This in-depth post with comparative chart and video reviews aims to give you all the information you need to choose between the Garmin Edge 530 vs 830. These two bike computers currently lead the field, and with good reason. We will show you what these two GPS bike computers have in common, and what their crucial differences are. We hope this post will make it easier for you to decide which bike computer best matches your needs.
How this Post Goes
First I have compiled a chart that compares the key features offered by these bike computers, including training metrics and navigation. Then I discuss the differences between the two bike computers. Then, I offer some advice on which Garmin Edge to buy, based on your needs. If you don’t have enough time to read all of this, you can jump to the Bottom Line on which Garmin Edge bike computer is right for you. Otherwise, please read on for more details!
Related Post: Garmin Edge 840 vs 830: What’s the Difference?
Chart Comparing the Features of the Garmin Edge 530 vs 830
First off, here is a chart that highlights the differences between these two epic bike computers.
|If viewing on a smart phone, please rotate your phone to a horizontal orientation so you can see the chart better|
|Best Price right now on Amazon||Usually just under $300, but click here for the Best Price Right Now on Amazon||Usually just under $400, but click here for the Best Price Right Now on Amazon|
|Size of Unit||1.9" x 3.2" x 0.8" (50 x 82 x 20 mm)||1.9” x 3.2” x 0.8” (50 mm x 82 mm x 20 mm)|
|Display Resolution||246 x 322 pixels||246 x 322 pixels|
|Processing speed||Double the speed of the 520 Plus||Double the speed of the 820|
|Weight||2.7 oz (75.8 g)||2.8 oz (79.1 g)|
|Waterproof rating||IPX 7 (you can drop it in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and it will still work)||IPX 7|
|Screen size||2.6" (66.04 mm), color||2.6" (66.04 mm), color|
|Touchscreen or button control?||Button control||Touchscreen, much improved over the 820|
|Battery Life||Up to 20 hours in GPS training mode||Up to 20 hours in GPS training mode|
|Battery Save Mode (extends battery life by up to 50% while still tracking all ride data)||Yes||Yes|
|Option to add Garmin Charge Power Pack (to double battery life)?||Yes||Yes|
|Bike alarm that connects with your phone?||Yes||Yes|
|Find my bike computer?||Yes||Yes|
|Ambient Light Sensor?||Yes||Yes|
|Basemap||Pre-loaded Garmin Cycle Maps with Integrated TrailForks content||Pre-loaded Garmin Cycle Maps with Integrated TrailForks content|
|Ships pre-loaded with high-quality maps for two countries, plus can download any other countries for free?||No||No|
|Can you add maps?||Yes||Yes|
|How many routes can you save on the device?||100||100|
|How much history can you store on the device?||Up to 200 hours||Up to 200 hours|
|Address search (input address and it will plot a route)? AKA On-Device Course Creator||No||Yes|
|Popularity routing (Trendline) - shows routes used most by cyclists?||Yes||Yes|
|Recalculate route on the device?||Yes||Yes|
|New re-routing options?||No, but will arrive in a future software updatea||No, but will arrive in a future software updatea|
|Calculate route back to start?||Yes||Yes|
|Can you create a custom course on the unit (this is a sequence of waypoints or locations that leads you to your final destination)?||No||Yes|
|Create a round-trip route on the device?||No||Yes|
|Find nearby POI (points of interest)?||No||Yes|
|How does it communicate?||Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi|
|Time & date display?||No||No|
|Can you respond to a phone call with text on your Android device?||Yes||Yes|
|Rider to Rider messaging?||Yes||Yes|
|Does it display the weather and weather alerts?||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin Connect compatible? (this is an online community where you can share data, plys analyze - like Strava)||Yes||Yes|
|Automatically syncs your rides to your computer?||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ (to connect your devices?||Yes||Yes|
|Bluetooth Smart (aka BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy)?||Yes||Yes|
|Unit to unit transfer (share your data with friends with similar units)?||Yes||Yes|
|Incident detection (so someone is automatically notified if you have an accident)?||Yes||Yes|
|LEV/ebike compatibility via ANT+?||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with heart rate monitors, plus power, speed and cadence sensors?||Yes||Yes|
|Shimano Di2 electronic shifting integration? (“Digital Integrated Intelligence” enables instant electronic shifting)||Yes||Yes|
|Can it download free apps and widgets from the Connect IQ™ store?||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Garmin VIRB video camera?||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Garmin inReach 2-way satellite communicator (to send your location if you need assistance and your cell phone cannot connect)?||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin Varia Compatible?||Yes||Yes|
|Can you control it with a Garmin Edge remote control?||Yes||Yes|
|Does it have Extended Display (so you can use your bike computer as an extended display to view data screens from a compatible Garmin mulitsport watch)?||Yes||Yes|
|Autostart (so your timer will start automatically once you are cycling at a custom speed)?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Customize Your Data Pages?||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced workouts? (so you can create customized, goal-directed workouts)||Yes (much improved over 520 Plus)||Yes (much improved over 820)|
