Garmin Edge 1000 Cycle Computer
The Edge 1000 is the latest offering from Garmin for the cyclist who requires training data along with navigation features. Here at Edds Bikes we’ve had the Garmin Edge 1000 Performance Bundle on test for over a month now, this is being compared to the Garmin 800 I ran for 18 months with no issues. The first thing that strikes you is that the 1000 has now been lengthened and made a lot thinner, the second and nice change is upon boot up the machine gets to the start up page almost instantly with a crisper display. I’d describe the 800 display as a very ‘Spectrum’ like with the characters very square, whereas the 1000 is a lot more modern and has round edges to the fonts making the data much clearer to read.
Another big change from the older and more recent units are the sensors, the older versions were quick clunky magnet based units, where you had to have them lined up to give accurate readings, and all the magnets facing dead square on, the main cadence/speed sensor also had to be cable tied to the bike – this would make moving the cadence/speed unit from one bike to another a bit of a pain. The new sensors are separate and run independently of each other, the speed sensor is attached to either of the wheel hubs, and the cadence sensor is attached to the crank arm, which are held on by rubber bands, so moving between bikes is much easier than before. They use accelerometers, and in the box you get three different sized rubber bands to fit various crank arms and hubs.
The unit comes pre-loaded with European maps too, so long as you stay within a few thousand miles of the UK you should be fine and not needing to buy new maps. In the box there are two mounts, one being the standard quarter turn mounts that attaches to either the handle bar or the stem, the second is a nice surprise which is an out front mount that you’d expect to have to pay more for, but in this new model its included as standard.
Training data is as you’d expect from Garmin, pretty much complete, it can be paired to most ANT+ sensors – very useful for those that run power meters. You can have un to 5 pages of data all with customisable fields (10 per page) – it could be considered information overload but better to have all the options that too few. It is also noticeable not only how quickly the unit boots up but also it seems to pick up satellites in super quick time, so you’re ready to ride pretty much the moment the unit is turned on and in the great outdoors.
Garmin are trying to move this unit into the latest greatest all in one bike navigation unit, they’ve added segments – if you’re familiar with Strava, you’ll know what Segments are (Small sections of people rides which are timed specifically and put into leaderboards) – Garmin are now trying their hand at it, you can see your progress ‘live’ against either yourself and other riders who’ve completed this segment – unfortunately it will take a while for the segments on Garmin to build up, as you can’t just copy data over from Strava, so it is reliant on the Garmin user base to create the segments via its Garmin Connect website (http://connect.garmin.com).
Do you run a bike with Shimano’s Di-2 group set, ever wondered how much battery you have left? Are you going to be running out soon, or how about knowing what gear you’re in? How many gears do you have left in the cassette to get up the next steep climb? Well, the Garmin Edge 1000 can receive data from your Di-2 group set and display the information on the screen right in front of you. It can let you know the battery level of the Di-2 along with which gear you’re in, from both the front chain set and rear cassette. Some might say this is a novelty – I guess it is but for those gadget lovers its a nice touch. The battery level left in the Di-2 is useful if you’re planning some longer rides so you know if you’re best charging now or later. However, you will need to purchase a D-Fly unit from Shimano to allow the two units to talk to each other (Click here for information on the D-Fly unit). One thing we have noticed about the battery level is that it seems to go down in 10% increments (rather than 1% or even 5%), not ideal but better than what we’ve had in the past.
Connectivity is the name of the game for this unit, we’ve pointed out the connection of various standard sensors, also the Di-2. But, it also connects to your phone via Bluetooth – this allows you to receive call and text data from your mobile (currently only works with Apple, and not Android – its been said Android functionality will be ‘coming soon’) – if you get a call you can now see on the screen of the Edge 1000 the name and number of the caller, so no need to interrupt a good ride by another call asking if you’re “entitled to a PPI refund…”, if you receive a text message it will pop up on the screen with details of who the text is from and the text message. Note, contrary to some other reviews this unit will not display emails.
We’ve now covered riding sensors, di-2 sensors, Bluetooth, now the next… yes there is more connectivity …. WiFi – if you’ve been familiar with the older Garmin units Edge 800 and back, you’ll know you would have to plug your unit into the computer to upload your rides to Garmin Connect, now you can set-up your Garmin to talk to your own WiFi network at home, after your ride is over and the details have been saved on the unit itself, it will then automatically upload the ride to the website, for you and the world to analyse immediately. You still have to plug the unit into your computer if you upload your data to Strava too, or you can set-up an account at Garmin Sync / Copy my Sports and that will automatically transfer your rides over.
Ever wanted to go for a ride but wasn’t sure where to go? You can let the Garmin decide this for you, it allows you to enter a distance and it will offer 3 routes of varying elevation statistics for you to pick from. Currently we’ve not tested this feature as yet but it is getting some good reviews on Garmins own forum, we hope to be trying out this future in the near future.
What about the battery, its claimed that the unit can run for approximately 15 hours, from recent experiences a 2h 45 minute ride led to a 25% drain in battery power, this was with the Di-2 sensors connected, receiving data from a power meter, speed sensor and having the unit connected to my phone via Bluetooth. So, for those that keep their rides below 10 hours you should be fine, for any longer rides I’d suggest not keeping the phone connected all the time and changing the way it picks up the GPS signal (it has a few different modes, where you trade off exacting accuracy against battery drain).
One things to bare in mind as with all Garmin units from the last few years, the original batch do seem to suffer from some bugs, we’ve experienced Bluetooth drop-outs, random locked screens and not being able to connect to Garmin Connect to download new segments. Our first piece of advice is to update the unit to the latest firmware (currently v2.3), since having the unit this is the second firmware update and all seems good after the latest update. All the bugs previously experienced are no longer there. This Firmware update includes a turn by turn map update too, also you should be aware that this update is HUGE – it took somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours to update the mapping – its a big file to download. So don’t do the update prior to wanting to go straight out for a ride, otherwise you’ll be waiting around for quite a while.
This unit is jam packed, so many toys and inbuilt functions, it is a shame that Garmin haven’t tried to get into bed with Strava (maybe they’ve tried to, maybe they haven’t) – it is going to be hard work for Garmin to break Strava’s stranglehold on the Segment feature, how many people will migrate over and use Garmin instead – only time will tell, but its going to be a long time before we know. Take this unit for all the features you want and need, but don’t pin your hopes on the segments, treat them as a nice bonus if they get to 20% of Strava’s level.
The Performance bundle has an rrp of £499, and the standalone unit is £439
*** UPDATE ***
Well 8 months on, it has to be said this computer has been pretty faultless, it is still used on all bike rides we carry out, and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
There is now no need to use a third party piece software to transfer your ride data between Garmin and Strava – it is now possible by changing some settings in both Garmin Connect and Strava to link your accounts. So, once you upload a ride to Garmin Connect within a few minute it also appears on Strava. And a further update is that you can now upload your rides to Garmin Connect via Bluetooth (so you do not need to be connected to a WiFi network for this to work), right from the unit, once it connects to your phone – it will auto sync with the Garmin Connect app (which is free), so you only need to plug the device in to charge or to get the various updates Garmin provide.
Garmin have now also provided the ability to view the unit in Portrait mode as shows above or in Landscape mode (when the latest firmware is installed).