Garmin Edge 530 Review – The Next Level

Rating
/10

In a world of technical insights, shouldn’t it be fitting to get the same data from your rides? Asking this question; Garmin surged forward to launch their Edge 530 cycling GPS that does a lot more than just tell you where you’re going. We’re talking training stats, fitness levels, GRIT scores, and jump distances. The statement is clear; the new Garmin Edge 530 will take you further than you think you can go.

Garmin recently launched the Edge 830 and 530, and both step up the game from their respective predecessors – the 520 and 820 models. The hardware hasn’t changed much in terms of buttons and stuff, and the user interface is still pretty much the same. But the casings have gotten smoother and somewhat more ergonomic. The larger battery lives for both are also noteworthy, while only adding a plus/minus 13 grams extra for the Edge 530.

Riding with the Edge 530 is a real plus for any athlete. I could stay well informed about my surroundings, and the device also has a great emergency feature that will detect if you crash and then will automatically send a notification to your emergency contacts. I personally train according to my heart rate and having the Edge 530 tell me what zone I was in, is helpful for me to know when to up the effort or lower it.

It’s all about getting to the next level

As mentioned earlier the Garmin 530 Edge comes with more battery life – average 20 hours on one charge. With the maximum to go hit 40 hours depending on how well you use the device.

The sensor bundle for the Edge 530 was very convenient. From a sales point of view, you have the device only option and then the sensor bundle purchase option.

Device only: U$ 299.99 (approx. ZAR 4 368)

Sensor Bundle: U$ 399.99 (approx. ZAR 5830)

U$ 369 – Mountain bike bundle (comes with an Edge remote to mount on your bars for quick button access)

What’s included in the sensor bundle is a chest, strap-on heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and speed sensor. The brand’s standard cycling computer mounts and flush out-front mounts are included in both the device only and sensor bundles.

Software for the Hardcore

The Edge 530 is very much focused on your performance. By connecting to your phone through the Garmin Connect app, you monitor and gain insight into your fitness levels. You can see your heart rate on a well-presented graph in the app, as well as the effect your ride had on your body. From a person that knows very little about sport science, I can say that the charts numbers in the app are easy to understand – one doesn’t need a masters in the subject to find out what the cycling GPS is telling you.

The one downfall to the Garmin Edge 530, and quite frankly the only reason I’d be willing to pay extra for the Edge 830, is for the touch screen navigation. On the 530 the buttons do seem a little annoying and old school.

The Ride

Even though ridden with Garmin devices many times in the past, I’m still amazed at how easy each device integrates onto your bike. The sensors are super easy to install – we rode with both the speed, cadence and heart sensors. The heart monitor fits securely around one’s chest and can be effortlessly adjusted. While the cadence sensor is sleek and presses tightly up against the arm of your crank arm, so it won’t get in the way of anything. Lastly the speed sensor; it’s a bit of mission to get the band to stretch around the hub of a mountain bike wheel, because it has a bigger diameter. But you get over that quickly.

We’re really impressed with the Edge’s mapping system. Its up to date, and even has some popular MTB trails listed. Furthermore, the GRIT scores you get when mountain biking are quite accurate. They determine the level of difficulty on a specific route through GPS metrics and elevation. We simply had to hit the start button and the device would start tracking.

Gram Analysis: How do I determine which Edge is for me?

Simple. We like to use the weight of the device as a good indicator:

Edge 530 – 75.8 g – Ideal for cross country racers or road bike gurus concerned with shaving off extra grams of weight on their bike. And you still get great Garmin stats.

Edge 830 – 79.1 g – Not a major weight difference from the 530, but still those extra 4 grams can make a difference. Go for the Edge 830 if you’re an adventurous rider, whether on the tar or dirt, you’re always covering long distances.

Edge 1030 – 123 g – It certainly adds the pounds, but its okay to ride with it on the road. And if you’re traversing long distances on the trail.

Verdict

This is the next level. The Edge 530 is the next level to gaining in your training. With the ability to connect your bike as one, make sure you stay safe, and keep you pushing the limit in training sessions; the Edge 530 is the perfect specimen of the next and best cycling computers. And from our test we can conclude that it’s a reliable go-to if you’re a racer wanting a capable cycling computer.

Joel Meintjes

Joel Meintjes

Joel's goal is to help you become an expert in the field of cycling. He has helped many riders decide on buying new bikes and coached a handful of young aspiring riders. He's been on the bike and on the roll since 2013, and has gained bucket's full of knowledge from his tinkering with bicycles.

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