on 17 June 2013
I bought this as a replacement for my old Garmin Foretrex 101 that I'd been using on the bike. This is a far more simple unit aimed purely at cycling as opposed to being a general GPS unit.
I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and it's come in very handy, including using it to navigate a 57 mile route this Sunday just gone.
I have to say, I love the thing.
It's small, but not too small to be difficult to see.
It's waterproof. No worrying about using it in the rain.
It's simple. The user interface has been reduced to the bare essentials so makes for easy navigation of all the options.
It lasts hours and hours. I can't envisage a possibility of having the battery run out on this thing.
Garmin plugins for the web browser means you can upload activities to Garmin Connect straight over the web. No messing about with gpx files etc.
It can be used for both recording data about a ride (as you ride) or can be used to record data about a ride as you follow a course.
The GPS lock is insanely quick. Ignore anyone on Amazon moaning about it. From first use it will seem to take an age to get a lock. This is normal, just keep stationary and wait. After this initial lock, every time you start it up you have a gps lock within a few seconds. My old Foretrex used to take minutes from start every time.
It not too expensive.
It charges quickly from USB.
The "elastic bands" for the mount are very strong.
You get 2 mounts so if you have two bikes, you're laughing.
The quarter turn lock mount means it's very quick and easy to detach / attach to the bike.
Don't worry about using it in Linux. You won't get the plugins for the web browser, but the unit just shows us as a USB drive. New courses go in the Newfiles folder, your recorded ride data lives as .fit files in the activities folder and your stored Courses live in the Courses folder.
However, what amazes me is that nowhere in the Garmin sales blurb does it mention how effective this is as a cheap navigation device. you hardly get to see any screenshots of it anywhere in navigation mode. I'll tell you this: it's very easy to follow routes you have planned on Garmin connect with this, however, what Garmin seem to have left out of the connect site is the ability for this unit to use cue sheet data from a .tcx (the old Garmin Training Centre format) file. If you plan a route on bikeroutetoaster.com you can have it generate a cue sheet automatically (basically a course point at every junction). If you save this as a .tcx file, connect the Garmin Edge 200 to the computer and copy the .tcx file to the NewFiles folder, the next time you turn on the edge 200 it will read the file and save it into the courses folder as a .fit file (like the courses you make on Garmin connect). The difference is that rather than just seeing the breadcrumb trail when you follow a course (as is the case when using courses from Garmin connect) with the bottom line of the display rotating between avg speed, distance etc., you will see a distance and time count down to the next turn. The turns in the course will appear as squares containing left, right or straight on symbols and the unit will beep as you get to them. This is very useful indeed. The breadcrumb display is easy to follow and having the cue sheet markers means you know that you're going to have to do something in xx amount of miles (i.e. make a turn) rather than not knowing if the breadcrumb trail curve is just how the road bends or if it is sending you left / right into a junction.
I have no idea why Garmin doesn't mention this facility or even let you generate courses with cue sheet information in them on Garmin Connect. This is a brilliant feature which I guess most people will not know about. I navigated 57 miles this weekend just using the turn by turn course info as generated from bikeroutetoaster.com as described above and didn't go wrong at all. In route navigation mode the orientation of the route rotates as you cycle along so a left turn on the route is always a left turn, i.e. it doesn't stick with North being up and South down and the rider left wondering which way around he is in relation to the display.
I am talking about following routes you have pre-planned here. This unit doesn't have maps, obviously, so the display is simply the course route with no street information etc, so doesn't have any routing capability of its own. If you miss a turn it will simply beep and tell you you're off course with an arrow pointing in the direction to get back on course.
The only criticism I have of the unit is that when following a course you have now way of seeing your current speed. This is a bit annoying as in many cases you'll want to know where you're going AND see how fast you're doing it! I have to respect that fact though that this is a small display so shoving too much information onto the course view would make it less effective. To get around this I have left my old bike computer (one of the old magnet on wheel types) attached which I use to see the current speed when following a course. Surprisingly I found that the old bike computer was only .6 miles over the Garmin gps measurement after 56 miles. I calculated the difference between the Garmin and the old bike computer and worked out the number of millimeters I needed to change the calibration of the bike computers wheel radius setting to make it match, so the Garmin has been quite handy in turning a piece of old, not quite so accurate kit into something quite useful too.
