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  1. #1
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    Garmin Edge Touring

    I've read some early reviews of the new Garmin Edge Touring, which should be make a great GPS-Cyclometer with trail/road routing functions.

    However, there has been no mention of its ability to show topo maps or records point similar to the Garmin Mapping devices.

    Anyone read any reviews that mention these capabilities?
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  2. #2
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    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into...rod134596.html

    this is dangerous, I think. Not as in "life threatening" dangerous. Dangerous, as in "changes the way people think about a cycling GPS, and not necessarily in a good way". The big marketing language for this is that it supposedly works the same way your auto GPS does, except for cycling. It seems to have new routing capability (round trip rides), which I think is a good idea for roads.

    I don't like it for mtb trails. It relies too heavily on mtb trails being included on the GPS. I've seen this trend coming for years now. When Garmin first started putting routable trails in its maps, I knew they were building up for this kind of functionality. The problem with this is that trails aren't roads. They are not always there. Permissions change. They can get very significant reroutes in a relatively short amount of time that change routing quite significantly. This can pose serious problems for trail advocates. For example, in a park near me, an old crappy trail system was entirely closed and a new multiuse trail system was built in its place. The park has had a difficult time closing off some of the old trails, because people who knew the old system just kept using them (clearing blockages, destroying signs, etc). A device like this would increase that challenge because the maps would continue routing people down closed trails. Additionally, new trails are built in relatively short amounts of time. People already rely too much on their car GPS or their bike GPS for route finding. A device like this that advertises trail routing obviously won't route people down new trails that aren't on the map and that's going to generate a LOT of disappointment among folks who would buy it expecting it to know all the trails the way their car GPS knows all the roads.

    And I think this will be a somewhat popular unit because of its price point. It will be Garmin's least expensive Edge with mapping. Garmin's site says it does have the ability to add maps, and that it accepts microSD cards. Pretty much no fitness capability, except that the Touring Plus has ANT+ and seems to be compatible with HRM straps only. What I find interesting is that the Touring Plus uses ANT+ to show range, remaining charge, and other data on compatible eBikes.

    Here's Garmin's marketing vid.



    This looks to me like mtb functionality is mostly an afterthought. Most of the functions promoted for this receiver seem to be developed for on-road bike touring. If you think about it, it makes sense. It's far easier to keep track of paved bike paths, dirt roads, and regular roads in your map database than it is to keep track of singletrack mtb trails.

    It seems to be built on the Edge 810 platform. The screen and battery life look identical, so I would expect the rest of the hardware (like the GPS chip) to be identical. If you're looking for a basic mapping Edge for topos, don't want any of the extra sensors or training functions, don't want smartphone integration, and have no delusions about the new routing functions being very useful for mtb trails, it might be worth a look. I noticed that the regular Touring model lacks a barometric altimeter and that the Touring Plus has that sensor. That would be similar to the old 205/305 and 605/705 designations.

  3. #3
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Nate,

    I've never used any of the Edge series. My experience is mostly with the GPSMap 60 and eTrex units. I used those units to catalog trail condition, existing trail locations, and do trail mapping/tracking to upload through DNR Garmin into ESRI ArcGIS.

    Do the Edge series allow me to place a point at the current location, give it a name such as "Wet Trail 1" and add notes about the point like "50' of trail appears to be collecting runoff - needs grade improvements?"
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    Nate,

    I've never used any of the Edge series. My experience is mostly with the GPSMap 60 and eTrex units. I used those units to catalog trail condition, existing trail locations, and do trail mapping/tracking to upload through DNR Garmin into ESRI ArcGIS.

    Do the Edge series allow me to place a point at the current location, give it a name such as "Wet Trail 1" and add notes about the point like "50' of trail appears to be collecting runoff - needs grade improvements?"
    Not really. The device says it can hold up to 200 waypoints/favorites. IME, the interface for adding waypoints on fitness units that have the functionality kinda sucks. It tends to be buried under a menu or two and there isn't much you can do with it. This one will probably be better than my Forerunner 310XT, but I expect it won't give you what you want for your purposes.

