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.

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 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 round 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.
  • 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 will 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 wit the route file. Edit: which i did and it was still rubbish putting up totally incorrect info. (distances, height gains, false ‘mini’ mountains, countdown to start etc etc), maybe it will work with a route planned on the 530?
  • 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.
  • NAV – still gets a little confused when navigating on an out-and-back section of 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.

 

Here are some links if you want to get one

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

More product info here:

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Soap
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Soap

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

Ctonus
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Ctonus

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!

j k kirpensteijn Kirpensteijn
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j k kirpensteijn Kirpensteijn

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

Rick Duncan
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Rick Duncan

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.

https://www.strava.com/activities/2359369127

Alison Clarke
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Alison Clarke

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?

Changren Yong
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Changren Yong

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.

pjkad
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pjkad

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

Stick
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Stick

Returned mine, also. Same back button issue.