|Daily Workout Suggestions?||No||No|
|Can You Download Training Plans to It?||Yes||Yes|
|Virtual Partner (so you can compete against a digital cyclist)?||Yes||Yes|
|VO2 Max estimate? (the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise)||Yes||Yes|
|FTP tracking? (Functional Threshold Power is the average power that a rider can produce over the course of an hour)||Yes||Yes|
|Will it Advise You on Recovery Time?||Yes||Yes|
|Time in heart rate training zone?||Yes||Yes|
|TrainingPeaks iLevels (WKO4)||Yes||Yes|
|ClimpPro (new feature that shows you graphically the grades ahead)?||Yes||Yes|
|Power Meter Compatible?||Yes||Yes|
|Performance Power Curve? (tracks your power output over periods of time)||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced Power Analysis?||Yes||Yes|
|Does it have Physio TrueUP (a Garmin Connect feature that keeps physiological data in sync between multiple devices)?||Yes||Yes|
|Does it compute calories based on heart rate?||Yes||Yes|
|Strava Live Segments on the unit?||Yes||Yes|
|Aerobic training effect?||Yes||Yes|
|Heat acclimation (how well are you adjusting to heat)?||Yes||Yes|
|Altitude acclimation (how well are you adjusting to changes in altitude)?||Yes||Yes|
|Water and calorie requirements (reminders based on course)?||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Pause (so it stops recording when you stop your bike)?||Yes||Yes|
|Smart Trainer Control?||Yes||Yes|
|Grit rating (how tough is the route)?||Yes||Yes|
|Flow rating (how well did you ride the route)?||Yes||Yes|
|Hang time (how long were you in the air when jumping, how far did you go)?||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated Trailforks? (130,000 trails preloaded on unit)||Yes||Yes|
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In terms of price, the range is usually as follows:
What the Garmin Edge 530 and 830 Have in Common
Size and Build Quality
As you can see, there are not very many differences between these two premium GPS bike computers. The Edge 830 and 530 are the same size, and almost the same weight.
Both have the sleek good looks and quality feel that comes with all Garmin Edge bike computers these days. Below is a visual of these two Garmin Edge bike computers. Which is which? It really does not matter, because they are identical. But if you HAVE to know, the one on the right is the 530. The only way to tell is that the 830 has three buttons, and the 530 has seven. The 830 does not have Enter, Back, Up and Down buttons because it has a touchscreen.
You can connect both bike computers to a range of training devices and sensors, such as heart rate monitors, and speed, power, and cadence meters. Both can connect to these monitors using both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. They both have access to both 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 bike computers offer live tracking. This means designated people can track where you are. A
- Both are very connected, with phone call and text message alerts, and a ton of other connected features, such as weather alerts.
Related Post: Is a Garmin Edge Bike Computer Worth It?
Advanced Analysis of Your Cycling Performance and Power Output
Both of these bike computers offer advanced analysis of your performance and power. These include Time in Zone, FTP (Functional Threshold Power) tracking, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery, and cycling dynamics.
Mountain Bike Metrics
These are a range of fairly new metrics to track your prowess on the mountain. They include:
- Grit rating – this shows you how difficult a route is.
- Flow rating – this shows you how well you descended a tough route. This gives you a metric to try and beat the next time!
- Hang time – this shows you on the fly how long you were in the air after a jump. Later, you can analyze every single jump in great detail on Garmin Connect. How far did you jump, how long were you in the air, and how fast were you going?
Also preloaded on both bike computers is this app to help you on your mountain rides:
- Trailforks – this app is integrated into the unit. This means that maps for 130,000 mountain bike trails are included in the unit, along with their difficulty rating. So, you can see the difficulty level of the trails you are cycling on. If the trail forks, you can make an informed decision as to which trail to take. For example, if you’re tired, you can choose the trail with a lower difficulty level.
Key Differences between the Garmin Edge 530 vs 830
To help you decide, here are the key differences.
Key Difference between the Garmin Edge 530 vs 830 #1: How You Control Them
The 830 has a touch screen, while the 530 is button controlled only. The 830 touch screen is excellent. Garmin greatly improved the touch screen when it launched this model. Since then, the improvements have been extended to other Garmin Edge bike computers.
Key Difference between the Garmin Edge 530 vs 830 #2: Navigation
Navigation is the heart of the matter when comparing these two bike computers. The Edge 830 offers complete navigation, while the Edge 530 does not. For more details, read on.
Navigation: What the Edge 830 and the Edge 530 Have in Common
- Both the Edge 530 and the 830 come preloaded with Garmin Cycle Maps.
- So, they can both navigate along a saved route, or to a saved point (such as your office or your home, or the local pub), without an internet connection.