What it doesn't do: heart rate, cadence, customised data views, mapping etc. If you want this you'll need to be spending some more money. Personally I am not that interested in extra data - so it was nice to see a bobby basic unit, which turned out to be not that basic, being sold for such a good price.
With this unit and the free site bikeroutetoaster.com you've got an ideal setup for planning and following routes and recording the data for Strava. Again, my advice is keep the old cycle computer with the magnet so you can see how fast you're going when doing a pre-planned route (use the GPS unit over a long ride to calibrate the setting) and you're set.
If you're after accurate real time ride data display, or just a good accurate GPS logger for uploading to Strava, you really can't go wrong.
on 19 October 2015
I made a return to cycling, three years ago. Initially I was using a mountain bike with a phone app to record my rides. This was great but as the phone was in my pocket, I had no visual indication of how far I had travelled, how long it had taken me or how fast I was going. When I upgraded to a road bike in May 2014, I decided the time was right to splash out and upgrade to a proper GPS cycling computer. I wasn’t expecting there to be much of a choice but I was surprised at the number of different cycling computers on offer, each with slightly different functionality and pricing associated with it. After much research and deliberation, I settled for the Garmin Edge 200 cycling computer.
All about the Edge 200
The Garmin Edge 200 is Garmin’s entry level GPS cycling computer. If you are a casual cyclist or someone who doesn’t need accurate statistics about how much power you are generating or what your cadence is (the amount of times you spin the pedals in a minute) then the Edge 200 will be ideal for you. The Edge 200 is a monochrome cycling computer and does not contain any maps but don’t let that put you off.
Unboxing the Edge 200
The Edge 200 comes in a nice compact box with a plastic frontage, allowing you to see the cycling computer before you even open the box. In the back half of the box, behind a cardboard divide, you will find a mains lead, USB to micro USB connector and two fixing kits. There is also a 15 page owner’s manual which is actually pretty good and easy to follow. For most functions you won’t need to refer to the manual but it is always useful to have close by as an aide memoir for the lesser used functions.
The Garmin Edge 200 comes with about 50% battery life so the first thing you need to do is to charge it up. Full charge can be achieved in a couple of hours but it is very rare that it will ever drop too low unless you are going on a full day’s ride. Whilst the unit is charging, it is a good time to get familiar with the manual and install the Garmin software.
Garmin Connect is a web portal where you can record all of your rides. Setting up a Connect account is quick and easy. You can either elect to create a username/password style account or log in with your Facebook credentials for even quicker access. Once inside Garmin Connect, you can analyse your rides and even follow other Garmin users, giving the portal a social aspect. Personally, there are better ways to evaluate your rides which I will come onto later but Garmin Connect should be the only place you need to upload your rides to as most of the other reputable analysis sites have plugins that will read the Garmin Connect data.
So you’ve been out for a ride and you’ve got the data on your Edge 200, but how do you upload it onto Garmin Connect? Simple, you just connect your Edge 200 to the PC using the USB to micro USB cable and as long as you have Garmin Express installed, any new rides will get automatically uploaded into Garmin Connect. Providing you have set up synchronisation to Garmin Connect from your third party analysis sites, these sites will automatically get the data from Garmin Connect which is a great feature which saves a large amount of time uploading the same data to multiple sites. When I was using a smartphone app to record my rides, I had to upload the data to each site individually.
A tour of the Edge 200
The edge 200 is a very small device and easily fits in the palm of my hand. As previously mentioned, it has a monochrome screen and is easily visible in all forms of light. I’ve used it in all conditions from heavily overcast to perfect sunlight and have never had any problem when viewing the screen.
The top left hand button is the power button which turns on the device. The Edge 200 takes approximately five seconds to boot up. Once booted, it is now ready to record your ride (hooking on to satellites may take a little bit longer though)
Once booted, all four buttons have different functionality depending on the screen you are on.
