Garmin Edge 520 Plus – One of Best Adv GPS Bike Computer


GARMIN EDGE 520 Plus At Glance

In terms of performance, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus has been rated as the “best GPS cycling computer on the market for performance-minded riders” by BikeRadar. Priced at just 30 dollars more than the Edge 520, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus packs a lot of new features when compared to the asking price.

Check Latest Price of Edge 520 Plus
  • Value for money
  • Battery Life
  • Ease of Use

!!! Check out new Garmin Edge Explore Review !!!

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is an advanced GPS Bike computer equipped with the best in class turn by the turn navigation system and a pile of new features in addition to all the trusted data tracking capabilities of the Garmin Edge 520

Trending:- Offer on Amazon – Price of Garmin Edge 520 Plus slashed by 70$

As an active lifestyle brand, Garmin constantly works on providing riders with gear that helps them to train smarter and improve their performance every day. A small and intelligent device as the Garmin Edge 520 plus on your handlebar can help you stay connected, keep you on the right track and create a safer environment for all of your rides

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus comes with preloaded Strava segments and detailed maps from the Garmin Cycle Map which modern riders use to improve their personal best or compete against others alongside tracking important performance metrics such as speed, power, VO2 max estimates, Functional Threshold Power and advanced cycling dynamics data

Compare Edge 520 Plus with similar Devices

Features of Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Be it at exploring new routes or pushing you to your limits during a race, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus packs all the required functionalities such as built-in challenges, ANT+ sensor compatibility for advanced cycling dynamics monitoring, smartphone compatibility for smart notifications and advanced turn by turn navigation system along with the ones listed below:-

Garmin Edge 520 Plus features

  • Strava 2.0 segments
  • Features Connect IQ Apps – TrainingPeaks, Best Bike Split, Yelp, Trailforks
  • Preloaded Garmin Cycle Map
  • Rider to Rider messaging
  • Turn by turn navigation with the capability of route recalculation
  • Featuring bike trail apps – TrailForks & Yelp
  • Virtual Partner (train against a digital person)
  • Bluetooth smart text and call notifications
  • Battery life up to 15 hours
  • ANT+FE -C trainer control
  • Courses (compete against previous activities)
  • Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
  • Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)
  • Auto-Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)
  • Compatibility with Varia Smart Bike lights and rearview radar
  • Customizable screen(s)
  • Suggests recovery time
  • Monitors cycling-specific VO2 max estimate when used with a power meter and heart rate monitor
  • Tracks Functional Threshold Power and advanced cycling dynamics when used with Vector power meters

1. Navigating with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus

If there is something that the Garmin Edge 520 Plus is significantly better at than the Edge 520, then it is its navigational features. With a complete map set of the region, the Edge 520 Plus will give you turn by turn navigation and will suggest you new routes based on Garmin’s ‘Trendline Popularity Routing’ algorithm.

Trendline Popularity algorithm uses rider data to suggest the best possible route for a cyclist in case the shortest path isn’t the most convenient route to ride and is preferred less by riders.

For example in the above case, the algorithm will suggest Route B as the extra distance to be covered is small and the path is significantly better to ride on

Garmin Edge 520 Plus - One of Best Adv GPS Bike Computer

The Saved Points feature allows you to save your favorite checkpoint and then maps a route to it whenever you want. In case you decide on heading back home early then you can select the ‘Back to Start’ option to go via the route you came on or a more direct one.

Connecting your device to the Trailforks app gives you access to the latest information about the mountain bike trails in the area with heatmaps, topographic conditions, points of interests, photos and videos. You can also download the trails from 80 countries for going on an offline ride.

The preloaded Garmin Cycle Map enables the Garmin Edge 520 Plus to provide turn by turn directions and alerts for sharp turns ahead or when you stray off course. You can create routes by downloading from Garmin Connect or via Connect IQ apps like Yelp and the Edge 520 Plus will give your directions with the names of the roads without an internet connection.

