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Garmin Edge 130 In-Depth Review

Garmin-Edge130-Overview

As a techie-geek I suppose there’s some expectation that I’ll be most impressed with the higher end gear. The stuff that has all the bells and whistles, and usually costs more.  But here’s the funny thing – out of the pile of Garmin new gear announcements today, I’m most impressed with the little Edge 130.  Not because it’s not powerful, it really is.  But because it’s the least expensive cycling head unit they announced today while having nearly as many features as units that would have cost almost double it just a year ago.

Here – let me give you a one-line sampler: The Edge 130 supports up to 8 data fields per page and 5 data pages. It can support power meters and more, show you Strava Live Segments, transmit all that in real-time via Live Track, while connecting to ANT+ radar and light systems.  Oh, did I mention it was only $199. It’s kinda like a throw-back to the good ol’ days of the famed Edge 500 (remember bluey?).

Like I said, I’m impressed. Not just in specs, but because the thing has been working beautifully for me these last few weeks (more so than some of the other stuff). I’m a sucker for things that just work and aren’t expensive.

In any case. I was sent a loaner Edge 130 to try out. I’ll be giving it back to Garmin tomorrow and going out and getting my own from regular retail channels.  That’s just the way I do things here.  If you found this review useful – hit up the linkage at the bottom of this page to save a bundle and also support the site. Or just send me cookies. Your choice.

What’s new:

The Edge 130 is kinda like a mini Edge 520. Mini in size, and slightly reduced in features. But not in the amount of stuff it packs in. Make no mistake – this is definitely not an Edge 25 or Edge 200, similar from years past.  This is not some low-end unit that you look at longingly for its looks and size but then realize lacks the brains to match. No, this actually packs in a crapton of stuff.

Here, let’s run through the bulletized version.  Typically when I do these bulletized lists I’m comparing them to a previous generation in terms of ‘what’s new’. But in this case, there’s no previous generation to go off of for comparison. So, consider this a ‘greatest hits’ sorta list instead:

– GPS + GLONASS and Galileo satellites (the first Garmin Fitness/Cycling device to do so)
– Barometric altimeter included
– 15-hour claimed battery life (Note: I’m only getting 8.5-9 hours out of it though in tests)
– 1.8” monochrome display (basically smaller device than Edge 500 was), but similar screen size)
– Connects to ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors (power/speed/cadence/HR/and more)
– Up to 8 data fields per screen, five customizable screens, plus stock map/compass/elevation/segment screens
– Strava Live Segments support
– Works with Garmin Connect IQ Data fields (but not Garmin Connect IQ full apps/widgets)
– Has course support for navigation/routing (but not maps or turn by turn re-routing support)
– Supports Garmin’s new GCM course creator with specification of road type after ride
– Smartphone connectivity for text messages and call notification
– Support for Garmin Varia Radar and all ANT+ lights (Cycliq, Garmin, Bontrager, See.Sense)
– LiveTrack support for live tracking (uses your phone’s internet connection)
– Adds Garmin’s new ‘Safety Assistance’ feature, which sends emergency location to friends/family in event you run out of candy
– The thing weighs 32g (half of the Edge 520 at 61g).

Finally, before we get into all the goodness, note that there are three bundles/packages available for the Edge 130:

Base: $199/199EUR (just the device + mounts)
North American Bundle: $249 – includes device + cadence/speed sensors
European Bundle: 249EUR – includes the device + heart rate strap
Mountain Bike Bundle: $249/249EUR – includes the device + mountain bike mount + Edge remote control + silicone case

Apparently Europeans like to watch their heart rate, and American/Canadians their cadence I guess.  Also, all of these bundles should be available to pick up basically today. Or tomorrow. Nowish.

Oh – and here’s a video I put together diving into all the new details:

With that, let’s backup a bit and go through all the usual in-depth review goodness.

The Basics:

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With the smaller size and reduced buttons comes a slightly different user experience than the higher end Edge units Garmin makes. The good news is that it’s still silly easy to navigate through everything and find all the features – of which there are a ton as noted above.

By default, when you power it on you’ll be sitting on the home screen as seen above.  At this point you can simply hit the bottom right button and get right into a ride. That’ll trigger searching for satellites.  There’s essentially three sets of buttons: One on the left for power on, two on the bottom for lap and start/stop/enter, and two on the side for up/down.

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On the back is the standard Garmin quarter-turn mount, along with a micro-USB charging cable.  No USB-C here yet folks.

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Meanwhile, back on the unit itself, if you hold down the upper right button for a second or so, it’ll open the menu up:

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It’s here you can tweak settings, look at past rides, and go into details like navigation.  Note that structured workouts are not supported on the Edge 130 (meaning, downloaded workouts to execute).

Within the Edge 130 you have a single ‘activity profile’. Meaning that unlike other higher end units you can’t create separate data field configurations for each type of cycling you have (e.g. mountain biking, race, triathlon, etc…).  For most people, that probably won’t matter.

And Garmin seems to have made up for it with the customization you have here.  The Edge 130 supports up to 8 data fields per screen, and up to 5 custom screens.  That’s in addition to some stock map/compass/elevation/segment screens.

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There’s a pile of different layouts to choose from:

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Here you can see me picking out some of the details for a given screen.  What you’ll notice though is that the Edge 130 has a slightly reduced set of data fields.  For example, in the power meter side of things you’ve got the power data fields like average power, 3-second average, and lap power.  But you lack more advanced fields like Normalized Power, power balance, and TSS/IF.

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Speaking of power, that brings up sensors. The Edge 130 supports both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, including power meters.  It also supports heart rate sensors, speed sensors, cadence sensors, connected lights and radar sensors.

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You can see above I’ve paired a heart rate sensor, a couple power meters, and a Varia RTL510 radar. Note that if you have a Garmin Vector power meter, it does NOT record the Cycling Dynamics information. Nor oddly, power balance.  I say this because the Lezyne budget units as well a the Polar M460 all track power balance just fine.

When it comes to some of the various overall stats it tracks, it still records and determines your VO2Max, as well as gives you recovery time via the recovery advisor.  Plus, of course, PR’s like fastest 40K time, longest ride, and most ascent.  These stats overall actually get you basically the same as the Edge 520 series, but stop short of the more advanced FirstBeat Training Load/Recovery metrics seen within the Edge 1030 (which is way more expensive).

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You’ll also get text/phone call notifications displayed on the unit itself, similar to other Garmin Edge devices. And while the Edge 130 doesn’t have incident detection (meaning, when you crash it’ll notify someone), it does have the ability to ‘request assistance’ manually via the menus, which will contact those set up in the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

With all that backstory, let’s look at what it looks like out on a ride.  Once you’re ready, simply press the lower right button. That’ll start a satellite search and also connect to any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensors.

DSC_3613 DSC_3614

While it’s finding GPS it’ll overlay a small screen indicating as such:

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At this point you can press start and it’ll start recording data, as with any other head unit.  You can use the up/down buttons on the right side to iterate through various data fields.

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Here’s what a few of those look like mid-ride (there’s more in the video).  You’ll notice there’s elevation, which comes from the barometric altimeter in the unit.

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vlcsnap-2018-04-18-11h43m06s949 vlcsnap-2018-04-18-11h45m07s169

At any point in time, you can hold the upper right button down to access the settings, which allows you to edit the data pages, as well as some basic routing information.

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You can go ahead and route back along the same route, or, if you’ve saved a location (such as your house), then it’ll give you directions straight back to that as the crow flies (it doesn’t have maps for routing).

DSC_3618

After the ride is complete you’ll get a brief summary page of your ride, as well as getting notified about any new PR’s and VO2Max new highs. You’ll also see a small map of where you went.  All of that data also goes to Garmin Connect, and then onto sites like Strava, Training Peaks and others that you may have configured.  Here’s a link to one of my recent rides with it.

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Finally, before we talk mapping/navigation and Strava/Apps, it’s worthwhile pointing out a unique new feature here called Extended Display.  This allows you to pair a Garmin Fenix 5 series or FR935 watch to the Edge 130, enabling you to mirror the information you see on your watch to the Edge 130.

DSC_3606 DSC_3607

This is primarily aimed at triathletes that may want to use their watch to track the entire event and then just show that information on a more visible head unit on their handlebars during the cycling portion.

I’ll be digging into this in the next week or so, as I didn’t yet have access to the watch firmware (still in beta) to test this.  This will also come to the Edge 520 Plus, Edge 820, and Edge 1030.  I’ve made a good case to Garmin for the existing Edge 520 to also get it…but we’ll see.

DSC_3478

When it comes to navigation, the Edge 130 offers the ability to follow tracks and display alerts about upcoming turns.  It’s akin to how most Garmin wearables work in terms of following a breadcrumb trail.  You can create those routes/courses on Garmin Connect or via Garmin Connect Mobile, and then sync them to the device.  This means you can also use Garmin Connect’s newish course creator to get automated routes of a given distance generated (i.e. a 30-mile course using popularity routing):

2018-04-18 06.10.46 2018-04-18 06.11.04

The one downside here though is that since the Edge 130 doesn’t support Strava’s Connect IQ app like the bigger/colorful Garmin devices, you can’t directly pull Strava routes onto it wirelessly.  For that, you’ll need to plug it in via USB and transfer the file over.  It’s not the end of the world, but it’d be nice to see Garmin find a solution there, akin to what competitor Hammerhead has done with their Karoo.

Once you’ve got the course on your device, you’ll see it listed within the Navigation > Courses area:

DSC_3593

You can now select the course and get a few screens worth of summary information – including an overview ‘map’ (basically just the course outline), as well as the elevation plot.

DSC_3595 DSC_3596 DSC_3598

Once you tap ‘Ride’, it’ll go off and have your unit find GPS and put you on the cycling screens ready to ride.  At this point you’ll see an overview plot of the map and where you’re located on that journey:

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You’ll also see the overall elevation plot of the ride, along with your position:

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When you come upon turns, it’ll alert you about 500 meters out that a turn is occurring (such as to a new road).  And you can always just have the map screen up as well:

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If you miss a turn, or end up off the route, it’ll give you an off-course warning (including for Segments too):

vlcsnap-2018-04-18-11h43m31s087

It’s all pretty basic, but for many people it works just fine.  As with past breadcrumb trail devices (across a number of manufacturers), it works well in situations where there’s clear-cut roads with little choice.  Whereas when you’ve got a traffic circle with 5 or 6 options (or similarly angled roads), it’s harder to figure out exactly which one you should be taking.  Sometimes you just end up having to take the wrong road in life to get a warning and then correct course.

In addition to forward-facing navigation, it can also route you back to the start, mid-ride.  In that case, you have two options – A) Along the same Route, or B) Straight Line:

DSC_3618

If selecting to do it along the same route, it simply backtracks from wherever you are back to the starting point.  Whereas with the ‘Straight line’ option, it’ll do it as the crow flies.  Remember this device doesn’t have a map of streets onboard, so it won’t give you the shortest road-focused route home. Instead, it just assumes you are a crow and keeps you pointed in the right direction while you navigate roads.

And finally, you can mark locations for future reference.  For example, you can save your home in the unit, so that you can use the rough crow-fly style navigation to get back if all else fails.

Strava & Apps:

Now when it comes to 3rd party apps, the Edge 130 is a bit different than its more expensive siblings.  But it’s also different than previous less expensive offerings too.  See, Garmin has basically straddled the fence here (and in a good way I think).  It supports Connect IQ apps, but only of the data field variety. Meaning, it won’t support the more demanding full blown apps that operate independently of a given sport mode.  But it can use the Connect IQ data field type to allow you to gather data from various sensors (or just have unique data fields).

I believe for the price point this actually makes a fair bit of sense.  As it was, the majority of exciting Connect IQ things seem to happen in data fields (well, for me anyways).  Whereas the full-blown apps and such tend to fit better in a higher quality screen with colors (which the Edge 130 lacks).  You’ll add in data fields like pretty much any other Connect IQ capable device, via the Garmin Connect IQ store on your phone or via computer.

Now because it lacks the ability for full-blown apps to run, that does mean apps like the TrainingPeaks or Best Bike Split workout downloader apps won’t work here (though the unit doesn’t support structured workouts anyway).  But that doesn’t mean all 3rd parties are exempt.  Most notably, Strava stands alone in terms of integration.

As a result, you’ll be able to race Strava Live Segments in a black and white version of what you’d see on higher-end devices.  This is the first time we’ve seen Garmin bring Strava Live Segments to a sub-$200 device.  Again, I’ve gotta believe this is largely driven by competition from Lezyne and Polar here, which have offered Strava Live Segments at this price point.

And just for clarity, Strava Live Segments allows you to race Strava Segments in real-time (or, at least via offline cache) against the KOM a well as the people you follow and your PR.  You can see below as I approach a given segment that it shows these details of the approaching bit of pain:

vlcsnap-2018-04-18-11h43m06s949

And then during it, it also shows details of where you stand in relation to the end of the segment and the leader you’re chasing.  Also, you can look at Segments on the device ahead of time too.

DSC_3599

As with virtually every other device, it’ll both download your starred segments on Strava, as well as picking theoretically popular segments in your area.  As a general rule though, I find just starring my segments is the best bet for success here.

GPS Accuracy:

DSC_3590

There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS accuracy.  A watch could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road?  Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet!

GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.  I use 2-6 other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day.  Conditions include everything from tree/building cover to weather.

Next, as noted, I use just my daily training routes.  Using a single route over and over again isn’t really indicative of real-world conditions, it’s just indicative of one route.  The workouts you see here are just my normal daily workouts.

