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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 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 15th, 2015 @ 11:47 amNew Window
Price$329$199$399$320$399$220$399$129-149$190.00
Product Announcement DateJan 7, 2013SEP 1, 2009Jan 7, 2013Aug 26, 2010OCT 4, 2011Jun 15, 2011Jan 7, 2013Jan 8, 2012JUN 13, 2012
Actual Availability/Shipping DateJan 2013Dec 2009Jan 2013Nov 2010JAN-APR 2012Jun 2012Jan 2013Feb 8, 2012JUN 2012
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB & BluetoothUSBUSB & BluetoothUSBANT+ WirelessUSBUSB & BluetoothUSBUSB
WaterproofingIPX7IPX7IPX7IPX7Yes - 50mIPX7IPX750 MetersIPX7
Battery Life (GPS)20 hours18 hours17 hours15 hours20 Hours17 Hours17 hours8 Hours15 hours
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1s or Smart1-second1-Second or Smart1-secondConfigurable: 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Quick Satellite ReceptionYesGreatYesYesGreatGoodYesGoodGreat
AlertsAudio/VisualSound/VisualSound/VisualSound/VisualVibrate/Sound/VisualYesSound/VisualAudio/Visual; Vibrate for UpAudio/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGoodGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGoodGood
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingNoNoNoNoVia Wahoo Fitness AdapterNoNoNoNo
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceQ3 2015NoQ3 2015Q3 2015
RunningGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for runningNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesCan show Pace
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)N/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AYesN/A
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)N/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
VO2Max EstimationN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
Race PredictorN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
Recovery AdvisorN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoNo
Run/Walk ModeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/ANoN/A
SwimmingGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for swimmingNoNoNoNoYesNoNoBasic supportNo
Openwater swimming modeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/ANo (Swimcap only)N/A
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Record HR underwaterN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/ANoN/A
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor Drill ModeN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AN/AN/AN/ANoN/AN/AN/AN/A
Change pool sizeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/AN/AN/AN/A20m/22y to 100y/mN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Can change yards to metersN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
Indoor AlertsN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AN/AN/A
TriathlonGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Designed for triathlonNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
Multisport modeN/AN/AN/AN/AYesN/AN/AYesN/A
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesNoYesNoYesNoYesNoNo
FunctionsGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureYesNoYesNoYesNoYesYesNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Day to day watch abilityNoN/ANoN/ANoN/ANoNoN/A
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
GeocachingNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
NavigateGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (Barely)
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNo
Back to startYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
SensorsGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricGPS, Barometric for UpBarometric
Compass TypeGPSGPSGPSGPSGPSMagneticGPSN/AMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoNoN/AN/A
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableYesNoYesYesYesNoYesNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlQ3 2015NoQ3 2015Q3 2015
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationQ3 2015NoQ3 2015Q3 2015
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesNoYesNoNoYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYesYesNoYesYesUp OnlyNo
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressGarmin Training Center/BasecampGTC/ANT AgentPowerAgentGarmin ExpressNoneTraining Peaks Agent
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectTraining CampGarmin ConnectMagellen ActiveTraining Peaks
Phone AppGarmin Connect (iOS/Android)Garmin Connect Mobile (not direct to device though)Garmin Connect (iOS/Android)GARMIN CONNECT (IPHONE/ANDROID)iOS/Androidvia MapMyRideGarmin Connect (iOS/Android)NoneTraining Peaks
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
PurchaseGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkN/AN/A
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500Garmin Edge 810Garmin Edge 800Garmin Forerunner 910XTCycleOps Joule GPSGarmin Edge 810Magellan Switch & Switch UpTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

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.

AccessoryStreet PriceAmazon LinkClever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated January 27th, 2018 @ 4:29 am
Garmin Edge Units
Left/Right Capable Bike Computers
Barfly Tate Labs Road Bike Handlebar Mount$25LinkN/A
Barfly Tate Labs Timetrial/Triathlon Bike Mount$37LinkN/A
PowerTap G3 ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)$790 (hub only)LinkLink
PowerTap Pro ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)$899LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1$37.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2$69.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3$50LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)$28.00LinkLink
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)$35.00LinkLink
Garmin Edge 510 Rubber Cases (Variety of colors)8LinkLink
Garmin Edge Remote$49LinkLink
Garmin Edge Series Extra Bike Mounts (2 sets in box)$10.00LinkLink
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car Charger$10.00LinkLink
Garmin Solar Charging Kit$71.00LinkLink
Garmin out-front bike mount (For all Edge units, 310XT/910XT/920XT with Quick Release)$38.00LinkLink
K-Edge Garmin Handlebar Mount X-Large for Edge units (including Edge 1000)$45.00N/ALink
Lifesource UC-324 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale (My recommendation)$109.00LinkN/A
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!$55.00LinkN/A
Power2Max ANT+ Power Meter$970 (no cranks)N/AN/A
PowerCal ANT+ Estimated Power Meter$99LinkLink
SRAM Quarq Cinqo (Original) ANT+ Power MeterDiscontinuedLinkN/A
SRAM Quarq Elsa & RED ANT+ Power Meter$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)LinkLink
SRAM Quarq Riken ANT+ Power Meter$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)LinkLink
Shimano SM-EWW01 Wireless Unit for Di2$79LinkLink
Stages ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Power Meter$699N/ALink
Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale$215.00LinkN/A

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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611 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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…

  4. 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!

    • 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). 😉

  5. 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.

    • 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.

    • Harmless Harm

      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.

    • 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.

  6. 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.

    • 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.

    • Dan

      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

  7. 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!

    • chickeee

      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

  8. Recycled

    Perfect, thanks chickeee. All go then! Cheers.

  9. 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.

    • 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

    • 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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

  18. 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)…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    • 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

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

    • 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

    • Timo Krogh

      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?

    • 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).

    • Timo Krogh

      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.)

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Lars Mouland

    Hi. Does anyone know if it possible to get HRV and R-R data from the 510?

    • Harmless Harm

      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).

    • Eli

      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

  26. 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

  27. 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?

  28. 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?

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

    • 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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

    • 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.

    • Matthew Brett

      Sorry about the multiple posts, every time it said it failed to post. Thanks for the advice.

  34. 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?

  35. 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.

    • 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.

  36. DelhiRider

    Ray,
    I just wanted to say thanks, this is the most detailed review I have ever read till date.

  37. 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?

    • 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).

    • Rick

      Thanks for the reply Ray and the great reviews.

  38. 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!

  39. 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?

    • Having now purchased a Garmin Edge 510, I can confirm that both axis on the elevation chart stay set to where you previously left them, both when loading a different course or just in general ‘ride’ mode with no course loaded.

