I appreciate it!

      Yes, you can set priority for what types of roads to utilize in routing, and can define those within the activity profiles. Enjoy!

  120. Matthias


    Do you perhaps know how to reverse a course? If you create a course from point A towards point B, is there any way you can go back from B to A following exactly the same route on the edge 810?

    Thanks a lot!

  121. allan

    Ok, got the 810 in the mail yesterday and, after leaving it on for about 2 hrs, it still hasn’t acquired a satellite. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how long did it take to finally pick something up?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hmm, not normal. Should only take a minute or two the first time around.

      Try doing a soft reset, that should help clear out any satellite issues.

  122. Dominic

    I’m moving to Boulder, CO next week and am completely unfamiliar with the area (roads, trails, etc). I do most of my training (swim/bike/run) in the early morning hours and am somewhat concerned about heading out pre-dawn without any bearings or familiarity with the roads.

    What do you think is my best option for getting to know the new bike routes? Should I get an 810 so I have routable navigation? I currently have the 310XT and an iPhone, so I could always follow the bread crumbs and use the iPhone if I really get turned around. How did you adapt when you moved to Paris? Generally speaking, I have a good sense of direction. Thanks Ray!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Either the 810 or the 800 would work in that scenario, as both support routable maps.

      For me, I mostly just use my phone. It’s not ideal, but I’m usually too lazy to program the rights into my Edge 800. Plus, it forces me to learn the roads a bit better.

  123. Jon

    Hey Ray,

    It’s been about 3 months since you did this review. Have you heard Nything from Garmin on making a change to the 510 810 to support BTLE 4.0? Or is that something they just won’t do at this point? We just wait for the next iteration to come along?

    Just curious. I don’t have a dedicated GPS device for my bike. I’m using my iPhone and I agree none of the programs do it all but I got the BRSC and BTHR stuff from Wahoo and it works great. So if Garmin isn’t going to come along anyte soon, is there Ny other mfg out there that does dedicated GPS that tlks BTLE?

    And again Ray, great reviews.


    • DC Rainmaker

      Nothing official on making a change to BT4. I’ve heard rumors of it potentially silently changing at some point from folks in the know. But nothing concrete.

      Nobody else at the moment has a unit like the Edge 800/810 with any BT variant, unfortunately.

  124. Nancy

    Have you heard any updates on when the power bug will be fixed in the 810? I’m getting nothing back from Garmin except ‘apologies for the inconvenience’. Pretty unacceptable. Garmin really messsed this one up.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Nothing new publically, but I’m meeting with them in person in about a week.

    • Nancy

      Ok, so I was anxiously awaiting the power “fix” that supposedly was just released. Updated the firmware and now the device won’t stay turned on (and it’s fully charged). Have you heard of this happening (didn’t see it in these threads)? I’m thinking of returning the device at this point.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Try a soft, then hard reset – that usually will do the trick. I’ve heard of it happening on other units (Edge 800), but the rest fix gets it up and running quickly.

  125. Mark D.

    Had my first encounter with weather alerts today. Beautiful day, so I went out this (Sunday) morning pre-ride the course of a TT next weekend. Sunny, windy and mid 60s. Snow is in the forecast for Monday evening though Tuesday so there are actually 2 Winter Storm warnings posted….that do not take effect for over 36 hours.

    Nontheless, the 810 continued to black out the screen to inform me of the winter storm warnings, again and again and again about every 90 seconds. It was one of those screen covering displays (like heart rate detected) that you have to tap to dismiss. Since there were technically 2 warnings, as soon as I dismissed one, another would come immediately. I was on my TT bike in the wind and had to come off the aero bars again and again through my entire 7 mile warm-up ride to dismiss this. Then getting to the start point of the race, I stopped and searched my phone to learn that the only way to get rid of the weather alerts is to turn the weather feature off entirely in the app under ‘my device’.

    Garmin makes great devices with nagging little aggravations that really stand out. This one reminded me of the continuous “OFF COURSE” aggravation of the otherwise great 500.

    Great review and site as always.

  126. I discovered a couple of days ago that the 810 behaves differently than the 800 when on the map page and not navigating. On both units I have Guide Text set to Always Display. The 810 shows the name of the street I’m riding on while the 800 shows the name of the cross street I am approaching. If forced to choose I would generally choose to know the names of the streets I’m coming to, but it would be much nicer if there were a setting that allowed me to choose either the street I am riding on or the street I am approaching.

  127. Jamie

    Thanks Ray! I just got my 810 from your Clever Training link, got here in 2 days:) woot! I probably just need to work out the kinks and user error at this point but I had 3? I hope you can answer for me.
    #1. I ended up saving a few map images onto the internal storage but realized my mistake and then “send to…” the micro SD card(16gb) but I can’t get them off internal storage. How do you delete them off the internal storage space in the device itself? I want to free up that space for activities since you can’t auto upload to my iPad if I save activities to the SD card.
    #2. I can’t seem to get the different maps enabled/disabled on each type of riding profile, like say “roads” with only the Garmin roads map but no topo/bridseye and then disable roads but enable Rails to Trails and topo for my “trails” rides. It wants to make everything the same and not make each it’s own profile. So whatever I changed last, it makes that the default for all.
    #3. I tried to ride a course today I saved from my Garmin 610 last week that I downloaded to my 810. The course started on the trail but I started my timer/event at my house which was 1/4 mile from the start point on the course. I figured it would just tell me how to get to the course and then it would be fine. But it acted like it had no idea where I was even once I got there. It kept telling me to turn a different way and then it got angry at me and beeped repeatedly that I should u turn or risk falling off the face of the planet(okay, maybe not that bad) but I finally just ended the course in disgust and saved/reset and started a new ride with no destination in mind. What happened? Shouldn’t I get some kind of better routing?
    I’m sure it is all user error at this point, but help?! Please?!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Thanks for the support!

      1) You can use the Basecamp software to delete them (from the left hand menu).

      2) Yup, you’ll need to create the activity profiles first, and then specify which maps to apply.

      3) Hmm, that’s strange on that one. I don’t have a good idea why – as it should have gotten you to the start. :/

  128. Dex

    Hi Ray,

    Great review as always.

    I’m thinking of getting an 810 notwithstanding the current issues well discussed on the various forums. I have an 800 currently and was hoping you (or anyone in fact) can confirm a simple question for me. I assume I can just use the Garmin Cadence (already fitted to my bike) and HR sensor I use with my 800, and the 810 will pair with them without any issues? I intended to use the new ones supplied with the 810 as spares.



    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, no problems at all there. Enjoy!