I’ll give you a quick spoiler here: There’s nothing of note. Which isn’t really a surprise. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen bike computers from really any vendor screw up GPS accuracy on roads. And part of that is largely because in road cycling your speeds are pretty fast, which helps with GPS accuracy. Additionally, unlike running you don’t tend to bike right alongside big buildings in a city.

Of course, there are trails to be considered – but I won’t be able to hit up trails till this weekend at Sea Otter. So stay tuned there!  It’s also where I’ll dig into the elevation accuracy a bit more. Being in the Netherlands the last two weeks, the largest gain of elevation I had was crossing a canal.

So, let’s dig into some of those rides.  All of them are compared using the DCR Analyzer, and you can hit up the links to see the original files/routes in more detail, or even download them.

The first route we’ll look at is from this past Sunday in the farmland south of Amsterdam.  The route starts out in the city, actually near some larger buildings, before heading out to the middle of nowhere.  Here’s the DCR Analyzer link for it.

image

At a super high level, nothing obvious that’s an issue, so let’s dig into the starting/ending portions where the buildings are.

In both instances,  as I passed this large cluster of buildings, the Edge 130 did seem to have some issues.  I should note though that for this ride it was merely using regular GPS, and not GLONASS/Galileo GPS satellites.  That may well have helped things (though, at a slight battery penalty).  You can see the purple track meandering a bit.

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It did this again near another cluster of tall buildings a short bit later. Note that both the Edge 1030 and the 520 Plus did actually have GLONASS enabled. Not entirely a fair comparison, but such is life.

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However, once we cleared that set of buildings, the units all tracked very much together:

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For the large remainder of the ride, this is what things looked like. Virtually identical.

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And again:

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And some more:

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So how did the city buildings portion impact overall distance recorded? Those variances seemed to add about 400-500 meters (on 55,500 meters). Not ideal, but also not unheard of for GPS in a dense building environment.  As for elevation gain, it was about the same (virtually nothing).  Note that the other metrics were connected to different sensors, so don’t read too much into those.

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Next, we’ve got a 50KM one-way journey across the countryside. Also leaving from the city, but I didn’t see any variances on this one as I passed by various buildings. Said differently: It’s boringly exact.

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Even these tall buildings next to the airport were no match, everything was spot on:

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The rest of the route? Virtually indistinguishable tracks for endless miles. Perfectly on-point.

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And again:

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You can hit up the link above to skim across the countryside forever, but basically it’s identical. And that’s also reflected in the summary totals below.  Note that because the Suunto 3 Fitness annoyingly only exports as a .GPX file (as opposed to a .FIT file), I don’t get all the summary information in the Analyzer.  But you can see that the Edge 520 Plus and the Edge 130 were a mere 16 meters apart after 50,000 meters (50KM).

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Finally, let’s take a look at a Paris ride as well. This one has a bunch more in the way of obstructions. Bridges, buildings, a tunnel or two, and more. You can find the DCR Analyzer here. But here’s the overview:

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If we zoom into the beginning, you’ll notice virtually no difference as I navigate through the city streets and buildings of Paris:

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When I was just along the river for much of the ride, it was mostly fine:

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The only oddities on this entire course was a bit of a scuffle going under some railroad tracks and bridges, where the Edge 130 didn’t quite perfectly nail it. Sorry it’s hard to see in purple, but essentially it wobbles a bit, whereas the other units cleanly go through it.

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The same occurs not far away under the massive highway overpass, as well as a couple of bridges.  Neither incident adds much distance, but it’s not exactly perfect either. I’ll be interested to see if enabling Galileo resolves this issue or not.

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At the end of the ride, the Edge 130 ends up about 200 meters higher than the Edge 1030, but identical to the Edge 520 Plus:

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Do note that on this Paris ride, that was on an older firmware, so it does seem better on newer firmware versions that are now shipping.

Ultimately, for most scenarios, the Edge 130 tracks fine with basic GPS. It doesn’t quite seem as good though in harder GPS scenarios without also enabling GLONASS or Galileo (which come at a small battery premium).  That’s an area I’m looking to explore over the coming weeks in more detail, and will post separately on. I’ve just picked up a couple Edge 130’s now, and so I’m looking to do some side by side testing of whether Galileo makes a difference.  There’s been a lot of talk in the fitness realm around excitement of Galileo, so I’m interested to see if it actually matters, or if it kinda ends up being like GLONASS – sometimes useful, sometimes hurtful.

More to come!

Product Comparison:

I’ve added the Edge 130 into the product comparison tool, allowing you to compare its features against other bike computers and related cycling gadgets.  In the case of the below chart, I picked ones I figured people would be comparing it against.  These include the Polar M460 and Garmin Edge 520+. I didn’t include the Wahoo Mini, because it lacks GPS.  Nor did I include the Edge 25 – but you can do so via the product comparison tool yourself. In fact, you can mix and match against anything via it.

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 19th, 2018 @ 8:27 pmNew Window
Price$199$169$279
Product Announcement DateApril 18th, 2018June 4th, 2015Apr 19th, 2018
Actual Availability/Shipping DateApril 18th, 2018July 2015May 2018
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB & Bluetooth SmartUSB/Bluetooth SmartUSB & Bluetooth Smart
WaterproofingIPX7IPX7IPX7
Battery Life (GPS)15 hours12-17 Hours15 Hours
Recording Interval1-second and Smart1-second1-Second or Smart
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerYesYesYes
Quick Satellite ReceptionYEsGreatYEs
AlertsAudio/VisualAudio/VisualAudio/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYes (Data Fields)NoYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoNo
Can control phone musicNoNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNONoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesNoYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesNoYes
Group trackingNoYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)YesNoYes
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Designed for cyclingYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYEs
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFNoNoYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesNoYes
Crash detectionNoYes
RunningGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Designed for runningN/ANoN/A
VO2Max Estimation(CYCLING YES THOUGH)(For Cycling, yes)(CYCLING YES THOUGH)
Recovery Advisor(CYCLING YES THOUGH)(For Cycling, yes)(CYCLING YES THOUGH)
SwimmingGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Designed for swimmingN/ANoN/A
TriathlonGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Designed for triathlonSorta (Extended Display Mode)NoSorta
Multisport modeNoN/AN/A
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Create/Follow custom workoutsNoYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureNoYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoSortaYes
FunctionsGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Auto Start/StopYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoSortaYes
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesYesYes
Day to day watch abilityNoSortaN/A
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoN/A
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoN/A
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoN/A
GeocachingNoNoN/A
Weather Display (live data)YesNoYes
NavigateGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesNoYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesNoYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoYes
Back to startYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route Creationvia phone appNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass Type-GPS
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoNoNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesNoYEs
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesNoYEs
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesNoYes
ANT+ Weight Scale Capable-NOYes
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesNoYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesNoYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoYes
ANT+ Remote ControlYesNoYes
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNO
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)NoNoWith apps
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNoYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesYesNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableYEsYesNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableYesYesNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesNoYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR tools-No
SoftwareGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
PC ApplicationMac/WindowsPC/MacGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectPolar FlowGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/Android/WindowsiOS/AndroidiOS/Android/Windows Phone
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Amazon LinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save a bunch with Clever Training VIP programLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save a bunch with Clever Training VIP programLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 130Polar M450Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Review LinkLinkLinkLink
)

Again, don’t forget you can create your own comparison charts via the product comparison chart here.

Summary:

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In a lot of ways, I think the Edge 130 is the bike unit that consumers have probably been asking for, for quite some time.  They might just not have known it. By going back to something the size of a cheap $20 Cateye unit found at a bike shop, it removes the intimidation factor for some people of a larger purchase (or handlebar ornament).  I suspect this unit will do incredibly well in bike shops too.

But more importantly than that – Garmin actually just nailed it here in terms of the balance of specs to price. The support for power meters will appeal to time trialists looking for a super lightweight option with a low profile mount.  Same goes for those that like Strava Live Segment support, but don’t really want a bike unit on their handlebars.  And for those looking for significant data field customization or Connect IQ data fields – this meets those bars too.

And unlike the Edge 520 Plus announced today, Garmin didn’t re-use existing hardware – getting you Galileo support and Bluetooth Smart sensor support. Both of which the Edge 520 Plus oddly lacks.

Of course, there are a few annoyances with the Edge 130. For example, while it supports Strava Live Segments, there’s no easy mobile-friendly way to get Strava Routes onto it without pulling out a USB cable and a laptop/desktop computer. Additionally, as a super-minor nit, I found the Bluetooth Smart sensor pairing a bit slower than other units. Given you only pair once, it’s hardly a big deal.  And then the GPS performance was a bit lacking under bridges and near some tall buildings.

Like I said at the start – this is really the unit that impressed me the most in terms of features to price, and it’s ironically the one I expected to be least impressed by.  Sometimes good things come in small packages.

Found this review useful? Or just want a good deal? Here’s how:

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

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased.  By joining the Clever Training VIP Program, you will earn 10% points on this item and 10% off (instantly) on thousands of other fitness products and accessories.  Points can be used on your very next purchase at Clever Training for anything site-wide.  You can read more about the details here.  By joining, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers.  And, since this item is more than $49, you get free 3-day (or less) US shipping as well.

Edge 130 Cycling GPS (North American folks)
Edge 130 Cycling GPS (European Readers)

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

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

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286 Comments

  1. Bertram

    “The Edge 130 supports up to 8 data fields per page”. Alas. Since a few years I can read only 4 fields on my 810, anything more is to small, unless I am wearing my multifocals :(.

  2. Sylvester Jakubowski

    Any news on if the custom layouts are coming to the 820?

  3. John

    Agree that Garmin should have figured out a wireless solution for loading Strava Routes onto the 130. 🤔

  4. Fred Lee

    Yes yes yes! Finally! I’ve been wanting a smaller, more affordable device that still supports powermeters. Support for the lighting and radar is a plus, though I don’t know that I’ll ever actually use those.

    I do miss the traditional side-by-side size comparisons, but bike radar had a picture with it next to the 520. Looks like about half the size. I have a couple mountain bikes for which the stem (my preferred mounting location) is very short, and fitting my garmin 810 is a squeeze. This one should fit well.

    My 810 is getting long in the tooth, looks like I’ve found the replacement.

  5. internet_person_314

    European link does not point to the Edge130.

  6. Matthew

    If my Edge 500 ever stops working I might be tempted to get the 130. It ended up up in the washing machine last week and I thought it would be dead. However it is still going strong. Apart from the lack of Bluetooth it does everything I need. I don’t really need mapping and have my phone if I ever get lost.

    • Jean Jean

      Same. What did Garmin do right with the Edge 500? It seems to have reliability and life above and beyond all other models.

      The 130 looks like the perfect replacement should anything ever happen to my Edge 500. I will miss NP and TSS as those are critical numbers for Powermeter users. (I like to see them on the fly vs after I’ve uploaded ride data)

    • rkantos

      Yeah… How the hell you go building a device that is probably like 5x more powerful, with wifi, BT and all.. And then leave out NP, 10s avg power? (didn’t see on video) and TSS, While still having an Edge 500 (a 10 year old device) which has supported it for a good 6 years now! Talk about market segmentation!

    • Dustin J

      @rkantos I completely agree, I feel that Garmin was trying to force for the people who used those metrics to go for the 520/520+. I feel that taking out NP/TSS/10 Avg. Power kills any interest in this product for me. Honestly, it takes a big chunk of the powermeter’s utility away when you do this.

      When I’m in doing a TT I typically have on my screen, 3s Power, 10s Power, 30s Power, Lap Power, Heart Rate and Cadence. Sometimes I’ll have HR on a separate screen so I can’t see how much I’m hurting. Anyways, without 10s Power and above it makes it really hard to keep your power trendlines on point, this it makes it much harder to adjust and fine tune the rider’s power output stick to their number.

      When I’m doing a long training ride NP is a great metric, I think it’s honestly the best one, to train by and to ensure that the ride quality is where it needs to be or that it isn’t. Keeping track of your NP and average HR on a long ride can show at what point when you’re decoupling. Taking this away plus the TSS really data driven athletes who tracking their training and try to eliminate as many variables of uncertainty as possible when it comes to hitting training goals.

      I use an Edge 500 currently and it doesn’t have a lot life left in it (one of the buttons is tearing), but when I do replace it it will likely be a 520+. All this being said, I think for the majority of cyclists this computer is a great option and it’s a good price point.

    • Probably because licensing NP, TSS is costly.

    • Seb

      Sure, but what would be the cost of adding 10s/30s power? It would be the perfect sized computer for Mountainbiking but somehow my edge 500 still seems the better option.

    • Nate

      Not having 10s power and NP really makes the Edge 130 almost useless for power. TSS and IF I can maybe live without as manually calculating these is easy. I assume Garmin has done this intentionally so as to not cannabilise the 520/820.

      However are there Garmin IQ Data Fields for 10s power and NP that would provide a hack?

    • Training Peaks could absolutely make an NP/TSS/IF data field set (for any devices), it’d be trivial.

      Of course, the metrics/calculations are largely well understood, so realistically someone else could make the same thing and just call it something else. For example – ‘Weighted power’, which is what Strava calls it. Other services call it other variants of the same thing.

      I suspect if someone digs around the Connect IQ store these types of fields may already been created. Or, probably soon will be.

      (To be clear, I totally agree that the lack of fields is silly. I do get it though – they’re trying to differentiate. The challenge is Garmin looks at the differentiation on a software level, whereas most consumers area actually looking at it from a hardware (size) standpoint. The Edge 130 isn’t seen as a successor to the Edge 500, rather, the Edge 510, then Edge 520 was. Ideally, Garmin would get to the point where you could just unlock features on whatever hardware sized you wanted…but I think that’s many years away still.)

