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Garmin 500 or 510?

Old 04-10-14, 12:57 PM
  #26  
bonz50
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
One advantage of the Garmin units is they are highly customizable. If you want a giant HR field at the top of the screen you can do that. On my 510 I can have like 6 pages with 8-10 fields per page if I want them. Without a power meter it's hard to justify a 510 IMO. If you pick up a cheap 500 on ebay for $200 with the sensor and HR monitor that's not too expensive. Keep in mind that you need to charge them every 8-10 ride hours which is a bit of hassle.
if you buy a new 500 bundle from an authorized reseller you can get one with warranty support and etc for $230-240. for that reason alone I'd avoid the ebay sellers, just my .02. or get the head unit for $159 and add the hrm/ s/c sensor later
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Old 04-10-14, 01:13 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
I am thinking about and would appreciate feedback on upgrading to a Garmin 500 or 510. Currently on a couple of bikes I use the comparatively modest Cateye Strada Wireless without cadence for speed, mileage etc and thinking about replacing one with a Garmin.

So a couple of questions please:

If I don't feel a compulsion to spring for a power meter, is a Garmin really worthwhile?...or is a Garmin really only worthwhile as a basis to monitor power output while riding?

Cadence isn't that big a deal...I tend to spin versus mash anyway so this wouldn't be a big help to me..

But how about heart rate? Do you guys without a power meter use the heart rate monitor function on your Garmin to train within particular zones? Is this a good reason to get a Garmin if no plan for a power meter?

Lastly...the display for aging eyes. Can font size be increased on the display such that you only show maybe, speed and heartrate on one screen with a larger font?
Thanks
I switched from a Garmin 705 to a 510 last year because I never used the map feature of the 705 and I wanted the ability of the up-front mount. I chose the 510 over the 500 because I thought that the Live Tracking would let my wife see where I am in case of an accident. It turns out that she never uses the Live Tracking since the Find My Friends feature on our iPhones is more convenient. The auto upload to Garmin Connect is OK, but I use Strava so I still have to sync via a cable. (I've heard that the wireless uploads to Strava are clumsy)

The bottom line is that I think that the 500 is perfectly adequate and a lot cheaper.

OP, hopefully, you realize that the primary benefit of the Garmins over a regular cyclocomputer is the GPS capability, not the power capability. (In fact, there are Garmins that can't do power). I really like to be able to see where I've gone on past rides. And, even though you said that you're not interested in power data, I find it invaluable and interesting even though I don't race.
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Old 04-10-14, 01:22 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
The auto upload to Garmin Connect is OK, but I use Strava so I still have to sync via a cable. (I've heard that the wireless uploads to Strava are clumsy)
I have a 510 and do the BT upload to Garmin Connect via a smartphone. Then I manually export from Garmin Connect and upload the file to Strava. No cables required. I haven't been able to get Copy My Sports to work.

I also don't agree that the primary advantage of Garmins is GPS since the Strava app on a smartphone will do that for free.
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Old 04-10-14, 01:29 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
I have a 510 and do the BT upload to Garmin Connect via a smartphone. Then I manually export from Garmin Connect and upload the file to Strava. No cables required. I haven't been able to get Copy My Sports to work.

I also don't agree that the primary advantage of Garmins is GPS since the Strava app on a smartphone will do that for free.
The OP was asking about Garmins vs. regular cyclocomputers, not cyclocomputers + smartphones.
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Old 04-10-14, 07:55 PM
  #30  
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Here's a good review, I recently bought the 500. Due to the direct sunlight in the Mojave desert the 510's contrast would have been an issue for me.

The Complete Garmin Edge 510 Review
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Old 04-10-14, 09:41 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Condor637 View Post
Here's a good review, I recently bought the 500. Due to the direct sunlight in the Mojave desert the 510's contrast would have been an issue for me.

The Complete Garmin Edge 510 Review
I completely disagree with that review. The 510 has plenty of contrast, the trick is that it is very angle dependent. I used to think the 510 had terrible contrast. Then I got a forum recommendation to try an out front mount. Simply rotating the mount about 15deg made a HUGE difference in contrast. The display needs to be aimed directly at your face.

The photographs in that review are all taken from a low angle, where yes its terrible.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:11 PM
  #32  
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I have both. I like the 510 more than the 500.

