In this post, I compare the Garmin Edge 1000 and the Edge 810 bike GPS computers.
If you’re not lusting after your next bike (I know you’ve got your eye on something), chances are you’re lusting after a bit of bling to attach to your handlebars (no, not a diamante-encrusted bike light).
Blingiest of the blingiest in the GPS bike computer stakes is the Garmin Edge 1000. Being at the top of the Garmin range, it does almost everything for you except pedal.
But is the 1000 worth the price step-up versus the Edge 810 (the model it usurped)?
I look at the key differences (and similarities) between the two devices, in case you should ever find yourself having to choose between buying one or t’other (or neither).
Who stays? YOU decide. Or something. On with the comparison.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I get a commission. You pay the same price.
Are You Looking For A New Bike GPS?
If the answer is yes, then you may want to consider a current model in the Garmin Edge range. This post is nearly 6 (count ’em) years old. Both the 1000 and the 810 have been superseded a couple of times in their respective ranges.
So, if you want to pick between the two latest top end bike computers made by Garmin, you’d be looking at either of these two:
A powerful bike GPS with full on-board mapping. The touchscreen is responsive and works well, both in the map screen and for moving around the menus. Excellent training and safety features.
🦍 Top end bike GPS device
🔍 Large colour touchscreen
📌 Sophisticated navigation features
And if you want a detailed comparison of the two devices, you can read my latest blog post on the subject.
Alternatively, if you want a trip down Garmin-memory lane, please feel free to read on…
What Features Do Both Units Share
Both the Edge 1000 and its 810 sibling do fundamentally the same job. They’re bike computers.
Attached to your bike (generally somewhere on or near the handlebars), they measure (using others sensors if required) and display a range of data items relating to your ride: speed, cadence, distance covered, height climbed, heart rate, power… (the list goes on…).
They’re both GPS devices. They track where you’ve ridden and can pinpoint you to your present location. Combined with the in-built mapping, both units provide navigation assistance, similar to a car sat-nav.
They’re both sophisticated training aids. If structured training is your bag, both devices have a range of features that help you to train in specific heart rate or power zones. There are an infinite* range of ways this data can be displayed on the screen as you ride.
(* okay, maybe not infinite, but at least ‘lots’…)
Talking of screens, both units feature colour (color…) touch-screen displays that still work (most of the time) when it rains or if you’re wearing gloves (unlike smartphone screens).
Finally, even though the 1000 costs £120 more than the 810, I think it’s fair to describe both of them as ‘high end’ bike GPS devices. You can spend considerably less (for instance on an Edge 500 or 510) and get 95% of the features that you’d use on a regular basis.
That said, sometimes it’s nice to splash out on a posh bit of kit (and benefit from the navigation features not present on the 510/500). So let’s compare the key differences between the 1000 and the 810.
The 1000 is newer (i.e. it was released more recently), but not too much newer. The 810 was released in early 2013; the 1000 in mid 2014.
Garmin is likely to support both devices for the foreseeable future (they’ve only just stopped updating the firmware on the 500) so this shouldn’t be a huge factor in your decision (unless you’re a fan of the new new thing…).
Size and (Most Importantly) Weight
Of course, I jest (or do I…?).
At ~115g, the 1000 weighs a whole 17g more than the 810. That’s equivalent to 3 jelly babies. I’m sure you can find better ways to save 3 jelly babies of weight than to pick a smaller bike computer…. (like maybe reducing your own extra mass, perchance…).
Talking of size, the 1000 is a couple of cm longer (taller?) than the 810, but is a touch thinner (i.e. the distance from the front of the screen to the back of the unit).
Really, it doesn’t feel like size makes much of a difference. There will be some people debating between using a dedicated Garmin or their smartphone as their bike computer of choice. To all intents and purposes the Edge 1000 is the size of a smartphone. The 810 is a bit (20%-ish) smaller.
As mentioned, the Edge 1000 and 810 are similar in terms of navigation and mapping. You can upload a route that you’ve designed on your computer (or smartphone) or use the device itself to calculate one.
Both use actual maps rather than a simple list of waypoints to plot routes (the 500 and 510 use the latter approach). As a result, the 1000 and 810 both ‘know’ which street you’re on and which streets are around you. If you go off course, they can update the route for you on the fly, rather than giving you the slightly impotent suggestion that you should ‘head east’…
The only difference (as far as I can see) in terms of route planning, is that the 1000 allows you to create a round trip using only the device itself. The 810 is presumably limited to point-to-point routes.