  40. Asyraf

    Do you guys use screen protector with Edge 510? Will the screen easily scratch if i don’t use it?

  41. Another question, how much data does the Live Tracking feature use? How many mb per hour for example?

    Thanks

  42. bts

    Was probable mentioned, but 510 tracks glonass satellites which doubles the number tracked. Trail riding is way more accurate compared to the 500. So I would Sayyid you ride mountain bikes get the 510. Roadie get the 500.

  43. Ray

    Thank you for the time & your detailed descriptions of various functions. I found that your instructions were far more useful & clearer than the garmin manual for the Edge 510.

    I have a greater understanding of its many features & I am ready to use my device in a greater capacity.

    Very helpful.

  44. Love your blogs. I have an issue maybe you can help. I just completed the Gran Fondo NY and was using my 510 and the Live Track on my iPhone via Garmin mobile app. When I got to the finish, it pressed the pause button. The bike sat for 30 minutes or so & had shut down prior to my returning to it. When I powered it back on, all the data was lost from this ride. Is there anyway to re-capture the data from the LiveTrack?

    Thanks

    David

    • It’s finicky in that situation. Sometimes you can toggle either the Bluetooth settings on/off on your phone or the device and it’ll re-pair, but honestly most of the time once you’ve lost that connection due to power-off you’re kinda hosed. :-/ For temporary loss it usually re-pairs pretty quickly (something random like getting a water bottle filled and walking out of range and back in seconds later).

  45. Jason duckworth

    Just bought one of these and I have to say that sum is greater than the individual parts by this I mean the small upgrades make a massive difference to the user experience I have a 500 which I am now serving because the 510 is so much better the ability to switch bikes the ability to switch profiles the automatic uploads make the whole experience significantly easier can’t recommend enough

  46. Brad Janson

    Thanks for the awesome review. Didn’t see it before purchasing the garmin 510 last week. It is dropping the speed readings despite the sensors proper placement and latest firmware 3.0 update. Example: while traveling at 22 mph it will suddenly show a speed of 4 or 5 or 7 mph for a second or two. That messes up the data and garming correct charts with spikes of speed drops. Can anything be done?

  47. Jim

    Ray,

    I have been using the 500 for a year now and was just given the opportunity to trade in my 500 and upgrade to the 510 and only have to pay $50 for the upgrade. Would you recommend going with the upgrade? I like the virtual trainer on the 510 and the upload process but just wondering if it is worth it?

    Thanks for taking the time to reply!

  48. Steven

    Yesterday the 510 just stopped recording HR, cadence, and power after a rest stop at mile 100 of a 125 mile ride. It’s obvious that Garmin has not fixed the problem as they claimed to have done for software version 2.9. I’ve had this problem occur with both v2.9 and v3.0. IMHO, this unit is not reliable even after many firmware updates and months after initial release.

    • Mike

      the same thing happened to me on Friday! I changed the battery on my power meter; it worked for one more day after pairing everything again but today not reading any sensors. Also the 510 changed from metric to imperial all on its own

    • Harmless Harm

      Happened twice two me, for my device when going above 6h, which does not happen that often. But it happened in Ironman Lanzarote few weeks back. Very annoying, and unacceptable.
      I asked Garmin for device swap, which they eventually accepted. I assumed I was having bad unit, maybe HW is just instable. With new 510 I hope to be relieved from beeping “phone connected” / “phone disconnected”, and poor auto-stop behavior.

  49. Brad Janson

    I found the solution to the speed drop problem I just posted. I took out my manual wheel size entry and let it do it automatically. The calculator must have had to pause periodically to make calculations with the wheel size I entered otherwise.

  50. Neil

    Hey Tim, firstly let me thank you for your in-depth review of the 510 and in fact all of the other Garmin reviews you have posted. Good honest information.

    I am currently trying to decide if I should get a Garmin and if so, which one. Maybe you could help?

    I tend to cycle between 150-250km a week on roads that I mostly know. Occasionally I ride somewhere local that I don’t know the route. I am looking at exploring further and further into unknown location territory. I like using the ridewithgps website to plan out a route in advance and which I take screenshots of junctions / turns where I could get lost.

    I am using my iPhone with Strava and a HRM at present. This suits me really well. What I’m looking for is something I can upload a route to and have it tell me turn left, turn right etc as I’m riding that route. The cadence/hr/speed info isn’t so important to me, I can see all that on Strava when I get home.

    Is there something much simpler out there that will work? Should I be looking at the Touring model instead?

    Thanks for your help, sorry for the huge post.

  51. Anyone had problems with the Elevation graph?

    My last ride, and the one 2 before, the elevation graph just flat-lined through the whole ride. The elevation gained and the grade under the graph were working, just the graph itself had a flat line through the middle.

    The ride in between these two rides, the graph worked fine with its ups and downs.

    The axis haven’t been altered which could flatten the graph

    Running fireware 3.0

    Cheers

    • Double check whether or not elevation correction is or is not enabled on the activity in Garmin Connect (lower left corner). Also, dunk the unit in some warm soapy water for about 5 minutes and ensure the small barometric altimeter holes on the back aren’t clogged up (gel, salt, banana, mud, whatever). Gently use a toothbrush if suspect.

    • Perfect Ray, thanks.

      Garmin is having a swim right now 🙂

      Your reply also gave me something to google, and it seems the general opinion is that a silicon case prevents the error from happening, so will get one of those ordered for it.

      By the way, elevation correction was disabled in connect, and has been for last 10 or so rides.

      Cheers

    • Yeah, the silicon case helps keep things clean there. And btw, after having just taken a quick look at the 510 on my desk, it’s actually just a single hole on that unit (not three as some other units) – just in case others are looking some time…

    • pdub

      Does the silicon case interfere with the altimeter readings? They really should have put the sensor opening on the back, behind the mount. My gets blocked by water & much on a semi-regular basis, messing up the altitude data.

  52. Mike

    Anyone else have trouble with the % grade readout? Some other forums have asked the same question I have but nobody has posted an answer – my % grade fluctuates wildly and quickly by several units. My 705 did not have this problem….

  53. graham

    Has anyone actually got the cue sheets to work, I have created a route with electronic cue sheets from Ride with GPS and downloaded as a .TCX file but I’m unable to get the advance turn notifications working, I have also tried GPX Track and Route as well can anyone help, what am I doing wrong…

    • James

      If you scroll up a comment posted on May 4th had step by step.

