Thirteen years with my trusty Garmin Edge 800 taught me two things – I like Garmin, and I like touchscreen GPS units. Nothing lasts forever though, and if there was a comfy armchair, pipe and slippers for electronic devices, my old 800 would currently be sitting in it, smoking it, and wearing them – yes, it has been retired.
To be fair, it could have gone on, and I still do bring it out to play from time to time, just as you would with a 1978 Colnago on a perfect, dry Sunday morning. Make of that what you will.
The unit I've replaced that old 800 with though, is so similar and yet so different. It's still a Garmin, and it's still touchscreen. But the Edge 830 is lightning quick, with any number of accoutrements that were but a twinkle in a software engineer's eye when my first unit was sold to me.
Garmin Edge 830 GPS cycle computer
One of Garmin's most capable GPS computers, with all the features you'll ever need (and some you probably never will). Fast, accurate and colourful touchscreen works just find with winter mitts and great mapping and battery capabilities will never see you stranded.
As well as its faultless touchscreen performance, it was the Edge 830's mapping and routing capabilities that drew me to it in particular.
It was actually superseded a few months back by the new 840, which we also thought was pretty good. But there's loads of 830s still waiting to be snapped up at bargain prices.
As a devotee of Ordnance Survey mapping (what UK rider isn't?) the 830 has the next best thing, in this context anyway – the Garmin Cycle Map. It has features including on-device route design, route recalculation for when you need to go off-piste, and popularity routing, so you can choose the most popular local routes. Perhaps more crucially, it works well underway and is easy to follow.
It has an impressive array of safety features, including incident detection and bike alarm. Thankfully I've had no need to test these out so far, but it's nice to know they're there.
If you're taking training a bit more seriously than I am, the 830 is definitely your friend, with training insights into parameters such as VO2 max, training load and recovery, and FTP tracking. It's almost enough to make me want to sign up to a coaching programme.
This is far from an exhaustive list – there's more if you dig down. One final thing though – battery life is good, and can be extended considerably with the battery saver mode. Garmin claims 20 hours with GPS and 40 with battery saver. I've not tested these out personally, but they don't seem unreasonable against the experience I've had so far with it.
You know those products you buy that end up being a shade disappointing? The ones you think, "OK, I'll live with it for a while but probably replace it as soon as I get a reasonable excuse"?
Perhaps that's just me. In any case, this isn't one of them. I'm looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with this thing. Thirteen years, maybe?
This year Black Friday is running from November 24th - 27th. We've rounded up all the best Black Friday bike deals we’ve found in our main hub page. With deals spanning components, tech and riding kit, you're guaranteed to find a bargain.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1