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The new Garmin Edge 520: Everything you ever wanted to know


Today Garmin announced their latest bike computer, the Edge 520 – priced at $299USD.  This GPS-enabled unit instantly becomes the most advanced bike computer that Garmin has ever released, adding support for a flotilla of new features.  But fear not, owners of the Edge 1000/810/510 and even last week’s Edge 25 are getting some of these new features too.

In addition to the Edge 520 announcement, Garmin also announced a new bike radar and bike light system, which I’ve covered in a separate post.  Further yet, they’ve announced deep integration with Strava for a number of devices (including the new Edge 520).  I talk about the Strava integration later in this post, but also in more detail in a separate dedicated post.

With that, let’s get into the details.

What’s new in the Edge 520:


(Left to right: Edge 200/500, Edge 520, Edge 510, Edge 810, Edge 1000)

As I noted earlier, this is without question the most new features we’ve ever seen come to a bike computer – Garmin or otherwise.  It’s like they’ve been saving up for the past 6 years since the release of the original Edge 500, and decided to cash out in one big swoop.  Some of the below have been added to other product lines (i.e. the Edge 1000), yet others are new altogether.  So I’m sorta using the Edge 500/510 as the baselines, and noting when and where there are variances.

Here’s the skinny:

– Added on-device Strava Segment integration
– Added basemap to device
– Added ability to download 3rd party detailed maps
– Added Bluetooth Smart Text & Call Notifications (previously on Edge 1000)
– Added Recovery Advisor metrics (previously only on some Running/Tri units)
– Added VO2 Max Estimation (previously only on some newer Garmin units)
– Added FTP tracking and testing
– Added Personal Records
– Added Cycling Dynamics metrics (previously only on some newer Garmin units)
– Added ability to control Garmin Varia bike lights
– Added integration with Garmin Varia bike radar system
– Added ANT+ FE-C Trainer Control
– Addition of GLONASS support (was in Edge 510, but not 810 or 500)
– Time in zones (first seen on the FR920XT/Fenix3)

In addition to the above, when compared to the Edge 500, you’ll find these new features that have been added to most Garmin devices as of late.  These are all present/added on the Edge 520:

– Integrated Live Tracking with phone
– Integrated Bluetooth Smart uploads to your mobile phone (and then sync’d to Strava/Training Peaks/Sport Tracks/etc…)
– Ability to download courses and workouts from phone to Edge 520
– Sensor pool concept & Activity Profiles (no bike profiles)
– Support for Edge Remote Control accessory
– Support for Shimano Di2 integration
– Support for Garmin VIRB control/integration
– Added Training Calendar support
– Added Auto Sleep option (turns off if not used for a while)
– Added Lap summary page (seen on Edge 510/810/1000, but not Edge 500)
– Support for ANT+ sensor types: Cadence sensors, Heart Rate Sensors, Power Meters, Speed Sensors, Speed/Cadence Sensors, VIRB action cams, Weight Scales

Now, there are a few things that have been missing from various recent Garmin units, so I double-checked to see if those were there.  They are as follows:

– ANT+ Weight Scale support was kept
– Sharing of files between units directly was kept
– Auto Lap by Position is present/kept

Phew, I think that about covers it.  Well, I hope it does anyway, if not, just drop a specific feature into the comments section and I can clarify.

Before we get into all the details, here’s a video walk-through I’ve put together of the Edge 520.  It covers pretty much all of the major new features and lets you see how you interact with the device:

From here let’s dig into some of the major features.  I’ll of course go into much more detail in my eventual In-Depth Review, which is typically about 30-45 days after the unit starts shipping – once I have final production hardware and firmware.

Basic Use and Menus:

Let’s start off with a few of the basics on use of the Edge 520.  First is that the unit has a slew of buttons, and is not touchscreen.  The buttons are as follows:

Upper left: Light & Power button
Middle Left: Up selection button
Lower Left: Down selection button
Bottom left: Lap button
Bottom right: Start/stop button
Upper Right: Select button (for menus)
Lower Right: ‘Back’ button (for menus)

It’ll take a tiny bit of time getting used to the different buttons if you’ve come from other devices (even Garmin devices), most notably the lap and start buttons being on the bottom of the device.

Next, the home screen is aligned vertically in that you go up/down to the various functions.  In the middle you’ve got ‘Ride’, which is where you start a ride.  Down one option is all of the training and settings functions – such as following a course, doing a structured workout, or controlling a trainer.  As well as the settings menu.



Meanwhile, if you scroll up you’ll get to the ‘Status’ menu.  This menu shows aspects like screen brightness, GPS signal strength, sensor connectivity and mobile phone status.


To start a ride, we’ll just select the ‘Ride’ button.  From here it’ll ask us what Activity Profile to use.  Activity Profiles were introduced with the Edge 510/810, and were designed to allow you to group settings such as data page configuration into a tidy bundle.  In my case, I’ve got a default Train option, and then a custom one I created called ‘Strava’.



After selecting a profile you’ll be brought to the familiar data screen page.  Meanwhile, the GPS chip goes off and finds satellites.


You can of course customize these pages with up to 10 data fields per page, and up to 5 pages (+ the Map, Compass, Elevation, Lap Summary, Virtual Partner, and Cycling Dynamics pages).  Here’s a few pages:



New to the Edge 520 is a bit of a quick access menu, which is accessible by pressing the upper right button.  This will bring up options for configuring in-ride settings, such as alerts, data fields and the elevation.  As well as the Status menu/page we talked about a few paragraphs ago.


In addition to the regular data pages, you’ll also have pages you can enable for Garmin Cycling Dynamics (Vector/Vector2 users), as well as the new map page:


Post-ride there are some new metrics that haven’t previously been seen or offered on the Edge series.  For example, you’ve got recovery time.  This started with the Garmin Forerunner series and has expanded to the triathlon watches:


In addition, within the training options you can now automatically track your FTP levels, as well as perform an FTP test.  Pretty cool.

When it comes to riding the Edge, it’ll act pretty much like any other Garmin Edge device from a basics standpoint.  The unit has a quarter-turn mount on the back of it, so it’s completely compatible with any other Garmin Edge mount out there (including 3rd party ones):



Looking at 3rd party out-front mounts, some of you have asked about how well it might fit with the bottom buttons and pressing them.  I grabbed three random mounts from my collection to try out: The Garmin forward mount, a K-Edge mount, and a Barfly mount.  Below are photos in a small gallery of all of them.

Now – here’s what actually matters: Whether or not the mount is set ‘down’, or is ‘level’.  For example, in the K-Edge mount you’ll see it puts the unit down lower, which means the buttons get closer to the handlebars.  Whereas with the Garmin mount it’s equal in height to the bars – so there’s no button issues.

That said, in all three that I tried, I didn’t have any real issues with pressing the buttons.  It might be a tad bit trickier with the sunken mounts in a sprint or something to press it, but overall not hard.   Of course, there are tons of mount variations from each company (meaning a dozen each from Barfly, K-Edge, etc…).  So you’ll kinda have to use a bit of testing on any given specific model and your bike to see whether/where it fits.

Additionally, Garmin has gone with a micro-USB port for charging and data sync.  Note that the unit does NOT have an additional Micro-SD card slot though, so you can’t expand the storage.

But you can also sync via Bluetooth Smart to your mobile phone (iOS/Android).  With this additional phone connectivity you gain the ability to see text messages and phone notifications directly on the Edge 520.

You can of course turn this functionality off as you see fit.  Finally note that the Edge 520 doesn’t have WiFi within it, compared to the Edge 1000 which does.

Strava Segment Integration:


If past posts are any indication, the most desired sports tech feature out there is the ability to have Strava segments display live/real-time status on one’s Garmin Edge device.  And now, that’s possible.  With the Edge 520, Garmin has enabled the ability to race against various Strava leaderboard records directly on the Garmin Edge device itself.

This means you’ll get status updates as you ride the individual Strava segments, such as how far ahead and behind the record your chasing:

1708 1728 1757

You can specify a number of different records, be it in the KOM (King of the Mountain aka Course Record), or records of your friends, or your personal best.  Additionally, you can also race against your goals for a given segment.


These leaderboards are automatically updated anytime your Garmin device syncs via Bluetooth Smart, USB, or WiFi (on Edge 1000), though it won’t sync mid-ride.  Only before/after.  It’ll sync various segments based on specific conditions and preferences.

Now, to be clear – Garmin is not the first company to introduce this.  Others (primarily apps) have had functionality like this previously.  For example, 4iiii introduced it two years ago.  Still, for most people it’s having it on the Edge that they’ve been waiting for.

In order to give you a bit more detail on this feature – I’ve put together a standalone post where I walk through the entire process step by step of how it works.  You can view that here.

Oh, and one last thing: This is coming to not just the Edge 520, but also the Edge 510, Edge 810, and Edge 1000 – with a firmware update planned for Q3 (by the end of September).

ANT+ Trainer Control:


Next up we’ve got another new feature, the ability to control your electronic trainer directly from the Edge 520.  This allows you to set the resistance of trainers that support the semi-new ANT+ FE-C standard.  The FE-C (Fitness Equipment Control) standard enables trainer companies to allow apps and devices to set the wattage and other parameters on a bike trainer.  Only certain trainers support this functionality today, with the first units being the Tacx Smart Trainers that enabled support about three weeks ago (you can read all about that here).

Since then numerous apps have added support, including Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap and others.  Additionally, other companies including Elite have stated plans for supporting it within their trainers.

As for the Edge 520, it allows you to search for and pair to an ANT+ Trainer:


Then from there you can go ahead and complete tasks such as the normal calibration/roll-down that’s usually done by most trainer apps:


This would then report back a success or failure:


After that you’ve got a few options when it comes to your rides.  These are as follows:

– Follow an activity: This takes a past workout and allows you to re-ride it, simulating the elevation/incline in real time
– Follow a course: This allows you to ride a downloaded course (such as a race, route, or anything else), and changes elevation/incline in real time
– Follow a workout: This allows you to ride a downloaded workout (created on Garmin Connect), where it’ll automatically change the resistance for each segment of the workout
– Specify Resistance: This will specify a given resistance level
– Specify Target Power: This is simple: You set a wattage value (i.e. 250w) and the trainer will keep that wattage

The cool thing about this is that it’ll mean you can easily re-ride a given workout or race course.  That’s often ideal if you’re trying to learn pacing of effort on a specific route.  And no additional software is required to do so.


Same goes for riding a workout, it’ll instantly change the power to whatever you’ve specified within the Garmin Connect workout file:


Here you can see the same thing on the Garmin Edge 520:



In talking with Wahoo Fitness, they have confirmed they will add supporting the ANT+ FE-C standard to the development roadmap for the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR SNAP.  Given the announcement just happened, they are working to narrow down an exact date for implementation of that profile.  But from their perspective they noted they are super-excited about this.

As for other trainer companies, I’ll update this page/section here once companies confirm additional support of the FE-C profile.

(Update: Garmin has confirmed the Edge 1000 will receive FE-C support/control in/by Q4.  It will not be added to the Edge 510/810.)

