2013 Garmin Edge 810 and 510 GPS cycling computers with smartphone integration for live tracking and weather updates

With smartphone cycling apps offering more robust tracking and data reporting, one could question the relevance of standalone GPS cycling computers anymore. Well, Garmin has answered loud and clear, and it’s pretty compelling.

The new Garmin Edge 810 and Edge 510 devices bridge the gap between using a standalone smartphone app and a dedicated GPS cycling computer, giving you the best of both worlds while keeping your smartphone safely tucked away in a jersey pocket and saving battery life for emergency calls.

The killer upgrade is the integration with your smartphone, which adds features like real time weather and alerts, live ride tracking, remote route searches and instant post-ride uploads. The 810 and 510 both send and pull data from your phone via Bluetooth, letting the Edge to the heavy lifting while taking advantage of internet connectivity to provide a more robust feature set.

We spoke with Garmin’s PR manager Justin McCarthy to get the full scoop on the new devices…


Both devices use a touch screen to control all functions, and both have physical Lap and Start/Stop/Pause buttons on the face, and a power button on the side. If you have the movement-based auto-start/pause function turned on, you could use the device without ever using the front buttons.

The basic feature set includes the ability to track speed, distance, time, GPS position, elevation, calories burned, ascent and descent. Both the 810 and 510 sync wirelessly through ANT+ technology with compatible third-party power meters and Garmin/third-party heart rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors. They use a barometric altimeter for finer ascent/descent measurements. When a ride is complete, they display any new personal records achieved, such as farthest distance, most ascent gained and more. The devices will only come in the blacks shown here, but Garmin will have various colors of silicone covers that wrap around them to let you match your kit/bike and add a bit extra protection:

The 510 has a 2.2″ screen that shows a layout and contour of a course, but not street level mapping. So it can show you where you are in relation to a course that’s been uploaded and the path you’ve traveled. What it lacks in visual detail it makes up for in tracking detail. It pulls both GPS and GLONASS satellite data to give you a more accurate position. And, because GLONASS sats sit lower and there are more of them, it can pick up your location about 20% faster and track you better under tree cover or in deep canyons. This last part makes it a better option for mountain bikers, and it includes a short tether as a secondary attachment method for a bit more peace of mind. It’s waterproof, with claims that the touchscreen will work even when wet or with gloves, and it has a 20 hour battery life.

Roadies and bicycle tourers, however, may want the 810. It skips the GLONASS receviers, but adds street level mapping preloaded for the entire globe with mid-level detail. It’ll also have the ability to upload more detailed maps and overlays scanned from other sources. So, if you had a climbing stage in the Alps or were touring a National Park and wanted visual details on the street map, you could scan it in and have it viewable simultaneously over the navigation. It’s also compatible with Garmin’s Topo and Birdseye View maps, sold separately. Screen size is 2.6″ and it has a 17 hour battery runtime.

It’s important to point out that they’re not using the latest Bluetooth Smart (4.0) protocol, and Garmin chose to stick with a simple “enhanced data rate” BT because it’s compatible with more phones, particularly older smartphones. They’re also designed to only  communicate with your phone, they won’t talk to any other Bluetooth devices (ex. Wahoo’s BT speed/cadence or HR sensors) so you’ll need ANT+ accessories to fill the data feeds.

Lastly, both devices get new Activity Screens. These let you setup pages with specific metrics displayed based on either the type of activity and/or bike. Before, you could set up different bikes, but that only saved data about the bike. Now, you can save an Activity, say Time Trial, and it’ll show you only the info you want to see for that type of riding. Save another activity for Trail Riding and you’ll probably want to see more about weather, elevation and direction (or whatever), and those screens are ready to go when you grab your mountain bike.

