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Garmin 520 or 810

gerroffandmilkitgerroffandmilkit Posts: 160
edited April 2016 in Road buying advice
Currently running a cheap and cheerful Garmin Edge 200.
Nothing wrong with it all but.......... Sometimes struggle to see the readout display (it comes to us all!)
Looking now for something a bit bigger and clearer for the old eyes to decipher.
Planning on putting some serious miles in this year and have been looking at various routes uploaded by club members on Garmin Connect. Would like to download them and use them as good direction indicators, much like a sat nav as well as collecting regular data such as distance, elevation, times etc.

With the above in mind, what would be the best Garmin unit to opt for? The 520 or 810?

Any recommendations and suggestions would be gratefully accepted.
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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,029
    If you need to use a turn by turn, guidance system, go for the bigger screen item.
    I dont, and the 520 is what I require... even though it does route, it's too small for practical purposes.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,746
    I would recommend the 520 but if you struggle with your eyesight perhaps it would be more beneficial to look at the Edge 1000 for the larger display.
  • I did quite a bit or research and waited for the 520 to come out, it does everything I need, its compact, good battery life and in spite of what people say the buttons are not that bad after you get used to them.

    Also the 810 is an old product in technology terms, sods law says 2 weeks after you buy one the 820 of something will be released to replace it.

    j
  • So. The 520 seems to be a popular choice. Obviously a more compact unit but larger than the 200. Does the 520 have any form of mapping installed to give a turn by turn readout? I've read the display is in colour which seems a bonus. If the unit does have sat nav type map installed, is this in colour also?
    The 200 has a route facility which gives a very basic black and white map of sorts. (Not very detailed) but will give a turn by turn read out as well.

    In a nutshell I'm looking for the usual stat reporting such as speed, max speed, ascent/descent, avg speed etc, along with a sat nav type map with direction facility. Is this available on the 520 or should I be looking for something different.

    Excuse the ignorance but the info on the Garmin website doesn't make things too clear. :?
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    I think your choice is between the 520 or 1000 (ignore the 810). The 520 allows you to plot a course on Garmin Connect, and send it to your device to follow. The 1000 is more like a car sat nav and will plot routes for you on device.

    I have a 520 and use it follow pre-plotted courses, I also need reading glasses (1x) and don't have any problems following the display sans glasses.
  • Likewise Ste_S.
    I use reading glasses myself.
    I do believe the 520 could be the one for me. I like the idea of plotting routes and adding them to the unit. Do you get turn by turn feature on the 520? Just to save me making wrong turns or indeed, getting lost?
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,431
    The 520 has breadcrumb trail mapping the same as the 200, but you can't get lost because it tells you straight away if you're off course (as does the 200).

    I've done several 100+ mile rides using my old 200 (I now have a 520) and never once got lost, I find the trails really easy to follow. If I want a detailed map of a particular spot I'll just get my phone out.
  • poppitpoppit Posts: 926
    We run an 800 an 810 and 520s. If mapping and route direction is most important to you then I'd get an 810, or, if you can afford it, a 1000. If the mapping isn't a priority then the 520 is the best.
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  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    520 is an excellent training tool. its mapping is not up to scratch but everything else is great. its compatability with the connect IQ apps is fantastic, as well.
  • redhandedredhanded Posts: 139
    If legibility is a prime concern, then it may be worthwhile considering the new Wahoo ELEMNT.

    It has a large, high contrast black and white display that my ageing eyes find much easier to read than the colour screens on the Garmin 520 and 810.

    I've never used the Garmin 1000, but even with the larger screen, I suspect it may not be as legible as the ELEMNT in bright sunlight.

    BUT (and it may be a big but...) the ELEMNT has only just been released so can't be considered a mature product.

    I haven't had any issues myself, but there have been plenty of reports from people, particularly those who are using various sensors. Also, the feature set isn't currently comparable with Garmin (so for example, at launch it didn't have turn-by-turn directions however this is meant to be added soon...) so there is a degree of trust that Wahoo will keep on improving it.

    So my view as an early adopter was that the ELEMNT screen is better, and there is a leap of faith that Wahoo will keep on improving the software, while Garmin can't do anything about the screens on their current devices and I've had my own bad experiences with the bugginess of Garmin software anyway.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    They all give turn by turn. Just that some need the route downloaded in advance and it is 'non negotiable' and others can be told a destination when out and about (like a car sat nav).

