Garmin Edge 520 Announced – Best Edge So Far?

Garmin-edge-520-gps-bike-computer

The Garmin Edge 520 has been announced today and will ship in the coming months. I wanted to be cynical about the new Edge for some reason. Perhaps it’s the British sense of wanting an underdog to win instead of Garmin.

However the product looks so good it would be childish to put down what is clearly the best Edge yet – any teething bugs that arise, aside 😉 Perhaps some of the functionality is a foretaste of what may come with the Forerunner 625/630  running watch in a couple of weeks’ time?

You can buy one (here) or if you are in the USA try (here).

BUT before you jump in and buy one you might want to look at the WAHOO FITNESS ELEMNT.

There are a few salient points about new stuff immediately below followed by my comments and then quite a bit more info at the end of the post with images and youtube vids from the formal Press Release.

  • Compatible with Varia™ bike radar and lights – a new super safety car alert/light system that Garmin bought recentlyish.
  • Edge® remote compatibility
  • LiveTrack – like other Garmin devices
  • Advanced performance and power analysis (not sure what this is over an above already announced Cycling Analytics features), including new Time in Zone, FTP tracking (interesting), cycling-specific VO2 and recovery and cycling dynamics (as with triathlon watches)
  • Bike trainer profile for compatible Turbo trainer data display and control (this relates to a special ANT+ method of linking to special new turbo trainers)
  • On-device segment compatibility for dynamic and engaging in-ride competition (something like real-time segments AND presumably meshing with the STRAVA segment support recently announced)
  • Connected features via a smartphone (as with triathlon watches)
  • Compatible with Garmin Connect™ and Garmin Connect™ Mobile (hmm)
  • Compatible with VIRB® action cameras (hmmm)
  • Integration with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting (limited relevance to most people)
  • Weather alerts (nice)
  • Glonass (yee-ha, actually what was wrong with the 510, that was pretty accurate for me)
  • Preloaded Garmin cycling map: no
  • Wi-Fi® compatible: no
  • Round-trip routing: no
  • Route planner: no

This is a worthy continuation of the Edge Series.

Sure, some of the included ‘new’ features are new to the Edge series but are already included in other Garmin watches (eg recovery advisor). But super-new features like proper Strava integration (at an additional annual Strava Premium subscription cost) will be welcomed by a LOT of cyclists. The integration with all the various other bits of Garmin kit don’t excite me per se but to those of you that have that kit AND want integration – you are happy. Garmin are clearly doing their job.

Note well: Strava is a great app. But one of its key USPs is segments and all the stuff around that. Have they made a bit of a blunder opening key functionality up to Garmin? Have they paved their way for a corporate takeover (Garmin can afford them)? Have they opened a nice revenue stream from other manufacturers who want to do the same thing (not sure many could afford it)? Might it mark the demise of Garmin Connect? Might it mark a resurgence of Garmin Connect and demise of Strava? Might it ‘not really make much difference in the grand scheme of things’?

I’m not sure what new bits are in cycling dynamics yet (if any) but that and VO2 and FTP stuff are generally welcomed. I’m still waiting to see a bit more intelligence in these devices with better automatic heart rate/cadence/power zones based on threshold performances and/or analytics for optimal cadences (for example). No doubt that sort of thing will come soon enough.

The device looks very nice from the official Garmin images below (probably photoshopped, as normal). And the screen resolution does look great too.

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———————— Press Release Follows —————— Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the Edge 520, the first GPS bike computer with Strava live segment challenges. The Edge 520 boasts a myriad of advanced analysis features including time in zone, functional threshold power, cycling-specific VO2 max and recovery time1, indoor trainer2 support, cycling dynamics3 and in-ride challenges through Strava and Garmin Connect™ segments. Additional connected features4 and a high-resolution, color (sic)display offer cyclists a complete package of cutting-edge features in a compact, lightweight device. Garmin-edge-520-gps-bike-computer “We’re excited to announce the Edge 520 and our strategic relationship with Strava – providing cyclists with the first GPS bike computer to have Strava live segments,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “The Edge 520 taps into cyclists competitive edge and offers them the latest in innovative training tools.”  

Segment Challenges and Advanced Metrics

Garmin Edge products are the only GPS bike computers to feature Strava live segments. As the first GPS bike computer with Strava live segment challenges, users can send segments directly from Strava to their Edge 520 to receive instantaneous data, compete for King of the Mountain or Queen of the Mountain titles, and more.

Additionally, the Edge 1000, Edge 810 and Edge 510 will add support for Strava live segments via a software update in Q3. Users can also tap into their competitive edge with in-ride challenges through Garmin Connect segments. The Edge 520 provides new advanced performance and power analysis to maximize training efforts. Advanced metrics include time in zone, functional threshold power and watts/kg tracking, cycling-specific VO2 max estimate, a recovery advisor and cycling dynamics – revolutionary metrics that provide feedback to cyclists on their position and pedal form.

Exceptional Display and Connected Features

The Edge 520’s aerodynamic design features a high-resolution, 2.3” color display, providing ideal visibility. With up to 15 hours of battery life and compatibility with GPS and GLONASS satellites, it is built to handle endurance rides. The Edge 520 integrates with compatible Shimano Di2 electronic shifting systems5 and standard ANT+® sensors including power meters, heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors, the newly announced Varia™ line of smart cycling devices, remotes and VIRB. Additionally it pairs with compatible ANT+ indoor trainers for data display and control. When paired with a compatible Bluetooth® device the Edge 520 can instantly upload activities to Garmin Connect for post-ride analysis, instant sharing on social media, and with the Live Tracking feature users can allow family and friends to follow their rides in real time. Users can also stay connected with family and friends during a ride with the Edge 520’s smart notifications that display incoming texts, calls and more. In Garmin Connect users can download courses and follow them on the device, receiving turn indications throughout a ride, and compete against other cyclists on previously ridden courses. Edge 520 users can upload to Garmin Connect and download courses and segments via a PC or Mac®.

The Edge 520 is expected to begin shipping in Q3 and has a suggested retail price of £239.99 and £299.99 bundled with a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and speed sensor. 

2 thoughts on “Garmin Edge 520 Announced – Best Edge So Far?

  1. There’s so much Garmin and Strava can do with their technology if they just join the dots up bit more.

    These new Edge units look good, but what I’d really love is a device that hooks up to the wifi accesspoint on my phone for live data, both of segments, real time location tracking (especially for solo wild adventure rides where people at home want to know where i am) and the ability to see where on the road my friends/approved fellow riders are.

    I think a takeover of Strava will be in the offing soon, take a look at their about us section on their website and you realise just what a small operation they really are currently.

    • location tracking: that’s the livetracking feature for Garmin. Bluetooth link to your mobile. turn mobile data on on the phone. sorted. used it last night on my garmin 920 driving back home from Geneva.
      point taken about knowing where others are.

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