    I'd stay away from fitness models for documenting maintenance needs. If I was buying a unit for that now, I'd be getting one with a geotagging camera. That way, I'd have to write fewer notes about the problem, and the location would be included with the photo. Specifically, as I mentioned in the Trailbuilding forum just the other day, I'd be getting the Garmin Monterra for that purpose. It's Android-based and can run a full mobile GIS. If you've never used a mobile GIS in the field, it's nice. You can't run the full ArcPad on Android (it's Windows Mobile only), but ESRI does have a couple of mobile apps for Android.

  5. #5
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    The Monterra is pretty cool, but a bit out of my price range at this moment. Once I have a better idea of my needs for this little part-time gig I'll be doing, I may decide I want those added features.

    Looks like the eTrex 20 will work for the time being.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into...rod134596.html

    this is dangerous, I think. Not as in "life threatening" dangerous. Dangerous, as in "changes the way people think about a cycling GPS, and not necessarily in a good way". The big marketing language for this is that it supposedly works the same way your auto GPS does, except for cycling. It seems to have new routing capability (round trip rides), which I think is a good idea for roads.

    I don't like it for mtb trails. It relies too heavily on mtb trails being included on the GPS. I've seen this trend coming for years now. When Garmin first started putting routable trails in its maps, I knew they were building up for this kind of functionality. The problem with this is that trails aren't roads. They are not always there. Permissions change. They can get very significant reroutes in a relatively short amount of time that change routing quite significantly. This can pose serious problems for trail advocates. For example, in a park near me, an old crappy trail system was entirely closed and a new multiuse trail system was built in its place. The park has had a difficult time closing off some of the old trails, because people who knew the old system just kept using them (clearing blockages, destroying signs, etc). A device like this would increase that challenge because the maps would continue routing people down closed trails. Additionally, new trails are built in relatively short amounts of time. People already rely too much on their car GPS or their bike GPS for route finding. A device like this that advertises trail routing obviously won't route people down new trails that aren't on the map and that's going to generate a LOT of disappointment among folks who would buy it expecting it to know all the trails the way their car GPS knows all the roads.

    .
    That's like saying every single written book or printed map with MTB trails is dangerous. The edge touring is going to use open cycle maps, don't they at least get updated every so often?... a old printed MAP is WAY more dangerous.

    For one I applaud garmin for at least try to cater a bit to MTBers, I am looking to purchase the unit. I am not planning to use the routing feature. As always, I plan to use user created, proven GPX files. But the ability to overlay over a gpx over an open cycle maps which often displays off road bike trails is exciting. That's 1000x better than looking at a breadcrumb trail over empty space in a lame base map.
    Routing feature is great as back up on the field, in case you need to bail out.

  7. #7
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    I don't think you paid attention to my description of what I meant by dangerous.

    I see NOTHING on the product page about using Open Cycle Maps. The specs page says the unit will work with GARMIN Cycle Map data cards. So folks are supposed to rely on GARMIN to provide up-to-date data. That's not to say it's not possible to put OSM cycle map data on there. Folks have been putting OSM data on their Garmins for years. You don't need THIS GPS for that.

    There's a big difference between paper maps and digital data. That difference is the EXPECTATIONS people have. People have come to expect from their auto GPS receivers that updates to road data are available quarterly. That's not too difficult to accomplish. Roads are there and VERY heavily traveled. Map data providers have armies of mapping cars to cover the newest road segments. I would not EXPECT a GPS with "some" mtb trails on it to correctly route me back to the trailhead the shortest or quickest way.

    I think it's good practice for road GPS receivers to have different routing capability than handheld and offroad GPS receivers. The reason for that has to do with the unpredictability of offroad situations. Paper maps frequently mention this unpredictability of certain areas as notes on the map page.

