Garmin Edge 800 Bicycling Computer

Need maps for your Edge 800?

We’ll send you the OSM maps preloaded onto an SD card for $25. See details and purchase your preloaded OSM maps here.

Quick Summary:

Map a route using our bike route planner and then export either a GPX Track if you have Garmin/OSM basemaps or a TCX file if you don’t. If you want turn-by-turn directions and have basemaps installed, the following settings on your Edge 800 will help:

  1. Routing => Bicycle
  2. Guidance Method => Off Road (some people swear by On Road/Distance)
  3. Lock on Road => No
  4. Recalculate => Off or Prompted (important, or it will shortcut you back home!!! I use prompted, but almost always say no)
  5. Sign in to your account and upload your ride!

OK, so how do I get the file on my GPS?

Keep in mind that routes uploaded this way are limited to 15 character names. See Garmin site.

Anyone can manually load a route or ride on their Edge 800 and get navigation. Here’s how:

  1. Plug in your Garmin
  2. On the website, navigate to your route or ride
  3. Otherwise, click the Export tab then click on your desired filetype, either TCX Course or GPX Track
  4. If your computer prompts you to save the file to a specific location, place it somewhere memorable like the desktop.
  5. Using the Finder, My Computer or other tool on your computer, open up the drive associated with the Garmin, usually labeled Garmin
  6. Open the Garmin folder located inside the Garmin drive.
  7. Click/drag the exported file from your desktop to the NewFiles folder.
  8. Safely remove the Garmin (Eject on an Apple machine) and unplug it from the computer
  9. After powering it on click the Courses icon and locate your route

What File Format Should I Use?

The Edge 800 can use either a GPX Track or a TCX.  A TCX Course has the advantage of embedding your planned route’s cuesheet. So, alongside Garmin’s dedicated navigation, you get beeps and text for each pre-planned cue entry in the cuesheet. This is especially helpful if you have custom cuesheet entries, as well as a nice double check to Garmin’s own navigation.

The downside to a TCX file for navigation is the Virtual Partner. When we create a TCX Course file for a pre-planned route, we have to embed fake timestamps on each point, which is used for the virtual partner speed on the GPS unit. As a result, you’ll end up racing against the virtual partner.

If you load a TCX Course or a TCX History of an uploaded ride on the site (a ride that you or someone else recorded and uploaded to our site) you will get virtual partner speeds identical to the speeds actually ridden along the ride. This is helpful when riding against your previous time, or someone else’s previous time.

Installing Free Open Street Map data

Some people purchased an Edge 800 for cheap because it didn’t come with Garmin’s City Navigator maps installed. This is fine, because there is a complete and comprehensive set of free maps (wikipedia style user-generated maps) from the Open Street Maps project.

Option 1: Let us do the work.

We’ll send you the OSM maps preloaded onto an SD card for $25. See details and purchase your preloaded OSM maps here.

Option 2: Download the maps and load them onto a Micro SD card.

  1. Choose a mapset from this link - Since I am in North America, I use either Mantlik’s contoured maps or Dave’s
  2. You have to enable data recording on the SD card by changing the settings: Settings > Data Recording > Record to memory card.
  3. Place a blank SD card in your Garmin, turn it on and then start the timer. You will need at least a 4GB SD card. This will create the proper directories on the SD card automatically.
  4. Stop the brief activity you just started.
  5. Feel free to revert the “Record to memory card” setting once you have started then stopped the timer.
  6. Plug your Garmin into your computer. Depending on your computer, you will probably be prompted to open a folder to view the files on both the main unit and the SD card. Otherwise, navigate to the drive/folder your computer assigned to your SD card.
  7. After downloading, copy the IMG file to the SD cards “GARMIN” folder that was created earlier.
  8. The SD card can have multiple IMG files on it and you can choose between them in the Edge 800 configuration menu. I kept my names descriptive, “osm_western_us.img”. VERY IMPORTANT: keep the name short and free of spaces or odd punctuation – underscores are OK for spaces.
  9. Once the file is copied, safely remove (right click on the icon in the lower right of screen for Windows users) the SD card from your computer.
  10. Insert the card and power up the Garmin.
  11. Go to the configuration menu, then System -> Map -> Map Information, and select the map type.
  12. Enjoy!
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