It’s a computer for riders who want data at their fingertips but have no need for full mapping or navigation. The sort of computer the pros might use, in fact
All that data comes courtesy of the ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart compatibility, meaning you can pair it with power meters, heart rate monitors, speed sensors and even your smartphone to get real time updates on almost any metric a bike rider could possibly want.
Better than that, pair it with Garmin’s own Vector 2 power pedals and you’ll find analysis of everything down to your pedal stroke, left-right balance and even how much time you spend in and out of the saddle. Garmin rate the combo pretty highly and describe it as ‘revolutionary metrics that provide feedback to cyclists on their position and pedal form.’
Garmin say the 520 boasts more advanced metrics compared to previous units too, with a recovery advisor that tells you how much time you need to rest after a given ride alongside the aforementioned cycling dynamics.
And all that’s just the basic package. The big launch feature of the 520 was it’s integration with Strava, making it the first computer to give you real-time live segments. As the name suggests, live segments means you get notifications of, and feedback on, Strava segments during your ride, with the computer being able to tell you how you compare to the king or queen of the mountain on any given stretch.
As far as the unit itself goes, the Edge 520 has a larger screen than the 510 – 2.3” as opposed to 2.2” – although the computer is actually smaller at 7.3 x 4.9 compared to the 510’s 8.4 x 5.1. It’s also lighter, down 20g to 60g total. One interesting feature is the fact Garmin have removed the touchscreen and replaced it with extra buttons, which should make it easier to use overall when you’re wearing gloves.
In fact, the Edge 520 is a very impressive package overall, only missing the map and navigation functions from it’s more expensive siblings. It does, however, have basic mapping installed and you can download more detailed options as well in addition to being able to track your ride via GPS which is, after all, Garmin’s forte.