    If you think Garmin will be providing quarterly updates to mountain bike trail data, you're kidding yourself. Relying on user generated and submitted data for trails is a much better solution. You still have to be careful of the age of files you choose to download. I'm not aware of any situations of folks downloading an old ride from Garmin Connect and learning on the trail that the trail system has been redone and their GPS file is worthless, but I'm sure that's happened because trails do get occasional complete overhauls.

  8. #8
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    So, what's the verdict on the touring units? I'm looking for something I can plug a gxp route into and use to navigate a (proven) trail in unfamiliar areas. Will this unit do this for me in a useful manner or am I better off looking at something along the lines of etrex?

    I'm not interested in the higher end 810 or even the 510, I'm a rider who likes to get lost and then find my way back. Don't care too much for the extras on those "training" GPS units.

    Thanks for any input!
    Todd

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Todd- View Post
    So, what's the verdict on the touring units? I'm looking for something I can plug a gxp route into and use to navigate a (proven) trail in unfamiliar areas. Will this unit do this for me in a useful manner or am I better off looking at something along the lines of etrex?

    I'm not interested in the higher end 810 or even the 510, I'm a rider who likes to get lost and then find my way back. Don't care too much for the extras on those "training" GPS units.

    Thanks for any input!
    This what I'm looking for as well. My Forerunner 310XT is charge-glitching (showing more charge than what's really there) so I'm kinda looking for another solution.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  10. #10
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    I think the etrex models offer the best guidance and versatility for anyone doing both off-road cycling and geocaching...

    The touring seems quite limited after detailed evaluation...
    Todd

  11. #11
    I am Walt
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    Hey all,

    Since my 305 crapped out a year ago, I've been using Strava on my iPhone, or my Forerunner watch. I'd like to get another handlebar display that will show my ride data (distance, time, HR, calories, elevation gained), and also give me the ability to upload maps/tracks for some of the more complex/backcountry-ish routes/rides. I don't need it for road biking routes, and don't need cadence or power...just the basics above. The Edge Touring Plus seems to provide exactly what I want.

    Thoughts?
    Ride more; post less...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Hey all,

    Since my 305 crapped out a year ago, I've been using Strava on my iPhone, or my Forerunner watch. I'd like to get another handlebar display that will show my ride data (distance, time, HR, calories, elevation gained), and also give me the ability to upload maps/tracks for some of the more complex/backcountry-ish routes/rides. I don't need it for road biking routes, and don't need cadence or power...just the basics above. The Edge Touring Plus seems to provide exactly what I want.

    Thoughts?
    To my understanding the touring does not display any of that type of data ~(distance, time, HR, calories, elevation gained)
    My other bike is a bike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by K3N View Post
    To my understanding the touring does not display any of that type of data ~(distance, time, HR, calories, elevation gained)
    Not quite correct. Look at this vid.



    They show paging through different screens, and there's most certainly a trip computer screen shown at 0:26. No idea how customizable it may or may not be. Garmin is not good about giving out those kinds of details. You can definitely see the interface looks more like a car GPS, though, with that main screen having a "Find" and "View Map" option just like a Nuvi.

  14. #14
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    Guys, just come across this thread as I'm researching what GPS to buy. I want it to mainly guide me when on the MB for routes I don't know, by allowing me to upload gpx or similar files of trails that are available online etc. I want to then just follow the map of the trail. I'm not really interested in speed etc, although would be nice just a device that will give me the best options for following a route AND has excellent GPS coverage for when in the forest etc.

    That's it really, what unit that is small ish, not too small that it's not easy to see the screen (I currently have the montana for car/motorcycle) but that would be too big for me on the MB.

    I was thinking the Garmin Edge Touring but also maybe the Etrex 20 or 30? The Etrex series look the cheapest.