You can turn any ride you have already done into a course. A course is basically a ride that you intend to ride again. By turning it into a course you can compare your current time with the time of a previous ride. The Edge 200 will tell you if you are going faster or slower than at the corresponding point of the previous ride and by how much. This can be displayed either numerically or graphically with two bikes on the screen. I find this a great motivational tool for beating my personal bests on my most popular routes.
Another great feature of courses is that it will map out your route, giving you something to follow if you are riding in unfamiliar surroundings. Now, earlier I said the Edge 200 doesn’t have the capability to display maps, which is true. However, it can display breadcrumb lines based on GPS co-ordinates. This breadcrumb will show you the route you need to take and also when you need to change direction. If you veer off this route however, the Edge 200 will beep and tell you to get back on course but it will not be able to re-route you as it doesn’t have the knowledge to know where you are. I use a site called ridewithgps.com to plan all my routes and then upload them onto the Garmin to use.
As you would expect, the history function gives you access to information of previous rides. You can analyse your previous ride, your rides or order of fastest average speed, your rides in terms of distance or all rides that are on the device. For each of these rides you can view the stats and breadcrumb map. You can also opt to turn it into a new course for challenging yourself against in the future.
The Edge 200 also has two odometers, much like a standard car so you can see how far you have travelled overall using one odometer and maybe set the second one to show how far you have travelled in the current year for example.
Once entered, settings on the Edge 200 are not really going to change but it is worth taking the time to get them right to ensure accuracy in the data records.
Alerts are only useful if you want to be really strict about how much exercise you do. You can opt to set alerts when you hit a current time, distance or calorie count. Personally, I always have these turned off as I roughly know how far I am going due to forward planning and I don’t really mind how long it takes to get there, as long as I do eventually get there! I’ve never been a fan of calculated calories counters so this setting is a definite no-no for me.
This feature is used when you want to compare times for a specific party of your ride. For example, if you want to be able to measure your performance over a long climb against other attempts, you would turn on the auto lap function and tell it where the lap starts and ends then each time you navigated that part of the course, your lap information would be stored. Personally, I turn this option off as there are better ways of doing this with third party sites.
Auto pause will automatically stop your ride clock when you come to a standstill. This is particularly useful if you are forced to stop at traffic lights for example as there is nothing worse than seeing your average speed drop through something out of your control. I did try using this feature once but I prefer to manually pause the device as I was worried about it not starting again when I got moving, thus failing to record a portion of my ride. I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case but I wanted to be in full control.
The user profile allows you to record information about your gender, birth year, height and weight. This information is used to calculate the amount of calories you burn during a ride. You can either enter all of this data directly into the Garmin or you can enter it via Garmin Connect and download it onto the Edge 200.
The final option on the Edge 200 is the most important one and that is Ride. This is where you tell the device to start recording your exercise. Assuming you have hooked onto the satellites, pressing the top right hand button will start the timer and you are free to pull off. During the ride, the Garmin will display the total distance you have travelled, the amount of time you have taken for the current ride and your average speed. All of this data is updated in real time, giving you a full picture of how your ride is going. At any time, if you want to pause the Garmin, just click on the top right button again. Once paused, you have the option to resume the ride, save the ride or delete it.
The Garmin Edge 200 has enough capacity to store 120 hours of rides which is more than enough to keep the casual cyclist going for many months. Rides will need to be deleted manually when you are getting close to capacity. This can either be done through the device, a ride at a time or can be done in bulk by connecting the Edge 200 to your PC and deleting them as you would do with any other file or files.
Installing the Edge 200 on your bike
The Garmin Edge 200 was so easy to install on my bike. It literally took me five minutes, and that was with me taking my time and referring to the instructions. The Edge 200 comes with two fixing kits, meaning that you can install them on two separate bikes, making the Edge 200 easily transferable. The main part of the fixing kit is a circular mount. Place this in a suitable location (handlebars or handlebar frame are good places) and use the securing bands which are wrapped diagonally around the mount. All you need to do now is to place the Edge 200 at a 90 degree angle on the mount and twist it. This will lock the Edge 200 into place on the mount and it will not release until you twist it 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
It is worth noting that the Edge 200 comes with a waterproof rubber USB cover which will enable you to use the Edge 200 in wet weather without worrying about all the internal electrical components getting wet or damaged.
