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As cyclists, recording our riding data helps us improve each one of our future adventures.
If that’s what you want to do, there are two devices you should consider, and they both come from Garmin’s Edge Series: the 200 and the 500.
Making comparisons between these two accessories is something cyclists have been doing for years.
Both are great, and they both work efficiently. Nonetheless, we need to get an answer on which one is the better pick between the two.
That’s why, today, we’re taking a closer look at the Garmin Edge 200 and 500 debate.
By the end of this read, you’ll have a clear answer on which one is the most suitable for you, and why.
Let’s start reviewing these two incredible devices, then!
Garmin Edge 200 vs 500 – Comparison in 2021
Garmin Edge 200
Our first pick is the Garmin Edge 200, a compact device worth every bit of dollar spent on it. Here’s what you can expect from this accessory.
Once the device arrives in your hands, you’ll notice that the battery is empty, requiring you to connect it and charge it as soon as possible.
After charging, the device is quick to set up, offering options such as languages, units, height, weight, and more.
Although this information is easy to adjust, the manual included provides more insight into how it works.
Overall, the design of the Edge 200 is pretty basic, allowing even the most inexperienced cyclists to figure it out easily.
This device doesn’t have a touchscreen, but it does offer four buttons, two on each side.
Using these buttons to navigate the menus is easy, and you’ll be able to do tasks like turn on and auto-pause, to name a few.
The Edge 200 does a good job of using the battery efficiently. If used wisely, you can expect the device to run for about 14 hours.
Naturally, that operating time varies depending on the number of tasks active simultaneously.
The Edge 200 is a complete GPS computer that tracks distance, time, speed, and elevation.
Much like the high-end devices offered by Garmin, such as the Edge 810, this computer keeps track of your average and current speed, as well as the maximum speed reached.
Other functions offered by this device are to show lap speed, lap time, and lap distance too.
Similar to the Edge 130, the 200 is a great device that lacks an integrated map.
Since there’s no map, navigating through the courses could be a little tricky, not to say not recommended.
However, the device does offer the option to pre-upload a course to indicate cyclists whether or not they’re on the right path.
Although not enough, this feature provides some level of assistance to keep you updated when you’re riding over unknown territory.
Furthermore, the device features the classic back-to-start option, which will guide you back to the starting point in case you lose track of your current position.
Through Garmin Connect, the Edge 200 allows cyclists to upload their information to get a detailed breakdown of their performance. Once there, they will be able to read data like timing, elevation, temperature, and more.
Since there are graphs for all of that, reading and analyzing your data won’t be an issue.
Unfortunately, the Edge 200 doesn’t offer compatibility with ANT+. Because of that, you won’t be able to track data for heart rate, cadence, or power. The inability to work with ANT+ is one of the biggest let-downs of using this device.
Related Guide: Garmin Edge 130 vs Wahoo Bolt
Garmin Edge 500
What does the Garmin Edge 500 offer that makes it an investment worth the money? Let’s talk about that.
With four buttons on the sides, the Edge 500 guarantees cyclists can access its many functions both quickly and easily.
Once it’s on, one of the very firsts tasks the device does is to search for satellite signals. Make sure to let it do its job, or it may not record the start of your ride.
Mounting the device isn’t necessarily hard, but you may find some trouble with the sensor’s fitting on the rear hub.
Wheels featuring tight spokes may make this whole process even more complicated.
As with everything else, practice is what makes the mastery. In due time, you’ll learn to mount the device faster.
Related Guide: Garmin Edge 130 and 520 comparison
With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you can expect great things when it comes to battery life.
On a full charge, the Edge 500 will operate for a total of 18 hours! That’s far more superior to the battery life offered by other Garmin GPS computers, including popular devices like the 130 and the 200.
Using this device is as simple as strapping it on, and get on with your ride. There are no wires involved, and despite some minor issues, mounting on the bike won’t be a problem.
After setting it up, the device receives GPS data rather quickly, letting cyclists know their current position.
Other measurements offered by the Edge 500 are the barometric altimeter for elevation changes, heart-rate monitor, calories burned, and more.
By featuring ANT+ technology, the Garmin Edge 500 is capable of pairing up with power meters, including Garmin’s very own Vector pedals.
Before use, you must set up the different metrics you want the screen to display, as well as other information of interest for you.
The Edge 500 offers options to display up to five different pages, each one with the ability to show eight stats per page.
Even then, using the buttons to change between the pages isn’t as easy as you’d expect, which is why having fewer pages would be the best way to go.
Similar to entry-level GPS bike computers, the Edge 500 shows several flaws when it comes to navigation.
The navigation and mapping quality is very low, which could complicate following the routes and adapting to your surroundings once you’re out there.
As an alternative, cyclists can design a route online, and then download said route to the device.
But even then, it isn’t a satisfying solution, as these routes will display like a black line on the screen for you to follow.
If you’re cycling on areas with few roads, that’s perfect. However, if you’re riding through course with multiple turns, then the Edge 500 falls short due to the lack of turn alerts.
Suggested Topic: Garmin 25 and edge 130 guide
Garmin Edge 200 or Garmin Edge 500?
Since both devices are fairly similar, it could be easy to think they offer the same performance. However, a few features separate one from another.
Let’s start off by saying that the Edge 200 is the simpler device when compared to the Edge 500.
With that comes a couple of benefits, such as an easier setup process. Cyclists only have to enter data like their height, age, and weight. After that, they’ll be ready to go.
The Edge 500, on the other hand, is a bit trickier. Not because the setup is harder, but because it may take a little longer.
Still, considering the amount of detailed data this device provides, doing all of that is more than necessary.
Related article: Edge 130 buying guide
The performance from each device is slightly different too. Starting with the battery life, the Edge 200 runs for about 15 hours, while the Edge 500’s battery operates for a total of 18 hours.
Realistically, the biggest difference between the two devices is that the Edge 500 offers cadence and heart-rate monitor sensors, while the Edge 200 does not.
Which Device Do You Need?
Now, the question here is, will you need those features? It isn’t odd to find cyclists that have the Edge 500, and they still don’t use the device to its full capacity.
In some cases, they prefer this one because it’s more appealing aesthetically and nothing more.
Ideally, the Edge 500 aims to provide detailed data that the most intense cyclists need.
If you don’t need features like the cadence or heart-rate sensors, you can easily opt to buy the Edge 200, and it’ll perform just as good for you.
Both the Edge 200 and 500 are similar devices once you take an in-depth look at their performance.
There are some unique features offered by the Edge 500 that the 200 doesn’t have, but most in many cases, these features aren’t even necessary for some riders.
Ultimately, picking between the Garmin Edge 200 and 500 depends entirely on which one is more convenient for you.
If you need those extra features, then go for the 500. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a simple and yet effective device, the Edge 200 may be the right way to go.