Got the 510 the week it came out. Gave my GF the 500...which she's completely happy with. She uses the cadence and HR monitor. I use the cadence with the 510.

The 500 can be slow to pick up a signal...while the 510 picks up much faster.

The 500 does not reset once you stop your workout. If you forget to reset...it'll continue next time from where you left off and you'll have to manually trim your ride. The 510 resets the ride once you save.

Imo...the resolution on the 510 is fine for me. I've never once thought to myself that the display is hard to read.

The BT is nice...uploads my ride automatically to Connect after I hit save. Not a big deal since I still have to manually upload to Strava.

Last edited by I <3 Robots; 04-10-14 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:28 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
The 510 has plenty of contrast, the trick is that it is very angle dependent.
I think another trick is not to use polarized sunglasses with the 510. I don't have an issue with mine and I don't think it's angled up at 15 degrees. You do need to adjust it so the clouds/sky aren't reflecting off the screen.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:53 PM
  #34  
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I really like the live track. Auto uploads your data to Garmin at the end . The wife can figure out when I'm going to be home.

I also really like how the 510 resets your ride data before each ride (after you save).
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Old 04-11-14, 12:54 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by velocity View Post
I own the 510.
1) bigger /color screen
2) garmin connect and firm wear updates when available
3) turn by turn capabilities
4) GPX and TCX capable
5) My wife can follow me real time so she can check up on me....
This (except no #5 for me).

I went from the 500 to the 510. At first the learning curve was a problem, but now I love my 510.

If you have more than 3 bikes, the 510 is a better choice.

The screen is easy to read even in bright sun.
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Old 04-11-14, 04:36 AM
  #36  
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Hey OP. Bought my 500 bundle after reading a lot about it vs. the 510. It's a great size, weight, and the red & black version is slick. I noticed lot's of people were happy not to have a touchscreen. Mine grabs a satellite in <30 seconds. The main draw is obviously GPS, but also ANT+. Lot's to customize on the 500. Here are the data fields on the 3 pages I currently use:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Data Screens 500.JPG (20.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 04-11-14, 05:04 AM
  #37  
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Thanks so much guys for all the great input. A question about the HR monitor strap that comes with the Garmin, if you order the bundle. Is this the way to go?...or is there a better strap if you buy the head unit alone and buy a separate HR strap as an upgrade from the strap that comes with the Garmin bundle?

Thanks
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Old 04-11-14, 06:58 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Thanks so much guys for all the great input. A question about the HR monitor strap that comes with the Garmin, if you order the bundle. Is this the way to go?...or is there a better strap if you buy the head unit alone and buy a separate HR strap as an upgrade from the strap that comes with the Garmin bundle?

Thanks
as long as you use an ANT+ strap it shouldn't matter, get the one you like best and call it good. I use a garmin deluxe one cuz it was given to me by a friend that bought a powercal, there are a number of others that will work.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:02 AM
  #39  
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The one in the bundle worked great for me for two indoor riding seasons, but once the battery failed it never worked again. The changing battery protocol recommended by Garmin didn't fix it, and cleaning salt off of the "electronic guts" didn't either. Part of why I am meh on the 500 is the loss of HRM, which was great for indoor training. YMMV.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:36 AM
  #40  
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I have the strap that came bundled with the red 500 and after ~2 years of use, it's still working perfectly and I have no complaints about it so far as comfort or functionality. I rinse the whole thing under "gentle" tap water after each ride and haven't had any salt, or anything else, build up.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:40 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Thanks so much guys for all the great input. A question about the HR monitor strap that comes with the Garmin, if you order the bundle. Is this the way to go?...or is there a better strap if you buy the head unit alone and buy a separate HR strap as an upgrade from the strap that comes with the Garmin bundle?

Thanks
Hi Campag,

I have the 500 bundle, been using the standard HR strap for 16 months with no problem (still on original battery). I checked out the "premium strap" very little difference IMO.

