How reliable are Garmin computers?

zest28
zest28 Posts: 403
edited July 2019 in Road general
My Wahoo element bolt ran out of battery today and my 140km ride was not registered. Very nice.

Do Garmin computers have an auto-save in case it runs out of battery? And is it worth switching to Garmin?
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Comments

  • de_sisti
    de_sisti Posts: 1,283
    In such a situation the Garmin will (at least mine did on the one occasion the battery ran out)
    record up to the point the battery runs out of juice.
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    If you plan on doing several hours on the bike it is wise to charge whatever GPS you are using beforehand!
  • OnTheRopes
    OnTheRopes Posts: 460
    Yes the Garmin saves at the point of switching off due to a flat battery.
  • david7m
    david7m Posts: 636
    OnTheRopes wrote:
    Yes the Garmin saves at the point of switching off due to a flat battery.

    So does my bolt. Should be easily be able to cope with that distance from a full charge, unless it took 10 hours :D
    Seems odd.
  • david7m
    david7m Posts: 636
    The usual switch based on crapness is from Garmin to Wahoo :p
  • zest28
    zest28 Posts: 403
    david7m wrote:
    OnTheRopes wrote:
    Yes the Garmin saves at the point of switching off due to a flat battery.

    So does my bolt. Should be easily be able to cope with that distance from a full charge, unless it took 10 hours :D
    Seems odd.

    I overestimated how much charge I have left. I was actually done with the ride when the battery died, which is the funny part.

    The wahoo element bolt also has an auto save feature if you run out of battery but you cannot count on it apparently.
  • pete1336
    pete1336 Posts: 86
    Just upgraded from a Garmin Edge 1000 to an Edge 830. The best Garmin Ive owned. The battery life is impressive. I can't fault it so far.
  • david7m
    david7m Posts: 636
    I've had 2 updates within the last month or so, might be worth checking.
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,501
    I’ve used one of these on a audax and gives you around 20 hrs running time including the original Garmin charge.

    https://www.bing.com/shop?q=portable+ch ... ORM=SHOPTB
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • If you check the updates the one in July 2018 fixed this : https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/en- ... re-Updates

    Also, the battery life is supposed to be 15hrs so a full charge should have seen you do 140km easy unless you went super slow or had long stops.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    Bolt is fantastic piece of kit, never had an issue with it.

    Literally the only thing that would make me go back to Garmin would be the varia radar rear light. Had a play with one a few weeks back & it blew me away.

    If Wahoo / Garmin added support for the rear light on the Bolt (or any Wahoo head unit for that matter) it would be pretty much unbeatable in my eyes.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    So the issue is not the device, but you for not checking the charge level before setting off. If you completed the ride before it died, it will be recorded within the files as with all computers. Check the Wahoo iCloud or contact Wahoo to see if they can retrieve it for you.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    Bolt is fantastic piece of kit, never had an issue with it.

    Literally the only thing that would make me go back to Garmin would be the varia radar rear light. Had a play with one a few weeks back & it blew me away.

    If Wahoo / Garmin added support for the rear light on the Bolt (or any Wahoo head unit for that matter) it would be pretty much unbeatable in my eyes.

    According to Shane Miller wahoo are adding support for the varia to their elemnt range soon! Not sure on which models though.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    redvision wrote:
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    Bolt is fantastic piece of kit, never had an issue with it.

    Literally the only thing that would make me go back to Garmin would be the varia radar rear light. Had a play with one a few weeks back & it blew me away.

    If Wahoo / Garmin added support for the rear light on the Bolt (or any Wahoo head unit for that matter) it would be pretty much unbeatable in my eyes.

    According to Shane Miller wahoo are adding support for the varia to their elemnt range soon! Not sure on which models though.

    My money would be on the Roam, I bet they won't make it backwards compatible for the Elemnt & Bolt.
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    Just to answer the OPs question. I’ve had an 800, a 1000 and now a 1030. I’ve never had any real issues with any of them and found them all perfectly reliable. The 1000 dis have rattly switches, which is solved by putting a rubber cover on it, but other than that all have works just fine.

    Having said that a mate of mine sent back his 1000 and two replacements one after the other as they all kept freezing on him. He now has a 1030 and hasn’t experienced any issues.

    PP
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    Bolt is fantastic piece of kit, never had an issue with it.

    Literally the only thing that would make me go back to Garmin would be the varia radar rear light. Had a play with one a few weeks back & it blew me away.

    If Wahoo / Garmin added support for the rear light on the Bolt (or any Wahoo head unit for that matter) it would be pretty much unbeatable in my eyes.

    According to Shane Miller wahoo are adding support for the varia to their elemnt range soon! Not sure on which models though.

    My money would be on the Roam, I bet they won't make it backwards compatible for the Elemnt & Bolt.

    NO, Wahoo are talking of all the updates being backward compatible.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    philthy3 wrote:
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    Bolt is fantastic piece of kit, never had an issue with it.

