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Advice on replacement for a 520

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  • Advice on replacement for a 520

    Hi

    I have a Garmin 520 which i am looking to replace due to poor battery life. I have an upcoming sportive which i will be on the road for 9-10 hours on and it simply will not make it around. I like the 520 for racing with it's small size, but was pushing it's limits when navigating around Europe on a cycling trip this year, but it did work.

    The easiest option is to return my 520 for a refurbished one, but i expect the the battery life will return to be a problem soon after some use. Any experience with refurbished units being noticeably better with regard to battery life?

    Other alternatives are
    a new 520 plus - better navigation but unsure if battery performance will be any different to the 520
    a new 820 - battery saver mode and good navigation options but have heard the touch screen does not work well and a quick look at the forum suggests battery life is still an issue with this model (maybe these have been fixed?)
    a new 1030 - longer battery life and great navigation options for when travelling, but is so big and i would need to keep the 520 for racing

    Bottom line is i don't want to be worrying about battery life on normal Sunday rides like i currently do (backlight off, zero % brightness, bluetooth off etc...), need something that will get through a 9-10 hr one off event, and i want better navigation options for when i travel than the 520, through this is a secondary requirement as it did work.

    From those who use these models, what is the current status of them with regard to the issues raised and do you have a recommendation on what model would be best.

    Sadly, my LBS has gone out of Garmin now and are pushing the Wahoo Element & Bolt as more reliable etc...

    I will post this in the forum under the other models also

    Thanks in advance for your input

  • #2
    I bought the 1030 because I found one on Craigslist for less than the price of a 520 so, for me, it was a no brainier. I paid a grand total of $250 for the 1030.I don't use maps since I ride locally and I know the roads pretty well. The battery life for me has not been an issue but I haven't gone out for longer than 3 hours. I know the 1030 can accept a battery that mounts to the bottom of the mount so that should ensure you have more battery than you can pedal.
    I had an 820 and i could not stand the touch screen. The 1030 it great!

    Some will say that the Garmin can use maps on its own and you need your phone with either one from Wahoo but, in reality, we all ride with our phones and it is much easier to plan a route on the phone and then send it to the Element.

    I like the larger screen personally over the smaller size of the 520/820/Bolt and would be using the Element if I had not found the 1030 so cheap.

    In my opinion keep the 520 for racing and get the 1030 since you are already using the 520 for racing. Battery life should be more than adequate, the touchscreen works well, you can add more maps on an SD Card, and you can add a battery to complement the 1030 should you wish in the future.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AndrewA_NZ View Post
      a new 1030 - longer battery life and great navigation options for when travelling, ... keep the 520 for racing
      Using the 520 would preserve the battery on the 1030.

      The 1030 is overkill for racing (probably).

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      • #4
        dont buy Bolt, for more info you can Pm me
        I have 1030 and is the best, after you will get used with larger display , you will never go back to 520

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        • #5
          Hi,

          All Li-ion batteries deteriorate with age, so battery life issues will eventually occur with any unit. The simplest method to extend run time of the 520 is to connect an external USB power bank.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PeterK_55 View Post
            Hi,

            All Li-ion batteries deteriorate with age, so battery life issues will eventually occur with any unit. The simplest method to extend run time of the 520 is to connect an external USB power bank.
            Thanks. Not my preferred route, but can you charge whilst recording an activity or will it turn the unit off?

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            • #7
              Hi,

              Yes, you can charge whilst using it. It will want to auto power off if you disconnect the battery, but you can cancel the prompt and continue.

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              • #8
                I can confirm that... If you go to a long ride, the same way the 520 battery drain it charges fast as well, so in an 10 hour ride a 10/15 minute coffee stop will charge a good amount of it, and you are good to go.
                Last year a did a 360kms ride and fixed above stem a little 2000mAh power bank and did this long without a problem.....
                Other thing I can confirm if you go in navigation and in the map screen ,it will drain the battery most faster than any other data screen.... (when I use it in MTB to follow a track in the map the battery goes way a lot faster per exemple)

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the input

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