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Garmin releases new Edge Explore 1000 Edition: Tells your friends when you crash into a ditch

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Minor Confession: A small part of me simply wanted to title this post: “Garmin Releases Yet Another Product This Summer, Because It Can”.  But alas, I hear that’s not terribly great for search engine optimization (SEO) and since I get approximately 53 SPAM messages per day to my contact form by SEO companies offering their services, I didn’t really want to give that lobby further fodder.  Instead, I give you this title – the most SEO-appropriate creative twist I could – and will further fill the post with plenty of mildly relevant content. Sound good?  Good – let’s begin.

Today Garmin announced their Edge Explore 1000 edition (no, not explorer like Magellan, just Explore – only once shall you Explore).  This product is a slimmed down variant of the Edge 1000 that was released about a year ago.  The focus of the Edge Explore 1000 is primarily touring.  While it supports certain ANT+ sensors – it doesn’t support everything that the Edge 1000 does.  So it’s really a subset of features of the Edge 1000.  This is the exact same pattern that Garmin did with their Edge Touring edition (which was a subset of features from the Edge 810).  As a result, the Edge Explore 1000 is cheaper than the Edge 1000…but only by $50.

I’ve had a chance to dig into the unit a bit while here in Germany at Eurobike – so let’s dive into it.

What’s New:

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The Edge Explore is essentially a dumbed down Edge 1000.  It’s got near-identical (near being the super-important part) hardware to the Edge 1000, but lacks many of the advanced features such as structured workouts, Strava Live Segments, or ANT+ trainer control.

On the flip-side, it’s got a ‘simplified’ user experience along with precisely one feature the Edge 1000 doesn’t have: Incident Notifications.  Actually, it also supports eBikes, which oddly the Edge 1000 doesn’t.

Here’s the quick overview of what’s new, unique, or different between the two (high level):

– Edge Explore has Incident Notification (Edge 1000 does/will not)
– Edge Explore has eBike support (Edge 1000 does not, older Edge Touring does though)
– Edge 1000 has the following that the Edge Explore does not:
— Structured workout functionality (Intervals, Custom Workouts)
— ANT+ Weight Scale support
— ANT+ FE-C support (coming to Edge 1000 in/by Q4 2015)
— Additional Edge 520 metrics such as FTP and recovery that will arrive on Edge 1000 by/in Q4
— Strava Segment support
— Shimano Di2 support
— Different activity profiles (just one on Edge Explore)
— Limitation of 3 Custom Data pages vs 5 on Edge 1000 (+ Map, Compass, Elevation, Varia data pages on both units)

Based on my extensive menu/page button pushing extravaganza – those should be the only differences, but it’s possible I missed something.  It’s actually curiously interesting how slightly different the menus are between the two units.  I would have expected some of the settings menus to be precisely the same, but alas things are dragged around in slightly different spots.

The Crash Alerts:

Officially this is called ‘Incident Detection’, but that’s probably because lawyers had their way with it.  For the purposes of ‘keeping it real’, I’m going to call it just ‘Crash Alerts’.  Cause that’s what it’s there for.

But what exactly is Crash Alerts?  Well essentially it will alert a predefined list of contacts that you’ve kerplunked your bike.  It does this via your phone and can notify that person via e-mail or text alerts.  That person will then receive a map of your exact location.

In order for this to work you’ll need your phone with you, and need to have the Garmin Connect Mobile app installed on the phone and paired to the Edge Explore.  Additionally, said app will need to be running in the background somewhere.  This is sorta like other past cycling crash services (ICE Dot comes to mind).  You’ll then define contacts to notify within the Garmin Connect Mobile App:

Screenshot_2015-08-25-18-50-21 Screenshot_2015-08-25-18-53-06 (2) Screenshot_2015-08-25-18-53-21 (1)

Once those contacts are setup and the phone is paired to the Edge Explore, it’s time to crash.  When you crash the function will trigger within a few seconds.  From there it’ll shriek on both your phone and the Edge Explore with an alarm.  This alarm gives you 30 seconds to disable the warning before your contacts are notified.  It counts down and all:

IMG_6685

Seriously, the alarm is loud – you can hear it in the video in a second.  I believe half of Eurobike heard it too.  This won’t accidentally trigger and you not hear it.  Elderly citizens in the next country over also likely heard it.  And if you’re audibly impaired, it also turns on the LED flashlight as well as vibrates.

