Garmin Edge 500 Cycling GPS with Speed/Cadence Sensor and Digital Heart Rate Monitor
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Lightweight GPS-based cycling computer tracks your distance, speed, location and elevation with high-sensitivity GPS
- Barometric altimeter pinpoints changes in elevation for extra-precise climb and descent data
- ANT+-enabled power meters to display your power output in watts as you ride
- Included heart rate monitor to hit your targets, track calories burned, and more
- Join a worldwide network of cyclists through Garmin Connect, a one-stop site for data analysis and sharing
There is a newer model of this item:
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Garmin Edge 500 Cycling Computers. Sharpen your cycling performance with Edge 500, a lightweight GPS-based cycling computer for performance-driven cyclists. Loaded with data, Edge 500 tracks your distance, speed, location and elevation with high sensitivity GPS. Item Specifications: Color: Gray; Wireless: Yes; Heart Rate: Included :GPS-Enabled; Included: Cadence Included
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Top Customer Reviews
All the information I need is displayed now. Reliable and accurate. Used it over 10 times, never had a problem. Just a few small things; heart rate sensor not up to polar standards (polar first generation type, solid plastic)
display could be slightly larger.
Other than these small problems, a must for any cyclist (even if you don't need cadence or heart rate).
model, found a sports app which works
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was wary of plunking out the bucks for this because there are plenty of stories of the unit not working very well. It seemed from reviews it was great or it was worthless depending on the luck of the draw. So I made sure to buy it from a place with a very liberal return policy.
This is the first GPS enabled unit that I've seen that was small enough for me to mount on my bike and not have it mistaken for a PDA or Smart Phone. It is optimized for biking.
The overall construction seems pretty good. The unit seems well sealed, has a large screen and a nice backlight.
There are 4 control buttons, two on each side. The buttons on the left generally activate or conform menu items, the buttons on the right are used for navigation. The buttons require a firm press and have a muted click, you won't be hitting them accidentally. Actually trying to hit them while riding is a tad difficult.
Underneath at the bottom of the unit there is a rubber stopper that plugs a mini-usb port. This port is used for data transfer as well as charging.
The mount is simple and awesome. There is a base piece with a formed rubber pad that goes beneath it. There are four hooks on the mount and you get a bag full of elastomeric gasket seal like rubber bands. You simply put the base piece where you want it and hook the band to one hook, stretch it around your bar/stem and hook it to the hook on the other side. Two bands and your done. Clicking the unit in is easy, press it in and rotate 90 degrees. The mount is secure, flexible and easy, I can't believe that more bike items don't use this mount, it really allows me to put it places I could never think of. On one of my bikes the handlebars were taken up with lights but I am able to put this mount ON TOP OF a Bike Planet safety light which is cylinder shaped. Clamps on with no problem. On my other bike I have it attached to the basket mounting bracket, good luck at doing that with any other mount. If only all mounts were this good. The unit comes with two complete mounts standard.
The battery is an integral Li-ion unit that is not user accessible or replaceable. Its supposedly good for up to 18 hours and has a charge % listed. I ran it for 2.5 hours with occasional backlight use and it went from 100% to 87%. The battery can be charged with the included adaptor or from a computer USB port.
Some people criticize the unit for not having a replaceable battery. I don't think that's such a big deal, the life is long, the battery will last for years before needing replacement. When you consider how much power these units usually use if ran on CR-2032's or other similar batteries you'd rack up quite a battery bill over the life of the unit and it wouldn't be nearly as well sealed. The size of the unit would rule out AA or AAA's without making it much bigger.
The unit has a lot of features, it records more data than you know what to do with. It has support for external heart monitor and cadence sensor. You can read the specs to see all the stuff it records.
What is really nice is that you have three possible screens to look at. Each screen can be configured with whatever information you want. You can select to display anywhere between 1 and 8 pieces of information. 5 seems to be optimal in that you can get a large amount of screen space for your single most important info and then 4 smaller bits in other boxes. Each time you switch screens the backlight comes on which is great at night (this can be turned off).
The process for choosing info is not exactly intuitive or friendly but it works after you figure it out (hint>Bike settings>Data fields).
To get more accurate calorie count you will need to enter some data about yourself (height, weight, age etc). Don't forget your bike information, the weight of your bike probably affects it as well.
Using the unit on the ride is easy enough. Turn it on, it boots up in a few seconds and has your satellites locked shortly thereafter. Usually less than 10 seconds. Being GPS based you don't need to program in wheel size or mess with sensors. Its easy to transfer from bike to bike and can hold 3 bike profiles.
I have the auto pause turned on so I hit start and then ride without worry. At the end of the ride I hit stop. You won't "accidentally" clear your data because you have to press and hold the clear button for 3 seconds and it shows you a countdown.
