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Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS In-Depth Review


Today Garmin announced three new products, the Edge 530 (this review), the Edge 830 (that review), and new dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Speed and Cadence sensors (that review coming up momentarily). These products effectively complete Garmin’s x30 lineup of higher-end cycling units, offering four distinct incrementing price points: Edge 130, Edge 530, Edge 830, and Edge 1030.  And more importantly, they refresh Garmin’s most popular unit – the Edge 520.

While Garmin announced the Edge 520 Plus almost exactly one year ago today, it was effectively just a minor refresh of the Edge 520 adding in mapping capability. Whereas the new Edge 530 is a substantial bump in not just performance, but also features. And in using both the Edge 530 and Edge 830 for the past month, I’d argue it might be the best bike computer Garmin’s ever made (keeping in mind a year ago I was pretty firm in not recommending the Edge 520 Plus due to performance issues).

This new unit significantly increases performance in routing/navigation, while also adding in automated slicing and dicing of a route’s climbs to give you exact distance/elevation remaining for each climb. It’s got a huge slate of mountain bike specific features, including baking in the entire world’s worth of Trailforks maps/data right into the units. Plus there’s a host of new performance metrics, alongside nutrition/hydration alerts that are generated automatically based on route/weather conditions.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I detail all this stuff below.

As always, I aim to detail the good, bad, and ugly about a given device. Note that this unit is a media loaner/test device and will very shortly go back to Garmin, like all other loaners. I do not accept any money (or even permit even advertising) from any company I review. If you find this review useful, hit up the links at the end of the post to support the site.

Oh – and if you’re trying to decide whether to read the Edge 530 or Edge 830 review this morning, I can say that they are excruciatingly similar, with the only differences being found in the ‘Navigation’ section of the Edge 830 variant (since that’s the only place they differ). Or, you can just make two trips to Starbucks, man or woman up, and get reading.

What’s new:

Let’s get right into the details of what’s new. And there’s no more consolidated method to do that then the below video where I outline all the newness with quick demos of each:

But, if text is more your jam, then here’s what I’ve put together. Note that there are other tidbits that I probably haven’t accounted for here – for example in certain menus or such where tiny things may have changed, but the below consolidates everything into one cohesive list. For this listing I’m using the Edge 520 Plus as the baseline (whereas if I used the Edge 520 on-board detailed maps weren’t included there).

– Increased display size 13% from 2.3” to 2.6”
– Increased battery life from 15 to 20 hours, and to 48 hours in battery saver mode
– Significantly increased processor speed: Results in much faster route calculation (see videos)
– Maintained complete on-board turn by turn map database for your region
– Added WiFi: Used for syncing of activities/metrics/routes (not during ride)
– Added ClimbPro: Automatically shows how much distance/elevation remains for each climb on route
– Added Mountain Bike Metrics: Shows Grit, Flow, and Jump details on both unit and Garmin Connect
– Added Trailforks maps to unit: Added global Trailforks data/maps to baked-in data on unit (no downloads required)
– Added ForkSight: Automatically shows mountain bike trail options when you pause at fork in trail
– Added Heat Acclimation: Will automatically take into account heat/humidity for performance/recovery metrics
– Added Altitude Acclimation: Will automatically take into account (high) elevation for performance/recovery metrics
– Added Training Plan API support: This includes a redesigned structured workout execution page
– Added Hydration/Nutrition Smart Alerts: When using a course/route, it’ll automatically figure out how much water/calories you should be taking
– Added Hydration/Nutrition Tracking: It allows you to record this data in ride summary screens and log it on Garmin Connect
– Added Edge Battery Pack Support: You can now attach the Garmin integrated battery pack to the Edge (you can still use generic USB power too)
– Added Bluetooth Smart sensor support: You can now pair Bluetooth Smart sensors like heart rate, power, and cadence
– Added Performance Power Curve: This shows you your mean maximal power over different durations/timeframes (like many training sites)
– Added Bike Alarm Feature: Used for cafes/bathroom stops, emits loud alarm if bike is moved
– Added ‘Find my Edge’ feature: Automatically record exact GPS location on your phone if Edge is disconnected (in case unit pops off)
– Added Training Plan Weather/Gear Tips: Basically tells you to HTFU when it’s cold out
– Changed user interface bits: Tweaked user interface, which might take some people a few rides to get used to (or just myself)

Got all that? Good. Now usually I do include any ‘negative’ new things (such as features removed), but I haven’t found any downsides to the new unit yet, or anything that’s been removed. It’s fairly rare for Garmin to remove features from unit to unit, though sometimes we see unintended consequences of other additions. Either way, I haven’t found any of those yet in my riding (or asking lots of questions). Of course, that’s separate from GPS/Altimeter/etc accuracy, which I cover in a separate section below.


So what are the key differences to the Edge 830 you might ask (which costs $100 more)? No problem, here ya go:

– Edge 830 has a touchscreen (thankfully different than the older Edge 820 touchscreen)
– Edge 830 can do address-specific routing, whereas on the Edge 530 you can’t enter a street address
– Edge 830 has searchable points of interest database, for finding food/monuments/hotels/etc…
– Edge 830 has four less buttons than the 530, since it’s a touch screen (and also has some slight differences in user interface, since you can touch it – most easily seen in the mapping pages)

As you can see, there’s not a lot of differences. It really comes down to that touch screen, and whether or not you plan to enter specific addresses onto the device, or would instead route by just using saved routes or moving the little finish selector over a given spot (more on that in the Navigation section).

With everything new and different all outlined, let’s dive into actually using the darn thing.

Oh wait – one last thing: Got an Edge 1030 already? You’ll get almost every new feature you see above via firmware update to your Edge 1030. The notable exception being that the pre-loaded mountain bike Trailforks maps, due to licensing reasons. However, Garmin says the remaining features will show up in a firmware update over the coming months.

Size & Weight Comparisons:

Before we dive into all the details (or even the basics), let’s just do a quick size check. Here’s a disastrously big lineup of mostly current bike computers, all aligned on their base to a chunk of wood:


From left to right: Garmin Edge 130, Garmin Edge 520/520Plus/820 (identical case size), Polar M460, Wahoo BOLT, Garmin 530/830 (identical case size), Wahoo ELEMNT, Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM, Hammerhead Karoo, Garmin Edge 1030, Sigma ROX 12

The same order is below as well:


And then, just to zoom in on some of the more applicable units close up. Left to right: ELEMNT BOLT, Edge 530/830, ELEMNT, ELEMNT ROAM, and Hammerhead Karoo.


What’s that? You want weights too?!? Ok, out with the trusty scale:

DSC_0138 DSC_0141 DSC_0139DSC_0140 DSC_0147 DSC_0148DSC_0149 DSC_0150 DSC_0142DSC_0144 DSC_0145 DSC_0146

Ok, your Brady Bunch moment is over. Now for realz, let’s get onto using it.

(Note: This comparison section was added after the Wahoo ROAM released.)

The Basics:


This section is focused on basic usage of the device. If you’ve been around the Garmin Edge block a few times before, you won’t likely pick up too much new in this chunk. I do this so that I can focus on newness in the other bits. Still, there are a few things different this time around, like the user interface and some button functions. In fact, let’s start with buttons. On the Edge 530 you have two, the lap and start/pause buttons in the same frontal location as other Edge devices:


This still remains somewhat controversial, as it can make it difficult to access these buttons on certain lower profile mounts where they’re against the handlebars. While that’s never really been an issue for me personally, I can see the argument for sure.

Meanwhile, on the left side of the unit there’s three buttons. Two used for up/down type selections, and the other for power. Whereas the right side has two more buttons, one as an escape/back type function and the other for confirmation/OK.

Garmin-Edge530-Left-Side-Buttons Garmin-Edge530-Right-Side-Buttons

On the underside of the unit is the same quarter-turn mount as every other Garmin Edge device made in the last decade. However, it joins the Edge 1030 in having the battery charge ports, which allows you to add the Garmin Charge Battery pack to the bottom of it to extend battery life even longer (like, multiple-days crazy long).

Garmin-Edge530-Underside Garmin-Edge530-Battery-Pack

The Edge 530 and Edge 830 both get 20 hours in regular mode, which Garmin has specifically defined as having the screen on, ambient light sensor enabled, two ANT+ sensors, and Bluetooth constantly connected to phone (including even LiveTrack). Meanwhile, you can go up to 40 hours in ‘Battery Saver’ mode, which turns off the display (unless tapped) but still records GPS/sensors. It’ll automatically prompt you to go into this mode when the battery gets super low.

Once you power the unit up you’ll notice the user interface is new. Similar to before, but still new nonetheless.  You can press down to see the typical/previous menus where you’ll find Training/Navigation/History/Stats/Connect IQ Apps/Settings. Where pressing up gets you to the status pane, which includes bits like weather and sensor/GPS/backlight status:

Garmin-Edge530-MainScreen Garmin-Edge-530-StatusScreen Garmin-Edge530-DownScreen

Speaking of GPS status, the Edge 530 follows along with virtually all new Garmin devices released in 2019 and uses the Sony GPS chipsets, which have a lower battery profile than previous chipsets from MediaTek. This chipset supports base GPS, GPS+GLONASS, and GPS+GALILEO. You can configure this on a per activity profile perspective.

Activity Profiles are used to customize your settings where you might want them different for different types of riding. For example, you’d likely have a different activity profile for mountain biking than road riding. Or maybe you want a paired down activity profile for racing.  You can customize data pages here, as well as metrics like nutrition/hydration, automatic lap, Strava Segments, and various other alerts.

I personally typically just use one profile for road riding, and one for mountain biking. I’m kinda simple that way. But some people get really creative/nuanced with their activity profiles.

Note that activity profiles don’t define sensors. Those are device-wide. Instead, Garmin for a number of years now has created a sensor pool concept. You pair all sensors on all your bikes, and it automatically connects to the sensor when that sensor wakes up. It works really well, and in the case of the Edge 530 is now expanded to Bluetooth Smart sensors (to match the Edge 830/1030, a well as Garmin’s wearables).

Garmin-Edge-530-Sensors-Pairing Garmin-Edge530-Sensors-Bluetooth-Smart

This means that you can now pair the following types of sensors on the Edge 530:

Cadence (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart)
Edge Remote (ANT+)
eBike (ANT+)
Heart Rate (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart)
Lights (ANT+)
Indoor Trainer (ANT+ FE-C, though paired in a different spot)
Radar (ANT+)
Power Meter (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart)
Shifting (ANT+)
Shimano Di2 (ANT)
Speed/Cadence (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart)
Speed (ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart)
Varia Vision (ANT+)

Phew, got all that? Good.

In my case I’ve paired a blend of sensors, mostly ANT+ power meters/trainers, cadence sensors, speed sensors, and both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart heart rate straps.

Once you’re ready to ride, you’ll simply select the activity profile on the main page and then the upper right button. It’ll go off and find GPS if it hasn’t already, and then you’re good to go. If it’s an indoor profile, it won’t find GPS.


Once you press the lower right start button, your unit will be recording data (and showing you that data). You can press the up/down buttons to change screens (or use auto-scroll to iterate through screens automatically).

If you’ve configured Live Tracking, then your track is shared to whomever you selected, be it social media or directly to specific friends via e-mail.

2019-04-23 22.34.17 2019-04-23 22.34.13

This is also leveraged for Group Tracking, which enables you to follow friends on a given group ride, and then send quick messages to those friends mid-ride. Regrettably, I lack any friends to test this feature out.

If you want to create manual laps, you’ll use the lower left ‘lap’ button, which marks a lap and then shows you lap summary data. You can also use the lap summary page to compare lap metrics – which is ideal if doing intervals.  Finally, once done you’ll press the ‘Stop’ button on the right corner, which pauses the recording. Press it again to save it. You’ll then get ride summary data:

At that point the ride is automatically synced to your phone via Bluetooth Smart, and if within range of a saved WiFi network, then it could also upload that way as well. Once on Garmin Connect it instantly syncs to 3rd party platforms like Strava and TrainingPeaks as well.  You can view the stats of your ride on the Garmin Connect Mobile app:

Or, you can view it on Garmin Connect (desktop/web) too. Here’s one of my rides if you want to dig in further:


Last but not least, Garmin’s added a new Bike Alarm feature. This is in addition to the ‘Find my Edge’ function that I talk about within the mountain biking section. But since we just finished a ride, I’ll explain ‘Bike Alarm’, which is designed primarily for post-ride café settings, as well as quick bathroom stops. The goal being that you leave your Edge device on your bike and then if someone moves/touches it, it sounds an alarm. It uses the internal accelerometers to do so.

The setup for the feature is buried super deep in the menus. To get to it you’ll go: Down to Menu > Settings > Safety & Tracking > Bike Alarm > Set Passcode.  But once done, you don’t have to set it each time. Once you’ve set a passcode, you can access the bike alarm by just long-holding the power button:

Garmin-Edge530-Bike-Alarm-Enable  Garmin-Edge530-Bike-Alarm-Activation

At that point it’ll give you a 5-second count-down, and then also notify you on your phone that the feature is activated.  If you touch the bike, the alarm activates, which…sounds hideous (in a good way).

Garmin-Edge530-Bike-Alarm-Activated Garmin-Edge530-Bike-Alarm-Triggered

Additionally, if your phone is within range (and it probably is), you’ll get a notification there which would also show up on any smartwatches you might have on. You’ll get a notification when you arm it, when it’s triggered, and when it’s disarmed:

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I demo the whole thing as part of the video up above in the ‘What’s new’ section.

When I first saw that the Edge had a bike alarm feature, admittedly I thought it was pretty stupid. But now that I’ve seen how it’s implemented, it actually makes sense. There’s plenty of times when I’ve got my bike at a café roughly within line of sight, but maybe not always top of my mind. This makes it so that I’ll either hear it, or my phone/watch will notify me if someone touches my bike. I like it.

And at that point, we’ve got the basics covered and are ready to dive into all the cool newness.

Mountain Bike Features:


Up till now, the most attention that Garmin has placed on mountain biking has simply been to add a generic ‘Mountain Bike’ profile, and offer you the ability to purchase a colored rubber condom for your Edge device, presumably to try and protect it when you smashed your bike into a rock face. Feature-wise though, there’s been nothing.

