[rating:5]The eagerly awaited Garmin Edge 500 has finally landed at ProBikeKit and this could be the cycle computer we’ve all been waiting for. It was first seen at Eurobike this year and is the first true cycle computer Garmin have produced.
The Edge 500 uses most of the technology out of the 605/705 units but they’ve managed to wrap in a more streamline, stylish compact device. The main reason for the reduction in size is the loss of the mapping facility that the bigger units have and the reason for this is to meet the requests of Team Garmin-Slipstream riders who wanted most of the function of the larger Edge models but in a smaller size.
The Edge 500 is also a fair bit cheaper than its bigger brothers at just £199 for the basic model and £249 for the addition of heart rate and cadence. With the reduction in size the weight also comes down to a claimed featherweight 56.7g and with that a new much improved and simpler bike mount. Battery life has also been improved which is in direct response of loosing the the bigger screens for the mapping facility the Edge 500 can now go for up to 18 hours between charges.
Whilst out on your bike the Edge 500 is busy recording all the data you will ever need then you can connect it to your computer via a USB cable to analyze your performance. But its not all about compiling data to use at another time the Edge 500 also displays your speed, distance, time, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent on a large clear screen. As if that was not enough all Edge 500 versions work wireless with third party ANT+ enabled power meters, then add to that the digital heart rate monitor and speed /cadence sensor you have the ultimate training aid.
Garmin really do seemed to have though of everything when it comes to the Edge 500, but does it work in the real world? Well to answer that we have a review from RoadCyclingUK which got a chance to test the unit with the people from Garmin UK. this is what they thought:
Posted: 29 October 2009
by David Arthur
From the outset, the immediate difference is just how quickly the 500 grabs hold of a satellite reception, meaning no delay to your riding. The screen, despite its smaller size, clearly displays data and it’s easy to read while riding. The available data the 500 offers can be scrolled through by the two buttons on the right hand side of the unit, with a nifty transition fade between modes. As you’d expect, there’s all the data a performance cyclist could ever need, and what’s better the amount of data available at any one time is customisable, more or less, whatever suits you
For those familiar with the 605/705, it’s a very similar interface, but there are a few key differences. As we mentioned, there’s no mapping facility, but the 500 does still record your route and this data can be accessed once you’ve uploaded to Garmin Connect, it just doesn’t show it when you’re riding. Holding the Enter button takes you into the main menu where there’s a plethora of options. Experienced users will notice the addition of vertical speed, temperature readings and more accurate calories burned.
In use it’s a very simple device to use and for those cyclists put off by the relative bulk of the 605/705 or who just don’t want the mapping/navigational features, the Edge 500 is perfectly suited. It’s small, light and stylish and is packed with all the essential features most cyclists could ever need, and at a price that is more appealing.
Some Comments from teams:
Team Garmin’s Christian Vande Velde said: “At training camp we made requests: we wanted a smaller device with a big screen and easy-to-use buttons. Garmin listened. The Edge 500 reflects our requests and then some, adding vertical speed to accurate calories and temperature readings.”
Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports, said: “It’s the perfect tool for training and racing for every facet of the sport – time trials, climbing, all-out sprints and breakaways. Downloading data to Garmin Connect helps us replay the ride time and again to study the statistics, looking for any room for improvement for the next day. It also allows our fans and the media access to the riders’ data for any given day.”