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Garmin has long been the leaders in GPS technology.  In the passed few years they have had many competitors come and try take some of their market share.  Competition is a healthy thing, and Garmin have brought out many great units as a result.

The Little Garmin Edge 520, and I do mean Little, is one of the most popular units with Professional athletes as it’s compact, light weight and has excellent battery life.  But these are some of the reasons only, as this little guy also runs ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity which allows for a wider range applications such as connectivity with a cellphone app (Garmin Connect and Strava for Live Segments) and connecting with a host of other power metres and applications.

Garmin has gone away from the touch screen that it’s predecessor had, Edge 510.  They have gone with solid buttons, which was a shock and dislike to some.  I happen to enjoy the bottons, because, as a MTBer I only wear full finger gloves.  These often don’t work on touch screens as advertised, which makes for frustrating rides where you scratch the hell out of the screen protector or push to hard on the screen and you end up with a static screen, then you can’t change anything, so you have to stop to fix it with your glove off.  The new system is by far, more practical.  The  screen not being touch sensitive has a higher colour resolution and contrast, so you can use a lower back light setting, which increases battery life ALOT!  The buttons are very definite, so you can feel them even with big thick winter riding gloves on.

 

 

IMG_2163The Edge 520, has had some improvements to it’s predecessor the 510, the casing plastic is somehow harder or better made.  I had my 510 replaced under warranty by Garmin Nav World because of a fault with the clip interface cracking away from the body.  This unit has seen many many hours of abuse, and apart from the little black smudges, has very little signs of wear.  Impressed to say the least here. I have used the supplied mounts, and I can tell you that they to, are better than previous versions.  They hold far more securely than before, but also don’t break as easily. Winner!  In the box you are supplied with 2 x bar/stem mounts which are very light, they come with so many rubber o-rings to secure them to any diameter stem or object you want (I use mine to secure it to a steering wheel for navigation days), they also supply you an bar mount that puts the unit inline with you stem for those OCD riders out there.  Thank you Garmin, you listen to the riders!IMG_2162IMG_2161My Unit has been faultless, it’s had software updates via Garmin Connect (which has also been streamlined over time) .  It’s accuracy is superb.  It uses barometric pressure for elevation gain, but with Garmin Connect software, you can correct the elevation (if the weather changed during a ride, which can alter readings) using the mapping elevation figures.  This is a nice feature when analysing data.

If you are looking for a quality made, long term GPS unit that has all the bells and whistles of the top end models out there, but want a light weight unit that all the Pro Peleton choose, this is the unit for you. It’s no nonsense long lasting hardy package is brilliant.  For Mtbers out there, it’s a must have because of it’s size and button configuration.  And in mtbing, you crash and small units are less likely to be in harms way.

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