Gear Review Revisited: Garmin Edge 510 – 7 Months Later

I mostly write this silly little blog for myself and my BFF Kim, as I’m not sure I have a lot of other readers.  However, there is one post that generates traffic for me, and it was my review and unboxing of my Garmin Edge 510 back in February.  Since it gets a lot of traffic, I decided I should do a follow up post with my impressions of the device and how my last 7 months of usage have been going.

Garmin Edge 510 still going strong!
  • Accuracy:  Spot on!  This device has yet to fail me in this department, whether it be straight, long road rides, tight and curvy cyclocross courses, or in the heavy tree cover of the eastern U.S. on a mountain bike.  Where my Edge 500 would be having me make crop circles in a field on a straight road, the Edge 510 keeps me straight as an arrow.  I have mine set to generate data points every one second, which is crucial when mountain biking and for cyclocross.  I have yet to have erroneous data!  The 510 also connects to satellites very quickly, usually within seconds of being turned on!  My 500 would take sometimes 20+ minutes to get satellites, so the 510’s speed still amazes me.  Usually I can roll the bike outside, turn on the 510, and be on my way within a minute.
  • Elevation: I have noticed a big difference in elevation readings between mine and Matt’s 510’s, and can’t figure it out.  Matt’s usually reads several hundred, if not more, feet higher in elevation gain.  Mine tends to be within a few feet of most of my buddies using their smartphones with the Strava app.  I have only had one occurrence of wacky data, and that was earlier this month during a cyclocross race where on one of my laps it looks like I climbed a mountain peak.  The GPS data for the course was spot on, so not sure what happened with the elevation reading.  I know elevation data is not perfect, so it is not a major worry of mine.
  • Water Resistance: I’ve done my share of playing in the rain, snow, and mud with my 510.  Once again, it has not missed a beat and the touchscreen still works when wet.  I do not have a silicone case on mine, and covered it in mud at a cyclocross race a few weeks ago even, and no harm was done!
  • Touchscreen: The biggest annoyance of the touchscreen is if I put it in my back pocket of my jersey it will change screens.  Hasn’t really messed up any settings.  Just a minor annoyance.  Otherwise I am still finding that the touchscreen works well with gloves, muddy fingers, sweaty fingers, and when wet, as mentioned above.  Some reviews mentioned that the screen is hard to read in bright sunlight.  I haven’t really had any issues with this that I am acutely aware of.  Sure, I can get a glare depending on the angle I have it mounted, but that’s more my fault, right?  Anyways, I can read it, though sometimes I’d prefer not to see that my heart rate is 200 and I still have 30 minutes to go on a ‘cross race…
  • Bluetooth: This is one feature that I have abandoned.  The few times I synced the 510 to my iPhone 4 with Bluetooth my phone’s battery drained way too much for my liking.  I rely on my phone as one of my “I’m in trouble” lifelines when out riding alone, so I don’t want my battery draining just so my ride uploads to Garmin Connect automatically (I plug the 510 into my computer anyway after rides to upload to Strava). I also turned off the weather alerts, as I don’t need to be reminded of “High Winds” in WYOMING every 5 minutes.  Thanks Garmin, but I am well aware of what the wind is like here 😉  The Live Tracking I have used once so Matt could watch me mountain bike in Curt Gowdy State Park (where cell service can be sketchy).  He enjoyed watching me slowly make my way around.  However, it drains the phone battery.  Instead I am just very particular about texting my ride plans to him before I leave.  Sure, won’t help if I’m kidnapped, but a kidnapper would have to catch me first, right?
  • Arghhh Strava: Still the #1 downfall of the Edge 510 is lack of 3rd party site support for uploading.  Garmin Connect is great, but I only use it to back up my files.  I’m a Strava-geek, and sometimes it’s painful to have to wait to see my Suffer Score, LOL.  Granted, I’m sure this would require use of the Bluetooth connection, which above I said I didn’t like.  Go figure.
  • Battery Life: … is awesome!  I did a century ride this summer, and it was about 7.5 hours start to finish, and from fully charge the battery dropped to about 75%.  Unlike using a phone, no worries about battery drainage here!  Most of my normal rides will only drop the battery 2-3%.
  • Accessories: I use the GSC-10 cadence sensor and Garmin premium heart rate monitor and have never had any issues with connectivity to the 510.  The heart rate monitor is always accurate for me.  I know a lot of people have issues with it, but both of mine always give reliable data.

So… 7 months later and I am still very pleased with the purchase of my Garmin Edge 510!  Follow up reviews are good, because often something seems good right out of the box, and only starts to disappoint months down the road.  Hopefully my follow up will help others who are curious how the 510 performs once the box collects some dust in the corner and the device is covered in bugs and mud 🙂

Disclaimer: I purchased this item at full retail price for my own personal use.  All comments and opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for the review.

7 thoughts on “Gear Review Revisited: Garmin Edge 510 – 7 Months Later”

  1. Great review, I just picked up a 510 to replace my old 305. Have you heard of http://www.copymysports.com/ ? Automatic syncing between Garmin Connect and Strava (and/or Runkeeper). Upload to GC and usually within 15 minutes (they update 4x on the hour) all the data appears in your Strava account. Cheers!


  2. Thanks for your two very helpful reviews! When putting into the back pocket of a jersey and the screens change, I believe locking the screen will prevent that. To lock and unlock the screen, the manual states uses the power button on the side (http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/Edge_510_OM_EN.pdf). And DCRainMaker review says “…the power button… is located on the left side. This button also serves as easy access to the light display options, lock screen and…”, at http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/01/garmin-edge-510-in-depth-review.html


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