Tech Garmin Question

Feb 3, 2014
31
15
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Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan
#1
It's been sometime since I have posted on this forum, but I have a question that now requires TCC expertise. So I've been riding for about a year and a half using my phone to record my rides through Strava. It has worked well so far with minimal issues (like having to charge my phone midway on 150km+ rides). However I have noticed that the auto-stop function takes 10 seconds to kick in after you come to a full stop. Therefore, I think I am losing a lot of time on my rides due to this feature.

Long story short, I think it's time to get a Garmin. Looking at the edge 520, but just wondering what the difference is between a standard 520 and 520J. Is the J version necessary for use in Japan or can I order a 520 overseas and still use in Japan?

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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Yokohama
#5
I'm in the market for a new computer after having experienced hardware and software issues with my Wahoo Bolt. Prices in the US are much better than Japan (duh), but wasn't sure if the 'j' version was needed. So, thanks for that info. Think I'm going back to Garmin-world. Mixed bag.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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#6
I'll soon be in the market for a proper cycling computer, and I am leaning towards the Wahoo Element Bolt because I like how data is displayed on the Wahoo better and I think I prefer real buttons to a touch screen (winter = gloves = unreliable touch screen experience). Since you guys have experience with both, what is the software side like? It seems Garmin's app is more “old school” and getting things like maps onto the thing I heard can be a pain.
 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
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Yokohama
#7
Have a look at the Garmin v Wahoo thread for more details. Bottom line for me... both platforms glitchy. Garmin is better on build quality of hardware. Wahoo is better on UI and ease of use (when it's working). I prefer the Garmin color screen but the Wahoo b&w screen is OK. Now that I've gone through 2 Wahoos in 2 years, looking at going back to Garmin. Probably the Edge Explore.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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#8
The Garmin Edge series seems a bit like a money grab, too: you have the Edge Explore where some functionality is intentionally disabled, the 800-series units that don’t seem to offer anything (most people I know, even those with plenty of money, opt for the 500-series for size reasons, only one of my riding buddies bought a 1000-series unit because he was afraid to run out of battery on an upcoming 210 km race). Philosophically, I like that Wahoo doesn’t do that: in terms of software and functionality their two units are identical, you just need to choose a screen size.
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
1,612
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Miura, Japan
#9
The 800 series gives turn by turn directions the 500 series doesn't. If you don't need it, then maybe it is a waste.
Also if you are using it as a turn by turn, the larger screen is nice so you can see what is coming well in advance.
As for buttons... what are you pushing while riding? The 800 gives you up to 8 metrics on one screen at a time.
I am not sure I need more info than that at one time. The 500 offers less due to lack of real estate on the screen.

As for getting maps on the garmin, it requires copying the image to a microSD card, then putting the card in the unit.
The only people I know that have had issues have tried to put a 4gb image on a 4gb card.
The problem is a 4 gig image is that it is 4 gigs. A 4 gb card is 3.8 or so.
When they buy a 1000yen 8gb card, their problems have gone away.
 

dastott

Speeding Up
May 10, 2012
84
28
38
Fukuoka
#10
The Garmin 520 does give turn by turn directions (certainly if the course was made in Garmin Connect, not for Strava made courses though). I find the constant beeps highly annoying though, and try to turn them off.

The downside with the 520 is the small storage space for maps, and the hassle of getting of the OSM maps on there. However, mine has been rock solid reliability wise and the screen is great with a max of 8 metrics on each page.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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942
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#11
Looking at the edge 520, but just wondering what the difference is between a standard 520 and 520J. Is the J version necessary for use in Japan or can I order a 520 overseas and still use in Japan?
If you have a warranty case with the overseas purchase, you'll have to send it back to the foreign supplier. Garmin only supports the 520J in Japan, AFAIK. If that doesn't bother you and you don't need Japanese Garmin maps, go for the cheaper non-JP version.
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
1,612
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Miura, Japan
#13
The Garmin 520 does give turn by turn directions (certainly if the course was made in Garmin Connect, not for Strava made courses though). I find the constant beeps highly annoying though, and try to turn them off.

The downside with the 520 is the small storage space for maps, and the hassle of getting of the OSM maps on there. However, mine has been rock solid reliability wise and the screen is great with a max of 8 metrics on each page.
If in a not familiar area, I can go to points of interest, pluck in a train station and get legit turn by turn directions. If the 520 does that, that is great. My buddy had a 510 and it did not.
 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
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Yokohama
#15
I was thinking about the Explorer IOT get the ability to do on-the-fly course plotting. Especially, I would like to be able to get back on a route that I've managed to get off of, or to get to a location I didn't originally intend to go to. If I've read things correctly, the Explorer allows that, right?

Also, what is the verdict on buttons vs. touch screen. I see lots of complaints about the touch screens (especially in the rain), OTOH, button pushing through the endless menus on my old 520 was pretty frustrating. Thoughts?
 

dastott

Speeding Up
May 10, 2012
84
28
38
Fukuoka
#16
AFAIK, the 520 doesn't do on-the-fly course plotting but if you have maps installed and already have a course inputted it is very easy to see on the colour screen how to get back to your course. Have done that quite a lot. Haven't heard of the Explorer IOT.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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#17
According to Bike Radar's review, they found that battery life insufficient, given the market segment the unit is aimed for. With Glonass and Bluetooth enabled, they only got five hours out of it. Needless to say, at least in my case, plenty of rides I have done this year that last twice as long. And calculating routes seems to take several minutes, apparently. (According to reviews, the Wahoos are way better in this regard, there it is supposed to take only seconds to calculate routes.)
 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
364
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Yokohama
#18
I got a lot better battery life out of the Wahoo than my old Garmin 520. With Wahoo Bolt, I stopped bringing a backup battery. But whenever I got off course, I found the Wahoo wasn't as easy to use to get back on course. If you are not far off course, getting back on wasn't difficult, but if you, like I sometimes do, get quite a bit off course, then once you zoom out on the Wahoo to see where you are in relation to the route, the black and white screen gets very difficult to read and when zoomed out a lot, it is nearly impossible to see where to go. I'd have to pull out my iPhone and use the map to get back on track. Taking a second battery is a hassle, but I think I'd rather have better on-the-fly routing and larger map screen than the Wahoo provided. Wahoo does have a 'take me to' feature but when I needed it, it didn't work. As for the time it takes to recalculate a route on the Garmin, yeah, I had that problem too. I'm figuring that with the bigger screen on the 800 and the color screen, even if the on-the-fly routing doesn't work all that well, I'll be able to sort out which way to go more easily. That's my idea anyway.
 

dastott

Speeding Up
May 10, 2012
84
28
38
Fukuoka
#19
You guys must be doing mammoth rides. I did 255kms and 3700m of climbing with my 520 earlier this year and had no battery worries. Had cadence sensor running but turned off bluetooth and kept screen brightness down. That is enough for a full day of riding IMHO. Multiple day trips would need charging for sure.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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#20
The model Karl was interested in only had 5 hours of battery life. So unless you average >50 km/h on your 255 km trip, the battery would die. Not great for a model that is supposedly optimized for pathfinding.

@Karl
It seems to me you are forcing yourself into a corner. Why wouldn’t you use your iPhone when you get lost anyway? Much larger screen, much faster cpu and route navigation, and you have it with you anyway on long trips. Just hearing it takes about 5 minutes to calculate a route means the feature is useless to me anyways.