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Garmin Edge 530 | Complete test and review

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The Garmin Edge 530 promises to not only match the success of the Edge 520, but surpass it. And the truth... it has countless reasons to do so. Before this Edge 530 there was an Edge 520 Plus, but the truth is that it went through the market without any shame or glory given the small differences with the rest of the range and, above all, considering that the Edge 820 was also there at a very similar price.

History has changed as the Edge 530 has made a remarkable leap in quality. It is almost at the level of the Garmin Edge 830from which very few things separate him. 

I'm not just talking about a remarkable leap in performance or speed (which is very obvious), but also in features. Garmin has given the Edge 530 a lot of new software and has not saved anything for its big brothers. So I see a tougher future for the Edge 830 in this generation because, except for the touch screen and small navigation details, both offer the same.

After many hours of testing with the Edge 530 I'm in a position to tell you all the details of Garmin's latest cycling product. These last few days have seen a lot of pedaling -if you follow me on Strava you'll have noticed- The pressure from Garmin to return the press units has been high (they have to rotate them through the media), but it's been enough time to check the operation of both this Edge 530 and the Edge 830 and to be able to tell you all their strengths (and weaknesses).

Remember that if you like the content I offer, this analysis has helped you (because unlike others, here we do analyze the real product and I don't just repeat the feature sheet calling it "the best analysis" without even having touched the product) and you want to collaborate by supporting the site, you can do so by buying your new Garmin Edge (or anything else, like this pizza cutter that no cyclist should be without) through the links I provide. That way I will receive a small commission which is what supports the page and the many hours needed to perform all these tests.

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Let's go with the test!

Garmin Edge 530

Summary

Overall operation - 7
Training possibilities - 9
Platform and applications - 10
Autonomy - 9.5
Finishes and comfort - 7
Price/performance ratio - 9.5

8.7

Total

Could it be the best GPS computer on the market? It would be ranked very high... but there is no doubt that it is the one that offers the best price/performance ratio. The only thing I didn't like was the touch of the buttons and that at the moment compatibility with Galileo is problematic. But if all the problems I can put to it are limited to that...

See price
User Rating: 4.14 ( 5 votes)


The good

  • It's fast in menus, but especially in route calculation
  • Many new features, several of them never seen before
  • Focused not only on road cycling, but also on mountain biking
  • It costs 100 euros less than the Edge 830 and has very little to envy

The bad

  • The button feel when pressed can be improved, and there is a problem with the back button on the first units
  • Forksight depends on an external database. If there are no marked trails in your area... there is no Forksight for you
  • Very little work on Spanish translations
  • Although in general I have had good GPS performance, I have had problems when selecting the GPS + Galileo option

Garmin Edge 530, all new

The Garmin Edge 530 is loaded with new features, some of which are very interesting, but before we get to the software, let's take a look at the physical differences from the Edge 520, which is the model it replaces (or the Edge 520 plus, depending on what you want to look at).

Its design changes, now has a more rounded aesthetic. But above all, the screen which is now bigger (from 2,3″ to 2,6″). 

There are also important new features inside, including the new Sony GNSS chipset This Sony chipset is remarkably sparing in its battery usage, which allows to give some figures of autonomía frankly good without the need to increase the physical size of the battery.

But the change I like the most is undoubtedly its processor, much more powerful than until now and that not only allows the device to feel faster when we move through the menus, but especially when we make use of navigation functions. It is now capable of loading routes in a few seconds, when in the Edge 520 or Edge 520 Plus (even the Edge 820) we were talking about minutes.

In short, these are the hardware differences from the Edge 520:

  • Larger screenfrom 2.3″ to 2.6″
  • New Sony chipset for greater autonomy
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life (and 48 hours in battery saving mode)
  • Much faster processor
  • You now have WiFi for synchronization of all data such as routes, activities, etc. Previously it was reserved for higher models
  • Add light sensor to vary the intensity of the screen light (and also for the use of Garmin Varia lights)
  • Compatible with sensors Bluetooth in addition to the traditional ANT+
  • Compatible with the external battery Garmin Edge

And it's not all about increasing autonomy or adding WiFi, where the most novelty is in terms of its software. And as the newest aspect with a special care towards mountain biking, something important since until now the Garmin Edge had always been more focused on its use on the road.

  • MTB-specific metrics. It tracks distance and duration of your jumps, the difficulty of the route and the fluidity of the descent
  • Complete maps for road and mountain that, as a novelty, includes data of Trailforks with information about the trails we're riding on
  • When you make navigation routes and stop at a fork in the road, the display shows different options, which are presented below. This function is called ForkSight
  • ClimbPro, a function we first saw in the Fenix 5 Plus that separate the climbs individually, indicating the distance and elevation remaining to complete each one of them. It's a unique view of the climb we're suffering at that exact moment, not the overall route
  • Dynamic Performance Monitoring, Now, given the heathumidity and altitude for recovery and performance metrics
  • Nutrition and hydration alerts are also dynamicBased on different values, the Edge will recommend how much we should be eating and moisturizing, and will also record what we have taken and we can see it later in the Garmin Connect
  • Find my edge, in case the edge is dropped, it will be marked at what point you lost the connection with your phone, to try to find it when you know where it could be taken down
  •  Alarm Once the function has been activated, and thanks to the internal accelerometers, an alarm will sound in case the bike moves. Ideal for when you stop at a bar or gas station to rehydrate
  • Critical power curve, something similar to what you'll find in apps like TrainingPeaks, Golden Cheetah or similar
  • Interface user redesignedA change of look to make it more modern, although everything will be very familiar

Of course I'm going to go over each and every one of those features, but before I do I'll remind you how it differs from the Edge 830.

Differences with Edge 830

The main difference is the priceThat's the first thing you're going to notice (especially in the weight in your pocket that will leave you with an extra 100 in your wallet). But it's not the only thing, there are other things you should be aware of:

  • The Edge 530 does not have a touch screen and is operated through the side buttons. It has a total of 7 buttons
  • Edge 530's navigation is simpler. You can't enter an address to navigate to that point, nor does it have a database of points of interest. But it does have a complete map of Europe with all roads and streets, and almost every trail
  • Edge 530 does not allow you to vary the scale of the route altitude profile page, while Edge 830 does (because it allows you to "click" on each axis and directly zoom in or out)

And that's it, that's the difference between the two. The way of control and the possibilities of navigation. That's where the 100 euro difference is, because in all other respects the two are identical.

