Garmin Edge 1000: An In-Depth Review

I’ve been using my Garmin Edge 1000 since August 2015 for Training, Racing, Commuting and collecting data for every ride I’ve done since then.  In the 15 months I’ve had the device I can say that I am fully versed in the nuances of this Garmin and hope this review will offer you a good idea of what to expect from a Garmin Edge 1000.

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Edge 1000 Home Screen

  The Basics

  • Price: £439.99 (head unit only)
  • GPS and GLONASS enabled
  • ANT+
  • Phone Connectivity through Garmin Connect App
  • Touch screen colour display
  • Up to 15 hours battery life
  • Mapping and route planning
  • Programmable workouts and training plans
  • Live Strava Segments
  • Live activity tracking

The Edge 1000 is Garmin’s leading GPS cycling head unit topping their pricing scale at £439.99 for the head unit only, and comes with a host of features you would expect from a bike computer at this price.  Whilst I probably haven’t used half its functionality I will talk you through the bits I have used.

Looks and Usability.

First off I think the Edge 1000 is a good looking bit of kit.  Its sleek design and big screen make it look more like a phone than a bike computer.  At 58x112mm it is on the large size for a bike computer, however having such a large screen makes up for this big size, and being only 20mm thick it is on slimmer than most of Garmin’s other head units.  I have raced both road races and TTs with the unit and have had no worries about the size, using the out-front mount supplied keeps yours bars free of clutter.

 

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Edge 1000 compared to an iPhone SE

 

Where the Edge 1000 really is impressive is in its big colour touch screen.  The display is excellent and clear, making it easy to keep track of your metrics or the map whilst riding.  The touch screen is very good too, using pressure sensitivity means that you can still use it with the biggest winter gloves on in the peeing the rain.

There are only 3 buttons on the device, the on/off, start/stop and lap buttons.  The on/off button is on the side keeping it out of the way to avoid an accidental pressing whilst out riding, I’ve only had this happen once when I mounted my Lezyne Mega-Drive light on the left hand side.  Having actual buttons for the start/stop and lap functions is great as although the touch screen does work well there is no lag with the physical button; this is especially good when trying to mark data in your ride with lap button when you’re on your limit.

The home screen is well laid out, with quick links to all the options you need. Navigation through the devices menus is very intuitive and easy to do, with most things being in the place you’d expect them to be.

Out on the Road

With customisable displays you can monitor almost any metric you want whilst you ride, and lay them out in a format that best suits you. The picture above is how I have mine set out for a general ride. Again the big screen allows for lots of data to be shown at any one time, I currently use 7 data fields with all easily readable with a quick glance.

Using a swipe of your finger you can move between a number of screens which include, elevation gain, the base map, virtual partner and any additional data screens you may have added.  To be honest when out riding I tend to just use the main screen, only using the map when following a route and the other pages when I’m bored.

One feature of the display is an auto dim feature which changes the brightness of the screen depending on ambient light. This works particularly well in bright low angle light as it helps to see the data through any screen glare.  There is also an automatic feature where the background turns black at sunset.  This is a really good feature as there isn’t a distracting light in your field of vision when riding at night.

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My riding layout in Night time mode

 

Battery Life

I haven’t yet run the unit for long enough in one go to test the 15 hours battery life claim.  I have been out and ran out of power, but that’s from not charging it for a few days rather than a short battery life.  The unit does give you a battery warning at 20% power which is helpful.  This gives you around 1 hour of power with GPS + GLONASS on, but I have found you can get about 2 hours if you just switch to GPS.

Mapping

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The mapping and features of the Edge 1000 was the main reason I went for this as my bike computer.  Being someone who trains using long MAF rides during my Base periods I was getting bored of using loops I already knew when I had my previous computers, a Forerunner 910XT and an Edge 305, I decided that the Edge 1000’s auto-loop routing system sounded ideal.  So I took the plunge bought one and have been using the feature for my long solo rides ever since.

The auto-loop feature works by you entering a desired distance, it helps to know what average speed you expect to achieve when planning your training by time, then the computer plots 3 options close to that distance for you.  When viewing each option it shows the whole loop on the mapping screen, the total distance of the loop and total elevation gain, giving you the option to choose a hillier or flatter route depending on your aims for that ride.  I have found that you will never get a perfect distance from the 3 options and often there is a big variance between the distances offered.  When entering 100km for example I have had one option at 90km and another at 116km.  I would suggest repeating the process until it gives as close to the perfect ride you require the best way to use this feature.

When out riding with auto-loop feature the Edge 1000 does have a few drawbacks that can be annoying.  Firstly it loves a cycle path, where ever it can find one it will try to put you on it.  Whilst I am sure this is a great feature if you live in the Netherlands or Belgium, in the UK cycle paths are generally shared with oblivious pedestrians, covered in broken glass or just unrideable. Secondly sometimes what the Edge 1000 thinks is a road, definitely is not a road.  However this slight quirk can be very fun and add a bit of excitement to a long road ride and add some good bike handling practice in the mud.