    Literally the only thing that would make me go back to Garmin would be the varia radar rear light. Had a play with one a few weeks back & it blew me away.

    If Wahoo / Garmin added support for the rear light on the Bolt (or any Wahoo head unit for that matter) it would be pretty much unbeatable in my eyes.

    According to Shane Miller wahoo are adding support for the varia to their elemnt range soon! Not sure on which models though.

    My money would be on the Roam, I bet they won't make it backwards compatible for the Elemnt & Bolt.

    NO, Wahoo are talking of all the updates being backward compatible.

    Let's hope so. I would love a Varia Radar to work with my Bolt.
  • I really do wonder about some of the data given out by my Garmin 1030. Historically, my older Garmins (500 & 800) always over-estimated metres climbed compared to my Suunto, but I accepted that knowing one was based on GPS (Garmin) and one was barometric (Suunto).

    However, now both my 1030 and Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire are accepting data from my power meter, yet return widly different calories spent. That seems odd. The Garmin TSS scores are differ from those in TrainerRoad when the Garmin data migrates across.

    I'd also put the Garmin stress test results into the unconvincing category. The first test returned a score of 92/100, yet reduced to 0 less than 4 hours later! The condition factors and recovery data also looks decidedly shakey to me.
  • awavey
    awavey Posts: 2,368
    OnTheRopes wrote:
    Yes the Garmin saves at the point of switching off due to a flat battery.

    mine (a 510) doesnt reliably, one of the really annoying things about it, it either completely loses the activity, or it corrupts the file so it wont load anyway, fortunately it still lasts a good 8hrs from fully charged, though it uses more power quickly if you start following maps/routes
  • Bumo_b
    Bumo_b Posts: 211
    I have had a Garmin 810 bought second hand at it never lets me down. I do however run it without beeps, backlights and Bluetooth unless live tracking in the winter. Can do upwards of 16 hours in some cases. I also track using my watch just in case, but have never needed the backup.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've had Garmin for years - last unit was the 800 - had to have an "out of warranty replacement" (ie £75) because the power switch packed up, wife had her 810 replaced under the same scheme when she knocked it off her bike and the screen cracked.
    Currently on the 820 (because they had a deal a couple of months ago) - no issues. I had a brief play with some custom data fields, but TBH - when I'm riding, I'm riding - not staring at the computer all the time. I was told about the power save mode - where the garmin keeps recording but turns the screen off - saves loads of battery - it was a bit disconcerting at first, looking down to a blank screen - but touch it and it displays the usual data - leave it and a few seconds later it's a blank screen again.

    I get that Garmin have "issues" - most recent was the sync between connect and strava - stopped working over the weekend - I get the impression that this is down to demand - so don't bother trying to upload a ride on the afternoon of the Ride London sportive - it just won't happen for a few hours. Given that Garmin have a huge market share this isn't surprising - and for me, it's not a reason to ditch the Garmin. Similarly, I wouldn't ditch a Wahoo for a oneoff "I forgot to press save before the battery ran out"
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    The OPs question isn't about how long the battery life of a device is. It's whether the device retains ride data when the battery goes flat. The battery life isn't an issue as the OP simply forgot to ensure it had adequate charge before setting off. Be thankful they don't use Di2.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    philthy3 wrote:
    The OPs question isn't about how long the battery life of a device is. It's whether the device retains ride data when the battery goes flat. The battery life isn't an issue as the OP simply forgot to ensure it had adequate charge before setting off. Be thankful they don't use Di2.
    RTFP - there were two questions ...
    Zest28 wrote:
    Do Garmin computers have an auto-save in case it runs out of battery?
    Which has already been answered ...
    Zest28 wrote:
    And is it worth switching to Garmin?
    Which is a bit more open ended and inviting opinion on bike computers ..
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,807
    500 – no issues whatsoever
    800 – no issues whatsoever – was then sold to my mate who had no issues until he used it on a cheap mount and it fell off
    810 – no issues whatsoever - still going strong and mainly used for rides that can give me detailed mapping on a bigger screen e.g. in France the other week
    520 - no issues whatsoever – it links seamlessly to my Vector 3s and sensors and the battery lasts for as long as I need it to
    Vector 3 pedals – no issues whatsoever – I still have my V1 battery cover
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Vector 3 pedals – no issues whatsoever – I still have my V1 battery cover
    Stages Powermeter - owned for (nearly) 5 years now - no issues.