In the event it was just a false alarm (which also seems really tough, but I’ll get to that in a moment), the unit gives you the option to dismiss.  You actually have to press the menu twice in two different spots – just to ensure it’s not being accidentally pressed by something.  You can do this on either the phone or the Edge Explore:

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If you don’t dismiss it in time, you’re BFF’s get notified with a text/e-mail message.  From there they can click on a link and see where exactly you are, map and all.  It’s up to them to decide whether to leave you in the ravine/bush/car windshield, or to call authorities (or call you to see if you’re alright).

Now, say you crash and get up and decide you’re just fine.  You can then send an ‘I’m OK’ message as well from the unit.  It sits on the screen after the crash alarm has fully triggered, waiting for you to show signs of life.

Screenshot_2015-08-26-01-32-09 Screenshot_2015-08-26-01-32-15

When you do that, it’ll send another notification to friends and family. Finally, note that the unit will show you the incidents in the drop-down menu too – and you can look at the locations listed there.

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To demonstrate this whole process of triggering it, I put together this short video this afternoon:

Now, it’s actually somewhat important to note that I had a bit of trouble getting the crash detection to trigger.  When I vigorously shook the unit up and down (like waving it)– it would trigger.  But merely throwing it across the field at the grass did not.  In fact, I threw it many times – some probably exceedingly hard at the ground – and not once did it trigger that way.  But, this isn’t a final unit and also perhaps had I thrown it at concrete it would have triggered more reliably.  But having been hit by a car before while cycling, I know that one doesn’t actually always land on concrete.  Nonetheless, I’ll give them the (temporary) benefit of the doubt that it’s a prototype issue until I get a final production unit.  (Update: Garmin tells me that normally they’d take into account the speed you were at as well, so given I was standing that would impact things.  This is done to minimize issues while mountain biking or on rough roads.)

So why won’t the existing Edge 1000 get a firmware update to enable automatic crash detection?  Because the hardware physically lacks an accelerometer in it.  Said accelerometer is how the Edge Explore knows when you’ve had a bad day (just like playing a game on your phone using motion).  Interestingly though, I’ve been told that the Edge 520 does include such required accelerometer – and thus is slated to get the update down the road, though there aren’t specific timeframes for it.

Note: The Edge 500/510/810 do not have an accelerometer either, thus, no update for them either.  I also wouldn’t expect any sort of update for wrist-based devices (i.e. Forerunner/Fenix/Epix), as there’s likely too much variability with accelerometer data there as you grab things like water bottles, etc…  Further, dismissing an error on a wrist based devices while riding may well end up causing an accident.

Some Thoughts:

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While my time with the Edge Explore has been limited, I have put a few miles into it today.  In many ways, once riding it’s basically just an Edge 1000 – and I use that all the time (along with other units).  So that piece works reasonable well today.  Obviously this unit is targeted at touring, so it’s more about a simplified route planning experience.  And that too works fairly well.  I’ve created a few routes around the Eurobike area and followed them a bit without issues.

I’m not 100% convinced that crash detection from the unit to the phone makes a ton of sense though, for the simple reason being that your limiter there is the Bluetooth Smart connection – which can have some distance challenges depending on everything from the phone model you use to your body type and what might be between you and the phone.  And that’s ignoring that I had a really hard time getting it to trigger – but I’ll assume that’ll be worked out in the final production units.

Still, at $449 – it’s a bit pricey – especially with the full Edge 1000 at just $50 more ($499 now).  So really, I don’t get it.  I could see if the Edge Explore was $349 or $399 – but not sure why it’s priced where it is.  But then, I suppose I’m not a pricing person.  And don’t even get me started on why you release a bike touring product at the end of summer for fall availability?  That’s like releasing a bikini in September….for the uhh…winter season?

So overall – I put this in the category of ‘shrug’.  Nothing wrong with it technically, just odd pricing for it.

With that, thanks for reading!  If you’re looking to burn a bit of time, here’s all my Eurobike 2015 posts!

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76 Comments

  1. Laurens Bloem

    A shame the lawyers didn’t go with ‘kerplunk alerts’!

