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Hands-on: Garmin Edge 520 Plus with Mapping

Garmin-Edge520-Plus-Mapping-Overview

Today’s multi-pronged release of cycling gear by Garmin is probably the company’s most decisive yet at fending off competitors to its lucrative head unit business. And in some ways, they’re probably even undercutting their own high-end head units to stave off competitors.  For starts, we’ve got the new Edge 520 Plus. That takes the previous $249 Edge 520 and adds full-blown mapping to it (including turn by turn navigation), along with a handful of other features like rider to rider messaging. The cost? A mere $30 price increase to $279USD.

Then they’ve got the Edge 130 – which is sorta like an Edge 520-lite, carrying a huge number of features into a relatively tiny lightweight device.  That unit appears targeted at the Lezyne product line as well as long rumored Wahoo MINI+GPS units. In many ways, I think I’m actually far more impressed by the Edge 130 than the Edge 520 Plus.  But you can read all about the Edge 130 in my full in-depth review.

And lastly, there was the new RTL510 bike-light radar combo-dish. That’s cool too, though not really game-changing. And they don’t face any radar-specific competitors either.  Still, nifty stuff.

This post, however, is about the Edge 520 Plus, so let’s dive right into things.

What’s new:

Garmin-Edge520-Plus-Secondary-Display

There’s a few ways I expect that folks will try and explain the Edge 520 to potential suitors.  Be it a bike shop or another review site, there’s basically two core ways to look at it:

A) It’s an Edge 520 with full-blown routable maps
B) It’s a smaller Edge 820 without the touch screen

Or I suppose, even one more way:

C) It’s a smaller Edge 1030 without the touch screen

But in reality, none of these ways is super exact.  The closest is variant ‘A’ above, but it goes a bit more than that.  The reason that answers B/C aren’t exactly correct is that the Edge 520 lacks a couple of core things that those units have, specifically:

– Doesn’t have point of interest (POI) or address database searching seen on the Edge 820/1030 (but does have the new Yelp app which kinda fits that hole)
– Doesn’t have advanced FirstBeat training load/recovery metrics seen on the Edge 820/1030

There’s also more nuanced things of course like battery life, WiFi, touch screen, etc… But from a features standpoint, those two items above are really the biggies.

But because you’re here for the details, let’s compare exactly how it’s different from the ‘original’ Edge 520 first:

– Added full map set for display of roads/routing
– Added turn by turn navigation capabilities, also route recalculation
– Has Trendline popularity routing engine overlaid atop the new maps
– Added Rider to Rider messaging (introduced on Edge 1030 last summer)
– Added two mountain bike trail apps loaded by default (TrailForks & Yelp)
– Updated Strava Segments algorithm found in Edge 1030 that is more accurate for racing segments
– Added slight differences in data page/field layouts
– Added new Extended Display mode for Garmin FR935/Fenix 5 integration as a secondary display (Edge 820/1030 will get too)
– Beefs up by 2g more than the Edge 520 (63g vs 61g)

Note that both the Edge 820 will also receive the Strava Segments update functionality as well as the Rider to Rider messaging, and the Edge 520/820/1000/1030 devices will get the new TrailForks app.

But what if you were roughly comparing it to the Edge 820 or Edge 1030? Well, here’s a handful of features that those units have that the Edge 520 doesn’t (beyond the obvious, like a bigger screen):

– Edge 820/1030 has a touch screen, Edge 520/520 Plus doesn’t
– Edge 1030 connects to Bluetooth Smart sensors, Edge 520/520 Plus/820 lack that hardware
– Edge 820/1030 has point of interest database (for things like restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, etc…)
– Edge 820 doesn’t have Trendline popularity routing, Edge 1030 does (820 added in firmware 9.00)
– Edge 820/1030 can route to a specific street address on the unit itself (I.e. 123 Maple Drive, New York, NY), the Edge 520/520 Plus have to have pre-defined routes (Note: The Edge 520/520 Plus can, however, do turn by turn navigation route to previously saved points)
– Edge 820/1030 have WiFi, Edge 520 series doesn’t
– Edge 1030 has latest FirstBeat driven recovery and training load metrics, Edge 520/520 Plus only has a limited subset for VO2Max and Recovery Advisor
– Edge 1030 is compatible with secondary battery pack, Edge 520 Plus/820 are not

As you can see, the list isn’t huge – but it’s certainly different. For someone that always has a route created ahead of time, then the Edge 520 Plus will likely fit the bill just fine instead of the more expensive Edge 820/1030.  Whereas, if you’re more of a touring person that starts the morning by manually entering your end address into the unit (or by selecting a point of interest), then you’ll want to sway more to the Edge 820/1030.

Of course – if you don’t need maps at all but still want to stay in the Garmin family, then you may want to consider the also just announced Edge 130.  Don’t let the ‘100 series name fool you’, it’s got highly customizable data pages and even supports power meters.  Plus course following and a boatload more.  I’d actually say it’s the most impressive item from today’s line of new Garmin stuff.  Oh, and for how this all compares to non-Garmin options like the Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT? Hang tight – I’ll cover that down below in the post.

Now, I’ve detailed all of this and boatloads more in a full video here.  This includes hands-on with the device across virtually all the new features.

In any case, let’s get cookin’!

Mapping & Navigation:

Garmin-Edge-520-Plus-Routing-Engines

As a general rule with the Edge 520 Plus, it’s essentially an Edge 520 with a few extra features.  As such, I’m just gonna make this non-review post focused on the new Edge 520 Plus-specific stuff.  You can hit up my previous Edge 520 (non-Plus) post for a picture of more general stuff that’s been around for almost two years now.  But fear not, in my full Edge 520 Plus In-Depth Review, I’ll dive into the general/usual stuff again for good measure.

So let’s talk navigation. There’s some nuances here that are important to understand, especially if you want to compare this unit to the Wahoo BOLT.  See, the Edge 520 Plus contains a complete mapset for the region you buy it in (Europe, North America, etc…).  As part of that mapset you get routable maps that have roads and road names on them.  In addition, you also get Garmin’s new ‘Trendline Popularity’ routing data overlaid onto it. This basically tells you which routes cyclists are actually using.

The value in that is that historically Garmin or others would route you on the shortest possible route between two points.  Whereas with trendline popularity routing they’ll give you what is the most efficient for a cyclist. An example given to me was a runner that wanted to cross a college campus.  Below is the satellite view of the campus, and to the right is the Treadline popularity data overlaid atop it. Basically, like heatmap data.

SatView Routing2

Previously the shortest path was meandering through various buildings to get to the other side. But the popularity routing data showed that runners in that area widely used a ride that just rotated around the campus.  The extra distance was small, but the path was far better.  You can see the two routes side by side below.  To the left is what traditionally would have been given since it was shorter, whereas to the right is what’s returned to the person instead.

Routing1 Routing3

That’s popularity routing in a nutshell.

But let’s get to the core of what’s different on the Edge 520 Plus versus the Edge 1030/820:  The Edge 520 Plus doesn’t natively contain any point of interest database, nor the ability to route to a specific address.

Instead, you must have a pre-created route downloaded to the device to navigate with.  That can come from Garmin Connect mobile, the desktop app, via USB cable, or…most importantly, via Connect IQ apps like Strava or Yelp.  These routes show up in the ‘Courses’ section of the unit:

DSC_3454

There is, however, one exception to this: Saved points

With saved points, you can save your home, office, or nearby Chipotle on the unit and then route back to it at any point.  Most importantly though, it’ll use legit turn by turn navigation to get you back to that point, no matter where you are (no courses required).  That’s a huge difference to something like the Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT, which lacks the ability to do that on the device.  Instead, you need the phone app for that (though, inversely, that has some benefits too).

You can also use these saved points mid-ride, if you just wanna abandon your planned route and get the fastest route home.  Additionally, you have the option mid-course to ‘Back to Start’ via either the route you came out on, or via the most direct route. As an aside, if looking at the core menu difference in navigation between the Edge 1030 and the Edge 520 Plus, you’ll notice how the Edge 1030 has both the ability to search for places as well as just wander around the map looking at nearby shops/POI’s.

DSC_3450

But let’s talk about how I’ve been using routes and maps on the Edge 520 Plus for the last three weeks, and that’s via the Strava Routes app.  That app came out last summer, and allows you to ride any route you have saved in your Strava account.  Essentially the app downloads a copy of the route to your Garmin, and then it simply tells the Garmin Edge device to open up the course like any other course. Once it does that it’s no different than courses you’ve synced from Garmin Connect or any other source.

Garmin-Edge-520-Plus-Routing-Engines DSC_3398

After you’ve selected a route it’ll show you the route stats, like the map, elevation, and distance metrics:

DSC_3402 DSC_3404

And finally, you can select to ride the route to get it loaded up. Prior to that, you’ll have selected the specific activity profile to use, and as such it’ll launch with that activity profile upon selecting the ‘Ride’ button:

DSC_3401

At this point it’ll start to ‘calculate’ the turns for your route.  And this is where I’ve been having some fairly significant delays. Far more than past Garmin devices. I could sit for 4-5 minutes outside in the cold, and it’d only have gotten 30% of the way done.  In theory you can start anyway, but in reality, it didn’t always work that well.  But more on that later in this post.

DSC_3409

Calculation timelines aside, you can start riding once you’ve gotten the purple line showing your route.

DSC_3413

As you ride it’ll display the upcoming turns, just like an Edge 820 or 1030 would.  It’ll show you the name of the street you’re turning on, and the distance to the turn:

vlcsnap-2018-04-17-22h37m25s808

And if you miss your turn? It’ll notify you that you’re off course, and after a short period, if it gives up on your ability to turn around, it’ll give you updated instructions to get back on course.  And this is another key difference between the Edge 520 Plus and the Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT: The Garmin will give you specific streets in the directions back to course. Wahoo will simply give you a general compass direction back to the route.  Also, the Garmin will essentially allow you to skip a section and catch-up, since it’s re-routing with the entire course in mind.

Now, that specific capability may not matter to some, but it exposes some of the differences.  The reason that difference exists is because Wahoo actually has a partial map on their devices. Sure, it shows you roads – but it doesn’t actually know the names of those roads.  Instead, that data comes pre-loaded from the specific route you’ve added to your device.  That’s why certain routes on the Wahoo Bolt don’t give proper turn by turn navigation, because those routing providers don’t include that data.  Think of it like a manifest, that manifest includes the turns and street names in the route itself – not on the device.  If you go off course, the Wahoo unit no longer has that list of streets.

Don’t get me wrong – plenty of people, including myself, make that work just fine.  But it is really important to understand when comparing the products.

In any event, back to the Edge 520 Plus.  As I noted, I’ve been routing everywhere and anywhere on my Edge 520 Plus the last three weeks.  And by and large, it’s gotten me where I needed to go.  I pre-create virtually all my routes on Strava, and then use the Connect IQ Strava app to sync it over. All that works great.

About the only complaint here is that I still lack a good way to just enter in a given point within the Garmin Connect Mobile app and route to it via the Edge 520 Plus (akin to what Wahoo and Lezyne both have).  This means in some cases where I don’t care about the route per se, but more about the destination – that I have to do more work.  I suspect Garmin would argue that’s what the Edge 820 and 1030 are for…but my wallet would disagree.

However, there’s a bit of a solution there for that too…and that’s the new Yelp app released today.  Before you pass judgment on a review app, understand why it’s so interesting for cycling in the next section.

As far as configuration options go, there’s a handful of those too, which you can see below.

DSC_3363 DSC_3364DSC_3365 DSC_3366

Most of the above have been present on other Garmin edge devices in the past, so they aren’t too much of a surprise.

New Apps:

DSC_3620

There’s two new apps that were announced today (both of which are coming to a wider variety of Edge units including the Edge 520/820/1030).  These apps are totally designed with the routing and navigation aspects in mind.  They are TrailForks (primarily for mountain biking) and Yelp.  Yes, the same Yelp you use to rate your least favorite restaurants.

See, what Yelp is doing here is effectively acting as a point of interest (POI) database for your Edge device.  You can launch the app to find nearby restaurants, bike shops, and other Yelp-rated things.  In some ways, this is better than the generic Garmin POI database found by default on the Edge 820/1030 because you get ratings context as well.  To crack open the app you go into the Connect IQ area and select Yelp:

DSC_3622

Then you’ll choose a given category.  I’d kindly suggest that perhaps they reprioritize Food and Cycling as the top two items in the list, and then put Beauty Salons a bit further down (or not at all).  At least you’ve got options for that mid-ride perm.

DSC_3623 DSC_3624

From there you’ll see a listing of establishments in that category near you:

DSC_3625 DSC_3626

You can select one of those and you’ll be given a small picture of it as well as a bit more info about it (this part isn’t quite working for me yet for some reason).  After that, it’ll create a route to it and hand it off to the usual Edge routing engine to get you there.  If on a non-mapping device (original Edge 520), it’ll simply give you a breadcrumb trail there.

(Update: Here’s two screenshots of it on an Edge 1030 with the preview/photo piece)

204 211

If you were to have asked me yesterday if I’d find any value in having Yelp on my Edge device, I’d have laughed at you.  But in this case, it’s actually a pretty interesting, creative, and most importantly – useful – implementation. Kudos.

Next, there’s the new TrailForks app.  This comes from the popular TrailForks platform, which focuses on the mountain bike segment.  This too is accessible within the Connect IQ apps section, and also leverages your phone connection via Garmin Connect Mobile.

DSC_3628

Once launched you’ll be able to find nearby routes, favorited routes, as well as popular routes:

DSC_3629 DSC_3630

After selecting a given route you’ll get a bit more information about it, before the app hands off the route to the Edge course engine for routing (identical to both how Yelp and the Strava apps work).

DSC_3638 DSC_3641

From there you can either start the route as-is, or if you’re not immediately at the starting point you can get routing information to the start of the route.

Again, both of these apps will be coming to other Edge units shortly (like, tomorrow) – so these aren’t Edge 520 Plus specific. I’m looking forward to poking more at the TrailForks app at Sea Otter day one.

Why this post isn’t a review:

DSC_3430

In the little world that is my site, I generally categorize product focused posts into four buckets (which preface the start of the post):

My Thoughts On X: This is when I haven’t seen a product in person, and I’ve gotten so many requests for my thoughts on it anyway, I usually give my thoughts here.
First Look: Usually reserved for products I briefly see at a trade show/convention/etc, without being able to use the product in its natural setting (outdoors)
Hands-on: Generally for products that I’ve been using out in the wild, but aren’t ready to ship yet
In-Depth Review: For products that the unit is on the final hardware/software, and is shipping now (or within a couple days).

I’ll admit that sometimes when I’m tired late at night during a trade show week the First Look/Hands-On labels get mixed and matched. But the general intent is above.

As you might expect, the detail that I can dive into for each post is deeper the further you get down that list above.  The more time I get with a device, the more I can pick it apart.  At the same time, if a device isn’t fully baked, then writing the end-all-be-all review doesn’t make sense if it’s not shipping to consumers.  Once a device is shipping to consumers, it’s fair game for a review. Prior to that, it’s silly to ‘punish’ a company because they handed over a beta unit. Obviously, I’m going to note where there are gaps and where things aren’t working.  But I’m not going to judge it entirely on that.