    Yet - I know others who have had issues with theirs (battery draining) - I don't know what we're doing differently - but it seems some people are just prone to issues ...
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    500 – no issues whatsoever
    800 – no issues whatsoever – was then sold to my mate who had no issues until he used it on a cheap mount and it fell off
    810 – no issues whatsoever - still going strong and mainly used for rides that can give me detailed mapping on a bigger screen e.g. in France the other week
    520 - no issues whatsoever – it links seamlessly to my Vector 3s and sensors and the battery lasts for as long as I need it to
    Vector 3 pedals – no issues whatsoever – I still have my V1 battery cover

    You should let Garmin know as you would probably get a job there, being what surely must be the first user of the vector 3's with no problems! :lol:

    I did see a hilarious tweet this morning, but it seems to have been removed now, complaining that Garmin cannot get livetrack to work, with the connection frequently dropping, yet whenever the 530 goes over a bump or a gust of wind hits it it starts the countdown to send an accident detected message to your contacts - and seems to have no problem connecting to the phone then.
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    recently swapped my perfectly good 100% working 810 for an 820 for no good reason, first impressions is why did they shrink the screen size? and battery life even with BT & WiFi off is worse, although the built in maps are better almost as good as OSM. Elevation cals on the 820 are totally shit and need manually updating every ride, during the ride it frequently reads 0% or 1-2% when I know its 8%+ or greater.

    After a few updates it has been more reliable gradient readings and i think better battery life but not much. I'm not going to try the 830 or 1030, time for a change i'd going for stage M50

    Oh and i've been using Garmin cycle computers since 2008
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,807
    redvision wrote:
    500 – no issues whatsoever
    800 – no issues whatsoever – was then sold to my mate who had no issues until he used it on a cheap mount and it fell off
    810 – no issues whatsoever - still going strong and mainly used for rides that can give me detailed mapping on a bigger screen e.g. in France the other week
    520 - no issues whatsoever – it links seamlessly to my Vector 3s and sensors and the battery lasts for as long as I need it to
    Vector 3 pedals – no issues whatsoever – I still have my V1 battery cover

    You should let Garmin know as you would probably get a job there, being what surely must be the first user of the vector 3's with no problems! :lol:

    I did see a hilarious tweet this morning, but it seems to have been removed now, complaining that Garmin cannot get livetrack to work, with the connection frequently dropping, yet whenever the 530 goes over a bump or a gust of wind hits it it starts the countdown to send an accident detected message to your contacts - and seems to have no problem connecting to the phone then.

    You really are quite prone to exaggeration aren't you.
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    redvision wrote:
    500 – no issues whatsoever
    800 – no issues whatsoever – was then sold to my mate who had no issues until he used it on a cheap mount and it fell off
    810 – no issues whatsoever - still going strong and mainly used for rides that can give me detailed mapping on a bigger screen e.g. in France the other week
    520 - no issues whatsoever – it links seamlessly to my Vector 3s and sensors and the battery lasts for as long as I need it to
    Vector 3 pedals – no issues whatsoever – I still have my V1 battery cover

    You should let Garmin know as you would probably get a job there, being what surely must be the first user of the vector 3's with no problems! :lol:

    I did see a hilarious tweet this morning, but it seems to have been removed now, complaining that Garmin cannot get livetrack to work, with the connection frequently dropping, yet whenever the 530 goes over a bump or a gust of wind hits it it starts the countdown to send an accident detected message to your contacts - and seems to have no problem connecting to the phone then.

    You really are quite prone to exaggeration aren't you.

    And you seem quite prone to taking everything literally and not recognising a joke. Chill Winston 8)
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    itboffin wrote:
    recently swapped my perfectly good 100% working 810 for an 820 for no good reason, first impressions is why did they shrink the screen size? and battery life even with BT & WiFi off is worse, although the built in maps are better almost as good as OSM. Elevation cals on the 820 are totally shoot and need manually updating every ride, during the ride it frequently reads 0% or 1-2% when I know its 8%+ or greater.

    After a few updates it has been more reliable gradient readings and i think better battery life but not much. I'm not going to try the 830 or 1030, time for a change i'd going for stage M50

    Oh and i've been using Garmin cycle computers since 2008

    The difference between the 810 and 820 for me would be the complete change in screen tech - the 820 is clearer - yes, the unit is smaller - but the field sizes are (about) the same. The 820 also has customizable fields - if you're into that sort of thing. Not sure I'd bother "upgrading" if there was nothing wrong with the 810 - I only went from an 800 because the battery was starting to go and the 820 was on a stupidly good offer ;)

    My issues with the 820 are that, it doesn't hold a connection with the phone - but I think that's an issue with the phone & software, not the device - as I have to frequently re-open the Connect App - but then the 820 can sync via Wifi - so it doesn't matter. Another issue is the apparent inaccuracy in tree cover - it seems more susepetable to tree cover - despite having more satellite coverage - the speed indicated usually drops dramatically - more so than I recall the 800 doing - I don't have a speed sensor.
    Other than that - I like my 820 device - but then I'm only a basic user (I tend to know where I'm riding, so don't bother with maps or directions) - I don't bother with the calculated fields either - like "Calories burned" or the such - I have speed (ok, it's a calculation but based on definates - supposedly!), cadence, power (on the TT bike), Heart rate and time ...