By Vernon Felton
Preview: Garmin Edge 1000
Where do we start? How about this: The Edge 1000 promises to be the most fully-functioned cyclocomputer on the market. If that sounds like just-so-much marketing drivel, I'd understand, but really, the laundry list of what this thing is capable of is staggering–almost overwhelming, to be honest. I've just cracked open the box on my new unit, synced it to my iPhone and fiddled with it on a ride today. I think I have a handle on about 10 percent of what this thing can do, and I'm no newcomer to Garmin products. I've been using the Edge 800 for a few years now. The Edge 1000, however, is in another league entirely.
Let me try to summarize the highpoints here… In addition to the usual features you'd expect on a high-end GPS unit (speed, grade, distance, current elevation, total elevation gain, elevation loss, temperature, cadence, power, calories burned, heart rate, current time and elapsed time, turn-by-turn navigation, detailed mapping, etc.), the new Edge 1000 communicates with Shimano's Di2 electric drivetrains (telling you what gear you're in and, more significantly, how much battery life you have left), syncs with your smart phone (it gets all Bluetoothy) and lets you know when you're getting texts and calls, and allows you to compete during your ride on with other riders' performances on select Garmin segments (sort of like Strava, but, er, not Strava).
And really, I'm just skimming the surface here. Describing everything the Edge 1000 can do is like trying to summarize what your laptop is capable of–the sky's damn near the limit now. Given that I've just uncorked this thing, it's going to be a good while before I've harnessed The Force and figured out exactly what the Edge 1000 is truly capable of (and how well it actually manages to do it).
So, in the meantime, I'll just add a few notes about the obvious changes. For starters, the new Garmin is big—almost as large as my iPhone, in fact. Garmin bumped up the screen size from 2.7 to 3.0 inches. They also increased the screen resolution. You still get touch screen functionality (Garmin claims it works like a champ in the rain and with gloved fingers) and bonus, you can now view maps horizontally. In short, the thing grew, but it looks like functionality improved with the super-sizing of the device.
While my old Edge 800 took a short eternity to climb out of bed, put on its underwear and make its morning coffee, this Edge 1000 springs to life in a fraction of the time. Sweet.
The graphic interface is also a bit more intuitive than in its predecessor—anyone who has an Android phone or iPhone will quickly figure out how to make the Garmin do its thing, though you really do need to read the included manual if you are going to take advantage of everything the Edge 1000 can do. Speaking of included widgets, the $600 Edge 1000 bundle features the usual Garmin handlebar/stem mounts, as well as their "out front" mount, heart rate sensor, speed and cadence meter.
So, yes, $600 is a lot of coin, but then again, this is a lot of computer. Look for a full review before summer rolls over and dies.
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