Garmin already makes the most commonly used high-end cycling computers that incorporate GPS and power capture functions. Now it’s added something the Garmin pro road team has been using for years: live tracking between several cyclists at once. It works by tethering either the Garmin 810 touch-screen GPS or the 510 cycling computer with your Android/iPhone and using the cell signal to transmit the data. Several years ago Garmin had this technology in very rudimentary hack form, with the team members having the guts of cell phones in their helmets and bluetooth connectivity to their Garmins.
What comes to the public now will be more sophisticated than that first attempt at live telemetry, where, via the Garmin Connect Mobile app, you can “live” share your ride stats including location, power, heart rate, speed, distance, etc. This is also shareable between cyclists on the same ride, which should be an advantage if you’re trying to meet a pal at X dot on a map and you’re not quite sure where your compadre is. Garmin’s pitch is that because their devices use multiple satellites (rather than just cell info), your location will be more precisely pinpointed than if you used your smartphone for live mapping, especially in tight forest or the ramparts of a mountain pass.
Whether all this sharing matters to you will depend on how socially you ride, but one thing we do like a lot: As soon as your workout is over all ride data can post immediately to the Garmin Connect site so you can track what happens without having to plug your Garmin into your desktop computer.
Of course another obvious advantage of live tracking is that you can live share your ride with your family so they’ll have the confidence of knowing where you are at all times.
The Edge 810 is out now for $500; the 510 will be out some time later this winter for $330. The Garmin Connect Mobile app will be available January 10. LINK