PROS / The Edge 510 has the best battery life of any bike GPS we reviewed.
CONS / The Edge 510 does not support in-ride maps, which could be frustrating if you ride in unfamiliar places and want turn-by-turn navigation.
VERDICT / The Garmin Edge 510 is the best bike GPS on the market. Its combination of functionality and value is unmatched, and its preloaded course navigation feature is sufficient for all but the most demanding navigation needs.
Editor's Note: The Garmin Edge 520 is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate the Edge 520 when we next update the Bike GPS reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about the Garmin Edge 510.
The Garmin Edge 510 bike GPS offers an extensive range of features, and it is affordable, durable and easy to use. The touchscreen interface is intuitive, and its ability to pair with a smartphone opens up a world of functionality. For its function and value, the Garmin Edge 510 is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
The Garmin Edge 510 displays speed, time, distance, temperature and altitude data in-ride, and it does so on a bright color screen. The Edge 510 sends that data to your smartphone through a Bluetooth connection, and then your smartphone pushes the data to the Garmin Connect website. This wireless approach means you'll never have to manually upload data from the bike GPS to the computer.
After your ride, you can get on the Garmin Connect website and see your route on a map, along with your speed, time, distance and other metrics. Garmin Connect also adds a social networking element to the Edge 510. If you share your rides, your friends can like them or comment on them. Garmin Connect is even integrated with Facebook and Twitter, so you can send rides to your social network profiles with a simple command.
The Edge 510 is compatible with ANT+ sensors that detect heart rate, pedal cadence and pedal power, so you can monitor these crucial training metrics as you ride. ANT+ is a close-distance wireless connection technology, like a more power-efficient Bluetooth.
The data the ANT+ sensors collect is also transferred to your smartphone through Bluetooth and then pushed to the Garmin Connect website. After your ride, you'll see heart rate, pedal cadence and pedal power information displayed alongside basic ride data and a map of your ride.
The Edge 510 really shines in the area of design. The cycle computer features a bright color screen that is much easier to read than the monochrome screen of lesser bike GPS units. The touchscreen interface is simple and intuitive, and it works in the rain and if you're wearing gloves because it is pressure based. Perhaps because it's pressure-based, the touchscreen is not as responsive as a modern smartphone, but it's easily good enough for a bike computer.
The Edge 510 is the perfect size for a cycling computer. With a display diagonal of 2.2 inches and a weight of 2.8 ounces, it's unobtrusive yet substantial. The 20-hour battery life is the most of any bike computer we reviewed.
Of the cycle computers we reviewed, the Garmin Edge 510 is the easiest to use for the following reasons: The touchscreen makes navigation through menus more intuitive than a button-based interface. The Edge 510 isn't bloated with features, so it's easy to navigate to the features you'll use every ride. Also, the ability to pair it with your cellphone via Bluetooth makes uploading data to Garmin Connect a breeze.
The Edge 510 includes an exciting feature called Live Track. Live Track provides instant GPS tracking through the Garmin Connect app or website. This feature is made possible by the Bluetooth pairing with your smartphone. Live Track allows your family and friends to watch you as a moving dot on a map. They can use LiveTrack to check on your safety and location, or to cheer you on during a race.
Although the Edge 510 does not have maps support or turn-by-turn navigation, it does have preloaded course navigation. This means you can create a route on the Garmin Connect website and then transmit it to the bike computer via your phone or through USB. As you ride, this route will display as a line and your bike is represented as an arrow. Although you won't see a map containing streets or buildings, if you follow the breadcrumb trail as it's displayed, you will arrive at your destination. Additionally, the Edge 510 has a compass to further help with navigation.
Help & Support
Garmin has long had the reputation of standing behind its products. It provides a standard one-year warranty, but the company has been known to give customers price breaks on non-warranty repairs. The customer service representatives we spoke with on the phone and through email were friendly and knowledgeable. Garmin also has a YouTube channel with multiple instructional videos.
The Garmin Edge 510 lacks the maps and turn-by-turn navigation capabilities of Garmin's more expensive models. However, it has every feature the serious cyclist needs to trainer harder and smarter, and it offers these features in a package that perfectly combines value, size and simplicity, making it the best bike GPS we reviewed.