I’m trying to think how often I would elect to plan a circular route directly on a bike GPS device, rather than doing it on a substantially larger computer (laptop…, ipad…) screen and uploading. Answer: almost never. I’ll let you decide how much value you’d put on having this feature.
Whilst we’re on the subject of map-reading (we were!)…
The Edge 1000 has a larger screen than the 810, so you’ll be able to see the detail on the maps more clearly.
To be precise (which I know you like me to be), the 1000 sports an additional 57,600 pixels, more than doubling what’s there on the 810. In slightly more manageable terms, the 1000 has a 240×400 pixel display; the 810 has a 160×240 pixel screen.
If you’d like a bigger screen, get the 1000. Pretty clear advice, there.
So when it comes to GPS, there are US satellites and there are Russian ones (who knew?).
Strictly, I think the American version is called GPS; the Russian version of the system is called GLONASS (which to me sounds faintly Bond-ian and therefore a lot cooler and).
Strangely, the 810 only uses GPS and is therefore marginally slower to lock on to the required number of satellites versus devices that use both systems. Strange indeed, as the 810’s smaller, cheaper and less ‘mappy’ sibling, the Edge 510 supports both GPS and GLONASS.
Anyhoo, the Edge 1000 uses both systems as well. So, if you’re after a GPS device that has ‘proper’ navigation and can speak to Russian spacecraft, the choice is pretty clear.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on this (if it’s important to your buying decision, you’d do worse than look at the DC Rainmaker review of the 1000), but the 1000 is better suited to riders that have lots of bikes, data sensors and ‘activity profiles’ (i.e. different ways they want the Edge set up for different activities: training, racing, indoor, etc).
The newer device doesn’t force you to pair specific sensors (speed/cadence, power meters, etc) with particular bike profiles (in fact there is no such thing as a ‘bike profile’ on the 1000). Instead, for whatever activity you’re about to do, you can select the appropriate sensor(s) from those that are there and switched on at the time.
Not a huge benefit to me (as the owner of a limited number of sensors) but could be for you. If it is, maybe the Edge 1000 would be the better choice.
Talking of sensors… (we were!)
Both the 1000 and the 810 have the ability to communicate using Bluetooth.
For data coming in from sensors, both devices use ANT+ to communicate (primarily because it’s a Garmin-owned protocol). However, for speaking to your smartphone (to upload routes, enable live-tracking, sync-ing data with Garmin Connect/Strava), they use Bluetooth.
The main difference between the two (1000 and 810) is that the Edge 1000 supports Bluetooth Smart, which means that it can pull in data from sensors that use Bluetooth Smart (such as a Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap), giving you that little bit extra flexibility to pick and choose how your GPS device receives its data..
The Edge 810, since it uses older Bluetooth technology, you are limited only to sending data from the Edge to your smartphone. It can’t, for instance, pick up your heart rate data coming in from a Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor.
What Else Does The 1000 Offer?
And thus begins the catch-all section for various Edge 1000 features that don’t warrant a heading each.
The 1000 is the first Garmin to integrate with Shimano’s Di2 electronic gearing system (it can display your current gear selection, plus records number of changes, etc, for later analysis). This could well be useful to you, particularly if, like me, you spend too much time looking back at your cassette to work out whether you’ve got any lower gears left.
That said, we could well see the 810 (and the 510) updated with the same feature (it would only require an update to the device firmware/software/whateverware).
On a similar software tip, the 1000 comes pre-loaded with a workout that you can use (with the help of a power meter) to determine your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Knowing this allows you (your coach, a book, a website) to calculate your power training zones (‘power’ being the new ‘heart rate’ don’t-ya-know).
If you are the proud owner of a power meter (and you actually use it), conveniently being able to calculate your FTP is possibly a helpful feature.
Finally, the stated battery life on the Edge 1000 is two hours shorter than that on the Edge 810. The former lasts for up to 15 hours; the latter for up to 17. This might be a deal-breaker if you regularly go for 16 hour bike rides.
What Is The Difference In Price?
The Edge 1000 is more expensive. Next!
Oh right, you want a little more info.
Well, the official price difference between the Edge 1000 and the 810 is £120 in the UK and $100 in the US.
