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Garmin Edge 130 Plus review – tiny GPS packed with MTB features

Garmin’s Edge 130 Plus might be Garmin’s most basic GPS computer but its simplicity and small size is a big selling point for mountain bikers

Garmin Edge 130 Plus review
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Small and simple, the Garmin Edge 130 Plus packs all the features you need for basic ride recording into a tough and compact unit.

Pros

  • +

    Small and slim form factor helps keep it out of harm’s way

  • +

    Clear screen

  • +

    Easy to use buttons

  • +

    Climb Pro works very well for pacing

  • +

    Mountain bike dynamic metrics extend tangible data points

Cons

  • -

    Menu isn’t always intuitive

  • -

    Navigators will want more than breadcrumb routing

Garmin’s Edge 130 Plus is a simple compact GPS unit that doesn’t have a touch screen (or even a color screen), fancy detailed mapping, body acclimatization/intelligent hydration or nutrition prompts. 

Don’t be fooled, though. If you are looking for the best MTB GPS computer the Garmin Edge 130 Plus is one of my favorites due to its tiny size, connectivity and features. If you are riding well-trodden trails rather than navigating the back and beyond, the Edge 130 Plus is the perfect tool for tracking your rides.

Garmin Edge 130 Plus review

The black and white screen is easy to read with a clear data field layout (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specifications

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus is considerably more compact than almost any other GPS computer I have used. Measuring just 41mm x 63mm x 16mm, it's around 25 percent smaller than the Garmin 530, as well as being noticeably smaller than Wahoo’s Bolt. The Edge 130 Plus is also feather-light, tipping our scales at just 34g, and just half the weight of the 530.

Being such a small device there isn’t a whole lot of real estate for the screen – the display is black and white, and measures 45mm. Using the Edge 130 Plus is easy enough with a power button on the left-hand side, menu and scrolling buttons on the right, and a start/stop button and back button on the bottom. All the buttons have a good click and depress nicely, so they are easy to operate with gloves on.

Garmin Edge 130 Plus review

The compact design makes mounting the 130 Plus simple (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

The Edge 130 Plus connects to GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite signals, and features a barometric altimeter and accelerometer. Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity mean that all manner of devices and accessories can be connected to the Edge 130 Plus from smartphones to heart rate monitors and smart turbo trainers.

In the box, you get two stem/bar mounts and loads of bands for strapping both mounts to bikes. It uses Garmin’s standard quarter-turn mount so there are also loads of third-party mounts out there if you want to mount to the top tube, steerer tube, or just want a cleaner mounting setup.

Setting up is simple too, and connecting the Edge 130 Plus to the Garmin Connect Smartphone app guides you through the process. Activating your Garmin Connect account gives it your stats, and you can set up ride data windows and other features like auto lap, auto pause, workouts, notifications and various other features to your preference. Connecting devices and accessories is done via the Edge 130 Plus, but it's a simple process. 

Garmin Edge 130 Plus review

MTB metrics gives more insight to your riding, including your airtime (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Riding experience

While the small size is definitely a plus point for those that only want a GPS device to record their ride, the Edge 130 Plus is packed with loads of features that are seen on Garmin’s other more expensive devices. The Edge 130 Plus will record your mountain bike metrics including Grit (overall difficulty), Flow (how well you maintained speed), and Jump metrics (jump count, jump distance, hang time, and jump speed). You can also connect to Strava to sync routes and segments, and if I loaded a route the ClimbPro feature helped me pace the ascents. 

Garmin Edge 130 Plus review

Routing is a basic breadcrumb style (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Despite being on such a small screen, I found the crisp black and white display easy to read on the go, and Garmin has done an excellent job at communicating gradient data when needed. Buttons are also easy to press and I had no problem quickly scrolling through data screens while riding.

In fact, unless I required detailed routing beyond the breadcrumb trail, the Garmin Edge 130 Plus covered all my mountain bike needs. The GPS appears to track accurately even under reasonably thick tree cover and the battery lasts 12 hours, which is more than enough life for all but the most energetic riders. 

Garmin Edge 130 Plus review

You get a elevation screen (shown), but there is also ClimbPro which gives more detailed climbing data (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict 

Considering that modern mountain biking is more likely to involve enduro-style ride-up/ride-down within a specific area, or follow a waymarked trail center route, there is less need for riders to have full-feature navigation. If you do require detailed routing, then you will probably be better served by the Garmin 530. 

If you don’t require maps, and prefer a head unit over a smartwatch like the Garmin Instinct 2, then opting for the tiny Garmin Edge 130 Plus not only saves weight but the diminutive size helps with mounting it out of the crash damage firing line. The 130 Plus is generally very simple and easy to use, and is packed with all the MTB metrics, ClimbPlus, Strava segments, and accessory pairing you could ever need. The battery life will easily cover even the biggest trail mission, too.

Tech Specs: Garmin Edge 130 Plus

  • Price: $199.99 / £169.99
  • Weight: 34g 
  • Size: 441 x 63 x 16 mm
  • Wireless connectivity: ANT+ and Bluetooth
  • GPS: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
  • Battery life: 12 hours
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg