Garmin, Strava, Wahoo push forward

Today, Garmin released its new Edge 520, touted as the only GPS bike computer to feature Strava Live Segments. Garmin and Strava's partnership on the Edge 520 allows users to challenge Strava Segments, in real time, while monitoring their performance on the Edge 520. The Cannondale-Garmin team will debut the new Garmin computer at the Tour de France.

Some of the new features on the Edge 520 include: live Strava segment performance with continuous ahead/behind indicators, performance comparison between your personal records and the King/Queen of the Mountains (KOM/QOM), and a countdown to the start of a segment and immediate Strava segment results upon completing the segment. The Edge 520 will also feature timing in zone, functional threshold power, cycling specific VO2 max amongst other cycling dynamics, smart notifications, and a high resolution 2.3-inch color display. It has a claimed battery life of 15 hours and is compatible with GPS and GLONASS satellites along with Di2 electronic shifting systems. It also has all of the basic features found in the Edge 510 (e.g., Ant+ sensor capability, upload to Garmin Connect when paired with Bluetooth devices, smart notification).

Strava segments are arguably the most hotly contested competitions amongst cyclist and runners of all levels from around the world. Strava Live Segments will only be available to Strava users with the Premium Plan ($59/year).

The Edge 520 will be available for pre-order on the Strava Shop July 1, 2015, for $299 or $399 bundled with heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and speed sensor. Not to fret, those of you with the Edge 1000, 810, and 510, will see a firmware update in Q3 with the same features. These additions to the Garmin Edge line of bike computers is a smart move by both Garmin and Strava, and may have other manufacturers playing catch-up.

Meanwhile, Wahoo Fitness released the KICKR SNAP, a wheel-on version of the popular Wahoo KICKR. The KICKR SNAP maintains all the popular features of the Wahoo KICKR including: resistance control, connection to smartphones/tablets/computers, designed to work with training platforms such as Zwift and TrainerRoad, Ant+ and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity; but for $250 less than the Wahoo KICKR.

There are some subtle differences between the KICKR and the SNAP, besides the obvious being the wheel-on design of the SNAP. A few of the reported differences include: the SNAP reported accuracy of +/-5% versus 3% for the KICKR; the SNAP has a maximum wattage of 1100 watts versus 1500 watts for the KICKR; and the SNAP will not allow for 3rd party power meter support, a feature that has grown in popularity amongst users of training platforms such as TrainerRoad.

The KICKR SNAP will be available starting in August 2015 from Wahoo Fitness and select retailers for $849.