It's true that the Edge 830 offers more options when it comes to creating routes, but it all depends on what you use and how you navigate. I personally wouldn't use them very often since I usually leave home with a route already loaded.

In doing so, there is no difference between the navigation of one device and the other, both have complete maps, turn signal in advance and route recalculation in case you go off the beaten track. 

That's not to say I wouldn't be just as happy with the Edge 530. In fact, if I didn't have one in each hand, I'd find the Edge 530 really great for its price, although I'm more attracted to the Edge 830 because of its touch screen. Especially since I don't like the button feel of the Edge 530.

All cleared up? Well, I'm going to refresh your memory a bit with everything you can do with an Edge and some new things it includes.

A quick review of the Garmin Edge 530

If you're already used to using a Garmin Edge I won't kid you, the Edge 530 is pretty much the same. It's not a radical change of experience, but if you come from newer models (Edge 520, Edge 820, etc.) it will seem like everything stays in place.

Of the two models that Garmin presented together (this Edge 530 and the Edge 830), the main difference between the two is the control mode. In the case of the Edge 530, the screen is not touch-sensitive, and all control is through the buttons on the sides of the computer.

In fact, aesthetically it's the only way to differentiate them.

Garmin Edge 530 and Garmin Edge 830

As usual at Garmin, their devices don't stand out for their button feel, so we know we've pressed the button - it's absent in the Edge 530.

And to add more fuel to the fire, the back button is especially uninformative. Garmin says it has already found the source of the problem and modified the manufacturing tools for the rear casing, but if the first run has been of thousands of units, there are probably many more out there... 

In my test unit I haven't noticed a bad behavior in the return button (the lower right one), or at least not much worse than the rest of the buttons, which I already say I'm not enthusiastic about. Many users have complained that when they press the button there is no response from the Edge, for the simple reason that no pressure has been made.

The button layout is the same as on the Edge 520. On the left side are buttons to turn the device on and off along with scroll buttons that allow you to move through menus as well as change data screens. On the right side are buttons to confirm or turn back, while at the bottom are the main buttons to start/pause the activity and mark a turn.

Garmin Edge 530 - Buttons Garmin Edge 530 - Buttons Garmin Edge 530 - Buttons

And for continuing to review the outside of the device, if you turn it over you will see that it now has some charging pins on the bottom.

Garmin Edge 530 - Battery Pins

They're so you can use the Garmin extended batteryIt is certainly not an accessory that has been sold excessively, not only because of its price but because not many users will need more than those 20 hours of use without being near an outlet.

After turning on the computer, you'll see the main menu screen. It's different now in its presentation, but basically everything stays the same. And obviously, given the differences in the way the device is operated, it's completely different from the Edge 830.

Edge 530 - Menu

At the top you will have sensor data, GPS signal status or time, temperature and battery information.

If we press the up scroll button you will access a quick status menu with direct access to GPS configuration, screen brightness or sensors. Pressing it down we enter the main menu and if we press the upper right button we can select the activity profile to be used.

Garmin Edge 530 | Full Test & Analysis 1 Garmin Edge 530 | Full Test & Analysis 2 Garmin Edge 530 | Full Test & Analysis 3

The profiles are fully configurable both in functions, data pages and the data we want to display. You can customize its name, color, if you want to display segments automatically, reminders of nutrition / hydration, etc.

Within the customization options we have the possibility to choose the GPS options. Another new feature is the possibility to choose GPS+Galileo (but I will talk about this later). The Edge 530 adds this option thanks to the use of the Sony chipset, which virtually all manufacturers are using in the last months. 

Garmin Edge 530 - GPS Modes

The use of Sony's chipset is the one that besides offering compatibility with Galileo satellites also allows the autonomy that the new devices reach.

Within the possibilities of configuring the sport profiles we also have options to display some graphics.

Garmin Edge 830 - Data Graph

They are data fields that are quite interesting a priori, but the truth is that I personally opt for the more classic options of traditional fields. It's what I've gotten used to and what I want to see on screen (and in a way a TOC for not having in front of me what I'm used to seeing). I always have a main screen with the same data, and I have it like that in all the devices (except in the Edge 130 that I have a specific configuration for competition).

Garmin Edge 530 - Configured Display

As for the sensors you use on your bike, you don't have to add them individually to each profile - they are all added in the same place and then the Edge 530 will simply connect to the ones it finds, no matter what bike you use.

New to this Edge 530 is that you can also use Bluetooth sensorsToday it's not so new because the vast majority of sensors have dual ANT+/Bluetooth compatibility, but it's still interesting that Garmin is going down this road.

And speaking of sensors, this is all you can pair with the Garmin Edge 530.

  • Heart rate, ANT+ or Bluetooth
  • Speed and/or cadence, ANT+ or Bluetooth
  • Potentiometer, ANT+ or Bluetooth
  • Smart rollers, with ANT+ FE-C
  • Electronic changes, ANT+ or ANT
  • Electric Bikes eBike, ANT+
  • Lights, ANT+ (both Garmin and other manufacturers)
  • Radar, Garmin Varia via ANT+
  • Garmin Varia Vision, through ANT+
  • Garmin remote control, ANT+
  • Garmin Varia camera, via ANT+

My recommendation is that as far as possible you connect the sensors via ANT+This is simply because it does not block the use of the sensor by other devices and because it is generally less problematic.

And speaking of dual sensors, the Edge 830 pack includes Garmin's new ANT+/Bluetooth speed, cadence and heart rate sensors. The heart rate sensor was introduced a few weeks ago, but the cadence and speed sensors are new with both the Edge 530 and 830. The speed sensor also has a little surprise in store, as it has a memory that allows you to record workouts without the need for any other device.

The information displayed after completion of training is now more comprehensive as it includes all the details of physiological metrics such as training load, Training Effect etc.

Garmin Edge 530 - Training Status

Garmin Edge 530 - Training Effect

And as always, after syncing with your phone or via WiFi when you get home your workout will be automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect, where you can see all your workout details, both in the mobile application and via the website.

