September 1, 2009

Garmin Edge 500 - Performance Bike GPS Computer with Altimeter

Garmin Edge 500 Bike GPS

Garmin has announced a new low profile bike GPS that will be targeted at performance minded cyclists, with data galore, and no on screen mapping. The unit tracks speed, distance, time, GPS position, elevation, calories burned, climb and descent; the latter is facilitated by a barometric altimeter in the Edge 500. Like the Edge 705, the Edge 500 will have ANT+ wireless technology which syncs with third party power meters and Garmin's heart rate monitor and cadence meters. In the cool department, the Edge 500 also changes time zones automatically, and shows temperature readings. A quarter turn mounts and dismounts the unit on the handlebars. No doubt this will be on the Team Garmin-Slipstream's handlebars in the coming months.

The Garmin Edge 500 has a suggested retail price of $249.99. When bundled with a heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor, Edge 500 has a suggested retail price of $349.99. It will be out around the ed of the year.

Full press release follows.....

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced the aerodynamic Edge 500, an evolutionary leap in cycling technology. Weighing a mere 2 ounces, Edge 500 features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, requires no calibration, can be switched quickly and easily between bicycles and connects wirelessly with ANT+™ compatible third-party power meters.

"Using feedback from the best focus group imaginable - the Pro Tour cyclists of Team Garmin-Slipstream, we've developed a lightweight cycling computer that's powerful enough for the pros yet simple enough for beginners," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Sitting sleek and snug on a redesigned handlebar mount, Edge 500 streamlines your cycling statistics for a fraction of the cost of comparable head units."

Designed for performance cyclists, the GPS-enabled Edge 500 tracks speed, distance, time, GPS position, elevation, calories burned, climb and descent. For extra-precise climb and descent data, Edge 500 incorporates a barometric altimeter to pinpoint changes in elevation. Combining more data than ever into one device, Edge 500 syncs wirelessly through ANT+™ technology with compatible third-party power meters. Edge 500 also pairs wirelessly with Garmin speed/cadence sensors and features advanced heart rate-based calorie computation when used with a Garmin heart rate monitor. Boasting a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFixTM that quickly acquires and maintains satellite reception, the Edge 500 also displays temperature readings, changes time zones automatically and alerts riders if they're moving but the timer is not running. With up to 18 hours of battery life, Edge 500 features a low-profile, quarter-turn mount that fits easily on the stem or handlebars.

"Since becoming our title sponsor, Garmin has guaranteed that we have the best technology available," said Team Garmin's Christian Vande Velde, fresh off his top-8 finish at the Tour de France. "At training camp we made requests: we wanted a smaller device with a big screen, easy-to-use buttons and sturdier mount. Garmin listened. The Edge 500 reflects our requests and then some, adding vertical speed, accurate calories and temperature readings."

Vande Velde and teammate David Zabriskie, who recently credited his Edge after winning his fourth consecutive U.S. Time Trial championship and fifth in his career, will be meeting fans and signing autographs at Interbike from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Garmin booth #2630.

"In a sport where every ounce and second counts, Edge 500 provides unparalleled data and accuracy," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports, LLC, the sports management company that runs Team Garmin. "It's the perfect tool for training and racing for every facet of the sport - time trials, climbing, all-out sprints and breakaways. And downloading data to Garmin Connect helps us replay the ride time and again and study the statistics, looking for any room for improvement for the next day. It also allows our fans and the media access to the riders' data for any given day."

When paired with a Garmin heart rate monitor, Edge 500 tracks the micro changes in a user's heart rate and uses that detailed information to better calculate the number of calories burned. In developing Edge 500 and its heart rate-based calorie computation, Garmin worked with Firstbeat Technologies Ltd., a technology company based in Finland. Firstbeat is an industry leader in heart rate analysis, specializing in developing user-centered software solutions for heart beat signal analysis in exercise and sports, weight management, and stress monitoring applications.

Cyclists can track Team Garmin's featured rides - or download, analyze and share rides of their own - by participating in Garmin ConnectSM, an online community that brings together millions of activities around the world. Garmin Connect displays metrics such as time, distance, speed, elevation and heart rate. This information is shown through charts, illustrations, reports and a variety of map representations including street, photo, topographic, and elevation maps as well as the popular Google Earth application. Garmin Connect users can search for activities in their area and try the activities for themselves by uploading the data to Garmin devices, which will then guide the way.

Featuring a USB interface for easy charging and data transfer, Edge 500 has a suggested retail price of $249.99. When bundled with a heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor, Edge 500 has a suggested retail price of $349.99.

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Posted by Scott Martin at September 1, 2009 7:05 AM

Recent Comments

True, the 500 isn't specifically a GPS in the normal sense but thats not the point. This is a device that can receive numerous pre-set training plans that can be selected and switched at any time (including being editable on the road). It allows you to specifically tailor interval training plans to your needs. It talks clearly to all ANT+ power devices. It tracks and displays speed, power, HR, gradient, time, etc in any confoguration that suits you.

For me, at this price there was no device that was comparable. Polar devices are inferior in every aspect except perhaps HR accuracy (and even then I am not convinced).


Posted by: Martin at October 1, 2010 2:48 AM

The Garmin 500 is in no way a GPS. It is how ever a very good if somewhat over priced bike computer. I know it has a GPS receiver on board but it has all the bad thing about a GPS ie: slow boot up and inaccuracy. It would be better if you could disable the GPS and just use the bike computer.

I know it does give you a trail of bread crumbs on your windows enabled computer that can be overlaid google earth but that's no big deal.


Posted by: Mike Dorsey at January 6, 2010 4:09 PM
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