      Basically save as tcx, load into bikehike website, then save again as tcx adding a turn warning distance. Works for me

  54. graham

    Hi James
    Sorted it, once I had loaded the course I had chosen the screen then showed
    Summary
    Map
    Elevation
    Ride
    I was selecting MAP and should have selected RIDE it all works now
    Thanks

  55. Sonja

    Hi!

    I am really glad you posted this, it has been so helpful! Also the review on the vector pedals, as I have them as well. So my question is, when I’m doing a triathlon, whats the best time to start my edge bike computer? Since I have to calibrate the power meter as well, should I just start the timer before I leave transition to start my swim? I can’t see how I would have time to start the edge, calibrate the vectors, then start the timer, all after my swim and as I’m trying to get on my bike and start riding? Any tips? Thanks.

    • I would turn on your Edge pre-race before the swim, and complete calibration then. You can go ahead and turn it back off if you want. Or if you’ll only be gone a short time (i.e. only an hour or so), then you can just leave the Edge on (just depends a bit on how long the event is).

      Upon arriving back at your bike simply get your helmet/shoes on (or shoes on later if you put them on the pedals) and head out. Tap the start button at the usual location at the T1 end line and/or mount line.

      Once out of T1 on your bike and ‘stable’, then go ahead and find a place ideally in the first 10 minutes to quickly backpedal until the calibration message pops up (5 seconds or so). That’s it!

    • Reidar Lange

      The back pedal calibration is no longer available for the Vector pedals.

  56. Great review, I moved from a 705 to the edge 510, and I am very pleased. Curious how our cold north east winter and gloves goes tho.

  57. Sonja

    Thanks, will have to try it out during a race!

  58. Doug C

    I have the Edge 510 and my experience with it has been horrible. Every long ride I have been on after 40 or 60 miles I lose my heart rate and or cadence. Even after searching and linking the heart rate strap it still doesn’t display my HR. Even after cycling the unit on and off nothing. Garmin was nice enough to send out a replacement HR strap, didn’t solve the issue. I exchange my 510 for a new unit on a Friday, updated the software on Saturday, First ride on the new unit a century on that Sunday I lost my HR as usual. Very frustrating.

    This past weekend on another century I was using the 510’s”navigation”. I had the course started and it wouldn’t give any directions. When you are on a course that is confusing with a whole bunch of similar street and you have a computer with guidance and it doesn’t work it is very frustrating.

    Based on your review I am not going with the Garmin 1000. I am thinking of going with the 800 or the 810. The 800’s have really good pricing. I am not concerned with all the training functions as much as I want HR monitoring, cadence and gps.

    I do have a samsung S4 galaxy. I also have a huge external battery. Do you think I might be better off using the phone and an app with another HR monitor? I do plan on doing some double centuries.

    Thanks

    Doug C

    • I’d go with the 800 or 810. I think the 800 is perfectly fine though for most things. I think going to a phone for navigation you might be disappointed today with the combo of map navigation and regular bike metric tracking.

    • Doug C

      I rode with the 510 on Saturday because my 800 wasn’t in yet. Sure enough I lost my heart rate several times. Towards the end of the ride (double century) last 40 miles i couldn’t get it to link up.

      I have had numerous problems with the 510 I can not believe how crappy this computer is. I am hoping the 800 works better.

  59. Marek

    I crashed during the race lately and manged to break to the mount and the back plane of the device. Since the Edge itself is working just fine, I just needed to replace the back case. So I’ve send it to garmin and I hope it will be back in week or two.
    What really makes me mad, is that I also broke the mount. I mean that “mounting machanism” inside of the mount.
    I thought that since you can just unskrew it (to change the orientation) it will be possible to replace it. Well, it isn’t. I was told, there are no spare parts for the mounts, so I just need to buy a new one…

    If someone else manged to break the mount, I’m intersted in spare parts 🙂
    Marek

  60. Alex

    (Update: From what I can tell, the Lap Summary page never made it to the production release, thus is not included.)

    Does anybody know if th Lap summary feature has been added in the meantime? (by firmware update)

    Thanks!

  61. Tony D

    I have a brand new Edge 810 that I’d like to sell. Is there a section of this forum where it’s ok to post it?

  62. Scott C

    Hey Rainman, do you know how long the battery life is supposed to be on the 510 and some good ways to minimize battery usage?

    Scott

    • It should be a 15-hour battery life. The best way to minimize is to reduce the brightness of the screen. That’s the biggest contributor to battery burn.

  63. steve

    Twice now my 510 has stopped recording power after 5 hours into a ride, does anyone know of a solution for this, the gps keeps working, I had a 910 on at the same time and it kept recording so I do not think it was the power meter

  64. Mark

    Ray, has Garmin intimated of improving the Segment function for the 510 to bring it to the same level as the Edge 1000? Although not at the same level as Strava on the Edge 1000 it is better than the current 510.

  65. KT

    Hi Ray,

    The ‘running’ hack you mentioned recommended the Garmin 310 quick release kit. In Aust, its very difficult to find the 310 kit, however from this video, it appears to be quite similar. Are you able to confirm whether the Garmin 910 XT Quick Release Kit is compatible with the Garmin Edge 510?

    • Yup, the 910XT kit is compatible with the Edge units (it’s just not compatible with the back of the 310XT). So either the 910XT or 310XT kit will work. Enjoy!

  66. John Weerts

    Ray, first of all, Thanks a lot for your splendid reviews. Have based my bying decisions on them and they have always been spot on. However getting older and my eyes weaker I miss one item: Readability of the UI. How does the 510 do compare to 500. Latter is rather small and weak and I do not use my reading glasses while training.
    Q: how do they compare?

    • Mike Donovan

      that’s why I bought the 510. It is larger and the screen has better contrast. Many other things are irritating however. But the screen is great (unless it is in your pocket and then some of the fields may get changed if you don’t bother to lock the screen first – careful because that button also turns it off)

    • The 510 has fare more contrast, brightness and visibility than the 500. Two totally different beasts.

    • John Weerts

      Thanks!

  67. Helmut H.

    That’s an excellent idea. Active old people are a huge future market.
    And btw, also younger ones would profit from a more ergonomic displays and usability.
    For example on the Edge 500 the display for workouts that displays the data for the coming section is waaay to small.

  68. Greg K

    Ray, I have the 510 and I recently picked-up a Scosche Rhythm+ from CT. I tried pairing the devices, but the 510 simply states that it cannot locate the HRM. I haven’t had any problems connecting the HRM to my Fenix 2. Other than simply utilizing the heart rate monitor locator function on the 510 (which isn’t working), is there anything I can try to pair the two?

