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Garmin Edge 500 GPS

3.75/5 (12 Reviews)
MSRP : $274.99

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Product Description

The Edge 500 Red is compatible with third party ANT+ power meters and is the only model of the 500 series to come bundled with Garmin's premium heart rate monitor.

Garmin Edge 500 GPS Pro Review

I had read about the new Garmin Edge 500 just before the Interbike 2009 show, and was very fascinated by the features of the unit. It is more comparable to my Edge 305 then the Edge 705, since it doesn’t have the 705's maps and routing capabilities. What it does have is a lot of the newer technology that has evolved from the Edge series engineering and knowledge base, and it has been rolled into a lightweight and small package. Continue reading →

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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jcolby

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2012

Strengths:    simple, uncluttered interface screens
customizable data fields
easy to transfer from bike to bike

Weaknesses:    finding satellite signals during start up is slow
no wireless upload, why is this when it has ANT+ already?
they could price this more competitively considering that one can by a Garmin GPS unit with mapping capabilities for your car under $100. They charge more because cyclists have no problem paying more.

Bottom Line:   
I have been using this unit for a month and it works great. Garmin describes it to be used for road riding but I use it for MTB and road and haven't had any issues under tree cover. I think the mount has changed since earlier reviews as I have the quarter turn mount on three different bikes and it is simple and stable even for rocky, technical MTB descending. There are also reviews saying they wish the data fields on the screens were customizable. Wish granted, they are. Settings>bike settings>data fields, then choose how many pages and how many fields you want on each page. I feel like I completely underutilize all the scads of data that can be collected by this thing, mainly because I don't want to shell out $1,500 for a powertap, but I do use the HR. I haven't used the Garmin Connect website as I am only using Strava. You can also select what data you want in each field. I do wonder why it doesn't connect wirelessly using my Garmin ANT+ USB stick like my Forerunner 410 running watch.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris H

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012

Strengths:    Compact size
Ease of use
Captures all relevant data
Uploads easily to Strava

Weaknesses:    Seems like it could easily fall off the mount bracket
Battery life indicator is so small it's hard to read

Bottom Line:   
I'm onto my 2nd Edge 500 after misplacing the 1st one. Just couldn't ride without it. I don't use the cadence or HRM. I just love this thing. Its user friendly & easy to upload into Garmin Connect and Strava. I also use it for hiking and absolutely love it for downhill and backcountry skiing. Just turn it on & drop it in your pocket and it'll track everywhere you go. You can get it for $200 if you shop around.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2012

Strengths:    Fantastic cyclocomputer! The amount of data this device delivers is unreal! I really look forward to uploading my rides to Garmin Connect as well, the data there is accessible from any mobile device too so you don't have to have apps and software on all your computers. Very user friendly and non-demanding device that just works well. It will even let you know to hit the start button if you start riding and forgot to start it. I like this device so much I pulled all my old Cat Eye cyclocomputers off of my other bikes. The display is appropriate as this unit doesn't have mapping which isn't a desirable option for me, I just need it to record, track and show me what I'm doing at the time.

Weaknesses:    It would be nice if the screens could be more customizable, the first screen put the timer in the larger easy to view box and your speed in a smaller one, I would like to switch those around to my preferences.
Much like the other reviewer I'm not a fan of the elastic bike mounts, I have not had any issues with them yet but I'm not a fan of their quality. I also question the claimed 14 hours of battery life, I don't think it would last that long.

Bottom Line:   
Great device, it works, gives me crazy amounts of data to analyze the ride and my performance. The Garmin Connect site is a real bonus too.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by suvacrew

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2012

Strengths:    Quick link to sats. Gives you the data you need, easily synchs and calibrates to my powertap and I use this unit across 3 bikes.

Weaknesses:    Mounting tabs on the back of the unit break. I'm on my 3rd head unit now. Each time Garmin says it's "damage". Once they even told me it was turned too far onto he bar mount...which is impossible to those that own one.
Variable data collection and auto stop etc interferes with getting good data for Power Agent (CycleOps training program).

.fit file format not compatible with all software. Usually have to upload to Garmin Connect then export as .tcx

Mounting tabs, mounting Tabs, MOUNTING TABS.

Bottom Line:   
It has all you need if the mounts don't snap off. They are truly small tabs and grab into a qtr turn handlebar/stem mount. I'd rather have the mount on the bike be the "fuse" than the head unit itself.
See this forum thread...pages of complaints: https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=11539
I paid ANOTHER $97 inc tax only because I have an installed based of cadence/speed sensors etc...that to convert to another format becomes very expensive!
The day that someone makes an ant+ dongle and an app for the iphone/android to grab powertap data, HR, cadence/speed and gps I will ditch this Garmin paper weight.
Garmin may be obsolete soon....

