If you’re the lucky owner of a Garmin Edge 1000, Garmin Edge 820, or Garmin Edge 520, then you will soon be receiving a software update that could really change the way you operate some of the other gadgets on your bike.
You can already use your Garmin to control Garmin Varia lights, but if you use either Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or Ultegra Di2, then you will soon be able to control both Garmin and some Bontrager lights using your groupset.
A little known feature of Shimano’s Di2 groupsets, is the little button position on the very tops of the hoods, something that until now had no real function.
Now, you can connect those buttons to your Garmin Edge computer, which in turn connects them to your lights, allowing you to turn your lights on and off, and switch between different modes, all without moving your hands off the hoods. There will also be the option to control the lights automatically using the ambient light sensor of the Edge 820 and Edge 1000.
The compatible lights are fairly limited for the moment, with only the Garmin Varia lights, and Bontrager Ion 700 RT and Ion 350RT front lights, and Flare RT rear light included for the moments. However, as more lights gain ANT+ connectivity that number is likely to expand.
There are a couple of other updates included in the new software. First of all, Garmin is making it easier for riders to use its LiveTrack and GroupTrack functions. Previously you had to manually start these functions from your phone at the start of a ride, however there will now be the option to auto-start both features at the start of a ride.
The second other update is the integration of Strava Beacon. Announced last month, Strava Beacon allows riders to share their location with friends and family who can keep an eye on them to make sure they’re safe. This will now be integrated with Garmin LiveTrack, making it easier for riders to offer a bit of peace of mind to their loved ones.