One of the big features of a unit like this is the ability to download and examine your exercise data. The unit doesn't ship with any software but Garmin provides two utilities for free. There is the Garmin Training Center Software free to download from their website. It serves as a basic organizer downloader/uploader. It doesn't have all the analysis tools and its Maps are pretty anemic at best. The nice part however is you can transfer your data to Google Earth (if installed) which displays your data on a Google earth map. You can "play" your animation as well as look at each of your data points. If you right click on the path and choose Elevation Profile you get additional options for examining elevation and grade.
There is also the Garmin Connect Website that lets you upload your data to Garmins website. They have better graph and analysis tools. In addition to having your data stored online you can also send the link to others to share your data which is nice.
Accuracy & Reliability
Horror stories about the accuracy (or lack their off) and the unit freezing up or flaking out were pretty scary. One thing that I did before I ever used the device was fully charge the battery and then get the latest firmware update from the Garmin Website. There were a LOT of issues that we fixed. If you look at the revision history its wonder they let the thing out the door with that many issues. Installing the firmware involves downloading a program which then loads info into the unit. After that when you turn the unit on it compiles the new firmware into it over the period of a few minutes and then is ready to go.
I'm happy with the results. It's as accurate as most consumer grade GPS units. Accuracy of course varies with time and location. If I look at my track on Google Maps sometimes I can see what side of the road I was going down and how I zigged and zagged going up a large hill. Other times it has me biking through everyone's front yard. I'd say its off by 20 feet in one direction at worst which is not bad when your riding miles.
Elevation is a bit spotier, largely because the variance is much less. Plus or minus 20 feet on 20 miles is nothing, plus or minus 20 feet on 200 ft elevation is a lot. I've seen elevation swings as much as 50 feet at any one point but it averages out of a lot of data points. If you want to know what the exact elevation is at any one point you may be disappointed until you take multiple samples. But if you are looking for a pretty good record of the changes in your overall miles long ride it is sufficient. Also in my experience this varience in elevation is not unique to this unit. Every GPS unit I've used has had similar issues.
Temperature is another area of questionable accuracy. If you hold the unit for any length of time over 30 seconds its going to heat up. Same if exposed to direct sunlight. It doesn't seem to refresh the temperature that often. Seems to heat up fast, cool off slow.
While this is technically a Bike Computer with its ability to sync with Heart Rate Monitors there really isn't a reason you couldn't use it for other outdoor sports as well. You'd just have to make sure you have a place to hold it that it can receive signal.
Very Flexible in utility
Long Battery life
Lots of information
Not Very Friendly Interface
Buttons Hard to Push
Doesn't seem to have a indicator if you are going below, at or above average.
Associated Software is lacking
Bit of a learning curve to figure out all the quirks.
An excellent device that takes the concept of a bike computer to a new level. Provides all sorts of information before and after the ride that you can find useful. If you've got the cash I'd recommend it.
UPDATE - Heart Rate monitor
I got the Garmin Comfort Strap Heart Rate monitor. After going back and telling the unit that I had a HRM it picked the monitor up almost instantly and has worked great. The only Gotcha (aside from having to reconfigure you screens to include HRM data) is that having the HRM active does drain the battery. I don't have any solid numbers but 2x as fast would be a reasonable estimate.
UPDATE - 10/26/11
Unit still works great and I've found other uses as well. Keeping track of where you go on vacation.
Sure its not the intended use but what you've got is a cool little tracking device. The battery is good enough to last all day long (14+ hours). The reception is good enough as long as your not in a building. Its small enough to fit in a pocket without noticing.
I recently spent a month in China. I would start it up when I left the hotel in the morning and turn it off when I got back. I had the entire days wanderings recorded. If you remember its on you and want to tag a specific point just push the lap button.
When I got home I loaded the information onto the computer and brought it up in Google Earth and was able to see everywhere I went. The entire trip used up less than 10% of the available memory.
I have not had any problems at all with the function of the unit. It easily found satelites and is pretty obvious how to configure. I really like the ability to connect this to my computer after rides and keep a detailed log of my rides. I gave the software three stars because it is very buggy and still quite rough around the edges.
I purchased the Garmin Heart Rate Monitorseparately. I do not have the Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence Bike Sensor- it seems unnecessary for me. I don't really have a need to monitor my cadence and the speed measurements from the gps are very accurate - even on trails under pretty heavy foliage. I don't use this on a trainer.
I would strongy suggest that anyone who is considering this purchase make sure they visit the Garmin Edge 500 Forum on the Garmin website. You will learn more there than you ever wanted to know about the device. The DC Rainmaker blog also has an excellent detailed write-up.
As far as size, it is roughly the same size as my old Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer with 4-Line Display and Temperature. The mount couldn't be easier. It uses two rubber bands to attach the base to the handlebars or stem. The unit locks into the base with a 90 degree twist - very easy and secure. It comes with tons of extra bands and I threw an extra set in my seat bag - just in case.
The elevation data is not very accurate either. If you turn on "Elevation Correction" in the [...] software then its much better but still not great. If I ride the same route several times I notice that the peak elevations are off by 10's of feet sometimes even with elevation correction "on". With that said, its still good to give you a rough idea of how much elevation change you experienced.