With that backstory – as of yesterday morning, my intent was to write an Edge 520 Plus In-Depth Review for today.  But that was predicated on the unit shipping ‘immediately’, as in, basically the next few days.  Which was also the plan.

Unfortunately, my time with the Edge 520 Plus hasn’t entirely been positive.  Specifically, in navigation.  I’ve had a hell of a time with the turn by turn prompts and alerts working properly.  Specifically, the issue is that I’d get a prompt for an upcoming turn at the 500m prior marker, but the actual information (map/icons) about that turn would be missing.  Meaning I’d have no idea what I was supposed to do.  And in some cases, I’d get no turn alerts at all.

vlcsnap-2018-04-17-22h35m33s127

(You may be thinking the camera is just washing out the above photo, and that’s true…but that’s just because the entire bottom portion of the screen is blank.)

In effect, the one thing the Edge 520 Plus was supposed to do compared to the Edge 520, it wasn’t doing right.

Now, it didn’t fail to enumerate those details every single time. Instead, it failed intermittantly.  I couldn’t quite figure out the pattern, and neither could Garmin, despite 41 e-mails exchanged on the topic with their engineering team and countless files and logs shared. Until yesterday.

It’s at that point they were able to pinpoint the cause of the issue, which actually appears to be a result of my new home: Amsterdam.

Specifically, the density of the cycling maps in that area was causing processing delays during rendering, primarily in cases where I would make two turns quickly back to back.  The Edge 520 Plus will cache ahead of time an upcoming turn, but it wouldn’t cache the secondary turn that immediately followed.  Thus, blank information in dense areas…but more success in farmland.  It’s also why, when I went to load a route at the beginning, it’d take a month of Sundays to calculate. Seriously, like 4-5 minutes for even 20-30% of the route to complete (only a 30-mile route).  It was incredibly frustrating.

As a result of which is that Garmin has decided to delay the shipping Edge 520 Plus (originally slated for the next few days) until they can sort it out.

Note, this wasn’t the only issue I’ve seen. I’ve also had freeze-ups and phone connectivity issues. I can’t say with any certainty that the phone connectivity issues are the fault of Garmin or my iPhone. In neither scenario was data lost, the unit would simply stop responding to button presses, but the track was preserved.  And the track and related data is and has been just as good as on the Edge 520 (many of my recent Strava uploads are from the Edge 520 Plus).

Beyond those two issues, the unit worked great. To be clear – I’ve been doing virtually all of my riding in Amsterdam and surrounding areas the last three weeks with the Edge 520 Plus.  I get where I’m supposed to go, my collected data is good.  It’s just that sometimes I swear a lot at it while I miss a turn and have to backtrack a few seconds and do it again the right way.

All of which explains why I’m waiting for my full in-depth review since Garmin has delayed the shipments until they can sort out what can be done to address this.  Once they start shipping, I’ll dust off my review and let it drop.  But I can say the short version of said review is that if they solve this (or, if you don’t live in Amsterdam), then for $30 more dollars than the original Edge 520, it presents a fantastic deal for legit turn by turn mapping. Nobody else offers that anywhere near this price point (see above on why the Wahoo ELEMNT/Bolt is different).

Wrap Up:

DSC_3619

If you just read the section prior to this, there probably isn’t a lot more to say (and if you didn’t read it, please do).  But setting aside those pre-production bugs, the Edge 520 Plus is essentially what people have been asking for, for years. A small and inexpensive cycling unit that had mapping. Sure, the Edge 820 checked off the small part, but not the inexpensive piece. That’s where the new 520 Plus hits the spot.

Now as I mentioned up above – there’s a critical difference between the Edge 520 Plus and the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT. Sure, both can do turn by turn directions, but only one can do it self-sustaining.  And only one can re-route you on the fly back to the course or back to a saved point.  The Wahoo unit lacks the street level detail to do that.  Whether or not those two differences matter to you though is a totally different question however.  But for only a $30 difference, it’s going to put serious pressure on Wahoo this cycling season.  Of course, that also sidesteps the reality that some people are purchasing a BOLT merely because it’s not a Garmin. This doesn’t really change that portion of the equation.

Nonetheless, the Edge 520 Plus will probably soon become one of the defacto Garmin cycling units that people look to pick up, in the same way that the existing Edge 520 lead the way there too (though the BOLT has been gaining steam).  With the maps now built-in and Garmin’s smartphone app for routing getting easier and easier (and more features there on the way), they’re filling in the gaps that people have complained about for years.  All this competition has been good not just for them, but more importantly us as consumers.

For me, I rarely use the POI functions of the Edge 820/1030, so in many ways this is perfect unit for me. If I’m routing, I’m doing so via Strava Routes and synced to my device (or, with Garmin Connect routes via Easy Route).  Again, this fits that gap. Plus, it means I don’t have to deal with a touch screen (no matter how well it might work). Sometimes I just like buttons.

With that – thanks for reading!

You can now pre-order the Edge 520 Plus. Garmin has the units in production, and at this point it’s waiting to address the issues I noted above before shipping. It sounds like that’ll probably occur in a few weeks.  If you pre-order via Clever Training you’ll help support the site and get free shipping [Europe Link here]. Plus, you’ll earn points you can spend on other products. I expect I’ll release my final in-depth review whenever Garmin starts shipping, so if they can’t address the problem you’d still be able to cancel your order if you think the issue impacts you. 

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373 Comments

  1. Tom W

    Hmmm, no thanks.

    I’ll stick with my Bolt, and, with fingers crossed’ wait for a Wahoo announcement over the next week for some new goodies.

  2. Geraint Morris

    For me not so much of an upgrade from the existing unit. Have they increased the beep volume for the turn-by-turn notifications from the existing 520? I miss them most of the time if I’m concentrating elsewhere

  3. Tiago

    Hi Ray,

    From the 510 to the 520, the device lost the ability to change the scale/zoom of the profile/altimetry page. Can you check if they restore it again?

    Best Regards

    • Robert Sexton

      That bit of UI dumb-assery is still there. Sorry.

      Manual Map Zoom is still a disaster, too. Its barely functional. I was hoping for better. The profile scale is kinda sorta OK for riding in the eastern US, but useless out west where have plenty climbs more than 5 miles long or 1000 feet high.

  4. Fernando

    Buggy software on a Garmin Edge? heretic! how dare you suggest such a thing!

    hey look, it’s the 18th, this may be the month my 810 makes it through without loosing any of my rides! only 12 days to go…

  5. Steve

    Sorry if I missed it but what’s actually changed hardware wise?

    Sound like it has the same battery capacity (Garmin say 15 hours for both)
    Has it got the same barometric altimeter set up
    What’s the storage capacity now? Does it take whole countries?

    Thanks

  6. Sebastian

    Hi Ray,
    could you explain the extended display mode a bit more? Simply hold the two devices side by side and then the Edge is simply mirroring the datafields of the watch? Can I press lap on the edge and it will trigger the watch?

    Thanks in Advance
    Sebastian

    • You pair it similar to any other sensor (an Edge 520 Plus/820/1030, combined with a Fenix 5 or FR935). Then it kinda acts like a Varia display would, except the Edge is the Varia display.

      I should have the appropriate beta FR935 firmware today to give it a whirl and show more details on it. Hang tight!

    • 6co2000

      Why would one want to do that? I don’t get it. For triathlons may be when the watch is the recording device and the edge just used for the bike leg? Can t really think of any other reason

    • Mike Richie

      That’s exactly when you would use it, or doing bricks (or any multi sport activity with a bike leg). Although less useful on my Vivoactive HR, it does support Varia Vision, so why wouldn’t it support this? It is an open standard, right?

    • Tien

      Also good to keep all your activities and Training Status on one device.

    • Andi

      Hey Ray,

      do you have any further information about the extended display? Do you already have the new beta firmware?

      All the best,
      Andi

    • They’re still working out some kinks, primarily on making sure the data fields ‘conform’ when transmitted from the larger unit down to the smaller watch.

      I got a FR935 firmware over the weekend for something else, but I haven’t had a chance to see if it’s fully working there yet for extended display. On my to-do list for this morning, and if I can get it working I’ll try and put together a post for later this week.

  7. Tommy

    Thanks Ray

    You made an interesting point on the self sustained routing (wahoo vs garmin). While yes, a Wahoo needs a phone to route properly, i’ve never had an issue with this, and typically you would have to stop riding to do any meaningful input anyway. For me, when I do navigate, I usually do so on a pre-planned route, so no problems using the Wahoo.

    To me, the self sustaining part of the 520 plus is then contradicted by not having WiFi. The vest majority of my rides are non navigation. With the Bolt I just ride, get home, save and its uploaded over WiFi…no phone needed. With the 520 plus, I will need to ensure my phone is paired every single time to get the upload done. That’s a bit of a fail if you ask me.

    This is all coming from a former Wahoo Bolt user who very much regrets switching to an 820 (i did so to use the radar)

    Still, if you are wedded to Garmin, I would recommend anything over the 820. Seriously.. that touch screen is a piece of useless junk. This may be the perfect solution (NO TOUCH SCREEN)

    • Paul S.

      So you live and ride places where there’s always cell service?

    • Tommy

      Pretty much yeah. And the number of times i’ve stopped in the middle of nowhere to re-plan a route from scratch is exactly……well zero. And if I did, the number of times these day that I get no mobile data while outside is very rare.

      I’m in no way saying I cover all the use cases.

    • Bill

      I totally agree! I hate the touchscreen on my 820! This sounds like a perfect option, once the bugs are sorted

    • Paul S.

      Since I live near a big state forest, there are nearby places with no cell service (at least no Verizon service; don’t know about the other carriers, but I doubt they’re any better). For me, on board navigation is a must so that (and the ridiculous “no street names, no POI’s, no adding maps”) rules out Wahoo devices.

    • TedM

      I’m confused about your statement about needing a phone to route properly. I’ve been using a Bolt since it came out (and the Elemnt before that) and I don’t need my phone to route in any way. I need to have a RideWithGPS route loaded, but I have those synced to my Bolt via WiFi. I love the fact that I can use my phone to load a route that I don’t have (like when the guy leading the ride doesn’t get around to emailing me the route until I’m 5 minutes from the start) but that’s the only time I need my phone to use the Wahoo.

    • I am not sure that this is a wahoo killer. Wahoo is still more stable and easier to use.

      However, I am 100% sure that this is an 820 killer.

    • Bsquared

      Does Wahoo offer turn-by-turn with Strava routes? I’m not interested in converting a Strava route to RWGPS route.

    • Paul S.

      “I’m confused about your statement about needing a phone to route properly.” If you for some reason have to change your route in the middle of a ride (road closed, bridge out, etc.), you need a phone to do that on a Wahoo device. You don’t on the Garmin mapping devices, which can compute routes all by themselves

    • Nik

      Wahoo does not do turn-by-turn with Strava routes, unfortunately.
      The thread on Strava’s forum has about 1000 people asking for it, and yet Strava refuses to include the turn-by-turn directions when syncing a route to a Wahoo device. Perhaps there is some politics involved behind the scenes.

    • Daniel

      The only times i use Garmin to navigate is when my phone out of battery which does happen maybe 2-3 times a year. I still use my old 810 looks good and works with zero problem. thinking of switch to 820/1030 because i really like iq connect apps otherwise i would buy a wahoo instead.

    • Robert Sexton

      I’ve got both devices (A BOLT and a 520) on my handlebars. The Wahoo has better UI, navigation screens, and mapping (working map zoom!). The Garmin is a better GPS receiver and is a highly reliable datalogger on long (200-600mi) rides. I’ve heard plenty of complaints about the 820, but I’ve found the 520 to be a reliable, if idiosyncratic device.

    • Roy

      Is WiFi needed if you can upload via BlueTooth to your laptop/phone/pad?

      Never thought of this before, but I wonder what a BlueTooth dongle would do plugged into the USB port of my router? It should appear as a virtual drive I can upload to.

  8. Joey

    You are a world class site for what you offer.
    Please get your grammar correct. The noun and verb should agree in number. It is a bad habit of many lazy English speakers.

    • chukko

      If you wanted to be constructive, you could have listed the specific mistake.
      Ray fixes those quickly. (yes, even he is not a error free robot).
      Now you just posted a useless rant.

    • John B

      Impeccable grammar, terrible manners. Does one matter to anyone without the other?

    • Cory

      Have you heard him talk? Ideas, references, experiences, asides, all tumble out at the cyclic rate. He can barely move his mouth fast enough with all the knowledge that spews out. I imagine his writing is the exact same way. Fire-hose.

      We’re here for tech. Period.

      If you want impeccable grammar go hang out with Dear Abby.

      This site is for slow twitch geeks who want the best information on the latest gear. Your autistic interactions with perfectly comprehensible speech aside, we get what we want and the minor details like noun and verb agreement that upset hall monitors like you don’t detract one iota from this place.

    • Joey – Sorry I missed something. I was re-writing the review and turning it into this non-review piece at 4:45AM-5:30AM this morning on four hours of sleep, so, I no doubt I missed something with lack of sleep.

      As Chukko noted, I usually do fix errors very quickly when raised, though without a specific item, it’s honestly hard to figure out what precisely you’re referring to. You can also use the contact form too.

    • Roy

      In fairness, I noticed this error as well, and also can’t find it back now.

      As a writer myself I find grammar and spelling errors objectionable; a distraction. A useful work-around is to either write using Word (or LibreOffice in my case) or upload your final doc into that environment and use its grammar & spelling checker.

      I know it’s incredibly unfair that editors have gone the way of typewriters, but I for one will always appreciate the effort, as your content is excellent, even if the grammar & spelling have the potential to distract from it.

    • Roy

      Speak for yourself. Bashing people who encourage others to uphold standards dumbs down the World, period. Shame on you.

  9. Brian

    Did you do real-live batter testing with the 520 Plus doing navigation? I have a 520, and the battery lasts seemingly forever– it easily hits Garmin’s published 15 hours. I briefly had an 820, and that one had horrible life with navigation. It would not make it to 6 hours. It is a far cry (using navigation) from Garmin’s published 15 hours.

    Can the 520 Plus hit 15 hours while performing its more feature-rich navigation?

    • Reuben

      I have never had my 520 hit the full 15 hours. While following a route, it used to last about 10, but nowadays it probably has a 5 hour battery life. I purchased it in 2015, so it’s about 2.5 years old now.

    • simon

      probably nothing to do with the age of the 520 – last year garmin pushed out a firmware version that killed the battery for many of it’s 520 users.

      maybe something like apple did ! at least they apologised and back tracked – garmin have accepted they’ve done it but are still putting their head in the sand over fixing it.

      maybe it was a sneaky way of getting us to upgrade

    • Bsquared

      The weird thing is, after the firmware upgrade, a few times I’ve had my 2.5 year old 520 battery last around 7 hours, but generally it lasts longer. The alarming thing is that I see 50% battery remaining after 2-3 hours, but then it keeps going for ~7 hours.