2013 Garmin Edge 810 GPS cycling computer with navigation and smartphone integrationNAVIGATION

With the 810, if you have a pre-loaded City Navigator SD card in the device, you can pick a destination, enter an address or input coordinates and map your route. Of course, it’ll guide you on backroads and other cycling safe routes rather than highways, but it’ll essentially function the same way as a typical car GPS. Meaning, you could take it with you on foreign travel and get around just fine on bike and walking tours! Without the cards, the device has a stock worldwide base map that can guide you generally from points A to B, but no points of interest or minute detail.


At the heart of the system is the new Garmin Connect app, which is not the same as the existing Garmin Fit app. It’ll go live January 10 in the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace, and it’s free. Where the Fit app will track your location and acts as a “gateway” GPS cycling computer, the Connect app is meant only to complement the 510 and 810 GPS cycling computers. It won’t track your location on its own, but will allow you to pull up your online Connect account info even without one of the computers. It also acts as the conduit between the GPS and ride data captured by the Edge and weather and other data online, including your social networks and Connect account.


When it’s connected to your phone, the temperature and weather data is provided by Digital Cyclone. Both devices have a weather screen that shows the current conditions, including temperature, precipitation chance, wind direction and speed and an hourly forecast. Both devices will also pop up weather alerts if something bad’s on your way, and on the 810 a full color weather map will show up on your screen with the info. Alerts will pop up with a three hour notice, so you should have time to get home.


Live Tracking lets you invite others to view your ride in real time, watching your speed and location on their phone, tablet or computer. Have a heart rate monitor, power meter and speed/cadence sensor synced up? They’ll be able to view all of that data, too! This makes it a perfect tool for coaches, sure, but for us normal folks it lets us give our loved ones some peace of mind knowing where we are. It also lets us track our riding buddies’ locations so we can meet up mid ride.

The tracking data is, of course, transmitted via cell data, but McCarthy says it doesn’t use a ton of battery power like you might expect. Because the Edge is actually crunching all of the location, performance and tracking data, it means your phone is only transmitting the data periodically. Think of it as simply refreshing a web page rather than running the server. The current Garmin Fit app transmits data every 60 seconds for its live tracking feature, but there’s a fee to use it. The new Connect app updates every 30 seconds and it’s free to use!

Of course, you’ll need to be within decent cell coverage areas, but you should be able to turn off GPS/location services on your phone to further spare your battery.

2013 Garmin Edge 510 GPS cycling computer with live tracking and smartphone integrationINSTANT RIDE UPLOADS, ON-SITE ROUTE FINDER

One of the big complaints and causes for migration to phone-based cycling apps was the desire for cable-free ride uploads. Garmin knew this, and their solution well beyond just uploading your ride data.

If you have the option turned on in the app, as soon as you stop and save the ride, it’ll upload it to your Garmin Connect account. Which can be set up to automatically share your ride on Twitter and Facebook. For now, it won’t send the data straight to Strava, but there are work arounds. McCarthy says there are a lot of new features recently added and coming to Connect that’ll give riders a compelling reason to stick around and use Connect for their primary online training/social platform. Likely, those include performance comparisons (aka ‘bragging rights’), and Connect remains a completely free account.

Beyond just uploading your latest ride, you can now search and download other rides, routes and workouts through the app and send them directly to the Edge. Initially, users will be able to search their own courses and workouts and send them directly to the device. It’ll show you a log of all your activity, so you can dig back and recreate any ride you’ve ever saved to Garmin Connect. Or, you could create a workout on your iPad while you’re, um “getting ready in the morning”, save it, then pull it up on your phone and send it directly to your device wirelessly. That’s just the beginning.

Soon, you’ll also be able to search through Connect’s Explore option to find local courses and workouts uploaded by others and send them to your device. This makes it great for travelers looking for a good local ride, and it even lets you virtually race them. This feature will have safeguards built in, so you’ll only be able to see rides that have been made public, and not someone’s trip home from the grocery story, which protects users’ privacy. It’ll also let you send them a message or hook up for a ride. Given that the device and app will automatically upload rides, this should provide a very big database of rides.


The 810 will start shipping today, January 7th. The 510 will start shipping in a few weeks (read: late January, early February).