    Any thoughts?
    Cheers

  15. #15
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    The eTrex would be a solid choice. I haven't seen any actual user reviews of the Edge Touring models for mtb use. I may have my opinions based on what I do see, but like I said in my last post, Garmin is not very good about providing certain product details in its literature.

    I did see that a shop near me sells the Touring Plus model recently. I could go in there and ask them how people are using that GPS. Of course, that's assuming they've even sold one at all.

  16. #16
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    Nate, thanks, just what I was thinking. Cant find a decent review for mtb use which is 99% what I'm going to be using it for.

    Looks like the Etrex is ticking what boxes I need and it's cheaper which also helps.

    Etrex 20 looks to do everything.

  17. #17
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    I got mine a few hours ago…

    AND I JUST BOXED IT UP TO SEND IT BACK!

    What a piece of junk!

    It failed MULTIPLE TIMES to create a route from St. Petersburg, FL to Tampa, FL.

    The single successful route it created between the two cities was not across the Gandy bridge, but above the bay and through tampa (north) instead of east!

    - Tried Cycling and Tour Cycling modes
    - Tried Shortest Distance and Shortest Time
    - I got multiple failures to create routes of any real distance
    - "error calculating route" or something similar
    - On the 'where to' screen, it said "calculating" for about 3 minutes and then just returned to the Starting/Ending screen without creating a map.

    I logged into the Garmin dashboard and the computer is up to date with firmware and maps! How horrible is that?

    I can't even express my level of disappointment. Perhaps I've been using Google Maps for too long, but this level of performance was grossly early 90's.

    I… I'm just so sad. :-(
    Last edited by Ecaz; 03-07-2014 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Added content

  18. #18
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    Garmin Edge Touring

    Unrealistic expectations strike again!

    Routing algorithms are more art than science. I can name occasions where Google's directions have been ****, too. Their map data is NOT very accurate and they won't fix the problems even when told about them. On the whole, not appreciably different from anyone else in the game.

    You have to spend time learning the quirks of any system and learning to work with and around them. It is nobody's fault other than your own that you gave up on the Garmin after so short a test period.

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    I completely disagree with you.

    As you failed to recognize, the Garmin absolutely failed to provide routes at all.

    It simply stopped calculating, or provided an error about being unable to calculator a route.

    I tried multiple locations, provided firm physical addresses, and tried using "my current location" and gps coordinates via the map view.

    Simply put, the unit is ineffective, and the fact that it took such a short time to identify has nothing to do with my personal preferences.

    I appreciate your opinion, but IMHO I would be better served using physical maps and a little ingenuity.

    The $250-$300 price point for something that hardly does more than I could get from a free map at a visitors station (GPS/Speed/Distance) isn't worth the money.

    Now, if it would successfully negotiate a reasonable route from a fixed known good address to another fixed known good address, then things would be much different.

    As I said… I fully tested the unit - it immediately failed to perform proper route calculations, resulting in an error or just returning to the previous screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Unrealistic expectations strike again!

    Routing algorithms are more art than science. I can name occasions where Google's directions have been ****, too. Their map data is NOT very accurate and they won't fix the problems even when told about them. On the whole, not appreciably different from anyone else in the game.

    You have to spend time learning the quirks of any system and learning to work with and around them. It is nobody's fault other than your own that you gave up on the Garmin after so short a test period.

  20. #20
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    You said you received it a few hours prior to your decision to box it up and send it back. I hardly call that a "full" test.

    It is quite likely that the GPS simply was unable to find a route because there were some avoidances set that precluded generating a route based on either your start or end location.

    There very well could have been some other issue.

    Did you visit Garmin's forums to read up on others' experiences with that GPS, and whether anyone else had the same issue you did? Did you contact Garmin's customer support to see if they had any suggestions for addressing your problems?

    No?

    Still your fault.

    This device DOES use a different and fairly new routing method that none of their other devices have used so far. It's to be expected that it will have difficulty under certain circumstances.

