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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a poll somewhat and is an attempt to determine what decisions folks used to move to Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar/Hammerhead vs. Garmin. Really an attempt to determine the current state of the GPS cycling computer. These things are pricy and I’m wondering who is doing it best currently.

Partial reason is my 810, while mostly reliable for 16 mos. of use, has recently had the touch screen freeze twice in 4 rides thus a replacement maybe forthcoming. A recent set of posts o n another forum by TimothyH on how his Garmin 820 only gets about 4-5 useful hours with the data screen on, disturbed me as that's just a complete failure on Garmin's part to provide a product that meets its own descriptions. It's fraud really.

Which begs the question. What's better ?.

1) How has your Garmin (insert model here), given you headaches ?
2) What features do Garmin's do better ?,
3) What does your Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar do better ?
4) Do the others crash as well ?
5) Have the others provided good software updates, or at least other then the sometimes useless fixes Garmin's provide ?

Feel free to add questions and answers not listed here.

I’ll start with mine:

1) 810, had 3 crashes with lost rides early on, with the first Garmin had me reset the unit. Sometimes a crash as a result of stopping a navigation of a course while the device was in motion. I learned to stop riding, then stop the course. Recently had screen freezes, tracking was still active, just no touch screen control. Restart saved the route (I’ve since deleted all my saved rides/courses/segments, etc…). The user's manual is useless thus setup was not easy and non intuitive. The Garmin technical writers just think different and don’t seem to be cyclists or follow what a lot of other cycling electronics understand.

2) Possibly the navigation is best. TBT is pretty good, the color screen and resolution for my 62 year old eyes is good. Navigating menus has gotten better with use.

3) N/A

4) N/A

5) N/A
 

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My wife still uses the Garmin 305 that I bought in 2007. She rarely rides more than a couple of hours at a time and she is happy with it. I replaced the 305 with the 800 somewhere around 2011 and it is still going strong. It has frozen a couple or three times during/after charging and the reset maneuver which is something like hold the power and lap button for 5 seconds brings it right back to life. It has never died on me during a ride that I started with a full charge, but it's been years since I've ridden more than 5-6 hours at a time. I just now plugged it in after a beach trip in which I did about 5.5 hours total riding and it's showing 46% battery.

My Garmin experience has been a good one. I don't really use all the bells and whistles on my 800 but it does what I need it to do pretty reliably, including pick up my power meter. I know their software interfaces tend to suck but I don't really do Strava, the Garmin site or other stuff, just download my rides into my Rubitrack software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Good link, I hadn't seen that one. It's typical for DC to somewhat softpedal his reviews, thus I've found he's not always helpful at listing what can sometimes be glaring problems. He is typically thorough though.

EDIT:, I take that back about DC. It's not that he's being overly nice to the manufacturers, its just that as compared to the thousands of replies he gets to his reviews, his experiences with some units are seemingly lucky. As example in about 1000 posts about the Garmin 820, DC doesn't have the many countless problems people report. An interesting thing and after browsing the 1000 some odd posts, few report poor battery life. Tons, and tons of other issues, but not that. I would never upgrade to an 820 though.
 

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For my part, I'm interested in the wahoo but until it supports workouts I'll stick with my 500, which has been mostly problem free for 5 years or so
 

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This is a poll somewhat and is an attempt to determine what decisions folks used to move to Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar/Hammerhead vs. Garmin. Really an attempt to determine the current state of the GPS cycling computer. These things are pricy and I’m wondering who is doing it best currently.

Partial reason is my 810, while mostly reliable for 16 mos. of use, has recently had the touch screen freeze twice in 4 rides thus a replacement maybe forthcoming. A recent set of posts o n another forum by TimothyH on how his Garmin 820 only gets about 4-5 useful hours with the data screen on, disturbed me as that's just a complete failure on Garmin's part to provide a product that meets its own descriptions. It's fraud really.

Which begs the question. What's better ?.

1) How has your Garmin (insert model here), given you headaches ?
2) What features do Garmin's do better ?,
3) What does your Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar do better ?
4) Do the others crash as well ?
5) Have the others provided good software updates, or at least other then the sometimes useless fixes Garmin's provide ?
1. Garmin 500 was totally reliable. Garmin 820 was never reliable - touchscreen never worked right, over a dozen different firmwares; it would crash at least once every 5 rides; battery life was bizarrely inconsistent. And I was never convinced by the color screen which was hard to read in bright sunlight.

2. Garmin does turn by turn navigation TO the start of a loaded route, should you find yourself off the route for some reason.

3. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt does basically EVERYTHING better. Great battery life, clear screen, and a much better way if setting things up with the phone app.

