Garmin Edge 530 Review: To Buy or Not to Buy in 2023?

Garmin Edge 530 review: Me holding the Garmin Edge 530, showing the data page.

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This is my Garmin Edge 530 review.

I’ve been testing it for the last few weeks, and in this review, I share my experience and compare it with other bike computers.

Edge 530 is a successor of the iconic Edge 520 Plus, but it has multiple upgrades, including the display, longer battery life, processing speed, features, etc.

Continue reading to learn more about it, or buy it here.

Garmin Edge 530 Pros & Cons

These are the main pros & cons of Edge 530 I found during its use.


  • Ideal display size for most use cases
  • Long battery life
  • Features rich
  • Relatively quick start-up time (about 17 seconds)
  • Downloadable data fields from Connect IQ store
  • Full on-device navigation
  • Easy-to-press buttons
  • The internal memory of 16 GB


  • Not customizable via a smartphone app
  • The lack of a touchscreen display
  • Downloading maps requires a wired connection with a PC
  • MicroUSB charging port

I already used Edge 1040, 1030 Plus, 520, and bike computers from Wahoo, like the BOLT v1, BOLT v2, and ROAM. 

I praise Edge 530 2.6-inch display size. It sits in the sweet spot (BOLTs are too small, and 1030 Plus and 1040 are too big). 

However, there are some things I don’t like about 530. So, let’s get into them. 

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I borrowed the Edge 530 from a friend, so I didn’t have the original box. However, it includes the following:

  • Garmin Edge 530
  • Out front mount + stem mount 
  • MicroUSB charging cable
  • Tether
  • Manual

Unlike Wahoo, Garmin supplies its bike computers with an outdated mount design that’s not aero. So although we probably talk about minor watts, they still count.

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the original box and contents because I borrowed the Edge 530 from a friend.


The initial setup of Edge computers, including 530, is pretty easy to understand but not as straightforward as the Wahoo ELEMNT line, where you just scan a QR code.

Additionally, there is currently no way to customize data fields and other settings via a smartphone app.

On the other hand, this makes 530 less dependent on a smartphone than Wahoo ELEMNT bike computers, for example.

My Experience

Below, I share my experience using Edge 530.


The 2.6in (246×322px) display of the Edge 530 is non-touchscreen. It has an ideal size because the head unit is not too small or not too big. 

For comparison, here are the screen sizes and resolutions of some of the Edge 530 alternatives:

Edge 530 offers good readability, but the display finish is more glossy than the displays of ELEMNT computers. 

Of course, it can adjust the brightness based on the outside light conditions.

Garmin Edge 830 vs. Edge 530 with opened maps next to each other.
Comparison of Garmin Edge 830 (left) vs. Edge 530 (right) displays

Edge 530 can fit up to 10 data fields (same as Edge 830). However, unlike ELEMNT computers, there is no way to zoom in and out to make the data fields larger or smaller. Instead, you have to change the data field layout.

TIP: You might also be interested in this Edge 830 vs. 530 comparison.

Adjusting data fields and browsing menus is less user-friendly using buttons than the touch-screen display on Edge 830. But I talk more about this in the Control & User Friendliness section.

Battery Life

The claimed battery life of Edge 530 is 20 hours (same as Edge 830). 

I tested the real battery life by connecting a power meter, HR monitor, Varia radar, and my phone to the bike computer and using it during training. 

A one-year-old device’s real battery life was around 16 hours and 15 minutes. Please, note that I used different screens and sometimes even navigation. I set the brightness to auto.

This battery life is comparable with Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM. But it doesn’t have a battery-saver mode like Edge computers.

It allows you to squeeze the maximum remaining battery life when you run low battery mid-ride.

Control & User Friendliness

To control Edge 530, you must use one of the 7 buttons. They honestly don’t feel as intuitive as buttons on Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT v2, for example.

Changing the data fields feels outdated. We will see if Garmin releases a software update allowing you to adjust them via a smartphone.

On the other hand, I like the buttons more in some situations (when it’s raining or wearing full-finger gloves) than the touchscreen display of the Edge 830.

It’s also great that the head unit is not smartphone-dependent because you can set almost everything right on it.

Maps & Navigation

Edge 530 features full on-device navigation. It can provide turn-by-turn instructions, navigate you to the starting point, to a selected point on the map, and more.

It will recalculate a route if you deviate from the planned one, take you to a selected point on a map, and provide turn-by-turn instructions.

Thanks to the colored display, it’s also easier to read the map. The 16GB internal storage will allow you to download many more maps than the very limited storage (2.78GB) of BOLT v1 or ROAM.

