Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions for Courses

‘Breadcrumb’ trails with a little more ! Turn by Turn Directions for pre-set courses on the Garmin Edge 200.

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot

Possibly the most queried function for the Garmin Edge 200 is whether it can be used for navigation – VELOGPS have therefore put together a brief guide to explain exactly what Garmin’s entry level cycle GPS is capable of.

Firstly, we should be absolutely clear in stating that the Edge 200 does not come with any pre-loaded maps. It cannot therefore be used in the same way as a traditional vehicle based sat-nav. If you want a GPS capable of plotting its own routes and displaying detailed maps then you should take a look at Garmin’s excellent Edge Touring, Edge 800 or Edge 810 units.

So how can the Edge 200 be used for navigation ? The answer lies in the 200′s course function which enables users to follow a basic breadcrumb trail. Courses can be created from previous rides or from uploaded files generated through an online mapping tool.

By selecting a pre-set course a linear route can be followed on screen thus enabling basic navigation. Whilst the displayed course only provides a single line to follow (it does not show any other roads) it is still possible to determine direction changes by following the line (if the line goes left so do you). This is certainly pretty handy but is by no means flawless and can prove tricky in built up areas where several junctions are close together – so how can we improve things further ? How about adding in some waypoint alerts so that the Edge 200:

    • Issues audible alerts at junctions
    • Displays an arrow telling you which way to go
    • Provides a countdown of time and distance to the next turn.

Sound good ? Well here’s how it’s done………………………………..

Our guide has been produced with reference to GPSies track creator – other mapping tools may not offer the same level of functionality or end results.

  1. Find an online mapping tool capable of plotting a route with course points or waypoints and with the option to download the generated route as a TCX file. We have used GPSies track creator for this guide – not all mapping sites offer waypoints and TCX downloads (both are needed for turn directions). Visit our GPSies page to learn more.
  2. Map out your route ensuring that waypoints are added at appropriate junctions (waypoints are effectively a means of embedding a direction into a route).
  3. Connect your Garmin Edge 200 to your PC via the USB cable.
  4. Download or export your route as a TCX file. Where the option to export the TCX direct to your Garmin Edge 200 is avaialble then select this (skip to 7). Where this option is not available then download your route to your PC as a TCX file.
  5. Open the Garmin folders and locate the folder named ‘New Files’
  6. Copy the TCX file from your PC to the ‘New Files’ folder
  7. Disconnect your Edge 200 (where necessary using the ‘safely remove hardware’ option) and turn it on – the route will now appear as a course in your course list.
  8. Select the course – a ‘breadcrumb’ trace of the whole course will be shown on screen.
  9. Once started (assuming you are at the start of the course) you can scroll between the data, virtual partner and course screens.

Once riding, the Edge 200 will notify you when your course has been found. Should you subsequently stray from the course you will receive an ‘off course’ notification (audible and on screen) as well as an on screen arrow pointing you in the direction required to re-join your course (this is not necessarily the direction of the road).

As you continue to follow your course the directions saved as waypoints will be displayed as arrow icons on the route line. The next direction will also be shown in a banner at the bottom of the screen with an updating countdown that alternates between distance to next and time to next (if using GPSies). Dependant on the mapping tool utilised it is possible to have direction icons and audible alerts issued at a turn as well as a pre-set distance before the turn.

VELOGPS have used the above function on the Edge 200 to navigate courses mapped and uploaded using both bikeroutetoaster, GPSies and BikeHike. Whilst it’s fair to say that we did stray off course a few times on a 40 mile ride the ‘off route’ notification and arrow had us back on track before we’d gone too far. We would however recommend familiarising yourself with the course function and honing your course building skills on a route you know well first.

The ability to ride pre-set courses with embedded waypoints is one of our favourite features on the Garmin Edge 200 which makes it all the more surprising that it’s not more widely promoted.

Here’s one we made earlier:

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot1. Select Courses Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot2. Select a course from your pre-set list.
Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot3. Outline of course, length and pre-set speed of virtual partner. Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot4. Select Start

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot5. We have yet to reach the start – ‘Off Course’ arrow directs to course start.

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot6. Approaching 1st turn. Right hand turn with distance to turn displayed.

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot7. Next waypoint is just over 4 minutes away

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot8. 0.4 miles to Next waypoint which is a right turn
Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot9. Turn right in 211ft

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot10. Oops we’ve strayed off course !

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot13. Help is at hand – we need to go left to re-join the course

Garmin Edge 200 Turn by Turn Directions (Course Navigation) Screenshot14. We could double back but a left turn is available and sets us back in the right direction.

