Cycling continues to be one of the most popular sports the world over. The equipment may be expensive in many cases, but access to it is relatively easy, and actually participating in the sport requires little more than a good stretch of road, in terms of venue. But jumping on your bike may not be enough.
Every serious sports person (and health conscious person, for that matter) knows that regulating the effects of the activity on your body is key to determining performance and benefit.
Garmin, who are obviously best known for their GPS products, have a great solution. The Edge 500 system is a good bet for any cyclist who is taking the activity more seriously than popping down to the shop for a pack of smokes – then again, that is probably an unlikely scenario.
But you get what we’re saying here.
The Garmin Edge 500 is a small device that is mounted on the cycle’s handle-bars. Once there, it can display a variety of useful information to the cyclist by way of a large, clear LCD display.
The Edge 500 system is actually made up of three main parts. The first is the EDGE 500 GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer. This is the device that will be fitted to the handle-bars, and it displays information regarding time spent cycling, heart rate, power, cadence, speed, distance travelled, calories burned, and so on. The device is rechargeable, with a fair battery life. Additionally, it can be connected to a computer and, using included software, can keep track of the cyclist’s performance.
The second part is a wireless heart-rate monitor that the cyclist wears under their shirt. This device measures the cyclist’s heart-rate, and reports it to the Cycling Computer. The heart rate monitor is powered by a watch battery.
The third main component is the GSC 10 Speed/Cadence Sensor. This device is fitted to the cycle’s chain-stay, and measures the cyclist’s performance by registering a magnet placed on the corresponding pedal crank arm, as well as a magnet placed on one of the rear wheel spokes.
The combination of these three devices, coupled with a limited GPS functionality to measure distance traveled and speed, enables the Edge 500 to calculate very accurate and useful information for the serious cyclist. The system is very easy to use, and the included software is easy to understand, making keeping track of performance a breeze.
The Cycling Computer is solidly constructed, and should handle a spill or two. It is fitted to the handle-bars via a bracketing system. However, we would have preferred a more solid racket system – the one included makes use of rubber bands, which may perish over time.
Additionally, the heart-rate monitor takes a little getting used to, and the cyclist will likely want to experiment a little to get the right fight going – one that combines comfort with the device being held securely in place.
If you are a serious cyclist in any way, the Edge 500 system from Garmin is a good investment to consider. Rather than using guess work, the cyclist can rely on the Edge 500 to deliver accurate vital statistics, both while on the road, and for record keeping afterwards.
At A Glance
Garmin’s range of fitness products offers a great way to monitor workout progress.
• GPS Enabled
• Heart Rate Monitor
• Speed / Cadence Sensor
• Accurate information
• Easy to use
• Flimsy bracket
• Heart Rate monitor takes getting used to