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Garmin’s New $249 Edge Explore Full Mapping & Navigation Bike GPS: Everything you ever wanted to know


In the lead-up to Eurobike, today Garmin announced the new Edge Explore. Now, you’ve probably heard the Edge Explore or ‘Touring’ names battered around for half a decade or so. Usually along with a numerical identifier like ‘Edge Explore 1000’, which was essentially a dumbed-down version of the Edge 1000. Previously, it’s been targeted at the cycle touring market, but I think the new non-numerically identified unit does away with that.

Nope, now it’s all about mass market and at a price that actually makes sense – $249.

The Edge Explore (kinda a simplified version of the high-end Edge 1030) includes all the core stuff most cyclists want, like full turn by turn navigation on a color touchscreen display that actually works, smartphone notifications, data field customization, and even Connect IQ apps.

What doesn’t it include though? Mostly features that are designed at more competitive athletes. For example, no Strava Live Segments (but you can do Strava Routes and upload to Strava), as well as no structured workouts or advanced training load metrics…or power meter support.  But that’s kinda it. Almost everything else it has, save a few minor nuanced type things I’ll dive into below.

I’ve been riding a media loaner unit for about a month now, and overall I’m pretty impressed by it. It works well in my experience, and especially so this morning as I rode across the countryside near the border of the Netherlands and Germany, using it as a rough guide for my 50KM ride (keeping me pointed in the right way, but letting me wander a bit and re-routing as needed).

In any event, let’s get into all the details. I will say this first though, this unit really surprised me.

The Details:

While the Edge Explore may look like an Edge 1030, it’s not quite an identical sibling.  Obviously, there are differences in software, but there’s actually some differences in size. The Edge Explore is a bit shorter (about 1cm), which also means the display is a bit shorter too than the larger Edge 1030 display.  And the width is a tiny bit smaller too, though that’s barely noticeable.


(Left to right: Edge 1030, Edge Explore, Edge 520 Plus, Edge 520)

However, compared to the Edge 520/520 Plus/820, it’s definitely larger. Which, is frankly what much of this target market wants (often slightly more ‘experienced’ adults that may have slightly less adolescent vision).


But it’s really all about the software here. The Edge Explore lineup started off in the touring realm, primarily aimed at the bike touring markets in Europe. Unfortunately, accountants at Garmin apparently did the pricing on it, as it just never made sense. It was often $400-$500, and usually only cost $50 less than the higher end units.  Thus, nobody bought it. The non-descript Snow White color scheme didn’t help either (just as it doesn’t now).  But ultimately it was dead on arrival with the price point.


Not now though.  At $249 it’s incredibly competitive for this market. Sure, it lacks power meters, but for the vast majority of the market that actually doesn’t matter (as much as me and my 5 concurrent power meters would like to think otherwise).  There’s nothing on the market anywhere near this price point with full color touchscreen of this size and complete turn by turn mapping.

In any case, first, let’s talk about what’s in there:

– Turn by turn navigation, including re-routing on the fly
– Color touchscreen at 240x400px (and it actually works…see my test lower on)
– 16GB of internal storage with pre-loaded detailed maps for region you bought it in
– Ability to search nearby points of interests (food/etc…)
– Ability to import/download/create routes (from files or Garmin Connect)
– Ability to create round-trip routes based on only a total distance requirement (i.e. give me a 25mi route)
– Smartphone notifications
– Incident detection (for notifying your spouse you managed to crash your bike…again)
– Group Track (to show live on map where other riders are that you’ve friended)
– Fully customizable data fields and data pages (up to 2 fully custom pages + non-custom pages)
– ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensor support for heart rate/speed/cadence/VIRB/bike lights and more
– Full Connect IQ support for ‘Apps’ and ‘Data Fields’
– ‘Guest mode’ for tour companies to give units to people and not have them screw the settings up

Of course, there’s also a bunch of features that aren’t there compared to an Edge 1030. It’s gonna be tough to list every little bit of nuanced ones, but here’s the key ones:

– No Strava Live Segments support (but you can upload to Strava and use Strava Routes App)
– No Power meter support (or power meter metrics like TSS/NP/IF)
– No structured workout support (meaning, download structured workouts like intervals to the unit)
– No advanced FirstBeat driven training load or related metrics (including FTP or VO2Max)
– No activity profiles (differing profiles for different ride types like mountain biking vs road riding)
– No WiFi sync (probably doesn’t matter much)
– More limited custom data pages (you can only have 2 custom pages, but they are fully customizable)
– No Varia display (and thus, no extended display mode for certain watches)
– No barometric altimeter (GPS based, plus post-upload altimeter correction)

Got all that? Good.

Of course, for some people these individual items may very well matter. For others…it might just be a shrug. Totally depends on your specific needs.

Now to wrap all these features up and walk you through the user interface and features step by step of the Edge Explore I put together this video, including some snippets from a ride this morning on it:

Still looking for more info? No worries, keep on reading then!

The Basics:


Ok, so let’s walk through the user interface a bit, as well as some tidbits from my ride today.  First up we’ve got the home screen, as seen above. This is what you get when you turn it on. While it looks very similar to that of the Edge 1030, you’ll notice it lacks a ‘Training’ menu option. It’s that menu option that normally houses things like structured training and ANT+ trainer control.  Additionally, you lack the ability to select a specific activity profile.

Instead, you’ve got a more simplistic UI.  The main option up top (‘Ride’) takes you straight into the ride screen, ready to start…well…riding. It automatically turns on GPS and gets things going. You can turn off GPS if you’re indoors of course.  At this point in time it doesn’t have the option to select GLONASS or Galileo or any other GPS configuration other than on.


What you see above is one of the two main custom pages.  These pages can be customized with up to 10 data fields per page, and all the variants you’d expect (like lap distance, total ascent, heart rate % max, max speed, etc…).  Probably 35-50 data fields…without typing them all out here.  So you get two of these pages for whatever you want.

But you also get a handful of other pages that are ‘stock’. These include the map page, elevation page, compass page, and the GroupTrack page – if you have a friend (aka ‘Connection’) within range.  Otherwise that page disappears.  The compass and elevation pages can have the two lower data fields fully customized. Here’s a look at a few of those (elevation is blank on this photo since I was standing in a field and hadn’t moved yet):

DSC_7547 DSC_7544 DSC_7545

To start the ride it’s just like other Garmin units where you use the buttons at the bottom for stop/start, as well a dedicated button for lap control.

Meanwhile, you can swipe down from the top for access to quick controls like sensors, GPS status, lighting, and smartphone notifications.

DSC_7549 DSC_7550

Speaking of sensors, the unit supports the following types of sensors:

– ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate
– ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Cycling Cadence-only
– ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed-only
– ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed/Cadence combo
– ANT+ Cycling Lights
– ANT+ Cycling Radar
– ANT+ eBike Support
– ANT+ Remote Control
– Garmin VIRB Action Cameras

(Note: That it doesn’t actually appear to support Bluetooth Smart sensors when I try it, but perhaps that’s just a beta device oddity [Update: It is a beta quirk, Garmin says it should be working but isn’t for me at the moment.].  Meanwhile, ANT+ Sensor types not included on the Edge Explore are power meters, gear shifting, and Edge remote.)

Here’s a look at the sensor pairing and new sensor menu:

DSC_7553 DSC_7552

All of this data is then recorded to the file, and in turn to Garmin Connect.  From there it uploads to the various platforms that you’ve added partnerships to, like Strava or TrainingPeaks.  Here’s a look at an activity that I did uploaded to Garmin Connect (link here), connected to a Wahoo TICKR-X and a Scosche 24 ANT+ cadence sensor.


When it comes to lights, you can control light sets as well, all of which worked pretty well for me lately actually – including for non-Garmin lights. Super simple.

As for the touchscreen itself, it’s super responsive – especially in maps.  Check out the first video up above, about 3-4 minutes into it, where I zoom around the maps. It’s almost cell-phone fast. Finally! And routing/re-routing? Given that’s all I did today (as I explain in a moment), it was super quick. Far faster than the Edge 520 Plus or Edge 820 that’s more expensive, and on par with the Edge 1030 (way more expensive).  But what about water on the display?  Well…I just leave you with this hilarious video I put together on the drive down.  The first rain we’ve had in weeks:

But let’s talk mapping. After all, if you’re buying this unit over just about anything else…it’s because you want maps. Likely even pretty maps. So all of the navigation pieces are divided into essentially two groups: ‘Where to?’ and ‘Courses’ (both on the homepage).

Starting first with courses, these are for predefined or circular routes.  For example, courses you created on Garmin Connect (website), Garmin Connect Mobile (phone app), or via dragging a file over.  Additionally, this is where you can create round-trip routes or multipoint routes. Round-trip routes are routes you specify a desired duration (and potential direction of travel), and it’ll spit back three options for the route – based on bicycle paths.  Whereas the ‘course creator’ routes are when you add multiple stops, one after another.  That’s ideal for touring where you have a smattering of points you want to visit throughout the day.

DSC_7567 DSC_7568

Meanwhile, in the case of saved/transferred routes, you can pull up details like a map overview, distance, and elevation profile.

DSC_7570 DSC_7571 DSC_7573

But what’s most interesting is the ability to specify an address of a location (like a street address), or search for a point of interest – such as food or monuments.  For that you’ll use the ‘Where To?’ option on the home page.

DSC_7575 DSC_7576 DSC_7577

This allows you to specify the category if you go that route, or anything else as a point to point route. It’ll then leverage cycling-specific data between those two points.  Garmin includes the detailed map sets for the region you bought the device in.  North America includes North America routes, Europe includes Europe routes, and so on.  They do NOT however include global detailed routes.

To expand that a bit, the loaner unit they sent me was a US-based unit, which was great when I was in the US last month.  But it’s totally useless from a mapping standpoint now that I’m in the Netherlands (this morning) and Germany (this second).  In Garmin’s eyes to solve that you’d go off and buy some expensive maps from them. Thankfully I don’t share that vision, and even more so thankfully you can download free maps.  So I downloaded the same free map set from OSM (only takes about a minute), and then I’ve got almost the same data.

I say ‘almost’ because one unique feature Garmin has is that they bake in what they call ‘Trendline Popularity’ data into their map sets (technically it’s baked atop it).  That data is essentially cycling heatmap data from the tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of activities uploaded each year to Garmin Connect.  So it’s a bit better than raw bike route/path data because it shows where people are actually going, and how they favor one route over another.  So you don’t get that if you download the free data for outside your region.

Still, the free data was great, and it worked just fine for us today.


And that gets into a little bit on how I used this device this morning in particular.  While on previous rides I’ve loaded courses onto it as well as done just free-style riding, this morning I used the ‘Where to?’ functionality as a bit of a rough compass.  We picked out a town about 20KM away roughly down-river, and then set out riding towards it.  But we didn’t want to follow the most direct route it gave us, instead, we wanted to meander along a river and through farmland.

But that worked perfect for us actually. See, I just let it re-route as it saw fit, and sometimes we followed it, and sometimes it ‘followed’ us.  Meaning, it was probably swearing at us a few times as we ignored it yet again.  But then we’d come back to it and let it navigate us out of sticky spots before we ignored it again.  In many ways it’s exactly how most people do bike touring in Europe – a rough guideline of where to go between two points, enjoying the scenery along the way.

We did almost the same thing on the way back, this time selecting to route us back to the start (an empty field alongside the river), and it worked perfectly.  Here’s that ride:


The part where there’s that little loop near the river/railroad? Uhh..that’s where we thought we knew better than the Edge. It told us repeatedly not to take that off-road route. Probably should have listened to it that time.

So what about accuracy of GPS data and elevation data? Like most bike computers on-road these days, I’m seeing virtually no variance of either.  The reality of the bike computer industry is that for on-road riding…shrug. Seriously, shrug. I haven’t done a review in the last 2-3 years for bike computers on-road where I could find anything GPS-wise other than complaining about a few meters offset here and there.

For example, here’s a ride showing four different GPS units (no speed sensors or anything on these, just straight GPS). It’s almost as if you only see one…that’s how close they are:


And zoomed in to a bit of an intersection:

image image

You can view the whole file here on the DCR Analyzer.  I will note that elevation on that file shows the Edge Explore a wee bit flexy, but that was also two weeks ago on earlier beta firmware.

Elevation data can get a bit messier, but even that – it’s super-rare to have on-road issues and if I look at more recent files, things are definitely much cleaner.  But given I live in the Netherlands, the variance is only a few meters, so I’m really looking for wonkiness outliers more than anything.  Now…off-road, that’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to both.  Unfortunately, I’m lacking mountains living in the Netherlands now, and with that…a mountain bike.

Oh, and finally, let’s briefly chat about Guest Mode. It’s kinda interesting.  The idea behind guest mode is mainly for bike touring companies to equip their customers with a bike computer.  Within guest mode it locks down some settings (with an optional PIN too), and then allows the guest to track their own stats.


So each of these settings seen below is then tracked uniquely for the guest, and doesn’t impact the ‘owner’.  So that includes the history (which doesn’t then show the owners history), as well as brightness levels, tones, personal records, and color modes

DSC_7564 DSC_7565

It’s a cool concept that makes a ton of sense for this particular product category.  It’s also ideal because you can pre-load routes as well on the devices, so if a company is doing the same routes over and over, they can get everything prepared on the device, and when they give the device to a new user each outing, it’s like it’s fresh again.  The option to reset everything the guest did is given when you disable guest mode before going back to regular mode.  You can’t give the guest a name or anything (such as your friend or partner).  So think of it more like a disposable account than anything else.

Device Comparison:

I’ve added the Edge Explore into the product comparison database.  This allows you to match it up against various other products that I’ve reviewed, including bike computers and watches alike.

For the purpose of the below, I’ve compared it against the Edge 520 Plus, Edge 1030, and Wahoo BOLT.  Like most comparisons, it’s not a perfect match-up, but it does help illustrate the differences.  Also, my comparison database doesn’t necessarily do a great job at highlighting the minor nuances around mapping and turn by turn navigation, especially in relation to the BOLT (which can’t re-route mid-ride, only point you in the compass direction of where you should be going).  Still, the rest is more clear.

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated October 11th, 2022 @ 6:33 pm New Window
Product Announcement DateJuly 5th, 2018Mar 14th, 2017Apr 19th, 2018Aug 29th, 2017
Actual Availability/Shipping DateMid-July 2018Mar 14th, 2017May 2018Aug 29th, 2017
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB, BluetoothBluetooth Smart, WiFi, USBUSB & Bluetooth SmartUSB, Bluetooth, WiFi
Battery Life (GPS)12 hours15 hours15 Hours20 hours (+ battery pack up to 40 hours)
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-second1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart
AlertsSound/VisualAUDIO/VISUAL + LED'sAudio/VisualSound/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreat (slightly less than Edge 1000, but better in daylight)GreatGreatGreat (slightly less than Edge 1000, but better in daylight)
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesNoYesYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoN/ANoNo
MusicGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Can control phone musicNoNoNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNoNoNoNo
PaymentsGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Contactless-NFC PaymentsnoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesYesYes
Group trackingYesYesYesYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)YesNoYesYes
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableNoYesYEsYEs
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsN/AYesYesYEs
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFN/AYesYesYEs
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYEsYesYesYEs
Strava segments live on deviceNoYesYesYEs
Crash detectionYesNoYesYes
RunningGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Designed for runningNoN/AN/ANo
TriathlonGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Designed for triathlonNoN/ASortaNo
WorkoutsGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Create/Follow custom workoutsNoYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureNoNoYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoNoYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoNoYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoYesYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YEsNoYesYes
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoN/AN/ANo
Weather Display (live data)yesNoYesyes
NavigateGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YEsYesYesYEs
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesNoYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesSorta (Maps yes, but technically not routable)YesYes
Back to startYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationYesNo (But can create one-way routes from phone app)NoYes
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeGPSMagneticGPSGPS
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyN/AN/ANoN/A
SpO2 (aka Pulse Oximetry)N/ANo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYEsYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYEsYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoYesYesYes
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesNoYesYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationyesYesYesyes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoYesYesYes
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoYesYes
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityYesYesNOYes
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoYesYesYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoYEsNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoYesNoYes
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoYesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressN/AGarmin ExpressGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectN/AGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/Android/WindowsiOS/AndroidiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Competitive CyclistLinkLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge ExploreWahoo ELEMNT BOLTGarmin Edge 520 PlusGarmin Edge 1030
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, don’t forget you can make your own comparison charts here within the product comparison tool against other units out there.



I’m impressed with the Edge Explore. Though, I’m actually most impressed not with the technology, but with the fact that someone at Garmin finally got the message: The previous Explore/Touring lineups were just grossly overpriced.  This unit however…it’s beautifully priced for the target market.  There’s simply nothing else on the market like it in terms of functionality (primarily complete turn by turn navigation) or display quality (color, touchscreen) anywhere near this price point. The closest would be the Hammerhead Karoo at $399 – which is considerably more than this.  If you go with a smaller display, then you’ve got the new Garmin Edge 520 Plus at $279 – but that’s quite a bit smaller display than this and has slower routing/navigation, so that might not work for some folks (of course, it has vastly more features).

Of course, there will be those like myself who use power meters. This unit won’t appeal to you (or directly to me).  Same goes if you care about Strava Live Segments.  Or the handful of other features that some people may use and others don’t care about. If it wasn’t for power meter support, I could probably use this unit as-is.  I did today, just recording the power data on the side with another unit.  At this point if Garmin added power meter support it’d cut off interest for the massively high price of the Edge 1030, and realistically, that device isn’t viable for many touring cyclists and those people, like my Dad, who don’t have a power meter (the majority of the market).

So, while there’s nothing in this device we haven’t seen before technologically, sometimes that’s not the point.  It’s about hitting the right features at the right price point, and this unit finally seems to nail it.  Personally, I would have called it something different – merely to reduce confusion with all the previous variants.  But whatever works I suppose.  For folks that don’t need Strava Live Segments or power meters, this is easily the best deal on the market today for a color mapping navigational bike computer.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

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.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Edge Explore or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

This is a dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart cycling cadence sensor that you strap to your crank arm, but also does dual Bluetooth Smart, so you can pair it both to Zwift and another Bluetooth Smart app at once if you want.

This is one of the top straps I use daily for accuracy comparisons (the others being the Polar H9/H10). It's dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, and in fact dual-Bluetooth Smart too, in case you need multiple connectons.

Seriously, this will change your life. $9 for a two-pack of these puck Garmin chargers that stay put and stay connected. One for the office, one for your bedside, another for your bag, and one for your dog's house. Just in case.

This speed sensor is unique in that it can record offline (sans-watch), making it perfect for a commuter bike quietly recording your rides. But it's also a standard ANT+/BLE sensor that pairs to your device. It's become my go-to speed sensor.

