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  1. #1
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    Garmin Oregon 450 vs. Edge 800

    Garmin has really grabbed the cycling GPS market with its Edge series of GPS units. Like all Garmin hardware, these are great units...and they almost seem to have become the "must-have" for cyclists.

    But I'm a big fan of the Garmin Oregon series, and I believe the Oregons represent a better value overall.

    I've always been an out-of-the-box thinker...and I don't believe that just because I'm a cyclist, I have to get a cycling-specific GPS. Though the Edge units have features the Oregon units lack, I believe to a certain extent, Garmin is just capitalizing on people's belief that if you make a product targeted at a specific audience and put a premium on it, people will buy it---which in the case of the Edge units is largely true.

    Here's my quick take on two comparable units, looking at the features that really matter: the Oregon 450 and the Edge 800.

    Here's the Oregon 450:



    Here's the Edge 800:




    TRAINING FEATURES
    If you're seriously into training, and you need/want training-specific features like a pace rider, work/rest intervals, pace alerts, in addition to heartrate and cadence...then stop right here and go get an Edge 800. The Oregon 450 has none of these features.

    On the other hand, the Oregon 450 does connect to heartrate and cadence sensors via bluetooth and displays this data. So if you all you need for training are these two metrics, you're good to go with the Oregon.

    SIZE & WEIGHT
    The Edge 800 (2" x 3.7" x 1") is smaller and slimmer than the Oregon (2.3" x 4.5" x 1.4")...as well as about half the weight (Edge = 3.5oz, Oregon = 6.8oz). So if you're the kind of biker obsessed with shaving every milligram off your gear, then you'll like the Edge. (Most of us aren't that obsessive.) The Oregon is by no means a "hulking box" on your bars---it's also small enough to easily fit in the palm of your hand...so we're kinda splitting hairs here. (And the Oregon has an excellent mounting plate.)

    DISPLAY SIZE
    This is where the Oregon wins hands-down. The Oregon has a larger display size (1.53"W x 2.55"H, 240x400px) than the Edge (1.4"W x 2.2"H, 160x240px). On devices this small to start with, the Oregon's larger display makes a BIG difference. Everything is easier on the larger display---buttons are bigger, scrolling maps is easier. Both devices are touchscreen, so that's a wash. And importantly, the Oregon's higher resolution display means tiny details on the screen are easier to see and read.

    MEMORY
    Again, the Oregon wins here, with 850MB internal (read: faster) memory, where the Edge 800 has a mere 105MB of internal memory. Both units accept Micro-SD cards, so that mitigates the Oregon's advantage to an extent...but internal memory is always faster regardless, and the Oregon has the "edge" here.

    The Oregon has a far greater capacity for waypoints, with a max of 2,000. The Edge allows 200 (no, that's not a typo---only 200).

    And the Oregon can store a far greater number of routes in internal memory.

    BATTERY
    The Oregon wins here in my opinion, simply because it uses easily-replaceable AA batteries. The Edge has a rechargeable. non-replaceable internal Li-Ion battery. The Edge's battery life is rated at 15hrs...and the Oregon's at 18hrs (and I've gotten well over 20hrs with the high-end Li-Ion AA's).

    MAPS
    This category is basically a tie, with both units having identical features...except I give the nod to the Oregon simply because of its larger display size---all maps are a LOT nicer to use and view on the larger display, period. Both have basemaps loaded (which are really useless because they lack detail), both allow you to load more detailed Garmin maps...and both support Garmin's custom maps.

    OTHER FEATURES
    This is a wash. The Edge 800 records temperature, which is pretty nice (but obviously not necessary)...and the Oregon 450 has sunrise/sunset times, tide charts, moon phases, etc (obviously not necessary). Both units have barometric altimeters.

    AND THE BOTTOM LINE: PRICE
    This is where I think the Oregon shines. Checking Amazon.com prices, the Oregon goes for $330...and the Edge goes for $449. So you're basically paying $120 more for the Edge to get a few extra training features and a slightly smaller package.