  7. Dave H

    Really hoping the Fenix 5 mirror display comes to the 520. Would solve my “having to use both devices to share metrics issue”

  8. So, my usual question – any idea if it actually supports dual-frequency Galileo? Guessing not, they’d be making a big deal of it if so.

    • John

      Galileo’s 1-cm resolution band is pay-to-play, and the signal is encrypted to enforce that. There’s no way we’re going to see that on a 200USD/€200 device.

    • Some misunderstanding here, I think. I’m talking about the E1/E5 combination (which is an open service, but outperforms single-frequency GPS, largely due to improved multipath resistance), not the commercial E6 service. This kind of implementation.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      It’s interesting that the chip Broadcom BCM47755 supports also dual frequency GPS (GPS L1 and GPS L5).
      Unfortunately I read a japanese study where they told that dual frequency in sport usage is not always better than single frequency (they told that dual frequency took too much time to function better than single frequency, circa half an hour. Single frequency is much faster to find a good position, it takes just few minutes. This japanese study is two year old, so perhaps now things are different).

    • Yeah, there is a new signal installed on the newest GPS satellites which will perform similarly to the E5 Galileo signal. I don’t know how many of the constellation have that at the moment, it’s being rolled out as old satellites are retired and replaced, though I think that Galileo’s E5 will be reliable before that.

      Do you have a link to that study, Mirko?

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      I can’t find the japanese study any more. But I think I was referring to this article
      link to insidegnss.com
      IG INSIDE GNSS “Single- versus Dual-Frequency Precise Point Positioning” of year 2012
      The complete pdf article is here: link to insidegnss.com

      I just found also this article of year 2003, that I can’t understand very well and I don’t know if is appropriate for sport watches, but it seems that dual frequency is not a clear winner over single frequency
      link to fig.net Static and Dyn/I10.pdf

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      link to google.it

      This japanese article compares one dual frequency with one single frequency commercial receiver. In the conclusion it says that there is some advantages for the dual frequency receiver, but it does not seem anything shocking. I don’t know the year of the article, maybe is an old article.

    • Regarding Galileo satellites, I asked, from Garmin: “To date, all Garmin products (fitness or otherwise) support single frequency satellites.”

    • Thanks, Ray!

      Thanks for the links, Mirko – I’ll dig into them over the weekend.

    • H M

      Dual frequency is coming but won’t be in any of this year’s devices. Qualcomm (the chip in Samsung S9, but without the other things -antennas etc to use it dual frequency) and ublox (engineering samples this summer) have released dual frequency consumer grade (not surveying grade very expensive) chips, broadcomm and mediatek (who own Garmin) will probably follow soon (these 4 companies make 99.99%of the GPS chips in the world). But you might see it on phones this year or next, and in sports devices a year or two later. If this is really Garmin’s first Galileo capable device, which is something that has been in phones for 3+years take that as an indication of how long it will take them to put in dual frequency chips. You need different antennas and front ends so it’s not a simple component swap.

    • Believe it’s actually Broadcom, not Qualcomm, who were first to market there.

      I agree with you that it’s unlikely to be this year (Mirko and I were discussing this earlier in the 645 hands-on), and about the challenges of dual-frequency antennae and receiver front ends.

      Mediatek own Garmin? Since when?

    • Mirko Surf&Run

      Maybe Garmin waited a long time with Galileo satellites because the Galileo costellation was not fully operational -it seems that just now there is in the sky a good number of operational Galileo satellites- (so the delay maybe it is the fault of Galileo and not of Garmin).
      Perhaps with dual frequency they are quicker. If not, it could be that there are construction problems (with dimension of components and power requirements), or that for sport watches the advantages are not so big.
      I’m curious to see some review of dual frequency GPS phones, when they come out this year or next, and see the real accuracy improvement. Are you sure there is no phone with dual frequency now? Or maybe some consumer grade outdoor trekking device?
      It could also be that there is no commercial advantage for the brands to sell consumer grade dual frequency device, due to the higher cost of the dual frequency components (chipset, processor, antenna, battery) that could limit the volume of units sold and so the profit for the brands.

    • MediaTek definitely doesn’t own Garmin (nor the other way around).

    • Mirko Surf&Run

      In one article link to gpsworld-com.cdn.ampproject.org
      They say that in 2017 Europe decided to give the PPP for free without charge. With the right receiver this could give 10 cm accuracy. If I understand well, they say that with normal receiver accuracy from 5 meters will be 2.5 meters

    • Mirko Surf&Run

      The questions are two:
      1- when will be produced the first sport watch with multiple frequencies?
      2- when will be produced the first sport watch with PPP service? It is possible to have a PPP receiver in a sport watch or it is too expensive or the watch is too little to contain a PPP receiver?

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      In summary, I think that the article I cited above tells this about accuracy:
      1- accuracy of a receiver with single frequency Galileo satellites in open field without tree is between 5 meter and 2,5 meter.
      2- with dual frequency they say “In 2018, dual-frequency technology like this will provide an order of magnitude increase in the performance of mobile device location-based services (LBS), especially in urban environments”. So we can assume that also under tree and in urban canyons the accuracy of the receiver remains between 5 meter and 2,5 meter, because multipath errors are avoided due to multiple frequency.
      3- with single frequency or double frequency PPP they say: “In 2017 the EC confirmed the decision to implement the commercial service using E6-B with both encrypted and open components so all users could benefit for all frequency bands. Now, with the decision to make the service available free of charge, all users of Galileo, with the right type of receiver, will be able to achieve position fixes with an accuracy around 10 cm from Galileo’s first-generation constellation by 2020/2021”. So with PPP accuracy should be around 10 cm. Someone knows if real time PPP technology can be used in sport, were the receiver is moving very fast, or real time PPP technology can be used just for stationary object?

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      In wikipedia they write that PPP “Historically precise positioning was associated with surveying and geodesy”. They also say “Precise positioning is also increasingly used in the fields of robotics and autonomous navigation”. If they are using it for autonomous car, perhaps it could be that in the future PPP (Precise Point Positioning) could be used also in sport or outdoor devices, that will have centimeter accuracy. But I believe that we won’t see it anytime soon :(

    • Historically, precise positioning has been done by locking to the phase of the carrier signal, and using the timing of that relative to bit transitions to calculate the pseudorange more precisely than the bit transitions alone allow. I think that’s what a lot of the papers you cited a few days back were talking about, and that’s partly why it took so long to get the stable position.

      DOP isn’t actually in metres, if you’re reading the PDOP as 5 means 5 metres of imprecision; it’s a scaling factor for the theoretical accuracy of the system at best performance.The key thing there, as you say, is that the performance shouldn’t degrade anything like as quickly with poorer sky views (though geometrical issues from only having a narrow sky view in an urban canyon will remain).

      I think the E6 signal is designed to be real-time like the others, but I have not read much about it; there are no chips out there using it yet, so not holding my breath on that one.

    • It’s totally random tangents like this that are the reason I love DCR Commenters.

    • Paul S.

      Cars have lots of room for big antennas and a power bus that can handle good processors. Watches not so much. And the question still remains what would knowing your position to 10 cm rather than 2 m gain you when cycling or running or other outdoor sports? (Better pace for runners, maybe? But a simple cheap sensor more or less fixes that, doesn’t it?)

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      It seems that I completely didn’t understand what PDOP is :-)
      I didn’t know that things are so complex and I thought that PDOP was simply the accuracy in meters, but it’s not!
      Maybe is better to evaluate the accuracy that the Garmin 130 can reach in the configuration GPS+GALILEO reading the value of accuaracy showed by the device (for example my old Garmin 610 gives me an estimation af the accuracy in menu -> system -> gps: it shows me the satellites and shows the accuracy : at the beginning it’s circa 30 meters, when the signals is good it ‘s 5 meters). Ray, con you please tell us wich accuracy shows the Garmin 130 in the system menu with the GPS+GALILEO configuration?
      There is a beautiful article of “GalileoGNSS” posted on april 22, 2018
      galileognss.eu/the-path-to-high-gnss-accuracy/#more-3073
      link to galileognss.eu
      where they say that we have now the technologies that make high precision GNSS attractive to the mass market.
      “High precision GNSS systems dramatically improve precision using GNSS correction data to cancel out GNSS errors.”
      “High precision GNSS isn’t new. Surveyors and other professionals have had access to the technology for decades. But high device cost and dependence on expensive correction services have prevented the technology from expanding out of this niche market. What is new is that we now have technologies that make high precision GNSS attractive to the mass market, enabling applications such as lane accurate navigation, augmented reality, aerial drone precision flights and landing, unmanned lawnmowers and tractors, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication in which connected vehicles communicate wirelessly with other vehicles and infrastructure for collision avoidance. Many more applications will undoubtedly emerge as the technology takes hold.”

      But I think that they are optimistic and that we won’t see PPP (high precision GNSS positioning) in sport watches for a long time :-( , so we won’t have centimeter accuracy in sport watches for at least 10 years. And in 10 years maybe I’m not running any more!!!

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      @ Paul, you are right, cars have lots of room and watches not, this is why I think that centimeter accuracy will be in watches not in the near future. For cars it seems that centimeter accuracy is already operational.
      Yes, maybe if the accuracy is 2 meter would be sufficient also for instant pace, if this accuracy remains also under trees and in urban canyons always costant without multipath errors.
      So maybe new watches with dual frequency will be enough to have a better GPS experience with sport watches, without the need of PPP (high precision GNSS positioning).
      But I’m really hoping that with Galileo satellites and the new technologies that are coming there is some improvement in GPS accuracy, because I have a Garmin FR610 of year 2011 and a Garmin FR35 of year 2017, and it seems to me that GPS accuracy is the same.
      All the other things improved (now the watches are water proof till 50 meters, the battery is better, the menu are better, materials are better). Why not they improve also GPS accuracy?
      That said, I’m quite happy with the GPS accuracy that I have now with the FR610 and the FR35.
      For instant pace I tried a Garmin footpod, but with me it never functioned well for instant pace (my FR610 let me the choice between pace from GPS or pace from footpod). Now I read that the Stryd footpod is very good, but it’s rather expensive and I don’t want to try again, because instant pace of the recent Garmin FR35 is ok for me.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      This is an extract of the previous article.
      They say something about accuracy.
      “high precision GNSS – enabled using multiband receivers and SSR correction data – will reliably deliver a guaranteed position of the vehicle, regardless of the circumstance. Ultimately, it will have to be accurate to the decimeter level on open highways, and to the sub-meter level on more challenging urban highways”.
      They say that with high precisione GNSS (PPP) (using multiple frequency and the correction service) the accuracy is 10 cm level in open field, and 1 meter in the urban canyon.
      Even with multiple frequency it seems that in urban canyons accuracy is a lot worse than in an open field by a factor of 10.
      It will be interesting to see what is the accuracy of dual frequency Galileo using multiple frequency, but without the service correction (PPP), in open field and in urban canyons.
      My guess is 2 meter in open field and 10 meters in urban canyon.
      Now without dual frequency should be a lot worse, my guess is 5 meter in open field and 20 meters in urban canyon.
      Sorry, just speculation… Better that I stop here :-)

    • okrunner

      Ray says “Just make cool shit.”

      versus

      Dom says “using the timing of that relative to bit transitions to calculate the pseudorange more precisely.”

      I’m sure Dom is right but I understand “just make cool shit” much better.

      My 130 should be here tomorrow!!!

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Can you tell us what does the 130 says under the voice menu -> system -> GPS -> accuracy in meter
      with the GPS+GALILEO configuration (after waiting 5 minutes in open field to find a good lock with the satellites)? Thanks

    • Now without dual frequency should be a lot worse, my guess is 5 meter in open field and 20 meters in urban canyon.
      Sorry, just speculation… Better that I stop here :-)

      All we can do is informed speculation until one of these devices actually turns up on someone’s wrist! I’d say without dual frequency, if we’re lucky GPS+Galileo will slightly outperform GPS alone in canyons, and if we’re not it won’t (I stopped using GPS+GLONASS because it wasn’t helping). I should post about my thoughts on chip differences sometime.


      I’m sure Dom is right but I understand “just make cool shit” much better.

      LOL. For some reason my equation-heavy blog posts about the most economical way to calculate GPS distances by the Haversine formula just don’t get Ray’s readership :)

      Hope you’ll report back about your 130’s performance!

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Garmin at this link
      www8.garmin.com/aboutGPS/waas.html
      link to www8.garmin.com says that :
      – accuracy of GPS is 15 meter
      – accuracy of GPS + WAAS enabled (WAAS is a service correction) is 3 meter
      Now GPS+WAAS is available only in outdoor devices, like the Garmin FORETREK.
      Probably sport watches don’t have WAAS because it uses a lot of processor power and drains battery very quickly, and it’s possible to use it only in bigger devices with bigger battery.

      The problem of WAAS is that for example in Europe there are only two satellites that communicate the corrections, so it could function well in open field but in urban canyon is quite impossibile to receive the signal of the two satellites.
      If I understand correctly, the main advantage of the PPP signal in Galileo satellites (the B6 frequency) is that each satellite communicate the correction, so it’s impossibile to lose this correction also in urban canyon.
      Unfortunately the PPP service will also needs a lot of power and it probably will drain battery, so it’s unlikely to see it in sport watches (like we don’t see WAAS in the Fenix5).

