You don't need metric-ton truckloads of data. You need speed, distance, and elevation. Cadence and heart rate might be handy, too. The Garmin Edge 500 bundle with the Premium HR Monitor and Cadence sensor feed you the data you need to make your training analysis, but without completely overwhelming you with numbers.
Garmin made the Edge 500 for people who were overwhelmed by the 705. Some were overwhelmed by all the data; some were overwhelmed by the size. The 500 is a nice size that can give you plenty of info but can keep it in check.
The 500 is a great stand-alone bike computer that allows you pretty tremendous flexibility in terms of what you track on your ride. There are three fully-customizable ride screens, each holding up to 8 lines of data. You can run one or two or three, and so on if you want. The 500 isn't telling you what data should go with other data. You can choose it 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 powermeters, which at this moment means iBike, PowerTap, Quarq, and SRM, and 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 after it's over.
Included in this package are Garmin's wireless cadence sensor and premium heart-rate monitor. The 'premium' refers to the fact that the strap on this particular heart rate monitor is soft, comfortable, and won't get stuffed in your jersey pocket mid-ride because you just can't take it anymore. The cadence sensor is self-calibrating; just attach it to your bike and go.
The unit works with Garmin's own Garmin Training Center program. The program is a free download from Garmin's website and is compatible with PC's 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 both WKO+ and TrainingPeaks.
The Edge 500 measures 1.9in wide by 2.7in high by .85in deep (4.8x6.9x2.2cm). The display size is 1.17in wide by 1.44in 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. Available only in Red in this package. It comes with two handlebar mounts.
Bike Computers are something that I have skimped on a bit. Since my rides are getting longer and rigs more sophisticated, I decided to plunge in to the Edge 500 from Garmin and I wasn't disappointed. A plethora of information awaits those who take the time, study the manual and plan out the display system that is right for them. The unit it self is very small and feels sturdy and most of the extra gadgets are pretty easy to install. This unit does come with a Heart Rate strap and while I feel that it could be easier taking on and off, it does the job well.
I want to revisit the earlier statement of "plethora of information awaits those who take the time" etc. etc. If you are the kind of person who doesn't mind digging in to the manual and experimenting with all the settings, then the Edge 500 will reward those people with a streamlined display of all the stats needed. If you are more of a "plug and play" type of person, the Edge 500 will be a little lost as it will be set to the factory pages of stats and that isn't necessarily what people need. Also to mount is good in a pinch, but if you want something that extends the unit further out then I would start checking Bar Flys out as I feel like I have to crane my neck down further than comfortable at times.
Overall, a great training tool for those who are willing to take the time to unleash it.
Finally pulled the trigger for my first GPS unit to use as a training tool for road racing, and I'm super satisfied with my decision with this model from Garmin. Did a ton of research before choosing this one, and decide on this model for its function, weight, design, price and the HR monitor included. Found setting the speed/candence sensor easy enough to mount, and after some exploration with the unit found it simple to find the right settings for me. I now use the Garmin connect program to track all my rides, set goals and analyze my training. I've also started to get into Strava, and both have improved my motivation to ride during the cold winter months here in Utah. My only knock is the mount it comes with, and I would highly suggest upgrading to the K-Edge mount which provides a better/safer position and is super super solid!
Have had this model for 2 years and then an older model for 2 years. This one is pretty small from higher end models I've seen. You can design your screens to show only what you need or nearly everything it does. Pretty simple turn it on and go, unless you need to hook up cadence hardware. Garmin supplies a site you download too, stores it and you can see all sorts of data, total mileage, calories, distances, for whatever dates and manages different activities, tech! Also works with strava, if your into that. Used for MTB, hiking and skiing.
I purchased the speed/cadence sensor as well as the heart rate monitor for this unit. When you upload ride data to Garmin Connect, you not only get charts and graphs representing your ride, you also get a map with your ride highlighted. Very cool! Unit has proven to be waterproof on several rides in the rain. Battery life is awesome. Battery is not user serviceable, but according to Garmin, will last several years. Acquires satelites within seconds from powering up. I am very pleased with this purchase.
Easy to set up, fun to us, and a great training tool. With Strava, I can "race" my friends and people I don'e evne know up all the mountains.
Does the job, no glitches. Super easy to set up with simple to use features.