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Monday, June 29, 2020

First Impressions: Garmin Edge 830

Last year in June, Bowen saw me, Mike, and Arturo use "GroupTrack" during our bike tour in the Shasta region. After he saw that, he asked for a GroupTrack capable bike computer. I contended that he didn't need one, but he kept persisting, so I told him there were only a few ways he could get one: give up his other birthday presents, get one of his friends to go touring with us, pay for it out of his own pocket, or ride his single bike to school every day for a year.

Well, he rode his single to school every day, rain or shine, and then in March COVID19 effectively ended the school year for him. I could have gotten him an Edge 520plus or 530, but I figured if I was going to get him something it might as well be a navigation-capable unit for backup when touring, though who knows when we'll get to do that, so the Edge 830 it was.

The main reason is that the Edge 830 was faster (which is a big deal if you want the GPS to do the navigation and routing), and also the trail forks integration, which is useful potentially for mountain biking. (Though around here, it'd be rare that I ever got lost on a mountain bike ride!)

The unit is indeed super-fast. It does everything far faster than my Fenix 5X, which was already too fast for me to keep confused. It pairs to a smartphone for GroupTrack, which is as reliable as you can imagine (not very), but sometimes does do a passing job. It does require that your phone has a data plan, etc, so some of it is that I'm not spending big bucks on Bowen's data plan.

Unlike his older Edge 25 (which now goes to his brother), the Edge 830 does a fabulous job sync'ing rides up to Garmin Connect even over WiFi. The Edge 25 despite its claim to doing bluetooth sync'ing, never actually did so and I'd always had to plug it into a PC to get ride data out. It also links to power meters, which is kinda funny on a triplet.

All in all, if you had to buy a navigation-capable bike computer today, this is the one to get. It's a huge improvement over the older units, and worth the money (especially since I managed to use a 20% off coupon on it). Recommended.

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