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Garmin Edge 830 Quick Review & Comparison with 820

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Garmin Edge 830 Quick Review & Comparison with 820

Old 05-17-19, 10:19 AM
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FlashBazbo
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Garmin Edge 830 Quick Review & Comparison with 820

I took delivery of my new Edge 830 earlier this week. I've got a few rides in with it and here are my initial impressions compared to the 820 . . .



  • The 830 is slightly bigger than the 820 with a bigger screen. For graphic screens, that's great! For data screens, I'm not sure it makes any difference. The numerals inside the cells don't look meaningfully bigger . . . but there's now even MORE wasted space on both sides of those readouts! Garmin, how about, for big horizontal cells, putting the legend on the left hand side and letting the numerals take up the entire height of the cell? There's lots of space wasted out there -- and it would make a big difference for character sizes.
  • The 830 is much more refined. The materials and design make it look and feel much more upscale than the 820.
  • The 830's lap and start buttons, while still on the bottom edge of the unit, are now angled and close to the screen. While the bigger size of the device makes the bottom edge just a tad closer to your handlebar (on an out front mount), the fact that the buttons are near the top means they are easier to reach and push than the old buttons. The difference is big enough that I'm still adapting to it -- habit makes me push where the buttons no longer are.
  • The 830's charge port is now on the bottom edge where it is more accessible. No longer do you have to balance the computer on its side or place it upside down when charging. (I also like that you don't have to use the mini-USB for auxiliary batteries. I'm looking forward to my first ultra-endurance race with the hard connected auxiliary battery.)
  • The setup process for the 830 is different. In some aspects, I like it better than for previous Edge computers. In other aspects, I think it will be easy to grow accustomed to. There are a LOT more options with this computer -- more choices to make. The array of features is mind-boggling.
  • This is my first use of a Training Peaks-generated workout on an Edge workout page. I'm not sure if there's anything new about it. But for an interval workout, I liked it. It displays time remaining on your interval, a graphical display for the range of power designated for the interval, a continuous "pointer" that shows where you are within or without that range, and a graph that shows how you've been doing relative to the power range (above or below or where within). I'm not sure I will use it for lengthy steady state workouts, but for intervals, it does all the time and power range tracking for you. Easy to use. Nice.
  • "Reaction time" of the 830 is much, much faster than for the 820. The faster processor works. It changes the user experience. Satellite acquisition is instantaneous. Power meter calibration is much faster. Could it be that the antennae are improved? It's a better experience all the way around.
  • And let's get back to power meter calibration. With the 820, calibration of a Garmin Vector was always quick and easy. But if your power meter happened to be made by somebody else, Garmin punished you for it. It took one swipe and SIX button pushes to calibrate a Stages power meter and six button pushes to get back out after you were done. With the 830, life is good . . . even for owners of non-Garmin power meters! With the 830, for non-Garmin power meters, you awaken your power meter, swipe down, and voila! The power meter calibration button is RIGHT THERE! One swipe. One button push and you're done! Thanks, Garmin! This improvement is much appreciated. And it impacts every ride I take. With Garmin power meters, you don't even have to swipe. You wake up your Vector power meter and the calibration button automatically appears on the screen. Super easy. It's more convenient to calibrate your meter than to skip calibration.
Well, those are my impressions aftera couple days. When you open the box on your new 830, allocate a couple hours for map and software updates. But once the unit is up and ready, it's a great experience. In my opinion, it's a surprisingly big improvement over the 820. (Anyone want to buy a used Edge 820 in excellent condition?)

Last edited by FlashBazbo; 05-17-19 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:38 AM
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How did you like the ClimbPro feature? Looks as if it would be entertaining while slogging uphill.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
How did you like the ClimbPro feature? Looks as if it would be entertaining while slogging uphill.
I haven't used it yet. I plan to load a couple routes with "qualified" long climbs for tomorrow morning's ride. Unfortunately, our group tends to be more flexible with our routes. In the unlikely event that we plan a route, we almost always modify it. It may be a long time before I find myself on a qualified climb on a pre-planned route. (My understanding is that the ClimbPro feature only works if you're following a programmed route.)
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Old 05-17-19, 10:49 AM
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The new Edges look very interesting. The Karoo had ass lot of promise too, those look like the two most compelling bike survived computers at the moment.