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cimmoda a All Mountain Rider from SF, CA 94110

Date Reviewed: February 21, 2012

Strengths:    This product works very well and is easy to use and navigate. It has been very dependable.

I bought the bundle: Comp/HRM & cadence

Weaknesses:    None So far. It is what I wanted and expected

Bottom Line:   
Very good product. I like using it with Strava and the Garmin Connect sites.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pacific Rim Trail Tahoe

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Polor Heart Rate Monitor

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz TRc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mopartodd a Cross Country Rider from Garner, nc

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2011

Strengths:    I like the size of it and how easy it is to switch between three different bikes and how well it does both on road and off.

Weaknesses:    I'm not to wild about the course mode either. It's kinda hard to follow if your create a course and you a relying on the Edge to guide you through it.

Bottom Line:   
For the most part it is a good fitness/training tool and that is why i really bought this unit vs. the 800.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   yes

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   two wheels cranks and brakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lnter1908 a Cross Country Rider from Zabbar

Date Reviewed: October 10, 2011

Strengths:    Very accurate, light always on function, low battrey consumption (usb/powersupply chargable), screen customisable (from 1 to 8 objects)

Weaknesses:    Too easy to disengage...can be stolen easyly if bike is left unattended, no wireless transfer to pc.

Bottom Line:   
Honestly this device is the best on the market. Before I bought it I spent a month weighing which one is the best...I dont regret my choice...If you wish to ask me something about it feel free to do so...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   Medcomms Msida,Malta

Similar Products Used:   Cateye

Bike Setup:   Trek 8 series

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by huffman a Cross Country Rider from North Carolina

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2011

Strengths:    Lots of data to review
Can use it on multiple bikes

Weaknesses:    Mount failures becoming way too common
Factory battery service required

Bottom Line:   
Great little computer I was really happy with, but as of late the bad far outweighs the good.

I'm hearing more people (online and locally) complaining about the plastic mounting tabs breaking off, both mine did, luckily I found mine after it fell off road riding.

If yours is under warranty then you are lucky, if not prepare to shell out $89 + shipping + sales tax (as of 9/2011) to get it fixed. My understanding is the "repaired" unit comes back with the same plastic tabs that break, not a true repair or solution in my book.

My other gripe, the rechargeable battery is not user serviceable, the unit has to go back to the factory, 2 thumbs down to Garmin, Apple and everyone else who force you into factory service this way, it's not necessary. Mine has worked well so far but a friend can't get more than an hours use out of his after little more than a year.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Cateye Mity 3s, have them on 3 bikes, after years of use and a couple battery changes all are still going strong.

Bike Setup:   Have Edge 500 mounts on my road & mountain (2) bikes and my motorcycle.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by miss rides a lot a Racer from So Cal

Date Reviewed: November 23, 2010

Strengths:    Small, light-weight, multiple screen/data field options, good basic ant+ wireless cyclocomputer.

Weaknesses:    .fit file format, inability to choose every second recording without a power meter being used, HR and power zones can ONLY be set up through Training Center or Garmin Connect and transferred to the unit - not ready to use out of the box.

Bottom Line:   
For a racer or recreational rider looking for a straight-forward ANT+ cyclocomputer the Edge 500 is great. It is smaller and lighter than similar units. No frills. No color screen settings or options, no mapping, not a lot of buttons taking up valuable unit space and making it a bigger/heavier overall unit. It records time/distance/power/HR all very easily and transfers quickly to both Garmin Connect and Training Center, as well as TrainingPeaks. To work with WKO+ Device Agent must be used, or a .tcx file must be exported from Garmin Connect.

Going through the menu's to switch bikes and/or power meters often (e.g. every other day) is generally just as fast as with other similar units. Start-up is similar to the Edge 705.

This unit will continue to record the elapsed time of a ride and save the info when uploaded even with the unit is stopped or turned off (until the lap/ride is reset).

Easy to get set up with minimum details, especially if the user has previously used similar Garmin products.

New 180 degree mount is easy to install with no tabs that will break off, and can easily be moved from one bike to another without extra zipties.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Rock N' Road Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   Garmin 305, 705, 800

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by pcoady a Racer from Colorado Springs, Co, USA

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2010

Strengths:    Small, light, very good battery life, easy to read screen in light or dark.

Weaknesses:    Lots of software bugs. Have to reset to get back to normal operation. Course feature almost useless. Sync with PowerTap is touch and calibration is a pain - takes multiple times and just the right sequence.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this to have something I could use w/ my PowerTap. To get wattage, I had to give up a lot from Edge 305. Biggest thing I hate is the course and return to home features barely work. When I travel, it's nice to load in a course. It constantly says "off course" then "course found". You can't zoom in or out of track. Also, frequently it gets in a wierd state where I use my training data.