But as you can see in the table below, for the Edge device only (i.e. without heart rate strap and speed/cadence sensor), the actual price difference is about £60 in the UK and $80 in the US.
Conclusion (Which Is Better?)
Ach, who knows. It’s your money.
Okay, well if it was me, I would go with the Edge 1000. The price difference is not huge (particularly when you’ve already made the mental leap towards buying a premium GPS device). The 1000 has the bigger screen, making navigation easier.
As the newer model, it is more future proof and more likely to see new software features being implemented first.
That all said, if you can’t stretch to the 1000, I’m sure the 810 will do a fine job of telling you where to go and recording where you’ve been. And you may be able to find a good bargain.
And with that rather flaccid conclusion, I will flounce out of the room, leaving you with your wallet and your conscience.
Both the Edge 1000 or Edge 810 are older Garmin models, so availability might be limited (indeed, I’ve had to link below to the newer Edge 820 rather than the 810).
Anyhoo, the boxes below contain the (somewhat) relevant links to current bike GPS devices.
(Note: These are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I get a commission. You don’t pay any extra).
High spec bike GPS with large colour touchscreen and super fast processor. Similar features to the 830 (i.e. lots of sophisticated ones) - the larger screen makes them easier to use.
Large colour screen, easy-to-read text (that can be made big!) and full on-device navigation. Not touchscreen but the buttons work well. Very intuitive to use.
A powerful bike GPS with full on-board mapping. The touchscreen is responsive and works well, both in the map screen and for moving around the menus. Excellent training and safety features.
My favourite mid-range bike computer. The V2 upgrade brings a bright colour display and full on-board navigation. The BOLT remains very easy to set up and use.
34 thoughts on “Garmin Edge 1000 vs Edge 810: Battle of the Bike GPS Heavyweights”
Great article. I’ve been using the Edge 1000 for about two months and I’m very pleased with it. It finds the satellites remarkably quickly and usually finds them while indoors – I have to leave my Forerunner outside for 10 minutes to lock on before I can run!
I’ve used the circular route function a couple of times to get a random ride and it works well. the mapping is quick and detailed and I can get all the data I need on one screen.
I also like the wifi synch, which means it auto uploads as soon as I get back to the house – no need to get the laptop and Ant+ stick out.
It can also use your phone so that others can track your progress on a ride, but I haven’t used this feature yet.
Expensive, yes – particularly when I bought a Forerunner 910 to cover all sports last year, but I have no regrets and think it was a good buy.
Thanks Nick. Glad you enjoyed the article (even if you know it already!!). Good to hear that you’ve been pleased with the Edge 1000.
As the proud owner of a Edge Touring Plus, I’d always recommend taking a look over the 810/1000. For £179 from Amazon you get full colour maps with turn by turn navigation, HRM compatibility and all the usual Garmin gubbins.
All that is lacking compared to the higher end models is power meter, WiFi and the ability to race a ghost.
The 810 is better, but is it £80 better?
And circular route planning? A fantastic feature I use all the time, just tell it where you are and how far you want to ride and off you go. I’ve discovered routes round my home I never knew existed.
Gus! There he is. Thanks for this. Sounds like the Edge Touring is worth a look.
The ability to monitor cadence is missing in the touring plus. A cadence sensor is relatively cheap and I found it a very valuable focus for improving my fitness.
The 500/800/810/1000 are aimed at sports cyclists who want to work on their fitness. The touring is aimed at those who want to enjoy riding about but are not primarily focused on training. I think it is probably a great gadget for the audience it seeks and it is fair to mention it but the lack of cadence data made me choose an 800 instead & I’m very happy to have done so.
I went the other way and bought the Touring + and a separate computer to do cadence, That way when I leisure ride with my wife she can use the T+ and I still get some data. It clutters the bars a little I guess (and all that extra weight) but I’m happy with the choice. I’m looking at the 1000, but really only because it’s shiny!
The Touring + gives me all the data I want for Strava etc. but then I’m not at the serious training end of the scale. I wouldn’t rule it out if you like maps though.
how can it not cover cadence? A cadence sensor is included in the Edge 1000 bundle.
Jeremy – Roger was talking about the Touring plus, not the edge 1000.
I’ve had both Garmins (I can’t resist a new gadget when it comes out) and whilst I do like the bigger clearer screen on the Edge 1000 the unit is still basically riddled with bugs. It has got slightly better since a software update and it will continue to improve but when I got it the unit was certainly not ready for release.
