When I started cycling back in 2011 a Garmin Edge 500 was the absolute no-brainer when it came to picking a cycle computer, and until it finally stopped being recognised by my computers for uploads, I found it to be without fault. When I was trying to ramp my training for Paris2Nice I needed something that I could use to adequately track my training progress (the Edge 500 still works, apart from the uploads, so its fine for turbo work).
I did a good bit of research at the time, and came up with a short-list of criteria that (I thought anyway) I needed in a cycling computer:
Speed, cadence, and HR info
decent battery life (at least 8 hours)
a leading brand
Things I didn’t consider to be important
power meter support
I was actually happy with the Edge 500, and even considered sending it off for repair, or buying a new-old-stock one, but they were working out to be the same price, and without the guarantee, so after a few days research I whittled the list down to
(note: these are affiliate links to Wiggle).
Originally the 2 main contenders were the Edge 520 and the Wahoo. I was really leaning to the Wahoo, as someone who works in the tech industry the functionality they added in is leading the way. But given that I was familiar with the Garmin ecosystem, and knew for sure that the accessories I already had (cadence/speed sensors, K-Edge mounts, HR monitors) would all work with the Garmin kit, it became a shoot-out between the Edge 520 and Edge 25.
I did some research online, and while overall the 520 seemed the direct successor to my 500, the budget also came in to play, so I ended up getting an Edge 25 (with heart rate monitor), via Aquabluesport. (The whole Aquabluesport side of things became an ordeal, to be honest, and took about 6 weeks for it to be delivered, but I won’t go into that here). Cost wise it came to about €155, versus approx. €300 for an Edge 520 (without HRM), although I have seen cyclesuperstore in Dublin have the 520 a few times at 49% off since.
So, to the review itself. I’ve been using it pretty much for the last months now, and as an entry level piece of kit (or, if you’re of a more minimalist nature), I can’t find any fault with it at all. It was fast and simple to set-up, it works every time I turn it on, and aesthetically it’s fairly inoffensive, especially given its small footprint.
One thing in particular that I like is the Bluetooth connectivity. I know, most modern cycle computers have this now, but I still love the novelty of pressing “save” when I’m just outside my front after a spin and have a near instant “ping” when my phone buzzes to let me know the activity has already been uploaded to Strava! Battery life is also fairly decent, I’ve had it on a number of days for 9+ hours, and it was still ok, although not sure would I have gotten 11 or 12.
My default screen is set up with 3 fields:
And for most use cases (and most people), that’s perfectly fine. It’s the view I’ve used for a number of sportives, and a number of training spins, and it gives you most of the data you need or want.
However, this for me is the biggest gap in functionality. I don’t need to see heart rate or cadence, but I want to. And while it is possible to customise views, you would have to forgo something else to view cadence, and it’s not even possible to view heart rate! (At least, not without some bodge). Of course, all of this data is captured, and you can view post-ride, but it’s something I would have loved in the 25. Another bugbear is the fact that the charging cable is vendor specific, so I can’t use any of the micro-USB cables I have lying around. Not major, but just means it’s one other thing I have to (remember to) pack.
Overall it’s a very decent piece of kit, especially if on a budget. It’s very functional, but without any real wow factor, so I may upgrade it at some stage before it dies.