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Which Garmin?

Old 03-29-20, 01:56 PM
  #1  
robkyle
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Which Garmin?

For years I’ve ridden with no cyclometer on my road bike. I ride mostly solo, and being in WV, I generally ride back roads. So I’m really liking Garmin’s rear looking radar, the Varia. Now I need to find a Garmin to go with it.

I’m looking at the Garmin Edge 830 and the Edge 1030. Because the 1030 is on sale, both are priced at $400. Normally I would go with the higher end unit considering they are the same price. But I see quite a bit more negative reviews on the 1030. Also, I know the 830 is a fairly recent product release, not sure how long the 1030 has been out there. I suspect it’s fairly dated, and that’s why it’s on sale. Any input that would help me make a decision would be most appreciated.

Last edited by robkyle; 03-29-20 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 03-29-20, 02:11 PM
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bobwysiwyg
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You might consider the Wahoo Bolt. I recently acquired a Varia, it pairs with the Bolt and works very well. The Bolt is available for $200ish.
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Old 03-29-20, 02:17 PM
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Second the Bolt. Regular Elemnt if you want a larger screen. I've been afflicted by my Edge flaking out and not properly reporting Varia readings in the middle of rides, would not recommend an Edge if the Varia is important as it's a well-known and unfixed problem where the only workaround is to disable the Bluetooth phone connection, meaning losing LiveTrack (which in turn is something that Garmin breaks every so often... you can see where this is going ).
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Old 03-29-20, 03:16 PM
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I have a 520 plus. It's my first cycle-specific garmin - I've used the cycle function in my running watches up until now.
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Old 03-29-20, 03:56 PM
  #5  
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A question for other Varia users. I've used mine a couple times now. It never missed a vehicle or multiple vehicles. I've learned to recognize the audible difference between the approaching signal and the all-clear. However, there is one I thought might be associated with a vehicle approaching from say, a side street. It didn't happen that often, but does the Varia defect laterally approaching vehicles?
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Old 03-29-20, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
A question for other Varia users. I've used mine a couple times now. It never missed a vehicle or multiple vehicles. I've learned to recognize the audible difference between the approaching signal and the all-clear. However, there is one I thought might be associated with a vehicle approaching from say, a side street. It didn't happen that often, but does the Varia defect laterally approaching vehicles?
I've never heard of anything like this. The angle is pretty wide for what it considers "approaching", but the vehicle definitely has to be behind you.

Love my Varia, btw.
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Old 03-29-20, 04:25 PM
  #7  
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FWIW, Edge 530 user here. If the 830 is even close you'll probably love it. Display easy to read. Works seamlessly with the Varia, of course, and no problems with phone/BT dropping out which I've read is more of an issue with strength of cell signal. Prior computer was a 520 and it worked fine, too.

Garmin states that all of the features of the 830 will be available on the 1030 through firmware upgrades - I don't know where they are on releasing that.
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Old 03-29-20, 04:38 PM
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Another happy Varia user. It's paired to my 520Plus. No issues. It has *NEVER* failed to alert me to a car, truck, or motorcycle, and I swear it seems to alert slightly differently if a vehicle is overtaking me really fast vs a bit more slowly. (Might need to read up on that. Could be my imagination.) As long as I remember to charge it up every few rides I have had nothing but success with my Varia/Edge 520Plus combo. So far.
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Old 03-29-20, 05:24 PM
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I have been using a Lezyne Mega XL for about a year now and love it. The price is great and so are the features. I dont need a super crazy color display and the battery life is great. If there are any other lezyne users do you know if the varia is compatible with lezyne units?
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Old 03-29-20, 05:34 PM
  #10  
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People still use garmin?
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Old 03-29-20, 06:02 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
FWIW, Edge 530 user here. If the 830 is even close you'll probably love it. Display easy to read. Works seamlessly with the Varia, of course, and no problems with phone/BT dropping out which I've read is more of an issue with strength of cell signal. Prior computer was a 520 and it worked fine, too.
So Garmin admits to have "fixed" cell signal issues? Weird that I would have those issues with two different phones and an Edge, but not a Bolt...

Notice how it took them a year from reported issues to claim they addressed it in a firmware update. That's not even as fast as their turnaround for fixing LiveTrack between the times they break it.
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Old 03-29-20, 06:25 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
I've never heard of anything like this. The angle is pretty wide for what it considers "approaching", but the vehicle definitely has to be behind you.

Love my Varia, btw.
Thanks, that's what I thought. I'll listen more carefully, traffic volume is way down now of course.
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Old 03-29-20, 06:40 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by robkyle View Post
Im looking at the Garmin Edge 830 and the Edge 1030. Because the 1030 is on sale, both are priced at $400. Normally I would go with the higher end unit considering they are the same price. But I see quite a bit more negative reviews on the 1030. Also, I know the 830 is a fairly recent product release, not sure how long the 1030 has been out there. I suspect its fairly dated, and thats why its on sale. Any input that would help me make a decision would be most appreciated.
Many of the negative reviews of the 1030 might be old. Some of the problems (and there were problems) have been fixed with firmware updates.

