The Garmin Edge 800 Cycle Computer is the end-all GPS solution for your biking needs. If biking is a hobby that takes up a large portion of your life, both in time and finances, then an investment in a good GPS system may keep you from getting lost. Whether you are biking in a large urban sprawl, your local city park, or deep within the woods and wilderness, this cycle computer can help you find your way.
Such an advanced device is not without its faults, though. Some users have complained that many of the features on the Edge 800 came half-baked and defective. Others complain that the many meters inside of the device get thrown off randomly, leaving a biker’s calculations and gathered data completely inaccurate. Whether this is simply the result of bad units or a true defect is still yet to be determined.
Garmin is fast becoming a market leader in GPS devices and heart rate monitors. It may come as no surprise that many of their products are geared towards athletes, mountaineers, and other people who like to brave the elements. As part of their heritage of precision instruments made for rough usage, this cycle computer is a unit marketed more towards the cyclist.
This unit offers a significant improvement over the 705 and offers more features than the compact, race-oriented Edge 500. The Garmin Edge 800, however, includes a larger screen than either unit, and offers the ergonomic advantage of having a touch screen as well. It also takes the sleeker look of the 500 to a whole new level, offering durability to go along with a nice design.
The touch screen is not some flimsy add-on you would normally see shoehorned onto a device of this class; it is large enough for most people to see easily, and is responsive to boot. People who like to wear gloves when they bike will also be glad to know that the touch screen on the 800 is responsive to gloved hands.
This computer is also designed to be a completely different unit than the 500. While the 500 is designed primarily for racing cyclists, the 800 and its included GPS functionality make it more suitable for training and stat gathering as well as trail riding. That said, it can be used for competitions just as well as the Edge 500 can.
There are many features that set this model apart from Garmin’s other athletic computers, as well as offerings from other manufacturers. Many of these features are geared towards both the competition cyclist, as well as the hobbyist who only cycles on certain days. Different users may find different applications for each of these features.
- Users may notice the large, sensitive touch screen at first. Designed to be as responsive as it is durable, this rugged touch screen allows for responsive use with even gloved hands. People who become exhausted after long periods of cycling may also find that the screen can withstand the abuse that weary and flailing hands can do.
- Many may also think that the sleek looks of this cycle computer are just for show as well. While the design is indeed sleek, the developers have also taken into account the aerodynamic implications that a device like a cycle computer has when attached to a bike. It has thus been designed in order to maximize a cyclist’s aerodynamic performance.
- The fully-featured GPS system that is the hallmark of Garmin products is also present. Customizable routes, area-based activities and more GPS functions are built right into this flexible cycle computer.
- Garmin has also been overtaking many other competitors in terms of digital functions; data management, training tools and even compatibility with microSD cards make this one of the most advanced cycle computers available today.
Downsides and Common Issues
As a digital device, the Edge 800 cycle computer may have some shortcomings which are limited by both hardware and software. Some people have complained that the device had been victim to faulty programming from the get-go, leading to lemons and duds ending up in the hands of paying customers.
These customers have complained that the device will often gather corrupt data which cannot be used with Garmin Connect, a social networking platform geared towards athletes and outdoorsmen. Data reverting to zero values is also a problem many others have experienced, but these software problems are more or less remedied with a quick firmware update.
Others have noted that the manuals and pamphlets included are next to useless. Lacking any informative information and instruction, these manuals are often thought to be something to fluff up the overall packaging rather than be of use to buyers and customers.
Should you be lucky enough to get a hold of a working unit, this computer will prove to be a very useful training and competition tool for the working cyclist. With a complete feature set, compact design and intuitive touch screen, the this GPS cycle computer can complete any cyclist’s arsenal of training tools.