This wifi-connected scale will track your weight and related metrics both on the scale display and in Garmin Connect (plus 3rd party apps like TrainingPeaks). It'll also then sync your weight to your watch/bike computer, to ensure accurate calorie data.

The HRM-PRO Plus is Garmin's top-end chest strap. It transmits dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but also transmits Running Dynamics & Running Pace/Distance metrics, stores HR data during a swim, and can be used without a watch for other sports. Also, it can transmit XC Skiing Dynamics as well.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

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

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  1. Kyle

    Still using micro usb? I know you made an excuse last year for still using Micro usb Ray, but its time for USB C on these products. I can now charge my Laptop and phone using usb c, more of these products need to follow. Just makes traveling easier, bringing less cords. Using one industry standard just helps everyone.

    • I talk about the lack of USB-C in the video actually…

      I do agree with you, but I also agree with those that say that at this point micro-USB is still far more prevalent. Personally, I’d love to see USB-C, but I get both sides.

    • H M

      A colleague of mine just bought a car sat navigation system from Garmin…. It still has a *mini* USB…. Like those from cameras ten years ago.

      The old cables won’t die

    • Marc

      Not a deal breaker for me, but I’m super disappointed that this is not USB-C.

    • Mitch W

      Both sides!!! I see what you did there! (is joke because USB-C plugs in on both sides)

    • ChrisB

      Doesn’t USB-C have hi licensing or implementation costs? Usually the reason.

    • David

      Don’t mind USB mini; however, the placement of the USB connector does seem a little daft.

      If mounted in the stem or top tube (my Edge 1000 is mounted on the top when bikepacking) the connector will not be available so the unit cannot be charged during the ride.

    • Marc

      Great observation! There are angled USB connector cables available, I wonder if there’s enough clearance for one in this case.

    • Ahmed

      Great Review as always. One thing to confirm. So, with the Edge explore, can you re-ride a course you have on a smart trainer like Wahoo Core? Or, I will need the Edge 520 to do that?

  2. Bob Smith

    No power meter support?
    Read it down to there and I’m out.

    • Bob Smith

      By the way,

      for turn by turn navigation I use RideWithGPS on my cellphone, and just keep one earphone in my ear if I’m cycling on roads.

    • Leon

      That’s when I stopped reading too. 249 USD and no power?

    • Bike tourist and commuters tend not to care.

    • Pips

      Bike tourists and commuters generally dont care about size either so they just use their phones and battery packs or the 1000 series. Small size tells me this is for roadies. Garmin seems confused and made a product that looks to be mostly useless. DOA.

    • Speak for yourself. As a tourist, I care greatly about size and weight. My tours frequently exceed 100K feet of elevation gain in 3 weeks. Phones are a crappy solution for navigation. The lack of a barometric altimeter is a bigger concern for me.

  3. Bradley Uffner

    Lack of WiFi Sync is kind of a killer for me, unfortunately.

    • Eric

      Why? I am not saying you are wrong, just wondering why WIFI so important. I recently upgraded my watch to a FR645 and have not bothered to setup the WIFI; the watch syncs to my phone and from my phone to God knows where.

  4. Laird M.

    Thanks for posting. Still processing through all the great info!

    Sorry to be “that guy.” Typo near the very beginning. “Now, you’ve probably hard the Edge Explore…” should probably be heard instead of hard.

  5. Matt Fieldwalker

    Arg! No power meter. I’ve got a 520 and a 935, but wish I had better mapping.
    At first glance I thought ‘damn this is perfect ‘ – but now realize it’s useless without power data. 1030 is crazy $$$ in Canada … so must leave Garmin ecosystem to find better mapping. ?

  6. ekutter

    Garmin’s site says it does have Live Track but your table says it doesn’t.
    Garmin’s site doesn’t mention Barometric altimeter but you say it has one.
    Does it really not have trainer FEC control support?

    • (Fixed LiveTrack, after resetting my app/GCM connection, it wasn’t showing as a feature initially for some reason)

      I’ll double-check with them on baro. It as the baro holes on the back, and the data on my latest rides looks too smooth to be GPS-based (or at least, Garmin’s GPS based alti).

      On FEC, nope, not there. But to be fair, I’ve actually yet to see/hear of someone using that with a Garmin (or a few someone’s anyway). I think Garmin did good in jumpstarting that (FE-C support), but I think these days most people just tend to use apps instead.

  7. Laird M.

    Thanks again.

    Two things on the features. No wifi (as mentioned also in the comments above), but Wifi is listed in the comparison chart for data connections. I’m assuming that is a mistaken holdover from the template but maybe I am misunderstanding Wifi sync vs. Wifi data transfer?

    The other which is more a surprise to me – no Live Tracking? Seems odd that is not there given it just hands over that to the App to broadcast out, doesn’t it? Any idea why they would not include this feature? Is it something that might be added? I look at it as a safety element. I live track my runs and rides to my wife and sister so they both know where I am, especially when I am on the road traveling somewhere. I feel like I would miss this more than the Wifi. And it does have group tracking. Hmmm.

    Overall though, the unit looks really nice given the price.

    • Definitely no WiFi. I’ve looked through every menu on the unit and every GCM option on the app, zero mention. Also, no WiFi logo on the back of the unit like the Edge 1030. I don’t really thing WiFi is super important to be honest, especially since the stability of Bluetooth Smart uploads is pretty good.

      No Live Tracking was something amiss on my GCM connection, it wasn’t showing. I’ve reset it though and now I’ve got the option. :)

  8. ron

    But for the lack of the LiveTrack feature, this would have been the perfect device for me :(

    Don’t know why they pulled that out

  9. Sam

    I’ve been looking for a bikepacking gps and this seems to tick every box.

    Lack of training and pm features will not be a deal killer for me as it will complement my 510.

    Was considering the Sigma Rox12 previously but it seems to be experiencing teething issues and not widely available yet, especially in Australia. Any idea of price/availability in AU?

    Also wondering about these:
    – battery under navigation usage
    – how easy to create route and transfer to unit on the fly compare to Wahoo?

  10. Scott E

    Wow. Checks the boxes for what my wife needs, and has the group track so I know where she is at (Augh). At that price point the competition will be scratching their head as what to do in their product line.

    Is The Girl favoring any device for cycling? Know she is ramping up on the running, yet unsure if she leverages anything on the cargo bike at this point. My view of easy of use doesn’t always mean the same for my Girl and it would be nice to have another perspective.

  11. JeffF

    Which Euro map did you use Ray? I need something to replace the standard Garmin 2018 maps on my 1030 as the latest release has broken routing. Instead of using cycling friendly roads it sends you off down unsurfaced paths and roads even when set to avoid. Few threads in the Garmin Forums about it, very annoying.

  12. Vladimir Gorbunov

    Great review, thank you! But I prefer the old and good button-operated GPSMap units in my bicycle tours. The touch units are somewhat light-duty IMHO (e.g. when wearing insulated gloves in -15 C). Shall I expect your review of GPSMap 66 some day?

  13. jason

    I noticed in the comparison you have that there is a barometric altimeter on this model on the site it does not show that. does it have one or is it gps driven? if it is gps driven how accurate is that? also it does not have glonass should I care? seems gps locating is just fine here.

  14. Andreas

    Thanks for the report Ray.

    I have two questions and maybe you can already answer those.

    1. Does the unit send verbal announcements to a connected cell phone (e.g. when you finish a lap)? My Forerunner 735 does this while the Edge 520 lacks this possibility.

    2. Can it display Whatsapp messages or only text (SMS) and incoming calls?

    Thanks in advance for your help.


  15. Steffen

    Could power meter display be added via CIQ?

    • RTellis

      As Ray mentioned in the video. There is an IQ power meter app and it will write the power data to the fit file for the ride. But since it’s an IQ stat it won’t count toward the cycling Vo2Max or FTP in your Garmin profile or show up in 3rd party sites like Strava.

  16. Giuseppe Paoletti

    Is it targeted to mountain biking or only for road biking? Is it possibile to follow a GPS track/course without the uniti recalculate the route? Thanks a lot!

  17. Edwin Aerts

    Hello Ray

    Thanks for review.
    One question; what about battery life? I own an Edge 1000 Touring and battery ends at 5 1/2 hours when in navigation status.
    For most people this will be ok but for rides of 200 kms and more it won’t reach the final.
    Ok, you can take power banks with you and the 1030 has a specific charging solution.
    So I’m wondering what your experience is with the Explore.
    Thanks for answering.


  18. Great review, thank you! But I prefer the old and good button-operated GPSMap units in my bicycle tours. The touch units are somewhat light-duty IMHO (e.g. when wearing insulated gloves in -15 C). Shall I expect your review of GPSMap 66 some day?

  19. TC

    First sentence ‘hard’ vs ‘herd’ ;-)

  20. Phil

    can you please clear this for me?
    you said “No Varia display” but in sensor list ant+ radar is compatible.
    how does this works?


  21. ReHMn

    Any ideas for punishment the developer who cancelled Bike profiles and replaced them by Activity Profiles?

    Feel the pain with me. Going for a ride on my road bike:

    Scosche HRM – On
    Garmin Speed sensor A – On
    Garmin Cadence sensor A – On

    Few days later at a triathlon competition the following steps must be done:

    Scosche HRM – Off
    Garmin Speed sensor A – Off
    Garmin Cadence sensor A Off
    Garmin HRM-Tri – On
    Di2 transmitter – On
    Garmin Speed sensor B – On
    Garmin Cadence sensor B – On

    …and repeat the whole procedure over and over again when you change the bike…
    Very smart solution indeed!

    • Duncan74

      I’m confused, why do you need to turn them all off? Unless you are lending your other bike and HRM to someone who is using them next to you, then it will just use the sensors that are transmitting in range. I’ve got a stack of sensors loaded on my 935 and the only time I need to turn sensors off is if I want to take the power from the Neo in preference to the quarq when zwifting.

      I may be missing something, and I was worried at first, but then in the end it just works. In fact it’s better, as the number of times I get half way down the road and notice that the edge 510 isn’t picking up the cadence as I’ve left it on the MTB bike profile and I need to change activity as I’m hairing down my hill at 50+kph is way way too many to not be embarrassed about….

    • Tim Grose

      Yeah agreed – unless you are actually using two of the same type (and then you would need two devices to do so) the other ones of that type just won’t connect.

    • ReHMn

      I disagree. The device (Forerunner or Edge) will search for all devices paired previously. Even if HRM or speed/cadence sensor is not connected, it will search for connection, unless it is turned off…
      At FR910XT, where are actually bike profiles, only those sensors are connected which have been previously defined for the bike. Switching bike profiles, will switch the related peripherals connection too.

    • Paul S.

      But almost always there’s only one sensor of a type awake at a time, the one you’ve just woken up because you’re about to use it. And if it finds two, it’ll ask which one you want to use. Like Duncan the number of times I have trouble with the sensor pool model is dwarfed by the number of times I forgot to switch profiles. Wake the sensors, they pair, off I go.

    • Tim Grose

      Might share some concern if this was the first device to have a sensor pool but things have been this way for some years now and I can’t recall any notable issues. Yeah the device might look for sensors but so what? There is next to no battery life impact in my experience.

  22. Jurriaan

    looks interesting! Finally a good price.
    Also Lezyne throws in a full navigation device with colour screen. Do you think it could be a worthy competitor?

    link to bikehub.co.za

    • I have a Lezyne Super GPS. IMO the only feature lacking is maps. It’s not a deal breaker for me but does make navigating easier then the breadcrumb trail. With the Lezyne I also expect you get Strava Live segments, Power meter support all for significantly less money.

  23. JamieA

    Is it possible to attach the micro usb cable when mounted on the out-front mount? I’d want to charge it on the go when touring or Audaxing.

  24. Dennis Van Eeuwijk

    Hallo dc
    Can you tell me what the best gps device is for mountainbike and if possible also for hiking will it be a bike gps or a handheld gps.
    Will a bike gps not work for hiking.

    • Paul S.

      The problem with using an Edge for cycling is that in general they use a minimum speed below which they assume you’re not moving. So for hiking you have to crank that down as low as possible (it can’t be set to zero on the Edges I’ve owned) and remember to turn off auto pause (generally you want that on when cycling because usually you want total moving time rather than total elapsed time, etc.). But an Edge can certainly track hiking (I did both hiking and cross country skiing with an Edge 705) if you keep those limitations in mind and don’t mind hand or pack carrying it.

    • Paul S.

      The problem with using an Edge for hiking… (not cycling)

    • Niklas

      For the combination of hiking and mtb, you can look at Garmins handheld devices like Garmin 64-series, Garmin Oregon 700/750 series, Garmin Etrex 30x and Garmin Etrex 35 touch. Garmin have a good bike mount for their handhelds.

      Of course, the handhelds have no work out functionality, but they will work great for weekend warriors. You may also have to look for a detailed map, since the base map i a big joke.

  25. the5krunner

    dcr: “There’s simply nothing else on the market like it in terms of functionality”

    I always liked the Mio/Magellan 505HC which is super cheap ($170 on Amazon) and supports power meters. The newer 605 is priced higher tho. The 505hc easily outperformed the speed of the Edge 820 in routing scenarios where long courses were involved. (eg map load of 1 minute vs 5 minutes…massive differences)

    as @Sam say, above, I would be interested to know battery life whilst navigating and whilst making mistakes when navigating. I know the ‘mistakes’ seemed to much more quickly deplete the battery on the Mio/Magellan than I expected.

    • Yeah, I guess the bigger challenge is everything I’ve heard from Mio/Magellan is them backing out of the cycling industry. I suppose we’ll see if they’re at Eurobike this year shortly.

    • the5krunner

      there is the ‘new’ MIO 605HC model which is from Q2.2017 (ish)

      but that is MIO branded and not, IIRC, Magellan branded. So maybe they are just focussing on europe? dunno.

  26. Tim Grose

    Wonder what percentage of cyclists have a power meter these days. Reading comments here than you might think everybody. I suspect the reality is somewhat different. I have five bikes and only one has a power meter – my TT one. These days with Physio TrueUp and stuff having one screen to see where you are going (like this) and one small thing for say your power data might be good. Then again when I am really concentrating on watts I tend to know where I am going.

    • the5krunner

      Must be a super low percentage. 0.01%? there’s a lot of bikes out there.

      I suspect the readership of this (and similar) blogs is skewed towards those that have such devices.

      That aside, I think PM support is often a reasonable indicator of the seriousness of the device. ie if you get PM support you may well get other interesting stuff too.

    • Agree, it’s a tiny number of overall cyclists worldwide. The number might barely hit single-digits if you include people who ride more in a fitness/sport sense. Barely.

    • Eli

      I’m not so sure I agree that power support is an indicator of seriousness. Maybe for the company as a whole cause a company that doesn’t do anything with power meters isn’t serious. But its an easy way to diversify products and doesn’t really cut out much

    • Brandon

      A lot of triathletes I know have them. And moving to CO here, they seem a lot more common than when I was in IL, probably because speed becomes a near-impossible judge of effort level with the mountainous terrain.

      That said, it’s probably not too different than the percentage of runners who race in trainers vs the percentage who wear specific racing flats. Most of the population is only going to run (or bike) recreationally. I think with prices dropping more and more people are buying Power Meters — I know I got my 4iiii for just over $300. I assume if prices keep dropping and we see one for $200 or so that you’ll get more and more people buying one.

    • Eli

      But this isn’t targeting racers. How many non racers have power meters?

    • Paul S.

      Well, me, but I can’t help myself because I’m a physicist. I have a VeloComp PowerPod (and pre-ordered the forthcoming AeroPod). I don’t compete.

    • Agreed. I have a HR monitor watch, but even that sometimes feels like information I don’t care about and don’t know what to do with.

    • Eli

      Paul, and the chances of you not going for the higher end bike computer is? :-P

      I don’t race, too slow. Still have an edge 1030 and a pioneer power meter cause I’m a nerd

    • Crispin E.

      I’m not much of a road bike rider, but I MTB a fair bit and the idea of a cheaper unit with big screen and mapping/navigation is really appealing. So whilst a serious road or triathlon rider will probably jog on by this unit, there’s a whole world of more general Outdoor activity folks like me (hills/mountains outdoors I mean) that will lap it up.

      [If later on I do ‘accidentally’ lose control of my credit card in a bike shop and get a road bike with PM, I’ll just select a Fenix 3/5/5+ for the power meter and advanced First Beat stuff initially]

    • Paul S.

      Eli, that all depends on the capabilities of the computer. This almost does it. Besides the basic “record the ride” stuff, what I want is navigation capabilities (even though I only really use them about 10 times a year), so full on board turn by turn, maps with context (rules out Wahoo), points of interest, and I also want a barometric altimeter. Right now the Edge 1030 is the “what I get if my 1000 breaks”, but something like this would almost work. (I’m not wedded to Garmin, either, but my impression is that the Karoo and the SIGMA are disappointments and as I said, Wahoo is out because of the maps.)

    • Dan G

      Ray, I don’t understand your attitude to power meters, running or cycling. Do you not ride with a club? I’d say about half of club riders have PMs. I don’t know who else would be buying head units. I hang out with tourists and audaxers, and club cyclists vastly out number them in the UK.

    • Nope, I don’t. And the reality is, a lot of cyclists don’t either. In fact, I’d wager the overwhelming vast majority of fitness-focused cyclists don’t ride in clubs. They just go out and ride, occasionally with friends, but not in organized clubs.

      Either way, people in clubs with power meters simply aren’t the target audience for this device (at least in Garmin’s eyes). It’s all the people criss-crossing around Europe on touring routes that are. It’s people like my Dad who likes to ride a century ride (without a power meter), but with maps and a long-lasting battery GPS device. That’s what the Touring/Explore modes have been targetted at for years (just being overpriced).

      (Side note: Power meter adoption is still incredibly low. If you focus on mostly fast people in clubs, sure, but not beyond that. As proof, check out the Kona bike count numbers. It’s barely over half with power meter adoption these days (59% in 2017), and that’s the absolute fastest triathletes out there, and triathletes buy everything).

      The challenge with the general response here is threefold:

      A) Most active readers (those leaving comments here) are regular readers, and like me, probably have a power meter. But those actually make up a fraction of the overall visitors to the site. I often like to remind folks that my most popular posts in terms of volume are usually Fitbit activity tracker posts. They have low-comments because it’s people that are likely initimdated to leave comments here, and just passing by. I think the same happens here for those target market.

      B) That while we as consumers would love this $249 GPS with power meter support, that simply undercuts Garmin’s $549 Edge 1030. So from a business standpoint that’s a non-starter for them. All of us would say ‘Well Garmin, then make that $549 Edge 1030 something like $399 and you’d have a lot more buyers’. They’d of course respond with ‘We already have tons of buyers at $549, why lower?’. We’d say: Because…we want it?

