Updated May 2020: Right now is the perfect time to buy a Garmin Edge 520 GPS bike computer for a bargain price. Why? Because it has been updated twice in just one year, meaning that a bike computer that was premium a year ago is now outdated. So, the price decreases. But, that does change the fact that it is a premium quality GPS bike computer!
In 2018, Garmin released an update to its most popular GPS bike computer, the Garmin Edge 520. The Garmin Edge 520 Plus was a subtantial upgrade, and I have written a detailed analysis of the changes in my Garmin Edge 520 vs 520 Plus post here. Then, just a year later, they released yet another upgrade, the Garmin Edge 530. This one was both a hardware and a software upgrade.
As we all know, when a new model comes out, the price of the old model usually goes down a lot. With the result that there has never been a better time to buy a Garmin Edge 520 than right now! If you don’t need the new features of the Edge 520 Plus or the Edge 530, you are in a strong position to get exactly what you need for a much lower price with the now devalued-by-comparison Garmin Edge 520. I present a range of buying options at the end of this post.
Great Deal on the Garmin Edge 520 Right Now
At the time of this posting, you can buy a Garmin Edge 520 for 27% less than before. However, this may change at any moment, so please check out the current prices just below. I have included the Garmin Edge 520 Plus for comparison.
Similarities between the Garmin Edge 520 and the Edge 520 Plus
The 520 Plus is an upgrade, not a new product. As such, both the 520 Plus and the Edge 520 are premium bike computers that offer a dazzling array of advanced bike training features. The two bike computers share the following key features:
- You can connect both of them to a range of useful devices and sensors, such as heart rate monitors, and speed, power, and cadence meters.
- They both have access to GPS and Glonass satellite systems, so they acquire a GPS signal fast.
- Both will record your bike rides and will wirelessly transfer your data to Garmin Connect (or Strava, or several other apps).
- Both offer advanced performance and power analysis, including Time in Zone, FTP (Functional Threshold Power) tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery and cycling dynamics.
- Both offer live tracking – which means designated people can track where you are.
- Both are very connected, with phone call and text message alerts, and a ton of other connected features.
- Both have beautiful color screens.
As for the differences – the chart below sums them up, so you can decide if you can live without the upgrades found in the Edge 520 Plus – and therefore get a premium bike computer at a much lower price!
I prepared this handy chart that summarizes the differences between the Edge 520 and the 520 Plus.
|Big picture||Great for training but not for navigation. Buttons, not touchscreen. Color||Great for training and also has several navigation features - much more than the 520, but but not quite as much as the 1030 and 820. Buttons, not touchscreen. Color|
|Lowest Price on Amazon Right Now:||Usually around $300. Please click here for current price.||Usually around $280. Because price is lower than manufacturer's recommended price (it's on sale right now), we cannot display it. Please click here for current price.|
|Weight||2.1 oz (60 g)||2.2 oz (62.5 g). The extra weight is because of the storage space for maps. The difference is the equivalent of a grasshopper hitching a ride on your handlebars!|
|History that can be stored on unit||Up to 180 hours of history||Up to 200 hours of history|
|Smart phone Connected features (depends on having a Bluetooth enabled smartphone, and you have to install the Garmin Connect mobile app on your phone)||Automatic uploads, LiveTrack, smart notifications, send/receive courses, social media sharing, weather||Automatic uploads, LiveTrack and GroupTrack, smart notifications, send/receive courses, social media sharing, weather, rider-to-rider messaging and built-in incident detection|
|Preloaded with TrainingPeaks? (a virtual coach to guide your workouts and training plan)||No, but you can download it with Garmin's Connect IQ app||Yes|
|Trendline popularity routing - when mapping, Trendline uses the routes most popular with cyclists, drawing from Garmin's database||No||Yes|
|Navigation?||No, it cannot figure out how to get to places. However, you can upload a breadcrumbs course and then follow that. When doing that, you do get turn notifications, plus an alert if you go off course||It can guide you to locations using turn-by-turn directions and off-course alerts IF the location is a saved place, OR IF the location is found on Yelp. However, you can add extra navigation if you download routes to the unit|
|Preloaded basemap?||Yes, but very basic. It's just to give you a rough idea of where you are||Yes, preloaded with Garmin Cycle Maps for your region|
|Points of Interest (POIs) specifically for cyclists||No||No, but the preloaded Yelp app does much the same thing|
|Preloaded with TrailForks app?||No, but it is part of Connect IQ, so you can download it||Yes|
|Preloaded with Yelp app?||Part of Connect IQ, so you can download it||Yes|
Bottom Line on the Garmin Edge 520 vs 520 Plus
Yes, the Garmin Edge 520 Plus has some impressive new features. It is an effective and aggressive attempt by Garmin to ward off competition from the likes of Wahoo. But if we bottom line it, the only significant difference between the two bike computers is that Garmin has added some navigation abilities to the Edge 520 Plus. It can now give you turn-by-turn directions in certain circumstances. However, except in limited situations, it cannot calculate routes on the fly, like the Edge 820 and the Edge 1030.
- If you are a cyclist who likes to get turn-by-turn directions and you plan ahead, the Edge 520 Plus will probably hit the sweet spot for you, because you can download routes to it and get turn-by-turn directions as you ride.
- If you are a cyclist who suddenly decides in mid-ride that you want to go somewhere else, and you want your bike computer to give you turn-by-turn directions, the Edge 520 Plus will disappoint you, and you will wish you rather got an 820 or a 1030 (see my post comparing the Garmin Edge 1030 vs 820 vs 520 Plus).
- Finally, if you are a cyclist who doesn’t need any kind of directions, but wants premium training and connectivity features, you can get a great deal right now on the Edge 520!
Once you make your choice, please consider clicking through from one of our affiliate links to buy it. It is the only way I earn any income from writing these reviews … and it costs you nothing at all. So you get the best bike computer for your needs, and I get to keep on blogging – a win/win situation!
Garmin Edge 520
Garmin Edge 520 Bundle
Garmin Edge 520 Plus
Garmin Edge 520 Plus Bundle
Good luck with finding a great deal on a great cycling computer!
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