I'm eager for Garmin to release the Fenix 6 watch. My F5 battery is getting fatigued, and except for interval workouts, a watch just works so much better for basically everything.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:52 AM
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Aaah, I didn't think about it being so picky. I guess I imagined it would know you were on a climb and pop up the info. Oh well....
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Old 05-17-19, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Aaah, I didn't think about it being so picky. I guess I imagined it would know you were on a climb and pop up the info. Oh well....
Yes, the climb (1) has to be on a loaded route that you're running at the time, and (2) has to meet qualifications based on a formula that considers slope and distance of the climb. An extremely steep slope doesn't have to be so long and a really long climb doesn't have to be so steep.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

I'm eager for Garmin to release the Fenix 6 watch. My F5 battery is getting fatigued, and except for interval workouts, a watch just works so much better for basically everything.
It's different for different folks, for different purposes. I do ultra-endurance gravel racing where I sometimes ride in the drops (to beat the wind) for hours on end. In that application, a watch is not very convenient -- almost worthless. (But I wear one, along with the Garmin Edge on my bike. I'm not entirely sure why I do, though.)

OTOH, the Edge is pretty worthless in monitoring my weight training in the gym.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:03 PM
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I’ll be interested to hear about how the mapping and routing go.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:49 AM
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You guys asked about the 830's ClimbPro and mapping/routing. I've got experience with both now.

ClimbPro is a very cool feature. I took two "Garmin qualified" climbs this last Monday and, on an unfamiliar climb, it's almost like cheating. A "qualified" climb meets the requirements of an equation that factors in both slope and distance. If the climb is sufficiently steep for its distance or long for its slope -- and it's on a Course that you're running on the 830 -- the ClimbPro comes up as you approach the climb. The ClimbPro shows you a clear profile of the climb from where you are to the top of the climb. It shows changes in grade, height, distance, etc. in a graphical format. On the steeper of my climbs this week it was especially useful. I had never been on the climb before and the area is heavily wooded with canopy completely over the road. Because of ClimbPro I knew from the bottom that: (1) the climb started out easy but became very steep in the last 1/3, (2) there were actually two steep sections with a brief respite in between -- you couldn't see this at all on the winding road, and (3) I always knew exactly where I was on the profile. I knew that the road went straight up just around that next blind bend. And I knew that the last climbing curve led immediately to the top. Very cool. Took the mystery out of a new climb -- no need to reserve energy for the climb you don't know about. [EDIT: Another nice feature of the ClimbPro is that, once you start a Course that has an official climb on it, an additional screen is included on the 830's rotation. The additional screen gives you a list (with summary data) on every climb that's still in front of you on the Course. I suspect (but didn't try it) that you could select a climb from the list at any point and get more data and/or the profile -- but I'm not certain about that. Each climb on the list has a box that seems to indicate what I'm suspecting.]

Sharp curve alerts are also very cool -- especially on descents. In our area, descents usually include blind curves and you never know how tight that curve might be until you're pretty far into the curve. With sharp curve alerts, you know you need to slow down. Very safe and convenient. Now, if only they could come up with "gravel or oil scattered across the apex of the curve alerts!" Sharp curve alerts work even if you're not running a Course.

Mapping / routing is pretty good on the 830. Part of that, of course, is the ClimbPro and sharp curve alerts. But making routes on Garmin Connect is easier than ever and the 830 works well with them. No phantom directions or odd "off course" issues. The only thing I would like Garmin to do is better highlight the route you're on when you're in a jumble of roads. Garmin's maps have color coding to designate one type of road or trail from another. The routing has another color code for the track you're on -- but when you've got a bunch of different colors going at once, the color code for your track can get lost in the jumble. That's not unique to Garmin or to the 830. It's just an annoyance I have with the device. On the other hand, turn-by-turn directions are excellent and up-coming turns (and the distances to them) are clearly displayed.

I like it.

Last edited by FlashBazbo; 05-31-19 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:52 AM
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I'd like to see a picture with the external battery mounted
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