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Garmin bike computers are the rage and are being considered by many cyclists. They are a very helpful traveling companion with their GPS systems and performance trackers. As such, they are being seen on almost every bike.
If you want to get a Garmin bike computer for your bicycle, you might be confused about which Garmin bike computer is best for you as there are many different models.
This article will help you get an idea of what to look for and offer some recommendations.
Things to Look for in a Garmin Bike Computer
There are many Garmin computers out there with different features and designs. And there are a lot of factors that will inevitably play into deciding which one you’ll buy for your bike.
Do note that due to the differences in features, there is a wide price range, and you should be aware of your budget and how much you’re willing to spend. Some of the things to consider when buying a Garmin bike computer are:
This is an essential feature of any Garmin bike computer and one you should look into before purchasing a particular model. It should be noted that the mapping functions of a Garmin bike computer differ between models.
While all models provide a basic mapping system and a GPS, the mapping capabilities often differ.
Later models have more advanced mapping capabilities that often consist of showing the traffic in various areas and mapping out a route to a particular destination to avoid being stuck in traffic.
Some computers provide turn by turn navigation. These are usually present in the more powerful and later models.
Screen Size, Weight and Interface
Garmin computers have come a long way from previous means of performance trackers. Different models of Garmin computers feature different screen sizes and have differences in weight.
A bigger screen size often has greater resolution and a greater display, but increasing the screen size will also lead to an increase in weight.
An increase in weight can make the device uncomfortable to use at times, depending on your preferences. So you should try to take note of the weight.
Alongside screen size, one should also think about whether they want a touchscreen interface or the traditional button system.
There are Garmin computers that use touchscreens and are much easier to use when driving a bike than pushing a button on the side.
Do note, however, that touchscreens can lose their responsiveness and sensitivity when exposed to water or dirt, which is common when biking.
Connectivity with Other Devices
This is not the most essential feature one should look for, but it is a feature that’s present in many of the newer models. Some Garmin bike computers feature connectivity with other devices like your smartphone or even your home computer.
These facilitate data transfer and, in the case of your smartphone, allow you to send and receive calls.
Most Garmin bike computers feature the ability to connect to other devices via USB cables. While usable, the wiring can be an issue. Some computers feature Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, which are much better and faster at times.
If you tend to bike for long hours and distances, you will want to consider a Garmin Bike computer with high battery life.
It should be noted that Garmin computers with high battery lives cost more, and that repeated use with WiFi active will often decrease the battery life much faster. As such, battery life is an important thing to note.
Which Garmin bike computer is best in 2021?
Garmin is a recognized name and for a good reason. They produce such good bike computers that it’s hard to name one of them which could be considered the best. That being said, this article tries to round down the list to three that are widely recommended for various reasons.
Garmin Edge 130
While the Edge 130 is an earlier model, it still deserves mention as it is a small, easy-to-use device that is packed with the essentials. It has GPS, various trackers, and smartphone connectivity. And it is also light and has responsive buttons.
All these make it a good pick for people who haven’t used a bike computer before, and it’s very cheap. That being said, it is still an older model, and while it does its job, the later models do so much more.
Garmin Edge 520 Plus
The Edge 520 is a popular choice among many cyclists for its wide range of features and great navigation system. And the Edge 520 Plus improves upon many of those features and brings upon a much better bike computer.
It features a good battery life but no WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity nor a touchscreen. If you can’t afford the 520 plus, the regular 520 is also a good option.
Garmin Edge 1030
The Garmin Edge 1030 is a powerful device with a myriad of features. It also has a wide and colorful display that helps with mapping and navigation.
And it is also the only one on the list with a touchscreen that is quite responsive, but it can be damaged if you’re not too careful.
While the Garmin Edge 1030 is amazing, it is pricey, and the myriad of features might make it seem overwhelming for beginners. It is a very popular pick amongst competitive riders or racers.
Hopefully, this article can help you get started on buying your own Garmin bike computer. Remember to keep the suggestions in mind and keep an eye out.