Just when you were thinking that bike computers couldn’t come up with any more features, Garmin has integrated safety and group riding assistance into its new Edge 820 model. This model inherits most performance-oriented features of the Edge 1000, and is priced a bit lower too.
The Garmin Edge 820 helps with group riding through its new GroupTrack feature. The idea is that everyone who has paired up with GroupTrack can see whereabouts they are, allowing riders (or small groups of riders) of different abilities to progress at their own pace but be easily able to link up again at a pre-agreed time. Each group can adjust its pace as desired, and others will know very quickly if a group has got into difficulty. It sounds a bit easier than texting or Facebook Messenger, doesn’t it?
An accelerometer in the Edge 820 will detect if you come to a sudden halt, and can notify emergency services automatically. The likelihood of you ever needing this is thankfully low, but it could prove a life-saver one day. The Garmin Edge 820 also integrates with Garmin’s Varia product range, including the Varia Rearview Radar that can warn you when vehicles are approaching from behind (along with a threat level). Adding on the Varia smart front light that adjusts its beam angle according to your speed, the Edge 820 really can be a safe-cycling computer.
The assistance and GroupTrack functions require use of a compatible smartphone (with Bluetooth Smart capability), but that shouldn’t be an issue nowadays.
If you like all these safety features but want to save a bit of money then you can opt for the Edge Explore 820, as it is only missing some advanced performance features (such as power recording and virtual partner). Both models feature the same high quality touchscreen display and are IPX7 rated, making them suitable for use in all weathers. You will also find that rain doesn’t affect the touchscreen sensitivity.the @Garmin Edge 820 will detect if you come to a sudden halt, and can notify emergency services Click To Tweet
The Garmin Edge 820 sits comfortably (in price and features) between the Edge 520 and Edge 1000 (or Edge 100 bundle). You pay a small premium for the safety features, but get a computer that is at the cutting edge of integration with accessories and the connected world.