But this time around there’s significant focus on mountain biking, primarily within the following features:

Trailforks maps are baked into the Edge 530: This includes about 130,000 mountain bike trails, alongside trail ratings
Mountain Bike Dynamics: These metrics show how hard a trail was that you rode, as well as how well you rode it
ForkSight: This trail chooser screen automatically appears when you pause at a trail intersection
Find my Edge: While not absolute to mountain riding, this helps you find your bike computer if it flies off the mount on the trail
Trail Planning: You can ask the Edge to pick a trail of a certain rating, and it’ll find you something to ride

In addition, you can still use the previous Trailforks Connect IQ app on your Edge 530 to get routes from your Trailforks account, or search the Trailforks database.

First, let’s talk the metrics – because that’s kinda the newest thing here in terms of being totally different. There’s essentially three metrics here:

Grit: This calculates a difficulty score for each route, using elevation and GPS data. So kinda like a trail rating. If two riders ride the same exact trail, they should get the same Grit score. The higher the number the harder the course.
Flow: This is your specific rating for how well you rode the route. It’s focused on the momentum of the ride, so things like braking impact hurt your score. A lower number is a better score. Thus, two riders could ride the exact same route and get totally different Flow scores.
Jumps: This will count how many jumps, and for each jump will include distance and hang time. Additionally, during the ride you’ll get jump notifications in real-time with distance/hang time.

Looking at some of these in real-time, first we’ve got the jump metric. In my case, I suck at jumping (look, I’m a road cyclist/triathlete – you’re just lucky I managed to ride a mountain bike at all). So while I got some jumps in my rides, my ability to capture those jumps while also taking a photo was not happening. So, here’s a photo from Des that shows that:

Next, there’s the Grit and Flow scores, which you can add as data fields to your unit. Further, you can also see these as per-lap fields. So for example in downhill mountain biking if you created a lap at the top of each descent, you’d be able to see how these scores compared lap after lap.

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Afterwards, these scores show up on Garmin Connect (website). First, they actually show up on the map, color-coding your route – which is cool and something I wish Garmin did for other aspects of the map (like gradient % for road riding data).


Next, down below in the charts section they show up there too, also color coded:


And finally, down in the stats section you’ve got the new Mountain Bike Dynamics, including any jumps (or, lack thereof in my case):


You should be able to see these on Garmin Connect Mobile as well, though my app isn’t showing them yet for some bug, however, others that I know are seeing them just fine. So this appears to be a me-specific bug. The story of my life.

Next, there’s the increased Trailforks integration. While Garmin hasn’t quite bought out Trailforks yet, I’d be really surprised if we just don’t see that happen. With the Edge 530/830 they’ve baked in all of the Trailforks trail data onto the unit itself. You will need to authorize that briefly the first time you use the unit, but it only takes a second. The existing Trailforks app is still there, since that takes care of better integration with Trailforks as a platform in terms of pulling your routes from your account and so-on.


The most obvious way the new Trailforks data manifests itself is a feature called ‘ForkSight’, which automatically pops up anytime you pause at an intersection of trails (or, more appropriately – a fork in the trail). It’s at this point it’ll show you the trail options and difficulty grades/distances for each one:

2019-04-13 15.33.10 HDR 2019-04-13 15.34.10

You can then select any of the options shown to get more information about that specific trail. It’s super cool in real life, and helps you figure out the implications of each option you have. That said, sometimes it can be a little confusing to figure out which trail is which if they aren’t labeled at the trailhead. But for the most part you can figure it out.

2019-04-13 15.34.21

Next, there’s ‘Find my Edge’, while not only for mountain biking, the reality is that most people will probably use it for mountain biking. This feature will instantly and automatically mark the exact GPS location where your unit disconnects from your phone (assuming the Garmin Connect Mobile app is on in the background). Then, on your phone you’ll get an alert that allows you to open up the exact GPS coordinates with the mapping app of your choice (for example, the Google Maps app):

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In addition, within the device options on Garmin Connect Mobile, it has two further options: ‘Find my Edge’ and ‘Last Known Location’.  If you select ‘Last Known Location’, it’ll open up the default mapping app on your phone and then the exact GPS coordinates it last saw your Edge devices at:2019-04-23 19.04.15 2019-04-23 16.31.36

Whereas if you select ‘Find my Edge’, it’ll try and connect to your Edge 530 and start an alarm sound. Which is basically just a constant beeper. It’s not crazy loud, but loud enough that you should be able to find it. And here’s what it looks like on the unit itself – saying ‘Edge found’:


Note that this last little bit requires you be within Bluetooth Smart range. Outdoors that’s roughly tens of meters, whereas indoors it’s a crapshoot. Generally speaking though your GPS accuracy is within a few meters, so that gets you close enough to then use the beeper to find your Edge sitting in the bush. Roughly akin to how I found my GoPro mountain biking earlier this year.

Oh, and as for the mountain bike bundle, in case you’re looking at that, it comes with the following:

– Edge 530
– Mountain Bike Mount
– Silicone Case
– Edge Remote
– Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Speed Sensor

While I’ve personally never bothered with the silicone case, if you’re looking at picking up any of the other accessories, it probably makes sense to just get the bundle price-wise at that point.


The Edge 530 contains a complete mapset for the region you bought it in (I.e. North America), which allows you to get full turn by turn navigations (with street names) to any point you drop on the map, or any route you load into it (no matter the source/platform it’s from). The main difference though between the Edge 530 and Edge 830/1030 from a navigation standpoint is that the Edge 530 doesn’t support POI’s (points of interest; like monuments or hotels) nor the ability to on the device itself type in a street address. And obviously, the Edge 830/1030 is a touchscreen whereas the Edge 530 isn’t. But other than that – it’s all the same.

Perhaps the most important feature on the entire new Edge 530/830 units is the significantly faster processor. I, alongside the entire internet have complained how darn slow Garmin’s previous Edge series processors are. Which isn’t to say I actually care about the processor specifically, but rather the end-resultant: Route calculation time. It would previously take numerous minutes for each just a short route to calculate. That was unacceptable, and a core reason why I didn’t recommend at the Edge 520 Plus at launch.

Well, it seems like Garmin has listened and yup: Super duper fast now.

Now, there are slight differences depending on what exactly you’re doing. I’ve found loading a saved route is the fastest of the bunch. So something like some 60KM routes from Strava that I’ve loaded are taking about just a few seconds depending on the locale.  Whereas picking a point a distance away and letting it come up with a brand new route takes a few more seconds (like 10-20 seconds, not minutes). That’s understandable since the first is just drawing a route, whereas the second is coming up with one.  And yet it also seems to vary based on exactly where I am. Routes in Mallorca and California were silly quick (1-5 seconds), whereas here in crazy bike route density Amsterdam the routing takes a bit longer (5-15 seconds).

So, let’s quickly go through those two modes. First is if you’ve already got a route. This can be something from Garmin Connect or a 3rd party site. It could be an individual route file you’ve downloaded, or it could be from a site like Strava via the Strava Routes Connect IQ app. In my case, I’m mostly using Strava routes (since I can use them on all my devices – acting like the Switzerland of routing). So we’ll start there, grabbing that route from the pre-loaded Strava Routes CIQ app:

Garmin-Edge530-Strava-Routes Garmin-Edge530-Strava-Route-Selected

Next, it’ll show me the route details:

Garmin-Edge530-Strava-Route-Ride Garmin-Edge530-Strava-Route-Overview

And finally, I can select to ride it. Within about 2-3 seconds, the route generation is complete and I’m ready to press start on my unit.


Now, when out on the road, I’ll get turn by turn directions as I approach any turn. I’ve found these directions timely (unlike the Edge 520 Plus), and in plenty of time to take action on them. Again, there does seem to be some slight variances in responsiveness based on where in the world I am, but none of the differences affected my ability to have boatloads of time. Here’s two screenshots mid-ride during different rides, showing what it looks like:

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In addition, if I ignored a route, it’d automatically recalculate the route (including street names). Depending on the scenario, it’d either explain how to turn around and re-join the route, or in some cases cut a corner to catch-up down the road. I did however see one quirk in Amsterdam on a very short automatically generated route where it continued to try and go via some non-direct roads. After Garmin analyzed it they found a routing/mapping related bug that they say should be included in the next firmware update.

Note that the recalculation behavior is very different than that of a Wahoo BOLT/ELEMNT, which don’t have a street-level map on them. Thus, they just point you back (compass-style) to the route itself, rather than giving you turn by turn directions. For many folks, that’s perfectly fine, but I wanted to make that clear.  Whereas the Garmin method matches that of Hammerhead’s Karoo and Sigma’s ROX 12 in terms of proper on-street routing data.

Next, what if you wanted to go somewhere unplanned? The Edge 530 can do that as well, albeit with a few more limitations than the Edge 830/1030. On the Edge 530 you’ll select navigation, where you’ve got the option to browse a map (as well as load courses and saved locations).  When you browse the map you’ve got a small target in the middle that you can move around (note the middle of the image with the crosshairs):


In the upper right corner are three dots. These are identical to how mapping works on the Fenix series, and works surprisingly well (since it’s non-touchscreen). You press the upper right button to change between the three modes: Zoom in/out, Pan left/right, Scroll up/down.  Then you use the lower left buttons to perform that action.  You can see it in each of the photos below in the upper right corner:

Garmin-Edge530-Scroll-Map Garmin-Edge530-Pan-Map Garmin-Edge530-Zoom-Map

The goal here is to move around to the point you want to go to, and then select it. At which point you can have the Edge 530 go off and find a route to it:

Garmin-Edge530-Routed-Browsed-Location Garmin-Edge530-Map-Routing

From here, it’s business as normal just like above in terms of routing.

Finally, note that the unit in conjunction with your phone via the Garmin Connect Mobile app can also do some route planning.  You can create round-trip routes whereby it goes and creates a route of a given distance for you automatically, as well as create manual routes connecting points together.

2019-04-23 23.02.00 2019-04-23 23.02.03

This new manual route creation bit is actually brand new – introduced in the last week or two (to everyone, not just Edge 530/830 peoples), and frankly, it sucks. I don’t know how it could be so bad, but it really is. Having come from the Easy Route app world, where I just tappity-tap my way through a route, the Garmin Connect Mobile experience is just super clunky and imprecise, crazily zooming in and out like a drunk kid with a camera for the first time. Yes, you can get the job done, but it’ll take you way longer.

2019-04-23 23.02.18 2019-04-23 23.02.49 2019-04-23 23.02.58

Hopefully though since it’s a brand new feature it’ll improve over time – maybe once someone buys a bulk pack of 40-grit sandpaper and goes to town on it.

Still, new app option aside – the rest of routing works great (finally). The processing time is what I’d expect from a $300 unit, and the route calculation to match it. I would like to see Garmin integrate Strava routes directly though, as I find the Strava Routes app clunky compared to Wahoo’s integrated Strava Routes capability. Also, I’d prefer to see Garmin allow easy loading of maps from other regions like Wahoo, rather than having to rely on 3rd party site downloads (or paying a bunch of cash).

Though, once you get the route/maps loaded, then Garmin’s routing engine is leagues ahead of what Wahoo has. I suppose doing it for a decade longer will get you that experience.

Finally, note that if there’s one thing I know about routing is that there are always edge cases in certain areas. In my case I’ve tested routing quite a bit in three core locations: Mallorca (Spain), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Monterey (California, USA). This has included both on-road and off-road routes. However, there are always quirks in weird places that I might not have encountered, though for the most part the underlying mapping/routing data here should match that of the Edge 1030 – which people seem pretty happy with.

Training & Performance Metrics:


Next comes a slew of training and performance-related metrics, virtually all of which are new. And we’re going to start with ClimbPro, which is hands-down my favorite feature on the Edge 530/830 (and coming to the Edge 1030).

This feature automatically slices and dices your planned route’s climbs, and generates detailed climb charts for each climb as you ride them. The feature actually originated from the Fenix 5 Plus wearables last year, but really shines here on the larger screen of the Edge series as a cycling focused function. It requires that you have some route/course loaded, so it knows where you’re going. Once you’ve got that, you can see the list of climbs within the ClimbPro summary screen on the route planning page:


Next, as you’re riding, it’ll automatically show the ClimbPro page for each climb once you enter it. Kinda like Strava Segments for climbs, minus the racing aspect. The climb page shows the distance remaining on the climb, the ascent remaining, the average grade remaining, and then two customizable fields at the bottom. By default, these are heading and elevation, but you can change them as you see fit.

Garmin-Edge530-ClimbPro1 Garmin-Edge530-ClimbPro2

In addition, the Edge will color-code the pain of the climb segments on the ClimbPro page based on gradient as seen above. These are bucketed into:

0-3%: Green
3-6%: Yellow
6-9%: Orange
9-12%: Red
12%+: Dark Painful Bloody Red

Having ridden with this feature last month on Mallorca it was super cool. Not only for major climbs like Sa Calobra, but actually for some of the smaller ones before and after it. For example, after you finish the famed Sa Calobra and continue out of that area you’ve actually still got another minor climb to do before you descend one of a few routes back to the remainder of the island. Having ClimbPro on my screen was super handy to know how much suck was left, since mentally you sorta forgot about these minor climbs you’ve still gotta do in comparison to the big one you just knocked out.

2019-04-14 10.36.29

Garmin notes that they expect to tweak the definition of a climb based on feedback over the next month or two. Specifically, whether or not something triggers a climb on ClimbPro (since this is calculated on the unit itself when a route is loaded). Obviously, there’s no international definition when it comes to what’s a cycling climb and what’s not. Still, the definition they’re using as of today is as follows:

Total value must be 3,500 or higher where: Distance of climb in meters (min 500 meters) * Gradient (min average 3%)

So, doing some samples here to help understand:

Climb A: 1,000 meters long at 4% = 1,000*4 = 4,000: Yes, qualifies as a climb
Climb B: 5,000 meters long at 2% = 5,000*2 = 10,000: No, doesn’t meet 3% threshold
Climb C: 500 meters long at 8% = 500*8 = 4,000: Yes, qualifies as a climb

Make sense? Again, simply calculate distance in meters by incline/gradient and see if it’s above 3,500. Also, ensure average gradient is 3%.  As I said above – I think it’s probably the coolest feature on the Edge 530/830.

