Biking is a great for exercising and it can even be more encouraging if you can get some solid biking statistics after a good workout. A GPS-enabled wristwatch or a modern smartphone with the right apps could be enough to get the basic data. However, wristwatches don’t have large enough screens to show additional data. This is why the Garmin Edge series exist although all Garmin Edge devices released on and before 2012 have boring monochrome displays. Functionality-wise, Garmin’s GPS navigators for bikers are very good but Garmin’s other products are more advanced with high-res graphics and a touch interface. This 2013, Garmin brought the Edge series to the modern level. The Garmin Edge 510 GPS bike computer is the cheaper of the two Garmin Edge devices but it has a lot of nice features in a small package.
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The Garmin Edge 510 is a cool sporty-looking device. The 2.2-inch touch display makes this GPS device a little bit smaller than Garmin Approach and a tad heavier than the Garmin Edge 500 but the screen flaunts nice and colorful graphics. The Garmin Edge 510 GPS bike computer has fewer buttons than its predecessor since the interface has been redesigned for touch inputs. Fortunately, it is still easy to use the lap and start/stop triggers as they remain as physical buttons located below the display. Although this isn’t a device you’d want to take for a swim, the Garmin Edge 510 is waterproof so you won’t have to worry about rainy days. The touchscreen can still function when it is wet and it stays responsive even if you are wearing gloves. Mounting the device is simple and you can use the tether to keep the device secure in case of an accident.
The new interface may confuse those that have gotten used to the older Garmin Edge products but overall, menu navigation is pretty responsive to touch inputs and swipe gestures. Other welcome improvements include the ability to create up to 10 bike presets each with 5 sub-categories so you can customize what type of data is shown for each preset. When you start up the device you can immediately select a bike type. Thanks to the larger display, 10 data panels can show up all at the same time.
Under the hood, the Garmin Edge 510 GPS bike computer is a substantial upgrade over the Edge 500 as well. It features GLONASS support which lessens the time it takes to connect to satellites even in areas with weaker signal. With this upgrade, this bicycle GPS device is a much safer choice for biking in more challenging areas like canyons.
As for the rest of the features, the Garmin Edge 510 works just as well as the other Garmin Edge models. You can track your activities in real time and connect ANT+ wireless accessories to improve your biking experience. Pairing the device with a smartphone through the Garmin Connect Mobile app unlocks access to other features like real-time weather conditions and alerts providing that your smartphone has reliable a mobile Internet connection. This app can facilitate wireless transfers too making data sharing very simple.
If you are very happy with the Garmin Edge 500, the Garmin Edge 510 GPS bike computer isn’t so much of an upgrade. But if you want faster satellite connectivity and better usability without sacrificing the battery life, the Garmin Edge 510 is a nice but pricey $399 remedy. Those that never used a biking GPS navigator before won’t be disappointed.