The new Garmin Edge 500 moves Garmin away from maps on your bar top, to a high-end GPS enabled bike computer. The form is a much smaller and sleeker design (although I am not sure about the durability of a white and blue computer) that has the now tried and tested ANT+ technology allowing you to wirelessly connect to your Power Meter of choice. No info on the materials but the blue back seems to be rubberized which would be a nice feature. Other added features over their other devices include a thermometer and a very smart “you are moving and your computer isn’t on!” alarm. How many rides data has been spoiled by not hitting start again after the coffee shop? It also has a longer battery life than the 705, and saves nearly 2 ounces. It is estimated to hit the market in December this year and retail for around $250. Photo courtesy of Garmin.
This is a great example of technologies coming together to create a very different online experience. Think of it like Google Street View, but done in video that allows you to navigate through the video as it is playing. For an online delivery it is pretty smooth and easy to interact with. Imagine this mounted on the back of a bike inside the peleton going up Ventoux. Now that would really be like riding in the pack.
I got the Garmin 405 a few weeks back and have been testing it out before we head off to France. Initial tests show it to have been a great purchase. Out of the box it was really easy to set up, as was linking it to your free account on Garmin Connect. The watch comes with a USB antenna for your computer, so it is just plug and play. Starting out on a ride you just hit and hold the training button and it will pick up satelites in about a minute, hit start and you can roll off. The only complaint that I have is that is is obviously designed for a runner. The touch bevel for controling the unit is very sensitive, so when you get you wrist into a tuck position or a reverse bend when climbing, it can activate. All that I can tell has happened is it switches to pace and back. So if you can put up with the odd “beep” – there is no probems with the data. On getting back home the antenna automatically senses the device, pulls the data and uploads it to Garmin Connect. It does pull speed and averages, but the good stuff is in the mapping (overlayed onto Google Maps) and the elevation info. It also gives you the options to export the data to use and edit in other programs. All in all this is a pretty good kit addition to get you mapping and elevation. Now all I have to do is figure out how I went to 200ft below sea level for 5 mins.
Just ordered one of these to try out on our trip to France at the end of June. My bar top is already a little packed with my power meter so this will give me GPS data. The new Garmin Connect site is pretty nicely done and will drop the ride data right on to Google maps. They made a lot of improvements to the site and have some really nice ajax UX builds. I should get it next week, so I can do a few test rides before we go. If nothing else I will get a nice circular white spot on my wrist from the sheer size of the thing, and the exposed Irish skin in the heat of the Pyrenees.
Had the pleasure of attending a meeting this afternoon at the Monitor Group on Broadway down by Wall Street. Their offices are up on the 50th floor, so the views are pretty amazing. This was assisted by the thunder storm that was rolling in over Jersey (below). Very hard keeping your train of thought and present when you are looking out at this. The irony is that in most of the offices they have to keep the blinds down because of the heat from the direct sunlight.