Mapping Included:


The Edge 520 includes what is known as a ‘Basemap’.  For those that have been around the Garmin block a few times, you’ll know that this map is fairly sparse.  But a map it is.  For example, in all of Paris it only shows about…well..three streets.  Oh, and the river (seen above).  The main goal of this map is to give you some rough perspective on where you are compared to the Edge 500/510 where it’s just a blank page/canvas.

Now at first you might be in the camp of not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, but wishing for a bit more.  Well good news, through the same steps that I’ve outlined in in the past, you can download free (and highly detailed) maps of your choosing to the unit (note: I’ve updated that post with the Edge 520-specific instructions).  These maps are from Openstreet, and are community sourced.  They are the exact same maps you’ll find on the Garmin Edge 1000 and Edge Touring units (as well as on Polar’s V650).  Again, this isn’t done on the Garmin website, but a 3rd party – but it’s silly easy to follow and works beautifully.



Due to the available space on the Edge 520, you won’t be able to download a massive map area, but you can cover your usual riding territory and if you were touring you could easily cover a day or two and then reload.  On a stock Edge 520 there’s approximately 54MB of free space.  For reference, the area of Paris and most of the surrounding areas is 21MB:


Or, looking at Washington DC, this area is 35MB:


And the (much greater) Sydney, Australia and area is 37MB:


All of these easily fit within the 51MB of free space, plus have plenty of space for ride files afterwards.  The back of the napkin calculation for activity file space is .1MB per hour of riding (with GPS & ANT+ sensors).  So 10 hours = just 1MB.  You can use the site to figure out how much space is needed, just follow the instructions in my original post and manually select tiles.

With this said, it’s important to note that the unit does NOT do routable directions though.  Meaning, it won’t tell you to ‘Turn left on Maple Street’, but rather instead give you breadcrumb style tracks overlaid onto these maps.  Additionally, because it’s not routable, it won’t be able to give you directions across town.  Thus there is no point of interest database or similar.

The best way to think of this is that if you’re looking to be able to create directions on the fly during your ride, the Edge 810/1000 are far better options.  But, if you just want to know where you are on the map and be able to zoom around to figure out where you’re going – this will work quite well.

Product Comparison Charts:

I’ve added the Edge 520 to the product comparison database, which means you can compare it against any other GPS bike computer I’ve reviewed.  For the purposes of the below, I’ve added the Garmin Edge 500, Edge 510, and Edge 520, since that’s likely the cross section of products people would be comparing against.

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 9th, 2021 @ 10:29 am New Window
Product Announcement DateJuly 1st, 2015Jan 7, 2013SEP 1, 2009
Actual Availability/Shipping DateJuly 31st, 2015Jan 2013Dec 2009
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB & Bluetooth SmartUSB & BluetoothUSB
Battery Life (GPS)15 hours20 hours18 hours
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGood
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesNoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoNo
MusicGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Can control phone musicNo
Has music storage and playbackNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingYesNoNo
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesNoNo
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesNo
Group trackingNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)YesNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Designed for cyclingYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesQ3 2015No
Crash detectionYes
RunningGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Designed for runningN/ANoNo
SwimmingGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Designed for swimmingN/ANoNo
TriathlonGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Designed for triathlonN/ANoNo
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesNo
FunctionsGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Auto Start/StopYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYes
Virtual Racer FeatureYesYesNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesYesNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)N/ANoNo
Weather Display (live data)YesYesNo
NavigateGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)Yes for maps (but not routable)NoNo
Back to startYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesNo
SensorsGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometric
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyN/ANoNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYEsYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesQ3 2015No
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesQ3 2015No
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)YesNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlYesYesNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)Yes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesYesNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/Android/Windows PhoneGarmin Connect (iOS/Android)Garmin Connect Mobile (not direct to device though)
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 520Garmin Edge 510Garmin Edge 500
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

Remember, you can mix and match any products you’d like within the product comparison database, allowing you to create your own comparison charts.



For those of you that are regular readers, you’ll know well that I’ve been pretty hard on the Garmin Fitness team when it comes to the Garmin Edge devices over the past few years.  In my review of the Edge 510 device two years ago, I noted how the device fell far short of expectations.  And with the Edge 1000 unit, I noted that it was largely a device that nobody asked for.  Today however, I think it’s a case of ‘3rd time’s the charm’, and the Edge 520 is almost exactly what folks have been asking for.

The features are precisely what I and many others have wanted, in terms of aspects like Strava integration, direct trainer control, and baseline mapping.  Plus a smaller size than the existing Edge 510.

Now there’s no doubt always room for improvement.  For example, I’d really like to see Bluetooth Smart sensor support, and I think this might have actually been the rare case where touch screen support might have made sense (due to aspects like controlling trainer wattage).  Or the lack of WiFi is a bit peculiar, as is the lack of Connect IQ support.  But on the whole, for most users this device will hit the spot.

For me personally, assuming the final software and hardware isn’t buggy – I expect this device to become my mainstay bike computer, replacing the large number of Edge 810 and Edge 1000’s that I use on a day to day basis on my handlebars in various tests (most notably power meter tests where I run concurrent units).  The size being the most appealing aspect, combined with the connectivity.

Support the site: Found what you read above useful?  If so – then you can support the site here by ordering the Edge 520 via Clever Training.  They’re accepting pre-orders for the unit, which Garmin says will ship in “Q3” (between now and Sept 30th) – though its expected to likely start shipping much sooner in late July.  They have both the base unit, as well as the bundle unit available, which can be selected from the drop-down list.  In addition, if you’re a member of the DCR/CT VIP Program – you’ll save a bundle as well!

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  1. Tony Baker

    When I control my Tacx Neo trainer using the resistance setting of the 520, I want to be able to change the level of resistance on the trainer when the head unit says 20 or 30% resistance… For example today the 0-100% of resistance is spread over the full 0-2000watts of the trainers resistance, can I change it to spread 0-100% over only the first 0-1000watts of the trainer… I.e. To make the steps in resistance smaller… But without using the wattage as a control?

  2. Mike

    Is the edge 520 compatible with the iPhone 4?

  3. Mike

    Is the edge 520 compatible with iPhone 4?
    I am not so into large mobile phones and I have keep buying it because of his size but recently it has come out of date.

  4. Mike

    I am not so into large mobile phones and I have keep buying iPhone 4s because of his size but recently it has come out of date.

  5. Mike Louvranos

    Hi Ray I am a little out of date with my mobile phone. I am using an I phone 4s because of it’s size.
    Is it compatible with the the edge 520?

    • Stuart

      The iPhone 4S has Bluetooth 4.0, so it should work. No guarantees, though. My advice? Given the age of the iPhone 4S model (about five years now), look at the iPhone SE as a replacement. Yes, it’s a little larger than the iPhone 4 (about 10% taller), but not outlandishly so.

  6. Mike

    Thanks for the reply you have been very helpful! Do you happen to know if the the live tracking along with the msg notification are working with the iPhone SE. I live in greece and I had already two accidents with cars violating a STOP sign.

  7. Mike Louvranos

    Hi Ray, which low cost smart phones are fully compatible with the 520?
    I am planning to buy the 520 along with a trainer and I don’t want to spend much for the smart phone. Since I use it only 3 months per year.

    • Hi Mike-

      It need only meet two requirements:

      A) Be iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 10
      B) Have Bluetooth 4.0 (or higher)

      In general, anything made in the last few years will have those specs. And both of those will be listed in the main specs section or on the box of any phone. Technically you could get into specific iOS/Android versions, but realistically anything that has Bluetooth 4.0 will have a reasonably updated OS.

  8. Soh Seow Hwa

    Dear DC Rainmaker,
    May I know which bike computer screen has a better screen for night cycling; The Garmin Edge 520 or Wahoo Elemnt?
    Thank you!

  9. Nick Ulmen

    i am trying to decide between the 800 edge and the 520 edge. I must have a grade % feature, and would like to give my wife the ability to track on her phone, in case ISIS comes for me, LOL. Which one of these models are the better choice?

    Thank you

    • Michael Swann

      If you have to buy right now, the 520 is the one to go for. 800 is very old and was replaced by the 810. The 810 is old and due for replacement soon.

      If you can wait a little while, there is an 820 which should be announced in the near future. I can’t say when, I’ve just seen something on the5krunner, so nothing official from Garmin. It looks like a 520 but bigger and with a touch screen.

    • Michael Swann

      Actually, it looks to be the same size as the 520.

  10. Mike Louvranos

    Hi Ray,
    Is the 520 compatible with Android 5.1 (Lollipop)?
    Thank you.

    • Graham Starkey

      I use a 520 with a Samsung S6 running Android 6.0.1, it works fine. No problems with the Bluetooth side of things. Mind you, Garmin seemed to have given up trying to get the right number of calories computed (a long running issue with me).

  11. Anthony James

    I just got a 520 and noticed there are no bike profiles. I did not see anywhere in the write up that discussed this. How do you manage all of your bikes in the new 520? In the 510 you just entered your bike info and selected a bike and out you went.

    • The Edge 520 mirrors that of the Edge 1000 before it, it gets rid of bike profiles and instead allows you to create different ride profiles. But it’ll automatically connect to the right sensors on your bike, as soon as you enable those sensors.

  12. circe

    Hi Ray,
    what about 520 In depth review? On the 1st july in 1 year since its introduction……..;)

  13. dombush

    Really happy with my 520 except for one thing…

    I use livetrack to allow the family to know where i am.

    I would guess that Livetrack fails part way through 3 out of every 4 rides. I keep my i-phone in my jersey back pocket and the 520 on the stem.

    Anyone else have this problem or have any potential answers?


    • Sounds like connectivity issue. One thing to try is changing which pocket you have it in. Most cycling jerseys have three pickets (left/center/right). Try using one of the two side pockets.

      I know it sounds silly, but when I’ve had connectivity issues with devices, that often makes the difference.

    • dombush

      Thanks Ray

  14. Scott

    Any GPS tracking problems with Garmin (520) when paired to Stages PM?

    I have narrowed problem down (I believe) to my 520 being paired to my Stages Power Meter.

    I have been having GPS tracking problems on Strava (bad enough to pick up only approximately 25% of segments) with my new 520. I have speed sensor, 1 sec timing, auto stop off, GPS+GLonass

    I tried friends 520 and set up both 520’s identically (from what I can tell)

    I have narrowed it down to Stages being paired to 520 giving our 520’s problems.

    Ride A 7/9/16:
    MY 520 paired to Stages = bad tracking.
    Friends 520 using GPS+Glonass Only = good tracking
    Friends I-phone Strava app = good tracking

    Ride B 7/10/16:
    Friends 520 paired to stages = bad tracking
    My 520 using GPS+Glonass only = good tracking
    My I-phone Strava App = good tracking

    Rides are on MTB in woods, so a person could say tree cover – But other device’s track OK.

    Thanks in advance

    • damien

      thats strange. I do get drop outs from my stages if on an out front mount. but i have never noticed any gps problems even ran side by side with the phone app.

