on 28 July 2015
Was really sceptical about buying the Garmin 810 after reading all the reviews of problems and issues and returns. I pressed the button to put it in my basket several times only to remove it again. Finally got around to pressing the place order button and waited with some trepidation to see if I would regret it. I've owned a SatMap Active 10 for some time which with OS mapping, good GPS and rechargeable battery packs so the Garmin was up against it.
I hope I don't regret writing this but, why did I worry and what on earth are all these buyers doing to make theirs not work?
Received direct from Amazon in under 48 hours delivered on a Sunday. Charged it fully before touching it. Downloaded Garmin's webupdater software and checked firmware / software for latest. It was already up to date so a recently released unit. This is why I bought from Amazon rather than a third party who may have had slow moving stock lying around.
Downloaded OpenStreetMaps free file and installed it on a new Sandisk 16gb class 10 MicroSD card. Configured the unit according to the manual (it was all pretty intuitive anyway) and sat it in the bedroom window to acquire satellites. It took about 15 minutes or so before it found enough to locate itself. There is a lot of talk on the reviews and forums about slow startup. There is no surprise if a GPS is slow when it's cold started. Cold start being when it is powered off for a long time or more importantly moved substantial distances whilst switched off.
Location was accurate and when switched on for the second time it took less than 30 seconds to locate.
Connected to iPhone 6 with bluetooth after downloading Garmin App. Took the unit out on a short cycle ride, a walk and a car journey. GPS traces recorded were more than accurate enough to use to upload new data to OpenStreetMaps website. Haven't used Navigation yet but so far everything is as slick as can be and loving it.
on 4 August 2015
I don't usually write reviews but I feel I should pass on my experience with Garmin GPS computers - I will be brief.
I took up cycling 18 months ago and bought an 800 model - worked well until began to go wrong after 14 months. Symptoms - turning off, losing data - a real pain. Went on a cycling holiday in Spain, would turn off 3-4 times per ride so lost loads of info about where I had been etc.
When back from holiday, ordered an 810 model. Went on John O'Groats to Land's End ride. Third day, the Garmin turned itself off again after freezing. It then did this again on the 4th day, after that I gave up. I returned it to Amazon, who sent me out a new 810.
This weekend I did the Prudential 100 ride and was 30 miles in and the new 810, froze, turned itself off. I re-started it and then got to 65 miles where it turned itself off and would not come back on at all. It now won't do anything.
The Garmin 800 was very good whilst it lasted - just over a year. The 810 has been rubbish and left me very disappointed. I am gutted that I now don't have the record the the ride I did of the whole length of the UK (a life time ambition) or the Prudential ride that I also had waited to complete.
So what? Well, my experience with the 810 is over, returned to Amazon for a refund. Amazon have been very good and no issue there. As for Garmin - I am not sure. I am tempted to buy another 800 - it lasted a year. A friend owns a 1000 (I don't need the features it has) but again, occasionally it turns off so again I am nervous.
Capturing the data from rides is important because I am trying to improve my speed over time and the length of rides I complete. I am due to complete a 114 mile ride from Bristol to London later this month and have no confidence that a new Garmin product will capture that ride - such a shame as when the kit works, it is very good.
In summary - if you are riding any distance and the ride is important to you, I would think carefully about how you capture the data. Unless the moving map and navigation is important, I would stick with the cheaper more reliable models if you want a bullet proof solution. Sorry to be miserable but thought you should be forewarned of one persons recent experience.
on 31 May 2013
To give you some context, I've had my 810 for one month. According to Garmin connect, I've completed 14 rides, and 470 miles. I also have a top speed of 123mph, which gives you some idea of the issues. I've moved from a Polar CS600X, for which I had the GPS and Power modules. I'm a digital chip designer, so very technical, and I have used the latest firmware and have cold reset the device - these aren't user error! :-)
The reason for making the switch was that I wanted mapping. The Polar had plenty of minor issues which I could work around, but the lack of navigation was going to be an issue for the sorts of longer training rides that I'm now doing.
I started on firmware version 2.4, and almost immediately upgraded to version 2.5, which is still the latest at the time of writing (28th May '13).
The basic functionality is excellent. The product design is perfect for my needs, but the device has some very serious bugs. For the latest, I would strongly urge you to check the Garmin hosted user forum at
As of today, the longest thread is 'Who wants to return or regrets their purchase of the 810', which should give you some idea of the currently quality level.