Third party sites to monitor your ride
As previously mentioned, Garmin Connect will quite adequately store information of all your rides but there are much better places to use that will allow you to get so much more out of your Garmin Edge 200. Perhaps the best site is Strava.com which will allow you to compare individual sections of your ride with every other person (who uses Strava) who has ever ridden on the same section as you. There is nothing better than seeing yourself climb up the leaderboard when you beat your personal best. Another favourite is Endomondo.com . This site enables you to analyse your ride in a slightly different way to Strava. I won’t elaborate on these sites but they are worth checking out if you are serious about cycling
I love my Garmin Edge 200.If you are looking for an entry level cycling computer that has tonnes of functionality and a minimum setup, the Garmin Edge 200 is the one to go for. In my opinion it is far better value for money that the rest of the Edge family can get quite expensive for the top of the range model.
I can’t speak highly enough about the Garmin Edge 200. It has probably been my best purchase of the last 12 months.
on 20 May 2012
I am training to do my first triathlon and my aldi cycle computer had just turned up its toes. Rather than buy something similar I wanted a device that could aid me with my running as well. If you have arrived here having trawled the many products out there you may well be in the same cold "how can I justify the price of that" sweat that I was in. The solution came, for me, in the shape of the edge 200. This GPS computer is aimed at cycling as the title gives away but it is compact and light enough to take with you on a run and will record exactly the same information. Thanks to the online set up that Garmin provide I have found it easy to start tracking my progress and a range of different routes. Performance is easy to monitor and with the calander facility on the website you can even include days that you have swum. I am not overly serious about the triathlon but I did want to keep track of any improvements in run and cycle times. I have no need for a heart rate monitor, I think you know if the red-zone is approaching and if I want to measure cadence in either running or cycling then I still have a watch and the ability to count to aid me. If you want a relatively low cost way to improve performance then I have found this an incredibly handy tool and would recommend it to anyone that doesnt want to over-complicate or overspend.
on 28 April 2014
I'm a keen mountain biker. I ride a reasonably decent hard tail bike mainly on tow paths and light trails although I have also visited a number of 'proper' trail centres like Swinley, Dalby and the Forest of Dean. I cover around 2,000 miles per year.
Until now I've been using a combination of 3 gadgets to help me train and record my rides; a Cateye Strada Wireless cycle computer, an old Garmin eTrex GPS and Endomondo on the iPhone.
Each of these has key features that I like but also drawbacks. The Cateye provides the real-time, at a glance information for training but the screen is small, you have to keep flipping pages to see different stats and the whole sensor/magnet thing whilst working well, is still a pain at times (I was forever knocking the sensor when removing the wheel in a hurry for example). My old eTrex is great for following .gpx downloaded routes but it struggled to get a good signal in tree cover. Endomondo is great for the social side of things and bragging about your training, but it's limited by the battery of the iPhone (forget a whole day of cycling!).
Enter, the Garmin Edge 200. It has replaced 2 out of 3 of these gadgets and could really replace them all.
The unit is beautifully small and light (no heavier than the Cateye with its sensor) but the decent resolution screen can display all the relevant data on one screen - speed, distance, ride time and then your selection of average speed, calories or climb on the bottom line.....or set it to automatically scroll through this last line. It's all very clear and you can additionally set contrast and turn on a backlight at various brightness levels. It seems a common complaint that the time isn't on this main page, but in fairness you can flip over to the main menu at any time to get that....it's not ideal, but it works.
So that's the Cateye functionality replaced! Does everything, on one screen and the other bits like Odometer etc are still all there tucked away in other menus too. And apart from entering your age, weight and height the first time you use it (for the calories calculation) you don't have to set it up at all - it even sets the time itself.
