Garmin makes the Edge 500 for people who are overwhelmed by the 800, whether it's the sheer volume of available data or its size. The 500 is a better choice if you prefer a compact package on your handlebars, and it delivers a big dose of information that you can readily access as you ride; leave the brain pain at the office with your spreadsheets.
The 500 is a great stand-alone bike computer that allows you tremendous flexibility in terms of what you track on your ride. There are two fully-customizable ride screens, each holding up to 8 lines of data. The 500 won't tell you what data should go with other data; you can choose the setup on your own. You want to run temperature and cadence? You can do it. As the unit comes, you can get times, temperature, altitude, gradient, speed, cadence, and all the combinations you can think of in terms of averaging. You can pair up the 500 with any ANT+ enabled power meter to add power data as well.
The 500, while GPS-enabled, does not have mapping capabilities on the computer, so you can neither see a map nor have it dictate a route. The unit also doesn't have a virtual training partner feature. It will, however map your coordinates so you can see the ride on your computer when you're finished up.
The 500 works with Garmin's own Training Center program. The program is a free download from Garmin's website and is compatible with PCs running Windows XP or newer and with Intel-based Macs running OS X 10.4 or later. The data can also be uploaded to the Garmin Connect website for free, and to Map My Ride, Strava, WKO+ and TrainingPeaks.
This version of the Edge 500 comes with a Garmin heart rate monitor strap and a Garmin GSC10 speed/cadence sensor for the left chainstay as well as the requisite magnets and zip ties. The battery in these accessory units is field-serviceable; each runs on a CR2032 watch battery. Two handlebar/stem bike mounts are included as well as an AC charger, a USB cable, a paper quick start manual, and an owner's manual on CD-ROM.
The Edge 500 measures 1.9" wide by 2.7" high by .85" deep (4.8x6.9x2.2cm). The display size is 1.17" wide by 1.44" high (3.0x3.7cm). The display resolution is 128x160 pixels. The unit is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will get up to 18 hours on a charge. Claimed weight of the Garmin Edge 500 is 2oz (56.7g).
It was interesting coming from a Forerunner 305 to the Edge 500 that they decided to get rid of the bread crumb feature that allowed you to retrace your foot steps. Without that feature I was less willing to explore places unknown. The work around it to make a course on Garmin Connect and upload it to the device. That is the only way to get a map you can follow. Anyway, enough about maps. I found that my device was sometimes slow to get a GPS fix. I sometimes had to sit a minute or two. Other times when I started riding it would take a few minutes to get a GPS fix. It works great for tracking and giving information needed to have a good workout. The size is also reasonibly compact. The ANT+ cadence and HRM work pretty well. From time to time the heart rate monitor would give me crazy readings. My nit-picks have been resolved with and upgrade to the 810. It is a great device that served me faithfully for 3 years and would have served me longer without its untimely demise.
Love all the data you can collect from this bike computer, but specifically wanted a computer with HR monitor. Upload my info on Strava after my rides and like the fact that I can compare my previous times up my favorite climbs. Holds a charge well and can certainly overwhelm you with all the info that can be shown. Don't use the cadence sensor anymore as it seemed like too much clap-trap on my steed. Don't need any wires or magnets on my bike, just stick the computer on and everything is GPS based. Awesome product!
I LOVE my Garmin Edge 500! I already had the HR monitor and the cadence, so I opted for the computer only. It's a great product and I haven't had any problems with it. I've recently moved from the US to Europe and it's been great to be able to keep track of trails and routes that I've ridden! Have recommended this to many others!
This is my first cycling GPS and it is a wonderful product. All the data for training zones, heart rate, speed, cadence, elevation etc is right at your finger tip. I highly recommend this product.