Sunday, August 8, 2010

Edge 500 data loss

Garmin Edge 500Yesterday: Edge 500 with current firmware:
  1. Hit start
  2. Ride 195 miles (Mt Tam Double); 8th finisher
  3. Severely depleted, didn't think to hit stop, or anything other than checking in and then recovering.
  4. 2 hours later, notice Edge is on, so I shut it off.
  5. Hooked up with car pool buddy, I drive home.
  6. Go to upload ride to Strava, but no data has been stored.

User error? Maybe. But obviously at the end of challenging almost-200 mile course the synapses aren't going to be firing with razor-like sharpness.

User interface design 101: Never, ever delete or otherwise discard data which has been recorded without warning the user. Here's what I propose, just in case Garmin engineers are reading this (or my post on Garmin forums):
  1. Create a Trash directory under Activities
  2. When data is about to be discarded, dump it into a FIT file in the Trash folder, warning the user
  3. When a FIT file in Trash becomes a week old, check with the user if he wants to clean it up.

Needless to say, with my recently acquired Strava addiction, I was not pleased to lose data from a 12+ hour ride with 14.5 kft of climbing.

StravaThe Edge 500 has wonderful features: an enormous improvement on the Saris Cervo ("little yellow computer"). For example, it was a rare long ride where at some point the Cervo wouldn't shut off and I'd forget to turn it back on before starting again, losing data. And the configurable Edge 500 display is fantastic (although I'd like to see the option for more than three page configurations: so much data...). And Strava is a real paradigm shift in cycling, something the GPS enables.

But prior to updating the firmware to version 2.40 I had the unit freeze up with me and I lose what may have been my best ride (avg power) for the time taken to climb Camino Alto in Marin, and then I lost the entire Mt Tam double.

They're still working out the kinks. I'm sure these weaknesses will be addressed in coming firmware updates. It's still frustrating, however.


David said...

I have a love/hate relationship with mine. In previous firmware versions it frequently crashed on pushing the lap button, but that seems to be fixed in the latest update. It is almost good now, but Garmin have decided to mess up the speed in the latest version, so I frequently get bursts of speed 10km/h+ faster than I actually am going... I want to love it, but Garmin are making it hard.

Hefner said...

ALERT - Changing topic!

Do you take requests??? I have been wondering why it has become almost the "norm" to run a deeper profile rim in the rear vs. the front when the front wheel has more of an impact on drag. What are your thoughts on this? Is the trend correct or a bad fad?

djconnel said...

I think there's two reasons:

1. handling is less affected by the deep rim on the rear than on the front, so while the benefit on the rear is less, so is the "cost"

2. Deep rims are of maximal beneficial when there's a bit of cross-wind. Compare the Ardennes (a shallow dish wheel) to the Stinger 9 on the Hed data plotter. The rear wheel gets "dirty air" from the side, never head-on, so the deep dish may actually still be of considerable benefit here, even if overall wind drag tends to be less.

This second point is just conjecture on my part. Certainly handling plays a role, although the latest toroidal rims from Hed and Zipp seem to handle cross-winds better than the first-generation deep rim shapes. See for example this review.

Hefner said...

assuming little or no wind...

rkhill said...

Did you try downloading with any other software (yeah, stupid question, I'm assuming you've tried this). I've had Ascent (my usual program of choice) not see a ride on my 305 occasionally (because of an odd, but repeatable, sequence) but the Garmin software (which otherwise sucks) will download the ride.

djconnel said...

Thanks, Rich. I don't use any software to download my rides: instead the Garmin mounts as a USB hard drive on my Linux box, then I can find the files in:


This is the first time I've completely lost a ride, even though to this point I've been equally careless with post-ride protocol. So it's a bit strange.

According to df, there's still plenty of space left on the device.