The 810 device is available on its own for $499, or as a $699 bundle that includes the HR monitor, speed/cadence sensor, Out Front mount and a City Navigator map card for your home country.

The 510 is $329 on its own, or $399 with the complete bundle (sans map SD card). With the Out Front mount running $39.99 on its own, the bundle is a very attractive upgrade for both.

This little video shows how it can all come together:


  1. 160 x 240 pixels!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    That’s 110.94dpi

    The original iPhone had a dpi of 163… and that’s five year old screen tech.

    The iPhone 5 has a dpi of 326. Nearly three times that of the 810.

    I was really hoping Garmin would have increased the resolution a little bit. Alas it would suck down more battery power… and I guess it’s not a complete necessity when data is the main thing you’ll be using the screen for.

    Sooooo… I answered my own dashed expectations!

    However I honestly can’t see anything revolutionary or any must have features to get me to upgrade.

    What are other peoples thoughts on the new Garmins?

  2. Dear Garmin,
    You have developed a product that forces me to carry my cell phone in order to stop me from using my cell phone as a cycling computer. Please wake up.

  3. No Bluetooth 4. Costs as much as a smartphone and does a fraction of what a smartphone does. The only advantage I see here is that accuracy will be higher than a typical phone but at this price ill deal.

  4. Nice selling features but nothing I gotta have for a good ride. My phone gives me weather and alerts. Seems to be more of a social based update to me to let others know your ride. The live ride tracking is good for a spouse/significant other to know though. But at this point, there isn’t enough for me to upgrade my Edge 500 yet. Maybe in a few years.

  5. At least the Product Names say it. 810 is only 10 more than 800…
    But still – what a crappy update. Instead of working on the real weak spots (unbelievably crappy display, horrible menues) they put in some far-fetched new features.

    (When we talked with a rep at Eurobike about the issues he just told us to wait for the new models.)

  6. to clarift, i asked about GLONASS too, but my original question was regarding something else… he didn’t just go on a rant about GPS and GLONASS… ha

  7. I hope that they open up uploading to other apps (TrainingPeaks and Strava), but assuming they do, this is exactly what I was missing. To never have to connect the device to a computer would be huge to me. If the apps are powerful enough to allow good workout and ride planning, that’s really a big deal to me. The social stuff could get interesting, but that’ll have to be wait and see.

  8. Any news on whether or not they’ve updated their speed/cadence sensor If you have beefy chain stays (which is more and more common) you’re forced to run the speed sensor arm pointing upwards, meaning that if it comes just a little out of position it will get ripped off. This is something they need to improve before adding all kinds of features people will never use.

  9. Not worth the upgrade from my 500. Other than battery life and better GPS signal, my iPhone can do a lot better. I can’t believe Garmin charges that much for a device that’s still years behind in technology. I think the 510 costs $80 more than the 500. For wireless sync only to Garmin Connect. Common Garmin, hire some Apple or Android engineers to improve your product.

  10. Not going to get rid of my 500 for this, but I suppose one day the battery will die and these look like some fun new features. Vaughters as the “evil overlord” in that video is pretty funny. Wish Garmin had put the BT 4.0 in the 910xt before shipping it. I’m gonna want one when they release the 920xt.

  11. I’m not paying money to add 23.3 more grams on my bike. I can only justify paying for loosing weight 😉

    Furthermore my rides are secret. I don’t feel the need to share them :p

    My 500 has all the 56.7 grams I need. No need to upgrade here. 🙂

  12. jes lads, get an ant card for your computer, and when you roll your horse in the barn it’s already connected. obviously you have to dig 3x 500 battery, but my strava score is so bad nobody needs to see it before i get home.

  13. To the phone users, what’s great about the Edges is the always-on screen, usability with gloves, waterproofing, and huge battery life. And you can put OpenStreetMap on the 800. Happy 800-user.

  14. Great: GLONASS, activity screens, weather alerts, wireless upload, live tracking. Bad: Wireless upload seems to be Connect only. Remains to be seen whether they’ll open up that feature for Strava and others, or let it stay cable/sdcard only for them (if at all). Also hope the map format will still be open so that you can put OpenStreetMap on it, as with the 800.