With the help of Yelp now you can find Point of Interests like nearby bike repair shops and restaurants. The Garmin Edge 520 Plus will show you the shortest route to the location with turn by turn directions

2. Design and Display

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is the same as the Edge 520 in terms of design and has the compact and aerodynamically optimized shape with a 2.3” wide brightly colored screen. The device doesn’t have a touchscreen and offers a seven-button layout for navigating through screens.

Performance-minded cyclists who like to view multiple data fields on the handlebar of their bikes can customize the Edge 520 Plus to display their favorite stats on a single and easy to read the screen. The Garmin Edge 520 Plus also allows the user to switch between data fields and Map view while on the road.

Buttons are easy to operate when cycling in tougher conditions especially while wearing gloves. Moreover using buttons saves your screen from getting dirty. The seven button layout in the Edge 520 Plus is exactly same as the Edge 520. The Edge 520 Plus weighs only a mere 2 grams more than the Edge 520

The device has a weather cap guarding the USB port against moisture and features a standard Garmin quarter mount on the back which easily locks into any quarter-turn mount. The box comes with a standard and extended out-front mount to fix your Edge 520 Plus to your handlebar or stem of the bike

You can set the Edge 520 Plus to display day or night colors or select the Auto option which allows the device to set colors automatically according to the time of the day.

3. Ride Connected

Pairing the device to the smartphone and turning notifications on allows the Edge 520 Plus to display text and call notifications from the phone on the handlebar. With the new rider-to-rider messaging feature you can message fellow riders straight from the device without pulling out your phone.

Ride Connected feature of edge 520 plus

GroupTrack in the Garmin Edge 520 Plus allows you to exactly know the position of your riding buddies. In case you have a flat tire you can easily let your fellow riders know who can easily find you if they are paired with GroupTrack

The LiveTrack feature lets your friends and family to keep track of your real-time ride data and your location. To use LiveTrack pair your phone to the device and go to the Garmin Connect Mobile App. You can choose to share your ride with people by entering their email addresses or you can even share it on social media like Facebook and Twitter

4. Compete and Compare

Nothing pushes a rider more than a rider buddy pedaling side by side. With the help of the virtual assistant partner in the Garmin Edge 520 Plus, you can achieve that level of motivation on your own

Compete and Compare with edge 520 plus

The Virtual Assistant lets you compete against your personal best and even displays important information like distance and time in comparison with the virtual partner. Connecting your device to the live Strava segments enables it to notify you at the start of an approaching segment

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus comes with a 60 day free trial of Strava Premium

You can also track your performance while competing against the personal bests of your Strava friends with a redesigned second to the second comparison. Additionally, you also get to know about your current effort as compared to your most recent efforts, Personal best or the leader in the segment

The Strava Routes app allows you to ride any route you have saved in your Strava account. You can also send starred routes wirelessly to your device and compete on your favourite Strava segments

5. Compatibility with ANT+ Sensors

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is able to integrate with multiple ANT+ sensors like heart rate monitor, power meter, speed and cadence sensors with ease. These sensors can be added by selecting the Add Sensor option in the device and then pairing the same

With the help of these sensors, the riders can monitor a whole new landscape of data metrics like their maximum speed, maximum power and VO2 max estimates

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus can also pair with your ANT+ enabled indoor trainer and also enables you to set the resistance of the indoor trainer while creating your favourite tracks and courses

Be it your favorite activities or your favorite workouts your indoor trainer will simulate exactly what you want to train on even providing a virtual assistant to compete against. To start training with your indoor trainer you need to follow these simple steps –

  1. Select Settings>Sensors>Add sensors
  2. Select the Indoor trainer option and pair the sensor
  3. After the pairing is complete go to the Training section and select Indoor Trainer
  4. You can select between following a course, previous activity or a power-based activity downloaded from Garmin connect

The Garmin Edge 520 can also smartly integrate with the Shimano Di2 electronic shifting which displays the gear of the bike on the computer screen while riding

6. Training with the Edge 520 Plus

Let’s dive straight into the suite of training capabilities that the Edge 520 Plus is capable of delivering via the Connect IQ features and when paired with ANT+ sensors –

Training with TrainingPeaks –

The TrainingPeaks app comes preloaded in the Garmin Edge 520 Plus and can be accessed through the Connect IQ app. Creating an account in TrainingPeaks allows you to create a training plan and send it to your device. The Garmin Edge 520 Plus will then guide you throughout your workout regime in real-time showing you intensity targets and travel durations during the process

Training with Best Bike Split

With the preloaded Best Bike Split app, you can have all of your race day plans at your fingertips. This app allows you to monitor how factors like change in weight, power and drag are ultimately affecting your goal race time. This information can be used for creating the optimum power plan for competing in an upcoming race.