    It's important to note that neither unit comes with heartrate or cadence monitors---you've got to fork out for those separately. They're around $35 each, so adding the cost of these and you're looking at $400 for the Oregon and (ouch) $520 for the Edge.

    So as I said above, if you really need or want the training-specific features of the Edge 800, then you've gotta go with the Edge. Otherwise, if you're fine with just heartrate and cadence monitoring, the Oregon 450 is a far better value.

    The Oregon 450 has longer battery life, a bigger display, more internal memory, and more waypoints...and otherwise offers 100% of the features found in the Edge 800 (except training-specific features).

    Scott
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  2. #2
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    Someone just posted a question to my website about the Oregon that prompted me to investigate the answer. Dude asked if the Oregon will display climbing gradient like his Edge 705.

    This would be another feature lacking on the Oregon. There are many options for displaying elevation information either in the trip computer or the elevation profile screens, but none of them will tell you the % gradient.

  3. #3
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    Hmm...climbing gradient % is pretty cool. Then again, I'm not sure I'd want to know climbing gradient while I'm riding! LOL (And I can find out after the fact no problem with my tracklogs...)

    Obviously, both units are for different target markets. While the Oregon doesn't display climbing gradient, it does display vertical speed in feet per minute and glide slope---very useful if you're a hang glider or paraglider pilot! :-D

    Scott
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    Well, I am skeptical of the touch screens while riding, at least for me. I need to watch heart rate, so I have it displayed to see when I am pushing close to maximum on the Bike Computer 1 & 2 screens plus the Map screen. I also have Grade on the Map screen and have disabled the Altitude screen so I can toggle back and forth with a single button push; altitude and ascent climbed gets analyzed at home on the computer.

    Being a trail designer / builder, I like to see Grade at times to understand how a trail rides (and on the road when it seems my exertion is higher than my eyes tell me it should be), so I will bump the Mode button with my left thumb or knuckles to get there and back, whether on road bike or mtn bike. I can toggle Bike Computer 1 & 2 screens with the zoom buttons by bumping with thumb or knuckles on my right hand. These bumps are easy to accomplish, even in fairly rough terrain.

    I also have way points set for tool stashes around my area that come in handy when you have so many and may not use them for a year or more. Bumping to the map screen as I ride along knowing there are tools close can be handy as well.

    I am not sure I could toggle screens with a touch screen unit as easily, so that is why I am skeptical.
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    it would take a couple extra taps with the touch screen.

    you'd tap to activate the screen, tap to close what you're on, then at minimum tap again to open up what you need. at worst, you'd have to tap to scroll a couple times to get to the option you need. You can swipe your finger on the Oregon, but that doesn't work quite as well as other touch interfaces I've used. it likes to register swipes as taps occasionally if you do that.

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    I've been flirting with the idea of a gps, so here's a noob question. With the edge you can swap it between bikes, this means I can track separate routes and like a regular computer keep track of separate mileage (e.g. a road bike, mountain bike, and a third application like a navigator in the car)? Can the oregon 450 do this?

  7. #7
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    Dude,

    Your information is interesting but you are not really offering a useful unbiased comparison or even trying to. It is pretty clear you prefer the Oregon and want folks to know why. Good deal, glad the oregon works great for you. I think you miss the point about the Garmin product design...

    - Edge: smaller with cycling specific features, used for riding and racing.
    - Oregon: larger more versatile unit. but lacks some cycing specifc features.

    You absolute best point is that Garmin is too unit specific with their software.

    Why not bring out just a few package sizes (some color some not) and allow the user to say... today act like a cycling computer, tomorrow I am going for hike. Even if garmin did this expertly the Oregon and Edge would be two different units one smaller lighter weight for the handle bars mostly and one larger and mostly handheld (though either one could be used in a pinch in either case).

    My two cents.
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    I have been looking at the Oregon but after many years of success with my 205 going back to AA cells isn't a win .. for the past 2-3 years i have used my 205 4-5 times a week, after each ride just plug into a usb charger and done .. yes the battery life has decreased very slightly but not bad .. droid

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone
    I've been flirting with the idea of a gps, so here's a noob question. With the edge you can swap it between bikes, this means I can track separate routes and like a regular computer keep track of separate mileage (e.g. a road bike, mountain bike, and a third application like a navigator in the car)? Can the oregon 450 do this?
    The Oregon, like all the handheld models, doesn't care what you use it on. It's easy to bounce it from one activity to another, and set the trip computer screens for each activity. But it only keeps a single running odometer of total miles.

    If you want to keep track of mileage for each different activity, you'll have to do that on your computer using your fitness software of choice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikedroid
    I have been looking at the Oregon but after many years of success with my 205 going back to AA cells isn't a win .. for the past 2-3 years i have used my 205 4-5 times a week, after each ride just plug into a usb charger and done .. yes the battery life has decreased very slightly but not bad .. droid
    Use rechargeable AA's and all you have to do is swap your drained set for a new set. And when your charge capacity drops, replace them and use the old ones for less energy-hungry purposes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstahl

    Why not bring out just a few package sizes (some color some not) and allow the user to say... today act like a cycling computer, tomorrow I am going for hike. Even if garmin did this expertly the Oregon and Edge would be two different units one smaller lighter weight for the handle bars mostly and one larger and mostly handheld (though either one could be used in a pinch in either case).
    I think you make a fair point, and I think Garmin thinks that they can sell multiple units to the same customers if they engage in different activities. Maybe they can, but I like your approach of making a unit be able to morph into different specialties via software choices. Who knows, maybe they would even sell more units because more people would see the value of a single unit for multiple activities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrHog
    I think you make a fair point, and I think Garmin thinks that they can sell multiple units to the same customers if they engage in different activities. Maybe they can, but I like your approach of making a unit be able to morph into different specialties via software choices. Who knows, maybe they would even sell more units because more people would see the value of a single unit for multiple activities.
    Garmin HAS done this already.

    The Oregon can, using its software, switch between different modes on the trip computer that work well for different things. The Oregon can use a HRM and a speed/cadence sensor. The Dakota 20 can, too (but not the Dakota 10). For casual users, you can do this. Shoot, I've even been using my Oregon running lately.

    No, the Oregon doesn't have ALL of the fitness features available with a Forerunner or an Edge. But that doesn't bother me one bit, because I never used them even when I did own an Edge 705.

    Sure, if someone WANTS to buy multiple GPS receivers and if someone has the money to buy multiple GPS receivers, they can buy the very niche receivers for fitness.

    But for someone who can only have one due to finances, or someone who only wants one GPS for simplicity's sake, it's a much more reasonable prospect with a Dakota 20 or an Oregon than it ever has been with previous GPS receivers like the eTrex or the GPSMap series. And since the new GPSMap series models use the same software as the Dakota and Oregon receivers, they have a degree of multi-use capability, too (though somewhat less so due to their increased size).

    Of course Garmin would love to sell you a different receiver for every activity you do. And there's really nothing stopping you from getting an Edge for biking and a Foreruner just for running and one just for golf and so on and so forth. But Garmin also recognizes there's a desire for one that can be used for many things. They do make some that can do that. You just have to pay attention to see it.

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    I honestly don't need or want the cycling specific stuff or training aids of the edge, most of it is stuff I wouldn't even look at, the oregon 450 does look more like what I have in mind. Is it as durable for trail riding as the edge and does the mount hold the unit securely in lumpy bumpy stuff?