  2. asaf

    Garmin can optimize this feature for other communication purposes, such as sending a “Yo” to a friend once you arrive to a meeting point. I can see a lot of use for a minimalist 3-4 sms templates that can be sent directly from the bike computer.
    Pricing, though, makes no sense.

  3. paul frylink

    I think the crash detector is a good idea, but given that most phones these days have an accelerometer in them, I can’t help wondering why not just run an app on your phone to achieve the same result (completely independent of the head unit) – or am I missing something?
    Also Ray, it may be heading into winter in the northern hemisphere, but we are ramping up to summer down under – bring on the bikinis I say :-)

    • Malcolm

      I use a phone app that pretty much does this as well. I think a point Ray made is pretty valid. You need a BT connection to your phone for this to work from the garmin and the problem with a bad crash is that you can become very separated from your bike (kind of the definition of a crash I guess :)). If the garmin and phone are too far apart then it won’t be able to send the warning. At least if you are running the crash detection on a phone app, then the likelihood of the message being sent is increased (cell coverage still being the limiting factor).

  4. ekutter

    This crash notification all assumes you have cell coverage. Many mountain bike trails or mountain passes don’t have decent cell coverage.

  5. Scott E

    What the heck? No Di2 connectivity? Guess it is meant for touring using 1949 steel framed bike. Not that there is anything wrong with that…..

  6. Alex

    “That’s like releasing a bikini in September….for the uhh…winter season?”

    Don’t forget about us down below the equator – there’s a whole hemisphere down here!

  7. Dave Lusty

    “I would have expected some of the settings menus to be precisely the same, but alas things are dragged around in slightly different spots”

    This sums up my main frustration with Garmin. If they were reusing code properly this weird changes shouldn’t be there, or they should change on all units at the same time. The very fact that each unit is slightly different implies they all have different code which explains why Garmin are plagued by bugs and odd behaviour. They also probably have way more developers than they need to support all this code. When something breaks on the Fenix and not the 920 I actually find it more frustrating than if they both break – at least if they both broke at the same time we’d know there was some order and structure at Garmin. As it is it feels like roulette when updating.

  8. Remco Verdoold

    Nice feature the emergency call but if shaking is enough:
    Never ever visit Maastricht in the Netherlands, skip all the cobble stone sections of the Belgium races. What, skip Belgium at all because it will be triggered every KM you ride.

  9. eli

    hey ray,

    does the garmin 1000 control fe-c trainers? i haven’t seen an option for it

    • I’ve confirmed today the Edge 1000 will receive FE-C trainer control by/in Q4 (at latest). It will also receive all additional features of the Edge 520 (except the accident alerts, due to aforementioned lack of accelerometer). They did note they are working to find some workaround for that issue, acknowledging that it’s an odd gap to have the high-end unit missing a feature of a lower end unit.

      They confirmed the Edge 510/810 will NOT receive ANT+ FE.

    • If the hardware of the explore is basically the same but an updated version of the Edge 1000 then why not just have a new HW refresh of the Edge 1000 so all new units made can have that feature?

      Does that mean FTP tracking and testing, Recovery Advisor and VO2 Max estimates are coming to the 1000?

    • Ah more infor in your post on the 520 where you say it does get those features from my last question: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Likely as it would be a support nightmare for them. It really sounds like they’re trying to come up with a creative solution that gets the user to the same end-state. They (multiple people) definitely seemed to understand it’s an odd gap.

      But yup, all those features are coming to Edge 1000.

    • eli

      thanks for the response ray, appreciate it. love your work

    • Stuart Brown

      Fantastic news Ray, thanks so much for your tenacity to find this out!

    • Lee Powell

      Is that a hint that they’ll be releasing an updated version of the Garmin 1000 soon?

    • No, just updated firmware. I wouldn’t expect any new Edge 1000 for at least a year.

    • Ed

      If it is just the lack of an accelerometer in the Edge 1000, and the new speed and cadence sensors are basically just accelerometers…wouldn’t they be able to add one more sensor as the “incident detection” sensor and attach it to the bike just about anywhere?