    The 520 does not re-route. So if you go wildly off course for any reason it must be possible to get lost as it will not tell you anything until you find your own way back 'on course'.

    It probably will not be an issue, but as you are asking for advice about 2 very different Garmins it may be important to you.

    What about Edge Touring?
    Does not have connected features (wireless uploads, tracking etc.) though (like both 520 and 810).
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    The 520 is really rather lovely. I'm knocking up a review which should be up later, I hope. Nothing like DC Rainmaker depth though. Pretty much echo the rest. Mapping, get the mapping ones. Otherwise, get this.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    As Carbonator suggests, the Garmin Edge Touring will do what you describe (or the Touring Plus if you want HR and a barometric altimeter) and for a lot less than an Edge 1000.

    I have the Touring Plus, but only because I'm curious about heart rate. Comes preloaded with maps for the whole of Europe, and these can be kept up to date via the Garmin Express site. When you're following a course you get turn by turn directions just like a car satnav. In between turns you can choose what it displays, and hence how big. When the next turn approaches it bleeps and switches to display the junction and where you should go. Once you've completed the turn it reverts to the previous display.

    My eyesight is not what it used to be; I usually choose to display just HR, speed and distance. Which makes them big enough to read without specs.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,431
    Carbonator wrote:
    They all give turn by turn. Just that some need the route downloaded in advance and it is 'non negotiable' and others can be told a destination when out and about (like a car sat nav).

    The 520 does not re-route. So if you go wildly off course for any reason it must be possible to get lost as it will not tell you anything until you find your own way back 'on course'.

    It probably will not be an issue, but as you are asking for advice about 2 very different Garmins it may be important to you.

    What about Edge Touring?
    Does not have connected features (wireless uploads, tracking etc.) though (like both 520 and 810).


    It alerts you immediately if you go off course, as does the 200, and the course line is visible on the screen. So unless you're a bit daft and keep on riding in the wrong direction when the Garmin is telling you you're off course it would be very difficult to lose the trail.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    Yes, you are right, but in my defense I did say that you would have to go wildly off course and it would probably not be an issue.

    Would have thought a diversion would be enough to take you away from the line?
    How far off it would you need to be before it disappeared?
    Have only used it on a 500 though, so guess the 520 is better.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,431
    Carbonator wrote:
    Yes, you are right, but in my defense I did say that you would have to go wildly off course and it would probably not be an issue.

    Would have thought a diversion would be enough to take you away from the line?
    How far off it would you need to be before it disappeared?
    Have only used it on a 500 though, so guess the 520 is better.


    On my 200 we had to take a different route at one point, maybe a few hundred yards off course and I could still see the line on the screen. Any more than that and you'd lose it, though at that point I'd simply get my phone out, bring up a map and head in the right direction until I found it again.
  • steve55steve55 Posts: 19
    I've had an 810 for approx 2.5 years and had this same decision with the 500. Were I in your position now I would shell out on a 1000 or get a Touring Plus. Yes the 1000 is more expensive but for ease of use, particularly in navigation when you need to change your route whilst on the move, you won't regret it. I've found the map and turn by turn guidance on the 810 invaluable for doing rides in unknown (to me) places. That said, I guess it comes back to what is most important for you.
  • Dodger747Dodger747 Posts: 305
    I love my 810 - made it easy to find my way around Belgium without worrying about getting lost and to pre-plan routes when going abroad with the bike. 1000 is too big for my taste - I guess a perfect solution would be an 820 with updated hardware as the 810 is quite old now...
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  • jamin100jamin100 Posts: 72
    I've just sold my 800 and picking the 520 up from halfords tonight. I never used the on the spot navigation features on the 800, only ever uploaded pre planned routes and that wasn't all that often
  • Just to throw another into the mix. What about the Garmin Edge Touring?

    Larger screen for better visibility, sat nav type direction giving turn by turn. Big question though.
    Can you still transfer the details of your ride onto Garmin Connect and even Strava to geek over later? Also, can you download routes from Garmin Connect or RidewithGPS etc?

    Just can't make up my mind because reading some of the above posts it would seem that the 520 can do similar and much more.

    Thanks for your patience guys!
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 944
    Just to throw another into the mix. What about the Garmin Edge Touring?