A few other 1000 specific features:
incoming calls / texts / other notifications on phone displayed on your Edge (at the moment only on iPhone, on Android in future software release)
Lanscape orientation support (supposedly in a future firmware update)
Segments – similar to Strava but Garmins own (terribly implemented) version. They work well on the device, barely work at all on Garmin’s website.
Personally I want them to get the current features working properly before the release any more.
Thanks Giles. Sounds like a fair point – I’ve picked up a similar vibe in various chat rooms. As you say, hopefully a lot of these bugs will be ironed out in the coming months (weeks?!?) through software updates.
As a bonus tip to anyone that has an Edge (and probably other types of bike computer as well) – keep checking your Garmin Connect account to make sure you have the most up to date software on your device – it’s generally the easiest way to fix any problems you might have discovered in using it.
Great article Andrew – I use an Edge 800 and it suits me fine (particularly as I have a habit of getting lost, so the nav features come in handy!). That said, I do find it has a habit of losing signal momentarily – especially if I stand up while riding! Obviously my hulking (stick-thin) frame blocks out all the satellite signals…
Thanks John. Interesting about it losing signal. I don’t think my GLONASS-ed up 510 has lost signal, other than in a big tunnel near where I live! Probably not a dealbreaker though.
I’d like to know what “edge” they have over the Cyclemeter” app on my iPhone. I don’t have cadence or heart functions connected up since I’m not training for maximum fitness, but I can track every ride using this app. And apparently it can be connected to bluetooth heart rate and cadence tools. Comments? Do the dedicated bike computers actually have an “edge” over a smartphone app? What is it?
For your phone battery to last as well you have to turn off all the phone type functions. If you have a £600 smartphone you might not like to strap it to your handlebars, even if you did want to a waterproof case would be needed; one that can be opened &closed & moved from bike to bike a few times each week for a few years without degrading its waterproof nature.
A dedicated device is better in many ways largely because it is a dedicated device; there are no design compromises caused by having to support other functions. If you want something for occasional use and are mostly not actually training then a phone app might be better for you.
The other less often stated reason is the garmin website; even if you choose to use a different site to log rides/runs/swims the default position is to download to Garmin Connect which has log &mapping &planning functions. The software environment the dedicated devices (others too but especially garmin) sit in is generally pretty good. Similar things are available for free but lots if people would prefer to trust garmin to keep offering something reasonable rather than finding something themselves.
I have not used the app you mention so can’t compare it but I have used other apps and devices. Having used those other apps and devices is largely why I now own three garmins (210, 800, swim).
I recently opted for the Garmin 800. Mainly because I have been riding further and longer now and find that a smart phone’s battery diminishes and leaves me with no means of emergency communication. I too have found that getting lost is a major pain (stopping, unpacking the phone, firing up google maps), especially in the rain. Now, I am treated like the fool I am, given step by step directions to any pre loaded destination/route. For training It also warns me when not working hard enough, or to hard.
Not being exactly flush I have found it to be a useful car navigator as well ( a quick adjustment to the settings and off we go). This feature has made my only reason for having a smart phone defunct, hence my shine new flip phone. With the introduction of the newer models the 800 is now available for about £160-00. On cost alone It has to put it in contention with the newer blingier models. I can not remember what the difference was between the 800 and the 810 but it made no difference to my choice.
Safe riding all.
I’ve had a 500 a 705 and now the 1000.
The 500 was good for what it did but the navigation feature/workaround was terrible. I travel a lot with work and I always take my bike with me, trying to follow a route on the 500 as standard was nigh-on impossible, setting the map to never zoom helped a bit but the device had a nasty habit of randomly dropping all your breadcrumb trails.
I got the 705 for the mapping and it worked adequately, however the Garmin maps cost extra money. There is a guide out there on how to upload open maps for free but they include an awful lot of roads that give no indication that they are unsuitable for road bikes.
It also constantly dropped its GPS signal and would randomly shut itself off on longer rides (plently of battery remaining).
Both the 500 and the 705 needed to be left on a window ledge to find satellites while I got dressed, filled water bottles, grew old and died etc. depending on how cloudy it was (seriously).
The 1000 is fantastic, the heart rate strap is better, the cadence and speed sensors are better (much better if you have disc brakes because the chain stay mounted combination device Garmin used to use was incompatible with a chainstay mounted cable) and the device itself is faster.