    Also, is it even possible to engage/connect the 510 to the following at the same time: (1) cadence sensor, (2) HRM (Scosche Rhythm+), and (3) LiveTrack? Obviously, the 510 can handle the ANT (cadence) and the BT (LiveTrack) at the same time, but can it handle ANT (cadence), ANT (HRM), and BT (LiveTrack) all at same time? Thanks very much.

  69. Phil B

    Is it possible to connect the Garmin 510 directly to the Wahoo Bluetooth SC Speed and Cadence sensor? bypass the iPhone and save some battery perhaps?

  70. Kyle

    Thank you for the very detailed review, it is extremely helpful.

    Could you please talk about the virtual partner a bit more? Will virtual partners only run at an average speed- say, your goal? If so, say a course the partner is traveling on is a climb then descent, if I have a particular average speed goal, the virtual partner would be kicking my butt until I “caught up” during the descent because he’d be traveling the same speed up the climb and down it, correct? is there any way to have the VP mimic a more realistic pace or do the pace based on how you traveled the course previously?

  71. Andrewwilliams9

    Virtual Partner, is set at a constant pace, so as you say, he flies up the hills, but is slow down them.

    If you ride a route however, then use that route to create a course. When you load up that course, the virtual partner runs at the speed that you previously did the course (slow up the hills, fast down them).

    OI you load a course from a previous ride as stated above, you can also make the VP run at a percentage of that previous ride, eg 105% so he will go slightly faster everywhere.

  72. One hit wonder

    Thanks for the review.

    Heard any rumors about when the 520, or whatever the successor to the 510 is called, is going to be released? 2015 I hope…

  73. Marshall

    Do you know how the 510 calculates calories – is it heart-rate based or just time/distance? I am finding quite a discrepancy with my 310XT on the same activities

    • Heart rate based. Details in this post: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Just substitute Edge 510 for Edge 800 – same options.

    • Marshall

      Thanks Ray. I found this in the Garmin FAQs:

      Devices that utilize the Firstbeat calorie computation are:
      ◦Forerunner 910XT and 310XT
      ◦Forerunner 620, 610, 220, 210 and 110
      ◦Forerunner 410 and 405CX
      ◦Edge 810, 800, 510 and 500

      I see in your table you have the Edge 800 using First Beat Gen 1 algorithm. Why would they bring out the Edge 510 with Gen 1 and not Gen 2 – although it might explain the different with my 310XT?

    • Mike Donovan

      Ray’s 2010 article said Gen 2 was applicable only to running and not used in cycling products

    • Marshall

      But he qualified that with a “yet”, and that was four years ago.

      He does mention that the algorithm “learns” from each workout, so maybe my new Edge 510 just needs some time to “learn” more about me.

    • I’ll check and see if I can get clarity on that. It’s been on my list to revamp that post a bit with newer units. I do know however that Garmin has been hesitant to port in many of the more advanced HR related functions to the cycling units lately (whereas running gets some of them).

    • Marshall

      Thanks, that would be helpful. When it comes to calorie counts, absolute accuracy is not essential, but consistency between devices is important. I wonder if they figured most serious cyclists would be using a power meter and so heart-rate based calorie calculation is not so important on the Edge series?

  74. Robert

    Hi Ray,

    for the same price I can get Edge 510 or Edge 800. Which one is better to take? Navigation is not the priority.

    Thanks

    • If you don’t care about navigation, then the 510 makes more sense because of the connected features and the fact that if there’s any new-feature updates to be had, it won’t be on the Edge 800 at this point.

  75. Mark Shaffer

    How do you find the battery life on the 510? I struggle to get 6 hours as I have GPS + GLONASS and backlight staying on. For most rides this is OK, but have had issues with my longer rides such as the Etape this year.

    • backlight always on? Seems like there is an easy way to get better battery life by not doing that

    • Reidar Lange

      Use a power bank. Connect it before start and remove connection as soon as batery level starts to drop from 100%.
      This summer i did a 20+ hours endurance race with this solution and my Edge 510 were fully charged the whole time.

  76. Derick

    If you are debating between the 500 and the 510 and your reason for leaning towards the 510 is the ability to upload activities with your phone I have an alternate solution.

    The 510 is $325 and the 500 is $200 for the base model.

    Android
    If you have an Android phone made in the last 2 (maybe 3) years then all you need is the USB cable that came with your Garmin device, a $2 OTG (on-the-go) cable and a (optional) $6.70 app called ST Uploader. That’s less than $10 vs $125.

    Plug the OTG cable (micro-USB male to USB female) into your phone. Connect the Garmin USB (mini-USB male to USB male) to the device and and the OTG cable.

    If your only concern is getting the activity on Strava, you don’t need the app. You might need to download a file browser (generally free) and just browse to the activities folder on the Edge 500. Long press on the file you want and select send/share (or something to that effect) and select your email app. Then email the file to upload@strava.com. This will work with any Garmin devices that acts like a USB drive.

    If you want to upload to Garmin Connect (or many other sites like Endomondo, Runtastic, TrainingPeaks) or if you have a device that doesn’t act as a USB drive (like the FR305) you need the app.

    The apps is pretty straight forward.
    Connect the Garmin device. Open the ST Uploader app. Click on “get activities”. Wait (warning if you have a bunch of new activities on your device you might have to wait a few minutes..) Click the activity you want to upload. Press “export” and select the site you want to upload to. You will have to sign in with the proper credentials for that site. Selecting Strava still goes through email. You can also send courses to the device, but I haven’t tried it.

    Uploading to Strava via email takes a few minutes because it has to travel as an email and then they have to process the file. Uploading to Garmin connect is pretty fast. If you also download the Garmin Connect app you can view the activity as soon as you upload it. The cables are pretty small and can be stored pretty easily in your saddle bag or left in your car.

    If you have a device that uploads via ANT+ and your phone is ANT+ compatible (Most Sony and newer Samsung phones) you can use the app to upload via ANT+ (haven’t tested personally). If your phone doesn’t natively support ANT+ you can use the same OTG cable and an ANT+ USB stick ($30-$45).

    iPhone
    Sorry, I don’t know if there is an option. Unlike Android, the adapters/cables generally cost more (especially for iPhone5 because they need to be certified). But I think it is worth looking into. A riding buddy of mine has an iPhone so I connect her Edge 500 to my phone and email the activity to her. She then forwards it to Strava.

  77. phillip

    Hi,

    I am having trouble getting cadence to show up on my display. When I maximize the number of data fields to 10 in the training pages, it still does not show up. Any thoughts?

    Phil

  78. John Kilpatrick

    They’re still selling the 500, and you still seem to recommend it. Other than the phone stuff, is there anything *else* that the 510 does better? Is it at the point where, if money isn’t really the main factor, you’d pick it over the 500?

