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Garmin Edge Explore?

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Garmin Edge Explore?

Old 06-14-19, 10:13 PM
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DropBarFan
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Garmin Edge Explore?

I have an old Garmin eTrex Legend HCx & was thinking about trying to load Open Street Maps but the slow GPU & small memory card capacity means that might be a rather fruitless task. I happened to read about Garmin's new touring GPS, the "Edge Explore" which gets some good if not rave reviews. The previous "Edge Touring" reviews were quite mixed, the "Edge Explore" seems to have some improvements even though it's hardly perfect.

Edge Explore $250 price is not bad esp since it includes maps. REI has 90-day return policy. Basically it has most of the features tourists would want w/o training stuff like power-meter. I would already be toting a phone but even with phones' increased navigation capabilities there could still be advantages in a separate GPS. Any thoughts? TIA!
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Old 06-18-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
I have an old Garmin eTrex Legend HCx & was thinking about trying to load Open Street Maps but the slow GPU & small memory card capacity means that might be a rather fruitless task. I happened to read about Garmin's new touring GPS, the "Edge Explore" which gets some good if not rave reviews. The previous "Edge Touring" reviews were quite mixed, the "Edge Explore" seems to have some improvements even though it's hardly perfect.

Edge Explore $250 price is not bad esp since it includes maps. REI has 90-day return policy. Basically it has most of the features tourists would want w/o training stuff like power-meter. I would already be toting a phone but even with phones' increased navigation capabilities there could still be advantages in a separate GPS. Any thoughts? TIA!
I'm newly curious about the Edge Explore as well. Hopefully people who've used them for touring can write some thoughts!

How's the battery life in real world scenarios? Trying to decide if it's worth it over a phone if they'll both have to be kept charged anyway.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:01 PM
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Someone will have to be the guinea-pig early-adopter. This other current thread has a variety of opinions as to whether it's worth it to get GPS in addition to phone...but generally it seems that if one is going to regularly use phone or GPS for navigation, a dedicated GPS can be a good addition. I'm tempted to try the Edge Explore; if I don't like it, it would be the first item I return to REI so it's not as if I'm abusing the policy.

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...use-phone.html
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Old 06-18-19, 09:08 PM
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You could also go for a minimal GPS like Edge 25 or 130, to supplement your phone.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Someone will have to be the guinea-pig early-adopter. This other current thread has a variety of opinions as to whether it's worth it to get GPS in addition to phone...but generally it seems that if one is going to regularly use phone or GPS for navigation, a dedicated GPS can be a good addition. I'm tempted to try the Edge Explore; if I don't like it, it would be the first item I return to REI so it's not as if I'm abusing the policy.

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...use-phone.html
Well, I'm happy to be the guinea pig! I ordered one from REI just now, thinking the same as you: if it doesn't work out REI is great about the returns, so there's not too much risk.

I probably won't be needing the navigation until bikepacking later this summer, but I'm excited to try that out in a modern GPS unit. My last bike computer was a cheap CatEye that I got 10+ years ago, so I'm excited about the modernity of the Explore.
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Old 06-19-19, 10:00 AM
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As an Edge 820 user, in retrospect I wouldn't have a problem with an Edge Explore so long as it can pair up to my HR, Cadence and Speed sensors. I don't have a power sensor, and probably never will, so all the FTP and Power functionality of the Edge 820 is lost on me. I do use it for navigation sometimes. And it's great for getting my ride uploaded through my phone to Garmin Connect and Strava.

The features I find most useful are related to speed, distance, % grade, total ascent, elevation, heart rate, max speed, average speed, odometer (per profile; I have one profile per bike), and of course maps and navigation following either routes that it creates or routes I've created in the Connect app or on Strava. I think most of that is available in the Explore.

I do like the ability to see text messages and weather advisories pop up on screen. I think the Explore probably can do that too.
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Old 06-19-19, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
Well, I'm happy to be the guinea pig! I ordered one from REI just now, thinking the same as you: if it doesn't work out REI is great about the returns, so there's not too much risk.

I probably won't be needing the navigation until bikepacking later this summer, but I'm excited to try that out in a modern GPS ***t. My last bike computer was a cheap CatEye that I got 10+ years ago, so I'm excited about the modernity of the Explore.
I hope it works out OK. I use cheap CatEyes anyway: the batteries last a long time even if used for all riding, nice for local rides, odometer keeps track of long-term mileage (odo can help see how much mileage one gets from tires, chains etc though I personally don't keep track of that like I should).

However, last night I was reading about the Garmin eTrex 32x & I'm thinking it might beat the Edge Explore esp for bikepacking/bike-camping. 32x uses AA batteries which are more convenient & probably lighter & cheaper than a power bank for the Explore. 32x allows memory card, Explore has pretty good internal memory but I read that if one goes overseas it's likely that one will have to delete the US map & reinstall afterward. In re bikepacking the 32x allows 2,000 waypoints vs 200 for Explore. I'm not an expert on the waypoint issue but AFAIK off-road routes can require more waypoints. Even on-road I think that 200 waypoints can be limiting, apparently some folks have to edit their routes to limit waypoints and/or split routes into sections.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
As an Edge 820 user, in retrospect I wouldn't have a problem with an Edge Explore so long as it can pair up to my HR, Cadence and Speed sensors. I don't have a power sensor, and probably never will, so all the FTP and Power functionality of the Edge 820 is lost on me. I do use it for navigation sometimes. And it's great for getting my ride uploaded through my phone to Garmin Connect and Strava.

