Edge 520 vs Elemnt Bolt

Alright, a good vs thread for everyone, I’m sure everyone loves these!!! I’m pretty sure most folks will go bolt, but figured I’d post because I have nothing better to do!

So I’m considering updating the ol’ head unit, and get some mapping capabilities. I have a pioneer ca500 and while I find it to be a really fine head unit for training (and it does wifi sync), it’s kind of clunky and missing the bells and whistles of these newer units. I’m definitely leaning toward bolt (because of stuff like the phone app to customize), but I realize they’re both pretty close. Anyhow, have at it!

Had a520 - not easy to read in sunlight.


Elemnt bolt. Much better than my previous 520


Bolt. Simple and just works unlike Garmin.


I’ve got both and surprise, surprise, I prefer Garmin Edge 520 but…Garmin failed many times, Bolt hasn’t. The battery in Garmin is a joke (with navigation and all sensors it is a 4.5 hours top). But I don’t like setting everything via app and I can’t define activity profiles. In Garmin I’ve defined 3 profiles: Indoor, Training, Race and all setings are connected with them like: screens, GPS setiings etc. In Bolt I like LEDs, battery life and reliability. I know, it didn’t help :slight_smile:



Being able to change the number of fields on the fly is a game-changer. Smartphone integration is ok, but much better than anything you’ll get with the Garmin. Live segments if you’re in to that.

I’ve owned both. I still have the Bolt!


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I can only compare to an Edge 500 which was unreliable (losing satellite coverage , difficult to upload to Garmin connect etc). Got a Bolt last year and it’s been great. Navigation using ridewithgps is great and customising data fields via the app is so much easier than the tedious way of updating Garmin fields. Battery life great also. Did an 8 day trip in Spain last year and battery lasted all day with navigation on constantly. Usually had loads of battery % left as well. Bolt for me!

all about tradeoffs, and your own priorities.

Shape based routing on 520 means Strava routes get a form of turn-by-turn nav, something not on Bolt. I like seeing street names on a map, to avoid pulling out my phone. I’ve only had Garmin “fail” once in 3+ years and 1000+ rides, and it was fixed with a free online tool (timestamp jumped ahead 12 hours near end of ride). Battery is usually 6 hours, somewhat annoying so on longer rides I shove a small lipstick battery in my back pocket. I’m in my late 50s and have glasses to see distances, they interfere with reading close but I can still see my 520. Setup the data fields once, tweaked a couple of times, never found any reason to change the number of data fields on the fly, so outside initial setup I don’t care about phone config or changing # of fields on the fly. There are useful apps you can install on 520. From day one I was pushing workouts and routes to 520 from my phone. Color rules IMHO. After buying Varia radar I can’t see giving it up, or having two head units.

I’d like something with longer battery life, color display, and supports safety gear like radar and light networks. After playing with the Bolt last year I had no reason to dump the 520. Was thinking about 520 plus (maybe), Hammerhead Karoo (no speaker or radar), and right now I’ve got my eye on the Stages L50 that DCRainmaker recently gave an update on.

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Bolt. It just works.
The Garmin I had before was an exercise in troubleshooting. I’ve never once had to plug my Bolt in and try to pull a workout that it failed to sync, etc.

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Bolt rules, simple to use, fast CPU and great working Integration with Komoot. Also my Favero Powermeter is working well with the bolt.


the people have spoken!

Though I hate giving business to Wahoo these days, my Bolt is the best bike comp I’ve owned.

Unfortunately if you do a survey everyone will just choose what they have which means Garmin will win (although amazingly thus far it seems the bolt is winning).

They are both good, the Bolt is more comparable to an 820 in features.

I looked at both, and got the …Lezyne Mega C Enhanced GPS. Half the price with virtually all the utility. :blush:

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I was going to suggest this option too - they seem really good bang for buck.

I haven’t used the BOLT but have used the Garmin 520 since 2016. (over 30000 km) Had two fails but retrieved the data and only once a complete fail when I lost a 25 min section of a ride which I couldn’t get back.
I would say that is pretty reliable. Also I have four profiles set up for different rides which I is what I would need BOLT to do. Garmin tracks and records,time, power, speed, distance, HR, cadence, temperature, ascent, elevation, grade, and variations of all plus I can have one item on screen and up to ten. It does everything I want and see no reason to change and I would probably get the Garmin 520 plus if I had too.

The BOLT is better in every way, lots of reason to change.