Garmin or TomTom

I have a bit of a dilemma deciding on whether I should go with TomTom or Garmin for a ‘mobile’ GPS system for use primarily on my bike. I am a huge TomTom fan, using a Series 60 on our ALStrays Pet Transports, backed up with the excellent iOS version on the iPad and iPod Touch

Garmin or TomTom

Garmin Edge 510 GPS Bike Computer TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch
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The Price
Not a lot in it really. The Garmin is £269.00 and the TomTom is £179.99, but with the TomTom you have to buy the Heart Rate Monitor separately at £69.99 and the Bike Mount at £19.99 and Cadence Speed Sensor at £59.99. This makes the Garmin cheaper, and if you like your technology ‘all in one’ a better buy.

The Specifications
Again very similar. From their respective web sites:

The compact, touchscreen Edge 510 GPS bike computer with connected features through your smartphone gives you live tracking, social media sharing and weather – along with advanced training capabilities – all in one device.

Whether you’re training, racing or touring, Edge 510 tracks the details of your ride, and you can view it later on a map at Garmin Connect Compatible with GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster satellite acquisition and improved signal lock, the 510 is suited for the most challenging conditions such as forests and valleys.

The 510 records your distance, speed metrics, ascent/descent and more. With ANT+™ heart rate and speed/cadence sensors it gives you a finely-tuned analysis of your ride. It also works with compatible third-party ANT+™ power meters to display your power output in watts as you train.

The activity profiles feature allows you to customise data fields and device settings based on cycling activity, such as road, mountain or touring. Switch profiles with a simple swipe of the touchscreen and your device will be set up to show the data you need for that ride. When you complete a ride, the 510 displays any new personal records you achieved, such as farthest distance, most ascent gained and more.

Edge 510 offers a suite of connected features when paired with your smartphone (Apple® or Android™) and the Garmin Connect Mobile app available at This allows you to gain comprehensive, accurate ride data from a dedicated device while saving your phone battery.

Edge tracks the data and sends it to your phone using a Bluetooth® connection. Stay connected and share all the details of your ride with friends, family and your social media contacts. You can post an update immediately after your ride or race with details from your completed activity. You’ll create your posts via your smartphone and the ride data is already there thanks to the interface with Garmin Connect Mobile.

The live tracking feature allows your friends and family to follow your races and training activities in real time. Invite followers using email or social media, so they can view your live data on a Garmin Connect tracking page. Once they get your email invite, they can click to follow and see your stats and location on the map. (Tracking can be disabled at any point).

Get real-time weather conditions, forecasts and alerts directly on the Edge 810 when it’s paired with your smartphone and the Garmin Connect Mobile app. This feature is useful for extended rides and it lets you keep your smartphone safe and dry while the weather data you need is at your fingertips.

Now you can instantly store, share and analyse every detail of your ride. The Garmin Connect Mobile app allows for wireless uploads of completed activities from your device as soon as you finish recording an activity. You choose whether activities are automatically or manually uploaded. Once your ride has posted to Garmin Connect, your own “connections” can view them. You can also search your courses and workouts stored at Garmin Connect, download to your smartphone, then send directly to your Edge 510 — wirelessly. You can then use the Virtual Partner® feature on your Edge to race your previous activities in real time.

Edge 510 is rugged, waterproof and has a 20-hour battery life. The touchscreen is easy to operate, even with a gloved finger and when wet. Mounting options include a new out-front mount for heads-up positioning and a standard quarter-turn mount. It also comes with a tether to ensure your device doesn’t travel far in the event of a spill.

Extra-Large Display – See your key running, cycling and swimming stats at-a-glance. View on a high resolution and high-contrast display.

Ultra-Slim Design – Train with a lightweight watch designed for multi-sport athletes. The slim design comfortably fits all wrist sizes.

Navigate easily through menus with the intuitive One-Button Control. Get started quickly and keep moving with easy access to watch functions and your key stats.

Train with a durable, scratch-resistant display. Super-tough scratch and impact-resistant display stays easy to read, run after run.

Stay focused on your activity with vibration alerts. Hear beeps and feel vibrations to get milestone, lap and training alerts, even when listening to your music.

Customize your watch to suit your style. Choose from a variety of Comfort Strap colors and shapes and to suit your taste or mood.

Monitor your cadence as you ride. Measure your peddle strokes in real-time to help you perform at your best. Mounts easily to your bike to track your speed and distance, indoors and out.

Bike Mount – Place your watch in the best position for cycling. Use the specially-designed bike mount to help you easily see your stats at-a-glance.

Software (MySports Connect support application): To set up and use your TomTom GPS watch you first need to install the MySports Connect support application.

MySports website: Get the most out of your TomTom GPS watch — use TomTom MySports website to manage your activity.

Compatible Sports sites and apps: Use other platforms to manage your activity. If you are already using MapMyFitness, you can set up your TomTom GPS watch to automatically sync your activity to this site.

In simple terms both will do the job I want: they will monitor my training activity, track and record my routes, will integrate with web based applications, and will (hopefully) stop me getting lost – although I think it will be a long time before I can ride far enough to actually get lost!

I like the idea of them both (but must resist). Ironically the first Garmin product I owned was a very early Watch GPS. I never got the hang of how to use it and I certainly had very little use for it at the time, but I have always liked the idea of a Watch GPS. I have also owned a Garmin eTrek that I used on a bike many years ago, and while it was certainly very rudimentary I have no complaints about it.

The watch has the added benefit of being flexible in that it can either be fitted to the bike(s) or worn on a wrist. Tempting as this is I certainly aren’t going to be running that far from home, and I can always get a standard training watch if ever I wanted to measure my feeble jogs.

The Garmin on the other hand has a bigger screen and overall I think the combination of Garmin Connect and Garmin Connect Mobile is very useful, and (grasping at straws a little) it would be a semi useful back up to the ALStrays Transport Business as an alternative tracking option.

The Decision
Going to have to be the Garmin Edge 510 Touchscreen GPS Bike Computer with Heart Rate Monitor and Speed/Cadence Sensor.

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