Anyone made Garmin 840 navigation less terrible?

I migrated from an old wahoo elemnt a few months ago, and (almost) everything is good except it’s absolutely dreadful following a course.

a) The course line is too similar to intersecting trails/roads. It’s either a thin purple line or thin red line (depending on map settings), while roads/trails are thin light blue or gray. While riding single/double track in varying light conditions with sunglasses on it’s very very difficult to differentiate what is what. I tried the classic/high contrast styles and nothing seems to make a significant difference in this theme, but maybe I’m missing something? My wahoo elemnt was super simple…lots of big black chevrons to follow, and other trails/roads were lighter solid lines. It was really hard to screw that up and really easy to glance at in a split second and know ‘go right here’ or ‘go straight through this intersection’. Also, the turn-by-turn doesn’t appear to work unless you’re on well established roads/trails…so that doesn’t help.

b) The course is ALL the same color/style, from start to finish. Meaning if your course doubles back on itself or miles later crosses/intersects the current course you’re riding on, it’s almost impossible to tell which way to go. You’ll ride up to a big + in the trail with 3 different options for which direction to go and only one of them is correct. If you correctly go forwards on your current course, all is good (but you gotta cross your fingers and keep looking down to make sure). If you go backwards on the later track it’ll show you off course and try to recalculate. If you go forwards on the later portion of the course it’ll show off course for a few seconds and then recalculate and then show you re-established on the latter part of course…potentially cutting off a large chunk of what you were supposed to ride. Again, wahoo’s solution to this dilemma was simple/intuitive in that the near part of the route was big chevrons and after 1 mile or so it turned to a normal line…that way it’s obvious which way you’re supposed to go both directionally (chevrons) and time-wise (now vs. later in the track)

c) When you go off course (or even if you didn’t, but gps error said you did), it pops up with a big dialogue box right on top of your current position with options to ‘re-calculate’ or ‘pause navigation’ - the position of this box blocks the most important part of the map (you and the stuff immediately around you) and makes it impossible to tell if you’re actually off course and should correct, or if it’s an error and you should continue on. Absolutely maddening. After the recalculation resolves and the course is found, it pops up with an even bigger box that says “recalculation error” or something of the sort and you have to manually reach down and press a button to clear it. Again, maddening.

I went through as many settings as I could find while riding and didn’t find anything to fix these underlying issues. Has anyone else, before I start sending Garmin emails?

On a related note the workout screen is better on wahoo too. Garmin only lets you customize two data fields, it forces you to look at the distance covered of each interval (which might be the most useless metric to possibly show), and it covers the last seconds remaining of your interval with whatever’s coming up next…so unless you use one of your custom fields for ‘interval time remaining’, you never see an actual countdown.


I don’t ride on trails, no nav issues on the road. The 840 beeps 5 times at the end of an interval, I don’t even look at the screen.

The default workout screen on 530 was better than Wahoo or 840. The 840 default is ok except for the stupid distance field. I’ve setup my own workout screens and mostly use those. Really no issues as I can see upcoming intervals 2 minutes beforehand, and just listen for the countdown beeps.

Fully agree on point A and B. As far as I know, no way to fix this. Whoever thought a purple line on top of a black line was good idea should be fired. For C you should just turn off the re navigation prompts. It’s somewhere in the navigation options.
Don’t really have a problem with A and B since I only ride road but imho, Wahoo is way user friendlier at first. You really need to get to get used to Garmin.

Oh, and the default workout screen is just pure garbage. There’s a blog post on this side with a good setup to make it useful.


  • The Wahoo Elemnt will also sync routes directly with Strava and Komoot (and you can force and see the sync status on the device), but with Garmin it is never clear why a route is missing.