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Which Garmin Edge Is Better for Cycling?

Cycling or driving without a GPS computer is so old school! Who even asks for directions nowadays? Now you can use a GPS system to get shortcuts and better routes to any location.

Having a GPS computer when cycling is an advantage that every biker can benefit from. And what better GPS computer to choose than one from Garmin? Garmin is the only trustworthy and reliable brand that comes to mind when we think about computers for your bicycle.

In this Garmin 520 vs. 820 battle, we’ll compare two of the most reputed GPS computers from the brand. With this detailed review, you will no longer be confused about which Garmin Edge is better for cycling.

Garmin 520 vs. 820

A lot of people agree that there are no significant differences between these two models from Garmin. While some of the features are identical, there are some functions that are divergent.

Both the Garmin 520 and 820 can be easily connected to your phone. Details such as places visited, distance traveled, and calories burnt can then be uploaded to the Strava app.

Features for connectivity are almost identical on both the models. You have an incident alert that can send notifications to your loved ones if any accident occurs. Both can be connected to any other products that Garmin has in their line for bikes.

Connect IQ compatibility gives you many other benefits such as live tracking, uploading progress to a computer, and smartphone connectivity features. Aside from not having a group live track and messaging option, the 520 does not have many differences from the 820.

Garmin 820 and 520 have pre-set training guides that you can follow. Variations in cardio based on your weight, height, and age are provided to you if needed. Interval training, advanced and beginner workout routines are also there for use.

The data page of both computers can be customized to your preference. Power, distance, speed, and Cadence can be measured using this device. You can then connect the device to your computer to keep records and analyze them later.

And the difference lies in the analyzing capabilities of the devices itself. Both of these have a Vo2 max test feature that goes through your progress and adds suggestions. While the 520 can do this quite well, if you want a better inspection, you need the Garmin 820.

Cycling dynamics reports, DTP tracking, and recovery are only a few basic features that the Garmin 820 gives you. Besides these, you also get a stress score and lactate threshold. The performance condition is thorough and more detailed than the Garmin 520.

Garmin 820 and 520 come with preloaded maps based on the location of purchase. When connected to Strava, you can also add routes for locations that you want to go to as well.

But the Garmin 520 cannot accept new map updates. The Garmin 820, on the other hand, has the capability to add new maps and locations.

Another great advantage of the 820 model is that if you ever go out of track, the device can re-route you to the location again. Garmin 820 also keeps updating the route during your ride to give you a notification about traffic and roads under construction.  

Activities such as racing or delivering parcels require riders to communicate between them.

The Garmin 820 gives you the advantage of communicating with your fellow riders easily. You can link the GPS computers to keep track of where another rider is as well. Send messages and alerts within seconds. This can be done between two riders and within a group as well.

Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the Garmin 520. There is no option to send messages or to communicate with other riders when you’re using this model. There is no group live track or rider to rider message option. 

Garmin 820 has a touchscreen, while 520 doesn’t. Ultimately which one is better depends on your preference. Some riders prefer a button for operating the device as they can control features without having to look at the screen, while others prefer a handy touch screen.

The Garmin 520 has a bright, vibrant, and colorful display with 200 x 265 resolution. And the screen is also well-sized so that you can read and view the screen well even in sunlight. The button can be scrolled up and down to browse through the functions the GPS computer offers.

Moreover, the Garmin 820, on the other hand, has a touch screen that is fast and user-friendly. The screen size of 2.3 inches makes screen content readable and also gives it a compact and lightweight structure. Garmin 820 also has an ambient light sensor.

You can use the screen even with gloves on or even with wet fingers. The one-click access feature makes this touch screen much faster manageable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions we have answered for you in case you still have some queries.

1.    Which one has a better battery life?

With 15 hours of battery life, both the models have the same battery quality.

2.    Is Garmin 520 waterproof?

Both Garmin 520 and 810 are waterproof.

3.    Which one is better, Garmin 520 or 820?

The Garmin 820 has better navigation features, which make it the better option. But the Garmin 520 also has great functions that make it a fan favorite.

4.    Can both models be connected to Strava?

Yes, both of these have Bluetooth connectivity and can be connected to Strava to record performance.

5.    How can you tell the Garmin 520 and 820 apart?

The Garmin 520 has buttons, while the Garmin 820 has a touch screen. This is the main difference that can be spotted at a glance.

Final Words

Having a Garmin Edge installed on your bike can change the way you ride. Both the models that we have discussed are great options to consider but, a few features set them apart. Hopefully, this anchor: Garmin 520 vs. 820, will help you understand which one is the better choice for you.

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