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      My Garmin FR35 understood that I’m controlling GPS accuracy and today it did the best track ever :)
      Garmin says that accuracy of GPS without WAAS is 15 meters, but my FR610 showed 5 meters most of the time and 8 meters under tree and near building. Still and in open field it shows 3 meter accuracy.

    • Garmin have never been terribly clear about which devices support WAAS/EGNOS. The Fenix 3 has the logo on the packaging, the Fenix 5 doesn’t, but isn’t appreciably different in accuracy.

      I don’t know much about the WAAS/EGNOS signals, other than that there’s a fast and slow component, and the fast component is supposed to be updated in real-time. Given the satellite locations and sky view limitations, a sensible engineering approach to the chip design would be to grab whatever data possible when the satellite is visible and use the last good data when it isn’t. Speculation on my part.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      It could be that in the Fenix3 and Fenix5 there is this kind of implementation for using WAAS like you describe.
      But I think that in the Fenix there is no WAAS, because in the Foretrex 601 you can choose in menu -> system -> if you want WAAS ON or WAAS OFF. I attach an image of the menu of the old Foretrex 401. In the Foretrex 601 manual, Garmin explains how to activate WAAS (menu – > system -> WAAS ON or WAAS OFF).
      In the Fenix manual they never speak about WAAS and this option is not in the menu. I would expect in the Fenix a similar menu setup like in the Foretrex.
      I think there is one of these possibilities:
      1- there is WAAS in the Fenix and it operates behind the scene in the way that you describe (it would be very clever from Garmin)
      2- the Fenix is ready for WAAS, but Garmin didn’t enable it. It could maybe possible just with a firmware update.
      3- the chipset of Fenix is just not WAAS-capable

      It would be interesting if some owner of the Foretrex describes how quickly the battery goes down with WAAS enabled.
      If we know this, we could understand if it will be possible from a battery standpoint to have in the near future WAAS in the Fenix, and maybe Galileo PPP E6 service in 2020-2021 when it will be ready.

      By the way, it seems that everyone’s advice is to not use WAAS, because the signal is too weak, except in open field, where the accuracy of the normal GPS without WAAS is already enough.
      For example in this review they explain why is better to not use WAAS
      h ttps://backpackinglight.com/garmin_foretrex_101_gps_review/
      link to backpackinglight.com
      “The Foretrex 101 is equipped with the capability to receive WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) satellite correction signals to increase positional accuracy. WAAS is not utilized when in the backcountry for the following reasons. First, WAAS decreases battery life for all GPS units when enabled. Second, since the WAAS system uses one of two geostationary satellites, reception can be difficult in all but open land and marine settings. Canyons and forested or mountainous areas frequented when hiking often do not receive strong WAAS signals. Third, increased positional accuracy achieved with WAAS does little to aid backcountry navigation where position accuracy is normally less than 15 meters without WAAS. Thus for most hiking activities, the WAAS mode is kept off.”
      But the Galileo PPP E6 signal should be good also under trees and in urban canyons, so for us would be much more interesting.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Confused. I just found the manual of the Fenix 2 and it has the option to turn on WAAS.
      In the Fenix 3 and Fenix 5 manual they don’t speak about WAAS any more.
      Dom, probably in the Fenix 3 and in the Fenix 5 WAAS functions in the way you describe.
      I hope that in the future it will be possibile to use also the E6 signal of Galileo for high precision positioning (PPP service). Maybe there are not so big battery problems.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      In this german article link to kowoma.de they say that with WAAS in Garmin devices the battery lasts half the time (they say that you must use “normal mode” and not “low energy mode” in the settings). They repeat that WAAS was thinked for airplanes, so the satellites are very low on the horizon (in Munich 34°) and the reception near mountains and in woods is very bad. They show an image where they reach an accuracy of 2 meters.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      I attach the image of the article cited above about the accuracy of the device Garmin Vista with WAAS enabled. The image shows the page of satellites with a differential correction with EGNOS (the european equivalent of WAAS). The letter D in the graphic of the satellites shows that for the signal of the corrispondent satellite correction data are received and utilized.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Empewu the 3 april 2014 made this comment in the DC Rainmaker Fenix2 in depth review (he thinks that WAAS doesn’t require a lot of extra power consumption). By the way, I read the other comments in the DC Rainmaker review and it seems (as we expected) that WAAS didn’t help for accuracy, most users didn’t see any difference with WAAS on or off. Some users reported that with WAAS on they had more problems.
      The comment of Empewu:
      “Enabling WAAS means enabling EGNOS. You can actually see when EGNOS kicks in. If you go to “GPS Tools” menu, and then “Satellite”, and scroll down you will see IDs of satellites from which watch is currently receiving signal. Anything up to 32 are regular GPS satellites, above that are WAAS and EGNOS (and also Indian and Chineese equivalent systems) satellites. For example in Europe my Fenix locks on Sattelite with ID 39, which is Inmarsat 4-F2. When switched on, EGNOS in theory improves horizontal accuracy from 10 m up to 3m. As for the power consumption – it increases as GPS chip performs extra signal decoding and position correction calculations. However this increase is small. I do not know what chip Garmin has used in fenix, but I would assume it should not be more than extra 1mA of current. Fenix has 500 mAh battery so you can do a math how the watch operating time will decrease with WAAS/EGNOS enabled.”

    • Hi Mirko, I found the Foretrex 101 manual here and what it say about the power-saving mode is that “When the Foretrex 101 is in Battery Save mode, the GPS receiver turns off and on alternately to save power”. So it’s like Ultratrac, basically, and it doesn’t really tell us anything about how WAAS affects battery life in normal GPS mode.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Good observation. The german article was referring to the Garmin eTrex Vista of year 2001 :)
      manual here link to tramsoft.ch,
      and I see that “battery save mode” has the same meaning that in the Foretrex 101.

    • Oops, yeah, I was mixing up the German article with the Foretrex 101 review above, thanks.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Update of accuracy of the Galileo PPP E6 service, that Europe decided to give for free . Director of GSA said in novembre 2017 that accuracy in open field will be 20 cm with convergence time of 5 minutes (not 10 centimeter like I believed).
      The service will maybe start in 2020-2021 when the satellite constellation will be complete, but perhaps 2019. In the article the director of GSA says “Right now, no one can say when the system will become available. Of course everybody prefers 2018, but we need to wait and see how this current discussion goes.”
      The main reason Europe decided to announce to give an high accuracy service for free was that Europe wants to be the first to give a high accuracy PPP service for free (before China and Japan, that will probably give the same service for free in the future, China perhaps and Japan for sure).
      Article here
      h ttp://insidegnss.com/fundamental-rethink-for-galileo-commercial-service/
      link to insidegnss.com
      Extract of article:
      Des Dorides said the GSA and the Commission see location and navigation technologies going in the direction of multi-system, multi-GNSS, which by itself will continue to provide better and better accuracy, ultimately limiting the draw of a fee-based high-accuracy system.
      “So, the expected revenues are shrinking,” he said, “while on the other hand there is still the idea that Galileo can be the first mover to provide a high-accuracy service, but as a free service.”
      “By high accuracy we mean around 20 centimeters,” des Dorides said, “not the 10 centimeters that you can find offered by various manufacturers in the market — these are different. We are talking about 20 centimeters with a convergence time on the order of five minutes, and you know that 10 centimeter accuracy I mentioned comes with a 15-minute convergence time, so it’s a different market.”
      Thus, he said, an accuracy on the order of 20 centimeters, delivered for free, could represent a competitive advantage for Galileo vis-a-vis the other GNSS systems.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      In the previous article they don’t specify that the Galileo high accuracy PPP B6 service reach 20 cm accuracy for a stationary object in open sky after waiting 20 minutes to reach a good convergence.
      For moving object in challenging urban environment preliminary tests show that accuracy should be circa 2 meters (with errors up to 6 meters).
      Article about the test of year 2015 here link to spcomnav.uab.es

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      View figure 12 in dense urban environment. For running or cycling would be still very good

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      link to insidegnss.com
      It seems that ublox has the chip for high precision receiver, that they will use also for bike sharing.
      Extract of article of 8 maj 2018: “u‑blox and Qianxun Spatial Intelligence Inc. are joining forces to deliver high precision positioning solutions to the Chinese market. By coordinating their product offerings, they seek to meet growing demand for increased positioning accuracy for mass market applications.”
      I understand that ublox gives the high precision chip and that the other company gives the correction signal wireless. In this case they use a chip F9 that doesn’t use PPP (Precise Point Positioning, the technology that is used by the not still ready E6 signal of Galileo) but RTK (Real Time Kinemakic).
      But ublox produces also PPP chipset , for example NEO-7P u-blox 7 PPP Precise Point Positioning
      link to u-blox.com
      I read the manual and it says “NEO-7 P supports operation as a D-GPS rover as an alternative to PPP and SBAS corrections (applicable to GPS operation only).”
      So it seems that the ublox chips can work with all these technologies.
      It seems that when the Galileo PPP E6 signal will be ready, the chipset for the mass market are ready, because probably the F9 chipset can work with PPP signal also and it will be ready for the PPP service of Galileo with some modification.
      I think that now we have:
      1- chip with dual frequency (the Broadcom)
      2- chip that support PPP (ublox F9)
      Which will be the first to appear in the cellular phones and wich will be better for phones and maybe sport watches?
      The service of high accurate positioning will be available in China at the end of 2018. Probably the service of Qianxun is not free of charge.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      link to u-blox.com
      This is the exact link of chip ublox neo-7P for PPP high precise positioning GNSS

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Correction: the chip u-blox F9 is both multi frequency (E1-E2-E5) and PPP high precision capable.
      It’ also multiconstellation (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BEIDOU).
      The indicative power requirements of the other single frequency PPP chip, the Neo7- P are 22 mA 3V in Icc Tracking (continuous mode/PPP).
      I can’t find technical specification of the new u-blox F9 chip.
      It seems that these kind of chips could fit well in a Fenix :)

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      Ublox F9 chip power consumption: 68 mA @ 3V (continuous)
      :-( a bit too much for Fenix I think

    • Yup, that’s 204mW compared to 37mW acquisition and 27mW tracking for the MT3333 in the Fenix 3 (and probably the Fenix 5 too, don’t recall). It’s quite big, too, at 17×22 mm compared with 4.3×4.3 for the MT3333. I can’t find out how big the BCM47758 is, but it’s described as small and as a 77-ball WLBGA package, where the 3333 is 57 balls 0.5mm pitch. So, certainly a bit bigger than that, depending on the pitch.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      link to mwrf.com
      The hope to install a dual frequency GNSS chip in the Fenix remains the chip Broadcom BCM47755. I can’t find the power consumption of the Broadcom BCM47755, but the link above says that the chip is based on the 28 nanometers technology and it needs half the power of the previous generation chip. Extract of article : “current consumption can be less than 5mA during GNSS tracking”. I assume they are talking about 5mA and 3V, so circa 15 mW.
      Maybe ublox still uses a 45 nanometer process technology. In ublox power consumption with multiple frequencies increases a lot from the chip 7 (single constellation and single frequence) and 8 (multiple constellation and single frequence) to the chip 9 (multiconstellation and multiple frequencies). It’s a pity, because I saw a webinar of ublox where they show that with the chip 9 they are a lot quicker to find again a good signal and a good precision, in comparison to the chip 8, driving with a car after a tunnel or after a problem that interrupted a good reception. I hope that they will produce it in a smaller form factor and less power hungry.
      In his web page u-blox makes a distinction between standard precision GNSS module (where we can find a small form factor, ad example size of 5x5x1 mm for the the ZOE-M8) and high precision GNSS module (accuracy < 1 meter with correction service), where also the NEO-7P, that is mono constellation and single frequency, is quite big (size 12,2x16x2,4 mm).

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      I read this whitepaper (the challenge of low power and good GNSS performance) of u-box about the difficulties to put a GNSS receiver in a sport watch: now I am a bit discouraged that the designers will be successful to deliver a better gps performance in a sport watch. In their test they found that gps 2D-accuracy (95% confidence) in urban environment is 25 meter, in suburban environment 15 meter with a standard accuracy gps receiver while running.
      Maybe a good solution could be to produce a separate gps sensor. Optical heart rate was another thing that didn’t function so well for many people in a wrist watch, and a good solution was a separate sensor in the upper arm.
      The solution that u-blox suggest is a low-energy mode that they call “Super-E mode”, where they have less power consumption but worse performance. Unfortunately the Galileo signal must work with full energy mode , and I think that manufacturers should forget power-save mode and they should try to deliver better gps performance.
      This is an extract of the whitepaper:
      “When it comes to portable applications such as smart wearable platforms (e.g. watches or trackers), manufacturers have struggled to find the best balance of size and performance resulting in a lower-than-expected adoption rate that has disappointed many traders.
      Much of the challenge has been around the GNSS antenna, which has to be very small to fit inside a wearable product. The extreme size-related constraints on antenna design inevitably involve performance compromises. Compromised antenna designs result in weak signals and the antenna placement (e.g. on wrist) can generate very high dynamics for the receiver even with moderate movement from the user. As a result, GNSS receivers are hard pressed to decode signals and provide accurate positions. As well, a short battery life due to small batteries has always been one obstacle, if not the primary obstacle, for wearable GNSS applications. The paradox of performance and low power has consistently limited GNSS adoption in this market. Customers want GNSS positioning implemented in small and battery powered devices, yet with accurate performance. The challenge is to use hard performance requirements in parallel with reduced power spending to enable new market opportunities. To this end, Swiss-based u-blox has developed the new super-efficient Super-E mode running on its new UBX-M8230-CT GNSS chip and ZOE-M8B System in Package (SiP) solution, a next
      generation answer to the power versus performance challenge in the wearable market.”

