Garmin Edge 500
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WHAT YOU GET

A compact, light weight GPS cycling computer with ANT+ capabilities.

WHAT WE'D LIKE TO SEE

A non-reflective screen as well as the ability for wireless uploads via Garmin's ANT+ stick.

WHAT WE THINK

One of the best all around cycling computers that offers GPS, ANT+, and a compact form factor all in one package.

Detailed Review

Summary
Gone are the days of being amazed at analyzing your average speed and if you were lucky, your cadence from that long ride. The Garmin Edge 500 gathers a plethora of data such as speed, distance, time, calories burned, location, elevation, temperature along with the ANT+ options of cadence, heart rate, and power. With this combination of data, you will always be able to come up with an excuse for that bad ride.

Cycling computers with GPS have been a slow evolution, but seem to be the "it" thing in the last couple of years as many manufacturers are going in that direction. Garmin has been involved since the beginning, which mostly resulted in GPS devices the size of small books that you strapped on your bars and hoped for the best.

Well, times have changed and Garmin has it right this time.

Data
We are all about data here at TriBomb, and the Garmin Edge 500 delivers. The Edge 500 will record/calculate speed, distance, time, calories burned, location, elevation, temperature along with the ANT+ options of cadence, heart rate, and power. (and probably a few others we missed)

The two big features that the Edge 500 offers are GPS and ANT+.

If you have ever used a GPS device, you know that it has to acquire satellite signals before you can start your activity. With the Edge 500, the GPS is recorded with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that includes HotFix technology that uses satellite prediction to calculate your position much quicker than older models. This is a nice feature which allows you to get on the road without delay.

ANT+ is an awesome technology that most manufacturers seem to be supporting (did you hear that Polar?). With the ANT+ capability built in to the Edge 500, you can easily pair it with supported power meters, cadence/speed sensors, and a heart rate monitor. The Edge 500 calculates calorie expenditure based on your heart rate, so if you are interested in this data, you will need to make sure you order the bundle that includes the heart rate monitor. If you do not have a power meter that calculates cadence, you will need to purchase the optional speed/cadence sensor.



Another cool feature of the Edge 500 is that it includes a barometric altimeter that helps to provide precise data for elevation changes. This is always useful information to brag to your buddies about.

Dimensions
The unit is 1.9" x 2.7" x 0.9", which is not much larger than a normal cycling computer. The display is a good size at 1.2" x 1.4". It weighs in at a hefty 56.7 grams for all of you weight weenies. OK, we are in that club as well.

Battery Life
The Edge 500 has one of the best battery lives of all the Garmin products, which is up to 18 hours. And when you do finally drain the battery, it will quickly charge back to full with the provided USB cable.

Use
The Edge 500 is as simple to use as turning on and pressing start. Well, you don't even have to press Start if you have the "Start on Movement" enabled. There are so many customizable options that we will not even begin to try to describe each one. You can have 3 pages of 5 data fields per page. These data fields are chosen from the 45 data options. How's that for data overload? You can see all of these in the Owners Manual

One nice item to point out that we find useful is the Auto Lap feature. This comes in handy for pacing during races. For longer distance races we like to set it for 5 miles and it is pretty easy to stay on pace with splits that often, that is if your legs cooperate.

Another setting to take note of is the Non-Zero Data Averaging for Cadence and Power, which the default setting is to exclude zero values that occur when you are not pedaling. If you want to see true numbers, you will need to turn this OFF.

Data Upload
Once you have completed your ride(s) and want to upload the data from the device, you must plug it in via the USB cable that is included with the Edge 500. As stated earlier, we would love the ANT+ auto wireless upload capability that some Garmin devices use. You can upload the data to the software of your choice. Regardless of which application you choose to analyze your data with, you should be pleased with the detailed data from each ride.

Features

  • Heart rate monitor (some versions)
  • Bike speed/cadence sensor (some versions)
  • Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)
  • Garmin Training Center® software compatible
  • Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person) (within a course)
  • Courses (compete against previous activities)
  • Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
  • Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)
  • Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)
  • Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)
  • Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)
  • Heart rate-based calorie computation
  • Customizable screen(s)
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+™-enabled power meters)(records data approx. 1 per second)
  • Temperature (displays and records temperature while you ride)

In The Box
Edge 500 (Blue or Neutral Version)
Edge 500
Bike mount
AC charger
USB cable
Owner's manual on disk
Quick start manual

Edge 500 (Blue Bundle or Team Garmin Bundle)
Edge 500
Heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor
Bike mount
AC charger
USB cable
Owner's manual on disk
Quick start manual

Here is the bike mount which is essentially a lot of different sized rubber bands that should fit any bar, stem, etc, and the mount.

Price Range
The Garmin Edge 500 is fairly priced for all of the features it offers as long as you are going to pair it with an ANT+ power meter.

TriBomb Bottom Line
One of the leading products in the ANT+ GPS cycling category. An excellent choice to keep track of a whole slew of information.

 

Manufacturer's Website
www.garmin.com