Review Garmin Edge 520 short term review

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
2,532
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Asakadai, Saitama
#1
Hi all

I have had my Garmin edge 510 for a few years now and it finally needed replacing recently. Like most Garmin products, it has had its problems , mostly firmware based. I've lost count of the number of firmware updates it has had since I got it. Lately the touchscreen hasn't been working when it gets hot. Not idea for summer riding then. I decided to go for the 520, although the very next day, Garmin released the 820.
I wasn't too bothered though as the 820 is almost double the price of the 520.

Initial reports are very promising. The biggest difference to the 510 is the map. On the 510, I would follow a breadcrumb line which was great until I got to a fork in the road and wasn't sure which road to take. Only after guessing at one of the roads and then either seeing if I was still on route or veering off course, would I know if I had chosen correctly. I'd very often have to do a u-turn. With the 520, this is not an issue. I have the openstreet maps installed on the unit (I have to download them for free from a different site) and can see very clearly which way I need to go before I get to the turning.

Another big advantage of having a map is that when I descend, I always like to look at the route ahead for any sharp corners/hairpins. This gives me plenty of time to slow down and not overshoot a corner. This was great on the 510 until we decided to change routes halfway through a ride. With the 520, I can still see any road I'm descending as it is shown on the map, this being aware of any tricky corners ahead of time.

I'm aware that some people didn't like the map zoom function but for me it is an absolute none issue. I set it to 80m scale when I first got the device and I haven't needed to change it once from that setting.

Battery life seems to be about on a par with my 510 but if I was to go on a long ride (300km +) , I would take my tiny portable waterproof"ish" battery which would be good for about 4 full charges.

So far I have experienced no glitches in the firmware, unlike the 510 which would often drop its ANT+ signal, losing my cadence and speed sensor.

Overall, I love this new Garmin and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new cycling GPS computer.
 
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leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,532
2,210
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#2
Oh, and forgot to mention, I got caught out in that storm at midnight last night. The rain was so hard, I had trouble seeing and it stung as it hit my bare skin. The 520 was absolutely fine when I got home. No water ingress around the USB port at all.
 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
315
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63
Yokohama
#11
Hi all

With the 520, this is not an issue. I have the openstreet maps installed on the unit (I have to download them for free from a different site) and can see very clearly which way I need to go before I get to the turning.
.
I got the 520 a few months ago. My 500, which I was perfectly fine with, wouldn't get past the start up screen despite all my efforts. Had it for a long time, so finally bit the bullet and went for the 520 (but I gotta wonder sometimes if Garmin doesn't make software that purposely bricks a unit).

Anyway, I hadn't loaded openstreetmaps on it until I read your post and realized the advantages of the maps over bread crumb. Thanks for that. Loaded up the maps, went for a short spin today. Much nicer. Headed to Yabitsu tomorrow. Looking forward to no more wrong turns (well... maybe).
 
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leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
2,532
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Asakadai, Saitama
#12
I got the 520 a few months ago. My 500, which I was perfectly fine with, wouldn't get past the start up screen despite all my efforts. Had it for a long time, so finally bit the bullet and went for the 520 (but I gotta wonder sometimes if Garmin doesn't make software that purposely bricks a unit).

Anyway, I hadn't loaded openstreetmaps on it until I read your post and realized the advantages of the maps over bread crumb. Thanks for that. Loaded up the maps, went for a short spin today. Much nicer. Headed to Yabitsu tomorrow. Looking forward to no more wrong turns (well... maybe).
Glad you got the maps working. Just in case there is anyone out there wondering how to do it , there is a good post from the rainmaker about doing it here
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/05/download-garmin-705800810.html
 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
315
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Yokohama
#13
Took the 520 out to Yabitsu, had the openmaps loaded. Went pretty well, although if I got off course it would launch into 'calculating' mode and would take a couple minutes to get back to telling me where I am. Not so helpful, since I'll be quite a bit down the road by that time. (This also happens with bread crumb)

Is it possible to turn of this recalculation function?
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,532
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Asakadai, Saitama
#14
Took the 520 out to Yabitsu, had the openmaps loaded. Went pretty well, although if I got off course it would launch into 'calculating' mode and would take a couple minutes to get back to telling me where I am. Not so helpful, since I'll be quite a bit down the road by that time. (This also happens with bread crumb)

Is it possible to turn of this recalculation function?
Not sure what you mean by recalculating. If I go off course the unit says "off course". I press the top ridge button and it disappears, back to showing me my position on the map.
 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
315
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Yokohama
#15
I think what is happening is that once I'm slightly off my route, it recalculates the shortest way to get back to the route, or maybe the next point on the route. Screen says, "calculating" and give a percentage of how far along it is in the calculation. Eventually it stops, but takes a minute or two.

Doesn't happen on yours?
 

Heath

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Dec 13, 2014
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Kamagaya
www.nanairogakudo.com
#16
it would launch into 'calculating' mode and would take a couple minutes to get back to telling me where I am.
That's because Garmin can't track a GPS signal for shit, so it says it is calculating, whereas in actual fact it is not calculating anything because it doesn't know where it is.

For proof of this check how your Garmin tracks to mountain roads. It's like 50m away from the road here, 100m away from the road there.
And people wonder why they are missing Strava segments and blame Strava, the fault is not with Strava.
 

saibot

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May 29, 2012
793
934
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Taito
#17
I think what is happening is that once I'm slightly off my route, it recalculates the shortest way to get back to the route, or maybe the next point on the route. Screen says, "calculating" and give a percentage of how far along it is in the calculation. Eventually it stops, but takes a minute or two.

Doesn't happen on yours?
Are you sure you have the edge 520?!
I never had that happen to me on mine, I didn't think it even had that feature (auto routing)

Anyhow, under courses > course options you can turn of "turn guidance" and "off course warnings"

Also, when you select the route after its loaded, you will find a setting menu for that route where you can turn of "course points" I don't know if that helps but you could try.

Also under genera setting you find under activity profiles > you profile > map > guide text. I also turn this off. Don't know if that helps either but worth a try
 
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Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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Ichikawa, Chiba
#18
There should be an option to turn off the recalculating function. I remember it being there on my 800 and it was quite annoying. It's much easier just to backtrack onto the route again.
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
315
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Yokohama
#20
I've turned off the course points and 'turn guidance' and 'off course' warnings. Also going to try using only GPS vs GPS+GLAS..(in case it is overloaded with info and getting confused) Finally, I decided to not mess with navigation at all and just have the route constantly displayed on the map. That way I can see where I should be going and I can just start my ride without all the bells and whistles that I don't really need. I'll see how it goes.