  10. Andrew

    Would the Bolt be capable of updating their mapping to include live-updating with a firmware update?

    Also, wink twice if you think we’ll see anything at Sea Otter regarding the Elemnt Rival.

  11. Matthew Bartsch

    So will they are offer a software upgrade package at a cost or is that even possible? Would be nice for most of us that have just the standard Garmin 520.

  12. E.G

    Does acitivities add to the firstbeat trainingload stats in garmin Connect?

    • Chad Vacarella

      This issue has bothered me for a year now. Unless I track my rides, activities on my watch, the Garmin firstbeat trainingload stats don’t reflect it. Garmin should find a way to receive this information from Garmin Connect so that the firstbeat trainingload stats are accurate on the 935. I’ll be interested to hear Ray’s thoughts.

    • Andrew M

      Supposedly there is a significant update coming this month on Garmin Connect that will allow better intergration of the Fenix 5 series/935 and the Edge series.

    • Luke

      Any updates on this? I have an F5 that I’ve traditionally used for everything but as I get more into riding I just got the 520 plus. Been using that for all of my rides and just wearing the watch, disappointed to see that the firstbeat data either didn’t get saved/recorded or didn’t get pushed from the 520+ to the F5.

  13. John

    Does the 520 Plus have a light sensor for adjusting modes in an ANT+ light network, screen brightness, etc.?

  14. Martin

    “But you can read all about the Edge 130 in my full in-depth review” – when?

  15. Greg

    Looks very promising once they iron out the bugs. But I’m confused by the 520 plus naming instead of 530. All the other edge devices have been upgraded to the x30 series, and the three-year cycle would indicate we’d normally be due for the 530 this summer. So is this a stop-gap release until July? Or are they changing their historic release schedule? I realize you cannot comment on unannounced products, but did they address this issue in any of their 520 plus announcements or other disclosable discussions?

    I’d like to get a new head unit, but if a bigger release is coming later this year, I can wait.

    • Mike Richie

      Just a guess, but because they are essentially using the same hardware (just adding more memory), it doesn’t receive a a new model number. They can then refer to all 520s When they need to. It probably, however, is fulfilling the update cycle for the 520.

    • Only making guesses here, I have zero information. But, see how hotly competitive this price-point is in bike computers, it seems possible that there may be another device like this coming from Garmin before long. The behavior that triggers this for me is the timeline of the 200-series Forerunner running watches (also a hotly-competitive market). You’ve got the 220 that came out in September 2013, the 225 that came out in May 2015, and most tellingly, the 230 that came out in October 2015. I don’t recall exactly when the 225 was discontinued, but it was actively on the market for a dramatically shorter time than the 220 and the 230. The 520 Plus has a different naming convention, but still…

  16. Larry

    Hi DC…I’ve been MTBing a ton lately here in Colorado. We have extensive trail systems. Will this unit be of any benefit to me?
    Thanks, Larry

  17. Garoputo

    Can the lack of FirstBeat/training load metrics here be accomplished with a Garmin wearable? In other words, the combination of an Edge 520, FR935/f5, and HRM?

  18. Jan

    Ray, wondering if you can comment on any changes in the workout page? Specifically, I was hoping to be able to customize this more with a 3sec power instead of instantaneous and also the ability to have a second target range visible like cadence. Thanks

  19. Chris

    Love the Missouri shout out in the video.

  20. BCM

    Ray,

    Does the hardware upgrade for mapping support include a bump in CIQ fields from the 4 provided with the 520?

  21. Patrick

    I wonder if you can acquire maps for other regions. I like to go to Europe a couple times a year and, while the current procedure I follow with my current 520 works, it’s not exactly easy. And, if I add Open Street maps, would the procedure be exactly the same? Will they still have the routing capability?

    • Sander

      When you have a Android phone, try OSMAND and the iq connect/android app Navmin (beta version) on the 520. It’s the best of 2 worlds, generate routes (without the needs of internet) on your phone and ride routes (with most streetnames displayed in the screen) them with your 520. No needs for maps on your 520, this also increase batterylife on your 520, because the 520 doesn’t have to display them.

    • m1h0k1

      Sounds great, would this work on the new 130?

    • Sander

      No, because you can only install ciq datafields, no apps. The normal 520 is the best and cheapest way to go.

      My solution provides better routes then Garmin connect, because it haves streetnames and is more accurate at small crossings.

    • so how does it work exactly? the app generates the route, and the garmin then just displays turn instructions while the navigation is running on your phone?

    • Sander

      No the navigation amd route is on your garmin! The app only generates a route and the sexond on transport and translate it to your garmin.

      This combination gives best batterylife and best route creation/overview, but that’s my opinion😀

    • Ted Jones

      Ray, given that the big selling point for this device is its enhanced mapping functions, the inability to maintain those functions in different regions would be a deal-breaker. Certainly you, given your helpful how-to for replacing the original Edge 520’s map, understand how crucial this is. Could you please try to answer the question, which has now been posed by multiple people here, whether it is possible to replace or supplement the default regional map set with maps from other regions, and whether he device will continue function in all the same ways with a new map? Thank you in advance.

    • No issues doing the exact same thing here with the Edge 520 Plus. And in fact, I did precisely that.

      1) I have a European Edge 520 Plus unit that I placed free OSM Florida maps on a few weeks back so I’d have maps there.

      2) I have a US Edge 520 Plus unit that I placed Italian and Austrian maps on last week to ride the Stelvio and UCI courses, so a friend could use it while I used the European one.

      You don’t get the popularity routing stuff baked in, but that didn’t change the experience for either of us since we had predefined courses anyway.

  22. Patrick McInty

    Can you expand on “There’s also more nuanced things of course like battery life” when you have more time?

    I have a couple friends with 1.5 year old 520 units that are lucky to get half of their originally quoted battery life.

  23. Brent

    Is this free for 820 users?
    This seems like a betrayal for those who purchased the 820. I’ve had enough of this nonsense from Garmin.

    • Mike Richie

      In what way? It is less capable than an 820. If you don’t like touch screen, get a remote.

    • Brent

      Typical Garmin apologist attitude here.
      Garmin releases a junk GPS with terrible touchscreen. Solution is to buy a remote, yeah no thanks.

      The 520 plus is an 820 without the problems.

    • Peter

      One could say the same to the 520 upgrade: navigation issues, solution is to buy the more expensive 520 Plus. Yeah, no thanks.

      The 820 (with remote) is a 520 Plus without the navigation problems. Plus with WiFi. And POI.

    • Hans

      Typical Garmin hater attitude.
      I have a 820 and touchscreen works flawless even in rain and with gloves. Of course not iphone-like but in a way that should not produce crybabies like you.

  24. Sean

    I split my time between North America and Asia. Will Garmin allow both sets of maps to be uploaded?

  25. George

    Thanks for the reviews and explanations. I was trying to figure out the differences and Garmin site wasn’t that helpful. As an aside, having lost my Edge 800 about five months ago, the quickest way to get me to buy a new Garmin product would be to drop the 1030 price by $100. As it is, my somewhat irrational behavior is to live with no Garmin and just use Strava and Ride with GPS apps on my iPhone while I wait for Garmin to loosen up on the 1030 price.

  26. Stef

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if the battery capacity will be better than the Edge 820? This is a serious issue with the 820. Thank you.

    Stef

    • simon

      It’s also a serious issue with many 520 users who are seeing a battery life of around 4 hours

      Garmin have really dropped the ball in recent years

    • Nigel Allen

      I have a two-and-a-half-year-old 520 which, generally, I like. Battery life was never much more than seven hours, and is now about five hours on my usage (30% screen brightness; paired with phone). It gets me through my longest rides, but the battery does need to be fully charged, pre-ride, every time (which, itself, is probably unconditioning the battery).

  27. Wow, Garmin holding off on shipping to fix a navigation problem? I didn’t expect them to do that. In the past, they’d have just shipped it and fix problems later, treating their customers like beta users. I’m very glad you’re finding these issues.

  28. NOAH PENE

    Does the Garmin EDGE 520 PLUS use the same antenna design and RF chipset as the Garmin EDGE 520, which experiences frequent dropouts with power meters and their own Varia Radar?

  29. Doug H

    Wondering if you’re tried your Karoo in your new surroundings and if the routing — particularly the quick turns in succession — are behaving any better on that? I’m far from a Hammerhead shill, but with recent software updates and another due tomorrow (Thursday, April 19), I’m wondering if you’ve had any additional thoughts.

  30. Tim

    I’d be interested to know if the limit for strava segments has also been upped since there is more storage on the device.

  31. John B

    Garmin pretty much lost me permanently as a customer as a result of sloppy handling of bugs over the past couple years of using their products. Above all, constant bluetooth disconnection over the past 6 months on my Fenix 5, where my iphone just wouldn’t know it existed for days at a time. My coworker experienced the same thing on his Pixel with his Garmin 735. I’ve since sold all my Garmin stuff on eBay, but he’s still dealing with the same sloppy bluetooth crap. I’ve switched to the Bolt from the 520 and have been really happy with it so far. I can even set it up on my phone like it’s not the early 2000’s anymore! My impression is that Garmin is just too bloated and disjointed as a company and just can’t keep all their ducks in a row in terms of software updates. Every update brings new bugs. It’s an endless cycle. Except on MY cycle. Garmin’s run on my cycle has come to an end.

    • I have a Wahoo Bolt. It’s nice as long as you don’t go off course and have a good internet connection on your phone. Out in the boonies (say, Carmel-by-the-Sea in California) where cell signal is hard to come by, I found that my ancient Garmin 800 routes way better than the Wahoo unit because of the onboard maps. And the Wahoo is even less reliable about the bluetooth connection to your phone than my Garmin Vivoactive HR.

  32. Sean

    Did they upgrade the hardware at all to help with the lag between switching screens or navigating through the menus? That is one thing I really hate about the 520 that the Bolt doesn’t have.

    The elephant in the room is the battery life, especially with all the new ConnectIQ dependent apps and navigation features.

  33. Larry

    +1 on the can Upload OSM maps

  34. Robin

    Maybe I missed it, but is a person now able to download maps onto the 520 for those cases where the base map doesn’t cover an area or doesn’t sufficiently cover an area? I guess a related question would be how much has the memory increased in the 520 Plus over the 520?

    Does this new 520 Plus herald the future arrival of a better, more feature packed 820?

    • Luke Cooke

      Yes you can dowload detailed maps on the 520, but you have only space for 1 city. Search on this website and you shall find how to.

    • Bsquared

      @Robin – on my 520 I loaded OSM maps for Northern California, including Sierra foothills, Sacramento metro, San Francisco Bay Area, and down to Monterrey. Its a fairly big area, and not restricted to one city.

  35. Paul Hutton

    What I am super interested in is the extended display mode feature. Did you get a chance to test that and how does it work? Does it display workout metrics from the watch while still allow navigation, etc., from the Edge?

  36. Simon Sheehan

    With the edge 520 now 3 years old, I wonder if this is just a band aid to prevent market loss to wahoo until the edge 530 is ready in a year or so.
    I don’t think upgrading from the original 520 is justified, and if you haven’t upgraded from the 510/810 so far, I wonder if it would be better to wait another year for a 530, unless this new 520 plus pushes a full replacement back to 2020/21

  37. Ian Ballantyne

    Does this have a slot to support SD cards to load maps/routes? ++1 on the openmap support questions

  38. HUSSAIN BOLT

    Hardware changes compared to 520? Or in other words my man Ray, can the 520 be made to function like the 520 Plus through a firmware upgrade? Stay cool and be fast. BOOM!

  39. Markus

    Is there a trade-in program for 820 owners? I’m still so frustrated about that crappy product Garmin sold me for so much money. However, something like a trade-in program would even me consider trying this one. Anything to get rid of the 820 without having to spend more huge sums of money.

    And for my part any comparision with the “higher” mapping functions of the 820 lacks the fact that these functions are often not usable because of the crappy touchscreen and the poor battery life.

  40. John

    I’m really surprised/disappointed that this didn’t include the Training Load metrics. Can you provide any insight into why they left it out?

  41. Bsquared

    Robin, I’ve had a 520 for 2.5 years and never used the base map. Immediately after purchasing I followed the instructions on this site to replace the base map with a free map.

    • Sander

      Why you want a map on such small screen?

    • Explorer

      Why do you need a big ass screen on a bike for maps?

    • Sander

      When I am cycling I have my phone with me. Much bigger screen, much more cpu power for calculating routes.

      I only use my 520 to follow a track. I create routes on my phone in osmand (it doesn’t need internet and haves a lot route/map options) and send the gpx/route to my edge 520 with navmin. I think this is the best of 2 worlds.

    • Sander

      Oww it generate routes with turnbyturn info!

    • Bsquared

      @Sander I’m in mid 50s and can still see maps on my 520. A quick glance down towards my handlebars gives me enough information to make snap decisions and plan for upcoming turns while riding at 20mph / 32kph. I have no reason to put mount phone on handlebars.

    • Sander

      @Bsquared you misunderstanding me/or I am not clear. I ride with a 520 on my handlebar, but when I like to reroute, I take my phone and make a new route on my phone. My phones gives me a big screen with much more and quicker overview of the nearby area, because of the big screen and much stronger cpu.

      I use the 520 because it haves better batterylife, is better readable in daylight and much smaller and less funeral.

      My solution doesn’t need internet and gives better routes then Garmin connect, because it haves streetnames and is more accurate at small crossings.

    • Sander

      (after recalculation I will send the route to my 520 with the help of the ciq app Navmin . Navmin makes a translation from gpx to fit (only the beta supports it) and will send it to 520 with Bluetooth)

    • Marcin

      Few more details:D in navmin (in beta – link to play.google.com) you can eg.:
      – create new route from scratch,
      – import TCX/GPX
      – import TCX/GPX/created route as segmen, and then import thsi segment via Navmin for Garmin to Garmin devices (link to apps.garmin.com)
      – “to inject” segment into created route.

  42. FrankJ

    Still just 2 data fields on the map screen? If so, I’ll never buy a Garmin. The day they change that number to 4 I’ll possibly return as a customer.

    • Sai Wot

      What planet are you from? You can customize the number of data fields… or what do you actually mean? Decimal points?!

    • simon

      yep – only 2 data fields allowed on the map screen

      maybe a bit too crowded if they had 4 ? although it could just be a refresh/cpu power thing

    • ekutter

      And they can’t be CIQ fields, so the customization is limited.

    • FrankJ

      Read my friend. MAP screen, not a regular screen.

      As always, the maximum is 2 which is really not enough for those who want to ride without TBT like myself.

  43. Niko

    Would the regular 520 be capable of these mapping features through a software update?
    Instead of buying a new hardware I would be willing to buy an extra software update to enable the routing options.

  44. I think you have missed an important point in this and the 130 review! (or I missed it)

    The colour scheme of the devices seems to much more reasonable, no more silly white or blue accents.

