Garmin is primarily known for its high end GPS devices. However, Garmin threw its hat into the entry level cycling GPS market when it released the Edge 20
The Edge 20 is Garmin’s truly entry level cycling GPS device. It is fair to say it is aimed at riders that are new to using cycling computers or those who are only interested in basic ride data – i.e. distance, speed and time.
Visually it looks the same as the Edge 25, save that it has a black back and buttons whereas the Edge 25’s buttons and back are white.
Size and Weight
The Edge 20 is small and light. The screen size is 2.3 x 2.3cm (in effect just large enough to fit Garmin’s classic quarter turn mount) and at 24g it weighed 1g lower than Garmin’s claimed weight.
Using the four black buttons to navigate through the Edge 20’s different functions and data pages is really straight forward. The top right acts as an enter/confirm button, bottom right to scroll down the pages, bottom left is back/return and top left is the power button or light.
There are two available data screens. The first has three fields and the second has a default of two data fields. The available metrics are: Time, Distance, Speed, Average Speed, Calories, Cadence, Total Ascent.
GPS and GLONASS
You can choose to use both GPS and GLONASS satellite technology to pick up your location. The device picked up my location quickly which meant I could get on with my ride almost immediately.
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The claimed battery life is up to eight hours. I found this to be pretty accurate if I turned off the GLONASS option and just used GPS.
ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity
As this is a truly entry level device it does not have ANT+ or Bluetooth connectivity. You can still upload and download data to Garmin Connect however you have to use a USB cable. If you want ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity so that you can wirelessly upload your ride data or use a heart monitor you should consider the Edge 25.
As normal with GPS devices you can change the language and the units (miles to kilometers or vice versa). Similar to most Garmin products you can choose to use the helpful autopause; autoscroll; and autolap functions. One warning with autolap is that you are limited to laps of one or five kilometers/miles.
Despite not being primarily a navigation device you can easily download courses from Garmin Connect and select a route to follow without any hassle. Although the Edge 20 was quite competent when it came to following maps, I would say that due to the size of the direction arrow and the small screen, if your main reason for buying a GPS device is to use a mapping/route function some of Garmin’s higher spec devices like the Edge Explore 1000.
The Edge 20 does largely what you would want and expect for an entry level cycling GPS device. Add to that its minimalist look, small stature and simple to use functionality, with only minor changes it would get a top score.
The small screen didn’t give me any problems seeing the data. Likewise, I soon became proficient at using the four buttons to change the screens even when riding at a fair pace. Finally, as you’d expect uploading to Garmin Connect using a USB cable was trouble free.
The beauty of the Edge 20 is its simplicity. My only note of caution would be that if you think you’ll soon want to train using a heart rate monitor or a cadence monitor it might be worth paying the extra £30 for the Edge 25.
Simple and easy to use, a really good entry level cycling GPS computer.