What is the difference between the Garmin Edge 520 vs the Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is the updated version the Garmin Edge 520 that was released in 2015.  The 520 Plus has an advanced GPS navigation system as compared to the Edge 520. The Plus comes preloaded with Strava Live Segments and the Garmin cycle map with turn-by-turn directions. The Edge 520 is great for training but not navigation. It does not have cycling-specific maps, and does not have turn by turn directions. It only has breadcrumb type navigation. 


The Garmin Edge Plus has improved these features in many ways. The Plus is preloaded with Garmin Cycle Maps with turn by turn navigation. It has recalculation and can guide you back to where you started. You can not search an address or location with the Edge 520 or 520 Plus while in route. You have to preload routes in advance.

A way to get around this is to download the Yelp app. Download the Yelp app in the Garmin Connect IQ store. You can search where you want to go on Yelp and then the Garmin Edge can navigate to the places on the Yelp app.


It has everything you need to track your performance and progress.  It is also compatible with many apps and accessories so you can train and ride smarter.


he major difference between the two are maps and navigation. With the latest updates, the best value is the Garmin Edge 520 Plus. If you already have the Garmin Edge 520, it has great training and data features but you may want to upgrade to the Plus for the improved navigation system.


If you are interested in the upgraded model, here are some common questions and answers to help you decide if the Garmin Edge 520 Plus is right for you.

What are the Garmin Edge 520 Plus Specs?

Dimensions: 1.9” x 2.9” x0.8”
Display size: 1.4” x 1.9”
Display Resolution 200x265 pixels
weight: 2.2 oz
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion (internal)
Water rating: IPX7

Click on the image to purchase the Garmin Edge 520 Plus on Amazon.

What comes in the box?

The Garmin comes with everything you need to mount it to your bike. It comes with two types of mounts. One is the solid plastic extender that attaches to the handlebar and extends 3 inches, so you see it easily when you ride. The extender mounts with screws and comes the hex wrench, in case you don’t have a multi hex wrench tool.

Click here for instructions on how to attach the front mount.

Click here on how to Install the Standard mount.

The other is the mounting piece and many sizes of rubber bands, for mounting on the crossbar, or the handlebar mount piece. The device attaches to both of these mounts with a clockwise quarter turn. Attach at 9:00 and turn clockwise to 12:00.

The package also comes with a USB cord for charging. (see How do I recharge my device)

How is the Battery Life?

This question has varying responses. Garmin says it can last up to 15 hours. Adjusting the brightness to 70% can help you extend the battery life. The battery life is closer to 8-9 hours using the navigation.

How do I recharge my device?

The package comes with a USB cord for charging and connecting to your computer. You will need the USB cord to upload and download information to your Garmin.

How much memory does the Garmin Edge 520 Plus have?

Garmin says the onboard memory is 14.4 GB and the US maps takes up about 6.5 GB of space.

Is the Garmin Edge 520 Plus touchscreen or buttons?

There are seven buttons. An enter button and back button on the right. A start/pause button and lap button on the bottom and an on/off, brightness, up/down buttons on the left.

It may take some time to get used to the placement of the buttons.

Is the Garmin Edge 520 Plus waterproof?

The Garmin is water-resistant. It can withstand water exposure of up to 1 meter for up to 30 min. It will withstand heavy rain while riding.

How to set up your Garmin Edge 520 Plus with your smartphone?

Your device must be paired through the Garmin Connect Mobile App. From the app store, download the Garmin Connect App to your phone.

Or Click here to download the Garmin Connect App and the Garmin Express.

Turn on your Garmin. When you turn it on, choose your language. Then you will be prompted to pair your Garmin to your smartphone. If this does not automatically happen, you can select Menu> Settings> Phone> Pair Smartphone. Now, you can choose the option to add your phone to your Garmin Connect account. Follow the prompts on the screen. After you are connected, a message will tell you if your device is synced.

The first thing you will need to do is fill out the emergency contact information. The Garmin will not let you continue until you do this.

Once the Garmin is connected to your phone, you can display text messages and set up to other alerts from your phone.

What apps come with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

A few apps are installed already, Strava Live Segments and Strava Routes. Strava Live Segments let you race yourself or others in real time. Best Bike Split Race Sync and TrainingPeaks are also installed. 

To find the uploaded apps on your Garmin edge, go to Connect IQ and you will see the existing apps. Click on the App you want and the Garmin Edge 520 Plus automatically connects to your phone to sign in to the App.