  45. Nigel Van de Velde

    So turn by turn navigation still seems problematic in a dense city environment… This problem has been there for ages, it’s a pity they don’t seem to be able to solve this.

    Maybe a tip for them. Take the turn by turn instructions from a cue sheet just like Wahoo does. And only create custom cues when you are diverting from the preplanned route. This way you get the best of both worlds. The instruction reliability from Wahoo and a better “Garmin-style” off-track experience. As this is most likely less cpu intensive, I guess it will save some battery as well.

    Kind regards,

    Nigel

    • Bsquared

      @Nigel, when running RWGPS routes on 520 the turn-by-turn instructions are taken from a cue sheet. There is a small 1-2 second delay in having the map change direction, but I reviewed the route ahead of the ride and am using the bike computer to understand several turns in advance. Therefore I am able to follow the route when there are only a couple houses between turns (in a densely populated areas). Because I’m riding, and having to pay more attention to cars and pedestrians, it is not possible with quick 1-2 houses between turns to look down fast enough even if bike computer was updating map orientation in real-time.

    • Sander

      @Bsquared, I agree with you. You have to practice navigating with a bike computer.

  46. Matthias van der Hallen

    > lack a good way to just enter in a given point within the Garmin Connect Mobile app and route to it via the Edge 520 Plus (akin to what Wahoo and Lezyne both have)

    But it is possible? I have some not-to-great experiences with trying the upload a route to the fenix 3 over bluetooth while tracking an activity, sadly. Come to think of it, even while it’s not tracking an activity, uploading a route over bluetooth seems to have an unexplainably low 66% success rate. Sometimes it seems to be linked to memory being full (without any indication to that fact), sometimes it just fails twice, only to succeed randomly the third, or fourth (or fifth :() time.

    But for the uncommon case where I need to navigate to a different point entirely, I would be willing to go through the hassle of taking my phone, defining the POI, and waiting a minute for it to sync.

    As a complete aside: seeing how the unit connects to the phone using bluetooth, I would expect not supporting bluetooth smart sensors is a complete business decision vis-a-vis not enabling it in software… your thoughts? Might we see some hacking/custom software over time? 🙂

    • Sander

      When you have a Android phone, try osmand and navmin(beta version). It give you a lot of offline options to calculate a new route.

  47. darek

    “With saved points, you can save your home, office, or nearby Chipotle on the unit and then route back to it at any point. ” does it mean i need to be on this point to save it(as in my forerruner735) or i can just upload it as waypoint?

  48. Howie

    What I’m hearing is that 520+ is risky business for little return, that the 820 isn’t worth much at all because of the screen, and that the only real ‘upgrade’ from the 520 is the 1030. Thus, save the 520 for races, and use a 1030 for all other rides. Anyone care to comment?

    • Sander

      I use my 520 only for following routes with tbt info and have a forerunner 935 for logging my rides/races.

    • Andrew

      I have no problems with my 820 screen, it took a year worth of updates, but it’s finally pretty decent.

    • ekutter

      I too use my 935 for day to day riding (with the quick release kit). I have a 1030 for when I I’m riding in unfamiliar areas and need the map. Upgraded from an 810 because the display was so hard to read in many conditions. The new 130 seems like it would be a better day to day bike comp but my 935 fits the bill just fine.

    • Sander

      @ekutter, I also have the quick release kit. I hoped I could use the 935 for navigation, but the 935 haves his limitations. The maximum of 50 route/way points is the biggest.

  49. simon

    hi Ray

    3 quick questions:

    iPhone notifications – still calls and SMS only ? (why not whatsapp or granular like on android/fenix5)

    backlight – does pressing the backlight button bring up the backlight level setting or actually turn the backlight on ? (another odd an annoying choice for the 520 compared to the 800)

    can you load your own openstreetmaps like other edge devices ?
    thanks

    • dizpark

      +1 on this question

      >>>backlight – does pressing the backlight button bring up the backlight level setting or actually turn the backlight on ? (another odd an annoying choice for the 520 compared to the 800)

      It might seem like trivial matter, but the backlight implementation on Edge 500 was much better, but Garmin bollocked this up on Edge 520.

  50. Jeff

    Any word on the Yelp app coming to watches? Seems like even without street names and turn by turn directions, it would be a feature that would aid in the every day smartwatch competition.

  51. Mike Richie

    Hi Ray, thanks for the great review (again). Wouldn’t it be possible for someone to create a CIQ app fairly easily that would provide Nominatim (OpenStreetMap address lookup) data the same way that Yelp does for POIs? I assume this just provides a waypoint dataset. This would pretty much eliminate it’s main disadvantage over the 820. See https://nominatim.openstreetmap.org

  52. Sander

    When you have a Android phone, try this;

    1. Install OSMAND, generate a route and export gpx file into the downloadfolder.
    2. Install Navmin (beta version) on the phone and import the gpx file.t
    3. Install Navmin on the 520 and import the file.
    4. Start the route and ride it! It haves turnbyturn info with streetnames!

    No need for maps on your 520👍 (deinstall them, maps decrease batterylife), no crazy long map updates with your computer, oww waite see goodbye to yoir computer!

    It’s the best of 2 worlds, generate routes (without the needs of internet) on your phone (big screen, fast cpu) and ride routes with your 520(better batterylife and better readable in daylight).

    @Ray, I live nearby Amsterdam, when you like I can give you a demonstration 😁

  53. Raymond

    I’d like to point out 2 more points against the Wahoo:
    1. It still can’t do turn-by-turn when importing from Strava. Same if you load a gpx supplied by your cycling club or cycling event. Heck, it can only do turn-by-turn if you manually (re-)create one on Ridewithgps, who has time for that?
    2. Even when you have the cues in on the Wahoo, it displays a simple arrow with the text ‘left on …street’, which isn’t very clear, specially in busy areas. The Garmin will display the exact turn for you (see image 18/38), no need to view the map page at all.

    • m1h0k1

      Sounds great, would this work on the new 130?

    • Nik

      Yes, (1) is true.
      (2) is partially true; if you’re looking at the map page, you can see where the route is going overlaid on top of the intersection that you’re about to enter. If you’re looking at any other page, you just get a simple arrow and the text as you said.

      Wahoo doesn’t currently have all the mapping/routing functionality that Garmin has. But Wahoo has the advantage that all the functions they have work reliably every time. No dropped data, no crashes, etc.

    • Raymond

      (2) Exactly my point, I want to see my data page, unless there’s a turn coming up, without switching back and forth to the map page. On the Wahoo I can’t do that in busy areas which is unacceptable for me.

      I guess I’ve been lucky in the sense that I tend to buy new electronics when prices have dropped, which is probably also when most of the bugs have been ironed out. I’m still using my Edge 705, which still works flawlessly, no freezing data losses or whatever, the battery is still good, the unit itself looks like new. Maybe after that everything became worse?

    • Paul S.

      I guess you didn’t have the 705 for the first 6 months of its release, when there were plenty of problems, including freezes. It also has navigation flaws that were never fixed (when I was riding a route with a loop attached to an out and back, it would often try to send me around the loop again as I completed it). But after the first 6 months it was a good, reliable unit so long as you didn’t trust it entirely when navigating. (And that’s when I formed my “never buy a new Garmin device within 6 months of release” rule.) The 800 that I replaced it with was even better, and a case can be made that the 800 was the best cycling unit Garmin has made. But the 1000 I use now works fine, and I’ve gotten used to having the completed ride sent to Garmin Connect before I get in the door. Having notifications sent to the screen is occasionally useful (and occasionally annoying) when it works. And you can’t run Connect IQ on a 705 or 800.

  54. Thomas E.

    Tom,

    It’s funny. I am considering Garmin because I found the quality of software and hardware from Wahoo to be a disappointment.

    Several bugs in their IOS app, the Wahoo display lasted about 1.5-2 years before it would start chewing up batteries, and now won’t come up at all. And the reed relays in the speed sensor failed in about a year of light/moderate use. I had 2 of them. As well as a few bugs in the display that left it not usable until they had another patch/update.

    Wahoo’s products look compelling, I just don’t want to be a beta tester for their products again.

  55. Thomas E.

    How about handling multiple bikes with multiple sets of cadence and speed sensors?

    thank you.

    • heyjules

      Did you already find an answer to this? I’d like to setup this devide (or the 130) with both my race bike and my MTB.

    • Paul S.

      If it’s like recent Edges, bike profiles are long gone. You can pair any number of sensors to it, so multiple sensors are not a problem. It will find and pair with the ones that are activated automatically, and ask if it finds multiple awake sensors of the same type. The wheel size is kept individually for each speed sensor. I have three bikes worth of speed and cadence sensors paired to my Edge 1000 and it all works flawlessly.

  56. Magnus

    How many live segments can you load in to the 520 plus.

  57. Laura

    What’s the battery life like in real life? I’ve been planning to get the 1030 because I need a long battery life.

  58. Toni E

    Thanks DCR for a great site regarding fitness product reviews and hands-on “pre-reviews”.

    Regarding 520 Plus, what can You tell about battery life when training or navigating? And especially compared to wahoo elemnt bolt?

    Thanks again and keep up this with Your stunning page.

  59. Greg W

    Hi Ray, can you clarify on this comment from the article:

    “– Edge 1030 is compatible with secondary battery pack, Edge 520 Plus/820 are not”

    I use an auxiliary powerpack while riding with my 520 from time to time if I forget to charge or if the ride is very long and it works fine. I just want to make sure this will work on the Plus.

    Also, can you put in a word width Garmin about having a data screen for 520/520 Plus that shows both map and elevation profile? Because that would be really useful….

    • Bsquared

      @Greg that is a little confusing…. When Edge 1030 was introduced, Garmin also launched the Garmin Charge Power Pack link to buy.garmin.com

      The 1030 has a special battery charging port designed into the quarter turn mount. With the 1030 and Charge Power Pack, there are no cables required to charge your 1030 during a ride.

      Like you, I carry a small Anker PowerCore battery pack on long rides, and if needed use that to charge my 520, Varia radar, Bontrager FlareRT, and phone.

  60. J wolf

    Does anyone know exactly how much memory storage will be available on the plus?

  61. Syed

    Hi Ray,

    Not sure if this was covered, but was wondering if the 520 price will be cheaper or stay in that $249 region?

    Thanks!

  62. Paul Trapp

    The Garmin 520 literature states it has a new bright screen. Do you find the screen on the 520 Plus to be brighter than the 520?
    To me, the 520 screen is not as bright and readable as the forerunner 920XT, nor the Edge 1030.
    How does the battery life on the 520 Plus compare to the 520?

    thanks
    Paul

  63. Nate

    I have a 935 watch that I use to record all runs and rides now because of the training/firstbeat metrics.

    On the bike, I use my edge 810 to record a backup .fit (never needed) and to see the live data.

    The 520+ actually sounds nice as an upgrade to get text message notifications and live tracking of friends, but still maybe not worth the update if I still need to record on my watch for training metrics in one place…

    I guess my money will stay on the sidelines or perhaps investigate Wahoo…

  64. Adub

    I was one of the suckers who bought the 820. As asinine as it sounds I bought the Garmin remote as a work-around for the 820’s useless “touch” screen.

    I wonder if this unit freezes up on the start-up screen and is as buggy as my POS 820 was?

    I ditched the Garmin and bought the Wahoo Bolt, best decision I made that relates to cycling tech.

  65. Ronnie Zimmerman

    Are there any plans to extend this functionality to the fenix 3hr? This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

  66. Carl

    “Updated Strava Segments algorithm” – any word if this will find its way to the original 520?
    It would seem this is just a firmware update away.

  67. Peter

    “Sure, the Edge 820 checked off the small part, but not the inexpensive piece. That’s where the new 520 Plus hits the spot.”

    Not sure about the price proposition: anywhere I look in Europe (Rose.com, idealo.de), the 820 is the same price as the 520 Plus, in bundle occasionally in fact cheaper.. Is it a US pricing issue, where there may be a much more favourable pricepoint? But you are currently residing in the EU and the readers are all over I guess..

    I think that (unless the 520 Plus will be MUCH cheaper than the 820) the only real benefit and reason for anyone to choose the 520 Plus over the 820 is the difference between touchscreen and buttons. There have been many complaints on the touchscreen and Garmin does not want to loose those customers, so they simply (quickly, considering the obvious issues and shortcomings of the enhanced features) equipped the 520 with navigation features, to cover that market segment as well. I wonder why they didn’t simply offer customers the choice to choose a 820 with or without buttons, but opted to distinguish this aspect between the 520 and the 820.
    As far as functionality, I feel the 820 is superior to the 520 in absolute terms, if we put aside the button/no-button issue: the 520 needs apps and connectivity to enable the device to navigate in a way that the 820 can without connectivity, upfront. I cannot imagine doing a groupride where we decide to diverge from the plan and suddenly everyone needing to connect to apps, putting in a new routing (time is ticking..) and once underway, doing the whole process over again when we decide to diverge from the alternative. That’s hardly enjoyable or flexible and for the highest price segment in the navi category, unacceptable in my opinion. Plus, abroad you’s pay nice mobile internet roaming charges for the app use when downloading maps..
    Oh, and there’s lack of WiFi.

    So beside the button issue (which is, let’s be honest, a matter of taste), who would want to buy the 520 Plus when there’s the 820?..

    • Peter

      Sorry, meant rosebikes.com of course.

    • Peter

      In addition, I wonder about the validity of all these complaints about the 820 touchscreen: at 40 EUR there is a remote, which I’m sure you can buy on ebay at half price when used, but even the 40 EUR is quite acceptable if you really hate touchscreens. Personally, I find it much easier to press on the screen where I want to, instead of pressing buttons endlessly to select what I want to press. Are we riding or pressing buttons all day? Just make sure you have the necessary screens pre-selected and you won’t have to treat your computer as a smartphone and you can focus on your ride, like in the past when no screen touching was possible and we were all dandy about just looking at data. Screen sensitivity can be set individually, don’t see an issue there either, but if you leave in a country where you get stone-hard hail every day, just get a remote ;).

      Even with this price addition you’re at the 520 Plus current bundle fare in Europe (which is 400 EUR on idealo.de vs 350 EUR for the 820 bundle), but you have WiFi, no problems with navigation shortcomings that the 520 Plus has, plus POI.
      Seems like another marketing trick to me to get all the 520-hooked fans to upgrade to something that could easily be called an inferior 820.

    • The reason the EU pricing isn’t much different is because it isn’t available yet. Thus, you don’t see retailers undercutting each other like the Edge 820, because that is widely available.

      As for US pricing, obviously that’s Garmin controlled via MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing). So in that sense, the price difference is valid for a lot of people.

      I think once you see the Edge 520 Plus start shipping, you’ll see EU prices for it drop, thus returning the world to normalcy from a price difference standpoint.

  68. DerLordBS

    I am moving to Munich in a few weeks. Total new area with unknown routes. What device would you recommend for a road bike and a gravel bike with the focus on routing in a city? I am going to buy a gravel bike for my way to work.