As well as the auto-loop the mapping system can be pre-loaded with a route you’ve designed yourself.  This can be done either on the device, on the Garmin Connect website or through a third party website such as Strava using .GXP files.  This feature certainly makes it much harder to get lost on sportives.  You can also enter an address or postcode like any GPS device and it will give you “bike friendly” (See auto-looping quirks) route there.  This feature is great when trying to find that café you’ve heard about but never been too.

Strava Segments

As of late 2015 Garmin’s are now able to offer live segments, where you can race virtually against you PRs and others out on the road.  Whilst I use Strava and think it’s a great tool I find this feature quite annoying.  When out for a ride as you approach a Strava segment the screen will change warning you the Segment is approaching, it’s like an annoying pop-up when you visit a website. To get rid of this you have to exit the ‘pop-up’, this is a two-step process done via the touch screen, which when travelling at speed and wearing big gloves is a pain.  However if you are an avid K/QoM hunter then I am sure this feature takes all of the guess work out of smashing a segment.

Sensors

To make the Edge 1000 a truly useful tool for cycling training you need to take advantage of its ANT+ connectivity through a number of sensors offered by Garmin and other brands.  These include Heart Rate Straps, Speed and Cadence Sensors, Power Meters and Electronic Groupsets.  The data these sensors produce is all displayed on the Edge 1000’s screen to help you keep better informed during your training and racing.

I currently use a Garmin Premium Soft Strap heart rate monitor and Garmin Vector 2 pedals to measure heart rate, power and cadence for my rides, I rely on the excellent GPS and GLONASS systems for speed and distance.  I found that the pairing process for all ANT+ accessories very easy on the Edge 1000, with a quick pull down menu to find sensors.

Workouts

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Workout screen

Another feature that the Edge 1000 is particularly good at is the workout builder, which again can either be done on the device itself or through the Garmin Connect website; I prefer to use the website.  Through this you can build workouts with set intervals which have targets for power, heart rate, cadence, speed, distance, calories and pretty much any metric you can think of.  You can then select the workout you want to do for that session, run it and follow the instructions on screen, with useful countdown beeps in the last 5 seconds of an interval.  This takes all the mental maths out of an interval session allowing you to purely focus on the effort.  You can even use the lap button to skip intervals if you’re suffering on a particular day, and yes I have done this.

Connectivity

The Edge 1000 comes with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.  I have never used the Wi-Fi connectivity on mine as I feel that having the Edge 1000 connect to your phone does everything it needs to do.

Having the Edge 1000 connected to your phone via the Garmin Connect app offers a number of benefits.  Firstly once your ride is finished and you press save it is automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect, and simultaneously any other sites your account is synced with.  This great as you don’t have to turn your PC on, Find Garmin Express and wait to upload your ride.

Garmin Connect also sends updates to the Edge 1000, again cutting out the middle man of your PC.  Updates are then installed directly on the Edge 1000.

Before Strava Beacon Garmin had its Live Tracking feature, using your phones network connection to send a live feed to someone via an email link.  This is a great safety feature and i often use it when I am out on solo rides so that loved ones can check up on me to make sure I’m still moving, although my wife definitely knows when I’ve had a coffee stop now.

The Edge is also capable of displaying notifications from your phone, allowing you to read text messages and see incoming calls.  It is currently a one way system; you cannot text back from the Edge 1000.  This connectivity also allows you to check weather forecasts on the Edge 1000; however there is very limited useful information in the weather report.  With Garmin allowing developers to create apps for their products now I would quite like to see a rain radar app at some point.

Setting up the Bluetooth is very straight forward.  There are onscreen instructions when you select Pair Device in the Edge 1000’s menu.

Problems

Over the last 15 months I have had only one recurring problem, when I say recurring I mean it’s happened a handful of times.  Occasionally the unit will just reboot or switch off mid ride, when the battery is adequately charged.  I assume this is or was software issue as since the last update it has not happened.  I have had this experience with my previous Garmin products so maybe an inherent problem with Garmin.

Summary

After 15 months of use I would say that the Garmin Edge 1000 is a very good cycling GPS.  Paired with the right sensors and using the workout builder it is a fantastic training tool.  The mapping features make discovering new rides fun an easy, even if you’ll sometimes question where it is taking you.  The connectivity features take the hassle out uploading data and updating software, whilst offering your loved ones the opportunity to make sure you are safe out on the road.

Although I have probably used only a fraction of the functions of the Edge 1000 it does everything I need it to do and would thoroughly recommend it.

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