  10. Stuart Brown

    Hi Ray,

    I notice your article says this doesn’t have ANT+ trainer control (FE-C) unlike the Edge 1000. As far as I was aware we/you were still awaiting news from Garmin as to whether that feature would make it to Edge 1000?

    Thanks

    • Sorry, potentially a typo on my part, let me double-check something…

    • Stuart Brown

      Thanks :)

      As you can probably tell I’m really hoping ANT+ trainer control does make it to the Edge 1000.

      Really looking forward to your Eurobike coverage this week, very jealous of your RV trip to Switzerland, looked amazing!

  11. Scott Mahr

    Hi Ray:

    I am asking a question that even if you knew I doubt you could probably reveal however here it goes:

    Do you think they are releasing the Edge Explore 1000 because they soon plan to release a new Edge 1000 (or 1010) that is smaller with a larger screen that does everything people actually want? Basically since its the same body, sizing, etc it makes sense for them to just push it to this version so they can release a new 1010 that is totally redesigned and not so large? I ask because I just got an Edge 1000 and am waiting for that to occur. :) Thanks for post

    • Why would they update the case for the Edge 1000 and not use that newer case for the Explore 1000?

    • Scott Mahr

      @Eli

      Honestly, I really don’t know but here is what was going through my head at the time I wrote this:

      Since the Edge Explore 1000 is “less” of a device than the fictional “1010” they already have a casing and mold for a new product while they develop the newer more expensive “1010” or updated 1000. If they used a new case for the lesser model then they would have to produce two new designs.

    • Yeah there’s zero reason for Garmin to release a new Edge 1000 variant. It only came out a year ago, and they’re still adding features to it. I confirmed that the Edge 1000 by/within Q4 will receive all of the Edge 520 features (i.e. FE-C, FTP, etc…).

    • Scott Mahr

      Thank you for your review and your reply!!!

  12. Mike Robinson

    If the Edge Explore 1000 has the same hardware as the Edge 1000, I assume it has the same battery performance.

    I know that YMMV when it comes to battery life but from what I’ve read, it seems to be hit or miss if you can get 10 hours of use with the Edge 1000. Some do, some don’t.

    If they are targeting this at the touring market, I’d have thought the one thing they need to do is improve battery performance so it can comfortably last a day, rather than needing to turn off lots of options (including bluetooth needed for the crash notification…) to eke out as much battery life as possible for longer rides.

    Meh is right.

  13. Jared

    Really important to note that the Edge 1000 has come down in price $100. That’s substantial.

  14. No, Garmin, No, with this price no one will buy it! If u want people to buy this it should be the same price to the 810 or maybe a bit more expensive, but the difference is way to low to not buy a normal 1000.

  15. cj

    The “Shrug” category? is that higher or lower than the “meh” category?

  16. craig smith

    jyst make more edge 520’s so I can get mine from amazon

  17. Del Hart

    Is the edge 820 being announced this week?

    • All Eurobike announcements have happened. I really don’t anticipate any more Garmin cycling devices being announced anytime soon. When they announce cycling products it’s almost always at Eurobike, since that’s the logical place to do it from a global standpoint.

    • Outside of that aspect would you agree that it would be hard to create an 820 that improves on the 810 in a meaningful way that wouldn’t undercut the 1000? So while the 810 is 2 years old and ready for replacement I’d guess the 820 and 1010 will come out together at the end of next year at the 2 year mark for the 1000.

      Will be interesting to see if there is a new Mio Cyclo to replace the 505 which came out in spring 2013 so would be interesting to see if they have any interest in a new model

    • Tim

      Mio have just released the 200 in the UK with a 3.5 inch screen but stripped back to just basics and tbt navigation for £150. I wonder if this is the start of a new range of larger screened models, but with so many firmware issues in the current series their reputation has really suffered.

    • As competition there is also: (none of these I’ve actually seen in person)
      TwoNav
      link to twonav.com
      Doesn’t seem as good for training in that is doesn’t support power

      Canyon bike computer
      link to canyon.com
      The Android wear based device

  18. pmiska

    to those questioning why not just use a crash alert on your phone, I see some real benefit… The advantage (assuming proper function) is that it’s on your handlebar… No need to dig out the phone to intervene if you are OK, just tap the screen and keep riding. As someone who primarily rides mountain bikes this is fantastic, most crashes are minor, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go… But if you had an impact based alarm on your phone you now need to fish it out of your jerzy, check to see if it is about to send off a warning, put it back… Very excited to hear this feature will likely be rolled out on the 520, sounds about perfect for a user like myself!