    • I lived in Munich for half a year. My Edge 800 worked great there, and I took it on many many tours. I think the modern versions of that (the 820 and the 1000/1030) would be the ones to get. The Garmin European City Maps NT were also great. Please see my trips index for Munich: link to piaw.blogspot.com

  69. Rich

    Any Time frame on when some of the new features are coming to the edge 1000?

  70. Antek

    Hi Ray,

    Can you maybe share what customization is allowed on the map screen? Is there only 2 fields allowed? I just bought the BOLT and I’m wondering whether I should return it and switch to this one.

    Regards,
    Antek

    • Just checked, still only 0 or 2 fields allowed on map screen, customizable with any of the regular data fields. Similarly you can also customize the Strava Segment page in the same manner.

    • Kloekie

      Hi,

      You do not need this, when navigating and your on the data screen, when you have to make a turn 200 meters for the Turn it swaps from data to navigating screen, and switches back to data when you have made the Turn.

      So a non existing problem 😉

    • Antek

      Sounds good, thank you!

      @Ray: Any word on the final availability dates?

    • Not yet. I received a new firmware last night that I just loaded on my unit about 2 minutes ago, heading out for a ride in a few minutes.

      That’s set to resolve some of the calculation issues I saw, as well as the freeze-ups I was seeing. We’ll see how it works out…

    • Antek

      One final thing – will you also run an In-Depth Review once you get the final firmware/unit?

    • Yes, that’s the plan.

    • Johann

      How did the new firmware go?

    • It’s improved the route calculation piece a fair bit. Still not perfect, but well into the ‘functional’ range, and mostly acceptable (still slow, but at least it mostly doesn’t impede actual navigating).

      I still had some freezes on Friday, they gave me another new firmware after that Friday night, but haven’t had a freeze on that yet on my Sunday ride. Said absolute latest firmware has additional freeze debugging in it to try and figure out what’s causing it. But since freezes didn’t happen on absolutely every ride, I can’t say for certain it’s resolved. A bit more testing to occur.

      I did actually use the ‘Most direct route’ home option yesterday morning though about 30KM away from home, which was kinda neat to see that work (largely well).

  71. Joseph Conley

    On buy.garmin.com it currently says for the Edge 520 “Estimated availability is 5 – 8 weeks.”

  72. Joseph Conley

    Correction: buy.garmin.com currently says for the Edge 520 PLUS “Estimated availability is 5 – 8 weeks.”

  73. JoPlo

    Hi Ray,

    Question:

    I can’t choose beteren 520 plus or 820 edge. I’m hanging on 2 things. First, the 520 has no on the spot navigation. Second, and on the other hand, I heard a lot of negative stories about the 820 touchscreen. Has that improved? Or is it something worth buying the 520 plus for?

    Kind regards!

    • A couple of quick thoughts:

      RE: Edge 520 Plus:

      It can on the spot navigate, as long as you’ve got those points pre-saved in the unit (like home). Or, I suppose you could whip out your phone, create a new route and send it over via BLE. That should work in theory. I actually used the on the spot navigation to route back to home on Sunday, from the middle of nowhere (about 30K away).

      RE: Edge 820 Touchscreen

      Unearthing the litany of Edge 820 touchscreen issues is long. But the elevator version of it is:

      A) Early production quality control problems made it such that no two units were alike. Some units were great, some units sucked horribly. It had to do with the layering of the display and the quality control levels in the first few months

      B) Garmin then added a sensitivity adjustment option in the unit to try and address some of that. I’d say that solved about 30-50% of peoples issues.

      C) Garmin then issued another firmware in Jan 2017, which I’d say fixed almost everyone else remaining that was within the realm of possible.

      I suspect there are still some people with early-production Edge 820’s that just have a crappy display. I actually use an Edge 820 on almost every ride, and have done so since before launch. A few different units, and I’ve lucked out (picked up via normal retail channels). Inversely, I knew some folks in person that could demonstrate early production crap.

      I’d be very surprised if you went out and bought a unit now (that hasn’t been on a shelf for a year) that you’d actually have issues with it. I think most of that is behind is for new units, though, I think residual and mostly outdated internet feedback would probably offer alternate feedback

      All that said, the Edge 1030 touchscreen is just so much easier to use (because it’s bigger) than the Edge 820 one. Which, I know, doesn’t really help your decision making progress. Personally, I see little reason for me to use my Edge 820 over the Edge 520 Plus, since I almost *never* route to a specific POI (which is the main difference). So, I’d rather just have buttons. The only reason I’d use the Edge 1030 over the Edge anything else is that it’s prettier.

      Sorry, that wasn’t quick.

    • JoPlo

      Thanks for the reply Ray! Really helpful. For me the buttons over the touchscreen is a reason to choose the 520 plus. And indeed, your comment to whip out the phone to create a new route and send it over via BLE is a perfect way to overcome the main difference between the two devices. I think I made up my mind, and wait for the 520 plus to come in stores.

    • Sander

      When you like a offline option for creating routes with tbt info (with streetnames) on your (android) smartphone and send them by ble, try the following combination;

      1. Osmand (smartphone)
      2. Navmin (smartphone/edge520)
      link to facebook.com

      What benefits does the 520 plus have excepts the route option over the edge520?

    • Paul Groves

      Much larger map storage and includes full Europe or North America maps, depending on where you buy it – massive difference over the non-Plus 520

  74. Larry Newman

    Could you comment on the differences between the Garmin Edge Touring vs. the Edge 520?

  75. Carvalho BR

    Is 520 Plus compatible with XERT IQ app?

  76. Dave

    JOY. A new garmin product.

    Maybe I’ll buy one of these to fix the issue of constant GPS signal loss after 2-3 hours of use with my 520 and the steadily declining battery performance – after 2 years of use, 3 hours of riding = 60% loss. Not as bad as some who are only getting a matter of hours on units under a year old. Perhaps garmin should go back and fix their buggy firmware updates before releasing new products.

  77. Johann

    Was about to go out and get the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Looking forward to your take now between the Bolt and 520 plus

  78. Howard Waller

    Aside from below posters about how great the Edge 800 was, these navigation issues sounds remarkably similar to the problems I had with both the 800 and 810 – freezes and lack of turn info. I wonder if Garmin just imported the same algorithm here?

    (I hope not, because the navigation on the Edge 1000 I now have is much improved over those models.)

  79. Bjoern

    Well the parallels between Microsoft and Garmin are painstaking.

    They had a good thing going, the 500 series.

    Not only because it stopped relying on touch screens, which are completely superior, because not only do they work, but also because you can use them blind – while you always have to look at the touchscreen.

    But ALSO, because THEY DID NOT HAVE THE ACCURSED NAVIGATING FEATURES THAT COMPLETELY SUCK, always did and have been messing up the 800 and 1000 series.

    WHY! All we needed was a few GB of memory to add a more detailed NON NAVIGATABLE map and more IQ apps. It could have been bliss!

    Instead they ruined it. I am feeling so much pain just thinking about this.

  80. Andreas

    Hi Ray,

    if you have added a track to follow with a valid altitude profile – are you abled to see where you are on the whole profile and can you now configure the height/distance dimensions like with the 820? As a long distance Rider this is very popular to see where you are in terms of climbing and to handle your power for the rest of the race.

    Kind regards from Germany
    Andreas

    • Sander

      Hi Andreas,

      As participater of the Trans Germany, can you explaine me why this popular? (My first bikepacking event)

      Kind regards,

      Sander

  81. Henrik

    Ray & rainmaker community:

    Does the yelp app require the Garmin to be connected with the phone? And does one then also need data connectivity to look up points of interest?

  82. Gonzalo

    Hi. I’m looking for a MTB computer for my rides. I just basically want to download tracks via Strava or Trailforks and use it for navigation. I was thinking about the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt but now that I’ve seen your review of the Edge 520 and 130 I’m in a doubt. Which one you recommend I should buy?
    Thanks.

    • Magnus

      Bolt is really bad when mountain biking in the woods. Some have problems with bad GPS reception/accuracy (including me and the two friends who have Wahoo) and the Bolt thinks you are 30-40 meters behind where you really are. It makes it a little more difficult to follow a route and is really bad if you care about results on Strava segments.

      It also reports shorter distance (and avg speed) than real distance/other devices if you do not have a speed sensor. This behavior it has even during good conditions while road biking.

      I really think Ray should make more tests in bad environment when testing devices.

    • Gonzalo

      My main use will be to follow a track I download from Trailforks or Strava so if the bolt is not that accurate as you say then it won’t be good to my purpose. For the other values like speed, etc… I’m using my Garmin Fenix 3.
      Yes, I agree the test would be usefull do be done in the woods also.
      With your feedback I think I most probably go with the 520 plus.
      Thanks for your feedback.

    • Jean-Yves Hudon

      I had the same experience with the Wahoo bolt. It was bad enough that I returned it to the store. The bolt is not good enough for moutain biking.

    • Dave T

      Hey Gonzalo – did you buy the 520 Plus and did it work for MTB’ing? I am using an iPhone with trailforks for logging my rides (auto uploading to Strava at the end of the ride) and I pull it out of my pocket when I have to work out which trail to ride at junctions. Otherwise I have a Casio in stopwatch mode for duration.I’d love to have the turn by turn nav in the forests with some key metrics (time, HR) & strava segment info during the ride but can’t bear to see a bar mounted iPhone trashed in a crash. Would the 520P work to replace my iPhone?

  83. Michael

    Please pardon the slight non sequitur…While watching a video on the Garmin 520 Plus website called “The Connected Cyclist” with David Millar, I noticed a town that is absolutely beautiful. I will be traveling to Europe this fall, and would love to put it on my list of places to visit. Can anyone tell me the name of the town? I’m hoping it’s in the Dolomites. It’s at time 0:20 on the video. Here’s the link: link to youtube.com Thank you for the help.

  84. Thomas Martin

    Ray,
    Great review, as usual! Please consider a sign up list for a notice when your in-depth review on the 520+ is published. I am sure that many of us are very interested to see if Garmin fixes the bugs that you identified or releases it, as is, to the public.
    Thanks!
    BTW, your website won’t let me click the box next to “Notify me of followup comments by email”

  85. Aaron

    I use the 520 with Openstreet maps mostly for riding Granfondos and other long courses. I’m pretty satisfied with how it works.

    What are the real navigation differences between a 520 with detailed maps and the 520 Plus? Any actual; improvements?

    • Paul

      Much larger map storage (which I presume can also be used for more IQ app storage than the standard 520) and includes full Europe or North America maps, depending on where you buy it – massive difference over the non-Plus 520.

  86. Dennis

    Hey Ray,

    I’m new to Garmin products, having been a Suunto fan for years, but no longer doing Adventure races I realize I the 50+ when it gets released my suit my needs with the mapping and Trailforks (I mtn bike) better.

    Any idea on battery life of the 520+? I know a broad question as it will depend on all the different sensors that it could be reading (pedals, cameras, HR monitor, cadence…).

    So, say it is just HR monitor and GPS on a low sample setting (to conserve battery life), do you think it will do 10-12hrs?

    Good non-review! As usual!, thanks!
    Dennis

  87. Matthias Packeiser

    Hi everyone,

    just a short question for a topic I have not found any answer so far.

    Does the Edge 520 Plus and/or the Edge 130 support the Komoot App from the IQ store allowing to quickly load tracks from komoot?
    The official statement from Garmin is dated February 2018 and is only supporting the following devices: 520 (without Plus), 820, 1030!

    Both the 520 Plus and the 130 are released later than February and I would like to know if any of these two is supporting that. If not it would be a k.o. Criteria for me as my friends and I plan our rides with komoot!

    Thanks for any help with this.
    MatzePack

  88. mpulsiv

    I have yet to find a turn-by-turn breakdown based on device and source (e.g. Strava routes, RideWithGPS routes).

    * Wahoo Bolt – does not support turn-by turn using Strava routes, does support turn-by-turn using RideWithGPS (must be a premium member to create routes).

    * Garmin Edge 520 Plus – support turn-by turn using Strava routes and RideWithGPS routes?

    * Garmin Edge 130 – support turn-by turn using Strava routes and RideWithGPS routes?

  89. Nick

    Great reviews, thanks for taking the time to look at these new devices and share your findings. I’m on the market for my first GPS unit now (great timing it seems) and was wondering what you’d recommend, assuming Garmin fixes the bugs on the 520 Plus for me. I’m on the fence between the 130 and the 520 plus.

    I’m 90% a mountain biker and 10% a road biker and don’t really do a lot of touring so normal navigation isn’t that important to me. I want to use it for training data (HR/speed mostly), racing Strava segments (in real time), and the Trailforks functionality on the 520 is very appealing – I’d love not to need to whip out my phone every time I finish a trail in a new or unfamiliar area to work out where to go next. So basically, it’s either the 130, or another $100 for a 520 Plus just for Trailforks (and loses Bluetooth). Hard decision! Is it worth it for the 520 in your opinion?

  90. John Colson

    Hey Ray,

    Can you tell us how much free internal memory storage the 520 plus has? MB or GB? I am wanting to put multiple regions on it. Also, will an entire region download on Trailforks? Or, is it just trail by trail?

    Thanks,

    John

  91. Michael

    FYI. I contacted Garmin Support and Tomas (Product Support) actually tracked down the information for me by contacting their Sales/Marketing folks. He had the information within a few days! Here’s what he found out:

    Hello Michael,

    Finally did get some more information for you Michael. I do apologize for the delay. So the town is in the Brixen area of Northern Italy. We where able to narrow it down its either Bressanone or Santa Maddalena Italy. Maybe a good idea to check both out while you are there they both look like amazing places to visit and worth the time.

    Thank you for choosing Garmin,

    Tomas

  92. James

    Hey Ray. I got the 520 Plus in the UK via a large online retailer today, so I guess some are appearing in the wild. It’s running version 2.50 of the software. I tested the routing and it’s taking over 6 minutes to calculate an uploaded (from Garmin Connect) a 12 km course through Central London… so kind of slow. Also scrolling through the directions is slow. Can you advise if the improved software you’re testing is higher than 2.5? 30 seconds per km to load is kind of slow… Cheers, James

  93. Dave Mac

    Is the screen on the “Plus” any easier to see than the regular 520? I swapped to the Bolt specifically because my eyesight had grown too poor to read the 520. However, I am now beyond frustrated with my Bolts inability to hold connection to my new Assioma pedals/power meter. Unfortunately, I gave my 520 to a coworker.
    Also, does the 520 Plus still require being set up by toggling through the unit (as opposed to interfacing with your phone)?

    • James

      Dave, I’ve got both and to be honest I think the actual screen is the same, or if not close enough that there isn’t a material difference. Resolution and brightness etc look very close. However in terms of the navigations having proper maps might make it easier to see vs a breadcrumb trail. Then again I was ok with the 520 display. At risk of stating the obvious, probably need to try one out to really tell.

