Today, I am going to review Garmin Edge 520 bike GPS model and talk about what I like and what I don’t like. This review is going to cover everything you need to know about 520 model and I am hoping you will get some serious value out of it.
Garmin has solidified its name as a reputable cycling GPS manufacturer.
The Edge family, in particular, is already a pretty established name at the head of the cycling GPS computers- and for a long time, the Edge 500 took a position as the firm favorite for many cycling enthusiasts.
However, come 2013, an update arrived, in the form of Edge 510. Now, while the 510 was a blockbuster cycling GPS table, the touch screen functionality failed to impress for the better part and was indeed quite frustrating to operate the 510.
The new creation was however replaced by its big brother the Garmin Edge 520.
This new model sits right in the middle of the Edge line, which ranges from the diminutive Edge 20 and Edge 25.
The Edge 520 is packed with so many features, that in fact, it would be easier to list what it doesn’t have than what it does.
Notably, it has scrapped off the touchscreen feature, but instead, it comes with seven buttons.
While Bluetooth connectivity can provide automatic wireless uploads if your free Garmin Connect app is open on your tethered smartphone, it’s unfortunate the Edge 520 does not support Wi-Fi compatibility like on the Edge 1000.
Where Gamin Edge 500 was revered for its simple presentation of the basic metrics, the Edge 520 does it all plus so much more.
Garmin-edge 520 : Who is it For?
The Edge 520 is manufactured for any performance-driven cyclists looking to monitor their speed, distance, cadence, and power.
The 520 include essential GPS navigation features, alongside a BASEMAP allowing you to navigate on the fly.
If you’re a fan of Strava as I am, you’ll be glad to know that this critter can be pre-loaded with all your local Strava segments allowing you to get LIVE feedback when you get to close a segment.
First Impression- Garmin Edge 520 Display
The Edge line of Cycling GPS computers is known for offering a compact handlebar companion that is large enough to easy viewing, and yet modest enough not to distract you.
The 520, with a modest dimension of 4.9*7.3*2.1, keeps up to the Edge’s legacy.
Rather than having a touchscreen for navigation, the Edge 520 comes with seven conveniently-placed buttons that are simple enough to navigate.
However, some users have complained that the ‘pause’ button present some issues when mounting the GPS as it often gets nudged by the top cap.
Speaking of mounts, the 520 comes with a plethora of small plastic attachments applied to the handlebar with two strong elastic bands.
There is criticism that the attachments on this GPS do not hold up well in crashes, but you can avoid this by using a tether provided by Garmin to loop the mount and Garmin together.
The Edge 520 sports a 2.3-inches that provides unobtrusive yet substantial viewing landscape.
On this display, the Edge 520 will allow you to set multiple profiles, and even select the ride metrics that you’ll display or each.
This is not to mention you can even choose to apply a different color scheme on each profile.
And when it comes to data options, Edge 520 offers a variety of choices ranging from a distance, speed, elevation, heart rate, cadence, power meter metrics, calories burned and more.
If you have Garmin Vector pedals, the screen will also display a host of individual readings for both left and right leg.
Before you get to carried away by this exciting feature, understand you will need to have a Strava premium membership, but it’s worth it.
The Recovery Calculator is a sophisticated algorithm that is found in high-end models like the 620, Fenix3 and 920XT, and its presence in the Edge 520 is an expression of value.
V02 Max and FTP
The “New V02 max” is a new feature on the Edge 520 that will allow you to measure the maximum volume of oxygen consumed per minute per kilogram of body weight, provided you are using a heart rate monitor and power meter.
To complete an FTP test, you will only need to instruct the Edge 520. Better yet, the Edge 520 provides on-screen instructions for how to perform the test and will track your progress over time.
And once you have found your FTP and recorded your zones, the Edge 520 will allow you to download your training sessions created by Garmin Connect and allow you to follow them on screen.
If in case, you do not have a power meter, you can set your zones using maximum heart rate and work from those.
Mapping and Navigation
Rather than offering a detailed map and navigation as we witnessed in the Edge 820, the 520 comes with a “base map” alongside turn-by-turn navigation.
The navigation system on the Garmin Edge 520 allows you to create a route on the Garmin Connect and then transmit it to your bike and computer through your phone or USB connection.
I’m not a fan of smart notification, but given I can hook my Garmin to my iPhone, I don’t have a problem with receiving notifications, in summary form from my handlebars.
The Garmin 520 lacks little in comparison with Garmin’s costlier models like Garmin Edge 25.
Save for the pinch less storage capacity than the Edge 820 and a slightly lower screen resolution than the Edge 1000; the Garmin Edge 520 keeps up in all other aspects.
It comes with essential features that the serious cyclist needs for training harder and offers the features in a package that combines value, aesthetics, and modesty, making the Garmin Edge a great deal.