  9. Paul

    Hey,
    Does it still have the terrible shreek beep sound? Nothing quite spoils a nice lonely mountain road more than a Garmin beep

  10. Phil

    do you know if you can pair multiple speed/cadence sensors to the 130 w/o having to re-pair?

    The Edge 25, you could only have 1 paired at a time so that meant that you had to either take off the sensors or re-pair to bike 2.

  11. Robin

    Thanks Ray. Plus 1 on the ability to extend the screen to the old E520 from a FR935.

  12. Zlatko Vlasic

    hey ray. great review. can you update vector 3 firmware with 130?

  13. KamilN

    Is it worth changing almost new Edge 500 to Edge 130? Edge is used as display device during triathlon, main device is Fenix 3.

  14. \\\Wes

    Ray, Any chance that the Extended Display feature will come to FR920XT? Thanks!

    • It doesn’t sound like it. Basically, it takes new firmware on the device, and I think by and large the firmware updates for new features have ceased for the FR920XT.

    • \\\Wes

      I assumed that would be the case, but wanted to be told to go out and get a FR935. :o

    • Toby

      I had the this exact question about my trusty 920. Is there a technical reason that the 920xt couldn’t support screen mirroring, or is it that Garmin’s just lost interest in it and is trying to push us to buy a new device?

    • Tosin

      What about the Fenix 3? And do you think FE-C control is something that can be added in an update?

    • No, I wouldn’t expect that to occur. That said, I vaguely remember someone publishing an FE-C app, but I’m not sure if it’s still around. I know Kinomap had talked about it, but also not sure if it ever came true.

  15. Geoffrey

    I think you missed something here:
    Note that if you have a Garmin Vector power meter, it does NOT recording the Cycling Dynamics information. Nor oddly, power balance. I say this because the Lezyne budge units as well a the Polar M460 all track power balance just fine.

    I think you mean “does not record the Cycling Dynamic” and a bit further “Lezyne budget units”

    Keep up the great work

  16. Geoffrey

    And one more thing….let’s see what Wahoo does in response. :)

    • Mike Richie

      I’m sure Wahoo will do something, but they don’t have the mapping engine (or experience, or data for that matter) that Garmin has. Nor do they have anything like ConnectIQ. They certainly can press Garmin on usability, reliability and some unique features (maybe even price), but they will probably lose in terms of navigation and advanced feature sets.

  17. Marklemcd

    This isn’t a complaint just on this product but the thing I really like about Wahoo’s units is being able to do all the settings on the phone and have them port over. It makes setting data fields so much easier.

    Question on the mirroring: Let’s say I have a 935 and want to mirror, can I only display 4 fields since that’s all the 935 lets me do? Or can I somehow do 8 since the unit allows 8?

  18. Wesley A. Brown

    I really don’t get why you would support power meters and not structured workouts.

  19. MartinF

    I’m surprised there wasn’t more comparison to the Lezyne Super GPS? A couple of nice features with the watch display mirroring and real time Strava segment racing, but beyond that I think the Lezyne may give you more for your money.

    • Simple: I realized I didn’t have the entry in the database and plan to put it in shortly here. Been on my forever list.

      I’ll also be doing a bit more of a detailed comparison of sub-$200 units in the near term, but given this week is Sea Otter…one never quite knows what might show up shortly.

      I do agree that both Lezyne and Polar give you more features (structured workouts, better data collection) for the price, though I think Garmin is probably a cleaner implementation across their ecosystem. I suppose just a case of what one values.

    • John

      BTW, I’m not currently seeing the Edge 520 Plus in the product comparison calculator?

    • Rodrak

      Do you plan looking on Sigma ROX 11 in this occasion?

    • fneuf

      Do you also plan to include some of the Bryton product range in this comparison?

    • RE: Bryton – Not at the moment, mostly because every time I post about Bryton, I’ve found nobody really cares (comments/views/etc…) :-/

      RE: Sigma – I do plan to include them…

    • fneuf

      That’s strange feedback from the community, given their direct aim at lowering prices. They are pushing it way harder than the big names. But is it the problem? They are not a sufficiently recognised name yet?

    • Well, specifically lack of feedback is really more the issue.

      I suspect it’s partially distribution. They aren’t well known because they aren’t in places people can see and buy them, especially in North America. They are in Amazon now, which is an improvement over the past, but finding them in retail bike shops is tougher.

  20. Howard Waller

    Wow, I might finally trade in my Edge 500 (which has been relegated to a backup, and racing).

    Could someone (Ray?) explain what Galileo GPS is and how it differs from other options?

    • Benedikt

      It cant be switched of by all hailed Trump because it is an European equivalent to GPS.

    • It’s the EU’s global positioning satellite constellation, which is close to complete now. The really exciting thing about it is that it has a secondary signal which is similar in precision to the GPS military band, much more resistant to multipath errors than current civilian GPS/GLONASS. There are dual-frequency chips reaching the market now which will support this, and it could give a huge leap in accuracy for small devices like watches. But – only for devices which have both a chip and an antenna supporting the two frequency bands required. My guess is that this unit has only single-frequency, so the GPS/Galileo setting would be similar in accuracy to the GPS/GLONASS combination – can help sometimes just because your device can see more satellites and fix position more accurately, but not a lot of help when multipath is the problem, or a narrow sky view in an urban canyon. But that’s just informed speculation, based on how recently the dual-frequency chips were announced and that Garmin would probably make a big deal of announcing a dual-frequency unit.

  21. Eugene

    Is the absense of custom workouts not a big issue? How do you go about if you want to do intervals training?

    • Brian

      If I can pair it to my Fenix, I’ll run the workout on my fenix and mirror the screen on the 130… seems doable?

  22. Hi Ray, any idea if the extended display will be available for the 735XT watch? If so this will be a no-brainer for me!

  23. Marko K-P

    Functional temperature range? Fat Bikers need this info. -10c doesn’t cut it.

    • Honestly -10C is about the same for every device out there.

    • Marko K-P

      Garmin 1030, 520, 820 etc are all rated down to -20c. I just checked the manual for the 130 on Garmin’s website. The 130 has a operating temperature range of -20c to 60c. That makes it Fat Biker worthy. Maybe you can add operating temperature to your info. There are a lot of us Fat Bikers out there. But especially since you call in a In-Depth review.

    • Interesting, was pretty sure off-hand they were all -10*c, guess not. I’ll ask if that’s just a typo, or if not why. Though it’s actually the first time anyone has ever asked.

  24. What about a comparison between this and an Edge 25? Or will the replace it? Because in functionality they are very close!

    • John

      @Koen, you can run your own comparison between the 130 and 25: link to dcrainmaker.com

      The 130 has a ton of features the 25 doesn’t: doubled battery life, Strava segments, 1-second recording, Bluetooth sensor support, power meter support, live weather (via GCM), thermometer, barometric altimeter, Galileo positioning, longer support lifecycle, etc. I don’t understand why anyone would spring for the 25 to save the few dineros difference in price.

  25. Wyatt

    Really interested in how the mirroring from the 935 works. As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong!) Garmin doesn’t track “Training Status” (TSS) across multiple devices so being able to make use of the larger bike computer screen while still keeping everything recorded and all my stats on my 935 looks really appealing.

    • Wyatt

      Of course it would be nice if they just implemented multi device Training Status tracking into Garmin Connect, especially for if/when your device dies.

  26. Steve

    Sounds like an awesome Edge 500 replacement. Ben Delany over at Bike Radar raves about the screen.

    Are the Cycling Dynamics and L/R simply not available for display, or is this data actually filtered out of the ANT+ data stream so it’s not even there for post-ride analysis?

    Also, just to verify, no Shimano Di2 data fields available?

    • John

      No Di2 support, which means no support for the hidden buttons on the tops of the hoods ☹️, but it does support the Edge remote (which comes in the MTB bundle) which does have data page scrolling.

  27. Craig Whiting

    This would have been a great little device for the TT bike whereby you only wanted to view some key data with one of them being IF.
    Amazed they could not include this!!!

  28. Domen

    Thanks for another great review of what seems to be great device (at least for my needs), although I also miss section with side to side comparison, weight, what’s in the box… Will it come, when you’ll be back home from Sea Otter.
    Additionaly I have a couple of questions:

    1a)Do I get this correct that you can’t upload Strava Routes to 130 via mobile app, but can upload recorded activities from 130 to Garmin Connect/Strava via mobile app (through Bluetooth)?
    1b)WiFi is not suported for activity upload, right?

    2)What exactly comes in sensors type bundle? I’m confused, because on CleverTraining(.com and. co.uk) says speed/cadence sensor, but you also mention something about heart rate strap. The confusing thing is price, if there is no heart rate strap. Given that base is 200$(195€) and bundle is 250$(252€), while Garmin speed and cadence sensor are sold separately for 40$(€). Can you clear this up, because it doesn’t make sense to me.

    3)Is it just me or it looks really funny when such a small device like 130 is mounted on out-front mount (or is that extended version for Edge 1000/1030 you were using). Probably that’s why it come just with standart mount.
    How do you find it, is it better when is mounted directly on top of stem/handelbars?

    P.s.: Sorry for long post.

    • 0) Yeah, the unboxing will come. I just got the final boxed versions last night and simply ran out of time to shoot them in the light. I’ll be up by tomorrow morning Kansas time. They had previously just sent over the final production unit, sans-box.

      1) Correct. And correct, no WiFi.

      2) It’s confusing indeed, because there’s two bundles. In the US it’s the Cadence/Speed sensor bundle, whereas in Europe it’s a HR strap bundle. I’ve been meaning to ask why that is, will find someone tonight. But that’s the SKU’s that’s been dealt.

      3) It does look funny, but it was an extended mount. There are smaller mounts that’d look more pretty. I had already swapped the mount twice that day for some other stuff, and honestly didn’t want to dig through moving boxes to figure out where I put some smaller mounts. It looks good on the stem, though super small. I think there’s some pics above and in the video showing it that way.

    • Domen

      Wow, that was a fast response. Thanks.

      For 2) besides two different bundles, the price is more confusing for me. Wouldn’t be logical that bundle cost less, oppose to if you buy unit and sensors separately. 250$ vs 200$+40$.

      As said, clear response from Garmin will be welcomed.

    • Domen

      Ups, just found my mistake. Sensors (speed/cadence) are 40$ each or in bundle 70$ and in the end is indeed cheaper if you buy it with Edge.
      So you can ignore previous comment, but anyway who knows why two different bundles.

  29. David Marks

    You can beat the features for this price. It’s the fundamental basics. I don’t use most of the features on my 820. If I had this as an option I would have bought this.

    One thing that is not clear is whether you can sync it with your phone over BLE?

    David

    • Yup, totally sync via BLE over smartphone. The only thing that won’t sync that way is Strava Routes from Strava to the device. But your normal uploads from the device to Garmin Connect work just fine via BLE.

  30. okrunner

    Varia Vision?

  31. RobertBB

    I was so excited when I first read about this product, but IMO Garmin hasn’t got the feature set right.

    All they needed to do here was modernise the Edge 500. That means adding GLONASS, livetrack, BLE and call/txt notifications. Things like TSS/NP and Power Balance (and power zone) should be a given in 2018! As should being able to send workouts to follow on the device.

    They should have pulled mapping and Strava out completely and made this a “numbers” unit, with te 520 plus (or 530) the colour unit with mapping, strava and full app support.

    Garmin has dropped their bundle!

    • Joel

      Right there with you Robert. I want a bike computer with all the power metrics and live track to the size of the 500 or smaller. I am too slow to worry about Strava segments.

    • Mike Richie

      Ha ha, I am slow too, but you can still race Strava segments against your own times.

  32. Cristian

    Does it support varia vision?

  33. Stuart

    The one thing that it’s missing that I’d like: FE-C. I suppose I could go back to using the iPhone to manage the resistance on the Kickr (and having used the 520 to do that job, it would probably be a lot simpler – the UI on the 520 for making changes on the fly is APPALLINGLY bad), but … well…

    The ability to mirror what’s happening on my 935, though… that on its own is _almost_ enough to make me jump. Almost. The other differences between the 520 and the 130 don’t bother me.

    • Mark

      Wahoo Bolt does FE-C.

    • I chatted with them a bit about it, in short, they just don’t see much usage of FE-C on their head units, and didn’t see much justification for adding it in here (balancing dev time versus people using it).

      I generally tend to agree. I think the adding of FE-C to head units served its purpose of jumpstarting the standard and getting all the trainer/app companies to adopt it, but I wonder how many people actually use FE-C on a daily basis to control their trainers. Certainly some do, but I feel like overwhelmingly it’s more app-focused than not.

    • GLT

      Thanks for explaining their decision making on the FE-C feature.

      I’m one of the few riders that does use FE-C for most indoor training rides. I like to minimize the number of devices involved and keep the dashboard similar to my outdoor configuration. Replay of my more hilly rides from the head unit doesn’t always work perfectly, but it is more engaging to me than manually adjusting the resistance levels.

      It would have been tempting to get the E130 as a backup for my E520 if it had FE-C, but oh well.

  34. SpeedyChix

    Given the features of the 520 that I don’t use, the small form factor of the 130 may just find me looking to sell my nearly new 520. Never thought i’d see a feature laden small Garmin again.

