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Why no love for the Garmin edge explore?

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Why no love for the Garmin edge explore?

Old 09-05-21, 09:06 AM
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bluehills3149
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Why no love for the Garmin edge explore?

It seems whenever I read reviews of bike computers the Garmin range is assumed to be 130-530-830-1030 and the Garmin edge explore is ignored.

I'm looking for a new device and the large screen & good mapping of the explore ticks my boxes and for $250 (way less than the $399 edge530 & (gulp) $500+ 1030) it looks like a poor-mans 1030, albeit with a slightly smaller screen, no strava-live & power meter support (no issue for me) but everything else similar.

So what's the deal? It seem few people talk about it or recommend it (even on this site). Are the missing features such a deal-breaker that folks will spend over double the money to get them or are there other downsides?
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Old 09-05-21, 11:14 AM
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Iride01
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If it's all you'll need for now and the near future then go for it. I don't pay much attention to reviews as usually I find they aren't my experience with products I've bought.
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Old 09-05-21, 01:10 PM
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Everyone I know had an 830, so that's what I got.

The predecessor to the explore was the touring, and it was probably their worst model ever. So maybe that has something to do with it.

Bike shop tried to talk me into a bolt, but at that time too many people I know had trouble with theirs and Wahoo just blamed them. Including the person whose bolt would overheat. As if people don't want a gps to work on a hot day.
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Old 09-05-21, 01:23 PM
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I recommend it all the the time for somebody wanting a basic unit that has no need for the performance metrics on the 530/830/1030. A buddy has one, it's been very reliable for him and is a good price for a good sized unit that does navigation well.
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Old 09-05-21, 04:37 PM
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The Explore is somewhat unfamiliar. So, people tend not to consider it.

I suspect that problems are addressed with the 530/830/1030+ sooner/quicker.

It's based on the 1000, which doesn't make it bad but it's a bit old.

The 1030+ is faster than the 1000/Explore (the 1030+ is faster than the 1030). The navigation works significantly better on the 1030+ than 1030.
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Old 09-05-21, 08:52 PM
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A lot of the kind of people who (1) are willing to spend that kind of money on a bike computer, and (2) post on this forum either have a power meter, or think they might get one one day.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:57 AM
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The lack of power is a weird limitation. I assume it will take speed, cadence and heart rate?
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Old 09-06-21, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The lack of power is a weird limitation. I assume it will take speed, cadence and heart rate?
Yes it will take speed cadence, heart rate and radar. No power or Strava live segments. It's a lot easier to read than a 530 or 830. It only has 1 profile so if you want to have different settings for different types of rides is more work to change them. The battery is a little smaller than some of the other units but I can do a century with out any recharging on rides much longer than that I need to plug in the power bank.

I think if all you want is a computer that does navigation considering the price it's the best unit Garmin makes, I also have a 1030 plus I like it a little better and it's a little easier to read but it's a lot more $ then the Explore.

Last edited by mibike; 09-06-21 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-06-21, 07:16 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The lack of power is a weird limitation.
​​​​​​ It's not weird at all.People wanting power will likely want the other features of the 530/830/1030+. Adding power to the Explore would make it a 1000 (which they already have).

Also, people buying power meters are not that price sensitive.

One reason Garmin has the Explore/Touring models is to sell to touring companies.
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Old 09-06-21, 07:16 AM
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It could be the lack of battery life. It sucks.

It could be the lack of on-device A to B navigation. So your routes can only be preprogrammed from your computer at home.

It could be the lack of point of interest or address search ability. So it's not much of an exploring tool either. Good luck using the Explore to find a random coffee or bike shop.

It could be the lack of on-device back-to-start calculation. So if you get turned around, you can't use the Explore to navigate back to where you started.

It could be the lack of on-device round trip course creation. Again, not much of a navigation tool.

The Explore doesn't have an ambient light sensor. So the screen brightness won't/can't be automatically adjusted to save battery life.

It could be the Explore is limited to only the United States GPS satellite system. Using the Russian GLONASS or European Galileo systems for increased location resolution or signal durability is not possible. IOW: good luck with good data under heavy tree cover, next to a mountain or valley wall.

The Explore doesn't support VIRB. If you are someone who has a camera on your bike for action-cam or traffic safety reasons, & would like to control it with a central head unit, this is not the head unit for you.

With the Explore, you can not read/respond to text messeges unless you stop riding & check your actual phone. With other devices a simple screen tap either dismisses the messege or allows a canned response.

With the Explore, you also lose the ability to reject a phone call with a canned text (Android™ only.) Again, this means you have to stop riding & take the phone call with your actual phone or just let it ring in your jersey pocket until the offending caller gives up. (Hella irritating.)

If you are someone who uses a Garmin (or Wahoo, or others) as a training tool, either indoors on a trainer or outside: With an Explore, you can not create advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts.) You can't set up Interval training. You can't download a training plan.

