As a predecessor, the 510 was a solid device with a lot to offer pro cyclists. Getting our hands on the upgrade, the Garmin 520, we expected great things, and we got them… lots of them in fact!
The update brings an update in form and function, with a USB micro port for charging and data transfer that will allow you to charge the 520 with the same cable you use for your smartphone (as long as it's not an iPhone). The smaller port facilitates a device that is thinner, and smaller, than the 510, but with a larger screen. The wall adapter, however is not included, so you'll want to use your computer/laptop usb port or 3rd party wall adapter or external charger to keep it charged up.
Cadence, GPS, and heart-rate monitor will require the purchase of the bundle, which is a great bonus buy that collects far more data, and is well worth the extra cost, in our opinion.
Counterintuitively, the touchscreen is gone in favour of scrolling and paging buttons. During use, it's actually a good usability upgrade, as it's not necessary to try to swipe to turn pages as was the case on the 510. It just didn't work that well, and we're happy to see it go.
Pairing the bluetooth to your smartphone yields a whole new array of smart data syncing features, as well as the innovative display of incoming text messages from your phone, as well as a running list of missed calls and texts. This allows you to keep your phone tucked away in your back pocket or pack and provides the option to pull over to take important calls or continue the ride uninterrupted.
The 520 also adds support for Strava Live Segments (premium account required). Garmin also will fill in a lot of the premium bits if you connect it to your Strava account.
Training menus have gotten some love with new features such as the training calendar.
We're sure you will like the 520 as much as we do, and you'll want to protect it with the best silicone case you can buy. Something durable, and nice and thick to absorb scratches and direct concrete impacts safely without the worry of breaking your precious cycling computer. We've thrown in a screen protector as well, which provides protection for your screen without getting in the way, keeping your information in view at all times.