As an avid road cyclist, I purchased the 520 having used a Garmin 500 for three years. I was ready for the smartphone connectivity as it was always inconvenient to have to wait to download the 500 by data cable to a computer. The 520 lives up to it billing with all the features I was seeking . The Live Segment feature is awesome. The feedback from the unit give me exactly what information i was needing to train properly. All I can say is great unit!
I bought because I needed something I could transfer between bikes easily and so needed GPS. To be honest I have done very little to take advantage of much beyond the basics. I haven't even changed the preferences on the screen of what I see when riding. I wish it was easier to hit a button to switch the data saving for which bike I use, but to be honest, I don't care enough to take the time to go into my data to do it manually.
Replaces my 510 that started giving funky altitude readings. Seems more reliable than my 510, and I don't miss the touchscreen (which seemed like a bad idea for sweaty cyclist fingers anyway). Navigating functions in the 520 does not seem as intuitive as the 510 and boo for the loss of a programmable odometer, especially for multiple bikes. Four stars for that loss of functionality, otherwise 4.5 to 5.
This is the third Garmin I have owned since 2007. Each new Edge has been a significant improvement over the previous one. The Edge 520 is no exception. It is significantly better than my Edge 500 in almost every way. The GPS locks in very quickly, the display is much larger, and the setup options are extensive. I also love the Bluetooth integration with my phone. This is a great bike computer.
Having said that, there are a few things I would change if I could. The display is large and can be configured in a seemingly infinite number of ways. While it is much larger and the numbers are bolder, without the backlight on, it can seem fairly dim when the light is at low angles. Better contrast control on the display would be nice. On the other hand, turning on the backlight pretty much takes care of the issue and doesn't seem to be a huge drain on the battery. The default maps are quite coarse, but downloading Open Street Maps (OSM) for my area took care of that. I was surprised at how little memory the device has - 105 MB. And no expansion slots for microSD, so only a limited number of OSM maps can be put on the device at one time. There are a few other nits I could pick, but overall this is a very nice bike computer and I would highly recommend the Edge 520 to any rider.
Great product. The 520 provides way more information than I will ever require - but I bought it anyway. The customizable screens help to sort out what you want and need. Accuracy appears very good, as with most other Garmin products I have owned. Works good on the indoor trainer too, if you get the speed and cadence sensors.
I use it on all rides, auto-sync with Strava, syncs with HR monitor and power meter. Pairs with phone and shows when someone is calling or when a text is received (assuming you have service and aren't lost somewhere in the mountains..). Only complaint there is that when a text comes in it covers the screen (activity fields) and doesn't go away until you manually dismiss it by clicking a button. Yeah, picky, but I wished the text message would just dismiss after 10 seconds.
A handful of features I still don't use (and probably will never use).
Battery time is fine, nothing to worry about there. Size is perfect, out-front mount puts it in the perfect position. Buttons can be a little tricky to find/press when you're wearing full-finger gloves. But if you're riding with full-finger gloves then you have other problems to worry about.
The virtual partner thingy works, but takes a little to figure out at first. It's cool though to create courses from your own PR to race against.
Happens rarely, but I've had it completely die on me mid-ride when battery level is fine. Luckily it keeps a record of the ride, and after restarting the unit I can pick up where I left off. My brother (also 520) had the same experience once so I know it's not just my machine.
4 stars only because it's great, but not perfect.
I purchased the Edge 520 as an upgrade to my Edge 500. I like that it syncs with my iphone Bluetooth.
I also like that it can alert me to phone calls and text messages. I also find it easier to sync my heart monitor and speedcadence sensors between my two bicycles. At the end of the day the Edge 520 will upload to Garmin Connect, Strava and Ride with GPS.
I ride 4-5 dayswk, 175-200 miles - my Edge 520 is nearly as important as the bike itself. All the same great features of the 510 made better, plus better graphic presentations. And love the crash alert feature, plus textphone notices. Occasionally seems off on tracking instantaneous speed, but 510 had same problem which eventually went away, apparently through updates.
Bought this to replace a Cateye Adventure, looking mainly for a grade readout. the Cateye display was too small for my old eyes to see, and I read that the Garmin screen was customizable. Don't know to what extent you can customize, but I created a 5 item screen with the slope large enough to read. It does not have an auto-start (except after pause), which I found out the hard way on my first ride. I live in a foothills area, and was concerned about the satellite reception, but so far, no problems. The total elevation is coming out less than Strava (my sprinter legs tell me that Strava is the correct one!). The unit is manufactured in white and black, but BikeTiresDirect did not give a color option. Turns-out, the unit rec'd was white (perhaps why they were selling it at $XXX). Oh well, can't have everything. Overall, I am happy with the device, other than the fact that Garmin stuff is way over-priced (what's their profit margin on their products? pretty decent, I'm guessing).
I bought this cycling computer to replace my old Garmin 500. I love the look and the capability of this computer as it does much more and has bigger numbers which are easier to read for this aging cyclist. I am still learning to use this computer as it does much more and is more complicated as the 500 was simpler and easier to manage. Hopefully over the next few weeks I will learn how to optimize it's ability and be a better cyclist.
I had been using the Garmin 500 for at least the last 7 years. When some issues developed with my second 500 I decided to upgrade to the 520. My concern was that it may be too complex for my needs and also it would not be as easy to see as the 500. Neither was an issue. The visibility is much better on the 520 and the setup and use of the 520 is easy. The startstop button is a bit awkward. In a few rides I have inadvertently pressed that button and caused the ride data to end. I can see the 520 much easier even though the numbers are not quite as large as the 500. The background lighting makes it much easier to read. I have not been able to bring the Strava live segments up during a ride to show start and finish points in real time as it says you can do. Maybe I will figure that one out someday. I am really pleased with the 520 and think it is a definite improvement over the 500.
While I really liked my Edge 200, the 520 offers so much more. There are way more features (Bluetooth, messaging, Strava live segments just to name a few. The color screen is awesome, and the ability to add heart and cadence monitors is just the icing on the cake. All this in a package that takes up little space, just slightly larger then the 200. I so happy I pulled the trigger and got the 520. You won't be disappointed!
The Garmin 520 is a great device for tracking speed, HR and cadence. It's small and light, and the battery last for a long period time. I ride 6-10 hours a week and only need to charge the battery every 2-3 weeks. It's hard to use Edge 520 for map and navigation, so if you need to see the map all the time, Edge 1000 is a better option as other reviews suggested. However, Garmin Express is connected to Strava, so uploading the training log to Strava is always seamless. Overall, I recommend this device to everyone.
I really like this Garmin - I've had a few so far, upgrading as they keep getting better (I had a Garmin Edge 500 before this one). The Garmin mounting system couldn't be simpler. The battery life on this unit far better than the 500 (as advertised), the start up time is much quicker, and I love the additional communications with the IOS Connect app. The call and message notifications along with the wireless syncing all work well and are a huge improvement. I enjoy the segments but they aren't a make or break feature for me. The live tracking works well if you have a need for it.
My only negative is that for me the text size for call and message notifications is a bit small and hard to read, but if you have decent eyes that shouldn't be a problem. Overall the screen is quite readable even in the sunlight.