      C) But why do we as consumers want a $249 color mapping true navigational GPS with power meter support? Because everyone in this comments section knows what Garmin also knows: No such device exists anywhere near the $249 price point. The closest we’d have is the Karoo at $399 – some $150 more. Which is ultimately our conundrum. It’s sorta like arguing to RED Cinema that their $15,000 camera could be $5,000…’just cause’. Until competition comes along and forces Garmin’s hand on this, there’s zero reason they’ll budge. Just like it took years until someone came along (Wahoo) and press them with the BOLT to get them lower.

    • Bingo. I’ll never have a power meter on the bike, and I’d love to have had a the explore on my recent tour in Europe where my Wahoo repeatedly crapped out and gave me incorrect navigation directions and irritated me no end. Combine that with a Varia Radar and it’s the perfect device for me.

    • DDB

      Gutted that it won’t support the Varia Vision. I’ve got my wife onto the Vision & Varia Radar, and this would have been perfect to replace the 520 that is slow as heck. But now will have to be a 130 or 820, which is a bit of a rock and a hard place difference from the 520… grrr.

    • WorkOnSunday

      few years on. the Edge Explore still seems like a good product. i have a question for touring/multi-day ultra endurance events, i have a power meter on the bike but Edge Explore does not support power meter natively. looks like Connect IQ can cater for this, but judging from your video and article, it looks like the power data is recorded slightly differently to native power data. My question is then, without a tablet/laptop and only my iphone/android phone, is it possible to review my power data? thanks

  27. Jerome

    For long distance touring, i recommend having a look at the garmin etrex line. Some are now touchscreen, mine isn’t but has been very reliable for the last years. Also battery life is amazing, I get 4 days out of 2 aa batteries. It has turn by turn navigation, is waterproof, compatible with cadence temp and hr sensors and has a microsd slot. Very happy with it.

    • Geraint Morris

      Ah the eTrex. Great device, my first Garmin was an eTrex Legend, way back when. They are still a good line of cheap devices now.

    • JamieA

      But can you use rechargeable AAs and charge them from a dynohub en route?

    • Jerome

      Yes, that’s exactly what I use to do. But I have now switched to charging the aa with a solar panel. Much more efficient, and can also be used to charge your smartphone.

    • Eli

      Thats what the trans america racers that I ran into do. A garmin 510 to record cycling data and a hiking unit for mapping

    • André Berger

      I still use my old Garmin Dakota 20 that I bought back in 2010 for all my trips, and have been really happy with that. I load the micro sd card with free openstreetmap map files for a whole country at a time. Last summer I did a 250 km trip on two pairs of AA batteries with it, as it uses little power with the backlight set to 0.

  28. Andrew S

    Are you going to review the new Lezyne Mega XL and C? Seems they really have it all at $100 or $50 less than this. Including power meter support, offline maps, etc.

    • Yeah, I looked at it at Sea Otter pre-announce, but will dig into it again here in the next few days at Eurobike. They were trying to get me a unit earlier, but timelines have been tight for them.

    • Mitch W

      Plus one on this. I have been SO happy with my Lezyne Super Enhanced GPS. It recently helped me navigate around Portland (never been before)…Now with actual maps instead of just turn by turn it seems to have it all (power meter support, Strava Live segments, best battery, interval training, live track, and on and on) and cheaper.

      A lot of things have been bandied about as a “Garmin Killer”…. This probably isn’t it either (Garmin = Twinkies after nuclear fallout), but closest we’ve seen from a company that is already very big and respected in the cycling world.

    • The maps on the new Lezyne are more akin to what Wahoo has with the BOLT, which is just a basemap sans-road. So quite a bit different than what we’re talking with the Explore.

    • Mitch W

      That’s interesting that there are no names on the maps.. I would’ve expected it to be there, given that the street names show up for turn by turn on Super GPS. I guess that’s fed from the phone though.

      Unlike Wahoo it does re-route though. In the Super it needed a phone connection, but it looks like the newer models will be able to do it offline too.

      Not that I plan on upgrading. Like I said, I’ve been really happy with my Super. Turn by turn and breadcrumb trail is fine for my navigational needs. If I miss a turn it adjusts. If I am going somewhere truly off-network I have the options of preloading my route and sticking to it or can always download maps to my phone and check it periodically or use it to get back on track or (gasp!!!) rely on a paper map!

  29. nalc

    Why does Garmin treat power meter support as a premium feature?

    I can absolutely understand omitting something like BTLE on a cheaper model where you’re saving money by eliminating it. But I really don’t understand why you’d have a protocol, but then not allow certain devices. If you’ve got ANT+ capability onboard already, why won’t an ANT+ powermeter work?

    It just seems so weird to me – the previous Edge 20/25 models didn’t have it. I’ve got a Vivoactive HR and it’s a great watch and it supports ANT+, but only HR straps / cadence / speed sensors – no PMs. It seems like they intentionally try to neuter them to get you to spend more money. We’re talking about devices that already have the physical hardware to communicate with power meters, and they have reconfigurable graphical data screens so it’s not like “well the screen is too small” or “we don’t have an available spot on the display” like you would find on some of those really basic devices that just use clock-style 7-segment numerical displays.

    It doesn’t seem like anyone else is doing this – even really basic models like the CatEye Stealth have power meter support. Everyone else, as soon as you fork out enough for ANT+, you get all sorts of sensors, but Garmin tries to lock you out of it. I’m fine with them saying that it doesn’t have some of the more advanced structured workouts or power analysis stuff onboard, but it can’t even simply record a ANT+ power data stream? But it can record HR, speed, and cadence? C’mon, man.

    • JamieA

      It’s simply to protect the sales of the higher end units. It looks like Garmin have actually looked at who buys their products and what value they put on the features.

      Those serious about training and spending hundreds on power meter are more likely to buy a 520plus/820/1030.

      There’s a much bigger market of those less inclined to train to power and I guess the margin on this unit is lower that the higher end units with Garmin expecting to sell many more of these than the top units.

      Spec/pricepoint wise Garmin have nailed it for the vast majority of cyclists considering a GPSr unit whitout taking away too many sales from the top units. Looks like there may be sensible thinking at Garmin HQ for once!

      Let’s just hope the units themselves aren’t released as pre-beta units like so many before…

  30. In the USA, I’d like to buy the unit with European maps and popularity routing. Can I do easily do that? Or would I have to find a European vendor? Who needs to tour in the USA? The roads between towns in the USA are so sparse that popularity routing is a no-op.

  31. Matthew


    Any idea why the touch screen works so well on this, but is pretty poor on the Edge 820?

    • JamieA

      Perhaps the engineers actually had time to develop it rather than business managers releasing a product that wasn’t ready.

      Let’s hope it’s a turning point with Garmin treating customers how they should be and not as beta testers.

  32. Marc

    I noticed the cycliq front mount, do you use a cycliq? Light how did the light control work? Does Cycliq’s app work on the Edge Explore?

  33. John

    $250 price point vs $600 for the Edge 1030 (at release at least) proves that Garmin’s typical markup is about 100% above what the devices are actually worth.

  34. Michael St. Louis

    Hi Ray.

    Looking at the comparison chart it seemed like the Wahoo Element Bolt has more features like power meter support for the same price. So why not get it instead?

    Then I follow the link to the review page and see that it has a black and white display as opposed to the color display of the Edge Explore.

    You may want to add display type (b/w, color) to the comparison tables as it could be a differentiator for some people.

    • Yeah, the database may need to be extended a bit to cover the nuances here with navigation.

      In short, Wahoo can’t re-route if you get off-course. Basically they don’t have a routable map set. Instead, they have street map without street names that they overlay your route atop. But Wahoo doesn’t have knowledge of streets on that. It’s like wallpaper, and isn’t routable. So when you get off-course it just points you via a little arrow back in the direction of where you should go.

      Versus the Explore can and will re-route you as soon as you go off-course. Or if you do as I did, you can use it to re-route all day long and loosely follow a route.

    • The Wahoo is unacceptably bad at navigation: link to piaw.blogspot.com. I would not recommend the Wahoo if you really need navigation (as opposed to just following a pre-built route sheet).

  35. Cam

    Just saw this review and this would be perfect but after contacting Garmin it won’t be released here in Australia. Not fair!

  36. Till

    I would be interested in seeing a phone added to the comparison table. My now more-than-two-years old android phone can display and record data from my Garmin (ant+) power meter, my bluetooth HRM, all completely customisable, and of course, also offers live navigation (and the ability to change routes on the fly). Of course, it also natively provides weather, notifications, etc., it has a magnetic compass, barometric altimeter, and apart from not clearly not being designed for any sport, I believe it ticks all the boxes in the above table, including electronic gear shifting, and it is (today) cheaper than some dedicated bike computers, which offer less features.

    I really appreciate the benefits of a running or multisports watch, not just for the form factor; they clearly can provide metrics that phones can’t. I also see a use for cheap (sub $50) head units in scenarios where crashes are likely. But what are the benefits of medium to high-end bike computers over phones on road bikes?

    • Paul S.

      Just off the top of my head: built in mount (the quarter turn mount was one of the best things Garmin invented). A screen designed to be seen outdoors. Always on screen. Much better battery life.

      Yes, a lot of those can be remedied by a case. Might as well just buy a bike computer. Then your phone isn’t exposed on your handlebars.

    • Alex Masidlover

      Which app are you using that allows you to display and customise all those metrics? I haven’t yet found one that I really get on with.

    • Andrew

      Previous answers to this regularly covered topic include battery life, durability + waterproof, non touch screen plus mobile devices are not allowed in triathlon races.

    • Once in a while I go on the rampage for Android apps that will turn my phone into a bike computer, not that I don’t have enough of those but simply because it would be cool to have. I still haven’t found anything which works more than adequately and definitely not something which can compete against even the cheaper computers. The phone may have all the hardware needed to do this but noone have been able to replicate the software from the dedicated computers. Not that they didn’t have a truck load of devices to get inspiration from.

      It’s been a couple of months since my last explorations; perhaps it is time I did it again :-).

  37. Nathan

    Awesome write up. The idea of inputting a destination and letting the device reroute you and/or keep you pointed in the right direction is exactly what I’m looking for.

    My one question is whether the popularity data applies to the rerouting, or does it just try to get you back on course as quickly as possible? For example, if the first left back towards your course is a busy 4 lane road with lots of cars, but the third street up is a quiet street with a designated bike lane, which way will it take you?

  38. It seems like the real competition is a waterproof smartphone + a USB power source to keep the GPS and screen running during the ride.

  39. Steveadore

    In your comp table the Altimeter box is blank. Does this mean it has no inbuilt (barometric) altimeter?

    Also, since I’m planning to use this on my mountain bike as well, what (if any) is the minimum threshold for speed below which it switches off/pauses? The Edge 820 is not suitable for mtb-ing, for instance, as its minimum speed limit is too high for steep technical climbing (at low speeds).

    Lastly, I was about to buy an Edge Explore 820 yesterday (it was a great bargain, on sale), but I was hesitating because of the negative reviews re:touchscreen issues. Would this be a better option? For comparison, the Edge Explore 820 price I was offered is roughly 15-20 per cent below the RRP of this new Explore model

    • Paul S.

      The minimum speed thing is easy to solve, since it’s settable. On older models it’s simply the minimum of the lowest speed zone. On newer models I think you can set it directly. You can’t set it to zero, but you can set it to 1. km/h or mi/hr, that’s small enough.

    • Steveadore

      Thanks. But do you need to disable “Auto Pause” for this? I thought that if you have “Auto Pause” enabled, the minimum speed has to be sth. like 5-6 km/h

    • Paul S.

      No. I ride with an Edge 1000 with auto pause on and the minimum speed set to 1 mph. I mountain bike and have no troubles with it. It pauses when I’m actually stopped, not when I’m grinding up climbs at < 4 mph.

    • Steveadore

      That’s great. I hope the Edge Explore does the same. Now I only need official confirmation that it does actually have barometric altimeter

    • No baro altimeter, I was able to confirm that today during a meeting with them. They had to cut costs somewhere to make it work financially at the $249 price point.

      On the flip side, they did confirm that the latest firmware does have Edge Remote support. Somehow may unit wasn’t getting updates and is on firmware from like last decade. They were actually surprised it worked as well as it did. :)

    • Steveadore

      Thanks for double checking. This is a bit of a deal breaker for me :( The RRP is very good indeed, but I’m now tempted to buy the Edge Explore 1000 (which has barometric alitemeter) for 15-20 per cent more. Are these two pretty much comparable in terms of quality otherwise?

    • Steveadore

      Lack of barometric altimeter also confirmed by Garmin customer service (I had asked them before I asked Ray here, but the answer just came now). Too bad

  40. Lars

    Is the Garmin Edge Explore 1000 a better unit (without taking price difference into consideration)?

    • Chris Watson

      No, the Garmin Edge Explore 1000 is not a better unit.

    • Steveadore

      What makes the EE1000 “worse” then (or do you simply mean that it’s not “better” but the “same level/quality”)? It does have barometric altimeter, though, which Ray has just confirmed the new model lacks.

  41. Kris

    On the garmin site the edge explore is in the list of compatible devices for the edge remote control. In your review it says it is not supported. I could also not see it while you were scrolling the list of sensors on the device in your youtube review.

    Should it be supported?

    • Confirmed today that while it wasn’t enabled on my unit’s firmware, that it is indeed on the most current firmware. I should be getting said firmware shortly.

  42. Norbert

    You wrote:” no advanced training”. Does it have non advanced training? Simple interval training would be enough for me. (like the preprogrammed training on the edge 500).

    I tried to download the manual from the garmin site to see, but I cannot find it yet

  43. Quentin

    I would be interested in a direct comparison between the Edge 130 and the Edge Explore. I was considering upgrading my Edge 25 to an Edge 130, but now I’m wondering if I should consider the Explore instead. It looks like they offer very different feature sets, and I’d like a better list of which ones each offers that the other doesn’t, as well as a size comparison.

  44. John Martin

    With the 800 I found that the SD format out-of-the-box is/was not recognized by the 800. Had to reformat to FAT 32 and then no issues – but this was after trying every other option known to man when maps were not found…..So if you are having issues start from scratch and reformat the SD.

  45. Trevin

    This is an odd little niche question but since you’re in Amsterdam:

    Does the Explore seem to understand/integrate at all with the Dutch Knooppunten route system? The longer I live here the more I have grown to love/hate it. Love it because it makes having a nice big paper map (I’m more of a tourer than anything) valuable, hate it because the signage sometimes leaves something to be desired.

    (Coincidentally it appears we both live or spend a lot of time starting/stopping rides in Hoofddorppleinbuurt… anyway, Hoi buurman!)

    • Perhaps it’s in there, but I haven’t found a way (with little research) to make it appear. :-/

      As for Hoofddorppleinburt, likely because we both live in that area. :)

  46. Paul Shipley

    Is this head unit compatible with ‘extended display’? (sorry if the answer is buried somewhere in the review / comments – I did look but couldn’t find any mention!)

  47. Hi
    I could follow wikiloc routes in the Explore
    Thank you

  48. Paula

    In my opinion prizing is all over the place with these units atm (and in a really stupid way).

    This is Germany right now (prices in €):

    Edge 130 = 200
    Edge 520 = 200
    Edge 520+= 300
    Edge 820 = 270
    Edge 820E= 230
    Edge Explore =250
    Edge 1000E=310
    Edge 1030 =490

    So judging by Rays comparision charts unless you really need BT Smart but do prefer a PM Option you get the most out of your money in terms of features and screen real estate by far with an Edge 820, and if you don’t want that PM option but even more screen real estate its a question of whether you need barometric altimeter (1000E) or not (EE).

    With current prizing E130 -which per se I think is sitting in an awesome niche and could be cool option for some- hasn’t got any appeal at all and E520 is struggling too. You would have to have very specific needs to prefer a 300€ E520+ to a 270€ E820, too.

    I’m not sure it should be like this.

  49. David Knight

    Does the Edge Explore do physio true up? Even one way to 645 would be useful.

  50. TJ

    I stopped being an early adopter years ago with good reason, but I broke the rule with this one and paid the price. Out of the box, once charged, I wasted an hour trying to connect it. Loaded the iOS app – EE isn’t listed and the app wouldn’t find it. The help says ‘if not listed, use Express’. Connected to my Mac using their cable and, nothing, it wouldn’t mount. Been a long time user of Apple and Garmin, tried all the tricks, nothing. The app crashed twice, leaving me with a black screen. Reset the EE and it froze on the splash screen. Put it back in the box and returned it. Sticking with my Bolt.

  51. TJ

    To be fair to Garmin, they picked up on my comment on their forum and asked me to ‘reach out to them’ (awful phrase) and they would help get the device set up, but really, if it won’t even work out of the box, I’m out.

    • It sounds like some units were shipped a few days before they were supposed to. Thus, the app doesn’t show the new device yet for pairing. Really as simple as that.

      Where’s the unit come from?

    • TJ

      In the UK. Regardless of the app, it didn’t mount let alone show up in Express. I did like the responsiveness of the screen however, almost as good as a smartphone.

    • Yeah, if the unit isn’t shown as being ‘in production’ yet, then it won’t show up in Garmin Express or Garmin Connect Mobile.

      Where in the UK though?

    • Paul

      Mine arrived today from Wiggle, do we know when it will show in the app?

    • Paul

      I’m in Manchester, UK

    • Ok, just confirmed with Garmin. The Edge Explore units apparently got into peoples hands slightly faster than they expected. The update to allow pairing to Garmin Connect Mobile (smartphone app), and Garmin Express should go live a bit later this evening.

    • Paul

      Hey Ray, I’m all connected now Garmin added the device to the app today, took my first ride this evening, it’s impressive!

      Just a couple of questions – what are the pros & cons of not having the barometric altimeter? I corrected tonight’s ride elevation with Strava & it’s was 200ft different (over 1,600ft), also I don’t get the elevation ‘grade’ as an option on the data screen? This was useful on my old 520.


    • In general GPS altimeter readings are usually good enough for most people, but there are cases where baro is just simply a lot better – especially with things like bridges and sometimes in mountain passes where GPS is tougher to match-up to the terrain.

      Also, sometimes on really flat terrain (like where I am), you’ll see more blips than a baro altimeter.

      As you noticed, it’s the post-upload correction it fixes it online, but not on the unit itself.

      Personally, about the only time I really care about altitude is in the mountains doing long climbs where I just wanna know how much further till the top.

  52. Norbert

    I compared the manual of the explore and the 1030. They both lack the data field “ gradient”. I liked that function on my edge 500. The explore has no barometrische altimeter. But the manual gives instructies on how to set the altimeter. Perhaps this is a function to adjust the GPS altitude?
    Can anyone comment what came in place for gradient om the 1030?

