“This is it. This is the one we’ve been waiting for.” Spoken by a professional triathlete and echoed by hundreds of others visiting the Garmin Interbike booth, this type of praise has been the consensus reaction for our newly announced Edge 500 cycling device. At half the size and half the price of the popular Edge 705 – yet still packed with features such as ANT+ power compatibility, high-sensitivity GPS and customizable data fields – Edge 500 has been a hit with retailers, athletes, window-shoppers and journalists. Within the first half-hour of being in the booth Thursday, I had already done three on-camera interviews about the Edge 500 and its cross-training cousin, Forerunner 310XT. And though its official launch is in December, Edge 500 made its racing debut this week at the USA Crits Finals here in Las Vegas. Garmin’s own Karsten Hagen, our west coast fitness sales manager and cycling specialist, shook things up in the Industry Cup. With 10 km left, Karsten was leading the peloton and two laps left was part of a break that looked like it had a chance. In the end, the race was decided by the sprinters and we cheered Karsten’s strong showing and studied the stats (above) on his Edge 500, including an average speed of 29 miles per hour.
Edge 500 hasn’t been the only star of this show, as the pros of Team Garmin have had a chance to meet fans and sign posters, shirts and jerseys. Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Will Frischkorn and Danny Summerhill were busy Wednesday afternoon in our booth and also spent time with Felt, Pearl Izumi, CamelBak and Shimano, our partners in the peloton. It all added up to five frenzied days in the sand and in the Sands, packed with savvy salesmen and curious customers telling glory stories of Garmin-enabled adventures and looking forward to getting the Edge 500 into their shops.