    • JoeL

      Very possible. I have a similar problem but never made the connection. I also have a Garmin Vivoactive and often run this simultaneously with my Edge. The VA doesn’t show power. On a ride last week, the Edge suddenly drifted several blocks away and after uploading the rides, the VA was on track. I will also frequently get “Off Course” warnings on Strava segments although it appears as completed after uploaded. On other occasions the Edge may be 100-200 feet behind in triggering. At the top of a hill / segment end when stopping and recovering it will not record as having passed the “finish line” until I resume.

    • Any chance you have a GoPro next to it with WiFi enabled?

    • Scott

      Response off of Garmin Forum:

      This may not be related but I found the 520 is not so happy under forest cover, still usable though, v6.20. I might try v6.00.

      link to forums.garmin.com

      The 520 is designed for the new demands of Connect IQ 2: Biker Monkey, it has a shelf life of two years, so quite a lot of development to go, it might be a rocky road. The v6.00 firmware could be worth trying as suggested in the post above. Do you have a 510 or other similar device to eliminate the Stages as a cause?

    • JoeL

      Well it’s not the Stages. I rode tonight and disconnected the Stages. There was one Strava segment I was particularly interested in. The 520 was way off course and Strava never matched the segment. I looked at the Vivoactive file from the same ride and I was on the road the entire time. I am going to contact Garmin.

  15. Scott

    BTW, my Bluetooth is disabled, my friends is also (I am pretty sure)

    Stages Support response:
    “Thanks for reaching out to us. I do not know of any way that the Stages would affect the GPS/Glonass signal: it is transmitting power data using Garmin’s ANT+ protocol, and any issues with tracking would be in the Garmin firmware itself. We have seen some issues with using Garmins for ANT+ power data with bluetooth enabled. Does the problem still happen when you have bluetooth disabled on the Garmin itself?

    As this issue is seen across multiple 520s, and likely occurs with any ANT+ power meters, I would go ahead and contact Garmin to see if they have a suggested solution.”

    Poster off Garmin Forum linked to possible solution being to downgrade to firmware 6.0 (pending what version I have now – I haven’t checked). Yes, I am on Garmin Connect.

  16. matt

    I do a lot of riding in the dark. Is there a way to turn a light on to see my data as I’m riding. I tried the light/power button, but if it push it when riding, the screen brightness option always comes up. I typically end up pushing one of the up/down buttons they have to go back to the screen I want to view.

    • You can specify the backlight to stay on permanently until you turn it off, which is what I do when I ride at night. It’s in the settings. Probably best for what you’re looking for.

  17. Denis B


    Just bought a 520 to test it.

    I’ve done some ride with V800 and 520 at the same time and I am surprised to see so much difference in speed and distance after only 15km. The speed can vary above 5km/h in very short time even if the cadence doesn’t. I doesn’t have this problem with V800.

    I’ve set it up to save every 1s (no intelligent mode) and test it GPS only and GPS + Glonass, with no more luck.

    Am I missing something ? Is it design for use with speed sensor ?


  18. RN

    Hi Ray, can you do an unbiased review of the recently launched Bryton Rider 530? It seems to do almost every thing the Edge 520 does with some extra bells and whistles (wi-fi etc), at around the same price as the Edge 25.

  19. Keith K

    I agree with Denis B.
    I’ve had the 520 for about a month, and on a couple ‘known’ courses, the distance reads a mile and a half off over about 15 miles (consistently). And I have the speed sensor! Is there a way to set the wheel circumference as I had done on my old school Vetta? Will I be able to have a separate setting for a different bike/wheel size?
    Besides that, I think the 520 is a great bike accessory.

  20. Brantel

    Yes you can set the wheel size. It’s under the speed sensor settings. It can automatically be set it you can manually enter a number.

    The 520 uses activity profiles not bike profiles so if you change bikes and have different wheel sizes, I think you would have to change the wheel size when you swap bikes unless you have 2 speed sensors. If you have 2 speed sensors, the 520 will connect to which ever one it sees when you turn it on.

    • Keith K

      Thanks Brantel.
      Sometimes It would take a few minutes for the speed sensor to be found by the 520, but it always connected. However, I have never been able to ‘connect’ via the settings page, so I never saw the wheel setting area. After tinkering with the sensor (mostly tweaking the battery connections), I ‘removed’ it from the 520 and ‘found’ it again. It was given a new I.D. number(?) and now seems to work fine. Connects right away, and I set the wheel diameter! I am going to on a ride today that I know the distance of. We will see! I’ll keep you posted.

  21. SJ

    If I preload a TCS route onto my 520, do I absolutely have to go to the starting point of that route for garmin to pick it up or can I “join” the route at any other place? For example, if the route starts a few kilometres behind where I need to go, will I have to go back a bit for the garmin to identify the route or will it pick up the route as soon as I’m on it?

  22. Simon

    Hi DC I’m super confused I have bought an elite qubo digital smart b+ trainer I have a Garmin edge 520 with heart rate strap cadence sensor and speed sensor all Garmin.
    My question is do I need to buy an ant+ USB stick to use trainer and Garmin edge on swift?

    Please reply I cannot work this out and my trainer is due to arrive any day

    • You have two options:

      A) Buy the ANT+ USB stick for Zwift usage (so Zwift can access it)
      B) With an Edge 520 (and most recent firmware), you can connect to the trainer direction, no ANT+ stick required.


  23. Ole


    Is there a “lock buttons” function on this thing that I have missed? Just got one and have done two rides. I only ride technical trail and keep hitting the two lower buttons with my chest and knees as I move around on the bike a lot (the 520 is mounted on my stem). Really annoying to say the least.
    I have ordered a silicone protector and hope this will also reduce this problem somewhat.
    Thanks for a superb review by the way:-)


  24. Diane

    Thank you for the info.. I look forward in your next posts.. question.. my husband and I are avid mountain bikers. We are looking for a device that will track our mountain biking distance, elevation etc. but that we can pair to our computer and log into GarminConnect website with an Ant stick. We did not have a smartphone or any type of a cell phone that supports these apps. We have a older style cell phone and we really are looking for something to pair to the computer. Do you know if the Garmin Edge 520 or any of the Edges have pairing ability to computer? What do you recommend ?

    • Doug Curtis

      The Edge 520 still has a USB port, so if you’re going to have a computer available, you can use the supplied USB cable (be sure to use the Garmin supplied cable – since many phone charger cables don’t include the data lines). Then you can sync the Edge via Garmin Express to the Gramin Connect website and charge the device at the same time. No additional Ant+ stick is required in that case.

  25. Silly question: does the 520 work with Garmin Training Center? That is, does GTC easily import new data from the device (or, can ANT Agent do that?)? I’m considering upgrading from my ancient 500, but I’d rather not sign up for an online account to keep track of my basic data.

    • Stuart

      Yes, it does. Plug it in with the USB cable, and Garmin Training Centre will pick it up, and import the data files, just fine – it’s exactly what I’m doing. (At least, it works on OS X; I can’t comment definitively on Windows, but if it works on a Mac, it should work on a PC.)

      It doesn’t use the ANT agent – just a USB connection. You may have to tell GTC to import data from the 520, from one of the menus – I find that it doesn’t automatically switch between my 910XT and my Edge 520 based upon what’s connected and what has new data.

    • Thanks Stuart!

  26. David ware

    Moving up from 705. Can get 810 bundle for $25 more than basic 520. ((325 v 299). Recommendation?

  27. Brian T

    I recently got a Stages power meter and Garmin Edge 520. For the life of me I can not get the two to talk to each other when the 520 is mounted on my FC35 aero bottle. Any tips, tricks, or advice? Or am I going to have to mount it elsewhere, such as the stem, which I would really, really rather not do.

    • Scott

      Can the 520 find Stages if you put it closer to crank?

      Off of Stages Support:
      Known issues with Garmin Edge 520 when used to capture and display power data:

      ANT+ signal interruption due to orientation, shrouding, water, rider mass, or RF interference

      Cause: The Stages Power meter puts out a signal capable of easily spanning distances of 10-15 meters, so long as the receiving radio is properly oriented. Putting a head unit in a rider’s pocket, on the wrist, or mounting it within any sort of aero shroud or behind a water bottle can cause signal interference and data loss. Additionally, proximity to other electronics can cause RF interference.
      Effect: Signal drops and data loss.
      Solution: Make sure the Garmin head unit is in the open with reasonably clear line of sight to the Stages Power meter. Avoid positioning other electronics and wireless devices between the Edge 520 and the power sensor, as this can disrupt the head unit’s ability to receive the power sensor’s signal.
      Further recommendations: Do not use bar mounted combo bottle/head unit mounts. Do not cover the front of the Garmin head unit with plastic, carbon fiber or other material.


    Can I use my old sensors ( speed & cadence) from my Garmin 510 with my new 520?
    doesn’t seem to want to locate them
    Great review website by the way!!

  29. Mike

    Anyone else getting frequent crashes on long rides using courses? On my longer rides (4-6 hours) my 520 is crashing about once per ride when I use a course. I have a lot of devices/services connected (Varia Vision, Radar, power, heart rate, live track), but running a course is the one that correlates most with the crashes.

    • jeff drew

      HI Mike

      I am going on my 1st 7 hour ride w. my new 520 and using a course.
      I’ll post a comment if I experience the same

  30. snapa55

    I might be missing something, but it seems like I can only have one course on my 520 at a time. Can someone else please confirm this?

    • Michael Swann

      You can have multiple courses on the unit at any time. You can only ride one at a time and if you ride a course, you can’t have Strava segments at the same time.

  31. Michael Gedro

    What would be in your opinion the better Garmin watch to broadcast heart rate to the Edge 520. Is Vivoactive Hr better at it that Vivosmart Hr or should I go higher up the product line?

  32. Robert Silvers

    Is there a way to have the sensor pool know which bike to apply miles to in the “gear” section of Garmin Connect?

    I did set up a Ride Profile for each of my bikes so that I can have data fields appropriate for the sensors on any given bike.

  33. Mike R

    OK, this is strange. Yesterday, 08/13/16, I updated my device before a ride. And I’ve started using the SpeedCADHrz app, which is pretty good.

    Set up the bike, load a 35 course that’s one of my standard rides and head out. Get to the top of my Court, and wow! Flag comes up on the bottom of the display and says “turn right,” and device beeps — all overlaid on top of SpeedCAD.

    Very cool. Turn by turn, yes. Works through the ride.

    Then, there’s another Garmin update when I come home, and I update SpeedCAD as well. This AM, I head out for a short course ride on another course I’ve added to the 520. Disappointment. Turn by turn is gone.

    There’s a setting lurking in a dark corner somewhere, yes? Anybody know?


  34. Lucy

    I am looking for a gift for my super keen cyclist husband. He currently uses the Wahoo RFLKT+ but looking to upgrade. Would you recommend the Garmin 520 over the Wahoo Elemnt? Also if we choose the Garmin, do we need to buy new sensors or will the current Wahoo ones work?

    • Robert Silvers

      If you have Wahoo sensors, they will work with a Garmin 520.

    • Michael Swann

      With the proviso that they are dual band Bluetooth Smart/ANT+.

      That said, the only Wahoo sensor that is Bluetooth Smart only is their original BlueSC. Anything they have produced since is dual band.

