The new series features preloaded “Garmin Cycle Maps” (apparently on an included microSD card), and cycling, tour cycling and mountain bike modes. They offer a round-trip routing option that will calculate up to three routes to choose from, and display their distance and elevation profiles.
It appears that the Touring series is based on the Edge 800 hardware, albeit with very different firmware and features. The Edge Touring Plus adds ANT+ heart rate monitor compatibility, a barometric altimeter, and “will even display key data such as range or remaining charge from ANT+ compatible eBikes.” A notable accessory is the solar-powered external charger.
Of maps and trails
I will be interested to see how good the trail database is for mountain biking. If it works well, expect to see similar routing functionality on future hiking models. And on the subject of maps, check out what DC Rainmaker has to say in his initial hands on look:
Garmin has pre-loaded the unit with free maps from Openstreet – which is actually a pretty big shift for the company where most maps cost users money. This past spring you saw the addition of Openstreet to Garmin Connect for map creation – in preparation for this unit being offered.
Now he may be looking at a European model, but having OSM maps could ultimately make for a very accurate trail database, although updates are questionable if it comes on a microSD card. Still, you can always load routes from Garmin Connect.
I’ve never been a big fan of the Edge series, just because I’m a mountain biker who is more focused on navigation than fitness stats. Guess I’ll have to try one of these!
Availability and price
The new models are expected to ship this fall (the Garmin product pages say 3-5 weeks) and are priced at $249.99 and $299.99 MSRP. Here is the full news release and a promo video: