A Deep Dive Into The Garmin Edge Touring
Garmin Edge Touring was tested and reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic. This is the perfect GPS for cyclists who prefer to visit places, see sights, ride with friends, and NOT race from A to B without noticing the surroundings. The Edge Touring can be considered a cyclists version of an in-car GPS. Tell it where you want to go and let it plan you a cycle-friendly route to get there.
IMPORTANT > There are TWO versions of this model. The Edge Touring PLUS can support heart rate monitoring when used with an ANT+ HR belt. The Edge Touring cannot. It does NOT have a heart rate receiver chip installed. If you are considering using heart rate, get the PLUS version. Also, the PLUS model comes with a barometric pressure sensor giving the altitude data more accuracy.
The Edge Touring Plus is for the Tourer, naturally. It’s about DISCOVERY. It comes with preloaded Garmin maps. If your rides are about enjoying your surroundings, finding new places to ride, and getting safely from A to B off the main roads, the Edge Touring could be for you. Who’s it NOT for …The Edge Touring isn’t for the performance-focused cyclist. It is NOT for someone too bothered about cadence (it doesn’t support Power or Cadence) and it’s not all about spending specific time in certain Heart Rate training zones.
It is focused very firmly on NAVIGATION. Remember, if you want heart rate monitoring you MUST get the Touring PLUS model. For the more performance-focused rider, it is worth looking at either the Edge 25 or Polar M450.
Pros & Cons
- High-resolution pre-installed MAP
- Auto-routing via cycle-friendly routes
- Round Trip routing – great when riding somewhere new
- Accepts SD card so you can add more maps eg, another country or OS style maps
- User friendly size – 2.0″ x 3.7″ x 1.0″ (51.0 x 93.0 x 25.0 mm)
- Download and follow third party GPX routes
- ANT+ heart rate compatible (Edge Touring Plus only)
- Barometric Pressure sensor (Edge Touring Plus only)
- Would be nice if the Touring Plus included CADENCE support
- No smartphone notification alerts .. not an issue for me, but maybe for others
- Other than that – the perfect bike computer for Tourers
Ease of use. As simple as that. There is no better or easier way to navigate from A to B on the market. It is so obvious that this unit has been designed for touring, leisure cyclists by their peers at Garmin. There is nothing this unit doesn’t do that its intended audience would want it to.
Could have been better?
As it can receive heart rate data it must be equipped with an ANT+ receiver unit, therefore I’d personally like to see it support CADENCE. Not necessarily power, but pedal cadence would be nice. I’m not an elite racing cyclist but I do like to use cadence to help me optimise my gears.
I’m also pretty certain we will see a new version of the Edge Touring featuring Smart Notifications. I’m not a massive fan of smartphone alerts when out riding, but the intended customer for this bike is quite likely to be spending several hours in the saddle in areas they do not know. Having SMARTPHONE notifications sent to the display could be useful if, for example, home are trying to call you to make sure you are safe etc.
The best GPS Navigator for Cyclists?
Take this scenario. You are on holiday with your family, all with bikes. The youngest member of the family is happy doing a 20-mile ride. You have NO IDEA of the roads or local environment. Cue the Edge Touring Plus…. just tap in a distance of 20 miles and the Edge unit will give you 3 different round trip routing options.
Just choose the preferred one and then follow the on-screen TURN by TURN navigation prompts. You can even select between regular road cycling, tour cycling, and mountain biking modes. Leave it to the Edge unit to calculate the most appropriate cycle route for your preferred style, taking you on paved roads, unpaved roads, or on paths and trails.
With round trip routing, you can tell Edge Touring Plus how far you’d like to ride and then choose from up to 3 ride options that will bring you back to where you started. The device makes it easy to plan rest stops, find attractions along the way and more.
- On-road or off-road navigation with preloaded Garmin Cycle Map
- Input a distance and choose from up to 3 round-trip ride options
- Select road, touring or mountain bike mode
- Review elevation profile to ensure the ride is suitable for all riders
- Plan and download new routes to follow
- Relive and share your rides with Garmin Connect™ or Garmin Adventures
- Points of Interest (POIs) specifically for cyclists
- Compatible with optional heart rate monitor (PLUS version)
Next Model UP
The path upwards depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s LESS navigation and more performance then you might want to consider the Edge 820.
The Garmin Edge 1030 is also a worthy contender. Check out our review of it here: cardiocritic.com/bicycle-monitors/by-garmin/
Next Model DOWN
The model directly below this Edge Touring is the Edge 20/25. A micro-sized GPS bike computer feature-packed with performance monitoring functionality.
The Edge 25 does NOT have any base map and is limited to ROUTE FOLLOW with turn-by-turn notification and breadcrumb trail follow, but NO MAPS proper as such. the Edge 20 cannot support heart rate, ever.
The Edge 25 has optional heart rate support. I’d recommend the Edge 25 if you think you might want HR monitoring in the future.