  94. Thomas E.

    They are now available here in the US. Ordered a sensor bundle from B&H. Paying MSRP for it, but tired of only having my cell phone for logging the workout. It will be nice to have accurate speeds and auto-pause again. My previous bicycle computer (not Garmin’s) slowly died, bit by bit over the last 6 months, and did not want to replace until I felt I was getting an upgrade with the features I wanted.

    This finally got me to bite.

    Thank you for the information.

    • Melissa J Priola

      Where are they available in the US? Did you get the unit from B&H as well?

    • Thomas E.

      Yup, that is where I got it from, to be exact link to bhphotovideo.com

      It looks like they are out of stock again.

      I have not used any of the advanced features yet. *BUT*, gosh darn it, on the rides I’ve gone on, it is so great to be able to just put on the chest strap, roll the bicycle out onto the driveway, press start and go.

      No waiting for sensors.

      But, I am still using the Garmin IOS application, and, well, it is REALLY slow. Like, 20-40 seconds to display a ride slow. And I’ve got over 20-30mb/s internet.

  95. Paul C

    Does the Edge 520 plus allow more Connect IQ data fields? I like my 520 for the most part, but being limited to 4 data fields is a reason to look for something better.

  96. Daniel Carpenter

    In regard to the advanced performance monitoring capabilities, the website appears to indicate that the 520 Plus provides this information from any Ant+ meter, where the 520 indicates that it’s exclusive to the Vector pedals. Is this correct?

    • Nah, that’s random marketing stuff that has no basis in reality (or, just a typo).

      There’s no differences between the two units in how they act with respect to power meter data, with or without Vector.

    • Matt

      does the 520 plus support all the dynamics screens that are useful with Vector 3s?

      Debating this vs a 1000 which is in special at the moment, so roughly the same price. The 820 screen issues have put me off that

    • Yeah, identical there. Once you get into the Edge 520 range (so basically, not the Edge 130), the cycling dynamics stuff is identical on all of them and above.

    • Matt

      Thx Ray. I have a 1000 at the moment but it’s had a few knocks and something is rattling around inside and the quarter turn case has whittled down, so every ride is spoilt with road hum via the Garmin!

  97. I sure wish Garmin would have a better manual that makes things as clear as you do. Your page on Open Street Maps and the 520 was so clear. I’d have never been able to figure it out without your instructions.

    I just got my 520 plus, USA version. Do you know if I can just ADD Open Street Maps for France (a vacation ride!) or will I need first remove the pre-installed USA maps and replace them? Or is there a way to get the Garmin maps for France either add or use them to replace the existing maps?

    Thanks for letting me post what SHOULD be a Gramin tech support question…

  98. Chris

    Finally got it in the uk now cant wait to try it, best thing was i got 20% off RRP.

  99. Greg Hilton

    Over here in the UK the 820 is cheaper than the 520 plus. Is there any reason not to get the 820??

    • Maciek

      It’s same in Poland. 820 is cheaper. Maybe 830 is coming ?

    • Jerry

      DCR: could you answer this? I have the same question.

    • I don’t see any reason not to get the Edge 820, except the occasional touchscreen quirks. It’s a far better touchscreen situation than at launch (or the 6 months after), with the production issues being sorted out (which is what caused lots of initial touchscreen problems for folks), and the firmware bits atop that also sorting things out further. I frequently use mine (less so with the Edge 520 Plus now, as I kinda like buttons).

      But yeah in general I’d go with an Edge 820 over an Edge 520 Plus if it were cheaper.

    • Nathan

      Ray, how does the 820 handle rerouting? There seems to be some concern in the comment section about the 520 Plus’ performance in that department.

  100. Peter B

    I just received my 520 plus last week (via Clever Training) and it doesn’t have Yelp or TrailForks installed, nor is there any way to download Yelp via the Connect IQ store. Am I missing something?

  101. Chris

    Just got mine today. Any idea if and when the xert player will become available on the plus?

    • David Chrisman

      Chris–can you check if still limit of 4 CIQ fields? Hoping they’ve upped it so it’s possible to get more xert fields on there.

  102. Chris

    David. Can’t find my post but yes. If this is what you mean about fields for IQ. Looks like I could fill 10 slots

    • David Chrisman

      Awesome!!! Thanks Chris–that’s what I was hoping for.

    • marciero

      Have been using the 520 plus for about a week. Trying to sort out the POI or create-route-on-the-fly issue. Have tried RouteCourse app. I have the app on Garmin Connect as well as separately on both my ipad and on the phone. Is strange that you must use the web site to actually create a route. The app does not allow you to do this either on ipad or phone. Weird but workable. So created routes and got them to show up on the 520 plus. But when selecting a route to download nothing happens. According to Markus at RouteCourse there was some sort of issue with the select button not working in some other setting. Thanks to the link above was finally able to get the Yelp app. Now tried Yelp and did get that to work, download routes on the device. The big limitation is that you can only navigate to places that show up on Yelp as possible points of interest. RouteCourse shows promise if only could sort out the select button issue and get the routes to download.

    • marciero

      …regarding the select button. I have the device set to “prompt” when recalculating routes after going off course. Select button only works to decline and not to accept.

    • Antek

      Did you try strava routes by any chance? Works good/ fast calculations etc.?
      Thanks

    • Whoptimus

      You can try the combination osmand/navmin with a Android phone. It works offline and osmand haves lot of possiblities for creating routes and poi handling.

    • marciero

      Strava routes works fine and seamless as far as loading routes. It comes already preloaded in Garmin Connect and there was no problem loading a course on the 520. GC is also supposed to automatically sync your rides to Strava, assuming you have set the permissions (regardless of where the route came from). My rides are not syncing though. This is not an issue with the device as all my rides are showing up on GC they are just not uploading. I gone through all troubleshooting on Garmin FAQ website (remove and re-set permissions, etc.) to no avail.

      With routeCourse, the app had to be added using the GC app store. Routes are then created on the dynamicWatch website. (Easy to conflate dynamicWatch and routeCourse. It seems like dW is the umbrella app/website/company and rC is the routing app. The app on my phone, which cannot be used for routing, is dW. The app in GC (also on my phone…) is rC)

      Update on rC: There is a beta version of the rC app that fixes the select button issue. So now am able to create routes using using rC (on the dW web site) on my phone or ipad and have them show up on my 520, load the course and ride. I actually purchased the premium version, partly for additional features but mostly out of appreciation for the support at dW which has been very responsive.

      Another cool dW feature-there is a plug-in for google chrome which allows you to create routes in, apparently, any web-based route mapping platform and save it to dW so that it shows up on your device. So on Ride with GPS I simply select the route, click the icon in the corner of chrome, and, assuming phone is BT linked to the device, it shows up on my device. So, issue with syncing to Strava notwithstanding, there is never a need for me to connect my device to the computer.

  103. Nicolai

    Why is there no word about the memory? Has the 520 plus the same idiotically small memory of <100 MB?

  104. Hey — is it possible to download (for free?) maps of other regions when traveling, for instance:

    Unit purchased in the US has North America road maps -> override with European maps when traveling there and get US maps back again on unit when returning.

    • HJT

      Question about strava routes. I use strava routes to transfer my own and my facourite routes to the edge 520+. It looks like there is a limit to 8 or 10 routes that you can select in the strava routes app. How does strava determines which routes? Are this the last created routes? Or should you be able to select al your own and favourite routes?

      Thanking you in advance for your help.

  105. simon

    Hi Ray

    hope you don’t mind me posting this link here – just upgraded my 520 to the plus and I’ve posted some initial thoughts on the garmin forum

    link to forums.garmin.com

  106. Erwin

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if the navigation problem you described has been fixed? I recieved my 520+ last week and I have the same problems as you described. It looks like the delivery was delayed but they still didn’t fix the navigation problem. Did you hear anything from Garmin regarding this subject?
    I live in Amstelveen so it’s seems like we’re riding in the same area with the same issues.
    Tnx.
    Erwin

    • Big Lampar

      Yes – the navigation issue is still there….it does take a long time to calculate the route – I don’t have a problem with that at the beginning of the ride….i can start the unit and get ready and it should be done in a couple of minutes (literally). But when I go off course from the planned route – the calculation goes on forever and sometimes doesn’t even produce a results – it just says off course or make a u-turn. Even when I turn in close to the route it doesn’t pick up that I’m near my route. It will start to kick-in when I’m back on my route again.

      Hm….one of the main reason i bought it is for the re-routing function. It hasn’t really worked out well in that department.

      The color screen is quite good though – one of the best color screen in a GPS. Much clearer than the Cyclo 505 and probably much clearer than all the other touch screen models – 1000 (maybe even the 1030 even?).

      I do like the turn prompts – the big white arrow pointing the turn prompts. Turnings are very obvious.

      I can see the processor getting overwhelmed frequently – my location icon often does not show up in the turn prompt so i don’t really know where i am in the map when the prompt comes up.

      I am quite disappointed that the re-routing is just so bad.

    • Generally agree with Lampar.

      It’s infinitely better than how it was when I first wrote about it back in April (as noted, it was horrible). The way it works now is that it pre-caches at the start of the route the first 10 miles (off the top of my head, maybe it was 15 miles, either way…), and then sorts out the rest behind the scenes while you’re riding. That gives it plenty of time and doesn’t take forever up front.

      However, as noted, re-routing still takes a hell of a long time. Having run the Sigma ROX 12 unit side by side with the Edge 520 Plus for the last two months, it’s amazing how much faster that is. Mostly because that re-routing is instant (like, sub-second), versus the Edge 520 Plus is…well…a while.

      Of course, the Edge 520 Plus is basically half the price. Thus yeah.

      I’m hoping to get this in-depth review out the door in the next few weeks. Just been tied up with items like today/yesterday’s posts, as well as the flood of inbound/arriving upcoming Eurobike items.

    • Antek

      Ray: Do you know if Garmin is about to do something about it? A unit is on its way to me as we speak and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just return it if that’s the case and reorder the BOLT.. Thanks!

    • I think they’re continuing to figure out ways to improve it.

      But the thing to keep in mind is that relative to the BOLT, it won’t get any better on the BOLT. That’s because the BOLT can’t recalculate routes at all (period). It just simply points you in the direction of the course with a little arrow if you get off-course.

    • Antek

      Yeah, that obviously make sense, but I have to say I returned the BOLT and ordered the 520+ after a month almost exclusively for the recalculation 🙂 Can you more or less say how long does the ‘while’ lasts for route recalculation on the edge 520+ ? Thanks!

    • Andrew M

      Ray,

      Are you going to release an in-depth review on the 520 Plus, or does the “hands on” cover it?

  107. BWC

    My wife and I picked up a pair of Edge 520 Plus head units last weekend. They do not have Trailforks or Yelp installed natively, although this was easy enough to do through through Garmin Connect IQ app store. We are in Canada so I was wondering if the units are packaged differently here or whether these are just early production run units that didn’t include these apps for some reason? So far, they seem to work well. Thanks.

  108. Basile

    can someone enlighten me about the saved points functionality? as another commenter asked: can you create saved points without being at this specific location atm? and how many saved points can you save?

    • Big Lampar

      No I don’t think you can save a point without being at the location.

      Another thing that makes the 520 Plus look like an after thought – the supplied out front mount is from the 1030 kit….and it’s just to long for something like the 520. It puts the unit so far away from the stem and rider. So it’s pretty much useless. The shorter out front mount would have been ideal for the 520 Plus. Don’t anyone in Garmin ever try these things out on a real bike before they sell them?

      I wonder if the 530 (?) (when and if it comes) would be a better investment rather than this 520 Plus which does feel like a 520 with a souped up firmware.

    • simon

      yep the 1030 mount is a bit odd ?

      in other news: firmware 2.60 has landed

    • Greg Hilton

      I’d assume the longer mount is to allow easier access to the buttons at the bottom??

    • simon

      maybe – although I’ve never had problems with the normal mount.

      I actually like the older mount that sits the 520 a little lower, looks more aero.

      the 1030 (?) mount appears to have some kind of extra connector (varia light ?) on the bottom. Maybe that what needs the extra length, and they figure if you have the mount you might buy the light

  109. FJ

    So I see several questions as to how much storage the new 520 Plus has, and nobody is answering. This information is also not (easily) available in the Garmin site (I couldn’t find it at least). It’s starting to look like some sort of conspiracy to keep the information from the public 😂

    Can anyone (Ray?) please reveal this very simple fact? How much storage space does the 520 Plus have?

    Thanks

    • simon

      at the risk of answering your question with a question – how much storage do you need and what for ?

      IIRC mine has around 10gig free – around 16g in total

      whether you can use that for maps/activities/apps … who knows?

    • FJ

      there’s no risk there, you have indeed answered a question with a question 😄

      How much storage do I need? Enough to store maps for the whole of Europe, as well as space for activities. I currently use an Edge 810 with a 16GB card, and I’m using around 5GB.

      16GB total, 10GB free sounds like quite a lot from typically stingy Garmin. Awesome if it is the case as it’s more than I need, but I’m somewhat surprised by those figures

    • simon

      I think I might have also answered the question with a fact 🙂 – that’s what the file system has free (on an EU unit) – no guarantee you can use it for maps – but the Garmin supplied maps are pretty good and cover the whole of europe anyway (for eu purchases obvs)

    • simon

      …additionally if you have Garmin supplied maps on SD card they may well be locked to the card itself. There is no card slot on the 520 plus so you ‘might’ not be able to use them.

      I’ve a set of UK rout-able OS maps I can’t use for exactly that reason.

    • Greg Hilton

      Just plugged mine in, windows says 14.4GB capacity, 4.90 GB used,. 9.51 GB free

    • Antek

      So did you try using the rerouting feature? Is it really that bad as some people are reporting?

      Regards,
      Antek

    • James

      I tried it. Sent me round in circles in my city. Turned it off. Until it’s improved it’s better without it.

  110. Nathan

    Does the popularity routing data show on the map if you are not in navigation mode (i.e. are more popular streets shaded differently)? For example, if you are out on a meandering ride without a destination programmed, can you see that the next street over is more popular than the one you are on?

    • Big Lampar

      No – i don’t believe you can see the popularity route on the device. Popularity routing only works in Garmin connect.

      Question – If the guts of the 520 Plus is the 520…..in what way is the 520 not like the 520 plus (apart from the memory storage). I mean can the 520 route TBT?

      Can the 520 re-route (not that the 520 Plus can re-route to save it’s life)?

    • Sander

      520 can’t route TBT or re route by it self. Only with the help of a smartphone you can create route TBT for the 520. I think this is a quicker then the standalone 520 plus route creation, when I read the reviews.

    • Correct, you can’t see the popularity visibly on the device. Rather, the data is baked into (or technically, atop of) the street data in the maps. That’s true of the Edge 1030 as well, which.

      Sander is correct on differences between 520 and Plus.

  111. Curtis Corlew

    Would you think using the same technique for using open street maps you describe in using the regular 520 would work on the 520 plus? I need to swap the USA map for a map of France for a tour I’m taking.

    • Big Lampar

      U should be able to that – that’s one big advantage the Garmin’s have over the Wahoo and Magellans – the Garmins have a more open architecture. So you can copy over any OSM maps to the unit and be able to use it.

