Garmin is touting the Edge 25 Bike Computer as the smallest GPS-compatible bike computer on the market. It's been preceded in this claim by a few other manufacturers, but Garmin's Edge 25 outshines them because of what it's built on: the legacy of the larger, more expensive Edge 520. The Edge 25 is the ultimate utilitarian expression of the feature-laden 520, dropping in price and — more importantly — grams, making it ideal for the competitive cyclist who's training on a budget.
The simple, monochromatic, 2.3cm² screen embodies the Edge 25's utilitarian focus, forgoing the colorful pomp of the brightly colored screens on Garmin's large models in favor of displaying only the most important metrics and training data in the simplest, most accessible manner possible. It doesn't track the proximity of cupcake food trucks or plan petting zoo detours during training rides, but it does display a simple map with notifications directing the user through a preplanned workout or documenting the course of wandering base miles. It's focused on improvement and meeting personal training goals, not meeting baristas during a cycling tour of a city's coffee shops.
The Edge 25's GPS capabilities also let it count the laps of an interval circuit, alert the rider of distance or time goals during out-and-back workouts, and compete against a virtual opponent — all of which are designed to improve a cyclist's training instead of distracting them with superfluous data and features. Connecting the Edge 25 to a computer allows access to Garmin Connect, where you can upload, store, parse, and compare data across Garmin's online social training network.
The Edge 25 does feature ANT+ connectivity — something the less expensive Edge 20 lacks. The addition of ANT+ means that the 25 can connect to a heartrate monitor and cadence sensor, expanding on the base unit's speed, distance, and mapping capabilities with some biometric numbers. The Edge 25 also features Bluetooth compatibility, so it can connect to a smartphone for many of the additional features found on the 500-series Edge models.
Using a smartphone as a launching pad, the Edge 25 can fire your info into the ether, linking with Garmin Connect mid-ride for features like live tracking and competition for K/QOM segments. Unlike models like the 520, though, the Edge 25 doesn't connect to Strava, which is admittedly the real unofficial battle ground for recreationalists and aspiring pros alike. Still, the blend of functional training options in a simple, lightweight GPS unit mean the Edge 25 is ideal for the cyclist who wants serious training data, not distractions.