Measuring FTP (Functional Threshold Power)

FTP (Functional Threshold Power) is a term that cyclists use as an accurate measure of their performance. The Garmin Edge 520 Plus comes with an inbuilt FTP option for testing as well as monitoring your FTP

All you need to do is pair your power meter and heart rate monitor with the Edge 520 Plus and select the FTP test which is already loaded by going to the My Stats section in the menu and then selecting FTP

FTP is the maximum average power that one sustain for an hour. It is a great indication of your cycling performance. Knowing your FTP can help in identifying your power zones which can ultimately be used to create highly structured training plans to improve a specific component of your fitness.

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus provides on-screen instructions for performing the FTP test including warm-ups and speeds during the process and also keeps a track of your FTP over time.

VO2 Max

VO2 Max

Similar to measuring the FTP, for getting the VO2 max estimate you will need to pair the power meter and the heart rate monitor to your Edge 520 Plus. In simple terms, VO2 max. is an indication of athletic performance and should increase as your overall fitness level improves.

For measuring your VO2 max –

  1. Ride at high intensity for 20 mins at the least
  2. After completing the ride select Save ride
  3. Select Menu> My Stats > VO2 Max

Your VO2 max will be displayed as a number and position on the color gauge where –


Tips for using the VO2 max –

VO2 max. is the maximum volume of oxygen (in milliliters) you can consume per minute per kilogram of body weight at your maximum performance.

The success and accuracy of the VO2 max. calculation improves when your ride is a sustained and moderately hard effort, and where heart rate and power are not highly variable.

  • Before your ride, check that your device, heart rate monitor, and power meter are functioning properly, paired, and have good battery life.
  • During your 20 minute ride, maintain your heart rate at greater than 70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • During your 20 minute ride, maintain fairly constant power output.
  • Avoid rolling terrain.
  • Avoid riding in groups where there is a lot of drafting.

Recovery Advisor

Giving your body proper rest after a demanding ride is very important. The body won’t be able to perform if it is not given enough time to recover.

This Recovery Advisor feature of the Garmin Edge 520 Plus analyses your performance data and assess the time required for recovery so that when you get on the road the next time you deliver to your best.

It is super helpful in keeping your fatigue level in check as it smartly lets you know if your recovery window is not complete before going on another segment.

You just need to pair your heart rate monitor with the device and enable the Recovery Advisor feature under the My Stats menu in the device. After you complete a ride you just need to save the ride and the recovery time appears automatically.

Heart rate zones

Your heart is the engine of your body and a heart monitor is an obvious choice if you want to monitor its progress. It provides you with important details like your maximum heart rate, resting heart rate and heart rate zones.

The heart rate is one of the best measures of exercise intensity. A heart rate zone is a set range of heartbeats per minute. Training in certain heart zones significantly improves cardiovascular capacity and strength.

With the Edge 520, you can easily set your heart rate zones by entering your maximum and resting heart rate values. It also gives you the option of selecting between three ways of displaying the heart rate zones.


Ride Smarter and Safer with the Garmin Edge 520 plus

The main advantage of training outdoors is that you get to discover gorgeous places while exploring new areas. Add the capability of connecting and competing with riders in those routes and it suddenly becomes your favourite never-ending training ground.

“A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke” – Scott Stoll (The man who traveled the world on a bicycle)

The device has the ability to pair with gadgets like Varia bike radar – the world’s first rearview bike radar which alerts the rider of an approaching vehicle and smart bike lights which change their intensity automatically according to the environment and needs of the rider.