  35. Occasional Cyclist

    I’m just an occasional cyclist who usually uses my 735xt for my riding, but one or twice a year I do an organized ride that has a tcx or gpx cue sheet available to download – is this something that can be uploaded, via garmin connect, to the 130 for navigation? Thanks!

    • Mark

      You would be able to side load, via computer and USB cable.

      Also have a read through “Quick Tip: Quickly creating routes on your phone for your Garmin & Wahoo devices” article on here. Some interesting tips (and more in comments) about getting a .GPX file to open in Garmin Connect App on Smart Phone then you can BT across to a paired Edge device.

    • M1H0K1

      just to be clear, can you upload ‘openstreet maps’ to the 130, like you can with the old 520?

  36. Joel

    Would you be able to post a picture of the 130 to the 500 to compare the size?

    With that said, I have been waiting on something to replace my trusty 500. Wasn’t quite sold on the Bolt. You should tell them that no nominal power makes this a no go for triathlete with a power meter. It is a deal break, add those metrics and I would have my credit card ready.

    • Yeah, let me see if I can temporarily steal one today at Garmin, else you’ll have to wait till I get back home next week.

      I can say that basically the Edge 130 is thinner (vertically) than the Edge 500, and I’d say a tiny bit less wide. I think it’s about the same length though. Again, just going off top of my head measurements.

  37. Rejean

    Is it receiving 1 or 2 Galileo frequencies ? 2 frequencies would be more accuracy…
    Thanx Ray for all your wonderful reviews, really appreciated… You the man !!

  38. Keith Brown

    Sigh…I just picked up a Lezyne Super GPS 2 weeks ago. Throw me a bone and tell me why I’m not missing out?
    Also why don’t you have the Lezyne products on the comparison calculator?

    • You’re actually not missing out on much (if anything). In fact, you’ve got better routing options than this. You have less sensor connectivity options (e.g. no radar/lights), but more data field options.

      There’s no good reason for the Lezyne not being in there other than it been on my to-do list to knock out, and every time I sit down to do it I’m lacking a unit in front of me to double-check everything on. I may just grab the Lezyne guys tomorrow and Sea Otter and sit down and do it in their booth.

    • HdB

      The Super GPS is a pretty good unit – longer battery life, also connects to both ANT+ and BTLE sensors, has routing, Strava segments, live tracking. And (though I’ll need to do a few more rides to be sure, only one ride since the update so far) the last update (6.75) appears to have fixed some serious issues.

      If my Super GPS breaks, or they bring out another update that breaks half of its features AGAIN, I’ll probably go for the Edge 130. The radar/light and Galileo support isn’t a deal breaker for me (yet), so in no rush to spend another $200

    • Keith Brown

      If you are working on it with them, can you make a bit of a tutorial about the map screens on the SUPER GPS? Also a time to destination and distance to destination fields are lacking on the data fields.

  39. Bob

    The 130 should be sent out GRATIS to everyone who paid hard earned for tbe 820. Grumble grumble grumble…..

  40. chup

    The 130 is a killer like the old 500! I think most cyclists will be pleased with it.

    btw this review is less quality than your usual work. Guess it must be done in a rush. Keep your work up Ray!

    • slightest

      i’m not sure what you might be expecting, but i fail to see how this is any poorer in quality than his other work.

      as usual, aside from describing the various features, there’s also pretty in-depth analysis – whether said features work, their usefulness, whether they’re value for money etc. which is more than what many other reviewers do.

      at several points in the review, he’s also pointed out areas which require further investigation as well. overall it’s extremely comprehensive. don’t think it is of any lesser quality.

  41. Janis vaskis

    Hi,
    If possible please add side by side photo with older EDGE units. thx

  42. Wojciech

    Hi Ray,

    Did You ride with speed sensor?
    I would like to know, if the speed is primarly from speed sensor when one is attached.
    I’m a bit of freek with my current speed, and GPS always take a little time to match to Your actual speed, Thats why ride with my GPS watch and simple sigma bike computer combo.

  43. Stash Rudolf

    One short question Ray: as you say that Edge 130 struggles under bridges and tall buildings, what do you think the GPS accuracy will be in the forests? I only do mountain-biking and have been looking for a device like this for quite some time.

    Thanks

    • No issues in forests on a road bike. My Paris ride goes through some without problems.

      However, I didn’t have any place to test the mountain-bike type scenario. But…good news because later tonight I’ll land at Sea Otter, and have lots of mountain biking planned the next few days. :)

    • Stash Rudolf

      Thanks Ray for your answer, I am looking forward to your findings from your mountain-bike rides…

  44. Stefan

    Any information regarding antenna strength? Any problems connecting to sensors? My Fenix 5 is a huge disappointment as it cannot keep a connection to my stages gen 2 with constant dropouts if it connects at all. My old Edge 510 working ok but problems with shorter dropouts now and then. Its due for replacement but if it’s as bad as the Fenix 5 it’s not an option.

    • I didn’t see any drop-outs connecting to a Shimano power meter and Vector 3, or finding the Quarq power meter. Nor any HR drop-outs.

      But then again, none of those tend to be the units that have issues (like your Stages). I don’t really have a great way to test drop-outs from the head unit side of things (testing poor sensors is far easier because I can measure the RSSI values, whereas testing poor head units is tricky because I can’t measure the poorness within the head unit…if that makes sense). :-/

  45. Michael S

    I guess I don’t understand the point of this device….you can get the 520 for $250 now?

  46. tom

    really, no power balance or normalized power? I am surprised…

  47. Paul S.

    Auto scroll? Can you calibrate the altimeter (manual or POI) or does it use “automatic” calibration that doesn’t work very well?

  48. You used to post size comparison pictures (lots) even when it was quite irrelevant.
    But for something this tiny it would have been nice.

  49. Adam Raksi

    Nice!

    A just started to think, it is high time to buy a head unit.

    In case of Edge 130 can I mix and match the sensors by communication type? (Like BTLE HR sensor with ANT+ Speed, Cadence sensors and Power meter?)

  50. Vic

    Hi Ray. Thanks a lot for this in-depth review; you rock as always! In the comparison chart, you’re referring to Polar M450, though the text says “In the case of the below chart, I picked ones I figured people would be comparing it against. These include the Polar M460 and Garmin Edge 520+.”

  51. Ken

    So, I’m newer to biking. Nothing fancy on my end. Probably train for century ride. I was looking into either the 520 or Bolt, but those may be way more than i need. Now the 520+ is out and this 130. For only $50 am i better long term going with the 520/Bolt or even a little more the new 520+, instead of spending $200 on the 130?

    • okrunner

      Ken,
      Really, any of them will be fine. If you think you will need true turn-by-turn navigation, get the 520+. Otherwise, they will all track your time, speed, distance, cadence (with a sensor), power (with a sensor), heart rate (with a sensor), etc. If you are already a Garmin owner, you might want to stay in the ecosystem, if not, doesn’t matter. The 520/Bolt can control a smart trainer assuming you have one. However, most smart trainers are also controlled by their phone app and most people are using Zwift anyway. So, no real big deal.

      More importantly, Ken, you exemplify the problem Garmin has got themselves in. They now are selling the 20, 25, 130, 520, 520+, 820, 1030 with a handful of 1000s still laying around. Not to mention, a dozen watches that will also track your bike ride. It’s confusing as hell. You don’t mention if you run. If you do, you might just want a watch that will track both. Most people who ride alot end up getting a dedicated bike computer but some, who run, just use their running watch. Not to get off track, but it’s almost amusing that Garmin put out the 130 to compete with Wahoo and Lezyne. That’s the only justification for it. But, this just makes their lineup all the more confusing. With the advent of the 520+, why not just drop the price of the 520 to $199 beating the Wahoo Bolt and call it good. But, NO, they create two new computers while they are getting beat in some markets by companies really just carrying one or two, i.e. Wahoo and Lezyne. When you really look at it Wahoo has one computer albeit two versions based on screen size. And Lezyne, really just has one, again just different sizes and displays. Here’s an idea Garmin, fix the horrible touch screen on the 820 and drop the price to $275 and drop the price on the 520 to $199 and save the gazillion dollars you spent on R&D bringing two new products to the market and you would own Wahoo and Lezyne!! Certainly, now that you have done it Garmin with the 130, kill the 20 and 25.

      Ken, not only are you confused but so are bike shop owners who are certainly not carrying Garmin’s complete line. The problem for Garmin is simple. Your ma and pa bike shop will carry one Wahoo model and a couple Garmin models and that’s it. The bike shop owner will not try to carry them all and so the choice comes down to one or two models for most buyers. Price point becomes more important and Garmin has made it impossibly difficult.

      So, Ken to answer your question. Sorry for the rant. Get the 130 and use the other $50 or $100 on a heart rate sensor and cadence sensor as you will want them anyway and they will improve you as a cyclist. Then start saving for a power meter.

    • Ken

      Thank you so much for your info. You make a lot of great points. Yes, I am a runner. I use a Garmin watch for running so everything is already in Connect. I have a TomTom Sport that has cycling mode so I’ve been using that so far on my rides but it gets annoying to try to look at my wrist while riding. It has been easy enough to export the ride and import it into Garmin Connect. I purchased the Wahoo Bolt (only used it once so far). while I like it, I don’t think I’ll use most of the features right now, and it is a major pain to try to get the ride exported and imported into Garmin. Haven’t truly found a way yet. So it is probably going back. I think I’m going to try out the 130. I wish it was maybe $179 like someone mentioned. That would have made it more of a no brainer for me. at $200 it is barely less than getting a 520 or the Bolt. but still way less than the 520+. but I like your idea of going with the cheaper one and spending the extra $50 on the speed and cadence sensors.

    • okrunner

      Ken,
      If I recall correctly, Tom Tom and Wahoo both have options to export automatically to Strava. Create a free Strava account, select for the Tom Tom and Wahoo to upload directly to Strava, Link your Strava and Garmin accounts and no need to do any difficult export then import. The data will automatically transfer from Strava to Garmin.

    • okrunner

      Ken,
      I may have mislead you. Garmin uploads to Strava but not Strava to Garmin. I use Tapiriik.com which synchronizes Strava to Garmin. Nonetheless, it’s simple and only costs $2 a year. Ray has articles on it somewhere here.

  52. Trevor

    I grabbed a Lezyne last year and one thing that has really impressed me is that they keep updating it and adding features…something you’d rarely see with Garmin.

    It may not be quite as polished but for the price their stuff is great. I’ve always felt that Garmin artificially limits their devices to force people to get more expensive ones.

  53. EG

    Questions regarding data on Edge vs data on Garmin Connect.

    1. When the unit does not have Firstbeat features and 5s power-averages and so forth. Will this data also lack in garmin connect app/software?

    2. When owning both a fenix5 watch and a garmin1030, firstbeat metric does not sync across units. But is the data in garmin connect aggregated from both units? (The data on the app/pc-software is aggregated, while the data on the gps-unit only have own activites)

  54. Bostic

    I’m still using an Edge 500 for a few reasons but am ready to try the 130. The temperature gauge in the 520 was not accurate at all. On 90 degree scorcher days it would read in the mid 70’s. On days where it’s in the low 30’s I want to know the precise temp to dress accordingly for a commute to work. The grade readings on steep hills was also useless on the 520. Any short 14% hill would read 7% and wouldn’t change until after I’m over it and descending the other side. Based on other posts regarding that on the Garmin Forums it was not an isolated case. One last thing is can the 130 be charged while in use for very long rides?

  55. Oleg

    I wonder that one popular German bicycle online shop offers both Edge 520 and Edge 130 without sensors for same price now. I think that real price for Edge 130 should around $150.

  56. Bill Cahill

    I wonder if TSS/NP could be added with Connect IQ?

  57. Jon

    I too grabbed a Lezyne last year and have liked it except for the fact that it is annoying to upload to Garmin Connect. I wear a 235 so all of the data is there. Any tips on how to make the upload less annoying? For whatever reason the website does not accept the .fit.

  58. Duncan Tindall

    I may be missing it, but are you reporting screen sizes anywhere? Just wondering how the 520 (plus) and 130 compare to my 510.

    In relation to the loss of NP and IF that I rely on a lot, will extended display from my FR935 allow those to be shown on screen?

    Last thing, would extended display mode extend the battery if it’s not using GPS/ANT, or is that negligible compared to the screen power drain?

    Thanks

  59. Davrider

    I have a Garmin 1000 that has always seemed oversized and this looks like it could be the option for me! Any chance you know the answers to these two:

    – I have Di2 and I know the 130 can link with bluetooth sensors. Can I then use the button on the top of my Di2 shifters to change data screens like with the 1000?

    – I know the screen is 1.8″ diagonal, but what are the screens length and width?

  60. TomH

    Does the 130 have a KJ (kilojoule) display option?

    How many button presses to get to the power meter “Zero” screen ? (although garmin typcially misnames it “calibrate”).
    The model 500 requires about 6 presses to drill down, and then back up … annoying.

    • It does have KJ.

      All recent model Garmin’s (in the last few years) allow you to enable an option that displays the zero offset screen as soon as a power meter is connected, the Edge 130 included.

  61. slightest

    i’ve been wondering if there is a specific reason for the button layout? seems to me that Garmin has a penchant for placing buttons along the bottom edge of their devices, which would make them harder to access especially in an out front mount, where the stem and cables might get in the way.

    i’m more of a recreational rider so it is merely an occasional annoyance, but i can imagine that someone doing specific training and recording their data might need quick and dependable access to the lap button.

    it boggles my mind because the bottom edge seems to be the worst place for buttons, yet Garmin persists in doing so. even the Bolt places the buttons facing upwards.