Next, speaking of elevation, there’s two new features coupled together – heat and altitude acclimation. Both of these are actually quietly present on the Garmin MARQ series as well. The goal behind both of these are post-workout calculations tied to figuring out whether or not you’re acclimated to a given temperature or altitude. Obviously, both can significantly impact performance.  Starting with heat acclimation, the function leverages nearby weather stations. So your unit has to have connected to Garmin Connect Mobile within 3 hours of starting your ride in order to receive that weather data (it doesn’t use on-device temperature).

Then, for heat acclimation it applies a heat correction factor for rides above 71°F/22°C, using a percentage based amount from published studies (humidity is also factored into this as well). This is then shown in the training status widget. Garmin says they assume full acclimation takes a minimum of 4 days, and acclimation/adaptation to a given high temperature will automatically decay after 3 days of skipped training within that heat levels.


Altitude acclimation/adaption is roughly similar (also seen above). The minimum threshold is at altitudes above 850m/2,788ft, and tops out at 4,000m/13,123ft (Garmin doesn’t calculate above that for cycling, sorry folks). Garmin says that they divide up training vs living altitudes, just as typical studies would. The company says that adaptation algorithms within the Edge 530/830 assume total adaptation after 21 days, and that adaptation is faster at the beginning of altitude exposure. Additionally, adaptation will decay within 21-28 days depending on acclimation level. Because I haven’t had any high altitude rides lately, I’m deferring you to Mr. DesFit, who has, and kindly lent me his high altitude shot (and check out his Edge 530 video, especially for more mountain bike details).

2019-04-23 23.36.31

What the feature shows is your current altitude adaptation level. In other words, if I go from living at sea level (as I do) to moving to the French Alps, each day it’ll show what my body has acclimated to. This essentially automates/charts the exact same process that many elite athletes take when preparing for races. In fact, a pro triathlete friend of mine wrote a guest post here on that very topic some 8 years ago. For the rest of us, we can just use this as a post-ride pub excuse for why we climbed so poorly on our week-long vacation in the Alps. Obviously, we weren’t acclimated.

Also of note is that if the Edge 530/830 are put into ‘sleep’ mode (as opposed to powered full off), it’ll actually do a check each night at midnight of where it is altitude wise, and account for that – just like the MARQ series watch does every night at midnight. Effectively giving you credit for sleeping at high altitude.

Next, there’s new hydration/nutrition alerts and record keeping. These alerts will appear mid-ride anytime you’ve loaded a pre-planned course/route into the Edge, and are based on your profile (gender/weight). Effectively, it’s trying to help you remember to eat and drink – a chronic problem for most longer-distance cyclists and triathletes. Or, at least me.  These alerts automatically show up seemingly based on caloric intake variables, and will give you Garmin’s recommendations for fluid and calories, impacted by the current temperature/humidity as well. Garmin did note that these are capped though to account for maximum hydration intake limits of the human body.

2019-04-19 16.46.00

In other words, they know that in some super hot/humid scenarios you could lose more hydration than you could possibly consume/absorb in the same timeframe, so they shouldn’t be giving you crazy recommendations like drinking three full bottles per hour. I haven’t hit that kinda weather yet, so it’s hard to tell for sure.

Then, afterwards you’ve got new hydration/nutrition tracking These pages are shown for any rides longer than 90 minutes, where it’ll ask you how much you drank and ate. It’s here over the last few months that I’ve realized the answer is always ‘not enough’.

Garmin-Edge530-CaloriesConsumed Garmin-Edge530-Hydration-Consumed

And yes, you can change from ounces to millimeters, as well as the exact size of your bottle (even per activity profile setting too!).  This data is then shown on Garmin Connect (but oddly not Garmin Connect Mobile):


In addition to the post-ride nutrition stats, there’s your total training status stats. These stats are a step above what you’ve historically gotten on the Edge series, and are in line to match that of MARQ (and a step above the Fenix 5 Plus). Note that some of these stats require a power meter (like FTP). Here’s the overview ‘My Stats’ page (though, much of this is also shown post-ride on the summary screens):


First, there’s Training Status, which is showing you Training Load over the last 7 days. Note that this includes non-riding activities as well, if they’ve synced from other Garmin wearable devices.


Next, there’s Training Load Focus, which is showing you the breakouts of your training types over the last four weeks. It then shows you in the dotted line the optimal (aka balanced) training load bucketing. Obviously, I ignore anything that’s optimal or balanced.


Next, there’s Recovery Time, which is load-based and includes time from other devices as well. This is telling you how many hours you should wait until your next hard workout:


Then there’s VO2Max and FTP, both of which are calculated (FTP calculation requires a power meter, seen above):


And finally, one of the newer metrics not seen on any other Garmin device is Power Curve. This is basically just a mean-max power graph, and loosely mirrors what we’ve had on various training platforms for more than a decade.


The time duration is selectable as three choices – one month, three months, and twelve months. It does appear to pull in data from Garmin Connect as well, which is a good thing and shows tighter integration there than we’ve previously seen for Personal Records on other Garmin devices.

Last but not least, there’s on-device training plans. You could previously see all of this on Garmin Connect, but it wasn’t super visible on the Edge itself. Now, if you’ve got a training plan loaded (including those from TrainingPeaks and soon also TrainerRoad), those will appear here.  Once you load a workout up, you’ll get similar step by step instructions on the Edge as before, but now with a bit better overview metrics and showing exactly how that workout should look:


Additionally, there’s now a new ‘Gear’ and ‘Weather’ option. The weather simply shows the weather for that day of the week that the workout is scheduled. Whereas the gear option aims to give you tips on what kind of gear you should have that day (for example, if it’s cold and miserable to bring gloves). Garmin says that they’re trying to provide tips for cyclists that may not be as experienced. The rest of us know that it’s simply better to stay indoors and Zwift instead.


As usual, once you’ve completed these workouts, they’ll sync up to Garmin Connect and the various 3rd party platforms they might have come from.

Ultimately, the goal behind all these metrics is that they’re across the board with your other Garmin devices. So if you’ve got a Garmin wearable that supports these metrics (or some portion of them), then everything should match. Understanding that I’m a bit of an edge case due to how many Garmin devices I’m using at once for testing, that concept roughly pans out – though there’s still some cracks here and there where physiological data from one device doesn’t match another. Still, for the normal person that doesn’t ride with 12 devices at once, it’s nice to see some of this glue finally hardening.

GPS & Elevation Accuracy:


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

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

Over the years I’ve continued to tweak my GPS testing methodology.  For example, for watches I try to not place two units next to each other on my wrists, as that can impact signal. If I do so, I’ll put a thin fabric spacer of about 1”/3cm between them (I didn’t do that for any workouts here).  But often I’ll simply carry other units by the straps, or attach them to the shoulder straps of my hydration backpack.  Plus, wearing multiple watches on the same wrist is well known to impact optical HR accuracy. For cycling units, I arrange them on my handlebars using standard mounts – usually one on either side of the step, often a bit separated from each other.

Next, as noted, I use just my daily training routes.  Using a single route over and over again isn’t really indicative of real-world conditions, it’s just indicative of one trail.  The workouts you see here are just my normal daily workouts.  I’ve had a fair bit of variety of terrain within the time period of testing Garmin Edge units.  This has included workouts in: Amsterdam (city, countryside) and Mallorca (mountains, ocean, countryside), California (off-road, hills, forests, seaside).

We’re gonna look at a few different rides in different parts of the world. First, we’ll start with the famed Sa Calobra in Mallorca. I rode this nearly a month ago, so while this firmware was slightly older, it still shows pretty solid GPS performance. Here is the data set compared to the Garmin MARQ watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active.


This super twisty-turny route is incredibly difficult from a GPS performance standpoint. There are rock tunnels, huge cliffs next to you, and plenty of GPS-blocking goodness to hose up units (as we see the Samsung illustrate).


I’m going to zoom into one of the more difficult points here:


Of course, with the trees it’s hard to see what’s going on. But I just wanted to show you first the density of trees. In fact, you can see the Samsung straight-up gave up on life half-way through this and just cut the corner entirely. So we’ll ignore it.


The other units tracks are actually very close. There’s a few bobbles of the Garmin MARQ at one point where the cave is (the green text you see). That’s this thing:


But most importantly, the two Edge 530/830 units tracked through that just fine and dandy. Perhaps by skill, or perhaps by dumb luck. They did it both directions though.

Now I had a quick lunch at the bottom before heading up. GPS-wise, units were fine here. I left them recording on my bike while I ate.


Though I did see some elevation issues here were it showed me quite a bit higher in elevation than I really was (300ft higher than the sea I was sitting next to). Garmin isn’t super clear on why this happened, though I haven’t seen it happen again. And again, that was a month ago on older firmware.

And in fact, if we look at route elevation for the next day, you’ll see the two Edge 530/830 units nail the elevation without any issues, super clean and consistent. The Samsung…is…well…yeah.


Next we’ve got a ride in Monterey, California from two weeks ago. This was a nice coastal ride that also went through some gigantic tree forests. Plus it had a couple of rollers and a solid climb mid-way through. For this I’ve got both Edge 530/830 units, as well as the Garmin MARQ watch and the Polar Vantage V GPS watch. Here’s the high-level overview of the GPS from that set:


We’ll go ahead and zoom into some sections, starting with early on. It’s here we see the Edge 530 is a bit offset from the rest. Why you ask? It was in my back jersey pocket. I needed to photograph the Edge 830 solo-cup:


However, once we turned the corner I then got it on my handlebars and it was clean sailing:


I know, it’s hard to see the lines above. But how could I not go to satellite view with scenery like that? Ok, I’ll go back to boring map view for the next ones.

Oh, back in the pocket it went for a climb to get other photos. Why bother including this you ask? Well two reason. First, in case you’re browsing the files and wondering why it went all sideways, and second, because I actually see a surprising number of people that stick GPS devices in their back pockets. This shows you what can happen.


This is back in the forests and back on the handlebars:


It was at least pretty consistent in that when it went into my pocket it went a bit sideways. This ride unfortunately had a lot of that, as we were filming other videos for things that were published prior to this review (and thus prior to this embargo). Though interestingly the Edge 830 seemed to handle the pocketing better than the Edge 530 on this ride. No idea why.

Here’s another section with all of them out – nice and clean. And this is actually in the trees a fair bit alongside a highway.


As for altitude? Pretty similar overall, however the Edge 830 did seem offset about 18 meters throughout the entire ride. I suspect it got a weird initial fix which is used to then calibrate the barometer.


As for the couple of spikes in there – I haven’t seen those on any other rides, and thus I suspect that’s due to the pocketing. I didn’t see it on numerous rides in Mallorca on legit climbs, nor any mountain bike rides elsewhere in California.

Next, we’ve got a ride I did this past weekend from Amsterdam one-way, down south through the Tulip fields. For this ride I’ve got it compared against the Polar Vantage V GPS watch, as well as actually also have the new magnetless speed sensor in fully standalone mode (meaning, it was just recording to itself). You won’t see a GPS track from the standalone sensor, but it does show us speed and distance. Here’s what things looked like in that data set:


Ok, at a high level that’s pretty boring. Nobody does anything stupid, so all the tracks look fine from 30,000ft. Let’s zoom in a bunch to some corners and such. Note that all of these units are recording at 1-second intervals.


Here’s a crossing of a bridge and the lead-up to it. You’ll see that the Polar Vantage V overshoots the turn the most (heading into an ice cream shop, which I suppose is a good idea), though once on the other side of the water, all of them are quite close together near the path. Note that where it says ‘Real Estate Agency’ you might think that the units cut the corner of the roadway, but in reality, that’s where the bike path goes.

The thing with analyzing road bike GPS files, is that they very rarely fail. Seriously, super rarely do units screw it up. That said, time and time again I found the Polar Vantage V off in the water, as seen here. Mind you, this is the exact same GPS chipset between these three units (all Sony, and all likely using the same chipset).


The difference though is in the modes and power delivery. In this case I’ve got both Edge units configured for GPS+Galileo, a mode the Polar Vantage V doesn’t support. Not only that, but the Edge can deliver far more power to the Sony chipset and has more space for the antenna than a wearable.


It’s hard to find many Edge 530/830 screw-ups in this file. The closest we get is this intersection where I turn, and we see the Edge 530/830 separate a bit on their plotted tracks, about one lane difference while crossing the bridge. There was a tall building to the right there, but that’s it.


The second mistake is on this bend in the road, all three units undercut the corner – the Garmin’s more so than the Polar. Though again, if you scroll through the actual data set, you’ll find that the Polar cuts every corner.


Oh, and altitude on this one? Pay attention to the scale, it’s only a shift of about 10 meters for any given file over the course of the ride. The green is the Polar Vantage V, brown the Edge 830, and purple the Edge 530. It looks like we see a bit of a variation around the 90-minute marker going over a small bridge, but again, keep in mind we’re really only talking a variance of about 5 meters at that moment. Welcome to the Netherlands.


In any event, overall, from a GPS accuracy standpoint I’m not yet seeing anything of concern. Even in off-road conditions the tracks are essentially the same that I’ve seen from past Garmin Edge devices. While I’ve had concern about the new Sony chipset based on the implementations by other companies, those concerns don’t seem to be carrying over to the Garmin line. Or at least, the Edge lineup specifically. Again as I noted earlier this is likely more to do with the fact that Garmin has enabled additional GPS modes (Galileo), as well as simply has more power it can throw at the GPS chipset than a wearable can. Plus, bike computers have much more room for better antenna design.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Product Comparison:

I’ve added the Edge 530 (as well as Edge 830) into the product comparison calculator so you can see how it compares to other units on the market. To keep things simple for below, I’ve compared it against the Edge 520 Plus (previous generation), Wahoo BOLT, and Edge 830. Of course, there are plenty more units in the product comparison calculator, so you can make your own charts here as well. In the meantime, here’s how things line-up below:

Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated June 8th, 2023 @ 1:27 am New Window
Product Announcement DateApr 24th, 2019July 1st, 2015Mar 14th, 2017
Actual Availability/Shipping DateEarly May 2019July 31st, 2015Mar 14th, 2017
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB, Bluetooth Smart, WiFiUSB & Bluetooth SmartBluetooth Smart, WiFi, USB
Battery Life (GPS)20 Hours (40 in battery Saver Mode)15 hours15 hours
Solar ChargingNo
Recording Interval1-Second or Smart1-Second or Smart1-second
Dual-Frequency GNSSNo
AlertsAudio/VisualAudio/VisualAUDIO/VISUAL + LED's
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesYesNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoNoN/A
MusicGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Can control phone musicNoNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNoNo
PaymentsGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNo
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesYes
Group trackingYesNoYes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)YesYesNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Designed for cyclingYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYEsYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYesYesYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesYesYes
Crash detectionYesYesNo
RunningGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
TriathlonGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Designed for triathlonSortaN/AN/A
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesNo
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesNo
FunctionsGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Auto Start/StopYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesNo
Virtual Racer FeatureYesYesNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesYesNo
Weather Display (live data)YesYesNo
NavigateGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesNo
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYes for maps (but not routable)Sorta (Maps yes, but technically not routable)
Back to startYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNo (But can create one-way routes from phone app)
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeGPSGPSMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoN/AN/A
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYEsYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYEsYEsYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesYes
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesYesNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesYesYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)YesYesYes
ANT+ Remote ControlYesYesNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityYesNoYes
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)YesYesYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoYEs
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableYesNoYes
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressN/A
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectN/A
Phone AppiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Competitive CyclistLinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 530Garmin Edge 520Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

Again, remember you can make your own charts within the product comparison calculator here.