  35. Wayne Smith

    Hi Ray
    Its a great little device, BUT ! how do i clear out the memory when it says memory full ?, i dont use it for navigation so no maps, i have no downloads, and ive cleared all my old activities yet i still get memory full, i know a lot of people are having this problem but don’t have a solution, or i’m not sure the solution won’t damage my software, very irritating, any idea’s ?

    • Doug Curits

      There’s a couple of things you could look at without doing any harm.
      1) Make sure segments are turned off, unless you’re using them, but then you could just turn on selected segments.
      2) With the Garmin connected to your computer and the Garmin folder visible, navigate to Garmin -> NewFiles and see if there are lots of files (usually segment related) in that folder. If so, delete them, unmount the Garmin “drive” from your computer and then restart you 520 to see if the error has cleared.

    • Wayne Smith

      Thanks Doug, will give it a shot when I get home.

  36. JON

    Hi Bluetooth on my New Garmin 520 is not “CONNECTING TO MY Phone”. My Phone is saying connected to my Garmin 520 but the garmin 520 is saying “Status Disconnected”!! and it will not connect to my Phone. Also it will not connect to my PC’s bluetooth also even with garmin connect installed on my PC. and that is not connecting to the device. The problem seems to be with the device it’self. I only purchased this a few days ago from Probikekit.co.uk. I would be grateful for you help into this matter.

  37. Steve Baldwin

    Anybody having issues with the Bluetooth connection between the 520 and iphone6s? First few months it’s worked fine but has suddenly disconnected. So far all attempts to re-connect have failed. Just says not found, try moving it closer etc.
    All other sensors are working fine with both the 520 and the phone with other bluetooth gadgets/sensors so at a loss as to what the issue is.

  38. Jenn

    I see that the Garmin Edge 520 can either do smart recording or 1-second interval recording. How do you change which one you prefer? Which one is the default?

  39. thedon

    Great review DC and one of the reasons why i bought one recently and have since convinced a couple of friends to get one as well.
    I was just wondering if you know how to setup the phone to the edge520 to show messages received or who is calling? I heard this was a feature of the device but somehow does not work. I am using an iphone 6 that is successfully paired to the edge.

  40. JoeL

    For the past several months I have been having periodic GPS issues.GPS track will occasionally drift almost 50 feet or more off a road and usually happens in what I term tree lined but not forested areas. Very frustrating when Strava segments are completely undetected in real time or posthoc. Anyhow I was curious and ran my Vivoactive simultaneously on the same ride. Suprisingly, the VA tracked spot on. Yesterday on a group road I had a treelined climb that was completely undetected on the Edge as it was off road, and picked up on my Vivoactive and riding companion’s Edge 500 and Strava iPhone apps. I have contacted Garmin about this while the unit was still under warranty and got a standard response that it is within 30 feet 95% of the time, so its my problem.

  41. Hazar

    I wish My Stats->Personal Records were actually customizable. Also the Training->Set Target.
    I really would like to set some target based on power (for instance max power or best 1 minute average power etc.), so that I it gives me an alert when accomplish that during a ride.

    Is there actually a way to do that?

  42. Timothy F.

    Any idea if the 520 will get group track like the 820. I understand garmin wants to give you a reason for buying the 820 but its kind of unrealistic to think all your friends are going to buy a 820 so that it will be useful.

  43. Adam

    I’m sharing because I didn’t see anyone having the same problems I was having with courses on my 520 but since I solved them, thought I would offer up my experience.

    I could not get Courses that were tcx files or Sent to Device by GC to work on the 520. Every time I went to Course on the unit, it would say the course I selected was invalid and offer to delete. If I did delete, it wouldn’t disappear. I tried making courses on the unit from an activity, sending it to device from GC, and dropping it into NewFiles when the unit was in mass storage mode.

    What I discovered (or at least think I discovered) was that the unit had created an file called Courses in the /Garmin directory on the unit. When I deleted that file (saved it to my laptop first just in case), the unit created a folder called Courses. Now, when I put a .fit in the NewFiles folder or send a course from GC or create a course form an activity, it seems to work. I haven’t had a chance to ride any of these courses so no word yet as to whether it includes enough track points to give me directions but combined with the OSM update to the basemap, I’m now way ahead of where I was last week.

    Incidentally, I also deleted (again first saving to the laptop) the files in the Text folder (language files for other languages) and the image files in the scrn folder (which appear to be screenshots I didn’t know I’d taken). This freed up some extra space on the unit, which I think will make it easier for me to get more courses on the 520 without limiting memory so much that I experience reduction in speed or function.

    Hopefully this is helpful for someone else. Thanks DCR for a great site and the careful attention to detail you always display.

  44. Sam

    Hi Ray,

    Is it possible to get the live weather as a page on the 520? As in one you can scroll through just like your data fields pages, not by having to go back out to the menu and searching through etc etc. I’ve looked for some IQ apps that might solve this but found nothing..

    Thanks! Sam.

  45. RCT

    After years of using my venerable 800 (replaced a stolen 700) I updated to a 520 2 months ago. I wish I had sold the new unit on eBay rather than the 800. I accepted the UI would be different and take some transition time, however 2 months later it is still unintuitive. I could live with that. What I cannot live with is the 520 switching off halfway through rides, freezing when saving rides, and losing the data. Freezing in general, refusing to connect to my phone. Not recording laps, the list goes on. It feels like the product was rushed and under developed.

    My recommendation would be to avoid.

  46. Shannon Rooney

    Hi Ray!

    Thanks for all your helpful info.

    I have a very strange Garmin 520 problem. I have been in touch with Garmin about this, had a lot of back and forth, until they basically gave up on solving the problem, and didn’t offer any further solutions. And I’ve asked at the many bike shops I’ve visited over the summer. Here’s the problem-

    The speed sensor is reporting incorrect numbers, when mounted on my rear hub. I’ll be riding at a constant speed and the computer will show my speed jumping around anywhere from 5-50 kph, when I’m probably going 30. The problem is solved by moving the speed sensor to my front hub, BUT this is only a temporary fix, as I need to have it on my rear hub to use during the (rapidly approaching) winter on my trainer.

    The problem only occurs while I am pedaling. So, it must be a moving component that is causing some kind of interference? It is not a proximity problem, I tested moving the computer closer. It’s not the sensor, Gamin sent me a new one and the same thing happened. I don’t have a power meter on my bike, or, any other sensors (other than the Garmin cadence sensor, but I also tested with that removed, and the problem persisted). Other than that, my bike is just a normal bike….. (2013 Specialized Amira Elite Compact, Dura Ace groupset).

    Any ideas?? If I can’t solve the problem, do you know, can I pair a third party speed sensor with my 520 so I can use it indoors??


    • Klaus De Buysser

      Very strange, do you have some kind of magnet interference in the hub of your rear wheel?
      Did you try using another rear wheel (from a friend?) with the sensor attached to it?

      ps : unrelated to your issue but a speed sensor on indoor bikes isn’t really useful ;)

    • Klaus De Buysser

      Oh, you could try the sensor from Wahoo, both the hub mounted one & the Wahoo Blue SC (both cadence & speed). Work just fine on my 520.

    • Shannon Rooney

      Thanks for replying! I am 99% sure that my front and rear hub are the same, so I don’t think it can be the hub?

      No, I haven’t tried exchanging the wheel, that is on my list, and actually could solve the problem as I was thinking to buy a new wheel just for use on the trainer.

      I know speed isn’t really important indoors, but I want to try Zwift, so I think I need it for that?

    • Shannon Rooney

      Awesome! This might be my solution. Thanks!

    • Doug curtis

      I was going to ask if you had one of the older speed & cadence sensors (where both were in a single unit and required magnets). It sounds like you currently have the newer ones that don’t require the magnets. If you have the other type, It might be worth a try.

  47. Ben Werth

    Is there any way when using it in workout setting (I follow a program from Todays Plan) to change the Power required from ‘Power’ to ‘Power 3 sec average’?.

    Hope this is doable as the real time/instant power data fluctuates so much its proving difficult o maintain the required power for each effort/segment of my workout.

  48. dirk gatsby

    Great review – many thanks

    one question though – can one assign different Ant+ sensors to different profiles ?
    When transferring the 520 from bike1 to bike2 each with their respective sensors it would be nice to not have to inactivate the sensors setup on bike1 and activate bike2 sensors when riding bike 2 – in the interests of battery life


    • No, it’s a general sensor pool. It’ll automatically prompt you which ones to use. And it won’t impact battery life any (on either the unit or the sensor).

  49. dirk gatsby

    Really impressed by your quick response – thanks very much !

    Signed – your latest supporter :)

  50. Scott

    My 520 stopped picking up my HR monitor (Garmin Transmitter on Polar SoftStrap).
    Two rides ago it was not picking up for the first time – wet straps and it worked.
    Last ride it did not pick up with wetting. Tried new battery fresh out of package (it was a twin pack and the other worked in my PM), Both waiting minutes after battery was out to “flipping” battery over to short circuit,,,still not responding. Ideas? If I end up buying new monitor and transmitter, is there an alternative that will work with 520? Or do i have to buy new Garmin HR monitor (strap and transmitter)?
    Thanks in advance

    • Sounds like you’ve tried all the tricks. The only other thing is to go buy a new set of batteries (again). I have seen rare cases where I get bum batteries out of the package. You’ll use them eventually even if it’s not it.

      Any ANY+ HR strap will work with it, so even something like the Wahoo TICKR will work just fine.

    • Robert Silvers

      Not sure flipping the battery is the trick to discharge it. I took out my battery and wore the strap overnight with the device and no battery.

      I then put in a new battery and it worked.

      On the other hand, months later, the strap stopped working. I tried every trick and changing batteries and could not make it work. It would out of warranty and Garmin didn’t want to replace it, so I bought another one.

      BTW, Amazon has 20 pack of batteries for nothing. I wouldn’t buy batteries at a drug store. Get a tester or multimeter also.

  51. RobHug

    Hi Ray,

    I’ve recently acquired an Edge 520 and have a question about elevation. Have you seen or heard about elevation issues with this device? In each ride in the hills that I do the elevation gain seems to be out by quite a bit so I have to always get Connect and Strava to correct it.

    If you have, is there a fix, and are Garmin doing anything about it?

    • damien

      the question also is how accurate is strava . lots of things can effect the 520 since it uses a barometer so changes in temp or any kind of storm passing threw can mess it up. if garmin finds its a big enough issue they may be able to have a firmware re calibrate the barometer or something but i doubt they will go to the trouble

    • damien

      GPS elevation isn’t always so correct, here is a explanation hopefully it isn’t to much to take in.

      GPS heights are based on an ellipsoid (a mathematical representation of the earth’s shape), while USGS map elevations are based on a vertical datum tied to the geoid (or what is commonly called mean sea level). Basically, these are two different systems, although they have a relationship that has been modeled.

      The main source of error has to do with the arrangement of the satellite configurations during fix determinations. The earth blocks out satellites needed to get a good quality vertical measurement. Once the vertical datum is taken into account, the accuracy permitted by geometry considerations remains less than that of horizontal positions. It is not uncommon for satellite heights to be off from map elevations by +/- 400 ft. Use these values with caution when navigating.

