In addition, without Nav you can enable an option to receive alerts about sharp turns. Because I often ride in the metro area without navigation, even if I’m not familiar with the road details. Or travel somewhere and use bike trails where you don’t need Nav. Always nice to get a sharp turn alert when bombing down a hill.
I’ve had the 530 for a few years and have never mastered routing. It seems so hard to use since they dumbed down the features to encourage one to buy the next model up.
I also found that the 530 wouldn’t know how someone on a bike might get from point A to point B. Like use this road, jump on the bike trail to go under the freeway maze, continue on, etc. My 530 didn’t know about the bike trails and would try and get me to take 50mph limit dangerous roads. So, you still need local knowledge.
My best use the 530 routing was having pre-loaded the 3 usual group ride routes I was doing with a club. Since I was new to the area, it was great to be signaled for all the turns. Or, when I got shot out the back it would show me the way back.
If you plan a route beforehand (I use RidewithGPS, but Strava or Garmin Connect work OK), then it is straightforward to wirelessly load it on the device and follow it. Using those websites, reversing the route is a button click. The 530 works great for this on or off road.
On the other hand, if you want to plan routes on the device, then I don’t think it is an ideal option. Navigating back to start works as above (and it is also easy just to follow the line in the wrong direction), but you don’t want to do much more than that.
I’ve made a couple of “courses” using Garmin, as I thought it might be a good idea to use the heatmap feature for road cycling, to try to stick to popular/paved roads. (is this a good idea?)
If I’m following a course, say with 3 towns; Start, to A,B,C and End(Start)… and I follow through point A, but see something of interest and detour away from point B towards point C, would the 530 still try to get me to to point B?.. or would it try to get me to point C? or would it somehow ask me?
I did a little test run in the car, I take it the 530 doesn’t have a reroute feature?
I think that functionality is limited to the 830 and up. You can diverge from your course and join up with it later but I think the 530 will only navigate you to the start of a course when you select one or you can go “back to start”.
You can see where you have been during your current ride (light blue line by default) which I’ve used to get home when I’ve deviated from my route. I’ve also used my phone for help when I’ve gone of course and wanted to find a more direct way home.
You might be able to find some great routes in your area with Strava (paid) or Ride With GPS. You can download the routes and upload them to Garmin Connect to build a route.
If this is something you really want out of your bike computer maybe you could upgrade to the 830 or try one of the competitors. If you haven’t had it long it might be really easy to do.
I tend to use RideWithGPS to build routes - I find Strava handy for the heatmaps, but the ClimbPro always seems a few 100m with Strava mapping
My main issue with the 530 is if you go off course, it sends you further off course to the U turn point (so if you U turn early, it will try and u turn me and the u turn again back to course). I keep meaning to see if I can turn that off but forget to the next time it happens!
Overall, I prefer it to the elemnt bolt (v1) that the 530 replaced.
It has a “recalculate” function (which most people turn off). If you deviate from the planned route it will reroute you to the destination using its own metrics not your planned route. I find I hardly even deviate, and if you miss or take a wrong turn it just spins you round (how often can you not just do a u-turn at most points on a road? Alternatively, you can see the route marked on the map, just ride back to it of your own accord. Once you’re back on the route I find it quickly seems to sort itself out.
I think this is where studying a map, old school style, is the way to go.
Studying the heat map is good. Another Strava related idea is to look for the KOMs in the area, and then from there you can click on the individual rides and see what kind of rides people do. Looking for local bike clubs and their group rides might also help. Bike clubs might already have their usual routes posted that you could download. And if you find a local club on Strava, you could possibly stalk the active riders and see where they usually ride.
Strava will also give you suggested routes of varying distances (and surface types). I found this pretty good when on holiday - a few private routes/ closed gates, and too narly for me on my gravel bike, but I think it was one of each over a couple of weeks using it for “off road” routes in France.
It’s a paid feature under Maps - android app screenshot below. If you star a route it syncs to garmin from here. When on holiday, I generally did it the night before, and then it’d be ready to go in the morning.