As I said at the beginning – I think there’s a strong case to be made that the Edge 530 is Garmin’s best bike computer ever. Sure, the Edge 1030 has a bigger and prettier screen, and the Edge 830 has a touchscreen. But realistically – for $299 – there’s nothing even close to this on the market.  Even competitors $100 more can’t match these features. And as for the touchscreen, I kinda like the always-works button navigation.

One of the arguments for why people often choose Garmin over competitor devices is simply that Garmin has more features. Inversely, the counter-argument is that you’ll never use most of those features – so why pay for something you’ll never use. And both ring true. For example, nobody else has anything like ClimbPro – and in using it multiple times on legit climbs, it’s been freakin’ awesome. Love it. Whereas the new mountain bike features were super cool last week at Sea Otter when I was mountain biking – but now that I’m back home living on a pancake, I won’t likely mountain bike till sometime this summer. So I’m basically paying for features I rarely use.

Similarly, people often compare Wahoo’s mobile-app driven setup of data fields to Garmin’s on-device setup. Yes, it’s frustrating that I can’t configure Garmin data fields on my phone, though inversely, I like that I can tweak data fields mid-ride on my unit without having to pull out my phone. On the other side, Wahoo’s Strava Routes integration is just so much cleaner than Garmin’s Connect IQ app (which can be flaky sometimes).

Again, there are definitely nits to be made here against the Edge 530 – but I think the feature-set far outweighs those minor inconveniences. I feel like it’s taken about two years for Garmin to really react to the Wahoo BOLT, but now that they’ve done it – yikes.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

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

If you're shopping for the Garmin Edge 530 or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart sensors, you can use just about anything though.

This magnetless Garmin Cadence Sensor attached to your crank arm and transmits cadence over both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart to apps, watches, or bike computers.

This is a set of Garmin magnetless speed and cadence sensors. Both transmits over ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but the speed sensor also can record rides without a bike computer - perfect for using on a commuter bike.

Garmin RTL515 Varia Radar

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding.

The Garmin Varia radar alerts you to cars coming up behind you, well before you see them. It's awesome for quieter roads (country roads/mountains), especially on longer rides. It's less useful for city riding. The RVR315 skips the light.

The Edge remote allows you to control functions (like data pages/screens, and laps) wirelessly right from your handlebars/drops. Super handy for mountain biking where taking your hands off the bars might be a bad idea.

Garmin Edge Snap-on Battery

If you need to go *REALLY* long with a Garmin Edge device, this snap-on/under weatherproof battery pack basically gets you double your battery life. It snaps under your existing Edge with an included mount. It can also be used as a standard USB battery back too (for your phone/etc...).

This wifi-connected scale will track your weight and related metrics both on the scale display and in Garmin Connect (plus 3rd party apps like TrainingPeaks). It'll also then sync your weight to your watch/bike computer, to ensure accurate calorie data.

The HRM-DUAL strap transmits not only concurrently on ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, but actually has two Bluetooth channels, making it perfect for pairing to Zwift at the same time you also have it paired to another device/app via Bluetooth.

The HRM-PRO Plus is Garmin's top-end chest strap. It transmits dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but also transmits Running Dynamics & Running Pace/Distance metrics, stores HR data during a swim, and can be used without a watch for other sports. Also, it can transmit XC Skiing Dynamics as well.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. Bestevaer

    Hi Ray,

    What are the dimensions of the 530? Since I’m wondering if you have to fiddle with the lap and play/pause button on a short garmin mount because of insufficient space between the garmin and stem/handlebar.

    It just about works right now with a 520.

    Tnx for you review!

    • It’s 84.63mm long. 😉

      (I happened to have a super precise measuring thingy in front of me). If you’ve had issues with past Garmin devices, honestly, it’s not much different. There’s a little bit more taper on this though (akin to the Edge 1030), so it’s a bit better than something like the Edge 520, as the buttons are just very slightly more exposed from the top.

    • Is it bigger than the 520plus? I’ve fitted that very neatly under my tri bars, but the bigger screen would be a huge benefit for us “older” riders!!

    • Left to right: Edge 520, Edge 520 Plus, Edge 530, Edge 830, Edge 1030

    • Lee Sutton

      Quite a bit bigger than the 520, do you think it would need a Jumbo K Edge mount as opposed to standard?

    • Hmm, will dig one up tomorrow and see.

    • Lee Sutton

      Great thanks!

    • thanks! Now that my sight is getting worse I probably should go for a 1030. And it is only 50 Euro more than the 830.

    • Dave Buchanan

      Thanks for the photo comparing sizes. I am currently using a 520 with the Barfly mount; there is approx 15mm of clearance from the back of the unit to the front of the stem. Do you think the 530 will fit or will I need a new mount?

    • Noah Pene

      Ray, would you please post a photo:

      “Left to right: Edge 520, Edge 520 Plus, Edge 530, Edge 830, Edge 1030”

      of the back sides of the Garmin units? The relative placement of the quarter turn mounts will give a good indication of the handlebar fit.

    • Jim


      Were you able to see if the the new 530 will work in a std. K-Edge out-front mount or if it will require the XL version? I would like to order a combo mount for my preordered Edge 530 and Cateye Volt 700 light. I’m guessing the XL would be a better fit since it will have more room to access the buttons.


    • Sorry, totally slipped by yesterday. I’m headed back into the office tomorrow and will shoot a photo as well of all the units from the back – including the older ones, with a ruler, so folks can double-check measurements from the mount centerline.

    • Jim

      Thanks a bunch.

      No rush since it will be 1,2,3…? weeks before the 530 arrives.

    • Peter

      I am also waiting for this comparison but now it looks like will need new (XL) K-Edge mount to fit Edge 530 / 830 .

      This is how it looks now with 520 & K-Edge Aero mount

    • Sorry guys, I shot the photos, but realized I forgot the ruler. Here’s the backside though, center aligned.

      Left to right: Edge 130, Edge 520, Edge 520 Plus, Edge 810, Edge 820, Edge 830/530, Edge 1000, Edge 1030

    • Jim

      Looking like the XL model may be necessary but will wait until you post the rest of the photos with the ruler. I’d also appreicate your opinion Ray since you actually have the 530/830 in hand as well as the mounts.

      Thanks again.

    • Todd

      No XL mount required for my edge 530. Worked with fine with my normal sized k-edge mount!

  2. Filipe Duarte

    f’*** just bought the 520 plus a week ago.

    • Return policy? Seriously, I’d return that (especially if you paid full retail, as it’d only be $20 difference).

    • Terry Jones

      Me too, about a month ago for me 🙁 – I guess I’ll ebay it as this looks like a huge upgrade.

    • Simon Howard

      I got the 520+ exactly 2 months ago after much deliberation between that and the 130. After reading Ray’s reviews many times, I decided a little extra for the 520+ was the way to go. But hey, you can hold off forever for the next best thing – perhaps I might have done just that had I known the 530 was coming along! The 520+ has worked ok for me except for it losing connection to my phone twice. I was only planning on using the mapping occasionally so have only used it twice ‘for fun’ to direct me home and thought it was reasonably fast at getting the route. But then again I don’t live and ride in a built up area

    • Brian

      I just upgraded to the Plus as well as the battery on my 520 was dying within 2-3 hours. There’s a 60 day return policy and I’ve got 11 days left. Is it worth the $76 difference? (I didn’t pay full price)

    • tadaka

      i would say yes. i’m thinking of upgrading as the course mapping on the 520 plus takes forever and there have been once or twice that i missed a turn because it calculating a route.

  3. Grimes

    You mention that the recovery time includes data from other devices. Is it just from other Garmin devices or could it pull in the running/swimming info from my Suunto watch?

    • Only Garmin devices. There isn’t any sort of standard for how devices between companies can interoperate unfortunately. 🙁

    • afa

      Hi Ray, does it support older watches (I have fenix3) or only the newer one?
      This is something I would really like to have.

    • Virtually anything in the last 3-4 years is supported. There’s different tiers of support, based primarily on what the original device has capability wise though. But it all rolls in one way or another.

  4. Andrew

    Do you know how the processor compares to the 830? I have an 820 now and the only downsides are touch screen (which, admittedly has improved) and the horrible lag swiping through screens. I’ve pretty much decided that my upgrade decision will be based heavily on the internals – I prefer no touch, but if there is a big spec difference, that matters too

  5. Matthew Willimott

    Will the 1030 edge see some of these updated metrics / functions?

    • Scott McKenzie

      He mentions it in the article… yes it will

    • Todd Tannenbaum

      Yes, Garmin says Edge 1030 will get all these new features via firmware updates in upcoming months excepts for Trailforks maps. Edge 1030 owners should be very happy about that!

  6. Vid Balek

    I noticed that cycling dynamic (ant+) is not among available sensor types. I know that there is no other compatible product as vector 3 pedals but I thing that Favero should release this protocol soon. Will this be supported on Edge 530?

    It would be nice to see this sensor in your product comparison table.

  7. RayG

    All a bit pointless if you can’t read it. Any better than the poor contrast on the 500 and 510?

  8. Thomas James Howlin

    Small correction on Climbpro change of 3 to 2%.

    Climb B: 5,000 meters long at 3% = 5,000*2 = 10,000: No, doesn’t meet 3% threshold

    You mean

    Climb B 5,000 meters long at 2% = 5,000*2 = 10,000: No, doesn’t meet 3% threshold

    I can’t wait for this product!!!

  9. FrankJ

    Table says no wifi, text says it does have WiFi…

    And the million dollar question: how many data fields on the map screen?

  10. William De'Ath

    Look good to me but when is the Wahoo Elemnt ROAM being released to compare the 2 Garmins with?

  11. Craig Robertson

    Looks good, Ray how is battery life with the Varia Radar paired and working if you tested that?

    I find in the winter here when temperature is about 0 – 5 degrees and i have the Radar connected to my Edge 520 i am only getting about 3 hours battery life maximum.

    Was seriously thinking about Edge 1030 or even the new Stages, but Edge 1030 is a good bit more expensive and a lot bigger. The Stages look like they won’t support the Radar straight away too.

  12. Mikkel Andersen

    What is the real life battery time on this?

    My 520 ran out after 7 hours (of a 9½ hours race) last weekend. It was a bit cold (around 3-7 celcius) but not very impressive given that I had killed the backlight, Bluetooth and Glonass.

    • I haven’t done any ’till death do us part’ battery life tests. But I’ve found I rarely have to charge it. Garmin says they’ve changed how they do battery claims with these units (I outlined that a bit more above). So we’ll have to see.

      I’ll probably give the 20hr test a go in the next day or two, but just didn’t have the time leading up to this review to set it aside somewhere for 1-2 days and not touch it. 🙂

    • RayG

      Given that battery life is the second improvement you cited over the 520, maybe some bench tests would be worthwhile. With and without various featured running.

    • Yeah, I usually hook it up to the ANT+ simulator for sensors for the 20hr claim. They claim two concurrent sensors, so I’ll do HRM+Power, which seems fair.

      I can’t do it indoors, because that’ll cause the GPS subsystem to compensate for ‘poor GPS accuracy’ and boost power to it, which wouldn’t be realistic. So I usually do it outside.

    • Simon Gentleman

      They only sent you one?!

    • Sometimes I get one, sometimes a few. Sometimes a crapton (like I can equip an entire TdF team with the number of new magnet-less sensors I have right now).

      Generally speaking two is my sweet spot for a bunch of reasons. It allows me to to do individual unboxings for both YouTube and photos for site. It also allows me to use one unit for a while, while then saving the other unit to unbox for YouTube closer to review (so I can then shoot the video in one shot and speak logically about it, since I’ll have used it for a while).

      Additionally, two units lets me do long battery tests more easily, and also gives me flexibility with photos while collecting data on the other. It also allows me to hand off a device more easily to The Girl and have her use it. There’s a pile of reasons.

      But, I also virtually never ask for two devices (except the sensors, since I was trying to show how it worked in different scenarios without constantly swapping). I just take what I can get.

    • J-F


      No news about these battery tests?
      You didn’t had time maybe. Nevertheless I’d be glad to know about that before buying the 530 and Favero Assioma from Clever Training. 🙂

  13. Scott McKenzie

    Hi Ray,

    It looks good, thanks for the review as always… I was just toying with an upgrade to my 820. One feature that appealed from the Elemnt Bolt was that it appears to control indoor trainers better (AFAIK from your review anyway – the Wahoo seems to keep a Kickr at a set wattage if that is what the interval demands, whereas the Garmin offer the sort of sliding scale) – is this any better for indoor trainer control?


    • I’d have to go side by side and see how each controlled it these days. I’m not aware of any changes on the Garmin FE-C control side that improves the experience, though, I haven’t tried running the new structured workout thing through that for FE-C specifically. My guess is that Wahoo still has the slight edge in that department.

  14. Sander

    Nothing about readability in sun light?

  15. Steffen

    Thanks for the review,
    can you give us the exact screen sizes of both units? In both reviews you state the same screen size (increases by 13% to 2.6″), which I find hard to believe…

  16. Lee Sutton

    Hi Ray

    Don’t suppose they gave UK pricing did they? The 520+ seems to be £200 full retail.



  17. Patrick

    You were not very specific about the 520 Plus and sort of left that one hanging. I’m not sure if I would agree with your statement that you were “pretty firm in not recommending the Edge 520 Plus due to performance issues.”

    If anything you were just quiet. The 520 Plus is trash for navigation and you left us to figure that out on our own. I haven’t seen the re-route work a single time other than recommending a U turn to go way back to where the route deviated. Alerts are late or non existent.

    • MattB

      Um… I just re-read the 520 Plus hands-on, and to be fair to Ray it is pretty damning about the navigation issues – 5 minutes for 30% route generation? Missing turn alerts? All mentioned several times. The only thing you could perhaps attach blame to Ray for is that he passed on the story he was told by Garmin that these issues would be fixed, and he didn’t go back and do a full review afterwards saying they weren’t. Though he did mention in the Edge Explore review a few months later that the 520 Plus had slow routing/navigation compared to that.

    • Tim Sharpe

      Yeah DCR was brutal about the 520 Plus and rightly so.

      FWIW my 520 was running like a dog; factory reset & clearing out some ConnectIQ apps made it better…but an upgrade to the 530 is on the cards. Sounds great.

  18. Darryl

    Great review.

    Do you know of the turn by turn maps can be changed to a new region? I’m moving countries soon and don’t want to have bought a unit that won’t work in my new location.

  19. Sam

    Will any of the new features be a firmware upgrade for 520+?

    • Sam

      Hmm that’s disappointing. Surely features like ClimbPro and the nutrition reminder are software driven?
      I’ve seen the pan and zoom update in new beta firmware so not all hope
      Is lost at least.

    • Most things are indeed software, though some are also licensing. For example, Garmin has to pay FirstBeat for each ‘feature’ they unlock. Temp acclimation is one feature, altitude is another. Training Focus is another. Training Load is another. That’s four ‘charges’ to FirstBeat and we haven’t even gotten warmed up yet. 😉

      I don’t know exactly where ‘smart’ nutrition alerts sits (and I’m too slammed right now to find/check the FirstBeat catalogue/list).

      So taking into account licensing, Garmin figures out the ‘cost’ for each product – and that includes software licensing bits. So that gets into margins and what they can sell it for. Ideally over time that cost goes down (for a variety of reasons), thus supporting lowering the cost of that product. For example, I’d be blown away surprised if we don’t see Garmin start to use the Edge 520 Plus on discount to cause Wahoo and their BOLT significant headaches.

      Garmin can say ‘Ok, Wahoo, match us at $199’. Or on Black Friday, they could drop it down to $169 and mic drop. Obviously a few cents lost to FirstBeat isn’t the end of the world, but one of the reasons Garmin is still around (and now thriving) is that they’re financially very conservative.

    • Camillo

      Indeed, in April Garmin has been selling the 520plus for 199€ in Italy.

  20. Chris Cooper

    Did Garmin ever make the move to USB type c or still using micro usb?

  21. Steve A

    Thanks for doing both the 830 and the 530! On the 530, can you pan AND zoom the map (as opposed to the 520, where you could only zoom)?

  22. Tommy

    Interested to know what “party tricks” the new speed and candence sensors have

  23. Chung min hsu

    How much internal memory for maps?

  24. Darren H

    Responsiveness, mapping/routing and that alarm all make for a very tempting “upgrade”. Is there any news on a new Elemnt/Bolt in the pipeline?

  25. Noah Pene

    How is the RF performance of the 530 in comparison to to 520?

    Any info about a possible antenna redesign and a new chipset would be useful.

    I’m still getting lost connections every 10 rides or so with my Varia Vision and hope these issues will be resolved with new hardware, as firmware hasn’t been the solution.

    • Hmm, I haven’t had any dropout issues with any sensors I’ve tried (BLE or ANT+). Given the Edge 520 didn’t have BLE sensor capability, we know that there’s new chipsets in the Edge 530/830.

  26. Gijs

    Hi Ray,

    Maybe it is a bit early to ask this, but how do you think it would stack up against the announced offerings of stages (mainly the m50). I know they aren’t released yet, however you have used them for a bit in the past. How do you think that the different units relate to each other?

    Thank you for the review, as always it is full of all the different details that matter when looking for info on these kind of products

    • Hard to say until Stages releases.

      That said, it doesn’t take too much imagination to see that Garmin has dropped the gauntlet here. But there are places where Stages will edge them out. Specifically, the ability to make configuration changes in any of three spots (device, phone, web), as well as some of the backend data integration bits related to trainin gplans.

  27. Sean

    How many Strava segments can the 530 store (the 520 tapped out at 100)?

  28. Chris

    hi, many thanks for the review! is the memory the same as the edge520 plus?

  29. Andrew Bacon

    Any chance the 530 is compatible with the Garmin inReach mini like the forerunner 935 is?

  30. Reginald Brown

    I was all set to order the 830, assuming your review didn’t find anything crazy bad. I didn’t think the 520 Plus would be superceded so soon. But now…I mean, I actually prefer a touchscreen, and the POI database is nice in theory, but I’ll likely use it a handful of times at most, and is that rarely used feature and a touchscreen worth $100? Probably not. Now the waiting begins. Given the other items I’ve been an early adopter of from Garmin, early May probably means July if I’m lucky.

    • Short of something horrific happening, early May is probably quite realistic. Production already began and the final firmware is out. Things are simply working their way through distribution/etc.

  31. Steve Warshauer

    I own a one year old Garmin Edge 1030 and wonder if it is worth upgrading to the new Edge 830. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks and great review, as usual.

    • I wouldn’t. At least unless you’re a hardcore mountain biker.

      But the Edge 1030 will get all the new feature updates that the Edge 530/830 got, minus the baked in Trailforks map data.

    • Gennaro

      But I suppose you can still use the Trailforks maps on Edge 1030 installing the Trailforks CIQ app?

  32. Andrew Van Til

    Maybe I missed it, but how much does it weigh? Garmin claims 78g, but you never know :).

    • Andrew Van Til

      Forgot to ask how the Wi-Fi feature works. Is it like the BOLT, where it will detect Wi-Fi when I get back to a known location and sync the activities automatically?


    • Andrew Van Til

      Oops. Looks like I miss the Wi-Fi answer (should have searched for WiFi).

  33. Anne Farawila

    Does it work with bestbikesplit? I.e. giving you power target for race intervals on your loaded course, like the Wahoo element does?

  34. Cory Maximino

    Can you load the OSM map onto it, like the 520? And if so, can it handle a bigger map file?

  35. Eli

    You talk about the copies for the gps but how about the CPU? Is the 530 and 830 the same in terms of CPU performance? Are they faster then the 1030? How about memory? Same amount? How’s it compare to the 1030? All this does impact connect iq apps and what is possible in the future.

    For example right now nothing is meant to take advantage any extra capability but if the hardware is more capable on the 830….

    • Eli

      Memory being ram and storage space on the device. With the extra functionality Garmin keeps adding to the connect iq API I’d expect future apps that take advantage that so getting a device with less hardware resources may not be important now but could in the future

    • Eli

      Going by this benchmark the 530/830 is over twice as fast CPU wise as the 1030
      link to forums.garmin.com

      Any verification Ray? Any chance running a connect iq benchmark becomes a standard party of your review of units that support connect iq?

    • I believe that graph is from the numbers I posted yesterday, as they match the exact numbers I posted. 🙂

  36. Magnus

    Thanks for a great review Ray!
    I notice you say the unit support bluetooth power, do you know if my Polar Kèo Essential pedals will work with the 530? I tried a Wahoo Bolt a year ago but that one didn’t support power meters over bluetooth, only ANT+.

  37. Bachulator

    Hi Ray,

    Awesome review as always. One question though. You have mentioned the unit can’t navigatite you to specific POI, but is it capable to show some specific POIs along the course. Like one of most common scenarios would be some gas station to stop to pick some water which might be not on the route but in some proximity.


    • Yeah, that’s the trick. Some POI’s seem to show up in abundance for me (oddly, parking garages), yes others are rare (train and bus stops), and others rarer yet (food). And that being a tiny fraction (like single-digit percentage at best) of what I see on the Edge 830 when ‘searching’.

      It’s on my to-do list to find out the rhyme or reason behind this. For now, i’d just use ones phone.

    • Bachulator

      For me as a long range rider this feature makes a huge difference. My guess would be difference in basemaps (just missing poi) since some of POIs show up that might indicate the feature is there just missing source. Maybe you could make openstreets map import for your area and check how it looks. Hope you will come up with answers and might update the review.
      Keep up a great work.

    • David Ruedeman

      Navigating to a point without consulting a phone is the one feature that I wish that Garmin would have added to the 500 series Edge. Having been burned twice with Garmin’s crummy touchscreen interface display I am loathe to purchase an 830 or 1030 device. I have a 60CSx so I know they could develop that interface if they felt like it. Just another example of “bottom of the line syndrome”

    • To be clear, you can navigate to a point with the Edge 530. You just cant’ search for points. So you have to use the little map mover thingy to find your point. It’s fine for close-by points that you know where/what they are (just not how to get to them). But obviously useless if you don’t know where the point is.

  38. Patrick

    It would be great if they would add a tire pressure alert to the alarm function. On most descents or engaging terrain I don’t look at my Garmin, so if it were to do an audible alarm if tire pressure were to drop below a value I set–that could potentially be a great safety feature. Obviously I would have to have a Tirewiz, but for those situations where a leak can lead to a crash it could be invaluable.

  39. GLT

    Excellent review, and excellent effort on Garmin’s part.

    Was already loving the training features on the E1030 along with the Power Pack. Good to see those trickle down to the smaller form factor units.

    Anxiously awaiting the new E1030 firmware for the latest improvements. Fairly certain my “Jump” count is going to remain zero though.

  40. Doru

    Hi Ray,
    Do you know from where is the ClimbPro feature taking the altitude information in order to detect and report the climbs, according to the algorithm detailed in your review ?
    Are the routes/courses imported containing the altitude information for all points along the route ? Or does the map integrated the device contains all the altitude markers ?
    I am assuming that it is not based on some predefined segments, like Strava ones.

    • ClimbPro uses the mapset elevation data, and then plots your actual elevation over that data.

      The reason I know this is that in the Mallorca climb where a unit was offset on elevation data, it skewed my progress on ClimbPro slightly due to that since it was showing me the unit’s assumed elevation versus using position on a map altitude. If that all makes sense.

  41. Nick

    The nutrition thing is a step in the right direction but there could be more. I also thought a connect iq nutrition clock app would be made but never has. I would like to be able to configure alerts at a set distance or time. Drink or eat every 15 mins, gel every 30 or 45 mins, eat a energy bar every hour for example. For distance you could add in alerts at a set distance or it could look at your elevation changes over a pre configured distance and recommend when to have nutrition like if you want to drink 3 bottles over 100km.

    • You can actually already setup hydration/nutrition alerts based on distance or time. 🙂 It’s down under the ‘Alerts’ features at the very bottom of the list.

  42. adam

    Does the 1030 actually have the hardware for alarm/volume for the alarm?

  43. Pete

    Hi Ray,

    Will Garmin be providing firmware update so I can get these new features on my Edge 705 too??

  44. redRover

    I would be interested in a more detailed explanation of why GPS position (handlebar versus back pocket) influences track accuracy, if you can get anything out of Garmin. I can see how it could potentially block reception, but in that case you would think the result would be less accuracy around the same track, not an offset to one side.

    • My guess would be because I don’t consistently put it in my back pocket facing upwards, but rather, stuffed in there upside-down, and occasionally with things cameras and god knows what else is in there that ride.

      I suspect if one just put it in nice and up-facing, all would be well.

  45. john emanuel

    I’ve used garmin since the 305 and then i started using it because it was a super reliable computer that didn’t break. Since then i’ve had continuous issues with bluetooth connectivity, workouts not recording, firmware updates resetting my device, devices resetting themselves and losing all my stored data and having to set everything back up, and the last straw was with a firmware update on a 520 that bricked the gps on it and garmin support initially was trying to help and asked for some files which i sent them, but they never followed back up with me and never replied to any of my requests for updates on the issue. I love your reviews and i’m sure the new garmins will be great initially but i wish garmin as a company would be held more accountable for their reliability or lack of with their bike computers. Their Q/A is seriously lacking. Wonder if it’s possible to do a long term review of these products or conduct some kind of poll asking people how reliable their computers are? Because honestly new features are great but at the end of the day, i just want one that when i go to turn it on, it works and when i go to do a firmware update, it updates without any problems, and I’ve never had that experience with garmin computers.

    • I suspect most Bluetooth issues are phone related (as in, the dance between the Edge and the phone). In some cases the failing dance partner is the phone hardware, in some cases the phone software, and in some cases the Garmin devices. Figuring out who is at fault is really tricky unless you have other companies devices to compare in real-time (for example, to see that a Wahoo drops connection at the same time, implying a phone issue).

      In my case, I use the crap out of the Edge products – super long term. Every ride I do have 3-4 Garmin Edge devices on it, usually collecting power meter data.

  46. Alex

    Is there any way to turn off some sensors for certain profiles? Currently on my 935, every time I start a run activity or any IQ app such as Komoot to just download a course, my bike lights switch on.

    Been looking forward to the 530 not just for doing some more touring and exploring beyond the breadcrumb trails and a lot of advanced planning with the watch. I’m expecting a nice side effect is lights not draining unnecessarily every time any activity is opened.

    • No method, though, to solve your specific problem – in the light network of Edge devices you can say not to turn on the lights until you press the physical start button on the workout.

  47. Davis

    What GPS setting do you recommend? GPS; GPS + Galileo; GPS + GLONASS? Is one superior to the next? Is it by region? Does it take more battery power? Is your testing completed using only one configuration?

    • I personally prefer GPS+Galileo, especially after the near-completion of the Galileo network back in February. Seeing really good results.

      That said, Garmin specifically noted in my conversations that most of their fine-tuning has been on GPS+GLONASS. They said I’d see the best results there, and that was their recommendation. Still, I mixed and matched on different tests to see how it did. No appreciable difference here.

  48. John W.

    Hey Ray, Great review (as always)! I tried to click through your links into CleverTraining to pre-order a 530 and don’t see it on their site yet. Any idea when a) it will be on CleverTraining’s site for pre-order and 2) can you give us an educated guess on when they will “actually” ship (besides the early-Mid May generic comment from Garmin)? I have a bike camp the first week of June that I could certainly use the extra battery life for.

  49. Sven

    The debate has raged on amongst MTBers whether dedicated cycling units track more accurately than your phone. One side says ‘buy an iPhone SE for $125’, while the other side says ‘no, you need to spend $400 on the Edge 830’. I know MEC execs tested both, and found there to be no advantage. Has there been any empirical evidence that supports either opinion?

  50. Andrew From Idaho

    When you reviewed the InReach Mini last year, you noted that one of the big misses was its lack of integration with the Edge bike computers, services like Strava Livetrack.

    You also mentioned that Garmin agreed, and saw the value there.

    And updates on that front?

  51. Guillermo

    Hi Ray,

    Is the new 530 able to control a smart trainer like Neo or Kickr by BLE? The previous 520 was only able to connect by ANT+TC.


    • No, ANT+ FE-C only. Though, what scenario would you want to use BLE FTMS instead of FE-C?

    • Guillermo

      It would be nice if the new 530/830 control the Tacx Neo by BLE (makes more sense as Garmin has acquired Tacx)

      Currently with the 520 while doing a workout connected to the Neo by ANT+FE there are dropouts so the segments are not smooth at all, it is just annoying. Nothing like Zwift or TR connected to the Neo which is perfect.
      On the other hand, I also have a wahoo Bolt connected to a Kickr by the native BLE and the workout in ERG mode is smooth and perfect.

    • Yeah, honestly, that doesn’t have anything to do with ANT+ FE-C or BLE. As I often control trainers with zero issues on ANT+ FE-C.

      What your seeing is really more around Garmin’s implementation of trainer control versus Wahoo’s. For example, if you use the Wahoo BOLT over ANT+ FE-C to control the Tacx, it’ll be nice as smooth as well. 🙂

    • Sage

      Old post, but I have a scenario for you. I’m trying to connect my Garmin Edge 530 to an old CycleOps Pro 300 trainer, using a hack with an NPE CABLE device. They recommend using the FTMS profile to transmit speed and cadence. Fortunately there is another profile that will transmit power and cadence that uses BLE, but I’m still trying to figure out how to transmit speed so I can track my rides with my Garmin instead of the old CycleOps Joule 2.0.

  52. When I unplug my 520 from charging, it powers on. Annoying! Did Garmin fix that in the 530?

    • Same. Though, it will power off automatically in a few minutes, as will your Edge 520.

    • Tom Dubel

      What about when you plug in the charger? Will it turn on as well like the 520 does. That is annoying and it doesn’t turn off automatically. Also, can I use the same mounts as my 520?

    • Yes, it does. It’ll stay on. Same mounts as the Edge 520 (all Garmin Edge made in the last 10 years use the same mount).

    • Kim Robberecht

      When I unplug charging, the unit asks me if I want to shut down (you have like 20seconds to select shut down or for the unit to stay on).
      And I have to double check but my 520 doesn’t restart when I plug in the charger (when It was still on after a ride). I think this changed because 3 years ago it did shut down every time before charging.

  53. Chris

    So if you don’t need/want speed/cadence/hr/remote, but would like the trail forks maps as well as road maps, can you buy the base for $299 and install?

    I skimmed fast, but also if you buy mtb, does it do everything the road does but also has the trail forks?

    And lastly, will the trail forks maps be updated regularly, or will the maps just get out of date each year?


    Going to order either base (as I’m cheap) or mtb if I really have to today, and hope that they can have it shipped to me by 10-May for my training camp

    • Trailforks maps comes with all units, mountain bike bundle only gets you extra hardware.

      My understanding is Trailforks maps data gets updated just like regular Garmin maps data.

  54. Steven

    Has the method of calculating hill slope gradient changed from the 520?, my 520 is laughable at best telling me I’m on a 2° incline when I know it’s 15°+ , kind of a useless feature imo. My old ibike computer tells my current slope% standing still if I tip bike up, also my smartphone app also give instant readings of “level” of I tip it. Is there any head unit that calculates slope this way?
    Thanks for your review

  55. Jonathan Zappala

    Does training load work with true-up to be the same on the fr935? But my bigger question is would training load for cycling compute into training load for running on the 935? I don’t track rides on my 935, but if I did I don’t think it would register. It would be nice if running and cycling would go together. I’m using strava for that though, their relative effort does do both, so I kind of ignore what my 935 says now for training load.

    I like the heat effect on performance metrics. I would get it for the mountain bike metrics though hands down. I’d like to know my flow score. I’m not going to upgrade my edge 520 yet, but before this came along I would have gone down to a 130. The MTB stuff makes it worthwhile for the 530.

  56. Bill N

    I currently have a Garmin 820 with touchscreen. It seems that when I sweat, and drips on the screen, the screen changes, causing me to set it to only show one screen. Would this still be a problem with the 830 ?, and should I go with the 530, to avoid this? Thank you.

    • No issues for me with sweat here. I might put together a video on it with water for fun. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

      On your Edge 820, toy around with the newish screen sensitivity settings. It addresses the exact issue you’re having (or, should anyway).

  57. Joe

    Garmin lists the 530 and 830 battery life the same— are they different? Remember that annoying feature where the 820 just listed the odometer as total unit mileage and it was tough to get it to just display the current trip mileage? Will these display just the current trip mileage instead of the units all time odometer?

  58. Erik Wolla

    Ray, thanks for the in depth review of the two new Garmin Edge units. While I have not (yet) fine-read the reviews, it seems the only “obvious” HW difference between the 530 and the 830 are the touch screen and number of buttons. Also – in the fotos – the two units looks identical – at least “up front” (literally).

    However, on the Garmin website the 830 specs
    link to buy.garmin.com
    the unit screen resolution is 200 x 265 pixels
    while the 530 specs
    link to buy.garmin.com
    the unit screen resolution is 246 x 322 pixels
    Also the unit dimensions are slilgthly different.

    Are the specs for the 830 screen resolution, and perhaps other parameters, wrong?

    • Matthias Matthias

      Did you get an answer to the question with the resolution?

      BR Matthias.

    • Mike Brown

      200×265 is the old edge 520 resolution so there’s no way the 830 is not higher

    • Erik Wolla

      No respose from DCR that I can see. The Garmin Edge 830 webpage/shop is still saying ‘200 x 265’ resolution. Must be an error I thing (“cut’n’paste” error, may all Garmin web page responsibles are busy doing FW work? 😉 )

    • Erik Wolla

      The Garmin webpages for the 830 has now been updated so the screen resolution and physical device dimensions are now identical to the 530 …

    • Woot – thus ensuring Rule #1 is still alive and well: Always assume Garmin.com is wrong. 🙂

      (Rule #2: Always assume Garmin.com will leak their own products before anyone else.)

    • Erik Wolla

      Hmmm, I now realize there must be different chapters of Velominati around the world, with different Rule #1 and #2 … 😉

  59. Corey W

    Minor typo in this line: (“has can do”)
    – Edge 830 has can do address-specific routing, whereas on the Edge 530 you can’t enter a street address

  60. Jonathan Dixon

    Any plans to incorporate workouts from third party apps into the training performance metrics through the physio true up? It’s frustrating that TrainerRoad sessions, for instance, aren’t counted.


    Thxs for all this effort, just wondering if my Fenix 5X can be used as a heart rate transmitter to the Edge 530. Probably asking to much 🙂

  62. ebmudder

    I’m not sure if you mentioned anything about the real-time %-grade and climb rate data, which continues to frustrate me on my 520. Are those features still in the 530? On my 520 they are either extremely slow to update, or don’t correspond to each other, and generally don’t “catch up” to reality for tens of seconds, or drop to zero in the middle of a climb. I would upgrade just for an improvement in those two metrics alone

  63. Alex

    I’ve had the 520 for a couple of years and my biggest complaint has been battery drain so the (promised) improvement in battery alone will put this on my shopping list. The all-black shell helps, too. Thanks for, as always, such a thorough review!

  64. Ben

    Hey Ray,

    Great review, you mention firmware will release to the 1030. I have an edge explore dispatched, will that get the latest firmware or should I return for the 830?


    • Nicolas

      I just contacted support to ask exactly that as I’m really on the fence between the explore and the 530.
      According to support, the Explore will not get updated to include the climb pro feature.

  65. Thanks for the great review.

    One question, though: now many ConnectIQ data fields can be installed? Does it support 10 as the 1030? I hate that on Fenix I can only install 2.

  66. Stephen

    Thanks. Very helpful post.

  67. Jeff

    Any chance Garmin will do an “s” upgrade (similar to Apple) for the 1030 to change out the GPS Chipset and upgrade to the faster Processor….there are a bunch of us old guys that really like the larger screen. That would put it on par with these latest units and extend it useful life.

  68. Harris

    Wow. Seems like Garmin has really upped the game. The Wahoo Bolt now seems to be getting a little long-in-the-tooth, so it will be interesting to see if they release something new. When my Edge 510 died, (second one, after first was replaced by Garmin outside of warranty), I went with the Bolt due to the frustrations with connectivity and uploading workouts, as well as the device freezing. The Bolt has been relatively problem free, although the sync of routes through RWGPS can be a little slow. It might be time to look at Garmin again…The integration with TrainerRoad is a big plus on this side for me, as well as the fact that Wahoo still hasn’t implemented ANT+ light control yet.

    • TXCiclista

      Wahoo has the “Roam” set to release, but based on the limited information, it’s not going to be able to compete with the expanded feature set of the 530. I’m actually debating a switch to Garmin this cycle.

  69. Tim

    Thanks for a very detailed review on the Edge 530.
    If unit is bought in North America, will I be able to load Asia map and get turn by turn navigation?
    How much will it cost for Asia map?

  70. Billy

    Do these units all support the latest version of Connect IQ? It’s kinda mentioned but confirmation would be good. Very interested to move onto a unit with the capabilities of my 820 but with buttons, having been burned by many touchscreen issues on my 820 (I got a baaaaaad one). The 530 could be just the ticket…

  71. Fred Hade

    Will any of these features roll down to the 820 by way of software updates?

  72. Nick Radov

    Have you tested the ANT+ Extended Display feature? I’m curious to know how well it works as an extended display for triathletes using a Forerunner 935.

    • John F.

      I’m interested about extended display too.
      As current Fenix 5 user and triathlete, I’m think that could be a great and useful feature in races.

    • Wendy Paez

      I also have a forerunner 935 and would like to buy a bike computer to use while doing triathlons, does it have extended display feature, have you tried it?

    • The Edge 530 does indeed have the Extended Display feature, and the Forerunner 935 watch is supported.

  73. Smee

    Aside from the larger screen and lower price, is there a reason to consider the Edge Explore over the Edge 530? I’ve just started looking into these and had come to the conclusion that the Explore would be enough for me compared to the other options. But the introduction of the 530 has me thinking that maybe I should change my mind.

    I’m not competing or training and my riding will mostly casual on-road. However, I may get my mountain bike up and running again so trails may be a possibility in the future.

    I also like the availability of the 530 with the new sensors. It doesn’t look like the Explore has a “with sensors” package.

    • Gunnar Christensen

      I have the explore and it’s a really good unit. I even have power data as a display through connect IQ. I record all my data through my forerunner 935 and use the edge explore as a head unit. Great display, full euro maps (or USA if you buy it there|). It’s like a mini edge 1030 minus the huge price tag.

  74. David Marks

    I recently contacted Garmin about the inconsistent battery life of my Edge 820. They offered me a 1030 at no charge and now I know why. They now have the 830 to replace the 820 with improvements in battery life. The 830 is a 1030 in an 820 shell.


  75. James

    Great review.

    So i’m on the verge of buying my first bike computer… Having recently read your review on the BOLT I was practically sold, but now on reading this I am torn!

    I have seen that Wahoo is going to reveal something new imminently – could it be an updated Bolt to rival the 530? Should I wait…?

  76. Scott Weisgerber

    Did I miss it, or do we still have to use the crappy interface on the garmin unit to customize the screens? When will garmin allow us to set up the devise on a computer or smart phone?

  77. Tod

    Did they finally increase the live segment limit from 100?

  78. Noel

    I have a 510 that has a touchscreen why did garmin go away from that in the newer 5 series?

  79. Andrew Jones

    Ray, wondering how the 530 battery use/life is affected by the Varia UT800?
    Also will it (UT800)see any updates or replacement, I’m a shift worker and having it on the speed adjusted setting I only get 45min out of it. I know I’ll get mor life from the strobe setting but I’ll ride roads and bike paths that are poorly lit.

  80. Jim

    Ahhh, I just received by Wahoo Bolt yesterday to replace my ancient Edge 500. I picked the Bolt over the 520+ because I liked the setup, UI and slightly better visibility. But the 530 does look sweet. Still think I’d like the UI better on the Wahoo with the buttons on the top surface. The maps and routing aren’t really of great interest to me at this point but the Climbpro feature looks awesome. Maybe enough to sway me since I haven’t even setup the Bolt yet and can return it. Decisions, decisions although I’m sure either will be a quantum leap over my 500.

  81. Simon

    G’day Ray,

    You mention this in the review: “Finally, once done you’ll press the ‘Stop’ button on the right corner, which pauses the recording. Press it again to save it.” Is that a change from the 510/520/520 plus where you can re-start an activity if you stopped it (accidentally or on purpose) by pressing ‘Stop’ again? To save on the older models you hit the OK/confirm button.

    Great review! Almost tempted to trade up from my 520 plus.

    • Ben

      Simon, pressing the start/stop button pauses the ride and shows a minimal ride summary page with some menu options available. When Ray said press it again to save it, I think he meant press the enter button which would select the first menu item – “Save Ride” which saves the ride instantly, there is no confirmation message. To resume the ride, you can simply press stop/start again or select “resume” from the pause menu.

      I just got the 530 a few days ago. I previously had a 520 plus and an Elemnt Bolt. The upgrade to this is worth every penny, I think it’s far superior to both those units across the board.

  82. Aubrey

    Today got the Garmin email announcing the 530. Yesterday brought a 520 Plus from REI. Tomorrow, trip to REI to return the 520 Plus.

  83. Jimmy

    Does this still have the lanyard like the 520?

    • It has the hole, and my understanding is that the box has the lanyard. I didn’t receive the production box set yet (I have a final production unit, but it just skipped the unboxing line). Once i get that, likely in the next few days, I’ll add those pics in.

  84. David White

    Superb review, Ray! One typo “you want a paired down activity profile” -> “pared down”

  85. Steffen

    This may seem a stupid glassball question…seeing the 10% discount on Clevertraining it would make sense to order there. However they are located in the UK, seeing the unclear Brexit situation nobody knows in what way things are going to end….
    Does Garmin have a worldwide guarantee?
    or, asked differently, if I buy the unit at Clevertraining would I need to return it there if I have problems or can I go directly to Garmin in Germany?
    Did not find anything on this on Garmins website.

    • Garmin warranty is worldwide.

      There are a few rare scenarios that are ‘messier’ to deal with (specifically Brazil due to import complexities), but even that, Garmin makes right by the customer and for the most part the customer doesn’t know any better.

  86. BobbyM

    Hi Ray,
    I’m guessing the 530 (or the 830 for that matter) has the Trendline Popularity routing?
    If so, is it the same situation when traveling to another region (America / Europe) that you can upload a map to the Edge, but without the Popularity routing?

    • Yup, correct on all fronts.

    • BobbyM

      Sad panda… Haven’t tried pre routing a training, but do we have the ability to use that Trendline Popularity on Garmin Connect? Or is that only available on the Edge?

      Also, from a comment I read that the recovery time is synced between the 530 and a Fenix (in my case a Fenix 5). Is the training status and training load also synced? Would that be new compared to the 520?
      I thought I read that before, to have the training count on the watch you had to record on both the Edge and the Fenix…

    • If you create a route on Garmin Connect (or GCM), it’ll use the trendline popularity routing as part of the creation, no matter the device.

      The on-device stuff is mainly useful if you go rogue sans pre-created route.

      Correct on sync between devices. The Edge 520 contributed to, but didn’t receive stats. The Fenix 5 can receive stats (and contribute), but wouldn’t contribute heat/acclimation related portions. GC behind the scenes will take the devices stats which has the most detail as authoritative.

      I actually spent over an hour with the Physio True-Up team when in Kansas a few weeks ago trying to untangle how it all works. I roughly understand it all now, though I think there’s still just a lot of edge cases that gaps can occur, which is understandable given the incredible complexity associated with having a decades worth of devices with varying capabilities.

  87. Matthias Knauff


    is it true that the display resolution of the 830 is lower than that of the 530?
    This is what Garmin himself writes.

    BR Matthias

  88. Juraj

    Hi Ray,

    I am a triathlete and as you know best 🙂 I have few bikes road, TT, MTB for winter etc.

    I use TrainingPeaks vs Garmin Connect for my trainings and I am just about to buy Favero Assioma pedals.

    My main device is Fenix5X and I wonder.

    Would the 530 works together with my watch in brick workouts or even in Triathlon ?

    Would the Assioma pedals work with 530 and will the VO2Max and other metrics get counted as it would with Gamin Vector pedals?

    Can you see any downside to the Assioma vs 530 vs Fenix5X?

    I have no EDGE device and I really need one + cant decide between Garmnin Vector 3S / Assioma Single.

    What I know is that I am not going to swap my F5X but would appreciate some buying advise 🙂 regarding the EDGE and pedals. I have read all your reviews but still, u the man who knows it all! 🙂

    Cheers buddy,


  89. Kenneth Girard

    I just bought a 520 Plus and am very happy with it except I was surprised to find that there are no stats for maximum and average gradients at the end of a ride. Does the new 530 have these (what to me seem to be very basic) features? And if not, is there a work-around?


    Is there any way to load a route from Ride with GPS from your phone yet? This is the one feature that has be considering an Elemnt Bolt to supplement my Edge 1000 and Edge Explore.

  91. Bob

    I am a tech nerd/novice rec cyclist who was finally able to find the time to add cycling back to my life with commuting, lots of burley hauling and hoping to add a bit more of 20-60 miles rides this summer.

    Over the winter I added the KickR Core, Climb, Wahoo Cadence & Speed sensors and a TickRx to my arsenal. I relied on many of your reviews as well as the Llama to make my decisions (thanks for the great reviews).

    After doing lots of researching and reading your older Bolt review I had decided that the Bolt would be the bike computer for me and then I stumbled across this review and this thing seems awesome. I literally got the Bolt for my birthday yesterday and I am wondering if I should hold off and get this instead, it really does look like an amazing product. I am mostly interested in the improved mapping. The improved performance speed gains is also a major consideration as well and I am really intrigued by the ClimbPro features which are not essential but seem freaking cool. Also seems like a feature that may lead me to search out hilly routes instead of avoiding them.

    I am wavering back and forth as the Bolt seems to be a quality product as well and I am pretty heavily invested in the Wahoo family at this point. Any advice?


    • TXCiclista

      For what it’s worth, even Wahoo has an update in the pipeline (Google “Wahoo Roam”). The 530 sounds like it’s going to leapfrog the Roam, but either way, you should probably hold off since it looks like everyone is releasing their new devices right now. Unless you’ve found a Bolt on a great sale, just get the newer generation of whoever tickles your fancy best

  92. Jan

    Just curious… Will Edge 530 work with older speed & cadence bundle set of sensors?

  93. Jim

    Wahoo Elemnt Bolt boxed up and ready to drop off at UPS for return/refund. I’m going to see how the 530 performs when it is released to the masses. Hopefully it will be ready for prime time and the early adopters are not just beta testers.

  94. JJS

    Hello Ray,
    on the videos you are wearing a Marq Athlete, right? Did this one replace your F5+ or is it just because you are working on the in-depth-review for this watch?
    Looks very beautiful and I‘m wondering if this piece really can put leisure and workout needs in one device…

    • Correct.

      It won’t be my normal watch, it’s just as I’m working on a review for it. I suspect probably mid-May at this point for that review, after I sort through a few other reviews. Nothing wrong with it – it’s great, just…a bit overwhelmed with other time-sensitive things at the moment before I can spend some time writing and photographing about it.

  95. David Walker

    I wish that Garmin had implemented ClimbPro so that you didn’t need to be on a route to get the climb data. That it would show the climb data when you were just riding around. This is because in my home area I almost never use a route since I know where I am and where I am going. It seems to me that since these units have maps with elevation data and know where you are they could figure out that you were on a climb and display the ClimbPro data. That would be super interesting for me.

    • Yeah, I kind of agree.

      One tidbit though is that you can do this on the fly. On either unit you can just plop a dot at some point on the road (ideally after the summit) and then it’ll do it in real-time. Not worth it for a 90 second climb, but if you’ve got some route that’s perhaps 20 minutes or so, it takes only a few seconds to drop that map point and get the data.

    • David Walker

      You mean create a short, on-the-fly, route over the climb?

    • Or they could simply integrate it with live segments. If you have starred a segment that has / is a climb, then enable ClimbPro while on the segment.

      I suppose they are not doing it on-the-go because that would require a constant lookup of the extra map data that has the ClimbPro resources. I am not sure how big and how difficult it is to query this data internally. Maybe it would be taxing the CPU too much, meaning less battery, so not worth it. Maybe that changes in the future.

  96. Simon

    Great review, thanks!

    What are the buttons like to use during a ride? Do the require a hard press that’s enough to wobble to bike, or can it be done easily?

    I’m looking to upgrade my now ancient Edge 800. I *think* I’d be ok with having buttons instead of a touchscreen to save £90, but only if it’s easy to switch views (e.g. from map view, to elevation, to data fields) while on the move.

    I’ve been waiting for the Wahoo Roam, but very tempted by 530 (or 830) now!

  97. Tom Mueller

    Great review. A few years ago I switched to a Wahoo ELEMNT after 820 touchscreen issues.

    I’ve liked how I can sync my RideWithGPS routes (170+ of them) to the Wahoo unit.

    How do getting RideWithGPS routes on the unit work with the Garmin 530? Similar to Wahoo?

    • TXCiclista

      Judging by the RWG help page, it has to be done manually, which is a bit of a letdown after Wahoo’s automation: link to ridewithgps.com

    • Kirby K.

      @TXCiclista Thanks for this and your other informative replies ? .

    • Jeff Biscuits

      You can use a ConnectIQ app called RouteCourse to bridge the gap. I have mine set to automatically sync pinned RWGPS routes to RouteCourse, then you just select a route in the app on the device to import it over wifi.

    • Leo2019

      Maybe be I’m misunderstanding original question but there is rwgps iq app. Create a course on the rwgps webpage, save it and it automatically comes up in the iq app as long as the 530 is connected.

    • Louis Matherne

      Also works for pinned routes.

  98. Robert Velez

    Thanks for the review! I think its time to upgrade my Edge 510 as it’s been difficult to BT pair with my iPhone and doesn’t play well lately with the Connect app. Regarding the video review, what are the new sensors that you’ve mentioned? Would love to see a separate comparison video between new and old compatible sensors with a baseline GPS such as the new 530!

  99. Lukasz

    how Trailforks maps/trails updating looks like? is it easy? automated process maybe ?

    • Lukasz

      what’s the meaning of ‘baking trails into’ ? does it mean you have all the time the same old (non-existing for example) trails from all the round the world and you can’t remove them, you can’t update, just you can do nothing ? is it useful feature ?

    • Lukasz

      In some places Trailforks tracks are updated/created/close everyday, there is no point in ‘baking in’ trails from around all the world (especially that 99% of them i’ll never ride).
      is there an option to update TF before every ride ? as a routine.

      Could you test TF integration more? how TF app works ? can i see all the trails nearby? (even created by me previous day)

    • Baking in means the data is part of the mapset, the same mapset that Garmin updates pretty frequently (and in turn you’ll see updates via Garmin Connect). I get updates all the time on my Edge 1030 for example.

      The TrailForks Connect IQ app itself has been around for a year, so plenty of info on that out there already.

      Whereas the native trailforks driven functions on the Edge 530 show you:

      A) Trails nearby: There’s a special Mountain Bike trails nearby option in the navigation menu, which basically enumerates a listing of trails alongside their distance and rating (difficulty)
      B) ForkSight: As noted, when you slow your bike to a pause while coming up to a fork in the trail, you’ll see the options at that fork, with each trail listed separately. You can then select a trail and get further details about that trail. I put screenshots up above on how that looks/works.

    • Lukasz

      Thanks for info !
      I’m trying to find more info about TF Connect IQ app, but there is none !

      so the TrailForks Connect IQ app shows you just a list of nearby trails and you need to download them one by one ? it doesn’t show you a map with nearby trails ?

      native trailforks ‘trails nearby’ shows you just a list as well? or because all trails are saved in device, you can see a map with nearby trails ? can you then click on a trail for more info? (like if it’s closed/open, difficulty etc. ? )

    • Lukasz

      I’m just trying to undestand if Garmin Edge (530 or even 520+) could be better than a simple… (i need navigation in new areas – i use Locus Map and TrailForks and i like to measure time of segments)

      so am i right, thinking that the only advantages of 530 for me are: better battery life, better GPS chip, faster CPU (more responsive device) ?

  100. andy

    Can you still respond to texts with preprogrammed responses? I think that functionality was supposed to be in the 520plus

    • Chris

      You can from an Android but not iPhones. This was one feature I used all the time when I had a Galaxy s8 and my Garmin 1030. I didn’t realize that iPhones block this capability.

  101. Paul Thomas

    Is there any reason why the GRIT and new MTB metrics cannot be added to older Edge versions, at least the 520+?

    • My guess is that technically it’s probably possible, though I could also see a case where the older Edge 520 Plus actually really being an Edge 520 may not have the right accellerometers in it.

  102. Great new GPS from Garmin Edge 530 and 830. As always astounding in-depth review.
    However is did not see any mention of respiration rate from HRV strap?
    Please see FirstBeat site for details.

  103. Ed

    Rainmaker, thanks again for great review!

    btw, regarding “ClimbPro” doesn’t the 520 Plus already have that feature too?

    On my and cycling buddies 520 Plus, we load up the course, then go for a “Ride”. One of the screens we have is elevation, in this screen it displays the same thing described as ClimbPro: graphic of the hill, we can insert data fields such as distance left, time left, power, grade, etc. Only up to 2 data fields however.

    Anyone else use the similar “ClimbPro” features on their 520 Plus?


    • GLT

      The basic Elevation screen users manually switch to has been available on Edge units for a few years. The ClimbPro feature is a bit different in that it automatically switches the display and focuses on the elevation information for just the hill the cyclist is currently climbing.

  104. Steve

    Nice review! As I understand it, if I buy this unit in Canada I will get the North America mapset. What if I take the unit to Spain? Do I have to download a Europe map from another source?

  105. Mitch W

    Hi Ray,

    Re: navigation to a point I don’t know (i.e. How to get to x coffee shop in a new town)

    No way to do this on 530 (only 830), seems like no way to do this via Connect (maybe if they improve manual route one day)…. Can this be accomplished via Connect IQ app (maps, DWMaps, something else)?

    If so, OMG such a compelling device especially for someone fairly new to MTBing AND with a poor sense of direction. This might force me back into the Garmin fray and to dump my Lezyne (sorry L, still love the device, but this seems better in every way).

    • Technically you can actually do it in Garmin Connect Mobile now, even on older devices. The only challenge is that Garmin Connect doesn’t allow you to ‘search’ for a location (i.e. Starbucks). But it gives you full Google Maps with labels. So if you find it on another map elsewhere and then re-find it in Garmin Connect, you can do it.

      Go to More > Training > Courses > Create Course > Road Cycling > Custom > And then choose your starting point > Then choose your finishing point. It’ll create a route, and you can send it to your device. (Same applies for mountain biking)

      On the Edge 530 itself, you can do basically the exact same thing assuming you know where the point is. Whereas on the Edge whereas on the Edge 830/1030 you can search for Starbucks (or whatever).

    • D

      On my Garmin EDGE 520 i use a lot Elevation profile Screen. Usually i know on what elevation is hill im climbing, so have idea how much climb left and how much distance to the top… On Garmin 500 this profile was even better since i was able to zoom out/zoom in (on Garmin Edge 520 is fixed, and showing like 2 km in front, showed on grid 400 m distance/60m eleveation if i remember correctly).

      So beside ClimbPro (where as i understund u need to create a route in advance), is it still keeped Elevation Profile as on 520? Is it possible to Zoom In/Zoom Out as on Edge 500 or still fixed ?

    • Deepak

      Same question here.

    • It’s fixed on ClimbPro to show you just that specific climb. Versus the elevation profile is just general distance based for the zoom levels.

  106. SS

    Ray – How long have you been testing these units? A few days? Months? If you are this confident after a couple months of usage I am sold on an upgrade to my ancient 500!

    Have you scratched the screen at all? Wondering if screen protectors and silicone cases are coming?

    • A bit over a month, with about 25-30 rides in total on each.

      Zero screen scratching, and I treat them like crap. Right now both are sitting in the front pocket of my backpack next to keys, pens, coins, and all sorts of other TSA-shutter inducing items. They’ve been like that for the past month. And I’ve dropped both units on rocks and concrete more than enough times trying to get photos. Virtually all the photos you see here were taken the night before the review went live, so after any ‘love’ I’ve given them. 🙂

  107. Ray,

    Two quick navigation-related questions. First, how does the Edge do with out-and-back courses? A few years ago, I remember Garmin Edge devices being not so great when it came to navigating a course where the return route was along the same (or some of the same) roads. If I went off course during those segments, my Garmin couldn’t figure out if I was still outbound or inbound.

    A second question is whether you’d run with one of these things. I travel a fair amount and could use turn-by-turn navigation running a course in an unfamiliar town. That would be one reason I’d go with the 530 over the 830 as my route might get messed up with inadvertent screen presses while holding the unit.

    • I’ve done a number of lollipop and out and back courses surprisingly (I usually hate them, but my main route in Amsterdam is a lollipop, and in Mallorca they were mostly out/back courses). I didn’t have any issues with it going the wrong direction on either unit.

    • @Ken
      I had incorrect U-turn messages on out-and-back/lollipop routes. teh 530 did get confused which way it was going sometimes. much less frequently than on the previous 820 though.

      I have actually used the 530 as a handheld, i wasn’t following a route as such but the post workout route was fine and i cant see any issue why tbt would not work.

      it’s very light to carry and the included tether/lanyard would mitigate against an accidental drop.

  108. Lauri Kuris

    How is the storage capacity, and how much is usable with the software installed? Is it same 16gb as Edge 830?

  109. Kevin

    Hi Ray,

    Any additions to the notification system, beyond SMS and calls? e.g. WhatsApp


    • Ric71

      On 520 plus I am already getting notifications from Whatsapp and other social media. There is still no way to answer, since I have an iPhone and the documentation says it is only compliant with some Android devices. This would be an improvement, hopefully firmware also for 520 series.

    • No changes there.

      As for the differences between iOS and Android, that’s solidly an Apple iOS restriction. Garmin (and Fitbit and others) would love to be able to do the same as Apple Watch, but Apple restricts it. 🙁

  110. ExEdge820

    Just sold my edge 820 and pulled a trigger from Clevertraining uk using this site discount code. I did use edge 820 about two years and during that time it was replaced for warranty because some blue halo problem on the screen. I did not need at single time the on device navigation and pretty mush hated all the time the touch screen -> it was pretty easy decision to choose a edge 530.

  111. Adam H

    hey man, great review as ever.

    quick question about the new ClimbPro function. If i go out on an unplanned ride and ride a load of segments that ive done previously, will the ClimbPro function kick in?

    Basically, does the whole route need to be planned to trigger the ClimbPro function or will pre-ridden and saved segments trigger it?

    • You have to be on some sort of route/course for ClimbPro to trigger. Meaning, navigation has to be active. If you know where you’re going but are too lazy to create a route prior (me, always), then I’d just drop a dot somewhere down the road using the Browse Map routing option that takes you over those climbs. That way it’ll do the ClimbPro stuff for you.

      It’s not ideal, but it’ll do the trick. Obviously, if your route is more complex, it gets messier.

    • Adam H

      ah man, thats a shame, I wouldve thought if you had a load of pre-ridden segments already saved it might use that same data and simply present it in a different, side-on sectional view than the current top down segment a la Strava segments.

      Seems like it could be doable, using much the same information as is available on a current segment (start/finish points, distance, ghost, GPS level and gradient data etc)

      maybe one for future implementation.


    • FJ

      “may be one for future implementation”

      Sadly that’s just not how Garmin rolls. Buy the unit for the features it has today!

      But I agree, such a missed opportunity… if I have a load of courses loaded onto the unit, and it detects I get on one, then why not give me the option to use Climb Pro on that part of the course?

  112. Marco

    A lot of new feature but they didn’t add A magnetic compass. Wen you stop on a trail fork it’s very important to understand the right direction. it would have been perfect.
    Do you have any feedback about stability, bugs, freez, etc…?

  113. tadaka

    does the new 530 and 830 have gearing availability for 12 speed groupsets? i tried to configure the new etap axs on the 520plus and as the gearing wasn’t one that was available by default i tried to enter it manually but noticed that it only allowed for 2×11 groupsets.

    any word if garmin will enable this on the new (or older) devices?

  114. Doug

    Do you still need to connect the Garmin to your PC to load a route from Ride with GPS? Wahoo let’s you send from your phone.

    • Leon Fielding

      No, you can create the route on your phone in the ride with gps website. Install the rwgps iq app and it will auto show up in there almost immediately.

  115. Tizzledk

    Wow this looks like a good unit. I have a Wahoo Bolt and was waiting for an update from Wahoo as well as their watch but now that I bought the Vector 3 on Black Friday sale and seeing this I may have to get that 530. It seems like a really good deal (despite the rumors about the Wahoo ROAM). I was really hoping for Wahoo to come out with something compelling but its hard not say ‘stop waiting for Wahoo’ and just take the plunge.

  116. MartinD

    I‘m curious if the New Power Curve Feature will give you values for a Single Ride somewhere in the GC activity details (like TPeaks, or TodaysPlan do, i think in their paid Version).

    I noticed it’s already integrated in GC mobile and it also pulled some pretty old and newer values to create my Power Curve. But can‘t see details for one Single Ride.

    • If you check out this one: link to connect.garmin.com

      You’ll see it on the bottom under ‘Power Curve’, and then from there the blue portion is that specific ride, with the upper tabs allowing you to change the timeframe.

      In the event you’ve got bad historical data points (like me), you can then click ‘View full report’ and then remove bad data workouts from the power curve.

    • MartinD

      Thanks Ray,
      I truely believe you its there and one can use it :ö)

      But …, I can’t see it.
      Using your link on your ride GC shows me Stats, Splits, Time in Zones and thats it (no Power Curve tab)
      Expept when I’m logged in GC and then hit your link, it shows my Stats, Splits, SEGMENTS, Time in Zones (and again no Power Curve)

      Kind of strange…
      but your screenshot shows what I wanted, so eventualy it will show up on my rides somehow/sometime I believe

    • Martin D.

      for all my old rides which I tracked with my Fenix (or 520) and Vector2 – Power Curve is there just like in your screenshot…

      So this is a new GC feature not excusivly to the new units.

      Like it.

  117. Jim

    Wahoo Elemnt Bolt – Returned.

    Edge 530 – Pre-ordered from Clever.

    BTW, great review as always Ray.


  118. PD

    Does it have the same power meter calibration mechanism as the edge 500? My edge 500 asks to calibrate at the start of each ride and the numbers range from 500 – 1500 each time. I don’t trust the power meter readings I get from ride to ride.

  119. Hussam

    What a shame it has no cellular connectivity. Especially that cellular eSIM modules are now available at very low cost – around 10 euros for 10 years [limited] data & sms service.

  120. Matt Alboum

    What type of functionality does it have with regards to smart trainer control? I know for instance the wahoo bolt can talk to the wahoo smart trainers and allow you to simulate a route that was done outside. Is there any type of similar functionality, or just being able to set a power to hold in ERG mode?


  121. clbpdx

    Hi Ray, has the display improved beyond just 0.3″ larger?
    I read that resolution has gone from 200×265 up to 246×322 (slightly more dots/inch). Does that get me crisper looking text or map vs 520/820?
    Has display brightness or contrast improved for any lighting conditions? Side-by-side comparison showing any differences would be very helpful. This would also be a great thing to have for a “shoot-out” with the upcoming Wahoo Elemnt ROAM.

  122. David English

    Great review, thanks Ray. Had been waiting for the Stages L50 to come out, but the bigger screen, new Trainer Road integration, ClimbPro and ability to re-route on the road have all persuaded me to take the plunge on the 530. The 10% discount with CleverTraining also helped.

    • Louis Matherne

      Were you able to get an actual 10% discount? I couldn’t get it on the 830. I got points good towards a future purchase that is more or less equivalent to 10% but not cash in the hand.


    • Jim

      I wasn’t able to. This policy is dictated by the mfg which is unfortunate since I also have a 20% coupon from REI but couldn’t use it for any Garmin or Wahoo products (among others) there either. The fine print from Clever.

      “Items that are prohibited by the manufacturer from receiving an instant discount (including but not limited to select Garmin,Wahoo Fitness, Pioneer and Yeti). Items that are prohibited from an instant discount will instead receive CT Reward Points (see section 5 for more details).”

      So if you are going to order something else from them at some point the future it is still a good deal. I really didn’t need anything else so I passed on the VIP membership.

    • David English

      Yes, on the clevertraining.co.uk site I just added the DCR10BTF code to the basket and it applied the cash discount. Before I purchased I also tried it for an 830 and that also worked for me.

    • In Europe, you’re allowed a 10% discount, whereas in the US you’re not. This is due to Garmin restricting it in the US via Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies, whereas in Europe and the rest of the world that’s considered illegal.

      In the case of US folks, you get the 10% back in points immediately after completing the transaction with Clever Training. So you don’t have to wait till next year to use the points like REI for example. You can turn around 10 seconds later and use those points to pickup the speed/cadence sensor for example.

      Either way – thanks for the support via Clever Training!

    • Louis Matherne

      Yea, it’s not a huge deal. I’m spent several thousand dollars with Clever Training so I’ll use the points later. I just like to have my cash now. 🙂

    • Anonymouse 2

      Odd — REI honored the 20% off coupon when I bought a Kickr Core. Are you sure it wasn’t just “no GPS devices,” regardless of manufacturer?

  123. Dave Buchanan

    Does the 830’s touchscreen allow pinch-to-zoom in maps? Such functionality would be a colossal improvement over having to use kludgy buttons.

  124. Trisc64

    TL:DR, but scrolling through this I couldn’t see if its possible to customise screens yet using a PC. I hate doing this using the Edge buttons.

    Also when a software update comes out do we still lose all our custom settings? If they haven’t sorted these I probably won’t buy.

    • I haven’t lost settings on a Garmin firmware update in at least 4-5 years.

    • Trisc64

      Firmware updates always reset my Edge 520 to imperial (factory default) and paired sensors are always lost!

      Any news on data screen customisation via PC/Mac? I believe Wahoo Element has this feature.

    • Odd, never lost sensors (I’d have a cow if so, as I always have 15-20 sensors paired).

      No word on customization via phone or PC. I’d guess we’d see phone over computer, Wahoo only has phone but not on device itself. Sigma/Stages have phone/unit/computer.

  125. Johannes

    Hi. Has Garmin introduced any changes to the barometer to address the issue of ‘drowning’?
    Past units (I experienced it on the Edge 500/510/520) have massive issues with the barometric altitude recording in rainy conditions, which not only results in a distorted altimetry but also occasional crashes.

    Wahoo and others apparently do not have similar issues – last year’s “Oetztaler Bike Marathon” was a great litmus test with lots of rain – judging from Strava, a lot of Garmin units had issues with proper altitude recordings while other units seemed to fare okay. See some random examples from Strava below.

    Garmin tracks…
    link to strava.com
    link to strava.com
    link to strava.com

    Non-Garmin tracks…
    link to strava.com
    link to strava.com
    link to strava.com

  126. RobHug

    Are any of these features included in an update for the Fenix 5X Plus?

  127. Timothy Coyle

    Howdy Ray-
    Considering a second computer and wondering if that’s necessary.

    I recently purchased the Garmin 520Plus (didn’t realize you didn’t like it) for a Cervelo P2SL for upcoming IM Lake Placid 2019. Have a KHS Alite 4000 MTB that I would consider getting a second computer for.

    Do you like having separate computers for each bike? Benefits? Obviously different wheel sets/sizes.


  128. Kevin


    Just wondering, if the alarm is so loud on this baby, isn’t it possible for them to include a cycling Bell sound so that we can get tis of those hideous Bells…

  129. Garmont

    Hi Ray!

    Thanks for the post. I will order one unit via your Clevertraining Europe link. It is going to be to use it in Spain and France mostly. ¿Any poblems with the maps included? ¿Are they UK only?

    Thanks in advance!

  130. AJKruns26

    I think I know the answer but want to ask just in case. Will all of my sensors that I use with my Edge 520 (Speed, Cadence, HR, Power) work with the new 530? Don’t want to buy the bundle if not needed.

  131. Peter

    Does the custom Cuesheet Points (Course points) messages/notes on created routes (i.e via 3rd party apps like RWGPS) have limitations of max characters shown on Edge screen?

    In Edge 520 there is limitation of 13 characters shown on the Edge screen as far as I remember. Does Edge 530 also has this limit?

  132. Kevin


    If the alarm is so loud, wouldn’t it be possible to provide a cycling Bell sound so that we can get rid of those hideous cycling Bells?

  133. Cristox

    Is it known how much ram those units have?
    Can you attach a leach?

  134. Chris L

    Hi –

    I’m wondering how reliable the live tracking feature is. I last used it with the Garmin 810, so it’s been a couple years. But at that time, the signal would drop all the time between the 810 and my phone and the web interface was slow and not all that helpful. I switched to the Wahoo Bolt and Wahoo’s live tracking was much much better. More reliable, would show the planned route if I was riding one and really just worked.

    Has Garmin improved their live tracking in the past two years?

  135. Dan P

    Hi Ray,
    Great review again.
    Is the 530 or 830 able to show rolling last 5min or 20min power average like the Bolt does?


  136. Kirk Tashjian

    I think I already know the answer to this, but is the 530 worth the upgrade from the 510 (and if so, does Garmin do trade-ins for upgrades)? ClimbPro feature alone seems worth it, but not sure if software upgrade available on 510 to add it.