Four years later Garmin renews its cyclocomputer focused on the less demanding use on the bike. And by demanding I mean those who go out not to train, but to enjoy cycling. And it is that the Garmin Edge Explore 2 is a Garmin with virtually all the features of the rest of the Edge range, except that it does not have specific training features.
It is practically a Garmin Edge 1030 Plus in terms of dimensions and screen size, only slightly smaller but noticeably larger than other Edges in the same price range such as the Edge 530 or the Edge 830 review.
As usual with Garmin's mid-range focused devices, there are no software developments that are a complete novelty in the range. It is more a matter of selecting a number of features and including them in a package that is attractive to the target market segment.
What's New Garmin Edge Explore 2
Earlier I compared it with other models in the Edge range, but as usual the most interesting thing is to compare it with the model it replaces, so I have prepared this list for you with the main new features and specifications of the new model with respect to the Garmin Edge Explore of 2018.
- 3″ touch screen (same as the original model)
- Up to 16 hours of autonomy (4 more than the previous version)
- Barometric altimeter
- 16GB internal memory
- The microUSB connector disappears to make way, at last, for USB-C (as in the Edge 1040).
- New user interface (similar to the one released on the Edge 1040)
- Several activity profiles to be configured depending on whether it is road, field or roller.
- Configuration of profiles from the computer or cell phone
- Maps of the region where you buy it (in our case Europe) with layer of popular routes. Additional maps can be downloaded through Garmin Express.
- Complete navigation with maps, turn warnings, points of interest, route creation and the possibility to calculate a route directly on the bike computer
- Creation of routes based on a given distance (e.g. ask it to design a 50 km route for you). These routes are also based on the Trendline function to find routes for cyclists and, if you have paired a compatible e-bike, it will create routes based on the remaining autonomy.
- Route recalculation function (finds a new route instead of trying to get you back to the point where you deviated from it)
- ClimbPro to see the different climbs and what is left to finish them.
- Compatibility with external sensors both Bluetooth and ANT+: heart rate, speed and/or cadence, external lights, Garmin Varia radar...
- It is now compatible with power meters, but from a basic aspect (it records power, but there are not so many statistics).
- Some performance metrics: VO2Max estimation (with potentiometer), recovery time, Physio TrueUp
- Incident Detection, Tracking Other Friends with GroupTrack, Messaging Between Group Cyclists, Sharing Live Training with LiveTrack, Mobile Phone Notifications
- Support for Connect IQ applications and data fields
- Guest mode for companies to provide the device with specific configurations (bike rentals, routes, etc.)
The base is the same as the previous model, but there are new features both in hardware and software. For starters, it has a barometric altimeter, perhaps what was missing from the first model. In the software section there is ClimbPro, something that many of you appreciate. And above all, in a device designed for route navigation, the route recalculation function.
What does the latter offer? If for whatever reason you get off the initially marked route (because it can't be passed or simply because you feel like going another way), instead of trying to force you to return to the original route repeatedly the Edge Explore 2 will trace a new route to reach the same destination. Something quite important especially when thinking about cycle touring, where initial plans can be changed several times.
And what doesn't it have over other models in the Edge range? I knew you'd ask me that question....
- No support for electronic shifting (eTap or Di2)
- No specific training metrics
- No possibility to create advanced trainings
- We have no live Strava segments
- No light sensor to control the brightness of the display
That is, it's not going to be useful for tracking interval training or downloading workouts from TrainingPeaks. And in terms of some of the setup features it is slightly simpler than a higher end model. But leaving that aside we have all the other features you can have on more expensive models.
Perhaps the only thing you might miss is the Strava live segments. But that's just it, if what you're interested in from Strava is sharing your rides automatically 1TP7You can do it the same way as with any other Garmin device. Strava live segments are the ones that tell you how you are doing with respect to KOM times, your record or your friends on the segments you have marked as favorites.
Garmin Edge Explore 2 Review
It's an interesting product update with the type of user in mind. There are two types of cyclists: those who go out to train and those who go out to enjoy the bike without competitive zeal. Well, there are also those who have fallen for clipless pedals and those who are going to fall, but that doesn't matter here...
If we consider the second case - those who go out to enjoy themselves, not those who have to fall off with clipless pedals - the Garmin Edge Explore 2 fits their usage profile perfectly. Good navigation, maps for all of Europe, route recalculation, barometric altimeter and ClimbPro.
I know a lot of people who fit this profile, they just take their mountain bikes (or road bikes too) and go out to spend 2, 3, 4 hours with the bike some day during the weekend. They simply want to keep a record of their rides and sometimes do a route with the map. They do not compete nor are they interested in improving their performance beyond poder doing longer routes.
In my case it would not be a device that I would use, as the 90% of my outings are focused on interval training, and those functions are very important for my use. If you don't need them, the Garmin Edge Explore 2 is going to be a better solution than the Edge 530 or Edge 830 because it has a larger screen and the navigation is better resolved thanks to the route recalculations.
Any additional questions? Just fire away in the comments below.