    • Dex

      Great, thanks for the super fast response :-)



    • Jamie

      Thanks for the tips and response, Ray. I just need to play with it, part of the fun of new gadgets is discovery…right?!
      Got any recommendations on an “on the go”(er, bike) battery charger? The event I bought this for in the fall is a tour that will take pretty close to the whole stock battery, and that is assuming I have no mechanicals or stoppage issues.

    • Dex

      Ordered one and had it delivered today, unfortunately the screen has some dodgy pixels in it, so its going back :-(

      Firmware update went through no problem though, paired up with all my sensors no problem too.

      A bit miffed with the screen though, and now I have to wait a few more days to get it returned and replaced.


    • Dex

      Just got my replacement this morning, screen is fine.

      However now all they have supplied in the Navigation Bundle is the Garmin Basemap, and the Navigation Maps are missing! Although its all labelled as “City Navigator Europe NT”. I’ve got an SD card with a capacity of 105mb and 33mb only used.

      Having been a Garmin supporter for many years now (remember Motionbased) this is all getting very frustrating indeed.


    • Dex

      Oh dear!

      Not only did the wrong map come, but correctly labelled and packaged in the box, now I can’t even get the unit to turn on. The only way it turns on is if I take the map card out. And when taking the card out, the port the map slides into feels abnormally hot. Very bizzare indeed.

      Second unit returned to retailer. Third time lucky perhaps. I’ve never had such bad luck with Garmin devices before, and I’ve had most of the cycling and running devices at some point.

  129. Ted H

    Couple of questions/issues. It seems that my 810 really have a hard time finding my android phone BT. Usually takes me at least 5 minutes monkeying with the units and finally have to unpair and then pair to get everything working again. So last night, while at home, did the whole procedure; turn on phone BT, turn on 810, it finds HRM, tap, it finds cadence sensor, tap, it finds GPSs… and voila, it finds phone… and I tried it several times and it works perfect. I always have problems when I am in a hurry to start my ride with the BT/810… It’s irritating because I can’t seem to find a common cause/scenario in identifying potential causes. Anyone else experiencing this issue?

    Also, I would like to download my FIT file from 810 rides. It doesn’t look like I can export FIT from GC… any other solution available?

  130. Pierre G

    I currently have an Edge 500 and thinking of getting the 810 since I guide and need road maps.

    1) I have a Quarq Power Meter on my Trek. Are there still issues with Quarq PMs and the 810 ?

    2) For clarification, can you upload TCX files into the 810 ? I use RideWithGPS and all my routes are mapped there. I want to be able to download them without any issues.

    3) Would anyone prefer an 800 over the 810 ? Notwithstanding the new features…

    On the power side, I also have a Trek Node 2 mounted and I notice that sometimes, my power readings drop to 0 brielfy and them come back up. Both devices (Node 2 and Edge 500) show the same values. I have a new battery in the Quarq. I’m thinking this whole issue might be on the Quarq side.


    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Pierre-

      1) There were issues until yesterday, when a new Edge 810 firmware was released. I’d wait a few days to see if that solves the power issues it claims to. I did some testing last week with a beta variant, and things seemed more positive in my tests with it.

      2) It’s (TCX courses) been added into the firmware from yesterday: link to www8.garmin.com

      3) I can’t really think of a reason someone would want an 800 over an 810 (except for price).


  131. Ray, does the 810 have a faster CPU that you can tell? For example, scrolling around on a map with my 800 can be very cumbersome waiting on the screen to redraw the new area. Is this noticeably differing with the 810?


    • DC Rainmaker

      Minimally, a touch faster. But I couldn’t say if that’s a processor change, or just code optimization. I’ll ask Monday.

    • Strange. I would have hoped that it being basically three years newer that it would have ended up faster even while maintaining battery life. But with so much else being unchanged, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

      I’ve beat the snot out of my 800 in MTB crashes, rain storms on the motorcycle, and even nearly 12 hours of Leadville 100. Thing keeps going strong and still has great battery life. My only complaints are no ANT+ data sync (if GarminSync.com would add TrainingPeaks that would solve all my issues with an 810, anyway), five bike limitation (10 would be just enough on the 810), and this speed issue. Hmmph.

  132. sl149q

    Great review.

    First I point at link to garminsync.com which will sync your data from GarminConnect to Strava. Seems to work well. Data ends up in Strava within 15 minutes or so of it being uploaded to GarminConnect.

    Second, I got my 810 two weeks ago. Had it turn off abruptly once. Just swiped to change screens and it was off. Turned back on and continued normally.

    Today I updated to the latest firmware. After going through the installation it reboots and once to the normal RIDE screen simply turns off. Had to do a master reset (turn power on while holding lap and start buttons). That worked but also cleared out all existing data.

    Given the complexity of configuring the activities and profiles, what is now needed is a good Windows / Mac application that allows you do that and download into the device. This could also be used to backup existing configuration data.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, GarminSync is pretty cool.

      I agree that having a configuration backup/restore functionality would be ideal. It’s one area I really like about the Timex devices.

  133. Barca

    Another excellent review!

    Does anyone what the limitations for Garmin Connect Mobile app on Android? I have Android 2.1 and I cannot find the app from my mobile. Send the App from my PC it says that my phone is incompatible. My phone is a Sony Ericsson X10 Mini. My girlfriends Samsung Galaxy Ace (Android 2.3) can download the app.

    • Barca

      Managed to fix the issue I was having with regard to not seeing Garmin Connect Mobile in the Android Market. Whilst not stated on Google Play. It requires Android 2.3. I rooted my Sony Xperia X10 Mini to allow Ice Cream Sandwich to be installed. Once I had done that I was allowed to install the App.

      Works perfectly now!!

  134. allan

    Was riding yesterday using the default screen (time, speed, time,distance) and the speed went wonky. I was stopped at a red light for about 30 seconds (I’m in NY CIty) but the speed kept showing I was moving between 5-10 mph.
    Later in the same ride, I was going uphill. I ride a recumbent so hills are MUCH slower, usually between 3-7 MPH. The speed showed I was going 42 MPH. That is faster than my average DOWNHILL speed.

    Anyone else have this problem and, if so, know why it’s happening?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Haven’t heard of that. Is that the new firmware (from last week), or the original firmware?

    • allan

      Original firmware that came with the unit

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hmm, I’d try the new firmware from last week. I know a slew of bugs were fixed there, but I don’t know if it’ll address you’re specific item. I wish I had a better answer. What you describe is pretty odd though.