Firstly, and most importantly, it crashes on nearly every ride. Now this isn't a quick on and off like you might expect, it's a major freeze and reset. It's as if you momentarily pulled the battery from your phone. You're left with a blank screen for a few minutes, and when it comes back it's touch and go about whether it stored your ride so far or not. Of the 14 rides I've completed - only 2 were finished without a reset of the computer. This also causes the computer to disconnect from your phone, which closes the Live Track session. Unless you feel like fishing out your mobile phone to restart it, anybody following your ride is now disconnected. This is a major problem for me, since Live Track was going to be used to give my wife some confidence that I'd not been a victim of white van man, but now she has no confidence in it.
The connections to the phone have been ropey at best. I've got an Android Nexus 4. It's the latest and most standardised Android phone available at the moment (that's why they call them Nexus - it's the reference platform to take away fragmentation arguments). The Bluetooth connection usually fails and requires removing and re-pairing the device. Quite a hassle when you're filling your water bottles and waiting to go. In fairness, two days ago they updated the Android app and it seems better, but it's too early to say if it's sorted. It's definitely not good enough to be considered fixed. From what I see in the forums, iPhone behaviour is better.
Less seriously, it seems to lose track of where you are and sporadically give up navigating you. The breadcrumb trail is left on the screen, so as long as you use a fixed zoom level, you can normally navigate yourself without prompts. For some reason it also starts to say that your course has 5,200 miles to go. I only had one powerbar and half a bottle of water, so that was an issue.
This doesn't apply to me yet, but most power sensor users appears to be annoyed at inaccurate readings and dropouts. Again - consult the forums to check on the latest.
My hope is that these bugs will be worked out. From what I hear, 800 owners were in a similar position when that came out, but similarly they seem annoyed that Garmin have stopped updating their device and left some bugs hanging. None of those seem as serious as those currently plaguing the 810, so maybe Garmin have just sensibly put resource on the most pressing issue and will sort the others in time.
Apart from those bugs, the unit is very good. The customisation of the displays is absolutely excellent. You have almost complete flexibility to add and change fields, and anything that would be useflu is there. As a Polar user, the heart rate monitoring isn't as sophisticated (no R-R readings or fitness tests, although that might be due to Ant+ sensors not sending that).
The screen is adequate at best. Like all LCDs it's polarised internally, but they've not managed to randomise the polarisation at the surface which means that depending on the sun's angle and your cycling glasses, the screen can almost disappear. Even without glasses the screen can be very difficult to read and is of poor contrast. The backlight can help a lot, and if you only do short rides and can afford the battery, that will sort most of the screen issues. The resolution is poor by today's standards, but to be honest, on a bike it's good enough and maybe better for battery life.
The ultimate bundle has some great stuff in it. The forward mount is much better than the circular ones, but not in the same league as the CNC K-Edge one that I bought at the same time. If you're like me, you'll have enough bikes to distribute the mounts amongst in order. One bonus is that the OS Discoverer maps are for the whole of the UK - not just national parks. I was concerned about this from the product description. Note that they're on two cards, though - not one. So you need to swap them before each ride. (Another bug is that you're supposed to be able to select a particular map for a particular bike, but guess what - that doesn't work either).
I'd recommend getting the silicon case as well. I hooked a long O-ring through it to tether it to my bike. I was checking eBay before deciding on just buying a new one. An awful lot of 800s went under the wheels of cars after detaching during crashes!
Final note - I notice that most Garmin pro riders are using the 510. From the nature of the bugs on this device - almost all of which are related to mapping an navigation, I'd imagine that they are much more reliable.
I'll post an update after the next software revision, which should hopefully be soon. My hope is that these are just software issues and they'll get fixed. As a hardware engineer, I have a nagging feeling that they could be due to a new gps/bluetooth radio chip that may not be as good as the old one, and erroneous outputs are causing the software to crash. Time will tell I guess.
on 15 May 2013
This is an amazingly useful accessory for any road cyclist.
Although a little bigger than I had imagined, it looks really smart. The mount supplied pushes it out slightly in front of you, which has two results. Firstly, it's a little more comfortable to look at (because it's not so close to you), but (secondly) it can only fit in certain places (I've had to rethink where my front light goes).
The interface is easy enough to learn to use. Once set up, starting a ride is very simple, simply pick your bike and your profile (race, train, etc.) and push ride! For when you're riding, you can completely personalise which screens you're shown and what's on those screens and in what order.