The Explore won't do V02 max estimate.

You can't race against a Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person as this is not offered.

Recovery Advisor, & Training Effect (aerobic) aren't available either. Neither is Heart rate-based calorie computation or FTP Tracking. So, the Explore is kind of useless for seeing how hard you exerted yourself in an activity or as a training tool of any kind, really.

If you are someone who travels out of cell phone range or does any sort of long distance ultra-endurance competition: The Explore is not InReach® compatible. Your dot-watchers will not see you crashed & rescue will not be coming. Neither will your satellite comms be showing on the Explores' screen. That means stopping the race to read & respond to the satellite messege...a (sometimes 10-15) minutes long process.

The Explore is not Power meter compatible.

I'm sure I missed a detail or two, but I think my overall point stands: The Explore is really kind of worthless as a cycling computer. It doesn't support even the most basic of features or abilities Edge or Wahoo users take for granted...I'm actually stuck wondering what it is useful for that a $50 cell phone from the Best Buy isn't better at.

Last edited by base2; 09-06-21 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 09-06-21, 09:11 AM
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It's funny you mention a $50 phone as I currently use a $30 phone (a Moto E from 2015) and I keep wondering what what my $250-$500 will get me over this old phone. The Moto has a garmin mount glued on the back and I use Komoot as the ride software. Sure, it's slow, the battery only lasts 4 hrs (or 12+ with a pack) and it sucks in the rain but this old thing runs the latest android and can run any app but in it's old age is starting to get glitchy.
So I was looking at the Explore to replace it or just get another sub $50 Android phone with a small screen (A Sony xperia compact for example) but spending $500+ on a big screen Garmin does not seem like value, seeing how I don't use half the features it offers.
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Old 09-06-21, 10:32 AM
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One of the things I find most annoying with my phones is that none of them ever were easy to see in daylight sun. So that pretty much nixes them for my consideration of use as a cycling device. If I was only interested in looking at the data of my ride after the ride, then maybe a phone and app will be the thing.

The screen of all my Garmin devices can easily be seen in bright sun. Maybe with the exception of a couple nuvi's.
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Old 09-06-21, 10:42 AM
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That's quite a list of missing features. One great thing about the 830 is battery life.
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
With the Explore, you can not read/respond to text messeges unless you stop riding & check your actual phone. With other devices a simple screen tap either dismisses the messege or allows a canned response.

You can't race against a Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person as this is not offered.
No virtual partner is a feature.

Not sure about the notifications. I don't really like them, but I see it could be helpful in some cases. But the device is pretty tough to keep connected to my phone anyway.
My Garmin watch is taking up the slack on that front though.
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Old 09-06-21, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
It could be the lack of battery life. It sucks.

at.
This type of complaint always puzzles me.. Does 12 hours really suck ?. Is this just a complaint that it won't do 20 hrs, like the 1030 or 24 like the Plus ?. I can see folks doing double centuries wanting Max life, or maybe tourers who are on the bike 12 hours having issues, but even then a battery stick solves this. Touring cyclists have to manage charging electronics, this is just one more thing. I've used the 810, a 1000 and Bolt, all had 12 hrs., Plus a 1030 at 20 hrs. and can state that the 20 hrs of the 1030 only meant I could go an extra day before charging. That wasn't a game changer.
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Old 09-06-21, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Also, people buying power meters are not that price sensitive.
It used to be that an SRM cost $3k+. Garmins Vectors were $1,800, I combined sales and coupons to get mine at $1,300 and felt like I had done well. The ones on my bike now we're $800, and there are (mostly single sided) choices in the $400 range.

Power meter users used to be pretty insensitive to price but that's changing. When people talk about buying power meters over the last few years, it's definitely a factor.
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Old 09-06-21, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
This type of complaint always puzzles me.. Does 12 hours really suck ?. Is this just a complaint that it won't do 20 hrs, like the 1030 or 24 like the Plus ?. I can see folks doing double centuries wanting Max life, or maybe tourers who are on the bike 12 hours having issues, but even then a battery stick solves this. Touring cyclists have to manage charging electronics, this is just one more thing. I've used the 810, a 1000 and Bolt, all had 12 hrs., Plus a 1030 at 20 hrs. and can state that the 20 hrs of the 1030 only meant I could go an extra day before charging. That wasn't a game changer.
I don't see 12 hours on it if you use any accessories. like I have it on battery saving mode and the dimmest screen to record my blind wife's rides. but it always has a screen showing you how to save battery life by limiting notifications. this thing stays up till I touch the screen or pause the ride. would be lucky to get 6 hours or so out of it I think. add the garmin radar and it gets worse.
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Old 09-06-21, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
This type of complaint always puzzles me.. Does 12 hours really suck ?.
I don't like charging it that often. During normal times I don't have to charge the 830 very often at all. When I'm doing a long ride, I have battery packs along with me, but I would rather not charge then either. If you don't display the map, I'm pretty sure the 830 battery lasts longer than 24 hours.
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Old 09-06-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Power meter users used to be pretty insensitive to price but that's changing. When people talk about buying power meters over the last few years, it's definitely a factor.
Sure, there are likely more price-sensitive purchasers with $400 power meters. The 530 already exists for those especially-price sensitive purchasers.