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    Lol - I love how you want to make this personal.

    This is not a complex device. Perhaps internally, but externally the software is very basic. It doesn't even take an hour to go through all the features, and that's completely unaware of it's functionality. Customer service isn't available after hours, so there was no one to contact. Fortunately for me, I don't require a 1-800 number to learn how to use a simple GPS. The device failed with a clear error message, or the device simply failed. The latter of which is a clear QoS issue, as the programmers didn't even generate the means to alert the end user of the reason for failure on the given screen. This is poor programming.

    Again, you fail to identify that the device failed to generate simple routes. You provide excuses with no basis on experience or factual knowledge, you just make haphazard responses to why it might not have worked. Do you even own this device? You have provided no solid solutions.

    At this point I will not be responding to you, as you clearly have no value-add to this discussion.

    For anyone still reading - Do yourself a favor and go to your LBS and try this device, hands-on, in person before purchasing… you may save yourself a lot of hassle. This device is, in my personal opinion, ineffective and unreliable.

  22. #22
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    Garmin Edge Touring

    Giving the device a fair shake would have involved exploring at least one customer service option. That is what they are there for.

    DC Rainmaker did a review on it. No such problems described

    http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/08/g...-computer.html

  23. #23
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    Thanks Nate for the time you take to look at this stuff and help us get answers to our questions. I for one really appreciate it. Like PHeller I am using my GPSmap60 for trail mapping. There is a local trail of mine that hasn't had an accurate map for it in a long time and that is what I am doing. Maybe if it turns into something really fun I might upgrade and then again maybe not. But thanks again for helping out. Slim

  24. #24
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    I've been using the Edge Touring device for several months now with no issues whatsoever. Works great on both mountain and road...

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    Now that I've had a bit of time to cool my jets, I'll post this here for your review:

    https://forums.garmin.com/showthread...-disappointing

    To be fair, I'll also link to the Garmin Touring forum, so you can see all the threads, not just the negative one I picked out:

    https://forums.garmin.com/forumdispl...8-Edge-Touring

    My experience has been that the Garmin Touring Edge provides very poor routing solutions. It failed to generate a round between towns that require a bridge crossing, with three bridges available to cars, and two available to cyclists.

    A snippet from the forum:

    "As I think most of us have gathered by now, but the mapping on the SD card is orientated to sending you down cycle tracks and cycle lanes, no matter how you have it set. So, I was wondering could you maybe replace the OE SD card and replace it with a SD card with City Navigator on it instead would that cure the issue?"

    There was one single time when it did generate a route from St Pete to Tampa... it used the Pinellas trial to take me north (instead of east across the gandy bridge) and was about 200% farther than I needed to go. It took me north of the city I was in, then east above the city I wanted to go to, and then back down into and through the city, to it's southern tip where the bridge connects on the eastern side. I tried this in multiple planning modes (touring cyclist, cyclist, etc) and 'distance' 'time' etc..

    On multiple screens the device failed to generate any route, using both hard physical addresses, and the map view's GPS location tool. The failure occurred in both 'map view' and in the routing view (to/from address screen). One of these failures provided an error, one simply stopped routing and returned to the previous screen.

    If I stayed within my own town, or did not try to cross any bridges, the device did create a route. This is of course ineffective for me, as I would not want to rely on a device with such strong shortcomings.

    I have returned my device, but I truly hope that this experience is isolated and that you all find the best of luck with your devices. For $250, it may be worth the price to use as a Speed / GPS tools so you can map your average days travel and know where you are on long tours. for everyday 'I want to get somewhere' I would simply pull out a map.

    Regardless of my disagreement with NateHawk's opinions, I have taken his advice and checked the forums and have come to the same conclusions: This device is a poor route planner for on the fly directions.

    The tech on the phone when I requested my RMA simply stated the device was mostly used by Europeans, though I have no idea what the relevance of this statement is, as I was returning a USA mapped device.

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