Garmin Battery Mounted

Garmin Charge Power Battery Pack Explained


I have been using Garmin Cycling Computers since the Edge 305 days. I have iterated through all of the 800 series Edge units since there inception. I loved my Edge 800 and Edge 810 Units. So when I upgraded, (A birthday present to myself), to the Edge 820 I felt excited, due to the fact that it had both bluetooth and wireless sync options. It also had colored maps.

Disappointed in the Edge 820

As it turns out, the Edge 820 was reduced in size to make way for next Garmin Leader the 1030. Now it was the same size as the Edge 520+, with much less screen size for fewer, smaller fields…Bummer. It turns out that this was the least of my problems with the Edge 820!

The Big Problem

The Edge 820’s charging port was moved to the back of the device, it was also not a snug fit for the micro USB plug. I had to send the unit back to Garmin 5 times for repair or replacement. Each time it went out was when I needed it to charge for an event, or trip I was on. Hence the need to upgrade to the Edge 830 which has a battery pack to help both extend the battery life of the Edge 830 and to charge it should I have a similar situation with this unit.

Enter the Edge 830

Upon retirement from teaching, I decided to upgrade as a retirement present to myself, purchasing the Edge 830 from Cycling Concepts in Glastonbury, CT. Keith, the owner always gives me such a great deals, and I just think you should support your local businesses when possible, especially you local LBS. Garmin Service offered me a 20% discount if I sent the Edge 820 back to them, but I decided to buy local and then sell the 820 on Facebook and Ebay. The Edge 820 sold on Ebay for $185, which was way more than the 20%. For once I was a smart consumer.

Garmin Charge Power Battery Pack

Cycling Concepts did not have the Charge in stock, so I went with Amazon here. I also bought a Green Silicone Cover for the Edge 830 on Amazon Smile (Amazon’s give a percentage of the purchase to a charity of your choice). I choose to support a cycling initiative that promotes youth cycling in CT called CCAP or Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program.

The battery pack is the same size as the Edge 830, but a bit heavier. It comes with an insert that you have to use with the Garmin Out-Front Mount. I the following video, I touch on all of this, but mainly focus on the Mounting of the Units together and changing the mount insert.

Some Specs on the Garmin Charge Power Battery Pack:

  • Lithium Ion Battery.
  • 3100 mAh bei 5 V (15.5 Wh)
  • Battery operation time up to 24h powering Edge 1030.
  • Charging temperature range 0°C to 45°C.
  • Operating and storage temperature range -20°C to 60°C.
  • Input 5 bis 5.5 V, 2 A.
  • Output electrical contacts 5.07 V, to 1 A.

Battery Pack Manual

Video on MOunting the Garmin Charge

Mounting Insert for the Garmin Charge

I will add a review of both the Edge 830 and the Charge Power Battery Pack in about a month from now after using it for a while. But I can tell you the Edge 830 seems like a rugged unit with a more sensitive touch screen. DCRainmaker also says that the processor is faster on the 830, lets hope so, because calculating a map on the 820 took 5 minutes…Here is his review:

Garmin Edge 830

Garmin Edge 830 Upgrade

Garmin Edge 830
Garmin Edge 830

MY new toy! The garmin Edge 830 Cycling Computer

The Edge 830 replaces my Edge 820, which I have replace with the help of Garmin Customer Server 4-5 time, I cannot remember exactly. After the last time it went out on a USB power surge and I had it replace, I said I would replace it with the 830 the next time it went out. So I did.

There is a long story that goes with the 4-5 Replacement unit for the Edge 820. I have had Garmin since the Edge 305, and have many other Garmin devices in my quiver. The Edge 820 has always been troublesome for me. From the git, (a programmer joke there), I have had nothing but trouble with this unit. I loved my 810 and 800 for that matter. They were big enough for me to see the displayed fields, and yet small enough to fit in your pocket at rest stops. They also had good navigation as compared to the 500 or 305 for that matter. I never had to replace any other unit, but the 820.

I told myself I would buy the 830 if it had something other than Micro USB changing, like USB 3 or even a proprietary version like their watches. Garmin compromised and made it so you could buy a Charge Power Battery Pack for the unit, and the work together without the usb port to charge the unit. An OK alternative, but not one I would run out and get. So I made the plan to replace the 820 with the 830 next time I had trouble with it…And it happened last week in Florida…

Garmin Support Rocks!

The other day while at Cycling Concepts in Glastonbury CT, I met the Garmin representative and gave him a razing about the 820 model. He knew about the issue, and told me to contact Garmin Support. I have always had good luck with Garmin Support, as they have replaced other units (all 820) without fanfare. The next morning I emailed them and received an email back the same day – Cudos Garmin Support!. They did offer me a 20% mark down for the unit, but they required that I buy the unit through them and send the 820 back to them.