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone
    I honestly don't need or want the cycling specific stuff or training aids of the edge, most of it is stuff I wouldn't even look at, the oregon 450 does look more like what I have in mind. Is it as durable for trail riding as the edge and does the mount hold the unit securely in lumpy bumpy stuff?
    IMO, the mount is worlds better than the Edge 705 mounts. It's quite secure for me. I used to have to rotate the Edge because I'd bump it and the mount would rotate around my stem. This one does not, even though there's a bigger GPS attached to it. The release tab is big. It can be tricky to reach, underneath the GPS (it would be hard if you have manly sausage fingers for sure), but it holds well and will not snap off because I press a little too hard or catch it on something.

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    Ok, this is cool. I considered the turn by turn navigator feature on my phone but it's not weatherproof, you can't read it in sunlight, it won't survive a crash, it's relatively useless offroad, and it'll eat up battery life and minutes like a fat kid in a candy store. I wanted a gps that could be used on the bikes (I'll use it in the car too), but I've been holding off because I couldn't justify all the extra training features of the edge that I would never use. This has been a very informative thread, despite your critics. I think I know what I'll be buying myself for Christmas this year...

  16. #16
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    When I first saw the Edge 800 coming to town..I was like...wow, this is the GPS I want...it seems to have everything I need. But as I looked into it further and started to reflect on what aspects I would use, I came to realize that I would most likely not utilize alot of the training features of the 800. Then I turned my sights on the Oregon Gps. First I looked at the 400,450, and now the 550. Originally, I thought I probably would not use a camera but the more I think about that, the more I think I will use it instead of my phone or a separate camera in tow.

    Ive moved most of my riding to offroad trails now and really want to keep a log of my rides and photos along the way as well which will help me remember the ride better.

    I've decided to go with the Oregon 550t and my only real question now is...with the Oregon 550t being out for a bit now, is Garmin on the edge of releasing a new model to replace it, and do I want to go with the Garmin bike mount or go with something more user friendly like the Ram Mount.

    Thanks for the Thread as I was gonna start something myself!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmasse10
    When I first saw the Edge 800 coming to town..I was like...wow, this is the GPS I want...it seems to have everything I need. But as I looked into it further and started to reflect on what aspects I would use, I came to realize that I would most likely not utilize alot of the training features of the 800. Then I turned my sights on the Oregon Gps. First I looked at the 400,450, and now the 550. Originally, I thought I probably would not use a camera but the more I think about that, the more I think I will use it instead of my phone or a separate camera in tow.
    the camera will be fine if all you want to do is post your snapshots online. I did not want the bother of it because I like to take better pictures, and I hang my best ones on the wall in my house.

    Ive moved most of my riding to offroad trails now and really want to keep a log of my rides and photos along the way as well which will help me remember the ride better.
    You'll probably learn like most of us do at some point that you're not going to take as many pictures as you think. On most of my rides, I don't even bring the camera because I know I'm more interested in riding. If I'm going to take photos, I have to make that the focus of the ride.

    I've decided to go with the Oregon 550t and my only real question now is...with the Oregon 550t being out for a bit now, is Garmin on the edge of releasing a new model to replace it, and do I want to go with the Garmin bike mount or go with something more user friendly like the Ram Mount.

    Thanks for the Thread as I was gonna start something myself!
    Why the t? Plenty of free maps available to you. If you are constantly waiting for the next new gadget, you'll never wind up enjoying what's already out there. Garmin will release new models...whenever they darn well feel like it. It seems to me that the new touch screens and such are really only just now coming into their own. The early adopters have had them awhile, but everybody else was happy with what they had for quite awhile (I know I was).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    the camera will be fine if all you want to do is post your snapshots online. I did not want the bother of it because I like to take better pictures, and I hang my best ones on the wall in my house.



    You'll probably learn like most of us do at some point that you're not going to take as many pictures as you think. On most of my rides, I don't even bring the camera because I know I'm more interested in riding. If I'm going to take photos, I have to make that the focus of the ride.