It's nice and small and I keep hoping a firmware update will get it working well. I use my 305 for off road rides where I want to follow a course or have a backup to get home if it's a new area. I use the 500 only for road rides and for races.

If this were a road biking forum, maybe I'd rate it higher. But a terrible computer if you're a mountain rider.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Edge 305

Bike Setup:   N/A

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chillerdude32 a Cross Country Rider from Orange County, CA

Date Reviewed: April 2, 2010

Strengths:    Great web based software. Simple to connect and download. simple to set up on bike.

Weaknesses:    Lets hope those straps can stand the test of mountain bike downhill shakes....will do a followup review at 6 months

Bottom Line:   
After reading the posts on MTBR i thought this product would suck. Both of my local bike stores said it was the best....so i bought it figuring i could take it back if it was bad....surprise! the product WAY EXCEEDED EXPECTATION and will be used as a regular part of tracking progress on performance and training. I could not imagine a better product for this purpose. Definately a buy for those who are on a regular 6-20 hour/week training regimine and want to track the slightest improvements in time/speed on hills/cadence and heartrate. The website gives a great place to track progress. Maybe a bit much for the casual 1x/week rider...for those get a cheaper garmin product.
Definately 5 chilis! worth every penny.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   BVDs in Laguna

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Rock n Road Laguna N

Similar Products Used:   polar watch

Bike Setup:   09 enduro carbon sl, raceface nxt xc carbon cranks, juicy ultimate brakes, SRAX X9 shifters, Joplin Dropper post, crank bros mallet pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by DCW-RacerX a Cross Country Rider from Decatur, GA

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2010

Strengths:    Compact, simple design with all the standard cycling training features needed - time, distance, altitude, speed, cadence, HR, temp, auto lap, etc. Also has special training features using courses to compare rides and ride against previous course data. GPS Tracking allows you to visually analyze your rides afterwards in the Training Center Software.

Weaknesses:    Temperature reading seems to be at least 7-10 degrees too high after checking it against another thermometer. Doesn't have all the training features on the Edge 305.

GPS points don't always sync up with the map in the Training Center software or with each other when retracing the exact same route\line.

Altitude feature needs more elevation points entered for more accuracy.

Bottom Line:   
Don't pay full retail, the base version(no HR & Cadence) should only be around $200. I ordered the premium(soft) HR strap seperatly, and it feels pretty comfortable so far. The full feature version includes the lower end HR strap. The Cadence\Speed sensor is the same GSC-10 unit. The speed sensor seems to fill in when no GPS data is detected and you can disable GPS if you want.

So far this unit is doing everything as expected, except temperature and GPS tracking are both pretty flakey. I like the screen size and ability to customize data fields. Having everything in one unit is a plus for me(especially HR, cadence and altitude).

The mount is tool free and pretty firm, but, I might try and rig it to use zip ties instead of the O-ring bands for more security.

Price may be considered a little high(at least it felt high to me). I bought the base unit for $210 at Performance then added the premium HR strap and Cadence\Speed Sensor for another $95 from GPSCity.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Performance & GPSCit

Similar Products Used:   Basic wireless cycle computer with speed, time, & distance.

Bike Setup:   Titus RacerX for endurance racing and XC riding

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Garmin Edge 500 screen repair

My Edge 500 screen started playing up. The screen would appear OK when the unit was turned on, but over the course of a few minutes it would lose contrast to such and extent that it would fade away and become unreadable. A complete reset of the unit and install of later firmware did not cure the f ... Read More »

Any reason not to buy an Edge 500 if HR is the primary use?

I'm looking at training up for some endurance events in 2015. From my reading I think what I really need to be doing at this point is a lot of zone 2 HR training to build my aerobic capacity and speed. This means a HR monitor. I track my rides on Strava using my iPhone and I'm satisfied with ... Read More »

fed up with Edge 500 inaccuracy - what's better?

I am now on my second Edge 500 with the same problem, gps track drifts off course. I have it set to one second recording, i always delete my old activities, and i have the latest firmware update installed. It seems to work fine on the road, but when MTBing it is terrible. I know other riders in ... Read More »

As of June 2014, how well do Edge 500's work?

Lately, I've been looking at getting a Garmin Edge 500 but there are tons of conflicting posts here from throughout the years, talking about how well they do or don't work for mountain biking. It sounds like they are fine if you have an external sensor to force the one second sampling interval. ... Read More »

Possible to DL Garmin Edge 500 files with an ipad?

I frequently take bike trips and usually wait until I'm home to DL the files so that I don't have to haul around my bulky laptop. Is there a way to DL the files to an ipad so that they can then be uploaded to Garmin connect? :confused:Read More »

Read More »




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