The features I find most useful are related to speed, distance, % grade, total ascent, elevation, heart rate, max speed, average speed, odometer (per profile; I have one profile per bike), and of course maps and navigation following either routes that it creates or routes I've created in the Connect app or on Strava. I think most of that is available in the Explore.

I do like the ability to see text messages and weather advisories pop up on screen. I think the Explore probably can do that too.
Yes, Edge Explore has some nifty features & saves a good chunk of money compared to the fancier Edges.

BTW I went to Salt Lake City this winter for skiing & was a bit surprised that it also seems like a great cycling city with wide roads, polite drivers, bike lanes etc, amazingly even bike lanes on the ski roads! I wondered if anyone rides up to go skiing. 4,000' climb but I think a strong rider could do it in 4 hours.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Yes, Edge Explore has some nifty features & saves a good chunk of money compared to the fancier Edges.

BTW I went to Salt Lake City this winter for skiing & was a bit surprised that it also seems like a great cycling city with wide roads, polite drivers, bike lanes etc, amazingly even bike lanes on the ski roads! I wondered if anyone rides up to go skiing. 4,000' climb but I think a strong rider could do it in 4 hours.
It is one traffic light, 9 miles, and 3000 feet from my home to Alta ski resort. Little Cottonwood Canyon is a truly amazing and excellent climbing ride. Just under 2 hours up, with grades from 8 to 11 percent the whole way, no break from the pain. And fifteen minutes back down... A little longer if you avoid passing cars on the way down.

Wasatch Blvd, Emigration Canyon, Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, Millcreek canyon, City Creek Canyon, the Jordan River Parkway MUP that runs about 80 miles, Traverse Ridge road, and so much more. But unless you stay in the valley floor, you better learn to love climbing.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:59 PM
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I'm an owner of Garmin Edge Explore. Got one for myself end of last year.

I'm completely satisfied with its navigational capabilities and in general it does everything I've expected it to do.
It is basically an Edge 1030 with a slightly smaller screen and artificially introduced software limitations like removed power meters support. Or temperature sensor - it does have one in its hardware and it was working perfectly until software update 4.10 in which Garmin removed support for it because official device specifications say that Explore doesn't have a temperature sensor. Yeah, they do need to sell 1030...

Device works pretty fast, touch screen is fast and responsive. Additional apps can be installed from Connect IQ store (I really like routeCourse app which allows to upload routes to Garmin wirelessly from any web browser - e.g. right from phone - https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/b...3-474e97f376ac). So far never ran out of battery with it: usually running with 60-70% screen brightness without battery saver enabled and even after long rides of about 7 hours it still has about 25% charge left.

From the list of features mentioned Explore doesn't have elevation grade %, only elevation in absolute measures (feet or meters) like current elevation, total ascent, ascent remaining etc. It also doesn't have a concept of bike profiles as far as I can tell - I don't see anything about profiles in it.
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Old 07-22-19, 03:33 PM
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I just picked up a Garmin Explore myself, a major upgrade from my old eTrex,, I looked at the diffs between the Explore & 830, there was nothing I wanted on the 830, nor was I willing to pay that price. After a couple of weeks on the learning curve I've very happy with the Explore, all I was looking for was turn-by-turn and decent size touch screen, the Explore has so much more.
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Old 07-22-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
... Explore has pretty good internal memory but I read that if one goes overseas it's likely that one will have to delete the US map & reinstall afterward.
It's unlikely you'd need to do that.

The Explore has 16 GB. The North American maps use < 8 GB. There's a lot of memory left free.

If you go overseas, you won't usually have to load a map for the whole continent.

You can download maps (free) for the area(s) you will be traveling in.

Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
In re bikepacking the 32x allows 2,000 waypoints vs 200 for Explore. I'm not an expert on the waypoint issue but AFAIK off-road routes can require more waypoints. Even on-road I think that 200 waypoints can be limiting, apparently some folks have to edit their routes to limit waypoints and/or split routes into sections.
Waypoints are locations you can have the unit create a route to.

Navigation on the Edges is typically done using course files (not waypoints). A course file is basically a track that traces the path you want to follow. They are separate from waypoints.

Course files can contain "course points" (a max of 200 in each course), which are kind of like waypoints. They mark "important" points on the track, like turns and stops. Most of the Edges support course points. The old Touring did not; I'm not sure about the Explore.

Course points are mostly intended for the Edges that don't use maps (but the are still useful on the units that do use maps).

The Edges that do use maps can create "turn guidance" from the track using the installed maps.

​​​You don't need to "split routes" due to waypoints (on the Edges, one has nothing to do with the other).

Routes shorter than around 100 miles might be more manageable (on not just the Edges), especially, since it can take awhile to calculate the turns.
​​​​

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-22-19 at 06:48 PM.
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