Garmin is touting the Edge 25 Bike Computer as the smallest GPS-compatible bike computer on the market. It's been preceded in this claim by a few other manufacturers, but Garmin's Edge 25 outshines them because of what it's built on: the legacy of the larger, more expensive Edge 520. The Edge 25 is the ultimate utilitarian expression of the feature-laden 520, dropping in price and — more importantly — grams, making it ideal for the competitive cyclist who's training on a budget.
The simple, monochromatic, 2.3cm² screen embodies the Edge 25's utilitarian focus, forgoing the colorful pomp of the brightly colored screens on Garmin's large models in favor of displaying only the most important metrics and training data in the simplest, most accessible manner possible. It doesn't track the proximity of cupcake food trucks or plan petting zoo detours during training rides, but it does display a simple map with notifications directing the user through a preplanned workout or documenting the course of wandering base miles. It's focused on improvement and meeting personal training goals, not meeting baristas during a cycling tour of a city's coffee shops.
The Edge 25's GPS capabilities also let it count the laps of an interval circuit, alert the rider of distance or time goals during out-and-back workouts, and compete against a virtual opponent — all of which are designed to improve a cyclist's training instead of distracting them with superfluous data and features. Connecting the Edge 25 to a computer allows access to Garmin Connect, where you can upload, store, parse, and compare data across Garmin's online social training network.
The Edge 25 does feature ANT+ connectivity — something the less expensive Edge 20 lacks. The addition of ANT+ means that the 25 can connect to a heartrate monitor and cadence sensor, expanding on the base unit's speed, distance, and mapping capabilities with some biometric numbers. The Edge 25 also features Bluetooth compatibility, so it can connect to a smartphone for many of the additional features found on the 500-series Edge models.
Using a smartphone as a launching pad, the Edge 25 can fire your info into the ether, linking with Garmin Connect mid-ride for features like live tracking and competition for K/QOM segments. Unlike models like the 520, though, the Edge 25 doesn't connect to Strava, which is admittedly the real unofficial battle ground for recreationalists and aspiring pros alike. Still, the blend of functional training options in a simple, lightweight GPS unit mean the Edge 25 is ideal for the cyclist who wants serious training data, not distractions.
- Q & A
Totally misses the mark
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Give the Edge 25 a pass if you're interested in interval or heart rate training. The only way to get the Edge 25 to display heart rate is to turn on auto-cycle of the screens, which just sucks. You can't add HR to a custom screen. If you do HR based intervals, you only need two things: heart rate and lap time; maybe cadence. Good luck getting those displayed on the same screen. You can't. And the lap timer itself is totally non-intuitive. I still haven't figured out if I can even start/stop laps. Who designed this thing? Not an athlete. Other cons: proprietary charge/sync cable so you're SOL if you forget it on a trip, satellite acquisition is slow, and battery life is mediocre - it's running on fumes after a five hour ride.
Pros: no touch screen (This is a good thing. It has nice tactile buttons), small, easy to read.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Although I wish the price was cheaper, this does everything I was expecting it to do. Setup is reasonably easy but will have you looking at the manual, computer, and your phone (if you are connecting with the app). Once initial GPS sync is done, it connects in pretty quickly. Data is accurate and it is amazing to finally have a bike computer that is showing accurate time (more because I've always been too lazy to adjust the time after I do the initial install)
A nice surprise is the devices ability to show text messages and phone calls. It is nice to be able to get all the critical messages from my friend mike about what beer he wants to try next while I'm out on a ride.
Garmin Edge 25 - the tech spec says it doesn't have an altimeter, but if it's GPS, shouldn't it be able to track elevation gain/loss?
The Edge 25 will track your gain/loss in elevation but it does not have the capability of tell you real time altitude. Reach out with any more questions.
Eric Watford - Expert Gearhead
Great product but it stopped working
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I put about 150 miles on the Edge 25 but in the middle of a ride, it just stopped working. Unit was less than two weeks old with no physical damage to it. No exposure to liquids, moisture or harsh elements of any kind. I called up Garmin and they are sending me a replacement unit. Other than that, the unit performed as expected and the only regret I have is not getting one earlier. I am a MTBer, so I needed a small unit I can use to calculate my weekly mileage and also show the routes I took. If you're a road cyclist, then the Edge 520 or higher would probably be better choice if in your budget. I originally was going to purchased the 520 but I figured if I were to ever take a nasty spill going downhill, I'd much rather lose a 180.00 than a 300.00+ unit. I'll update the review to 5 stars once I receive my replacement unit from Garmin.