  53. Robyn

    Since I’m one of those casual cyclists who doesn’t care about power and loves to just meander and explore, this (finally) seems like the perfect bike computer for me! But…

    Up to this point, I have preferred using RWGPS on my iPhone for navigation because (1) I can SEE THE SCREEN and (2) it’s easy to find new places to explore. Of course; the longer the ride, the more battery life becomes an issue (even with a battery case).

    With that in mind:
    1. What are the actual screen dimensions? What is the contrast like? I know its not going to be an iPhone, but will I be able to SEE the thing?

    2. Will this unit eliminate the need for RWGPS? Or will I still have to use it to get routes onto the device? If I still have to pay $80/yr (according to the new price increase) for RWGPS, I might as well keep using my phone.

    3. Can I broadcast HR from my Vivoactive HR to the unit?

    Thanks for the great reviews as usual!

  54. gmail login

    Bike tourists and commuters generally dont care about size either so they just use their phones and battery packs or the 1000 series. Small size tells me this is for roadies. Garmin seems confused and made a product that looks to be mostly useless. DOA.

  55. Arnold

    Hello Ray.

    Thank you for this early review and all other reviews on your excellent site. Been reading here for years, never posted a comment until now. I’m also a Dutch resident.

    Almost 5 years ago I bought my first Garmin device, the Edge 810. Bought this after reading your positive review. In general it’s a very good device, but with a few nasty errors. The worst being that re-calculating routes doesn’t work correct. It recalculates as if your riding a course, bringing you back to the point where you deviated, instead of recalculating the route to endpoint (destination). That’s a big dealbreaker, but unfortunately I discovered this not immediately. Been trying to get Garmin to fix this, but numerous firmwares later, it’s still not fixed and probably never will be. Now my Edge 810 has a broken silicon power button, so now it seems the perfect time to replace.
    Because I also use a Vivosport (also excellent review from you), and because I have cadens sensors on both my bikes (trekking and race), I want to stick with Garmin. (also looked at Teasi One).

    The new Edge Explore seems like the best choice for me. The lack of certain datafields and specific sports related items, is of no concern to me. It offers the things I general use with my 810.

    But, a few questions.
    Does the Explore support use of multiple cadens sensors (multiple bikes)? Do these (also 5 year old) Garmin sensors work with the Explore?

    I noticed in your review that you deliberately deviated from a calculated route. How did the Explore re-caclulate the route? This is of special interest for me.

    Thank you and compliments on your fantastic site.

    Best regards, Arnold.

    • Thanks!

      1) Multiple sensors: Yup, no problem with storage of multiple sensors, including the same type. And yup, it supports the older combo sensors (i.e. GSC-10 ones from Garmin). All good!

      2) Deviations: It simply comes up with a new route each time you deviate. In most cases it’s going to get you back on your planned route relatively quickly, but I suppose if I had crossed the river and continued that way, it’d probably have stayed on that side of the river till required/end point. In my case the re-routing was fast enough that it actually worked well (something I can’t say of the Edge 520 Plus).


    • Nathan

      Ray, you’ve touched on this several times. What makes the Edge Explore so different in terms of rerouting and navigation from the 520 Plus? Do the 820 and 1030 share the same issues as the 520 Plus?

      It almost sounds like if you value both navigation and training stats, mixing an Edge Explore with a newer watch might be the best option. Or am I missing something?

    • I suspect the Edge Explore has the processing power of the Edge 1030, whereas the Edge 520 Plus has the processing power of the Edge 520.

      Even today again using the Edge 520 Plus to navigate, I remembered once again how suck-balls the re-calculations is (again, at least here in the Netherlands).

    • Nathan

      I guess that was a dumb question. I assumed maps were maps and routing was routing. I never considered that a bigger unit would have more horsepower. Kind of obvious now that you mention it…

      You’ve talked me out of the 520 Plus. Do you have any reservations about the 1030 and rerouting? There wasn’t much talk about that aspect of its performance in your review or the comments. I’d expect the flagship to perform, but I’d appreciate first hand experience.

    • Yeah for me I didn’t mention issues on Edge 1030 routing simply because I don’t tend to have any. :) It just works for me as fast as I’d expect.

      Unfortunately I have to call up Garmin service as I managed to break the USB port somehow last week, so hence why I was back to using the Edge 520 Plus instead for routing (and I’m not entirely sure where I placed my Edge 820 at the moment either).

    • Nathan

      Thanks, Ray. It’s so cool that you spend so much time in the comment section.

      Bummer on the busted USB. Hopefully Garmin gave you a VIP number at least…

  56. admckillip

    Anyone know how much it weighs? I can’t find that online. I’m not totally a weight weenie but I want to make sure it’s not crazy… And yet I’m somehow the guy that doesn’t need a power meter. I assume its close to the 1030?

  57. Me, myself and I


    Can you help me with these two questions before I decide to buy this very interesting device?

    1. What kind of mount(s) do we get in the box? This would be my very first mountain bike GPS and I have nothing to mount it on for now, so it would be handy to know if I need to buy anything else right now.

    2. What about moutain bike navigation? Is it worth it? Can we easily find small trails or is it mostly designed for roads?

    Thanks for your help and this really useful (p)review :)

    • Terry Jones

      In answer to 1) It comes with two stem/handlebar mounts and a selection of rubber bands.

    • Me, myself and I

      Referring to this picture : link to cdn.road.cc
      I guess the 2 mounts are similar to the left one and I will need to buy the one in the center if that’s what I want, right?

    • Terry Jones

      Correct. No out-front mount is supplied. The two included are identical to the one on your stem (see photo attached)

    • Me, myself and I

      Perfect, thanks for your quick answer.

      Question 2 is the only one remaining now:
      2. What about moutain bike navigation? Is it worth it? Can we easily find small trails or is it mostly designed for roads?

    • Paul S.

      That all depends on the maps. Probably the maps it comes with won’t have trails, but you’re not required to use them. You’ve got lots of room to add maps. The best thing to do would be to go to openstreetmap.org, look at the area(s) you’re interested in, and see if the trails you want are on the maps. Here in central Pennsylvania OSM maps have all of the trails, and they’re routable (so that the device can “see” the trails and route along them), but that may not be true of all areas (having a big university nearby with lots of people making tracks helps). If the trails you want aren’t on the maps, there’s a process to add them, but it may not be instant (maps are curated in my area). There are also other places that take OSM maps and specialize them; I use maps from openmtbmap.org on my Edge 1000 and Epix.

    • Me, myself and I

      This is good news. I’ve heard about openmtbmap.org and will probably follow this tutorial to get maps in my area: link to dcrainmaker.com
      I think most of the trails will be available, I live in Greater Paris so many people out there to add them :)

      Anyway, if this is just a question of maps, there should be no problem for mountain bike navigation. No reason the Edge Explore navigation system to be less accurate than that of Edge 520 or Edge 820, right?

    • Paul S.

      Just based on reading this review and Ray’s reviews of the others and the Garmin forums (which I haven’t read in months now), this should do a better job than the 820 and certainly the 520 (unless you’re talking about the +). I have experience with an Edge 705, and Edge 800, and an Edge 1000, and they all work(ed) pretty well but have quirks it pays to be aware of. But there’s really only one way to find out if it works the way you want it to, and that’s to try it.

  58. Paul Cox

    I have this device now and it seems it does not have a data point for percent grade!

    • Terry Jones

      I see the same. I guess the accuracy/lag of GPS based gradient is not so good so it’s been dropped. I think my old 305 (without barometer) did give gradient but presume that code would have been dropped long ago. Maybe it will return in an update down the line. If I really need it I’ll fire up my Fenix during the ride.

  59. Me, myself and I

    Does anyone know if this device is going to be released as a bundle (like the Edge 820: link to wiggle.com) in the coming weeks?

    • Me, myself and I

      Any hint on availability for the device itself and a potential bundle?

    • I haven’t heard of a bundle, but the base device is already shipping.

    • Me, myself and I

      Unfortunately I haven’t found a single website that ships to France already, it’s either unavailable or shipping within 2 months.

      Thanks for the feedback on a potential bundle, I’ll go for the base device when it becomes available.

  60. sander

    This device is what I need. My biggest concern is battery life…

  61. Norbert

    Just made my first (short) ride with it. After 90 minutes capacity was 80%. I had navigation on and did a lot of testing. Perhaps without navigation battery lasts Longer?
    There is a battery save mode. The screen will only turn on when a waypoint is coming up or when you touch the screen.

  62. Lea

    looking to replace my still (problem free)working Edge 510. Seeing it does not have the virtual partner/racer feature this is not the device for me.

  63. Miha


    you describe the process for uploading the OSM via SD card, but I don’t find any specification that Edge Explore has SD card slot?

  64. Jean-Marc

    Hey thx for the review,
    Im plannning to buy a new gps most likely a garmin, having now a mio 405.
    I have a garmin vivoactive 3 and i wonder if that my watch is pairable with the edge? I would like to see my HR from my watch to the datafields of the GPS. Because i don’t like to wear a HR strap!

    What about the 12hr batterylife, does it affect heavily with all the notifications on and when it’s paired with a cellphone and a watch?


  65. Miha

    Is it possible to display HR data from Fenix 5 watch? Is this not supported due to lack of Extended display?

    • Yes, you can re-broadcast your HR on the Fenix 5, and then pair it on the Edge Explore as a HR sensor.

    • Miha

      OK, thnx, but what is then in detail the function of the Extended display not supported by this Explore version?

    • Extended display is designed primarily for triathletes. It allows you to have a watch and start a recording there (typically during the swim), after which when you get to your bike the display fields from the Edge unit would mirror that of the watch – so you’d see total race time, not just the time on your bike.

    • Okrunner

      Did anyone notice Froome wearing a Fenix 5 on the last stage of the Tour in addition to his Garmin computer? Wander if he was using extended display or what the purpose of the additional computer was?

    • Andrew

      Can you please add Rebroadcast HR (LTE or Ant+) to the comparison chart as this feature is not consistent across wearables of a similar price or feature set? Thanks.

    • Rebroadcast is a good one, I’ll get it added in!

      (Secret reality: Only Garmin allows re-broadcast. Polar technically does on a couple of devices, but it doesn’t actually work properly with most 3rd party apps/devices as it’s wonkily implemented).

  66. Rick McGinley

    Just got one to replace an Edge 1000 that completely lost cable communication capability. Two items are an issue. I want % grade as a display field and although “Grade” is listed as one of the available items in the O&M manual it is impossible to find on the device. Another Garmin classic is when you look for how to install a micro SD card it says you can do that and then it shows you a picture of the end of an Edgge 1000, not an Edge Explore, describing how to move the rubber piece and install the card and the rubber piece is non existent on an Edge Explore. With 15GB of internal memory this my not be an issue. My concern is when I want to install Europe maps or insert the SD card with the maps from my City Navigator Europe.
    Still sorting thru how to use the I/O apps for % grade.

  67. Joseph Fengler


  68. Arnold

    How does the Edge Explore compare to the Magellan/Mio Cyclo 405 (HC)?

  69. Frank

    Hi Ray, thanks for your review. I just got my Edge Explore delivered and I was trying to get the Strava IQ app on it, but it says it’s not compatible with this device. This is an important feature for me because all my routes are made on Strava. Do you know if this should be possible?

  70. Eric

    Have you actually tried to use Strava Routes with this device? I have not been able to install this app form the Connect IQ store.

    • Terry Jones

      Follow the link in my post above – Strava do not yet support the device. You should ask them as they develop and support the app.

    • Eric

      I already asked the question at Strava. But because Ray specifically states that strava routes are available I was wondering wether he had some bata test access or similar to the app. Hence my question wether he actually had it installed (or had been told or expected that it will become available)

    • I’ll poke and ask when the Strava Routes app will be enabled/marked for that device. In my case I used the routes from Strava as files manually.

    • Frank

      Thanks Ray!

    • Eric Peters

      I’ve did that but the Strava support desk told me that the Garmin team actually has made the App, so I re-asked the question again on the Garmin forums.

    • Eric Peters

      New update: no feedback at al in a week from Garmin. New Feedback from Strava: “there are no plans to make this available for this device”

      If you read the instructions for Connect IQ developers for the Edge Explore you will see that as long as you are not using power meters or training functionality than all application for the Edge 1000 will work with no problems on the Edge explore. The only thing you need to do is check the box that it is available for the Edge Explore also.

      So what Strava is saying is: “There are no plans to check a box”. I guess that’s one way of getting you customers to switch platform.

    • And thus illustrating quite nicely how close Garmin and Strava have become.

      If Strava wasn’t having their strings pulled by Garmin, then any self-operating company would of course enable this on all devices. But in this case, Garmin is likely pressuring Strava to not enable this to upsell units.

    • Laurent Coppejans

      Same problem here… The new Edge Explore is not listed as a compatible device for the Strava routes Connect IQ app! Whether it is Garmin pressuring Strava or a different reason Garmin should not make a false statement on their website saying this works… Right?!

    • Eric Peters

      Maybe the RouteCourse guys can make the workflow for transferring Strava routes with their app slightly more intuitive on the smartphone. (Now you have to copy passte the Strava route url manually but they should be able to pull a table with route name and URL quite simple using the Strava Api) Than we do not need to worry about this anymore.

    • Eric Peters

      I just checked this, apparently only your own starred Strava routes are imported automatically into RouteCourse. I never starred any of my routes. But this seems to work fine, not as super-smooth as the Strava routes app but good enough.

    • Laurent Coppejans

      Correct, it looks like RouteCourse offers a good workaround to get your Strava Routes into the Edge Explore.

  71. Steve

    I’m headed to South Korea for a year….

    Am I better off buying one of these in Korea with garmin maps already on it…or buy one while I’m in the U.S and add a open source Korea map to it?

    I’ve never had a gps unit on my bike and I dont know the differences in the amount of map information you get between Garmin vs open source maps.

    • Steve

      Bought the new Lezyne Mega XL and saved $80 over this Garmin. The battery life and free maps from Lezyne won me over aside from all its features.

      So far it’s been a great unit. P

    • Sander

      I read at the lezyne forum that the Mega C has only 64mb internal storage, that’s not much for maps…

    • Steve

      I have a ‘huge’ map section (defined by Lezyne) that includes Seoul, Korea and the file size is only 3.5mb.

      64mb is enough I think for most of all recreational cyclist for the areas they’re in or travel to. The offline maps are easy to set and download I’ve found.

    • Sander

      That’s not much :-). Can you upload gpx files when the device haves no internet connection?

  72. Jurriaan

    I have made a couple of rides with the device last week. Compared to my edge 520 it has a totally different (easier to use) interface and I like the touchscreen on this device.
    It has all the basic datasets I normally use on the edge 520. Things I miss at the moment are a couple of apps from the IQ store which arent available yet on the edge explore. Also gradient is missing, hope they will add it soon.
    Multiple bike profiles and more datascreens should also be added, I find it quite lame Garmin has limited this with their software, maybe someone can hack this device in the future to add this stuff ?.
    All by all the device is great for my cycling needs, the batterylife is good and it has a quick processor. Sonhardware grat, software some work to do for Garmin.

  73. Miha

    Any news on availability? For Slovenia, it seems that the units will be available only in the mid-September, which is kind of lame from Garmin.

    As an alternative, can anyone check which maps are available at the unit? European wide or country wide only?


    • Jurriaan

      Map of whole Europa, which takes 9 gigabytes of internal space from a total of 16.

      With kind regards

    • And for availability, it’s already been shipping for about 3 or so weeks now. Definitely in the UK, Netherlands, and I think I saw some go to France too. I’m not sure why certain countries do or don’t get units within Europe at various times.

      That said, I’ll poke Clever Training Europe, which is UK based but ships everywhere in the EU (and then some), to see when they’ll stock – as that might solve your problem.

    • Miha

      Great thanks!

    • Aspirina

      Picked one up in a Garmin shop in Barcelona, also available from Amazon.

    • Miha

      Yeah, looking into different sites, but didn’t find any with availability soon, usually you can order and pay, but delivery 1-5 weeks.

      Waiting for Ray to order via Clever Training, if possible.

  74. Aspirina

    Quick question, has anyone been succesful installing the Birdseye layer? Neither bootcamp 4.7.0 in windows or mac recognise it as compatible


    • Steve

      Don’t know about the normal birdseye layer, but this does support birdseye/JNX raster maps using the alternative firmware.

      I assume they just haven’t updated the PC programs to support this unit yet.

  75. Sander

    Is there a possibility for switching off the “not recording” system warning? I don’t like to record every ride, but I like to navigate.

  76. DaveInMass

    Loving my new Edge Explore, as a step up from my trusty Edge 500, BUT…

    On a century yesterday there were basically straight stretches of road where every 100 meters I’d get the beep and a “sharp bend” warning. Other times I’d get the warning before bends on roads with 50mph speed limits and no need for even trucks to slow for the bend. SUPER annoying! SUPER distracting!

    I’ve read that on an Edge 1030 that can be disabled in the “activity profile”, but I don’t think the Edge Explore has those, and I can’t find anywhere in the menus where I can disable this incredibly awful “feature”.

    Can anyone help? I posted this to the Garmin forum also, and if someone there tells me the secret I’ll come back here and share it.

    • Terry Jones

      I’ve been seeing the same and have yet to work out what triggers it as it only happens sporadically.

    • Sander

      1. The “sharp bend” warning,
      2. The batterysave modus who stops working after some hours riding (the screen doesn’t turn off)
      3. The very slow course calculation (course with a distance of 105km)

      are my 3 problems with my new edge explore.

    • DaveInMass

      I rode a 40-mile course today and got *no* sharp turn warnings. Thinking back carefully about the two recent rides where I got the bogus warnings, both times they were on out-and-back sections (where the outgoing and ingoing course follows the same road). Does this fit your cases?

      Perhaps splitting out and back courses into two — one out and the other back — would be a work-around.

    • I’ll ask about turning it off.

      Just as an aside, you actually don’t need to have a course loaded. It simply looks at the road you’re on. I got some yesterday for example, no course loaded.

    • Terry Jones

      I believe what I have seen is consistent with @DaveInMass

      If I don’t have a route loaded the bend warnings are correct but if I am following a route that comes back along the same roads I get additional spurious warnings.

      I’ll try to reproduce it this evening.

    • Brian

      The sharp bend warnings are the worst. I can ‘kinda’ understand when navigating a course. But I got them this morning riding on the ‘cycleway’ without having any course/route navigation turned on. It’s a twisty trail, they come up a lot. There NEEDS to be a way to turn those off.

    • Brian Harris

      Garmin support just replied to me ‘Nope, no way to turn it off’. I may return it. Which is a same, I really like the unit otherwise. Complete nonsense to not have that as a setting.