- Plus, they can both give you turn-by-turn directions and alerts for turns ahead.
- After you follow a route, both the Edge 530 and the 830 can guide you back to the start.
- Both the Edge 530 and the 830 have the Trendline Popularity feature, which highlights routes that other cyclists prefer. This has the major advantage that you are shown routes that are more likely to be fun or safe to bike, rather than simply the shortest route.
- On both the 530 and the 830, you can use the preloaded Yelp app to find nearby bike shops, coffee shops, etc. And you can navigate to them with turn-by-turn directions.
- Both the Garmin Edge 530 and the 830 can recalculate and get you back on course, if you go off-course while riding a downloaded route.
- Both the Garmin Edge 530 and the 830 have integrated Trailforks, which means they have 130,000 trail maps preloaded in the unit.
Related Post: Which Garmin Edge Bike Computer is the Best?
Navigation: What the Edge 830 CAN Do, But the Edge 530 CANNOT Do
- On the Edge 830, you can find nearby POIs (Points of Interest) and navigate to them. You cannot do this on the Edge 530. However, the Yelp app does almost the same thing.
- On the Edge 830, you can input an address and ask it to navigate to that address. Just like you might do in a car. But you cannot do this on a Garmin Edge 530. Basically, this means you need to plan ahead, and download new routes to your Edge 530 before you set off on your bike. For many cyclists this is not a deal-breaker … but for some, it is.
- But unlike a car GPS, the Edge 830 has an invisible but important layer – Garmin heat maps. Basically, this is data derived from recorded rides by real cyclists, which tells Garmin which routes are most popular with cyclists. This enables the unit to calculate a route for you that is more cyclist-friendly. Of course, the Garmin Edge 530 cannot do this, as it does not calculate routes.
Video Showing How Well Navigation Works on the Garmin Edge 830
In Case You Want More Info ….
For further information, I have summed up both of these bike computers below.
The Garmin Edge 530 is an upgrade on the Garmin Edge 520 Plus. The Edge 520 Plus was Garmin’s strong response to increasing competition from the likes of Wahoo. However, there were complaints that with all the upgrades to that model and the extra maps, the processor was not up to the job. As a result, the 520 Plus could be slow in functions such as calculating routes.
Then suddenly, Garmin surprised the cycling world by launching the Edge 530 upgrade much sooner than it usually updates. This upgrade was a massive hardware and a software upgrade. Most importantly, the upgraded processor is twice as fast! But it also came with a whole bunch of new cycling metrics, blazing a trail for the rest of the range.
Button Control, not Touch Screen Control
Like the 520 Plus, the Garmin Edge 530 has button control, not touch screen control (as found in the Edge 830). Personally, I prefer button control. Sometimes I find screen swiping doesn’t work perfectly, especially in the rain.
What’s So Different about the Garmin Edge 530?
So, what is so special about the Edge 530? Quite a lot, actually. In fact, I wrote an entire post about it:
The Edge 520 did not give you cycling-specific maps and could not calculate routes of any kind; plus, it could not give you turn-by-turn directions as you cycled. All you got were the most basic of maps, plus breadcrumbs-type navigation if you downloaded courses to it. There were work-arounds you could do, but they were time-consuming.
The Edge 520 Plus went a long way towards addressing these issues, adding a much better base cycling map, and some ability to give turn-by-turn directions. But the navigation features on the 520 Plus were still not as advanced as those found on the Edge 820 and Edge 1030. These features were much improved on the 530. However, the navigation features on the Edge 530 remain inferior to those on the 830 and the 1030 Plus.
Related Post: Garmin Edge 830 vs 820
Video Showing the Upgrades to the Garmin Edge 530
List of Upgrades to the Garmin Edge 530 and to the 830
There are a huge number of important upgrades to the Edge 530. These upgrades are also on the 830. Below is a list of the most important ones:
- Upgrade no. 1: Speed: The processor is twice as fast.
- Upgrade no. 2: Full Navigation Maps (Garmin Cycling Maps): Re-route on the fly while cycling if you go off course! Use back-to-start routing.
- Upgrade no. 3: ClimbPro: Tells you on the fly about the grades ahead on downloaded routes. Great for serious climbers.
- Upgrade no. 4: Mountain Biking Metrics: Including Grit rating, Flow rating, Hang time, and fully integrated Trailforks app with 130,000 trails.
- Upgrade no. 5: New Performance Metrics: Including Performance power curve; Heat acclimation; Altitude acclimation; Water and calorie requirements.
- Upgrade no. 6: Better Structured Workouts
- Upgrade no. 7: Bluetooth Smart connectivity, which means you can connect to more things, while using less battery power
- Upgrade no. 8: Longer Battery Life: Plus you can use an added battery charge pack, so you can have more than 40 hours of battery life
- Upgrade no. 9: Bike Alarm
- Upgrade no. 10: Find my Bike Computer