  135. sl149q

    I tried using the 810 for hill repeats today. With a screen set up to show various things WRT to laps (avg lap time, average speed for laps etc.)

    – Auto Lap Trigger By Position
    – Lap at Lap Press Only

    Started the 810 at home, rode to the hill, pressed the Lap button and started doing my repeats. I was a bit disappointed in that while it quite nicely identified all the laps, it also used the warm up / ride to the hill as the first lap. Which of course throws all of the per lap averages and times off.

    So it appears you would need to stop your workout and restart setting the lap mark at that point, effectively this means that the other lap option (Start and Lap) becomes superfluous (or the Mark and Lap is not needed or useless as you need to use it at the start of the workout.)

    Is it only me that thinks that when using Mark and Lap that the first lap should START at the point that the Lap button is first pressed?

  136. Lone P

    Just update to the latest firmware and that appeared to work fine. Unplugged the garmin and turned it on – and it goes on to loading courses, loading maps and then it turns off straight away????? Tried it a couple of times and same thing happens??? Anyone had this problem?

    • JK

      Yes, happened to me. The remedy is to do master / factory reset. Plug in the device to ur PC, backup all files i.e. settings.fit in the internal storage etc (or just copy-paste all folders). Once done backup, power it off completely, then power it on while pressing (with your finger) the top left edge of the screen. Do a reset, follow on screen instruction. you can restore settings/profiles etc with this guide.

  137. Steely

    Looks like the 2.5 update (now available) fixes this problem.
    Just tried it and its fine. I had the same problem with 2.4

  138. John H

    I have had a Garmin 500 for 3 years. After about 2 and a half, the mount on the back of the unit snapped off (just the two parts that stick out and “click” into the mount that is strapped to the bike with the 1/4 turn). Only problem with these units, is it requires a full casing change and was told it may need to be a full unit. As I don’t want to go 2+ weeks without my unit, I electrical tape it to my bike (same mount to hold it just doesn’t stay in without the tape). Might just have to upgrade to the 510 now and it will solve that problem anyways.

  139. Just bought an 810 when I noticed the buttons on my 705 cracking (4 years old, over 20,000 miles). So sooner later water would have gotten in and fried it, plus I REALLY wanted a touch screen model.

    After reading this great review I update all of the firmware to 2.5, got my screens configured the way I wanted them and inserted the sd card with City Navigator for North America.

    I plotted a short 21 mile loop on Garmin Connect and loaded to the device as a course. Invited a fried to receive the live track and set off. Turn by turn alerts popped up nicely about a 1/4 mile before each intersection. So far so good.

    But two things looked off..

    The elevation screen showed a flat horizontal line even a the elevation ticked up while I climbed. Total ascent at the end of the ride of 750 feet seems about right.

    Distance to Next and Distance to Destination values seemed accurate throughout the ride. But time to next and time to destination read zero. And ETA to next and ETA to Destination read the current clock time, so at least they were consistent with the “time to” value of zero.

    I can’t find anything like this on the garmin forums though there is plenty of griping about other stuff I didn’t encounter.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance for any response you can offer to this issue, and for the great review. It made setup and getting started a snap.

  140. Chris

    Thanks for you very informative article.

    I’m new to Garmin and bought myself an 810 last week. I did do some research but still find it to be a pretty garbage unit. Screen resolution is from the last century.

    Issues I’ve had in the first 7 days of ownership:

    Whilst riding, and swiping through the screens, the unit shuts down when getting to the map page. I then lose continuity of my ride. I applied a software patch and now works.

    I added multiple pages and when swiping to my second page, the unit shut down. It was very hard to restart. When it eventually did, it was still recording my ride (miracle of miracles) but people viewing live track lost the connection even though livetracker said it was still running.

    Live track wouldn’t connect to my phone. Reconnected phone to unit. Unit says connected, livetrack says not connected. Unit says livetrack started. Also, when you invite people to watch you on livetrack, you can remove them before starting the next livetrack session, but when livetrack starts, it shows those participants as being invited.

    For the huge cost of the 810, I would say it is not worth the money. (Overly expensive, setup is confusing and time consuming). Strava, Cyclemeter are great tools but a bit big to have sitting on your handlebars when using a smartphone!

    My recommendation is to use Strava or equivalent (keep the phone in your pocket) and buy a cheaper handlebar mounted unit to track speed and distance.

    I have spoken to the Garmin support centre, but it is pretty disconcerting when you are telling them how to access functionality they don’t know about and then they say things like “hang on, let me write that down for next time”.

    My unit is going on EBay.

  141. Tim

    Hey Ray,
    I just had a quick look up on your test and I’m miss some information about a limitation of waypoints you can use, when creating a course on f.e. gpsies.com
    Right now I’m still using my 705 and I’m quite happy with it. But I think I could be time to move on to the next generation. So it would be very interesting if the 810 has also some limitation like the 705 where you can only use 500 points.


  142. Jonathan Kaplan

    Any thoughts on this iphone alternative?- it seems to adress some issues ( apart from the battery time..):

    link to ibikesports.com

  143. To follow up on my comment/question re. time to next way point and elevation, I’ve tested two pre-planned rides on the identical route. One plotted on GarminConnect and one on RideWithGPS.

    I’ve isolated the time to way point to only occur if you venture off route, decline when prompted to recalculate, then return to the course. With bout course import formats, the 810 initially gave good time and distance estimates to the next turn. After the off route and return, seemed to recognize I had returned to course and started giving accurate distance estimates to next way point or turn but no time estimates. I’ve recreated these results several times with both imports.

    The elevation display seems to be based on how the course was imported to the device. Directly from a course planned on GarminConnect, there was no elevation profile. With a TCX file downloaded from RideWithGPS the elevation profile worked exactly as described.

    My next round of tests will use a GPX from RideWithGPS and we’ll see if either both issues behave any differently.

  144. Jonathan – I bought my 810 to replace a 705 where the seals where wearing out and water could get in through the cracked buttons. I need the turn by turn navigation offered with a pre-loaded course for randonneuring and other long rides.

    I’m not aware or, any iphone apps that do this well. Though that would be my ideal. A smartphone with 3 day’s battery life while the screen was lit most of the time. It could accept a pre-loaded course, give turn by turn directions, alert me to text message from my wife, and be weather resistant.

    Is that too much to ask? :)

  145. DJ

    Hey first thing: your reviews are awesome!
    Secondly, you’re so right about the Garmin 810 download. I tried multiple times, different browsers, anti-virus off, different computers. Nothing worked.
    Today it ran over 4 hrs on a high speed DSL with 100mps network. Only got to 66% then failed.
    I spoke to Garmin support and got no help and no offer to refund.
    I might just sell the damn thing on ebay and get something else.