Next up, GPS. I often plot routes for rides, or download them if it's an organised ride, then follow them with the eTrex. It doesn't have maps, it just provides a basic 'breadcrumbs' type trail with arrows that point the way and let you know if you've gone 'off-route'. In conjunction with a map, it's a good navigation tool. The Edge 200 does all this just the same way and works very well. The Garmin Connect software is a joy to use and uploading/downloading routes is a breeze. The screen is plenty big enough to follow a route although in this mode you can't then see things like speed etc without flicking between pages. Additionally, the Edge GPS picks up its location VERY quickly and never seems to lose it, even in dense woods. What it doesn't do is general GPS type stuff like marking a waypoint manually or finding your long/lat etc. For me then, that's the eTrex functionality replaced.
Update: In the last few months, I've used the Edge to navigate a LOT of routes, including a lot that I didn't know at all. I even used it to get from London to Oxfordshire, 85 miles, without having a clue of the route. It just goes to show that the basic route following does really work. The only problem is that if you go off your planned route, it can't adapt, so you need to stick to it!
Finally, the device records all your rides and stores them until you upload them to your PC. Once uploaded, you can give them names, change the activity type, store them as 'routes' which you can later replay in 'race yourself' mode (very useful for training!) and generally look through all your activities in great detail, analysing speeds, altitudes, distances and calories etc. If you want to you can then of course share this information with friends via social media or import the activity into Endomondo, if that's the app you prefer. Essentially, this would replace the functionality I get from Endomondo, but as I take a phone out with me, I tend to run it anyway. But it does mean that when doing a long ride, say a whole day, I could use the Garmin instead of the phone and save the phone battery! The battery on the Garmin charges from USB and lasts around 14 hours quoted, although I've actually found this to be longer.
Update: Garmin Connect can now automatically feed to Endomondo and Strava following an upload, so I don't now need my iPhone at all. I get home from a ride, connect the Edge, it syncs to Garmin Connect, Endomondo, Strava and MyfitnessPal all automatically and hey presto, done. Works brilliantly. Means that my iPhone is just a phone and the battery always has juice!
The Edge mounting system fits very well to your stem (seems best) or handlebars and doesn't move around at all. I opted for an optional extended centre mount bracket so that the Edge is mounted out in front of the stem and is more easily seen.
In summary, it's an easy to mount, simple to use computer which does everything most keen cyclists will want plus a whole lot more besides. Unless you need the additional functionality of heart rate or cadence sensors which the 200 doesn't support. For only about £40 more than a decent regular wireless computer, I think its almost a no-brainer.
It's what I'll now recommend to people when they ask about cycle computers!
on 4 April 2013
Ok i am a very keen Road and MTB rider, i normally used my iPhone to track my progress but it just kills the battery life and the cycle computers that have magnets and wires are just not accurate at all. This bad boy is unreal, it lasts for hours and hours without even touching the battery really, my phone is still charged and its really accurate, either just get on your bike and go for a ride and it tracks everything via GPS and upload it all to the computer or read the info on the screen, OR plan a route in advance and follow the little map, its not a detailed map, just a line, but what more do you need? i have done 35+ mile rides in places i have never been and followed the map absolutely fine. You can race or personal times or other people around the country that have done sections of your routes. This who product is wires and uses just GPS so no ugly un accurate wires all over your bike! LOVE IT! If you ride for fun/excersise and want a 5* cycle computer you HAVE to buy this.... every cyclist should have one and its not at all expensive for what you get! BUY BUY BUY!
P.s I recommend you use the Strava website to upload your rides rather than Garmin connect, as its better and you can set privacys from your start and finish locations so it doesn't give away your house where you expensive bike lives! Use Garmin connect to plan your rides and Strava for everything else :-) Have fun!
on 28 February 2013
I am very pleased with this device. I was given a gift voucher for Amazon and it matched the promotional price for the Garmin 200 so I decided to buy it.
I have bike computers on my bikes but the Garmin 200 has features that I find very informative and useful.
It acquires a signal within seconds
It automatically uploads maps and statistics of all your rides on Garmin Connect and MapMyRide.
It allows you to set goals and courses to help motivate you. It comes with two mounts so switching from on bike to another is a so easy.
I am not a competitive cyclist so I am not interested in a device that records heart rate and cadence but I take part in sportive and long distance events and find the Garmin has added interest to my spins.
