Garmin Edge 500  £199.99

8/10

Neat, self-contained GPS computer with excellent downloadable ride info

Weight 65g   Contact  www.garmin.com

by Dave Atkinson   May 27, 2010  

Garmin Edge 500

Garmin's Edge 500 GPS computer is a little wonder for giving you all your ride information in an easy-to-use and downloadable package.

You can buy the Edge 500 with a speed/cadence senor and a heart rate strap (£249.99) or you can just go for the head unit on its own (£199.99). Used alone, it tracks your speed and distance via satellite technology and you rarely lose the signal on the road – just occasionally when you’re riding beneath overhanging trees or next to tall buildings.

Measuring just 48 x 69 x 22cm and weighing in at 65g (including mounts), the Edge 500 is barely larger than a simple bike computer, and it mounts securely to your bar or stem in seconds with a little plastic widget and rubber O-rings.

The best bit is the range of information on offer here and the fact that it’s fully customisable. You get all the basic speed and distance measurements that you’d expect along with gradient, total ascent/descent, lap times and averages… you get the idea. Plus, if you go for the speed/cadence sensor you get more information there, and if you use a heart rate strap you can view the measurements in a variety of different ways. It’ll link up with ANT+ power-measuring equipment too, which is a massive bonus if you train by wattage.

You can select the amount and the type of information you want on the display up to a maximum of eight fields at a time, and up to three different pages. So, for example, you can have current speed and distance measurements on one page, your averages on a second screen, and altitude/climbing data on a third. If you find it hard to read eight fields of data you can reduce it to four, say, and increase the size of each, and if you’re not interested in the temperature or the calories you’ve burnt up, ditch them. Scrolling through it all via the waterproof buttons, which are positioned on the sides, is pretty easy even with gloved fingers – we’ve had no problems there – and you get a backlight for night riding.

When you get home, you can transfer all the info either to Garmin Training Center – which is essentially a training logbook on your computer – or to Garmin Connect, which is web based and really useful. We love the ‘player’ feature that runs through your route on a Google map or satellite image, showing you how your speed, heart rate, elevation and so on changed throughout the ride. You can analyse away to your heart’s content.

Unlike some models in Garmin’s range, the Edge 500 doesn’t give you mapping features – well, not really, although you can follow a breadcrumb trail from Garmin Training Center. You don’t get turn-by-turn directions, but is that a problem for you? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

Garmin reckon the rechargeable battery gives you up to 16 hours of use and, although we’ve never got quite that much, there’s enough juice in there for pretty much any ride.

Verdict

Neat, self-contained GPS computer with excellent downloadable ride info

road.cc test report

Make and model: Garmin Edge 500

Size tested: Standard (blue)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes – using it constantly now

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 190cm  Weight: 96kg

I usually ride: whatever I\\\'m testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with Ultegra 6700

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

10 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

What happens when the built-in battery stops being able to hold a charge? 200 quid is a lot of money for something you'll have to chuck in the landfill within a couple of years. And don't think you can extend that by only using it on your best bike for a few months each summer, because a Lithium-ion battery left to fully discharge over the winter will be dead by next spring. Non-user-accessible battery = no sale for me.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
27th May 2010 - 8:29

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Does the speed/cadence sensor mean you can use it on your rear wheel when using a turbo?

posted by JK [22 posts]
27th May 2010 - 9:49

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yep, I do with my 705 so I would expect this to be the same. I get HR data and if you have a powermeter that may be compatible with this little garmin too as it is with its bigger brother.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
27th May 2010 - 10:02

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the Garmin software is pants (imho).

Use SportsTracks 2 for decent analysis.

I agree about the battery - what's wrong with a replaceable battery? Some problem with my ForeRunner, but I use that all year round.

Bring me sunshine, and dry roads

MalcolmBinns's picture

posted by MalcolmBinns [107 posts]
28th May 2010 - 12:28

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705 is great but I'm not that fussed about the mapping side of things. anyone wanna swap a 705 for a 500? Wink

posted by mrchrispy [283 posts]
28th May 2010 - 16:28

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I've just bought one of these to go on my new bike. I was going to get a Polar CS500 but haven't been that impressed with my previous Polar so I thought I would give the Garmin a go.

It hasn't arrived yet so can't comment on how it works but for anyone who is interested Wiggle have them on offer at the moment for less than £199, including the Cadence and HRM accessories.

The Polar is about £50 more at the same spec, without the GPS function, so I'd give this higher than 7/10 for value.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [499 posts]
28th May 2010 - 19:51

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Looks good (using the cateye V3) nice and compact but for the price its more expensive than any computer I've seen with the extra GPS but you can use your mobile for GPS tracking.

Ok the 705 is a bit more costly but I wonder what else Garmin will turn out.

I think this type of system will be under pressure from mobiles like HTC and iphone soon.

Zaskar's picture

posted by Zaskar [137 posts]
28th May 2010 - 22:22

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
29th May 2010 - 17:19

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posted by scottydug [13 posts]
30th May 2010 - 21:20

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hi chris - by a strange coincidence, I was just thinking about getting one of these (secret birthday treat to myself), and came across the road.cc review via a google search - have you got yours yet? what do you think of it? it all sounds pretty cool to me - the garmin connect site looks good (from cursory inspection) - really like the altimeter feature and the courses feature. when does the new bike arrive?

julesjoseph's picture

posted by julesjoseph [2 posts]
2nd June 2010 - 16:41

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