    • Michael Swann

      If you always start from the same location you can have the Edge automatically set the elevation by saving a location with the known altitude. I found you can easily get altitude data from the website altitude.nu via a simple point and click. You can go outside and get a GPS lock, tell the 520 to save a location and then set the elevation to the known value. When you start near the location you will get a message saying the altitude has been calibrated to the location and you can be on your way.

      My most common destinations (home and work) I know the elevation of and when I calibrate at one end, the other comes out pretty close (within a few metres at the most). Both are less than 100m above sea level.

  52. JoeL

    Bizarrest GPS fail last night. Was in a group ride and got an off course signal during a segment. I checked the GPS track and it deviated north of the road and then suddenly veered away. I run a Vivoactiv at the same time and it was spot on the road.
    Now the weirdness. 2 or my riding mates also were using 520’s and they were also similarly off course on the same segment wildly veering at the end to the point where all 3 of us were recorded on a segment we didn’t ride. Can’t be a satellite issue as the Vivoactiv tracked well.

    • TomD

      recently got a 520. Pairs and stays paired with a Garmin Speed sensor. Wahoo Tickr hrm. Pairs but drops and reconnects A LOT with my Stages power meter. Came from a 510, never had a drop issue with Stages. And when I used it to control my Kickr using target power, everything seemed fine, but when I uploaded it to Strava for analysis it showed a very distinct pattern to power drops-every other second or so.
      Oh, it also goes through spurts of constantly disconnecting and reconnecting to my phone.

      Already did a factory reset (support told me it’s the same as a hard reset), and unpaired/repaired everything.

      Data recording set to 1 sec. All firmware of all gizmos up to date.

      Any suggestions?

    • Have you tried swapping the battery on the Stages?

      Generally speaking the dropouts you mentioned are an indicator of a battery dying. Sometimes it’s just bad timing with the battery dying and someone getting a new head unit.

    • Robert Silvers

      I have a 520 and two Stages meters. One of my Stages is an older one. One is a newer Gen-2 one.

      I don’t have dropped connection issues with either, except when the batteries died of course.

      Batteries are only 40 cents each on Amazon for a 20 pack.

    • Sam

      Hi TomD,

      Tried everything including multiple Stages and suffered the same drop outs, the solution for me was to mount my Garmin 520 on the stem rather than on my k-dege out front. Went from constant drop outs to 100% connection! Working with the great support in Australia from the Stages distributor we found that the Ant+ antenna in the Garmin can be very susceptible to position, and I mean VERY! before moving from the out front I changed the tilt of the device about 10 degrees and my connection success went to around 90% of the time connected from about 50% of the time (if that). the change was no more than tilting down about 8mm. On the Stem it is now flawless.. I’d give that a go. PS It really wasn’t the distance of the device from the stages, rather the exact position, maybe signal reflection anomalies… I’ll probably return to an out front position if I buy the new stages Dash, but for now it’s just great to have usable data.

    • TomD

      Brand new battery. Less than a week. Dropouts were at an all time high on yesterday’s ride.

      Trying out an Elemnt too, I had some sporadic drops w/it for only a second or 2. With my 520 I’m seeing 1 to as long as 20 seconds non stop. Renders the data pretty much useless.

    • TomD

      @Sam-very much appreciate that feedback. Having to do that seems bizarre, and not really acceptable.

  53. Paul Fleming

    Hi there, this might have been ask before but does anyone know the answer to this

    I have recently upgraded to the Garmin 520 and i was on the interval page under training not the profile page, i made up an interval workout to follow when the page came up during the workout i came up with several data fields including speed which i would prefer to change to zones as this is intervals is there anyway to change this as i don’t see a data fields under the menu page when in the interval page.

  54. Thom Beales

    How many bikes can it be set up for? I have 3 I ride regularly.

  55. Leo

    I don’t know if someone has experience troubles with the Strava Live Segments. Issues to see the info LIVE in the ride. When I approach to a segment it prompts to the unit the remaining distance… then when the segments start the units says GO!! and shows info of the segments, time remaining, etc, etc but the suddenly it says “off segment” and a couple of seconds later stop showing me the info. Then when I upload to strava the effort on the segment is saved but can’t see it live on the ride… it’s frustrating. Is there something I can do / configure?

    Thanks in advance

    • RS

      I got Strava premium after I got my 520 specifically to get live segments. After a few days, I turned off live segments. Why?

      When I hit a segment, I was happy to know that the segment began, but was frustrated that my navigation map would go away (which I need for navigation if I am on that screen). Or if I am on another screen with certain displays in certain positions, that would go away, and then I would get uncomfortable not being able to read the things I need to read, such as HR or power.

      Also, quite often I was not trying to go fast on segments, and it would be annoying having it tell me about them. And there is no quick and easy way to turn them on and off, so it was easier to just turn them off.

      It just occurred to me, that since I turned that off, I can cancel my Strava premium because not sure what else it is good for.

      As a side note, my 520 mapping seems to be about twice as slow and laggy as it was before. Not sure if I turned on a setting, or if an update did it, or if I am imagining it.

    • damien

      I agree with you on that. I wish it had a setting to make it not take over the screen. maybe a quick go when you hit the segment and a quick finish when its done. As i am like you and like being able to look down at my screen for pw/hr and cad data and found it quiet a pain when live segments would pop up and go to a map that i didn’t really need. or if they made a live segment screen that you could configure like the other data pages so i could still have my cadence and power /hr readings and just add live segment time fields. I guess they made the live segments for people who don’t really watch the data numbers.

    • Julien

      Hi Folks,

      FYI, if you hit the “Up” or “Down” buttons when the segment page is on, you can display any other of your standard pages so you don’t have to stick to the segment page… And you can come back to it as long as you’re on the segment, it will be included in the loop of the available pages until you complete it. So I don’t see a big flaw here…



    • John

      I have a regular six-mile long Strava segment that does that same “off segment” bit on my 520 with literally less than 250 ft remaining. Every. Single. Time. The segment time shows up later in Strava after syncing from Garmin Connect. No idea whether that’s a Garmin issue or a Strava issue. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      TBH, since they added “Dist. to Go” and “Time Ahead/Behind” as configurable data fields in firmware 8.00, I no longer pay much attention to that dedicated Strava segment screen. Be aware that, with the new data fields displayed on a “regular” data screen, you’ll no longer get your segment time pop up once the segment is complete. I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good thing or not. :-/

  56. Oleg

    I have exactly same attitude. May be because I don’t have Strava premium account?

    • Leo

      Strava live segments on Garmin devices requires strava premium. I have a premium subscription but still having this issue.

  57. Matthias VdB

    I have the Edge 520 for almost 10 months now, and I’ve always been very satisfied by battery life. I’ve been able to do some 11h rides withoud needing to charge the battery. Last time I did such a trip was at the end of august, an 11h30 ride (stops excluded), and if I did’nt use the map screen, the battery survived. The last 1-2 months, I experience a sudden decrease of battery life. Last weekend I went from 100% to 50% on a 3h30 mtb ride.. without using the map screen (but with Glonas on and with the edge constantly searching for the cadance sensor that wasn’t connected). But even without Glonas on and without using the map screen, I expercience a seriously reduced battery life. Previously I consumed less than 10% an hour, now it goes easily up to +15% an hour. Is this the battery dying (after ca. 400h of usage) or is this software related? Any ideas?

  58. Shannon

    Does anyone know how Garmin or Strava calculate average cadence? Is it really an average of your entire trip, or do they throw out zeros? I want to study my cadence a bit more, but if it’s including when I am coasting on a downhill, the avg isn’t as useful.


  59. turlututuuu

    Hi Ray,
    Do you know if it is possible to customize the screens via a computer? Setting them up by navigating through the menus on the device itself is just so long and not very practical to say the least…
    Many thanks,

  60. Glen

    Has anyone had issues connecting the 520 with the KICKR as an indoor trainer? I can’t get my 520 to recognize my KICKR for the life of me. My firmware on both the edge 520 and KICKR are up to date. I’ve factory reset my Edge 520. I’ve made sure no other devices are connected to the KICKR. No matter what I do the 520 will only recognize the KICKR as a power meter. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    • Triple-validate that you have the latest KICKR firmware. That’d be a non-starter if not.

      Beyond that, what device type are you searching for? It should be ‘indoor trainer’. Also, try unplugging and re-plugging back in your KICKR. Every once in a while I’ve seen that on the KICKR and the Edge, and it seems to resolve it.

  61. dave huebert

    I bought a second set of sensors for a second bike, but the Garmin will not recognize the extra set of sensors… how can I make this happen?

  62. Rob Livick

    Has anyone else experienced broken “pins” on micro usb connector. Just happened again on my second 520. No charge or sync.

  63. Jonathan

    Hi Ray

    Should the 520 always notify you when there’s a firmware update?

    I’ve only had mine few weeks (got it in part because of all the great info here) and it alerted me to the previous update, to 9.10

    However there’s now a 10.0 and the 520 did not notify me. In fact it said no software update was available.

    It was only when I went to Garnin Express on my laptop that I found 10.0 was available.

    So do some firmware updates require checking Garmin Express? Or should the 520 unit always notify you?


  64. Don

    Not receiving txt or call notification from my IPhone 6 Plus, yet the 520 is saying my phone is synced any ideas.



    • Did you verify that your iPhone was paired on both regular and BLE channels?

      If so – when you open up the Edge 520 on the Bluetooth pairing menu, you’ll see the smart notifications options. If it lacks that, then it needs to be paired on the BLE side as well.

    • Jonathan


      This may be too obvious but did you check to make sure call/texts were enabled? There’s a function where you have to move over the bar to ENABLED

    • Don

      Photo of 520 showing connected to iPhone. The function of calls/ texts messages not showing up?

    • Exactly.

      So that second line says that you need to go into the Bluetooth Control panel again, and pair the BLE connection. :)

  65. Don

    Ok got it completed..
    Thanks for your help.
    Keep it on two wheels
    Be well.


  66. Doug Curtis

    I’m impressed that the updates to the Edge 520 have still been coming out at a fairly good pace. I was a little worried when the 820 was release just about a years after the 520, but so far so good. There was even a new feature with the recent 10.0 firmware for Incident Detection (which was a little surprising, since I thought that might have been hardware dependent – built in accelerometer?). The only other feature that I’d really like to see added would be the Group Tracking. I’m not going to upgrade to the 820 just to get that, but it seems like something that should be possible on the 520 with the Bluetooth LE connection to a phone. Don’t you just hate it when there are feature changes? It throws off those terrific comparison charts :-)

    • Don


      Used Polar products for years, I checked out the Edge 520 and was hooked. The Group Tracking and swipe features of the 820 may be nice, but it’s not enough for me to upgrade at this time. Have to wait and see what Garmin has on the horizon.

      Be well.

  67. Joe L

    Neat little add-on I just discovered on 10.0 Firmware update.
    I frequently do my own Garmin Connect designed workouts on a trainer with specific power zones.
    Page 1 of the workout opens with a color based based bar graph with zone divisions. Great visual feedback, just keep my power to stay in the green zone in addition to the usual time remaining for the interval.