4. Knock on wood: zero crashes for me or my wife after about 2,000 miles of rides.

5. One firmware update in 6 weeks of use. No problems before or after.
 

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1) How has your Garmin (1000), given you headaches ?
It hasn't really given me any headaches. No issues at all mid ride.

2) What features do Garmin's do better ?
It has been much more reliable than my iphone for tracking rides and more than my father's garmin 510 (he had several issues with his 510 but has recently switched to a 1000).

3) What does your Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar do better ?
I haven't had a need to buy a different brand since getting my Garmin. I don't really feel I'm missing any additional features so this might not be applicable anyways.

4) Do the others crash as well ?
N/A

5) Have the others provided good software updates, or at least other then the sometimes useless fixes Garmin's provide ?
N/A
 

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1) How has your Garmin (insert model here), given you headaches ?
2) What features do Garmin's do better ?,
3) What does your Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar do better ?
4) Do the others crash as well ?
5) Have the others provided good software updates, or at least other then the sometimes useless fixes Garmin's provide ?

1)I have an Edge 520 that I've had since it launched and it's been a solid performer for me with no headaches that jump out. My only complaint is they advertise 15 hours, and mine is lucky to go 10.
2)I have and use the Garmin Varia Rear Radar and am totally spoiled by it. If the Wahoo Bolt interfaced with it, I would consider jumping ship, but without the integration, I am firmly planted in the Garmin camp. I also have a remote control for the 520, which I use quite a bit. Although I've heard you can tie in the Bolt to the button on the DA shifters to change pages, I haven't heard of a standalone remote.
3) N/A
4) N/A
5) N/A
 

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Edge 1000, Edge 705, Edge 305...Brief stint with the Magellan Cyclo 505.


1/2) All the Edge devices had teething problems. All of them took about 2 years of updates before they finally were stable and not crashing or losing data or what have you. The Garmin devices have great routing, when it works...and you don't need a cellphone with a network connection if you have to change your route mid-ride due to road closures or missing turns.

3) The Magellan was buggy. Magellan was violating your privacy left and right de-anonymizing your rides and copying them in full to a 2nd party website without the user's knowledge or consent. The screen honestly sucked compared to the E1K...the random-route generator based on ride time or length and a few parameters was brilliant as a way to explore new roads or routes.


4) I sent to Magellan back after 2 weeks so cannot say.

5) I gather Magellan was worse than Garmin at updates. Especially since maps and OS were integrated-you couldn't sideload maps.



After my E1K I'm done buying Garmins. Never again. Too much blatantly halfassed effort. The entire farce of software route creation ecosystem and so is because Garmin couldn't be bothered to make adequate utilities themselves for their own features. I shouldn't have to rely on a fan in Germany to publish Fit File Repair Tool on his own--Garmin should have made that utility themselves DAY ONE. The "Competition" of Wahoo doesn't get my interest due to the lack of cellphone-independent-network routing. In rural Nebraska on gravel grinders, there's zero cell service.
 

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820 may be newer, but I think the 520 may be a bit more bulletproof, especially for those who are not a fan of touchscreens on bike computers.

1) 520 has never given me headaches. It has crashed once a couple years ago, but lo and behold when I powered it back on somehow it continued recording and lost no data. The altimeter has ceased to function during severe rain due to water getting in the barometer hole but that would happen to any computer in those conditions.

2) I don't know about better, but some features I like about the 520:
-Form factor, not too big, not to small, with vivid screen
-Garmin Varia radar for added safety
-I use the maps/courses WAY more than I ever thought I would, even though 520 is not designed to be as navigation feature intensive as bigger screen models
-I also use the elevation profile screen in conjunction with courses and like that
-Livetrack w/Strava beacon... gives my wife a bit more peace of mind
-GPS + GLONASS is much more accurate than just GPS if you deal with a lot of hills/canyons/sporadic tree cover.

3) Not too familiar with current other brands... the new one from Stages looks interesting with the landscape orientation.

4) Per answer to #1, had one crash ever but somehow it recovered the activity.

5) N/A
 

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There's a lot of Garmin bashing these days, I've had my unit now three years. Perhaps the firmware has improved over that time but its working pretty good these days. Biggest issue over the past several months was a failed cord that connects the charger to the unit. I'm on an 810, it does what I need.

I read the criticisms and the only one that resonates with me that doesn't really apply to the 810 but does with regard to some of the newer units like the 1000 is poor battery life. Suspect many people are looking at alternatives not based on performance but based on cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There's a lot of Garmin bashing these days, I've had my unit now three years. Perhaps the firmware has improved over that time but its working pretty good these days. Biggest issue over the past several months was a failed cord that connects the charger to the unit. I'm on an 810, it does what I need.

