Tech review: Garmin 1000

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Cycling in the South Bay was privileged to receive a pre-release version of the new Garmin 1000, an addition to your arsenal of cycling equipment that is guaranteed to change the way you ride.

The Edge 1000® will help cyclists reach their goals with advanced segment capabilities so that riders can view start/finish point alerts, lose weight without going on painful diets, race themselves or the segment leader, and plan routes using the new “Beer Finder” segment function.

The Edge 1000 also offers instant uploads to social media, live tracking, on-the-go upload and download of data from Garmin Connect™, and advanced bike-specific navigation and mapping capabilities. The social media function comes with real-time Strava emoticons that display “You’re weak!”, “Baaaad-aaaasss!”, and “Nyahh-nyahh-nyah-nyah-nyaaaaaaahhh.”

“Exciting new features include a 12″ x 12”, 6-lb. high-resolution color touch screen display, advanced smartphone connectivity that allows riders to chat on the phone while riding, studio-quality headphones to screen out troublesome traffic sounds and irksome advice from the local knowitall, and challenging segment features that will take cyclists of any ability to the next level,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “The minute your ‘best effort’ fails to crack the top ten of any particular leaderboard, the Edge 1000 will automatically search for a leaderboard in which your time is in the top ten, and if there are none, will create a new category just for you. Let’s say your name is Bill Jones and your fifteen-minute best effort up a local climb puts you at, say, #1,879 on the leaderboard for a healthy, 35-year-old-man. The new Garmin 1000 will create a new category for 35-year-old men born under a certain sign whose last name is Jones. Boom. Top ten every time.”

Stay Connected

Most exciting is the new Edge 1000’s ability to monitor the pulse of the outside world with incoming calls and text message alerts, as well as the feature most experts regard as the killer app function of the device. The AwesomeSauce function allows friends and family to follow races and training activities in real time. Says Bartel: “Intensive research showed that fewer and fewer people ride bikes to get away from it all, but rather to show their awesomeness to the world. Nothing shows you’re awesome more than the ability to respond to a half-dozen text messages while grinding out a gnarly interval.

“Same goes for letting friends and family follow your races and training activities,” Bartel continued. “In the old days — I’m talking pre-2010 here — most people rode for what focus groups kept calling ‘inner satisfaction.’ But our marketing department realized that what happens inside you can’t really be marketed, so we took that innate desire of cyclists to preen and navel-gaze, and turned it into something that would allow spouses and jealous girlfriends to find out what you’re doing every second of the day. With our proprietary ‘Arousal Alert’ and the PBF attachment strap (sold separately) the new Edge 1000 can also measure how attracted you are to the cyclists around you, which is cool, too. It also has a GrindR interface.”

Garmin’s R&D Department has surely hit one out of the park by allowing friends and family to follow riding activities in real time. According to Bartel, “Demographically we were seeing a lot of failed marriages and ruined relationships because the athlete would yak forever about his latest big accomplishment. With this feature, the stay-at-home mom or dad can be forced to follow the workout, then over dinner when the rider brags about dropping her nemesis, that bitchy little upstart who’s been taking all her KOM’s, the browbeaten househusband will be able to instantly pick up the conversation by saying something like, ‘Oh, I saw today where you were killing it on the Festersore Liquorstore segment. That li’l bitch will never get that one from you.’ We’re hoping to strike a blow for relational stability with this app.”

Integration with bicycle

This revolutionary computer also allows instant and easy data uploads through the Edge 1000’s Bluetooth® Smart wireless and Wi-Fi® capabilities. “Used to be, after a hard ride you’d stop at a coffee shop or a bar and talk about the ride. What matters now, however, is speed of upload, because even though you were the slowest in your group, by uploading first you can still get one of those coveted little Strava crowns. Talk and friendship is really overrated anyway,” added Bartel.

Like the Edge Touring, Edge 1000 comes with preloaded maps and points of interest, including parks and trails, emergency rooms, orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, and brewpubs to help cyclists find their way. Working like a GPS navigator for a car with bike-specific features, Edge 1000 turns even the easiest outing into a navigation project similar to crossing the Straits of Magellan in winter in a rowboat. “You can’t have too much data,” says Bartel. “Wind speed, hour-by-hour weather updates, rotational speed of the earth, Jet Stream velocity, and tectonic movement in the Marianas Trench, as well as realtime Google Earth views of streets in hundred-meter segments … these are the things that make cycling fun.”

Edge 1000 is compatible with ANT+™ sensors, NEWT+™ sensors, COELENTERATE+™ sensors, and ECOLI+™ sensors, including heart rate, speed, cadence, body weight, BMI, cholesterol count, and sensors that remind you to floss. Edge 1000 is also compatible with the new Edge RuggedMaxx, a compact and lightweight remote control that allows riders to easily control Edge without removing their hands from the handlebar, or, frankly, without knowing shit from Shinola as regards cycling. Compatible with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting systems, it can display current gear on the screen and is also compatible with ANT+ power meters including Vector™, Garmin’s unique pedal-based power meter that measures total power, left/right balance and cadence. There is little doubt that this new cycling computer will bring a level of expense and complexity to your “hobby” that no other add-on can bring for the low, low price of $699.99.

Never one to sit on past success, Garmin is already working on a newer, improved version. According to Bartel, “The next iteration will have a bicycle attachment that you can actually pedal.”

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