Garmin launches Edge 130 and 520 Plus GPS computers, new Varia rearview radar

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Garmin has refreshed its cycling line with three new products that the U.S. company announced Wednesday in conjunction with the 2018 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. Among the new releases are two new Edge GPS cycling computers – the budget-minded Edge 130 and the more performance-oriented Edge 520 Plus – as well as an update to its rearview radar unit for cycling, the Varia RTL510.

Edge 130

The Edge 130 is a compact and lightweight GPS bike computer with easy-to-use navigation and unique “cycling awareness features.” The 1.8-inch display provides a crisp view of the screen while the five-button design provides ease of use on any terrain. Downloadable routes and turn-by-turn prompts provide easy-to-follow navigation when exploring new routes, while the LiveTrack function allows friends and family to keep track of a rider’s location in real time. In addition, the Assistance feature can quickly send a cyclist’s location directly from the Edge 130 to emergency contacts in case they run into difficulty.

The Edge 130 offers up to 15 hours of battery life and is compatible with Garmin’s Varia line of cycling accessories. It supports Bluetooth and ANT+ for additional sensor capabilities, including the Edge remote control — ideal for mountain bikers looking to start and stop the timer, change the page or mark a lap without taking their hands off the bars. Riders can also race against Garmin and Strava Live Segments in real time, allowing them to see a second-by-second comparison of how their performance measures up against their competitors.

The Edge 130’s smart connectivity features allow text messages to appear on-screen so cyclists can view them at a glance and keep on riding. A new weather page will display current and forecasted conditions, and weather alerts can help keep users from getting stuck in a downpour. When paired with a compatible smartphone, the Edge 130 automatically uploads rides to the Garmin Connect online fitness community and is customizable by downloading configurable data fields from the Connect IQ store.

The Edge 130 has a suggested retail price of US$200 / AU$299. A bundle option, which includes wireless speed and cadence sensors, has a suggested retail price of US$250 / AU$349. A mountain bike bundle, which includes a mountain bike mount, Edge remote control, and silicone case, also has a suggested retail price of US$250 / AU$349.

Edge 520 Plus

The Edge 520 Plus uses the same tidy form factor as the current Edge 520, but packs additional features into the compact case.

For riders that want more advanced navigation functions, the Edge 520 Plus now includes Garmin Cycle Maps, which provides turn-by-turn directions that work either on marked city streets or on the trail. In addition, GroupTrack helps you keep tabs on your other Garmin-using riding buddies, and you can even now send messages to them, too. For riders looking for advanced performance monitoring features, the Edge 520 Plus is compatible with ANT+ power meters like the Vector 3 to track FTP and pedaling mechanics, while built-in Incident Detection can send alerts to designated recipients if the unit has determined you’ve been in a crash.

“The Edge 520 is one of our best-selling cycling computers, so we wanted to take something our customers know and love and improve upon it,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Therefore, some of the navigational and safety features once available only on our higher-end models — like the Garmin Cycle Map, rider-to-rider messaging, Incident Detection and more — are now integrated into the Edge 520 Plus.”

Before heading out, riders can plan and download their routes on the improved and revamped Course Creator in Garmin Connect. Once only offered on the top-end Edge 1030, the new Edge 520 also includes the company’s Trendline feature, which automatically selects the most popular road, mountain, or gravel routes based on information from other Garmin users.

Once underway, preloaded Garmin Cycle Map software includes turn-by-turn navigation and new alerts that notify riders of sharp curves ahead. It will also guide cyclists back to the route — or back to the start — if they stray away or decide to head home early.

Built-in Incident Detection will automatically send a cyclist’s location to emergency contacts if they run into trouble, while GroupTrack and LiveTrack let friends, family, and other cyclists keep track of a rider’s location in real time.

The Edge 520 Plus is compatible with ANT+ sensors — including speed, cadence, and heart rate — as well as ANT+ power meters. While using a heart rate strap, cyclists can see even more physiological data, such as VO2 Max and recovery time, to help users keep track of how their body is performing from ride to ride. Mountain bike enthusiasts can connect the Edge remote control with their Edge 520 Plus to easily start and stop the timer, change the page, or mark a lap without taking their hands off the bars.

The Edge 520 Plus comes with the latest version of Strava Live Segments, providing cyclists with even more competition and segments. Cyclists can star their favorite Strava segments, and while riding, will receive an upcoming segment alert as they approach a start. Riders will then receive second-by-second, real-time comparisons of their performance against their most relevant competitor and will race against their actual speeds – not just their average.

Preloaded with the Strava Routes Connect IQ app, starred routes can now be wirelessly synced to the Edge 520 Plus so cyclists can navigate and compete on their favorite Strava segments at the same time. For cyclists interested in hitting the trails, the Trailforks app, which can be downloaded from the Connect IQ store, lets users send selected routes to their device and head out for a ride. Featuring trails from more than 80 countries, Trailforks can also use a cyclist’s riding preferences to recommend nearby routes.

Featuring up to 15 hours of battery life, the Edge 520 Plus has a suggested retail price of US$280 / AU$449. A bundle option, which includes a heart rate monitor as well as cadence and speed sensors, has a suggested retail price of US$380 / AU$499. The mountain bike bundle option, which includes a mountain bike mount, Edge remote control, and silicone case, has a suggested retail price of US$330 / AU$499.

Varia RTL510

The Varia RTL510 rearview radar is an updated radar unit with a sleek new design and enhanced safety features. When paired with a dedicated radar display unit or compatible Garmin device, including the new Edge 130 and Edge 520 Plus, cyclists will receive both visible and audible alerts for vehicles approaching from behind, up to 140 meters away.

Unlike the original Varia’s horizontal design, the new Varia RTL510 has a vertical design that better integrates with the seatpost for improved aeesthetics and better leg clearance. Garmin says the tail light is visible in daylight up to 1.6km away in both solid and flashing modes, and is visible within a 220-degree field of view.

“The Varia RTL510 rearview radar is just one of many products in the Garmin ecosystem that’s aimed at increasing cycling awareness,” Bartel said. “There’s a lot that riders have to worry about when on the road, and one of the most important things is their safety. Whether riding during the day or at night, this radar is like having eyes in the back of their helmet, helping to ease some of that anxiety by acting like an early warning system.”

When paired with a compatible head unit, the new Varia will provide a visual display of approaching traffic.

The Varia RTL510 rearview radar features up to 15 hours of battery life in day flash mode, and six hours in night flash or solid mode. It has a suggested retail price of US$200 / AU$299. A bundle option, which includes the RTL510 rearview radar and display unit, has a suggested retail price of US$300 / AU$449.

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