  68. Christiaan

    I just upgraded from the 500 to the 520. Very happy thus far.
    What i wanted to do with my old sensors are to install them on my spin bike. Can one link a speed/cadence (old type)sensor and a speed (new)sensor? Only using the cadence part of the old sensor. Or does it suppress the speed sensor?

  69. Jenn

    Ray, I have two questions.
    1. I can’t seem to figure out how to get Strava Live Segments loaded onto my Garmin Edge 520. I have Strava Premium. I have plenty of starred cycling segments. And I have synced the 520 to both the Garmin Connect app on my iPhone and via Garmin Express on my desktop. I have ensured that the software version on the 520 is up to date. In no case, do I ever see in the 520, I navigate to Menu > Training > Segments and I don’t see the menu at all anywhere/elsewhere in the Menu for Strava Live Segments. I have my Strava account linked to my Garmin Connect account because anytime I ride, I sync my computer with Garmin Connect and then it automatically loads the ride to Strava as well. I really want to understand what’s going on here. I’ve tried watching YouTube videos and it seems like I have done everything I should have to be able to see segments on routes I ride frequently. Any help would be much appreciated.

    2. With Live Tracking on the 520, do I still have to carry my phone with me while riding? Or should I be able to Live Track entirely without the phone… simply just from the GPS of the 520?

    • Doug Curtis

      Not sure on your first question, as the Menu -> Training selection should take you to a screen with “Strava Live Segments” as one of the options. Selecting that should take you to a screen with “Powered by Strava” as the heading. Once there, you should be able to go into “Segment Options” to: Search, Enable/disable Edit segments. I do recall that not long after I registered my 520 a new panel appeared in my Garmin Connect website, that I think had something to do with linking the Segments back into Garmin from Strava. Once that and all the configurations on the 520 itself were made I see segments come up automatically as I get close to one.
      The Live Tracking still requires the phone, it’s the Garmin app on the phone in conjunction with the 520 (via bluetooth) that provides the data back to Garmin for the Live Tracking. I seldom use it as I have tracking via my phone without an additional step or setup.

  70. Janek Jaros

    Hi Ray! I’m sure you must have covered this already but there are just too many conversations to go through: my Edge 520 won’t connect with my iPhone 6. It just won’t however many times I try. Any advice? Tx! Janek

  71. Janek Jaros

    Hi Ray! One more question. I am enclosing a picture of one of the screens you can access – while in the RIDE mode – by using the up and down buttons bottom left. This screen shows the current speed, distance ridden. The third headline, which is Avg. Speed always remains blank on my Edge 520. Any ideas? Many thanks and best regards — Janek

    • codyish

      That looks like the lap summary screen, so if you hit the lap button then the average speed for each preceding lap will display in a list.

  72. Rob

    Thanks for this review, very good and I have managed to upload the better mapping to the unit, which thanks to your instructions was easy, I have a question though.

    Since doing this my pre-planned routes no longer work, i.e. when I have the mapping screen on it does not guide me on the route that I need to take like it used to, i.e. the planned route used to be in a differnt colour to the rest of the map indicating where I needed to go, can you offer any advice as to how I get this function back?


  73. John Tallent

    What does the speed and cadence sensors look like. My box included only 2 attachments: a small black device which appears to be the one attached to the crank on one side and the front mount for the device itself.
    What does the speed sensor look like???
    The box says it is to be included in the box.


    • Graham Starkey

      There should be one little piece which wraps around the front hub (to measure distance), and one which wraps around a crank (to measure cadence).

  74. Jason

    Per the new additions to the Garmin 520:
    “Ability to download courses and workouts from phone to Edge 520”

    Does this mean that I can create routes on RideWithGPS and download somehow from online site, through phone, into the unit 520 ? How?

    • No, only for workouts created on Garmin Connect currently.

      However, Garmin back in September/October updated Connect IQ to allow exactly as you describe via 3rd party apps. We’ve only seen one app (JOIN) implement it, but I suspect we’ll soon see others follow.

    • Jason

      Thanks! I just directed a friend / Garmin user to your website with high praise.

  75. Jennifer

    I would love to change the summary page on my Garmin 520, but cannot figure out how. I don’t like that it has a ‘lap’ section. I don’t ride laps, or use that function (and I think I have it turned off–not exactly sure since it keeps coming up). No matter how many miles I have on my rides that section always says 1 lap. Do you know how to delete the lap section on the actual summary page?

  76. Mathias Fröjdman

    I listened to the latest episode of the podcast and there was talk about bad USB ports on various Garmin Edge models. I managed to kill two Edge 520s last summer the same way – got a replacement unit from Garmin after the first one died and the replacement broke too after two weeks the same way. The same pin on the USB port got loose both times. I’m just using a couple of USB cables regularly to charge the Edge and I found one of them looked slightly deformed. So slightly that I wouldn’t have noticed it without looking for a fault.

    I think the Edges USB ports are to blame. I was charging my phone, headset and whatnot with the same cable for years without any problems. The Edge’s USB port is just not that robust. Now I have a sticker on the Garmin USB cable (not that it probably makes any difference) and charge the Edge 520 just with that one.

  77. Frank

    Hi DC,

    since long time i use PerfPro in combination with a power meter and the kickr.
    And there is the option control kickr by power meter.

    Is it posssible to control the kickr by the power meter using the edge?

    Best regards


    • Yes, the Edge 520 can control the KICKR. Just ensure the KICKR’s firmware is updated.

    • Frank Martin Bauer

      Yeah i know… Edge controlling kickr, kickr reading wattage and send to edge…so far so good…

      but the kickr has a drift and offset…so now i want following…

      Garmin controls kickr, but reading wattage from power meter and controlling kickr…

      Yesterday i set in Wahooligan App that Kickr controlled by power meter and add my ID from the vector 2… -> that means the kickr uses the power meter wattage and not his own… but what is the garmin reading? the original wattage from kickr or the replaced wattage, so the power meter?

      screwed up right? i hope you can still understand what i mean…:-)

  78. Jeff Collins

    Very happy with my 520. Accidentally put it through a full wash cycle in washing machine (with detergent, hot/cold water). Covered in rice for 4 days, with back of 520 facing up, and on 5th day put in oven on a tray at 120F for 1hr, let it cool down and then repeated. Started up again and have not noticed any issues with performance.
    Have since noted in 520 specifications that it is ipx7 rated so designed to withstand immersion in water to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Regardless, I am very relieved it still works and I don’t need to buy another one!

  79. JV Araneta

    hello! thanks for the great stuff you’ve written! as someone who’s not very good with technical stuff, i really appreciate what you are doing. anyway, my question is this: can the old bike sensors and chest straps from the edge 500 work with the edge 520? thanks!

    • Stuart

      As long as they conform with the standard ANT+ device profiles, yes, they will. If there’s a specific sensor you’re interested in, link to thisisant.com has a listing of devices and compatible head units. But to a first approximation, I would expect anything that will connect to an Edge 500 should also connect successfully to an Edge 520. (The reverse does not necessarily apply – for example, the various Varia lights and radars will work with the 520 but not the 500.)

    • Bob

      Is there a magnet-based ant+ speed sensor that would pair with the 520? I have an original Lemond Revmaster (2004) that came without a computer. I am currently using an ancient wired Avocet 25 with a magnet glued to the side of the solid disc flywheel. I would like to use the 520 with the Revmaster so that I would have HR, Cadence, and Speed. There is no place to attach the standard Garmin hub-attached speed sensor.


    • Stuart

      Bob – the old GSC-10, if you can pick it up second hand or find some old stock, should do the job. It’s a combined speed/cadence sensor. There may be others out there, that’s just the one I know.

    • Bob

      Stuart, thanks for the tip on the GSC-10. It should do the job.

    • Michael Swann

      Wahoo also make one that is dual band (Bluetooth Smart and ANT+) so you could have the readings on both your Garmin head unit and your phone at the same time.

  80. James Johnson

    Will the device still provide navigation when I’m charging it with an external battery pack?

    I’m a Brevet rider and need more than 15 hours of battery life.



  81. Matthew Field

    My 520 doesn’t seem to remember or let me change the length for my Rotor Inpower cranks, it only stays on the default 175mm while I have 170mm cranks. Is this a bug? Likewise, does it matter? Do I even need to give this a seconds thought?

  82. Bob

    I read that gps cannot be turned off when using the the Garmin ant+ speed sensor with the Edge 25. Can gps be turned off when using the speed sensor with this Edge 520?

  83. Kevin

    Does the 520 display heart rate and cadence mid ride? I can’t seem to find that information anywhere.


    • Stuart

      Yes, it can. Whether it will or not depends upon which fields you’ve configured it to display. I don’t have mine with me right now, nor the manual, but it isn’t difficult to change the data fields for a given activity profile. Just tedious.

  84. Steve Birbeck

    HI I have a 520 edge and have installed open street maps is there a function that makes the maps zoom in when approaching junctions or can you zoom in manually.Cheers Steve

    • Alex Masidlover

      It does do a degree of auto-zooming and its generally reasonable. To manually zoom, press the button on the top right when the map screen is showing, then the first option in the menu is zooming in and out.

  85. Alex Masidlover

    Do I need to do something special to make Connect IQ data fields appear in Garmin Connect activities; I have the latest firmware (11) and I’m using the W’ balance (Dr Skiba) field. The field works fine on the display but doesn’t appear as a graph in Garmin Connect – none of the settings on the field appear relevant and nothing in the general settings appears relevant.

    Also, is there a way to add/remove fields from the workout screen (either of them) – I’m sure when I was first exploring the device I found options for the workout screen and left them as the defaults and now I can’t find them anywhere in the settings…

    • Tim

      has anyone had any issues with power readings on their 520, had mine a long time and been very happy, but in last two weeks i have just had an issue with my P1 pedal data and today i did a turbo session with my bkool power being read by my G520 – there was 50>150watts difference between the two, my bkool always reads high (30watts) at FTP compared to my P1’s though much in line in Z2/Z3, but I am now bit confused with these readings, could i have an issue in the garmin as well as the P1’s.. and settings that could cause such a huge variance…?? I have no issue with the bkool as the readings are always pretty consistent so can live with the variance between that an P1..

  86. Grant Boydell

    Sorry to have missed you recently while you were in Australia.

    There are only two things I want to know and one is about the 520 (and possibly other Edge devices:
    Is there a Windows based app for setting/organising(organizing)/managing the 520 and particularly the displays? Whilst it’s not hard to setup a device, it is a pain in the rear part. I’m staggered no-one has created such an app to configure .FIT files…

    Oh, the other thing I want to know is why Formula 1 cars persist with 13 inch wheels (a bit like having cotter pins in my cranks).