    Larger screen for better visibility, sat nav type direction giving turn by turn. Big question though.
    Can you still transfer the details of your ride onto Garmin Connect and even Strava to geek over later? Also, can you download routes from Garmin Connect or RidewithGPS etc?

    Just can't make up my mind because reading some of the above posts it would seem that the 520 can do similar and much more.

    Thanks for your patience guys!
    If you think you will never want to connect ANT+ sensors then a touring model is fine. If you think that you would want to use ANT+ sensors then a Touring is not a good idea as it has reduced functionality in that area.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Just to throw another into the mix. What about the Garmin Edge Touring?

    Larger screen for better visibility, sat nav type direction giving turn by turn. Big question though.
    Can you still transfer the details of your ride onto Garmin Connect and even Strava to geek over later? Also, can you download routes from Garmin Connect or RidewithGPS etc?

    Just can't make up my mind because reading some of the above posts it would seem that the 520 can do similar and much more.

    Thanks for your patience guys!

    A couple of us suggested this a few posts ago. I have the Edge Touring Plus and a HRM. I record all my rides (when I remember to press the button) and when the thing is plugged in to the laptop recharging it also syncs via Garmin Express so they are all there in Garmin Connect for later perusal. You can save a ride as a course so you can follow it again in the future, and you can also download routes from various other sources and follow them.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    I'm in the middle of sticking Open Street Map on my 520. I'll report back shortly on that.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Just to throw another into the mix. What about the Garmin Edge Touring?

    Larger screen for better visibility, sat nav type direction giving turn by turn. Big question though.
    Can you still transfer the details of your ride onto Garmin Connect and even Strava to geek over later? Also, can you download routes from Garmin Connect or RidewithGPS etc?

    Just can't make up my mind because reading some of the above posts it would seem that the 520 can do similar and much more.

    Thanks for your patience guys!

    A couple of us suggested this a few posts ago. I have the Edge Touring Plus and a HRM. I record all my rides (when I remember to press the button) and when the thing is plugged in to the laptop recharging it also syncs via Garmin Express so they are all there in Garmin Connect for later perusal. You can save a ride as a course so you can follow it again in the future, and you can also download routes from various other sources and follow them.

    What it doesn't do is stuff like the virtual training partner etc.
  • steve55steve55 Posts: 19
    keef66 wrote:
    Just to throw another into the mix. What about the Garmin Edge Touring?

    Larger screen for better visibility, sat nav type direction giving turn by turn. Big question though.
    Can you still transfer the details of your ride onto Garmin Connect and even Strava to geek over later? Also, can you download routes from Garmin Connect or RidewithGPS etc?

    Just can't make up my mind because reading some of the above posts it would seem that the 520 can do similar and much more.

    Thanks for your patience guys!

    A couple of us suggested this a few posts ago. I have the Edge Touring Plus and a HRM. I record all my rides (when I remember to press the button) and when the thing is plugged in to the laptop recharging it also syncs via Garmin Express so they are all there in Garmin Connect for later perusal. You can save a ride as a course so you can follow it again in the future, and you can also download routes from various other sources and follow them.

    What it doesn't do is stuff like the virtual training partner etc.
    Spot on advice. With having had bluetooth on the 810, it would seem a big faff to have to hook it up to a laptop to upload the file after a ride. First world problems hey ....
  • jon33jon33 Posts: 256
    How different are the maps on the two? I've used an 800 before (not mine) and it was perfect to follow a preplanned course from garmin connect; it had village names etc. Does the 520 have that much detail?
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    It does in you put an open map on.
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  • LorezLorez Posts: 23
    It does in you put an open map on.
    I did this and think that the maps & having the ability to download routes makes the 520 perfect. Check the dcrainmaker website for details. Also benders recent review is a good overview of what it can do
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    520 does NOT do turn by turn. So you can follow the map on screen but you have to look for it and understand what it is telling you - at lower magnification, you cant always tell which turn you want at complex junctions, at high magnification you cant see far ahead. Yes, it will beep if you go off course but the course plotting isnt 100% accurate because the maps worked out on the various programs on the web arent 100% accurate and the routes cut corners - so you get numerous false alerts if you have that turned on - some routes are worse than others.

    If you actually want to follow a route on a regular basis and for the unit to truly be useful at this then get the 800/810/edge touring or the 1000.

    If you just want to be able to see maps in a basic way then the 520 is OK but its not ideal for navigation.
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