After the imminent release of the new Garmin Edge 520 and their new radar system, Varia, Garmin have announced yet another new device – the Garmin Edge Explorer.It’s a slightly simplified version of the top of the range Edge 1000, but with a redesigned interface.
You could think of the original Edge 1000 as the boy racer version. Optimised for speed and aiming to get the max performance out of you on every ride.
The new Edge Explorer might be thought of as a more laid back unit, much more safety conscious and therefore aimed at Dads and Granddads!
What’s the difference between the Edge 1000 and the Garmin Edge Explore 1000?
There are two significant differences, and one of them is down to a new bit of hardware inside the unit.
#1 An accelerometer triggers a message to your chosen contacts if it detects an impact. Garmin call it “incident detection”. DC Rainmaker calls them “Crash alerts” which sounds a bit more down to earth, no pun intended.
My first thought was that there’s no mobile phone signals in 80% of the places I ride. This would be utterly useless most of the time. Unless of the course the local sheep can interpret your Garmin’s beeping and go and summon the farmer. Think Skippy the kangaroo, but on the Welsh hills.
Assuming you have got mobile connectivity, when a collision is detected, you have 30 seconds to disable it and prevent the call.
I wonder how annoying false alarms might become on the Garmin edge explore 1000. You can just imagine all those follow up calls to worried wives. “Sorry love, ignore the text message saying I was dying in a ditch. I just dropped the Garmin on the cafe floor while looking for change to buy a flapjack.”
#2 is a new interface. It’s a more cosmetic change, but again aimed at the more mature rider. Statistically s/he can’t see as well as the young whippersnappers, I guess.
The interface has been revamped to be clearer, and simplified so that Dads can work it out for themselves without having to borrow a twelve year old.
The tiny part of my brain that’s obsessed with battery conservation is worried. All that white in the background…
Or maybe that would be offset by the reduced need for using the backlight in the daytime? Who knows?
The unit will retail at £349. So it won’t sell well considering you can get a “proper” edge 1000 for less these days.
Is there a big “Dad” market for this new safety conscious Edge, or are they (we?) all still too busy chasing PB’s that we need the full on performance units to go chasing
our youth Strava KOMs?
The cynic in me questions whether the Garmin Edge Explore was designed to
prey on fear and anxiety appeal to safety obsessed riders. Nothing wrong with that (?)
It’s a free capitalist society. Nobody is forcing anyone to be gullible enough to think they need a Garmin Edge Explore, right?
Could products like the Garmin Edge Explore undermine cycling? Does it label cycling as more dangerous than it actually is? One has only to watch the promo video for the Varia radar system to witness this approach in its full hilarity.
Bottom line – you’re probably better off with a “proper” Edge 1000 than a Garmin Edge Explore 1000
Considering the price point, most will opt for the original Edge 1000. Its full performance monitoring will appeal to more riders than the new Garmin Edge Explore. It’s just had the software update to allow it to link to Strava Live too, so there’s never been a better time to get one.