Here I leave you link to one of my trainings so you can check all the details yourself.

New features

Everything you've seen before is pretty much the same as what's been in the Edge units so far, but there are a lot of new features in the Edge 530 software that deserve to be explained in detail, so I'll go through them one by one with all the details to clear up any doubts you may have.

Specific functions for mountain biking (MTB)

For the first time Garmin puts a little something special into mountain biking. Until now all their devices have been geared towards cycling in general, but we all had the feeling that road biking was being done with road biking in mind and that mountain bikers were "adapting to what was out there".

This has changed completely in the new Edge 530 as it now offers a multitude of possibilities geared exclusively to MTB, from specific data fields, to the ability to measure data from your jumps, to specific navigation functions designed exclusively for mountain trails. 

Distance and duration of jumps

Every time you make a minimally interesting jump (i.e. not worth going down a curb), the Edge 530 will record it along with metrics specific to that jump.

This is done by combining the data from the internal accelerometer along with the GPS speed data. A small line will appear at the bottom of the Edge screen as soon as the jump is completed with the details of the jump.

Garmin Edge 530 - Jump

The data it indicates are:

  • Hang upThe time you've spent in the air
  • Dist.Distance you have travelled without touching the ground
  • SpeedLogically, at the speed you've taken the jump

It's actually kind of funny and we haven't seen it before. I like it! Although I'd ask Garmin to show the data after the jump in full screen so I could see the details at a glance.

Most often when you make a jump you're on a descent, and I'm sure you have more important things to pay attention to than the Edge's display to see how much time you've spent in the air.

When you finish your training you can access the jump summary of your outing.

Garmin Edge 530 - Jump Summary

In Connect you will be able to see a little more detail because it will also assign you a score.

Garmin Edge 530 - Jump

And they are also marked on the map of the activity, so you can see where you have made that jump and, why not, compare them with those of your fellow participants.

Garmin Edge 530 - Jump

Difficulty of the journey

It is a metric that applies a score to each route, using factors such as speed of ascent and descent thanks to the GPS, the angle of the turns, etc.

The higher the number, the more difficult the route. Thus, a route up to 20 points is rated as easy, between 20 and 40 points as moderate, and from there on it is hard.

Garmin Edge 530 - Difficulty

You can have data on the total difficulty of the route or the lap, so you can mark a lap at the beginning of a difficult ascent (or descent) and see which rating applies to that route. The difficulty score is quite comparable between two cyclists riding the same route, so you can compare two different routes to see which is rated harder even if you have not done it.

Again, this data is recorded in Garmin Connect as a graph (also note that the jumps are shown here as in the previous map).

Garmin Edge 530 - Difficulty

Fluidity

Fluidity gives a score to evaluate how well you have done on a route, especially on the flat and downhill. The objective is not to have abrupt speed changes. The lower the number the better you have done the route.

Unlike the difficulty, this metric can change completely between two riders on the same route, and if your partner is worse at cornering and brakes more on the way in, he will have a higher score than you.

Garmin Edge 530 - Flowability

As well as the difficulty you can have the metric for the entire start, or mark a lap when you are going to start a descent to see your effectiveness on that specific part of the route.

Again in Garmin Connect you will have a flow chart, as in the case of the difficulty.

Garmin Edge 530 - Flowability

But also in the map of the activity, establishing the color codes in the zones of sudden deceleration.

Garmin Edge 530 - Flowability

Trailfork maps and ForkSight function

Trailforks is a database of mountain bike trails, mainly maintained by users to have the best data and information on each of the routes. The main difference with other similar platforms (such as Wikiloc) is that Trailforks was created from the beginning for mountain biking.

Buscador de chollos

Edge 530 includes this database in the integrated maps, so the maps for routes are not only for roads or large rural roads, there are also interesting trails for cycling, along with evaluations of those routes.

However, first you have to unlock the maps, for which you have to access your Trailforks account (free of charge). In the navigation menu you have to go to the option "Navigate mon bike routes" and you will be asked to log in via your mobile phone, then the Trailforks data will be unlocked.

This is different from the existing Trailforks Connect IQ application (which is pre-loaded on the device), where you can take advantage of Trailforks integration by downloading routes from your account, etc. But you don't need an Edge 530 for that, you can install it on any other Connect IQ compatible computer.

Garmin Edge - App Trailforks Connect IQ

But perhaps the most interesting option of all the Edge 530 is what Garmin has called ForkSightAfter unlocking the Trailforks data on the maps this feature will be enabled, showing a screen each time you stop at a fork in the road as long as there is a known route at that turn point.

That means you won't miss a screen at each and every fork in the road to tell you what's next or what you'll find.

This is a database, and for it to work logically there has to be data stored. Unfortunately in my area there is not much work around (don't forget that this is done by the community), so I haven't had much chance to try it out either. If I go to the Trailforks website and look for routes in my area unfortunately I can't find anything.

Trailforks Marbella

This is the specific part of "Trails" on the right menu where you can see them. There are several in the area of Ojen, but with a lot of separation. The summary is that it is 33km what appears in the database.

However, if we go to another area... what do I know, a part of Colorado where there is a lot of passion for mountain biking, things are very different.

Trailforks Colorado

Many more catalogued trails and 14,000km of routes.

ForkSight would work in the case of stopping at some crossroads where one of those trails is present. The idea is very good but the problem you face is to depend on an external service that also feeds on the users. And if there are no users in the area... there is no information.

Still here is an example of what you might find. I have simply done a search of mountain routes in the area of the northern mountains of Madrid, this is the list that would appear on your screen. 

Garmin Edge 830 - Trailforks

In that list you can look for the different options that are catalogued by their level of difficulty, length and in some cases the estimated time to complete them.

By selecting the path you will be able to see what it looks like and where it goes, as well as the things around it. If there are many routes in the area it might be a bit confusing, but with a little care and after getting used to how each one is shown you will see it quite clearly.

Garmin Edge 830 - Trailforks

The idea is good, but its real usefulness depends on what you have nearby. You can keep an eye on the Trailforks website And if you already register in the application and start marking routes, then more things will appear in the future to your fellow cyclists.

