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Garmin has announced the release of two new GPS cycling computers, the Edge 530 and Edge 830. While a lot of the features mirror existing models, including turn-by-turn navigation, general speed and distance capabilities, and connectivity to heart rate and power devices, the new Edge 530 and Edge 830 also include more advanced performance analytics as well as enhanced mapping capabilities – especially when riding off-road – thanks to preloaded Trailforks data. The Garmin Edge 530 will start at US$300 / AU$450 / £260 / €300, and the Edge 830 at US$400 / AU$600 / £350 / €400.
Staying true to its Edge 520 predecessor (which we reviewed back in 2015), the Edge 530 sticks to physical buttons, but the high-resolution color screen grows slightly to 2.6”. And like the Edge 820 it replaces, Edge 830 remains a touchscreen device, and Garmin says the new 2.6” display is now more responsive when wet or when you’re wearing gloves. The touchscreen capability also aids in initial setup and on-the-bike route planning, which is unique to the 830 model. Both models, however, use crowdsourced ride data to automatically select routes that are most popular with other Edge users.
Both updated Edge computers place an emphasis on providing more information to the end-user, both during and after a ride.
To help show that there is an end in sight, The new ClimbPro feature will help answer the “Are we there yet?” question on ascents by showing the remaining elevation gain and grade for preloaded climbs. This is meant to help riders adjust their efforts accordingly, instead of just flipping it on those days when you feel like you still have an eternity of steep grade ahead. And if you’re riding at a higher altitude than normal, there’s even a function that supposedly indicates how your acclimation process is progressing.
Garmin has also expanded on built-in safety and tracking features for both new devices. Incident detection will automatically alert designated contacts if the device senses that you’ve crashed, and group messaging and tracking features not only help you keep track of riding buddies, but let selected recipients know where you are as well, in real time. And when you’ve made a quick stop for a coffee and a pastry, an alert will notify your smartphone if your bike has been moved.
For the mountain bikers out there, mountain bike models of the Edge 530 and Edge 830 will come preloaded with Trailforks data, allowing users to view maps of trails and trail ratings from over 80 countries, directly on the device itself. A new Forksight feature even displays upcoming intersections if you stop mid-ride. Mountain bikers can now even get bragging rights from new metrics that track their jump count, jump distance, and hang time.
As usual, ride data can be uploaded to various third-party services like Strava, TrainingPeaks, and Garmin Connect for post-ride analysis. The previous four weeks of rides can also be reviewed right on the Edge computers, helping users to balance their training by breaking down the rides into low aerobic, high aerobic, and anaerobic efforts. The two computers also can be configured to provide notifications for when to refuel and rehydrate. I’d say this is where a lot of us could use the gentle reminders – and I sure hope this means it will tell me I need to rest and eat a lot more.
Additional apps can be added to the Edge 530 and Edge 830 through the Connect IQ store, including (but not limited to) AccuWeather, Strava, Komoot, Wikiloc, and Yelp.
In addition to the release of the new Edge devices, Garmin also has added the new Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2 to the lineup of compatible accessories. Both wireless sensors utilize ANT+ and BLE for easy pairing with Edge devices, and they can also be used with a number of training and fitness apps, or the Garmin Connect mobile app. Each sensor will cost US$40, and there’s a bundle option that includes both for US$70 (international prices are TBC). And of course, the Edge 530 and Edge 830 will both also work with Garmin’s existing Varia range of wireless lights and rear-facing radar sensors. Supplemental electrical contacts built into the mounting interface of each unit provides compatibility with Garmin’s Edge Charge battery pack, too, in case the device’s 20-hour maximum claimed battery life isn’t quite enough.
Much like how I rely on a smart phone to tell me when I have a meeting or an appointment, monitor my sleep cycle, and, well, even track my bike rides, the new Edge devices seem to make it so the user relies directly on the Edge 530 and 830 as much as possible, without ever having to pull out your phone.
CyclingTips global technical editor James Huang has both devices on hand, and will be doing an in-depth review shortly.