  15. What’s with the comments about 3x battery life on the 500?
    Garmin.com shows (500 and 510 respectively):
    Battery life: up to 18 hours up to 20 hours

    As far as I can tell that’s +2hrs…

  16. I see the haters with iPhones are out and about. I don’t get it. I tried my iPhone as a bike computer and frankly found it an awkward size for my bars. I was also concerned that in an accident my phone was a “goner” and would leave me stranded etc. Look I like my 800 and it hasn’t failed me wherever I’ve used it in the world. I agree some better software would be welcome and maybe the 810 brings that, but it looks evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.

  17. Mindless – I asked them specifically why no where seems to state that both have GLONASS, and he told me the tech person he talked to said “both models” had GLONASS. His words.

  18. @Johnny C

    I am pretty sure you can’t use ANT+ to upload with the regular EDGE 500. I think that’s what you are trying to say, but it isn’t compatible that way. If I am mistaken, please correct me because I would love to upload without dealing with the crappy connector.

  19. Dear Garmin, Please concentrate on sorting the crappy low res screen and the appaling software (creating and sharing routes etc) that comes with your devices. Once you have fixed these issues, maybe then worry about wireless connectivity.

    Here is a tip. My battery lasts a fraction of the time that the memory will hold. I still have to plug the damn thing in to charge it.

  20. I am going to get a new CatEye Stealth 50 hen they come out in Feburary. With a retail price of $150.00 why would I spend $500 or more for something that I already get with Strava on my phone. Plus the CatEye is not the size of an iPad like the Garmin.

  21. The key thing is the price. With the Stealth 50 around the corner for 1/3 the price and the fact that they didn’t push the 500 down in price and position the 510 at the same price point, it’s a tough sell.

    If Strava picks up the Stealth 50, Garmin is going to loose a LOT of business.

  22. I’ve always been a fan of the simplicity of the CatEye computers and when I finally made the switch to an Edge500 this past summer, I always found it slightly on the frustrating side. Nothing overly complex, I just missed the hop-on-and-go ease of the CatEye. Excited for the 510 and now interest is piqued in the Stealth…

  23. Garmin….

    You might want to pay attention to a company called Leikr!

    Leikr just launched a Kickstarter for a product that will make the Garmin 500, 510, 800, 810 obsolete!

    Leikr supports Smart Bluetooth AND ANT+
    – forget get the excuse I want to support “old school” cellphones! You build devices for the future… Not to support old stuff that won’t be used in a year or two!

    Leikr base model has GPS maps integrated
    – garmin both your devices are (practically) the same size! Simplify your product line! One device that has maps! My cellphone has maps… Your 510 device doesn’t… And your 510 requires me to carry my cellphone to work!! That is ridiculous!

    Leikr has a 320×240 2-inch screen more comparable to a modern cellphone
    – garmin what did you do… Stick to the old crappy display…

    DC Rain Maker reviewed the Garmin 510 & 810
    – conclusion you took so long to update a product that people loved… And completely ignored flaws and forced on stuff that doesn’t make much difference! Seriously… A Microsoft in the face of demise… an Apple style company is going to crush Garmin in the sports watch/computer market. Step up your game before it is too late!

    FYI… I use my iPhone 5 to track my rides and send them to Strava. Took out the middle men (Garmin & Garmin Connect)!

    I also just backed Leiker on Kickstarter because that is one piece of tech that will do everything better than my cellphone while being waterproof…. Something I wished this new garmin release would have done!


  24. I have an 800 and see no reason to upgrade to the 810 or 510 until they let it synch automatically with Strava and/or Training Peaks.
    I would consider it if the 810 had the GLONASS upgrade but it doesn’t. Their site still says no under that feature. I do a lot of mtn biking and would want that feature.

    I would actually switch to the 51o if it did the auto synch.

What do you think?