Disjointed Reality

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Filtering by Tag: Garmin Edge 800

Let down by technology.

Yesterday I cycled up to Coed Llandegla, a mountain bike trail centre and café in North Wales. It's a round trip of about 60 miles (96km) from home; mostly climbing on the way out, leaving a relatively fast return. It's not too challenging a ride, though there was a very strong headwind all the way there yesterday, followed by a snowstorm as I reached the Llandegla moors and then heavy rain and wind for the remainder of the ride.

I always log my rides on a Garmin cycle GPS/computer, and I'm currently using the Edge 1000. I've kept records of my rides since the early 1980s. In those days there wasn't much data to record. I kept diaries with distance, average speed, time, weather conditions and a brief description of the route. 

Nowadays most of that data is gathered automatically and then uploaded to (in my case) Garmin Connect and Strava. It's worked pretty flawlessly with the Edge 1000 and with the Edge 800 I had for a couple of years before. 

Yesterday, it let me down...  

On entering the café at Llandegla, the device lost contact with the satellites it uses for triangulating location. That's quite normal when entering a building. What it didn't do was reconnect with the satellites as I left for my journey home. This could possibly have been due to the heavy snow falling at the time, anyway, I didn't notice anything unusual, as the primary screen on it is set to display basic data, all of which was working as normal.

I first noticed something wasn't quite right about 15 miles later, when I reached the path alongside the River Dee, which is almost flat and not far from sea level. The Garmin display indicated that I was descending at a steady 3% and that I was already over 150 metres below sea level. It was still pouring with rain and I couldn't be bothered to find out what was wrong. About 20 minutes later, I stopped at The Eureka Café  on Wirral for a short break, and when I left there, all appeared to be normal again with the Garmin.

When I uploaded my ride to Connect and Strava there was a straight line on the map between the two cafés indicating that no mapping data had been recorded, even though my speed and average speed had been logged correctly. 

 

Garminmap.jpg

 I hate when things don't work as expected and I'm probably over reacting to this, but it really annoys me to see that straight red line on the map. I've made a note about what happened on both services, but I really do wish that I could get in to the .fit file generated by the Garmin and correct the data.

Review: K-Edge mount for Garmin Edge.

A few months ago, after a significant amount of research and justification, I bought a Garmin Edge 800 cycle computer - a decision I have not regretted for a second. It's brilliant. I intend to write a more detailed post about it in the future.

However, one down side I have encountered is to do with the mounting point on the bike.

It is supplied with a plastic mount, secured with two elastic bands. Although the mount appears to be quite flimsy, it is actually very solid and secure when attached to the bike. The issue is that it is best secured to the handlebar stem, which puts the device in an awkward position for easy visibility whilst riding; it's just too far back, out of an easy line of sight, especially when descending at speed, or climbing, out of the saddle.

It is possible to attach the mount to the handlebars, but that puts the device off centre, which doesn't look very neat, and still doesn't get it far enough forward.

Resigned to this compromise, I was interested to see a post on Twitter, from a cycling contact, about the K-Edge mount for Garmin Edge. At that time it didn't appear to be available in the UK, and the proposed retail price was quite high. It did get very good reviews from a couple of cycle magazines and I put it on my non-urgent wish list.

 Since the introduction of the K-Edge mount, several other companies have launched alternatives, including Garmin themselves. Obviously the position problem is a serious enough issue for a lot of Garmin Edge users, to generate demand for a solution. My Twitter contact bought the Bar Fly and appears to be very happy with it. Both the Bar Fly and Garmin’s own Out-Front mount are made from tough plastic - the K-Edge is CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminium. The weights of all three are very similar and pretty insignificant, at under 30 grams.

About a month ago, the K-Edge mount became available in the UK through online retailers. Stock was immediately snapped up and delivery dates were extended as the mount was put on back order.

I then saw a video review on the excellent Scarletfire site, run by another Twitter contact. This re-sparked my interest in the K-Edge mount and I ordered one from Wiggle.

Three weeks later, my mount arrived, and it's all I hoped it would be. It truly is a quality piece of kit. The design, machining and finish is excellent.

It mounts easily and very firmly on standard, round profile handlebars. On smaller diameter bars some packing or modification may be required. No packing pieces are supplied, but I’m sure most keen cyclists will have a selection of different thicknesses from other bike mounts and accessories; or be able to make something from old inner tube.

I’d heard reports that the disk lock part of the K-Edge was causing some people problems, shaving plastic off the base of the Garmin. Some have even resorted to filing the aluminium to slacken the fit. I’ve had no such problems. The fit is just right, with a positive click as the unit locks into position. The mounting head, which is compatible with the Garmin Edge 200, 500 and 800 units, is on a slider, locked in place with an Allen bolt. This gives a range of forward and backward adjustment to get whichever model of Garmin you have, in the perfect position.

Shown with a Garmin Edge 500 attached.

Since fitting the K-Edge mount, I've had only a couple of 50 mile rides, but within the first mile, the benefits were totally apparent.

My only remaining question is, can I justify a K-Edge mount for each of my bikes?

Well, with Christmas just around the corner, they're on my present list. I just hope that my close family read my blog.

 The three colour options available.

I must thank Joe Savola at AceCo Sport Group, for kindly allowing me to use the product photographs of the K-Edge Mount for Garmin Edge.

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