Find my Edge

Finally there is the "Find my Edge" function which, although perfectly valid to use at any time perhaps it is in mountain biking where it makes the most sense (because of the potholes, falls, etc.).

It's much simpler than you might think. It simply records the time when the Edge 530 and your mobile phone have lost connection. A notification will appear on your phone's display indicating that the Edge has been disconnected, which will also vibrate any smart watch you wear on your wrist to warn you.

Garmin Edge - Find My Edge

If you select "Last Known Location" in the device options, it will show you on Google Maps where your Edge lost connection with your mobile phone.

Garmin Edge - Find My Edge

Just head over there and wait for your phone and the Edge to reconnect. What's a scrub area and you can't see it with the naked eye? You can have the Edge sound an alarm to help you locate it.

Garmin Edge - Find My Edge

All you have left is to pray that when you return to the place where you lost it, it will still be there waiting for you...

ClimbPro

The function ClimbPro We've seen it before on other devices. It premiered with the Garmin Fenix 5 PlusClimbPro separates the main climbs on your route and displays them separately as a climb profile. 

In order for it to be displayed, you must be travelling a previously loaded route, since logically the Edge has to know where you are going in order to show you the information of the climbs. Therefore, if you do not load a route, the details of the climbs will not appear even if you have the Tourmalet in front of you. 

When loading the route, you will be able to see the list of climbs you will face from the route options, in the climbs menu.

Garmin Edge 530 - ClimbPro List

In the upper part you will see a summary of the total number of metres you will climb, the number of main climbs and the number of kilometres you will cover, and in the lower part you will see a breakdown of each climb with information on the kilometre from which the climb begins, the average gradient and the length of the climb.

You can see the same screen during the training, knowing the remaining distance for the next steep climb, eliminating those you have already gone through.

When you are on the route and approaching the climb, the ClimbPro screen will be displayed, showing you the distance remaining to complete the climb, the positive meters ahead, and where you are. 

Garmin Edge 530 - ClimbPro

The colour coding highlights the hardest areas of the climb, dividing them into different categories:

  • GreenFalse flat, from 0% to 3%
  • YellowThat's what you're saying that's biting up, from 3% to 6%
  • OrangeWell, it didn't seem that big a deal, from 6% to 9%
  • RedWhen you know your legs are going to hurt, from 9 to 12%
  • Dark redI don't bring development for this, I better turn around", more from 12%

This is one more data screen and includes a couple of data fields that you can customize with the information you want (so you don't have to leave that screen).

However, it depends a lot on the quality of the cartography, in this case from Garmin. In my outings I have found that it is not well calculated and there are areas in the graph where it applies ups and downs. The reality is that it is a constant uphill. Therefore neither the remaining positive meters nor the exact profile of the route coincide.

The route I did this weekend was just over 3,000 metres long, but when it came down to it was "only" 2,100 metres. So when it came down to a 1,500-metre climb, I didn't know if it was a real climb or an artificial one. 

But well, although the data was not accurate in my particular case is a help to be grateful, especially because you see what you have left in this rise and at any time you can know what lies ahead, even if it is simply "approximate".

Along with ForkSight it's one of my favorite new Edge's. Not only because it helps you see what's left to suffer next, but also because mentally it's a help to be able to separate a hard route into different portions.

Dynamic performance metrics

The Garmin Edge 530 now has performance metrics, but with dynamic adjustment depending on what conditions we have performed the workout. This is a feature that comes directly from Firstbeat (like the rest of the calculation algorithms that Garmin uses).

Garmin Edge 530 - Firstbeat

When calculating the training status, you apply correction factors when there are significant changes in temperature, humidity or altitude values.

For example, for acclimatization to the temperature you will take into account significant changes from 22 º C. That is, there has to be a major change, for example, to be training at 18 º C regularly and suddenly that your next workout is at 26 º C. If you spend all summer training with those 26 º C, it will not show any information on acclimatization, because obviously you're already used to the effort in those conditions.

Garmin Edge - Temperature Acclimatization

The same is true for the altitude, where changes have to occur from 850m. The conditions are the same, there has to be a major change in the training conditions, such as always being training at sea level and one day making a trip at 1500m.

Nutrition and hydration

First of all we have the nutrition and hydration alerts. You will say that they were already available before as an alert, and I have to agree with you. It has always been possible to set an alert that would remind you to eat or drink every 10 minutes or as long as you feel like it. This is different.

Now it is possible to set both alerts intelligently. The frequency of the alerts will depend on the settings you have entered in your profile (height and weight), the current temperature and humidity data (obtained through the connection with the mobile phone and the internal thermometer) and the intensity of the exercise.

We should not forget that these are simply recommendations, not that you have to follow them to the letter. If you have another plan, such as stopping for lunch in 30 minutes or have a specific career plan, you logically know more than Garmin.

Garmin Edge 530 - Drink

And if it doesn't remind you when and how much you should drink and eat, at least let it remind you that you eat very little when you go out on your bike.

This is linked to the hydration and nutrition tracking you can do when you finish a workout (the screen only appears for workouts longer than 90 minutes). Upon completion of the workout, screens will appear asking you to enter what you have consumed during your ride.

Garmin Edge 530 - Hydration Garmin Edge 530 - Nutrition

That data will also be synchronised to Garmin Connect where you can see that you almost always drink and eat far less than you should. 

Garmin Edge - Hydration and Nutrition

It is not something that will totally change your training or your performance, but it is a good reminder of good practices to follow and it is not superfluous to write down what you have consumed during the start so that, with regard to the sensations you have after a long workout, you can modify your nutrition and hydration strategy for future training or competitions.

Theft alarm

There is a new function that makes use of the internal accelerometers that the device has. This is an alarm function that will alert you if, once the function is activated, there is any movement in the bike.

This is not a terribly loud alarm, but is rather intended for when you stop in the middle of a route and move a few meters away from the bike. If someone moves it or touches it, the alarm will be activated and the Edge will start to sound (although not too loudly...).

Garmin Edge 530 - Alarm

All events that happen with the alarm will be notified on the mobile phone, so you know at all times if the alarm has been activated or deactivated.