  62. Kenley Gonzalez

    Agree. Give me a Garmin Edge 500 plus. Just add Bluetooth to upload activity from a phone and improve the course/ navigation side of the unit. It can even be bread crumb style navigation.
    I’ll go out a buy that unit today.

  63. Chris

    Sold my Edge 705 and Forerunner 220 recently to help fund an upgrade from my 2008 bike computer. Got about $150 for the pair on ebay.

    Fast forward two months, and we’re moving house, and I’ll be commuting by bike again. The ANT+ light control for a Fly6 is now high on my list.

    1) Is the light control of the 130 the same functionality as the 520 Plus? (do the 735 of 935 support ANT+ lighting?)

    The only thing I feel I’d be missing, is the FE-C control of my Elite Direto, and workout mode. I was looking forward to recreating all my favorite workouts on my next Garmin. The 520 isn’t out of the question, but the small size and price of the 130 appeals a lot.

    2) Is a workout mode possible under ConnectIQ? (not FE-C, just setting up intervals with a timer on the unit to then allow me to do workouts on the road?)

    • 1) It’s not as complex in terms of UI options and configuration. But the basics of ‘turn lights on when powered on’ type of stuff is the same.

      2) No workout mode natively of course, and creating it in CIQ would be tough since it doesn’t work with full-blown apps. For example, that’s what Xert’s CIQ app does (a workout mode), but that’s not a data field, which is all that the Edge 130 works with. Instead, that app is a full app, so it wouldn’t work here.

  64. Wyatt

    I noticed there’s an “Extended Display” option on my 935 under Add New Sensors & Accessories with the 8.0 firmware – – is that not working as expected right now?

    • Robbert Neijenhuis

      My 735xt also has an option for “Extended Display” under ‘Add New Sensors & Accessoiries. I ordered the 130 and will quickly find out if this works..!

    • Michael

      Hi Robbert, Did you find out if this works with the 735XT. Thanks

    • Robbert

      Hi Michael,

      Unfortinately not. My order got cancelled due to availability issues in The Netherlands so I haven’t been able to test this.

      Apart from that, I read that other users have not been able to try the extended display anyway, because the Garmin software is not yet compatible.

      With the battery issues mentioned in the forum I guess I wait a bit longer to make a decision on which device to order…

    • Michael

      Thanks for getting back to me Robbert.

      I picked up the Garmin 130 yesterday, saw it as a sensible compromise to purchase that as well as the FR 735XT, instead of the more expensive FR 935. I’d be disappointed if I got the 735XT and it lacked the extended display functionality.

      Can you refer me to the battery issues thread please, I did a search but can’t seem to find it. I’ll give that a read before opening up the Edge 130!

      Thanks again

    • Robbert

      Hi Michael,

      You can read (below) in this comment thread that some users experience a (much) shorter battery life than the acclaimed 15 hrs.

      Of course this depends on many factors (e.g. what sensors are connected, what GPS type is used, brightness of the display etc). I hope some test results will be posted soon.

      Since the FR 735xt is a triathlon watch, I suspect it will get the extended display functionality eventually, although i’m not 100% sure on that yet.
      The watch itselfs rocks though!!

      Cheers

  65. John

    I love the idea of the extended display. Ive always wished Garmin would do something like that but even simpler as in a device that is just an extended display. I always have my watch, it would be great to just have a simple device with crazy batter life because it is nothing but a secondary display for the watch info.

  66. Kuba

    Hey DC

    We are missing here real life battery-life test.

    Are you planning to prepare it in the future?

    • Yup, definitely.

      I generally don’t do the battery-life tests initially as part of the in-depth review since I usually can’t afford to leave a unit outside for a prolonged period of time at that point in the review.

      The good news is that I now have of them, so I’ll charge them up and do a concurrent test: GPS, GPS+GLONASS, GPS+Galileo.

    • kuba

      And this is good news!

      Cheers :)

    • Mirko Surf&Run

      Why Garmin doesn’t allow to choose Galileo satellites alone without GPS? Other commercial receiver allow Galileo alone. Maybe for battery life it would be better than GPS+Galileo. For accuracy I don’t know.

    • Paul S.

      Isn’t Galileo just barely operational?

  67. kris

    Just received my 130… primarily for the extended display.

    Now in FW2.20 I don’t have the Extended Display entry in the menu.

    Ray what firmware did (or do) you have on the 130?

    Anybody else tried extended display already?

    tx,
    *kris

  68. Wyatt

    Did you try connecting to it from your watch with the Extended Display “sensor”? No idea how it works, but thinking you’d have to initiate from the device you want to extend from.

    • Wyatt

      Never mind, looks like Ray had a picture showing it on the 130. Really interested to see how it works either way. :)

  69. Szymon

    Hey are you sure about internal temp sensor? I have scanned edge 130 manual from Garmin site and there is no word about temp readings.

    • Yup, you can see the temp data on the Garmin Connect activity file/link, that’s linked in the review.

    • Szymon

      I got my Edge 130 and I am little bit disappointed. Is there a way to put temperature on the ‘main’ screen? I can see it only on the ‘weather page’ which is pretty useless.

  70. Mark D.

    I recently purchased the Garmin Vector 3 and paired it with my 920xt. Will my “watch” or even other Garmin computers “smooth out” the power display? For instance 3-5 second smoothing/averaging.

  71. William Cottrell

    Anyone have any ideas why my Edge 130 doesn’t have the extended display??? I’m pretty confused..

  72. Magnus

    Thanks for also testing in harder GPS scenarios. As some mountain bikers have problems with the Wahoo Bolt in the woods it would be very interesting to se a comparison of gps accuracy between popular devices (Bolt/520/130 ?) in harder conditions. Maybe you can do that when you test Gallileo for the 130?

  73. Daren Austin

    Love my 500, but Bluetooth on my 810 was a revolution. Sadly the absence of activity profile will be annoying and here is why I have separate displays for training and racing, road and TT. No big deal because 8 custom pages is plenty.

    But…. I use different auto lapping criteria depending on activity. Start and position for road and circuit races, then distances for different TT distances (2.5 miles for a 10, 5 miles for a 25 and 50, 10 miles for a 100 and 1 hour for a 12hr) have to set those manually now if this option is still available. Charging in use is also absolutely vital. I recharged my 810 during a 12hr, my friend’s died at 11:36.

    Wahoo still does not lap on GPS position, which is a big failing.

  74. Diserie

    Does the Edge 130 sync with Wahoo KickR’s?

  75. Kevin Collings

    Looking for a recommendation for an admittedly niche use. I need the longest battery life possible, easily read display, and the ability to load courses to whatever unit I use for long race route navigation, and it needs to be standalone, so no bt or wifi connection to a phone needed for nav. Currently using an Edge 520, and while it’s generally ok the battery life is pretty awful.
    Of these 3 units – Garmin Edge 130, Lezyne super gps, Wahoo Elemnt Bolt – which is best suited for what I need? Or is there another option I should look at?

    • Dare Austin

      Edge 500. If you can live with breadcrumb trails and no Bluetooth. I charge mine on the go with a belkin mini charger.

    • Craig

      For really long battery life, look at the Garmin Foretrex 601. Claims 48 hours battery with GPS. Uses 2AAA batteries, so you can carry spares if necessary.
      Its designed to worn on the wrist, but its easy to get a handlebar mount if you want.

    • Brad

      Most people in the bikepacking community use the Etrex 20 or 30. Battery on mine lasts for more than the stated 25 hours of riding on 2xAA batteries. No power meter support though, but cadence and HR are supported on ANT+ on the Etrex 30 only.

  76. David Tydeman

    Ray, I have a Fenix5x that I am very happy with. What do I get from a Garmin Edge 130 the I won’t get from my Fenix 5x? I am thinking of getting a handlebar mount kit for my Fenix5x so I can see it more easily and using my HRM strap for heart rate. WDYT?

    • Paul S.

      Well, you get less than the 5x, since this can’t do real navigation with maps like the 5x can. What you get is a much better form factor for cycling. Watches, even mounted on the handlebars, can’t match the visibility of even the small screen of the 130, not to mention units like the 1030 with its larger color screen. If you’re satisfied with the visibility of the 5x (I’m not with my Epix, which is why I have a 1000), then just stick with it.

    • okrunner

      David,
      What Paul said is generally correct. I have ordered a 130 but have been using a
      Fenix 3HR on the handlebars linked to a heart rate monitor, usually a Mio Link but sometimes a Garmin chest strap. Like the 3HR, with the 5X you can use connect IQ data fields that allow to see all or more of the info on once screen than the 130 probably will but, as Paul suggests, it is a small font. Since my eyes, post 45, aren’t as sharp as the used to be, I use bifocal sunglassess with reading glass magnification in the lower half, available cheap on Amazon. With this solution, there is nothing the 130 would do that your 5x doesn’t. For me, the 130 does, however, offer some benefits over the 3HR. Hope that helps.

    • David Tydeman

      Thanks Paul

  77. Okrunner

    130 first ride tonight. Screen visibility is awesome. At first, I was not seeing phone notifications or Strava Segments. However, further into the ride it all started showing up. Looks like it just took some downloading from the phone or something. I did notice the cycling dynamics/power balance missing which is included with my Fenix 3hr. Not a big deal to me. Only one complaint, it doesn’t allow you to name the paired sensors. Wish you had pointed this out in the review. Not a deal breaker but annoying if you are testing different power meters or other sensors. Nonetheless, love the small size and believe I will be happy with it.

    • Okrunner

      I discovered a strange bug when I analyzed my data from the first ride. During the ride the 130 asked to update the software. When this screen came up, it shut down the ride recording and lost all sensors for 6 minutes. Something Garmin certainly needs to look into.

    • Interesting that it asked you mid-ride. There was a beta bug with this issue, but that was solved a while back. I wonder if perhaps the unit had stale firmware on it (sometimes they manufacturer with older firmware and then ‘force’ a firmware update mid-ride).

      Out of curiosity, what firmware version was on it to begin the ride (it may actually have recorded that in the ride file, if you look at GC on the right side, but I’m not sure if it gets wiped by an update later in the ride).

    • Okrunner

      Looks like it was 2.00 and now updated to 2.20. Did another ride this morning and it froze and went to a “ride in progress” screen that I was unable to get out of then shut down. Obviously, I’m having some issues. I reset it and will try again tomorrow hopefully.

    • Okrunner

      Third ride turned out better after I reset and turned off notifications. Looks like potential issues with notifications turned on. I’ll keep using and call Garmin if I have issues. Love the screen brightness and very simple.

  78. Bill - B

    I just picked one up for my son. My local tri shop got these just after the announcement as they had a spring kick off event that included a Garmin sales rep showing off the lineup. it seems to be a good device, with setup and install just as simple as any other Garmin I have purchased. It did take 5 minutes to find GPS sync, which is longer than I have seen in other devices. The track followed my 510 closely. Other than taking a while to find GPS the first time, it has worked as advertised.

    My question for the group: In my edge 510, I could edit the startup.txt for a splash to post a “if found, contact number.” I do not see a start up file in the 130 directory. I tried to use the same startup.txt the main directory, the Garmin directory, and the new files directory. Can this device support this feature?

    Bill

  79. Vincent

    If I buy it in North America then move to Europe, can I reset the GPS ? Is there anything to do or it does switch automatically?

    • No issues there, it works equally on both continents. Nothing to do except let it find satellites as normal (should take under 60 seconds when moving continents).

  80. Kyle Hollasch

    So no street names on navigation, just a turn indicator?

  81. Wade

    I can find “power 3s avg” but not “power”. This means 130 can’t display instantaneous power? Why?

    • Yeah, not sure why not instant power. On the flip side, I’ve never found a situation where instant power was honestly useful (because of the natural fluctuations of power meters). I’ve long used 3s/10s/30s power instead.

    • Wade

      I’ve been using instant power on Fenix 3HR. Guess what I miss now with Edge 130 is the faster response time. The 3s avg power really feel like lagging behind by 2-3s. Oh well I’ll try to live with 3s avg power and see if I could get used to this more stable but slower power reading.

      Thanks,
      Wade

    • Okrunner

      Ray,
      Did you verify this as I was almost certain you could chose power, 3s power, 10s, or 30s? I chose 3s because trying to watch instant power will drive you crazy and isnt useful.

    • Okrunner

      OK. I stand corrected. Wade is right.

    • Power related fields on the Edge 130 are:

      Power -3s Avg
      Power – Avg
      Power – Lap
      Power – kJ
      Power – Max
      Power Zone

      That’s it!

  82. Wade

    I’ve been using instant power on Fenix 3HR. Guess what I miss now with Edge 130 is the faster response time. The 3s avg power really feel like lagging behind by 2-3s. Oh well I’ll try to live with 3s avg power and see if I could get used to this more stable but slower power reading.

    Thanks,
    Wade

  83. Joel

    Few more questions. Seems power is a hot topic here.

    Has anyone come up with an IQ app for normalized power yet?
    In extended display mode, as either device shown less battery life? Thinking about the watch here, if you use a Fenix 5 or 935 for extended display in an Ironman length event are you going to see a decrease in battery life of that device?

  84. Henrik

    Can’t find any clear statement if it is heart-rate variation (r-r) capable or not. Anyone seen anything on this?

  85. Nick Green

    Picked up the 130 last week and used it for a 8 hr Mtn bike relay yesterday. Here are some thoughts:
    1) GPS sync was very fast. Typically just a couple seconds. There was no loss of signal riding in the bush, however in Ontario there are still no leaves on the trees.
    2) Screen is high quality and easy to read.
    3) Rode over some very rough terrain, at high speed, on a hard tail (no rear suspension) bike. There were no issues with the mount – not that I was expecting any.