I read the criticisms and the only one that resonates with me that doesn't really apply to the 810 but does with regard to some of the newer units like the 1000 is poor battery life. Suspect many people are looking at alternatives not based on performance but based on cost.
I have another thread (same title) on BikeForums.

One of the questions is "do the others crash as well". Nobody's answered that. It seems the majority of the replies are from Garmin users who, in the majority, have some form of issues, or users who say their units have been OK. But it's all mostly Garmin users replying and with problems.

Some generalizations can be found in the many replies.

- Lots of happy Garmin owners like Trek_5200. No doubt the majority of owners report no problems. Possible they also just live with quirks. But the overwhelming trend of reported problems with these expensive little toys are from Garmin users and it's not just because their are more Garmin users.

- Not as many Lezyne and Wahoo users, so no or few replies. If you browse the threads with titles for these companies, or of people just asking general advice as to which unit, some early issues reported, with most problems fixed with software updates. Both Lezyne and Wahoo users seem to not report crashes or other failures and battery life is pretty good. Lezyne maybe has fewer features, with Wahoo getting out front currently and Hammerhead not yet a presence.

- It's actually surprising to read of the many issues with the Garmin 820, which seemingly has many more problems than the 810, which was worse than the 800. That's a trend. The 1000 still seemingly has touch screen issues as does the 820. The DC Rainmaker forum on the 820 is 1000 posts and the majority are reporting major problems. For some reason owners of the 520 are possibly the happiest bunch, though 500 and 800 users have learned to live with any issues.

- Garmin just doesn't seem to listen and get stuff fixed. Instead they just release new units that are possibly worse than the last model with the 800/810/820 being a good example. The touch screens are a HUGE problem, with water and sweat being a problem and there's no fix for this except to lock the screen, which is what was reported as Garmin tech. support telling one user.

My own experience is in 160+ rides, the 810 has crashed 7 or 8 times or so. Not a huge percentage, but you go out on a ride wondering if it'll happen again and will I lose the ride data this time. And it's weird as the unit was stable for a long time then started acting flaky. So not a lot of confidence in a $270 unit.

My Wahoo Elemnt arrives tomorrow
 

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I have another thread (same title) on BikeForums.

One of the questions is "do the others crash as well". Nobody's answered that. It seems the majority of the replies are from Garmin users who, in the majority, have some form of issues, or users who say their units have been OK. But it's all mostly Garmin users replying and with problems.

Some generalizations can be found in the many replies.

- Lots of happy Garmin owners like Trek_5200. No doubt the majority of owners report no problems. Possible they also just live with quirks. But the overwhelming trend of reported problems with these expensive little toys are from Garmin users and it's not just because their are more Garmin users.

- Not as many Lezyne and Wahoo users, so no or few replies. If you browse the threads with titles for these companies, or of people just asking general advice as to which unit, some early issues reported, with most problems fixed with software updates. Both Lezyne and Wahoo users seem to not report crashes or other failures and battery life is pretty good. Lezyne maybe has fewer features, with Wahoo getting out front currently and Hammerhead not yet a presence.

- It's actually surprising to read of the many issues with the Garmin 820, which seemingly has many more problems than the 810, which was worse than the 800. That's a trend. The 1000 still seemingly has touch screen issues as does the 820. The DC Rainmaker forum on the 820 is 1000 posts and the majority are reporting major problems. For some reason owners of the 520 are possibly the happiest bunch, though 500 and 800 users have learned to live with any issues.

- Garmin just doesn't seem to listen and get stuff fixed. Instead they just release new units that are possibly worse than the last model with the 800/810/820 being a good example. The touch screens are a HUGE problem, with water and sweat being a problem and there's no fix for this except to lock the screen, which is what was reported as Garmin tech. support telling one user.

My own experience is in 160+ rides, the 810 has crashed 7 or 8 times or so. Not a huge percentage, but you go out on a ride wondering if it'll happen again and will I lose the ride data this time. And it's weird as the unit was stable for a long time then started acting flaky. So not a lot of confidence in a $270 unit.

My Wahoo Elemnt arrives tomorrow
I agree with a lot of what you wrote. Garmin has the largest installed base, so clearly they'll have the most complaints. Go back a a year or two and Garmin was the market. To some extent you are right, you live with the quirks, 99% of my rides are without incident, but I did a race in France and followed a route, route finishes one mile before the end of the race so I continue riding. When I stop I go to save my ride and poof nothing. Fortunately I was able to recover the ride file with my data. Funny thing is someone else that same day with another garmin following the exact same route had the very same issue. But these problems are so rare, I don't complain and certainly its not so bad I feel the need to spend a few hundred dollars for a unit I'm not sure will perform any better for what I do which is look at my grade speed, time and sometimes follow a tcx file.
 

