Review: Garmin Edge 830 Cyclocomputer

Frequent readers of this blog know that my wife and I ran the Garmin Edge 520 cyclocomputers to allow us to measure our performance and to navigate courses at home and on road trips. That’s worked well for us over the last few years, but this year we felt that we needed to up our game. Thus we got the Garmin Edge 830 which has a number of things going for it. Here are the key things in my mind:

  • It is a touchscreen which makes it insanely easy to navigate and can be used with full finger gloves as the screen is pressure sensitive.
  • On-device route creation which allows you to create routes on the fly.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Customisable apps
  • Strava integration. You can sync your data with Strava for free. But on-device Strava Live segments requires a Strava Summit membership, and your smartphone needs to be connected to the device.
  • Group messaging and tracking assuming that all the people in your group have compatible devices and share their info with you.
  • The device displays notifications from incoming calls and text messages from your phone….. Though you can’t answer them from the device which is understandable.
  • There’s a bike alarm function. Activate the alarm on the device and if someone moves your bike then the Edge 830 will send a notification to your smartphone.
  • Performance monitoring insights that give information on your VO2 max, recovery status, training load, heat and altitude acclimation, and your nutrition and hydration status after rides.
  • The device displays notifications from incoming calls and text messages

The Edge 830 has both on board WiFi and Bluetooth connections so it’s possible to directly pair the device to any WiFi network. Once connected, the device will automatically link to Garmin’s servers where it can sync your device so that it can upload your ride data as well as check for firmware updates. Which is something that you should do as Garmin has improved the functionality with every firmware update (which is version 4.10 as I write this). It’s very easy to set up its basic functions using the Garmin Connect app which is available for iOS and Android. From there you can add sensors like speed sensors, cadence sensors, and power meters so that you can get the most out of your training and riding.

One key feature is the incident detection feature, which alerts a pre-defined contact that you’ve had an accident and serves up your location to them. You also get the ability to send them a message saying that all is well if the incident is minor or you set this off by accident by say dropping your bike. It requires that the device is paired via bluetooth with and connected to your phone and only iOS and Android phones need apply. One thing that I note is that it is sometimes too easy to set off this feature on really rough roads.

The turn-by-turn navigation is fantastic on the Edge 830. The on-screen map, when zoomed in, provides excellent levels of detail and accurate guidance instructions with ample warning — both audible and visual — when a turn is approaching. Though if you design your own routes, I would strongly suggest that you turn off the popularity routing feature which uses rides that are uploaded to the Garmin Connect service to determine the best route. The reason I suggest this is that it will take you off your intended route and that will drive you nuts. It also has problems distinguishing between different road and path types and it has a penchant to take you on the most traffic-dense roads or, in total contrast, the least suitable paths, trails or tracks for your defined parameters. In other words, stick to designing your own routes which is what I do.

Any other gripes? The price. This is not a cheap cyclocomputer. The Garmin 830 goes for $550 Canadian which is not cheap. But the argument that I would make is that this is a higher end cyclocomputers used by pros and serious cyclists. Having said that, if this price is too much for you, there’s the Garmin Edge 530 which is $130 Canadian less and does most of what the Edge 830 does. Though you give up the touchscreen and some of the advanced routing functions of the Edge 830. Which means that you’re more reliant on buttons which might make it harder to navigate its functionality. For my money, I’d take the Edge 830 and benefit to from the ease that the touchscreen offers.



3 Responses to “Review: Garmin Edge 830 Cyclocomputer”

  1. […] point. Which is to not have that much communication with their customer base. In my testing with my Garmin Edge 830 cycling computer along with the Garmin Connect app I can confirm that some of the functionality is working. […]

  2. […] hardware wireless standard called ANT+. This allows me to not only connect to things like my Garmin Edge 830 cyclocomputer for it to tell me things like what gear I am in, or to give me alerts about the health of the Di2 […]

  3. […] reader noted that I had a unique way to mount my Garmin Edge 830 Cyclocomputer to my […]

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