  146. A Chapman

    I was going to invest in the 800 (At present I do not have anything). The 810 however looks that wee bit better but only with the smartphone features that seem to be “lacking”. Which kind of makes me want to just the 800. So should I start of with the 800 or just steep out for the 810. aaaaaaaaaaaaah

    • allan

      honestly, I was in the same boat as you. I ended up just picking up the 810 through the deal that DC Rainmaker has with Clever Training. With the 10% off, you can get the 810 for the same price as the non-discounted 800 so I figured what the heck!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Indeed, as Allan noted – that’s probably the best way to look at it. Hopefully at some point additional unique features will be added…but I wouldn’t be holding my breath for anything short-term. At least it gives you the chance that they will (as there will be nothing for the Edge 800).

  147. Tiuri

    Hey! Nice review it made me buy a nice new 810!

    But there is one thing I can’t figure out. When I follow a set course from garmin connect, instead of giving me nice directions the 810 keeps re-calculating the route! Even if I stick on it like Sellotape! This is very annoying since the routing function is the reason why i bought the 810 in the first place…
    I think it is in the settings, there is no option to shut the ‘re-calculate’ option off

    Do you (Ray) or someone else who reads this have a solution?


  148. Eli

    Going by an email from garmin support, looks like garmin will enable the ability to record r-r intervals on the 810 :)

    • Eli

      Nevermind, they have no plans for this :(

      Hate it when support says they will support something and just wanted to wait a bit to tell me when the support was coming and then a month later after I probe again they say they will not support it.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Interesting. That said, I wouldn’t take support’s position on it as fact (given how disconnected the divisions are). I’ll poke at it next time I chat with the Edge team.

    • Eli

      While I’m pretty sure you understand what I’m asking for I figure I should expand just to be sure. (Also completely unconnected to that, nothing happening at work right now… ;) )

      Although currently there are not many easy to use apps to analyze it I believe that HRV data can be very useful. Two things hold it back, its more complicated to analyze then other stats from the bike computer (no “look, your power went up” when a number goes up), but more importantly not many devices record it meaning the audience of people who could make use of post analysis software is small. But while analysis is hard, recording that data is simple as the Ant+ HR straps already give that data so there is no extra hardware and the FIT file already has a way to save the HRV data with the only downside being the extra space a FIT file with this data will take up. (Yes, there will be a bit more processing load, but that should be very minimal to not impact things) So once the data becomes available then third party apps could make use of it. (i.e. the chicken and the egg problem, only unlike left/right power where getting this new metric requires expensive new devices this is mostly free)

      So what I’m asking for is to enable r-r interval recording (either through a menu option or like the 310xt, 610, and 910xt it could use a settings fit file that includes a hrm_profile message that has the log_hrv field to true) and put the beat by beat timing information into the FIT file the device saves (the hrv data message inside the activity file). That is all I’m asking for. (also guessing this should be added to the 510 too, I’m just more biased to it being added to the device I own ;) )

      Would I like to have the extra data fields like training effect the 610 and 910xt have that I’m pretty sure are licenced from Firstbeat, sure. But I realize that is a much more complicated issue as that involves more complicated algorithms and probably requires garmin to pay licensing fees.


  149. Rodrigo

    Hehehe, thanks for all your quickly replies.I read all of your reviews and I’m very grateful for it.After days of thinking I had a completely diferent plan.Will order the edge 500, The garmin swim and the waterfi MP3 player.Still will have money left than buying the 810 and I can still using the occasionally iPhone maps for help.I have been using the swimovate for 3 years and had all 3 models.The new one just arrived on the 4th and I am enjoying it, but like you I like to try new gadgets so won’t rest until trying the garmin swim.New swimovate battery seems ok, have used everyday and still hold the first charge since the 4th, the vibration system helps s lot , so I usually set to vibrate every 40 laps.The screen is bigger, brighter and easier to read.The strap band keeps coming off but ive heard they will do something about soon.The heart band holds well, and the customer service here in England from one of the founders is really good.The MP3 is something I always want to try as well so this is the opportunity.The Edge 500 will do everything I will need 95% of the time and the price isn’t out of this world.Tanks again

  150. Henry

    Hi – this is a great review!

    I have a quick question though – do you think the user interface alone would justify an 810 over an 800? I am not bothered by the other updates in all honesty.


  151. Bill H

    Garmin currently is offering a $100 mail-in rebate for new Garmin Edge 800 purchased between 4/1/13 and 5/31/13. Couple that with the 10% CleverTraining discount, it brings the cost of a new 800 down from $450 to $305.

    Unless someone really, really wanted the new phone integration capabilities, would you agree that price point makes it a no-brainer to go with the 800 over the 810 for anyone who doesn’t currently own either?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, I’d definitely agree.

    • Pierre G


      Well I chose an 810 over the 800. Why ? The firmware in the 810 is quite different and from what I can tell, probably a different code base. I am guessing (using my experience as a s/w developer) that there might be more new features for the 810 than the 800. Only time will tell…


    • Eli

      I’d agree with Pierre. Sure if you’re on a tight budget then the 800 makes more sense, but seems like the 800 has reached the end of its life meaning no more updates. So if you are fine with the 800 the way it is now then get the 800

      Seems like the 810 will be getting r-r interval recording based on email with Garmin’s support (something I want to play with) so I’m guessing more features may be added to the 810 too. The reason for thinking they will add more functionality is it seems the 810 hasn’t done so well on the market so far so they may feel like its worth investing some more time in it so it can better compete against those that just use their smartphones. The 810 being a different code base means features added to it are highly unlikely to be backported.

      There is also the chance the 810 was just a stopgap release that didn’t need much development time while they invested more in a longer term project that is a much more substantial update. (Seems like the 810 is basically the exact same hardware with the radio chipset adding bluetooth) This prediction would be much easier to make if you knew the state of CPU development for very low power devices that would fit in the power envelope of the 8×0. Don’t think garmin sells enough to have much impact on creating a new generation of cpus and all the money into cpu R&D seems to be going for higher drain CPUs like those in smartphones and tablets so there is a chance there isn’t much possible improvement in the hardware.

    • DC Rainmaker

      There will no doubt be new features added to the 810 that the 800 won’t get. Obviously, the 800 won’t really get any new features going forward at this point.

      We saw the 810/800 get a small package of new features already – for example, training plan support.

