The Garmin Edge has now been around for more than a year, but as the first GPS-based cycling computer and personal trainer and it’s a rich source of accurate and instant numbers on all the key variables in a way that hasn’t been provided before – time, speed, distance, heart rate, cadence, altitude and grade. One very interesting new capability for a cycle computer, and one that begins to bring game technology into the convergence mix in a very useful way, is the Edge’s Virtual Partner feature allows the cyclist to keep pace with a digital person that performs at a programmed pace, duration or distance. Users can customize the display to show up to eight different data fields, as well as altitude and a map view. It attaches to either the stem or handlebars of the bicycle, and is designed for easy removal at the end of a ride. Californian athletes wishing to get a good look at the Edge might find a convenient location over the next week as Garmin is the sponsor of the internationally sanctioned professional cycling road race, the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, running February 18-25, 2007.
As a sponsor, Garmin has supplied all race participants with an Edge 305 GPS-enabled cycle computer that will help them monitor their performance throughout every phase of the Amgen Tour of California, as well as future rides. Garmin will also have a booth in the daily Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net, a free race-day festival in finish cities where the public can experience the excitement of the race and learn more about sponsors.
“The Amgen Tour of California has quickly become one of the top cycling races in the U.S. and attracts a worldwide audience,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “It is a great fit for Garmin because it allows us to showcase the Edge to everyone involved with the 650-mile course – from the participating athletes, to the countless spectators that will line the course, to the millions who will watch on TV.”
The Edge is the first Garmin device to incorporate the new-generation SiRFstarIIITM architecture, a platform offering extremely high performance and sensitivity from SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc, a leading provider of GPS-enabled location technology. The SiRFstarIII architecture provides a rapid time to first fix, enabling cyclists to determine and track their location – even under challenging conditions such as heavy foliage or “urban canyons” created by city skyscrapers.
Cyclists wanting to take their training to the next level can choose between the Edge 305HR (with a heart rate monitor) or the Edge 305CAD (with speed/pedaling cadence sensors). Heart rate and speed/cadence sensors are also sold separately as accessories to allow Edge 305 users to incorporate both features into their training.
The Edge 305HR heart rate monitor uses a robust wireless technology that eliminates cross-talk and interference and delivers real-time heart rate data exclusively to the user’s device. This data is stored with each track point for post-workout analysis. Compared to the Forerunner 301, the Edge 305HR heart rate monitor uses a new softer, more comfortable strap design.
The Edge 305CAD incorporates a self-calibrating, wireless speed/cadence sensor that mounts to the rear chain stay of the bicycle, in addition to the primary unit that mounts on the stem or handlebars of the bicycle. Like the heart rate monitor, the speed/cadence sensor uses the same robust wireless technology that eliminates cross-talk and interference. The 305CAD is self-calibrating and easy to install.
Designed to be flexible for cyclists taking long or short rides, the Edge may store up to 13,000 track points per track, including altitude, at every point of the ride. Altitude is recorded using GPS position for the Edge 205 and a barometric altimeter for the Edge 305HR and Edge 305CAD. This accurate altitude data makes it much easier for cyclists to match their altitude profile with their speed, cadence, and heart rate during post-ride analysis.
Customizing the Edge is achieved using several innovative features:
* Workouts: Design workouts with multiple steps based on time, distance, calories or heart rate. Establishes workout targets based on speed, calories, cadence and heart rate (only Edge 305CAD and 305HR, respectively).
* Virtual Partner: Team up with a virtual training partner that provides continuous feedback. Depicts a digital cyclist (desired pace) in relation to the user’s real-time pace and notifies if ahead or behind desired pace.
* Bike Computer: Customizable Bike Computer screen shows up to eight different data fields. The user may customize the display for the size and placement of the data.
* Auto Pause: Pauses the timer when the user’s speed drops below a pre-set threshold.
* Alerts: Program alerts to sound if the user strays outside the range of speed, heart rate, or cadence values. Alerts can also indicate when a set amount of time or distance has passed.