      You can enable and disable any of the maps installed on the unit.

    • Big Lampar

      Does the bigger 1030 handle re-routing better?

      Because the 520 Plus 100% sucks at re-routing. Once u go off the route – it does the ‘re-calculating’ thing….and stays that way.

      Garmin should have said on the tin that it re-routes in the Garmin Car-park…..but in the real world it will just say ‘Off Course’. Then at least i know what i’ve paid for.

    • Nathan

      +1 on the question about the 1030 re-routing. Did someone already ask about the 820? Just trying to understand how the more expensive units do.

      So with everything that has been said about missing the second of back-to-back turns due to the caching and the generally poor re-routing, what actually happens when you go off course? Does a spinning wheel come up and basically freeze the device? Does it still show your position on the map relative to the intended course, but maybe it just takes a while to tell you to turn onto 5th Ave to get back to your course? I think I could live with the latter, though it would obviously be nice for it to live up to the marketing and actually tell me to turn back onto the course.

  112. Sander

    Haves the 520 plus a better firstbeat integration then the 520?

  113. Matt Walker

    I got my 520+ today, replacing an aging (but still durable as hell) 500. Essentially, I wanted mobile features (alerts, auto uploads, etc) and didn’t necessarily upgrade for navigation purposes. I typically have always used Strava or RidewithGPS to pre-plan routes in areas I am not familiar with. So, we’ll see how having the map in realtime works out.

    I went out for a 22-mile ride earlier after spending about 30 minutes setting up my data fields (which I kept similar to my 500). It is nice have 10 fields and having power, heart rate, and stuff like temperature so it is easy to find things to populate with. I was a bit worried about the screen in the sunlight after having played around with the setup inside but it actually looks BETTER in daylight, per Ray’s review. Super clear and easy to read. I didn’t have any issues with connected my sensors (Stages PM, Garmin HRM-Tri, Garmin speed sensor) or my iPhone. Updated to 2.60 firmware after the ride.

    We’ll see how the device holds up long term. My 500 was a super trooper, got it in 2014 and its still going strong, even with battery life. I am a bit concerned with the ~15h battery on the 520+ but I only do a long ride like this once or twice a year. In the end I just couldn’t justify the 1030 as I also want to pick up a 935 for my first wearable.

    Thanks as always, Ray, for the review.

    • Sander

      The 935 can do everything or even better then 520+, except 2 things;

      1.It doesn’t have maps
      2.It can only handle 50 routepoints. (The 520+ 250)

  114. Matt

    What’s the actual battery life on this?

    • simon

      seems about the same as a standard 520 – so 12-15 hours max

      obviously depends on settings – map access – backlight

  115. Paul G

    Can you pan the maps on the 520 Plus (i.e. move left/right, up/down) or just zoom in and out, like on the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt? That would be a major plus for me if it can. Thanks!

    • Rutger Scheffer

      Is the functionality that Paul G describes above (move map / zoom in – out) included in the Edge 820?

  116. Rutger Scheffer

    Hello DCRainmaker, I live in Rotterdam, 60 km south of Amsterdam. Do you have any experience using navigation on the 520 plus in the Rotterdam region? Because of the problems you indicate with a partial blank screen when 2 turns follow one another quickly I’m doubting whether I should buy the Garmin 520 plus or the Wahoo Element bolt.

    Any other Dutch users of the 520 plus that can tell me about their experience with navigation and potential problems with blank screens?

    Thank for any feedback!

    Kind regards,
    Rutger Scheffer

    • Rutger Scheffer

      Oh, and another question. In the review / replies you have indicated that you use the Edge 820 a lot and that the Edge 520 plus is a good replacement as it has buttons. Do you personally use a Garmin rather than the Wahoo Elemnt bolt? As I like buttons over a touch screen and have other Garmin devices (one of which is the fenix 3 HR), the Edge 520 seemed a logical choice. But with the navigation problems the Edge 520 has, I’m no doubting. Navigation is THE reason to buy a new unit as the Fenix 3 only shows a map, but has no turn-by-turn navigation.

      And thanks for all your reviews! Like you site a lot.

  117. Alexis

    Hi DC,
    Just bought a Garmin Edge 520 plus in Canada. Now in Portugal, i cant see the map… only created courses. How can i see the map to get turn by turn guidance ???

    Cheers

  118. Manfred

    Hi,

    any suggestions as to which app works on an iphone to set up a route for the 520+?
    I’m asking cause Strava routes is more or less limited to PC/notebook and Komoot ist not compatible with the 520+
    Did anyone try yelp?
    That did not work at all for me (no Navigation)

    Manfred

  119. Matt W.

    So I’ve been using my 520+ for almost 2 weeks now with about 10 rides including commutes to/from work. I also replaced my Stages(ver 1) with the Assiomo DUO and have been using the HRM-Tri for HR (for non-commutes). I live in a predominantly suburban area so I can’t comment on experiences in a big city. I’m really happy with the 520+ as a replacement for my 500.

    I also got a FR935 as a birthday gift and initially thought about returning the 520+. But with the Physio TrueUp implementation and screen quality (not to mention having 10 data fields) I really am pleased with using both units. I’m still trying to figure out cycling VO2Max and the Auto-FTP stuff as it is not updating for me but I am going to try some alternative rides this next week (i.e. harder effort + longer duration) and see what happens.

    My limited experience with using the maps/navigation on the 520+ has been positive. I’ve created several routes in Strava for commutes and training rides and it has been spot-on. I will be going out of the area later this summer so we’ll see what 100% unfamiliar territory looks like.

  120. Adrien Penders

    Hi Ray,
    How painful is it to use a US device in Europe? Is it possible to make the US device fully equivalent to a Europe device? or almost as good?
    Travelling to the US this week and price difference is quite important (70€).
    Many thanks for your response

  121. Rob G

    Hi Ray,

    I’ve read that the 520 Plus with included Garmin mount is compatible with the new Garmin Charge Power Pack, and the bottom does seem to have a 4 pin cluster that the 520 doesn’t, can you confirm?

    Thanks,
    Rob

    • Rob G

      Edit:

      I’ve heard back from Garmin and no go, the 520 Plus does have a (mysterious) pin-out on the bottom but it’s not compatible with the Garmin Charge Power Pack.

    • Big Lampar

      It’s sad that it’s not compatible with the Garmin battery pack. It would elevate the 520 Plus to a real classic if it did. I don’t like to expose the USB connections to the outdoors and the cabling could strain the connection when using an external battery power pack.

      I couldn’t find any ‘mysterious’ pin-out at the bottom….just the standard garmin mounting tab.

    • Rob G

      Thank for the reply Big Lampar,

      A picture I found of the bottom of the 520 Plus looked like it had 4 small copper pins right in the center of the unit between the various logos but it may have just been a trick of the light.

      Did you have a 520 previously, if so how’s the 520+ battery life so far in comparison?

      Cheers,
      Rob

    • Just a light trick.

      The four holes in the base of the Edge 520 Plus are the baro holes.

      I talked a bit about this issue in the post, in that Garmin’s re-purposing of old hardware for things like the Edge 520 Plus comes back to bite them when people want to buy extra accessories like this and can’t do it cleanly.

    • Big Lampar

      maybe it’s the way big companies operate – in marketing/design speak…purposely under-design a model otherwise there won’t be anything to sell later.

      Give to the consumers features/benefits in drips. Reserve some for the next model up.

      Would have been really super nifty to be able to have the capability to run the 520 Plus off the Garmin battery pack.

  122. David Chrisman

    I have been using for a month–it has been fairly solid so far. No sensor issues, connect IQ good (xert), and re-routing takes 15-30 seconds in Ohio, USA. Got the new Varia radar and that’s been great too–so nice to have on rural roads!

  123. Manfred

    Hi Ray,

    Thansk for the as always and for your guide to changing maps on the edge.
    However, I can’t see how the 520+ would navigate to any saved points (POI or otherwise).
    Could it be that only the pre-production units did this?
    Mine is european, using FW 2.6 currently and tried different maps (thanks to your brillant guide btw).

    • Manfred

      Hello again,

      I was wrong: my 520+ DOES navigate to saved points.
      No idea what I did wrong before, but when I tried again today, it worked just fine!

  124. Jules

    Hi Ray,

    Great hands-on. Do you need to have a Strava Premium subscription for any of the Strava-enabled features (Strava Connect IQ app/Strava Route app or Strava Segments)?

    What’s your long-term experience on battery-life with the 520+ (with/without using navigation)?

    Thanks! Jules

  125. Thom Lockerby

    Dear Ray, When you do your full 520 Plus review, please comment on pairing issues. My new unit is being returned because it won’t pair with my PowerTap G3 and won’t display cadence data after pairing with a Garmin speed/cadence sensor. Maybe it’s a new release issue that will be corrected over time?

    • David Chrisman

      Thom–I’ve been using with PT G3 and GS for a month now (as well as Powertap speed and cadence). Out of quite a few rides I’ve only experienced it dropping the sensors once (and picked them back up within a couple of seconds). So very possibly a bad unit you received.

    • Agree with David. I use a PowerTap G3 with a Edge 520 Plus on every ride right now. Zero issues.

      Something else is amiss there.

  126. Peter Stewart

    I am proposing to buy a 520 plus in Australia knowing that in 6 months we will be returning to the UK.
    Will I be able to change the base maps from Australia to UK/ Europe when we move?

    Thanks

    Peter

  127. DougC

    DC,
    Does making use of the navigation features (courses/turn-by-turn directions) use more power vs just using it to track a ride? I don’t have a definitive test, but recently (on my original Edge 520) it dropped from a full charge to 18% during a 5 hr ride where I utilized the course navigation feature. I’ve done equally long rides with using the courses/navigation and usually only drop to ~40% for that same duration.
    Thanks.

    • DougC

      That should have been “I’ve done equally long rides WITHOUT using the courses/navigation…”

    • Yes, lots more power for navigation – especially if you’re chillin’ on the map page specifically.

    • I use a 1030 and just leave it in map mode. After 11 hours still had plenty of battery life, I think just over 40%.

    • Big Lampar

      That’s pretty impressive battery performance for the 1030. But i don’t want the weight/size of the 1030.

      But why would you need to have the map page 100% available – you still need to look up and ride the bike !

      Only when a turn is coming up will the map page be prompted.

  128. Rpulidor

    Anybody nows the benchmarking of the 520+?

  129. Dave

    I am torn between the newer 520+, or the 820. With coupons and rebates comes out to the same price. Coming from an 810 that has been great until I dropped it. Have never used mapping so no concern with that. Plan to use xert, so no go on the wahoo bolt. Both seem to have some bugs, but most seem to have been addressed. Any suggestions?

    • Big Lampar

      The 520 + will have the better clearer screen. It’s not touch screen so the clarity is much better than the 820. I believe all touchscreen devices have an additional layer in their screens….this does affect it’s clarity. You’ll have to decide between the additional functionality the touch screen provides versus screen clarity (non-touch screen).

      Personally, i enjoy a nice bright clear screen. Clarity is important to me.

  130. Thomas

    Hi, since recently I have bought myself the Assioma duo pedals (great discount via this page) I started to think about replacing my Garmin Edge 705, that I had used for the last decade or so. It worked with the assioma, but not both pedals separately and I wasn’t so sure about the accuracy. Well, just yesterday i lost my old 705 while Mountainbiking. Maybe subconsciously I wished for this to happen 😏. So now time for a new device and maybe some of you can help me decide: Garmin 1030 or 520 plus? I usually put my route on the device and just follow the track on the map to find my way, so no point to point navigation. What I want: Battery life for 12 hours or more. Good display with good contrast. I don’t need POIS (but use my iPhone for finding a hotel on my way). Of course integration of both pedals and heart rate sensor, but I guess that is not a problem with either. What I hated with the 705: The 500 waypoints limitation and the need of buying additional maps, especially for mountainbiking
    What is your advice? Thanks in advance. And @dcrainmaker: Sensational site, thank you for that.

  131. KevinLyles

    Thanks for the great “review.” I am new to all this. I just purchased the 820 and have used it for a few weeks. I find the touchscreen really aggravating. I am spending too much time trying to get it to respond to my swipes. I am planning to return it this week and buy the 520 Plus instead. I know you cannot answer this for me fully, but if the price difference is not really an issue, does it make sense to return the 820 for a 520 Plus?

  132. Matt Fieldwalker

    Thank you Ray!

    One clarification please!

    If using the OpenStreet maps source (rather than built in map), all new mapping features work, except for heatmap. Is this correct?

    i.e. When I’m in Japan and use OpenStreet map info for basemap, the 520+ will be better than the very poor mapping I currently have with my Garmin 520. ?

    • Yup, correct – all works well there.

      For example last week riding the Stelvio, I had one Edge 520 Plus that had native European maps, and then I loaned another Edge 520 Plus to a friend riding with me that was a North American unit that I then used OSM downloaded maps on.

      The maps looked virtually identical from everything we saw.

    • Big Lampar

      One of the big advantage of these garmin units – that is often unmentioned – is the ability to use OSM maps. There is no other GPS brand that allows this except for Garmin.

      Magellan when they first introduced the cyclo touted the use of OSM maps – but it was a misleading statement – purposely. Yes – it did probably use OSM map as the basemap but users can’t freely install other OSM maps or update the OSM maps themselves. It was baked into the cyclo’s operating system. And there was only one map update for the CYCLO 505 in AU – 2015 and no other ever since.

      Where Garmin falls is when it tries to put in so many features into the units and when the users try to use them all (or in combinations) the unit then gets overwhelmed.

  133. David Obi

    Excellent info as always!!! I am wanting to get an Edge 520 plus now but am moving to England from the US in about 6 months. Should I wait or will it be easy (and cheap) to get the maps I need once I am over there? Or will the unit be useless (or expensive) to get use out of once I am there?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Henrik

      David, see previous comment from Ray. You can load the Open-street maps for England when needed.

      Bought a US version myself and installed maps for riding in Thailand last week. While following Ray’s instructions for installing maps on the old 520, i made two observations:
      First, no need to rename the map-file or delete the previous one. Simply add the new one to the folder, I gave it a descriptive title.
      Second, free storage multiple Gigabytes, so plenty of room for additional maps.

      Hope helps
      Ciao

    • Thanks, yeah, I need to add a new section of the Edge 520 Plus (and other similiar internal-space positive units like the Edge 1030 and Edge Explore). Very tiny differences, but worthwhile noting.

    • Paul S.

      It’s always a good idea to look at the .xml file on the device that describes what it’s going to be looking for (GarminDevice.xml (?)). It’ll tell you if *.img is enough or if it’s looking for gmapsupp.img or some other specific name. Newer devices seem to be happy with *.img, which is very convenient.