Garmin Connect - Alarm notification

And because they are notifications, they will also be displayed on any smart watch you wear (whether it's a Garmin watch or any other), so you will also have a warning as soon as there is a movement on the bike.

Garmin Connect - Alarm notification

Will it prevent your bike from being stolen? Not at all, but it is a function that can be useful if you have stopped for a moment to go to the bathroom, buy water or drink a coffee and you are not by your bike all the time.

As I say, it's not that the warning sound is loud or that everyone around you hears it, but the message on the mobile is always a detail and although not too loud, it's always better than nothing. It's normal that you're not too far from the bike, but you might want to talk to the group and not worry about it. The warning on both the Edge and the phone will alert you as soon as there's a movement.

Critical power curve

The power curve is somewhat similar to what we can find in applications such as TrainingPeaks, Golden Cheetah or similar, although in this case where it is shown is on the screen of the Edge.

Garmin Edge 830 - Power curve

I put the image of the Edge 830, because by some bug present in the firmware of the Edge 530 is automatically moved to the bottom of the screen, something that I hope Garmin correct in the next version of firmware.

You can see the power curve for one month, three months and one year together with the data and the duration of the effort. 

Personally I think the data we can see on the small screen of the Edge 530 does not give much, but at least we can find the same report in Garmin Connect where we can move the mouse and see the details more accurately.

Garmin Connect power curve

Route navigation

Garmin Edge 530 - Navigation and Turning

I don't want to dwell on this section too much, not because there are no noticeable changes in Edge 530 from Edge 520 (I forget about Edge 520 plus), but because I don't want to drag this test out unnecessarily.

The Edge 530 has a complete map of the continentIn the case of devices bought in Spain, it therefore includes maps of the whole of Europe (remember this and be careful with purchases from sellers outside Spain... all the links I provide include maps of Spain and Europe).

The map contains information about all streets and roads, so when you make a navigation route it will indicate that you should turn into such a street or take the third exit from the roundabout.

The only difference with Edge 830 is that in the case of Edge 530 we cannot create the route from the device, but must send it from Garmin Connect or upload the route file from an external service (Strava, Wikiloc, from the organizer, etc.) Nor is there any information on points of interest (POIs or POI's), so we cannot create a route from where we are to the nearest supermarket, or that leads to a gas station.

Does this present any problems in use? Well, it all depends on how you navigate. If you normally go out with a route already planned, you will have created or loaded it directly from your computer and the guidance will be exactly the same on the Edge 530 as on the Edge 830.

However, if you move around in unfamiliar areas, do not have easy access to a computer or phone, or do a lot of cycling, then you will need the route calculation possibilities offered by the superior model.

In the case of the Edge 530, you can do this, but not by entering an address or POI, but by opening the map and moving the cursor to the chosen point to tell the Edge 530 where you want to go.

Is that clear? Good.

Regardless of this, where we most notice the jump to Edge 530 is that the processor is now much faster. That means that when we load a route we only need a few seconds to be able to start navigation. On Edge 520 and Edge 520 plus we could be talking about minutes.

Of course you will have a turn signal before you reach an intersection along with the remaining distance for the turn. 

Garmin Edge 530 - Route Navigation

The turn indication is displayed whether you are on the map screen or any other data screen.

If for whatever reason you do not take that detour, the Garmin Edge 530 will try to find you an alternative. This may be simply turning around when possible or recalculating your route to get you to your destination.

In other words, it's not like the simple navigation of the clock that simply tells you which direction the route is, but creates a new route for you to find the right one.

Finally, please note that the Garmin Connect application on your phone is also capable of quickly creating routes with the same capabilities offered by Edge 830 and Edge 1030, indicating the direction to go and the approximate distance to cover.

Garmin Edge - Garmin Connect Routes

The creation of return routes is quite well resolved. Perhaps knowing the roads would not be the same routes I would use, but they are well chosen.

There is also the possibility of creating a route manually by marking the points one by one, but so far I haven't had good results and I think Garmin should work on it a little more. 

GPS

Generally I do not usually make comparisons of GPS for bicycle computers, as it is something that due to its location on the handlebars and the size of the device does not usually present any kind of problem except for sporadic failures.

However, the case of Edge 530 (and Edge 830) is different: firstly because Garmin is starting to work with Sony's chipset, with which all manufacturers have had their ups and downs due to its aggressive battery consumption -which is its best asset- and secondly because while I have been using them I have been seeing strange things that were attributed to GPS.

For example, on this bike ride, on the first climb and at a certain point, the Edge 830 insistently marked that it was off the marked route. Yes, it was a mountainous area, but not at all complicated. 

It had a different configuration between Edge 530 and Edge 830. The first was set to GPS + GLONASS while the second was set to GPS + Galileo.

You don't even need to zoom in to see where the problems have been - in fact, it wasn't a one-off failure, it went on for quite a few miles.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

Here you can see the first area where the Garmin Edge 830 was totally lost. And we're not talking about a metre or two off-road, it was very I insist that this is not a very steep canyon or one with coverage problems, in fact none of the other three devices were lost. 

And just as the problem came, it went, taking the same route again.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

Later he did the same thing again, but at a greater distance. Again only the Edge 830. 

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

I finally decided to change its configuration to GPS + GLONASS just like the Edge 530, and it didn't give any more problems.

It is not only a location failure, I also received several messages that I had lost satellite signal at the beginning of the ascent in places where there was no reason for it to happen. During the rest of the training and once I switched to GPS + GLONASS there were no other problems.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

I have done several tests with both Edge 530 and Edge 830 configuring GPS + Galileo and the failure has been repeated, so it is something Garmin must work on. However leaving the configuration in GPS or GPS + GLONASS there has not been any incident, so it is not a chipset or antenna problem but simply something that Garmin can (and must) correct in successive firmware updates.

Below I show you another workout on a different day, in this case on a mountain bike.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

In this case, I did not notice any problem either on the way up or on the way down. The route was parallel to the river and the way back was along the same route. 

This is one of the most twisted sections and, as you can see, there are no noticeable errors.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

Nor when circulating within the population between buildings, which is typically what can present greater problems.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

A third example, driving much faster (road bike, not too steep slopes).

