My cycling product of the year 2011: Garmin Edge 800


Every year there are thousands of new products that are launched and many of them are very good indeed. This year for me there was a standout that made a huge difference to my riding and enjoyment out on the bike – the Garmin Edge 800.

For some context I’ll admit that I’ve always been a data guy and have kept an online riding diary for all of my rides until this year when I first tried using my iPhone with Strava and Cyclemeter. Using an iPhone was a big step forward data gathering wise especially as it brought GPS logging to my cycling but I soon tired of how inaccurate the iPhone is and how bad the battery life is.

A variety of good reviews, full European mapping, 10 hours plus battery life and turn by turn navigation and I got to the point where I decided I had to get one.

Honestly, within a ride or two I was completely smitten and telling everyone who would listen what a great device it was. From the simplicity of the mounting system, to the accuracy, to the battery life and its fantastic compatibility with Strava and the fantastic turn by turn navigation when you want it,  I’ve become a devoted fan.


I had originally thought of getting a 500 instead to save money but the turn by turn route guidance on the 800 is one of my most favourite features. I enjoy creating routes on bikehike.co.uk and uploading them directly onto the device. Also the larger screen means you can have more data fields on your display which is also some you don’t really appreciate until you start customising the display to show the data you really want to watch while you’re riding.

It’s a fantastic device for when you’re somewhere you don’t know well and you can follow a route confidently. It’s also great on longer rides like Sportives where you can always see how far through the course you are.


It’s not perfect though – but what is. Things that I’ve found frustrating are, the virtual companion operates at a constant speed and doesn’t adjust for the terrain. I also found on a ride when I had an incorrectly calibrated cadence sensor, the cadence sensor over-rode the GPS data and recorded a very inaccurate distance. Browsing the map isn’t the easiest thing either – but I believe a recent firmware update may have fixed this issue though. I’ve also found that sometimes the unit takes a couple of minutes to acquire its satellite fix, however once its locked on, mine never lost the satellites.

However, even with these few quibbles – I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the Garmin Edge 800 – it really is my Giro di Lento Cycling Product of the Year.

Here’s a cool video Garmin have produced that I think helps confirm what I’m saying (and it’s a spectacular winter training location):

I’m not going to do a full review of the 800 as there are a bunch of other good ones already out there including these:




And in in-depth review here:


Thanks for reading and better pictures will be uploaded than these ones I grabbed off the Garmin UK website.