Garmin Edge 800 review

Full review: Touchscreen cycle computer for on-road navigation or off-road fun

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Not cheap, but it's the ultimate cycling accessory

This sleek carbon fibre unit is a larger version of the earlier Edge 500 but with a raft of extra features. Designed as the definitive cycling computer and including full sat-nav, it can cater for all sorts of riders – whether you’re a commuter, cycle courier, mountain biker or racer, this is the do-it-all gadget for you.

You’re able to buy the Edge 800 as a standalone unit or bundled with CityNavigator NT Europe mapping on microSD, a wireless speed and cadence sensor, and a comfortable heart-rate monitor strap. Information from these and the in-built GPS are displayed on screen.

It’s a short process to set up the core device and connect it to your bike, though if you have the pack with the extra sensors it will take you a little longer to sort them out with your bike. The mount is easily secured and the Edge 800 pops in and out simply by twisting it 90 degrees.

On the device, several different screens sit side-by-side and the options for configuration are many. With the sat-nav you can see the topography should you wish, or get dedicated turn-by-turn directions. Inputting a navigable destination is intuitive, while the mapping also features POI data as you’d find on any decent in-car sat-nav.

You can also configure up to three different profiles for different bikes, while you can set up workouts (and schedule them). Riders can also upload ride data online. The menus are fairly intuitive, but those used to a traditional PND may find them slightly confusing simply because of the wealth of other information you can access.

Gamin Edge 800: Performance

The 2.6in 160x240 screen is large enough to see where you’re going clearly enough, though we found we had to zoom into the map (as well as putting it in ‘automotive’ mode). If you’re going off road, you can recalculate distances ‘as the crow flies’. We really liked the audible beep if we went off our route as the unit recalculates (a pop up message also appears). The accuracy of the GPS in terms of both location and altitude also impressed us.

The touchscreen is superbly responsive and is resistive so can be used with a gloved hand. There are certainly phones and PNDs on the market that the Edge 800 puts to shame. It can be a little hard to see it on a bright day - not that there was much in the way of sun on our wintry rides – and we imagine that in sunny conditions it wouldn’t be too helpful.

Gamin Edge 800: Other features

As well as the power button on the side, there are only two physical buttons on the front for Start/Stop and Lap/Reset. Everything else is controlled by the screen.

Micro SD and a mini USB connector are hidden behind rubber flaps on the rear of the device. These can be hard to pop back in, but the Edge 800 is fully waterproofed. It will be fine with heavy rain – we also ran it under a tap with no ill result – and appears fine after hard knocks.

Those with one of the latter Garmin Edge 705 models probably won’t find enough reasons to upgrade, but if you’re a serious rider with an older cycle computer (or if you’re without) will find that this is pretty close to the all-in-one device you’ve been waiting for.

Garming Edge 800 release date: Out now, link Garmin