Check out our YouTube clip below to see the Garmin Edge 200 in action – be sure to view in HD for enhanced clarity. Turn directions are featured at 2m20s, the data screen can be seen at 3m20s and an off course alert at 4m40s:


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  1. I have found a route which is a loop left by someone else and I would like to start the loop from a different start point. Is this possible with the edge 200 and will it let me record the route from the new start point?

    • Hi Kevin

      I have assumed that you are referring to a route which you are looking to upload to your 200 as a pre-set course…….

      Whilst it may be possible to pick up a course part way through i’m not sure what would happen when you reach the author’s finish yet are only part way to your end point.

      I’d therefore recommend re-mapping the course (‘ride with gps’ is excellent) with the start and finish points where you want them.

      Enjoy your ride – VELOGPS

    • Yes you can do that it. It will always direct you to the nearest part of the route. When you reach the end of the route it will first claim that you are off route but at some point will start directing you to the first section of the route.

  2. Hello.I Have a garmin edge 200 with version 2.10.I used gpsises to edit a track and follow the turn by turn but is imposible.I only look the time and distancie.What is the solution? Thank you.

    • If you have mapped a route using GPSIES and exported it to your Edge 200 as a TCX (into the ‘New Files’ folder) then this should appear as a course (under the courses option) when you next turn the unit on. Once you have started a course you can scroll between the data, virtual partner and course screens using the bottom left button.

  3. Great advice!!!
    It took ma a whole that you have to change the waypoints to appropriate signature for turns yourself but worked grat on my yesterday’s 100km trip :-) ))
    Edge 200 is such a grat little device :-D

  4. Pingback: Your Garmin help, please - Page 21 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  5. If you map a ride and then upload it to Garmin Connect, can you then somehow edit this past route and upload it as a course to the device? Or would you have to map your course from scratch?

  6. Thanks a lot for your research!
    I’ve added interesting waypoints to my routes using GPSies: turns, rivers, summits…
    The label of the waypoint is not seen in Edge 200 but is enough to enhance the info of the route.

  7. Hi, thanks for the guide. Is possible to have the speed on the EDGE200 display while using the course screen?

    • I don’t think so. You can manually scroll between the course and data screens whilst riding a course or set the 200 up to auto-scroll between screens (it will cycle through all screens). The Edge Touring, 510, 800, 810 all have the option to display 2 custom data fields (including speed) on the course navigation screen.

  8. How many course can you upload in one go? For example, would it hold 9 days of cycling routes?

    • Hi Rach

      Not sure how much course data it would hold – Garmin suggest that the memory can hold around 180 hours of ‘workout data’ but that this memory is shared with courses (ie clearing out any workout data will help free up space for course data). Sounds like a big ride you have planned – personally if I was going to do a 9 day expedition I wouldn’t want to rely solely on the breadcrumb trail for navigation. Have you considered a GPS with maps (I do appreciate they are more expensive) ?

      Goods luck with the ride.

  9. Hi,
    is it possible to have the scale staying at 80 meters even when stopped ?

  10. Hey there, i thought you might have the answer for me. Just purchased a Garmin Edge 200. Works really great, i love it. I created a couple of courses to ride them in the near future, its 10 different courses. I created some on the Garmin Connect site, but i also downloaded some from a different site. The file type if GPX. For some reason the unit wont let me upload more than 6 courses on itself. I have no idea why as i have more than 3 megs of free space on the unit. I can delet one and upload another one, but it wont hold more than 6. Why is this? Is it really that much it can store? Any idea why is this happening?

  11. I have uploaded several courses (with waypoints) to my Edge 200 from GPSies, but I only get time and distance estimate for the end of the course, not waypoint to waypoint.
    Could you please tell me what I am doing wrong

  12. Hi,

    I have deleted all previous files/routes from my Garmin 200. But I can’t seem to add any new TCX or GPX files onto it. It keeps saying not enough free space – urgent help needed please as we are off on holiday with it in the next day!

  13. This is fantastic. Garmin should pay you to make up for their terrible documentation. I bought the Garmin 200 based on this information.

  14. It would nice if you share how you build that route. I am having a hard time to get the directions. How/where did you place the waypoints? How many?

  15. Hi there. We’ve just bought an edge200, hoping to borrow routes for our forthcoming holiday from ones done by others before. But we can’t seem to find published routes on garmin connect. Any tricks that we might be missing? I can’t believe that there aren’t any loaded.

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