Go to the Garmin Connect IQ store to download more apps.

What are the safety features included in the Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

Go To Safety and Tracking in your Garmin Edge. There you will find the Incident Detection and LiveTrack. Fill out your emergency information and up to three emergency contacts in the Incident Detection section. Your emergency contacts will be notified via text or email if an incident occurs.

Next, go to the LiveTrack section in your Garmin Edge.  LiveTrack is used to let others know your real-time location.  Fill in Session Name and check auto start. Your session will be shared automatically via email with the recipients you have entered into the email section. 

Once you enable LiveTrack you can invite your friends and family to track your activity. They will receive an email that will link to a webpage where they can track your activity, time, distance, speed, and elevation in real-time.

You can also do the same thing with GroupTrack to keep track of others you are riding with. 



What does the Garmin Edge 520 Plus track?

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus tracks all the standard metrics a cyclist needs. It tracks elevation, grade, calories burned, speed, and temperature. The temperature is important so you can be aware of weather changes. You can also download AccuWeather MinuteCast from Connect IQ.

Weather alerts give you alerts like excessive heat alerts ,flash flood warning, storm warnings and lightning warnings.

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is compatible with ANT+ technology sensors that track speed, cadence, and heart rate. These accessories are sold separately.

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus will show your speed without a speed and cadence bundle. It relies on GPS. But if you have a cadence sensor, it will track through the sensor.

Your FTP can be tracked with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus when used with Vector power meter. (sold separately) FTP or Functional Threshold Power is the highest power you can sustain for an hour. It is measured in watts and helps you measure progress.

How to Customize the Data Fields?

Select Menu> Settings> Activity Profiles

Then select Data Screens > Layout Preview to see the default setting. You can change the number of fields and how the categories are arranged. To change the settings click on the field and select a different category.


The device default screens are 

  1. Screen 1: Time, speed, distance, 
  2. Screen 2: Lap Speed, time, distance
  3. Screen 3: Vertical Speed, grade %, distance
  4. Screen 4:  If you have a power meter and Heart rate monitor
  5. Screen 5: Map of your ride, with turn by turn feature.
  6. Screen 6: Map for the total ascent shows a graphic of climbs and descents. 

How to play audio prompts from your smartphone?

Before you can set up audio prompts, you must have Your Garmin Edge paired with the GArmin Connect app on your phone.

First Go to Settings in the Garmin Connect Mobile app and select Garmin Devices. Select your device. Then Select Device Settings > Audio Prompts.

OR Click on the icon of your Edge 520 plus, on the top of your MyDay page and Select Activity Options.

Now you can set the Garmin Connect Mobile app to play status announcements on your phone during a ride or workout. 

Audio prompts include:

  1. the lap number and lap time
  2. navigation alerts 
  3. power
  4. pace or speed alerts

You can set it to average pace or current pace.  Set the alert frequency to how many minutes you want from 1 to 10 minutes.

    5. and heart-rate data.  

You can also set the alert frequency from 1 to 10 minutes

During an audio prompt, the Garmin Connect mobile app mutes the primary audio of your phone to play the announcement. You can customize the volume levels on the Garmin Connect Mobile app.


How to connect the Garmin Edge 520 Plus to Strava?

You will want to connect your Garmin to Strava so you can use their routes and compete with their community of users.

Download the Garmin Connect Mobile App and create an Account. Then link your Strava account by going to Settings > 3rd Party Apps > Strava.
Press Agree and then log into your Strava account.

Your activities are wirelessly uploaded to Strava in a few minutes.

After you upload your first activity, Garmin will sync your past activity.

To upload using your computer, download Garmin Express. Then go to strava.com/upload/devise and find the Garmin option to link to Strava.

Once you are connected, new activities uploaded to Garmin Connect will sync to Strava.

Also, after you upload your first activity, Garmin will sync your past activity.

For more help, you can go to STRAVA Support here!


What to do if Garmin and Strava are not syncing?

You need to wait until your first new activity is synced to know if the Garmin and Strava are connected.

Go to https://www.strava.com/upload/device and choose your device.

Sometimes slow syncing times are experienced through Garmin. You can check the status here under the Strava section.

You can also use the file upload option on your device or export the .TCX file from Garmin Connect and manually upload.

You may also have to use different browsers if the problem continues.

How to Connect a Course to follow from Garmin Connect?

Go to Garmin Connect Here.

Create a new course or select a course you have already created.

