Be prepared for adventure.
Based on the name alone, Garmin's Edge Explore 1000 Cycling Computer sounds a lot like a combination between the Edge 1000 and the Edge Touring, and — aside from a few new features — that's essentially what it is. The Edge Explore 1000 borrows its user-friendly design from the Edge 1000 while keeping the touring, rather than race-oriented, spirit of the aptly named Edge Touring model. The resulting mix of blends elements of the competition-minded models like the 520 with navigation data and an added focus on road safety.
Whether you want to stay on or off-road, the Edge Explore aims to make heading out on all-day weekend rides as simple as possible, and the computer will go so far as actually planning routes for the more indecisive or adventurous cyclist. Just enter the distance you want to go, and the computer will show you three different ride options with elevation profiles so you can make an informed decision about where you'd like to go for the day and how hard you'd like to work to get there.
If the route takes you into uncharted territory, don't worry — the three-inch touch screen can be oriented in either landscape or portrait to make navigating a new route from the saddle as easy as possible. This is, after all, a head unit meant for exploring. The preloaded Garmin Cycle Map also includes points of interest in the area you're riding, a useful feature if you're in a new region and are interested in seeing local landmarks or in desperate need of a coffee pick-me-up. While you're out exploring for the day, the computer will record temperature throughout your ride as well as display current weather, and if you have your smartphone with you, the Edge Explore relays your texts and calls to you in the saddle so your phone can stay protected out of the elements.
As mentioned above, Garmin's latest devices demonstrate a notable focus on safety, and the Edge Explore includes two new features to help keep you safe while you're on the road or the trail. The first is Garmin's Incident Detection, which uses a built-in accelerometer to detect a crash based on a sudden drop in speed. In the event of a crash or collision, Incident Detection sends an alert to a pre-set list of emergency contacts stored in the device. You can toggle this feature to activate manually or automatically. Once triggered, the alert gives you 30 seconds to abort the notification it if it's a false alarm before notifying your contacts with a text or an e-mail. Even if you miss the original 30 second window and the alert is sent, you're able to send a follow-up, all-clear alert to contacts if you don't need assistance. The Edge Explore is also compatible with Garmin's new Varia Smart Bike Lights and car-detecting rear radar, which aim to reduce the likelihood that you'll need to rely on Incident Detection by helping to keep you visible on the road in all conditions to motorists and other cyclists.
In addition to these newer features, the Edge Explore can also be paired with sensors to display the information that's standard on Garmin devices: heart rate, cadence, speed, and power numbers. The data, displayed on a glove-friendly, three-inch touch screen, automatically uploads to Garmin Connect Mobile so you can keep track of your training, too. Despite the array of features, Garmin focused on ease of use with the Edge Explore's design, so you can get the information you need quickly without feeling like you spent your entire ride staring at a screen.
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Reviews & Community
Outstanding Navigation Aid
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I purchased the Garmin 1000 as a navigation aid. I give it 5 stars just download my tcx file and away we go, no more cue sheets. It is like having a forward looking radar. I certainly do not use many of the fancy features but for a 70 year old cyclist it is great. I have been cycling for 50 years and this device has significantly increased my cycling fun
Not ready for prime time
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
If I were you, I'd wait for a software update or two before putting out $450 for the Garmin Edge Explore 1000. It does the basics well enough. The interface is good. But connecting to wifi is more miss than hit. Syncing with an iPhone or Garmin's web based Connect app is also poor. Text message integration does not work at all. No reason to believe accident detection would work. I develop software professionally so I can tell you from experience that this product is still in beta. I can also guess that the developers who work on the product know its flawed.