Garmin Edge Tourer

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
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Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby humbtydumbty » 1 Jun 2016, 5:03pm

These devices are sold for cycle touring, but honestly, are they worth the trouble?

I was given one a few weeks ago. The manual's pretty hard to understand, but it's supposed to do some cool things like plan round trips from wherever you are, and tell you about points of interest on the way.

But it's certainly not, in any sense of the word user-friendly, especially for touring. It has three buttons, one for powering on/off (ok), one for starting a new lap (eh? - how often does a tourer use laps?), and one for starting and stopping the timer. Are you thinking what I'm thinking - that this is more for circuit-training than for touring? Then you go to the website and try to plan a route - except you can't find anything about routes; you have to settle for something called courses instead.

Garmin's own mapping and downloading is OK - except that it doesn't select cycle-friendly routes (it doesn't recognise the NCN for example). If you want to find these you have to go to Google - but no-one in Garmin tells you this, nor does the manual tell you how to transfer the Google map into your device (nor do they make it easy once you've discovered what you have to do). Why not?

And finally, you can't trust the on-device mapping to get you where you want to go, not can you change the route (sorry, course) once the device has planned it for you. On Sunday I wanted to get from the seafront in Great Yarmouth to Halfords to buy a new tire. It's a two-mile, ten-minute ride according to Google, with cycle tracks much of the way. But my Garmin took me on a seven-mile circuit. Why?

I could go on (for example about the way it wants me to upgrade the software, but needs a bigger SIM card, but doesn't tell me where to put it); but I know I am not supposed to be ranting here - and I want to love my new Garmin, really I do. But I do need help, and Garmin themselves seem incapable of providing it. So any advice, tea, sympathy or shared frustrated fury from CTC/CyclingUK members would be extremely welcome.

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Re: Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby geocycle » 1 Jun 2016, 5:42pm

You seem to have captured most of the major points there! Rule 1 is never to let the GET plan a route for you, always use something like Rule 2 is make sure you are not out for more than about 7h or its battery starts to disappear alarmingly. It's a nice concept with decent hardware but limited in other key areas.

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Re: Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby yakdiver » 1 Jun 2016, 6:09pm

Mine works fine with mapsource
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Re: Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby PH » 1 Jun 2016, 8:07pm

humbtydumbty wrote:But I do need help, and Garmin themselves seem incapable of providing it. So any advice, tea, sympathy or shared frustrated fury from CTC/CyclingUK members would be extremely welcome.

Can you accept the idea that it's never going to have the same point and go convenience of a car satnav? If so then you may well come to love it. The way I use mine (For the last few months and an Etrex for a couple of years before that) is the way I think most people do. That is to plan a route, load it, and follow it as I ride. If that's what you want and the settings stop it from changing that plan, it does a great job. Settings can be found here:
My favorite ride planning sites are Cycletravel and ridewithgps, though there's plenty of choice, just keep trying till you find one you like.

When it comes to wanting it to find a route for you it's a bit less straightforward. I'm not in the camp that says never let it do so, rather I'd say use plenty of caution. The options to tell it what you consider to be a good route are pretty limited, play with them on routes you know till you have them set right for you. Don't point it too far ahead without intermediate points and have a reasonable idea what the distances are, if it gives you a long route scroll through it and see where and why. I think they are getting better, I used mine most recently for an unplanned ride from Stratford to Birmingham New St,with one intermediate point. When I got home and uploaded the route, there wasn't much I could have improved on.

They are pretty basic, based on the Garmin 800 with most of the training parts removed (Hence the somewhat redundant lap button) To me that's part of the appeal, once I'd grasped the basics and limitations it does just what I want - Plan a route very quickly beforehand then forget about the navigation and enjoy the ride.

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Re: Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby robgul » 2 Jun 2016, 10:38am

As suggested - just use it for loading a route you've plotted elsewhere or to capture a ride that you make. Do not even think about asking it to give you routes!

I'm only really interested in the distance recording as far as data is concerned (I'm happy to be slow!) - where they get the "calories" from is a mystery (presumably age, weight and various speed/distance/time data has some sort of algorithm)

I have the 1-50000 OS map in mine - although the free Velomaps GB map is good - better than the supplied Garmin map.

.. and yes - the "manual" is pretty hopeless.

On balance it's a good piece of kit that does what I want for the price.


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Re: Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby al_yrpal » 2 Jun 2016, 11:19am

Put Osmand+ and on a smartphone and forget about it.

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

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Re: Garmin Edge Tourer

Postby pammortimer » 4 Jun 2016, 8:57am

I just saw this topic. I have a Garmin Edge Tourer and have used it quite successfully whilst touring in Northern and Eastern Europe. I use a combination of maps, cycle route info. etc but always use the Garmin when I am looking for a specific place, hostel or accommodation stop. I programme it to find the saved location and it usually works very well. Once of twice had a blip.

But I now have a problem - I have just upgraded to Windows 10 and am having great difficulty updating my maps. It just fails every time. Anyone got any ideas?