    • Reidar Lange

      Not sure, but the 510 get gps fix real fast. Thig I read somewhere that this is an improvement over 500

  79. Sean

    Does anyone know how many workouts the Garmin will store? Or if there is an easy and quick way to add/remove workouts back and forth from Garmin Connect and the device?

    • Recorded workouts or planned workouts? Recorded, a crap-ton. Planned…hmm…I’ve transferred a lot without any issues.

    • Sean

      Planned workouts. I have a decent amount of planned workouts on my schedule and it would be nice to just enter them into the 510 and leave them there to choose from, instead of enter and then delete each day. There may be a way I haven’t found yet, but I can’t seem to easily add and then remove workouts from the unit through Garmin Connect, only delete off the actual device.

  80. Frederic

    I exclude zeros for power reading and I’m wondering whether I should change that setting.
    If the ride is mostly steady state it’s probably not a big deal but it could be on long descents. Changing would break comparisons with previous recordings however. So far I store everything in TrainingPeaks.

    “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.

    What are the older apps?

  81. ChristopherD

    I believe the Garmin 510 syncs directly with Strava now. I saw it mentioned in a Flipboard post and my uploads are now available at the end of my ride, right after the device uploads them to Garmin Connect, rather than the 15 minutes to half hour it used to take.

  82. Acura

    Anyone using 510 has the touch screen issue?
    My issue is like this: the touch of any bottom buttons will only response to the bottom right corner of the screen, e.g. if i press the “folder” in the main screen, it will responses “setting” in the corner. And other touch also response a wrong position.
    I have tried the master reset but still cannot fix the problem.

  83. Steve J

    Hello – I’m late to this review (and party), but I have a question.

    I’m in the process of dumping my Wahoo sensors/system because of EXTREME frustration with unreliability. That said, I’m looking for a new system. I am a road cyclist who rides apx. 2000 miles per year. I have a Powertap G3 hub and am looking for a computer unit that will work for me.

    I see a lot of folks (and you) do not see the value in upgrading from the 500. I get that. However, in your opinion, is the 510 a good move from a Wahoo BLE system that does not function on any regular basis? I get so frustrated during my rides with data dropout, app freezing, and BLE sensor dropout that it upsets me and just negatively affects my ride.

    Having said all of that – Which other systems would you recommend I take a serious look at? I’m about to make the move (and investment) and want to do this once….I hate this type of change. Any thoughts?

    thanks

    Steve

    • I suspect your Wahoo issues are probably more related to BLE connectivity that either the sensors or the app. But, that’s just my guess.

      In any event, the Edge 510 has seen some nice stability improvements since I wrote this. But, for most if you go with the Edge 500 (save some cash), and then pickup ANT+ sensors you’ll see very few (none) complaints.

    • Steve J

      I’m pretty sure you’re right. I have had consistent issues for several months now. Several issues with sensor dropout and buggy app readings. My RFLKT & PowerTap will just dropout for no (apparent) reason and the only way to fix this is to reboot *everything* during a ride. It’s frustrating and distracting. I have well documented my experience with Wahoo. I’m bummed because I love the RFLKT and really want this stuff to work.

      I saw you reviewed the RFLKT+. Do you think switching to the + and using ANT+ sensors would make a difference? I Have tested this setup EXTENSIVELY and would be happy to share, but maybe this forum is not the place….I’m ready to give up some features to have something that is reliable. Thanks for the tip. I’m looking for a 500. My question regarding the 500 is – how customizable are the in-ride screens?

      thanks

      Steve

    • It’s hard to say. I suspect it would resolve it, but at the same time, I wonder if perhaps you’re having a Bluetooth issue on the phone itself. It’s actually not unheard of, about once every 2-3 months I’ll hear or someone with that and they’ll go to the Apple store and swap it out and life is grand again.

      My concern would be that if you’re swapping out to the + edition, you’re still dependent on the BT connection to the phone though.

      As for the Edge 500, it’s fully customizable on the ride screens, the world is your oyster there.

    • Steve J

      Right. My thinking is that there will only be ONE device connecting rather than four.

      Wahoo kept blaming iOS 7. They claimed 8 fixed the issues. I have an iPhone 5 running iOS 7 and an iPhone 6 running iOS 8. Using the most current version of the app on both phones. The 5 (iOS 7) is now working fine. The 6 (iOS 8) works great with the Wahoo sensors, but will not stay connected to the PowerTap G3. Weird, I know.

      I don’t care so much about weather or tracking. I just want something that is reliable, stable, and customizable.

      Thanks for the reply

      Steve

    • There’s actually some truth there. There’s some bugs that were introduced by Apple into the BLE stack in iOS7 that hosed Wahoo, that they then fixed in iOS8 (Apple fixed). At the same time, there’s also bugs in the iOS8 stack that are hosing other vendors (for example, Jabra is running into one introduced by Apple in the latest update). One of the challenges with depending on other companies for your products.

    • Steve J

      As an iOS Developer, I totally understand that. It’s a big part of why I want to switch. When the Wahoo stuff works – it’s the greatest experience. I LOVE the RFLKT. However, when it fails – it’s the WORST experience.

      When everything is working perfectly – no worries. But when something changes on the OS side that affects an app or connectivity (happens often – even with Apple) it can shut everything down. As an end user, I have to wait until a company like Wahoo writes a patch to fix the issue (assuming there IS a fix) before things work properly again. Assuming that is possible it could still take a few weeks for this lifecycle to complete… And in that time I’m hosed.

      I have a much better ride experience when my technology is transparent, as it should be.

      Steve

  84. Kyle

    From what I see, selecting either courses or workouts bypasses selecting an activity & bike profile and hitting “ride” instead, you go into the folder. When doing a workout (or a course) what activity profile is used? Is “workout” its own activity profile?

    Instead of hitting “ride” on the main screen, you go to a folder. Is the bike/activity profile you get the one that was on the screen before you went into the folder?

    Finally, can you do a course and a workout at the same time? If so, how?

    Thanks

  85. Cuncun

    Hi,
    Can put map img file into 510 garmin edge? like mapsupport.img for 800 series? If not how to put map into 510? Thank you

  86. Zhafri G

    Hi Ray,

    I have been using the 510 for almost a year come next month. No real issues but since few months back I was having issues with it’s touchscreen. Specifically, the only touchscreen button that works is the Back arrow. Pressing any other surface of the touchscreen does not make any difference. However, note that even that the Back arrow works, the screen does not actually go back, but forward instead.

    I have tried to calibrate the touchscreen from the settings in the menu but it did not help. Have you heard of this issue before and what could be done to fix it? Thanks in advance.