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

Once again, there are no major problems, not even in the most complicated area because it is a narrow canyon. On this road, you pass both ways, and there are no tracks that have deviated from that area.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - GPS

What about the elevation? Well, in general I have not had any problems. I have never done any calibration of the devices before starting the route, so the graphs are not exactly the same at the start and finish, but they are all perfectly parallel at all times (except in the case of the Garmin Forerunner 245, which does not have a barometric altimeter).

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - Altitude

Here's another example, also totally perfect.

Garmin Edge 530 - Garmin Edge 830 - Altitude

In short, except for the problems that are currently in firmware version 3.20 with the configuration of GPS + Galileo, there are no other details that concern me. The tracking is good as long as we select GPS or GPS+GLONASS and there are no signal failures or errors in the tracks.

The altimeter data is correct on both units and matches on all devices, so that's not something I'm worried about either.

I still hope that Garmin can correct that firmware error in its GPS + Galileo configuration because, a priori, it is the configuration that can offer the most accuracy. Although I remind you that in case of rolling through areas without coverage problems with selecting only GPS you have more than enoughand the battery consumption won't be that high.

My opinion

With the Edge 530, Garmin has created a true market dominator. For the £299 there is no device that comes even close to what this new Garmin model offers.

It's a real punch on the table, and at the same time a new nail in the coffin for his competitors, who were becoming fewer and fewer. 

The level of performance it offers is impressive and any other competing device pales in comparison. Not only in terms of the number of features, but also in terms of price. Take Wahoo, for example, which introduced its ELEMNT ROAM a week later than Garmin with the addition of the colour screen as its main feature, at a price of £349. But without maps, without the same processor speed and without many of the features you can find in the Edge 530. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Garmin is £50 cheaper!

It doesn't matter which device you compare it to and which brand: Polar, Sigma, Bryton, Mio, Hammerhead... None of them come even remotely close to Garmin. You may hesitate with the Stages bike computer, for example, if you're looking for the extensive training platform it has, but it's a very residual use.

The price/performance ratio is so good that you might even end up regretting it at Garmin. Today the Edge 530 has more performance than the Edge 1030 (which is worth almost twice as much), and the difference from the Edge 830 is very small. If you can handle the button feel of the Edge 530, which is the only thing I didn't like, I don't see much reason to take on any of the others before this Edge.

It's true that there are some things that can be improved, like the GPS problems when selecting Galileo satellites or how bad the translations are. It also doesn't help that Garmin doesn't seem to get the point when designing buttons with good feedback. And I would like TrailForks to have a much more extensive database, but that doesn't depend on Garmin anymore but on an external service.

But despite all this, Edge 530 is a magnificent device in which the positive aspects shine far more brightly than the negative ones. 

I can sum it up by saying that the Edge 530 is probably the best computer to date. And for only £299.

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50 Comments

  1. Hi, Eduardo,
    Thank you very much for your analysis.
    The question I'm going to ask you is a rookie question 100%, so I ask you not to take it into account.
    How is a cyclocomputer different from a smartphone?
    What's the use of the computer? Can't a smartphone do a similar job? Do you know that complements (cadence, power, etc) have bluetooth and can be connected with the phone without any problem or that the maps can be had in wikiloc or other platforms?

    Thank you,

    1. The main thing is what it's designed to do. If you make very sporadic, short, quiet outings, a phone can serve you without much trouble. But if you increase the use a little more, it's totally different.

      To start the autonomy, a phone with the screen on does not even come close to a computer. Then the technology used for the screen, the phone in full sun is very difficult to see. The resistance, with a computer cycle you do not have problems with water, sweat, traces of gels, etc. A phone that will be constantly sweating or you can touch with wet hands I do not give more than a week of life. And these are just some examples.

      In short, they are designed to be used in a certain way; phones were designed for other things.

  2. Thank you very much Eduardo for the Analysis, great as always. And I appreciate that you are not like all those pages of bargains and others that are out there, all say do the best analysis and all they do is repeat as parrots the leaves of characteristics. But here the fundamental thing is how it works and what it brings, and that only you give us.

  3. Hello!
    Good analysis, on a par with the well-known DC Rainmaker.
    There are a couple of data that don't appear in the analysis, I don't know if it's because it's not longer or because you missed it.

    1- Another difference between garmin 530 and 830 is the track height profile page. On 830 you can customize the X and Y axes so you can see the profile of a 100km route and where you are. On 530 you can only see the 2km that follow, which is useless. It is rumored in the garmin forum that in the next update you will be able to modify the X axis on 530

    2- The pack version includes new generation sensors, cadence, speed and pulse.

    Greetings

    1. Thanks Mick, good input. I had overlooked the issue of the altitude chart, and look at the presentation article I was already asked about it... I've already added it.

      That they include it in the Edge 530 I don't see it completely clear, it would have to be by menu and until now they never did anything like that. And I agree with you, the 2km elevation profile is not good for much, especially when we already have ClimbPro in the new devices for that.

      As for the sensor thing, I don't really have a specific section to put it in, but you're right that I'll at least make a small mention of it in the article.

      Thank you again.

  4. Good analysis.

    I have an Edge 530, and what I miss, or can't find, is

    - Quickly access to set a percentage of the backlight. Which in previous models was by pressing the power button and, in the 530 you have to navigate through the menus, which makes it very difficult in dark situations if you have to turn on the backlight and set a percentage of it.

    - Manual altitude calibration: In the other models it was by pressing the enter key from the data screen. In this one I can't find how to do it, other than setting a known location and being in the radius of it.

    Otherwise, for me it's the best model I've ever had (500, 510, 520 and 520 Plus).

    A salute.

    1. Very rare... Which one doesn't work for you? Because I just tried them and they work for me. Do you have any ad blockers?

  5. Very good analysis

    What I miss or can't find on my Edge 530 is this:

    - Quick access to the backlighting with a touch of the power button. On previous models this allowed you to turn the backlighting on or off in poor visibility conditions. Now you have to navigate through the menus to do this.

    - I can't find out how to do the manual calibration of the altimeter. In the previous models it was done by pressing the enter button from the data screen. The option of the automatic calibration from a location point is there, but it is not a question of adding location points. I prefer the manual one.