Unfortunately, browsing map using the buttons is painful. So painful that my patience was tested more than the navigation itself.

Garmin Edge 530 with an opened map browser.
Browsing map on the 530 is painful

I noticed that 530 shows gradients with a few-second delay (in other words, it’s not as accurate as my ROAM or BOLTs). The head unit also sometimes chooses unexpected or unlogical routes.

Therefore, I recommend getting Hammerhead Karoo 2, ROAM v2, or Edge 1040 Plus for a better mapping experience.


Edge 530 comes with new features (compared to Edge 520 Plus) like:

  • ClimbPro shows stats about the upcoming climbs based on a pre-planned route. This feature is helpful for climbers and riders who want to better pace themselves in climbs.
  • MTB Dynamics measures your jumps, grit, and flow. It’s useful mainly for mountain bikers.
  • Incident/crash detection detects if you crash and notifies your emergency contacts.
  • Virtual Partner that you can use for pacing yourself. 
  • Trailforks compatibility and many others…

You will probably not use all features daily. But Garmin has an Edge here over Wahoo. Paradoxically, Garmin bike computers are harder to use due to the number of features.

One feature I want to highlight is incident detection. If the computer detects a crash, it will notify your emergency contacts. This feature can literally save your life.


Garmin Edge 530 offers ANT+, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity. 

This means it will allow you to pair additional sensors like HR monitors, power meters, cadence and speed sensors, etc.

Of course, 530 can automatically upload your activities to 3rd party apps like Strava or TrainingPeaks.

The main issue I have with Edge 530 (and other Edge computers) is the impossibility of performing certain actions wirelessly using a smartphone app.

For example, you have to download maps via a desktop app Garmin Express or adjust data fields on the device.

Garmin is far behind Wahoo in this aspect. 

Garmin Edge 530 Alternatives

Here are some of the Garmin Edge 530 alternatives worth considering.

The following table compares Garmin Edge bike computers and their basic features.

Bike ComputerBuyBatter LifeScreen SizeDisplayTouchscreenOn-Device Navigation*Live SegmentsConnectivityWaterproofingWeightMemory
Garmin Edge 1040 SolarCheck Price
Check Price (
45 hrs3.5inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7133g64GB
Garmin Edge 1040Check Price
Check Price (
35 hrs3.5inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7126g32GB
Garmin Edge 1030 PlusCheck Price
Check Price (
24 hrs3.5inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7123g32GB
Garmin Edge ExploreCheck Price12 hrs3.0inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7114g16GB
Garmin Edge Explore 2Check Price16 hrs3.0inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX7104g16GB
Garmin Edge 830Check Price
Check Price (
20 hrs2.6inColoredYesYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX778g16GB
Garmin Edge 530Check Price
Check Price (
20 hrs2.6inColoredNoYesYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX776g16GB
Garmin Edge 130 PlusCheck Price
Check Price (
12 hrs1.8inMonochromaticNoNoYesANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiIPX733gn/a
This table compares Garmin Edge bike computers and their features like battery life, screen size, and more.
*On-Device Navigation means that the device can recalculate the route when you are off-course.

Garmin Edge 530 FAQ

Garmin Edge 530 Technical Specifications

Here is the summary of the main features and the technical specification of the Garmin Edge 530.

Technical Specifications

  • Battery life: 20 hours (MicroUSB charging)
  • Screen size: 2.6in / 66mm
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Weight: 78g
  • Strava live segments: Yes
  • Smart trainers control: Yes
  • Smart navigation (rerouting): Yes
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Waterproofing: IPX7
  • Internal memory: 16GB

My Verdict

Garmin Edge 530 was a worthy upgrade over its previous generation Edge 520 Plus.

It comes with an improved and larger display. It’s faster and more responsive and lasts longer.

It’s button-based, so I can rely on it in all conditions. However, its usage and user experience is worse than on its touch-screen or Wahoo alternatives.

Edge 530 is popular among amateurs and enthusiasts of all disciplines despite some UX-related shortcomings. 

It’s also one of the best bike computers for beginners.

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Do you find this review helpful, or do you have feedback? Feel free to comment below.

Recommended Accessories

Below, I include a few accessories worth using with the Garmin Edge 530.

Garmin Varia RTL515 Radar

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… for your safety (read my Garmin Varia RTL515 radar review)

Garmin Varia RCT715 Radar with Camera

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… for your safety (read my Garmin Varia RCT715 radar review)

Two Bolt Out Front Mount

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… for integrated cockpits

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