    • Pete

      Another option might be to add crash detection to the Garmin Connect app on the phone (using its accelerometer) with an alert/cancel function on the Edge through the Bluetooth tether. This way it’d be entirely irrelevant that the Edge 1000 doesn’t have an accelerometer… crash detection functionality might then be consistent on the 1000, Explore, and 520. Not sure if the Bluetooth profile(s) used for notifications might pose a challenge to this, though.

  19. Forrest

    Ray;

    Is there any chance you’ll ask Garmin about the possibility of adding this feature to the Fenix 3 (and Epix and 920 probably) if the rider is using an HRM-RUN? The one that comes bundled with the watch? That accelerometer should be a better source than the one in the watch for this; I don’t think my chest moves that much more than my stem where my Edge (800) lives.

    I’m sure there’s a smartphone app for this, but I’m already doing Live Tracking so my girlfriend knows when I’ll get home.

  20. Dirk

    Same functionality offered by link to crash-sensor.eu

  21. Len DeMoss

    I was at Interbike in Las Vegas this past week and spend some time with the Garmin guys. I asked this question regarding whether there would be a software upgrade for the current 1000 for the Incident Reporting as the new 1000 Explorer has. I got 2 different responses. One guy told me no because the current 1000 does not have the accelerometer hardware in it. And another Garmin engineer (he was an engineering manager) told me that yes the current 1000 DOES HAVE an accelerometer in it and they will be releasing a software upgrade in the near future as it was being worked on now. I tend to believe the engineering manager.

  22. hjs

    Haha, I see you had a minute off your bike and found time to add some humor to your latest review. Highly appreciated :)

    Might the device actually detect whether it’s dropped vs. it being mounted on a bike and the bike going belly-up in a crash? The patterns are certainly different and accelerometers could spot that difference – but could Garmin’s software?

  23. Irfan

    Your review is urgently needed on Garmin Fenix3. It has some great features. Thanks

  24. Dave Nash

    Thanks Ray, appreciated. I am interested in one of these as the facilities it drops over the 1000 I am not interested in anyway. The issue for me is price. Also, I wonder if this device will go through the early days issues like when the 1000 was first released. You would have thought that Garmin would have got it right for this model after their leaning from the 1000, or it that asking too much lol!!!
    Thanks, Dave

  25. Dave Nash

    Hi Ray, also, above you state that it “supports ebikes”, what does that mean exactly please?
    Thanks, Dave

  26. Dave Nash

    ah ok, thanks Ray, appreciated.

  27. David Green

    I thought that the Edge 1000 Explorer did have Strava Live Segments, but that you needed a Strava premium account to use it.

    Will wait to see what street price is and research further once it’s actually out there in the hands of users – my Bryton Rider 60 is certainly destined for replacement now that Bryton have confirmed (to me) that it will not be getting any updates, and the maps are 2 years old and cannot be updated except by them!

  28. Doug Smith

    DC, Kudos for an excellent blogsite. I’ve visited it before and found some good information.

    I just ordered a Garmin 810 (upgrading from my old 705, which worked well for the last 5 years until this summer – battery issues, lack of blue tooth sync and inaccuracies in the firmware made be pull the trigger)- after considering the 520, and nixing it in favor of the 810 real maps, better battery life, and more memory. I also noted that the 520 is newer and has a few more bells and whistles. I didn’t think about incident detection as a differentiator, though it might be. In the process, I googled “differences between 810 and 520” and read your blog.

    To the point: the Edge 1000 (and predecessor 810) do not have an accelerometer, but the 520 does. That seems strange if its true. This made me wonder why, if a standard Smartphone (Like a Samsung Galaxy S5) has an accelerometer, why doesn’t Garmin Connect or Strava for that matter simply add it to their app? The incident alert depends on the cell phone running in order to call the contact, why bother having one in the Garmin Device in the first place.

    The obvious answer is that Garmin wants to sell more equipment. Or so it seems.

    Keep up the good work.