  87. Renato

    Hi there Rainmaker. I’m in a position to update my old edge 500 with a newer model, but I’m on a budget, so the only 2 viable options are edge 810, and 520. Since I only ride MTB, but would like to have the navigation on my EDGE, the 810 seems like the way to go. I don’t care much for trainers and cellphone connectivity, since it kills the battery on the edge 520, but I have issues with trail navigation. How precise is the trail navigation with the GLONASS addition, and does the edge 810 fare good with only GPS. I hate when my edge 500 looses signal in the forest, and I’m having trouble finding the course again. I’ve heard that the 810 has some software issues, like freezing, restarting.. and such things, but since this is 2017. Has the support done anything about the software problems? Are there still any software upgrades for 810? Is there any better options than any of these units? Thank you in advance

  88. Mark Bedel


    I looked everywhere I can think to look and I think I been through every menu within the 520, but how does one change the crank length specifications? I had friends suggest both the standard and factory resets, both of which I’ve tried and that pesky little prompt I received when first setting up the unit has never revealed itself again. I’d like to use the unit largely on my TT Bike with 170 mm cranks, but do race also on road bikes both with 172.5 mm cranks.

    Does this metric affect the power numbers enough that i should even concern myself with this conundrum?

    Thanks for your help.


    • The crank length can be changed once attached to a power meter that supports/requires the crank length specification (i.e. PowerTap P1). For other power meters, like Quarq or SRM or Power2Max, it’s not needed. It’s within the sensor menu for that power meter once connected (i.e. active).

      It’s basically only needed for pedal based units, or units on the crank arm whereby the manufacturer didn’t attach the pod to the crank arm (since they know the crank length then and hard-code it).

  89. Sage

    Hi Ray,

    Love your site and it’s a must visit before purchasing any gadget!

    I’ve been fortunate enough to upgrade some equipment this winter and am not sure if the Garmin 520 can/will display Left/Right power balance during a ride with a Quarq DZero power meter.

    It shows on the Garmin Connect very nicely and I have a 48L-52R mismatch.

    Do you know if it’s actually possible to display Left/Right average during a ride?

    Any comments would be super appreciated!

    Thanks a ton!


    Sage from Toronto (and once upon a time Paris -11th ar.)

  90. Tim

    I have a weird one Ray…

    I have 3 PowerTaps (2x G3, 1x Pro+) and a Kickr v2 for PMs.

    I have a Fenix 3, Edge 520, TR on iPhone and Zwift on PC.

    All of the PMs pair fine with everything except for my Edge 520.

    The Edge 520 cannot seem to detect one of the G3 PowerTaps — but all other “head units” do.

    What to do?! I’ve tried new batteries and the latest firmware in the G3 cap, this all seems OK.

    • Try just pairing it manually via ANT+ ID.

      Every once in a while I’ll see something like that (on any number of head units with any number of power meters). No logic. But doing it via ANT+ ID works virtually every time.

    • Tim

      I also got the suggestion from Garmin forums… but can’t find the manual pair process to enter the ant id — I don’t think the 520 has it? (At least in firmware 11.10?)

  91. mark

    Does group tracking work on the 520 ? or just the live tracking part ?

  92. Hayden

    My one grumble with the 520 is that when it is removed from the charger, it powers on. Even if it was switched off prior to charging, it powers on after charging and I have to manually switch it off. This does not seem logical!!!

  93. Greg Greenaae

    As a note to others, the eTap gear display is crap. The eTap goes to sleep while not shifting gears to save battery, and the Edges don’t understand this. When this happens, you get 0-0 for gears. I’ve ridden miles with nothing displayed until I shift. Displays correctly for a couple minutes, and then back to 0-0. I would not call this a complete SRAM eTap integration solutions.

  94. Loic

    Hi, just to make sure I understand it right .
    I own a suunto ambit3 peak which has a HR strap using Bluetooth smart. It seems that this HR strap is not compatible with Garmin 520. Am I Right ? Thanks for the article and help!

    • Stuart

      Correct. The Edge 520 will only connect to fitness sensors using ANT+. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy, aka Bluetooth Smart), is a different protocol, and there is – as of this comment’s posting – no Edge computer that supports it.

  95. Phil_B

    Hi Ray.

    I’ve just successfully transferred my first two workout files from my Garmin Edge 1000 to my wife’s Edge 520: proud moment ;-)

    However, after that I found a problem. Having created a third workout on Garmin Connect and downloaded it to my Edge 1000, I can’t transfer this to the 520. The transfer seems to work, but when I look for the new file on the 520 it’s not visible.

    Also having synch’d the 520 back to my wife’s Garmin Connect account the two workouts that are there don’t synch back to Garmin connect.

    Any ideas on either of these two related topics – basically looking for an easy way to create a workout on my account and share it with my lovely lady so we can synchronise our training.

    Thanks – great blog be the way.


  96. Kevin C

    Has anyone figured out a quick way to launch widgets on the 520? I really like the Accuweather minutecast widget but it takes something like 11 button presses to get to it, which is quite annoying. The way I’ve found to launch it is to hit the top right button, scroll down to the status page, then scroll down to widgets. Thanks!

  97. rct

    So persevered with the edge 520, despite its flaky BT connectivity to my phone, however it has now stopped recognising the USB cable, a bit of a problem when it comes to charging, let alone reliably downloading data. Regret selling my 810 now to “upgrade” to this piece of cr@p. Will be returning to Garmin.

  98. Russ

    Can you tell me how to read the odometer on my Edge 520?


  99. Steven

    I have the 520 with added OpenStreetMap and map displays where I am. It doesn’t draw a bread crumb trail on the map of where I been. Is there a setting?

  100. Howard Marcelle

    Hi Ray, how does the edge 810 with all its present updates stack up to the edge 520 presently? I am trying to decide which to get.

  101. Karen

    I exported a “course” to my Edge 520 and then rode the course. That worked great however, it did not record the ride. What do I need to do to ride a course and also have it record the ride?

  102. Ray Middleton

    Will this Garmin edge 520 be able to use Stages power meters?
    Can you use a bluetooth heart rate monitor or do you have to use Garmin?

    • Stuart

      The Garmin Edge 520, when it comes to fitness sensors, will connect only via ANT+. It will not connect via Bluetooth – the Bluetooth support is strictly for connection to a phone or similar device for the transfer of data to and from the Internet.

      You don’t have to use Garmin devices. You do, however, have to use devices that support ANT+. My understanding is that Stages power meters are all dual band – they will transmit data via both ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy – so that’s fine. As for heart rate monitors, Garmin will obviously support ANT+. I know that the Wahoo HRMs will also support ANT+. I can’t comment on any other brand, but it should be visible on the technical specifications (if ANT+ isn’t mentioned, it probably won’t do it.)

      In other words: check before you buy.

  103. Jon

    After my most recent charge my 520 lost pairing with my Varia tail light and heart rate monitor. After many tries I was able to get the Varia back but the 520 will not pick up the heart rate monitor.

    It had been working fine before the charge then all of a sudden lost pairings. I’ve changed the battery in the heart rate monitor and have turned the 520 off and on a few times and placed it in different locations. But no matter what it won’t find the sensor.

    The 520 has the latest software update.

    Any suggestions?


    • russ

      After purchasing two Garmin heart rate monitors and returning both of them I heeded the advice of a friend and got a Wahoo unit. It has been 100% for 4 months. The Garmin units were flaky. Sometimes they would start working after a half hour of riding and then quit. Some times not at all. Could not count on them. Always wondered at the start of a ride, will it work this time?

  104. russ

    Thank you for this excellent information. I have a question about using the target distance program on the 520. As far as I can tell there is no way to rearrange the data screens that come up on the unit when running the “target” program. The number one screen that appears has Dist Remain, Est Finish and Avg Speed. I would much rather have for example, distance remaining, heart rate and direction on the number 1 screen. I realize this information is on subsequent screens but I ride a trike and it’s difficult to change screens while riding. The manual says nothing about changing screen info when running the target program. Do you know of a way?
    Thanks again.

  105. Mark

    Hi, the 520 has been out for a while now. Is it still the one to buy at this price point, or do you think a new version is just around the corner?

  106. TarugoKing

    520 recently came out with firmware 12.1 and if you have eTap, be aware of this bug,

    I downloaded and installed it last Sunday prior to my ride. One thing I noticed is that the eTap gears started showing 0-0. I would change gears then it would show the gears, with a delay (ex. 52-19), then go back to 0-0 after awhile. There are instances that I did not shift gear then it would show up on the screen. Pretty annoying.

    It was perfect before the firmware upgrade.

  107. Dan Jaspen

    If you were buying now, would you get this or is a 530 or something on the horizon? It seems to be getting a little long in the tooth. Some background. I had and liked an Edge 305 until it died a couple of years ago. Since then, I’ve been making do with my Vivoactive, which I mount on the bars for riding. It actually does most of what I want, but I do miss features the 305 had as far as data screens, etc. Also battery life is short, especially using Connect IQ bike field apps. On, the other hand, I don’t race or use a power meter, so much of the capability of the 305 would be wasted.

    Another consideration is that I’m looking at the Varia bike radar. It’s not compatible with the Vivoactive, so I’d have to buy the head unit for an extra $100 (conversely, look at it like getting a $100 discount on the 520).

    Thoughts anyone?

  108. tom

    Test openstreet basemap

    Anyone know how to test if you have successfully installed a basemap for another part of the world?

    I am in Canada, installed some maps for parts of France but can’t confirm they are installed, when i ride, i just see a black screen and the triangle icon persumably because i no longer have my local area in the basemap.

    And if i create a course for a part of France for which i have the basemap, it only appears as a line with a black background so i am worried i dont have it installed properly.

  109. Paul Voorend

    Ray: Seeing as this unit is now 2 years old, and that the Edge 1030 has just been released.. do you think it’s a reasonable suggestion that there will be an upgraded 520 sometime soon? 530 perhaps? Or do you think that it will be a 3 year gap, like the 1000 was? Thanks!

  110. Maickel

    I have a battery draining issue now the edge 520 is 1 year old and as a matter of fact everyone I raise this issue to confirms to have the same problem (the internet is covered with it). Have you done any late review on this or have any advice on how to deal with this. The battery should last for 15 hours and with GPS navigation turned off, brightness to 40% and Bluetooth turned off the device only now lasts for 8-9 hours.

  111. jonlynch

    Hi Guys,

    does anyone know if its possible to edit the interval data screen to also contain heart rate on the garmin edge 520?

    training -> intervals -> and then the intervals are by time or by distance. On the interval screen It shows the distance to go and also the time in the interval.

    I can press down and get back to other screens to see my heart rate but I would like to be able to edit the interval data screen to also contain heart rate. so all the info in one place.


  112. Sheintz7

    Ok, I have two really annoying issues with my 520 I need to resolve. Perhaps you can help!

    1) Riding at night or early morning. Once the backlight goes off I can see nothing. Is the only way to see my data screens in the dark to keep the backlight on constantly or put it into some sort of super bright-white daytime mode full-time? Assuming this will zap battery pretty quick, but its pretty useless to see no data in the dark or have to push on-off button twice to get backlight on and to my data screens.

    2) Not a problem on the road rides, but when I ride MTB or cross bike on trails the data screen will constantly scroll to a “map” looking screen or the virtual partner screen and show my distance behind (but not sure what because I may not even be in a Strava segment). It seems like it is entering a “course”, but to my knowledge I’ve never saved, downloaded or enabled the use of courses. I find myself constantly pushing the little arrows to get back to data field when I want it, versus the map or virtual partner which I virtually never use unless doing a Strava segment. What do I need to do to turn off courses or get the screen to “lock” to the data screen? If there is a way to “lock” it to the data screen, will it then not do the Strava live segments either? Basically looking to be in either data screen or live segment progress screen all the time – never in the “course”/”map”/”virtual partner” screens.


  113. tom

    How do you show the data screens (Speed etc…) without recording a ride?

  114. steve

    i’m trying to set take me home mode cnt find a link to do it can you help a muppet

  115. Anonymous Coward

    Any thoughts on why Garmin disabled Firstbeat HRV analysis support on Edge 520 with firmware update 12.10 and later?

  116. Marcin

    Today I released ConnectIQ application and widget which allow you easy create turn by turn routes via Android mobile – look for Navmin in Garmin and Android stores. Soon also for iPhone. It works with Edge 520, 820 and 1000.

  117. miller

    Apologize if this has been answered, but-

    In a multiple bike/multiple power meter scenario, does the edge 520 save a power-meter specific calibration, that it refers to whenever that power meter is connected? For example, I have 3 different bikes with 3 different stages power meters. I use one garmin edge 520, which connects flawlessly when I go for a ride. The question is – is the edge 520 using the appropriate stored calibration value? I know you are supposed to calibrate on every ride, but that will never happen. As long as it looks up the proper most recent calibration from the correct power meter the data should be ok.

    • Scott

      When you “wake up” your PM, If you were to look at sensor’s – the “one” you woke up should be highlighted…”IF” two were woke up at once, I believe the 520 would make you choose (That’s what happens with my 520 on my Smart Trainer – Stages on bike and Trainer ID’d as PM).

      IF you didn’t “Name” your sensors manually, (Ex: MTB, TT, Road) you would have to ID them by the # on PM. Easy for me to do with my Stages and Trainer – but if both my Road and MTB were woke up at the same time,,,(they both run Stages), I wouldn’t have a clue. I hope that helps.
      BTW: It only takes about 20sec to calibrate my Stages
      Scott Z

    • Brad

      The various calibration parameters are stored in the power meter itself. The head unit just displays the data that the power meter sends it. If not, then every head unit would have to constantly update their SW for each new power meter implementation and you would see this in the firmware update release notes. A newcomer to the power meter field would have to spend a considerable amount of time (and $) trying to convince and working with each head end provider to support their product, as well as a new comer to the head unit field would have to work with each power meter vendor to support each product, and this would go on forever.

      The “calibrate” function in the garmin is mislabeled. It should should say “Zero offset”. Your power meter should have been calibrated at installation time. The zero offset is used to adjust for slight differences the strain gauges read due to changes in temperature and/or mechanical stresses on the crank (for example, changing chain rings, tightening bolts, changes pedals, etc.) Performing a zero offset update is important for accuracy ride to ride. If you are not looking to compare your power numbers ride to ride then you can afford to forego the zero offset.

      But I agree with you – having to perform a zero offset for every ride, especially during the ride after the crank has reached thermal equilibrium with the outdoor temperature is a real pain, especially with the convoluted set of button pushes it takes to get to this function on the 520 (Garmin should fix that).

  118. Ryan Luetkemeyer

    Be warned, if you purchase this product and update to the 12.5 firmware, you will have significant battery drain issues. You’d be lucky to get in rides of >2 hours. See the forum where many have posted activity files and provided feedback but garmin support is lacking or non-responsive. I’ve never been so frustrated working with a company before and its been over 3 months!!

    link to forums.garmin.com

  119. Has anyone ever seen short elevation spikes (both positive and negative) with the Edge 520? This past few months I get about one per hour (and its fairly dry here in Boise). The spikes are about 15s long and almost always about 160 ft up or down. Just curious if someone has run into this and knows if it is HW, Mechanical or SW?

    As always, thank you for the great product reviews.

  120. Mike Kokotovich

    Will vO2 max work accurately (without a power meter) when say riding on gravel or singletrack? If it is based partially on speed I would think it would only work on the road?

  121. Rick Schuchet

    Am having a problem syncing my gears to the garmin. I have sram electronic shifters. Thank you for the help. Was able to put gears on screen, but unable to activate.

  122. Colin

    I asked this question of Garmin some 5-6 years ago. I got a fobbed of reply. I continue to use my 500 but still have a burning question regarding the 520.

    I use the training feature on Garmin Connect where it is possible to set high and low alarms around zones or user determined boundaries Eg Z4 255W-270W and download this to my Edge 500.
    In reality keeping within tight bandwidth zones on the open road is not easy and that high pitch / low pitch alarm goes off instantly on the 500 and drives me nuts. So I switch it off. But the audible alarm is a useful feature, The alarm bandwidth just needs a damping within the Edge 500 linking the ‘training’ zones created in Garmin Connect to the pre-set averaging. options of 3s; 10s or 30s.
    Here’s my 2018 question:
    Does the Garmin 520 alarm instantly just like the 500? Or have those clever Garmin techy guys created a fix as I have described. If yes, I’ll be off to Halfords this afternoon.

  123. Rainer Fischer

    i am a bit confused as i read that the 520plus only has approx. 50MB available for the map file while my Explorer tells me i have much more available space (5 GB occupied, 10GB free space – unit just out of the box).
    Does Explorer tell me nonsense or are the newest versions of 520plus shipped with more storage space and it is not yet reflected in the article?
    Also, i still have the Edge 1000 where can have mulitple map Image files on the internal storage and select which ones i want to be visible and which not.
    At least i can see the same menu Options on the 520plus and therefore i wonder if this is not possible on the 520plus as well (considering the available space)
    Thanks and regards

    • This post is about the Edge 520 – not the Edge 520 Plus. The Edge 520 only has the limited space, whereas the Edge 520 Plus is more akin to the Explorer with plenty more space.

    • majstr

      Do i still get turn by turn navigation on my route transferred from computer if i replace basemaps with openstreetmap on the garmin device?

  124. Kevin

    Hi Ray,

    Top quality reviews, well done.

    Re 520 today I did a ride Garmin said average power 236, downloaded to Garmin Connect power now 220
    I have power zeroes disabled on 520
    Any ideas? Thanks

  125. Jānis Vaskis

    Sorry, for waking this discussion up, but I wonder, if 520 is already three years old, when can we expect new middle range workhourse from Garmin?

  126. john

    Hello Ray,

    Would it be possible to splice a file from garmin connect, for example to isolate a mountain pass from a ride and then use this to direct an elite direto for example of resistance changes using the 520?

    Many thanks


  127. Craig Robertson

    So today was my worst ever for battery performance. After 3.5 hours got low battery warning. Ride length just over 4 hours total and only a few % left when i finished.

    Had backlight on at 10% for first 20 minutes and radar on for full activity. Powermeter and heart rate on. No routing, etc used. Glonass turned off too as well as bluetooth.

    Temperatures were quite low for activity -2 degrees to about +2 degrees Celsius.

    Any ideas why battery is running flat so quick?

    • Kevin C

      Craig, I’m assuming that your Edge is getting pretty old. Chances are your running into issues with a degraded battery. Rechargeable batteries only have so many charge cycles in them before they start to degrade noticeably. Your options are: 1) send the unit to Garmin for a new battery, 2) try to replace it yourself (there are aftermarket batteries online), 3) replace the unit.

    • Craig Robertson

      Thanks Kevin, had it a couple of years now and use regularly. Think it uses quite a bit more battery power when the radar is on too. :(

      Will contact Garmin and see what they say, but I think option 3 might be best option for me, i like the look of the new stages ones, but i also like using my rear radar too.

  128. Bill Shepard

    Problems with power meter pedals in sensor pool vs profile. We bought two sets of Favero Assioma pedals just because we could move them from bike to bike. Basically road to tri bikes. Both of our P3 tri bikes have shorter crank arms than our road bikes. So everytime we move pedals we need to go into sensor details and change the crank length. If I could just put a different length in each profile and setup a profile for each bike. I think my old 800 would have worked for this. So the big feature of pedals doesn’t work very well for us. I wish I had bought single sided pedals but then it still seems crazy to buy four power meters. We will do some testing but I don’t see us just splitting the difference or guessing what the other bike equivalent would be. The whole point was to get real numbers and plan long tri’s on power. We don’t switch bikes every day but it is still a pain particularly on the 520. button interface. My arms are 170/172.5 and my wife’s are 165/170. Is the difference so small we won’t even see it? Any advice or ideas would be appreciated.

  129. Uri Assif

    Hi whe i connect my 520 to the computr via USB cable it light the unit but the computrer not recornize it and i cant open my garmin express


    • Brad

      I often have the same issue. Make sure you are using a usb data cable and not just a charge cable and try this: turn the 520 off, connect the usb cable to the 520. While holding the LAP button depressed, connect the usb cable to your computer and continue to hold the lap button depressed for about 10 seconds until you see the 520 is enumerated.

  130. Alex

    i have a question about map using.
    If i am following some route (so i see a blue navigation line on the map) and already outside my downloaded map area, will i still see this navigation line but just without a map?
    So i can still follow my route with this line, yep?


  131. Céline Dubuc

    I have a garmin edge 520 plus and I installed the map of Majorca in Spain for a bike trip with openstreetmap. The installed file was 18 mb. I would like to understand why it didn’t work. The garmin froze after each 20 km or so.

  132. Paul Romagna

    does the 520 plus need a speed sensor, or does the gadget pick up the speed metrics from the GPS?

    • Stuart

      Depends on your needs.

      The speed sensor, assuming you’ve set your wheel circumference accurately, will be more accurate than GPS. This is especially the case if you’re travelling through areas, like tunnels, where there’s poor, or no, GPS reception.

      But all the Garmin cycle computers I’ve owned – Forerunner 910, 735, 935, Fenix 6s, Edge 520, and Edge 530 – will pick up speed data from GPS when it’s available, no issues. So it’s basically down to how much accuracy and responsiveness you need or want on the speed front.

  133. Just bought the 520+ after watching your review on YT. (Thanks) I already have ANT+ cadence and speed sensors from another manufacturer, will these connect and work properly with the Garmin 520+

  134. Steven VW

    I just ran into the ant+ sensor limitation of 19. I was replacing a speed and cadence combo with 2 sperate sensors and got an error saying I need to remove one.

  135. Claudio

    Would it work tracking mountain hiking?

  136. DCRM –
    For MTB’g I’ve gone back to my old 520 (smaller/lighter than 1030) – for last weekend’s race I wanted to see HR/ave. HR/Cad/ave. Cad/ distance and time of day. During my warm up, ave. HR AND ave. Cad were not being displayed. Only when I eliminated one of the windows (dist) did they pop up. Even then, ave. cadence didnt budge over the first hour. Any thoughts on why this happened? none of this happens with the 1030.
    Sincere thanks and keep up the good work as we all depend on it!

  137. Morgan Williams

    Hey mate, my 520 repeatedly disconnects from my phone which is annoying and more to the point stops livetrack which makes my wife more anxious (I’ve had a few accidents) – is there a hack to fix this ? I’ve tried re-pairing / forgetting etc but no dice. Can it be resolved or do I simply upgrade? Morgan

    • Scott Ziarko

      There is limited memory on 520. I would start with making sure u have the absolute minimum in apps on it, rides stored, etc