Activity Essentials

The Garmin Edge 510 and 810

Garmin have recently launched two new Edge cycling GPS systems.  The Garmin Edge 510 and the Garmin Edge 810.  There is a major difference with these GPS’s to any Garmin have launched before.  The Edge 510 and 810 both can pair with your smartphone to offer real-time online tracking of your ride.

Garmin are the leaders in Cycling GPS’ I own an old Edge 205 which I have put several thousand miles on but I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands on an Edge 510 or 810 to try out the new features.


So what do the new Edge’s do?

  • Distance - As you’d expect using GPS technology the Edge system tracks your location to within a couple of feet giving accurate tracking of the distances you have cycled.
  • Speed - Again using GPS (so no wires!) track your current speed, average speed, fastest lap and more.
  • Elevation - Both the 510 and 810 Edge models track your elevation with a barometric pressure sensor.  This is much more accurate than GPS elevation so you’ll be sure how many feet you have climbed up the mountain!
  • Cadence / Heart Rate / Power - Check what comes in the box of the model you are buying both models can be paired with Cadence, heart and power monitors.  Generally Garmin sells these higher end models with a Heart Rate monitor and Cadence, but if you want to track your power you will need to purchase a separate ANT+ device.
  • Maps - This is where the two Edge models differ.  The Garmin Edge 810 has full street mapping capability, you can see on-screen the roads, turnings and even plan a route home on the go.  The Edge 510 does not have any mapping capability.  However you can upload GPX / CRS files to your device which will give you a dotted line route to follow.  I have used this on the old 205 in the past and found it very easy to follow.

The above are the standard features you will have found on Garmin GPS for many years.  So whats new?

New Features

  • Weather -  With the Smartphone connectivity you can get live weather forecasts and alerts as you’re out on your ride.
  • Activity Profiles - Customise data fields and device settings based on cycling activity, such as road, mountain or touring. Allows you to switch profiles with a tap of the screen, so you can get on with your ride quicker.
  • Personal Records - When you complete a ride, Edge 510 and 810 display any new personal records you achieved during that ride. PRs include farthest distance, most ascent gained, fastest 40k and best 20-minute power average.
  • Live Tracking - Let your friends and family follow your ride in real-time.  With Garmin connected to your phone they can see your real-time ride data on your Garmin tracking page.  Perhaps they’ll come out and join you on the ride!
  • Social Media - Aswell as tracking your ride on the Garmin connect site you can share your ride to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.  This means as soon as you finish your ride or race you can add a comment and link your social followers to the full stats of your ride.

Differences between Models

As mentioned above the major difference between these models is Mapping, the 810 has full streetmap style mapping (like you would find on a car Sat Nav) while the 510 doesn’t have this, but it still lets you follow a course with dotted line marking your route.

Other differences include

  • Screen Size - 2.2 inches diagonal for the 510 versus 2.6 inches for the 810
  • Weight - 80g’s for the 510 vs 98g for the 810
  • Battery Life - 20 hours on the 510 and 17 hours on the 810
  • Price - The basis bundles are priced at £249 for the 510 and £379 for the 810

Do you use a cycling GPS out on the road, let us know your thoughts, leave a comment!

Leave a Reply