Jul 02, 2015

Garmin Edge 520 Announced

Is this the best mid-range bike computer out there?

The Garmin Edge 520 was just announced 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.

However the product looks so good it would be childish to put down what is clearly the best Edge yet – any bugs that arise, aside ;-)

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
  • Edge® remote compatibility
  • LiveTrack
  • Advanced performance and power analysis, including new Time in Zone, FTP tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery and cycling dynamics
  • Bike trainer profile for compatible Turbo trainer data display and control
  • On-device segment compatibility for dynamic and engaging in-ride competition
  • Connected features via a smartphone
  • Compatible with Garmin Connect™ and Garmin Connect™ Mobile
  • Compatible with VIRB® action cameras
  • Integration with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting
  • Weather alerts
  • 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 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.

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.

—————— 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 $299.99 and $399.99 bundled with a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and speed sensor. It will be the on-bike device used by Team Cannondale-Garmin during races beginning in July.

This was a guest post from the5krunner.com.