Garmin 520


Another stellar crappy weather day outside. Good day for a product review.

I just received the Garmin 520. Like just 20 minutes ago. I also received the cool green skin for it also. Just because green.

Not to long ago I wrote about the Garmin 25 after ditching my 3 year old 500. I wrote how much less it was and that I just did not need what all these new(er) fangled units did. I don’t use power and stopped using heart rate years ago. I don’t do Strava. I don’t sync my phone to my Garmins to get my texts on screen or to see who’s calling. I just don’t to that.

My criteria for a computer is very basic. So the new 25 made sense for me and in that respect was just fine.

Here’s the new 25 I had along with my fleet of past and present Garmins.

Here’s the post on the 20 a few months back. It was actually the 25.

So what’s the problem with the 25? No problem really. I just had two issues I could not get past. One was the battery life. Of course a very small computer has a much smaller battery. I was not getting much more than 5 hours total on it. I knew that going in and I could have worked with it I guess. The second was the way it showed time of day. You had 3 screens to work with. Each with 3 items to show. But the time of day was not one of the items. The time of day had its own stand alone screen (one of the three) and you could not change that.

When I ride before the store opens I need to keep an eye on the time of day. I either had to scroll to that screen to get the time or leave it on that screen and scroll to see anything else. There is a scrolling feature that randomly scrolls thru all the screens based on time but you end up having to look down several times to get that data you want while waiting for that screen. I did not like that either.

If the computer let me put the time of day as one of three items on one of the screens I would still have this on my bike. So I moved on to the new 520.

What does the 520 all do? I have no idea. Way more than I know of or understand. Maybe it does my taxes too?

  • Offers in-ride challenges through Strava live segments
  • Reports cycling-specific VO2 max and recovery time when used with power and heart rate
  • Pairs with compatible ANT+® indoor trainers for data display and control
  • Tracks Functional Threshold Power (FTP), watts/kg and cycling dynamics when used with Vector™ or Vector 2 power meters
  • Connected features¹: automatic uploads, live tracking, smart notifications, send/receive courses, social media sharing, weather

I don’t do any of that shit. I don’t even know what some of that stuff is. I do know it tells you how fast your going and how far you went.

BUT I can build a screen with the basics on it AND the time of day. The battery life is reported to 15 hours. And that’s all the criteria I ask for. And  hey! I can make it my fav color!

Its not a touch screen (thankfully) and Im far from being a IT guy so I will take a good part of today to learn how to use it. It has way more buttons and does not work the same as my old 500. Im old so this tech shit comes slow to me. I eventually get it but it just takes longer. I seem to have the time with the crappy weather these days to learn.

Its got three buttons on the left side, two buttons on the right and two on the bottom. God help me.

Looking sweet on my 920

The weather is turning colder for the weekend. Fridays low is in the teens so Saturday’s group ride will be beach. And I can’t make it as Im doing a swap meet in Milwaukee on Saturday. Damn.

Thursday night’s low is going to be in the low 20’s so I will have to look for some beach to ride on Friday morn. Of course, looking into next week has the temps back in the 40’s. This winter is really the year of no winter.

I better get to manual reading.


Wa da ya think?

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