    • DaveInMass

      In the last few rides I haven’t had a “sharp bend” warning problem. I do get an occasional warning — once in 100 miles last weekend — but at least there *was* a sort-of-sharp bend ahead. That ride had several miles of road that were on both the outbound and inbound course, so I was ready for some glitches, but actually it was flawless for the whole ride.

      Still, the sharp bend warnings seem totally unnecessary to me and I do wish it could be turned off.

    • Catfiend

      I just had a chat session with someone at Garmin and he assured me that there is now a setting that allows you to turn off this warning.

  77. Nick

    How does it compare to the Garmin eTrex?

  78. Gary Bower

    I’m just getting into cycling as my ageing body is creaking with all the running and squash and I want something that I can continue when I can’t get about the court as well as I used to anymore.

    So, I’ve invested in a bit of kit to monitor progress. First ride out with the Edge Explore today and I was impressed. I did not use it to navigate, but tested ease of recording, ease of scrolling through screens whilst out and basic set-up, all of which were reasonably intuitive.

    Connectivity – I was able to connect the Polar H7 Bluetooth heart rate sensor to it (used for running with my Polar M400), which was a bonus as it means I don’t have to buy a new Garmin HR strap. Therefore, I advise that the product comparison table above is updated to show that it will connect with the Bluetooth smart HR sensor.

    Also connected the basic Garmin Ant+ cadence sensor. No problem in pairing, no problem in picking both up prior to the ride. Having read a couple of comments, I gave the crank arm a twirl before setting off to ensure it connected.

    The screen is easy to see and the size is a bonus over the Edge 520. Layout can be configured easily. The map screen is good and can auto-zoom (have yet to test this in action).

    I set manual laps to 1 mile over a short 15 mile test run (will increase this for longer distances ) and that proved to work well.

    Minor irritations:
    There isn’t an extended mount in the box, as described above. I found that the stem mount is fractionally too close to the body on a hybrid bike, the extended mount would alleviate this.

    Auto start is irritating. I set this to on without realising it. As I wheeled the bike round the side of my house it automatically started to record, then paused the recording as I slowed down to go through a gate and it took a bit of fiddling with the controls to stop the ‘activity’ and discard it – it couldn’t be done with one click. I would not advise auto start unless you are racing, when it will be useful to avoid getting distracted whilst starting – use prompt or manual start. Given that this feature can be switched off, I’m not too fussed about it now I have found out.

    All in all very good and when I got back, the bluetooth connection to my phone mean’t the data was already waiting for me to view in both Garmin Connect (which has improved tremendously since I last had a Garmin running watch in 2014) and Strava. Nice.

  79. Sander

    I send my edge explore bag, it had to much bugs, course calculation is slow, battery life to short .

  80. Jurriaan

    A couple of rides further, I have installed Komoot and Trailforks and it works like a charm. Untill now no major bugs.

    Mentioned on the Garmin forum: when a ride is uploaded on Garmin Connect you don’t get to see the time spent in each heart rate zone, odd! Also altitude and temperature lack in the course review on Garmin Connect.
    Can someone from Garmin clarify this?

    • Norbert

      You don’t see the temperature on the Garmin connect website because the Garmin edge has no temperature sensor.

    • Gary Bower

      On my course review on Garmin Connect in the bottom right hand corner of the map that shows the route I took, it provides icons for the general weather conditions, wind speed and direction and the temperature at the time of the ride.

      Agree that you don’t get time in the heart rate bands though, and it doesn’t show this in Strava upload either (although I only have the Strava basic account, not sure if it is shown in the Pro account)

  81. Ivan

    I got my edge explore this week and I am taking it back. I.have never owned a garmin and was really wanting a gps with a better map. My issue is I can’t see well and for me the device is somewhat hard to see. Mainly the map. It’s shows you as a tiny dot on the road which is hard for me to see. Also the screen kind of has glare in bright light and the command prompts on the map are very small.

    The device needs to be brighter still the map screen is dull. Also they needs to add one more custom data page two is ok but one more would be nice.

    I was under the impression this device uses trendlind? If so it sucks because it was routing down a very busy road the literally runs parallel to a park where tons of people bike. So I don’t know what is up with that. Overall not a bad device just not for me

  82. fito

    Has a light sensor for the automatic intensity of the varia smart lights?
    I can not see it in the pics like 1030

  83. I had a Garmin Touring Plus. I was very disappointed it kept losing turn by turn directions on a downloaded GPx route even if I only went a few feet off course. Could follow the red route line though. Plus other issues causing problems. There was no way to alter screen brightness etc.
    When I wanted the device to plot a route, it always seemed to use main roads not cycle routes despite my settings.

    Is the new Garmin Explore better at following GPx courses? and does it do routes on the device that don’t go on main roads like the touring plus did?

  84. Blair Russel

    Amazon had 13 units available on Wednesday, now Amazon says “Ships in 1 to 2 months”. Is there an avaiability problem?

    • Richard

      I bought mine directly from Garmin UK. It arrived in 2 days…

    • Ian Hartley

      Got mine at Halfords in Uk, price matched to £219, then BC discount down to £197 (plus did it by Quidco/click and collect so another £6 saved) ;-)
      The unit is exactly what I have been looking for – some metrics but not overkill, decent mapping to help when lost/not sure where to go. As above tho, a little disappointed by the routing which does seem to take you on major roads even though ‘major roads’ are disabled in the settings. However, only used it for a day so could easily be user error !

    • David

      Any further updates on the navigation using main roads?
      I am planning a ride across the Netherlands to Germany following cycle routes and am looking for a decent map based satnav.
      I also ride back roads locally in the UK.
      Route planning using main roads would rule this unit out which would be a shame as it seems to do most of what I want.

    • I can say that in the Netherlands at least, I’ve never had any issues with it trying to take main roads.

    • It’s way better than Wahoo (can’t sync a route without internet)! I think you’ll discover that you can’t do much better than the Garmin unless you have an always on internet and can use Google Maps/Komoot. You can even sync Komoot to the Garmin units via the Komoot app.

    • David

      Just had my first touch of one in Halfords.
      Seemed to do more or less what I want (can’t really tell until I get one and ride with it).
      One thing – when it planned the route it had my GPS location (in the store) on the bottom 1/3 of the screen and the route went off the bottom of the screen.
      When you start to ride, is it sensible and shows you the route ahead with current location at the bottom and route towards the top?

  85. Charles Rush

    I wish it was easier to sync with Ride With GPS. I don’t care for Strava. Strava is like Facebook in my opinion and there are people I don’t want to have the ability to see when I’m on my bike. I can get my rides over to Ride With GPS but it would be nice if the Garmin Connect APP would just do it.


    Great review.

  87. RidingABikeShouldMeanFreedom

    Works as you would expect, that’s positive.

    I’ve to say though that Garmin misuses its market position. It’s good that Wahoo Bolt has gain popularity (all though it’s privacy ecosystem is a shame), so now Garmin suddenly can produce a $250 device.

    But, of course slimmed down as much as they could, because it doesn’t seems to be a company who really cares a lot about it’s costumers.

    Pretty lame battery life, it’s 2018 guys! You screwed your costumers here not by accident…It’s clear that forcing you to buy a more expensive device as much as possible is major point in the marketing strategy of Garmin

    Not possible to share GPX files between Garmin (Etrex) devices via bluetooth. Serious?! You screwed your customers another time, mainly cause this is just because you want them to force to make use of the Garmin Connect app, so it’s easy to gather as much of data of your customers as possible.

    So you need a phone and WIFI (and laptop?) to share GPX files between your Garmin Explore and your Etrex 30x. It’s insane, but apparently, people and reviewers are easy to fool with at this point in time…

    Go Wahoo (and fix your privacy problem, data suckers!)

    • Sander

      I had both devices. The edge explore gives to much useless warnings, batterylife is to short and it didn’t handle prepared fit routes very well.
      Wahoo haves a nice App, but the Bolt doesn’t look very solid, more plastic fantastic. Also the turnbyturn info isn’t that greate; “-200 meters to the next turn”.

      I will waite for the next Stages dash devices, these looks promissing.

  88. Bernard Reuvers

    Interested in the guest mode function! want to share a device with the wife. Will she be able to pair here phone?
    How will she be able to download/upload routes to here strava account?
    Any other devices around there which are good with sharing?

    Still have the edge 500 which is perfect. But we want navigation.


  89. Mike

    Hi Ray, could you elaborate on how you added EU maps? Without a sd slot how do you add Garmin eu maps or ones that you create like you did in your write up?

  90. I finally caved and bought one using a 15% eBay coupon from Clever Training. A few observations:
    – the big screen is great! I didn’t think it’d be a big improvement over the Garmin 800, but it is a big improvement
    – the battery life sucks. At 90% screen brightness it didn’t last 7 hours.
    – mysteriously, my unit lost connection with the radar and cadence sensor 3 hours into a 6 hour ride. Just as mysteriously, after the ride (and recharging and restarting the unit), the radar and cadence sensor came back. It verified that it wasn’t the accessories that were causing the problem as my son’s Edge 25 had no problem seeing the cadence and radar, and my Vivoactive HR happily kept recording the cadence data.
    – not having the barometric altimeter sucks. I thought I wouldn’t miss it, because I was planning to do all my uploads using the vivoactive HR instead. But as a result of not having it, I can’t have my favorite displays such as the gradient, etc.

    I have half a mind to return the thing, but that screen… so good!

    • Oh yeah. I tried buying the EU maps but Garmin refunded the money after I called them and they verified I couldn’t have both US and EU maps together on the same unit.

    • In general I think you’l find that 30-40% brightness is more than enough for most situations. Like a phone, if placed at 90-100% brightness, it’ll burn battery pretty darn quickly.

    • The unit came with 60% brightness, but it was a very bright day so I had to turn it up to see. I just returned the unit (Garmin said that my disconnection from the Varia Radar was due to my tandem use case, and that they didn’t expect to fix it) and went back to my old Edge 800, which is a lot dimmer, but somehow easier to see in bright daylight.

  91. Randolf

    What about stability of the device? I have an Edge 810 for over 6 years now, but it won’t work stable (firmware 6.3). Sometimes it crashes (turns off?) over 20 times during a weekend (200+km), sometimes it is stable for months. And it is slow in calculating routes, very slow: 100+km takes at least 10 minutes, if it ever finishes…

    So I want to buy a new device. The new Sigma Rox12 looks promising, but I hear a lot about crashes. The 1030 is very expensive (too expensive if you’re asking me).

    So can anyone update me on the stability?

    • DaveInMass

      I haven’t had any issues with stability at all. The longest I’ve had it running continuously was only about 7.5 hours though.

    • Sanderr

      I had some crashes, but the biggest issue’s are;

      1. Short battery life
      2. Non disable sharp turn warnings during rides. The warning is more dangerous
      then the turns.
      3. Route calculation can take long time (10 min +)

    • Randolf

      Battery life is apparently the same as my current edge 810 which leaves me at approx. 75% after a 2 hour ride.

      About the sharp turn warnings, I’m used to ride without sound on since navigating on the 810 is also a nightmare with warnings.

      Is it possible to charge during a ride when the unit is in the front-out mount?

    • Sander

      The sharp turn warnings are popups on the screen. You are unable to read the course for 5 a 10 seconds.

      You aren’t aible to charge when the device is in a front-out mount.

    • Randolf

      And charging with a hooked cable like in the picture?

    • Terry Jones

      I see no reason why not (other than water ingress in wet conditions) – here is mine on the Garmin mount with cable attached.

    • Randolf

      Thx Terry, thats what I needed to know.

  92. Kirby

    Will this be offered as a bundle with HR, speed, and cadence?

  93. Charles

    I’ve been using my Explore for a month now and one complaint is the battery usage. Today after only a two hour ride the device went from 100% down to 30%. That’s not good for some weekend rides that normally would be more than three hours long. I went looking around in the settings to see what I can turn off and I lowered the display brightness down from 50% to 30%. I use the Gamin Varia bike radar and that is related to the drain I think. If that is what’s using so much battery I’m afraid I won’t be able to use the radar when I plan the longer rides.

    • Terry Jones

      Hi Charles, I run an explore with a Varia too. I agree the brightness is the biggest influence on run time. With it turned down at the weekend I had 40% left after a 5 hour ride (+ 45 minutes over lunch as I did not power off). On an earlier ride when I thought I would run out of battery I switched battery save on half way through an 8 hour ride. Despite not being ideal it made a dramatic difference to the rate of consumption and as the screen wakes up when prompted by the Varia or a turn instruction it’s still very usable.

  94. Simon Still

    Re – comment on GPS accuracy in the review.

    My wife (*mai waiiife*) has a Lezyne Super GPS which seems to consistenty record a shorter total ride distance than my Garmins. She’s nearly always about 10% less – which is some km on a big MTB day out of 40km or so.

  95. Carol Linden

    One thing you didn’t mention is that the Edge Explore lacks a built in data field for gradient, an egregious oversight. The IQ app that they offer is marginal at best – in order to have the numbers visible on the screen, you have to turn off seeing “+/-” and “%” (the latter not being that big a deal). I hate to say my old Edge 500 was “better”, or maybe I’m just on the learning curve.

    • It doesn’t have a barometric sensor, so any gradient reading would be science fiction anyway as elevation measurements off GPS are completely inaccurate. I returned mine partly because I didn’t think that the lack of a gradient reading would bother me but it did, so mine went back. (Also battery issues, lack of sd card, etc)

  96. Charles Rush

    Something has changed on it’s own. I did a ride on 11/7/2018 and when I posted to Ride With GPS all the info including the map was correct. All I did between then and today’s ride was charge the damn thing. So I did the exact same ride today and when I downloaded the ride into Ride With GPS I had no map displayed and when I looked into things farther it reported I did this ride on a stationary bike. Bullcrap. How did this happen?

    • Charles Rush

      11/18/2018 update. Did a ride of 35 miles today. Again no map/ route saved or uploaed to Strava. I reset the Explore to factory and reconnected all my sensors. I reloaded the Garmin maps from Garmin Express too. If I can’t clear up this problem I’ll be returning it for warranty.

    • Charles Rush

      I got a response from Garmin support. They said remove the speed sensor because with the speed sensor paired the Edge assumes I’m riding indoors. I believe this is what was going on because when I looked at the saved data in Strava it said it was an indoor activity. No map data would have been saved. That is strange because I swear it was working prior to the last few rides that had issues. But I went out for a .6 mile loop in the car, no bike with sensors, and the Edge worked fine. I could view a map with the route overlay. So I guess not having a speed sensor on the bike and just relying on the GPS to report my speed is how I will have to move forward.

    • Terry Jones

      @charles – I’ve been using my Explore with speed sensors (Garmin and Giant) since July and have never seen your issue. I’d suspect you have hit a bug they are unaware of. I know it’s a pain but I would try a full factory reset and setup from new, PS Have you looked at the FIT file contents? Is there GPS data there?

    • Charles Rush

      Yes this is odd because I have always used the speed sensor since I bought the Edge in August. The device should not automatically assume and indoor or outdoor ride based on the sensor. The last couple of weeks I have only been able to ride a few times but each of those rides the only data that got uploaded to Strava and RideWithGPS was Speed, Cadence, Heart Rate, Calories, Elapsed Time, and the Elevation Profile with Distance. There was no map with the ride route being displayed on those Apps. Maybe this may have something to do with the configuration of the speed sensor using manual calibration and by entering a wheel size. Also using the Wahoo Blue SC dual sensor could be a problem with Bluetooth and Ant+. Anyway I got the answer from support and this seems to be the route they recommend. Something else weird that I checked, Menu>History>Rides>Select>Map where I got a blank screen, actually it wasn’t blank, if I zoomed all the way out I got a map view of another part of the world that is not North America but looked like Asia and part of Russia. Like I said it was weird. I reset the unit to factory again and downloaded the maps again. So I have only done one test since that last reset and that was without the bike but it did work properly that time. I nee to do a test today on the bike.

  97. Fred

    Now I have a question that came up while studying these devices and getting rather frustrated by the seemingly unreliability of the almost all the units on the market. That question is what is the difference between the Garmin GPSMAP 64st handheld navigator with city maps downloaded vs the other Garmins like the Edge and other brands?

    The Garmin GPSMAP 64st uses easy to find AA batteries but comes with rechargables that last 16 hours. Would this Garmin be more suitable to bicycle touring?

    Maybe you can do a review sometime with the Garmin GPSMAP 64st if you think it could be a viable option for cycling.


  98. SL

    Hi Ray,

    I’m currently using a Wahoo Bolt and I’m happy with the device. What bothers me as a hobby driver (have no power meter, for example), I have to schedule running costs for training Peaks (premium) or Strava (premium). So I’m thinking about switching to the Explore and using Garmin Connect (would be OK for me).

    What do you mean?
    Is a change from Wahoo to the Explore recommended?

    Kind regards from Germany

    • Paul S.

      Speaking as someone who uses Connect (since before it was connect; I started with Motionbased) and Strava, Strava has better analytics. For example, Strava estimates power in your case if you have a heart rate monitor, has the “relative effort” score (used to be “suffer score”), fitness and freshness, heat maps, and others I’m not remembering right now. Connect doesn’t have these. Connect, however, is completely free (right at the end of Motionbased they put in a paid tier, but that didn’t carry over to Connect), while Strava now has several paid tiers (you’re no longer “premium”). Connect has better support for sports other than swimming, cycling, and running (I’m a cross country skier when I can be), but is otherwise at a lower level.

    • Sven-Erik

      I would not consider the Bolt to be an alternative to Garmin devices because there is a bug that affects the use of power meter/s on long rides if you want to keep the timer running, as I do. It disconnects and a restart is required. The longer you have ridden before pausing, the longer it will take the Bolt to rebuild the data. Meanwhile if you do not stand still, you will lose the (part of) ride that you do while the rebuild process is running. If you ride without power meter the Bolt, in my experience is an OK device, save if you are forced to go off route, for example because there is road work that redirects traffic. I have reported the problem with coupling to power meter. Wahoo writes this is top priority now (seems I am not the only one experiences the decoupling as a Botch). No timeline on a fix. I am glad I have a 1030. It doesn’t lose grip and it gives some assistance when rerouting is necessary.

  99. SL

    Of course I am also looking forward to the opinion of ALL forum participants :-)

    • Charles Rush

      I am getting a bit concerned and thinking of returning my Edge Explore. The screen keeps getting stuck. I use the Varia Radar with my Explore and I’m noticing when I see a vehicle approaching the dot starts moving and then will stop before it reaches the top and the screen is just stuck at that point. If I swipe to another screen and then back again it clears it otherwise it will stay stuck indefinitely.

    • Terry Jones

      Hi Charles,

      I’ve been using the same combination since July and have never seen what you describe. Are you running any ConnectIQ fields/apps?


