INTERBIKE 2009 – Garmin’s hot new Edge 500 and Forerunner 310XT had quite the buzz surrounding them at the show. The new Edge 500 is a slimmed down but fully featured GPS cycling computer that tracks distance, speed, location, elevation and grade. Plus, add a heart rate monitor and it’ll keep track of your physical performance, too, with BPM, zones and calories burned.
Rounding out the feature set, it’ll work with any ANT+ power meter to track watts, and you can get a bicycle speed/cadence sensor to track bike-specific performance. When it’s all over, you simply hook it up to your computer with the included USB cable and download your data to analyze your ride.
Hit ‘more’ for additional photos and info on the all-purpose Swim/Bike/Run Forerunner 310 XT…
About the only thing you give up with the Edge 500 is a map, for that you have to jump to the Edge 605, which also has the ability to provide directions and topo mapping for mountain bike rides, and has a “Virtual Partner” training program. But, for most of us, the Edge 500 would be all you’d need to make the most of your training rides.
The slim profile twists into the stem mount. The good news is, for those upgrading from an older model, any Garmin HR monitor strap made within the last four years or so (since the 305 and 405 models) will work with the 500, so you won’t need to buy a new one. And you have your choice of ANT+ power meters with new offerings from Quarq and SRAM / SRM coming from Interbike.
The Edge 500 will be available December 1, just in time to make the final cut on your holiday wish list, with an MSRP of $249.99. It comes with the bike mount, AC charger, USB cable and you can get a bundled version that includes the Cadence/Heart Rate sensors for $399.99 $349.99. (oddly, the HR monitor is $60 to $70 and the Speed/Cadence sensor is $60, so you apparently save $20 to $30 by buying them separately.
UPDATED: Price on Garmin’s website is/was incorrect, they’re fixing it.
Also checking to see if the software is Mac compatible.
Yes, both the Edge 500 and Forerunner 310XT below are Mac friendly.)
GARMIN FORERUNNER 310 XT
The other fancy new gadget from Garmin is the Forerunner 310 XT, which is available now. For $349.99 you get an all-purpose multisport training computer that fits on your wrist (and the monster tan line to prove it).
Highlights of the 310XT are:
- vibration lap count alert, which helps you determine your stats in a crowd of folks whose watches are all beeping at about the same time.
- it’s waterproof to 50m
- tracks GPS location, distance and pace/speed
It uses ANT+, so it’ll also connect to a compatible HR monitor, power meter, footpad strike sensor, bicycle speed/cadence sensor and even connect with your computer wirelessly (with the included ANT+ stick) to download the data from your swim/bike/run as soon as you’re nearby. Because it reads the data from the other equipment, it’s easy to use this as your only training tool to simplify data collection for multisport athletes. There’s an optional handlebar mount with quick release, so you can mount it to your TT/Triathlon bike if you want it in plain view while riding.
There’s a bundle for $399.99 that includes the HR monitor, saving you $10, or you can use your old Garmin HR monitor like with the Edge 500. The bike speed/cadence sensor is $60.
Lastly, when used in conjunction with a Tanita BC-1000 body composition scale and HR monitor, you can track calories burned, body fat, weight, body water and six other measurements. The data is collected on the Forerunner, then downloaded to Garmin Connect once you’re in range of your ‘puter.