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  1. #1
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    Garmin Edge 500 vs 305

    I am new here and first of all I wanna say Hello to everyone. Well, I am looking to buy a new GPS, but can't decide between Garmin Edge 500 and 305. I searched online, but didn't find any good comparisons on specs/features. Also checked out some price comparison websites eg. http://www.dealrocker.com, http://www.nextag.com etc. and noticed both are available almost on same price. I would prefer something fully loaded with new technology, hrm and cadence features. Need your help to get the best one.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    Some comparison was discussed in this thread:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...armin-Edge-500

    They both are very similar, but I think the 500 is new and improved. Smaller size/weight, improved bike mount, improved screen customization, seem to have fixed some electronic bugs in the 305 (auto shut off after hitting bumps). Other than that, pretty much the same. You can find much better deals on the 305 right now.

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  4. #4
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    Be careful - not all the Garmin units come with the cadence and heart rate sensors! They can be sold with only the GPS, with the GPS and a cadence/speed sensor, with the GPS and heart rate monitor, or with the GPS and cadence/speed and heart rate sensors. So you really have to read the product description carefully to make sure all that stuff is included.

    You really do not need the speed sensor anyway, as the units without anything still have the GPS. The speed sensor is only used if you turn the GPS off, or if for some reason the GPS signal is lost.

    You can get a side by side comparison on the Garmin site. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare....areProduct=331

    The difference in the 500 and 305 boils down to this.

    500 is slightly lighter, by a whole whopping 30 grams. The 500 can display data from an ANT+ power meter, if you have one. The 500 claims longer battery life, but both have ample power for a full day of riding and both can be recharged overnight. The 500 can auto scroll through the data screens - which could be good if you really like to see a lot of data while riding. If all you want are the basics (giving up things like sunrise/sunset times, heading, and a bunch of other stuff then you probably do not need the auto scroll feature. The 500 also shows calories burned a little more accurately by using the heart rate monitor along with user supplied data.

    The 500 is a little wider, a little shorter, and about the same thickness as the 305. Both the 305 and 500 have exactly the same display size however, so neither is really better or worse here.

    The 305 can store 100 waypoints and 50 routes (the 500 can not store any waypoints, and therefore can not have any routes). On a longer ride if you know the lat/long of each turn and/or rest stop, you can create a route in the 305 that will tell you the distance to the next waypoint, ETA based on current speed, and so on. Also, you will not miss a turn or get lost.

    The 305 has the ability to create custom, goal oriented workouts (they call them advanced workouts), simple workouts (you input the time and/or distance and/or calories burned goal(s) and the GPS does the rest), and the 305 will alert you if your pace drops below whatever you do not want it to drop below. The 500 does none of those things.

    The 305 also supports interval training - where you tell the GPS how long/far you want to ride, then how long you plan to rest before continuing.

    And that is pretty much it.

    Given the differences, the fact that for me I will probably never get (or need) a power meter, and that I do not really need the more accurate calories burned data (taking into account my heart rate) - but the desire to be able to input waypoints should I ever want to do so - I went for the 305. I got my 305 bundled with the HRM and speed/cadence sensors. The HRM fits very well, and does not make me want to rip it off and throw it away on a ride. The speed/cadence sensor was a little bit of a PITA for me to install, as the chain stay on my Giant OCR C2 is not really tube shaped, it is more rectangular. If I got the cadence to work, the speed sensor would slap the spokes. If the spokes cleared, then the cranks would hit the sensor. After almost giving up, I discovered that if I mounted the sensor upside down and backwards (hanging off the bottom of the chain stay) it all worked. At least the cadence works, the speed I get from the GPS not the magnet thing spinning away on the wheel.

    Careful online price checking found me a bundled 305 with the HRM and speed/cadence sensors included for around the same price as a 500 with no extra sensors included.

  5. #5
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I have a 305 and wish i had a 500. The 305 has maps that are pointless, more like unreadable btreadcrumbs, and a training virtual partner that I'd never use. The 500 has temp and a bigger readout. I think the list is actually less on the 500. Garmin just announced a gray version, so you won't be stuck with blue.

    I'd go 500. Or if you want a 305 you can get the 500 and and trade me.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Please pardon a slight hijack.
    There seems to be two different models of the 305, the Edge 305 and the Forerunner 305. The Forerunner 305 looks like a pretty good unit and a good value. I'm looking for something that will record my routes so I can upload the data for mapping and elevation profile. I don't care about the display size except smaller is better. I don't intend to look at it while I'm riding, only to upload the data afterward.
    Is there anything about the Edge 500 that would make it a better choice than the Forerunner 305?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
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    You can lower the amount of data the 305 displays and the readout figure is larger. The map is useful, but you have to make your own. You enter the waypoints, then follow a route. I have done this on a boat using a hand held GPS and a paper chart. I took the waypoints off the chart, entered them into the GPS, then created routes. The routes navigated me around things such shallow areas, rocks, and so on. You can do the same thing with the 305. Use Google maps to pull the GPS numbers, then create a route. You know the distance to the next waypoint, and which way to turn.

    The 500 does not even give you the option of using waypoints, but it has a few things the 305 lacks. Neither unit is really "better" or "worse", it all depends on what features you want, and which you will actually use.

    If you want street level maps, you will need a step up in price point. But really, I know my city fairly well. I do not think that street level maps are worth the extra couple of hundred bucks. If I need to check my location my phone has a GPS and Google maps. I can stop for a couple of minutes.

    If I had a bunch of money to spend on a GPS bike computer, or I did a lot of tour riding out of town then that would be one thing - but really, if you are at home do you need street maps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seagull01 View Post
    The 305 has the ability to create custom, goal oriented workouts (they call them advanced workouts), simple workouts (you input the time and/or distance and/or calories burned goal(s) and the GPS does the rest), and the 305 will alert you if your pace drops below whatever you do not want it to drop below. The 500 does none of those things.

    The 305 also supports interval training - where you tell the GPS how long/far you want to ride, then how long you plan to rest before continuing.

    .
    The 500 now supports workouts/intervals with the recent firmware release.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Please pardon a slight hijack.
    There seems to be two different models of the 305, the Edge 305 and the Forerunner 305. The Forerunner 305 looks like a pretty good unit and a good value. I'm looking for something that will record my routes so I can upload the data for mapping and elevation profile. I don't care about the display size except smaller is better. I don't intend to look at it while I'm riding, only to upload the data afterward.
    Is there anything about the Edge 500 that would make it a better choice than the Forerunner 305?
    Got me. But here is a side by size comparison of the two units, from the Garmin website.

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare....eProduct=36728

    You can also download the user manual for the 500 here.
    http://www.garmin.com/manuals/Edge500_OwnersManual.pdf

    And the manual for the Forerunner 305 here.
    http://www.garmin.com/manuals/984_OwnersManual.pdf

    As for which one is "better", I suppose that depends on you. You can download the user manuals so you know what each can and can not do before you buy. Garmin is really great when it comes to product information.

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links. I'm such a newb at the idea of all this fancy electronic gadgetry that I'm not sure I how to interpret much of the information in the manuals. The best I can figure, the Forerunner 305 will collect the kind of data I'm interested in tracking and also has a heart rate monitor which I have been considering. The price is low enough for me to swallow without as much problem as with the 500 or 310XT. I think I'll just take the leap and see how it works.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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