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Garmin Edge 130 Plus GPS bike computer review

14 Dec 2020
Verdict:

The Edge 130 Plus delivers loads of functionality in a pint sized package

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Compact • Readable • Functionally rich
Against 
• Monochrome screen • No basemaps

Weighing just 34 grams, with its mounting hardware adding another 6g, and with a 45mm diagonal screen, the Garmin Edge 130 Plus is Garmin’s smallest GPS cycling computer in its current range.

It’s the same size as the Edge 130, but for an extra £20 packs in some useful extra functionality, including much of what’s found in larger and pricier Garmin units.

 

That small size means that the Edge 130 Plus doesn’t take up much space on the handlebar. It comes with a standard bar-mounted quarter turn mount with rubber band attachments but, as with all Garmin’s units, it can be fixed to an out-front mount too.

Bells and whistles missing that you get on some pricier Garmins include a touchscreen. But the five buttons are laid out and function very logically: a single button on the left side switches the unit on and off, the right hand bottom button starts and stops recording, the left hand one goes back a menu and the two right side buttons scroll up and down and through the screens of data.

A long press of the top right button brings up the menus.

I’ve tested GPS units where I’ve been constantly pressing the wrong button, but the setup of the Edge 130 Plus just seems logical and easy to use.

Buy the Garmin Edge 130 Plus from Tredz now

Getting a GPS fix is quick and the unit pairs easily with a heart rate monitor using either ANT+ or Bluetooth. You can pair with other kit like power meters and cadence sensors too. I never had an issue with battery life, which is easily enough for multiple rides.

There’s a bit of drift in the position info under tree cover, when moving fast though.

 

The monochrome screen is very readable. It comes pre-set to display three data fields, although you can change this if you want more or fewer: between one and eight fields.

Three fields are perfectly readable, even if your eyesight isn’t 20:20, but I found any more a bit taxing.

There’s a map screen and an elevation screen as standard too, which again can be parameterised. The map just gives you your current position and a trace of where you’ve been, without a base map. It’s more useful if you follow a pre-planned route or 'course' in Garmin-speak.

Then you get turn-by-turn navigation with an audible beep and off course warnings. As well as courses, you can select to re-ride previous routes.

Buy the Garmin Edge 130 Plus from ProBikeKit with heart rate monitor here

Following a course or a previous route also lets you use ClimbPro. Once you come to an uphill, the display automatically switches to show you the gradient and how far up the climb you are.

It’s a neat feature also found in Garmin’s pricier units that helps a bit with measuring your effort, although on the all-out hills I used it on, that wasn’t really practicable. It’s a feature that would be very useful on longer alpine climbs, though.

You can also race Garmin segments downloaded from Garmin Connect, to compare your performance to previous rides and to other riders, or ride Strava Live segments if you have a linked premium Strava account.

 

Other functionality that you get in Garmin’s higher spec units, but not in the entry-level Edge 130 include ride tracking, where you can set up third parties so that they can see where you are on your ride, when you’re carrying a linked smartphone.

Buy the Garmin Edge 130 Plus from Tredz now

You can also set up incident detection, where your location is transmitted via your phone if the Edge 130 Plus detects a sudden acceleration, such as might occur in a fall. A paired phone will also push alerts back to the Edge 130 Plus for calls and texts.

There’s support for structured workouts and training plans built into the Edge 130 Plus too.

 

Good analysis software

Garmin’s Connect computer and smartphone infrastructure surrounding its GPS devices is sophisticated. It’s easy to map out courses and upload them to the Edge 130 Plus, either over Bluetooth or via a USB cable using the Garmin Express app, which is faster and can also be used for firmware updates.

You can also set up some of the unit’s parameters on a computer or phone, which is easier than on the unit itself.

I like the Connect analysis functionality too, with clear, easy to use charts and data fields. There’s seamless transfer into Strava, TrainingPeaks and other apps.

Buy the Garmin Edge 130 Plus from Tredz now

In summary

For the majority of users, I reckon that the Garmin 130 Plus will do everything that’s required. It’s easy to use out of the box and there’s a lot you can parameterise to suit your needs.

No it doesn’t have a touchscreen, but the buttons are intuitive and the tiny form factor is very bar-friendly.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£169.99

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