  29. TTT

    This unit sounds perfect for my needs. I want basic cycle computer data (speed, distance, time, etc.,) PLUS mapping. I no longer race so power, heart rate and training features don’t mean much to me.

  30. ROSEMARY YEAGER

    YOUR SITE IS VERY INFORMATIVE. ENJOY READING YOUR POST.

  31. Patrick

    It seems that you can currently buy an Edge 1000 (£263.88 http://www.handtec.co.uk) cheaper that a 1000 Explore (£277.49 http://www.mantel.com) in the UK. If we exclude the much commented crash detection feature, is there any reason not to buy the 1000 instead of the 1000 Explore?

  32. Michael

    Ray: how well is battery life for the 1000E in phone-paired mode? Also is any battery drain on the phone itself expected?

    Thanks in advance! You and your site are the “goto” guy/place for all things bike!

    • I haven’t tested the battery on the 1000E, however, I don’t expect it to be any different than the Edge 1000. With that in mind, typically the phone connectivity isn’t a huge drawn (display brightness & GPS are the worst). This is because it’s using Bluetooth Smart, which saves battery compared to traditional Bluetooth (such as that used on the Edge 510/810).

    • Michael Sare

      thank you, Ray!

    • Eli

      Kind of annoying how map mode uses up so much more power then the other screens. Good info here since it is almost the same as the edge 1000:
      link to forums.garmin.com

  33. eastok

    Hi,

    I would just like to know if the explore 1000 shows TSS during the ride? I can’t find this information nowhere.
    thx

  34. funkright

    I am a little lost, if I am looking at a route-able bike GPS setup, is this the one to get or is there another less expensive option that also does cadence and speed, etc..

  35. Peter T.

    Anyone else having problems with the level of sound on the turn by turn navigation for the explore. Having recently upgraded from the touring plus the sound on the turn by turn navigation is so much quieter on the expore than that of the touring plus. The only time I can hear the ‘beep’ advising of a forthcoming junction etc is when there is complete silence around me. Any traffic noise and it’s impossible to hear. I contacted Garmin but was told nothing could be done to increase the volume…unless the software dept. did an update..but only if it was a problem for many users.

    • Tim

      Agreed, it’s hopeless – a woeful oversite on an otherwise worthy product. I believe part of the issue is that the speaker is positioned in the centre of the mount area, which is then blocked off when mounted. Genius.

    • Pete t

      That explains why you can hear the sound when at home (not mounted) but on the road it is so quiet. What’s the point of having a top of the range navigation system that is fundamentally not fit for purpose. I am returning mine and getting a refund. As a side question, anyone know where the speaker is on the 810? Is this unit any better. ?

    • Peter T

      Here’s a solution… I had an old mount (purchased on e bay I think). I drilled a small hole in the centre, about 1/4 inch to expose the 4 speaker holes in the centre of the mount on the unit when attached. Unlike the supplied mount which completely covers the holes, the sound should now be able to ‘escape’. You could of course drill a hole through the two plastic pieces on the supplied mount.
      I will update once I have done a test ride later this week.
      Thanks Tim for the information.

  36. Joe

    The latest 520 update (12/20/16 or so) includes Incident Detection.

  37. Peter Evans

    I live in North wales and getting ready to cycle form mold to Dover and then up through Holland, Denmark and up to Sweden. would this unit be the best unit on the market for pre installed European maps or is there an equivalent or more cost effective alternative only looking for mapping battery life also important

    • Peter Trueman

      Pete E,
      There’s no reason to buy a Garmin with pre installed maps. You can download OSM for free to a cheaper unit which will cover the UK and Europe. I sold my Garmin 1000 because of continued issues, and now have the 810 which is more stable, and saved over £100. Buy a portable battery charger if you are worried about battery life, such as the Anker Astro Mini.

  38. Stephen Ringlee

    I purchased a Euro version of the Edge 1000 Explore for use on a long trip in Europe. On returning to the States, I find that the SD cards seem to be limited to 24 separate maps. If you load OSM maps of US states, the unit stops reading the 25th+ map. You can place more on a separate SD chip card but each card, regardless of its memory capacity, is limited to 24 separate maps. Has anyone else encountered this? It would be nice to load up the entire US and Canada on one SD chip but that does not seem possible unless you buy the Garmin map product.