Fresh off the release of the all-new Edge 1040, Garmin unveils the Edge Explore 2 and the Edge Power Mount. Looking to pounce on the ebike and adventure market, Garmin is knocking down the prices of their entry-level units and making the user interface more palatable. The new Edge Power Mount allows ebike riders to charge their head unit while riding, while the new Edge Explore 2 helps to navigate and display the vitals.
What is it — Garmin Edge Explore 2
Though Garmin claims the primary audience for the Edge Explore 2 series is the recreational/leisure cyclist, this unit has lots of the capabilities of a higher-end unit; touch screen, turn-by-turn directions, and downloadable workouts from online sources but minus the longer battery life of the Edge 1040. The new unit boasts easy-to-use GPS and navigational features, with 16 hours of battery life (24 hours in battery saver mode).
For eBike riders (using a compatible eBike), the Edge Explore 2 has dedicated eBike status screens, showing battery life and popular metrics. For those that like to go the distance, the new Edge Explore 2 will communicate navigational guidance and alerts based on battery status, assist level, and the preplanned course.
Like the Edge 1040 and other Garmin head units, the new Edge Explore 2 comes preloaded with general ride profiles, including road, off-road, and indoor — ready to use out of the box.
The Edge Explore 2 has safety and tracking features, including GroupTrack, incident detection, and Varia compatibility, which help give riders extra peace of mind while exploring.
Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales, explains, “Whether you’re a casual bike rider, eBike rider, or anything in between, the Edge Explore 2 series is ready for wherever the journey takes you. Simple to set up and ready to use right out of the box, these GPS cycling navigators boast high-contrast maps and new eBike features, making them the perfect companion for your next escape.”
What is it—Garmin Edge Power Mount
Listen up if you’re bumming about your battery life and have an ebike (a compatible one, that is.) The new Garmin Edge Power Mount (included with the Edge Explore 2 Power Mount Bundle or sold separately) allows you to charge your Edge computer eBike while you ride. The new Power Mount is compatible with most Edge devices, including; Edge Explore 2 series, Edge 1040 series, Edge 1030, Edge 830 (+), and Edge 530.
What about external power sources like Dynamo hubs and external solar panels? The signs point to yes. You can charge a Garmin head unit (maybe a light), but I wouldn’t get your hopes up for a cable that links directly from the hub. Something like the Sinewave Revolution would be great to harvest power and plug it right into the computer for charging. The connector style for the BOSCH and Shimano is Micro-D, but there is also a USB-A option. On the Garmin site, you can find different cables for BOSCH, Shimano, and USB-A connectivity.
The additional cable (sold separately at $50) connects the Edge Power Mount to compatible Shimano and BOSCH systems. For Cannondale SmartSense riders, the device plugs directly into the headlight’s peripheral port. Stay tuned for more information as our review samples arrive.
Garmin Power Mount specifics
- Handlebar compatibility: 25.4, 26.0, 31.8 and 35.0 mm
- Mount type: Lever lock
- Length (from handlebar center): 10.5 cm
- Weight: 68g (2.4 oz)
- Cable length: 18 cm
- Cable Price: $50.00
- Connector type: Higo Micro-D
- Power input: 4-14V, 1A max
- Power output: 5V, 775mA max
Key Features — Garmin Edge Explore 2
- Turn by turn navigation with high traffic road caution features.
- Ebike friendly with dedicated eBike status screens, showing battery life and popular metrics.
- Updated Type-C charging port
- Simple setup: Custom ride profiles prepopulate based on previous Edge data, ride types, and sensors. Cycling activity profiles can be managed directly on your compatible smartphone from the Garmin Connect intelligent device app.
- Weight: 105g (actual)
What’s in the box?
The Gamin Edge Explore 2 has everything you need to start riding, except a heart rate strap.
- Garmin Edge Explore 2 unit
- Lanard strap
- Type-C charging cable
- Classic mount with bands
Garmin Edge Explore 2 — First Impressions:
I was surprised to see a new cycling unit released from Garmin so quickly after announcing their new Edge 1040, but after some time on the Edge Explore 2, I can see why. Though the new unit looks very similar to the Edge 1040, it has a different mission, one focused on general ease of use.
The shell and presentation of the unit are very similar to the 1040 and show off Garmins new design aesthetic for the future. The unit is slightly smaller than the Edge 1040 but has all the same buttons and touch screen capabilities. Notably missing from the unit is the updated alloy mount; the Edge Explore 2 goes with the Garmin standard nylon mount.
Also missing from the packaging is the Garmin out front style mount, but you have to keep in mind this is considered an entry-level computer, and omitting those from the overall unit probably helps keep the price at a solid $299.
As I dug deeper into the operation and offerings, I noticed some of the premium power features (Lap NP, TSS, % of TH) were missing from the data screen setup. The offerings are leaner, but the nuts and bolts are still there. The interface is not lacking. It operates like the new Edge and has nearly the same features. Plus, if you want to know your normalized power for the ride, you can always check the file, but if you use that metric while training, this could be a reason to look at a more race-focused unit.
I had nice rides with the Edge Explore 2 on the road, gravel, and mountain bike, the data screens though not precisely everything I would like, it was absolutely fine for training and riding. The turn-by-turn navigation is just as good as the Edge 1040, and the updated road caution features are a nice update. When approaching unfamiliar (or known roads), the unit alerted me if it was problematic and if there was high traffic. Speaking on safety, the Edge Explore 2 paired nicely with the new Gramin Varia, with friendly loud beeps as expected.
I had trouble getting the unit to pair with my Wahoo Kickr trainer, but I was still on the beta version of the software, and usually, after the release, these things get ironed out.
Stay tuned for a full review on the Garmin Edge Explore 2 and more ebike integration.
Price and availability
The new Garmin Edge Explore 2 is available for purchase now for $299, including everything mentioned above. It is also available in a bundle with the Edge Power Mount for $399.99; the Power Mount is also available for purchase separately for $199. All are available for purchase now at Garmin.com and Garmin global retail partners.