Garmin 130 Edge
My brother bought a Garmin Edge 130 - a fairly cheap, GPS enabled, cycling computer. His phone fell off his handlebars and while turning back to go get it, a car drove over it. Nice. I'd been thinking about buying the Edge 520 Plus for a while but after seeing my brother's, I decided the extra £60 or so wasn't really worth it. I got the Edge 130 for £99 off Amazon.
First impressions are good. It's small, light weight, and has a nice secure mounting bracket (which I think is standard across all Garmin bike accessories?)
One of the main reasons I wanted something like this is for navigation. Some people seem to have an internal compass and Google Maps built into their brain… I definitely do not. Anyway, mounting your phone to the handlebars is a little clunky, possibly distracting, and at risk of getting crushed by a car (apparently).
In terms of navigation, people generally seem to use Strava or the Garmin Connect app to generate training routes. I'd rather just use Google Maps. Fortunately you can download Google Map routes as GPX file using this handy website. Uploading the file can be achieved by copying the gpx file over USB to the
NEWFILES folder. Routes can then be accessed by holding the up arrow and selecting navigation.
I'll be giving it a test this afternoon as I need to go pick up my laptop in case the uni is suddenly closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
<2020-03-22 Sun 21:17> Just a quick update because I thought it would be worth posting how I'm getting on. So far I think it's an amazing little device. It makes logging rides an absolute breeze compared to logging directly with the Strava app. The claimed battery life is 15 hours which at the moment I find a little difficult to believe. I've found that after around three hours of riding the battery is already getting pretty low (two out of five bars).
I haven't tried using it for actual navigation yet but probably will end up doing so soon.
<2020-03-25 Wed 18:40> This afternoon I tried using the Edge 130 for navigation of a route planned using Strava Routes. I copied the GPX file over to the Garmin and stared my ride. Overall it worked great. The only problem I found is that if you have a route with some cross-over (on a junction, for instance), it can be difficult to know which way you are supposed to go. Maybe there is an arrow or something, but it's a bit small for me to actually see, if there is. Next time I do this, I will not define a route with any cross-overs unless I actually know the area well enough to already know where I'm going! Overall though, worked great. It will beep and notify you if you go off course. Ride below: