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Garmin Edge 510 In-Depth Review

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The Garmin Edge 510 is the Garmin’s latest cycling GPS computer to holistically track and manage your cycling workouts and races.  It aims to build upon the Edge 500 that was released about three years ago.  I’ve been using the unit for some time now and have a pretty good idea of how it stacks up against not only the older Edge 500, but also the other units in the marketplace.

Is this $329 unit worth an upgrade over past units, especially at a $75+ premium?  And how do the new connectivity and social sharing features work out?  Let’s dive in to find out.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews – Garmin sent me a final production Edge 510 unit to test out, though, it’s been running beta and release candidate firmware.   In the new few weeks I send them back to Garmin and then go out and get my own (to be able to support y’all in the comments section down the road). Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints. If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon or Clever Training links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background, and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So – with that intro, let’s get into things.

Unboxing/Components:

I received a final production unit, though, without the retail packaging.  As such, at this time I don’t have a full unboxing to show you – but will update this section with a proper unboxing once I get a box to unbox.

That said, let’s take a look at what you’ll find in the box.  First up, the unit itself:

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The Edge 510 is a bit chunkier than the Edge 500, which I’ll compare to in the next section.  You can see that in many ways it looks like a Edge 800 or 810, more than the Edge 500.

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The touchscreen unit has three physical buttons.  The first button – the power button – is located on the left side.  This button also serves as easy access to the light display options, lock screen and access to check sensor and smartphone connectivity.

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The second and third buttons are located on top.  The bottom-left button is for creating a lap/interval.  While the bottom-right button is for starting and stopping (as well as pausing).

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The screen itself is a resistive touch screen, which means unlike your phone screen, you can use gloves on it.  It’s a full color  176 x 220 pixel screen.

Flipping it over, like all of the more recent Garmin Edge cycling computers, it shares the quarter-turn mount:

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This quarter-turn mount is compatible with the included pile of mounts.  Inside every Edge 510 box will be two mounts and a pile of rubber bands.  Below, is one mount and just a small pile of bands:

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These industrial strength rubber bands have more than proven their durability, and have pretty much become the standard in bike computer to handlebar connectivity over the past few years.

Additionally, the unit is compatible with 3rd party mount accessories – which I’ll detail out at the end of the review (some really cool options in there).

The Edge 510 is charged using a mini-USB cable, which is included in the box.  This can be plugged into either a computer USB port, or into the included wall outlet:

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Note that this is mini-USB, and not micro-USB (which is more common with cell phones these days).

Lastly, as part of the Edge 510 kit, you’ll also get this little lanyard.  It connects to the Edge 510 like a baggage tag, which you can then connect to anything else (bike, person for hiking/running, etc…)

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With that, let’s compare the sizes of these units.

Size Comparisons:

Many people would have expected that a Edge 500 successor would be in the same size and form factor as the Edge 500.  But surprisingly that turned out not to be the case.  The Edge 510 is a fair bit larger than the Edge 500, and just a hair bit smaller than the Edge 800/Edge 810.

First, let’s start with a lineup of all of the major GPS-enabled cycling units on the market today:

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Here’s the same view from the top to see depth:

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If we narrow down to the most popular units on the market today in this segment, we can more clearly see the sizes:

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As you can see, the Edge 510 is definitely substantial bigger than the Edge 500.

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Looking at the side profile, the 510 is slightly deeper (higher up) than the 500 as well:

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Of course, with the extra size, comes a larger screen than the Edge 500:

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Overall, the size of the Edge 510 puts it in a slightly awkward spot as a 500 successor.  The chief complaint of the Edge 800 was that it was a bit brickish.  While the 500 was largely seen as a pretty good fit.  So for the 510 to veer more towards the 800/810 than the 500, it’s pretty much out of left field.

The Quarter Turn Quick Mount System:

The quick mount system was introduced with the original Edge 500 about three years ago.  The system allows one to quickly attach a mount to your handlebars with two rubber bands.  Then, the Edge unit simply snaps on with a quarter turn of the unit into the mount.  Edge units come with a bag of two mounts and a ton of rubber bands (of varying sizes).

Additionally, you can buy another box of mounts and bands for $9. A pretty good deal.

As noted, first you simply attach the two rubber bands onto the handlebars with the small rubber mount being secured on:

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Following which, just insert the Edge unit into the mount at a 90* angle, and then turn it right (or left) so it locks into place:

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That’s it.  Pretty simple.

Here’s a quick video I put together showing how it works:

Fear not, these rubber bands are industrial strength and pretty sturdy.  I’ve attached these things to a LOT of bikes and places over the last few years, and have yet to break one (or hear of anyone breaking one).

Touch screen:

Unlike the Edge 500 before it, the Edge 510 is touch screen enabled.  The primary use for the touch screen is navigating through menus and pages or setting configuration and display options.  The unit still has physical buttons for Lap, Start/Stop, and Power.  Unlike a typical phone touch screen, the Edge 510 is a resistive touch screen, which means that even with wet fingers or gloves, it’ll still respond just fine.

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As seen earlier, the screen on the Edge 510 is substantially larger than the Edge 500.  In fact, it has more in common with the Edge 810 screen than the Edge 500.  It’s just a touch bit smaller than the Edge 810 screen.  It retains the same color resolution as the Edge 810.

Now, unlike your smartphone, you’ll find that the response isn’t quite as fast on the Edge units.  But I found that for what I’m using it for, it does the trick.  After all, you’re not trying to play Angry Birds while cycling.  For most menu swiping related actions, I find it easier to use the up/down arrows displayed on the screen at the bottom:

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Perhaps the coolest trick that’s been carried over from the Edge 800 to the 510 and 810 is the ability to simply hold down a data field (while in regular cycling mode) to change that data field on the fly:

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While there’s likely hundreds of photos in this review of the touch screen, it’s a bit easier to simply demonstrate it to you instead via video.  So I put together a quick video showing some basic navigation through the menu’s and the basic functions:

Of course, given it’s winter now, I’m riding with gloves on.  Many wonder how well these touch screens work with gloves.  So I took a stash of them out of the winter glove box and shot a short piece showing usage of differing gloves with the Edge 510.  These cover the gamut from thing cycling gloves to big mittens:

Finally, let’s look at how it works in the rain.  Living in a climate where it seems to rain just about every day, it simply has to function in the rain (both display and touch functions).  So thankfully this has been easy to test.  As expected, it works just as normal.  I’m aiming to upload a nice rain video here soon.

It’s reasonable that sometimes you may not want the touch screen to respond to touch.  For example, say you toss it in your back jersey pocket (sometimes I do that when I want to ‘just ride’, but still record it for later).  In that case, you can lock the screen (touch screen) by tapping the power button located on the left side.  From there, you’ll press the lock icon.  To unlock the screen, you’ll simply press the power button again, and then the lock icon.  Note that this doesn’t lock the physical buttons (Lap/Start-Stop) – just the touch screen.

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I understand the thinking in going towards a touch screen for the Edge 510.  But I guess I’m just surprised at how big the touch screen is.  I would have preferred keeping the same size as the Edge 500, and introducing something akin to the touch screen found on the Motorola Motoactv, or even a black and white variant as found on the FR610 (running watch).

That said, while I’m normally not a fan of touch screens in athletic devices – this one works well and doesn’t cause me any issues.  The key is that they kept the physical start/stop and lap buttons, which are the most common buttons for most people, especially when gasping for breath and need to quickly hit lap on an interval.

Cell-Phone Integration:

Perhaps the single biggest change to the Edge is the inclusion of cell-phone integration.  This marks the first time Garmin has included integration between their standalone cycling units and the cell phone.  We first saw integration between the standalone fitness/outdoor units and the Garmin Fenix.

The Edge 510 though takes that to a new level.  The Fenix focused mainly on downloading courses/routes/activities to/from the phone.  Whereas the Edge 510 takes that a step further and adds in live location and fitness sensor tracking, as well as weather information.

Let’s dive into the main section.  Note that this is as of January 7th, 2013.  It’s plausible that they’ll add new features and functionality over time (in fact, I’d be astonished if they didn’t).  As those features are added, I’ll add them into the review as usual.

The Garmin Connect App and Basic Pairing:

Garmin has introduced a new iPhone and Android app to connect to the Edge units.  Given the name is “Garmin Connect”, instead of “Garmin Edge App”, I’ve gotta believe this is just the start of a longer connectivity story between phones and devices for the company.

The app is free, and is downloadable from the iTunes App store (well, it will be shortly).  There’s also an Android version that’ll be available as well, though, I just had access to the iPhone version.

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Once you get it installed you’ll need to configure it with your Garmin Connect account.  This is key to being able to pull information from Garmin Connect and upload new workouts/information.

After that’s done, you’ll need to pair the Edge 510 to your phone.  You’ll do this via the Settings control panel, and then in the Bluetooth area.

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At the same time, on the Edge 510 you’ll go into the Settings > Bluetooth area and also enable pairing of the device.  You can pair the device to only one phone.  But you can pair multiple devices to multiple phones.

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The whole process only takes a moment.

Subsequently, when you turn on your Edge 510 it’ll automatically connect to your phone.  And a split second later you’ll get a notification on your phone that the Edge unit is asking to connect to it:

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With that, that’s all!  Ready to use.

Live Tracking:

Live tracking allows one of ‘your peoples’ to track you.  Or perhaps, a lot of peoples.  Within the tracking, they’ll get your little blue dot on a map, as well as your past track and your current ANT+ sensor data (Cadence/Heart Rate/Power/Speed), plus information such as total activity time and average speed (and avg pace for runners!).

To enable it, you’ll select “LiveTrack” from within the app, either on the app sidebar, or under ‘My Device’.

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That’ll take you to this page, which allows you to configure the name of the activity, as well as the recipient information.

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For recipients, you can place in there e-mail addresses, or just pull them from contacts.  It’ll keep the same names saved so you don’t have to re-enter them each time.

For Facebook and Twitter, it’ll leverage your default account.  For Twitter, it’ll prompt you for which account to use (if you have multiple).  Otherwise, it’ll just use the default integrated account:

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With that, you’re ready to begin!

Now, what’s cool is you can send the invites out ahead of time.  I’ve been doing it about 10-15 minutes ahead of my ride – mostly so I can validate they went out (I always send one to myself).  The activity tracking won’t actually start until you press the start button on your Edge 510 (to start recording).  In the meantime, press the ‘Start LiveTrack’ button to at least get the phone ready to receive.

With that, you’ll get a notification on your Edge 510:

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Next, time to track.  Go ahead and start your ride as normal.  Once you’ve done that, the data will start streaming to the website.  I’ve found that sometimes the first minute or two is delayed, and then it seems to catch up.  The refresh interval is every 30 seconds – but it’ll backfill data from that 30 seconds.

Here’s what it looks like from a normal desktop/laptop web browser:

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You can zoom in on the map, as well as swap it back and forth from satellite to plain map view (from a different session):

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You’ll see the track is marked with 5-mile markers, which can then be highlighted to get more information about those last five miles.  Personally, I’d like to see this customizable. For example, show every mile, or show the laps as defined by the unit itself (the athlete).

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If you’re of the metric persuasion, you can change the units at the bottom.  Along with language:

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Speaking of the bottom, along the lower half of the screen is a graph which can pop-up and show your ANT+ sensor data.  It records the entire ride in real-time and keeps the whole thing displayed throughout the ride.

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You can click on any given point to get more information about that data point:

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One cool feature they included was that you can toggle between speed (a cyclist metric) and pace (a runners metric):

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Finally, along the top you’ve got your total ride time, and average stats.  One aspect I like about this is that it does NOT include stoppage time, in either the ride time or the average stats.  For example, if I stop at an ice cream shop mid-ride, that’s not counting against me to all of you.  Really, you’d never know.  The way I like it.

From my testing, the battery life was quite good here (on my phone).  I’ve found that I get about a 7-9% hit per hour of tracking (iPhone 4s).  Remember, it’s not using GPS of the phone, only of the Edge.

Automatic Workout Uploading:

This one is a wee bit quicker and simpler to explain than live tracking.  Upon finishing your ride, your workouts can be automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect.  This is configured via the cell phone app first, and then saved for all future rides:

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Once you do this, as soon as you press the save button upon completion of a ride, it’ll be transmitted via your cell phone data connection to Garmin Connect.

Again, like storage on the unit, the size of the files is very small (usually about 100KB – about the size of loading a web page or two), so it won’t put a dent your data plans.

After the unit completes the upload, you’ll get a notification displayed on your Edge 510:

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Additionally, you’ll then see it shown within the Garmin Connect App:

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This is definitely a pretty cool feature, though, I wish Garmin has a connector to other services (i.e. Strava/Training Peaks/etc…) to do this behind the scenes as well.  That’d be rockin.

Weather Information:

The addition of Weather information on the device itself is new to the Edge lineup.  Like the other features in this section, it depends on cell phone connectivity.  To enable it, you’ll go ahead and toggle the ‘Weather’ icon to ‘On’ from within the Garmin Connect app.  The app also includes the weather information as well.

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Once you’ve enabled weather, you’ll see the little weather icon displayed on the Edge 510 (accessed by pressing the power button at any time):

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If you click that button, it takes you to this page, which shows you your current weather:

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You can then press the down arrow to get to the next few hours worth of weather.  Unfortunately, only three hours worth.  It tells you the temp, wind direction and speed, and change of precipitation.

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If you click the information icon (looks like an “I”), you’ll get any weather alerts.

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In my time with the device, I’ve yet to find a case where a weather alert is generated, which may be a beta bug.  In talking with the engineering team, there’s 84 different cases where a weather alert could be generated in weather that would impact a cyclist.

Weather information can be pretty handy for a cyclist.  However, the way it’s currently presented on the Edge unit doesn’t really do it for me.  Let me explain.

The weather is pulled from a nearby weather station.  In most places, this is probably within about 30 miles or more.  For most cyclists, this means that the impending weather is likely accounted for (i.e. it’s hot out, or it might rain).  It also means it might not impact me.

For most of us doing really long rides (i.e. 50-120+ miles), the weather will change and move over the course of the ride.  For example, when back in DC I’d often ride the full length of Skyline drive – 110 miles on weekends.  The weather could literally go from sunny to horrific thunderstorms in a pretty sure amount of time.  But, oftentimes I’d just watch the thunderstorms off to my side as they paralleled me, and never touched me.  In this scenario, the Edge would have triggered an alert and told me I’m about to get rained on.

What would have been far more useful is if the Edge took your route (which it potentially knows) and overlaid it with the current weather radar imagery.  You know, sorta like this (the green is a rain cloud layer from radar imagery – the red line shows my course/route):

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Now that would have been useful.  I could have made a determination that my current route was taking me into harms way and done something about it.  Otherwise, I feel the information is just ‘blah-so-so’ at best.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that this feature requires a cell phone.  As such, it should do something better than my cell phone (since I have to carry my cell phone to use it).  It should tell me something genuinely useful.  Otherwise, it’s just fluff.

Search and download courses/routes:

This is probably the second coolest feature here, behind LiveTrack.  This enables you to search for a saved course/route from your Garmin Connect account, and push it to your Edge unit.  Now, this does require you to have pre-created the course online.  But it does mean you can create the course quickly via your computer and then with one press send it to your Edge wirelessly (via the phone).

Courses are essentially routes to follow.  They can follow along roads, or be more freeform.

Once you’ve created a course in your Garmin Connect account, then open the app and select courses.  It’ll populate a list of all your courses you’ve ever created on Garmin Connect:

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Alternatively, you can view them on a map:

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Once you pick a course, you can browse the course and poke around at it.

Then, you can choose to Send to Device at the bottom:

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Once you do that, it’ll send it to your Edge unit.  It usually takes about 5-10 seconds to complete, depending on the length of the course.

With that, the course will then be found along with your other courses in the ‘Courses’ section under the folder icon on the main screen:

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At that point you can ride the course like normal.  Note that the course isn’t displayed during LiveTracking, only your active route.

Search and download workouts:

This feature works identically to the courses feature.  Workouts are predetermined training sessions that you’ve setup in advance on Garmin Connect.

Once I’ve created a workout, I can go to the Garmin Connect app and then pull up my workouts there:

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Then, just like in courses, I can send it to my device:

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This only takes a couple seconds and it’s complete, ready on the device:

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Workouts (both ones downloaded via phone, as well as those done via USB cable) are both accessed under the folder icon, and then under workouts.  Once you pull it up, here’s how it’ll look:

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I wish there was an easy workout creator app as part of this though, for on the fly creation of workouts.  Unfortunately, using the Garmin site from a phone and trying to create a workout is like stabbing oneself with chainrings.

Ability to search activity history:

Finally, one last item that’s available within the app – the ability to view your past history.  This pulls from Garmin Connect, so if you’re one who uploads other sport history into that (such as runs or swims), you’ll see that in there too.

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From within here you can then look at details of the activity, including maps and charts, as well as lap and summary information (there particular ride had a lot of stoppage…).

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Additionally, you can get all social and Tweet/Facebook/Text/E-mail it out to all your peeps.

That pretty much wraps up the cell phone functionality.  Again, I think it’s a good start, but I’m looking forward to seeing how they can expand this.

Activity and Bike Profiles:

The Edge 510 introduces a new concept – ‘Activity Profiles’ – which allow you to create setting groups for a given variant of cycling.  The idea here is that you have different data fields for racing as you do training, and different fields yet again for something like an indoor trainer.  But it’s more than just data fields, it’s also settings around alerts, auto lap, and more.  Let’s dive into it.

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You can create up to five different activity profiles.  You’ll give each profile a name (i.e. Race, Train, etc…), as well as a color.  That color is carried throughout the Edge 510 when you’re using it, to highlight menus and edges.  A nice touch actually.

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Within that profile, you’ll create training pages.  Training pages are then filled with data fields.  It’s the data fields that you see while you’re cycling:

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I go into painful detail about every data page and field that you can choose, later in the review.  So we’ll just keep exploring activity profiles for now.

You can configure alerts here.  Alerts can be configured for Time, Distance, Calories, Heart Rate, Cadence, Power, and Speed.  Take for example, a time alert – this would alert you every 10 minutes.  This is useful for a pseudo-nutrition alert.

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Alternatively, distance alerts doing the same thing.  Note that this is different than auto-lap, which I’ll talk about in a second.  This is merely a “Hey, FYI, you’ve just cycled another 5 miles”.

You’ve also got power alerts, which are tied to power zones that you’ve configured elsewhere.

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In addition to alerts, you can configure Auto Pause.  Auto Pause will pause the units recording feature when you drop below a given speed threshold.  You can accept the default speed thresholds, or customize them.  This is most useful if you’re doing a fair bit of city riding with lots of stops starts.  Makes it hands free.  I personally don’t use this setting because if I forget to turn off my GPS during a drive home from a ride, it’ll start recording the trip.  And Garmin Connect still doesn’t have any way to edit ride data (some 3rd party sites and apps do however).

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Next there’s Auto Scroll.  This simply scrolls through your various data pages, one after another, at a predefined speed: Slow, Medium, Fast.

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Lastly, there’s Start Notice.  This is a notification that will let you know that even though you’re moving, your Edge isn’t recording.  This is done to prevent a scenario where you stop to fill a water bottle, but forget to start recording again.  You can configure this setting to notify you once (how I have it configured), or to keep on annoying you.

Ok, Activity Profiles complete.  For me, I’ve created one for the trainer, one for training, and one for race.  For example in the Trainer one, I don’t care about things like elevation – so those get tossed out.

Next up – bike profiles.  Bike profiles allow you to allocate ANT+ sensors, bike weight, crank length, and wheel size data to a given bike.

Bike profiles have always been on the Edge, but this expands them further.  Up to ten bikes in fact.

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When you create a new bike it’ll first ask you the name:

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Then you can go ahead and choose an icon for it.  There’s a few to choose from:

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Next up is the weight.  I usually don’t bother to fill this in, but if you want to – you can:

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You can also specify wheel size, or just let the Edge take care of it next time you’re outdoors.  It’ll do so automatically after just a few hundred meters, by using GPS (assuming you have a speed sensor on as well).

You’ll notice there’s crank length in there.  That’s an interesting data field, as it’s driven by needs from the Garmin Vector team to know this information.

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As you finish up, you’ll be able to attach ANT+ sensors to each bike.  You can add ANT+ Speed/Cadence sensors, as well as ANT+ power meters.  The unit does not support Bluetooth sensors.

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As you pair them, you’ll be able to search for sensors nearby, or you can manually override it and enter the ANT ID in yourself:

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For example, the new SRAM Quarq Cinqo power meter has the ANT+ ID written on the outside of it – making this easy if you find yourself in a group ride situation and forget to pair in advance.

With everything created for the bike and the activity profile, we’ll be back on the main page.  It’s here that you can tap left/right on the names of the bikes up top, and the names of the activity profiles down below.  As you do so, it’ll change the screen colors so you quickly note which profile you’re in:

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With everything set, let’s move on.

Courses and Virtual Partner:

The Edge 510 supports the ability to follow a predefined course.  Courses in the context of the Edge 510 are effectively breadcrumb trails though, and differ from that of the 810, which allows routable information.  Meaning that the Edge 510 doesn’t know that there are things called streets, trails or even rivers. It simply follows a series of connects dots that form up a route.

You can create courses online through with Garmin Connect, which is street and river aware.

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Then, you can transmit it down to your Edge 510 via the Garmin Connect phone app, or via PC with a USB cable as covered before.

Once it’s loaded, the unit will tell you when you’ve gone off-course.  Additionally, you can pull up a compass at any time to assist with navigation:

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The map window can also be displayed which will show the course.  Though be aware that it won’t show anything other than a blank slate behind it – meaning, you won’t see streets or the like.  Only the Edge 810 has that.  The 510 will just show you where you’ve been, and the breadcrumb trail of where you’re supposed to go.

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Courses on the Edge 510 can be a bit trying, but once you figure them out, they aren’t too bad in a pinch.  This is one area where I feel like the connection to the phone is really a let down.  While the 510 didn’t necessarily have to have mapping on it, it could have met half-way with phone-connected mapping.  Meaning it would have required a data internet connection (whereas the 810 doesn’t).

In addition to following courses, you can also compete against a Virtual Partner.  The Virtual Partner is a predefined virtual cycling man that goes a set speed.  Your progress against that goal is then measured and shown in real-time – displaying how far ahead or behind that goal you are:

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Creating and riding workouts:

You can create workouts for the Edge 510, which are prescribed parameters to follow while riding.  Normally these are a bit scripted, usually in chunks, and against set values such as heart rate, speed, power, cadence and others.  This sorta replaces having a coach inside your head for the ride.

I find it easiest to create the workouts online with Garmin Connect.  It allows you to simply drag and drop chunks of the workout and specify the goal you’d like for each segment.  You can easily create repeating intervals as well.

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To get them on the Edge 510, you’ll go ahead and sync via either the phone app (see earlier section on how to do that), or via your USB cable connected to a computer:

Once on the Edge 510, you’ll start a workout via the folder icon.  As you’re riding, it’ll alert you if you’re over/under the goal for that particular segment of the workout.

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I regularly use this functionality during races to serve as a reminder to keep within a given zone.  I usually take my race plan and then translate it into a workout to download.  This helps to ensure I don’t forget the different components of the workout when my brain is operating less efficiently during a race.

Training Indoors:

The Edge 510 works just as well indoors as out.  Considering that’s where I do the majority of my training, it’s also where I’ve spent a lot of time lately with the 510.

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Now, in order for the Edge to by of any use indoors, you’re going to need some ANT+ sensors connected to it.  Otherwise, it’s just a really expensive stopwatch.  Of course, these same sensors also work outside to enhance the data there too.

Typically, most folks use an ANT+ speed/cadence sensor to gather speed and cadence information.  These are normally about $30-$40.

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Now, speed indoors on a trainer is a semi-useless metric.  That’s because it doesn’t ‘prove’ anything.  Rather, I can make the speed on my trainer be 8MPH or 30MPH, all without changing my effort (or wattage), instead, simply by changing gears.  So keep that in mind when you’re trying to compare trainer rides.

The cadence sensor will give you cadence information both inside and out though, so it’s sorta two for the price of one.

Alternatively, you could go the route of a power meter, which will give you wattage information both inside and outside as well – and is a much better indicator of progress when used correctly.  The 510 supports any ANT+ power meter. More on that in the power meter section.

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For myself, I’ve created a separate ‘Activity Profile’ for the trainer, because I don’t care about things like elevation or map data while on the trainer.  This allows me to remove those data pages (well, hide them).

You’ll still want to turn off the GPS manually when indoors.  You don’t ‘need’ to per se, but some older apps don’t correctly interpret the speed sensor data, and instead use the GPS data (which would show roughly ‘0’).  So, it’s best practice to disable that:

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Don’t worry, it’ll automatically turn on the next time you turn your unit on (this is done so you don’t forget).

You will get elevation data indoors – whether you like it or not, which is a bit funky sometimes.  So that’s something just to be aware of.

Other than that, all of the other non-GPS functions will continue to work indoors, and your data will be recorded just like outdoors.

On-Device History and Personal Records Feature:

The Edge 510 contains two types of history within the unit. First is general ride history, including details about every ride on the unit – from where you went to your heart rate and power data.  The Edge 510 has about 9.5 MB of free space on it for workouts.  And with a 1hr workout (with GPS, ANT+ HR, Cadence, Speed, and Power) taking up about 100 KB, it means that you’ve got about 95 hours of rides on it before you need to upload.

To access the history menu, you’ll need to dive into the training folder area.  This is simply accessed by hitting the little folder icon on the main page.  Note that for reasons unclear to me, you can no longer access any history information while mid-ride.  This is a change from pretty much every Garmin device ever created.

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From there, you’ve got a few options.  But the one you’re looking for is ‘Rides’, which effectively translates to ‘History’.

Then you can choose either the Last Ride, or All Rides.  If you selected all rides you’ll be able to scroll through a list of rides by date and then select one.

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After selecting one, you’ll see a number of options, such as summary information, a map, elevation, and laps.

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You can also create a course based on a route, right from the phone.  The course isn’t uploaded to Garmin Connect however, so it’s just for this one device.  Though, you could simply upload the workout to Garmin Connect (which happens anyway), and then push a course back down to the device.  A bit counter-intuitive, but it works.

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A course allows you to re-race against yourself, or just to follow the same route.

In addition to ride history, the second major area is Personal Records (PR’s).  These are PR’s as recorded by the device, and not those stored in Garmin Connect unfortunately.

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PR’s tend to be categorized such as ‘Longest ride’, ‘Highest power’, ‘Most Ascent’, etc… and a PR notification is displayed immediately upon completing (Saving) a ride:

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That bottom right option you see above allows you to remove a PR from the list (i.e. a car ride).

Again, these are fairly limited in that they don’t pull from your Garmin Connect history – which is really too bad, especially given the connectivity is there to do so.

Uploading data to Garmin Connect via PC:

While most people will probably now just upload via the phone (I covered that up above in the phone integration section), you can still upload data via PC and a USB drive.  To start, you’ll take the mini-USB cable that came with the unit, and connect it to your PC (or Mac) and the Edge 510:

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With that complete, navigate to Garmin Connect, where you can sign in (or create an account if you haven’t).  Once you do so, click the ‘Upload’ button in the upper right corner:

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Once you’ve pressed that, it may ask you to install the Garmin Communicator plug-in.  This isn’t required, but it will make things quicker and cleaner.

After that, you’ll go ahead and ensure that it says “Edge 510” as the selected device.  This usually happens automatically.  Then, you can choose whether to upload all new activities, or select specific ones.  Honestly, just choose all new activities – it will automatically determine which ones are already uploaded for you.

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It’ll then read the activities on your unit, and upload those that haven’t yet been uploaded:

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From there, you’ll be given a list of your uploaded activities.  You can simply go ahead and click “View Details” to view details about that activity.

Once that’s done, you’ll be on the activity detail page:

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The map at the top can be toggled between map view and satellite view.  As well as between Google and Bing Maps.

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This page shows you the full details of your activity.  As you scroll down, you’ll find graphs for each one of the different data sensors you may have had connected, such as heart rate, cadence, or power.

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On the left, you’ll see summary information about the ride – including the Training Peaks TSS/NP/IF metrics – if you set your FTP ahead of time and had a power meter attached.

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On the graphs, you can click a given point to see more information about that selection.

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Additionally, you can expand the graph and then zoom into a specific section or chunk of the workout:

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Finally, you can click the Splits tab to go into detail about each one of your splits.  These are the ones that are created when you press the ‘Lap’ button, or, if you have auto-lap enabled.

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There’s quite a bit more to Garmin Connect than just the activity information.  For example, you can pull up a listing of all past activities, both in list mode, as well as summary mode:

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And, if you track health (weight) information, you can pull that up as well.

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Probably the most useful aspect of Garmin Connect though to me is planning rides.  It’s sorta like MapMyRide.com in that respect – you can search any of the millions of other activities that users have created, and then send that route back to your Edge 510.  See the routes section up above for more info on that.

Of course, if you use a 3rd party application instead, you can always export out the activities as either GPX or TCX formats – both of which are widely supported on essentially every training log site on the internet.

While Garmin Connect is a good simple platform, it can be a bit basic for anything more advanced than simple analytics (though it is rockin’ for creating workouts and courses).  Personally for analyzing my ride I use Training Peaks (online), and then on the desktop I use Sport Tracks and Golden Cheetah.

Power Meter Support and Details:

Power meters enable a cyclist to measure their power output as they’re riding.  Power output is typically measured in watts (wattage), and usually ranges between 100 and 300w for most riders during a normal ride.  By using wattage instead of speed, the cyclist is able to remove environmental factors such as wind or terrain – to determine a more valid representation of how hard they were working.  For example, a cyclist could easily push 225w at 8MPH into a heavy wind, but then turning around, a cyclist could do 25mph on 130w with the wind.  By using wattage you get a better idea of how hard someone was working (or wasn’t).

Most times cyclists use straight wattage when casually comparing themselves to others (i.e. I pushed 300w).  But in reality, when more scientifically comparing cyclists you need to utilize watts/kilogram – which is your wattage divided by your weight (in kilograms) to create an even playing field.  This helps to give a clear picture who is a more capable cyclist, regardless if one person is 250lbs and another person 108lbs.

The Edge 510 supports ANT+ power meters, which is just about every power meter on the market except the Polar power meters.  The Edge 510 does not support Bluetooth Smart power meters because the Bluetooth chip utilized in the Edge 510 is not Bluetooth 4.0 – and thus not Bluetooth Smart capable.

There are a number of power meters on the market today, with different measurement points.  For example, at the rear wheel hub you’ve got the PowerTap, and then moving up to the crank spider you’ve got ones such as the Quarq, Power2Max, and SRM.  Additionally, on the crank arm itself you have the StageOne power meter.  And finally, at some point in the future you’ll have the Garmin Vector and Brim Brothers Zone measuring on the pedals/cleats.

To pair a power meter, you’ll go into your bike profile and then under the “ANT+ Sensors” section, you’ll click the little dumbbell icon, which is for power meters.

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Within that, you’ll utilize the slider to enable the power meter searching, and then click ‘Search’ – which will actively locate a nearby ANT+ power meter.  Note that if you’re pairing in the presence of others, you’ll probably have to wander a bit away from them, as it’ll find multiple devices.  Once it’s paired you’re good to be friends again, but during the initial pairing process, you’d rather be home alone.

Once the power meter is paired, you’ll be able to go into sensor details and calibrate it.  You should always calibrate your sensor at least once before your ride and again about 10-15 minutes into the ride.  Most power meters are impacted by temperature drift.  And while some have implemented automatic drift mechanisms, others haven’t.

Note that if you do know your ANT+ ID, you can manually enter that in as well.  The latest Quarq power meters actually have it written on the outside of the device – handy for pairing in group ride situations.

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Once you’ve got it paired, it’s time to look at your data field options.  There’s a ton of them in the power section:

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Check out the full listing within the ‘data fields’ section in a bit.

For my riding, I prefer to use both 3-second (3s) and 30-second (30s).  The reason being that 3s is far more useful than instant-power (which fluctuates too much), and 30s is great for trending.

But, you can configure it any number of ways.  Here’s a fairly power-focused screen I put together:

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There are a few other settings you should configure.  One is validating that ‘Zeros are included’ in your recorded file.  By default, that’s the settings, but some folks exclude it.  You don’t want to do that as some older software apps don’t correctly interpret it for normalized power.  Additionally, I also set my cadence zeros to be included.  This is just a personal preference thing.

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One critical item is to ensure that you’ve set the recording rate to ‘One-second’. For some reason, the default on the 510 is Smart Recording, even with a power meter:

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Finally, some power meters (primarily crank or pedal/cleat based) also can display left/right power.  The Edge 510 does support those additional data fields.  Above in the chart you’ll see some fields labeled ‘balance’, these are ones for left/right capable power meters.

Once you’ve added one of these data fields, you’ll typically see the left/right power shown as a percentage (i.e. 57%-43%), which is showing the distribution of power between your left and right leg:

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Post-ride, once you upload, you’ll also see this same information presented in graphical form on Garmin Connect:

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In addition to left/right power displayed on Garmin Connect, you’ve also got your normal power displayed as well in graph format:

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And finally, along the left is your TSS/NP/IF information, as well as ride summary and ride average information:

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Lastly, remember that a power meter is an incredible tool – but it’s ultimately just that – a tool.  You still have to put in the work and follow some form of a plan (ride or otherwise) to make them truly valuable.  Otherwise they’re just expensive accessories.

Display and Device Customization (i.e. Metric/Statue/etc…):

The Edge 510 has far more display customization options than the Edge 500 did.  If we look first at the backlight, you can configure it to automatically turn off after a set time period (i.e. 30 seconds), or just have it stay on forever (my preference).

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If you want to adjust the backlight, you can do so by tapping the power button.  You can see the slider of brightness there:

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If you want to display raw GPS coordinates, there’s about a hundred ways to do so.  I painstakingly wrote them all up in my Garmin Fenix review, and they’re pretty much the same here.  If there’s something you’d like me to double-check – drop a note in the comments.

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Perhaps my favorite new feature in customization is the ability to set different metrics as different display types.  For example, I can set the distance metric to display in kilometers, while keeping the temperature displayed in fahrenheit.  Pretty cool.

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In addition to customization of display preferences, you can also customize your various zones – such as heart rate zones and cycling power zones.  You can do this on the device itself, or you can do it on Garmin Connect.

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I find that doing it on Garmin Connect is way quicker than trying to type them in on the tiny screen.  Once in your profile, under Training Zones, you’ll be able to set them.  Then from there, just click ‘Send to Device’ along the left hand side and this window will pop-up allowing you to send it to your device.  It only takes about 1 second for it to send them over.

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Note that having the same power FTP set on your Edge unit as TrainingPeaks (3rd party app) is critical if you plan to have the various TSS/IF metrics display be identical on both the device as well as later on in Training Peaks or even Garmin Connect.  As long as the FTP number is the same, you’re good to go.  I talk more about that above in the power meter section.

Data Fields and Data Page Options:

I’ve outlined in depth above within the ‘Activity Profiles’ section how to modify data fields and data pages.  This section is mostly just reference on all the data fields that are available within the Edge 510.

The Edge 510 supports 5 data pages, with up to 10 fields per page (identical to the 810).  Additionally, there are semi-configurable pages such as the map (for courses) page and the lap summary page (Update: From what I can tell, the Lap Summary page never made it to the production release, thus is not included.)

Here’s the full listing of data fields as of January 7th, 2013:

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Updating Firmware:

The Edge 510 supports updatable firmware, meaning that as Garmin adds new features and fixes bugs, you can quickly update the firmware.  During the beta cycle I’ve updated my unit a handful of times, and thankfully, each time almost all of the settings were saved.  Of course, that’s always subject to change.

To update the firmware, you’ll use the WebUpdater client, which connects to the device and then pulls down a small firmware file (generally about 10MB).  After that’s done you’ll simply disconnect the USB cable and turn back on the unit.

It’ll take about 3-5 minutes for the firmware update to complete.  Once that’s done, you’re good to go.

Running with the Edge 510:

If you’re a cyclists that primarily cycles but runs occasionally, you may wonder how well the Edge can work in a pinch for running.

The answer is…sorta works.

See, none of the Edge lineup have added “Pace” as a metric to the data fields.  Which means that you can’t see your pace in normal running terms (i.e. 7:10/mile or 3:40/kilometer), instead, you’ll have to see it in MPH/KPH, like cycling.

This is unfortunately because many of the other units now do this…except the Garmin cycling devices.  Perhaps some day that’ll change.

That said, the biggest trick to running with your Edge 510 is to grab the $18 quick release kit.  This kit is intended for the Garmin Forerunner 310XT  – but actually works perfectly for the Edge 510 as well.  That’s because both units use the same quarter-turn mount system.

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To use the Edge with it, simply slide it in the strap and lock it tight.  The positive news here is that it’ll actually go lengthwise with your arm, rather than poking out at a 90* angle:

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With that, you’ll use it just like you would cycling.  You could create a separate Activity Profile for Running, and maybe remove some of the cycling-metrics (i.e. take out power, etc…).

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The usefulness here is that if you stash your cell phone in an arm band, you can run with it and get location tracking information.

For me, what I’ve been doing is actually stashing both units in a small Spibelt.

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They fit just fine together.  That way I get tracking info via the Garmin site.  Of course, at this point you might as well just use a different app – but at least this way you’d still get heart rate information via the Edge to the site.

And, on the site, they were kind enough to allow you to switch back and forth between Average Speed, and Average Pace – a runners metrics.  And you can change the graphs at the bottom to show pace too.  Sweet!

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The only downside is that the splits are still displayed as 5KM/5Mile chunks:

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Here’s another view of a run I did with it.  In fact, I did a lot of runs recently with it – as it allowed me to see how well the tracking was working.

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Like I said earlier, it’s not optimal, but it does work.  And it’s clear that by having the pace metrics on the graph, I’ve gotta believe similar technology for running watches is in the cards down the road (though, I don’t think we’ll see that before summer).

Weight Scale Integration Functionality:

The Edge 510 adds weight scale integration functionality, which means that it can receive weight and body fat information from ANT+ enabled scales.

To start the process, you’ll go into the menu and navigate to the Weight Scale function:

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Then, tap it to begin searching for the scale:

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Depending on which ANT+ scale you have, you’ll either have to kick it/step on it/or wait for it.  Do whatever you normally do for the scale to wake up.

Once that’s ready and its finished it’s blinking, step on it and weight yourself.

After you’ve done that the weight and body fat information will be transmitted to the Edge 510.

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That information is then recorded and stored on the device.  The next time you upload an activity, it’ll transmit that information to Garmin Connect (only via USB however, not via phone):

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These metrics are then displayed within Garmin Connect in the health section:

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There’s a handful of ANT+ scales on the market today.  They start at about $80, and go into prices many times that.  Below in the 3rd party accessories section I outline some of the options.

Accessories (Garmin Branded & 3rd Party):

There’s a ton of accessories that are compatible with the Edge 510.  I’ve talked about a lot of them already throughout the review, but here’s the roundup.

Garmin Branded Accessories:

1) The strap

This Edge 510-only accessory keeps your Edge from flying off whatever you’ve tethered it to.  Not so much used for cycling, as for other activities such as hiking and the sort.

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I used the tiny hex-wrench to pull the band through.  It’s surprisingly difficult otherwise.

It costs $5.

2) Box of Edge quarter-turn mounts:

Should you have more bikes than two (the amount of mounts included in the box), you can pickup a second box of Edge quarter-turn mounts.  This accessory box includes two full mounts and enough rubber bands for a small army:

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Please, try not to tie up your little kid brother with all the extra rubber bands.

3) Garmin Forward Mount

The long-awaited Garmin forward mount.  This bar mount supports both the Edge and Forerunner units, though it does take a hex wrench to change orientation.

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While this is a nice sturdy mount, I’m just not a fan of it because it takes a hex wrench to change the orientation, unlike some 3rd party options.  The Garmin branded forward mount cost $40.

4) Garmin ANT+ Heart rate strap

This ANT+ soft strap is included in some Edge 510 bundles.  It measures your heart rate and transmits that information back to the Edge 510.  You can display that information in beats per minute (BPM), or any number of other metrics.  Check out the data fields above for the full listing.

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The Garmin heart rate strap soft strap costs $45.

5) Garmin ANT+ GSC-10 Speed/cadence sensor

This ANT+ speed/cadence sensor allows you to measure speed and cadence whether indoors or out.  Indoors it’ll use a magnet on your rear wheel which measures your speed (also works outside in a tunnel).  And cadence is measured the same way, with a magnet on your crank.  Both pass by a small sensor that sits in between.

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This information is then displayed both on the unit, as well as available for later analysis.

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The GSC-10 costs roughly $35, but do check out some of the other options out there, as I tend to prefer those instead (see down below).

6) Garmin Edge soft-shell case:

This soft-shell cases protects your Edge 510 in the event you throw it off your bike at oncoming traffic.  In theory at least.  I’ll have hands on time with one tomorrow morning and will post some updated pics then, until now, here’s the official pictures:

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3rd Party Accessories:

While there are plenty of solid Garmin accessories that are compatible with the Edge 510, the vast majority of ANT+ accessories out there are not actually Garmin branded.  Instead, they are made by some of the more than 300 companies that make up the ANT+ ecosystem.

1) Power meters

Without question, the most expensive ANT+ accessory you can buy is the power meter.  These units can stretch into the thousands of dollars.  Power meters typically display wattage, which is a measure of your power output.

There are a number of players on the market today.  The cheapest is the Stages Cycling power meter (coming up later this month) at about $700, and the most expensive is SRM at about $2,100 (starting).  Probably the most popular (in terms of sales) is the CycleOps PowerTap, which is roughly around $1K depending on which model you choose.

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Here’s a few ANT+ power meter reviews I’ve done:

SRAM Red 2012 Quarq Power Meter

CycleOps Joule and PowerTap Wheelset In Depth Review

CycleOps PowerCal In-Depth Review

(The Power2Max review should be up in the next week)

In addition to the above direct force power meters (DFPM), there are also those power meters that don’t directly measure your power output.  Instead, they attempt to guesstimate it using other known values.  These tend to be cheaper, but also tend to be more inaccurate.

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They start at $99 for the CycleOps PowerCal.

2) Mounts

The 3rd party Edge mount scene has exploded in the past year, with tons of new entrants.  Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll find options from cheap knockoff $5 Edge mounts, to more expensive ones.

Personally, I’ve been using the Barfly mount as of late, because it’s compatible with both the Edge and the Forerunner lineup:

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Here’s my review of the Barfly.

But there’s tons of options out there.  This Slowtwitch thread is sorta the epicenter for mounts.

3) Weight Scales

I’ve detailed this quite a bit above, but the Edge 510 is compatible with ANT+ enabled weight scales, including both those that measure weight-only, as well as weight & body fat.

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The Tanita BC-1000 transmits both weight and body fat, but these days I prefer the simpler $80 Lifesource scale (used to be $110, now cheaper), even though it only measures weight.  This is primarily because of the display on the unit, and because it’s only $80 (instead of $300).

4) Speed/Cadence sensors

There’s a ton of really cool ANT+ speed and cadence sensors out there.  Personally I use the Bontrager Quick Release variant (combo sensor), because it works the same way as the Edge mounts, just a simple industrial strength rubber band – allowing me to quickly move it around.

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The Girl on the other hand uses the Bontrager Duotrap with her Trek bike.  This module fits into a hole in the side of the bike, gathering both speed and cadence:

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Lots of options, take the time to see what works best for you.  Here’s my full post on all the information you ever wanted to know about the ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensor.

5) Other ANT+ Heart Rate Straps:

In the event you already have an ANT+ heart rate strap (either from a previous Garmin unit, or any other companies), they’re full compatible with the Edge 510.  Just ensure it has a little ANT+ logo on it.

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Note that Polar straps are not compatible with ANT+, and thus, not compatible with the Garmin 510.  Additionally, if you have a Suunto heart rate strap, they use private-ANT, and not ANT+, so they aren’t compatible either.

USAT (USA Triathlon) Official Ruling on using LiveTracking during events:

I reached out to USAT Commissioner of Officials Charlie Crawford late last night to get some clarification on the allowances of a device such as the Edge 510/810 with LiveTracking enabled with a cell phone.  I outlined four scenarios.  Some of them cover the Edge 510/810, and others cover future scenarios that the Garmin team could enable down the road.

Here’s what I asked:

“1) Using a cell phone to provide one-way live tracking of a rider (i.e. location/speed/distance/HR/cadence/etc…). Scenario: Cell phone sits in jersey or saddle bag and passively provides location info to family and friends.

2) Using a cell phone to provide two-way communications between an athlete and someone outside the race (i.e. text messaging/phone calls).  Scenario: Rider pulls out cell phone and texts/calls others.

3) Using a cell phone in conjunction with a bike computer on handlebar (i.e. a Garmin unit) to provide one-way live tracking of a rider.  Scenario: Rider has cell phone in jersey or saddle bag, which communicates wirelessly to their bike computer on handlebar. Communication is one way, transmitting position/athlete data from bike computer to phone to friends/family.  No inbound communications.

4) Using a cell phone in conjunction with a bike computer on handlebar to provide two-way communications (i.e. Coach could send message to rider to ‘rider harder’, without athlete having to touch cell phone, via bike computer on handlebar).  Scenario: Rider has cell phone in jersey or saddle bag, which communicates wirelessly to their bike computer on handlebar.  Rider is streaming ride data in real-time, and friends/family/coaches can communicate back to rider, which appear on screen in front of them (not on cell phone in saddle bag).”

Here was his response:

“The answer to questions 1-4 are all “Not Legal.”  We have made exceptions to the “carry” rule only to allow someone to make an emergency call while off the bike or not making forward progress on the run.  Modern smart-phones are also personal audio devices and are forbidden by Articles 3.4i, 5.8, and 6.3.” – Charlie Crawford, January 6th, 2013.

A bit of a bummer for those hoping to use this in long-distance events.  Though, technically, the Ironman branded (WTC) events don’t necessarily follow the full set USAT rules.

My thoughts on the Edge 510:

While the Edge 510 is an interesting differentiator compared to the Edge 500 – I feel that it’s a bit of a device without a clear market.  At $75 to $125 more than the Edge 500, I’m not sure it’s bringing enough new features to the game.  When you boil it all down, you’re essentially getting some basic cell phone connectivity and activity profiles.  But, that’s at the cost of the unit being substantially bigger than the small and light Edge 500.

At $75-$125 more, that means you could simply pickup a ANT+ adapter can get the same functionality for between $40 and $60 on your cell phone (from Garmin no less!).  Now it is true that the tracking is free on the Edge 510 – unlike tracking with the Garmin Fit app which costs $5 a month.  So over time that would add up.  But there are plenty of apps out there with tracking for free.

From Garmin’s perspective, they believe that the new ‘Activity Profiles’ are also of benefit to “high performance racers”.  And while I agree, I certainly don’t agree it’s worth $75+ more.  Sure, it has touch screen, but I’m not seeing that as a true benefit here.  It’s just a different way of interacting with the unit.

But most of all, the Edge 510 is a disappointment in what it can’t do.

Bluetooth: Garmin made the virtually unforgivable selection of going with Bluetooth 2.1.  In doing so, the unit will never be compatible with the host of new Bluetooth Smart sensors flooding onto the market – all of which require Bluetooth 4.0 (it’s a chipset thing, not a software thing).  This means that there can’t be connectivity to any new Bluetooth Smart heart rate straps, speed/cadence sensors, power meters, or other items.  Further, they couldn’t expand into areas such as connectivity to Bluetooth Smart trainers – like the Wahoo KICKR.  How cool would it have been if you could control resistance on your trainer from the Edge?  Simply can’t happen now.  They could and should have placed a full Bluetooth 4.0 chip in there (not just Bluetooth Smart like in the Garmin Fenix watch), which would have still been compatible with legacy smart phones as well as new Bluetooth Smart sensors

(Small Technology Sidebar: Bluetooth 4.0 allows one to connect to both legacy Bluetooth devices as well as newer Bluetooth 4.0 only devices, like Bluetooth Smart.  Cell phones released in the last year or so have a full Bluetooth 4.0 chip that’s backwards compatible with any older devices.  These chips are usually more battery dependent, but share the same battery drain as Bluetooth 2.1.  Meanwhile, Bluetooth Smart is a subset of Bluetooth 4.0.  It requires a Bluetooth 4.0 capable phone.  The Garmin Fenix uses a Bluetooth Smart component, which means it must have a phone that supports Bluetooth 4.0.  Whereas the Edge 510/810 use a standard non-smart Bluetooth 2.1 chip.  This neither saves battery, nor provides access to Bluetooth Smart accessories.)

Some will speculate that perhaps Garmin went with a non-Bluetooth Smart compatible chip in order to slow adoption of Bluetooth Smart devices, in favor of ANT+ (which they own).  The problem is, I think it’ll actually only serve to reduce their market share (Garmin’s) in this market.  Garmin is facing a huge battle against cell phones as head units (including cycling), and by limiting itself, it only serves to isolate it further from the reality that consumers want both.  It had a golden opportunity to bridge the gap and be the only device on the market that could do both…instead fell off the bridge.

Weather: Yes, the unit displays weather.  But the detail of the weather data is pretty much useless in my mind.  It pulls from weather stations that can be upwards of dozens of miles away.  Why couldn’t the unit have shown weather radar information overlaid onto my route?  Or the weather map on my screen?  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been out for 100 mile rides and seen dark clouds in the distance.  The opportunity to have my known course with the precipitation information overlaid onto it would have been awesome.  Instead, it just shows me the super basic temp/cloudy/sunny/rainy information in hour chunks for three hours.  My phone already does that (and it has to be in my pocket anyway).  I just don’t see the value add here.  I see potential, but failed execution.

Live Tracking: Live tracking on the Edge 510 is a cool feature, no doubt.  But ultimately, it’s hamstrung by the fact that it has to have a cell phone connected to it.  They really should have leveraged the GTU10 technology to include that within the Edge 510 – allowing upload of data in real-time, without a cell phone.  In talking with Garmin, the concern was that products like the GTU10 are just now getting into some countries (for example, Brazil) due to regulatory slowness.  While I understand that concern, ultimately I feel that Garmin selected to stay behind the technology curve for the benefit of a few countries – instead of leaping ahead.  This problem is faced by every technology company on earth, and while I understand it’s tough to leave some markets untapped – it’s even worse to lose the war.  There are other companies that are coming out in the spring with this functionality (such as Bia).  Garmin has two years of GTU10 experience to rock this functionality.  And yet still completely missed the boat.  If you’re catering to “high performance racers” – how many of those are going to take their cell phone with them during a race?

Cell Phone Integration: There’s just so many things in my mind that could have been done here.  Why doesn’t it allow pushing to Strava, Training Peaks, etc…?  Why not allow 3rd party connectivity via Bluetooth to the Edge – imagine the Strava app talking directly to the Edge unit?  Why can’t two Garmin Connect mobile phones talk to each other ala race radios?  Why can’t I search other peoples Garmin Connect routes, only my own?  Why can’t I create workouts on the app?  Why don’t you show my incoming text messages from people allowed by the Do Not Disturb feature?  I don’t want to answer them – I just want to see when my wife is urgently trying to get ahold of me.  Again, so many possibilities.

Overall, I feel like the phone integration is highly limited.  It feels rushed, last second, and half-baked.  The best analogy in my mind is of a college student who the night before a big project realized it was due, started working on it.  He ended up copying someone else’s work (in this case, previous units), and only changed a few things.  There wasn’t any original thought.  At the end of the day, we’re talking three years for someone to think up kickass ideas.  And virtually none of the things that people have been asking for were truly executed upon.

Summary:

Comparison Chart:

Below is a comparison chart comparing the units in this category.  I’ve selected the units that are most comparable, and most likely to be compared.  However, if you want to compare other units, simply go to the full product comparison page here, and you can mix and match units till your hearts content!

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Copyright www.DCRainmaker.com - Updated April 9th, 2014 @ 10:23 amNew Window
General: Price$329.00$169$399$279$399.00
General: Product Announcement DateJan 7, 2013SEP 1, 2009Jan 7, 2013Aug 26, 2010OCT 4, 2011
General: Actual Availability/Shipping DateJan 2013Dec 2009Jan 2013Nov 2010JAN-APR 2012
General: GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYes
General: Data TransferUSB & BluetoothUSBUSB & BluetoothUSBANT+ Wireless
General: WaterproofingIPX7IPX7IPX7IPX7Yes - 50m
General: Battery Life20 hours18 hours17 hours15 hours20 Hours
General: Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1s or Smart
General: Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerNoNoNoNoNo
General: Quick Satellite ReceptionYesGreatYesYesGreat
General: AlertsAudio/VisualSound/VisualSound/VisualSound/VisualVibrate/Sound/Visual
General: Backlight GreatnessGreatGoodGreatGreatGreat
General: Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNoNoNo
General: Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoNoNoNo
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Connectivity: Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneYesNoYesNoVia Wahoo Fitness Adapter
Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingNoNoNoNoVia Wahoo Fitness Adapter
Connectivity: Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoNoNoNoNo
Connectivity: Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesNoYesNoNo
Connectivity: Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoNoNo
Connectivity: Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
Cycling: Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYes
Cycling: Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Cycling: Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYesYesYes
Cycling: Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYesYesYes
Cycling: Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Running: Designed for runningNoNoNoNoYes
Running: Footpod Capable (For treadmills)N/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Running: Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)N/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Running: VO2Max EstimationN/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Running: Race PredictorN/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Running: Recovery AdvisorN/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Running: Run/Walk ModeN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Swimming: Designed for swimmingNoNoNoNoYes
Swimming: Openwater swimming modeN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Record HR underwaterN/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Swimming: Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Indoor Drill ModeN/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Swimming: Indoor auto-pause featureN/AN/AN/AN/ANo
Swimming: Change pool sizeN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/AN/AN/AN/A20m/22y to 100y/m
Swimming: Ability to customize data fieldsN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Can change yards to metersN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Captures per length data - indoorsN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Swimming: Indoor AlertsN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Triathlon: Designed for triathlonNoNoNoNoYes
Triathlon: Multisport modeN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Workouts: Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYesYes
Workouts: On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesYesYes
Workouts: Training Calendar FunctionalityYesNoYesNoNo
Functions: Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYesYes
Functions: Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYesYesYes
Functions: Virtual Racer FeatureYesNoYesNoYes
Functions: Records PR\\\'s - Personal Records (diff than history)YesNoYesNoNo
Functions: Day to day watch abilityNoN/ANoN/ANo
Functions: Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNoNoNo
Functions: Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNo
Functions: Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNoNoNo
Functions: GeocachingNoNoNoNoNo
Functions: Weather Display (live data)YesNoYesNoNo
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Navigate: Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYesYes
Navigate: Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYesYesNo
Navigate: Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoYesYesNo
Navigate: Back to startYesYesYesYesYes
Navigate: Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNoNo
Navigate: Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesNoYesNoNo
Sensors: Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometric
Sensors: Compass TypeGPSGPSGPSGPSGPS
Sensors: Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
Sensors: ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Sensors: ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Sensors: ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoYes
Sensors: ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Sensors: ANT+ Weight Scale CapableYesNoYesYesYes
Sensors: ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNoNoYes
Sensors: ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Di2 Shifting IntegrationNoNoNo
Sensors: Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYesYesNo
Sensors: Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsTBDYesNoNoYes
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Software: PC ApplicationGTCGTCGarmin Training Center/BasecampGarmin Training Center/BasecampGTC/ANT Agent
Software: Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Software: Phone AppGarmin Connect (iOS/Android)Garmin Fit (not direct to device though)Garmin Connect (iOS/Android)GARMIN CONNECT (IPHONE/ANDROID)Garmin Fit
Software: Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
Purchase: Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Purchase: Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10AKG)LinkLinkLinkLinkLink
DCRainmaker: Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, to see products beyond these, simply use the full product comparison tool.

Pros and Cons:

As always, I’d suggest that the below pros and cons is highly concentrated, and doesn’t really cover all the details of the 12,000+ words above.  But, with that warning, here we go:

Pros:

- Live Tracking works well
- New user interface is cleaner than Edge 500
- Easy uploading of rides via cell or PC
- Cell phone integration for access to workouts and courses
- Extensive data fields to choose from, most data fields of any device on market

Cons:

- Bluetooth 2.1, not Bluetooth 4.0 (thus no Bluetooth Smart sensor support)
- The cell-phone integration seems rushed and half-baked
- The size of the Edge 510 is awkward, much larger than the previous Edge 500
- Lack of functional usable map display (just breadcrumb trail) while having plenty of screen space is frustrating
- [Update] At this point, if you’re a power meter user, I would further not recommend this unit. The Edge 510/810 currently have issues where they have power drops within the data set, making power meter collection useless on the device.  With the current firmware (Aug 2013), I’m seeing this as fixed best I can tell in my testing, and watching forums.

General Beta FWIW FYI: Note that the unit I was using while a final device, was running beta software.  As such, it’s plausible that features could change just slightly in between the time this was published and the unit you receive.  Additionally, it means that things that worked for me, may break in future builds (yes, that happens).  Finally, like any beta product, there were beta bugs I ran into.  As always with pre-release products, I focus on functionality.  If those bugs that I experienced are still there at the time of final release, I’ll definitely note those accordingly.

With that, thanks for reading.  As always, feel free to drop comments or questions into the comments section below and I’ll try and run down the answers!

Found this review useful?  Or just want a sweet deal?

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can pickup the Edge 510 through Clever Training using the link below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Garmin Edge 510 Cycling GPS Base Model
Garmin Edge 510 Performance Bundle

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit or accessories (though, no discount on either from Amazon).  Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells).  If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

AccessoryManufacturer Street Price Amazon Link Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10AKG) More Info
Copyright www.DCRainmaker.com - Updated February 23rd, 2014 @ 11:09 am
Barfly Tate Labs Road/Mountain Bike Handlebar Mount (for all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with quick release kit)Barfly/Tate Labs$22.00LinkLinkLink
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount (for all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with quick release kit)Barfly/Tate Labs$30.00LinkLinkLink
PowerTap G3 ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)CycleOps/PowerTap$790 (hub only)LinkLinkLink
PowerTap Pro ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)CycleOps/PowerTap$899LinkLinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1Garmin$37.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2Garmin$69.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3Garmin$50.00LinkLinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)Garmin$35.00LinkLinkLink
Garmin Edge 510 Rubber Cases (Variety of colors)Garmin$12.00LinkN/AN/A
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)Garmin$10.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car ChargerGarmin$10.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Solar Charging KitGarmin$71.00LinkLinkN/A
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT with Quick Release)Garmin$38.00LinkLinkN/A
Lifesource UC-324 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale (My recommendation)Lifesource$109.00LinkN/ALink
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!Motorola$55.00LinkN/ALink
Power2Max ANT+ Power MeterPower2Max$970 (no cranks)N/AN/ALink
PowerCal ANT+ Estimated Power MeterPowerTap$99LinkLinkLink
SRAM Quarq Cinqo (Original) ANT+ Power MeterQuarq/SRAMDiscontinuedLinkN/ALink
SRAM Quarq Elsa & RED ANT+ Power MeterSRAM/Quarq$1,995 (with cranks)LinkLinkLink
SRAM Quarq Riken ANT+ Power MeterSRAM/Quarq$1,595 (with cranks)LinkLinkLink
Stages ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Power MeterStages Cycling$699N/AN/ALink
Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Enabled Weight ScaleTanita$215.00LinkN/ALink

As always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices.  These guides are all listed on this page here.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

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415 Comments

  1. I find the new app pretty interesting. Too bad it isn’t compatible with garmin fenix :)
    Any hopes that we will see that anytime soon you think?
    Or at least some of the features from the connect app over to the basecamp app?
    Seems a bit weird that they have two apps meant do to about the same for two product lines.

    Reply
  2. What data fileds are available during navigation at the top row of the screen (above breadcrumb trail line)?

    On Egde 305 you can set there any of the fileds available on regular (data) screen, but on Edge 500 there was 2 fixed (and TOTALY USELESS) fields (time to target and distance to the end of the course taken from the course file, even not from actual average speed).
    If I can set current HR and e.g. speed on navigation screen (so I can navigate and control HR) it could be the one and only reason to change from edge 500 to 510, but I would like to be sure that it’s possible.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It does not, it’s pretty nice – you can choose any data fields you like. :)

      Reply
  3. Matt A

    Why won’t they allow PC connectivity via ANT+ stick like the forerunner devices?

    I was also really hoping that the 510 would have alerts for missed calls and text messages. $75 for some marginal phone connectivity and a color screen. No thanks. Although, changing bike profiles on the 500 is a pain in the butt, and the 510 does seem to have gotten that right.

    Reply
  4. Steve Knapp

    Just curious, if you mount this device as a drive on your PC can you put a small number of maps on it, like the Fenix? I got a reasonable amount of coverage on my Fenix by using some old “US Roads and Rec” and “Waterways and Lights” maps from way back. Works well, even if unsupported.

    Do you think it’s pretty safe to say that all the limitations of the GTU10 are there to stay? The big one here is how easy it is to share data w/ the Edge vs. the GTU10. Garmin is missing the boat there. It should be simple. The GTU10 hardware is perfect, small and durable.

    If I’m going to carry my mobile, I’ll just use something like Google Latitude. The live data streaming is interesting, but for the most part I use tracking so people know I’m not dead and have a rough idea when/where I’ll be home/finishing.

    Still waiting on Android support for Fenix.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I’ll have to try it. The Fenix was intended to work that way (even if in a wonky support state) – that’s sorta their long term plan.

      I think the GTU10 limitations are pretty much here to stay. Wish it weren’t the case, and keep fighting the good fight – but I’m not seeing that platform evolve. Effectively, there are at least three different tracking platforms now (GTU10, Garmin Fit, Garmin Connect for Edge units). At least, three front ends anyway (I know that the Fit tracking is a separate backend from the GTU tracking).

      Reply
  5. Craig

    Just wondering, how well does the Edge work with Glonass? Is it any more accurate or quicker than just GPS? It is claimed to be better in canyons etc.

    Its interesting that the 510 supports Glonass, but the 810 doesn’t.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It works well, but they were both quick enough that I never noticed. Since they both hold the last known location – it was generally taking under 10-15 seconds, pretty quick. I’ll try it again in Las Vegas tonight and see how quickly the two perform to a brand new location.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Oh, and I suspect the reason the 510 supports it and the 810 doesn’t is because the 810 is really just an 800, whereas the 510 is a whole new beast. Just my guess…

      Reply
    • Hulster replied

      From the specifications Garmin propagated I took 510 supports GLONASS and 810 not.
      I am bit wondering satellite performance looks pretty much the same for both. In general this would be my assumption for good condition, but under bad conditions I would like to see a significant difference.
      GLOSNASS would be my major reason for being keen on a 510. Due to the known and still existing issues for breadcrumb navigation on the 500, I would like to get an alternative.
      So would be great if you could test and compare with 500 under bad conditions and maybe 510 breadcrumb navigation in general with a track downloaded from a non-Garmin resource like GPSies.
      A further Pro for the 510 for me would be the bigger screen, which should be able to show the same amount of Datafields in a bigger font as the 500. For people wearing glasses a real advantage. Is the font size for same amount of datafields bigger?

      Reply
  6. Jackson

    Thank you for the great review- two typos: 1) numbering of accessories (there are two 3′s 2) missing number in the following sentence above “The Garmin branded forward mount cost XXXX.” Thanks again!!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Good catch, teaches me to try and count above three… fixed!

      Reply
    • Tony replied

      “One…, two…, five!”
      “Three sir”
      “THREE!”

      Reply
  7. Claes Watndal

    Again Ray, thanks for an excellent & thorough review.

    After reading, I’m left with the conclusion that I’ll hold on to my faithful companion (Edge 500) for quite some time, as it will continue to give me my most important functionality from the Garmin-range:
    - Accurate and reliable GPS coverage
    - Rock solid performance, long battery life and just the information I need on my display
    - Simple “workflow” of keeping my training journal up to date (Garmin Connect & Strava)

    Sure, Live Tracking and the new user interface looks nice – but does not seems like it is worth it for buying a new unit yet.

    Did you compare the GPS accuracy for any of the new units? I.e. how do the 510 compare to the 500 or the Fenix?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I haven’t yet compared accuracy of the new units since summer. It’s on my list to tackle – probably in either late January or February. I’ve got a lot of travel in between now and then, and in order to do it I really need to be at home where I can measure out known courses and have lots of units handy.

      Reply
    • Karl Watanabe replied

      I did 3 rides with both my old 500 and new 510 and they tracked perfectly. The only difference is when I use autopause, the 510 pauses a bit slower than the 500 so after 15 miles, the 510 had about 10 seconds more ride time than the 500. I had to stop about 5 times I think.

      Reply
    • G replied

      @Karl (and others)

      It would be particularly interesting to try this in areas where GPS coverage is obscured and movement is slow – eg, negotiating a switch-back climb on a mountain bike under tree cover. I find the 500 auto-pauses and restarts incessantly in such situations, sometimes missing a ‘zig’ or a ‘zag’. It would be interesting to know that with the ability to track extra satellites whether the 510 is less prone to this.

      I’ve now bought a speed/cadence sensor for the 500 which hopefully will stop so much auto stopping/restarting (though clearly won’t make much difference to the GPS trace captured).

      Reply
  8. Robert Strong

    Another great review, most helpful, but I am loath to purchase yet another Garmin product because of the debacle concerning the Garmin Edge 500′s course feature, which has never worked reliably since Garmins firmware “update” 2.60 December 2010. Garmin should look after existing customers or risk loosing them.
    Disappointing, because the form factor of the Edge 500 is perfect, but the device is of little use if it does not work reliably.

    Reply
  9. utku inan

    i could not find garmin connect app for iphone on Itunes. is it limited with United states market? Does this app work with FR610?

    Reply
    • Greg replied

      They say it will be available on Jan 10

      Reply
  10. David

    Thanks again Ray, I was waiting to see if I should get a Edge 500 but you told me earlier in 2012 that it would make sense for Garmin to put out the follow on later in the year and so I did. It didn’t quite make it in 2012 but here it is, and wow what a mixed bag.

    It is so plainly obvious that the future of these devices is internet connectivity and a robust social experience yet Garmin is just not executing. I suppose it is a positive to see a native out of the box experience that connects to my phone (about time) but with a lack of Bluetooth 4.0 (the inevitable way sporting devices are going to connect to everything) and a very poor initial Garmin Connect phone app that does little beyond uploading and showing rides/workouts I think Garmin may find that they lose the grip on even the hardcore market they have cornered to date.

    When someone figures out a way to blend the social centric ideals of Nike+ / Strava etc. with a full line of sport GPS devices like Garmin’s then they will blow up the market in a way no one has ever seen.

    Not sure what I am going to do, perhaps continue to use my watch on the bike or just buy a Edge 500 if the price drops further… has it been discontinued? Still waiting…

    (PS: Thanks Ray, your site continues to get bigger and bigger and despite obviously growing connections to all the major manufacturers including Garmin you clearly call it like it is. What you do for the little tiny athletes with tech community with this site is not only useful and it totally unique, there is nothing like it anywhere. Thanks again.)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Thanks David – I appreciate it! I think (well, hope anyway), calling it like it is is why folks swing by. Enjoy!

      Reply
  11. Tom

    Any word on whether the price of the 500 will come down with the release of the 510? I’ve been thinking about buying one, but will probably wait for a bit now.

    Reply
    • Gunnar Christensen replied

      Like what David says so well above….direct Strava upload (and others too I suppose…) and then you would have something.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I don’t expect it to, they somewhat see it as two separate price points.

      Reply
  12. Hi Ray,

    I was interested to see the new Garmin “forward mount” mentioned here. In that section, you refer to a number of 3rd party mounts which you like better. Would it be possible to make a (short) review/comparison of available Garmin Edge and Forerunner mounts?

    That would be interesting too!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, that’s my plan! I’ve got a small pile of them building up that I’ve been using. As noted, some are $5, some are a bit more.

      Reply
    • C. Hamilton replied

      Cheers Geert,

      I had a rather nasty experience with the mount – one pothole snapped the plastic on the inside of the quarter-turn mechanism clear off and threw my 500 into the middle of the road. Where it was run over repeatedly (and survived, amazingly).

      I think the pro is the customizable position vs placing the mount on a stem, but a big con is the lack of durability from the plastic mold. I chose ‘upgraded’ to a k-force mount to avoid this scenario again and I have yet to have any issues.

      For those local to DC / Arlington, this happened over on Military, headed towards Clarendon on the first downhill from the Chain bridge. Lots of construction to weave through..

      Best,
      C.

      Reply
  13. NickM

    As an early adopter of the Edge 305 (that unit has lasted me for 6+ years… with one DIY battery replacement)… I am looking to upgrade to a unit that can use a power meter. Disappointed with the size of the 510, but not that big of a deal for me moving from a 305. I just got a 500 for Christmas, so I am debating on returning it for 510. The live tracking is a cool… for letting the family know where you are in your training rides and I can see a good application for a coach during a race. The activity profiles sound like they could be useful for different race/training activites.

    Did Garmin mention anything about Windows Phone App development?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Nothing about WP7/WP8 development unfortunately. I’ll ask today though while at CES. They haven’t released any WP7/WP8 apps for anything (to my knowledge), and they have apps that would be more popular in that area, so its probably not in the cards.

      Reply
  14. Nick M

    As always, a fantastic review, but I would really like to know which you would buy now if you are new to bike GPS – a discounted 500 or the new 510? I’ve been waiting for the new 500-series Garmin for the last 6 months, thinking it had to be coming soon, but something bigger and more expensive with mostly only marginally useful extra functionality (for me) doesn’t really sell itself.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      If you don’t see any of the new functionality as useful to your use cases, then I’d definitely pickup a discounted 500.

      Reply
  15. Steve

    Does the 510 use a larger font than the 500? For those of us who need reading glasses but can ride fine without corrective lenses, a slightly larger font greatly helps readability of the display.

    I like the new interface design, but wish they added pace to the speed metrics (although mentally converting mph on my 500 to pace is a handy distraction when I am asking myself why I decided to take up running).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, quite a bit larger. Like elephant to donkey larger.

      Reply
    • Lito replied

      It does not make the size of the font bigger when I tried 2 or 3 data field per page the font size stayed the same, isn’t that a waste of screen space. Totally a bummer for far sighted people who don’t want to wear rx sunglass just for reading the bike computer. The RFLKT does this intelligently, why not with this so expensive 510, or is there a way?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, not sure why they keep the text smaller – I do agree, kinda silly.

      Reply
    • Lito replied

      I like the garmin connect data analysis, but this font size thing is a deal breaker no use for all the info if I am straining to see them. So 510 is going back, I so want to like it, maybe I’ll just go down with 500 and keep it in my jsersey just to record data because I really like garmin connect. Live Tracker is an old thing in Cyclemeter iphone app and other apps for that matter. Garmin does it good then ruins it in some basic features like font size and yes the bluetooth 2.0 instead of 4.0

      Reply
    • Lito replied

      Base on Ray’s review and comments found here, my best solution:
      Edge 800 – for GPS mapping, unlike 510 is just a cue sheet.
      iPhone app – cyclemeter for live tracking
      Pros: for far sighted the fonts size are ok on the 800 probably as 810 but why waste money for 810 just for bluetooth 2.0
      Cons: no wireless upload /connectivity, only if you can’t wait to upload your super fast ride
      Note: there is $100 rebate by garmin going on for edge 800

      Reply
  16. Bill P

    Nice write up. Very thorough!

    Reply
  17. With the live tracker feature and courses or workouts it would be really cool if you could actually see where someone else is on the same course or workout assuming that you had previously invited or shared that ride with the other person. Rather than having the virtual training partner, you could compare yourself to an actual training partner on the road. Of course, this isn’t legal for races, but would be fun for training.

    Reply
  18. mark

    I was hoping for a crisper display than the 800 has, but it looks like the specs are fairly close to the 800 so I guess it is quite similar. Is that a function of the touch screen technology? My surmise is based upon the fact that the 500 screen is crisper and lacks the touch screen.

    Reply
    • Tim replied

      I think it’s likely the color LCD technology used rather than the touchscreen itself. In theory you could overlay a touchscreen on top of the 500′s display (it’d look like the Forerunner 610 then) and it’d still look great in most conditions where the 800 tends to suffer a little.

      I’m also curious if the 510′s screen is any better for viewing than the 800 is/was in sunlight. I know many just leave the backlight on at a dim level, but that can hurt battery life a bit!

      Reply
  19. Paul O'Donnell

    Great review. Like you, I’m disappointed in the size of the 510 – I love my 500 in part because of the small size. I think the connect features are a neat toy, but I’m most excited about having 10 bike profiles (vs 3) and the activity profiles. However, given that it’s so close in size to the 810 I’m wondering if I should just get the 810 and have maps as well.

    I noted in another review that the 510′s ability to use GLONASS helps in areas with spotty reception (I live in NYC, lots of tall buildings in the way of satellites so sometimes the 500 takes ages to get a lock) so that might clinch it for me for the 510. Any thoughts on this?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, it may be faster – but I just haven’t seen any substantial impact yet in cases where I’ve just turned them on in known locations. That said, I’m going to test it out later today here in Vegas (where I haven’t turned on the units yet) and do a quick video test with how long it takes.

      Reply
  20. Dan Cas

    Thanks for the great review. Is the display of the 510 easier to see than the 500? I have poor eyesight and simply could not see the 500 I had.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes and no. I did a ride yesterday in bright sun (finally, sun!) and it was quite visible, but I turned up the brightness all the way to make it more visible. Essentially, it’s on par with how the Edge 800′s always been.

      Reply
  21. Klees

    After reading your review I feel that it is not worth to buy the 510. Therefore, alternatives to the 500 are still an option. One of the latest alternatives is the o-synce Navi2coach, which is on the market since a couple of days. Are you going to review this device, too?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I don’t yet have an O-Synce device, but it’s on my radar to test.

      Reply
  22. As always, brilliant review. Now it´s time to read 810´s one…

    Reply
  23. bryan

    Does it support the footpod? I’ve been using the 500 for off season running and have been annoyed that it doesn’t work.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it does not. That’s considered a different ANT+ Device Profile than the cycling Speed/Cadence sensor.

      Reply
  24. Kenneth Trueman

    Was happy to see the direct support for the Tanita scale …

    Reply
  25. Noel Nunkovich

    Thanks for the great and informative review, as always. Many many thanks to Garmin for fixing the bike profile switching. The way it’s done on the Edge 500 is patently ridiculous and that alone might be enough to get me to switch to a 510. The live tracking seems pretty fun too. I do a lot of my long rides on Saturdays while my wife is stuck in her lab. It might be fun if she could “keep tabs” on me. Or just sit there and stew in jealousy. :-)

    Not strictly related, but I have to inquire about your statement regarding speed being a “semi-useless metric” on a trainer. That might be true on a fixed-resistance trainer, if such a beast exists, and possibly on a Computrainer since my understanding is that it compensates to keep you at a fixed power output. I’m not sure that statement holds water for a fluid or wind trainer though, since resistance increases on both as a factor of speed. I use a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine (and TrainerRoad) several times per week and I can’t figure out for the life of me how I could get 8 mph or 30 mph indicated and still maintain the same wattage or effort level. If that were the case I don’t think TrainerRoad’s VirtualPower function would be possible, just for starters. Admittedly though, I’m no expert and could certainly be wrong. If I am, I’d love to be enlightened!

    Thanks again for the awesome reviews and fantastic site.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That’s a valid point, for those with non-resistance controlled trainers. I’ll update that.

      Reply
  26. clinton fisher

    Ray,
    You are not one to mince words, do you worry that Garmin won’t send you the newest stuff? Or they need your input to much? Do they ever ask you in advance about thing? I mean really in advance, like what do you want to see on the bike computer? I love my 500, its the main reason I have no need for a 910. Oh, The Finis Hydro Tracker is doing an amazing job as well.
    Thank you for the time and effort put into what you do!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I suppose I could worry, but I think I have a good relationship with all of the companies out there. I think they understand that the reason people come here in droves is for the honesty (sometimes blunt). It benefits them both ways. If a product is rockstar, I say so. If a product is a rock, I say that too. They have to take the bad with the good.

      Reply
  27. Jamie Wallingford

    Thank you for the Review. I am curious, does the 510 work while it is being charged? Or is that still only 800 feature?

    Reply
  28. john

    Great review but my conclusion is the days of specialty devices are numbered. The phone has GPS and Bluetooth so why by another piece of hardware just to get new features? Put the phone in a weather proof case, get a bike mount with extra battery, why carry two devices? The phone apps are updated faster than the firmware in the devices, and the apps are free or very cheap. The devices are expensive and they never get updated with new features, we end up having to buy a new watch or device every time we want a new feature.

    Reply
  29. Can you please answer one question for me? Does the Edge 510 use the wheel speed sensor (if present) to determine when to autopause and for on-screen speed?

    The Edge 500, if a wheel sensor is present, uses that for distance, but it doesn’t use it for on-screen speed nor auto-pausing. I use my Edge 500 for mountain biking on some fairly tight trails under tree cover, and there’s been a number of times when I’ve heard the unit pause then unpause while I’m steadily moving at 8-12 MPH, but along twisty trails. This has resulted in some notable gaps in recorded data. I’ll also see the speed jumping around during this, even though I’m moving pretty steadily.

    Looking at the recorded data it’s pretty clear that the unit thought it hadn’t moved enough and paused itself. I can kinda avoid this by not having the unit autopause, but then there’s no way to display just moving time.

    (At least the Edge 500 is a step up from the 305… That one would only use a wheel sensor for speed if a GPS lock couldn’t be acquired. Thus it’d have terrible aliasing problems on mountain bike trails.)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I’ll test it when I get back from CES.

      Reply
    • quarks replied

      Hi Steve,
      I’m using a Edge500 together with a GSC10 (race bike) and a o_synce 2sx (MTB). For me, both works very well. The displayed speed comes from the speed sensors. Also auto pause seems to be triggert by the sensors. If I lift the wheel (GPS is aktive) and turning it, the speed is displayed. Only if I realy stopped (with out stopping recording) and the speed sensor doesn’t send data after a while (>1min) , the GPS takes over and may detect movement if signal isn’t good.

      How did you know that distance comes from the wheel sensor and not from GPS?
      Did you checked if the sensor is connected (bike profile)?
      It could help to enter the wheel circumference manually instead of Auto.

      To buy a wheel sensor just for distance wouldn’t make sense, since the GPS distance is good enough even the displayed current speed jumps around.

      Reply
  30. Gunnar

    Ok. In my quest to work around upload to Strava with a mobile device (iPad) from Garmin Connect (so you can use a 510 or 810 without reliance on a computer) I’ve managed to get a file to upload with no data loss by choosing export in Garmin Connect for your workout. Then use TCX (I couldn’t get GPX to work). The trick is to use iCabMobile for your web browser as the file is then in downloads in iCabMobile and can be sent from their as an email to upload@strava.com.

    A pity we have to resort to this as Garmin could have made this easier with Strava integration.

    I have no desire to get the 510 or 810, but I am interested in seeing if Garmin eventually allows the fenix to utilize the new Garmin Connect Mobile app. Here’s hoping!

    Reply
    • RSD replied

      iCab Mobile works very well to download and email most files to Strava. However there is a 10 Mb file size limitation (according to iCab customer support). Thus, files for rides longer than about 4 hours cannot be sent by email. ICab Mobile can be used to export large files to Dropbox, but I haven’t yet figured out how to get large ride files to Strava using only an iDevice.
      Perhaps Garmin Connect will be enhanced for this, or maybe there is some other app that can be used to get a file from Dropbox to Strava.

      Reply
    • RSD replied

      Another approach: Using the Safari browser with an iPad, I was able to export a large file (13 Mb) from Garmin Connect to Evernote. Then I successfully used the email feature in Evernote to send the file to Strava. With large files, it’s fairly slow, but does seem to work.

      Reply
  31. Francisco Araújo

    Doesn’t it look like the folks at Garmin were holding off on the phone integration to wedge in another device before the real step forward into a new generation?
    It’ll probably take a competing device with way better features to propel the edge series to its full potential. Do you see anything like that in the horizon?

    It feels like the progress in some sports electronics is being slowed down too much by the industry. I might be wrong, but most of the limitations seem to come from the software side of things. What and how long will it take for us to have more open platforms and software development? Wouldn’t the companies actually benefit from an approach that allowed 3rd party software development for the hardware they sell? Wouldn’t it make the products more desirable both in the short and long term?

    Finally, as if I didn’t digress enough, how much of a threat to the cycling computer industry would it be if someone started making Bluetooth lap and start/stop buttons?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think we’ll start to see buttons like that. The O-Synce units actually have them, albeit with a tiny wire, but they’re pretty darn cool.

      Reply
  32. glurple

    Thanks for the exhaustive review.

    I won’t be replacing my Edge 500 any time soon. The only feature I like in the new Edge 510 model is the improved ability to change the bike profile (the Edge 500 is very clunky at doing this).

    As an aside, I think that the real reason they made the 510 so big is because they need to accommodate a larger capacity battery to cover the power demands of the large colour screen.

    Reply
  33. CH

    Thanks for the great review.

    I assume the app will run on a tablet as well as a phone and data can be uploaded via the tablet and wifi. Is this true? I’m taking a bike tour in Europe this summer and would prefer to take a tablet than a laptop. I turn the data off when overseas due to the high cost of data roaming and will be using wifi. Thx.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I assume it will as well, but during the beta it was tied to my device ID – so I could only test on my phone.

      Reply
  34. Jorge Costa

    A great review as usual. I have been riding and racing for over 15 years. Have been using the Edge 500 since its debut

    I feel that the market is moving to a one device one app world. For myself along with most of my cycling fiends it’s Strava and their phone

    Most cyclists carry their phone with them when they ride anyway. With the Strava app you can just turn the app on and ride. The sync back to Strava is automatic. You don’t have to sync your Garmin device to the site whn you get home.

    What has been missing is a head unit that shows you the metrics that are occurring in your back pocket. Enter the Wahoo RFLKT. When that device is compatible with Strava and Training Peaks Garmin’s days are numbered

    Reply
  35. Konstantinos Michopoulos

    Thanks for the great review, for me as well!

    Do you know if the device measure power through Tacx Bushido?

    Thanx!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, the Tacx Bushido doesn’t output power information unfortunately (via ANT+, only via private-ANT).

      Reply
    • glurple replied

      There’s a project underway to reverse engineer the protocol that the Bushido brake uses to communicate power data back to the head-unit.

      link to cowboycoders.org

      Once the work is completed you will be able to capture Bushido power data directly into a PC. But unfortunately you won’t be able to capture the data into an Edge cycle computer (as Ray said, the 510 can’t talk to private-ANT devices).

      Reply
  36. fe

    any news about power meter vector?

    Reply
  37. Peter

    Any thoughts on whether or not the GPS chipset in the 510 is any more advanced or accurate than the one in the Edge 500?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, the 510 chipset is more advanced than the 500 and the 810. It includes GLONASS, which can improve GPS accuracy.

      Reply
    • Graeme replied

      Hi, I’d be very interested to know more about the relative accuracy of the 500 vs the 510. For example, when mountain biking under tree cover, I find the 500 sometimes cuts out (beeps off then back on, when I’m in auto-pause mode), particularly if I’m travelling slowly, eg switchbacks. Also, if I throw the 500 into a jersey pocket and go for a run, it cuts out a bit – probably because it isn’t oriented towards the satellites very well, and is very close to my body. I wonder whether the 510 can perform better in such situations as it can access a larger number of satellites. Some back-to-back testing would be great.

      Reply
  38. ADavid

    I have a bag full of Garmin GPS devices. I currently ride with the 705, and I get my ridealong data from apps on an iPhone. NFI, but CyclemeterGPS and MotionX have both provided broadcast rider data (web, Twitter, FB) for years now. MotionX will even allow the tracking of friends that another commenter wanted. The advantage of the 510 seems to be that it doesn’t use the phone’s GPS (which is very tough on the battery). Beyond that, though, I already have almost all of these features, and I’ve had them for some time. Considering that I always ride with my phone (for safety reasons), duplication of those functions is just that — duplication.
    I’m also unhappy about needing a Garmin Connect account. My basis goes back to the Edge 305 days, but I abandoned the proprietary Connect platform as soon as Ascent became available. Garmin makes GREAT GPS units, but they are certainly not a software company, whether they understand that or not. I always think companies should play to their strengths, not dabble in other territories.
    For me, the lack of BTLE is a non-starter. BTLE is very likely the future path for small wireless electronics, and the sooner Garmin embraces it, the better. Right now, they’re ahead with their GPS technology; a few missteps in the software world or hanging on to ANT+ could level the playing field for competitors.
    It seems I replace my Garmin hardware about as frequently as I replace my Apple hardware, and that mode of operations is getting old. I will almost certainly upgrade to yet another Garmin device, but what I really want is a BTLE speed & cadence sensor, a compact but useful handlebar display, and a solid API for app developers.

    Reply
  39. Roger

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been waiting on a new revision to the 500 for a year, and can finally exhale, in disappointment.

    Whats the sense in live tracking? Who is bored enough to watch a blue line work its way across a map?

    And whats with all the social engineering? No one is going to sit around after a hard ride/race and start these uploads to crunch numbers, in nasty sweaty bibs. And if you had to add SE features, why not approach strava for a partnership?

    I waited till the very last paragraph, and hardly a peep about what 99% of us want fixed. Courses! Crying out loud, give me the 500, strip all the new 510 features, and add a mapping/routing system that works, and ill pay the $75 difference to upgrade. The 500 gives a squiggly line darting off here and there…do i look like Magellan or Columbus?

    And i noticed, though i didnt bother to fully read the details, that throughout the ride ill need to have my phone out to fiddle with this and that. Why? Can we not even have a proper workout anymore without the need to peck away on glass screens?

    So much let down. Really Garmin had years to make an infreakingcredible unit and they pieced this together. A bloated 500 packed with 2012 buzzwords.

    Reply
  40. Roger

    Ill answer my own suggestion of integrating strava uploads. Because garmin connect was likely a few thousand hours in development. Its a horrible interface that either needs to be killed off, or redone from scratch. If strava can continue to get VC money and listen to their userbase, it can single handedly make garmin connect an afterthought. No one will be rushing to get data from edge unit to phone to garmin connect, they’ll wait to get home and pop it on strava. Oh what do ya know, the x10 series just had its trousers handed to them on all the upgrades so loudly flaunted.

    Reply
  41. Michael Swann

    In your review of the Edge 500 you covered the performance of the built-in temperature sensor, yet in your review of the 510 you don’t mention it. How does it perform/compare to that of the 500?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It’s pretty similar. I didn’t cover it, mostly as I didn’t have quite the right temperature circumstances (really cold weather). That, over the past week I did a long ride in a different climate. It took about 10-15 minutes to get stabilized, and then again the same when bringing it indoors. In other words, fine for tracking long-term over the course of a ride changes, but not good for second by second, or even minute by minute changes (i.e. if you went through a cold tunnel on a hot summer day, it wouldn’t really capture that).

      Reply
    • Karl Watanabe replied

      My 500 has always had a temperature 5 to 10 degrees higher than it was. Many others have complained, but my friend’s 500 seemed OK. My new 510 now matches the outside temperature much closer (using an outside temp gauge), but still slow to respond just like the 500. If I really care, I put my bike outside 10 minutes before I plan to ride so the temp has settled to outside temp.

      Reply
  42. Hugh

    A great review, thanks for taking the time!

    I have a much loved but ageing Edge 305, it’s not clear to me though if the Garmin HRM strap and cadence sensor (both are pre-ant I think) will work ?

    Do you happen to know ?

    Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Hugh

    Reply
    • Bill replied

      Hugh,

      I to have stayed with the 305, mostly because I love the mapping feature. I have mine paired with the Garmin GSC10 speed/cadence sensor and the Garmin HRM1B heart rate monitor. Both are ANT and have worked great. Just got the HRM2-SS for Xmas and though it has some bad reviews I’ve had no issues so far while riding the trainer.

      Reply
  43. Timujin

    Hi… 2 questions.. if you had neither, based on reviews alone, which one would you buy, the Edge 500 or 510?

    and secondly, I have a withings wifi scale.. is there any way I could get the weight/bodyfat data from the scale app to the 510??

    Many Thanks,
    Timujin

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It would really depend if you wanted the integrated live tracking, if so – then 510. If not, then 500. For me, I’d probably go for it, since it does work well. But it’s also an addition $80.

      No method of getting Withings data to Garmin Connect and/or app/device.

      Reply
  44. James

    Great review mate.

    I was really keen to sell my 500 and buy a 510 until just now. A few new features interest me, but I own a Lumia 920 which runs WP8 so the other new features are useless to me until Garmin develop a Window App. I see on the 7th someone asked about a Windows App and you said you would talk to Garmin about it, do you happen to have a response? Thanks.

    Recently Garmin sent out a survey to Forerunner users and asked if the features of the 510/810 would be beneficial and I was like all for them, but if the size increase of the 510 is to fit all the new features in, I’m not sure us 910 users would like a similar size increase.

    Like everyone else here, I really like all your reviews.

    James.

    Reply
  45. Marcio

    I think Garmin missed the point. Edge 500 is (almost) perfect for the majority of cyclists, because it provides only the essencial data you need, in a very small and simple unit. For people who “need” more there is the Edge 800.

    Garmin should have kept the concept of Edge 500 on the 510, keeping the same size (or even, possibly, reducing) and only changing the weak spots of the 500, including ANT+ upload, easy bike profiles, UI improvements, etc. Leave all junk features to Edges 800/810.

    They came up with a monster unit with features that, let’s be honest, who needs? You can simply take your iPhone with you.

    I will definetly keep my Edge 500!

    Reply
  46. the photo with the garmin 810 is an error? Congratulations to the test: the Garmin will be glad to have an expert like you ;-)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Eek, let me swap that out for the correct one. Blurry eyes at 2AM, they all start to look the same…

      Reply
  47. Dave Wright

    Great review & site! Quite a service to the riding community. Knowing where I am and if I’m OK on rides is a long standing request from my wife. Attempts to do that with apps like Where’s My Droid haven’t worked because her end of the system is awkward and annoying. Would the 510 make it much easier for her? Could I just put a bookmark on her iPad – one click and she sees my location and the last 5 miles of stats? Would this work in remote areas also? I ride in the mountains of Upstate SC and SW NC, where talk service is often dead. Text messages are more reliable, which would be good if the 510 uses that conduit. Thanks for any further thoughts!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The 510 does make it easier, and it’s the one aspect of the phone integration that I like. Ultimately, the tracking piece ‘just works’, and ‘just works’ every time. It will only work in places with cell coverage with data coverage.

      Reply
  48. Tom

    Thanks for the review Ray. I’ll hold onto my 500 for now.

    One thing I would like to follow up on is something you said in the power meter pairing section:

    “Note that if you’re pairing in the presence of others, you’ll probably have to wander a bit away from them, as it’ll find multiple devices. Once it’s paired you’re good to be friends again, but during the initial pairing process, you’d rather be home alone. … Note that if you do know your ANT+ ID, you can manually enter that in as well. The latest Quarq power meters actually have it written on the outside of the device – handy for pairing in group ride situations.”

    I had an issue trying to get my Quarq to pair with my 500 in transition for my IM. I had previously paired the device, initially at home and in transition for two other races one of which was the exact same transition area. I didn’t have a problem the other times. I eventually got it to work after bringing the bike as far away from other bikes as I could (they won’t let you take it out of transition) but it still took a long time.

    Any thoughts on what went wrong. You indicated that after the first time you should be good to go even in a group.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Double check your firmware. I thought there’s a bug in one of the firmware versions that didn’t hold the pairing, but I can’t quite remember.

      Reply
  49. Rixter

    DC another fantastic review, as only you manage to do. Thanks for that.

    I was all keen on the 510 and ready to sell my 500 but when I realized how much bigger the 510 is, I’m sticking with my 500. On my road bike with Barfly, size is not a problem. On my mountain bike with riser bar, size will make it prohibitive. Because of the riser I have such a small area to actually mount my 500 on. The 1/4 turn is very tight. A larger Garmin won’t fit. I’d have to use the Barfly to make it work. The 510 at the size of the 500 but thinner would have been a winner. For now I will wait for a 520.

    Reply
  50. ismo

    Thank you for another great review!

    About the Garmin Connect app:
    If I am right it does not have the Wahoo-Fitness-like functionality for uploading your workouts from the FR 610 and sending them to Garmin Connect? The Garmin app collects the data from the sensors during the workout, but you are not able to upload workouts that have been stored by the FR 610.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Correct, it does not. No uploading from the Garmin Forerunners.

      Reply
  51. nws0291

    I have a 310XT that I built a custom “out front” style mount and it works well using the Wahoo Speed/Cadence sensor. I was really close to ordering the 510 but having seconds thoughts now. I always ride with my iPhone5 in a lifeproof case in my back pocket. I am thinking I might wait and go with the Wahoo Bluetooth speed/cadence and RFLKT. I like the flexibility and a little more future proof going with Bluetooth smart devices.

    Thanks for the great early feedback.

    Reply
    • nws0291 replied

      Also do you have any insight into mounting options for the RFLKT. I am hoping I don’t have to fabricate another custom mount to mount the RFLKT centered in front of the stem on my road bike.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hang tight on that one. Right now, it’s fairly custom. But I think they’re doing some stuff that’ll make it pretty standard. Should have more on that I can talk about in a week or so.

      Reply
    • nws0291 replied

      That’s good to hear. Might be easiest to have a Garmin connector that can snap on and use existing Garmin mounts. At least that is what I will make if they don’t. Wahoo tends to get it right so I have faith in them.

      Reply
  52. Jorge

    Hi.

    Garmin’s webpage said that this product is shock resistant. Do you have any information about it? Interesting for mountain bikers.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      There’s a bit of a rubber outlining around the edge. You can kinda see it in the photos. Not as much as some small shock-resistant cameras, but enough that it should help.

      Reply
  53. Todd

    Thanks for the great reviews, very informative. I would point out that Clever Training is not the best retailer to associate your site with. Been over a week since I ordered and no indication that it has even shipped. They do not respond to email or voice messages and as far as I can tell do not answer the phone.

    Next time I will just stick with Amazon or REI.

    Thanks again for your reviews.

    Todd

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Todd-

      Did you order the 510 or the 810? I only ask because the 510 isn’t schedule to ship (to anyone) until February (at the earliest). It was always going to lag behind the 810.

      That said – the lack of response is a concern. Do you have the e-mail address you sent to? I’d love to track it down and find out what’s up.

      Thanks for the support!

      Reply
  54. Brett

    I am just ready to purchase a bike computer. I was going to get the 500, then noticed the 510 was coming out. As I haven’t used one previously, just my iPhone I am wondering should I get the 500 and pair it with my iPhone using the same ant+ units so they get the same input leaving he 500 on he bike for me to see rather than having the iPhone on the bike.
    Will the garmin ant+ iPhone adaptor allow me to do this?
    I have no need for anyone to watch live my ride and the 500 is cheaper.
    Will strava using the garmin ant+ adaptor for the iPhone read the cadence and heart rate from the garmin units that come with the 500? I already am getting the garmin ant+ iPhone unit second hand so i will have that at no cost.
    What to buy? 500, 510 wahoo stuff?
    Can you help me?
    I am in Australia so my pricing is a little more than the USA pricing but that’s ok.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      In short, you don’t want the Garmin ANT+ adapter. It only works with the Garmin app – which is incredibly limited as an app. Instead, you want (as you suspected), the Wahoo ANT+ adapter, which does work with 150+ apps, including Strava.

      And yup, Strava with the Wahoo adapter will read cadence/HR no problem.

      Personally, I like the flexibility of the app side, so I’d go 500 + Wahoo.

      Reply
  55. Brett

    Thank you Rainmaker.
    Wahoo + 500 to be ordered.
    You are saying that the wahoo will read the cadence speed from the unit that comes with the 500 bundle?
    Also will it read the heart rate monitor that comes with the premium package garmin 500?

    Reply
  56. Brett

    Thank you. Love your reviews.

    Reply
  57. Thanks Ray for such a comprehensive review (as they all are!). Despite being wowed by the Garmin video for the 510/810 (though that’s as much about the terrain as the computers), I was going to go with your recommendation to go with the 500. But then I attended the London Bike Show yesterday and got to see and handle both of the new models in the flesh. And I have to say they were both very tempting – attractive, tactile and, most importantly, a lot smaller than I was expecting (despite your helpful size comparison photos). So now I’m confused! I will just have to meditate on it, and decide whether I can afford to pay the extra… Thanks again, Andrew

    Reply
  58. Kev

    Hi,

    I’m looking to purchase either a 500 or 510. I don’t think the bulkier form or additional connectivity features warrant the extra cost with regards to what features are important to me.

    However, does the 510 offer any additional training features over the 500 in terms of making and following courses, interval training options, heart rate zones etc? Something else that is important to me is the altimeter functionality, does the 510 offer anything over the 500 that I should be aware of, I.e cumulative/total elevation in the data fields etc for information on the bike rather than after uploading?

    Outstanding, frank and relevant reviews by the way, the best I’ve found!

    Kev

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      In the grand scheme of things, if you’re not interested in the phone connectivity features – there’s little else the 500 adds. The only thing it adds functionality wise is Activity Profiles. But nothing as far as actual training features unfortunately.

      Reply
  59. PG

    Hi Ray,
    Great review. Do you know if the 510 supports cuesheets (and turn-by-turn directions with alerts) like the 500 does? I don’t mean maps or anything new, just the same functionality as the 500 from a TCX/cuesheet.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  60. Paul

    Hi Ray,
    Great review. Do you know if the 510 supports cuesheets and turn-by-turn directions with alerts like the 500 does? I don’t mean maps or anything new, just the same functionality as the 500 from a TCX/cuesheet.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  61. JJ

    Just wanted to say I used your link to “clevertraining.com” to purchase a Garmin Edge 510, a CycleOps PowerCal power/heart rate monitor at the discounted rate.. Thanks a ton because that is the best discount anywhere I have found on the 510.. Hope you get some kickbacks on that…

    Keep up the great reviews. Thanks!!

    Reply
  62. Kev

    Many thanks, lets hope they start discounting the 500 soon!

    Reply
  63. Bernie Gallagher

    You said you have never heard of anyone having a problem with the tabs breaking on Edge 500 . I have had 2 units that the tabs broke off . The first unit was replaced under warranty the second unit was out of warranty and emails ignored by Garmin.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, I’ve heard of the tabs breaking (primarily on first gen units), but have never heard of the actual mount itself (bands) breaking.

      That does solidly suck however that they haven’t responded on the 2nd one. Have you tried calling? I find that much more successful usually.

      Reply
  64. Bernie Gallagher

    Rainmaker Thank’s
    I will try calling

    Reply
  65. Edward

    What I think they could have done to make this attractive is include maps

    Now, hear me out before you refer to the 800 series:

    They don’t need to be “routable” maps.

    It can just be an image map. Routing requires much more computational horsepower and therefore larger hardware.

    With the color screen on this unit, I think it would be perfect if you could view your current position (with the breadcrumb trail as usual) overlaid on a map and then use your own judgement to navigate. I would buy the unit in a heartbeat if it had that. I have no need for routing, but I often have to pull out my phone to view where exactly I am.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I really agree. Especially since they charge for maps anyway.

      Reply
  66. Bob

    Are they going to continue to offer the 500?

    I wish they would have kept everything the same and just did a minor update on the 500

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, they don’t see it as a replacement.

      Reply
  67. Hi.

    What’s about touch screen and transpiration?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No problems at all, just like water, no issues.

      Reply
  68. Michael

    thx dc, very intersting product “enhancements”.
    size matters. the 510 is much bigger than the 500. comparing the height the 810 has only more 4mm than the 510. with the so who will buy an 510?
    Live tracking: useless. you have to pair with a smartphone. but you can do livetracking with smartphones and w/o the 510. waste of energy.
    Can you upload a tck or fit file with the smartphone connection? mmhhh…

    I keep my 500. their are only minor lacks i can live with. wating for a smaller 520…

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      As for the last question – yes, it uploads files.

      Reply
  69. Bk Yuv

    Thanks for a great review. Do you know if file transfer works between 510 and a smartphone without Cellphone Network connection? I would imagine yes, since it’s via Bluetooth.

    Thanks

    Reply
  70. Peter W

    Does the 510 have the ability to mark and list waypoints? Say I’m using the 510 and come to a spot that I want to mark down for future reference. Will I be able to mark the spot and give it a name and then go to a screen to see a list of all the waypoints I’ve marked and then pick a waypoint and see on a map where the waypoint is relative to my current position? Thanks

    Reply
  71. Ivan B

    Thanks for the review – so if you were buying your first bike computer would you buy the 500 or the 510?

    Reply
  72. Les Girauds

    thank you for your thorough review. As another long time user of the 305 (6 years), I read of the 510 with great interest as it seemed like a natural replacement candidate. Your review answered most of my questions about the unit.

    My only real issue with the 305 is it’s limited history storage (I do rides of more than 400km when the 305 starts to overwrite itself) and the 510 addresses this to some degree with 95 hours of storage. The live tracking is a feature that interest me (again, because of the ride long rides I do) so I’m not overly put off by the 510′s limitations. It could work for me.

    Can you offload history from the 510 to the smartphone without uploading it to connect? Using the smartphone’s SD card as additional storage space.

    Reply
  73. Primoz

    DC, great review…as always :)

    My questions (Edge 510) are:

    1. What’s the max. possible zoom at map/course page? Is it adjustable with +/- buttons?
    2. Will Edge 510 show certain named markers/checkpoints created via MapMyRide, Basecamp, etc. involved in course?
    3. Is elevation page and it’s graph also shown with regular log file (as on Edge 800 f.e.) or just with VP & course following acivated?

    Thanks & regards from Slovenia

    Reply
  74. Primoz

    Two more questions:

    4. What’s an average battery drain on Edge 510 and Iphone (Cellular>On) per hour when they are connected & live tracking is enabled. Since the first pairing Edge 510&iPhone they connect automaticly when Edge is powered on…if you disable Cellular on iPhone, there’s just no extra functionality between them???

    5. What’s an average data transfer amount from the net per hour for live tracking & weather info.

    Thanks

    Reply
  75. allison

    Hi I am a new user to the Garmin devices. I have just purchashed the 510 and think i have put my profiles ok however I the main screen when i am riding i only have time, speed ,distance, time of day and calories show up. How do I get my heart rate showing on this screen?

    Reply
  76. edwin louie

    Great review Rainmaker! I know you prefer leaving the display lights on, do you know what the life of the battery is when doing so? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, not offhand. Usually I either finish the ride well before it dies, or re-charge it in-between rides.

      Reply
  77. Richard brown

    Top review. I assume the new blackberry 10 series is not compatible ? Some of us still don’t use apple yet

    Reply
  78. Doug S

    I am an age group triathlete, however I do a ton of races every year and this year I am competing at 70.3 Oceanside, 70.3 Augusta and IM Cozumel as my big races. I was looking at this device as a way for my family and friends to track me live during events and even during my long training rides/runs. I thought your review was very informative and showed great detail on the product. I even noted that you said that it has a good ability to transition from ride tracking (speed) to run tracking (pace) which would be ideal for my races (even though USAT says its illegal). I just wanted to get your personal opinion on whether or not you thought it would be an effective tracking tool for races or if you know of something better. I have a Garmin 910xt and LOVE it, as well as the Garmin Connect features. So I would like to stay with the Garmin family if its as effective as I think it is.
    And second question is that during the half’s i should be on the bike and run approx. 4:45-5 hrs combined and then during Ironman I will probably be about 10:30-11 hrs. Do you think the battery would hold up for both?

    Reply
  79. Paul Cox

    I established two pages of data fields, but I can’t seem to find a way to move from Page 1 data field to Page 2 data field. Page 2 data field is turned on and has five data readouts.

    Your write-up has been quite helpful in learning how this device works. I certainly couldn’t have determined many of the aspects you mention from the manual!!

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Paul Cox replied

      I figured it out. I was “lightly” swiping from right to left like I do on my iPhone. However, from a Youtube video I watchied someone actually swipe and I could see he kept his finger on the screen all the way across so I did the same and it worked. Thanks anyway.

      Reply
  80. edwin louie

    Again, great review! I purchased the Garmin 510 from Clevertraining, great customer service and fast shipping. I highly recommend them. I took the Garmin for about 10 rides and noticed that the calculation for the elevation is almost double or triple in some cases. I am not sure why this is happening since this is suppose to be more accurate then the predecessor. Have you encounter this problem? Can you suggest anything I can do to get a more accurate reading? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Eek, I definitely didn’t see this on the earlier beta unit firmware. :-/

      Reply
    • Shane replied

      I’ve seen elevation numbers double with elevation corrections enabled once uploaded to the connect website. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that drastically different on the device itself though. Where did you see the elevation difference?

      Reply
    • edwin louie replied

      The elevation errors I wrote about occurred on my daily and weekend routes that I am very familiar with. For example, last weekend I rode with five of my friends who all have the Garmin 500 and after our ride, their total elevation was approximately 2,200′ give or take .5% and my Garmin 510 showed a total elevation of 3,300′. On my daily AM ride that I’ve ridden over a couple of hundred times in the past couple years has only 64′ of climbing. The Garmin 510 shows 250′ to 550′. This is crazy and unacceptable.

      Can anyone advise on how I can get this corrected? Thanks!

      Reply
    • Keith Hatounian replied

      Did you try to run a Garmin software update? When I first plugged in my 510 to check for updates, Garmin had a major SW update waiting.

      I also purchased from Clever Training. I upgraded (or downgraded) my 800 to a 510 for BT support so I don’t have to hard wire to U/L my workouts. I hardly ever used Maps and did not want to spend the money on the 810. So far I am happy with the 510.

      Reply
  81. Greg Hamm

    Hey Ray,
    I love the live tracking feature. You were saying that it does 5 mile segments on the map but does not show laps or anything else. Is this something that Garmin can easily do to include? I would love to have coach see what I’m really doing with my laps data etc. What do you know? Also, how “live” is it? With the garmin fit live tracker it updates about every 10 to 30 seconds on the computer. Is the new set up more real time?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It’s fairly live. Perhaps not under 30 seconds (from heart to coaches computer), but at the same time, there’s little value there in most outdoor situations (indoor might be different, but I suppose that’s what Google Hangouts are for).

      Long term there’s no reason why Garmin couldn’t add support for displaying device laps. I suspect they will eventually.

      Reply
  82. CE Hoxie

    “Live tracking on the Edge 510 is hamstrung by the fact that it has to have a cell phone connected to it.”

    Ray, this review is totally fantastic, thank you.Your above comment is so bang on.

    Reply
  83. James

    As an Edge 500 user, I am wishing for more in terms of training flexibility. Specifically, my wish list for the 510 would be:
    1) More data fields in the training screen(s) that are user definable.
    2) Larger digits in training and in general to be able to better see the data.
    3) The ability to display my power data in all screens, including while training in the same manner, e.g. in WATTS or in ZONES. The 500 only displays power zones in one metric – “Power Zones”. So – I, who do not wish to deal with power numbers (watts) and enjoy the simplicity of ZONES cannot see my power while riding or training in zones if I wish to see a smoothed version, e.g. 3sec or 30sec. For my new Stages power meter – which, per your review, has an oscillation-effect, it is desirable to set my head unit to display power in a smoothed fashion, however, if I want to see the data in zones, I am not able.

    I would appreciate your comments how the Edge 510 unit can address these concerns.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi James-

      I think you get that with the Edge 510:

      1) You get 10 data fields per page, and more pages than I can count.
      2) Much bigger fonts than the 500, much much bigger.
      3) The data field ‘Power Zone’ covers this (and you define zones either on the device or on Garmin Connect)

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  84. James

    Thanks for the reply.

    On point 3, the Edge 500 give s me what you are describing, it , however only has ONE field that can be selected from the list of available fields that will DISPLAY your power in ZONES relative to the Zones you setup. That metric is instantaneous power and indeed it displays as “2.4″ or “3.1″, etc.

    The problem with this is that you cannot display your power in other ways, such as 3-second power or 30-second power, or average power, or maximum power in ZONE format, only in watts. So for the user who desires to work exclusively with ZONE numbers and thus enjoy that simplicity and focus (Z1, Z2, Z3, etc.) instead of needing to remember ob-obscure, larger and possibly changing number in watts is impossible.

    If the Edge 510 lets the user select how EACH metric is displayed, zone or watt then that is what I (others) want.

    Advise and thank you.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Ok, gotchya, That makes sense, I understand what you’re saying now. I’ll pass it along, and agree it makes complete sense.

      Reply
  85. 604Yarks

    I’m a novice road rider, looking to ramp-up my rides for fitness, and training to get into some entry-level racing. Based on the above (and the fact that I don’t have a smartphone that would run the integration), it sounds like the 500 (rather than the 510) is the unit for me. Would you concur?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, I’d definitely agree the 500 makes more sense. Enjoy!

      Reply
  86. James

    Just a follow up to your comment regarding my quandary as to how I can train completely with power using my per-defined ZONES as the basis for my training – to include all metrics that reference power.

    It would seem so very logical that Garmin would understand this, after all, they have embraced ZONES on the Edge units to include Speed/Hrt/Power – so why not let the user select the units they wish to display their metrics in?

    I presume when you say “I will pass it along” you mean that you will forward my wish list to Garmin? …and, further, to the point – that the new Edge 510 (or even the 810) will NOT allow users to work with power metrics in Zone units, except the one “Power Zone”. Correct?

    It’s hard to fathom that I am the only one with such a complaint!

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, I’ll pass it along the next time we discuss the 510/810 (pretty frequently).

      And correct, the only fields that it has today are the ones noted in the review. Which does not allow for additional zone-based metrics today.

      Reply
  87. Brent

    Thank you for the great review. I have used your review to set-up my device. Garmin should pay you for covering for the inadequate manual.

    I have one question. You always indicate that we should re zero the power meter after 10 – 15 minutes. Is there a method for doing this without ending a ride (like i have to on my motoactv).

    For the 510 i have received compared to my motoactv it has some good and bad points. Lots of user defined screens is good as when you have a few ant+ items the motoactv just did not have enough displayable items at one time and you just simply ran out.

    I actually hate the bike profiles things from the way i think it works. I have 10 bikes some of which may or may not have ant+ speed sensors or 3 are usable with or without a power meter. Those 3 bikes will require 6 profiles to programme due to different speed/cadence sensors. With my motoactv i just hopped on and rode and it picked up whatever was transmitting. No profiles to programme and no selecting the correct bike.
    The motoactv has much better touch sensitivity. I suppose the motoactv would struggle if i had a different wheel diameter with speed sensor but i only use them on road bikes.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, on the 510 you can do it at any time (whether recording or otherwise), via the Bike Profiles, then Power Meter and then ‘Calibrate’ button.

      Reply
  88. RayG

    But do you still need to go through the annoying sequence of 10 button presses to calibrate/zero your PM, like you do with the 500? And then there’s the six presses of ‘back’ after the zeroing is complete. For something you need to do once or twice every ride…

    I read the manual. It gives a couple of steps but then says ‘follow the on-screen prompts’, which could mean anything.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, essentially. :-/

      I guess I’ve just gotten used to it. Usually do one pre-ride, and then one about 10-15 minutes in.

      Reply
  89. FYI. I got a 510 about a month ago. I suspected something was not quite right with the power data recording on the edge 510. So, I raced a local A-Grade crit here in Melbourne last Sunday and road with both an Edge 500 and Edge 510 connected to the SAME power meter. Both the 500 & 510 were setup to record every second.

    Average power as recorded by the Edge 500 = 283 Watts for the hour
    Average Power as recorded by the Edge 510 = 262 Watts for the same hour

    These averages were computed by analysis software on my PC after the race from the raw FIT files.

    Other tests I’ve run show the 510 mysteriously recording the wrong power for short durations (records about ½ the known power output). I uploaded the latest firmware, same problem.

    Reply
  90. Paul Cox

    Can anyone help me with this?

    I have my HR zones as follows:

    Zone 1 0-120
    Zone 2 120-150
    Zone 3 150-160
    Zone 4 160-180
    Zone 5 180-200

    With the zones above I got an Ave HR z of 2.92. Does this mean an Ave HR of almost 150 or was I in Zone 2 most of that time?

    Does my Max HR z of 4.2 mean a Max HR of around 165?

    On my Polar HRM I establish zones and it tells me how much time I spent in each zone. Does this “z” mean anything along these lines?

    Thanks for any help!

    Reply
  91. Mike Finlayson

    I just bought a 510, but have been using 500 for while. Data from the latter I download with USB to Garmin Training Center. Can I do the same with data from 510?
    Thx and thank you much for a terrific review, Mike

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No problems downloading to GTC via USB.

      Reply
  92. Jake

    GREAT review and very timely for me! Getting ready to pick up my first GPS to use on mountain and cyclocross bikes, for both training rides and racing. Thought I’d go with the 510, but after seeing the size and reading your review, I’ll save money and get the 500.

    Like many others have stated, Garmin would be smart to upgrade the 500 with a similar sized unit making improvements to the most common requests/complaints (course/routes, profiles) For me, the bigger units like 510/810/800 are simply too big for a typical stem mount … really prefer the size/form factor of the 500 unit!

    Reply
  93. Another great review. Only one part confused me:

    “At $75-$125 more, that means you could simply pickup a ANT+ adapter can get the same functionality for between $40 and $60 on your cell phone (from Garmin no less!).”

    Can you explain what you mean by this? I don’t understand your point, the way it’s written.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Meaning, you can buy the Garmin Fit iPhone Adapter roughly about $40 these days and get pretty similar functionality. Or, you can use 3rd parties with the Wahoo adapter.

      None of these solutions are as clean overall as the Edge 510/810 solution, but, they do work for substantially less.

      Reply
  94. vonKlepper

    This is such an amazing review! I have not had the time to read through every paragraph and section but I can’t tell you the last time I scrolled as long as I did to get to this comment box. :b

    Huge Kudos

    Reply
  95. Got 510, after running for a week – i’m shocked with the number of bugs, including race data loss. How could they release such unmature product?

    Reply
    • Keith Hatounian replied

      Welcome to the world of Garmin. I have been a Garmin user for many years (5 GPS upgrades for the car and my 3rd Edge for the bikes). I seem to go through this every time I buy a new Garmin model. Early adopters seem to be getting Beta software and then Garmin fixes the annoying bugs through software updates over time, or sometimes never. It seems like it took forever for Garmin to fix my Edge 800 crash and reboot problem which finally went away after one of the recent SW updates. I work for a very large computer company and am technically savvy so it’s not user error. I like the 510, but also hope for a software update soon.

      Reply
    • Oleksiy replied

      Yeah, i carry 500 now just a back up. Tree years ago it was buggy as well. But c’mon its not a rocket science, cant be so hard to catch on test what 30sec average VAM show zero all the time!

      Reply
  96. megss

    I had been using the 205 model for a few years. I loved it except I started having an awful time with the Garmin “blanking out” when I would hit bumps in the street. I would lose all the info as I rode. I would restart it ok and it would keep going off if I hit some cracks in the street.
    Has Garmin improved or added any anti-vibration features to the 510 model?
    Thank you for a great review!
    megss

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No issues at all in that respect. If you look at timeline wise, the FR205/305 was really from about 6+ years ago now.

      And, even then, I never had any blanking out type issues with my FR205/305′s either. That said, I haven’t heard of anyone having that specific issue on the 510 (or even the 500).

      Reply
  97. megss

    Follow up! Sorry on my last post I ment to say I have been using the 305 model.

    Reply
  98. Brent

    I have only had 2 rides so far but on the second i encountered a significant bug. Halfway through a ride all of my ant+ connections stopped (speedcadence/hr/power) and could not be reconnected on the fly. After the ride i turned the computer off and back on. Still no luck as the bike profile had forgotten the sensors completely so i had to re programme them. From forum posts i can see that something similar is common enough. Would be very annoying if it happened most of the way through a long interval, race or mountain climb.

    Reply
  99. Bruce Smith

    I bought a 510 in the first Amazon release and have been using it virtually every day on an indoor trainer — a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll. Already had an Edge 500 so comparisons are from actual experience:

    1. The touch screen is exactly as you say: not better, just different. There’s too much lag between touch and response and swiping is imprecise. Concluded that I much prefer the button system on the Edge 500.
    2. You didn’t mention all the darned notification screens you get when starting the 510 — separate screens (which don’t automatically disappear quickly) for HRM, speed/cadence sensor, GPS, phone connection, motion detected (!) and timer started. These screens are NOT optional and cannot be disabled. I hate them!
    3. I really dislike that there’s no manual “pause” function. Auto pause works fine but there are lots of times when I’d like to pause the timer without being immobile. IMO a HUGE oversight on Garmin’s part.

    All-in-all I don’t think the 510 is any improvement over the 500. In some important ways it’s a actually a step back.

    BTW, I don’t agree with your comment about speed being irrelevant on a stationary trainer. On the Kurt Kenetic speed is directly correlated to power (Kurt has documentation on their website). There’s no way you can ‘make the speed anything you want’ on the Kurt. You can change gears to exert less effort but your speed will drop, too. I thought I read somewhere that you actually use Kurt trainers so I’m kind of at a loss to understand what you meant!

    Anyway, thanks for your (always) thorough reviews. Overkill sometimes. The Girl must be very patient.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Bruce-

      2) Indeed, the connection notification items drive me crazy. I was initially told this was a pre-release bug, but it hasn’t gone away for me. I’ll play whack-a-mole on this while I’m out visiting them next month in person.

      3) You can pause at any time just by pressing the bottom right button. I do it all the time (stoplights/etc…).

      Correct on the Kurt Kinetic, as that’s a fluid based trainer. For mag trainers, or resistance controlled trainers – it’s nebulous.

      P.S. Yes, she’s very patient. :)

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  100. Joe

    Thanks for the in-depth review! I’m looking at getting my first Garmin. With these new units, the cost of the 800 has dropped so I could get a used 800 for the price of a new 510…what would be your recommendation? One thing I’m not clear on: I know the 510 doesn’t show a map, but when you load a route and ride it, does it show you traveling along that route? I miss turns all the time riding out in the country, so I need something to tell me when to turn. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      If you use mapping a lot, then go with the 800 for the cheaper price. If you tend to ride the same courses over and over again, go for the 500/510.

      While the 510 doesn’t show a map as you noted, it will show the breadcrumb trail and your location on said breadcrumb trail. You can see a few pictures of that within the section above titled “Search and download courses/routes” – about half-way through that section I show the course loaded onto the Edge 510. Enjoy!

      Reply
  101. megss

    One more question for you. On my old 305 model, it came with software for downloading and tracking my rides. With the 500 or 510 do you just download to the Strava site to view your information? Or does it come with its own software? I have to make a decision this week on one of the models..this can be very confusing!
    Thanks again!
    megss

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You can use the 500/510 with Garmin Training Center (locally installed on computer, old and clunky), with Garmin Connect online (seen in this review), or with the Garmin Connect app on iPhone/Android.

      Most folks will at least initially use the Garmin Connect app – and then tend to download/upload the data to other sites like Strava, Training Peaks, etc…

      Reply
  102. Xavier

    Do you know if you need to keep the GPS activated on the PHONE for live tracking to work? I’m thinking not, but wanted to check. Advantage of this is that the battery of the phone would last way longer if you can turn it off while riding, only leaving mobile data on. I know you use an iPhone, it’d be interesting to see how Live Tracking works when you have an Android with a battery saving app on it (one that turns data off on regular intervals to save battery).

    Also, do you need to always sync to the phone before a ride or does it automatically sync when you turn on the 510 if you have Bluetooth activated on the phone?

    Yes, I’m big on battery saving for my phone, after all, when I’m riding I want to be able to use my phone for you know, calling people if needed and too many times I haven’t been able to do that because every service needed to be turned on for Strava to work.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, GPS is not needed in an active state on the phone. I haven’t tested on the Android side however with the battery saving option.

      It automatically connects to the phone when you turn on the Edge 510 and have BT activate (on).

      I included some early battery numbers (from December/Jan) in the post to give you a rough idea. It’s a pretty small hit though.

      Reply
  103. Primoz

    I own 510 for a month. I did several analyses to elevation readings on 510. Before I owned 800, so I compared activities/routes done with 800 and now with 510.

    The distance comparison is o.k., matches almost the same result with both devices. Phe problem seems to be inelevation gain. 510 records at the same route app 10% higher gain than 800. Just my short observation from today’s ride at excatly tjhe same route.
    edge 800…830 m of ascent
    edge 510…930 m of acsent

    Anyone else facing higher elevation gain numbers on 510???

    Reply
  104. Kellen

    You missed “HR – Last Lap” in your available data fields chart. Perhaps you missed more too, I didn’t do a full audit.

    Great review! You always do a great job. Thanks!

    Reply
  105. Simone

    Hi Ray, first of all congratulation for your website, and than i can say, after a 510 test with Quarq PM, that it’s confermed the bug in data recording.
    If you analyse for example a couple of minutes steady effort you can see 2 second half power drops that appear once, twice or three times in a minute.
    I think 510 it’s completely useless for power training in this moment.
    A fast fix it’s absolutely needed.
    A bientot!

    Reply
    • Harry Hanley replied

      Spot on Simone, it’s a non-product until this is fixed. The same issue is apparently present in the 810 as well.

      link to forums.garmin.com

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, I agree. It sucks. A lot. I’ve been applying as much pressure as I can behind the scenes on them to fix it. I think they’re close.

      I’ve stopped using mine since the bug became clear back in late January.

      Reply
  106. I am getting a bit weary at battling a bit to get my Joule 2.0 stuff downloaded. It seems more difficult than it ought to be. For that reason, and, in that I am looking at purchasing a second bike where I will not have a power meter. The 510 looks appealing.

    However, your review raises a couple of questions. I have always liked Garmin Training Center. Can I download directly to that and also to Training Peaks Device Agent to get my stuff into TP?

    If I am not interested in cadence data (my PowerTap provides a reasonable facsimile and I don’t care about it when I purchase a new bike) is there any reason to by the cadence/speed unit?

    As always, I enjoy reading your great stuff and apologize if I missed the answer to these questions in your review – I thought I read it fairly thoroughly.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hey Al!

      Yes, no problems downloading the Edge 510 into GTC. And then no problems uploading directly to TP using the Device Agent (it’s what I do).

      No need for speed/cadence data with the PowerTap hub. For 99% of cadence scenarios, the PT hub does it perfectly. It’s really only had very high cadences (i.e. 150+RPM) with quick shifts in power downwards that you see some slight variances on the PT hub. But for day to day riding at normal cadence values (50-125), you’re more than good.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
    • Brent replied

      With the GPS i only use a speed cadence meter on the bikes i use for mountain and steep hill climbs. I have found gps units (particularly my phone and motoactv) to be very poor at measuring speed on steep grades (talking > 8%). The is a mountain near me which averages 11.5% for 6.5 km and i found i motoactv to be showing only about 50% of my actual speed.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, the Motoactv’s GPS smoothing algorithms unfortunately aren’t the pinnacle of GPS engineering achievement. And cell’s are much much worse.

      Reply
  107. Hello! Firstly congratulations on the post, helped me a lot in buying deo edge 510.
    I’m from Brazil.
    I would like to report what happened to me this weekend. I made a trail and during a downhill sloping called my GOPRO for filming.
    GOPRO EDGE and 510 are installed in the cockpit of the bike.
    By connecting the GoPro after about 2 minutes the GPS lost the signal. I thought it was a little interference. However persisted. I stopped and turned off the GOPRO waited a bit and the signal set. I called ahead to GOPRO again and the problem appeared again. When the sign hung ourselves.
    So I made this connection and GOPRO GARMIN and do not know how far this can be real and true.

    Reply
  108. Tony D

    Thanks for the great review. My buddies all have the 500 and I was thinking about getting one until I heard that the 510 was out. After much research (much of which was done right here!) I decided to go ahead and get the 510 with the hopes that future firmware updates will correct some of the noted shortcomings. Considering that the 510 bundle came with 2 ‘regular’ bike mounts, 1 heads up bike mount, premium heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor, wall charger, usb cable and all of the other associated parts/pieces, it wasn’t much more than the 500 with the same accessories.

    Reply
  109. hi

    thanks for great review , because of you I’m poor now and happy :)
    Have big problem what to get polar vs garmin this review helps me a lot- thx for your time.

    tested today gps and hrm no issues at all , didn’t try yet speed / cadence sensor no point on my mtb.

    Thanks for big help and good luck.

    from today test

    link to connect.garmin.com

    p.s

    why you need live tracking ? some people asking ble ble ble …….extra gadget ?? not really

    It is easy if you going on the training alone and you crash – (today was -2 and snow) will be good idea to turn on this before and have some one who know you last location . :)

    so far happy owner of 510
    Dariusz

    Reply
  110. Simone

    I think that the only customers satisfied of Garmin 510 are NON powermeter users.
    So my new garmin 510 has been my unexpected easter present for my girlfriend, who just trains with HR….

    Reply
    • Keith Hatounian replied

      I have been using the 510 with the CycleOps PowerCal (Power and HR) and it has been working great for 6 weeks of almost daily use since the first pairing. Whatever your opinion of the PowerCal it is sending normal power data to the 510 over Ant+. I had a small issue pairing when I first installed the PowerCal. I deleted all previous sensors from the 510 and made sure I paired the PowerCal and speed/cadence sensor away from all my other fitness gear that may have interfered. It has worked every ride since, never dropped the connection or had other issues I have read about here.

      link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
  111. peter

    I looked forward to the new 510 but am somewhat disappointed.
    I have a quarq power meter and a garmin HR strap.. The power meter is detected but the cadence from the quarg and the HR is not detected.. I restarted the unit and found that it immediately discovered the HR but when i went into bike profiles it wouldnt recognize the HR or the cadence.. grrr
    My old 705 still can pair with all ANT+ devices… Any work arounds?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that sounds odd. I’ve got a Quarq (older one) as well, and there’s no issues there. In the case of the Quarq, if you get power, you’ve got cadence data there somewhere. The reason is the Quarq MUST have the cadence magnet present to get power information, so that rules out the case of the magnet falling/breaking off.

      It almost sounds like something is either up with the unit (try a soft reset), or the device profile. Try creating a new bike and see if that resolves it.

      Reply
  112. Roger

    Thanks for the review, bought the 510 as my 1st foray into bike computers and thanks to your review i dont need to read the manual to learn how to use it ;)

    Actually now I think about it I bought the Nike Sportswatch for running because of your site too.

    Only thing that annoys me about Live tracking on the Garmin is the Expired link if someone clicks after you’ve finished your ride, why don’t they link that person to the completed ride so the person knows you finished and are back home?

    Reply
  113. Khaled

    Every time I Google an issue or an enquiry which is related to my new Garmin 510, your article/review comes first on the Google result.

    I have to say that your review is the most useful reviews I have ever seen.

    I never leave feedbacks when it comes to reviews or articles, but I had to say ‘Thank you’ for the great effort put into this article.

    You’ve answered all of the three or four questions I have about this new GPS.

    Thanks again mate.

    Reply
  114. Henry Svendblad

    Thanks for the review Ray. I went against your recommendation and bought the 510 as an “upgrade” from my 800. I rarely used the routing feature on my 800 and I felt the improved sharpness, fields, and touch of the screen, along with all the features of the 810 minus routing, plus the smaller size made it worth it for me. I’ve used a 500 and the navigation, screen, and fields were not enough for me… Unfortunately, what your review did not find where the numerous BUGS in the 510 which make it frustrating at best to use and mostly useless for any serious training. Since you are meeting with Garmin and since they might be paying more attention here then on their own support forum AND for the benefit of those considering a 510, I’d like to share those with you here:

    Crashing, slow screens, elevation screen changes, no lap summary
    It seems to crash like an old Window 98 PC. I had it hang on the map screen on my first ride using the course feature. I had to hold down the power button to get it to start working again. As a result of “hard booting” I lost some of the details (~30 minutes) of an important training ride. It is really slow moving between screens: data, elevation, map (painting the map takes forever and you have to zoom in or out to get it working, sometimes…), It also doesn’t really “show” you where you are on elevation for a given course (like the 800 did). I like to use course elevation in races and some rides to “look ahead” in terms of elevation changes. I think I figured out where to look on the screen, for where you are at the moment, but it’s not like the 800 where you could easily tell… Also, the Lap Summary page on the 800 is not available on the 510, this is a big disappointment and seems like it could easily be included.

    Power Display/Recording Issues
    For my power training rides (CyleOps Powertap) I’ve also noticed that I’ll have a few spikes down in displayed AND recorded power that are NOT technically happening, cadence and speed are constant and you’ll see a sudden dip (eg 300 to 100) in power for 1 second, even on the display it does a similar spike and I look at 3 second average power (which makes no sense). I’ve seen Garmin accepted this as a bug on their support forum (the display part of it, no word on the data recorded). I did a ride with both my 800 and my 510, and sure enough power is 1-2% lower on the 510, for my intervals and Critical Power under 1 minute is way off. Not good!

    Alerts
    The alerts, are annoying as hell in how they show up on screen. I didn’t like alerts much on the 800 but it they’ve made them even worse because they dim the whole screen. So, for some of my power intervals, I can’t see what I’m doing because I either went too high or too low, haven’t cleared the alerts, and the whole screen is dimmed. It’s a pain in the ass. On one ride it was even worse, I would get these weather alerts, whole screen would black out, happend about 50 times. I don’t really care that there is a HIGH FIRE DANGER when it’s 70 degrees and perfect outside and why do you need to tell me 50 times? Useless….

    Workouts
    Once you start a ride I can’t figure out how to start a “workout” or do another “workout”. On the 800 you can start a workout in the middle of a ride then do another one. The only thing the 800 would do is start a new lap. Doesn’t work that way anymore. You have to start a workout at the beginning or start a whole new ride when you want to do two workouts. I wasn’t thrilled with the way this worked on the 800, AutoPause would not work, and Garmin would stop when the Workout started or ended. This should be configurable.

    Finally, I saw on the support forum that disabling Bluetooth might fix a few of the recording issues. I’m going to give that a shot but that sort of defeats all of the benefits of the 510. HELP! THANKS!!

    Reply
  115. Marc

    For those longing for a streamlined way to integrate Strava with Garmin sans a computer connection, I ran across http://www.garminsync.com. I haven’t tried it personally, so user beware, but it claims to sync your garmin actives from gc to run keeper or strava.

    Reply
    • Charlie R replied

      I purchased a 510 this weekend only down to finding Garminsync.com I have been looking for a way to update my rides to strava whilst away from home.
      Problem I have hit is that if I lost my 500 whilst away I would lose a weeks worth of personally important data. I generally upload after each ride and would be gutted to lose the biggest week of the year (Marmotte+TT, Etape, Ventoux Cingles).
      I have worked out the long winded route to upload with 510 to GConnect, then download it to iphone and email to strava which does the job. However using garmin sync you only give them one ride and everything uploaded to GConnect is reflected into your strava account within 30 mins.

      I dont like the idea of using my phone as my GPS for a few reasons, it kills the battery, the GPS is a bit iffy and I cant read it when in my pocket! Plus the ANT+ dongle doesn’t fit when its in my waterproof case. I wouldn’t want it mounted on the bars either.

      The 510 seemed the better and cheaper option over trying to take a laptop away to france with me.
      Having picked up the 510 I must be honest, the bike selection and activity selection are fantastic. I now have screens for training, racing and TT’s and I may actually change the bike rather than leave it on the default all the time and update on strava!!!

      Reply
    • Peter Lester replied

      The Edge 510 + http://www.garminsync.com work beautifully together to get data to Strava. The Edge 510 automatically uploads my ride data (via my phone) to Garmin Connect and http://www.garminsync.com automatically syncs all new Garmin connect activity to Strava. ~15 minutes after every ride my data is in Strava – w/o any taking the Edge of the bike, plugin it into a laptop, etc. That’s the feature that justified the price difference vs. the Edge 500

      Reply
  116. Jose

    I’ve been trying to set tone alerts primarily for my heart rate, but I don’t hear them when I reach my high target zone, which has also been set. the tone alert is on and I just can’t figure out how to set it. Please if you can help me with this I would appreciate it. Also, on the backlight I also set it to stay on all the time, but after a few seconds, it shuts down, then it comes back on its own. I just want it to stay on all the time. I have no idea why it keeps doing this as well. Again I’d appreciate advise on both of these issues, as to every thing else I’m very happy with the unit! Thanks , Jose

    Reply
  117. Mark Rodgers

    Hey, thanks for you great review. I just switched from an Edge 305 to the 510. Do you know if there is is way to make your own data page? I can’t even find an average speed listed? Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, check out the Data Fields section above for creating your own data pages. Enjoy!

      Reply
    • acb replied

      When you go into the data fields screen on the device, set the number of windows you want displayed (dont worry about what’s in them for this bit), then click the tick, then click on the window which you want to change the data type, then choose your data type from the menu.

      Reply
  118. Xavier

    I thought you might want to know, I experienced the “push” weather alerts, in my case a winter watch while doing a ride, however, its REALLY annoying as it pushed the same alert at least 5 times during my hour and a half long ride and its the kind of notification that you have to click to remove from the screen, something I’m not keen of doing while being on the drops. So everytime the alert was there, you have to acknowledge it if you want to keep looking at your data fields, annoying as it can be.

    Reply
  119. Jason

    DC, I have a question regarding the the display. I can only get the 510 to time elapsed, speed distance, time of day and calories. How do I get rid of the time of day and calories to show Heart Rate and Cadence. I see you show it on one of your displays and even in the Quick Start Manual. I have played around with it, but no luck getting it to change to display as mentioned earlier. Any advice you can give? Thank you for the reviews they are so beneficial.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Jason, here’s how:

      1) Press the little Wrench/Screwdriver icon (Settings)
      2) Activity Profiles
      3) Train (or race, whichever you’d like)
      4) Training Pages
      5) Page 2 (or any page # you’d like)
      6) Click Enabled to Yes
      7) Click the Checkbox in lower right corner
      8) Select a data field (any of the three on the screen), start with the top
      9) Choose Category of ‘Cadence’, then choose Cadence again for instant cadence.
      10) Now back on the three data fields, choose the middle one, then Heart Rate, then Heart Rate again (for instant as opposed to averages/etc…).
      11) Rinse…repeat.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  120. Rodrigo

    Great review as always.Spent 2 hours reading the 810 & 510 ones.
    I currently use runtastisc cycling on my bike running on my iPhone.The reason I like runtastisc is because I have an option to keep the screen always on.I know this will drain my battery fast but strava goes to sleep mode and its annoying to me.I have a waterproof bike console which is pretty good.Runtastic gives me everything I need however all my mates are on strava so what I do is to start both apps at the same time but as said I always end my 2/3 hours ride with – than 20% battery.Recently I start thinking of purchasing the Garmim instead, but the 810 is very pricey, so for my use I was considering the 510.However if I will keep my iPhone running on my pocket it may be the same issue as well uploading visible maps.What are you thoughts on both
    devices for me?BTW your sticker has just arrived.Ive ordered back in November 2012.Didnt even remember.lol

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Funny on the sticker. I just got back one today that I sent in January. No idea where it went, or why it took three months to fail back to me. :-/

      It depends. If you’re using the iPhone primarily for data support, then the 510 is probably perfect. If however, you’re using the iPhone primarily for mapping support (turn by turn directions), then the 810 is definitely a better fit.

      If you’re like me, and mostly use it for data and want to check the odd direction, then do what I do – which is bike computer up front and iPhone in pocket for quick directional checks when I need it.

      Reply
  121. Rodrigo

    Great, thanks for your help.I do not use the turn by turn maps at all but that is something that I want starting doing hence why I was looking it.I did downloaded an app called MotionX-GPS and found hundreds of maps which I have already uploaded to the app.maybe the 800 is an good option.I’m soooo confused.
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Edge 800 and 810 are the same from a mapping standpoint, so it’s mostly connectivity and price as the differences.

      It sounds like you’re looking for true on-device mapping. In which case, go with the Edge 800 or 810, but read the details at the end of my 810 review to decide which makes sense.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  122. Mike

    Ray –
    Thanks again for the great review.

    I am a long-time lurker, and infrequent poster. And by infrequent, I mean never.

    I know you run a Quarq power meter, but I run an SRM (not the place for that discussion….). I will try and keep the next bit brief.

    As you are aware, with your Quarq you need to set the “zero offset value” to establish proper power data. Same with an SRM.

    With the SRM power meter, there is an “innovative” auto calibrate feature that kicks in and established a new zero offset value while you are riding, and without the rider having to do a “manual” zero offset using the head unit. Basically it happens when you coast for 3 seconds.

    ON an SRM Head unit (the power control 7, for instance) you can disable this “innovative” feature. Many people do, because it is not that reliable.

    With the EDGE 500 and EDGE 510 you cannot disable this auto calibrate feature – i.e. you have to accept that the unit will automatically calibrate the zero offset.

    Anyway, I brought this issue to Garmin’s attention and they seem to dismiss it as trivial without even understanding the issue.

    I spend good money on a SRM (which I really like) but I cannot run a Garmin head unit because the people there don’t seem to care about the quality of the power data.

    I am a little frustrated, and I have kept this brief but maybe you are aware of others with the same issue and we can form a support group 

    Cheers,
    VC

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Thanks VC. We did actually discuss this a couple weeks ago when I was in Kansas. It was part of the entire discussion around setting Autozero points and what-not. I can’t promise anything, but I can say that they are at least listening…

      Reply
  123. bob arnot

    I have been a huge Garmin fan having bought lots of the airplane, nautical and cycling units. I was shocked they ever released the 510 or 810. It appears they use a random number generator instead of measuring speed or wattage. With my SRM cycling system, the 800 had worked flawlessly. The 510 on a steady climb under steady power will read with a few seconds: 197 405 352 212 It’s just infuriating. The screen is impossible to see without direct overhead sunlight. The menus are counter intuitive and make little sense. Clearly the designers have never owned a Mac or other apple product. I used the 510 for a stand up surfing race. Again, at a constant speed, the speed read 4.1 5.6 6.2 3.7 all within a few seconds. It seems remarkable that Garmin released to product without any apparent testing. I’d return mine but there seems to be greater satisfaction in just throwing it in my pond.

    Reply
  124. You said “you can pull up a compass at any time.” But where I saw that mentioned, you didn’t say how to do that. I can’t find that feature and I’ve spent a couple hours looking for it. As for the maps, I really don’t use those. I just want easy access to long/lat coordinates. Also, it rang me up for 1,000 feet of climbing as I did a fairly short ride down the beach… I’m less than impressed so far.

    Reply
    • Nigh Brewer replied

      I continue to use the 510 and it seems to be working fine with a few exceptions:

      Exception #1: Track Me Feature is ok at best. People tracking me complain about not seeing updates regularly. The tracking will get stuck at a point for a while or not record the last part of my ride. I’ll come home for a ride and end the ride on the 510 but my wife will still show me the tracking web site and it shows I’m miles away.

      Exception #2: Swipping the screen to go to the different data screens on the 510 is a pain. It takes multiple tries and is distracting from the ride.

      Exception #3: I did a century ride and it was unable to upload the data. I reported this to Garmin and gave them the file. I hope they resolve this.

      Exception #4: The battery using the tracking feature does not last anywhere near as long as the 500. I must charge this after every couple of rides.

      Reply
  125. I’ve rode over 300 miles with the 510 and I feel the unit compared to my old 500 is in need of some firmware upgrades that will fix issues that are intolerable. For example: weather warnings are useless and dangerously distracting. Who need to have an alert every 10 mins that there is a fire warning in California when I’m in city? Also Bluetooth connections to my iPhone disconnect regularly and require my to take out my iPhone and click allow. The new feature of allowing people to track your ride lags. I typically finish a ride and my wife shows me that the tracking shows that I’m still 3 miles from the house. I hope that a few firmware revs should make this what is marketing.

    Still I like the unit and when compared to what’s on the market this still seems preemptive.

    Reply
    • Night brewer replied

      I updated the firmware to 2.5 and headed out today on a century ride. Some things have improved with the update but still more work is needed.

      1. Eight and a half hour ride today was able to work with “Follow me” feature but this brought my 510 to 8% battery charge left and less than 10% charge on my iPhone 5.

      2. Bluetooth connect seems to work as expected now. Thanks.

      3. Problems precist with updating the the viewers map with “Follow me”. Some times the ride could take 5 mins before there is an update. This may be an issue with T-Mobiles poor coverage in the Bay Area (still better than AT&T).

      4.biggest grip is switching screens by swiping the screen. Very irratic behavior.

      5. Weather alerts have been turned off per the iPhone garmin app.

      Good improvements with the update but I hope it continues to improve with 2.6.

      Reply
  126. dmac

    I have two SRMs and one Quarq and had no issues with my 800 until I lost it. I’m considering the 510, but my only concern is all of the issues that I am reading about regarding irregular and dropped power data.

    Do you know if this can be fixed with a firmware update and if Garmin has any plans to pursue this problem. What are you recommending to people who have a training plan based on power? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Garmin released a firmware update on Tuesday that in theory addresses it. I’m still evaluating it to ensure it does what it says (so far, so good).

      Reply
  127. Keith Hatounian

    Updated my 510 with version 2.50 that arrived last week. After the update I started having the dropped sensor and fluctuating power issues that many have complained about. I just did a full factory reset and cleared all settings & data. Hopefully this helps. I hate when new Garmin hardware products are released because basic usability issues seem to be the norm every time. What would be helpful is if Garmin built an Edge setup tool in one of their apps so that that I use the touch screen as little as possible. I hate factory resets and trying to get the Edge setup again typing in the slow interface.

    Reply
    • Keith Hatounian replied

      Very frustrating. After 2.50 Firmware update my PowerCal strap now has issues with the 510. It has worked great for ~2 months. After Firmware update the 510 no longer sees heart rate from the PowerCal. I completely reset the 510, new bike profile searched for sensors, deleted bike profile, created a new profile and searched again, took battery out of the PowerCal for 10 minutes and put in a new battery. 510 sees power from the PowerCal, but no heart rate. Sheesh, I would rather be riding my bike.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Just a quick question – did you also manually re-pair the HR strap by itself within the separate HR strap section?

      Reply
    • Brent replied

      This sounds similair to the motoactv. It will only pair the powercal as HR or Power. Not both. Whichever it has been paired with first it will not see the other. Probably due to them having the same ant+ number for both HR and power. I would try and unpair the power and see if HR will then pair. If so that would be the problem.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      See below (got out of sequence on threading), looks like a restart fixed it. I do agree with your assumptions on the Motoactv and sharing the same ANT+ ID. In fact, I remember a few similar quirks like that before as well with the Motoactv.

      Reply
  128. Keith Hatounian

    Yes I did after the initial firmware update, but it did not show up for some reason. I had been wearing it for 15min so I am sure the strap was powered on. I just went back and reset to factory settings again, removed the battery from the PowerCal and did not connect the 510 to my computer this time to be sure I was not restoring any old junk. Now it shows up and seems to be working. Oh well I can’t explain it. Are there sun spots this week?

    Reply
  129. Peter

    Two things about the 510. I have been using it for about a month outside. The size being bigger is very nice if you wear glasses. The size makes it easier to read the display over the 500′s size. The other thing I like is when you hit the pause button (at stoplight) (I don’t use auto pause) it brings up a screen that says save or discard the ride. So when you start up again you notice you forgot to start it pretty quickly. Small thing but i used to loose 3-4 miles on a 62 mile ride by forgetting. Not sure these two things are worth the extra money but they are nice.

    Reply
  130. Phil

    Great review. My wife is a triathlete and I’m a cyclist (and resident tech monkey) so I follow your reviews and this site with great interest – first stop when considering new products. We are going through upgrades and I’d been using my iphone 4S with cyclemeter to track rides and want to add HR (had been using an older Polar watch) and speed/cadence (again using an older Cateye Strada double wireless) so basically non of this is integrated (funny how my wife gets a new 405 and now 910xt and I get the hand me downs!). It will be nice to be able to see data and also record it all which is currently not happening. So I have a few decisions to make involving not just “head units” but also BT vs ANT.

    I’d been holding off on either the 500/510 (and ANT) or sticking with the iPhone and mount plus BT (wahoo). The one issue I have with the iPhone mount is that to see the data all the time I have to lock the screen on and the battery life is really reduced. Plus the size of it. I’d more or less settled on the 500/510 and the 510 does not appear to add much functionality to justify the price differential. However, I’m wondering how the 500/510 compare to the Wahoo RFLKT which seems to really add to my iPhone setup what I want – real time display of all the cyclemeter fields with reasonable battery life and in a smaller package (i always have my phone but can take it off the handlebars). The wahoo setup all in certainly is less expensive and they appear to be pretty aggressive with updates/compatibility with apps, etc….

    Reply
  131. Rick Van Tuyl

    Great review. I just bought the 510 because of the live tracking. I have a Quarq PM. I’m going to use it in races. That being said, how would you you it for a Tri? Start everything in T1 (Garmin and phone with live tracking) and then hit the start button when you start to ride? Then what would you do when you take it for the run? Hit the lap button? Just trying to figure this out for my wife to follow me. Thanks for the reply and keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, exactly.

      What I do (as I generally race with a separate Edge on my bike as well) is get everything all turned on beforehand. Ensure that it has satellite lock in the location and validate that all the sensors are working (quick and easy).

      That way, if it turns off due to power save, I simply turn it on as the very first task when I arrive in transition. That takes perhaps 2 seconds to press/hold the button on. Then I go back to getting my wetsuit off/helmet on/etc…

      Now, I hadn’t thought through taking it on the run to be honest. It depends a bit on how you want to ‘save’ the data. Personally, i’d reset the activity and start a new one. The reason being that it’s a bit of a pain to splice the data up (not impossible, tools like Golden Cheetah and Sport Tracks can do it just fine), but in general it’s a pain.

      But what you could do is go ahead and stop it when you hit transition, then reset it. After racking your bike and just before you leave (or as you’re running out), go ahead and start a new activity. She’ll get notifed then and can follow that for the run. Obviously, with a little practice you shouldn’t lose any time. For me at least, once I’ve started the run, I can do whatever I’d like with my hands – so you can sort that all out as you’re running that first few hundred meters.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  132. Dino

    Thanks for the great reviews that you always provide! I am upgrading my older Cateye bike computer to either the 510 or 500. I do not have a power meter as of now but plan on getting one in about a years time. My primary focus of training is Ironman. Which unit do you suggest I get? The 510 or 500? Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Honestly, save the cash and go with an Edge 500 – unless you really want the additional online tracking features.

      Reply
  133. Update

    The Track Me function has about. 30% success rate with me. I just did a 55 minute rides on the BayArea and my wife saw nothing. Garmin needs to improve this function or resign to the fact that the 500 delivers on its promise where the 510 doesn’t.

    Reply
  134. Edward

    Just a quick query in relation to the Virtual Partner / Virtual Racer features:

    * With virtual Partner, am I correct in thinking that the Virtual Partner keeps on cycling even if you are stationary (eg stuck at traffic lights or stop for a “comfort break”)? That makes the feature a LOT less useful than it would otherwise be. The VP really should recognise that you are stationary and only continue when you are actually moving – otherwise, it’s a bit pointless. I know that on my commute home my average speed (when moving) is 15.2mph, but the VP does not help me beat that time if he continues cycling whilst I am stuck at a traffic light!!

    * How do you activate the Virtual Racer? Is the bext way to download a course which you have previously completed onto the Garmin 810 and then to ride that course? When you do that, does the Virtual Partner automatically becoime the Virtual Racer, or do you have to do something to switch from the VP to the VR?

    Thanks, as ever ….

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      RE: Virtual Partner: You’re assumption is correct. The best bet there is to simply hit pause/stop, and that’ll fix that (you can use Auto Pause to do that for you at lights).

      RE: Virtual Racer: Yup, a previous course/ride is your best bet there

      Reply
  135. robt

    great review of the 510. I have just purchased it and curious to know how you have found the battery life on the 510. Is it truely 20hrs or is this likely to be a lot shorter if you keep the bluetooth on and backlight.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, backlight dramatically impacts it. The best thing to do is to keep the backlight on low – on high you’ll burn through the battery in much less time.

      I don’t have exact numbers on how many hours for low/high with BT enabled unfortunately.

      Reply
  136. Adam

    DC

    Need some help as I was riding using the 510 for the first time I noticed that it went to an autopause and then resumed several times during the ride what maybe causing this and is there a fix

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Any chance you have a speed/cadence sensor on there?

      Reply
  137. Yes there is a speed/cadence sensor

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Any chance the magnet is slightly out of alignment? That could be causing issues where it falsely thinks the speed is lower than it is.

      Reply
    • Adam replied

      Dumb question how would I know if it is out of line

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      All good, it’s valid.

      The easiest way is that if looking at instant speed (say on a trainer, or somewhere else very constant), you’ll see random drops in speed (i.e. 23MPH,23,23,23,12,23,23,23,23,9,..). This is easiest to spot on a trainer because you’ll have GPS disabled.

      Or, just go outside and disable GPS and pick a flat run where you can keep speed constant and watch the speed carefully.

      Alternatively – just move the sensor arm as close as possible. :)

      Reply
  138. Andrew

    Thanks Ray, great as always.

    Reply
  139. Mike Fahy

    I continue to have problems with my 510/Iphone4s connection. The 510 times out or simply decides to disconnect itself from the Iphone, out of the blue. I have replaced the Iphone and reloaded the Garmin app,
    but the problem persists. When I set the LiveTrack, it goes through all of the functions, and looks ready to go, then it drops the contact. The information is stored in the 510, but I have to manually hard wire it to the 510. Have you heard of any similar issues? I am ready to return the 510 to Garmin for an exchange, but everything else seems to be working fine…

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I haven’t seen that issue, and a quick glance of the forums doesn’t show any recent ones like it (link to forums.garmin.com) – Have you tried contacting Garmin support? Usually they’re pretty good.

      Reply
    • Mike Fahy replied

      After re-installing the app on my IPhone 4S, and spending some quality time with the Garmin Support
      team, and going to the Apple store and exchanging my phone, the 510 was operating well, but periodically would stop communication, via Bluetooth, with the phone. It was only after observing the phone and 510 on my desk that I was able to observe that the phone was still connected…or it thought is was…and the 510 was showing the connection terminated. Finally, Garmin and I decided that the best method was to exchange the unit. I will let you know what happens after the replacement arrives.

      Reply
  140. Keith Hatounian

    I’m still having the 510 Ant+ sensors disconnected issue when starting a ride (not on a consistent basis) with both the Garmin Speed/Cadence and the PowerCal. A reboot of the 510 seems to solve the problem when it happens. No need to re-pair sensors or factory reset the 510. When I finish a ride I save it to my iPhone, pull the 510 to charge it, next ride I pull it off charger and install it on my bike and hit the start button while riding. If I don’t see the nag message about sensors found then I will have to reboot after which I do get the sensor nag messages. I never had this problem with my Edge 800 or 750 so it appears to be a 510 SW bug about how I end my last ride, the sensors go to sleep and 510 can’t find saved sensors again until I reboot. A sensor search (HR or in Bike Profile) does not find them. Garmin product specialist are coming to the local OC Wheelman club meeting next week, I plan on discussing it :¬) http://www.ocwheelmen.org

    Reply
  141. Harris Silver

    Has anyone had any problems with the display on the 510 freezing after the 2.50 update? Periodically, the screen will not take any input, which is especially frustrating when out on a ride and you want to either swipe to a screen, or actually save the ride at the end of it. The frustrating part is that the behaviour is erratic, and seems to happen when the device goes through some sort of incomplete start-up. I’ve contacted Garmin support and they’ve given me the usual reset, and re-calibrate the display, but I’m at the time where I think I need to return it to them to either replace or repair, as the unreliability is a major pain.

    Reply
  142. earl rise

    “- [Update] At this point, if you’re a power meter user, I would further not recommend this unit. The Edge 510/810 currently have issues where they have power drops within the data set, making power meter collection useless on the device.”

    This really concerns me – been looking at a 510 primarily for use with a powertap to track power output. Does this statement mean that I should not consider the 510 or have these problems been resolved?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      In theory it’s been fixed, but I still see some notes about it on the forums for certain powers (P2M primarily). I haven’t seen anyone mention issues with a PowerTap though.

      Reply
  143. james carroll

    Hi Ray

    Great review on the 510. I ended up buying 1 and have been using it for the last few months
    Overall the unit has performed well, except for the 1 issue. When you pause the unit during a ride it automatically offers you to discard or save the ride. Twice now during a ride I have accidentally deleted a ride. It happens like in a scenario I had yesterday. After 4000m of climbing and 100K on my mountain bike I had a puncture. I paused the ride and removed the unit from it’s mount, so as to protect it during changing the tube. After repaired I went to remount the unit only to find the ride had been deleted!!! very pissed off!!!

    Do you know if discarded rides can be retrieved? I presume not.

    I will continue to use the 510, but a detail that I think garmin should put right in their next update.

    Reply
    • Brent replied

      I have accidentally saved a ride in the same circumstances a couple of times. Less annoying but when you want only one file / recording.
      Once you pause a ride it is too easy to push to save/delete buttons. Also if you are reviewing data when paused and want to swipe to another screen is is very easy swipe incorrectly and bring up the screen with the pause / delete which you automatically touch because your finger was already in the same position. They need to use one of the buttons below to confirm your action to prevent accidental triggering.

      Reply
  144. John H

    Good review, thanks. Can you say if the Coursing is any better on the 510? The 500 likes to stop drawing the breadcrumb trail constantly. Even when you go off course and it tells you, it still doesn’t show the course. This has been a big issue for me and something that has me considering the 510. I don’t actually care about anything else that is “improved”. But the coursing on the 500 is terrible.

    Thanks

    Reply
  145. cs.senthiil

    Hi, Thanks for the detailed Review. Is there any way like some hack to put maps into garmin 510?? thanks in advance

    Reply
  146. I would not advise hacking the 510 and adding maps. The maps that are on this device already are so slow at loading and manipulating they are useless on a ride.

    Also the battery does not last anywhere are long as the 500. The 510 died on me on a ride and corrupted a data file which made the 510 a brick. I had to reset and clean the devices of configs and data to get it to work again. UG!

    Reply
  147. As always, the go-to review for any new gadget. I do have one question I hope someone here will address. I don’t have a cell phone, but plan on getting one for a long solo bike trip. The 510/810 with live updates would allow my wife to know if I was still mobile, or crashed in a ditch somewhere. Does anyone know how much data this feature uses? Data plans are expensive in Canada, and I have no idea if this feature would use so much data that it would be too expensive to use.

    As said, I don’t have a cell phone, so might be misunderstanding the entire process.

    Again, thanks for all the great reviews-you hve cost me a pile of money over the years! ;-)

    Reply
    • Night Brewer replied

      Not familiar with the amount of data but you should know that the quality of updates is pretty bad and may stress your wife out. I have to routinely text my wife and let her know I’m ok since the live tracker freezes and just stops working. I get to my destination sometimes and live tracker states I’m miles away.

      If you have an iPhone use the app Find Friends. It works better and it’s free.

      Reply
    • MCKY replied

      Thanks Nigh Brewer, for your quick and informative response. Sounds like this is not quite ready to reley on. I do plan to get an iphone, and will look into that app.

      (And, speaking of brewing, I’m cooking up a nice batch of Old Peculiar tonight.)

      Much appreciated!

      Reply
  148. Peter Östlund

    I have a Garmin Forerunner 405.
    In the software Garmin Training center, I can add turn notifications to my coarses (i.e turn, left, straight forward). And those notifications shows as a little icon (with a beep) on the screen.
    Is that’s possible to do with the 510?

    /Peter

    Reply
  149. Keith Hatounian

    New Firmware Update for the 510 released Version 2.6, supposed to help with Ant+ problems and other fixes:

    Changes made from version 2.50 to 2.60:
    Made improvements to protect against ANT+ sensor dropouts.
    Improved course navigation.
    Improved Back to Start.
    Fixed TCX file conversion.

    Reply
  150. larry stoma

    can you swim with 510 in a waterproof case ? is the heart rate strap water proof ?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      The unit is IPX7 waterproofed, which means it can withstand 30 minutes at 1-meter deep. I’ve tested this with other Edge units in the past without issue.

      The HR strap is waterproofed fully, but won’t transmit ANT+ through the water (it only goes about 1″ before you lose signal). Placing the transmitter on your back generally doesn’t work, but you do get occasional signal that way (if the Edge floats nearby).

      Reply
  151. LIVE TRACKER with 510 needs improving.

    I’ve been using the 510 for over a month and compared to the 500 it promises more but it not fully living up to its promise.

    Live Tracker never seems to work well in the Bay Area. Generally my wife is at home wondering why I stop on some road when actually I didn’t, the Live Tracker just stopped reporting. Here is what I think is going on and how I think Garmin can fix it. As you start a ride you start Live Tracker. The 510 communicates to you smart phone via Bluetooth. And your smartphone talkes to Garmin on the internet via Carrier Data networks. The weak link is the carrier network. Here in the Bay Area Carrier coverage with AT&T and T-Mobile is hit and miss. So you’re going along and your 510 is collecting all this data but from time to time the carrier signal is missing so your 510 just keeps collecting data. Then you hit a good carrier data network and the smart phone start uploading data but it does not start with the most recent location it continues off with were it stopped. The data seems considerably large because no sooner has it started loading data then the Carrier signal is lost again. Garmin is not going to solve the Carriers network problems however they can up load the most recent data so part of the trip may be missing but at least my wife will have a better chance of seeing where I am.

    Reply
  152. edwin

    How do you adjust the pitch/screen? Thanks!

    Reply
  153. Jose Diaz

    Hello,

    I’ve just updated the firmware on my Garmin Edge 510 to 2.6, and I’ve noticed a minor glitch. I’ve started and stopped rides very quickly (maybe a few seconds in length) and it is recorded as a ride (but obviously with no ride info because of stopping it so quickly). When uploading to the Garmin connect site, I get a failed error because the file could not be read. I don’t care for uploading it however, because its is a useless ride. I do want to be able to delete it directly from the Garmin because I have no use for it.

    Here’s the issue:
    On the device, when going into the “rides” folder and clicking “all rides,” when I click on that very short ride, the loading screen at the bottom flickers on and off and the ride never fully loads to allow me to click the delete button to remove it. It just keeps flickering and the only way to get out of that screen is to turn on and turn off the device. Any thoughts? Could it be because since the ride was stopped so quickly that the system didn’t have enough time to build the entire ride “file” so it became corrupt? Let me know, thanks!

    Reply
  154. Brandon Smith

    Ray,

    Have you upgraded to firmware 2.6 and tried out the course navigation feature? As is well documented on the forums, it has rendered the course navigation functionality useless. A prompt comes up every 5-10 seconds that takes up the whole screen in an effort to “help you navigate back to course”. In reality this happens at every minor turn in the road and causes you to have to tap your screen every 5-10 seconds to see your data.

    My question is how any QA deparment could release this functionality and think it was okay? Certainly one real life usage of the feature on a unit would have made it obvious this was not okay to go out. It seems that with every release that tries to fix something, they break something else.

    You have a good relationship with Garmin. Do you know if they are aware of this issue with 2.6, and if they have any plans to better their QA? Their users are sick of also being their beta testers.

    Here is the forum link:
    link to forums.garmin.com

    Brandon

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Hi Brandon-

      I haven’t used the Edge 510 frequently since the review. Simply a case of having to review other units instead.

      I do know that Garmin is painfully aware of their QA issues, though why there continues to be issues is an area that is beyond me (see my Garmin HQ post on that: link to dcrainmaker.com).

      Wish I had a better answer there.

      Reply
  155. David Norris

    thanks for the great report Ray.

    Question – do you know if the issues regarding collecting power data has been resolved in the 510 & 810 units?

    - David

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      It’s still a bit of a mixed bag, I continue to hear inconsistent items depending on specifically which power meter your using (which in turn drives the different ANT+ methods that each one use to transmit power, varying juts slightly among the models).

      Reply
  156. Krishan Rampersaud

    Thanks for your through reviews, I have only trust your reviews for fitness apps. I have been holding out for quite some time before I made the investment into a fitness tracking device,I am a cyclist/runner and i also work in IT, thus I like bells and whistles. I have been on a ever going quest to find the perfect device, the ONE device that would meet my needs and I fear If I settle for something it will come out. It seems that Garmin has the best out there, but its not.

    When I started reading about the new features of live tracking etc in the 510 I got really excited…then i kept reading and I got really disappointed ….

    I want a device that ..

    -is Bluetooth 4 compatible, so I can use a bluetooth HRM and sync with my phone.
    -works with Blackberry 10, believe it or not BB 10 is not dead many companies give BB 10 device to their employees and they don’t need to have another phone. But I’ve been contemplating on taking my wife’s old iPhone 4s and seeing if I could get a data only plan for it…
    -live tracking , i love that they have now introduced real time tracking though the phone, but I would love it even better, if (it was BT4) and could be paired directly with
    Endomondo or other third party apps, or if Garmin connect would sync automatically with apps like Endomondo. Just like Endomondo syncs with Myfitnesspal, fitbit etc. I’m all about ease of use, I don’t want to upload my data then to one website only to have to go and transfer it to another.
    -Running…. I’ve been in debate for a long time between the forerunner and the edge, running needs less stats so I’ve been getting away with my gps enabled phone app. But now that I see that you could easily use the edge for running (sort of ), why not… they should enhance the running features on the device so you can use it to run/cycle. The forerunner could be used for those that want cycling running and swimming, but I don’t swim…

    -strapless HRM..(nice to have).. the Mioalpha has developed this great strapless HRM, but, its just a HRM.. if Garmin could develop something like integrated into their devices that it would be super awesome.

    Now, if I tried to contact Garmin about these ideas it would likely fall on deaf ears.. perhaps if you feel these ideas are warranted, you could voice it to them.

    Do you know if they are planning on having a forerunner that is BT4 enabled?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I think we’ll eventually see the Forerunners have Bluetooth as well, but I suspect we’ll still see limitations around utilization of them – primarily due to the existing ANT+ side of things. I expect that we’ll see any new Forerunners that have Bluetooth follow the same ‘model’ as the Edges in terms of utilization of that.

      Long term I expect we’ll see strapless HRM integration into the Garmin device, but I wouldn’t expect it short term. They have certainly been “looking at the technology for years” based on my conversations with them.

      Finally, as for Blackberry support – honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything there – from Garmin or anyone else in the industry. Everyone I’ve talked to has been pretty clear the priority is: iOS, then Android, and then in a distant third – Windows Phone. Native Blackberry support simply isn’t on the table anymore with any company I’ve talked to about app development.

      Reply
  157. Gerald Brown

    Help please! my 11yo daughter has had a preliminary diagnosis of LongQT syndrome, which is a heart condition that has led to 3 losses of consciousness in the last few weeks and can be fatal. As a cyclist and technology person I am looking for a way to remotely monitor her heart rate, preferably with the maximum amount of information that a HRM can capture, I am also want to use gps to know where she is if she collapses. I would like to also try and get the maximum amount of information about what was happening before she had an episode to help diagnose. Is a 510 going to help me or should I just look at an iPhone with a Bluetooth smart HR strap like the Zephyr HxM smart? is there a cheaper android based alternative now that Bluetooth smart has finally come to android? I know this is not the usual sort of question here, but this is where I trust DC Rainmaker and the community’s expertise. Thanks

    Reply
  158. Mr Brown. – The 510 is not a solution that I would trust with any ones life. From my experience: 1) It’s battery life at best is 7 hours when using the Follow Me functionality. 2) It relies on solid reliable data connections using your phone.

    Before you make any purchase investigate the data quality with your phone on where your child will be. If it’s weak you may have no solution.

    Maybe your best solution is to educate the people she is with and get a RoadID bracelet that tell people what to do to save her from harm.

    Reply
    • Gerald Brown replied

      Thanks for the info Nigh Brewer!

      Reply
  159. Matthew Day

    Ray

    Great review – I’ve referred to it and this forum frequently to iron out user issues since aquiring the 510 3 weeks ago.

    I am having a challenge with “Courses” when riding on windy roads (they all are where I like to ride!). Every 30 secs I am getting interrupted with “head East” or “tap to turn around” instructions. Is there a way to stop these alerts and only refer to the course information when I want to?

    Reply
  160. Leah Brown

    My partner has not long been into riding and I am looking at getting him either the 500 or go all out 510 as this is a newer model. He rides mainly on the weekends and not for comp’s or anything – which is the better option for him in your opinion?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Essentially if he cares about social sharing (i.e. live tracking), then go with the 510. Otherwise, save the dough and get the 500 and enjoy a nice meal. :)

      Reply
  161. Rheo Sibal

    Have the power reading issues been corrected? Possibly with a new software update? I’m on the verge of pulling the trigger, however these power reading complications are keeping me back.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think they largely have now. They just released a new 510 update on Wednesday (concurrently with a slew of power meter updates for all the Edge units for Vector). Short of me hearing anything with bad PM data in the next few weeks, I think we’re finally good there (and then I’ll remove my caution statement).

      Reply
  162. Carlos

    After reading the complete review and all the comments, I’m still undecided. I just misplaced my trusty 705, so a new 500/800/510/810 has to be chosen soon. I still do not train with power but planning on getting a PM soon. That being said, and seeing that Garmin just released the PM pedals, the one PM I was interested in, I’m debating on what to do. One thing I like are the maps. But $$$ is tight if I get a 810 and later a PM. If you had to choose between the 510/800/810, which and why?

    BTW, I’m a mountain bikers who trains a lot on the road, race rarely on the road, but do have a nice wheelset on the road bike, so no need for another reason to get the wife mad…pedals? She is not gonna notice them…

    Reply
    • MCKY replied

      I have an 800, and recently bought a 500 because of the garmin rebate. I love the 800s mapping feature-it is fun when touring, but find I use the 500 on most rides-how often do we need maps? The black and white screen is easier to see than the colour, and, crash prone that I am I’m more comfy with a $200 unit stuck on my bike in harm’s way than the $600 edge!

      If I could only have one? Not sure, probably the 800. But I don’t have a smartphone, so a 810 might be better for you. But for $200 the 500 does almost everything I want-especially since the release of the new Vector pedal.

      And nice to meet someone else who sneaks in new gear!

      Reply
  163. Scott

    I wonder if the 500 is going to be discontinued soon or if it will continue to be sold alongside the 510…

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      There’s no current plans on tap to discontinue the Edge 500 immediately, at least through the end of the year (beyond that, things aren’t solidified).

      Reply
  164. Steve

    Ray,

    Your reviews are really outstanding. Thank you for doing them.

    For those of us who want to do solid power meter training (using, for example a Stages meter) and associated analysis (using, for example Training Peaks) and aren’t into all the mapping and social apps features, what head unit do you suggest? Seems like the Garmin units are over-featured and the SRM PC7 is over-priced and the iPhone as a head unit have their batteries over-taxed. Where do you suggest I turn?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’d recommend the Edge 500. ;)

      Simple, works great, still used by just about everyone on the planet. No fluff, just solid data (plus, it just got an update for Vector on Thursday).

      Reply
  165. Paul Guyot

    I bought my 500 based on your outstanding and in depth review. I’m considering the 510 because I’m intrigued by the live tracking, but I have heard reports about the screen being nearly impossible to see in certain outdoor light conditions. Have you experienced this?

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No problems with that. Perhaps they didn’t increase the backlight (just tap the power button).

      Reply
  166. Michele M

    Hi, DC Rainmaker, your reviews are so amazingly thorough!

    I’m hoping to get some clarification. I’m a rookie triathlete that would like to improve my cycling. Besides spending time in the saddle, I was looking for a training aid(s) to measure my efficiency (cadency, speed, avg mph, HR). I’m overwhelmed in trying to determine whether or not I need the 500/510 if I have the 910XT. Can you give an opinion on that?

    Also, as the winter starts to creep in and my training moves indoors on my trainer, what will be the best tool for me to measure my efficiency? I have a HR monitor (Polar) for indoor workouts, but I don’t know what to use to measure speed, cadence, etc when I’m indoors on the trainer.

    I’d love any help anyone can provide! Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      If you’ve got the 910XT, I’d honestly just grab the quick release mount for under $20 and save yourself a bundle. Everything you’re looking to do you can do with the FR910XT.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  167. Michele M

    Thank you for your quick reply and for saving me some money! Will the 910XT also help me measure my indoor training? I was under the assumption I had to be outdoors to get all of the info I want, such as cadence, speed, etc. Once winter arrives, I’m thinking of signing up for Trainer Road, which is why I’m interested in knowing about the indoor data. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, you can measure indoor training with the FR910XT as well. Just pickup the ANT+ Speed/cadence sensor if you don’t already have it. And TrainerRoad will actually broadcast power using their Power Relay function straight to the FR910XT. Magic!

      Reply
  168. Michele M

    Thanks!

    Reply
  169. Eric Lee

    I am planning to travel Nepal with Garmin Edge 510 and I am South Korean who is not good at English.

    Here is no provider of bicycling Garmin GPS (especially Garmin Forerunner 310XT)

    Please tell me, how to buy same one if you know it.

    Reply
  170. Steve R

    My Polar HR watch will give me total time spent in, above and below a HR zone, is there any way of getting that info from the 510. Detailed analysis just seems to give a maximum and average figure?
    Great review, learnt a couple of new things that will be handy.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Not within the Garmin software suite. However, you can use sites like Training Peaks (or, Sport Tracks) that will show it. Strava will also show it.

      Reply
  171. Miguel Santos

    Hi All,
    Wen I start a ride I can’t figure out how to start a “workout” or do another “workout”. On the 800 I can start a workout in the middle of a ride then do another one. The only thing the 800 would do is start a new lap. Doesn’t work that way anymore. I must have to start a workout at the beginning or start a whole new ride when I want to do two workouts.
    Can you Help ?

    Regards,

    Reply
  172. Miguel Santos

    Hi,
    On the my “old”/last Edge 800 I can start a workout in the middle of a ride then do another one….
    But now on 510 doesn’t work, after start my ride I don’t have access to workout folder, that is really bad because sometimes I must change my trip….because of wether, time, etc or I must have to start a workout at the beginning or start a whole new ride when I want to do two my workouts.
    Did you now if Garmin Plan that change ? The Workout planning it’s one of the most important thinks for use a Garmin 510 for me….
Best Regards,

    Reply
  173. Dave Ramsey

    I’ve quickly scanned through all the comments and I have a question. I’m getting ready to put a Stages Power Meter on my bike which unit should I get the 510 or the 810? I tend to ride the same loops, so mapping isn’t that big of an issue for me. I’ve been using the Edge 305 for longer than I can remember.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      If you’re riding the same routes over and over, go with the Edge 510 over the Edge 810. You don’t really need the mapping in that case. Enjoy!

      Reply
  174. Greg Hamm

    Hey Ray,

    I just purchased a 510. There are a lot of features that are nice and have potential to do more especially the phone connectivity. From what you know do you think Garmin will expand that functionality…like soon? I know Garmin can be slow to act on some features or updates etc at times. I agree with you with uploading the ride to a specific website like training peaks or strava. Also, live tracking would be great with displaying actual splits recorded on the device. So much potential!

    Nice job in your Paris-Versailles race. Always fun to see how you do!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      We’ve seen some minor expansion of capabilities (i.e. the Vector stuffs), but not a whole lot. I suspect we’ll see more over the next few months into the spring, likely to support additional Garmin products (i.e. the Virb). But I wouldn’t expect to see significant things.

      Reply
  175. Dan N.

    Thanks for the extensive review. I’m going back and forth between the 500 and the 510 and I’m wondering if you can provide a bit more insight on the real world advantages of GLONASS (which appears to be the only reason I’d personally want the 510 over the 500). What kind of improvements in satellite acquisition times have you noticed? Are there any segments where you commonly had glitchy data with a 500 that the 510 recorded more accurately?

    I know of a few areas around me where the GPS data can be pretty inaccurate (on my phone using strava) and I’m wondering if GLONASS would make a difference.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Real world…honestly…meh. I get just as training-useful accurate tracks from non-GLONASS devices as those with. Just not seeing it matter (at least in cycling).

      Reply
  176. Mike Varnum

    Don’t waste your money on this device. The whole point in having a GPS system is to plot out routes your have never traveled before then loading into a device and cycling to the final destination. The 510 is a bunch of flash and bang but not worth the money. Another sucker electronic device that tells me how high I climbed and how low I biked…..I don’t care. Spend your money on a heart monitor and save the rest of your cash on something else.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      If that was what you were looking for, you would have been better off with the Edge 800/Edge 810 – which do have mapping functionality. I think I’m incredibly clear above (multiple times) that the Edge 510 doesn’t do mapping.

      Reply
  177. Nick

    Hey ray I’m an owner of a edge 500 and a Samsung galaxy s3 lte phone. I can get from a close friend his edge 510, that he’s owned it only for a month but he didn’t like it.
    So i can buy it for only 170 euros. So i would like your opinion. Shall I get it and sell mine or its better to stick to edge 500?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that’s tough. It’s a good deal. But I’d see if I can sucker him down to 150. ;)

      Reply
  178. Timo Krogh

    Thanks for the deep review of the 510.
    But I miss (not my bad, I hope) something about its strange behavior with the GSC-10. When the spoke magnet is mounted, the device takes speed/distance from the wheel size EVERYWHERE, not just when it can’t get GPS information like in tunnels or on a covered track.
    This seems a huge step backward from the 705, which switched intelligently between the two, but always used the GPS info when available.
    Is there a way to make the 510 intelligent, too?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Edge series will always display the speed from the sensor, but actually record from the GPS unless GPS speed = zero.

      That said, if you just do a quick automatic calibration (it occurs automatically), you shouldn’t really notice/see any issues there.

      Reply
  179. Timo Krogh

    I did set “Automatic” for Wheel Size, and got a 2040 mm. wheel. That is, on one ride. On other rides, I got sizes of up to 2096 mm – all for the same wheel. While I can think of explanations for my Incredible Shrinking Wheel, I don’t see why such an ancient method as Wheel Size would be used to calculate speed/distance in the first place. How is it calibrated anyway? Could only be GPS data. And those ARE accurate.
    It’s like you have a perfect yardstick and you don’t use it to measure length, but to build a device that comes pretty close in guessing length.
    Couldn’t this simply be a glitch in the new firmware (2.70) I downloaded?
    In the next version, Garmin should go back to letting GPS prevail when it comes to speeds/distances and relegate Wheel Size to being a backup for tunnels etc.
    Until that time, I’ll keep the spoke magnet in a box.

    Reply
  180. Timo Krogh

    I should have added that I recorded one ride with both the Strava app on my mobile, and with the Garmin510. Uploaded both to Strava.
    According to Garmin, I had done 71.48 k, when the app said it was 77.40.
    I know which was right.

    Reply
  181. Nick

    Is it possible to connect edge 510 via bluetooth to a capable bluetooth enable pc?????

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, there’s no Garmin Connect apps for the PC to connect via Bluetooth, and the API isn’t otherwise open for other apps.

      Reply
  182. Brian Prendergast

    Recently purchased a Garmin Edge 510 and found this article exceptionally helpful in setting the unit up to my preferences. Much appreciated that you took the time to write and post the article.

    Reply
  183. Ken

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your super review on the 510 but I am still deciding on whether I should invest on the 500 or 510.

    Besides the glonass thingy, the 510 has the ability to upload the ride data online, right?

    The 500 doesnt have this feature?

    Besides these couple of extras for 510, why else should I get it instead of the 500?

    Much thanks :)

    Reply
  184. chickeee

    hi Ken both units can upload data the same way – through mini usb cable to your computer with browser to Strava or Garmin Connect site. what is new about the 510 is Bluetooth so it can tether to a smart phone for the live tracking. But at the end of the day you need to charge the Garmin so you’d plug it into the computer and upload the data. Functionally the new 510 has a touch screen that is a lot easier to use than the side mounted buttons of the 500. The screen is larger and has a better mount as well. Of course the 500 will always be cheaper being the previous model

    Reply
  185. James Bunton

    Hi All
    Just wondering what the “none”, “2″ and “custom” data fields options in Activity Profiles –> Training Pages –> Map –> Data Fields menu is used for?
    Thanks
    JAMES

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It’s the data fields shown at the top of the screen on the breadcrumb trail. You can tweak them to show something like Speed or Diistance.

      Reply
  186. Mike

    Having problems with my 510 now. Last couple of times I’ve used it the start screen flashed repeatidily as if the thing was having problems turning on but at the same time resetting itself, battery would then show 100% despite me knowing it wasn’t. Worked fine though once finally turned on. Came to turn it on tonight and the on/off button seems to have zero function but weirdly when I touch the screen the unit switches on very briefly then switches off straight away. If I leave my finger on the screen it constantly switches itself on and off ad nauseam. Tried the 2 different methods I’ve found online to reset, plugging it into the computer and leaving it on charge, all have no affect. Ah well, back to the shop. Think the most frustrating thing will be reorganising the training pages!

