Are Garmin Computers garbage?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

Moderator: robbosmans

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by DeLuz

I think I am leaning towards the Bryton 320E if has all the features I need for $120.
I don't need navigation or fancy training data, I just need the basics including heart rate and cadence.
I can't see spending over $200 for another Garmin.
I think I will keep trying to use my Edge 500.
If it becomes too annoying then I will replace it.

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by Bergwerk

Yes they are. Chrashes galore, shitty interface and shoddy hardware. Switched from Garmin to Wahoo two years aho and never looked back.

by Weenie

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by TobinHatesYou

Below are GPS tracks of an office park crit from my teammate’s Elemnt Bolt and my Edge 830. We both had GoPros mounted below the computer. You can plainly see that the Bolt is struggling with accuracy even with direct line of sight to the satellite. This is also what I observed on my own Bolt before I stopped using it.



The Wahoo Elemnt line uses underpowered radios or antennas. The line uses the same chipsets as it did in 2016 when originally released. The only difference in the Roam is the color screen. If you boot up an 830 or Elemnt side by side, the 830 boots in about 7 seconds, while the Elemnt takes twice as long. Meanwhile if you compare the compute power of an 830 or 1030 Plus to a 1030, you’ll see that Garmin actually updates their hardware in addition to their software. Garmin is also better about maintaining different profiles for different kinds of rides (Road, Dirt, Indoor.) Garmin Connect and Connect IQ also offer tons of analytics if desired.

The Elemnt also does not have on-the-fly route navigation. It can only take predetermined routes and steer you back to them if you detour.

Yes, Garmin's software sometimes crashes. So does Wahoo's. What Wahoo can't fix with a software update is the GPS accuracy...that is down to their shitty radio transceivers. I've also observed weaker signal strength with ANT+ sensors. My smart trainer drops out on the Elemnt Bolt continually every couple of minutes. That same trainer might only drop out a couple times on the Edge 830. Even if I liked the rest of the Wahoo experience, this GPS/sensor issue is a dealbreaker.

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by Cannoli

Hardware is good. Software is garbage. I have 6 garmin cycling related products and every one of them has had ongoing software issues that I've brought to their attention, but did nothing about. It will take a lot of arm twisting for me to spend another cent on anything branded Garmin.

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by jlok

okx wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:52 pm
I was using garmin edge 520 for 2-3years, it was ok, until you touch navigation - just to load a route takes several min. To upload route on headunit, change maps, you need computer. Changing settings on headunit - some of them on app, some on device. So all of these small things pushed me to switch garmin to wahoo element bolt and after one season with wahoo, i'm not planing going back to garmin. Everything that I didn't liked on garmin, works perfectly with wahoo and only one thing that I'm missing from garmin - ability to adjust screen backlight to 10-20% and set it to always on.
x20 series are too slow for any real navigation work (like re-calculation after taking a wrong path). You wait for it to calculate the route from start...

x30 series has changed a lot and now it's proper. A happy 1030 (broken... my bad) and now 830 user.
Rikulau V9 DB Custom < BMC TM02 < Litespeed T1sl Disc < Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc 1 < Propel Adv < TCR Adv SL Disc < KTM Revelator Sky < CAAD 12 Disc < Domane S Disc < Alize < CAAD 10

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by Discodan

I wouldn't say they're garbage but their reputation for being a bit buggy and poor user interface is well earned. I've been waiting for my 520 to die so I can jump to Wahoo, it looks like it's hit the critical point now where most rides don't upload anymore and the battery life is giving me the pips.

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by MrCurrieinahurry

To expand on my post.. When I was getting back into riding i started speaking to a few of my old mates who still rode and they had all gone thr wya of wahoo from Garmin because of buggy devices problems uploading etc and tbh ive never had a problem or felt I've wanted for something.
Battery lifes great
upload through to strava super easy and automatic.
Maps could be better if I deviate from the route and it's auto re route feature kicks in..
Auto Dim light works well.
Seems well built.
Very easy to add multiple sensors.

