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Garmin Edge Explore 2, full navigation and feature update. Everything you need to know.


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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

Buy 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.



Buy Garmin Edge Explore 2

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.

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Once again thank you for being on the ball. Will you do a full test?
    Does it have body battery? Trainning effect? Thank you.

    1. Probably, although I have to lighten my workload because I have a lot of things to do. Let's see if once the Ironman is completed I have some more time for work...

      Body battery is something exclusive to watches (it is calculated throughout the day). I assume you mean Stamina, which it doesn't have. Neither does Training Effect.

      1. Thank you very much for answering, indeed stamina. Regardless it is perfect or almost perfect for my level and needs. Have a great time!

  2. There is another group of users, that we like to grind us, (but not pending training metrics) doing long and difficult routes in the mountains, and that we are more interested in a large screen, good maps, recalculation of guided routes (very useful when you get lost in the mountains), than other data. If it had the possibility of having orthophoto maps, vector maps, etc. it would be a good competitor for Twonav users, but with the advantages of Garmin in terms of connectivity, accessories, etc.

  3. Good morning,
    You do not have the possibility of outdoor temperature data via tempe?
    Thank you

      1. A nuance, in the manual puts as one of the data the temperature and as explained refers to carrying internal sensor.

  4. Hello! It marks the slope you are going down without pre-loading the route, like the edge 530 does for example.

    Thank you.

  5. Hi, my road bike is a Giant from this year and has a potentiometer. I would like to know if the garmin edge 2 has an option to connect to it. As it is simple I don't know if it can connect to all, some or none of them.
    Thank you.

    1. It has WiFi and 16GB of internal memory, no SD card. There is no virtual partner as such but when programming a route you can enter time to finish it and more or less current as a virtual partner.

  6. I agree with your report. I'm one of those who do cycling for pleasure. I'm 68 years old and I don't race, but I enjoy riding my e-Bike in the countryside, and the truth is, this Garmin is awesome. Very complete for my needs. I am very happy with it. On the downside, maybe I would have liked a slightly larger screen.

  7. Hello good!!!I would like to know if you can share the Garmin Edge Explorer 2 ,use it 2 different users ,since my wife and I have different schedules for training ,so we don't have to buy 2 GPS ,thank you very much for the effort to keep us informed of the latest,thank you very much!!!!!

  8. First of all, thank you for your time for the good of others.

    A question regarding this model.
    I haven't read anything about whether it connects to Sram's electronic shifting, the 520, 530 , 820 and 830 models do.

  9. Hi all. I bought an explorer 2 and I have the problem that it does not detect the Di2 d Shimano I look at the page d Garmin in compatible devices and does not appear the Edgar Explorer 2 I call Garmin and after a long time exposing the problem to the lady tells me that indeed it is not compatible with Di2 d Dhimano I do not give credit that a current device that has endless data has no connectivity with Di2 I do not know if I believe it or I do not understand it.

    1. Indeed, it does not support electronic gears. It is one of the limitations imposed by Garmin for its cheaper models. I take this opportunity to update the article and note it, because there are already two of you who have asked about it.

      1. Perdon pero si tiene algún tipo de sensor interno que marca la temperatura. En el manual pone que si pones la mano en la pantalla , se va a alterar la temperatura que marca y así es. Si tu pones la mano en la pantalla empieza a subir la temperatura, por tanto eso no son datos que provengan de una aplicación , es que lleva algún tipo de sensor interno para la temperatura.

  10. Hola. Aprendiendo cositas con el explore 2. Un problema que tengo. Me he descargado una ruta que tenía en mi móvil, concretamente con la app orux maps, la paso al garmin con el garmin connect. Cuando quiero hacer el trayecto con mi garmin, continuamente me indica que vuelva al punto de inicio. No me pasa con otros trayectos que realizo con mi garmín y después los vuelvo a seguir. Qué hago mal

  11. Good afternoon.
    Se me ha roto mi Garmin edge 520 y quiero re-emplazarlo.
    Cual me recomiendas ?
    Los entrenamientos me los envían por Traider-Peaks y en una bici tengo Di-2 y en otra el inhalambrico de S-ram.
    También tiene una bici el sensor de presión por si eso pudiera tb llevarlo el Garmin.
    Thank you very much.

  12. Good morning
    Quisiera saber si es compatible con las fundas del modelo anterior ,ya que he leído lleva el mismo chasis pero distintas «tripas «.
    Ed correcto??
    Thank you

  13. Puedes usar el modo de pantalla ampliada para tener las funciones de ciclismo, metricas entrenamientos personalizados, por ejemplo, de un forerunner 645, o fenix 6, y también poder cambiar de pantalla en el edge para navegar o ver los mapas del explore 2

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