    Otherwise, I think it's the best Garmin I've ever had (500, 510, 520 and 520 Plus), it's very fast in processing, which you can tell by the way it's turned on.

    A salute.

    1. If I remember correctly, you can access the display settings from the Quick Access Menu, but remember that the Edge 530, unlike the 520, has a light sensor so it automatically regulates the display light.

      As for the elevation, you have it on page 7 of the manual. It should also be in the quick access menu.

  6. Good afternoon, pleased with the 530 article, my questions are:
    1: on the cadence sensor what size is it, since not even the manufacturer specifies it, and between my crank and the lower strap of the wheel nothing digs more than 6mm thick, and if it can be gripped with flanges to give better grip confidence ( my bike is a GIANT XTC Adbanced 29 2 GE With XT cranks, another option is to put it inside the hub but I doubt if it will fit or work properly. What are the measurements? Are there alternatives? (the combined sigma sensor with magnets on the rear wheel and crank is not an option I'm sick of failures).
    2: In the 530 manual Page 10 it says that you can navigate to a location with a map search option or from a saved location (Appointment: 1 Select Menu > Navigation. 2 select an option: - To navigate to a location on the map, select Map Search search for a location (Map Search, page 12) and press and hold - To navigate to a saved location, select Saved Locations, select the location and then select Details. 3 select Go. 4 follow the instructions on the screen to reach your destination). This is almost a navigation feature to a known place such as your starting point, Home or Hotel. Have you experimented with such a feature?
    3: In many cases I do routes without opening an activity, but I want to record only the total km without worrying about turning on and configuring the Edge, with the new speed sensor memory. How exactly does it work
    4: Will I get a better experience than with my rox 11, does it give me problems in connectivity with the mobile by Bluetooth?
    Thanks in advance.

  7. Good afternoon, pleased with the 530 article, my questions are:
    1: on the cadence sensor what size is it, since not even the manufacturer specifies it, and between my crank and the lower strap of the wheel nothing digs more than 6mm thick, and if it can be gripped with flanges to give better grip confidence ( my bike is a GIANT XTC Adbanced 29 2 GE With XT cranks, another option is to put it inside the hub but I doubt if it will fit or work properly. What are the measurements? Are there alternatives? (the combined sigma sensor with magnets on the rear wheel and crank is not an option I'm sick of failures).
    2: In the 530 manual Page 10 it says that you can navigate to a location with a map search option or from a saved location (Appointment: 1 Select Menu > Navigation. 2 select an option: - To navigate to a location on the map, select Map Search search for a location (Map Search, page 12) and press and hold - To navigate to a saved location, select Saved Locations, select the location and then select Details. 3 select Go. 4 follow the instructions on the screen to reach your destination). This is almost a navigation feature to a known place such as your starting point, Home or Hotel. Have you experimented with such a feature?
    3: In many cases I do routes without opening an activity, but I want to record only the total km without worrying about turning on and configuring the Edge, with the new speed sensor memory. How exactly does it work
    4: Will I get a better experience than with my rox 11, does it give me problems in connectivity with the mobile by Bluetooth?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. I don't have any measurement data from the sensor.

      As I detail in the navigation, you can click anywhere in the map to navigate there, but it is not the easiest way to navigate... Moving in the map is not like doing it in Google Maps on your mobile.

      You don't need to have anything set up, just start the activity and save all the details of the workout.

      I haven't had any connection problems with my mobile in all these days I've been trying both devices. Once paired up the synchronization was correct.

  8. Good afternoon, very good article.

    I have a question with activity profiles, I would like to know if the 530 can be created with activity profiles other than cycling, or can it be done using some Garmin IQ application.

    Thank you very much.

    1. No, all the profiles you think are cycling type. But after synchronizing you could change the type of activity.

      I don't know if there's any application for what you're looking for.

  9. Hi, good morning! I just wanted to tell you that I came to this site by chance, but I really like the way you tell things, direct and clear.
    So I wanted to ask if this model of gps bike computer from garmin or any other style (520 or similar) has the ability to configure different sports profiles as has the polar m460 q is the one I have currently.
    To tell you that I am happy with it, but my friends and group mates tell me marvels about the garmin and I am curious, apart from the fact that as a whim, I could make the investment to acquire one, but I don't know if I can use it for other sports, since even though cycling is the most practiced, I also usually do trekking, running and even inline skating, besides mtb and indoor cycling with the rollers.
    The only problem I have with the polar bear is that it has very little data on the screen and you have to keep changing the screen to see it, which is not the case with the garmin because I think I have seen enough data coming in.
    Greetings and thanks for the answer

    1. Thank you, Ishmael. Well, you know, remember the page for the next one.

      On the Edge, you can only create profiles for cycling, although you can set up a lot of data. The only thing to keep in mind is that when the activity is synchronized with Garmin Connect, it will be done as if it were cycling and you can change it manually to whatever you have done (for example, hiking). But you will have no problem creating different sports profiles.

  10. Good evening, Eduardo. The article is really spectacular, my congratulations. You don't leave anything out, and it's not a bad idea to read the whole thing. Still, I have a little doubt.
    I recently started cycling, and I'm currently using the Garmin FR 235 as my GPS, and I want to buy a bike computer, but I can't decide between the Edge 820 (199 euros in amazon) or this one.
    What recommendation would you make to me?
    Greetings and thanks in advance.

    1. Clearly the Edge 530. The Edge 820 isn't a bad device, but it's hampered by its processor and any operation you do in terms of navigation becomes very long. The Edge 530 is a major leap forward and well worth the extra outlay.

      Remember to make your purchase through the links provided on the website, so you will be collaborating in the maintenance 😉

  11. Hello Eduardo, to begin with I want to congratulate you for the work you do and the dedication to this type of device. It is difficult not to make a decision when acquiring one of them by reading your tests.
    This morning I did my first MTB route and when I saw the activity in the Garmin Connect app I realized that in the recording of the route the device draws straight lines in the curves, as if they were shortcuts, do you know why?
    Thank you very much and best regards.