  87. Jim

    Hi Ray,

    I’ve been using the 510 for about 8 months now. Haven’t had any real issues until the last 2 rides. The unit is not recording speed, distance, and elevation correctly. For example I went on a short 15 mile loop I do when time is limited. By the end of the ride the garmin stated I had only gone 11 miles with an average of 10mph. I didnt think anything of it at first but when it happened again, I noticed that when uploading to strava, it corrected to the right distance and speed. Any thoughts on why this might be happening?

  88. Daniel Ferland

    When can we expect a new Garmin Edge 510 (Edge 520?)? January 2015?

  89. Michael

    I am a long time 500 user, until someone ripped it off the bike on a charity century ride. So, now I’m in the market for a new Garmin.
    In your review, you mentioned that there is no individual odometer for the bike profiles (which the 500 has for the three bike profiles). Has that limitation ever been addressed on any of the 510 firmware updates? Is the odometer on the 510 an accumulation of all miles on all bikes, or will it individually track each bike’s mileage?
    Thanks!

  90. Drew W

    If I put a wireless transmitter on my Di2 tri bike (link to goo.gl), would my 510 be able to display my current gear on the heads up display? Or is that something only the Edge 1000 can do?

    I don’t want/need it to auto change gears for me. I just want to know what gear I’m in without having to look back at my wheel.

  91. Mike McCracken

    I have been using the 510 for almost a year now for MTB & some road cycling. I used it 3-5 times a week to mostly do tracking & logging of workouts. I have issues with the heart rate not being accurate. I have upgraded the strap to the Polar soft strap which does a much better job of picking up the heart rate but there is still an inaccuracy that I am noticing. For instance, I was pushing kind of hard’ish yesterday on a mild uphill logging road, expecting my HR to be around 155-165…the read out was 104. I even reviewed the downloaded data and that too was reading low. I wear the same strap for my old S720 Polar watch and it reads HR fine with my last two runs this week. Is Garmin HR algorithms known for not being accurate? I find it a bit frustrating with these inaccuracies when I am doing training. Any suggestions would be appreciated…

    Cheers,
    Mike

    • The HR strap can be an issue, but honestly it sounds like it’s probably dryness. Have you considered adding in HR gel?

      Though, since it’s uphill you wouldn’t have had wind being an issue. :-/

    • Mike McCracken

      I’ll try some bump gel next ride and see if that helps. MTB’ing can sometimes be tough to keep a sweat going to keep the HR strap wet so you might be on to something there in using gel. I’ll let you know what I discover over the next couple weeks.

  92. George C.

    Hello, I just purchased a 510 via CT (thank you Ray).
    While I was setting it up, I tried to add a sixth heart rate zone via Garmin Connect, with no success. Even if I saw screenshots with the plus button to add multiple zones, this wasn’t the case for me on the modern or the classic Connect page. I have already added the 510 to my profile. Does anyone know whether Garmin has removed this feature recently?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hmm, I didn’t drag an Edge 510 along with me on current trip. Have you tried manually setting the additional HR zone via the unit itself?

    • George C.

      Thanks for the reply Ray! Yes, I have tried on the device as well with partial success. There is no button to add additional zones (at least I couldn’t find one on version 3.20 or 3.28 beta) so I tried something else via the device itself:
      I wanted to add an additional zone so that the range would be: Zone 5: 180-190bpm, Zone 6: 191-202bpm.
      I first set the Max HR to 190 then set up Zones 1-5 as normal. Then finally I changed the Max HR to 202bpm, but the upper limit of Z5 remained at 190bpm.
      I haven’t reached 190bpm yet to see what the unit will show, but at 185bpm, the unit shows “Z5.5” as I would expect.
      I am sure this is not the proper (or simplest) way to set 6 zones, so I wanted to know if it’s only me who can’t find the “add zone” button, or it’s not supported at the moment.

  93. Clas Fredriksson

    Hi,

    Thanks for a great site Ray!

    I just bought (today) the 510 and I found out that Garmin has released new firmware which enables segments on both the 510 & 810. Anyone that has tested it? I have not got my 510 yet but I will probably load the new firmware when I get it.

    Check it out here:

  94. Smackafee

    Hi, Ray, I’m coming to this review a bit late, but I’m interested in your advice. I recently upgraded and have a Stages power meter, HR monitor, and am happy enough with using Strava from my phone. On the other hand, I haven’t really done extended rides (more than 90 minutes) recently, and I fear the battery will fail me. At this point, using BTLE4, if I got an Ant+ sensor for the power meter into the phone, will I run out of juice on a 3-hour ride? How can I improve my configuration?

    • It’ll honestly be a wash on the phone battery life whether it’s ANT+ or BLE…same-same there. You’re bigger issue is just the GPS running down the battery. For that, more than 3+ hours might be tight.

  95. Chris james

    Thanks so much for this comprehensive review. Several years back I purchased an edge 500 based on a really helpful review of that product by dcr. Now 16000 km later the lap button has failed. I am lost without it. Great to know if the 510 has new features that make it worth the upgrade and also whether it’s compatible with my current 500 ant related speed/ cadence and hr strap. Fantastic work

    Chris

  96. Don

    Wow, it’s been two years now since the 510 came out. My 500 is still working, but I get annoyed at the GPS signal dropping out sometimes and the unit just recording wild data, which then doesn’t match up with the segments I’m tracking for my training. Hence, why I’m looking at an upgrade, hoping the addition of Glonass will solve that issue.

    I’m actually hoping that a 520 would be released though, with the features of the 510, BTLE, and back to a more 500 like form factor. In a market that seems to move so fast, I’m surprised that after two years, there isn’t a new 500 series yet. Any whisperings in the wind?

  97. Michael

    Please Garmin, make an update for the Edge 500,
    this are my major requests:

    faster link to gps (like forerunner 620)!
    faster screen updating while navigation!
    same size!
    24 hour energy!
    thats all.

    everything else is minor or nothing that matters.

    • Don

      +1 Want faster/more reliable GPS connection and a 500 form factor. 24 hour energy would be the bomb too! BTLE if there’s going to be a BT connection at all. Don’t need 24 hour with the BTLE on.

  98. Jim

    Does the 510 work with the USB ANT+ stick for live tracking. I am testing out a indoor virtual cycling program and need to get my data while riding to the computer. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  99. comat

    just to ask, why my edge 510 not calculate my calories burn while doing the stationary bike eventhough im wearing hrm-run strap?

  100. aleksander hornnes

    Hi DC! And first of all, thanx for a great site you have, i follow you all the time and you are ahead off all others when it comes to equiiptment to sports!