I got it because I wanted to ramp up my training and use power (I got a wahoo kickr) with it and it is excellent.
The round trip feature is great when I am on my travels because I can just get out of bed and tell it I want to go whatever distance and it will produce three options for a ride that length. No messing about.
If you have the means I highly recommend one.
Thanks Andrew – that’s a really helpful writeup.
Another good read – currently using the 500 but the breadcrumb trial is a pain to follow on routes that are new do I need the 1000 I love the idea of the gear indicator for di2 and touch screen is a better option than buttons on the 500
Money to spend again
Always money to spend when it comes to cycling…
The beta firmware for the 810 supports DI2 now.
Thanks Jason. Very helpful.
Thank you for this write up. I found the comparison helpful (although i still haven’t decided which unit I’m going to get). Being an avid 510 user, i suspect the lack of bike specific profiles on the 1000 would be a pain point for me (I have several bikes i choose from depending on weather and ride type). Just moving them around in the garage activates the sensors, and I have an Ant+ trainer in the house (Wahoo Kickr) which is always transmitting it’s sensor data (power and speed) to complicate matters. Having to choose sensors prior to every ride seems like it would be a chore compared to just selecting a Bike Profile with the appropriate sensors already configured.
Also, as an FYI for others reading here, the 510, 810, and 1000 all now support Di2 with the latest firmware.
You can set profiles on the edge 1000. I have different ones for different types of riding. It also picks up any sensors you’ve paired, so works with any of my bikes without changing settings.
I’ve had an 810 for a little over a year, and I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m on my 3rd warranty replacement and my 2nd set of Ant+ speed and cadence sensors. I have weekly dialogs with Garmin about functionality and performance issues. I recently downloaded a 45 mile training ride from Garmin’s website (their recommendation) and all worked perfectly until mile 28.4 when it locked up. I re-booted the 810 and re-loaded the ride, which followed the route AOK until mile 40.5 when it locked up again.
If the 1000 uses the same software as the 810, then No Thanks! Riding should be fun, not frustrating.
Perhaps the addition of GLONASS with the GPS may be the answer.
I thinking on buying 810 or the 1000 because the training function, but some times it is handy to just have navigation on your bike. still wondering what the difference is between the 810 and the 1000 in terms of navigation. sometimes i read route planning is possible on both, but sometimes i read only on the 1000 and the touring. and what is exactly route planning? Does that means, typing an address like a car navigation and it will show me where to go. Or only pre loaded tracks.
Navigation is certainly there on the 810. It uses (and ‘understands’) maps, so will route you down a road, across a bridge etc (rather than the 510, which just uses waypoints/coordinates).
You can certainly identify a location on the 810 and it will create a route to get you there. It will re-route you if you get off course.
My sense is that the software navigation capabilities are similar between the 810 and the 1000. The main difference from a navigation perspective is the size and resolution of the screen, which is superior on the Edge 1000.
This post has more on the navigation capabilities of the 810: http://www.plsmith.co.uk/garmin-edge-810-gps-review
I believe the 1000 has more comprehensive mapping as standard. It is excellent for picking out cycleways, etc. The 1000 can also do round-trip routing. Input a target distance, and it will give you several route options. The 1000 also has wifi, so my rides have uploaded to Garmin/Strava before I even get back in the house. Training functions are also stronger on the 1000, so it is generally a more capable device.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that you can have up to 10 data fields on a single screen on the 1000. This is really useful for training, or for managing effort over a long sportive. It can be a pain to have to swipe between screen views if you don’t have the fields you want, particularly in the wet.
Thanks Nick. Good point about the round trip planning feature.
what about the map coverage? 810 has maps of Europe but 1000 has only western Europe. Is this true?
How can you change the resolution on the 1000? On the map, the places are shown really small, as i don’t were gkasses on the bike, it is difficult to read the map places….
If you normally use reading glasses for reading, then you will need them for the G1000. I’ve had my Rudy Project sunglasses fitted with 1.5 reading lenses at the bottom and they work AOK.
Thanks for your helpfull info Kevin, what kind of reading lenses did you buy (and where) please?
Has anyone here use either the 810 or 1000 to navigate in Majorca?
the 100 also run a garmin virb if you like to have video of your ride and have any cash left from buying the expensive head unit