A bike computer is a great device to have when you’re training for a race, and especially when tracking performance while cycling. Whether you’re a professional or recreational rider, you’ll definitely want to invest in a high quality cyclocomputer.
Garmin produces some of the best cycling computers in the market and their latest 2015 release, the Edge 520, is no exception. In the following Garmin Edge 520 review, I’ll be walking you through the features of this device plus the good and bad aspects to expect should you make a purchase.
Features of the Garmin Edge-520 Cyclometer
The Garmin Edge 520 comes with a host of new functions. For instance, it’s the first device in the 5xx series equipped with recovery adviser metrics, time in zones, a VO2 max estimator, as well as Bluetooth Smart Text and Call Notifications. It also has the added abilities of tracking functional threshold power (FTP), controlling the Garmin Varia bike radar system, and displaying cycling dynamics.
When it comes down to usability, performance, and connectivity these are the features to expect from the GPS enabled Garmin Edge 520 bike computer:
- Push Button Controls with a 2.3” High-resolution LCD Screen
Although recent modern bike computers like the Garmin 510, 810, and 1000 all come with touch screens, the Edge 520 was designed with old-school buttons. With the scrolling keys and enter button placed on opposite sides of the unit, it will take a bit of time before getting used to navigating the Edge 520.
Despite this “old” technology, the Garmin Edge 520 still boasts of a high-resolution screen that features a scroll down menu displaying up to 10 data fields. The LCD display also provides good color contrast and back-lighting. Just take note that glare from the glass can make the screen unreadable in shady conditions.
Bluetooth Enabled Compatible with ANT+ Devices
Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect to the GarminConnect App on your smartphone while using this device to upload ride data. The Garmin Edge 520 also works with any cadence sensor, heart rate monitor, power meter, speed sensor, weight scale, or VIB action cam that uses ANT+ protocol regardless of the manufacturer.
Strava Live Segments
With Strava live segments, you can load specific route sections onto your device and try to set an overall record or new personal best while receiving feedback in real-time.
Ability to Import Maps
Default base maps on the Garmin Edge 520 are not very detailed. Fortunately, getting better alternatives is easy since you can download and import third party maps easily. Keep in mind, though, that the Edge 520 has limited storage space and no micro SD card slot, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the size of maps you put on your device.
- Long battery life and Rugged Design
With a battery life rating that promises up to 15 hours of continual use, the Garmin 520 is an ideal bike computer to take on long rides. Its build quality is just as impressive as the long-lasting battery. This unit has an IPX7 Waterproof rating, meaning it will cope with the heaviest of rain and even withstand incidental exposure to water up to depths of 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Is the Gamin Edge 520 Cyclo-computer Worth Buying?
If you’re looking for a simple GPS bike computer that performs well and comes at a reasonable price, then the Gamin Edge 520 is worth some serious consideration. While it might not be perfect, you’ll get a decent range of features to help you track cycling data at a pocket-friendly price.
- Easy to set up wireless GPS bike computer
- Mounting accessories provided
- Compatible with any ANT+ add-on cycling gadgets
- Fast loading Glonass mapping system
- Works with descriptive maps with route instructions (once upgraded)
- Compact, Lightweight and waterproof construction
- Comes with a free Strava Premium trial account
- Long-lasting battery\
- Default maps are not so detailed (but can be easily upgraded for free)
- The button layout is slightly awkward
- No micro SD card slot
- The screen can be harder to read under the shade unless the backlight is at 100%
While the Garmin Edge 520 bike computer has a few downsides, it’s still a solid offering. It’s designed to do just about everything an average rider would expect from a GPS cycling computer. Overall, buyers get good value at this price point considering the build quality, performance, and multiple features offered in the device.