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The Garmin Edge thermometer

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The Garmin Edge thermometer

Old 01-10-12, 01:59 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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The Garmin Edge thermometer

Mine seems to be set up to prioritize bragging points over accuracy. Is something wrong with mine, or do they all do that, like I heard they do with calories?
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Old 01-10-12, 02:26 PM
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I've got my Edge 500 for only a few days now so I can't comment from experience, but I read numerous reports and reviews online that said the thermometer is both very slow and not very accurate.
I wonder why ... but at least it gives an idea of the temperature of a ride.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:30 PM
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I'm always exactly 2 degrees apart from one of my riding partners, that also has the 500.
But beside that inconsistency, they seem pretty accurate.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:33 PM
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It is a very slow acting thermometer -- it takes mine a little over 15 minutes to go from room temperature to below freezing according to the graphs on Garmin Connect. Once it's there, though it seems fairly accurate.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
I've got my Edge 500 for only a few days now so I can't comment from experience, but I read numerous reports and reviews online that said the thermometer is both very slow and not very accurate.
I wonder why ... but at least it gives an idea of the temperature of a ride.
I'm going to guess that it is not very accurate due to design/cost limitations. But I do think it is consistent. I think it is slow for mostly the same reasons. There's 4 very small holes on the bottom of the unit for the temp sensor. While air can move through those holes, the sensor is still inside the unit and I believe it's because of this that it takes so long to respond. The whole unit essentially needs to change temperature.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:34 PM
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I think the main reason is because it's reading the temperature in direct sunlight, including radiated heat from the roadway, as opposed to the ambient temperature which is read in the shade.

You'll likely find though that the temperature that's shown on your Garmin is more reflective of what you're actually experiencing on the road, rather than shown siting under a big shade tree with all the meteorologists.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:38 PM
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Sometimes I'll spend half the day on the bike, watching the temp (on the Garmin's screen) plummet from 42 to 36 F over the course of my ride, as the sun gets low in the sky and drops behind the horizon, thinking what a bad ass I am. When I get home, I shower, put on a change of clothes, etc, and might eventually wind up in the car, to take the lady friend out or for groceries or whatever. The thermometer in the car agrees with the weather man, that it's 43 F. I don't think it gets warmer at night than during the day.

Wind chill shouldn't have anything to do with this, because the Garmin isn't producing its own heat and losing it to the wind.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:56 PM
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Don't know for sure about the 500, but my much older Garmin units all have internal temperature sensors that are used for calibration of the unit's oscillator frequency which is essential for proper operation of the GPS. On my units the temperature isn't normally available to the user but there is a diagnostic mode where one can see the reading. Since the function is to correct for temperature-based frequency variation, the sensor is placed where it best reads the temperature of the internal electronics, rather than the ambient external air temperature. That would explain the slow response to temperature changes if the 500 also only has one temperature sensor which needs to be located by the oscillator.
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Old 01-10-12, 03:14 PM
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My 500 reads consitently high, several degrees. Sunlight makes it read even higher compared to what I see in my car. I'm not sure if that is an accurate reading because of higher heat coming from the road, but sunny days always read much higher than what I see from other sources.
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Old 01-10-12, 03:17 PM
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The Total air temperature system and air data computers on the aircraft I fly are worth several hundred thousand and there are often 2 degree discrepancies between systems. I think the Garmin is pretty accurate considering it sits unprotected from direct sun. It is slow to adjust to temperature but once it does, it is pretty good.
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Old 01-10-12, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dolamite02 View Post
You'll likely find though that the temperature that's shown on your Garmin is more reflective of what you're actually experiencing on the road, rather than shown siting under a big shade tree with all the meteorologists.
This makes sense to me.
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Old 01-10-12, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf View Post
My 500 reads consitently high, several degrees. Sunlight makes it read even higher compared to what I see in my car. I'm not sure if that is an accurate reading because of higher heat coming from the road, but sunny days always read much higher than what I see from other sources.
+1... mine tends to read high too.
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Old 01-10-12, 04:52 PM
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Mine seems to be the only one that reads low.

In the summer it'll read too high if I leave it in the sun, like if I stop on a ride and lay the bike down to go pull some water out of a creek. And that's to be expected, especially since I've got a (black) 800. Mine is also slow to adjust. I'm surprised no one else is seeing the cold readings. Maybe it's just my particular one.
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Old 01-10-12, 05:10 PM
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Mine is too low. Way too low. It said that today's ride was an average of 56F and I was in shorts and a short-sleeve jersey the whole ride and comfortable. Temp when I got back to Irvine was 70F when I looked online.

I only looked up the stats on Garmin Connect because of your thread topic. I never use the temp as it is so innaccurate.
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Old 01-10-12, 05:59 PM
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Mine reads high consistantly, probably because of direct sunlight. This weekend ride did not get over 70 degrees but my garmin 500 read a high of 79.
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Old 01-10-12, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Mine seems to be set up to prioritize bragging points over accuracy. Is something wrong with mine, or do they all do that, like I heard they do with calories?
Always a little high and slow in getting to ambient temp. Fortunately for me it is a useless piece of info when hourly, dead on temp predications are on my iphone with weather.com
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Old 01-10-12, 08:34 PM
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I have only done a couple of rides with my 800. It does react slow, when first getting out, but after that it seems pretty accurate when I compare the temps to weather.com.
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