    • Charles

      I’m wondering if maybe it’s the cold weather affecting the thing. It was working fine when it was warmer outside but under 40 degrees and it locks up alot.

    • Terry Jones

      Hi Charles,

      I have done a couple of colder rides, I’ll keep an eye and report back either way.


    • Terry Jones

      Hi Stephan,

      From a hardware perspective (having made the same move) the main thing you may miss is the barometric sensor. The Explore uses GPS to estimate elevation and it seems to to a pretty poor job of it – 50% delta is reported and I see large changes if I have Garmin or Strava correct it. This also means there is no official Grade% field for climbs so if that is important to you then the 520 plus or 1030 ($$$) would be better options (There are connectIQ fields for grade but they are not accurate due to the lack of sensor). The Explore also misses a light detector so the Varia lights do not go into night mode automatically (despite the Edge knowing it’s past dusk and reversing the display). I also think the battery life is not great for something called Explore! I did manage an 8 hour ride but the second half with the screen off in battery save mode and it was on a warm day. I’d hoped for better.

      On the software side, the Explore’s limit of just two data screens seems a little petty on Garmins behalf. I’ve ridden about 1000 miles with mine across 40 rides or so and it’s hung a couple of times requiring a reboot but I did not lose data either time. I also had a ConnectIQ field (MyEdge) that was completely corrupted and took a bit of fiddling on my part to resolve. I don’t recall the Bolt ever having that type of issue….



    • SL

      Hi Terry,

      the Explore does not seem to work stably and lacks some essential features. So your suggestion is probably good to buy the edge 520 plus.

      Thank you for your informations!


    • Terry Jones

      You might also want to take a look at the 520 Plus forum on the Garmin support site before making the jump. It has some compromises too (memory size for multiple maps seems to be the biggest).

      I’d be keen to hear how you get on with it if you go that route I was wondering whether to ebay my Explore and swap!

    • Charles

      This is starting to get expensive. I have an Element and it only lasted 16 months before it became unreliable so that is why I got the Explore. I will warranty this unit before I think about buying the 520 or 1030.

    • SL

      An intermediate info from me:

      I continue to use my Fenix3 (running) and the Wahoo Bolt (road bike) with Trainingpeaks premium. The reason is that the system is running well and I will see next year, how the Garmin Edge devices develop (stability, etc.) or what brings Wahoo out on new devices (Rival).

    • SL

      Are the Heart Rate actually displaying the “time in ranges” in Garmin Connect during Explore?

    • fred

      I’m really concerned about getting a Garmin due to all the reliability issues I’ve heard about them, and having them last 16 to 24 months is inexcusable to me, this technology should be good enough so that it can last 20 years! easily!!! I have found from 4 different wireless computers, not GPS’s but simple computers, that they typically last 2 to 4 years, whereas wired computers will last many years, I have one now that is 15 years old working just fine, but wireless seems to throw a monkey wrench into the reliability issue, and now these GPS’s only last 1 1/2 years to 2 years! I guess the thing to do if you really want a Garmin badly is to get a Squaretrade warranty for 5 years and let the warranty company deal with all the problems. But I’m leaning toward Etrex now, they seem to last a lot longer from what i’ve read.

    • My guess is you probably don’t take your wired 15-year old computer out into the rain, snow, on mountain bike trails, and across cobblestones. Just my guess.

    • fred

      Actually I do ride in the rain, it is 15 years old and has been subject to everything but snow, but it did see hail on 2 or 3 occasions, and that’s because I won’t ride in the snow no matter what! LOL!!! I don’t have cobblestones where I live, for that matter anywhere that I’ve lived; and my mountain bike has never had a computer on it anyways. So those wireless units that I’ve had have seen nothing but regular roads and rain, the same as the wired jobs. By the way, the oldest wired job I had I bought in 1984, it lasted till 2015 when I accidently pulled the wire out of the computer, it would have been still working to this day had I not gotten reckless with it.

      My first wired unit, the one that lasted till 2015, was a Paramount brand (not sure who really made it); the other 2 have been Sigma’s. The wireless brands were two Cat Eye’s (first one failed a month after the warranty expired but Cat Eye was kind enough to replace it with another model, but the replacement one failed about 2 years out); Planet Bike which also lasted about 2 years; and the one that lasted the longest is a VDO and that one made it 4 whole years, it was also the expensive one of the group. I might buy a Sigma wireless just to see how well those hold up since their wired jobs seem to be really good.

    • Sorry, I thought you were talking about an actual computer. As in, like, a desktop computer.

      Ultimately, the challenge with anything that needs to connect to anything else is simply that technology moves too fast. 15 years ago there wasn’t ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart. The security mechanisms used then don’t match today (and wouldn’t be secure for anything). And there were no such things as wired sensors.

      That said, I’m not sure who is saying devices only last 1-2 years. That’s certainly not the case, save for the rare situation where someone breaks a unit or has a defective unit. Typical lifetime of most GPS watches and bike computer devices around these parts seems to be 4-5 years, and that’s usually not because a device dies – but simply when they move on to something new.

    • Alex Masidlover

      The micro usb connector on my Garmin Edge 520 failed after 18 months… In the UK there’s a regulation which means that goods are effectively warrantied for a ‘reasonable’ lifetime and this is in the contract with the retailer. I had a webchat with Garmin Support who very explicitly said the ‘reasonable expectation’ for their devices is 12 months and no more.

      I’ve replaced it with a Wahoo Elemnt – who at least give a 2 year warranty (still not great but I couldn’t find anyone who gives longer). Although in my conversations with Suunto support their expectations for their devices is multiple years.

    • The UK currently falls under the 2-year Garmin warranty, so, you’re device would have been warrantied for two years. There’s actually no reason to get the retailer involved at all, so not sure why they’d say that.

    • Camillo

      The legal guarantee is with the trader/retailer.

      Excerpt from link to europa.eu

      My new phone doesn’t work. Who do I contact, the trader or the manufacturer?
      That depends on which product guarantee you want to use – the legal guarantee or the commercial guarantee. The legal guarantee is binding on the trader. It is valid for two years and covers products bought anywhere in the EU.

      The trader or manufacturer may also give you (or sell you) an additional commercial guarantee, whose terms and conditions are explained in your contract. The terms of the manufacturer’s commercial guarantee could give you more advantages than the legal guarantee. A commercial guarantee does not replace your two-year legal guarantee. If you are given a one-year commercial guarantee when you buy a product, you can still use the two-year legal guarantee to claim redress from the trader after more than a year, but still within two years of purchase.

    • In Garmin’s case though, there’s a straight up warranty from them though for 2 years for EU purchases. Sure, you can get the retailer involved if you want, but Garmin support is still on the hook per their terms in that period.

  100. Charles Rush

    I got a reply back from Garmin Support about my screen freezing problem. They said this is an uncommon problem which they haven’t received any reports on yet. Good news for that. They didn’t know what is causing it but they suggested that I completely reset the unit and the Garmin Express App and delete all my data, rides, new files, everything. The reason might be because something that was downloaded may have been corrupted. So I have taken that step but have not been able to try to use the device because of the weather again. I will get my chance tomorrow and see if that course of action has fixed the problem. They did say that one should clean out saved rides and other data at least once a month on the head unit itself. Makes sense I guess but means that if I want to do a route from my routes saved in Ride With GPS for the turn by turn navigation I would have to install it into the head unit more often. I think too that the Garmin Varia Radar may have been to blame but they didn’t say anything about that. We shall see.

    • Charles Rush

      Update: Garmin support must have been right. I got to ride 25 miles today in cold weather and my device never had an issue. I felt comfortable relying on the bike radar. I got a txt message from a friend and I was able to reply just using the touch screen, I have never had the opportunity to use that feature until today but it works great. Once I got home I synced it and all went well. There is even an update from version 3.0 to 4.0. I’m happy again.

  101. Terry Jones

    Since the 4.0 firmware upgrade Garmin Connect is showing temperature for rides recorded on my Edge Explore – . Interesting as Garmin says it doesn’t have a temperature sensor! My guess is the sensor is there and someone in the dev team has messed up. I wonder if there is a barometric sensor in there too?

    • Charles Rush

      When you were recording your ride did you have your phone and paired to the device? I’m thinking maybe it was just from the phone.

    • Charles Rush

      I’ve done one ride since updating my firmware and I don’t see the temperature data. I downloaded the widget for the temp data into my Explore and that works however the temperature being reported on the data screen is completely wrong. It says it’s 72 degrees and it is only 34 outside. I started to freeze while standing out there fooling around with this. I would like it to work because that is something I’m interested in knowing at times while I’m riding. Wahoo Elemnt does this but they have issues reporting the correct temps also.

    • Terry Jones

      It’s not from the phone, I recorded a short test without bluetooth and synced over USB. My temperatures seem accurate (to the eye), did you allow time for the unit to acclimatise when you took it outside?

    • Charles Rush

      You’re right. It does work, however, it is very very slow to react and get to the actual temp. I put the Edge in the freezer and after about half an hour it got to the correct temp. Then I put it over the heater vent, while it was blowing air, and it went up to a tad above room temp in about 10 minutes. Then I put it back in the bike out front mount in the room and it slowly started to drop to the room temperature. But it proved that it does work. I think it will most likely act in the same way that the Wahoo Elemnt works and if the Sun is shinning directly on it while riding it is not going to give a correct measure of the temperature.

  102. Joseph plumb

    Excellent review and covered all i wanted to know .. im now buying one ..

  103. Gordon Rogers

    Hi got one for christmas . great so far . Need a bracket out front Don’t trust the basic garmin rubber bands. Seems that the only option is stem from the top but it has to go far out from the bar/ stem. Garmin 010-11251-40 but i don’t want to pay £30 the stuff on e bay seems fragile .
    Any thoughts ???

    • Charles Rush

      I Garmin Out Front Mount would be the best solution in my opinion. I hate the bands and those little bar/ stem brackets. One thing to point out is the KEDGE out front mount doesn’t give much clearance between the stem face plate bolts and the computer to access the two buttons on the computer. It puts the computer in a position that is lower too. If you use thick Winter gloves you may not be able to those two buttons.

    • Gordon Rogers

      Charles thanks, agree K Edge no room need a flush top bracket. Will have to spend time looking at passing bike and asking the question. Garmin only seem to want to sell there £30 bracket Thats commercialism

    • David

      I think Halfords do one for around £10.

  104. Fred

    I’m not sure what the bands hook around the mount with, but if there is a groove area or a rail, maybe a thin reusable zip tie will work? All my computers have bands and they so far have lasted quite awhile.

    • Gordon Rogers

      Fred , Thanks seems like a good idea . Zip ties could slip but a bit of tape under the ties could solve that THANKS

  105. David

    Just a quickie.
    I’m used to bike computers which calculate the average speed from the time the bike is in motion.
    The Edge seems to include stops for a tea break, or just a chat/mechanical.
    If I look in Connect at my (so far only) recorded ride I get two values, average speed and average moving speed.

    I’d like to see the average moving speed on the display (not be effectively chided for taking too long a tea break) but so far I can’t find the bit in the manual which describes how to do this.

  106. Rob Adams

    Great review of the Garmin Edge Explorer. What is your experience with touch screen responsiveness with cold temperature, wet screen and full finger gloves?


  107. Göran

    Touring and many hours every day. Is it possible to charge this model from a powerbank(usb) while you are using it riding the bike?

  108. Mike

    Rookie question here, but I assume with the Garmin Edge Explore (and probably all other Garmin Computers), if you upload a route via a GPX file, whilst following it, you can also record it as a ride? Thanks

  109. Łukasz

    Hello! Can I use HRM-RUN (with red rubber) with Garmin EDGE Explore? During charging (from power bank) activity recording is stopped?

  110. Alan

    Great review however I wasn’t aware there would be no gradient option which might not be a big thing for others but it’s something I use on all rides. Unit had to go back pity as I thought this was the perfect upgrade from my 520.

  111. Luca

    Hi Ray,
    my compliments.. you have a great site.
    I still haven’t decided which device is the best for me… I read your review and the comments but I was not able to find a couple of points that will make me choose between 520plus, 820 and Explore.
    1) does Explore support Varia RTL510? Garmin site does not list the item as compatible
    2) to summarize is correct to say that the 820 is a 520plus with touch screen and explore is a 1030 without temperature, barometer, Strava, and professional athletes functions?

    • Terry Jones

      Hi Luca – the RTL510 works fine with the Explore (I have both), my only complaint is that the warning beep from the Explore is too high pitch/quiet for me to hear clearly. The Explore misses many of the 1030 functions but does have a good screen. It’s half the price so is a pretty good deal.

    • Charles Rush

      My Varia RTL510 works flawlessly also. And since I did the firmware update I get temperature also. I have had some issues like when paired to a speed / cadence sensor from Wahoo and my rides distance ending up short which Garmin told me to not use a speed sensor, which I thought was stupid because it did work okay in the beginning when I first got the Explore. Now all I use is the Garmin cadence sensor. No more problems though. I’m happy with it for the money spent.

    • luca

      many thanks, Terry. May I ask you some bits of advice between 520plus and 820 since now they have the same price?

    • Terry Jones

      Hi there. Suggest you check out Rays 520 plus review on this site, he covers the differences with the 820. I’m wondering when an 820 plus/830 might appear as the current model is nearly 3 years old…

  112. Rob Adams

    Please sign me up for your newsletter.

  113. D J

    Used my new Edge Explore for the first time in a group ride the other night. Most of the other riders thought it was a 1030. The ride leader suggested transferring that afternoon’s ride file (course?) to my device. The menus were different from his 1030 and it did not seem that transfer/receive files from other Edge devices was possible. When I searched the web, results for the older Edge Explore 800 and Explore 100 showed up, and transfer was possible with those older devices. Was this part of Garmin’s cost cutting? Seems the connected features should al be similar among the newer devices.

  114. Roger

    You state that linking with Shimano DI2 is not possible. In search of a suitable Garmin for me I came across this video on Youtube (link to youtu.be). In this video it does seem possible to connect the Garmin Edge Explore to Shimano DI2. Has this changed after your test?

    • Terry Jones


      I just checked my unit and, yes, DI2 data fields are listed on the Explore. However, the sensor search screen does not list them as an option. I tested using ‘search all’ and it did not list my DI2.

    • Roger

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks for your reaction.
      So the data field ‘gears’ is visible, but has no further useful functions. Too bad, the Garmin Edge Explore could have been an affordable alternative for the more expensive devices.

    • Terry Jones

      Hi there,

      If I select ‘gears’ it only offers ‘Battery’ and ‘Rear Gear’ – not all the other options I see on the Edge 520 (such as front gear, ratios etc). I’m wondering if the two they do includes are used for eBikes rather than DI2?


    • Roger


      That’s a good possibility.
      Thanks again.

  115. Kevin Briggs

    I have a serious concern with the Garmin Edge Explore because it doesn’t seem to have sufficient memory to download a second large map like the Garmin Europe Cycling map. It has no s.d. card for expansion. So basically it is only good for the continent where it was bought??

    • steve

      Just take a map off first!

      I have it loaded with loads of huge raster maps, and its not even half full, other vector maps are tiny.

  116. AC

    From this review and the comments the edge explore is another “seems close but I’m not totally sure” product from Garmin for me.

    I’ve been muddling by with an edge 25 for some time and know I want more data fields, I use ANT+ HRM and cadence sensors but I’m not going to be buying a PM any time soon, decent mapping is a “Nice to have” feature but not essential, and I’ve never worried about strava segment updates while on a ride, but £200 GBP (~$250ish) would be the top end of my budget…

    The thing that’s putting me off the explore is that claimed 12hr Battery life, we all know that you’ll lose about a 1/3rd in real life usage with most Garmin products and as the unit gets older that battery life will go down further. So 12hrs seems a bit low for a touring pitched unit…

    On balance I’m sort of tempted to either spend a few quid more on a 520+ despite not needing all of it’s features, or a bit less on a 520 to get slightly better battery life.

    Unless that micro usb port on the back of the explore allows on the go charging from a power bank? That might make me consider it again…

    • Catfiend

      You can charge it from a power bank while riding (or, probably, a dynohub). I just did it today – a 6 hour ride later the Garmin is at 100%. Also charged my phone during the ride so the power bank itself needs a charge now.

  117. Sibo

    I returned this item because it consistently was nearing 0% battery life after a 3h ride (30 min of which was stationary at a cafe) using on screen routing. I wanted this to explore roads further away that I don’t already have memorized, so 3h is not sufficient. I can already use dynamicwatch app on my old vivoactive to get better battery life.

    Granted, I did not try playing with screen brightness or turning on the smart battery saver.

    • Terry Jones

      Odd, my longest ride is well over 7 hours with a heavy ConnectIQ datafield running, routing enabled, cadence, speed and a Varia Radar. I did have to go into battery save mode after about 5 hours but still had ~ 10% at the end of the ride.

  118. John

    Great review, but the one thing that you havnt highlighted, is the rerouting when in course mode. I bought this unit specifically for a long distance tour from the west coast of the uk to the east coast. ( Its called the way of the roses ) I downloaded the 170 mile route from ride with gps. Now all went well and navigation is fantastic with good clear instructions following the downloaded course. That is, until I went off course, roadworks, sightseeing. etc. The unit tries to reroute either to the start or the end of the course. This is ridiculous failing, as one can be miles from the start or the finish.

    I fail to see why Garmin cannot make a device, specifically for touring, that reroutes to the nearest point on the course, and not to the start or finish.

    I had a mio 310 ( which after 5 years the battery failed ) which had the reroute function. I really wished I had bought another one.

    One other thing, live track only works occasionally, which sends my wife crazy.

    • Charles Rush

      This is an excellent point to bring to light. I did a 70 mile ride last Saturday and six times I diverted off course because I got confused with the turns I was suppose to make. The unit did tell me I was off course but one of these turns was a 5 point intersection and I spent probably 15 minutes trying to get going in the right direction. Even my smart phone navigation can immediately re-route me and keep me going in the correct direction and get me back on course. The Explore is a $250 unit which I don’t feel is cheap for a device and should be totally reliable to not get lost.

    • redcon1

      Hmm, confused. DC’s original review above touted the reroute feature as he used in in his trek around Europe. Maybe a setting to go back to course is not right? Are you guys navigating a preloaded GPX course, or one routed on the EE itself?

  119. Pat Treacy

    Does the Garman edge explorer show % Gardient

    • Terry Jones

      Edge Explore does not have a barometric altitude sensor so does not show climb %. There is a ConnectIQ field you can install that does approximate a %ge but in my experience it is not worthwhile. You should use altitude correction in Garmin Connect to re-estimate climb based on the map data for your ride as the in-device calculation from GPS altitude data will be wrong.

