Review: Garmin Edge 130 Plus

At $290 the Garmin Edge 130 Plus is the company’s cheapest bike computer. Despite its entry-level status, the unit packs a decent punch in terms of features.

The 130 Plus is small—it’s about the size of my broken Wahoo Tickr block. Although its screen is only 3.6 cm, Garmin lets users add up to eight data fields per page. I’m lucky to have 20/20 vision (a flex I bring up all the time as if I earned it somehow) so seeing the data on-screen wasn’t an issue for me. If you’re like my friend who refuses to buy contacts just for cycling you might want to consider a bigger bike computer.

Broken heart rate monitor for scale

The 130 plus has five buttons distributed over three of its little sides. They navigate pretty intuitively, but I was frustrated that I had to press the play button three times to start recording a ride. I lost 12km of city riding to this mistake (and was subsequently annoyed with how annoyed that made me).

New additions

The new accelerometer in the 130 Plus means the unit can now measure Garmin’s mountain bike metrics: Grit, Flow and Jump. It also means the 130 Plus has crash and incident detection, but, as with other Garmin units, the alerts occasionally go off when they aren’t meant to.

RELATED: Trail testing Garmin’s mountain bike features in Whitefish, Montana

Like the 1030 Plus (released with the 130 Plus) sensors and settings from your old bike computer can be imported to the 130 Plus using the Garmin connect app. While this function is useful, I think for many buyers it won’t be necessary. The 130 Plus is a great starter bike computer—it’s Garmin’s most affordable unit. If you’re someone looking to transition away from using a phone to track rides or just getting into cycling metrics the 130 Plus will take you pretty far. Those looking to upgrade from the unit would likely do so if they’re looking for more detailed mapping capabilities or a larger, full-colour touch screen.

Workouts on the 130 Plus

The 130 Plus has also added structured workout support and trainer compatibility, which works for those looking to do their training either outdoors or indoors on a smart trainer.

RELATED: Review: Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

Maps

Maps on the 130 Plus are breadcrumb style meaning you can’t see anything else on the map other than the line you’re following. I didn’t really mind this as it’s normally pretty obvious where the turn is—sometimes the lack of other streets and features even meant less second guessing the turn.

Breadcrumb mapping works well

If you’re a competitive person and a Strava subscriber you can also use the 130 Plus for real-time live segment tracking.

Looking through saved courses on the 130 Plus you can explore the elevation, map summary and the climbs on the routes you’re about to ride. The ClimbroPro feature is new on the 130 Plus. It pops up as you hit a climb along a saved route, showing you the elevation profile and distance left in the climb.

You can check out the list of climbs before you load a saved course

You can also now share the course or route you’re riding with someone else using the LiveTrack feature newly added to the 130 Plus. The feature works as intended but keep in mind it will drain your battery slightly.

The battery on the unit I tested lasted for around 10-12 hours of riding without using LiveTrack or maps. That’s slightly better than the original 130 for which Garmin faced some controversy when it claimed it had a longer battery life than it did.

Small but mighty

The size of the 130 Plus is beneficial in some ways—it’s less distracting, lightweight (maybe a good race computer?) and fits easily on a short mtb stem. In other ways its size is a disadvantage: Maps are harder to see, data is small and phone notifications are cut off after about three words. Still, I found the 130 Plus to be functionally useful and I think for many cyclists it hits all the required bases with a reasonable price tag.

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus is $290 available at garmin.com

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Credits : cyclingmagazine.ca

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