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Thread: Garmin 520 plus

  1. #1
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    Garmin 520 plus

    Anyone out there try the 520 plus yet? I've never used a computer but the trailfork functionality has me thinking it may be time to try one. Any reviews?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketchemo View Post
    Anyone out there try the 520 plus yet? I've never used a computer but the trailfork functionality has me thinking it may be time to try one. Any reviews?
    It will take time for those to trickle in. The 520+ is a fairly incremental update of the Edge 520, so you're not going to see lots of people jumping ship to upgrade immediately (there are quite a few 520's out there). Some will, but it will be more of a trickle. Most reports will probably come from people who have been using something else, or are new to GPS bike computers. I'm still perfectly happy with my plain ol 520, though if the 520+ was available when I bought it, I'd probably have bought that instead. But really, the only extras I care about are the navigation features and easier map loading. I dunno that I'd actually use Garmin's preloaded maps, since I load all my own map data on mine from gpsfiledepot.com (including trails).

  3. #3
    Mr. Buck E. Fikes
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    As Harold mentioned, it's a pretty minor upgrade over the 520 which I have been using for a couple years, at least. I stopped and had a chit-chat with the Garmin guys at Sea Otter just to see if it was something that I needed to upgrade and the consensus was a 'meh, not really' type of response. It's cool that Trailforks has worked its way into Garmin integration but if you buy a 520 on-the-cheep now, you can load Trailforks through Garmin Connect IQ.

    I didn't delve into the capabilities of Trailforks on the 520+ and whether it works like the app does on a Smartphone so maybe someone that knows can chime in but on a 520, it's capabilities are exclusively accessing your predetermined routes that you have set up on your account. You can't use it to create routes and look up maps. In my case where I ride my local trail network over and over, the TF function really doesn't offer much till I venture away from home to uncharted territory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    I didn't delve into the capabilities of Trailforks on the 520+ and whether it works like the app does on a Smartphone so maybe someone that knows can chime in but on a 520, it's capabilities are exclusively accessing your predetermined routes that you have set up on your account. You can't use it to create routes and look up maps. In my case where I ride my local trail network over and over, the TF function really doesn't offer much till I venture away from home to uncharted territory.
    I haven't delved into any Connect IQ apps, TBH. I try to keep as much space available for maps - both topo and trail maps. Though it's the topos that take up the bulk of the space. I have a "library" of riding regions on my computer (areas I've set up that are reading to load onto my 520) so when I go somewhere I can swap maps easily enough, and put my "home" region back on when I get home with minimal fuss. Looking at the specs of the 520+, I really don't see that there are going to be many hardware differences, if any at all (neither product page specifies how much memory the devices have). Seems like the software is where most of the differences lie. So with the more limited memory, you'll not have a whole lot of space to work with for apps or maps. If you want more memory, you'll want either the 820 or one of the 10xx models.

    When it comes to Trailforks (or MTBProject), I just pull out my phone. Both of those phone apps allow you to download stuff for offline use, anyway. And each has areas where it's better than the other.

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    So had it a week. The usual Garmin-new-product-gremlins can be found.

    1 .Livetrack does not auto-start, but that seems to apply to most units with the current iteration of the connect app.

    2. Seems to forget sensors after I switch bikes. Still trying to isolate this issue.

    3. Auto sync's seem a bit delayed sometimes. I added some strava segments, which didn't appear until a day later.

    4. I set off the "You crashed I'm texting your wife" alarm on the second-ever ride when I was doing some trail on my road bike. I'm not even sure what triggered it. When I clicked cancel it asked "Are you sure?" This burned five more seconds of my countdown and strikes me as a really dumb question.

    Maps looks slick, although I haven't tried any real routing yet. Auto-upload and phone connection have missed no events.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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    I had one for a month and returned it. Worked fine to record rides on my local trails, but as soon as I tried to use it for the primary thing that triggered me to purchase it (loading Trailforks routes on trails I don't know while traveling out of state), it simply did not work. It acquired a GPS signal but would not load any routes from the trailheads and only gave me an error message when I tried to do so.

  7. #7
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    I've been alternating between the Edge 130 and 520 Plus. For my normal riding (on known trails/routes), I prefer the compactness and simplicity of the 130.
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    I have an edge 25 that I use for general ride recording, and it does a fine job of that. The main issue that I have with it is that the battery dies too quickly to record my longer mtb rides/races.

    I've been wanting to upgrade, and the 520 plus looks slick. I like the thought of trail forks, and the yelp app, etc.... but it sounds as if that stuff might not work very well? I plan on keeping the 25 on my commuter. I don't want a ton of overlap, but need something with more battery life.

    Any more comments on the 520 plus vs the 130?

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    The 520 used to drop livetrack a lot, but it would tell me on-screen that it was offline....The 520 plus drops livetrack, but keeps the little eye icon running for an entire afternoon while my viewers at home got a "signal lost" screen.

    There are obviously a lot of components in livetrack that need to work together, but I haven't changed phones.... so I'm blaming garmin. And livetrack autostart still doesn't work at all.

    The 520 plus routing was not too bad on my first long (road) ride. It took forever to "calculate" the route (which was pre-set in strava!), like for the first 20 minutes of the ride.

    But once it was ready, it did correctly detour me back to the strava route when I hit a closed road.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post

    4. I set off the "You crashed I'm texting your wife" alarm on the second-ever ride when I was doing some trail on my road bike. I'm not even sure what triggered it. When I clicked cancel it asked "Are you sure?" This burned five more seconds of my countdown and strikes me as a really dumb question.
    I find hard braking then coming to a complete stop is most likely to trigger a false positive incident detection, there's a few times I've triggered it on the road bike when I've missed a turn or similar and slammed on the brakes. On the fat bikes the brake pads were juddering and causing a noticeable vibration which seemed to set off the incident detection each time.

    In general I don't get that many false positives and when I had a few crashes on the MTB recently (none of them bad), it triggered every time.

    I assume the additional steps to cancel the alert are to make sure you're fully with it although it caused me to accidentally send the alert the first time I saw it as I didn't realise it needed confirmation of the cancellation. At least on the 520 it's just buttons, when it happened on the 1030 in the rain I couldn't get it to cancel as you've to press on the touchscreen for five seconds which it wasn't picking up because it was wet.
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    Am I right in thinking the 520 doesn't have the ride ratings? I'm not sure of the official name for it, on the Fenix 5S and Edge 1030 it gives you ratings out of five for the effort level whereas the 520 just gives you the recovery time.

    I usually use the Fenix 5S since it has the heartrate with the Edge as a backup to show my ride metrics while riding but noticed the Fenix was quite a bit out on elevation so I used the broadcast function to show the HR on the Edge which worked well but then I didn't get the training metrics. The Edge 1030 does have the metrics but I haven't been using it on the MTB as I don't need the routing and its touchscreen isn't much use in wet muddy conditions.
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    The "forgetting sensors on bike switch" issue has not reappeared.

    However I missed two text messages last week while the 520+ claimed to be connected to the phone.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garmin
    New Beta software for the Edge 520 Plus has been released...

    -Cleaned up some of the sensor found notifications that could occur in the middle of a ride..
    ... "some" of them?

    The 520+ was beeping so much in this regard. I actually took the battery out of my speed sensor in the middle of a road ride.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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