  134. Roy

    Edge 520 Plus software version 2.60
    – as of June 6, 2018

    Change History
    Changes made from version 2.50 to 2.60:

    New Beta Feature: Extended Display Mode. Menu > Settings > Extended Display Mode will allow the Edge device to act as an extended view of a supported Garmin multisport watch’s data fields during a multi-stage activity such as a triathlon. See “Setting Up Extended Display Mode” in the Owner’s Manual for more details.
    Smart Notifications: [Android Only] Notifications from additional text-based sources like Google Hangouts will now be shown on device. Responding to these should properly send through the expected application.
    Smart Notifications: Notifications that seemed stale or otherwise are not currently being displayed on the phone should no longer be shown on device.
    Smart Notifications: Notifications from text and phone sources will be automatically dismissed when no longer relevant.
    Turn Guidance: Fixed issue where turn prompts would not be displayed consistently while using 2018.10 maps.
    Fixed issue where Virtual Partner time ahead/behind was incorrect when auto-pause is enabled.
    Fixed issue where turn prompts would not clear until Varia Radar had no remaining active targets.
    Fixed issue where device will not power down properly.
    Fixed potential crash when riding a segment against a someone with a very long name.
    Fixed issue where pressing the OK button on a prompted route recalculation would not work.
    Added eBike icon to status bar page in the list of paired sensors.
    Fixed discrepancy between wind displayed on the status par weather preview and the full weather page.
    Added additional information to the Copyright Information page.
    Fixed incorrect truncation of course points names on the course point list page and on the map.

    …from Garmin’s website….
    link to www8.garmin.com

  135. Roy

    Thanks for a great not-review!;)

    After going back and forth between Wahoo Bolt, 820, 520, the Plus seems like it’s just what I’m looking for.
    $237 at BikeTiresDirect as a Gold Member, and $6 of dividends off of that price, as well as $12 of new dividend towards more tires – so ~ $220 all in.

    Keep up the good work. You’re the best reviewer out there by a long shot.

  136. Rivellon

    Hello,

    No one found a way to follow a course AND use segments ?

  137. Jonny

    Hi Ray – now the product is shipping do you have a view on whether the lag issues with the turn-by-turn directions (not caching a second turn that’s immediately after the first one) have been resolved?

  138. David

    I replaced my 520 with a 520 Plus because the 520 wasn’t calculating FTP. So the auto calculation worked first time out, but nothing has appeared in Connect. The VO2MAX gets updated by the FTP figure is just the number I typed in there. Any one how to get it to update correctly? (I know I could just type in the revised figure, but it’s annoying to spend all that money and have it not work.)

  139. aweiss01

    If I bought the 520 Plus in the U.S., does it come with full North American basemaps (Canada, specifically) or do those need to be added in? Thanks in advance.

    • big Lampa

      Does anyone’s 520 Plus does a good re-route? Mine is good as long as you’re on the route but as soon as you leave the route it refuses to generate another route and just either says to do a u-turn or it simply says ‘Re-routing’ and stays like that until you come back to the original route.

  140. Nige A

    Very informative piece (as ever) – thank you.
    As a 520 user (of 30 months), what I’d like to know is whether the 520+ has had its hardware upgraded at all? I ask specifically because the chipset in my 520 is quite inferior to, say, that of the 820. One of my biggest bugbears is the gradient is so slow to update – well, about 20 seconds behind. I can have crested a steep climb and be gaining speed on the descent… only to be told I’m on a ‘+’ 12% grade still!

  141. Neil A.

    Just confirming that the 520 PLUS totally replaces the 520 and that stock of the 520 will eventually disappear?

    • No, the plan is currently to keep both units in-stock at differing price points.

    • Tim

      Interesting, I had assumed with the lack of firmware updates (even though the only hardware difference from the 520 plus is the amount of memory) and not getting updated to the latest CIQ that it was being retired.

  142. Andre Lemos

    PSA: If you want to change between geographies (let’s say between EUA and EU maps), you have to buy them from Garmin ($50).

  143. David Chrisman

    Anyone else having issues with sensor drop outs? Had it happen once a couple of months ago and then have had it happen on 2 of last 3 rides when the sensors will all drop and then be found again a second or two later. My overall rides stats haven’t been affected much but every time it happens it resets my connect iq fields which is pretty annoying since those are an important part of my ride.

    • dizpark

      Do you have a phone connected through BT perhaps? Try riding without this and see if the sensor drop-out go away.

    • David Chrisman

      Ugh–I really hope that is not the problem. I do have phone connected over BT and I really like having my phone connected for notifications and to upload the ride at the end.

  144. Audun

    Hi, a couple of questions about Yelp on the 520 Plus: Can I do a text search to find a business or place I know the name of? And is it possible to choose where to search, e.g. another city, or is it limited to near the current GPS position?

    Cheers,
    Audun

    • Johann

      Hi, I can answer that for my 520 plus running Yelp version 1.2. You can do a text search but you have to know pretty much the exact name. I tried to search for Pizzeria Antonio. As I am lazy and typing in letters is not quite easy i typed in Anton and hoped for the best. It lists some places called Anton xy but not Antonio. After typing in Antonio it found the Pizzeria (which is 12 km away from me right now).

      You can not choose a different position or city. If you select a Category (e.g. food -> coffee & tea) only the nearest places will show up.

      Also the Yelp Connect-IQ app seems to be quite slow sometimes.

  145. Alan

    I purchased a 520 plus because we a going to Spain in a few weeks. I live in the US so it came with US maps installed. I purchased the Europe maps from Garmin. They will not load on the unit, it says my unit is out of memory. Is there a work around for this? I still have 11GB of space left. Tell me I didn’t get ripped off. Thanks.

  146. Saad M

    Hi, I just an Edge 520 Plus and have it paired with my 2017 Kickr Snap to run Garmin workouts based on power. Everything seems to go smoothly but in the resulting .fit file and in Garmin Connect, some of the intervals show huge power spikes, though not all of them, of the order of thousands of watts. This obviously throws off the average power, Training Stress Load, Intensity Factory, and Normalized Power calculations. Also messes up the power graph.

    I’m taking a chance by posting here in the hope that someone else has also encountered this and might have some insight. I opened a ticket with Wahoo and they say they will not consider it a Kickr problem unless I can demonstrate the same problem in a ride recorded only in the Wahoo Fitness app, which I wasn’t able to do. Contacted Garmin and they say it is a Kickr Snap problem. So I’m in a bind.

    I tried a workaround on fitfiletools.com which can edit the file to remove power records above a threshold, but it doesn’t change the max power, TSS, IF and NP readings.

    Thanks.

    • Paul Voorend

      I’ve had a similar problem but it was on a Tacx Smart Trainer, not a Wahoo, and using a Forerunner 935, not an edge. I reset the firmware on both the trainer and the watch and it seemed to fix it, so I can’t 100% confirm which device it was, but those are options for you.

    • Saad M

      Thanks!!! At least something to try, more than anything Wahoo and Garmin have suggested.

    • Saad M

      One more thing, what exactly do you mean by “reste the firmware”? Do you mean a factory reset that loses all your data from the device?

      Thanks.

  147. Matt

    I’ve had the same issues with connectivity. It took Forever to finall get it to pair with my iPhone 7. My 920XT was seamless. It also seems the 520+ has two blue tooth connections and both of these have to be connected. Now getting both to work is another story. I finally had to delete the Garmin app and reconnect all my devices which was pain. However, after finally getting it to sync I loaded a 45 mile route. About 15 miles into the route the turn by turn quit but the purple course map stayed, but all all blank que list. It was an out and back. Then when I got closer to my POI my distance to next point further away. When I finally arrived it said I had reached my point. When I started back it began to give me turn by turns for all of 5 mins. Then it quit. It would show the que sheet but wood never update. It got stuck on my last turn and never updated until I finished. Total ticked and I have the latest firmware. Also I had it charging and it auto maticall started recording out of now where. I had to stop it and it show it had traveled .18 miles. So I don’t know what’s going on, but I cannot depend on this piece of junk. Garmin WILL be replacing this unit as I feel I got a unit that has bad hardware. Definitely not worth the $280 I paid.

  148. Matt K

    I’ve had the same issues with connectivity. It took Forever to finall get it to pair with my iPhone 7. My 920XT was seamless. It also seems the 520+ has two blue tooth connections and both of these have to be connected. Now getting both to work is another story. I finally had to delete the Garmin app and reconnect all my devices which was pain. However, after finally getting it to sync I loaded a 45 mile route. About 15 miles into the route the turn by turn quit but the purple course map stayed, but all all blank que list. It was an out and back. Then when I got closer to my POI my distance to next point further away. When I finally arrived it said I had reached my point. When I started back it began to give me turn by turns for all of 5 mins. Then it quit. It would show the que sheet but wood never update. It got stuck on my last turn and never updated until I finished. Total ticked and I have the latest firmware. Also I had it charging and it auto maticall started recording out of now where. I had to stop it and it show it had traveled .18 miles. So I don’t know what’s going on, but I cannot depend on this piece of junk. Garmin WILL be replacing this unit as I feel i Got a unite that has bad hardware. Definitely not worth the $280 I paid.

  149. Alex

    Struggling to choose between 130 / 520+ / 820…
    Given that I can get 820 cheaper than 520+ (224GBP Vs 234GPB), with mixed feedback from 130, which is the better option?

    Have been using 920 XT triathlon watch for 3 seasons, with bike mount on longer rides, but the breadcrumb nav is a bit limited… Also just moved place and don’t know most of the routes so good nav is more important now…
    Looking for more nav comfort/safety.

    Would like flexibility to easily change route mid-ride when outdoors.
    Want turn-by-turn in all circumstances.
    Don’t care too much about touchscreen.
    Use backlight on all the time, often riding by night after work, and battery-wise would appreciate several 1-2h rides between charges.
    Have a G3 hub and do training sessions with power on tacx in winter (trainer road).

    What would make me more happy in the long run, and help justify to wife ? 🙂

    • Matt K

      I’ve also been using my 920XT and I’ve had no issues other than the limitations of having to upload routes and if you get off the bread crumb you have to navigate yourself back versus the device doing it. I’m in correspondence with Garmin trying to figure out the issues with me losing turn by turn mid way through a route that was created by a friend on Garmin. This essentially made my 520+ useless other than just being able to see the breadcrumbs. I’ve also had it auto start while it was charge for no reason. I’m not sure how you can get the 820 cheaper, but it may be a more stable device given the 520+ has new hardware that is obviously problematic.

    • Alex

      Thanks for your feedback! Almost pulled the trigger on 820 this week but tomorrow’s long ride will again be with the good’ol 920XT! Here in UK, the 820 is at 225GBP online, and the 520+ at 235GBP, so may well go for the 820 based on your comment. Not sure what feature may be lacking, if any.

    • Matt K

      I’m not reading good reviews on the 820. Lots are saying it just doesn’t work. Its almost $100 US here, but I did see one cheaper on Amazon. However who knows why. So maybe a good thing you held off. I’ve been in correspondence with Garmin regarding my unit. I still have to troubleshoot their instructions otherwise they said they would send me another one. I have to create a course by riding a route, then go back and ride the same route to see if the turn by turn works. Since it took 15+ miles for it to quit working, I have to ride at least a 30 mi or more route to test it…twice.

    • Alex

      You mean $100 more than 520plus I suppose? Otherwise seems like a sweat deal!
      If a 820 just doesn’t work I suppose it’s a faulty unit and they can get it replaced?
      I’ve read about the touchscreen issues but also saw comments on how it seems to be mitigated through sensitivity settings and less reported on newer units, not sure if this is true…
      Also, trendline poopularity is oddly missing from 820, as it is present on the 520 plus, wonder if it can/will be added through software update.
      At least the issues you have are pushing you to ride more and longer! 🙂
      Hope it gets fixed for you, nothing worse than having to deal with buggy electronics in the middle of effort.

    • Alex

      Actually trendline popularity is supported on 820 since firmware v9.00, the comment in this 520 plus review (“Edge 820 doesn’t have Trendline popularity routing, Edge 1030 does”) is now obsolete.

    • Matt K

      Yes. $100 more. It’s only got 3 stars on Amazon. I know those can be skewed as well. The touchscreen probably isn’t that big a deal, but I’ve had issues with other touch screens in the rain/moisture, so can’t imaging Garmin having a workaround. It’s probably hit or miss, but something I wouldn’t want to be fumbling with on a ride in those conditions anyway. Yes, I typically ride 30+ miles anyways, but when you are the only one with the route and you are leading a group its not good for the turn by turn to wig out. It’s not reliable.

    • Alex

      Agreed, was leading the route earlier today on a 70k ride and had to backtrack half a dozen times because of breadcrumb confusion… At least it was not a fault of the device so can imagine it is frustrating when you pay for a product that is precisely designed to avoid this kind of situation. Think I will still give the 820 a go and bring it back if it doesn’t play well. Can’t find any reason to pay more for the 520 plus at this point.

    • Matthew Kornegay

      I agree. If you can get the 820 and touch screen for cheaper I would give it a go. And the buttons on the 520+ are not the same as the 920XT so it’s confusing. You would think the layout would be the same, but it’s opposite. The up and down scroll is on the left and the selections and back on are the right. Oh and they are hard to press in as well. They are too firm in which having to have the beep to even know you are pressing them in is a must. Hope the 820 works out. If not, just return it. Wish I could get the 1020, but not gonna happen. LOL!!!

  150. Darrell

    As far as I can tell the edge 520 plus cannot properly backtrack on a course? I’ve selected “Back to start” and neither options (most direct router and along same route) do what I want which is to go back to the way I came. Am I missing something ?

    • Matthew Kornegay

      I have found this to be an issue on an out and back route as well. It seems Garmin expects you to know where you came from for some reason. I set up a route from a different locations from the course start point and told it to navigate me there, which it did. However, I assumed it would know that I wanted to continue the course once there, but there was no indication that it was still navigating. So I loaded the course again and road the route in which I got issues on the way out to my POI and on the way back. If I was relying on turn by turn versus the breadcrumb route I would have bee totally off route. Not very reassuring for $280. My phone would just be a better option it seems.

  151. Roberto

    Thanks for the informative and excellent review. I’ve finally purchased my 1st Bike Computer and it’s the 520 Plus. Will be putting it thru its paces the Fall & Winter here in Astoria, NY and the outlining areas. So far I’m happy with his unit, though to fair, I personally don’t have any other unit to compare to. Almost purchased the Bolt. If only Garmin would update the firmware so we can have Smartphone setup.
    Best,
    Thanks again,
    Roberto
    Astoria NY

  152. Jitse

    Thanks for the reviews, Ray!
    Question: is the 735XT compatible with the extended display mode of the 520 Plus?

    I couldn’t find it online (was all Fenix 5 or 935 in videos, and the Garmin site uses ‘compatible Garmin watches’, but don’t seem to provide a list anywhere googleable).
    Background: I’m looking to buy a triathlon watch and a GPS unit for my bike (mainly navigation and -maybe later- power meter support). I was looking at combining the 520 Plus with either the 735 or the 935.

  153. Tom

    For anyone wondering (I think this is the only source of this information anywhere as far as I can tell): the edge 520 plus only supports 100 strava live segments. 🙁