Garmin Edge 520 Plus-2

My husband has been wanting a bike computer for the past year to better track his performance and heart rate while riding his road and commuter bikes. After some online research, we recently bought a Garmin Edge 520 Plus including sensor bundle.

For the CAD $500 price tag, it’s a pretty good deal, as it includes three mounts, heart rate sensor, speed meter and power meter that would cost way more if bought separately.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus
[What’s in the box]

I like using the manual buttons to control the Edge 520 Plus while riding; after playing around with them awhile, they became simple and straightforward to use. The user interface with the menus is somewhat old-school but works well enough for my needs.

I find that updating info post-ride to the Garmin Connect App is quite slow and definitely makes my old iPhone 5 work hard, as it heats up while doing so and drains the phone’s battery fast. Battery life of the Edge520 Plus itself is good: I use it on daily commutes of about 45 minutes and only need to recharge the battery over the weekend.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Garmin Edge 520 Plus

I have not been using the maps features that much just yet, but will definitely start to use them when I head out on new routes that require detailed navigation.

The connection and integration to the Strava App is another cool feature that’s easy to set up; there’s also the option to upload ride data into Strava, to check whether you’ve beat a personal best as well as to compare (and share) data with your friends.

The live segment integration with Strava is cool if you want to measure your performance against a Strava route and segments that you pre-loaded onto your Edge 520.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus

It takes a bit of tinkering and time to get used to all the features, set them up and get more use out of them but that shouldn’t pose a problem for any bike enthusiast to tackle.

For me, the most important feature is power and heart rate measurements in real time so that I know if can take it faster or slower based on my plan for the ride.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Not every ride is about setting a new record, it’s more about understanding how I’m doing and measuring my effort so that I can pace myself and improve my capabilities over time.

I found a cool app, hHRPie, on Connect IQ’s store and installed it on the device. This app continuously shows your heart rate in a nice pie chart. Heads up: you won’t be able to use hHRPie while recording a ride on the Garmin.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus screens only show number fields (no nice pie charts) of your performance while you are riding, something that I feel Garmin should be able to fix or include in future updates as the Edge line has been around for a number of years.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Both stats and detailed ride info is very basic on the Edge 520. Once your ride is transferred over to the Garmin Connect App and Strava, it’s displayed in a nicer format and tries to engage you to compare with others and provide insight on your rides based on past performance and where you can improve (or have improved).

I also like the privacy settings on the Garmin Connect App: you can keep your data to yourself or share it with the community to compare your efforts.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Garmin Edge 520 Plus

A word of advice: as you get used to the Edge 520 device, don’t keep staring at it too much while riding as it may distract you from the road and from people around you. You may run into a car, cyclist or pedestrian before you know it, thus the distracted driver issue also applies to cyclists while using the Edge 520 Plus device!

Overall, I’m very happy with the Edge 520 Plus. As mentioned above, it’ll keep me more engaged and aware of my efforts and limitations. I feel it gives me an ‘edge’ up while using it, and I’ve definitely a lot more to discover how this device can assist me in training while becoming faster and smarter along the way.

We received a media rate for the Garmin Edge 520 Plus for the purpose of this review. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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