Edge 130 Plus elevation accuracy is poor following switch off and on in mid ride.

Having been delighted with my Edge 130 I upgraded to an Edge 130 Plus.  I noticed a problem, namely that occasionally it would stop updating elevation, both in real time and on the final data.  OK, I can correct height online but it's dispiriting slogging up a 100m 12% gradient to be told that you have gained no height and it's flat.

I investigated further and discovered that the problem ALWAYS occurs after switching off the device mid-ride, then switching back on.  I carried out an experiment.

With the Edge 130 and 130Plus recording I did a quick up and down ride.  Both devices were accurate, and consistent with each other.  I switched both off and on again and repeated the up-and-down ride.  The 130 gave a similar result to the first lap, but the 130Plus elevation started to lag, only updating after a minute or so.  See graph below.  The Edge130Plus is the red line


I showed this data to Garmin Tech Support who agreed that there was a problem and agreed to replace it with a refurbished unit, which arrived yesterday.  And this one has EXACLTY the same problem.  See graph below.  The unit takes more than a minute to update elevation (on longer rides I've known it to fail to update for many minutes.

So now I await Garmin's response.  I wonder whether anyone else has had this problem?

  • I got the same reply recently from Garmin, the feature is there and it is not working as it is supposed to "because it is not made for that". Their solution is dont switch it off during the ride:

    If a device can be used in a certain way, this does not mean the device is meant to be used that way.

    For instance, you can use most Edge devices to do hiking acitivities. And in most cases, the device will provide reasonable routing for that purpose. However, the device can fail at this task in certain instances as it is not designed to be used as a hiking navitational device.

    As stated in our last e-mail, our Edge devices are not designed to be switched off mid-ride. Doing this can cause issues when resuming the ride. These include calorie or elevation miscalculation.

    Like we wrote in our last e-mail, we would recommend you to not switch off the device during your rides and disable Auto Power off.

    If your device doesn't have any hardware issue, there is no option for us to exchange or update the device." 

  • What an infuriating answer! You have to remember to disable Auto Power off during every ride, and remember to turn it on again afterwards. If we were able to remember that, we would not do it because we'd remember to turn off the device whenever appropriate. And I for one definitely can't. Many times I've remembered to save the ride but somehow forgot to power off. Or I charge it on my PC, forget about it when I shut down the PC, and later find the device completely drained.

    It takes less time to write the code to ignore Auto Power off during a ride, then to write this answer. I wonder if we could do it ourselves: write an IQ app that continuously bumps the Auto Power off timer during a ride?

  • I agree, I told them directly, which it is the point to me at least: " Dear Garmin

    thank you for the kind reply, even tough it is in german. 
    I don’t think the answer you provide is fair, and it does not solve the issue: if the function to resume a ride after switching the device off and than back on is present, then it must be working 100% correctly. This allows to save battery if, for example, during a long break the device can be switched off. 
    If the device is not designed for that as you say, the function/option should just not exist at all, meaning this is a mistake from your side only.
    Given that another solution from you is not provided at this point, e.g. a software update, a workaround, and a substitution with a new (same) device also will not solve the issue, what other solution do you suggest?  " 

    Apparently they have no will to fix it
  • I also had the same elevation update problem with Edge 130 plus, while with my old Edge 130 the problem never occurred. Garmin support replaced the device twice, but the problem was never resolved. I guessed it was a software problem, and reading the comments I had confirmation. It's a real shame, because for the other functions I'm satisfied and I like it because it's light and compact. I think I will ask Garmin to return the product and replace it with another model.

  • I consistently reproduce this issue. I ride downhill mtb so my ride consists of, say, 6 downhill runs of the same trail, and I pause on the uphill because I do it using a car. The elevation resolution of the 1st run is perfect, and all subsequent 5 are like ***.

    Is there a solution to this?  

  • Probably need to switch to wahoo. It probably has some problems too but somehow the feeling is that they are more cycling oriented company. Garmin has become like that grocery store with rebranded products. I have been pondering over this but with the current setup working for my needs - I have put this though on hold for the time beeing.

    on the topic: I too have noticed that when I switched off the auto-pause, turned off the power off - and I ride as is - no problems. I switch off phone connection before my ride and I have not had a single reboot mid-ride that screws up the elevation too (and pauses the ride ha ha).

    From my point of view - things that are broken on this model:

    Auto power off

    Auto pause

    Phone connection

    Max 2 external sensors for crash free recording

    no external charging/power pack (to make it work with the broken/missing features)

    I use it 4iiii power meter, HRM chest belt - all on Ant+ as that has less problems from what I have seen. When I added third accessory - it had random reboots. So two are safe. Good that the power meter doubles as cadence meter.

  • I think the practical solutions are (apart from turning to other gear):

    • Turn off auto-power-off, and don't power off yourself while pausing mid ride. It drains the battery a little during long breaks and drains everything if you forget to power off post-ride. But during a ride, it has the least hassle and the best information.
    • Or turn off auto-pause, and don't pause yourself mid ride. The track and statistics are littered with jitter or deceit during breaks, which you'll have to process later, but on the upside you'll never forget to unpause and lose part of a track. But… pausing is a single button press, so the thing will easily pause itself and power down while in your pocket. Though when this happens, you could switch to the third option:
    • Save each stretch separately, i.e. save before each break or transit, and start a new ride on resuming. Harms statistics and the map will no longer show the starting point and progress of the entire ride (while you get it to zoom out).
  • I also had this issue today: during a ride, Garmin Edge 130 Plus suddenly froze for about 10 seconds, rebooted, and then, upon powering back on, it showed a notification for an update available.

    In the first place, it's unacceptable that the device interrupts your ride to tell you about an update, and in second place, it's terrible that the device crashes because of an update notification.

    Afterwards I could resume my ride, but the elevation data was also messed up by slow updates, like other people report here, and on-screen grade information during the ride constantly showed 0, even in Strava after uploading the ride.

  • SOLUTION/WORKAROUND: Heads up for other people with this issue! if your Edge 130 Plus ride with faulty elevation is uploaded to Strava, there is a workaround to fix the elevation data: check your ride on Strava, and on the left side of the screen there are options, press the three dots button, and select "Fix elevation data". My Garmin Edge 130 Plus inaccurately recorded only 540m of total elevation in very low resolution, and after fixing the elevation data with Strava, it went up to 884m (the correct amount), and the elevation graph that showed low resolution height data got fixed into Smoot, frequently sampled elevation data.

  • Still getting this issue - stopped for a coffee on the way up Teide today and afterwards the gradient and metres ascended were wrong. Had to correct elevation on Strava but that doesn’t help when you want to know how much you have left to climb and had to use my legs to guess the current gradient. Is this even acknowledged by Garmin as a bug?