    One MAJOR hiccup though – I had fully charged the unit the day before the race. Even had it hooked up to a USB volt/amp meter and was able to visualize that the current draw was at 0 before pulling it off the charge. When I got up for the race, the unit was displaying one bar from the top, even though it had not been on. By the time I had completed approx 2.5 hours of GPS connected use, the unit was showing low battery and I had to charge it in order to finish the event. The 130 was turned off between each riding session. It was connected to my cell phone via Bluetooth, but the phone was not with me during the approx 30 minute laps. It would instantly connect to the phone when returning within range, and upload of data was seamless each time.
    Other than the Bluetooth radio being on, it was connected to a HR ANT strap, but not to any other devices. The are profiles on the unit for Speed/Cadence and Power, but I don’t have those on my MTN bike.

    I am going to run another test today, with the unit just sitting in my yard. I’ll report back on if the poor battery life was an anomaly, hopefully by end of day today or tomorrow.

    • Matt

      Interested in battery life reports from users. Anyone else got updates?

    • Nick Green

      After fully charging the unit again, I had it running on my deck stationary for three and a half hours. There were no ant modules connected to it, and it still shows about 50 percent battery remaining. So the verdict is still out. As it stands now I don’t see this getting anywhere close to ten hours, let alone the claimed time. It is set to GPS and Galileo, so there could be some testing there to do. I would love a actual battery percentage display, but all I can see is the battery bar.

    • Matt

      Thanks Nick. Any future updates are greatly appreciated. Hope the 130 works out well for you.

  86. Pedro Freitas

    Am i right to think that Strava Premium users will see the Normalized Power numbers on their ride analysis under “Weighted Average Power” anyways? Since it is simply a calculation based on numbers that the 130 can and will produce.

  87. Wade

    Same experience here. From day one my 130 never shows full battery, even after overnight or one full day of charging. And it usually shows about 50% battery after one hour of riding. Today I have the first long ride- 6 hours. At the end, it showed only about 10% battery. This is very appointing for something that claims 15hr of battery life. Btw for fear of battery drain, I’ve been using GPS only without GLONASS or Galileo.

    • Martijn

      I’ve ordered one and I’m really hoping these battery issues can be solved (by a software update). I was on the fence between Wahoo Element Bolt (240 euro) en the Edge 130 (199 euro), chose the Garmin since I’ve been in their eco-system for a very long time, it’s nice small size and the slightly lower price.

      Ray, you encountered no issues with battery life during your in-depth review?

    • No issues with battery life for me, and I suck at recharging.

      That said, in seeing the threads overnight I’ve got my three Edge 130’s charging up fully as we speak, and then I’ll go and and do a battery run-down test here this afternoon on the deck. One unit each for: GPS, GPS+GLONASS, GPS+Galileo.

      I’ll turn on an ANT+ generator to stream in some ANT+ data too. Obviously, it’s not a perfect battery test, but at least outlines a best case scenario.

    • Nick Green

      Thanks Ray. As I do some 8 hour events, I’m concerned about my initial impression. Very much look forward to your results.

    • Wade

      Great! I’ll be looking forward to your findings Ray!

    • Nick Green

      Did 1.5 hours more today, without going up before hand. After 6 hours of use since last charge, I’m showing a small battery bar, maybe 15 percent remaining. Hopefully they don’t have the battery display calibrated properly.

    • Nick Green

      “without charging up beforehand”

    • Nick Green

      It could be that the battery indicator is functioning poorly. During my 1.5 hours today, the battery bar was longer after riding for 1/2 an hour than it was when I started. By the end of the 1.5 hours it was back to where it was before the ride. I’ve got 6.5 hours on this charge now. Hopefully a software update will clear some things up!

    • Nick Green

      Fully recharged the unit before today’s ride. Attached is a picture of the battery level after 4 hours of usage. I’m not impressed by the far less than advertised battery life.

    • Nick Green

      For the record, I managed 9 hours on my last charge before the low battery indicator came on.

    • Nick Green

      So the battery monitor on my device is officially screwed.The battery bar was higher on waking the device when then when I turned it after the last ride. I took photos one minute apart, with vastly different readings, including a blank bar and a bar that far extends the normal battery icon. There is some work to do here on the firmware.
      Not sure if it will work, but here is a link to a google photos shared album of four photos, taken one minute apart with vastly different battery indications: link to photos.app.goo.gl

  88. Matt

    Can you charge while using it? It looks like the cable would be able to fit when mounted in an out front mount. So I guess the question is more around if the software allows it. I only do a few long rides a year and could live with an external battery on those.

  89. Jacob Stanosheck

    Hey Ray, I was just wondering why I am not able to use extended display on my 130? My unit does not seem to have it even as an option. Is this feature simply not activated on this unit yet?

    • Matt

      Correct, Garmin had confirmed on their forums too that the feature will be rolled out in upcoming software update. No specific release date was mentioned.

    • Matt is correct – it was pulled at the last minute due to a few last minute bugs to be ironed out. It sounds like they’re talking more like a couple weeks, not months.

    • Michael

      Hi Ray, I know you’ve mentioned before (multiple times) that the extended display feature will be available on Fenix 5 models and FR 935. Have you heard anything indicating if it will, or won’t be available on the FR 735XT?

      The lack of workouts is my only worry about this unit (which I purchased this week), however extended display functionality could solve this issue.

      Keep up the great work!

  90. Wade

    Wonder if anyone has this issue with Edge 130… But for me this has happened 2 times in the last 4 rides (one 6hrs, rest three sub 1hr). The unit would stop recording without warning. After this happened, the display (I always left it with the the 8 field with HR and power on top) looked normal, as if it’s still recording because both total time and distance were advancing. But the unit was actually not recording (proven by Strava record). The first moment something looked wrong was when a screen popped up to ask if shut down is preferred due to inactivity. I lost big chunk of data as a result. First time I also lost PR on a key climb that I pushed for.

    I’ve arranged exchange with the good seller but want to check with owners out there. Hope most units out so far are good.

    Wade

    • Wade

      Today in a 90min ride, 130 reset itself at around 15min again. But the startup screen showed up so I was aware of it and pressed start button twice to get it back to recording. Still lost about 40sec of the ride though. Not sure I want to give it another shot… may just replace it with 520. Oh well…

  91. John B.

    Thanks for another great review! I have the 130 and taken it out for two rides now. There should be a battery live of 12-15 hours. In fact after 85 km – 2:50 hours – it shows half the battery used. (Just connected to a speed sensor and without navigation. GPS and GLONASS on, backlight out) In the battery datafield which is just an icon, the icon shows erratic values. Can’t say if it is a problem with the indicator – and the unit has in fact 12-15 hours runtime – or with the battery life. Read a post in a forum where a guy was reporting that his 130 is running 3 hours.
    What was your experience? Have you tested the runtime?

    • Nick Green

      Hi John, if you scroll up a little there is an ongoing discussion about battery life.

    • John B.

      Thank you Nick. I have seen it after my posting. Sorry!
      Was out for a 3 hour ride today and using a datafield showing percentage. After full charging on 100% it was showing 58% after the ride. When I was charging it via PC it shows three segments which should mean that the battery is somewhere around 75%. During the ride percentage sometimes get up a few digits. It seems more that it’s a software problem and the battery probably last the promised time. Also the loading segments are only shown if the charging is made via PC and not if using a charger.

  92. Nick Green

    Best I’ve done on a full charge is 9 hours. In my book that’s no where close to 15. Maybe my concern is misplaced, but I always worry about battery life down the road a couple years. If it came reliably get me through 8 hours, then it’s value to me drops dramatically.

    • Nick Green

      Sorry about the typo….”can’t reliably get me through 8 hours”

    • John B.

      Would be interesting to hear about Rays findings. Also wondering why nobody in the official Garmin forum is reporting this issue, because it seems to be a general problem.

    • Nick Green

      Agreed!

    • John B.

      Hi Nick
      The overlong bar looks familiar. Had this too, seconds after it showed a near blank bar. It is a firmware problem. I mean, also after all the experience with Garmin, they would not advertise 12-15 hours of runtime and delivering, from the hardware point of view, 3-4 hours. Saw a video of a german Garmin dealer testing the 130 on a long ride. It left him after 3,5 hours. But again: No remarks about this issue in the official forum. Anybody here facing the same problem? I hope Garmin is aware of the poor battery performance. And: Ray, anything about your test?

    • Wade

      Yeah the battery issue (either display or actual drop in charge) is concerning. Today after 4.5hrs ride, there looked to be only one bar left (from fully overnight charged at beginning) as shown in the pic. Hope Garmin well fix it quickly.

    • Nick Green

      Agreed. If it’s a display issue than not a big deal, but with my experience of max 9 hours of life is very disappointed. (9 is being generous)

    • Okey doke. Test complete. Pic of test from last night: link to twitter.com

      And the results for three fully charged Edge 130’s run concurrently, with the latest production firmware:

      Regular GPS: 8:11:47 (total distance .40mi)
      GPS + GLONASS: 8:43:41 (total distance .61mi)
      GPS + GALILEO: 9:05:55 (total distance .45mi)

      Note, I had an ANT+ Simulator transmitting power and HR sensor data…except, when I turned off the porch light about 1-2 hours later, that apparently also turned off the power outlet for that…so…no more ANT+ data after 1-2 hours. That would (in theory) I believe cause a minor increase in power required as I believe they raise the power level to ANT+ to try and find the dropped sensors. But I believe there’s also a timeout. In both cases, consider those statements iffy at best.

      On GPS conditions, there were no tall buildings within 15 meters of it, and only a single short tree nearby with not much leaves. As you probably know, GPS blockage increases power requirements (like heavy forests). I think this was reasonably low blockage, and thus fair.

      No phones were paired to any of the units. Backlight was off. And aside from one check mid-way through, there were no button presses. All were left on default data pages with basic data. All tree of which would be considered ‘best case’ type test scenarios.

      Given these are below the specs in a ‘best possible’ scenario (no phone), I’ll shoot the files/test data over to the Garmin Edge team and see what they think.

      Since I don’t generally test battery life in a formal test pre-review release (as I usually don’t have the time to leave a unit alone that long), the battery life here seemed within the ‘not crazy’ ballpark (being 9 hours). Obviously if I was only getting 3-4 hours I’d have noticed, but 9 hours is enough that for 1-3 hours rides, a few times a week you end up charging once every week or so, and with frequent beta firmware updates/etc, I’m plugged in more often than not (I only had one device then).

      I’ll make a note in the review somewhere on battery life here in a few minutes.

      Cheers!

    • Nick Green

      That fits right in line with my results. Have to say I’m somewhat disappointed. 9 hours is only 60 percent of the advertised life span. We wouldn’t accept a screen that was 40 percent smaller than advertised but it’s ‘acceptable’ for battery life. 😔

    • John B.

      Hi Ray
      Thank you very much for doing this test for us and for forwarding the results to Garmin!!!
      Today I made a 4 hour tour and had 57 % battery left at the end of it.(If the indicator is working right). GPS, connected to a speed sensor and no phone connection. This seems to confirm the results of your test.(8-9 hours runtime). For me it is enough, because I am doing tours up to 6 hours. What is striking is, that even after charging it full overnight the 130 is indicating 87 – 90 % battery at the start of the tour and sometimes is counting up a few percent. So something is not working properly here. Also the four segments on the loading screen of the device are only shown if charged via PC and not appearing if loaded via charger. But, and Nick is absolutely right here, it is far from the 12-15 hours advertised by Garmin. Hope this will be solved by upcoming firmware updates. Apart from that issue, I also have the Edge 820 (terrible touchscreen) and Edge 1000, I really like this tiny little device and it is working fine for me so far.
      Another topic: Will you also do a test of the new See.Sence ACE light?
      Regards, Volker

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      :-)
      Maybe 15 hours is without gps . It is possibile in the ege 130 to train indoor. Extract from the manual:
      “You can turn off GPS when you are training indoors or to save battery life.
      1
      Hold …
      2
      Select
      Ride Settings > GPS > Off .
      When GPS is turned off, speed and distance are not available unless you have a compatible sensor or indoor trainer that sends speed and distance data to the device.”

    • John B.

      Hi MicroSurf&Run
      That might be the solution! We all should have read the manual carefully! ;-)
      Another thing that bothers me concerning the battery issue, is that due to the erratic behavior of the indicator I ask myself how reliable this indicator is. When it shows 48 % for example, is it 48 % or could it be that the unit shuts down a few kilometers down the road.
      John

    • Garmin came back and said that what I’m (and thus you) are seeing isn’t consistent with what their internal testing and expectations are. They’re going to do some more digging and will follow-up shortly.

      I do agree with others in that I also saw some oddity in terms of battery bar state, wondering if perhaps something is prematurely shutting the unit down.

  93. Scart

    Ok maybe I just didn’t get it the point with TrainingPeaks (TP) properly.
    Is it possible to download a planned training from TP to the 130 and start/complete the Training (as I am used from the edge 500 for example)?
    Thanks and BR

    • No, there isn’t any support for structured workouts (those would be workouts from Garmin Connect or Training Peaks).

      For that you’d need the Edge 520, which, is actually on sale for the same price as the Edge 130 right now – $199.

  94. Brent

    Hello All,

    So with the 520 on sale at the same price as this little gem, what’s a guy to do? Looking to replace my 500. Can’t figure out if this is it, or the evenly priced 520, or just go all out and get the 520+ when it’s actually released.