It seems the 830, even being new, didn't have the same sorts of issues the 1030 had early on.

The bigger screen on the 1030 is better if navigation is important. The 830 has a faster processor (never a bad thing) but the 1030 doesn't seem slow to me.

I don't think you'd go wrong with either (other than the advantage of the bigger screen on the 1030).
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Old 03-29-20, 07:14 PM
  #14  
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Agree with NJKayaker, the 1030 has been a reliable unit for a while now and it’s a good price currently at $399. I’d take a 1030 over a Wahoo Elemnt Roam at $380, Garmin has much better maps. 1030 is rated at 20 hrs, Roam at 17. My run time of my 1030 varies at 5-7% an hr after 2 years of use, so easily seeing 15-20 hrs.

If you want something smaller, the Garmin 520 Plus is also on sale at $200.

Both on sale at clevertraining.com
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Old 03-29-20, 07:18 PM
  #15  
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Another vote for the 1030, especially if you have less than ideal vision. The big screen makes a huge difference for me. An improvement over the 1000. Works fine with the Varia for me, too.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
If you want something smaller, the Garmin 520 Plus is also on sale at $200.
It seems the 530 is a much better unit than the 520+.

Unless you don’t care about navigation at all, the 530 for $100 more might make more sense.

The 830 is much better than the 820.

Last edited by njkayaker; 03-29-20 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:46 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by But its me View Post
Another vote for the 1030,...An improvement over the 1000.
The 1030 is significantly better than the 1000. I would not get a 1000 over a 1030.

Though, if you have a 1000, you should keep using it (it seems like the 1000 is fine).
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Old 03-30-20, 12:56 PM
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Since the 1030 received the update that brings along the best features of the 830 (especially ClimbPro), the deciding factor should be screen size. If you like to have more than 8 fields on one screen, or spend a lot of time looking at your map screen, or have failing eyesight (like me), then the 1030 may be the better choice; otherwise, get the 830 because it's the latest and greatest.
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Old 03-30-20, 02:19 PM
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I have a 1030 and Varia. Mine with the older screen was just replaced due to the blue halo starting to appeared. I looked at the Wahoo computers but they did not have the features I wanted. Also I wanted to connect and mange it with BaseCamp. I don;t want to rely on an internet connection and have a tablet. It works dragging and dropping information. The 1030 does a lot which makes it complicated. I like having profiles for indoor, mountain biking and road bike. Just wish the sensors could be tailored to the profiles. The maps are good for placed I have not ridden. Some mountain bike trails show up.
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Old 03-30-20, 04:56 PM
  #20  
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I used an Edge 1000 for a couple years and liked it so well I got an Edge 1030 about 6 mo ago. They have multiple screens with up to 10 readouts per screen; it works great with power meters so you have instantaneous data and the screens can be changed by swiping a finger left to right or right to left. I have Di2 and there are buttons on the shifters that allow you to change screens on the Garmin.
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Old 03-30-20, 09:56 PM
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I've had the 520 for three years now - going on four - and have had zero issues with it. Perfect little computer. My only complaint is that the battery life of the 520 when paired with the Varia is poor. This might be due to how I have the Varia setup on the 520. The screen lights up every time car passes me. On a busy city street there are cars passing me all the time, so the system is always lighting up.

I plan on change the screen timeout to a much shorter time to see if that helps.

That very small issue aside, I have no problem recommending the 520 (which is no longer made I think).

Mrs. NoWhammies just started riding with the 530. After two rides she thinks is great. Clear, large bright screen. Wireless syncing. She's happy.
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Old 03-31-20, 09:17 AM
  #22  
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I just switched to the 1030 and its really an impressive unit. I had a 520. The 520 was an excellent unit for me for years! I would recommend either. Now that I have a 1030 I would never go to something smaller. At $400 its a good value for the computer you get.
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Old 03-31-20, 01:23 PM
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You might want to check out the Garmin Edge Explore. It's just a tiny bit smaller than the 1030, but quite a bit bigger than the 530's and it's only around $250.

The main things it's missing compared to the 1030 are a barometer, powermeter compatibility, and workouts, things you may not be interested in from the sounds of things.
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Old 03-31-20, 01:38 PM
  #24  
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I have a Garmin 530 with the Varia and it seems to work great, although I've only been using the two for a couple months. I considered the 830 at the time I purchased my 530 and I read quite a few reviews that said the touch screen can be a problem if you wear gloves. I live in a cold and rainy climate 6-8 months of the year, so my gloves are almost always full fingered and not necessarily touch screen friendly.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:04 AM
  #25  
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Just ordered a Garmin 1030
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