Buy Local

I wanted to buy it at Cycling Concepts, support your local LBS. Keith at CC gave me a great deal, and with keeping the 820, which now still works, I can sell it and make up more than the difference in price. Supporting local business and buying from your LBS is a great way to get awesome service on your bikes.

Garmin Edge 830 Review

I am not going to try to recreate the wheel here, and just give you DCRainmakers Garmin Edge 830 In Depth Review Link. I bow to his expertise.

Hoping for the Best!

The unit took very little time to set-up and is ready to use. I am going to ride indoors and use it to track my ride. After I use it for a month or so, I will come back and finish with my thoughts. I am also going to review the Garmin Charge Power Battery Pack at that time.

Garmin Varia RTL510 Review

Garmin Varia Bicycle Radar Rear Tail Light

The Garmin Varia RTL510 Radar Rear Tail Light (New Varia), is a much needed improvement over its predecessor the Garmin Varia Rear Light Radar 2016 (Old Varia). I had the old version for about 5 years, and would not ride on Connecticut roads without one anymore. I believe they are a must for any serious road cyclist or enthusiast.

New Varia specs:

  • Works with most Garmin Edge Cycling Computers. I prefer the Garmin Edge 830
  • You can also buy a companion Display in a bundle version of the New Varia
  • On the Edge the New Varia provides visual and audible alerts to warn of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters) away.
  • Battery life up to 15 hours in flashing mode or 6 hours in solid or night flash mode. Battery life for the Old Varia is 5 hour. More like 3 in real life!
  • See and be seen, day or night. Lumens are 20 solid, 29 night flash and 65 day flash.

Old Versus New Comparisons

Should I buy the New or the Old, and is it worth upgrading…

  • The New Varia has much longer batter life. The old version used to die on me on long rides about 2 hours into the ride, NOT GOOD! New VARIA Wins!
  • The New Varia is MUCH BRIGHTER than the Old Varia. You can be seen without having to have a second tail light (Blinky). I used to have to put on a second rear tail light just to be seen from the rear. NOT GOOD! New VARIA Wins!
  • The radar range is similar and the old and new versions both detect cars approximately the same. A WASH!
  • Styling: The Old Varia as a horizontal orientation and is smaller in size, while the New Varia is Larger with a Vertical orientation. I prefer the new look and style although a bit big. Importantly, you can be SEEN! New VARIA Wins!
  • Mounting is the same for both models and is universal 1/4 turn mount for all Garmin Devices. Nice! A Wash!
  • Should I upgrade: Let the battery life tell the tail for you. Most importantly, do you want to be seen! In short…YES! Upgrade! New VARIA Wins!


Buy the Garmin Varia RTL510 Radar Rear Tail Light: if…

  • You ride on US ROADS, PERIOD!


OTTO OTTOLOCK Cinch 30in Combo Lock Flash Green, 30in Review


1 year later

The Positives

  • Easy to carry on the bike due to light wait and flat design
  • Easy to lock
  • Light Weight
  • Cost

The Negatives

  • Not as secure as many heavier or U-Locks
  • Durability
  • Length
Frayed end of OttoLock
Frayed end of OttoLock

The OttoLock has been a god send when stopping for a quick coffee or leaving the bike outside a shopping grocery store for a quick strip in. It is light weight, fits great on your bike under the saddle, and looks great too.

After a year of use however, I could not longer use it as the tip that goes into the lock frayed and would not pass through, even after I trimmed it, it would not pass through the lock. I had to toss it. This needs to be fixed. 1 year of infrequent use should not cause this kind of failure. Time for a redesign.

That being said, I was looking for a convenient light weight lock to replace it that would go under the saddle, I think I will still buy an OttoLock. I just hope the next one lasts longer….

Another Story: the OttoLock and Gatorskin Tires

OttoLock Burnt
OttoLock Burnt

As you can see from the lock, it took a hit when riding on Long Boat Key Florida. After using the lock on a sort stop at a CVS, I decided to try to lock it to my rear rack instead of under my saddle…Bad Idea! Within the first mile, the lock must have slipped and rubbed on my gatorskin rear tire.

Continental Gatorskin Tire

Since there was a strong headwind, I thought my lack of speed, ~9 mph, was just my lack of power. Then my Heart Rate started to climb into the 130’s at 9 MPH, I still thought it might be me. I rode about 10 miles that way, and finally had to stop and check to see if my brakes were dragging on the rim. That is when I found the issue with the lock. The wheel would not even go 1/4 turn. The OttoLock suffered the little bit of damage you can see it the photo above. The Gatorskin shows absolutely no damage or ill effects. Gatorskin Wins!!!!

Continental Gatorskin are extremely durable, puncture resistant and long lasting, but not the most comfortable to ride. In a 32 mm model they currently carry a bit more forgiving and for a bit of gravel, just right!