I'm using a Garmin Edge 500 cycle computer. For most parts I'm quite happy with it. Besides the issue of it not finding GPS from time to time there is one thing which really drives me crazy: When switching between my bikes I have to go through 5 or so menus to get to the option to pick another bike. Without doing that it won't recognize the bike sensors. Over time I had quite a few cases where I didn't realize I forgot to configure it properly.

I can't image it too be too complicated software-wise to scan for all known bike sensors and automatically switch over (or ask the user "hey I'm seeing other sensors, should I switch to that bike?") so I wonder if there are folks working on alternative firmware which offers such features or where one could contribute.

2 Answers 2


Garmin do not publish the firmware or provide support for community modifications, and actually seem to be killing off the one community feature they had allowed (the ability to use non Garmin maps) in some areas.

My advice - buy another device for the other bike, or just accept that navigating through 5 menus isn't really that bad:-)

  • For some devices they at least provide linux kernels. Certainly it's not enough for a full system but might be a start for enthusiasts. :-)
    – johannes
    Dec 15, 2012 at 23:46
  • +1, that's an interesting response. I have an 800 whose memory card is rammed full of open source maps. I wonder where that will go?
    – PeteH
    Dec 17, 2012 at 10:44

I love my Edge 500 and just use the GPS, no sensors needed, I get speed and distance and a great map after uploading, just no cadence (I am aware that the speed/cadence sensor does give better speed/distance but I like the ease of using the device on all my bikes without having to buy and pair extra sensors).

As far as GPS signal, I turn it on and set in a window sill, or outside while I get ready and the GPS signal is always ready before I am.

They do update the firmware and add new features (latest is a bunch of Power stuff, but has known elevation issues). The feature you ask for may be coming on newer equipment, or even firmware updates in the future from Garmin.

You can share your idea with Garmin yourself here http://www8.garmin.com/contactUs/ideas/

  • Well, writing them gave me a standard response "thanks for your feedback we always try to improve our products" and the issue aside: Being a software guy I could imagine other fun things one could do when being able to develop custom software (besides consuming power and making the battery run out ;) )
    – johannes
    Dec 16, 2012 at 20:16

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