Garmin Edge 25 GPS Cycle Computer Review
A GPS device is pretty much an essential these days for any cyclist who is even taking the sport slightly seriously. Websites and apps such as Strava have made analysing ride data easy and have even added a fun, competitive element to what can be a solo pursuit. Knowing your average speed during a ride, or your speed at any one moment during a ride allows the rider to evaluate whether he or she is on track to meet any personal goals. Not to mention the benefits of the navigational aspect, to follow a pre-planned route – or as is more the case with myself – take a look post ride to see ‘how the hell did I end up there’?
When it comes to GPS, Garmin is one of the first names that come to mind, and with good reason. They have a great reputation and a relatively long history is what is still a fairly juvenile market. I have previously used a Garmin Edge 200 for the last few years so was quite keen to try out it’s bigger and better brother, the Edge 25.
If you’re here, I can presume you’re wondering “is the Garmin Edge 25 any good?”. Luckily for you, we have the answer. Read on to check out our review and find out or Browse all Cycle GPS Devices >>
Really easy to use and accurate cycle GPS that would make an ideal purchase for an entry-level or intermediate rider. Maps can be a little hard to decipher at times and battery life is only around 5 hours, but would be comfortable recommending for the average user.Check price at Amazon » Check price at Wiggle »
The Edge 25 has all of the features that you’d expect from any cycle GPS. The on-screen display can show any of the various metrics you may care to look at during a ride – distance travelled, time expended, current speed, average speed, and calories burned being the main offenders. There are also different customisable screen options enabling you to view various permutations of these metrics at once – depending on which you consider to be the most important or useful.
Additional features that you may consider ‘extras’ are the ability to upload pre-planned routes to the unit for directions, WiFi/Bluetooth synching with your phone or laptop, and heart rate monitoring (although this requires purchasing the bundle with heart rate monitor included. This will set you back approximately a further £35).
What I liked a lot about my old Edge 200 was that it really is very simple to use, and the Edge 25 is no different. Simply attach the unit to the handlebar stem using the supplied fixings (these essentially consist of a plastic mount for the device and two rubber bands – doesn’t sound a lot but they are really very secure), clip the GPS to the mount, power it on and you’re good to go. As soon as the GPS detects movement it will prompt you to start recording your ride which is actually really handy, as I’ve been guilty in the past of setting off and coming back 3 hours later to find I forgot to record the ride – infuriating to say the least. The unit is really light at just 25g and is very compact.
Navigating the various screen options is also a doddle as there are only 4 buttons and the on-screen display tells you what each button does on any given screen. Once home, you can attach your GPS to the laptop either using a USB cable or alternatively via the aforementioned Bluetooth or WiFi connection, and either upload via the Garmin site or download a TCX file to be uploaded to Strava or other route tracking websites.
While connected to your computer, you can also upload pre-planned routes that you can generate via the Garmin Connect website. You can even upload routes that other Garmin users have created previously if you are perhaps cycling in an unfamiliar area or just want some inspiration to take you off your usual, well-beaten paths – which is a nice feature. Garmin Connect also features segments to enable you to get competitive with other users, although personally I preferred to just use Strava’s segments for this as I believe the user pool is much greater.
The Bluetooth and WiFi connections were very easy to setup and consistent with any other Bluetooth device you may have connected in the past, such as a portable speaker for instance. The heart rate monitor was also pretty uncomplicated to setup and operate. Overall I feel that this is one of the simplest cycle GPS’ out there and I have no issues with the Edge 25 from this point of view.
Negatives are fairly few and far between, but a couple stood out for me. The main gripe is the navigational element. The unit doesn’t feature maps as such, instead, it has a wiggly line that pertains to the GPS coordinates. You can see this in the image below:
What this means in practice is that sometimes I found myself riding past turnings as it isn’t always obvious where you need to go to stay on route. You know that you need to turn right and the unit provides turn prompts, but judging exactly where can sometimes be tricky. You are quickly warned if you head off-route so it’s never a major issue, but can be a little frustrating sometimes – particularly if you are cycling in an unfamiliar area.
Second is the small screen size. The small size of the device and low weight is also one of its positives, but of course, this comes with the price of a small screen. The display contrast is very good and the numbers are relatively chunky and bold – but people like me with poor near vision may struggle at times to read the data at a glance.
Lastly, the battery life is not as long as some others I have used in the past – my old Edge 200 included. You can comfortably get 5 hours out of it, but any rides longer than that and you may run into issues.
Overall, for the money (aim for a price of sub £100 without the heart rate monitor, sub £140 with) I found the Edge 25 to be a really nice bit of kit. The ease of use, in particular, would make it a great GPS for entry-level or intermediate users. If you are are looking for more detailed maps or frequently ride out for rides exceeding 5 hours then you may want to look at a more advanced (and more expensive!) model. But for the vast majority of users, I’d have no qualms in recommending the Edge 25.
4.5 stars out of 5.
- Super simple to use
- Lightweight and compact
- Navigation can be a little tricky to decipher at times
- Average battery life (around 5 hours)