Garmin has unveiled the Edge 520, the first GPS bike computer integrated with Strava live segment challenges. In tandem, the company has unveiled the Varia line of smart cycling devices – incorporating a rearview bike radar and smart bike lights to help create a safer riding environment.
Garmin Edge 520
The new Edge 520 boasts a myriad of advanced analysis features including time in zone, functional threshold power, cycling-specific VO2 max and recovery time, indoor trainer support, cycling dynamics and in-ride challenges through Strava and Garmin Connect segments.
Additional connected features and a high-resolution, colour display offer cyclists ‘a complete package of cutting-edge features in a compact, lightweight device.’
“We’re excited to announce the Edge 520 and our strategic relationship with Strava – providing cyclists with the first GPS bike computer to have Strava live segments,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Worldwide Sales. “The Edge 520 taps into cyclists’ competitive edge and offers them the latest in innovative training tools.”
Segment challenges and advanced metrics
Garmin Edge products are positioned as the only GPS bike computers to feature Strava live segments. As the first GPS bike computer with Strava live segment challenges, users can send segments directly from Strava to their Edge 520 to receive instantaneous data, compete for King of the Mountain or Queen of the Mountain titles, and more. Additionally, the Edge 1000, Edge 810 and Edge 510 will add support for Strava live segments via a software update in Q3.
Users can also tap into their competitive edge with in-ride challenges through Garmin Connect segments. The Edge 520 provides new advanced performance and power analysis to maximize training efforts. Advanced metrics include time in zone, functional threshold power and watts/kg tracking, cycling-specific VO2 max estimate, a recovery advisor and cycling dynamics – revolutionary metrics that provide feedback to cyclists on their position and pedal form.
Display and connected features
The Edge 520’s aerodynamic design features a high-resolution, 2.3” colour display. With up to 15 hours of battery life and compatibility with GPS and GLONASS satellites, it is built to handle endurance rides. The Edge 520 integrates with compatible Shimano Di2 electronic shifting systems and standard ANT+ sensors including power meters, heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors, the newly announced Varia line of smart cycling devices (see below), remotes and VIRB. Additionally it pairs with compatible ANT+ indoor trainers for data display and control.
When paired with a compatible Bluetooth device the Edge 520 can instantly upload activities to Garmin Connect for post-ride analysis, instant sharing on social media, and with the Live Tracking feature users can allow family and friends to follow their rides in real time.
Users can also stay connected with family and friends during a ride with the Edge 520’s smart notifications that display incoming texts, calls and more. In Garmin Connect users can download courses and follow them on the device, receiving turn indications throughout a ride, and compete against other cyclists on previously ridden courses. Edge 520 users can upload to Garmin Connect and download courses and segments via a PC or Mac.
The Edge 520 is expected to begin shipping in Q3 and has a suggested retail price of £239.99 and £299.99 bundled with a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and speed sensor. It will be the on-bike device used by Team Cannondale-Garmin during races beginning in July.
Garmin Varia Headlights, Varia Radar and Varia Tail Light
The new Varia line of smart cycling devices includes, a first-of-its-kind rearview bike radar and smart bike lights. Helping create a safer cycling environment, the Varia rearview bike radar warns cyclists of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140m (150 yards) and also warns approaching vehicles of a cyclist ahead.
Varia smart bike lights automatically adjust to changing conditions as well as the speed of the cyclist. Both the radar and lights work independently, or seamlessly integrate with each other and with compatible Edge cycling computers, allowing cyclists to customize to their needs.
“As leaders in creating innovative cycling technology, we’re excited to introduce our line of cycling awareness products and take the next step in providing a complete experience for riders,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Worldwide Sales.
“Varia rearview bike radar and smart bike lights not only alert cyclists of vehicles, but also alert the vehicles of the cyclist. With Garmin cycling products you can now track all your essential stats with peace of mind on the roads.”
Varia Rearview Bike Radar
Garmin notes that each year approximately 726 cyclists are killed and an additional 49,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes, and of these incidents around 40% occur when a cyclist is hit from behind. As the first-of-its-kind radar system for bikes, the Varia rearview bike radar alerts the cyclist and the approaching vehicles to assist in creating a safer environment on the roads.
The system includes a radar tail light transmitter and a radar display unit. The radar tail light transmitter detects approaching vehicles from up to 140m (150 yards) behind and increases brightness as cars approach. When in flashing mode, it increases flashing intensity as well.
The radar display unit and compatible Edge cycling computers show up to eight vehicles as they approach, indicating increasing risk with a change in colour on an LED interface or using an overlay of the current data screen on an Edge device.
Varia Smart Bike Lights
Based on GPS data from a compatible Edge, the Varia headlight beam automatically projects further ahead at faster speeds during a ride and closer as a rider’s speed decreases, lighting the road where cyclists need it the most. It also focuses the light ahead instead of all around, shining 100 lux at 10m, and features a high-beam cut-off to prevent blinding oncoming vehicles.
The Varia tail light operates in solid and flashing modes, and increases intensity when the bike decelerates in order to warn approaching traffic. By adding a second tail light, cyclists can utilize turn signals, which can be controlled through a compatible Edge or the Varia remote. The Varia remote or Edge also controls the pattern, intensity and on/off function of the lights.
When paired with an Edge 1000, Varia smart bike lights can adjust their brightness based on ambient light conditions. Paired with other Edge devices the lights can automatically turn on and off, preventing accidental battery drain.
The Varia radar tail light is available for £159.99, or £239.99 bundled with the radar display unit. The Varia smart bike lights are available as a bundle including the Varia remote for £239.99, or separately for £159.99 (headlight) and £59.99 (tail light). All Varia smart cycling devices will begin shipping in Q3.