Garmin Edge 500 Review
Garmin’s new Edge 500 computer weighs in at 65 grams including the redesigned mount (Two mounts are included). It is slightly bigger than our simple Cateye computers at 48 × 69 x 22 mm and is a great alternative to the Edge 605 and 705 for those of us who do not require on screen mapping or turn by turn directions. The Edge 500 has a slightly smaller screen than the 705 but do not be fooled as it offers more pixels per mm than the similar sized screen of the previous generation product Forerunner 305. This all new screen offers up to eight fully customizable fields per each of the 3 available pages with 41 options to chose for each of those data fields (Avg power, total ascent, sunset time, top speed, etc.)
I personally use the first page for a full screen easily read speed screen so that I do not mess up technical pace lines when riding with my team and so that I do not have to look long at the screen to identify real time speed. I use the second page for what most riders do: distance, speed, time, and heart rate. I personally haven't done much with my third page but I intend to have it display post ride data such as average power, peak power, and average heart rate so that I can geek out on my performance without having to wait to get home and dock it to my desktop. Like all of Garmin's and Apple's operating systems, this one is very clean and intuitive.
This latest offering is ANT+ compatible of course which means it has the ability to collect data from any other ANT+ device such as a power meter (Quarq, SRM, Powertap) and heart rate monitor. You can read more about the open standard wireless protocol here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANT%2B . This doesn't mean you need to run wires or attach magnets to anything to collect data as the Edge 500 uses Garmin's GPS satellite technology. You can easily analyze your route post ride on Google Earth or other training diary software. I personally use Golden Cheetah or Ascent for Mac OS X. If you require cadence you need to attach an ANT+ transmitter which is available as a bundle with your new Edge 500 or sold separately.
I setup the entire thing out of the box and was ready to roll in about 10 mins. My old Forerunner 305 could take up to 5 minutes to lock on to a satellite signal when I would venture out on a run, but the new Edge 500 has locked on within a minute every single time for the week that I've used it. I've gotten anywhere from 13-18 hours of life depending on how many accessories I am concurrently running.
Stay tuned for a long term follow up review.