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Item # GRM004S

The edge of endurance training.

The Edge 520 Bike Computer, Garmin's latest addition to the head unit game, expands on the functionality of the Edge 510 with the ability to display metrics encompassing everything from charting fitness levels to power output and targeted recovery. It's also the first head unit to feature a live connection to Strava, which means you can track segments in real time from the saddle. As you might expect, it features all of the standard functions included in the lower-numbered Edge models, but the key changes mentioned above are what recommend the Edge 520 as a personal guide to the extreme edge of endurance training.

With the advent of the 520, Strava is now a constant presence on our rides. We like the 510's Garmin Connect segments, but let's face it: when it comes to informal K/QOM competitions, Strava's the real battle ground. The 520's direct connection to Strava gives you an edge in that battle because the segments update live as you ride, simultaneously displaying the stats of your present performance against the current K/QOM and your own personal record. In addition to just being a lot of fun, live Strava connectivity also provides more structure to training and race-prep by keeping us constantly linked to an external referent, allowing for data-parsing and adjustments on the rides themselves, not just in between them.

The list of parse-able, power-related metrics has also expanded compared to the 510, so the data nerds get as much of a win as the Strava junkies. For us, the big star here is that, when paired with Garmin's Vector or Vector 2 power meter pedals, the 520 calculates your functional threshold power (FTP). Once equipped with an FTP, you'll be able to calculate ideally timed and measured efforts for intervals tailored to your own fitness level. Instead of burning out trying to hit arbitrary output numbers, knowing your FTP helps you stay at a level that's more effective for increasing your present level of fitness. After all, the real point of intervals isn't punishment; it's improving. The Edge 520/Vector combo makes that improvement even more efficient.

When it's paired with any other ANT+-compatible power meter and heart rate monitor, the Edge 520 still provides VO2 max estimates and recovery time guides, which set it apart from every other head unit in Garmin's line. While the former is obviously useful in planning and executing a training regimen, the latter helps to maintain focus on an often neglected part of training: the negative space between workouts. Maximizing recovery is almost as important as maximizing the efficiency of your time in the saddle. Until recently, virtually all of the training apps and devices also ignored this period, focusing exclusively on the activity portion of training. This feature is just one more way the Edge 520 keeps you focused on improving your form, even if that improvement involves low-key recovery.

In addition to the above new shininess, the Edge 520 also includes all of the functionality of the 510. It's compatible with Shimano's D-Fly Data Management system, effectively replacing the PRO Scio ANT+ head unit, and also works with ANT+ turbo trainers. It performs all the basic computer functions — speed, trip time, trip distance, odometer — and the GPS and GLONASS compatibility keeps you located no matter where your ride takes you. It automatically uploads to Garmin Connect, syncs with smart phones for notifications, and displays weather information so you're never out of the loop or surprised by changing conditions mid-ride.

  • Displays live Strava updates throughout ride
  • Compatible with Shimano D-Fly Data Management system
  • Can be paired with ANT+ turbo trainers
  • Measures: speed, trip time, trip distance, odometer
  • Displays functional threshold power and power output when paired with Garmin Vector or Vector 2 pedals
  • Estimates V02 max and recovery time when paired with a heart rate monitor
  • Automatically uploads to Garmin Connect
  • Displays smartphone notifications and weather

Tech Specs

Altimeter:
yes
Heart Rate Monitor:
no, HRM compatible
Wireless:
yes, ANT+
Clock:
yes, 12/24 hour
Battery Type:
lithium ion
Mount Type:
stem (included)
Recommended Use:
cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Reviews & Community

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Bought as a gift but have feedback

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I bought the 520 as a birthday gift....here's what my buddy had to say

"Very pleased. Set-up was simple, the heart rate monitor, speed, and cadence sensors fully sync with the computer."

Unanswered Question
Avg. ride time: 2h 55m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

I heard this unit can actually now control a Wahoo Kickr? And to further that you can load a course from Connect and it will adjust the resistance to suite the course?

Avg. ride time: 1h 23m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Returning It

    Device is nice and seems to be well made. I'm not sure on accuracy of GPS but produces significantly less mileage for the same course as my handset (Maybe I'm not as fast as I thought). :-)

    If you are a Mountain Bike rider and want to use for the Live Segments for Strava I would look at other solutions. I used the device for the first time yesterday and given either the inaccuracy of exact location of a segment from Strava or in accuracy of device GPS the device had a difficult time identifying the right segment. While using it I was notified of multiple upcoming segments and would be told that I was off track with the particular route once the live segment started. Most of the segments that I had challenges with were ones that had switchbacks as part of the segment.

    Outside of segments I was a little frustrated with the text notifications. When receiving a text it would stay on the screen until I actively cleared it. Not easy to do while riding a trail. I don't need texts while trail riding but it would be nice to know if my wife is sending a note and to have it time out after 10 or 15 seconds.

    I immediately thought that I would then create a profile for my road riding that included getting notifications from my handset and having live segments while creating a profile for trail riding that would disable those two features. Unfortunately you can't manage it that way. Notifications are either on for all profiles or off for all profiles.

    I'm considering returning the device for the new Elemnt but haven't yet decided. I'm not crazy about the size of that device.

    -------------
    Update: Returning it... UI just isn't well thought out, especially when it comes to Live Segments, call notification and SMS/Text Notifications.

    -----
    Competitive Cyclist was great about the return shipping me a Wahoo Elemnt 2 Day Express at no charge so that I wouldn't have a gap in time between uses on my return. Since I was buying the Elemnt in advance they promised me a full refund on the 520.

    Matthew, how do you like the Element?

    Matthew, how has the element been working out?

    Impressed with this device

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

    I have been using a Garmin Edge 705 since 2009. The unit still works great but lacks some key features of the newer models. So decided it was time to upgrade to a newer Garmin bike computer. I researched what models would fit my needs and after much research landed on the Edge 520.

    I purchased the bundle which included the out front bar handlebar mount, cadence sensor, and speed sensor, and the device. Everything is simply smarter and better. The way the sensors attach is wonderful. The cadence sensor attaches to the crank arm with rubberized bands. And the speed sensor wraps around the hub. No more zip ties mess around with or to scratch up your bike’s paint. Installation literally took 10 minutes and it was done.

    When powering up the Edge 520, it is incredible how fast it turns on and locates the satellites. The initial set-up is easy and intuitive and you are able to set-up the data fields the way I wanted. Pairing the cadence and speed sensor is easy as long as you follow the instructions. The heart rate sensor did not want to pair at first, but after repeating the process a second time it worked. No issues since. The biggest feature that my previous Garmin lacked, was the ability to wirelessly sync the device to Garmin Connect without having to connect it to a computer and download the ride data. The Edge 520 allows your smartphone with the Garmin Connect app to sync your ride data via Bluetooth. It makes it very quick and easy to see your ride information post ride. You can set it up so if your phone is ringing, a message will appear on the Edge 520 to alert you.

    I am still learning all the features and training tools, but really impressed with everything about the device. It is reliable and simple to use, but has powerful features.

    Improvement over the 500 and 510

      Very intuitive, text/message good, like and use Strava segments, VO2 after ride important for training. Over all, could've of given the 520 5 stars, however, slow to sync with Garmin Connect, as I use Live Tracking and reading my stats when the sun is at my back, is a challenge. Garmin should work on resolving.

      Been a great tool

      • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

      I got the bundle with the additional "out front" mounting option, as well as HRM and cadence sensor. I thought I'd determine which mounting option I liked better and probably discard the other. But, I was pleasantly surprised to learn I could program, name, and use the Edge on multiple bikes. So the regular mount is on the roadbike (Tarmac) and the "out front" is on the mtn bike (niner RIP). For fun I also programmed my KLR dirtbike (KLR) - no mount though. Setup was a snap. Out of the box the Edge provides all the usual GPS data as well as cadence & heart rate monitoring via included sensor and strap. All paired and worked immediately on installation. I bought a power meter a few months later and had no difficulty pairing it. I initially expected to use the 510 for a while and then upgrade to the 810 or whatever had the bells and whistles. But after about a year of abuse in the form of heat, cold, rain, mud, dirt, sweat, crashes, etc... the 510 is working flawlessly and providing all the data I need. Bottom line is I can't think of anything that I would change if I could. Great product.

      Maybe this will grow on me, but...