Sent from my MAR-LX1B using Tapatalk

Formerly known as Curryinahurry

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by petromyzon

Liked my 500 but it was buggy. Hated my 510 as I thought the touch screen was crap. Pretty happy with my 530.
I still don't understand why, on a lot of units, the memory fills up without explicitly telling you and then you lose a ride.

I think their reputation for bugginess was well earned, and they also had some physical issues with the mounting tabs snapping. They bring a lot of devices to market very fast and seem to do some beta testing on consumers. However sadly this is far from unusual in the modern world and they are the market leader and so any issues are going to be very well reported on forums.

I feel a bit locked in to their ecosystem as I use a Forerunner watch also. If I was starting again I'd consider Wahoo who have a recent history of excellent, disruptive product launches. However Garmin move and release devices much faster than Wahoo do and if you compare feature sets head to head there is often no contest.

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by vanillaflyweight

I had an Edge 810 which never had too many issues but one thing which really bugged me was how poor the GPS tracking was down hills. I tried every trick in the book including changing frequency of data recording etc but it just wouldn't track correctly. Got a wahoo bolt, tracking problem fixed immediately.

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by jasjas

The only issue i ve found with my 5 yo 520 is that it will freeze if there are alot of activities stored but still lots of hd sapce left.
Other than that its great, even battery life is good enough for 6 hr rides, when it eventually dies, i'll get a 540 :)

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by Cemicar

Some people apparently still hold Edge500/510, but I'm pretty sure that's about your only device with mini USB connector, and it's a very big issue in 2020, especially considering your battery is almost dead and won't last 6 hours.

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by LewisK

Been using Garmin for 8yrs and 3 different models, all of which were upgraded out of choice. All been brilliant, ZERO issues

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by upacs

They were... here's my experience

1. Garmin Edge 305: was an awesome piece of kit at the time. I don't think there were other options like it back then (that I can remember). Having a GPS breadcrumbs view was immensely useful to find my way around. Buggy though, would result in the ocassional lost ride
2. Garmin Edge 500: After I accidentally put the 305 in the wash, I got a 500. Featurewise was pretty much the same, except it supported Ant+ power meters. Piece of garbage though, buggy as hell, GPS breadcrumb view just wouldn't work. I very nearly threw it into a river in the middle of a ride in frustration
3. Garmin Edge 810: Present after the (then) missus got fedup of me swearing at the 500. Vast improvement, in that it actually worked... mostly. Had maps too, so for GPS navigation it was a gift from the god(dess). Again buggy, would ocassional lose a ride, or drop sensors. And had a few quirks but it generally worked. I used that for over five years
4. Garmin Edge 530: Miss the touch screen, and setting up fields on data screen is a royal PITA (come on Garmin, when will we be able to set those up on the smartphone app?!?!?). But it's solid, have had zero issues in almost a year. I never thought I'd say this, but it's a Garmin Edge that just works, all the time. Tons of features too, and that battery life is incredible.

I was torn between the Edge 530 and the Wahoo Roam. Ultimately Wahoo priced themselves out of contention, and while I was bracing for what new bugs I would find, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works. I bought a Fenix 5 a couple of years ago and my experience there had been very positive, so I was wondering if Garmin had left their buggy times behind. IMHO they hit the ball out of the park with the 530 (and I guess 830)

I notice your budget does not stretch to 530 territory. I hear bad things about the 520 (which you may be able to find cheap somewhere) so I would avoid that, and know nothing about the lower range models (130?).

If my 530 broke today, I'd get another (or an 830, or dust off the 810 and wait for the 1030 successor)

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by slake21

830 owner here. zero problems so far.
there was one annoying thing when I put it on my desk and the auto record kept starting by itself, but I think that's fixed now.

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by clientsiman

I also have a 830 for about a year at is very good. Navigation is very good, Climb pro is very nice, and mybiketraffic app with the Varia radar is also very fun to look after the workout.

by Weenie

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