Everyone has pretty much said it well so far, the only thing I''ll add is don't sell yourself short on not needing power. As the prices of PM's come down, and knowing you to be a numbers and technical kind of guy you might find yourself getting one at some point. I've truly found it to be incredibly helpful in making the most out of rides and fitness (especially once you understand it and I guarantee you'll love all the reading ). At any rate just another vote for a computer that has the capability at least whether it be the 500 or 510.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:48 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by bahula03 View Post
I have the strap that came bundled with the red 500 and after ~2 years of use, it's still working perfectly and I have no complaints about it so far as comfort or functionality. I rinse the whole thing under "gentle" tap water after each ride and haven't had any salt, or anything else, build up.
I do think my issue was insufficient cleaning after use. I would typically wipe it down, but only rinse it every 4th or 5th use. I am also a "lick the contact patch guy", and the salt was helpful electrolytes.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:52 AM
  #43  
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Sounds like the HR strap that gets bundled with the 500-510 is pretty good and no benefit of buying just the Garmin head unit and a separate more premium strap. Wasn't sure if ergonomics or battery life, strap durability etc varied much between different ANT straps having little experience in that regard.
Robby, the power meter thing is a wild card or stretch goal I suppose. I am not a competitive rider, but rather just an oldster who likes to ride with young guns. So the only input I use relative to power is whether I get dropped or not. Not to take this thread on a philosophical bend but maybe it makes more sense to train within particular HR zones as opposed to particular power targets. No question others ponder this if there is a conflict between the two in particular.
Thanks again.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:55 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
The one in the bundle worked great for me for two indoor riding seasons, but once the battery failed it never worked again. The changing battery protocol recommended by Garmin didn't fix it, and cleaning salt off of the "electronic guts" didn't either. Part of why I am meh on the 500 is the loss of HRM, which was great for indoor training. YMMV.
Contact Garmin. They will replace it. I've had mine fail twice and each time they sent me a new one. The most recent replacement was their new premium strap. What a bargain.

Btw, they recommend washing the new one every 7 uses in the washing machine. I toss it in with a load of cycling clothes on gentle in a laundry bag.
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Old 04-11-14, 08:07 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Sounds like the HR strap that gets bundled with the 500-510 is pretty good and no benefit of buying just the Garmin head unit and a separate more premium strap. Wasn't sure if ergonomics or battery life, strap durability etc varied much between different ANT straps having little experience in that regard.
Robby, the power meter thing is a wild card or stretch goal I suppose. I am not a competitive rider, but rather just an oldster who likes to ride with young guns. So the only input I use relative to power is whether I get dropped or not. Not to take this thread on a philosophical bend but maybe it makes more sense to train within particular HR zones as opposed to particular power targets. No question others ponder this if there is a conflict between the two in particular.
Thanks again.
I hear you, but you never know! I'm similar to you in that vein but decided that I wanted to get better quality out of my rides and power helped create that plan. FWIW I did ride with HR zone planning prior and also felt that it was a good benefit.

Maybe my HR montior continues to do so well because I forget to wash it more often than not, and like rollCNY I'm a "lick it and forget it" guy!
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Old 04-11-14, 08:34 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Sounds like the HR strap that gets bundled with the 500-510 is pretty good and no benefit of buying just the Garmin head unit and a separate more premium strap. Wasn't sure if ergonomics or battery life, strap durability etc varied much between different ANT straps having little experience in that regard.
Robby, the power meter thing is a wild card or stretch goal I suppose. I am not a competitive rider, but rather just an oldster who likes to ride with young guns. So the only input I use relative to power is whether I get dropped or not. Not to take this thread on a philosophical bend but maybe it makes more sense to train within particular HR zones as opposed to particular power targets. No question others ponder this if there is a conflict between the two in particular.
Thanks again.
the arguments for getting the head unit and the HRM and SC sensor separately was that it was typically cheaper than buying the bundle. do a little quick research before you jump on a bundle.
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Old 04-11-14, 12:43 PM
  #47  
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FWIW The 500 is on sale right now at many places for $160.
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Old 04-11-14, 12:43 PM
  #48  
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Edge 1000, buy one now....
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Old 04-11-14, 12:48 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
FWIW The 500 is on sale right now at many places for $160.
Agreed.
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Old 04-11-14, 01:19 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
Edge 1000, buy one now....
-1

Sounded interesting at first but expensive, large and mostly gimmicks. If you are into things like real time "strava" segments (but garmin not strava), DI2 info, and having your ride interrupted by cell phone messages you might like the 1000. If I ever decide I need map data on my garmin I'll get an 800/810 or hopefully an updated one with better screen but not the giant size of the 1000.
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