The only gripe is that there is no clock displayed when you are moving along.
Other than that I am delighted with my purchase.
on 25 October 2012
I took my first dip into GPS bike computers with this, I can only echo most of the sentiment here that it's easy to setup and use - it's great not to have to fiddle with magnets and bits of wire anymore to mount the thing. The battery seems to last forever and the integration into Garmin's online portal is a nice touch.
However, there seems to be a big problem with its precision. There's a course feature, where you record a specific route then race yourself against it with the aim of beating your time. It's pretty addictive, however I've found the unit isn't accurate enough to correctly follow your route, in particular it cannot find the end of your course when you get there (leaving you frantically trying to cycle into what it thinks is the right spot as the clock counts down), so any performance increases go unacknowledged. I've come to the conclusion that when I'm told that the "position is acquired" it's telling a little porkie.
Whilst it's a decent cycle computer and a good first choice for the part time cyclist, I'd go for something else next time.
Oh, the lack of a clock on the course screen is slightly annoying too.
on 3 June 2012
A function-packed little gadget that fits in the palm of a child's hand. Very quick to charge, very easy to use, very simple to mount. 'Nuff said.
The Edge is a GPS-based cycle computer (and thus more accurate and reliable than the ones that rely on a magnet attached to the wheel) that ostensibly acts as an odometer but which also allows you to store your favourite routes as courses and match your performance against previously recorded laps. There's also total ascent and calories burned (based on entering the riders weight so it is a little more accurate than most calorie "guesstimates") and the data can be downloaded to your PC and displayed on a map via Garmin Connect on their website. The device is also compatible with Garmin's BaseCamp application, which many will be familiar with if they have a Garmin Nuvi in-car sat-nav.
The Edge has a very simple mounting system which requires no tools - a moulded plastic clip and O-rings. The box includes a spare mount and O-rings (or is it a second mount for people with, say, a racer and a mountain bike?!) and the actual device clips in with a 90-degree turn. Simples.
All in all, I'm pleased with it so far. It's light, locks on to the satellites extremely quickly and is easy to use. It also comes from a family of products with a proven track record (I still use my Garmin eMap which must be getting on for twelve years old now. If it ain't broke don't fix it, so why would I want to throw it away for a newer product when the old one still works?).
on 1 July 2015
If you want a shiny, super-duper GPS that navigates for you, shows up in colour, measures every statistic going whether it's relevant or not and buys you a malted isotonic recovery beverage at the end of a ride - then look elsewhere, spend a bloody fortune and get universally mocked by everyone.
However, this simply gets on with logging where you are, how fast you are going, and how far you've travelled. It can upload it easily to Strava (if you're inclined that way), and has a sort-of-navigation function which is useable if you want to follow a new route. Simple, reliable, longer battery life than my iPhone (not saying much...)
Doesn't measure heart rate, cadence, power, cock size or the colour of your jersey. But, why would you...?
on 29 January 2015
The Garmin Edge 200 is an entry level GPS bike computer, and its functions are easy to use and adequately summed up by many of the other rave reviewers. It does, however, have one major problematic drawback that can be summed up in two words: "Smart Recording".
Smart recording (which cannot be altered on the Edge 200) means that the device itself decides how often to record your position. In reality this means that it is recording every 4-7 seconds, but frequently this can drop to 13-17 seconds and often 20+ seconds.
Now on a bike you can travel some distance in 20s. If you ride in a straight line then it isn't a problem, but if you ride round a corner in that time then your route will be plotted directly between the two points rather than a curve going around. If you mostly road-ride and those roads are mostly straight then this won't matter to you. But if you take your bike off-road onto a trail then your course will be horribly wrong; the individual points will be accurate, but the lines between them won't follow the actual path taken. I should imagine you'd see the same if you descend at speed on a windy road.
The whole point of plotting your course with GPS is that it should be accurate. For me the Smart Recording function on the Edge 200 makes it almost useless for this purpose.
In short - if you mountain bike or you ride around corners do not buy this device with the expectation of seeing accurate routes on Garmin Connect / Strava or the like.