Cycling head units are beyond what we would have imagined years ago. We’re all riding with tiny computers capable of impressive calculations, and satellite communication. The best thing about these new computer styles is the manufacturer can update software easily, dialing in the user experience and working out bugs faster than before.

Garmin Update Mapping route highlight

Another piece changing daily is the navigation and tracking for the user, the ability to pinpoint where you are on a specific climb, segment, or roadside. This tracking makes navigation, segment hunting, and mapping much more consistent.

Garmin and Hammerhead both recently released free software updates in these realms to help their users.

Garmin navigation updates

Anyone with an Edge 530, Edge 830, Edge 1030, and Edge 1030 Plus — get ready for some updated mapping and easy-to-see route guidance. Garmin recently released a free software update that’s available via the Garmin Express app.

Garmin Update Mapping in route

The most prominent change is updated visuals for guidance, featuring clean, high-contrast maps that help to make road, gravel, or mountain routes more visible in all light conditions.

Garmin Update Mapping time to point

Next is Garmin’s new Trendline feature, a heatmap based on billions of miles of uploaded Garmin user ride data. Similar to those on Strava and other platforms, this mapping will relay directly onto the map and adjusts automatically based on ride type so riders can instantly see the most relevant places to adventure or avoid— which is great for traveling.

Garmin Update Mapping starting point

Last but not least for the Garmin updates are route calculations, now faster and with less “recalculating” in route. From now on, once a route calculates, it’s cached so you can get rolling in seconds rather than minutes.

All Garmin updates are free and available on the Garmin Express app or under “Device Info — update software” on your Garmin’s home screen.

Hammerheads Karoo 2 CLIMBER

For those that use a Karoo 2 — you are familiar with the updates and little tweaks that Hammerhead provides to enhance ride metrics. We reviewed the Karoo 2 and found it pretty cool, to say the least. The newest update comes just in time for those looking to sort out their climbing legs for the tour.

Hammerhead CLIMBER on bike

CLIMBER was developed to provide riders a detailed and analytical look at upcoming elevation to see the road ahead better. Think of it as a team car just ahead, but instead of crackling the radio in your ear, you can better judge what gear to be in and when to empty the tank.

Karoo2_CLIMBER details

Developed with some of the best climbers on Israel Start-Up Nation, like ascending extraordinaire Chris Froome, the Hammerhead team thought of everything to display. The final product is a hyper-detailed look at accent-specific insights to help you climb intelligently and effectively.

Karoo 2 CLIMBER

For those worried about losing their existing data screens, CLIMBER data is displayed in a way that won’t interfere with your go-to riding screens. You can continue to use your favorite ride or race day setting, and the CLIMBER feature will intuitively pop up when you enter a climb to deliver critical information when you need it most. Plus, you can dial key points like; Distance To Go, Elevation To Go, Distance From Base, and Elevation From Base to any profile.

For those that give it everything on the climbs, CLIMBER also displays a color-coded view of elevation profile, segmented to 100 meters or yards — so you know when to hit it. All the segments are color-coded to average gradient; the brighter the color, the steeper the rise — easy, right?

For those interested in the Karoo 2 CLIMBER update, you can find more information HERE.

9 comments

  1. syborg on

    Garmin navigation, with the latest update, on my Edge 830 is not improved and is a joke. Example: I’m riding on Main St and select navigate to a saved location about 17 miles away. Garmin tells me to turn left, the for about a half mile, turn right, parallel to my original course, ride for about a mile, turn right and go back to Main St and make a left turn. My 830 is st to use the shortest course and clearly that’s not happening.

    All during the above fiasco my Garmin was telling me to make a u-turn to return to the first BS turn that I skipped. When I got down to less than 100 feet from the point where the Garmin route re-joined Main St I got a re-calc prompt. I thingy great it finally figured out that I should just go straight. Nope. The Garmin still wanted a u-turn to go back to the point of deviation from it’s BS route.

    Reply
    • ahren bonnema on

      I just got a Garmin Edge a few weeks ago mainly for navigation in a new city and its been little but disappointment after disappointment. If you miss the suggested route by a few feet you get stuck in an endless loop of recalculation and U-turning into oblivion. Also the lack of ability to enter an address on my phone and have it calculate a route and send to my device is another dissapointment. I think I’ll be returnibg mine and just use my phone until Garmin gets it together.

      Reply
    • deadllhead on

      That’s exactly why I dumped Garmin for navigation It never seemed to know where it was going and thought you were ‘lost’ if you ever detoured off the planned route. I was interested to here of the update your confirmation that it still lacks is sad to hear they could and should do so much more.
      While not perfect I’ve found the Karoo2 years ahead when it comes to navigation.

      Reply
  2. Chris on

    Same experience with Edge Explore.
    At first I thought it was waypoints on route, bit even if I just tell it to go home or direct back to start it has me going in loops if I go off course slightly.
    Between that and the intermittent lock ups mid ride, and the wireless sync which only works one in twenty times I’ ready to bin it.

    I’m now on my third unit- Garmin keep replacing them and refusing to admit there’s software issues as “no-one else.is reporting the problems” Strange how there’s lots of talk on forums, etc…

    I was thinking of getting a 1030 plus in hope it was better, comments have convinced me to wait and look at Karoo 2 a bit closer.

    Reply
  3. Dustin on

    If you’re buying any of the GPS cycling computers for mapping purposes you should really only be considering the Karoo. There is nothing else that compares, not even close, go find someone with one and try it out, or take the plunge and order one, its less money than anything you might compare like a Garmin 1030 and it blows the doors off that units screen for mapping.

    Reply
  4. typevertigo on

    Shane Miller/GPLama has a recent video demonstrating the CLIMBER functionality (it also applies for the original Karoo, which was what he tested it with). Not perfect, but a great first effort and pretty promising. Just a few tweaks shy of excellence.

    Reply
  5. Rodrigo Diaz on

    I had similar experiences a few years ago that lead me to stay away from Garmin products.

    I was literally riding in the middle of a frozen lake, with no cover around or clouds, and the damn thing lost signals and was beeping to recalculate every minute or so. I had thick gloves and was in the last leg of a race so there wasn’t much I could do about it – except buy something else when I got home.

    I was pleasantly surprised that the Karoo had much better maps for the trails in my area anyway – covered even the smaller (and sometimes unofficial) side paths. And while not perfect, it has been a positive change. I also like my older Wahoo Bolt, but I don’t really navigate with it – just a recording device, mostly for the TT bike.

    Reply
  6. Sean on

    Garmin is on my list of “never, ever again” along with for example Rockshox. I’d love to try the Karoo 2 as it seems much, much better by the reports. However, for the past few years I’ve been using my iPhone in an SP Connect handlebar mount for recording rides and navigation and it suits my needs. The navigation software (e.g. Viewranger, Komoot) and interface make it an endlessly better experience than the absolute garbage software by Garmin.

    Reply

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