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GarminEdge 830 Bike Computer
Item # GRMF006
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What do you think about this product?
May 5, 2020
Buggy software, Garmin indifferent
- I've put it through the wringer
I was excited to "upgrade" from my Wahoo ELMNT Bolt to the Garmin 830 for this season, so I could take advantage of the advanced fitness data and on-device routing. It turned out to be a huge disappointment. In terms of build quality, the 830 is slightly heavier and feels more solid than the Bolt. It looks a bit sleeker as well. Ultimately, though, I wish I had stuck with the Bolt and plan to switch back. The main problems are as follows: 1) The display is less clear than the Bolt's black-and-white display, and data fields are less legible. There tends to be a lot more white space on the screen than with the Bolt. 2) The touchscreen can be a pain, especially with gloves (NB: the Edge 530 is button-based, but I believe it doesn't have onboard navigation). Even without gloves, it can be difficult to operate when you're riding at tempo or harder. 3) More importantly, the software is buggy and less than intuitive, and Garmin seems to have little interest in fixing certain bugs that are openly discussed on the forums. For instance, I am unable to disable weather alerts on my 830, so when I begin any ride I must first sift through a wave of alerts such as "small craft alert" and "flood warning." (There are quire a few possible alerts: https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=r5C5YTc1YL5srWqkpRP7V5) These seem to pop up no matter the weather conditions, and all my efforts to disable them have been unsuccessful. I've also been unable to get the LiveTrack feature to work reliably. I would say 90-95% of the time, when I start a ride I receive a message saying "LiveTrack Autostart Failed." (This means my family/friends can't track my ride--a problem I never had with my Bolt. I'm sure many of you know the sinking feeling of receiving a text asking for your return ETA while in the middle of a hard effort or in between stops on the group ride!) Garmin's forums suggest this is also a widespread problem, and all my attempts to fix the issue have failed. 4) Finally, although I find the onboard VO2Max and FTP estimator interesting, the FirstBeat algorithm that assesses your "training status" is unpredictable and needs a lot of work (https://www.firstbeat.com/en/blog/my-training-status-is-unproductive-what-can-i-do-to-change-it/). There's a lot of discussion on this elsewhere on the Internet, and it seems to be a widespread problem across Garmin devices--with many workouts that should probably result in a "maintaining" status instead returning a status of "unproductive." This sometimes happens even when the device detects an increase in your FTP! In sum, regrettably I can't recommend the Edge 830. The legibility and touchscreen issues are forgivable, but especially for a device at this price point I find the software issues inexcusable. Garmin users have complained about these issues for at least a year in the forums, with no solutions on the horizon. Maybe these issues don't affect every unit, but I certainly wouldn't plunk down the cash again.
November 23, 2019
Definitely worth the upgrade
- I've used it several times
Fantastic upgrade from the 820. I feel like the Edge is finally where it needs to be. For starters, the battery life, touch screen, and navigation are SO much better. The touch screen responds crisply (no firm, slow finger gestures required like on the prior 820 and 510 models). If I want to navigate a menu, it's just a quick and responsive touch-touch-touch now, even with full-fingered gloves on. The screen is also bigger and more legible. I have not measured but the battery life *seems* like it's 3x or 4x better than my 820 -- I have done several rides now and still above 50% battery life on the first full charge. Even running the backlight full time does not seem to be a big drain on the battery, unlike prior models. The navigation responds and calculates very quickly. If I want to zoom in/out, it's also fast and responsive, very little delay any more. Yes, the two main buttons are still on low end by the stem clamp, but they are also angled upward a bit, which makes them easier to access (see photos). So far I have just been using the features I know from prior models (820 on back), but it seems like there is more stuff I will want to use once I have time to read about it. Gadgets like these are unavoidably firmware/software driven so there is always the *risk* of bugs -- but this unit has been extremely stable for me. No glitches encountered so far after 15-20 rides.
September 29, 2019
Does this require sharing information online? I want a decent GPS with offline routing and personal tracking but don't want to share any of my information with anyone, Garmin included. Is it possible to use this without having to create an account and open my personal information up to be exploited by advertisers?
October 2, 2019
Sure, you could buy one of the standalone Garmin navigation units that mount to windshield and fabricate an adapter for bike use. Or, you could program your own replacement firmware and side-load it. If you have a little more time, you could crowd-fund the design and development of a GPS unit that is not account-based, and compete with Garmin and Wahoo. Just don't have them manufactured in China (where most crowd-source gadgets are made) as the Chinese would no doubt plant a spy chip in it anyway.
August 22, 2019
- I've put it through the wringer
I simply cannot get the bluetooth to reconnect. I can pair without problem, but the next morning, when the 830 powers back on, the connection is lost. The blue tooth connectivity is actually worse than my old 520. It's not too bad... who really wants to be bothered by text messages on a ride anyway? Ahhh, but I do miss getting accurate weather (can't get weather forecast without phone connection). I'm just a little pissed it doesn't work well. Maybe at the next software update it will be fixed? On the other hand, the wifi connectivity is seamless. The bottom line is if I end my ride anywhere other than my house, I will need to wait until I get home to upload the ride. That, unfortunately, is a moderate to severe inconvenience. At these prices, I expected more from Garmin. I really don't like the fact that I have to give up functionality, even if it is not needed every time out. I ride 5-6 times a week. I have really really really tried hard to make this work. I am also tech savvy, so... I'm pretty sure it is not me...
November 23, 2019
Strange. Bluetooth works flawlessly for me and my S9.
May 26, 2019
Touchscreen Works!!!!! Great Device
- I've used it several times
I preordered this and it arrived about a week ago. The touchscreen works beautifully. I guess Garmin learned from their mistakes with the 820. It really works almost as well as a smart phone touchscreen. I tried it with heavy winter gloves and it seemed to work just about as well. Other than that I would say it's definitely a step up from the 520/820. A bunch of useful new features and much quicker chipset. I love the climbpro and the drink water feature. I'm good at not drinking and getting myself dehydrated, so being yelled at to drink water is a huge benefit for me. I would give this 5 stars except for a few bugs, which I'm sure will eventually be ironed out with updates. I had an issue with the power button that I think was a software issue (seems to be working fine after one hiccup) and rerouting tends to tell me to make a U-turn instead of actually finding a different route. Accuracy is about as good as it gets for a cycling GPS and battery life is adequate, better than the old 520/820. It also is compatible with Garmin's front mount battery in case you are going on any 200+ mile adventures or forgot to charge it at home. Overall I think it's a great unit and a big step up from the 820/520. Super happy with the upgrade.
July 5, 2019
Is it a big enough improvement to justify upgrading from a fully-working 820, or small enough to wait until my 820 goes kaput?