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Old 03-31-08, 08:13 PM   #1
MTBLover
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Thumbs down Garmin Edge 305- should I buy?

I can get a 305 with HR and cadence for <$300, which, given the features, is probably a good deal for me. I could go with a Polar CS200cad, I suppose, but then I'd lose out on the GPS and more importantly, the altimeter. The threads in here on the 305 are pretty old, and I wondered if any of the negatives have been dealt with by Garmin in the past 12-18 months. Specifically:
1. I'm concerned about battery life. Contrary to my nic, I primarily ride metrics and centuries, so I'm often out for 5-7 hours at a clip. The longest rides are usually crowded and very well-supported (like the MS150s, Seagull Century, Lancaster CB Tour, etc.), so I could turn off the GPS and just use it for HR, cadence, and speed.
2. How is the battery life in the chest strap? Is the battery replaceable, or do you need to buy a new strap?
3. Has the training center software been upgraded? I'd probably use Sport Tracks anyway, but if Garmin has a better approach, I'd use that.
4. Has Garmin added a total odometer, or is this feature still missing?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-01-08, 05:31 AM   #2
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Some answers to your questions

1- If I charge the unit the night before I have gotten over 8 hours from it. It varies with temperature. Seems shorter on cold days. You can always hook up an external battery pack to the usb port for longer rides. This is not a mapping gps. If you were to get lost you could follow your outgoing route back to the start. If you want route mapping capabilities than you need the newer 605 or 705.

2 - I haven't had to change a chest strap battery yet. If you do be careful about the o-ring in the battery compartment. The battery on the speed cadence unit is more of a problem, and needs to be changed more often.

3 - There was a recent update to the training center software but afaik all it added was some new file saving features and an export to google earth.

4 - When you download to the training center software, the unit is reset. The software keeps overall totals for you.
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Old 04-01-08, 07:59 AM   #3
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Thanks dendawg!
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Old 04-01-08, 09:44 PM   #4
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I too wondered about buying an Edge 305 or if I should go for the 705. My main concern was battery life, with some people reporting on the web of only getting 5 hours of run time.

I received my Edge 305 a couple weeks ago and am happy to report on a century ride, 7 hours with the unit on, 6 hours of that riding, with both heart and cadence going, the battery indicator only went down to the half way mark. Then I ran the unit for an additional 6 hours of riding time for 3 more rides during the week before the low battery indicator came on.

So my Edge 305 gets exceptional battery life, and easily reaches the 12 hours claimed by Garmin. I purchased from Amazon.com for $250 shipped, and it had the latest firmware on the unit, so I can tell is a factory fresh unit. I'd be careful about buying used and/or old stock from elsewhere. I'd highly recommend Amazon.
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Old 04-02-08, 08:00 PM   #5
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Thanks veamac- I ordered mine from Amazon yesterday- same deal you got. Glad to hear the battery life is holding up for you- many of my rides are >6hrs, so this is reassuring.
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Old 04-07-08, 01:10 PM   #6
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Even with the newest revisions of the software, I still prefer SportTracks...
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Old 04-07-08, 05:05 PM   #7
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I got mine from Amazon also and am very pleased with the unit. Battery life for me is typically 9-10 hours, running GPS, HR and cadence. You can increase this by getting an external battery pack that plugs into the mini-USB port and then the 305 will run longer than I can pedal. The one I got is:

Tekkeon myPower go (MP1500) from geomangear.com. $15. The box holds 4 AA batteries, Nicad rechargeables and will also charge your cell phone with the right adapter. When the Garmin battery runs out, I put the Tekkeon in the seat pouch, run the cable along the top tube and plug into the Garmin. I haven't bothered to make a handlebar mount.
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Old 04-09-08, 03:30 AM   #8
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it's a good price for $250 at amazon
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Old 04-09-08, 08:44 AM   #9
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I got mine on Amazon for 199.00$
motionbased.com overlays your tracks on google and signup is free so long as you only want to look at your last 10 runs/rides only, so it does have some mapping capability, just not on the unit itself. Very super cool. My profile is "feartec" if you would like to se what you can do with it. It is really an amazing unit. I've also used it to find my way home on long runs/rides since I can't read Japanese street signs. I've had it for about 6 months, and it's been worth it. Battery life, and all the other cons don't even come close to the benefits.
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Old 04-09-08, 09:35 AM   #10
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Got my 305 for $20. Gotta love REI used gear sales. The tag explanation read, "often just stops working." True dat, I do sometimes lose signal when under a thick tree canopy...
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Old 04-09-08, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feartec View Post
I got mine on Amazon for 199.00$
motionbased.com overlays your tracks on google and signup is free so long as you only want to look at your last 10 runs/rides only, so it does have some mapping capability, just not on the unit itself. Very super cool. My profile is "feartec" if you would like to se what you can do with it. It is really an amazing unit. I've also used it to find my way home on long runs/rides since I can't read Japanese street signs. I've had it for about 6 months, and it's been worth it. Battery life, and all the other cons don't even come close to the benefits.
I currently see the 305 (Cadence & HR) listed for $268.00 @ Amazon. Did I miss the lower price?
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Old 04-09-08, 10:46 AM   #12
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There was a $75 rebate through Garmin, but I believe that expired already.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeebo View Post
I currently see the 305 (Cadence & HR) listed for $268.00 @ Amazon. Did I miss the lower price?
I may have gotten it with a coupon or something. I do remember the price, though. The wife wouldn't let me spend over 200$ on it.
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Old 04-12-08, 12:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
snip
1. I'm concerned about battery life. Contrary to my nic, I primarily ride metrics and centuries, so I'm often out for 5-7 hours at a clip. The longest rides are usually crowded and very well-supported (like the MS150s, Seagull Century, Lancaster CB Tour, etc.), so I could turn off the GPS and just use it for HR, cadence, and speed.
2. How is the battery life in the chest strap? Is the battery replaceable, or do you need to buy a new strap?
3. Has the training center software been upgraded? I'd probably use Sport Tracks anyway, but if Garmin has a better approach, I'd use that.
4. Has Garmin added a total odometer, or is this feature still missing?

Thanks in advance!
I've been considering this as well, but have similar concerns although I don't make many of those long rides. I generally go out for maybe 2-4 hours at a stretch. I'd really like the odometer option too.

One major concern is that the 305 battery is not user replaceable (to my knowledge.) I've read of instances where the battery began failing within 2 years and the fix was almost as expensive as the unit itself. I don't know if that's a rare instance or what since the 305 has been out, what, 2 years now?

But the ability to track the ride along with the heart rate, etc is a strong inducement.

My magic number is also <$200. I lost that $75 rebate option last fall by taking too long to consider. I'm keeping my options open. The Cateye V3 is interesting too, but if I'm gonna spend that much, I might as well have the option to transfer the info to the PC.
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