Garmin’s new Edge 510 cycling computer is both intuitive and overflowing with features.
This article was originally published in the July/August 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.
Explore deep enough into the 510’s menus, and you’ll come across just about every feature a cycling computer can possibly offer. Even with all these esoteric functions (for me, most rides don’t involve racing against my “ghost” from a previous workout, or remotely displaying my data on a phone), the brilliance of the 510 is its simplicity. All the key functions are accessible with a single button and a few swipes of the touch screen, whose clear and intuitive interface is the best thing about Garmin’s new toy.
Every feature that you’d expect in a high-end cycling computer is packed into the 510. If there is a training function you can’t live without, it’s almost certainly in this computer. In addition to the necessities, Garmin has added a few genuinely novel features that make other head units feel arcane.
GPS: While this is far from the only GPS-enabled cycling computer, its mapping functions are some of the easiest to use. Press a single start button and the computer begins communicating with satellites almost instantly—no frustrating connection delay or complicated chain of button presses required.
Tracking: After downloading a free Garmin app to a smartphone or tablet, the 510 can transmit the rider’s location and other data to the paired device. Connecting the two is fairly easy, and this novel function has a few practical uses. A coach can follow along with power data in real time during a ride or race, and live tracking a rider’s location can help set worried loved ones at ease.
Battery life: A single charge lasted through about 10 hours of ride time without pairing to an ANT+ device. Battery life went down significantly when connected to a power meter.
After pairing with a phone, the 510 automatically sends workout data to Garmin’s social training platform, Connect, and can also post to Facebook and Twitter. One catch: Uploading a ride to Strava requires a second app or physically plugging the 510 into a computer.
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