First off, I felt the need to leave a review on the Garmin 510 (with HR, Cadence, & extra out front mount) for several reasons. Many of the reviews here on Amazon can often be misleading- I will explain. I was debating between getting the 500 bundle or even 800 at a lower price since the release of the 510 & 810, but here is why I didn't. The Edge 510 bundle comes with the HR band, cadence sensor, the out front mount (which Garmin and others charge $40+ for), standard stem or bar mount, plus the bluetooth connectivity which includes "Live Tracking" with the Garmin Connect App on your smartphone. The advantages on the 510 over the 500 are simple: Color Touch Screen (500 is physical buttons, black and white screen), the actual screen on the 510 is larger (which is a happy medium size wise between the 500 and 800), easy selection of different bikes if you move the unit from one to another, and easy to use customization of the screens that can be more cumbersome on the 500.
This entire review can be summed up by watching this really cool video on YouTube video, but the review explains each feature in detail: [...]
Many reviewers mention that an upgrade to the 510 is not worth the investment- if you already have a 500, this may be a solid argument. If you have a 200, Garmin Watch, or no GPS at all, maybe an old school speed sensor and cadence computer- the Garmin 510 kit is worth every penny.
REASONS TO BUY THE EDGE 510 BUNDLE:
1) The screen is great, all other's who complain its hard to read are full of it- the screen does not have the sharp contrast of the 500, but it is full color, and its plenty bright (adjustable) and easy to read. Secondly, the color screen is a whole lot nicer to look at- kind of like the difference between an old DOS and a new Windows screen.
2) While it takes a little time to figure out how to program the various screens with Data to your needs, its easy once you figure it out. Also, you have to push the physical "ride" or "play" button on the front of the unit even after tapping "RIDE" onscreen, which is no big deal, you just have to do it, or your unit will not begin your ride or the timer. I think many of the complaints on the 510 come from users who either didn't read the manual, or lack some basic technology skills when it comes to phones, computers, tablets, or anything else. While the user interface on the 510 is still somewhat crude (in the early stages) compared to an iPhone, but it still is incredibly sophisticated, and is perfect for a very usable GPS computer on a road or mountain bike.
3) Bluetooth Connectivity, and Garmin "LiveTrack": This feature is touted by many buyers of this unit as not worthwhile, or a waste of technology for cyclists. BOGUS, the Bluetooth feature on the 510 and 810 are AWESOME. Here is why: my wife or friends can watch my rides live on their computers, tablets, or phones while I'm actually in route- in REAL TIME. We all know how tough it can be to ride a century in the summer heat, and potentially dangerous with cars, trucks, and just bad roads. What a perfect way to let your loved ones know where you are at any given moment? OK some of you are going to say there are already APPS for Android and iPhones that have this feature, and you don't need to waste $400 to buy a Garmin to get it. HERE IS WHERE YOUR WRONG: Anyone who has used these APPS knows that having your GPS turned on full time on your phone (which all APPS that track require) kills your phone battery, often times before your ride ever nears completion. The Garmin unit lets you turn off your phone GPS, all you need turned on is the Bluetooth so your Garmin can stay connected. While this may seem like a solution in search of a problem, it actually works very well. I took a 8 hour ride today, turned off my phone GPS, and at the end of the ride, the Garmin was still at 50% charge, and my phone was at 50% charge (iPhone 5). I could have potentially rode another 5-8 hours with both units turned on, Bluetooth on, and the Garmin Connect App running in the background all the while "Live Tracking" my entire ride.
4) FINALLY: One last feature (may seem trivial, but I think its pretty darn cool) that makes this unit a game changer is the automatic updates at the completion of your ride to Garmin Connect online. As soon as you hit the end ride button (and SAVE on screen) the Garmin unit uploads all the details of your entire ride to the Garmin Connect website for you and everyone to see (if you set it up that way) !!! OK, many of you are going to say that "Garmin Connect" sucks compared to STRAVA, so why would I want to automatically upload my ride to Garmin Connect? You would be right, except for a really cool third party plug in online called: "GARMIN SYNC" here's the website: [...]
I have listed the website here because it took me some time to find it. This website does one simple thing: It uploads your entire ride data from Garmin Connect directly into STRAVA!!! (AUTOMATICALLY.) You don't have to do a thing, once you set it up, every time your Garmin unit uploads your ride to Garmin Connect, this little plug in "pushes" your ride information to STRAVA, and I don't mean some half baked version, I MEAN THE ENTIRE RIDE- Including: Miles ridden, Time traveled, average heart rate, max heart rate, average speed, max speed, cadence, calories, energy output, power, suffer score (Strava Premium only) !! As far as I can tell, there is no difference between the "Auto" upload of a ride, or the old school plug the Garmin into your computer and upload to STRAVA method. Now some might make the argument they have to plug their Garmin in to charge it anyway, so why not plug into a computer to charge and upload your ride at the same time, why do I need the auto uploads? Here are a couple scenarios I can think of why this is useful: If your traveling, and don't want to bring a laptop to upload your rides, you don't need to. Also, at what point is plugging a device into your computer to upload anything going to become a thing of the past completely: sooner than later. iPhone IOS already does all of its updates from iPhones without ever having to plug them in anymore, not set up, backups, downloads, etc. Why shouldn't other devices be so simple?
5) Last but not least: While my review may seem long winded, there are so many great features of the 510 and 810, I felt it was necessary to review what they are, and what makes them better than the 500 or 800. If you use a smartphone, and can find your way around, these Garmin units are fantastic. I'm not a Garmin employee, or one of Garmin Sync, I'm just an average Joe who is massive cycling junkie, and I think the ride information provided by these Garmin models gives the average "Joe" information that used to only be available to pro cyclists, and that makes them fun in their own right. Why would anyone buy old technology when the new stuff is so much cooler? (assuming it works- and these work really well...)
6) I have purchased several different bar mounts for my iPhone to be able to use the cycle "APPS" that allow your phone to be used as a bike computer. They all are a pain, even an iPhone 5 which is smaller than most of the new Android phones on the market is still too big to mount on your handlebar, plus it just looks stupid. You have to turn the screen brightness up so high that if the GPS being on doesn't kill your battery, the screen brightness will. The beauty of the Garmin plus your phone is they just work together, very well I might add. You get the cool Garmin mounted out front, with its long life battery, and the phone stays in your jersey pocket, all the while tracking your ride in REAL time- its the best of both worlds. You get to save your phone's battery so you can use it a real emergency, which is why you carry it while riding your bike anyway.
CONS: The only con I can think of is that the learning curve is a little longer than the standard 500, or certainly the 200. If you want a super basic GPS without any of the "special" features I mention above, the Edge 200 or 500 will be fine. But based on my research, the 500 is usually only $50-$75 cheaper than the 510, and you don't get the "out front" mount I mention above- so the price is pretty close in the end.