Interaction with iPhone:
I must say, the connection is flawless. When out riding, my Garmin is connected to my iPhone by BlueTooth. The reason for this is so you could get weather warnings and allow people to track you. This seems and is awfully gimmicky. I check the weather before going out, so I'm never caught off guard and the one time I tried to use Live Track it didn't work. Luckily this doesn't drain my phone's battery at all (otherwise I'd probably turn it off).
This is the main reason I bought the Edge 810. I moved to a different part of the country and my rides were only as long as I could memorise from Google Maps. Using the Garmin Connect website, you can plan routes to send you out into previously undiscovered territory. These are then easily downloaded to your Edge in seconds (either via USB or via BlueTooth from your phone) and you can go. It takes a bit of getting used to how to set it all up, but it's brilliant once you've got the hang of it.
Cadence + heart-rate monitor:
Useful data if you use Strava, but you can set this up for stationary trainers and monitor your cadence while indoors, which is good for the serious cyclist.
Connecting with Strava is simple. The same plugin that lets the Edge talk to Garmin Connect's website also communicates with Strava. Incredibly well designed and uploads in seconds (Strava is a good service, anyway).
Don't buy Garmin's maps! They're expensive and no better than OSM. Google for the OpenStreetMap Garmin-compatible ones (they're free), then buy a cheap microSD card from Amazon . You can get worldwide maps that you can update as often as you like for less than £10 this way.
This is one expensive piece of kit for something a free iPhone app *could* do (although not very well and with a lot of accessories). I bought it cheaper elsewhere, but this package was still over £300. Cycling isn't a cheap sport, as I'm sure most are aware, but this is a well turned-out piece of kit that will hopefully last a long time!
I am pleased with the device. Before this, I was using the Strava iPhone app, which just tracked GPS location calculating average speeds. The navigation capability was the deal maker for me because I was getting bored with my rides. It has kept me a happy cyclist!
on 6 January 2016
After a few months of using a Garmin 510 I decided to upgrade to the Garmin 810 for the additional benefits of mapping capability and some reliability / stability issues with the former. The 810 is a bit bigger and heavier than the 510 but my early time with it, including the use of some freely available UK mapping on SIM card, has restored my faith in the Edge series. It is slightly more complex in available functionality should you want it but at the sub-£200 price paid for a touchscreen unit it is a steal in my view (prices on the web fluctuate wildly it seems). Uses the same firmware as the 510 but for me is less issue prone and more stable / reliable. Following courses I have prepared seems so much easier with the added mapping capability provided by this unit - more akin to a traditional satnav. Sealed battery life is fine for my needs and would be enough for a decent sportive over 6-8 hours and could be extended by switching off / tweaking some of the functions I guess. Basic mounts, AC adaptor and USB cable are in the box (no "out front" mounts included in the one I bought). Interesting that Garmin have recently changed the 510 to a 520 but kept with the 810 and 1000 variants.
on 24 September 2013
I've used a Garmin Edge 500 for a couple of years now and it's been fine although lately it's had a few twitchy moments.
So, read long and hard and finally decided to go for the Edge 810. Not an easy choice as it is easy to find conflicting views although the cycling shop reviews (eg Evans, Tredz) tend to be a lot more positive that the few reviews to date here on Amazon.
I'm not going to talk about it's features as it is easy to read up on these. What I would say is that so far I'm totally satisfied and in fact pretty darn impressed - and I'm not easily impressed. Setting up was simple - although I'm not sure if already being a Garmin user helped here - and in no time I had the unit configured with several profiles and all the data fields that I wanted. One BIG plus is the larger screen which is great for those like me who are slightly long sighted. On the Edge 500 if I had more than 2 data fields showing then the text was difficult to read as the font size was reduced for anything other than the first field. On the 810 I have 4 fields showing and they are all easily read. And of course, with 5 screens per profile it's easy to have as many fields as you could ever want with just a quick smartphone type swipe. The screen has good contrast and is very easy to read.
I have uploaded maps from 'talkytoaster' (huge delay currently from openstreetpmap, which was my first choice) where there is great info on how to set this up and so no need to ever pay for maps. The map data goes onto a 16Gb micro SD card which I bought at the same time as the 810; although the card does not need to be as big as 16Gb.
I've used the unit for a couple of rides and it's great. It's quicker to respond that the 500 (eg when auto pause is enabled) and it's massively quicker when uploading ride details into either the Garmin training centre or something like Strava.
So, in summary : easy to set up; easy to use; very easy to read when in use; more responsive than the Edge 500 (the only comparison I can make); very fast when uploading ride data; open source maps look good.