    1. It's probably because in the data recording configuration you don't have it set to per second, and it's recording data in a "smart" interval

    2. It's strange, because in the Garmin Connect app it works just like I was telling you before, but on the web it works fine. Anyway, in the Edge 520, I have the recording in smart and it works fine, according to Garmin, in recording by seconds it says that the battery consumption is much higher and the file generated takes much more space. I'll keep on testing, thank you very much for your response, if you detect anything else or any user, I would appreciate your comments.

  12. Good afternoon.
    Eduardo, congratulations on the work you do, it is clear that you take your time and take it seriously, which we readers sincerely appreciate.

    After reading the article of the 530 that has been recommended to me, I already have a very good idea of how the device works, but I have read on the official website of garmin this function: Tracks (competition against previous activities), do you know what it is about? does it mean that you compete in certain tracks or segments against yourself without having to link the strava account? or does it refer to the treatment of strava segments that you describe in the article of the 520 plus?

    Thank you very much, and I encourage you to continue working like this.

    from a reader of the blog, a warm greeting.

    1. It is simply an option to load a route you have already done and try to beat your time. If for example you have done a 70km run in 2 hours and you repeat it again it will tell you if you are above or below your previous time.

  13. Hi, Eduardo,
    First of all, I'd like to thank you for the thorough analysis you're doing. Unbelievable.
    Here's my question: does the Garmin 530...support the Polar? H7 sensor? It includes the Grouptrack and Livetrack? feature.
    Thanks in advance.
    A salute.

  14. Good morning, Eduardo.
    First of all I would like to tell you that I am with some of the comments I have read about your analysis of the devices. Impressive work!

    I have a question that I'm sure you can answer.
    I've been riding for a year now and the truth is that I'm hooked on it so I'm going to switch from screen to GPS. This isn't my main sport so I'm looking for something cheap and that I can combine with another of my hobbies which is picking mushrooms while I get lost in the woods.

    I've been looking at devices for some time and the screen left me between 820, 830 and 530, and after reading this article of yours about the last one, I almost decided to go for it. But before making that decision I would like to ask you if in these devices there is a "go to" option which is used in mountain GPS's to return to the starting point without having to go by any road or trail.

    If these devices are not focused mainly on existing routes, can you recommend me some device that is useful both for the bike (with cadence meter, etcetera) and for getting lost in the forest?

    Thank you very much in advance and best regards

    Alexander

    1. I'd say the Edge 820 is a real winner, you can really see the speed of any process.

      As for the return to the beginning, they will do the calculation based on paths. I don't remember that there is a function to simply show the arrow to go in a straight line.

  15. Hello, spectacular GPS review.
    as i am in operation search and capture... i start from the base of the 520 plus (150 euro) and the 530 the best i have seen (without going into details) is at 250 euro. do you consider that the difference is not considerable for what it offers?
    thanks

    1. Hello, Txetxu,

      Thank you. For prices, you can find the best updated offers in the Black Friday summary articleAnd remember that by buying through the links on the website you will be helping the site.

      As for Edge 520 Plus or Edge 530, frankly the 520 Plus wouldn't raise it. Its problem is a lack of processor, and as soon as you use the navigation or any other function that demands a bit, you're going to notice a lot.

      The Edge 530 is much more fluid in every way, regardless of all the extra possibilities. The reality is that the difference is small for how much better the 530 is.

    1. No problem, you will have it all in the mobile application as well as on the web, with statistics, graphs, maps, etc.

  16. Hi, thanks for the analysis. I can't get Trainingpeaks to load on the Connect IQ menu like I had on my previous 520 so I could load workouts that my trainer sent me to the TP directly to the Edge for rolling

    1. TrainingPeaks no longer has a ConnectIQ application because it is already integrated into the Garmin operating system and downloads the calendar automatically.

  17. Buenos dias, no logro enlazar la banda de frecuencia HRM-TRI con el 530, con el 935 me funciona, pero no con el 530. Puede estar vinculada a 2 dispositivos a la vez y funcionar simultaneamente? Gracias

    1. Hola Vicente, yo creo que NO. No puede vincularse a 2 dispositivos a la vez. O con el reloj o con el ciclocomputador.

  18. Hola muy buenas. Magnifico análisis, muchas gracias. Tengo una duda, se que la diferencia entre el 530 y 530 mtb es que en el mtb ya viene precargada la aplicación de senderos y rutas de montaña pero, es el mismo dispositivo? He visto en los enlaces para comprarlo que nos aportas algo más barato el 530mtb pack que el 530 pack. Que diferencia existe entre los dos? Muchas gracias.

    1. Gracias Salva.

      No, en cualquier caso todos los dispositivos son iguales, con los mismos mapas y aplicaciones, no hay ningún cambio.

      Lo que cambia en los packs es el contenido de los mismos.

      El que es sólo dispositivo trae el Edge 530, un soporte de manillar y un soporte adelantado.

      El pack performance incluye (además de lo anterior) sensores de velocidad, cadencia y pulso.

      Y el pack MTB trae también sensor de velocidad, pero no de cadencia o frecuencia cardíaca. En su lugar incluye mando a distancia y funda de silicona, y el soporte frontal es diferente (permite variar el ángulo del mismo.

      ¡Gracias por ayudar a la página comprando a través de los enlaces!

      1. Vale muchas gracias. Lo he mirado en la página de Bikeiin y lo que me ha confundido es que en las especificaciones te pone que trae gps, glonass…. y cinta de pecho, sensores de cadencia y velocidad. Imagino que estará mal. Gracias de nuevo

        1. Sí, lo tienen fijado bajo “funciones” y se refiere a que permite conectar frecuencia cardíaca y otros sensores. Pero lo que incluye es lo que se ve en la imagen.

  19. Hola!! Estaba pensando en adquirir un Garmin Edge 530 para salidas de Mountain Bike. Pero quería saber si es una compra útil ya que ya dispongo del reloj gps e inteligente Suunto Spartan Ultra. Muchas gracias!!

    1. Sí, totalmente. No sólo por la comodidad de una pantalla mayor que está siempre visible con los datos, sino por las prestaciones de navegación que ofrece un dispositivo de este tipo.

  20. compre 1 hace 3 meses y es muy completo y preciso pero me parece muy delicado porque se me cayo de la altura de la bicicleta y se daño quedo la pantalla negra y no se si lo cubra la garantia

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