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Cycle Folsom Message Board Equipment and Tech Forum › Upload courses/routes to Garmin GPS

Upload courses/routes to Garmin GPS

Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 111
How to upload a route to your Garmin:

This depends on what Garmin model you have. I only have first hand knowledge with the Garmin Edge 305 and the Garmin Edge 500.

Garmin Edge 305:
I've used Garmin Training Center to actually load the file to my 305. But first, it likes a .crs file (Garmin course file), rather than a .tcx, .gpx, etc. The others may work, but I've found that .crs files work better (less file space). Few programs use the .crs format, so you need to use a secondary program like
to convert a .gpx file to a .crs file.

The basic steps are something like this:

  • Save a .gpx (preferred) or .tcx file to your computer from or some other program
  • Use GPSies (or other converter) to turn the .gpx / .tcx file into a .crs file and save that to your computer
  • Upload the .crs file to Garmin Training Center
  • Use Garmin Training Center to export your courses to your Edge 305

Garmin is no longer supporting Garmin Training Center, but they are no longer supporting the Edge 305. I haven't used Garmin Base Camp or Garmin Connect, so I'm not sure how easy those are to upload a course to your Garmin Edge 305. Garmin Edge 305 manual.

Garmin Edge 500:
The newer Garmins, like the 500, are recognized by a computer like a memory stick/flash drive. This makes it much easier to upload a file. I've had better success with the .tcx file format from RWGPS with the 500.

The basic steps are something like this:

  • Save a .tcx file to your computer from RWGPS or other program
  • Plug in your Garmin 500 to your computer
  • Copy the .tcx file saved earlier and paste it into the Garmin's "NewFiles" folder in the Garmin directory
  • Turn on your Garmin 500 and it should "process" the .tcx file into a .fit file and the course should show up in the courses directory on your 500.
Garmin 500 user manual (see p. 13 & 35).

RideWithGPS instructions by Garmin model:
Garmin Edge 305
Garmin Edge 605/705
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 800

Garmin support pages for other models (older to newest releases):
Garmin Edge 705
Garmin Edge 800
Garmin Edge 200
Garmin Edge 510
Garmin Edge 810
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 117
[Fast forward a couple of years]

Garmin 520

First, update on file type. The Garmin cycling GPS computers seem to work best with a .tcx file type. This is a standard download from RideWithGPS. You'll need to export the course/route file from RWGPS to your home computer or directly to your Garmin if it's connected to your home computer. Copy or save the .tcx file to your Garmin in the NewFiles folder, not the courses folder (when you turn on your Garmin, it will process the stuff in the new files folder).

Doing a course:
I've only had this 520 for a couple of hours at the time of writing, but I did go out and followed a route around my 'hood. I can't speak to all of the ends and outs yet, but here's the basics.

  • Power up your 520
  • Use the down arrow to scroll through the Menue
  • Go to Training and advance/enter/select (top right button)
  • Go to Courses and advance/enter/select
  • Scroll to the course you want to do and advance/enter/select
  • Select Ride (tip: if your downloading the night before a group ride, you can select Map to visually make your the route is on the Garmin & is correct)
  • Then select whether you want to navigate to the ride start, or cancel. Cancel will still bring up the map navigation window; it just won't direct you to the start of the route.
  • Press the start button/play button, and you should be good.

DC Rainmaker has a ton of details on the Garmin 520, like how to download better and free base maps, in his Garmin 520:everything you ever wanted to know blog post.
Oz L.
El Dorado Hills, CA
Post #: 76
It's funny that since I got my 520 early last week, I've tried almost every function except for loading a course on it! :-) You would think that after all these years, there would be an easier way for non-technical types to load a course on it using Ridewithgps. I did load the free maps and it does help. For detailed mapping, I use my cell phone(as long as I have cell signal or had previously downloaded some static maps for offline usage). Live Segments is one of the main selling points of the new 520 and I'm sure people will be utilizing it for a while. I did also use Live Tracking and it didn't seem to affect my cell phone battery too much. The link that Brian provided from DC Rainmaker is probably the most thorough review/guide that I've seen on the Internet. It also has a link within it to how to use Live Segments. I did also test the text message and missed calls functionality and it works well. As of this writing, the firmware update for some of the other Edge models will have almost the same parity of functions.
Rowland F.
Folsom, CA
Post #: 17
The software update to my Edge 510 added the Live Segments feature...
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 118
Garmin 520:
Garmin has a bunch of how to videos for the Garmin 520 on YouTube, stuff like pairing with sensors or bluetooth, courses & segments, etc, etc.
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