Most people purchasing power meters likely already have a head unit (that supports power meters).

The Explore doesn't support power so it doesn't compete against the 530, 830, and 1030+.

I suspect that a major motivation for having the Explore was to sell to touring companies that wanted a easier-to-use unit they could provide to clients.

(No market is going to be perfect: Garmin might lose out on a few overly-price-sensitive power meter users but they would lose even more by selling the 1030+ for $250.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-06-21 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I don't like charging it that often. During normal times I don't have to charge the 830 very often at all. When I'm doing a long ride, I have battery packs along with me, but I would rather not charge then either. If you don't display the map, I'm pretty sure the 830 battery lasts longer than 24 hours.
Interesting attitude. You can pay $600 for a 1030 Plus and get 24 hrs usage, or pay $250 for a similarly sized yet more basic unit that does the same navigation, and get 12 hrs,. And charge it 3 days a week vs. once or twice per week. The $600 unit becomes a hard sell.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
I don't see 12 hours on it if you use any accessories. like I have it on battery saving mode and the dimmest screen to record my blind wife's rides. but it always has a screen showing you how to save battery life by limiting notifications. this thing stays up till I touch the screen or pause the ride. would be lucky to get 6 hours or so out of it I think. add the garmin radar and it gets worse.
Your and my experiences are anecdotal. I follow the assorted FB groups for the Edge series, the 1030 and the Hammerhead Karoo. One thing that is never consistent is battery life, which is often all over the map. Somebody on the HH site reported near 19 hrs, of battery life. I've never seen more than 12 to 14 and right now and for unknown reasons is down to 8 or 10. The Edge site has people constantly complaing about the 520 with 4-6 hrs. Others have no issues. No explanations.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Your and my experiences are anecdotal. I follow the assorted FB groups for the Edge series, the 1030 and the Hammerhead Karoo. One thing that is never consistent is battery life, which is often all over the map. Somebody on the HH site reported near 19 hrs, of battery life. I've never seen more than 12 to 14 and right now and for unknown reasons is down to 8 or 10. The Edge site has people constantly complaing about the 520 with 4-6 hrs. Others have no issues. No explanations.
ya. I just had to reset it because it would lock up in the middle of the ride. but the message about saving battery life still stays up the whole ride unless we stop and I house it. kt literally kills the battery telling me to save the battery. it even popped up if I had all notifications turned off. but I do like the touch screen over buttons any day.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The Edge site has people constantly complaing about the 520 with 4-6 hrs. Others have no issues. No explanations.
The 520 and 820 didn't have great battery life (the complaints about this were fairly common). The 530 and 830 are much better. The 1030+ has better battery life than the 1030 too.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Interesting attitude. You can pay $600 for a 1030 Plus and get 24 hrs usage, or pay $250 for a similarly sized yet more basic unit that does the same navigation, and get 12 hrs,. And charge it 3 days a week vs. once or twice per week. The $600 unit becomes a hard sell.
​​​​​​That's why they have to take away power meter support, training, etc. No one is going to pay $350 just for the battery difference. But you don't get to choose a bunch of features individually, you have to pick the product that's closest to what you need at an acceptable price. And then the $600 is still a hard sell but less so.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Your and my experiences are anecdotal. I follow the assorted FB groups for the Edge series, the 1030 and the Hammerhead Karoo. One thing that is never consistent is battery life, which is often all over the map. Somebody on the HH site reported near 19 hrs, of battery life. I've never seen more than 12 to 14 and right now and for unknown reasons is down to 8 or 10. The Edge site has people constantly complaing about the 520 with 4-6 hrs. Others have no issues. No explanations.
​​​​​​Sorry for the random question, but since you follow that, do you know if the Karoo goes on sale? I don't know that I've ever seen it marked down, I'm guessing that isn't worth waiting for?
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Old 09-06-21, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Interesting attitude. You can pay $600 for a 1030 Plus and get 24 hrs usage, or pay $250 for a similarly sized yet more basic unit that does the same navigation, and get 12 hrs,. And charge it 3 days a week vs. once or twice per week.
It's not just battery life.

Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The $600 unit becomes a hard sell.
Yet, it seems Garmin sells many more 1030+ than Explores.

If $600 is too much and the Explore does what people need, the Explore is available to them.
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