    Reply
  187. Ari

    I plan to ride for 300 km.-that’ll be at least 12 hrs.- with Edge 510 to record all the data. Can I charge the unit during my ride intervals then resume to the same ride session recording? Or do I need to save each ride separately and put the data back together via other apps afterwards?

    Reply
  188. Ari

    I plan to ride for 300+ km.-that’ll be at least 12 hrs.- with Edge 510 to record all the data. Can I charge the unit during my ride intervals then resume to the same ride session recording? Or do I need to save each ride separately and put the data back together via other apps afterwards?

    Reply
  189. chickeee

    I have never been able to charge the unit without it (automatically) turning off . That was plugging into a PC tho, so i don’t know if power only USB charger would keep it running. You could test that with the Garmin charger. The battery should last over 12 hours however so long ride may not be a problem anyway

    Reply
  190. James

    Hi, I think you may mean the 510 instead of the 500 here on your review, “The map window can also be displayed which will show the course. Though be aware that it won’t show anything other than a blank slate behind it – meaning, you won’t see streets or the like. Only the Edge 810 has that. The 500 will just show you where you’ve been, and the breadcrumb trail of where you’re supposed to go.” Thanks

    Reply
  191. Marc

    I used the 510 this summer and quite liked it. One question though. If my phone receives a test message, or call (i.e. from work or family), is there any way for a notification to show up on the 510′s screen? Wearing a helmet, and with wind noise, I don’t always hear it from my jersey pocket. Adding a notification feature to the garmin unit would seem possible, and could be really useful.

    Great review as always!

    Reply
  192. Will (Wilgenix)

    Now that’s a review! Really helpful. Thank you

    Reply
  193. Courtney

    I just recently started training for triathlons, as a converted college swimmer. New to the biking world and riding in general, is there a bike computer that you can suggest for newbies? I want something with course functionality because I just moved to a new area and can’t ride around without getting lost or using my phone. I am an engineer and tech junkie, so using apps or Garmin connect isn’t an issue. I am just having a hard time justifying buying an 810 when I am still so new to the sport.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • JimL replied

      If you are doing triathlons, just stay with a 910xt and do everything with it simply and efficiently, IMO.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Also, check out the FR310XT, which if you’re just getting into tri’s is a great option to save some cash. Down to $159 today (see the BF Deals post on home page).

      Reply
    • Courtney replied

      Thanks for your suggestions. I have looked at the GPS watches, but I think I want something just for my bike. Being new to the city I can’t leave my apartment, go for a 40 mile ride and make it back without getting lost. I also travel a lot for work, so I am really looking for something with course navigation and turn-by-turn directions. The watches don’t seem like they would do this very well. Any other suggestions?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Indeed.

      In that case, the only two options are really the Garmin Edge 800 or 810, and as well, the Garmin Touring.

      Honestly, I’d pick up the Edge 800, and use the free maps steps I created a post on (below). See the Black Friday post, as the Edge 800 is on sale right now (don’t get the bundle, get the cheaper one).

      link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
  194. Chris

    My new Garmin Edge 510 is not downloading map course or displaying it is the summary page. There is only a straight line. I have only had 8 rides and the last 2 there has been a problem. How can I correct this as it’s frustrating as one of these was a race!

    Reply
  195. Michael Whyte

    My ride data is uploaded to my phone and then to Garmin Connect while I’m still downstairs in the garage. Not having to haul it upstairs to connect it to my computer after every ride is well worth the $75 extra! No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    Reply
  196. Harmless Harm

    Hi Ray, could you try if Forerunner 620 HRM strap will be working with Edge 510?
    620 strap isn’t working with Joule 2.0, so just checking, if I need to order Edge 510 HR strap. Thanks and keep-up the good work!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I believe I tested it with the 510 back in September. I know I’ve tested it with the 810 multiple times. There’s no reason to get another strap for the Garmin devices.

      The ANT+ folks are also already looking into the Joule items as well btw…

      Reply
  197. Kerry

    Wow thank you for all this info! Great job!
    U live in Canada and winter ride in temp which are extreme -35 c. How will the device work under those conditions? Also, is the device usable for Cross country skiing? Last, planning a trip to France in May any issue using this device with out my iPhone in Europe? Thanks agin for a great work! I await your reply!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Per the manual, the Edge 510′s operating range is -4*F to 158*F (-20*C to 70*C). You could use it cross-country skiing, though it might be a bit awkward.

      As for France, no problems there. The review was written in France (I live here). ;)

      Reply
  198. Harmless Harm

    Ray,
    Just got one, I have paired with Power2max, so far so good. Questions:
    1. I am not able to find menu option for changing recording rate to ‘One-second’, nor the “include-0″ option.
    Where to find this?
    2. Is there a way to configure data fields in GC or any other GUI (e.g. like on Joule)?
    3. Looks there is no datafield for IF-lap, am I correct? (there is NP lap luckily)
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi ya-

      I didn’t bring my Edge 510 with me on my current trip, so I can’t say for sure.

      1) The option is under ‘Data recording’, which I thought was in the System Settings.
      2) No, nothing like that. I keep hoping for it. That said, you can actually copy the config files off the device (XML based), so in theory someone could actually build it.
      3) Can’t 100% validate from afar, but assuming you’re on the latest firmware, then probably not.

      Reply
    • Harmless Harm replied

      Ray, thanks for your help, I found missing buttons under system settings.:)
      After getting spoiled with firstbeat (like) algos on Garmin 620/Suunto T6d, I am missing TE (training effets) metrics on 510. Any idea why Garmin believes such HR metrics are not applicable or of interest to cyclists? Thanks.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I actually asked about that recently. Mostly in relation to lack of RR recording. Their line of thinking is that they just haven’t seen much (any?) demand from cyclists asking for it. They aren’t opposed to it down the road, but they’re prioritizing other features that they get more requests for first.

      Reply
  199. Harmless

    Auto phone upload does not work, Motorola has been paired with 510 succesfully, 510 has bluetooth enabled, and GC mobile connect has auto-upload enabled.

    I scrolled all comments above, but there seems no issues reported…

    Are there successtories with a similor phone than mine having:
    Android 4.1.2, Bluetooth 2.1.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’d check the Garmin Forums, and failing that, ring up support to create a ticket. I haven’t heard of an issue from others on it.

      Reply
    • Dan replied

      As of update 2.8 uploading recordings through a phone is broken.

      Personally I have to cycle power on the 510 to get it to work on 2.8 (didn’t need that on the version I used before, 2.5. Other report it working without problems on 2.7.).

      Sadly the Garmin Edge team is too slow at fixing known bugs but good at introducing new ones.

      More about the problems here:
      link to forums.garmin.com

      Reply
  200. Recycled

    My wife is looking at getting into cycling and I’m looking at upgrading to the 810 while handing my 510 over to my wife. Will I be able to run 2 separate Garmin Connect accounts on the home computer and will I be able to keep my 510 “to date” history and then keep adding to that with the 810?

    Any other issues you foresee? Any thoughts and help appreciated.

    Fantastic reviews by the way. Making the buying decision very easy. Thanks for the effort and detail you go to. Superb!

    Reply
    • chickeee replied

      You can have separate accounts on Garmin Connect using the same computer with two (or even one) GPS. GC stores your history so you can use 510 810 or iPhone

      Reply
  201. Recycled

    Perfect, thanks chickeee. All go then! Cheers.

    Reply
  202. When you wrote this the 510 was only $75 more than the 500. Now it is $130 more. The 500 has dropped a bit to $200, while the 510 is still $330. If you were starting from a blank slate, would you go for the 500 or the 510? Also, I have a Samsung GS4 phone with supposedly has built in ANT+. Do you know if I can pair speed/cadence and heart rate sensors with both the Garmin unit and my phone and have them both collecting data? I have been using Endomondo on my phone to track rides, and using a wireless Cateye cycling computer mounted on the bike. But with my first season on a trainer I have to manually enter rides into Endomondo. So I am looking for a solution.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think my original comments stand even more now, that the Edge 500 continues to be the better deal.

      With the S4, you can indeed do ANT+. And, you can dual-pair with ANT+ just fine (thus, pairing concurrently to both phone and a Garmin device). Enjoy!

      Reply
  203. Stuart T

    Any thoughts on how to increase what I consider bad visibility of screen in daylight compared to nice contrast of the 500. The backlight obviously solves problem but makes battery life terrible.

    Also HR and Power meter(power2max) drop out intermittently while still connected to 500 if running side by side? Just saw note about firmware will try this thanks.

    Reply
  204. Adam

    Ray

    I know you have commented on known bugs with Garmin products, and their reputation for being slow to fix them, but have you thought about doing a full article on the problem, or perhaps an interview with Garmin. Going through the Garmin forums is very disheartening when you see every forum filled with reference to obvious, serious software problems which render advertised features basically unusable. The amazing thing is that each round of new firmware seems to introduce new and often worse bugs than those it fixes. I have never heard of that from other companies. There are tutorials out there to show you how to downgrade to a particular version of firmware so you can choose which bugs you can live with and which you cannot.

    The latest one to bite me is the fact that distance measures 10% short while following a course on the Edge 510. There is some easily repeatable glitch that drops data and which has remained unfixed for months.

    Your article about Strava’s API changes was excellent and seemed to prompt immediate action. I would hope that a similar fair but firm article about customer service and fixing bugs would prompt Garmin to improve.

    What do you think?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It’s something I posted on in quite a bit of detail in April’s post on a visit to Garmin’q HQ: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Now, I would note that any companies forums are filled with folks with complaints. After all, that’s really the only reason you go to a company forum. The same is true of Apple, Polar, Samsung, or anyone else really.

      No doubt, Garmin still continues to struggle with software quality issues. In fact, it’s one of the core reasons my reviews now include a bugs section, where I highlight bugs the company hasn’t fixed as of my review date (and that I see).

      I would say though that from a customer service/support standpoint, the Garmin folks are probably some of the more knowledgable out there. The exception being Garmin Australia, that’s just dismal.

      Reply
  205. Janice S

    Hi

    You might have already answered this question but unfortunately I was unable to access the full review. I’ve just hooked up the 510 to use with my cycleops fluid 2 trainer but am unable to get a speed or distance reading – turned off GPS and lined up the magnet but to no avail. Really need to get this to work for my winter training, can anyone give me some advice.

    Thanks

    Reply
  206. Paul Kealey

    Just spoke with Garmin who have informed me that after firmware update on my Edge 5.10 to 2.80 my Bluetooth connection will no longer work. I was told that this is a known issue and will be addressed in the latest Garmin Connect app update which will be in Feb 2014. The last update was November 2013. In the meantime I should upload my files using a USB cable.

    By any standards this is very lame. Makes you wonder what kind of R and D process they have at Garmin …if any…..I would have expected more from a business the size of Garmin.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It looks like you posted the same on the forums. Looking at that thread, it appears it’s working for some, sorta working for others, and not working for a few like yourself.

      If it were me, I’d try calling back and getting a different person. I agree, that support person’s explanation sounds like a cop-out for actually troubleshooting it.

      Reply
  207. Kyle

    Ray
    So I haven’t really tried out live tracking yet, but I would still have to carry my phone for it to work, right?
    Thanks
    Kyle

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, correct, it requires the phone to transmit your position via cell networks.

      Reply
  208. Luiz Lobo

    Hey Rainmaker,
    That’s one of the best reviews I ever read.
    Really detailed from an expert angle but addressing a new customer doubts. Easy, deep, clear !
    Lot of video and pictures. Great !!!

    Congratulations, I just shared with a bunch of friends.

    Reply
  209. Beav

    Is it possible to customize what you are seeing on the screen like with the ForeRunner
    910xt? As an example if I would like to see Avg Speed, Current Speed, Total distance, and Total time all on one screen?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, mix and match all you’d like. See the ‘Activity Profiles’ and ‘Data Fields’ sections above.

      Reply
  210. MTB

    Hi there,

    Great review as always. I am in 2 minds on whether I should get the edge 510 or edge 810. I mostly ride mtb singletrack so doubt the turn by turn navigation will really be of much use. I see the other difference is that the 810 has a virtual racer option where the 510 does not. Both however have the virtual partner option. What exactly is the virtual racer? Is it of much use? How does it compare to the virtual partner?

    Thanks again.

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheerz

    Reply
  211. Harmless Harm

    Bug found in Lap Normalized Power, looks it takes the (30”) power data from previous lap rather than resetting NP formula, once LAP is pressed. This is bad thing and making the lap NP not useful, when intensities are far apart between intervals.
    I was doing Z4 intervals (target 300W for 10 minutes), with 4′ Z1 in between (150W). Average lap power was 150W, and then I pressed LAP, and saw average lap trending to 300W, so far so good (the simple part, just calculate average). But NP started at ~150W and only slowly got up, it takes about 7minutes before average power is reached… Going back to Z1 interval it was other way around, after 4′ average power was ~150W but NP was still going down and was 175W at end of 4′ rest.
    This is flaw, making the lap NP useless.
    Compared with Joule 2.0: the first 30′ after pressing lap, NP was not displayed, since it was being processed, then NP was similar than average lap power. In case Z4 and Z5 efforts, NP was slightly higher than average power, which is expected.
    Filed a case for Garmin.
    Also asked to add “lap IF”, provided Garmin fixes NP bug (IF=NP/FTP)…

    Reply
  212. Harmless Harm

    How are you guys training with power, say you are asked to do intervals at 90% of FTP. There is %FTP option, but this one shows actual %FTP. I can’t find option for “lap average %FTP” nor is there “IF lap”. It has “NP lap”, but this one seems wrong (see previous post), even NP-lap would be correct, one need to calculate NP based on FTP, and remember it.-)
    During IM I am asked to work at IP=0.7, so I divide bike course in 10K segments (auto lap), and then per segment I focus to get IF correct.
    With Joule this was all easy, maybe some (experienced) Garmin user can help me out.
    I know data can be processed afterwards, but I looking for ways which help me with proper power pacing.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  213. Omitw

    I can see that you put in an amazing amount of detail in your reviews. I have read several and appreciate your effort.

    The one piece of information I feel you are missing is the testing of overall accuracy and signal acquisition capability of the device. To me this is much more important than many of the bells and whistles on the unit. The reason I say this is I am on my third Garmin 510 and it is nowhere near the accuracy of my Garmin edge 305 or even my Forerunner 305. I started noticing this on the first device when it would show over 1 mile less in distance than my edge 305. Now all GPS units are susceptible to losing distance when going around corners or switchbacks such as what is normally encountered on a mountain bike trail. You can limit the loss in distance to some degree by upping the sampling rate to once per second. My Edge 305 loses about 1 mile on a little over a 14 mile mountain bike trail where as my first Garmin 510 lost well over two miles in some cases. I also noticed when using Google earth images to overlay ride or race videos that going to and from a location on the same path looked like you took a completely different route back. After I started comparing devices, I can see that the 510 uses what would appear to be a smoothing algorithm that cuts every corner you take short. At times it can also be off the trail on straight stretches by 75-100 feet in a fairly open areas. I have also found that with all of the comparisons I have done that the signal acquisition strength on the 510 is not as good as the 305 and will sometimes drop GPS completely on a sunny day. After months of sending Garmin examples for them to send to engineering, doing their updates and free testing for them, they now have bailed and are trying to tell me the device is working as intended. I don’t think it is too much to expect that the 510 which cost me 3X what I paid for the edge 305 should have at least the same level of accuracy. One would think that it was better than the 305 considering the latest available technology and addition of Glonass. If you only ride roads, I suspect you may be OK with this device, if you ride mountain bike trails and have experience with other GPS devices you will most likely be disappointed. Go out in an open park where you can and ride around trees and circle back using the same path with a Garmin 305 and a 510 running at the same time. After the ride, compare the Google earth maps and you will see what I am talking about. Just something for you to consider in your future reviews.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I typically do have GPS accuracy comparisons in posts, not quite sure why I don’t here to be honest. That said, in riding with it for a year now, I haven’t seen anything like the issues that you noted.

      That said – since you’re doing trail rides mostly, try turning OFF GLONASS. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but I actually saw a post a while back va GPSTracklog about doing some work and how it didn’t always pan out in that case with GLONASS on.

      link to sites.google.com

      Reply
  214. Harmless Harm

    Ray related to my post #384, how do control your power/intensity; which display fields you have enabled for intervals? Are you still using 3s and 30s averages, or use some of these advanced power metrics on head unit? Response is highly appreciated Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      My standard is 3s, 30s, and then NP. I use 3s and 30s the most, and NP to see my average ride power (more useful than straight Avg PWR).

      Reply
  215. Timo Krogh

    I did a ride which according to my 510 (version 2.80) was 134k and which also showed up on Garmin Connect as 134k.
    However, my mobile Strava app said it had been 141k, as did all the guys I rode with, whether they used apps, Garmins, or other devices.
    Strangely, when I export this ’133k ride’ from Garmin Connect as TCX and GPX files, and upload those to Strava, the ride is again 141k.
    How can this be explained? I only use GPS, no sensors.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      For the differences between friends… Hmm, hard to say. My only thought would be if somehow it was paused briefly (i.e. Auto Pause), or similar. But 5K’s a lot to account for.

      For diff between GC and Strava, it mostly has to do with how Strava (and others) process it. This explains it a bit more: link to strava.zendesk.com

      Reply
    • Timo Krogh replied

      Regardless of what I did on that ride, there was a set of data, generated by my Garmin.
      These data became a 134k ride on that Garmin itself and on Garmin Connect, but when I export these same data and then upload them to Strava, (or Training Peaks or SportTracks) they always become a 141k ride.
      When all my companions on their various devices (and me too, on my independent Android app) recorded 141k, then it’s clear it WAS 141k.
      Then why does Garmin say 134k when via a cumbersome detour it also says 141?
      Evidently, there’s nothing wrong with the data it collects, but a flaw in how it processes them.
      Any idea what that flaw might be?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      But, if I’m understanding correctly – on all Garmin devices (and platforms), it’s showing 134K. Except when you push to Strava, it shows 141K. I really don’t know why this particular ride shows 7K difference (1K or so would be normal).

      Reply
    • Timo Krogh replied

      The data for that ride show 134k on the Garmin itself and on Garmin Connect.
      Exported from there and imported to Strava AND SportTracks AND Training Peaks these exact same data always show the correct 141 k.
      Minor differences will always occur, but seldom over 0.5% and never over 1%
      Here, we’re talking about a 5% error – not in the gathering of the data (i.e., there’s nothing wrong with the device), but in processing the data, (i.e. there’s something very wrong in the software.)

      Reply
  216. Harmless Harm

    Yesterday first ride outdoor in sun. Used track feature to explore new areas. But display is very hardto read while exposed to sun. Any ideas how to improve readability? Thank.

    Reply
  217. Harmless Harm

    Yesterday first ride outdoor in sun. Used track feature to explore new areas. But display is very hardto read while exposed to sun. Any ideas how to improve readability? Thanks.

    Reply
  218. Lars Mouland

    Hi. Does anyone know if it possible to get HRV and R-R data from the 510?

    Reply
    • Harmless Harm replied

      Hi Lars the question is NO: see post 361.
      For me this is disappointing and even worse it seems it wont be added, unless sufficient request are made to Garmin (which I did).

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Contact garmin support and ask: link to garmin.com
      They need to know this functionality is desired. If no one contacts them they will think its not wanted

      Reply
  219. Sam Lewis

    Hello on the 510 went in pre programmed workout mode for warm ups intervals and recovery
    Are the data fields still viewable so can see
    Real time Heart rate cadence power and other stats
    Or is it just a beeping/vibrating saying over working under working
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You can switch to your normal data fields by just changing the screen page.

      Reply
  220. Russ

    Your review of the 510 says that it does NOT have the “virtual racer” feature and that the 810 DOES have the “virtual racer” feature. This is incorrect, no? Don’t they both have virtual racer?

    Reply
  221. Russ McBride

    You say here that the 510 does NOT have the ‘virtual racer’ feature but that the 810 DOES. This is incorrect, no? Don’t BOTH the 510 and 810 have virtual racer, or is it really the case that only the 810 does?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Indeed, it was tweaked to support it in a firmware update. I’ve just updated the table. Thanks!

      Reply
  222. Ken Ong

    Been using the Garmin 510 for almost 6 months now and I am very happy & satisfied with it.

    Though, recently I sent my bike in for servicing and I would like to reset the Odometer for my bike profile. Do you know how to do that?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Settings > Bike Profiles > (Bike Name) > (click bike name again) > Scoll down to odometer > Edit number.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  223. Simon A

    I was planning to purchase a Garmin 510 but having read your review am less convinced – I have no cycle computer at the moment but want a unit that will accurately measure cadence, speed, HR etc, which is visible on the move and will allow it to be uploaded to Strava easily. On the face of it this seemed to be the Garmin 510 in the bundle with the Garmin HR, speed and cadence adapters, can you please let me know what you would recommend? If the 510 is the best module to go for should I stick with the Garmin HR, Speed and Cadence sensors or go with another manufacturer?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’d stick with the Garmin sensors for now, if you have them. There’s other sensors I like (for example the quick release Bontrager sensor for speed/cadence), but it’s not too big a deal.

      For uploading to Strava, the Edge 510 is perfectly capable there, and works well.

      Reply
  224. Harmless Harm

    I lost HR and power-meter (P2M so also Cadence) data mid-ride, speed (different sensor) and GPS was still there. I just completed ride, and after saving ride, pairing went fine for few activity.
    I contacted Garmin, but those were not able to explain me how to re-connect during the ride/activity. The default answer do a “master reset and FW update”, was all the could give.
    I could have stopped activity, and start new one, but find that cumbersome.

    Anybody else lost some sensor data mid-ride, and found a solution to reconnect?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  225. Julia Sangar

    I lost HR and Cad twice in the last four days. Garmin fault, I think, because I’m simultaneously recording with Endomondo without fail. No way to reconnect. I had to stop, save the track, shutdown, restart and start a new activity. Through TcxConverter I could merge the two tracks recorded but losing laps. Truly cumbersome.

    Moreover, as far as I’m concerned, bluetooth never worked quite right with fones. Samsung Galaxy S2 before and my actual Xperia Z1 now, fail to connect often. Either phones have always connected to my car handsfree without a single failure via bluetooth. And on the road, I’m tired of “Phone disconnected” … “Phone connected” again and again.

    Overall I am happy with it. I have all my workouts recorded since I bought it more than a year ago. Good device but has some flaws to correct.

    Sorry for my English.

    Reply
  226. Matthew Brett

    Have you experienced the crashing being reported with firmware 2.9 and any word from Garmin on it if so?
    Seems the unit crashes and deletes all profiles both bike and activity but then can still play up too such as freezing on the main screen despite starting a ride etc

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Matt – You’ve posted a bunch of times now over the last 8 hours. I’ve helped clean it up. Ultimately, I haven’t seen that on my unti. I’d really recommend ringing up Garmin support though, because they can get log information and perhaps pinpoint the issue and get it all sorted out.

      Reply
    • Matthew Brett replied

      Sorry about the multiple posts, every time it said it failed to post. Thanks for the advice.

      Reply
  227. Noel Nason

    I know that you have stated that you would take the 500 over the 510, but is there anything that you know of that will be taking the place of the 510 in the near future that will address it’s short comings?
    I am currently without a computer, But I like the touchscreen feature, and the wireless capabilities of the 510, versus having to plug a unit into my home computer, as it is now I only use The computer about once a week. I just dont want to be left out in the cold per se if there is a better solution to be had. hopefully in the near future.
    I would like to buy a bundle to get the HR and Speed/Cadence.
    suggestions?

    Reply
  228. Asyraf

    Would it be a good upgrade to Edge 510 if I’m coming from Edge 200? Or should i only upgrade to Edge 500? I want the heart rate monitor function as I’m using Timex hrm now.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      If budget is of course, I’d save the cash and go with the Edge 500. However, if you find some of the connected features interesting (i.e. phone upload), then go with the Edge 510.

      Reply
  229. DelhiRider

    Ray,
    I just wanted to say thanks, this is the most detailed review I have ever read till date.

    Reply
  230. Rick

    Quick question: On the Garmin 510, it seems one of the huge benefits is for a spouse to follow where you are in case there are problems. However, if your cell phone is out of range, does it still work? If not, it seems like it would be a waste of money to go with the 510 as opposed to th 500?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it won’t work. It requires cell service (it will resume if you drop connectivity temporarily). For most folks though, you’d be surprised these days how much territory is in-service (said as someone who often rode 100-mile routes through a national park in the mountains).

      Reply
    • Rick replied

      Thanks for the reply Ray and the great reviews.

      Reply
  231. Great review Ray.

    I’ve owned a 510 since my birthday last May and I’ve been very pleased with it. That said, I’m sure I don’t use half the features it has.

    When I cycled in Majorca last summer, I liked being able to see the elevation data in realtime, as I knew how high I needed to go, so could judge how much of the climb was left – vital for my mental wellbeing.

    My next challenge is to work out how to use the courses feature more effectively.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  232. andrewwilliams9

    Hi,

    I’ve read if you load a course, you can change both axis of the elevation chart page.
    If you do this, then load a new course, does the axis values reset to default setting or stay at the previously set values?

    Reply

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