I Hate my Garmin Edge 830

… but I don’t know whether switching to a Bolt or one of the lesser known computers will help.

I enjoy long, rambling outdoor rides with lots of stops for photos. I was happy back when I built routes in Strava, mounted my phone to my stem, and followed the directions. However, that killed the camera microstabilizers on two phones - so I bought a Garmin 830 because I’ve been using Garmin products for decades.

I train inside. I ride outside. I don’t race. I care about exploring, and about catching my next great photo. My Mt. Sufferlandria, a daunting climb up a steep mountain, won’t be timed. I don’t need to know my cadence or speed at any given moment. I just want to ride my bike and explore new places.

Which brings me to my problems with the Edge 830.

First, I can’t prevent it from showing me at least one data screen. This kills me. When I’m riding, my head is up: I’m looking for traffic, for dogs, for potholes, for photo opportunities. When I glance down, I want to see the next couple of miles in my map, the next turn, and preferably the name of the next street: every time. I’ll look at my data later, on Strava. When I’m approaching an intersection at which I’m supposed to turn, I want a loud beep, a bright flashing light, something to get my attention. All too often, when riding quickly or navigating traffic, I’ll blow right by a turn.

Second, I want better mapping. Garmin has all kinds of weird artifacts. For example, there’s a stretch of road near my home with a T intersection extending to the left. My Edge always tells me to turn left at that intersection, then make a u-turn, then make another left to continue on the road I’d been on in the first place. That’s not a problem when I’m in familiar territory. When I’m somewhere new, however, bombing down a long hill and building momentum for the next climb, I don’t need my navigator telling me to slow down at the bottom, turn off, make a u-turn, turn back on, and trudge up that next hill with zero momentum on my side.

Third, I want better return-to-course mapping. If I get way off course, my Edge will be happy to calculate a new route to my destination. But I don’t want to beeline to my destination: I want to get back on the course I’d planned. If I take a shortcut, or just wander off to check out something that looks interesting, I don’t want to be told to make a u-turn: I want to get back on course in a way that makes sense. If I ignore the directions and get myself back on course, I want my GPS to realize I’m ok and not spam me with “make a u-turn” messages to get me back to some waypoint I’d missed five miles ago. I want it to calculate quickly, like Waze does. And I don’t want to be screwing around with fixing the the darn thing while doing 15 mph down some bumpy road.

I’ve read the reviews of the other head units, and none that I’ve found speak directly to these concerns. So I’ll ask you, the community, before gambling a few hundred dollars on a new head unit: does the Bolt solve these problems? Does any unit? Where should I look to find what I want?


A regular gps unit like garmin etrex 30 might work better for you. I have one I use when Mtb ing.

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I absolutely love my Garmin 1030. I don’t need/want stats either so just have it on the map…which is big and clear. I can zoom in or out easily. It beeps loud enough for me to hear over traffic and wind. It’s gets me back to the route I was on if a miss a turn by choice. Day long battery…love it


Maybe you could sell your 830 and buy the less expensive Explorer.

It seems it was made more for what you are interested in than the more expensive variants. Not sure how good it would be for concerns #2 and #3


I was drawn in by your post title as I adore my Garmin 820. Old as it is. But when I read your use case, you’re right, the 830 is not the head unit for you. It’s honestly designed for the 10 bike cyclist who wants all the metrics and who races. I don’t know about the other Garmin suggestions but they’d likely be better for you.

The navigation on the Bolt2 is good (I have one too and it’s so much better that even though I’m mega data driven, and don’t need or want simplicity, I’ll use the Bolt on my gravel bike and for bike packing.

Something you could try before you try changing headunits is using a proper route builder first, Like Komoot, to build your route and import. I think Garmin may have a Komoot app for the Edge headunit as well which might behave better. I’m not sure how well that will solve your “get me back on route” when you explore down a side path though but might be worth a shot.
Failing that, something like the Bolt might work. Wahoo also have the Roam with a bigger screen and more for exploring but I’m not too sure how well the Nav works on there. I don’t think it has the updated navigation system that is on the Bolt 2. Worth checking first.


Thank you, @DameLisa. I’ll set up a Komoot account immediately, then plan a route that’ll take me past that weird T intersection to see how the Garmin behaves. If it works, you’ll have saved me a fair amount of cash and hassle. I’ll owe you a tankard of Real Pagne!