The reason for only 4 stars :
- well, not yet used it long enough to be sure of it's on-going performance
- not yet uploaded a GPX or TCX route to see how that looks
- not yet tested in's water resistance ie so far not used it when raining
- not yet tested it's Bluetooth and phone linking capabilities
Assuming all these prove to not be a problem then it's 5 stars for sure, and after a bit more use I will update this review to reflect any new thoughts.
Bottom line - extremely happy so far !!
UPDATE : Oct 28th, 2013
Okay, I've used the 810 for a month or so and I've increased the rating to five stars. This reflects the fact that I'm now totally satisfied with 3 of the 4 'unknowns' that I mentioned in my earlier review. The only unanswered question is about it's on-going performance but after a month of good usage with no blips whatsoever I felt it reasonably to say all is well. The other 3 points have now all been ticked as okay - especially the water resistance as I've now been caught in several really heavy and lengthy downpours. The little flap that seals the mini USB port did it's job with zero trace of moisture there and indeed no sign of water ingress anywhere.
About the only thing I could gripe about is the fact that the price is now noticeably less than I paid - but that's modern consumer gadgets for you (and from a quick Google search, Amazon is still the cheapest - if you ignore dodgy imports).
on 17 July 2015
Package and handling by Amazon - Top notch
Garmin product review
Great product for people who always get lost when out riding. Have mapping capabilities and works almost identical to a full fledged car GPS. Small and compact unit. Quarter mount is tight and secure.
Product doesn't really come with my instruction on how to operate the 810 but you'll get it sooner or later. I got used to most functions in a day or two. Best thing about 810 is the turn by turn navigation, live track for my stalkers to follow me, and weather report (only if I bring my mobile out, and connected via bluetooth). Fantastic product, the Garmin 1000 seems too expensive and too many useless functions, price of 510 is just ten over quid cheaper than the 810, without the map. So naturally 810 is the way to go, do get it with at least some protection, a silicone case and a screen protector, you don't want to put dents and scratches on your garmin do you? This stuff is almost the price of my bike.
I was really hesitant to buy this, my other options were Dakota, 510, 500, and other crappy GPS. I just wanna Strava, especially my ride to my cornerstore. After I got this, my motivation go get out and ride further increased. Psychological effect of making your money worth.
If you're actually looking at this review, you probably have a bike, Strava, poor navigation skills, and an urge to spend. Go ahead, buy it. I bet you'll be adding miles onto your Strava. Oh, and it uploads automatically to Strava too, just spend one whole night to set this thing up to your mobile Strava app.
on 14 September 2015
In principle the Garmin Edge 810 has all the functions a cyclist could want, ranging from monitoring your heart rate and delivered power to a full sat-nav, bringing turn-by-turn navigation to the bicycle. Also, everything is synced with your Garmin account as soon as you connect your phone to the unit.
However, this unit is an enormous let-down when it comes to delivering these functions. On every third or so cycle ride I do, the unit crashes - just turns off. The turn by turn navigation misses an awful lot of turns.
The synchronization over Bluetooth fails more often than it works.
In practice, the unit is unreliable - terrible!
The worst thing is that Garmin seems to be aware of this - in the few months since I have had the unit, I have had 2 new firmwares automatically installed when I connected the unit to the computer. However, the problems seem to become worse rather than going away ...
If you do not believe me, have a look at the Garmin Edge 810 forum:
on 10 August 2015
Bought this for the Live Tracking feature. The problem is the device is so temperamental that you may as well not bother. Having lashed out over £200 for a bike mounted paperweight I've tried using it for navigation. The first time it worked OK. The second time, riding remote moorland, the screen froze. Couldn't stop the navigation or even turn the device off. Have tried to ring Garmin - there's a 20 minute wait as all their staff are busy. Email them and it takes 3 days for a reply.
Live Track (when it works)
Freezes at random.
Doesn't come with a screen protector or case to cover the delicate connection ports.
Possibly the worst set of instructions outside of IKEA.
on 4 March 2016
Overall it's a great device, some of the cons:
- The virtual partner page is not customizable and not easy to see wether a segment is currently active
- Auto pause tends to be activated when moving slowly
- The screen is glossy reflecting the clouds and other light objects, should be rather matte
- There should be a light sensor in the device to control the background light of the screen automatically
- The position of the virtual partner is not shown on the map, previous Edge models (605?) had this feature
- No 'Back' physical button, so when the screen is touched mistakenly, you have to wait ~10 seconds to go back to the previous state
- Syncronization with the phone app and with Strava
- Sensivity of the GPS
- Virtual partner with segments
- Overall quality
- Battery power
- Ease of use