  120. Charles Rush

    I can’t figure out why but I sync my rides from my Explore to Strava and the elevation is never correct. Lucky for me Strava has an elevation correction feature. I sync rides I’ve done using my Wahoo Elemnt and the elevation is always correct. I went to Garmins support site to try to figure this out but no results that work. Why is Garmin, The GPS Experts, wrong but Wahoo gets it right?

    • Paul S.

      The Explore doesn’t have a barometric altimeter. The ELEMNT does.

    • Charles Rush

      I found some info on how the elevation gets recorded and yes, you are right. I guess I just have to keep doing the manual work for Strava to show the correct elevation when I use the Explore. I guess when I purchased the Explore from Garmin I should have known Garmin is tight with the options you get at a given price point.

    • Paul S.

      I’m actually a little surprised that Strava doesn’t turn on elevation correction automatically for the Explore. That’s what happens on Garmin Connect for every device without a barometric altimeter.

    • That’s weird. The way Strava elevation correction works is that it’s actually on by default unless Strava has explicitly added that device to the list of devices that has a baro altimeter (which, it doesn’t).

      Are you sure it’s correcting? Or any chance you have a public activity I can send to someone?

    • Charles Rush

      Sorry but I already deleted the ride data in the device. I looked at Garmin Connect and the elevation is correct. But earlier today the ride was sync’d to Strava and the elevation was far less than the actual and I already corrected that data too. So I will be riding tomorrow and I would like to share the file directly from the device but I don’t know exactly how to get that done. I see you have a file share field hopefully that will do it. It should be later in the evening US Eastern time. Thanks for your reply.

    • Charles Rush

      This ride that was done today and sync’d to Strava shows 781ft of elevation gain. Garmin Connect shows 1967 ft of elevation gain. If I do the elevation correction in Strava it shows 1751 ft of elevation gain. Numbers are all over the place so I don’t know what to believe. For bragging rights the high the number the better. I just wonder why the Explore never displays the elevation even close to the numbers in Garmin Connect.

    • Paul S.

      Just guessing, but this is on rolling terrain and not big climbs? That would explain both the small GPS number and the difference between Strava and Garmin Connect. The digital elevation maps they use don’t have the altitude of every point on Earth, but use “tiles” and interpolation routines. Depending on how the surface is tiled and interpolated, you may well get differences of that order between two different maps, especially if there are lots of little climbs rather than a few big ones.

    • Charles Rush

      Sorry Paul S. You lost me because I don’t understand a lot of Geo Mapping tech. Tiles and interpolation doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know how Garmin and Strava interpret the data recorded in a device. So far all I know is there are two ways of getting that data, one by barometric sensor and two by GPS. GPS also involves interpretation by the companies and how they use it, which I guess is what you are saying. I didn’t know Strava would do something different than Garmin or Ride with GPS which is another mapping source I use. I actually like Ride with GPS because creating courses is much more detailed than Strava. I may ultimately just quit using Strava because I’m not a big fan anyway. I’ve only been using it to share ride info with friends.

  121. DJ

    I have been manually correcting Elevation in Strava since I bought my Explore. But when I rode this morning it seems that Strava autocorrected by default. Maybe Strava finally realized the Explore has no Barometric Altimeter?

    • Jim Colville

      I have just replaced my edge 1000 with an explore, and although the altitude on the explore is pretty rubbish, the 1000 altimeter was still very inaccurate. When on long runs in Majorca, a few of us with Garmin devices would find that we were a couple of thousand feet out on total ascent. So when the 1000 packed in after 3 years, there was no way I was going to pay £400 for a replacement – particularly as when the data is downloaded it is corrected!

  122. Karel Nouwen

    Very interesting reading your article, I was actually looking for the ability to download OSM on my new Edge Explore. Previously I have used the Edge 800 and the Edge 810 with these maps.

    When I connect the Explore to my PC the maploader indicated that there is no space left on the device to download any map data…. and, since the de extra memory card port is disappeared I am stock….

  123. David

    I’m trying for the first time to tell the Edge Explore to get me to a specific address, using the “Where To” menu.

    If I select that I get “Find Address”.

    If I select that I get “Enter State/Province”.

    This isn’t much good in Europe.

    I’ve tried country names, UK county names, post codes. Nada.

    I even tried a USA state – Texas – but unsurprisingly it couldn’t find that in the European data.

    Has anyone got this function to work?

    • David

      Just realised that I haven’t updated this.
      If the Edge Explore won’t search for post codes, then reload the maps.
      This seems to fix it.

  124. C. Rush

    This has probably been posted here already but there are to many comments to read through it all. I just figured out my Explore doesn’t play with Di2. I wonder why some Garmin GPS computers work and the Explore won’t? Can’t Garmin, even as stingy as they are, could not just have an update to fix this?

    • The Explore is a touring computer. I’ve yet to see a touring bike with Di2. I can’t imagine why you’d expect that feature to be there.

    • Charles Rush

      The Explore does just about everything other Garmins do except power elements. Why would it send files to Strava with all the data that it does record? I would expect it to work with Di2 for some of the features like battery status. You obvious don’t expect much for $250, which is a lot more money than a little device that just gives you speed and distance and works off a magnet which most people buy to put on their touring bikes. For what level the Explore is and it’s ability to use widgets ans more I do expect it to communicate to the Di2 system. Looks like I may just start using my Wahoo Elemnt for my daily rides and bin the Garmin to the “Junk ” drawer.

  125. Mike Tyler

    Three things:
    1] Garmin says the Edge Explore supports the Varia RTL510 radar (so it has varia display capabilities for that)
    2] You say the Edge 1000’s backlight is not as good as the Edge 1000’s backlight (copy past error from edge explore I imagine)
    3] Thanks for great article!

  126. Jim Tyler

    Have played with my new Explore for about 2 months now. I have paid the price and bought the europe maps from Garmin (not a big price when you consider someones time to develop these maps for sale). The unit has all the data that a rail-trail/small town explorer needs. Strava and powermeter folks should look elsewhere. In a past life I used all those features happily on several different branded devices, but now I like the simplicity of this device. I am of an age where I am tired of nickel/diming and getting nickel service from some brands. Garmin has always been good to me. Not perfect (nothing is), but good to me.

    • Mike Tyler

      I wanted to update that I use the Varia RTL510 radar with my Edge Explore and it works amazingly.

      The more I use the Edge Explore, the more impressed I am with it – especially considering the price has dropped to about $199 in new zealand. Nothing comes close to it at that price point – not even the Wahoo offerings.

  127. Mike Tyler

    You might want to update the edge explore column, with its support for ant+ remotes and Shimano D2 Shifting, both of which work with the Edge Explore.

  128. Stefzone

    Hi, thinking of buying this unit. Does it also show the WhatsApp messages on the screen while biking?
    So you see a part of the original whatsApp message on the Garmin unit itself? I know it is working for text messages.

  129. Niels Mathiassen

    Hi DC rainmaker
    I have just learned from a friend that the latest software update for the cycling computer Garmin Edge 1030 has a feature where you see the progress (increase%, length and height) of a given hill / mountain if you previously have loaded a route . Do you know if that also is available on Garmin Edge Explore

    • Terry Jones

      Hi Niels,

      I would not expect Climb Pro to appear on the Explore, it is unique to the most recent 530/830 plus their highest end 1030 unit. The Explore is targeted at touring, with some reduced functionality and a lower price point.

  130. gunnar Christensen

    Hi Ray,
    I know I’ve used a power data field in the past for the edge explore and it worked well…thought it was “Power Graph”? I’ve downloaded and get get my Stages to be recognised by the data field. Any ideas on which data field works to view power data? Thanks!

  131. Michael

    I followed your instructions for adding free maps to my new Garmin Edge Explore. However, the unit doesn’t have a microSD card slot. How can users get round this isue?

  132. Michael Leahy

    I used my Garmin Explore first time today (January 18th 2020) I rapidly discovered the gradient % was all over the place ie minus 14% to plus 38% on a level road, will speak with Garmin help on Monday but wondered if you had used % gradient when you reviewed it

  133. Gunnar

    Hi Ray,
    Any news on this? Not sure what’s happened with the ability get a power data field to work with the edge explore. I contacted the developer for “power graph” and said it never would have worked with the edge explore, but I had it working last year.

  134. peter

    I recently purchased an Edge Explore 5.10 US and apparently need to clear some memory to download a map of Spain for an upcoming trip. The unit came with five map sets:
    1) AMR Standard Basemap, NR
    2) Garmin Cycle Map Amer, North 2019.20
    3) Garmin DEM Map of North America 2019.10
    4) Garmin Geocode Map of North America 2019.10
    5) Garmin Cycle Map Amer, Central 2019.20

    For road cycling in the US, basically west of the Mississippi, are any of these map sets duplicates or unnecessary that could be deleted?

    • Micke

      This unit could be a good successor for the 800.

      The problem with power meters is the key question.
      I read through all comments but didn’t see whether the Explore could extend the power data from the 935. Any idea?

      As I have the 935 I actually don’t need all fancy calculations. Just a big display and navigation. But definitely want to see the power (from the watch is okay)

  135. Tom Stockton

    How loud is the beep/alert system when using the variable radar or turn by turn system when it comes to riding in occasional traffic. I have an edge 520 and most times (I’m 67) I can no longer her the warning beep

    • andre

      @Tom: no idea about the radar, but the turn by turn beeps are not very loud, but loud enough for me (59 years old). to hear, despite the wind noise around my helmet. You cannot set the volume AFAIK, only turn it off or on.

  136. Grannus

    Great review!
    I purchased this device recently and used it for the 1st time yesterday. I noticed only the timer counters were running, all other one were not (distance, average speed, total height meters). After ending my ride, syncing was done automatically to Strava and there it showed the activity with elapsed time only. No route or so. GPS was working during my ride (as I checked the map frequently). In Garmin Connect it showed the activity as Indoor activity (no clue why, I did not select it). What am I doing wrong?

    • DJ

      @Grannus it sounds like the GPS mode was Off. You can find it in the settings. I rode one time with GPS off accidentally, and it recorded the ride similar to yours.

    • Grannus

      Hi DJ, thanks for your reply. I drew the same conclusion eventually as it happened to me more often (seeing the distance meter not adding up). I got misled since I could see my actual position in the map, hence I thought GPS was running. But apparently you need to explicitly pick up the GPS signal or smthg. ‘m happy now, though battery life seems an issue, especially if you follow a route

    • Invenis

      I noticed that when I start the Edge in the house and it cannot find GPS then the notification pops up that it’s having problem finding satellites (even if you are already outside) and it’s asking whether to continue searching for GPS signal and if you don’t click ok then it disables the GSP until you switch it back on manually. It might be your case. You can verify it by swiping down from top of the screen and will notice the crossed GPS icon.

    • Grannus

      Thanks Invenis, I’ll try to remember that next time. What I do up till now is just start cycling. Sometimes it did pick up a GPS signal and other times it didn’t.

  137. Peter Page

    I just picked up a Garmin Edge Explore and Explore external battery pack. Cost nearly $600. The GPS does not have electrical contacts on the bottom to connect to the 5 contacts on the top of the battery pack as shown in the advertisements. I contacted Garmin help and found I would have to buy an additional mount and run an external wire from the battery pack to the GPS. These are both new Garmin Explore product! You would think they would be designed to interface! Unacceptable. I will be returning these products. Very disappointing and frustrating.

  138. Grannus


    How does your battery hold up? Mine was doing okay initially (i.e. 3-4 rides without navigation on, 1 ride with navi on), but 1 month later that decreased dramatically to 1 ride without navi. This is with brightness on 40% and battery saving mode off. Last ride I did with battery saving mode on, no navigation: almost barely 52% battery left for a ride that took less than 3 hours

    • Grannus


      I returned my Edge Explore since I thought I might have a bad battery. I purchased another but I’m afraid its a feature…. How can they state the battery lasts for 12 hours?

  139. CRE

    Hey Ray, thank you for the wonderful review.
    I’m a newbie and I wanted to share my perspective. I know that I might not be there yet in fully understanding requirements and desires of pros that provide usually feedback here, but I thought I should give it a try and share my (little) experience. I just got my first Road Bike (Fuji Roubaix 1.1) and I’m an Apple enthusiast (iPhone 11, Apple Watch..). I live in currently live in Arlington (VA) and my first thoughts were to find an efficient way to navigate the area, pre plan my route, record it and gather some data using what I have in my possession, just to start appreciating the difference from one ride to the other..no training for now. So I would say really basic stuff.
    As soon as I started digging into this I realized that most of the apps available required a standing monthly service fee. Those apps probably provide more than I can even understand in terms of features and I wasn’t there yet signing up for a monthly/yearly subscription. Sometimes they didn’t really had the possibility to pair additional sensor directly (Strava). I tried all sort of different app combinations (RWGPS, Share my ride, Komoot, Strava) to record my heart rate (Apple Watch), looking for future possible integration with additional sensors (cadence and speed..garmin, wahoo). The biggest issue I had at first was not being able to use my preplanned route (Paid feature). In addition, few sensors (garmin) didn’t seem to go along with Apple Watch..lacking of sensor fusion between manufacturers. I didn’t want to get used to a specific app to realize 6 months later that I wouldn’t be able to use a certain sensor (let alone sign up for a subscription). Anyway, I finally landed on the cyclemeter app. This app apparently has all the required growth capability since it seems to accept all possible sensors. The only downside is no navigation whatsoever.
    Having a phone with a fairly big screen I decided to take it for a spin. I was able to still follow my preplanned route but I got so frustrated by battery life, screen lock up, etc.. that I came back convinced about buying a cycling computer. A basic one with turn-by-turn that could have future expansion capabilities (cadence/speed). I started learning and reading..comparing and finally I came across this review and the related YouTube video. Awesome. I was so enthusiast about the item (and the price) that I was ready to fire up the order. I was trying to envision the best way to use it for now (pure navigation), later on adding some sensor (no PM)..the more I thought about it the more I realized I was departing from my Apple environment (Apple health, Apple Watch integration..). I decided to read the comments and thoughts to this review.
    I want trough the first 6 pages of comments before I realized that I was trying to downgrade my current computing power (iPhone) for a little device that has a fraction of the computing power of my phone, a smaller and less detailed screen..I realized that my only issue is to find the “perfect” software since I got most the hardware (aside from Ant+..). I realized that probably the cyclemeter app has everything i need (it can be customized as preferred) and that I could probably use that (in the background) in addition to Google Maps (which has the option select bike as means of transportation). I’m sorry for the long post, but I think that when it comes to basic features, probably most of us have already a solution in their hands..smart phone, smart watch..adding a couple of sensors we could be able to recreate a basic cycling environment easily..what’s missing is that software suite that puts them all together, apparently.
    I do think too that it would be fair to try to compare any of devices mentioned in your review against a smart phone/watch, probably and additional battery (or a solar panel system) and a good dedicated cycling app. What would that app be in your opinion?
    Sorry for the long post but I thought I had to provide some context

  140. Matthew Birnbaum

    I have an Garmin Edge Explore 820 that is on its last legs. I have been holding out from purchasing a replacement until the Edge 1030+ came out. At this point in my life, I am uninterested in training features of an Edge but am very interested in a big screen with a device that does solid mapping and has a battery that will last a long time when out doing long day rides. So, all else equal, the Edge Explore seems like a better fit for me than the Edge 1030+. However, I am concerned about its future value. How long of a shelf life should I expect of it before it becomes obsolete or replaced by something shinier and newer from Garmin or one of its rivals?


  141. Wouter Dubbeldam

    Hi Ray

    Thanks for great review

    Two questions
    – Is it possible to configure route-calculation = manual?
    – You do not publish CPU/memory/speed as data for comparison, any specific reaon?

    Thanks, Wouter

    • Hmm, I’d have to charge it back up for re-route calculation to check it (and get it updated).

      As for publishing CPU/Memory/etc, Garmin and most other wearable companies don’t publish it, because honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s not comparable because it’s all a proprietary OS. The only thing that is comparable is storage size (which I do publish), but the other bits can change but if the OS changes (and it does each version), then there’s no real benefit to that data. But again, they don’t list it anyway.

    • Andrew

      It matters if the new plus model has the same hardware as the previous model and a change to the physical appearance and firmware to make it look like a new model are the only differences.
      A firmware update to the previous model would achieve the same outcome for customers without having to purchase a new unit. I believe this occurred with the Garmin 520/520 plus and Polar M450/M460?

    • In the case of the Edge 520 to Edge 520 Plus it received a massive internal upgrade: Map storage – it went from 50MB free to 16GB of space.

      Plus increased processing power (according to Garmin) to handle said routing.

      On the M460 from M450, they swapped out the GPS chipset.

  142. Michael Anderson

    I currently have a Garmin Edge Touring Plus. It not too complicated for me and it’s easy to use (in my opinion). When it eventually dies I will replace it with Edge Explore

  143. Lorenzo

    Hi, thanks for the excellent review. The only thing I really miss in the Edge Explore are the data about the gradient. I think it’s a basic feature for bike touring, more than heart rate or power sensor. Is there a way to fix this issue? Something like an app, or maybe a firmware update in the future?

  144. Gunnar

    OK, I’m using a forerunner 945 and an edge 1030. That’s a lot of money tied up in a head unit that is just for looking at data. I do all my recording to Garmin Connect on my 945 just to keep physio true up in sync (wish it worked more like Polar Flow…but that’s another discussion).

    Finally found the right Connect IQ app in order to view Power data on my edge explore. The edge 1030 is off to ebay.

    The edge explore is really a under rated device. It’s really close to the edge 1030. What I need is:
    -easy to read display and great touch screen
    -full smart notifications (Whatsapp, call, text etc.)
    -integrated light network (on/off for radar is great on widget)
    -power usb charger on underside (I can put a remote charger on for longer rides)
    -Super easy to import routes.

    I do miss climb pro on the edge explore (but do get it on the 945), so that’s a trade off to not see it on the edge display, but you can find edge explores used for really decent prices and I also like the slightly smaller size of the explore as compared to the 1030.

    • Zip

      Hey, I am very curious how you end up using your edge explore with forerunner together? Do you turn them both on when you are riding, and will it mess up the training data? I have a Garmin Fenix 6 and tempting to buy the edge explore for display map and data.

      Thank you in advance!

    • Micke

      I also have a 1030 and 935. And I am really unimpressed how Garmin handles them.
      If you keep both on you get double trainings (synced to Strava as well).
      They both have different recovery times etc, and honestly I don’t know how Garmin combines this data. The only easy way to get this to work is discard one of the trainings when you end.

      I updated my EDGE800 to the 1030 and considered the Explore as well. I asked here for some advice too but failed to get any to support it would work for me. And frankly, the 1030 is not impressive. The only advantage for me against the stone age 800 is a better display.