Then, Select Send to Device. Follow the prompts on-screen. 

On the Edge device, select Menu> Navigation> Courses.

Once you select a course, select Ride.  You will be asked “Navigate to the beginning of course”?  If you are in the middle of the rides, select NO and the device will find you on the route.  It will take a few minutes to calculate.

You will now see the map with turn by turn instruction.

How to connect Maps from Strava to Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

First, you need to create a course in Strava. Next, you need to connect your Garmin to your computer. You will see the Garmin icon on your desktop. Export the route from Strava as a .GPX or .TCX file. Find the file in your downloads folder and drag the file into the Garmin icon on your computer. Now your route should be in your Garmin in the Courses menu. You can also download maps from other counties for an additional fee.

Can you create training workouts?

Does it come with workouts and how do you customize a workout?

The Garimin 520 Plus comes with an interval workout. 

You can find it in Training > Intervals.  It is the 4 x 1 mile interval workout. 


How you create a custom workout?

Select the workout type. (Example Select type of workout > Bike)  

Create Workout.

Select Warmup, time or distance. 

Select Workout, time or distance. 

Select Cool down,  time or distance.

Name and Save the workout.  

Then you can send it to your Garmin 520 Plus. It appears in Menu>Training>Workouts.

How to Connect a Course to follow from Garmin Connect?

Go to connect.garmin.com.
Create a new course or select a course you have already created.
Then, select Send to Device. Follow the prompts, on-screen. On the Edge device, select Menu> Navigation> Courses. Select the coarse and ride.

Can the Garmin pick up surrounding Bluetooth devices?

Yes, if you are riding with others, be sure to connect your device before other Garmin users are surrounding you. This way, you will not get confused about which device is yours to connect.

Can you use a remote with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

Yes, Garmin recommends three different remotes: The Varia Remote, the Edge Remote Control, and the Garmin eBike remote.

What are some accessories that are compatible with the Garmin Edge 520 Plus?

Garmin Charge Power Pack: Extend your ride for up to 24 house of additional battery life.

Bike Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2: monitor your speed and cadence with wireless sensors that are easy to install and calibrate with your Garmin Edge 520 Plus.

Cases and carrying case: these cases come in a variety of colors to protect your device from damage and a carrying case to protect it when you travel.

Heart rate monitor: Garmin recommends the HRM-Dual heart monitor. It tracks your heart rate in real-time with ANT+ and Bluetooth. It is comfortable and washable. If you already have a heart monitor, check with the manufacturer for compatibility.

Vector 3: Pedal-based Power Meter, measures total power, left/right balance, cadence, and cycling dynamics.


The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is an upgraded cycling GPS navigation system.  The device has an increased storage capacity for map sets and downloads from 3rd party apps.   It has turn-by-turn navigation and apps that will help you make the most out of your rides. It has storage to save locations, thus allowing you to find the quickest way home, turn by turn, not just following a cookie trail.  The data fields are an improvement from previous versions, suppling additional layout options.  Messaging is a valuable addition.  Receiving messages and responding with pre-set text message choices.  There are also many accessories that will help you track important cycling stats. Hopefully, I have provided you with enough information to decide if the Garmin 520 Plus is right for you.  If you have more questions or would like to comment, please send me a message below.

What is the Warranty?

Click HERE  for Garmin's  1 Year Warranty Policy

Amazon also provides a 2-Year and 3-Year protection plan for an additional cost.

Drops, spills, cracked screens and other break downs are covered after the manufacturer's warranty expires.

Includes 24/7 tech support. If they can't repair it they will replace it or reimburse the purchase price with an Amazon gift card.

Plans are valid for products purchased in the last 30 days with no pre-existing damage.

Protection plan documents will be emailed within 24 hours of purchase.

What is the Price?

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is a mid level gps cycling computer when it comes to price. As compared to the Garmin Edge 520, the navigation and memory has been greatly advanced. I would recomend upgrading to the Garmin Edge 520 Plus specifically for the turn-by-turn navigation.

Click HERE to find the current price on Amazon.com for the Garmin Edge 520 Plus. You can purchase the Garmin Edge 520 Plus Cycle Bundle HERE that comes with a black silicone case and screen protector for an additional price. 

Amazon offers product support:
If your product doesn’t work as expected, or you’d like someone to walk you through set-up, Amazon offers free product support over the phone on eligible purchases for up to 90 days. 
To access this option, go to Your Orders and choose Get product support.

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