      However, for someone saving $100, those may not be a big deal. And one never really knows how many (if any) new features Garmin may add. Training Plan support could be the last of it, or, perhaps we’ll see KICKR (ANT+ trainer profile) control support. Ya never know.

  152. Bill H

    Thanks for the follow-up responses! I ended up taking the plunge on the 800. While it is unlikely to get any more updates, the 800 is stable and I know what I am getting. I should note that I have very little interest in the phone integration features (as I would rather disconnect when I am riding), so for me it wasn’t worth paying almost 50% more for an 810 ($305 vs. $450) to get those types of features. So overall, I’m pretty stoked I could get the 800 for a mere $305!

  153. Mark

    Hi! great review! Planning to get an edge soon, based on your chart comparison, could you recommend getting edge 510 over 800/810? Would save me a lot! budget wise. :)

    • DC Rainmaker

      It really depends on if you want mapping. If you don’t care about maps, then absolutely. If you do care about maps (as in, frequently use them to both plan and execute routes while riding), then go the 800/810 route. Enjoy!

  154. Peter

    Hi Ray,

    I got a powertap G3C and I just bought a new Edge 810 but pairing the devices just doesn’t work. Seems like more people are experiencing this problem.
    Any suggestions or a solution? Cause neither Garmin nor Powertap has a clear solution.

    Thx, Peter

    • DC Rainmaker

      I just validated I am able to pair with the latest firmware and the PowerTap G3C hub. Have you contacted Garmin support (as opposed to the forums)?

      Also, any chance you know the ANT+ ID and if you enter that in manually, does that help? And lastly, have you tried changing the battery on the G3?

    • Peter

      Problem solved! But…
      – Garmin couldn’t give me a solution.
      – And I already had replaced the battery.
      – The ANT+ ID from the PowerTap isn’t mentioned anywhere.

      So I did the steps below:
      1. Go to a friend who has the Joule GPS
      2. Pair the PowerTap with the Joule GPS and check the ANT+ ID (both CycleOps devices)
      3. Now, manually pair the PowerTap with the Edge 810 by entering the ANT+ ID

      The Joule GPS picked up the ANT+ signal from the PowerTap but the Edge 810 didn’t so I think the whole pairing problem is a Garmin-problem.

      Thanks anyway!

    • Eli

      Are you using the latest firmware in the powertap hub? link to cycleops.com

      Could also be that cyclops implemented pairing wrong but works between their devices

    • Peter

      Latest version of the PowerAgent and the latest firmware update running…

  155. Jeff

    We are all pushing for seamless upload capability to 3rd party data mines (Garmin Connect, Strava, Training Peaks, etc..). I for one don’t expect Garmin to support this trying to retain people on their platform. However we know Wahoo is supporting the latest Fore Runner watches for upload to mobile over Wahoo Ant+ Key dongle and currently support twelve different upload destinations!

    The big questions is will the Edge 810 support data uploads over the Ant+ protocol? If so we can push Wahoo to open support on the Wahoo Fitness app to allow mobile Edge 810 uploading!!!

    • DC Rainmaker

      I asked about that while at Garmin last month, not gonna happen. :(

    • Jeff

      DC I take it your response is for both questions.
      1. Garmin will not open their mobile app to upload to 3rd party sites.
      2. Edge 810 will not support data uploading via ANT+ protocall.


      Thanks for you dedecation to the community!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Sorry, it was mostly in response to #2 (adding ANT+ ANTfs uploading of files, to allow wireless transfers via ANT+). They simply don’t see the need at this point given they put Bluetooth in there (we had a long conversation about it).

      Obviously, I see the need (as do you), primarily because of lack of #1.

      On #1, allowing upload to 3rd party sites, they definitely hear it – especially around Strava. They understand the demand, it’s just that they’re focused on Garmin Connect. I continue to stress in very simple terms that they’d quite frankly sell a crap-ton more Edge 810’s and 510’s if there was a menu option that basically said “Upload to Strava via Phone” from the unit (or XYZ other service). The comments here from so many others are pretty solid proof of that.

    • Eli

      Assuming developer resources aren’t free I would hope they don’t do ANT-fs. With how much slower it is then bluetooth, whats the point? I’m pretty sure the OS is not the same between the watches and the 810/510 so implementing Bluetooth’s FTP protocol would seem to be a better approach:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Then any phone app could mount the garmin wirelessly the same as is possible when plugged into the computer as a mass storage device

    • DC Rainmaker

      I don’t disagree that would be technically better. But knowing the thinking there, I don’t see it happening.

      On the ANT+ side, all Garmin Forerunner watches except the much older ones (FR405-based ones and FR50) support it.

      Edit: As for speed, the .FIT file sizes between a FR910XT recorded bike ride and a Edge 810 are virtually identical – so there’s no difference to what it is today. And for the most part, a single ride transfers over within a few seconds normally on ANT Agent.

    • Eli

      A random gpx file to have turn by turn directions for a 64 mile ride is 322KB (first day of Bike VA, pink route) ANT-fs in a perfect condition is 20 kbps so will take more then 2 minutes to transfer (I’m guessing much longer based on smaller fit files being transferred from my 310xt watch, turning on r-r recordings makes the file bigger) That would be a very bad user experience. Sure for downloading fit files it may work, but 810 users are probably interested in the routes too. Plus most phones have bluetooth, not ant built in.

      Sure if thy just needed to enabled the feature it would be cool to have, but if it takes a larger amount of effort then bluetooth is a better path to travel. They already started down the bluetooth path with the 510 and 810 so seems like they should keep going.

    • Eli

      a ~40 mile bike ride for me produced a 350KB fit file on my edge 810

  156. Eric Peters

    I just want to make sure that I do not downgrade when buying a 810, does the 810 have all training page options available which are on the 800.
    – Can you define multiple training pages per bike profile?
    – Is the Lap summary page (introduced in 2.4 on the Edge800) also available on the 810?
    – Is there any chance that the field “vertical to next” (available on 305 and 705, but missing on 800) is going to return to the Edge 810?

    • DC Rainmaker

      1) Multiple training pages per activity profile (they’ve moved there).
      2) Lap summary is there
      3) No vertical to next in there.

  157. Eric Peters

    Sounds fine, I personally think the extra features are worth wile upgrading in my case especially bevause i switch 2 bikes, one with a powertap sl and the other without but then I use a powercal strap.
    My next project is going to be devlopping a workflow to get some live feedback when riding Strava segments. I think the autolap feature with mark and lap at the segment start and a proper screen setup should get me in the right direction

  158. Matt

    So if went 800 for the maps, what app is best for tracking/updating someone on your location that doesn’t kill battery?