    I have a question to you about my Edge 510, when im training indoors whit my Tacx indoor trainer. I cant get my 510 to read calories, i have the GSC-10 hooked up bot no calories recorded.

    Hop you can answer my question! 🙂

  101. Doug Smith

    I was planning on getting an Edge 510 or 500, but also want an activity tracker. Would you go with a Forerunner 920xt or get the edge and a Forerunner 15? Wasn’t sure if the 510 would have better gps on the bike since it isn’t a multi-focused item. Thanks for all your help!

  102. Tony Barto

    Hi, I just purchased the Garmin 510 and I have not installed it yet. Going through the different screens I was not able to locate the AVERAGE SPEED while your are riding. Is there such a function???
    Thanks
    Tony

    • You can customize a data page and then add it. If you hold down one of the data fields on your screen, it’ll bring up a menu to change it. Then under Speed, select Average Speed.

  103. Haroon

    Hi, Very nice website.
    I have a question
    I am upgrading the bike meter and i was thinking of two options RFLKT+ or Edge 510. I am primarily a road biker.
    Currently i own a windows lumia phone so i need to buy an iphone, since both don’t support the windows phone. The live tracking function is one of the features that i would like to have.
    Since Edge 510 cannot pair with an App during the ride, RFLKT+ gives many options in terms of various app features, but RFLKT+ is phone dependent.
    Currently ANT+ sensors i own are Garmin Heart rate, Garmin GSC10, Ciclo Speed sensor, Ciclo Cadence Sensor and an other speed sensor.
    There is big price difference so which of the two would you recommend i should buy?
    I read your reviews on both the devices but would like to know your opinion which would be the better option for me.

    Thanks

  104. Bojan

    Hi! Thanks for all the invaluable info you have provided here.
    Coming late to the party, I have a question regarding compatibility of older smartphones (iPhone 4, IOS 7) and Garmin Edge 510. Can you confirm that these two devices are fully compatible? Since 06 Feb 2015, Garmin Connect requires IOS 8 and later, so I am not sure if the app would work on my smartphone.
    I am thinking of buying Edge 510 but if they are not compatible (Garmin Connect/Live tracking/Wireless data upload/etc.) then I should probably purchase something else instead (perhaps Edge 500/800 ?).
    Any advice on this matter will be highly appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • In order to use the upload capability, you would indeed need to use the Garmin Connect Mobile app. If that app is restricted to newer iOS versions, then no matter that the phone is compatible, it wouldn’t work. :/

      The thing to keep in mind is that eventually you’d likely upgrade your phone though…

  105. Arthur

    Thank you for all you do.

  106. Alex Lingley

    Hey Ray, have a troubleshooting question regarding my newly purchased edge 510. Wondering if you or any one in these comments has had an issue where the timer (either time or time elapsed) essentially stops when 1hr is reached. The device continues to record power, HR, speed, etc. but the timer does not move from one hour. When I upload rides though, the actual duration is shown (greater than 1 hour).

    Just wanted to confirm if this is something common perhaps because of a setting I have implemented.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  107. Sirk

    Edge live tracking – Do you need to have your phone with you all the time? Can I set up live tracking and leave my phone in my car? For example like races that you don’t usually carry your phone.

  108. Clas

    Since it’s bluetooth connection between the Edge and the phone it requires your races to be within bluetooth reception if you’re going to leave it in the car 🙂 With other word, yes you need to have it with you all the time.

  109. Bill

    Hi Ray, do you know whether the current 510s still use Bluetooth 2.1 rather than 4? I have looked at the specifications provided by Garmin but they don’t specifically say what version Bluetooth is inside. I was kind of hoping that Garmin had upgraded it since it’s been over 2 years since its initial release. Do you know whether an altogether new version of the 510 is being planned for release any time soon? Cheers.

  110. Doug

    Ray,

    I gave up on my 510 in favor of the 800 hoping it would have less problem. This last ride it was turning off on its own. My route shows a straight line where I clearly was not riding in a straight line for 80 or so miles.The night before the ride the back light would not turn on. Then Saturday it starts working. The nav seemed to be working however it was not providing the prompts to turn.

    What computer would you recommend for long distance cycling, this last ride was a 600k. I do have a dynamo hub and use it to charge my Garmin and my phone when the light isn’t on.

    Thanks

    Doug

    • That sounds like a corrupted file type problem, which are easy to fix actually. Corrupted files are usually the case of random shut downs and the like. Remove all your activity files, and course files (as well as any structured workouts). Then do a complete hard reset of the unit.

      If you can avoid putting back the files, that’s ideal.

  111. Brent

    Do the 510/1000 have significantly better GPS reception because of the addition of glonass? I’m still happy with my 800 but I’m noticing that it is losing signal more often when I’m riding under tree cover (on road) than in the past. Thanks!

    • It’s tricky. For some, GLONASS really helps. For others, not so much (and yet a small sliver of people it just completely hoses up). Typically it does help, but it’s hard to quantify.

  112. chris

    I have an edge 800 but don’t use maps. I would like to get the 510 so I can see incoming calls ect but would prefer bluetooth smart. When will garmin update edge 500 series to include this? I have an ambit 3 watch and bluetooth smart hr strap so I want an edge that uses same bt smart.

    • Note that the Edge 510 doesn’t show incoming calls (nor the Edge 810 or Edge 500). And, to add insult to injury, I definitely wouldn’t expect Garmin to support BT smart sensors at the moment (none of their devices do).

  113. Frank

    Hi Ray – do you have any indication if and when a successor for the edge 510 will be released? Any insights on potential features? Thanks

  114. Does anyone know if you can have multiple users on the 510? My wife and I both ride, but rarely together (the non-riding party is usually on kid duty). I’d love to use her 510 over my old 500, but I’d rather not get her rides and mine confused on Connect or on Strava. Thanks!

  115. Jason mckinney

    I have a Garmin 910XT, looking for a dedicated bike cpu that can track wattage. BUT, should i just use 910XT until Garmin comes out with a 520 or something new?

  116. Damian

    Hi, thank you for the review, it was great. Just one question about heart rate functionality: will it work the same as a polar watch, meaning you can set alarms for heart rate so I dont auto-destroy my self if I go above my heart rate limit for my age.

    Thanks!

  117. Martyn

    Any idea if/when Garmin are planning on replacing the 510/810 with (presumably) 520/820?

  118. Vincent

    Thanks for the comprehensive review. Any idea if there is a possbility of changing the data field on the Virtual Partner Screen? I’d like to have my segment time shown on the screen rather than my distance/time vs. my segment’s record. Thanks.