    Why the t? Plenty of free maps available to you. If you are constantly waiting for the next new gadget, you'll never wind up enjoying what's already out there. Garmin will release new models...whenever they darn well feel like it. It seems to me that the new touch screens and such are really only just now coming into their own. The early adopters have had them awhile, but everybody else was happy with what they had for quite awhile (I know I was).
    I tend not to print anymore although I have the equipment to produce great looking wall shots...just so busy with life that it is easier for me to just keep them on my phone or computer

    I tend to focus on the ride...but like the option of having a camera when its needed

    I will most likely take the plunge this week as I got lost temporarily yesterday on a ride...I ended up figuring it out (hence me typing here now) but dont like that momentary "Where the hell am I and how do I get back" feeling
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmasse10
    I tend not to print anymore although I have the equipment to produce great looking wall shots...just so busy with life that it is easier for me to just keep them on my phone or computer

    I tend to focus on the ride...but like the option of having a camera when its needed

    I will most likely take the plunge this week as I got lost temporarily yesterday on a ride...I ended up figuring it out (hence me typing here now) but dont like that momentary "Where the hell am I and how do I get back" feeling
    Be aware that there may be times when you don't want GPS coordinates of your subject matter in the photo's EXIF data. This is probably the biggest reason I don't have a setup that will automatically geotag photos for me. I geotag photos manually only when I want. Yeah, it requires me to carry a separate GPS and camera...but I prefer it that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    Be aware that there may be times when you don't want GPS coordinates of your subject matter in the photo's EXIF data. This is probably the biggest reason I don't have a setup that will automatically geotag photos for me. I geotag photos manually only when I want. Yeah, it requires me to carry a separate GPS and camera...but I prefer it that way.

    Understood...most of the photos are for me....I taught Social Networking and how to use it for your business for years and the privacy issues with it etc so I know all about it all too well.

    thanks for the info
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  21. #21
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    the edge is probably better for using with gloved fingers. i think that reading a map while riding is almost useless - how often do you realy need to see your blip on a map. looking at the map on my computer is good enough. i think the better choice for money and cycling specific features is the edge 500. i dont think AA batteries is a plus at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutcat
    the edge is probably better for using with gloved fingers. i think that reading a map while riding is almost useless - how often do you realy need to see your blip on a map. looking at the map on my computer is good enough. i think the better choice for money and cycling specific features is the edge 500. i dont think AA batteries is a plus at all.
    who said anything about reading the map WHILE RIDING? I dunno about others, but if I need to look at a map, I stop riding for that. And yes, some of us ACTUALLY ride places where we might need to look at a map from time to time. If you don't ride places like that, then that's fine for you, but most people need a map at least the first time they ride somewhere.

    I don't wear full-finger gloves except for maybe a month or two out of the year. But to be honest, I don't often flip back and forth between screens over the course of a ride, either. And even if it winds up being that I need to on a ride, many gloves are available now with fingertips that can even operate an iphone's touchscreen. And the touchscreen on the Oregon is not the same type, either, and simply requires pressure (that can be applied with a stick if necessary).

    I'm curious why you don't think AA batteries are a positive feature? You're not strapped to a charger if you're out riding/camping for a couple days. Sure, using alkalines or lithiums can get expensive, but if you have a couple sets of rechargeable AA's, you get the best of both cases.

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    Well, I went ahead and just bought the 550t from PcNation for $489.00...Cabela's had it for $454.99 but it was a backorder deal and I did not know how long that would take.

    I plan on putting it to the test this weekend and see what it can do so will keep my fingers crossed....

    My next question now is the mount...what are your thoughts on the mount for this badboy...the one from Garmin or the one from Ram or someone else....

    let me know

    thanks
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    Oh, and on another note...I often use Pricegrabber.com to find the best price of something and to order online...it usually does a great job so if you havent tried it, you may want to give it a shot
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    the Garmin mount has been working flawlessly for me. I'll never forget the story of the guy who's face got destroyed by a RAM mount in a crash, so I'll never be able to recommend one.

    Rider down: cnbiker (Thurs night Gap ride disaster)

    You still didn't say why you paid extra for a GPS with maps already on it considering all the free options out there.

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