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Home » Cycling » Garmin Incident Detection: A Fantastic Idea, Horribly Executed… I Finally Had to Shut Mine Off To Avoid It CAUSING a Crash

Garmin Incident Detection: A Fantastic Idea, Horribly Executed… I Finally Had to Shut Mine Off To Avoid It CAUSING a Crash

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In theory, Garmin’s incident detection is a fabulous idea. A sudden stop and a klaxon alarm blares from your phone and emails go out to chosen contacts. Brilliant!

Ish.  Well, not really.

In reality, it’s more likely to cause a crash than help someone who’s actually, you know, crashed, because it goes off if you stop your bike in an abnormal place (driveway, intersection, etc.). Now, for a certain group of naysayers I should clarify, by “stop your bike” I do not mean “grab a handful of brakes and skid that sucker to a tail-sliding stop, kicking up a cloud of dust”. No, I mean “stop your bike”. My tires cost $50+ a pop! No chance I’m stopping like that!

Garmin simply made the system too sensitive… say, by a factor of… guessing here… 20? Ish.

So, with cars behind me waiting to clear an intersection that I properly stopped for, the freaking alarm starts sounding. I had to clear the intersection to allow traffic behind me to get on with their lives after patiently waiting on me while trying to steer the bike through a turn, in traffic, with one hand and cancel the alarm within 35 seconds with the other, or the emails go out that I’m “rubber up” in a freaking ditch… and all because I stopped my bike a stop sign intersection.

Presumably, if I’d have rolled it, I wouldn’t have such a fantastic tale to pass along.

Last Saturday, in the middle of a century, my regular riding buddy, Mike, was on the toasty side and wanted to stop by the side of the road.  I coasted to an easy stop at the end of a paved driveway, unclipped, put my foot down, looked back at Mike… and the klaxon.  That was the last straw.  After riding 103 miles and my ride was uploaded, I sat down and turned off the incident detection.

So, Garmin, a note to you on the incident detection system in your devices (Edge 520 Plus in my case), I’d rather turn it off and risk actually needing it than live with my phone bleating at me that I’ve stopped when I don’t roll through a stop sign at an intersection.  Do us a favor, would ya?  Turn that sensitivity down just a bit so we can, you know, use the incident detection system that actually detects incidents… not incidents and that you’ve stopped your bicycle.

Thanks!

Jim.


6 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    Sounds like you need a DSU. We have these fitted as standard to our BA sets. They are motion sensors, so if you get knocked out in a house fire, they go into alarm mode after 30 seconds of inactivity. Works when a fella stops for a smoke break too 😉

  2. Seems like they need to work on their implementation! My on-bike camera has incident detection, it works by sensing if the bike tilts over by more than a 45 degree angle – like if you were knocked over by a car or fell into a ditch (it doesn’t call for help, just locks the footage so it can’t be erased).

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