If you don’t want to leave your grasp on the handle and make changes or view a certain data field on your Garmin then the most convenient way of achieving this is by using the Garmin VIRB Remote which is particularly designed for this purpose

Free apps like the Accuweather MinuteCast available on the Connect IQ store lets you know about the weather details like when it will be raining so that you can plan your ride beforehand

With the right information on your computer, you can perform exactly the training that you need for the day. Xert training advisor uses sophisticated data analytics tools to analyze your power and tell you exactly what you need to do to instantly meet your goals. Smart Adaptive Training.

Check out this piece of information – Garmin Edge 520 Vs 520 Plus

Getting Started with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus

Setting up the Garmin Edge 520 Plus is quite easy and can be done in a few simple steps. However, it is absolutely necessary to allow the device to track your much-anticipated data metrics accurately:-

  1. After taking out the unit from the package, open the weather cap on the backside of the unit and plug it in via the USB cable that comes in the box to charge the device
  2. Press and hold the power key to turn the device on after it is charged
  3. The device will prompt you to enter basic user profile data such as – Weight, height, cycling ability to get started
  4. Pairing the computer with your smartphone to enable features such as Smart notifications of calls and text messages along with automatic sync up with Garmin Connect
  5. Attach your Edge 520 Plus to your bike by using the mounts that come with the package and you are ready to conquer the tracks
  6. After completing a ride you can save the details of the ride and later upload it to Garmin Connect where you can plan your next rides and share them with your friends.


Q) Is Garmin Edge 520 Plus Waterproof?

Ans-The Edge 520 has a standard IPX7 waterproof rating which means that it can withstand “Incidental exposure to water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

Q) How do I download routes to my Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

Ans-For downloading routes to the Garmin Edge 520 Plus:-
1. Plugin your Garmin
2. Navigate to your route or ride.\ on the website
3. Go to the Export tab
4. Select the TCX Course or FIT Course.
5. If your computer prompts you to save the file to a specific location, place it somewhere memorable like the desktop.
6. Open the Garmin folder located inside the Garmin drive.
7. Click/drag the exported file to the new files folder.
8. Safely remove the Garmin and unplug it from the computer
9. Turn on the device and select Courses icon to locate your route

Q) What’s the difference between Garmin Edge 520 and Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

Ans-The Garmin Edge 520 Plus comes with preloaded base map (Garmin Cycle Map) which is not present in the Edge 520. Along with a significantly better navigational system giving turn by turn directions and being 2 grams heavier, the Garmin Edge 520 also has the below features which the Edge 520 doesn’t have:-
1. GroupTrack feature and rider to rider messaging
2. Trendline Popularity Routing for suggesting popular routes based on data from Garmin’s database
3. Can recalculate maps and suggest the shortest route with turn by turn navigation
4. More memory storage for history
5. Preloaded Apps – TrailForks, Yelp, Best Bike Split

Q) Does Garmin 520 Plus have WiFI?

Ans-The Garmin 520 Plus has no WiFi connectivity and needs to be paired with a smartphone to connect with Strava or Garmin Connect apps for downloading or automatically uploading rides

Q) Does Garmin Edge 520 Plus have Bluetooth and touchscreen?

Ans – The Garmin Edge 520 Plus has seven buttons and doesn’t feature a touchscreen.  A Bluetooth connection of the Edge 520 Plus to your smartphone can provide automatic wireless uploads if your free Garmin Connect app is open on your tethered smartphone

Final thoughts

At the time of its release, the Garmin Edge 520 was considered to be a brilliant product by the whole cycling fraternity. However, there were a few aspects like navigation where the user felt that the device could do more than what it was already offering

Garmin understood and reacted to this request with brilliantly packing everything that the industry user was expecting and released it in the form of the Garmin Edge 520 Plus.

In terms of performance, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus has been rated as the “best GPS cycling computer on the market for performance-minded riders” by BikeRadar. Priced at just 30 dollars more than the Edge 520, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus packs a lot of new features when compared to the asking price.

The premium bike training features in a small and affordable package giving you turn by turn navigation through your rides along with keeping a track of your performance metrics covers almost everything that a cyclist may need on the handlebar.

!!! Check out new Garmin Edge Explore Review !!!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.