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I wanted to love the new 520, but can't. At least not yet. Maybe it will get easier to use with time. I made the same progression that most of you did -- 500, then the 510, and now the 520. I made the mistake of running right out and buying it once I saw that it was out, assuming it would be the holy grail since they had a few years to work on it. Some of the nice stuff - bigger display on a smaller body, great. MicroUSB allows me to use my phone charger, one less charger lying around, great. GPS and Bluetooth also connect fast. The cons -- The 510 touch screen was not perfect, but instead of improving that, they reverted back to hard-press buttons. And they are indeed HARD to press. Rather than making the interface more intuitive, I'd say it is less intuitive, and now it is harder to move around in the menus because my fingers have not developed the callouses yet to push these gosh-awful buttons. The backlight - they went so far as to recognize the need for a different display setting at night...but they STILL failed to give it an automatic backlight! So you STILL need to manually cycle thru the menus in order to find backlight-stays-on setting. And then you need to remember to switch it BACK on your next Saturday morning ride, because if you forget, your battery will die halfway thru your ride since you cannot tell the backlight ist still on during normal daylight. If someone can show me a shortcut for that I'd be grateful, but I don't think there is one still. OK, and then they threw in some text/call notifications. That's fine but when I'm on my bike I need to focus on my ride and dodging distracted motorists, and not becoming a distracted cyclist. Also, the Strava features are great if I wanted a TOY -- but my cycling computer needs to be a training tool, not a toy. I don't consider Strava segments to be serious training milestones, and I certainly don't need 12 out of 30 guys on my next group ride to be distracted with darting their eyes down to see the next Strava start segment. Some of these issues could still be fixed with a firmware update, but I don't have much faith that Garmin is getting the quality feedback they really need from riders who use these things, or the simple requests above would not remain unfulfilled. <End product rant.> OK, but I don't want to discourage you from getting it. It's a quality device so especially if you don't have one of the older Garmins yet this may still be the right choice for you.

      Garmin Edge 520 - A sweat little device!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Awesome features and very easy to set up! Quick pairing with cell phone blue-tooth for easy uploads. A fantastic little device that has everything you need for road and indoor cycling! You should seriously consider purchasing this product - Big upgrade on the old Garmin Edge 500 and 510.

      Great Product

        I ride an average 50 plus miles a week. I love everything about it. In my opinion, even the price you'll pay for it is a bargain, for all the features this bike GPS / computer have.

        Avg. ride time: 8h 17m per week
        • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

        firmware needs updated

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I like the computer i think it's better than the 510 simple cause of the buttons. I hate touch screen for cycling, but the firmware isn't great for powermeters yet.

        Best Garmin yet

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        I've been using Garmin bike computers for many years. I've lost track of all the model numbers. My favorite was the Edge 500. I upgraded to the 510 when it came out but my feelings about it were mixed. I liked the size of the 500 better. And the touch screen on the 510 never worked that well. I liked that the 510 would connect via Bluetooth to my phone and I could upload rides via the phone rather than having to connect to my computer. Except the Bluetooth was a little funky and wouldn't always upload via phone; sometimes I still had to use that awful Garmin Communicator or Garmin Express on my computer to upload. Another plus was the inclusion of Glonass GPS, so it would find satellites very fast, versus the 500 that could take many minutes, and sometimes never connect to GPS. I stuck with the 510 but never loved it.

        Ahh, enter the 520. It's the best of both and the best Garmin I've ever used. The best display, the best UI, Bluetooth that works every time, GPS+Glonass, a size that is very close to the 500 and with a small bezel, the screen size is quite a bit larger than the 500.

        What I'd like to see Garmin do is have the smartphone app be able to configure the settings for the device. The menus are better than ever, but still pretty awkward to set up the screens. It would be so much better if the Garmin app could do the setup.

        Avg. ride time: 17h 26m per week
        • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

        Edge 520 Poor Display

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        The display is difficult to read in a variety of conditions including early morning and evening and not at all in night time. The display works bests when the sun is overhead (middle of the day). I am very disappointed that I upgraded to the 520. The display on the 510 is a little better.

        Avg. ride time: 2h 48m per week
        • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

        Does Everything But Pedal For You

          Ok, time for a real review of how the product actually works, not just about shipping delays.
          This thing is awesome. I was on the 510 before and this is definitely an upgrade.
          Compact, user-friendly, reliable. It has worked perfectly from the day I took it out of the box. Even the mounts work great. I've rolled over some pretty serious rock gardens and the computer stays put! Strava Segments is a bonus! Though you need to watch what segments you've starred because sometimes the incessant starting of segments can get annoying... but besides that it's a great way to push myself. Also, the more segments I flag, the more competitive I become. Gone are the days of mellow spinning. Battery life is great, and I've had no issues syncing the phone or heartrate monitor. It's nice to have the phone blue tooth features and weather options.
          This even saved me from losing my phone when it fell out of my unzipped pack. It alerted me that my phone had become disconnected, I checked my phone only to discover that it was on the ground 50 feet behind me. It didn't save the phone screen though...