    I used to use cyclemeter and the auto tweet (though prefer something to specific email address) – worried parents when out on long rides so had thought about 510/810 but thinking 500/800 better bet and use iPhone to send updates?


    • Eli

      If you are worried about if from a safty perspective then not only do you have to make sure the cell battery doesn’t die running the app but if an emergency does happen there is enough power to do more with the phone. This is why my cell phone only acts as a cell phone during rides so I know I didn’t waste battery life on the GPS

    • DC Rainmaker

      CycleMeter, RunKeeper and even MapyMyRide all have functions that do tracking. And actually, so does Garmin’s ‘Fit’ app.

    • matt


      Eli – think that’s the crux of the matter for me, had battery run out on me before.

      Was trying to save a little money by not going for the 810/510 but only way I could do this would be to carry 3 devices. 800, iphone for the sending of updates, works blackberry as the phone for emergency

      so realistically it’s three devices or cough up the cash for the 510/810

      Could go 510 and use offline maps via Nokia maps on the iphone – often end up in zero signal areas where I live/ride

      Cheers Matt

    • Surly a spare phone battery is better than 3 devices…

  159. Re. spare devices / batteries – I put my iphone in airplane mode while pedaling. It drops the battery use to near zero but allows for a quick access for pictures and quick resumption of service to send a text message update or if needed to make a call. Then back to airplane mode before I stow it back in it’s pocket. Battery will last > 2 days in this manner without recharge.

    Best part…. no incoming phone calls to interrupt a good ride.

  160. Mark

    Can you live track another rider during a ride/race using the 810 itself only?

  161. Edward

    So I’m about to take the plunge… try as I might, I am struggling to justify the additional cost of an 810 over an 800 (because I am a BlackBerry user). So far as I can see, the only difference the 810 would make to me would be the “virtual racer” feature, but that hardly justifies the extra cost!

    So my question: are there any signs at all that it might be possible in the future to pair a Garmin 810 with a BlackBerry or will the Garmin only ever work with an iPhone/Android phone?

    Ray – if you have any “inside info” on this, I’d really appreciate it! As a general rule, I don’t like buying “old” technology, but I’m really struggling to see what benefits the 810 would give me over the 800….

    • Eli

      The new blackberries can run Android apps so its really up to Garmin to put it on the blackberry store. Might be best to ask garmin support. (Even if Ray does have inside knowledge one way of the other contacting support will let Garmin know there is a demand for that functionality)

    • DC Rainmaker

      As far as a native Blackberry app goes – I asked about this in April, not going to happen at this point.

  162. Anyone else having problems with uploading to Garmin Connect from the SD Card (for me it gets stuck at the 0% bar, but works fine when uploading from internal memory), and also displaying the heart rate graph, it just goes to displaying heart rate? Using firmware 2.50.

  163. Neal Becker

    Can a linux user find happiness with a garmin 800/810?

    I would like to be able to prepare a route online, and d/l to my garmin. It would be nice if that would give turn-by-turn directions. I don’t want to use a windows vm to use my garmin. Is there hope?

    • DC Rainmaker

      The Edge 800/810 enumerates as a mass storage device, so you’re good there. Then you can just create the GPX file and plop it on the Edge to run it.

  164. Edward

    OK, so I have taken the plunge and bought myself an Edge 810….

    I have set it up / configured it, but I haven’t actually used it yet.

    Please forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I want to measure my speed and distance in miles / mph. I have set the units to “statute” as opposed to metric.

    On the display page, the speed is read to display in “mph”, but the distance is displayed in “feet” – rather than miles….

    Have I done something wrong here, or will the display measure distance in miles once I start cycling?

    This is probably a moronic question, but if someone could explain this to me I’d REALLY appreciate it ….

    thank you!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, once you go somewhere, it’ll click over. I believe it’s at roughly 1,000ft it turns to miles.

  165. Edward

    Great! I thought as much but thank you for confirming!

  166. Edward

    Ray, would you mind helping me with one further question?

    Let’s say I am doing my commute home and and, whilst riding, I come to my favorite Strava segment. I know that my best time on that segment is, say, 14.5mph over the 6 minute segment.

    Suppose I want to use my Garmin 810 to monitor my time on that particular segment and to help me break my record.

    Rather than stopping the activity and starting a new one, I guess the best thing to do is to use the LAP feature. In other words, when I arrive at the starting point of the segment, I press the LAP button.

    However, is it possible to view my AVERAGE SPEED within that LAP (i.e. to see whether I am breaking my best time), or can I only see my current speed within that LAP?

    Hope that makes sense…

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, lap is perfect for that. Then just add the data field called ” Speed – Lap Avg’. Donezo!

  167. Edward

    Thank you! Under “Speed”, I can see “Lap Speed” – will that give me the average speed for the lap or is there a “Lap Avg” lurking somewhere else?

    • DC Rainmaker

      That’s the correct field. Sorry, it changes from Garmin product to product.

    • Dick Wall

      Is there anywhere with a a list of the text field names along with their proper definitions I wonder? There is a relatively strong whiff of marketing giving smiley replies about how easy and really great it is and feeling uncomfortable with boring things like maths!

  168. Dennis


    I have a question about my edge 810.
    I want to use different maps in my activity profiles, is that possible?
    If I change a map it now applies to both of my activity profiles.

    Thanks and regards,

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yes, as noted within the maps and ‘Activity Profiles’ section above, you can specify different maps per each activity profile.

    • Dennis

      Thanks for your reply.

      It;s not working on my device. If I chouse a topo map benelux for my MTB profile it also applys to my RACE profile. Everytime I change a map in my profile it also changes the other profile.


  169. K7

    Did you have any of the multitude of issues that others are reporting when you tested the 810? If so, why didn’t you mention them?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi K7-

      Because I don’t write about issues that I don’t myself see. Once you do that it’s not a review, it then becomes simply a random rant of made up things. I did in the review describe a number of issues however that I did see (I actually called it ‘half-baked’). Ultimately, I’m not a QA tester for Garmin, and I use the device as much as anyone else I know – but I can’t possibly test for every single bug in the device in every single permutation of a use case.

      Also, keep in mind that the Garmin Forums aren’t really a good indicator of whether a device is having issues. Ultimately, the only reason people go to the Garmin Forums is to resolve a technical issue. It’s sorta like asking the banker if they’ve ever seen money.

      And finally – remember that firmware updates change. Within the course of the beta firmware (as I noted in my review), I got multiple updates. Items would work great in one firmware, and might break in the next, and then be fixed again. Since the release of the product, there have been multiple firmware updates – including that exact pattern above.

