Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Micro-blog No. 8 - Garmin Edge 500

Here is another thing that I have added to the cycling equipment inventory this year, a Garmin Edge 500. I received this as a Father's Day present after some not so subtle lobbying. Here is my brief review - love it! Please go back and now read the two-word review in that slightly sing-songy voice that the term "love it!" really deserves.

This unit does a few things fantastically well - it is the world's easiest bike computer to install and use; it has easy to follow instructions for use and programming which information you want presented (from 1-6 items on each of 3 pages); and it easy to download and review the information you want after your ride.

The one area where is suffers compared to a bike computer with a wheel magnet is in its immediate accuracy of speed or overall distance. The Garmin Edge could also be called the Garmin Average-erator, because what it really does is constantly measure the distance from satellite to satellite and tell you your speed, distance traveled, grade of ascent/descent, etc. based on your movement between satellites. As a result, it really is a rolling average of all of this information and, for me, 30 seconds after the ride, that is all I need to know.

Once in a while, now that I have a reading of gradient, I want to look down and see if I am suffering up a 12% grade or is really 14%, but the averaging function really means that if the grade is really just a short pitch, it may not capture it at that moment, so something that feels 12% can read 6% or vice-versa, but it does pick up the average and there is a great graphic representation after the ride. And other than occasionally looking at the screen and knowing it may not be minutely correct, it is a great device and I know love "knowing" the grade of climbs around here.

And for sure after a ride, it doesn't matter to me whether any given moment was a perfect reading, I just want to know how far, how fast and I also get a google map of my trip, elevation, heart rate, temperatures, as well as information about calories, total ascent/descent, averages, etc. So you can see for your self, I have done a screen capture of my ride with some of the MR guys up to the top of Mt. Spokane and back.

From Misc Bike Pics

Like I said, Love It!

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