New Toys from Garmin.Edge 810 and 510 GPS just annonced
Garmin unveiled its new Edge 510 MSRP $300 and Edge 810 $500 GPS-enabled cycling computers,
updating two of the most popular ride tracking devices currently on the
market. While the Edge 810 is a mild upgrade to the navigation-capable
800, the 510 is significantly more powerful and feature-rich than the
popular Edge 500. Both new models mount to the existing Garmin bracket,
and there’s a new out-front mounting option ($40), in addition to
similar aftermarket k-edge mounts.
Both the 510 and 810 are now Bluetooth enabled for wireless connectivity with a smartphone. With the companion Garmin Connect app (free) running on Apple's iOS or Google's Android, users can allow invited friends to follow their ride in real time at their computer via the LiveTrack feature. While following your friend’s ride as it happens is pretty neat, Garmin is also pitching LiveTrack as a safety feature, as your loved ones and friends can easily find you, should you be overdue after a ride—as long as you stay in areas where there is cell coverage (backcountry mountain riders should still build in a safety network). Though we worried about our phone's battery life with LiveTracking enabled, it seemed to draw down the battery only slightly faster than normal in our testing.
The smartphone link connects directly with the GarminConnect site (also free), allowing you to search for and load established routes into your cyclocomputer. At the end of a ride, you can upload your data directly to the site. The app can also push weather data from your phone to the display—you’ll get a warning before a sudden thunderstorm.
At this time, the wireless features are only available to Garmin Connect users. Apps from Strava, Map My Ride, and others will not sync with the new computers, however you can still upload their ride data to most online log services.
When a 510 or 810 starts up, a bike and activity profile screen greets the rider. You can select a bike profile from as many as 10, and any one of five activity profiles (mountain ride, training ride, ice cream ride, race, etc…). While the bike profiles are mainly to help the unit calculate metrics, the activity profiles allow the rider to have pre-set data fields, depending on the type of ride. Both new computers have a touch screen, and switching profiles requires just a swipe.
Beyond the 510’s Bluetooth connectivity, the screen is also larger (2.2" diagonal color display, up from 1.7"; the 810's display measures 2.6"). The increased display size narrows the difference between the two units; the primary difference is now the 810's navigation capability. Garmin says that other improvements include better satellite acquisition and longer battery life (up to 20 hours, from 18).
Because the 810 features improvements and revisions, rather than a ground-up redesign, the new version looks similar to its predecessor. The biggest enhancement is its connectivity to your mobile device. the user interface is slightly changed, and battery life has been boosted by two hours to 17.
Advantages Over Smartphones
More powerful smartphones and the apps they are capable of running are putting pressure on stand-alone units like the Edge computers. For the time being, the Edge 810 and 510 do still have some practical advantages over a smartphone app. Battery life is clearly in the Edge's favor: Even with the display on and providing a real-time dashboard, the Edge computers will run more than 15 hours on a single charge. A smartphone used as a dashboard with the display constantly lit; GPS, cellular, and Bluetooth all enabled will kill the battery in only a couple hours. Additionally, both of the new Edge computers have barometric altimeters, which provides more accurate elevation information than that gleaned from GPS signals or elevation databases. The Edges are also waterproof from the start, so there’s no need to add a case to your phone—and are more likely than a smartphone to survive a crash, in our experience.
Ryder Hesjedal, David Millar, Dan Martin and Andrew Talansky as they
prepare for the upcoming pro cycling season! Are you ready for the new