  170. Guido


    Here’s a dummy question for you as I’m totally new to any GPS devices.
    If I buy the 810, or 800 for that matter, will I also be able to use that as navigator in the car or for hiking? Realising that I might need to upload different maps of course.

    If that works, that would be a way to convince my ‘budgetholder’ to get one for the family :o)


    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Guido-

      Yes, you can. With the Edge 810 you can create Activity Profiles, which are exactly for this type of thing. You can then define the navigation settings on each (i.e. create a ‘Driving’ or ‘Hiking’ profile). There’s some really good settings recommendations towards the end of the mapping post in the comments around which checkboxes to use: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Eli

      You’ll want to be sure to use different maps between biking and driving if you use the OSM bike maps. (The OSM maps change the priority of roads that are used for routing)

      But while it would work with different maps for driving I personally wouldn’t want to use it as a driving GPS as the screen is small and the unit too slow for easy use while driving. Reactions to turns have to be much faster when driving so a bigger screen you can just glance at is much easier to read. Car GPS as they don’t need quite as good a battery life tend to run faster then the Edge units so recalculating is faster as is showing the turn. (switching map drawing) So maybe as an emergency backup, but not “I have an Edge 810 so don’t need another GPS unit”

  171. Ross


    I have a question regarding turn by turn navigation on the 800/10. I currently have the 705 and have many problems with the navigation feature. I want to get the 800/10 and start fresh with a clean unit. My question is can you use the free opensource maps you describe to give you turn by turn navigation ? Also not strictly 810 related, can you use other 3rd party gps mapping websites to create the routes and could you recomend one that works well with the 800/10.



  172. lu

    hi.. because of your review, i bought a 810! :) i wanted to install the free map, i’ve downloaded both the zip file for the image and the exe file for the installer. installed basecamp first before doing the rest and still couldn’t get that free map to work.

    question is.. do you install the exe file and the image zip file onto the microSD card itself or just on your computer is fine?

  173. Richard F

    Great review Ray.

    I use a pair of Cardo-BK-1 Duo’s for riding with my son. It is a great system that enables one to communicate with another rider in a normal tone of voice with no road noise. It also works great for answering calls on the road hands free without interruption.

    It uses Bluetooth to connect with your cellphone. My question is whether you can use the Garmin 810 for live tracking at the same time as using a device like this? Can BT handle multiple simultaneous uses?


  174. Eli

    The Cardo-BK-1 Duo just pair as an audio headset, right? 7 devices is the technical limit but even if data bottlenecks keep it lower then that it should still be able to do 2 devices at the same time

  175. Eli

    On a bike ride today my 810 got down to 6% battery life after 12 hours so pretty sure it wouldn’t reach 17 hours. Bluetooth off, paired to heart rate strap and powertap

    • DC Rainmaker

      What was the brightness level? I’ve found that’s the primary driver of battery life for me on both the Edge 800/810.

    • Eli

      pretty sure I turned the backlight off, but will be paying more attention to this going forward. (too used to the 705) hmm, seems like this setting isn’t saved between power offs so maybe it was at the default which is kind of annoying

    • Eli

      Also wonder how much mapping impacts battery life as I was on the map screen the whole time. By that I mean that rendering the changing map seems much more CPU intensive then just showing data fields so could have a signifigant increase in cpu power draw. Also seems like rendering OSM maps is slower then the garmin map which would make it seem like if you’re primarily in the map view the OSM map would take more battery power. But all the above is just a guess

    • Eli

      Just did a 2:0 long bike ride an that used up ~26% of the battery. The gamin doesn’t save the last setting of the backlight which is a pain as its very hard to notice if the backlight is on during the day. So any touch of the screen turns the backlight on and when you do routing whenever it tells you about a turn the backlight comes on (many turns in a ride through DC)

    • DC Rainmaker

      Correct, though it will default back to whatever backlight level you had set it for after the backlight timeout value expires.

  176. Ange

    I don’t suppose you ever test, or know anyone who does, on Linux do you?

    • Not at this time.

      That said, the Garmin Edge series (including the Edge 810) uses the standard USB mass storage device type (identical to a USB drive), so you can open it from Linux just fine. From there, most of what you’ll do will be copy/paste type operations.

      Things like Garmin Communicator won’t work, so you’ll have some limited functionality as far as ‘pushes’ from Garmin Connect (site), but most of that you can achieve just by saving the TCX/GPX/FIT/etc files and then manually copying them to the unit.

      Linux compatibility is something I’ve looked at adding down the road to the comparison tables however (I want to ensure validation of the data though like all other rows, hence why I’m hesitant right now).

    • Ange

      Thanks for the reply!

      I am now thinking that since its now £100+ ($160) less for the 800 that I will go for that instead.


  177. Brad Wright

    On my 810, the Heart Rate doesn’t display on any of the screens. I’ve been using it for a month and would like to see my Heart Rate as I’m riding.

    Does anyone know how I can get it to display please?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Have you added the heart rate field to the display? If not, just hold down on a data field you’d like to replace, which will then pop-up a screen allowing you to change it. Then select Heart Rate (category), and heart rate (data field) after that.

      If you have added it, you’ll need to pair your heart rate strap as well.

  178. John H

    On Linux:

    Someone has written, and more importantly is maintaining, a linux version of the gamin connect plugin. Works pretty well on the latest Ubuntu. They list Firefox/Iceweasel browsers, but it works with chrome too.

    link to andreas-diesner.de

    Question on battery life: I stayed away from the 800(went 500) because of battery life(12+ hour rides are more common for me). I had thought the 810 was solidly in the 15+ hour camp, but have been hearing from others with it that they are only getting 7+ hours and that is what the booklet states. I confirmed that they were on 810 and not 800.

    What is your experience now over time? With turn by turn on? Without?

    Cheers, and great write up!


    • Eli

      The 810 doesn’t seem to be able to save the last state the backlight is in. If you combine this with the backlight defaulting to the middle brightness setting which is hardly noticeable in daylight you realize the battery is being drained for no reason for most rides. Would be a simple fix to either:
      – default to the backlight being off
      – save the last state the backlight is in
      – default to backlight being off when in day mode and when it switches to night mode default to being on

  179. Just wondering if you have ever loaded Ordance Survey maps onto the 800 or 810? Wanting it to follow new road and MTB routes as well as the occasional walk in the UK hills?

  180. Edward

    Garmin Touring GPS Announced….
    link to road.cc

    Did I jump too soon with the Garmin 810, I wonder?