The Garmin route mapping software is awful - I hated my 520 until I switched to Ridewithgps and suddenly it became a wonderful mapping & routing tool.

I would also take a look at the various ConnectIQ options available to try out different screens (there is one involving beer…). On my530 I’ve got a simple clock set up if I don’t want to see any data. Or I can set up the map screen with ‘distance to next turn’ and ‘elapsed time’ as my 2 data fields.


Richard, do you know how to stop screen cycling? I’ve been able to edit it down to two, but I only want to see one: the map screen with “distance to next turn” and “name of next turn.”

I hated with a passion my 820, I took the risk and went to Karoo Hammerhead 2 and love it, I hated with the 820 that you would go off route and it would take about 10 minutes to recalculate, and you were best to stop in order to give it a chance, with the HH it’s near to instant

I do use Komoot for my route planning (they upload straight to the HH), very often find myself finding a route in strava and then “sorting it out” in Komoot as it is better at detecting the surface types

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Settings - activity profiles - (select your profile) - auto features - auto scroll - off

That’s on a 530, but it should be similar on the 830


Komoot is about 100X better at route planning than Strava! Works perfectly with my Elemnt Roam.

One of the (several) reasons I went Wahoo rather than Garmin is that I like the big “on course” arrows that show the route on screen and make it very very obvious where you’re meant to be going!


That worked, Richard. I look forward to testing it when I ride on Thursday. Thanks!


Seconded. I paired my Komoot profile with my Bolt and they do all I need (and seem to cover all you’re asking). One of my favorite Bolt features is being able to max/minimize data on the fly to see as much or as little as I’d like.

(Though in truth, I default to “minimal”, since w/o my reading glasses, I can’t see much of what it tells me anyway unless the info is HUGE :sob: :sob: :sob:.)


I wouldn’t use Garmin’s routing software. There are too many better options. I download pre-made routes from either Strava or RideWithGPS. I actually rode a ride from Strava (export .gpx feature) and I have Climbpro turned on (you can turn this off) and I found the climb I was having issues with was 13% on gravel. I turned off that bastardized ‘scrolling’ feature right away. I have five (yes five) data screens and I don’t need to see every single one of them in sequence. Some are there for specific reasons as well. I’m a Garmin fan, but I’m looking at a Hammerhead Koomot 2 when I get my next head unit.

Have 830 (upgrade from 510) and generally like it. Set up the screens I want and toggle using my hood buttons (DA Di2). Get the sound warnings for turns etc.

BUT it has got me lost more than once and made me do multiples of U-turns to get back on track. Not always successfully. Fortunately I carry my phone with me and on one occasion just stopped and looked up Google maps!!!

Following with interest …

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Update: I familiarized myself with Komoot last night. I’m very excited at the prospect of downloading a route built in Komoot to my Garmin, then simultaneously running the Komoot app on the phone in my pocket. This will allow me to see the route on the Garmin’s monitor during low-workload times and get the driving-style audio prompts I want (“Turn left in 100 feet.”) through my bone-conduction headphones during high workload (traffic, riding quickly) times.

We’ve had a reasonably benign case of the 'Rona here in my household, and today’s our last day of quarantine - hence, my omnipresence on the message boards the last couple of weeks. I look forward to getting outside tomorrow and trying the new setup. I’ll report back!

Update to the Uodate: Aw, man. We miscalculated our days remaining in quarantine. I banged out “Standing Starts” today and will try again tomorrow.


This discussion reminds of the good old days when navigation was a piece of paper placed into a rain-resistant cloth insert with a plastic cover that you could read through. It was attached with Velcro to the handlebars.

Sometimes you could buy a plastic ride sheet that you could insert inside, and it would have a map on the back!

Or sometimes you would just have to pull out a map and read it.


That’s a lot of work, particularly after going to all the trouble of whittling your own bike!


In the old days of the Tour de France, the racer had to do their own repairs. In the 1913 event, Eugène Christophe was penalized several minutes because someone else pumped the bellows as he welded his broken forks back together.


As a (stupid) teenager I once used my paper map as an improvised “blanket” when sleeping rough out on a 2-day bike adventure. It was mid-summer so I thought it would be warm outdoors, but failed to realise that a sweat soaked short-sleeved jersey wouldn’t keep me warm enough on a clear night. It was effing cold actually! The paper map was more useful than my Garmin 530 would have been in that scenario though, lol.