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- Garmin just doesn't seem to listen and get stuff fixed. Instead they just release new units that are possibly worse than the last model with the 800/810/820 being a good example. The touch screens are a HUGE problem, with water and sweat being a problem and there's no fix for this except to lock the screen, which is what was reported as Garmin tech. support telling one user.

My own experience is in 160+ rides, the 810 has crashed 7 or 8 times or so. Not a huge percentage, but you go out on a ride wondering if it'll happen again and will I lose the ride data this time. And it's weird as the unit was stable for a long time then started acting flaky. So not a lot of confidence in a $270 unit.

My Wahoo Elemnt arrives tomorrow
This is my take too.

Back in the days of the 800 launch, Garmin was all there was for good computers with GPS and the such. They brought along the Ant+ thing and all that.

But ever since that time, it's been downhill. The 810 and 820 I think are perfect examples of how to ruin a perfectly good 800.

Seems to me that when they started branching out into live track and bluetooth stuff it really started going downhill, and it's been accelerating since, like a snowball.

Now a days, Wahoo is the top dog if you ask me. Better units and value. I tried buying several Garmins after the 800 but got rid of them all, can't stand any of them. The 800 is and will be my last Garmin unit.
 

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I choose a Garmin because there were no real alternatives. I am not thrilled with my 1000 but it works, no crashes in two yeas. The charging thing really pisses me off as twice now I started the ride only to find a dead battery. I do not connect to Strava or other programs and use it as a stand-alone unit and only connect to the HR and cadence instruments, maybe that’s the key to success. The GPS works well, a little more detail would be appreciated as well as a larger screen. In another year or two, I’ll be in the market for a new unit.. I hope that there will be some real options.

 

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This is my take too.

Back in the days of the 800 launch, Garmin was all there was for good computers with GPS and the such. They brought along the Ant+ thing and all that.

But ever since that time, it's been downhill. The 810 and 820 I think are perfect examples of how to ruin a perfectly good 800.

Seems to me that when they started branching out into live track and bluetooth stuff it really started going downhill, and it's been accelerating since, like a snowball.

Now a days, Wahoo is the top dog if you ask me. Better units and value. I tried buying several Garmins after the 800 but got rid of them all, can't stand any of them. The 800 is and will be my last Garmin unit.
Not sure what bluetooth issues you speak of. I don't have any power meters etc, but do use blue tooth to upload my rides. the solution was buggy two or three years ago, but the firmware is totally reliable at this point. maybe you are talking about device support and not uploading rides?

I upload all my rides from my 810 using bluetooth. it works.
 

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This is a poll somewhat and is an attempt to determine what decisions folks used to move to Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar/Hammerhead vs. Garmin. Really an attempt to determine the current state of the GPS cycling computer. These things are pricy and I’m wondering who is doing it best currently.

Partial reason is my 810, while mostly reliable for 16 mos. of use, has recently had the touch screen freeze twice in 4 rides thus a replacement maybe forthcoming. A recent set of posts o n another forum by TimothyH on how his Garmin 820 only gets about 4-5 useful hours with the data screen on, disturbed me as that's just a complete failure on Garmin's part to provide a product that meets its own descriptions. It's fraud really.

Which begs the question. What's better ?.

1) How has your Garmin (insert model here), given you headaches ?
2) What features do Garmin's do better ?,
3) What does your Wahoo/Lezyne/Polar do better ?
4) Do the others crash as well ?
5) Have the others provided good software updates, or at least other then the sometimes useless fixes Garmin's provide ?

Feel free to add questions and answers not listed here.

I’ll start with mine:

1) 810, had 3 crashes with lost rides early on, with the first Garmin had me reset the unit. Sometimes a crash as a result of stopping a navigation of a course while the device was in motion. I learned to stop riding, then stop the course. Recently had screen freezes, tracking was still active, just no touch screen control. Restart saved the route (I’ve since deleted all my saved rides/courses/segments, etc…). The user's manual is useless thus setup was not easy and non intuitive. The Garmin technical writers just think different and don’t seem to be cyclists or follow what a lot of other cycling electronics understand.

2) Possibly the navigation is best. TBT is pretty good, the color screen and resolution for my 62 year old eyes is good. Navigating menus has gotten better with use.

3) N/A

4) N/A

5) N/A
I've been pretty happy with my Garmin 800. I have not had issue with crashes or loss of data. The one thing it does not handle well is route navigation when the route doubles back on the same roads later in the ride. When my 800 dies I will look at other options but certainly consider another Garmin
 
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