Garmin Edge 530 – Gripes So Far

The new Garmin Edge 530 is a sensibly-priced, feature-packed GPS bike computer by Garmin – you knew that.

HEADS UP: Garmin Edge 530 Review – In Detail Warts and all

Generally, I like it a lot so far and I would still stick by some of my earlier comments that it is the benchmark, performance bike computer against which all others should be compared. However, it’s not perfect. Here are my gripes-to-date, apologies to the Garmin detractors as it’s not a very long list (I’m working on it but Garmin have got better in recent years at actually testing devices before releasing them!)

  • FATAL – The buttons do not work properly even when not wearing gloves (Notably the back/escape button/bottom right on the side – see comments below). Garmin seems to have taken some tips from the release of their 820 where the touchscreen did not work properly. This time around the buttons on my device, frequently need to be pressed twice to do anything. I’m afraid I’m going to have to return it for a replacement and try again. I’ll persevere for a few more weeks though until I can be bothered to send it back, let’s hope I have a bad unit. Edit: I sent it back! However new ones now shipping as of 10Jul2019 have the buttons fixed.
  • MEH – 7-button system. Jeez, that’s a lot of buttons. I keep using the START button as the ENTER button. That’s me, I’ll learn.
  • SAME-OLD-SAME-OLD – The menu system has been overhauled somewhat. I’ve not fully worked through it yet and internalised it all but it *IS* an improvement over that of the previous generation. The menu system STILL is pretty complicated though. I’m getting RSI when twisting my wrist to execute some of the menu choices on the various buttons. I keep longing for a touchscreen, which is VERY UN-me as I don’t like touchscreens (until now 😉 )
  • BUILD QUALITY – I’m still not 100% happy with this. But I guess it’s better than most other offerings
  • TRIVIAL – The ‘hole’ for a tether is strangely placed on the edge of the swivelling USB port cover, let’s hope it doesn’t let water in. Hey! At least it comes with a tether – the supplied tether has a very fine cord on the end that attaches to the device, a thicker could likely cause problems with the port cover.
  • ?? WTF – CLIMBPRO was a bit rubbish today on a 100k route loaded from a previous effort. The climb stats were wholly and totally wrong. Very disappointing. Next time I’m going to get a proper TCX file where the elevation has been corrected beforehand with DEM/SRTM ie maybe it was a fault with the route file. Edit: which I did and it was still rubbish putting up totally incorrect info. (distances, height gains, false ‘mini’ mountains, a countdown to start etc), maybe it will work with a route planned on the 530? Maybe, but it didn’t work with a new 200k route planned on Garmin Connect (online) grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Edit: this is now generally improved and further addressed here
  • SLOOOOW – Nav takes well over a minute to load a 100k course with altitude. This IS longer than some other devices. I guess the Garmin does more with the file (eg preparing for CLIMBPRO). For a relatively long route like this, I can wait a minute tho, so it is not a show-stopper for me. Strangely loading half the route as a separate file (eg about 50k) took about 10 seconds. Very strange. Edit: with a different but similarly long course it loaded inabout 5 seconds. Edit edit there seems to be a couple of stages to the load process perhaps linked to if you are navigating to the start of the route??? IDK.
  • NAV – still gets a little confused when navigating on an out-and-back section of the route
  • MTB Dynamics – I inadvertently rode under MTB mode and was surprised to see me take several jumps, the 530 even provided in-ride congratulations for me! The roads were a bit bumpy but I don’t do ‘air’ unless snowboarding, even then it’s not very much.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a nice device. The point of this post is to be open about negative experiences rather than regurgitate the PR marketing gloss from Garmin.

HEADS UP: Garmin Edge 530 Review – In Detail Warts and all

Here are some links if you want to get one, the Garmin logo below also links to Wiggle in the UK

  1. Garmin Edge 530 (USA) via Code: THE5KRUNNER10
  2. Garmin Edge 830 (USA) via Code: THE5KRUNNER10

More product info here:

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17 thoughts on “Garmin Edge 530 – Gripes So Far

  1. Button issues seems to be a persistent Garmin problem for well over a decade, over all their non-aviation product lines.

  2. Thanks for the info! Was looking at getting the 530 but not if the buttons issue is a common problem. Will wait and check the forums!

  3. Waiting for the day garmin jumps into bed with a smartphone brand

  4. I just had my first ride with the 530 yesterday and had a few instances where I clicked a button and nothing happened. I thought it was me, but after reading your initial thoughts I’m wondering if it’s an “issue” or just something to get used to.

    When I added the tether to the unit the same concern crossed my mind. Why the heck would you place it where the door to keep out the weather could be negatively impacted? Come on Garmin, you can do better!

    With just one ride under me, I’m happy with the 530 thus far. More rides will tell for sure.

    1. tether: perhaps we are the only two people with any design sense?
      which button out of interest?
      have added some more -ve thoughts today, above.
      but yes I quite like the 530 as well. not sure if it will knock my ELEMNT off the pedastel i have put it on.

      1. The worst button by far is the top right button. It has the … and is what I would call the enter button. In the Garmin device overview it’s button #7.

        I would love to hear what others say. I don’t know if mine is defective or not. It’s like the button itself moves and gets stuck under the body of the unit itself.

      2. Update: After 5 rides, I took the 530 back to my LBS and they exchanged it for another unit. While setting up the new device the buttons seem okay, but tomorrow’s ride will reveal the truth. I’ll keep you posted.

  5. The buttons are indeed rubbish!! Sometimes needing a second push and then it’s jumped down twice because I’ve pressed again. I also did a muddy ride on Sunday and due to the awful button design and the mid, the buttons were getting stuck half way down and needed a wiggle to release it.

    That aside the other HUGE issue for me here in the Uk or perhaps it’s a bug or an issue with my unit is the fact that Trailforks doesn’t work AT ALL. Whether through the navigation menu or through connect iq I continually get a ‘map set cannot be unlocked’ message. This for me was a big reason to get one and replace my bolt.

    Is anyone else having this problem?

  6. The “back” button on my Edge 530 requires a very hard press to register. So you’re not the only one suffering from this issue. So far, I counted 7 others who commented having this exact same issue at DCR.

  7. My 530 unit came with defective back button too. Garmin is the master of frustration.

  8. Just bought one of these after having the 520 plus for 6 months.
    Haven’t had any problems with buttons YET!
    As far as the tether / lanyard goes,I just passed the loop through the hole and around the
    pivot that the charging port door swings on

    1. hopefully buttons are corrected after the first batch
      the tether does fit as you say. as it touches the port door i would have thought that might compromise waterproofing. minor point i suppose

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