Just in: Garmin Edge 510 GPS computer

GPS bike computer with extra functionality when paired with a smartphone

by Mat Brett   March 11, 2013  

We’ve had the Garmin Edge 510 in on test for a while but we’re not quite ready to write up our review, so we’ll quickly run through a few of the key features while you’re waiting.

In brief, here are the main differences from the existing 500:

• It has a colour touchscreen.
• Working with a smartphone, it offers live tracking, social media sharing and weather.
• Compatible with GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster signal acquisition and improved signal lock.

The amount of information available via the 510 is very similar to that offered by the 500. You get up to five pages of training data, and you can have up to 10 measurements on the screen at any one time. It’s all customisable; you can just select the info you want shown and ditch the rest, saving your settings in different profiles so it’s easy to switch between them.

So, for example, you can have a set of pages organised for racing, for example, another selection for training, another lot for mountain biking… You just switch profiles to move between them rather than having to go and alter each page to suit the riding you’re planning.

Altering the page on display is simple. Rather than pressing a button, you just swipe your finger across the screen. Don’t worry, it works fine with gloved fingers and in the wet.

There’s loads of info from which to choose: time, speed, distance, calories, elevation… You can also set up exercise and rest times for interval training.  Plus, the 510 will display you cadence, heart rate and power if you use a relevant ANT+ device.

Some of the 510’s features are available only if you pair it with a smartphone (Apple or Android) and the Garmin Connect Mobile app. The 510 sends data to your phone using Bluetooth connectivity to provide live tracking, for example. This allows other people to view your live data on a Garmin Connect tracking page.

The Garmin Connect Mobile app also allows you to get real-time weather information. Forecasts and alerts come through so you can tailor a long ride accordingly. Obviously, that’s not going to be a great deal of use on an hour-long but it could be handy if you’re out all day.

Plus, the Garmin Connect Mobile app allows you to upload your completed rides wirelessly rather than using a USB cable, and you can share your rides via Facebook and/or Twitter straight away.

Oh, the GLONASS satellite tracking I mentioned up top: it’s a Russian answer to the US’s GPS. By using both GLONASS and GPS rather than just GPS, the 510 can get a signal more quickly and hang on to it better in testing circumstances.

Measuring 8.6 x 5.2 x 2.4cm, the 510 is a little bigger than the popular 500 (which remains on sale, at least for the foreseeable future). For comparison, the 500 measures 6.9cm x 4.8cm x 2.2cm. The 510’s screen is 4.4 x 3.5cm, compared to 3.7 x 3.0cm for the 500, and it weighs 80g, about 23g more than the 500.

You can mount it to your stem or bars via a standard quarter-turn mount that’s held in place with O-rings, or you can fit Garmin’s new Out-Front mount so the computer is positioned centrally, um, out front. Personally, I’m sticking with a stem set up just because I prefer less stuff bolted to the bike, but the option is there.

Garmin claim a battery life of 20hrs which is a couple of hours longer than they claim for the 500 – although I’ve never managed to get 18hrs out of the 500, so we’ll do our own timings.

The 510 is available now at £249.99. The 510 Performance Bundle, which comes with a heart rate monitor and a speed/cadence sensor, is £299.99.

For more info go to www.garmin.com/en-GB.

Standby for a review on road.cc soon.

4 user comments

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Don't buy if you train with power, it's completely messed up. Huge thread on Garmin Forums. No fix in sight.

posted by dodgy [78 posts]
11th March 2013 - 15:13

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Does it use the same plastic tab mount at the back as the 500/800 ?

Because they seem to have a habit of failing after two years, if mine and the others on the Garmin forums are anything to judge by.

Is it about a bicycle ?

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [469 posts]
11th March 2013 - 17:08

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abudhabiChris wrote:
Does it use the same plastic tab mount at the back as the 500/800 ?

Because they seem to have a habit of failing after two years, if mine and the others on the Garmin forums are anything to judge by.

Yeah, it's the same mount system. That's interesting. For what it's worth, I've used a 500 on pretty much every ride I've done for almost three years and it's still fine.

posted by Mat Brett [1722 posts]
11th March 2013 - 17:24

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Mat Brett wrote:
abudhabiChris wrote:
Does it use the same plastic tab mount at the back as the 500/800 ?

Because they seem to have a habit of failing after two years, if mine and the others on the Garmin forums are anything to judge by.

Yeah, it's the same mount system. That's interesting. For what it's worth, I've used a 500 on pretty much every ride I've done for almost three years and it's still fine.

The thread about Edge Mount failure on Garmin forums is 11 pages long.

Google Garmin Edge 500 Mount Failure and you'll get a whole lot more.

Is it about a bicycle ?

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [469 posts]
12th March 2013 - 14:23

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