  119. Jake C

    HEY DC, I have to questions and maybe you can link to other posts you’ve elaborated on but i couldn’t find them.

    1. What are your reasonings for including zero’s for power and cadence? And what does this actually mean? I ride primarily on flat roads but i’m guessing it just doesn’t include coasting periods into the averages of rides when zero’s is not included?

    2. NP vs. Average Power, what is the difference here and when riding should i be looking at average or normalized?

    Thanks for all the great help and reviews. I recommend your site to anyone who has questions with fitness tech!

    • Reidar Lange

      Including zeroes: You should include zero readings if hou want true average power and normalized power values. One of the points of having a power meter is post ride analyzis to get a better understanding of how your training is affecting your “form”. Leaving out zeroes wil give you less reliable answers.

      NP is basically a better average that takes in to concideration if your power fluctuates a lot during a ride. If you do a ride on a stationary trainer with steady intensity you will see that avg power an NP is almost the same beeing NP a little higher. If you do an out door ride with lots of variation in power, then the NP will be much higher than average power.

      The NP is concidered the average power you would have reached at that intensity if you were doing the ride on a stationary trainer (with no fluctuation in power).

      As an example, lets say that after a ride you find the folowing values: AVG PW=150W, NP=180W. The NP is 20% higher than AVG PW (Variability index 1.2). This is a clear indication that you have been al over the place (go hard up hils, sprints and so on). If you manage to phase your ride well you should be able to keep the variability index much lower (1.05) If you did that then you would probably be able to rise your average power to around 170W with the same feel of fatigue, and probably resulting in a faster ride.

    • Reidar Lange

      The math behind the NP is as follows
      Thake each power reading and square them 2 times (P*P*P*P)
      Sum these numbers together and take the double square root (sqrt(sqrt(sum))
      Devide by number of values.

      The effect is that high values will rise the the end result more than just using averag power.

  120. Suzanne Harper

    I have a Garmin Edge 510. Recently, Input in a new battery and did my best to synch the sensors. Went for a ride and the cadence works, but the distance and speed are off. It says I am going 11 when I am going 15 and 14 when I am speeding along in a pace line. I checked the wheel circumference settings and the crank measurements and they are correct. What do you think is going on.
    I am not very good with the technical side of things.
    Thanks,
    Suzanne

  121. Suzanne Harper

    I’m confirming my request. I already sent in a question.
    Hmmmm.
    Suzanne

  122. caleb

    hi DC. great review! anyway i just have a quick question.

    im using edge 510 paired with ant+ garmin magnet-less speed and magnet-less cadence sensors. i set my activity profile to auto pause when speed reaches zero. i frequently get auto pause notification even though im moving. is this a bug?

  123. subowl

    You had a prior post with the setting you use for riding / racing with the Garmin Edge series – settings as in screen data display items / positioning. I have used it for 2 years, but my Edge recently had a low battery on a long ride and dumped everything in a full reset. Would appreciate your setting once again. Thank you!

  124. Lukman

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know of any garmin cycling computers which show time spent in a selected power zone in an activity which we can check ON THE FLY, and not after the activity is completed?

    I think many atheletes will find this feature useful.

    Say if you want to go out on an outdoor ride and you want to aim on spending at least 40 mins in power zone 4. There is no way to check while on the bike whether I have spent enough time in that zone, other than to guess or estimated.

    Doing a 10 mins interval doesn’t necessary means that I spend 10 mins in zone 4 because power readings are stochastic in nature.

    If there isn’t this display page on any garmin cycling computers, can you feedback this to Garmin?

    Thanks!

  125. Scott

    How do you reset to factory default?

  126. Aykut

    Hi,

    This may sound weird but my garmin 510 loses satellite signal whenever I use my action camera with this mount (link to amazon.co.uk). My action camera has built in WIFI, even though I am not using it WIFI at all but I am assuming camera WIFI signals somehow blocking the GPS signals and forcing garmin lose it.

    Have you ever experienced this using any GPS device with any other with any other device?

    Thanks a lot,

    • Yeah, every once in a long while I’ll heard of WiFi causing issues with GPS bike computers. It’s rare. In most cases, just turning off WiFi solves the problem. Alternatively, a few have wrapped the underside of the Garmin with tin foil, which blocks the WiFi signals.

  127. luke

    I’ve had the 510 for 3 years and it’s always worked well. However, recently 1 in 5 rides are not recording correctly. I get the ‘GPS fix acquired’ message do my ride, all data recording properly on the screen (speed/time etc) and then when I upload at the end I just get a straight line from the start to the finish with distance reduced and no auto-pause.

    Anyone else had this problem and is it fixable??

    • Reidar Lange

      I have had to format my Garmin 510 because it started to act very strange. Bike profiles disappeared, not logging rides properly. It seems like the file system on the Garmin can get corrupted. To format your garmin follow the steps in this link: link to support.fesports.com.au

      I did a simpler procedure my self, just format using FAT32 and recreated training profiles and bike profiles manually. You should, at least take a note of the odometer numbers for each bike profile you have before you reformat your garmin.

  128. Blake Scanlen

    I’m looking at getting a Garmin Edge. Do you reckon a 510 or 520? Thanks.

  129. Marek

    my Garmin do not tunr on after previous day ,when it went low on battery i did connect to parer and did turn off it, after a night did tray to turn on and no reaction from G 510
    what could be a problem of this situation
    And now when contented to charger did no light up

  130. rick

    my 510 will occasionally (or constantly last night) have the compass screen pop up and not go away without me manually doing so. last night, i’d go back to the main screen only to have it pop up again 30 seconds later. any idea why this is happening or how I can disable the compass?

    • brent

      nothing comes to mind as being obviously at fault. I don’t have a working model anymore but I thought this screen could be disabled completely from the list of available screens. Fiorstly make sure you don’t have the screens set to scroll mode (see in the review for instructions). Secondly go to the training pages and choose the valid one and try to turn it off.

  131. Javier

    Can I pair 2 heart rate straps to the Garmin Edge 510? Will they be detected automatically?

  132. The Edge 510 GPS by Garmin is a bike computer that displays the distance, speed, temperature, altitude and time during a ride, and it does so on a brightly lit full color screen.

  133. Devious

    Background
    I’ve recently got the Favero Assioma Duo pedals and use a Garmin Forerunner 935 to record my rides. When riding outdoors I use an Edge 510 unit as well for display purposes.

    Problem
    Whilst the Edge 510 pairs to the Assioma pedals as soon as I start recording on my Forerunner 935 the power display on the Edge 510 drops out and isn’t being recognised on the screen. It’s like the Forerunner is interfering with the Edge 510 and is stopping it working?

    Has anyone else had this problem?