Monthly Archives: April 2017

#TeamGarminMTB reports on the @AshburtonInvest @NatMTBseries #3, Clarens. @GarminSA

Charismatic Clarens has become a regular stop of the National Mountain Bike Series, and with good reason. The town generously opens its doors to mountain bikers for race weekend, hosting the event from the town square and offering up a variety of routes with the gorgeous Free State landscape as backdrop.

It’s been exactly one year since we last took part in a series event and we were excited to be back racing at the country’s premier Marathon MTB series. With the series now boasting a new two-day stage racing format, there was even more reason to look
forward to a weekend of racing with double the fun!

The first stage was held on Saturday with70km and 1044m of elevation gain to be traversed in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. Sunday’s second stage covered 50km with 835m of elevation gain finishing with a descent of the technical Porcupine Trail down into town to conclude proceedings.

With challenging routes and professional organization, the National MTB Series always draws a strong field. As if that doesn’t make for enough nervous start line excitement, most of the contenders were coming off a Cape Epic which finished less than 2 weeks ago and would affect each rider differently.

We set off in near perfect autumn conditions on stage 1, heading straight up a hill and out of town to begin our journey. Initially we were on wide open, fast roads but soon we encountered some singletrack climbing which stretched the field. With such a relatively short race distance everyone was going flat out, willing to play their hand and unafraid of ‘blowing up’. This made for exciting, tactical racing and small time gaps.

On open roads the saving and making of efforts had to be carefully judged while everywhere else each rider was trying to maximise his/her strengths and hide their weaknesses.

Day 2 was fairly similar just a more condensed version albeit on tired legs from stage 1’s racing.

Yolandi had a solid weekend finishing alongside Cape Epic partner Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk/Navworld) in 6th place on stage 1 and 5th on stage 2 giving her 5th place overall for the stage race. Still riding her strong cape Epic form, Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) took top honours with the dormakaba girls Candice Lill and Vera Adrian rounding out the top 3.

Ben Melt finished a respectable 16th on stage 1 and 17th on stage 2 for a combined 16th place for the weekend in a deep field where less than 15 minutes covered the top 17 places after 2 days of racing. African Jersey winners at the Cape Epic Matthys Beukes and Phillip Buys (Pyga/Euro Steel) stood on the first and 3rd step of the podium with HB Kruger (Team BCX) splitting the pair in 2nd place.

The new 2 day format seems to be a winner and will grow the sport in leaps and bounds, pushing everyone to maximise each advantage to gain that vital edge needed to win a race. It is also more spectator friendly and will make for some exciting racing. We say, bring it on!

#TeamGarminMTB reviews the @GarminSA Edge 820

The Edge 820 is the latest addition to Garmin’s well-known Edge cycling unit range. It slots into the current Garmin range just below the top of the range Edge 1000, but above the Edge 520. It’s the successor to the Edge 810 and, before that, the Edge 800 which means it has some huge shoes to fill.

Let’s start with the looks of this little beauty:

The Edge 820 has the same physical dimensions as the Edge 520 (7.3cm x 4.9cm x 2.1cm) and the same screen size. Being a touch screen device the unit has a clean look with only 3 external buttons.

Here’s what’s new on the Edge 820

– Group Tracking
– Full/detailed mapping and/or routing (like the Edge 1000)
– 16GB of internal storage (no micro-SD card slot though as is found on the Edge 1000)
– Phone-based audio prompts (like Garmin wearables)
– Incident/Emergency Detection/Notifications (like the Edge Explore 1000)
– Adds in new Stress Score (as seen on wearables)
– Wi-Fi (as found on the Edge 1000, but not the Edge 520)
– A touch screen (like the Edge 1000)
– A cool new ‘Battery Save’ mode (never seen before)

It’s also worth mentioning that Garmin’s new range of traffic-sensing devices like the Varia Rearview Radar and the Varia Smart Bike Lights are compatible with the Edge 820.

Returning features

ANT+ connectivity (for connecting power meters, heartrate monitors, cadence sensors and more), Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones (for call and message notifications, and for using the Garmin Connect Mobile app), the combination of GPS and GLONASS (for establishing a satellite connection in a matter of seconds), and a huge range of cycling metrics.

Strava Live Segments also return, having debuted with the Edge 520.

LiveTrack rider tracking is also back and playing a bigger role than before.

