who's got a garmin 520? Elevation / grade accuracy

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  • who's got a garmin 520? Elevation / grade accuracy
  • meeeee
    Member

    Thinking of getting a 520 but seen a few reports of the total elevation for the ride being quite a bit out, and also a big lag in the grade display compared to other garmin devices.

    Anyone noticed this, or has it been fixed?

    Also is the display sharper than the 800 / 810 which always seemed a bit blurry to me?

    This is a long running argument in the same realms of flat vs clipped.

    IMO elevation using a barometer will only be accurate if you

    a) set it immediately before the ride &
    b) the airpressure does not change for the length of the ride – not a problem in this country !

    For me, I say stick to using GPS altitude

    When i had a 500 i just looked at the elevataion profile, if it looks like it went back up and down to the same point i was happy with it. If not i switched it to GPS data. Easy to do on Garmin/Strava.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    yes, its atrocious at elevation, no idea how to solve it, neither do Garmin. You’ll just have to get used to being the odd one out on every ride.

    Strava elevation correct works but that means you have to log in to a PC which negates the usefulness of having a bluetooth connection to upload the data.

    If you set the elevation at the start of rides, or have ‘saved locations’ with height data then I’ve found it to be pretty accurate.

    If you don’t set the elevation start point then it should still accurately record height variation but absolute heights are likely to be inaccurate.

    Strava elevation correct works but that means you have to log in to a PC which negates the usefulness of having a bluetooth connection to upload the data.

    What does this mean? If you sync via phone and Garmin connect (to strava), does it not send the elevation data?

    Having said all of that, elevation data is (IMO) a curiosity and not something that needs to be 100% accurate. It’s never going to be accurate enough to help navigation (although I have used it to show that we’re approaching a trig point in poor visibility) so it’s just about bragging rights to show how far you’ve ridden / how much climbing etc?

    Christ, it’s took me long enough to get the live segments thingy working, I’ve not even started to replace the maps yet, and now this! 😆

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    not really noticed a problem. most regular loops that I do seem to return elevations that I’d expect.

    new firmware out as well. might be worth installing to see if they’ve made any changes beyond the change list.

    http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=9271

    fooman
    Member

    A friend with a 520 just used Strava elevation correction which changed a ride from 5,974ft to 10,684ft (instantly putting them on the top of the weekly leaderboard!) – that was over a proper mountain route, the % difference from correction seems less on less mountainous routes. As long as the correction goes up not down!

    Premier Icon tenfoot
    Subscriber

    A friend with a 520 just used Strava elevation correction which changed a ride from 5,974ft to 10,684ft

    When I did it, it knocked 600 feet off a total of 1300.

    I’ve got a 520 but this is my first Garmin with an altimeter so can’t comment on relative accuracy compared to other Garmins. However, where I live and ride, I’d trust the 520 over Strava as the latter seems to massively overstate height gained (I’m assuming the local digital elevation model Strava uses is somewhat lacking)…

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    Maybe its location dependent, round here strava elevation correction generally knocks 25-30% off your total.

    I know it’s nonsense, I live at sea level, I can ride along the seafront for an hour and it will say I’ve climbed 300-400 ft.

    I guess unless you live somewhere where you can actually observe it then you’ll be perfectly happy, ignorance is generally the best option I find.

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