Garmin don’t ever like us to get bored – and today they announced two brand new units to add to their already busy range of cycling computers.
The Garmin Edge 820 and Edge Explore 820 have a selection of new features, the cleverest of which allows you to keep tabs on others riders within a group. That means if you’re ever a designated ‘ride leader’ you’ll be able to know if one of your ducklings has got lost along the way.
The new feature ‘GroupTack’ can hook you up to 50 riders in a 10 mile radius – when paired with a compatible SmartPhone. Both Garmin's also have built-in incident detection. That means that as well as you being able to track others on the ride, your loved ones will be able to follow you and will be made aware exactly where you are if you’re in an accident. Just don’t put your emergency contact down as your mum if you don’t like her knowing when you crash (sorry mum – but foundation can cover up a multitude of bruises!).
As in previous additions, you can hook your phone up to your Garmin to see message alerts as you ride.
As well as the tracking and safety features, both units feature turn-by-turn navigation, built-in Garmin Cycle Maps with points of interest (does that include coffee stops?!) and bike-friendly trails in a compact design optimised for riding in any conditions.
As you’d expect, you get all the normal heart rate, cadence, power, speed, climbing and calorie tracking info, as well as the more recent additions of Strava live segments. Made with training at front of mind, the Edge version offers advanced performance monitoring including VO2 max, recovery advisor, FTP and watts/kg tracking, performance condition and advanced cycling dynamics – when used with relevant compatible training aids such as Vector Pedals and a heart rate monitor.
You can also pair either unit with Garmin's Varia™ cycling awareness products - that includes the Varia rearview radar and smart bike lights which will give you a warning of vehicles coming up behind you, as well as the Varia Vision™ glasses (so you can see all the metrics without looking down)
Both devices feature a 2.3-inch high-resolution, capacitive touch display that is quick and responsive – even when wet or used with gloves – and the Edge 820’s light sensor automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness so you shouldn’t have to fiddle to see the screen.
You're not likely to run out of juice too quickly either. The 820's have up to 15 hours of battery life, and there’s a new Battery Save mode which will extend battery life up to 50 percent by enabling the rider to wake the display only when it is needed while still tracking the detail of a ride.
This brand new Garmin launch does seem to be bringing some new and exciting features to the table. Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales said: “We are extremely excited to share the newest additions to our extensive cycling line-up with our announcement of the innovative Edge 820 and Edge Explore 820. Whether riders are chasing performance and racing goals or out for adventure and touring, the Edge 820 and Edge Explore 820 offer a full-suite of features to help track data that is important to them."
The Edge 820 is available for a suggested retail price of £329.99, or £389.99 bundled with a speed sensor, cadence sensor and a premium heart rate monitor.
The Edge Explore 820 is available for a suggested retail price of £279.99.
Garmin have produced a short video to show you more about the product. Unfortunately the boys club on screen doesn't include any women, which is a bit of a shame.