    • Zip

      Thank you for sharing your experience! I heard some discussion on Garmin forum about reconciling the data from Forerunner and Edge as well, and it seems that people have to, like you said, delete their Edge data to avoid duplication. I was wondering when you do delete the data from edge in Garmin connect afterward, will it mess up your Forerunner training data? How about the auto upload to Strava?

    • Micke

      If you don’t discard one of the workouts (probably makes a difference which, but I can’t confirm and do more or less by random), you end up with two garmin connect workouts, which upload to Strava before you can do anything. So, you end up having to delete one from both services.
      If you see someone’s workout xxx rode with xxx it’s probably due to this duplication.

      The Garmin data seems okay even if you delete afterwards. Whichever you prefer to keep.

    • Dan

      I am also interested into this I have a garmin forerunner and I want to buy an edge i use my phone with komoot but the battery on the phone is almost half in a 2 hours ride.. when I want to start doing 4+ hours on the bike it will not cut it.
      the garmin forerunner is a 935 so i think it support power meter data.
      I know about the double data workout.. before komoot i used strava before they shut down the route creation.
      does anybody know how to use the komoot on the garmin edge explore with the Garmin IQ app for komoot are the maps pulled from komoot? so I do not need to buy further maps?
      I just want turn by turn navigation with large battery life.. for training data i have my garmin FR with all the sensors

    • Fedor

      I have Komoot on the Edge Explore and I’ve only created 2 routes so far.
      I bought a couple of regions in Komoot where I bike so I can install GPX routes from MTB routes app, or create a route on the desktop, save it in my profile and synced/saved via smartphone to my Edge Explore where I open the Komoot app and go riding and it works well for me.
      Unfortunately, I did it only 2 times so far, so a bit novice, so I can’t tell you where the maps are pulled from Garmin or Komoot(I would guess the first) or if you need to buy further maps.

    • dan

      I use with loading a komoot route.. it actually kinda downloads the gpx to the device using the komoot conect IQ app. to be honest the connect IQ is redundant as in komoot you have the option to sync cources so whenever you create a course in Komoot it will show up in garmin connect and when you sync your edge with connect it will show up.
      BUT and i see it nowhere mentioned here is that the battery life of 12 hours is when is turned off in the pocket. I do not see that is better than the smartphone and that is a big setback I got it to take me to long trips but without any sensors with navigation and screen on it has the same battery usage than an old galaxy phone. and I cannot return it.. I am in europe and i did not buy it from amazon as the phone was registered with garmin they will not take it back. so my next question how is battery usage for you? mine is appallant :( not what i expected. i do not know how on earth they calculated 12 hours….

    • Fedor

      I know about the battery life, I’ve read many articles before buying this one.
      My MTB rides are max 2~3, maybe 4 hours at most, so I’m covered.
      It also depends on your settings.
      My display is always on 40~60% and after the ride I’ve about 40% battery left, so it drains faster then expected indeed.
      But for me it’s ok, it’s good value for money for me personally.

  145. Fedor

    Hello DC,

    I know this is an ‘old’ review, but still pretty darn usefull in 2020.
    By now I’ve seen many of your vids for making a choice, alongside, your friend, the desfit vids.
    I’m kinda semi-fanatic-amateur mtb rider(as far that is possible in, ahum, the Netherlands, besides XC), how wants to go as fast as possible for own gain/fun and plesaure(also to admire nature) without tracking all the data that’s out there, except the usual stuff like speed, heart rate and sorts.
    Also I take my mtb for on-road(winterime or go ride mtb tracks) so I want the navigation option.

    So this unit, I think and hope, is the best choice for me, but can you tell if the GPS signal will be good enough to ride mtb trails in Holland(where some trails does not have all to well indication signs) ?

    Also, on the Garmin website they claim you can use the Garmin Edge remote control, but in your article you write it isn’t possible at the ANT+ comparison. It is not a dealbreaker, but it seems an useful/handy feature/gadget, do you know if it works or not? (maybe there was an updat along the way from your review or Garmin is making a mistake)

    • I haven’t had too many issues with the Fenix series on the trails (MTB and running) of the Netherlands, so I don’t think you’d have to much of an issue there.

      As for the Edge remote – nope, there’s no pairing option in the menu for it. Perhaps it finds it without listing it, but it’s not listed as a sensor type in the menus of the watch on my wrist.

    • Fedor

      Uhm….. Fenix?
      I was commenting on your review of the Garmin Edge Explore… ;-)

    • Huh…that would be true. Sorry, mixed up wires between comments.

      Ok, Edge remote – hmm, I don’t have a unit anymore, but my guess is that if it shows it now, then it’s either been added, or I missed it the first time – looking at some instructions bits, it seems there. So my guess is that it’s legit there. I’ll update!

      As for GPS connectivity, I wouldn’t expect any issues. It’s using the same GPS chipsets as the higher end Edge units, so no issues mountain biking, Dutch trees or more complex terrain. :)

    • Fedor

      Thanks for the reply.
      I ordered one yesterday, very excited for it after your review, so I’ll will test it with confidence on Dutch grounds around area from Amsterdam to the east(Overijssel).
      Remote will be opted for after a while, I will let it iknow via this thread if I have one.

      Cheers and thanks again for all!

    • Fedor

      Hi DC,

      Maybe you would be interested, but Edge remote does work for Edge Explore.
      I’ve purchased one and thus tested it, only thing is that sometimes I have to ‘re-install’ the remote after starting Explore, but after that a welcome feature.

      Also, you were correct; the GPS signal is sufficient(so far) for mountainbiking under Dutch trees(it does not have GALILEO or GLONASS).

  146. D

    FYI, the coupon code for this item at Clever Training is no longer usable.

  147. Paul

    I realize that I’ve come late to the party on this but I’ve started to get more serious about road cycling and would like a computer. I do not have any interest in power meters or data so navigation is my primary requirement. The choice for me is down to the 530 or the Explore. While the Explore seems to cover all the bases (plus bigger screen and touchscreen) the 530 has a newer processor. This tells me the 530 will be relevant much longer than the Explore. Should this concern me? There isn’t a huge price difference between the two units but I don’t want to buy a unit that gets dropped in a year.

    • Paul S

      I wouldn’t worry about the processor. So long as it does what you want it to, you’ll be fine for years. One thing you should consider, though, is ClimbPro. The 530 has it, the Explore doesn’t. I have an 830, and I find ClimbPro very useful, letting you know how much vertical and horizontal distance is left to go on a climb and how steep it is up ahead. If you’re in an area with a lot of climbs (I am), it’s worth it.

  148. Paul

    It says it displays Di2 gear then you say it doesn’t ?

  149. Allan Lees

    Hi – Is it possible to charge the Explore mid ride with no issues? Many thanks

  150. giorgitd

    So…I’ve never considered a bike computer (as a duathlete, I have a multisport GPS watch), but I’ll be doing some multiday rides where the turn-by-turn and rerouting of this device might be a big advance over what my FR920XT can provide (breadcrumbs with ‘turn L in 20m’ type navigation. But my concern is different than others. This device, today, is 200USD – a total steal, it seems. BUT, my experience with buying Garmin devices that are near their end of life leaves much to be desired. Poor customer support, no updates, etc. This device was released nearly three years ago. Buy now or wait for the successor?

  151. Peter Bradshaw

    The real battery life is terrible. You could say that it is not fit for purpose. 60km ride today, 36% battery left.
    Had the unit changed once but the new one is now as bad as the previous.
    Most likely a software problem. Garmin haven’t been able to fix.
    My sons both have Garmin’s which are 5yrs old where battery life isn’t an issue.

    • peter

      Agree with your observation but perhaps not your conclusion. I’ve had this Garmin for approximately two years now. Maximum battery life is approximately six or seven hours. Pretty poor. On the other hand that is usually enough to get me through the day and I just charge it at the end of every ride. Battery function has not grown or deteriorated with this usage. Still like the simplicity of the unit so I carry on.
      Biggest complaint is about one in every 15 rides the ‘save’ does not take place and the ride data are lost.

    • Peter Bradshaw

      Yesterday it showed 0% charge after 3.5hrs.
      I let it stay on and it kept going for 10hrs.
      Clearly a software problem with charge monitor.
      I reset and recharged and will see if it has improved for next ride.

    • Peter

      I see. In addition to poor battery life you have an additional issue. I can offer no help, I’m afraid.

    • What does Garmin support say?

    • Peter Bradshaw

      They gave me the following instructions which might have done the trick. If so it confirms that it is a problem with the battery monitoring algorithm rather that the battery itself. I don’t understand why this should be different from other Garmin Edges, they claimed to have fixed it with v5.30 but it still isn’t right:

      Factory reset the device
      1. Turn the device off
      2. Hold both buttons at the front (lap and start/stop) down
      3. Turn the device on (Whilst others are held)
      4. Release the two front buttons after the Garmin splash screen disappears

      After you have reset the unit, leave the device outside or in a windowsill (stationary) with a clear view of the sky for 30 minutes to acquire satellite data and the correct date and time

      Hard Reset the device
      Charge the device for 2 hours from a wall socket (if available and working, otherwise a PC – Please do this regardless if this has been previously on charge) , remove from the charger and then press and hold down the power button for 1 minute continuously, release then monitor to see if you have the same issue.

  152. Ggd

    Any chance of a new Explore model any time soon ? That one is a bit outdated (from 2018), and I crave for a longer battery life…

    • Leszek

      Looking at link to fccid.io you can see an entry clearly leading to Explore 2. The date of entry into sale is not yet known, but most likely it should be the end of May or the beginning of June 2022.

  153. Adrian

    I use an Edge Explore primarily for navigating pr-planned rides, and for recording tracks as backup for my GPS Tracker. It does all of this as well as I can expect. There are a few problems, or are they features?
    1. when I finish charging the device and unplug it, I have to remember to switch it off or the battery will be flat by morning – It should either auto-off or at least give me a setting for auto-off
    2. with no intervention from me, it will change to a different data screen – I want the map 99% of the time
    3. occasionally it slips into a setting screen – sorting that out while leading a 20 person ride is really annoying
    4. in bright sunlight the screen needs to be at or near maximum brightness – yet it darkens at the drop of a hat – unless I have an external battery connected when it generally stays bright

    • Dupes

      2) my Edge 530 has a setting to scroll the data screens, slow or fast or off. Maybe you have this setting switch to scroll, rather than off – you can manuual scroll the screen then when you need. Not sure is Exlore is the same.
      3) could it be getting a screen input from a stray hair or (sorry) bit of spit from heavy breathing – does it happen in particular hard terrain when your breathing more?
      4) again on my Edge 530 I can set screen brightness to auto or set it at a fixed level. Maybe you can set yours to fixed? But it might still dim as a battery save feature. Maybe change the angle of it if you can, or ad/remove a screen protector (you can buy Matt ones to reduce glare).

  154. Rupe

    Just bought a Edge 530 – I sooo wish the DCrainmaker review of that had also compared this Edge explore!
    This would have been soo much easier to use than the 530, and cheaper.
    I dont use strava live and no power meter or other connected devices at all and no training stuff etc needed – just on and off road nav and route logging is all I need….DAMN. I bought the wrong unit. I hate the edge530 interface and using buttons.
    Please update yur Edge 530 review with this unit to save other making this error! For most people its way way better than clunky old buttons on a tiny screen. Using the map on the 530 is horrible with the buttons.
    Again DAMN – this would have been Way way better for me…Damn!

    • Peter Bradshaw

      I had the 520 for a day and sent it back, nearly crashed trying to check it was recording the ride. I agree with you that the interface is non-intuitive.
      I have the Edge Explore, you would hate the battery life if you ride more than 50 miles.

    • Dupes

      Thanks…I know the 530 is a big step up from 520 or 520+ from dc’s reviews….the awful button interface is the same still though…useless for maps and makes set up and menu navigation terrible.
      The edge explore stated battery says good for all day…12hrs I think.
      Do you get significantly less in real use?
      If so, is that just battery degradation over time, or was it always less?

    • Peter Pellegrin

      Out of the box battery life was no more than 7 hours. I tried to return it based on this but failed. It has, however, not degraded from this since purchase (2 years ago).
      Usually does what I want and provides real-time ride measurements with connected sensors. While traveling abroad I have found iPhone, phone cradle, Ride with GPS, and downloaded offline maps to be way more useful and satisfying.
      Considering all the phone functions a bike computer doesn’t have to have its disappointing that Garmin has not been able to design and engineer a product that works as well as a phone not designed for this specific use.
      For my local area the Garmin gets the job done.

    • Dupes

      @peter Pellegrin Thanks for the usefu info. Thats good to know. 7hrs – you should defo have got a refund for that!

  155. Dupes

    Does anyone know –

    Can you navigate without having to record the track? IF start record is set in the profile to ‘Prompt’, when it prompts (symbol on screen and beeping at you), how do you dismiss this and carry on navigating?
    Back/return does not dismiss the prompt.

    Context: Yesterday I had to ride 2KM to a new address to collect something, so I didnt want to record.

    I selected the location and started navigation to it once it plotted the route, and as soon as I was moving it came up with the ‘record/pause’ symbol all over the screen and beeping constantly. I thought it would auto stop prompting after a few seconds then just navigte without recording but it just kept beeping!
    I gave in and I manually pressed the ‘start/stop’ to get it to shut up and remove the symbol on screen, so it recorded the track.

    I do have the profile set to ‘prompt’ for recording (set at lowest trigger of 6KPH), so expected it to prompt, thats fine….but why did the prompt just keep ‘prompting’ and I could not stop it or ‘Dismiss’ it?

    Presssing ‘Return/back’ just took it back to the home screen – then it got very confused and I had to stop to try and get the nav back (which was another mare of poorly designed UI/UX I find common on garmin – you have to learn every combination, nothing is intuitive/user friendy).

    Aside from changing the ‘Record prompt’ setting to ‘Manual’ in the profile, should it stop beeping after a while or how do you ‘dismiss’ the prompt to record.

    Sometimes I will just want to navigate, not record.


  156. Eduardo

    I follow all your device reviews with passion. You do an excellent job.
    I am a runner myself, using all fenix units since it appear.
    Although I promised myself never to go into cycling, here I am.
    So I am thinking in edge. I would go for the 1030+, but this explore as you said got my attention.

    My question is: the combination of Fenix6+pro & edge explore is a good idea and close to the 1030+?

    What are your views?

  157. Marian

    I am wondering if there is any bike computer, that works with the Apple Watch? So that my heart rate is picked up from the watch. Just for simplicity. This computer would be ideal with the map and a large display, if it were to allow me to use my watch as HR or even let the watch record, but display the heart rate.

    Thanks for this awesome site.

    • Paul S

      No, and that’s Apple’s fault. Apple doesn’t broadcast HR from the watch using standard protocols. There are a couple of AW apps that claim to be able to do this. I currently have BlueHeart and HeartCast installed on my AW 5, but neither one seems to actually work. I use an old Garmin HR chest strap with my Edge 830; the AW is just along for the ride.

    • Marian

      Ok, thanks Paul.

  158. David

    Has anyone tried to have a new battery fitted to the Edge Explore?
    Along with many others I am suffering from short battery life but it seems to be getting worse.

    I used to be able to manage a 3 hour ride following a pre-planned route but I now seem to run out of battery after about 2 hours.
    I now have to connect an external power bank to finish the ride.

    Just using it as a GPS speedometer seems to be fine, it is only when following a course.
    Which, though, is the main point of this thing.

    • Peter Bradshaw

      It is likely not the battery that’s worn out. I had the same and Garmin sent me a procedure to reset the battery monitoring software that actually worked. Now have about 50% after 4hrs.

    • Luca Manselli

      Could you please share the procedure?

  159. Andrew

    Excellent, concise but detailed and very helpful review. Well done.

  160. Amy Baehr

    Ray, what can I do to fix the GPS speed reading, it seems off. When i ride with another Edge Explore rider, our speeds are different (mine faster). No external sensors for speed, just GPS. Thank you!

  161. Dave

    Do you think there will be an Explore (i.e. touring) version with solar ?

  162. Peter Bradshaw

    Hi Peter,

    To troubleshoot this issue, please see the following steps and complete these in the exact order listed:

    Factory reset the device

    1. Turn the device off
    2. Hold both buttons at the front (lap and start/stop) down
    3. Turn the device on (Whilst others are held)
    4. Release the two front buttons after the Garmin splash screen disappears

    After you have reset the unit, leave the device outside or in a windowsill (stationary) with a clear view of the sky for 30 minutes to acquire satellite data and the correct date and time

    Hard Reset the device

    Charge the device for 2 hours from a wall socket (if available and working, otherwise a PC – Please do this regardless if this has been previously on charge) , remove from the charger and then press and hold down the power button for 1 minute continuously, release then monitor to see if you have the same issue.

    Update the device to the latest software (if you have not already)

    You will need to install Garmin Express onto your computer. Once this is installed, open it up and plug in a USB ANT stick or USB wire that came with the device to charge. The device will then be recognised and there will be an option, once you have signed into express and selected your device there will be buttons that state ‘Sync’ and ‘Check for updates’ make sure both of these are clicked and confirmed.

    Complete the following steps to maximise the battery (Ensure as much is this is changed as possible to suit your lifestyle):

    Tips to Extend the Battery Life on an Edge Cycling Computer

    If you have the same issues after the above has been completed, please provide the serial number and proof of purchase.

    If there is anything else I can help you with then please let me know. Alternatively you can search for a solution here: link to support.garmin.com

    Kind regards,
    Garmin Europe

  163. Michael A. Nolan

    Hi there! Is it possible to charge the Garmin Edge Explore on-the-go? I am thinking of using a Power Bank to top-up the Garmin when on a camping trip. I would envisage connecting the two as required but I am wary that by doing so the Garmin may stop navigating the route. I know Garmin sell a unit to do just that but it is expensive. Hoping you can advise. Thank you.

    • You can use a power bank and charge while recording, no problems at all.

      Note that Garmin’s fancy Garmin battery pack for it (that snaps underneath some Edge devices), it’s supported here. But good ol’ regular ones are.

    • Adrian

      Yes, I do this all the time. Has the advantage that the Explore is happy to have maximum brightness.

  164. Gary Freed

    Hi Ray,
    I see an edge explore 2 now. I asked garmin via chat if it supports rally pedals and hrm and they say yes but…..I don’t believe it somehow. If it does why is this half $ of the 1040?

  165. Gerry

    DC I realize this is an old thread but I recently bought the Garmin Edge Explore(not 2) for mountain biking. With the limited space on the device itself, do you know if there are downloadable MTB only maps? Thanks

  166. nick

    thanx for this review.
    broke my edge 530 with mtb
    looking for the explore2 or the explore.
    its gonna be this explore , because there are good deals at the moment
    and i dont use the extra stuff on te explore 2.

    oh and.. in this review you are literally 400m from my house