Garmin is a technology company based in Kansas City, USA. The tech giant produces GPS products for cycling and other sports, as well as for the marine, aviation and motor industries. Garmin’s cycling range began with cycling computers and has gradually expanded to include training products such as heart rate monitors, smartwatches and other training equipment.
In 1989, Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao founded ProNav in Lenexa, Kansas. ProNav’s first product was a $2,500 global positioning satellite (GPS) unit. Two years later, ProNav became Garmin, the company name is a portmanteau of its two founders Gary and Min.
The company’s first client was the US Army in 1991 and by the turn of the century, its sales had reached nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.
Garmin launched its first cycling products in 2005 with the Edge 205 and Edge 305 cycling computers - since then it has released over 25 new models.
In order to promote its range of cycling products, Garmin became the title sponsor of pro cycling outfit Team Garmin–Chipotle p/b H30 in 2008. It would remain with the team until the end of the 2015 season.
Garmin has subsequently gone on to produce other cycling products designed to work in conjunction with the Edge cycling computers including the Vector power pedals and the Varia range of rear-light radars.
Sadly, in 2019, co-founder Gary Burrell passed away, aged 81, following complications from Parkinson’s disease. Across its range of products, from cycling computers to indoor trainers, Garmin sponsors 20 professional cycling teams in 2023.
2005 - Garmin launches the Edge 205 and Edge 305
The company’s first venture into cycling came with the Edge 205 and Edge 305 cycling computers. The 205 offered a navigation feature as well as displaying speed, distance, and pace thanks to its GPS unit whilst the 305 had the additional benefits of a built-in HR monitor and cadence sensor.
2008 - Garmin begins its sponsor of Team Garmin–Chipotle p/b
The company took on title sponsorship of pro cycling squad Team Garmin–Chipotle p/b just one week prior to the 2008 Tour de France. During Garmin’s seven-year stint as sponsor, the team won the Giro d’Italia and the one-day Monuments Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and Il Lombardia. Notable riders to represent the team include David Millar, Bradley Wiggins, and our very own Dan Lloyd.
2019 - Garmin completes acquisition of Tacx
In 2019, Garmin acquired trainer and accessories manufacturer Tacx in a move that turned plenty of heads within the cycling industry. Just a year later and the Coronavirus pandemic saw the indoor trainer market enter a major ‘boom’ period.
“If you’re not following and changing with the markets, then you’ll probably quickly be obsoleted. And our goal is to not be obsoleted. Fortunately, fresh takes on how to apply Garmin’s technology are in plentiful supply within the company."
Bike Computers: Garmin has the widest range of bike computers on the market with GPS, mapping and performance monitoring, from its entry-level Edge Explore 2 to the premium Edge 1040. The Edge 540, 840 and 1040 are also available with solar charging.
Radars & Lights: Alongside a smart headlight that varies its brightness depending on your surroundings to preserve battery life, Garmin also produces a number of Varia rear light radars, that have safety measures built in.
Power Meter Pedals: Garmin’s Rally range offers pedal-based power meters that are compatible with both SPD and SPD-SL cleats.
Indoor Training: Since its acquisition of Tacx, Garmin now offers a range of smart bikes, smart trainers, basic trainers and rollers - all still under the Tacx brand name.
Smart Watches: Garmin has a wide range of multi-sport smartwatches within its product range, all built to pair with Edge head units, provide real-time performance data and track sleep and recovery.
The Garmin Varia rear light also doubles up as a radar that provides an early warning for vehicles overtaking you through a multi-tone sound.
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Team Garmin-Sharp during the opening team time trial at the 2014 Vuelta a España.
Current sponsorships: AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step, Q36.5 Pro Cycling, Astana Qazaqstan, Rocacorba Collective, Baloise Trek Lions, SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing, Canyon CLLCTV, Soudal-Quick Step, Clif Family Drifters Cycling, Team Flanders – Baloise, CUBE Action Team, Jumbo-Visma, Groupama-FDJ, Team SD Worx, Ineos Grenadiers, Team TotalEnergies, KMC MTB Racing Team, Trek Factory Racing, Lotto Dstny, Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, Movistar Team, Yeti FOX Factory Racing Team.
Previous sponsorships: Between 2008 and 2015, Garmin was a title sponsor of a WorldTour team. The team achieved many successes including:
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