    • Eli


    • Eli

      Some news places are saying this device doesn’t have Ant+ or bluetooth so there is a chance this is just a cheaper version of the 810. The optimist in me thinks this means bug fixes to make routing work well on this device will come to the 810 too

  181. Eric Peters

    This looks like a reincarnation of the Edge 605, focused on the recreational part of cycling and directing you to places where the 810 is more focussed on the “sports” part.

  182. John H

    Can you say if the Coursing is any better on the 510? The 500 likes to stop drawing the breadcrumb trail constantly. Even when you go off course and it tells you, it still doesn’t show the course.

  183. John H

    Sorry wrong article. Please delete.

  184. Raul V.

    Did you notice anything strange on the GPS receiving quality?
    Under trees mine goes to an accuracy of 23 – 27 m. while my 310XT still has 16-18 m.
    I wonder: who’s ‘honest’?
    I learnt that the 810 has a lower total distance result. Still collecting data on this.

    • I haven’t seen any appreciable differences between the 810 and a slew of other GPS units. Every unit will generally report slightly differently each time, determining which one is ‘correct’ can be incredibly difficult (I’ve done tests in the past, it’s really tough!).

    • Eli

      If you use a speed sensor of some kind (powertap wheel, speed ant+ sensor, or speed/cadence ant+ sensor) then you’ll have less of an issue getting accurate data

  185. Ed

    Great review for the Edge 810. Have one and we are getting to know each other. Have 2 questions. Bought it primarily for the HR feature and the possibility to establish Zones. Have this set up and can see the zones on the screen while riding. However, have not been able to recover HR zone information from the unit or from the “upload” That is how much time was spent in each zone.
    Second, You mention often that more space can be added by replacing the SD card. Assumed that the maps were all stored on the original card so copied that folder to the new card. When inserted in the 810 I received the message that the folder/file couldn’t be unlocked.

    Where did I go wrong? Thank You.

  186. Dave O

    Ray Rules!!! The first thing I will do when I win is download my free open source maps. :)

  187. Arthur

    Ray, I found your blog and truly appreciate your reviews and will support you, with a purchase thru CT or Amazon. My question is I was considering the 510/810, but just bought an ELSA. Your CONS are not for power meter users. What do you recommend for GPS/Power Meter users? Thank you in advance.

    • I’ve been watching closely as Garmin continues to release new updates on the power meter side. Another went out last week addressing PM recording issues on the 510/810. They’re getting pretty close now.

      Otherwise, for all my rides, I just use an 800 today. It just works.

  188. Simen

    Hey, I am currently using the Garmin Forerunner 610 for bicycling. I bought this for running, but it works well for bicycling aswell.

    Would you recommend upgrading to a Garmin bicycle computer? And which one should I buy now? I will definitely go for a Garmin Edge, but which one? 500, 510, 800 or 810?

    What benefits will I gain by upgrading from a Forerunner 610 to a Garmin Edge?

    Thanks a lot for the review. Excellent as always.

  189. Paul Davidson

    So many questions…….but for now…
    I’m off to France from the UK tomorrow for a week……getting a bit of a TdF fix!
    I want to use the LiveTrack but does anybody know what sort of data usage (international roaming??) this will have on my mobile phone? I’ll be in the saddle for about 7 hours a day and I don’t want to come home to a horrendous phone bill just so my wife knows where I am!!

    • Paul Davidson

      …..just to add….I think my data roaming charge is £0.45 per MB.

    • I haven’t done any testing on data totals and what it looks like (though I’d love to see Garmin do so).

      I’d guess that your primary issue will really be restricting other apps on your phone from using the data connection once it’s available (i.e. Twitter/Facebook/e-mail/etc…).

  190. WOW! Amazing review! A friend sent me this link and said it would take a while to get through and he was right!

  191. Andrew

    Hi Ray

    I have just spent about two weeks going through all your cool review information and have ordered a Garmin Edge 810 to go with my brand new Trek Modane 4.5, and I’m all excited like a kid with new toys. It will be an amazing step up for me as I have never owned a cycling GPS. I would have ordered one from Clever Training to support you but I live in New Zealand and got a good deal (15% off) from a local store on the Navigation and Performance Bundle. It was NZD $680 (US $530) and comes with New Zealand and Australian TOPO maps.

    I plan to use the Bontrager Duo Trap speed/cadence sensor (like the girl) and use the bundle sensor on another bike. As you say if I have that functionality on the Trek then why not use it.

    You review on the 810 and the subsequent comments/answers are so good that all the questions I was going to ask you were solved by the time I got to the end. I had a small fit when someone mentioned Garmin has just released another model (Edge Touring) but it looks like a cut down, navigation focused version.

    For me you are definitely not a rainmaker, more like a sunshine maker as you clear away the mist and clouds of confusion around many sport/fitness devices. Your name Ray (of sunshine) Maker is very appropriate.

    Have you been to New Zealand yet and done the Ironman New Zealand up in Tauo? We guys started it all by hosting the first international ironman 30 years ago.

    • Hi Andrew-

      Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it!

      I think you’ll be happy with the Edge 810 over the rumored Touring.

      I have been to New Zealand a few times now, but haven’t done IMNZ to date. Maybe some day….

  192. scott buchanan

    When will? Garmin likely update 810 to BT Smart and leverage the benefits?

    • Medium to long term, absolutely. Short term, no plans. Also, no immediate plans to support Bluetooth Smart accessories (i.e. HR straps, etc..). It’d be more logical for them to support Bluetooth 4.0 (which is the umbrella that Bluetooth Smart sits under) so they could connect to certain types of BT Smart devices as well as devices like cell phones.

  193. Jeremy

    First: I have come to appreciate your reviews and your attention to detail. When evaluating a product its importantant to know as much info as possible with plenty of pictures. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    I recently purchased an Edge 810 and was doing great with the original 2.2 firware until the 2.6 update. Until they release 2.7, I think you should let readers know that there are a slew of issues with this update. Not just inconvenient ones, but show stoppers (freezing during ride, inaccurate elevation readings, inaccurate heart rate readings). What is the point of a cycling computer if the data is inaccurate or it cannot last the entire ride? Until they get their software debugged and another update released, potential buyers need to be aware that this release has some serious issues. A trip to forums.garmin.com will show more information. At the price of this cycling computer, I expect at leaste the basics to work. :(

  194. Greg Hilton

    Jeremy – my 810 was fine for 3 weeks, then had the issues you mentioned twice last week. I rang Garmin support who had me do a master reset and then re-install the 2.6 firmware. On 4 tests rides since then it has been ok…….