Here are more details on the new and existing features


GroupTrack is an extension of Garmin’s LiveTrack feature that allows a rider’s friends and family to follow them (via their GPS coordinates) on a computer. With GroupTrack, you can have this same visibility, but on your handlebars. The idea is that you can meet up or just keep digital track of your riding companions.

For GroupTrack to work, your friends must have a LiveTrack-compatible Edge computer like an Edge 520 or Edge 1000 that is paired to their smartphone. The Edge 820 user can then see them on their own device screen. Blue dots on the map indicate that the rider is moving while a red dot indicates they’re stationary.


Another new feature on theEdge 820 is Incident Detection. The 820 has a built in accelerometer that can detect a collision. When Incident Detection is set up and a collision occurs, the rider’s emergency contact(s) will be notified via email and/or text message with details of the rider’s location.

How to setup up Incident Detection? The first time you connect your Edge 820 and smartphone via Bluetooth and open Garmin Connect Mobile you’ll be prompted to go through the setup routine and pick emergency contacts from your phone’s contact list. Agree to the terms of use, fill in some basic info and the feature will be on standby whenever the phone and Edge are connected via Bluetooth.


The Edge 820 also comes with Strava Live Segments which gives real-time tracking of your favourite Strava segments while you are riding them. You can set the default to show the time of your friend just above yours on the leader board, your PR or the current KOM/QOM for the section.


As with the Garmin Edge 1000 and Edge 520, the Edge 820 features mapping functionality. But unlike the Edge 520, the Edge 820 can calculate routes on the device itself. You can identify a point on the map that you want to get to and it can calculate a route complete with turn directions and road names. Should you take a wrong turn, the device can also re-route you.

Round-trip routing comes across from the Edge 1000 and remains an attractive feature, particularly if you’re looking to explore some new roads. Simply tell the Edge 820 how far you want to ride and it will calculate several loop options for you, starting and finishing at a location of your choice (including your current location).

There’s also the ability to follow a Course by transferring a GPX or TCX file from Strava (or your navigation platform of choice) to the Edge 820. The turn-by-turn navigation is excellent. You’ll get a couple of visual and audio signals when the next turn is approaching, and it’s always easy to tell which way you need to go.


The Edge 820 (and the Edge 1000) can connect directly to the internet via Wi-Fi, whereas the Edge 520 cannot. This allows you to seamlessly sync your riding data to training platforms such as Garmin Connect and Strava.

Ride with Team @GarminSA at the Glacier @CradleTraverse Mountain Bike Challenge

Come and join Team Garmin for 3 days of fun filled mountain biking in the heart of Gauteng traversing the stunning trails at the Cradle of Humankind.

The inaugural Glacier Cradle Traverse takes place from the 4th to 6th of May and will be based at the luxurious Avianto Lifestyle Estate a mere 30min drive from Sandton and Pretoria. In total the course will cover a distance of 159km with the 2nd stage being the longest at 65km. The accumulated vertical gain over the 3 days will be 2,954m making for a challenge but knowing the Dryland organisers there will be plenty of reward for your effort.

Dryland events have become firm favourites on the racing calendar as one is always guaranteed of a high quality event with the organisers paying attention to detail ensuring every rider has a great experience. What makes the Glacier Cradle Traverse even more unique is the fact that not only the riders but also their supporters will be catered for.


Riders are actually encouraged to bring their families along to the Glacier Cradle Traverse and there is a lot to do besides riding a bike, like exploring the Crocodile Ramble tourist route, visit the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, or enjoying one of Avianto’s many leisure activity options. There will also be a children’s’ activity programme, including short mountain bike races in the afternoons.

To further facilitate and simplify participation entrants are given options of standard tented accommodation, non-accommodation packages as well as solo and 2 man team alternatives.

The Glacier Cradle Traverse offers a non-technical route which does not require riders to be supremely skilled bike handlers. The focus is rather on providing a scenic route which showcases the beauty of the area and provides the basis for a weekend to remember.

Team Garmin will be all in for this experience staying at the Race Village and enjoying the weekend from start to finish. Our aim will be to soak up the atmosphere and share our riding experience with participants before, during and after each stage. Come


and join us for a cracker of a weekend and be one of the first to experience Dryland’s renowned hospitality at a Gauteng based event.

For more info on the event you can visit their website here: