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If you’re somewhat like us, you wouldn’t want to take up needless risks that may lead you to get lost.
If that’s the case, equipping your cycle with a GPS device is surely a great solution.
A popular name in the sporting industry, Garmin has managed to produce some exceptional products, especially for athletes.
Their new and improved Edge 520 Plus is nothing but an example of their high-quality products.
This GPS device will not only come in assistance when you need navigation but also keep track of your heart rate, biking stats, and other necessary information while keeping your safe.
So, without more delay, let’s take a look at the Garmin Edge 520 Plus buying guide.
GARMIN 520 PLUS REVIEW in 2021
Garmin has been popular for producing many stellar quality navigation, communication, and information devices – which mostly feature a great GPS technology.
However, they have been especially popular for catering to the cyclists’ needs.
The Edge 520 Plus is an updated version of Edge 520 but with multiple additional features that were previously found in their higher-end cycle computers.
This advanced GPS bike computer has been specifically created for performance-oriented riders.
It’s small in size, which makes it easy to attach to one’s bike and features a neat outlook that makes it simple to use.
Starting from improved battery life to better mapping & routing, the new and improved Edge 520 is packed with features you just won’t be able to say no to.
The most impressive part is that Garmin managed to bring about all the adjustments and improvements without charging a lot. Yes, you’ve read that right, this navigation system is, in fact, affordable.
Thus, if you were looking for a robust yet budget-friendly gadget to track your everyday training and riding, you found the right product.
The Edge 520 Plus by Garmin is truly an ideal gadget for the average cyclists. Let’s take a look at the features that helped it to be such a popular choice.
Edge 520 Plus doesn’t use Bluetooth Smart connectivity, but it does feature ANT+ and Bluetooth.
This means you’ll get to enjoy a smooth and unproblematic connection with your phone, power meter, and the heart-rate monitor.
Once you have made the connection, all the recorded and current activities will be saved on your phone automatically – yes, you won’t have to manually plug the unit into a computer anymore.
That being said, you should know that auto uploading of the activities tends to drain out the battery of both the gadget and your phone.
One of the best connectivity features is the Incident Detector. Garmin will give you the option to add up to three emergency contacts who will receive alerts via text and/or email in case of an emergency.
Furthermore, the Garmin Connect IQ will allow you to integrate other useful applications such as weather tracker.
Latest Comparison: Garmin Edge 500 vs 520
Contrasting other models such as the 820, the 520 Plus doesn’t come with a touchscreen.
Now, this may feel like a step-down, but most users found the traditional buttons easier to use – especially while cycling.
With the traditional buttons, you won’t have to worry about sweat getting into the device and ruining it.
Likewise, sweat or other moisture will not make it difficult for you to operate the device as it would’ve if it were touchscreen.
Gone are the days when you had to frequently charge your cycle computer or worry about the battery dying out on you.
The Edge 520 supposedly comes with a battery claimed to give 15 hours of service without navigation.
Upon our research, we found that most users have stated that they went on using this device for several days without the battery running low.
You can further improve the battery life by turning off the Bluetooth when it’s not being used. Impressive, isn’t it?
If you are a loyal Garmin user, you will be delighted to know that you can easily integrate it with the Varia bike radar and lights! This is perfect for cyclists who are working on enriching their training and exploring new routes.
You will be given all the data metrics – the detailing of which won’t fail to impress even the geekiest person out there.
Mapping & Routing
Even if you are an amateur cyclist, we’re sure you know how incredibly useful the mapping feature is.
It was created to help cyclists keep track of what route they are using and give them directions.
Now, the 520 Plus has a pretty good mapping & navigation system. It allows you to look up different routes and save it for later use.
Additionally, you can also have multiple saved points for easier direction-finding no matter where you currently are.
This device will also allow you to change destinations in the middle of your planned route and find the fastest route to the new location.
Another great option is being able to go ‘back to start’ in case you start struggling to understand the directions.
Once you have chosen your desired destination, the device will calculate the estimated time and the total distance from the starting point.
As you go on about it, it’ll notify you about the upcoming turn and the name of the street. You will also get a notification in case you miss a turn or lose your way.
Well, the reason we called the mapping and navigation system good instead of great is because the 520 Plus requires you to create and download different routes into the device manually.
This takes up a lot of time and isn’t the most convenient, especially for impromptu plans.
That being said, you will love how the device will also show you the most optimal routes.
Instead of focusing on the shortest or fastest routes, it will find the best routes for cycles to ensure the best experience.
One of the best features of the 520 Plus is the fact that it comes with useful third-party applications integrated into it.
Moreover, you also have the option to add other apps that you might need.
You will find apps such as TrailForks (helps you with mountain biking), Yelp (helps to make almost every aspect of your life easier), Strava Routes, and more.
In the 520 Plus, you can expect to find the enhanced version of Strava Live Segments. This version is able to log all the data more accurately, which is pretty great.
However, the best part is that now you’ll receive a progress chart that will consist of all the necessary information such as time and distance to go, power and heart rate, and more.
Related Guide: Edge Explore vs. Garmin 830
The Edge 520 Plus comes with three distinctive profiles – indoor, train, and race.
Each of these modes can be customized as per your personal needs. The profiles will allow you to alter the different segments of the screen for different data fields.
Starting from metrics for power to cycling dynamics and cadence, the Edge 520 is packed with options for you to go through and select for each of the modes.
While all of the data will be shown in the display simultaneously, you will find it quite easy to read and understand.
However, the data shown in the display can only be altered from the device and not the app. This may make the process more troublesome and lengthy.
Latest Guide: Edge 530 vs Edge Explore
Another noteworthy feature of this device is that it helps you to train and keep track of your progress really well.
With the help of this device, you can compete and race with other riders and then compare the progress with each other.
On the other hand, you can also use the device to keep track and compare your progress every day from the preloaded records of Strava Live Segments.
Finally, we wanted to talk about the design and layout of the Edge 520. We found the size of the product to be the perfect one for cycles.
It’s neither too big nor too small to attach to a cycle and operate while riding.
We really love the layout of the display. Despite having 10 different sections that provide a variety of different data, you will not find yourself lost or confused.
Each of these sections is properly separated and features distinctive text sizes to help you go through with ease.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does the product come with a mount?
Yes, it does. You’ll find two different methods of mounting the device in the package.
Can I use the device on multiple different bikes?
You can easily use the same device for different bikes. But you’ll need to make sure that you get them ready and properly set before starting your journey.
Will I be able to use this device for running and hiking?
Given that this GPS device features an improved version of Strava, you can easily use it for running and hiking.
However, as it’s a cycling device, you will only get to monitor your speed in mph/kph and not in min/mile.
Do I need to keep my phone with me to receive live segment alerts?
No, you don’t need to keep your phone with you to receive live segment alerts.
That being said, given that this device doesn’t feature a network connection, keeping your phone with you might be a good idea.
Will I need to upgrade to Strava Premium to get live segments?
You will get one month of free trial once you purchase the device.
After that, if you want to continue getting live segments, you will require upgrading to Strava premium.
While every product isn’t created to cater to every individual’s need, we believe that the Edge 520 Plus could be an exception.
Garmin has managed to deliver everything that they promised in their advertisement – great battery life, mapping, tracking, and more.
We hope that you found our Garmin Edge 520 Plus guide helpful and were able to find all the necessary information.
Whether you cycle occasionally or regularly, this robust device is very likely to come in assistance. Good luck with your purchase!