Monday, March 14, 2011

Garmin Edge 800 Review and setup

The first touch screen gps designed specifically for cyclists. After the initial setup of this device I was impressed with the responsiveness of the screen and the display has relatively good clarity, however if not positioned correctly you will get a nasty glare which makes viewing more difficult. I was able to remedy this by positioning the device at a slight angle. This unit was a upgrade from and edge 305 and I will say that I am quite pleased with the performance. The fields are easily recognized and data is collected quickly and accurately.

In the setup menu I was a little bogged down by multiple steps required to navigate certain menu items and edit certain fields. That being said, in a relatively short amount of time (due to the similarity of the 305) I was able to customize my device for multiple bike configurations and complete a layout with ample information and ease of use.
Scree shots of my display pages and data fields:
1. Road Bike Configuration
2. Mountain Bike Configuration
3. Additional info I like to view on a ride
3. Navigation Map Screenshot
As you can see there is plenty of space for the desired fields and they are easily visible during a ride.

One of the features that I find most useful is the training section. It allows you to customize workouts based on your training intensity and desired results. I set up a few interval workouts that have been very useful in my training. From the main screen just tap Menu > Training > Workouts, from that point you can create new workouts such as intervals with specific parameters. I have programmed several workouts with a warm up lap (for a set time) Bike at threshold (set time) rest (set time) repeat... Very basic, yet affective. The unit will walk you through your workouts step by step alerting you of next step with screen on and sound alerts etc. 
All and all this device is very solid. I have enjoyed it as a companion on mountain and road bikes and have yet to find a major flaw. It gives the user a trusty companion that will certainly make other riders red with envy!   


  1. Great review! I have been thinking about getting this device and it does seem like a great unit!


  2. How long does the battery last?

  3. Battery is rated for 15 hours, but I have yet to test the unit for that length of time.

  4. Nice review. I have a 800, but haven't thought of programming workouts like that. Will try that out. :)

  5. It really makes the most out of your workouts and helps you push your training to the next level.
    I love the 800, it is a great unit!

  6. A quick question,
    I went for my first ride today and the screens were switching automatically between the map, virtual trainer, elevation , timer screen. Is there some kind of an auto shuffle setting I have missed? How do you keep one and only one screen up ?
    Thanks so much for any help

  7. That is a new one for me. I will have to look in the settings and see if there is some way to turn auto scrolling on. I can't recall anything like that, but I will certainly see if I can help you out.
    Thanks for checking out my blog. Follow me for other reviews, including tips and tricks.

  8. The Edge 800 does have an auto-scroll feature. It's described on page38 of the owner's manual. To get to that option select MENU > (the wrench icon) > Bike Settings > Auto Scroll. If you choose Auto Scroll there's also a setting for scrolling speed.

  9. A few friends and I are doing a cross-country bike ride along the northern-tier. Do you think the 800 would be useful? Trying to figure out if I can pre-load the maps into the device. Thanks

  10. It certainly would be a great tool. You should be able to find a file with the trail maps for the ride you are going to do. I believe they are .gpx files. If you load them on your 800 it should guide you the whole way.