A while ago Joe reviewed the Garmin Edge 705 Bike Computer. It took a village to buy it for him, and he’s had a lot of fun with it. BUT – and it’s a very big BUT – I never wanted one myself, because it’s just too much technology (no wonder it costs so much!).
I got myself a Garmin Edge 200 GPS Bike Computer for a fraction of the price. As I’ve told Joe several times, we could have bought five of these Garmin 200’s for the price of his Garmin 705. And it does everything I need it to do! Here’s a video that sums it all up very neatly:
Sure, it does not measure my heart rate like the Garmin Edge 705 does, but:
- Believe me, I KNOW my heart is beating when I’m riding a bike and
- Joe’s Garmin Edge 705 never managed to measure his HR anyway. Yet for some reason it would measure mine, even if I was 10 feet away – I guess I have the bigger heart!
- It’s small and neat and looks great on my handlebars!
The Garmin Edge 200 also does not have a cadence meter like the Garmin Edge 705 does. I don’t care what my cadence is – I figure as long as the bike is moving, I’m good. Also you cannot load maps into it, but between Joe and I, we’ve never been able to figure out how to work the map feature of the Garmin Edge 705, so that’s no loss. Also, the geek in me finds it an adventure to deal with paper maps sometimes.
What the Garmin Edge 200 DOES Have
If you don’t care about heart rate, cadence or maps, the Garmin Edge 200 has everything you need. This is what it can do:
- Connect via GPS to satellites and record all the relevant stats of your ride, including distance, elapsed time, moving time, average speed, maximum speed, elevation gain, plus of course a map of the route you took.
- All the time you’re moving, you can see most of these details on the clear, readable face of the Garmin Edge 200, with your speed the biggest of all.
- Once you get home, you can plug the Garmin Edge 200 into your computer, upload, and see all the details of your ride.
- There’s even a neat feature called Player that plays your ride back as an animation, showing you how your speed correlates with elevation, etc.
- You create a user account with Garmin Connect, and this means that all of your riding history is accumulated, so you can check back on it any time. You can also see various reports, such as how many miles you’ve done over the last month.Tells you how many calories you burned on your bike ride!
- I especially like the calories burned feature, as it’s quite motivating – although I suspect it’s a little generous. I can’t really believe I’m burning up 830 calories a day on my two-hour commute. But if I am, I’ll take it!
Bonus Points for the Garmin Edge 200 GPS Bike Computer
- It’s incredibly easy to install, and once it’s installed, you can take it off and put it back on with ease.
- It has a clear display, but it’s not too big. I always thought the Garmin Edge 705 was a bit on the large size: the Garmin Edge 200 is just right, and looks really good on my bike!
- You can of course take the Garmin Edge 200 off your bike and use it to record other activities, such as hikes – it’s so little, you can put it in your pocket and forget it.
- Battery lasts for ages – around 12 hours. Then you can just recharge it at the same time you download your rides – it recharges automatically as soon as you plug it into your computer’s USB port.
- Incredibly easy to use. No instruction manual required!
Garmin has fixed the bug that plagued Joe’s Garmin Edge 705. As he complained in his review, if you unplugged the recharger from the wall, the 705 would come up with a message telling you “External power source lost.” It would KEEP telling you that all night, so if you did not click OK, it would use up all its power trying to tell you something you already knew – really dumb! Anyway, the Garmin Edge 200 really sensibly turns itself off once you stop charging it, so you don’t end up putting what you think is a fully charged Garmin on your bike, only to find out that the battery is completely drained.
Quibbles about the Garmin Edge 200 GPS Bike Computer
Just one quibble: there have been a few times that it takes the Gamin Edge 200 a really long time to find the satellites. I cannot see any reason for this – it happens in precisely the same places where it usually finds them easily. This never happened with the Garmin 705. Still, it happens only about 1% of the time, so it’s not a deal breaker.
The New Out-Front Mount
Garmin has a new, out-front mount. It’s a great new way to mount your bike computer on your bike.
Bottom Line for the Garmin Edge 200 GPS Bike Computer
Excellent bike computer at a price most average cyclists can afford (currently only $130 from Amazon.com).
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It’s funny you should post this now. I am currently looking into getting a Garmin unit for my bike, and just finished reading Joe’s 705 review.
Regarding the occassionally slow finding of satellites, I find the same problem on my iPhone. Usually it gets a signal immediately, but sometimes I’m standing at the top of the stairs for a minute or two, waiting. It’s a complete mystery to me. I want to blame atmospheric conditions, but these have seemed pretty consistent recently.