Garmin Edge 130 Battery Replacement

Garmin Edge 130 case with screen, circuit board and battery removed

TL;DR Just read this article by Tom Schmitz: Garmin Edge 130 Battery Upgrade

In October 2019, Strava decided to discontinue Bluetooth and ANT+ pairing with the Strava iOS and Android app. That meant that my Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor that I used with my iPhone Strava app wouldn’t work anymore. (In November 2020, Strava restored the ability to use Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) heart rate sensors with the phone apps, grrrrrr)

Garmin Edge 130 on Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands

I ride mostly familiar roads so I opted for a bike computer that didn’t have a color screen or robust mapping, the Garmin Edge 130 GPS bike computer. I thought that the claimed battery life of “up to 15 hours” was great and I was pretty happy when I first bought it with the ability to see my heart rate, grade, total ascent and other stats.

Last Christmas, Kipp gave me a Garmin Varia RTL510 radar tail light that pairs with the Edge 130 to provide audible and visual alerts of when you’re about to be killed from behind, or as Garmin puts it, “provides visual and audible alerts to warn of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters) away.”

This month, I was riding with my 15 month old Edge 130 paired with my phone, heart rate monitor and RTL510 and the battery in the Edge 130 died after 3.5 hours.

In an attempt to increase the battery life of the Edge 130, I disabled the phone connection while riding and removed multiple pairings of the same device. I used ANT+ to connect the Polar H10 to the Edge 130 and when the Edge 130 offered to pair the H10 via Bluetooth, I declined. After doing this, with the H10 and RTL510 connected, I got about 5 hours from the Edge 130 before it died. Garmin has a best practice support article on connecting sensors to your Edge but it really didn’t help in extending battery life. I don’t usually ride for more than 5 hours at a time but shouldn’t my bike computer last as long as my rides?

The first solution that I briefly considered was a lipstick sized portable charger that I could mount on a Two Fish Lockblocks Flashlight Holder. The charger could be plugged into the Edge 130 with a short micro-USB cord. Besides looking bush, my cockpit is already too crowded with an Edge 130, GoPro and Lezyne headlight.

After a 3.5 hour ride, 71% battery remaining!

Through googling for Garmin Edge 130 battery life, I found the definitive article on the Garmin Edge 130 Battery Upgrade, written by Tom Schmitz on his site, souperdoo.com. His solution is to replace the 180 mAh battery with a 300 mAh battery. He found a 300 mAh battery with dimensions of 30 x 25 x 5 mm (502530) that fits in the 130 battery compartment without any modification.

I bought my 3.7V 300 mAh 502530 Lithium Polymer Rechargeable Battery on eBay. Following Tom Schmitz’s great instructions, the battery upgrade for my Edge 130 took about 45 minutes.

After a 3.5 hour ride with the 300 mAh battery, with the phone, H10 and RTL510 connected, there was 71% battery remaining!

Riding a Bike on the Golden Gate Bridge

In this video, I’m riding my bike south towards San Francisco around the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. I used a GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition to capture the video. The occasional clicking sound is the downshifting of my Campagnolo Chorus Ergopower controls.

In the video poster frame, you can see the water just outside San Francisco Bay in the gap between the orange barriers. That doesn’t help my acrophobia, especially knowing that there is a 227 foot drop to the water. And it’s only blocked by a temporary Cyclone fence.

There’s almost always a constant wind off the Pacific Ocean, blowing across the bridge to the east . This year, the bridge authority retrofitted the railings to withstand 100 mph gusts. Now, when the wind is >25 mph, the new sidewalk railings emit a deafening hum that can be heard miles away. Add the sound of cars and trucks three feet away going south at 50 mph, it’s not a wonderful experience.

I just try not to look to the right.

Easier Cycling Uphill – Modifying a Campagnolo Chorus Rear Derailleur

Campagnolo Chorus Rear Derailleur 2015 11 speed

When I go on my bike rides, for some reason, I set a goal to climb 3000 feet (914 m). With the combination of my age (67.74 years) and weight (194 lbs, 88 kg, 13.86 stone), it started to get harder for me to turn over the pedals on steep (12%-15%) grades.

I’m riding an Eddy Merckx Professional frame with 2015 Campagnolo Chorus components. I set it up with an 11 speed Campagnolo Chorus compact crank with 50/34 chainrings and an 11-29 Campagnolo Chorus cassette, which had the lowest gear at the time. The wheels are Mavic Open Pro UST rims, Campagnolo Record hubs and DT Competition Double Butted spokes.

In the 11 speed range, Campagnolo is now offering a 11-32 cassette (11–12–13–14–15–17–19–22–25–28–32). I thought that the lower gear on the new cassette would make climbing easier but the maximum sprocket size for my Chorus rear derailleur with the short cage is 29 teeth. Campagnolo has a rear derailleur technical document with the specifications. (PDF)

Campagnolo makes a medium cage for the 2015 (and later) Chorus rear derailleur (p/n RD-RE102m, see page 19 of this Campagnolo parts document), so installing the medium cage would enable me to use the 11-32 cassette.

Campagnolo 11-32 Cassette, Chorus rear derailleur medium cage, short cage

With the medium cage derailleur, 11-32 cassette and a new longer chain, I’m no longer killing myself to go up the 12%-15% grades, though the difference wasn’t as dramatic as I thought it would be. I could probably also accomplish a similar effect by losing 15 lbs.