Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/
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. I was intrigued by the unit, since I have found that I rarely use a GPS’s visual mapping capabilities on a ride, and much prefer the raw number data, such as mileage, heart rate, speed, time of day, elevation, etc., which, in a nutshell, is the Edge 500.
For comparison, the Edge 500 is about 2/3 the weight and size of the Edge 305. Mean and lean!
The Edge 500 is a light and compact GPS, that was made specifically for cycling. The performance oriented receiver, can track distance, speed, location and elevation using a highly sensitive GPS chipset and a barometric altimeter. The displayed data is highly configurable, and has multiple customizable alerts and a course feature for training. Recorded data is easily downloaded to a PC using a USB cable, and the data can be analyzed with Garmin’s training software. The receiver comes equipped with a new mounting system for stem or handlebar attachment, and uses HotFix™ technology for faster satellite acquisition. The Edge 500 can synchronize wirelessly using the ANT+™ network protocol with compatible third-party power meters, and it pairs with Garmin’s speed/cadence sensor and heart rate monitor. The unit can store up to 180 hours of history, and has a 18 hour battery. The receiver comes in two basic versions, the Edge 500, and the Edge 500 with heart rate monitor and cadence sensor.
The kit comes with the Edge 500 (obviously), a USB connector, a CD, quick start manual (in a slew of languages), USB to wall power connector (with multi country plugs), and the new mount system (which includes 2 mounts and extra attachment bands).
- HRM (heart rate monitor): optional, new calorie calculations
- Speed/Cadence sensor: optional
- Power Meter: optional, compatible with 3rd party ANT+
- Training Software: Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center
- Course: train against a previously recorded activity (needs to be uploaded to the receiver)
- Barometric altimeter: accurately calculate elevation
- 4 multiple function buttons: 1) Power/Light and Back, 2) Page/Menu and Enter, 3) Start/Stop and Up, 4) Lap/Reset and Down
- Alerts: customizable alerts for specific Time, Distance and Calorie amounts, and optional Heart Rate, Power and Cadence.
- Auto Lap: customizable auto mark and alert, triggered by either Distance or Position, repeatable, starts a new lap
- Auto Pause: pause data recording when motion stops or customizable speed threshold
- Auto scroll: cycles through the 3 pages of data, at 3 different speed (slow, medium, fast)
- Start Notice: Motion Detector, customizable Off, Once Repeat
- Backlight: timeout and contrast customizable
- History: recorded in .fit files, storage capacity of 180 hours of data , can be viewed or deleted in the field
- Storage: 50MB or 180 hours ride data
- Customizable display: eight fields per page, 41 data fields, three pages of data, 1st page critical info, 2nd and 3rd for additional/secondary data
- Battery: 18 hours, 700mAh rechargeable lithium-ion
- Water resistant: IPX7, accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes
- GPS: SiRFstarIV chipset
- Weight: 57.3 grams (2 oz), mount 7.9 grams, total 65.2 grams
- Size: 70mm x 48 mm x 22 mm (2 3/4″ x 1 7/8″ x 7/8″)
- Screen size: 29mm x 35mm (1 1/8″ x 1 3/8″)
- Screen resolution: 128 x 160 pixels