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Old 01-06-07, 03:36 PM   #1
jppe
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First Distance Ride with the Garmin 305

I did the Blackberry Cobbler 100 miler today in incredibly warm temperatures in NC. We were already in the high 60's in the early afternoon.

While I don't have anything to base the numbers on, I'm assuming the Garmin 305 is a little more accurate than my Ciclosport. At least I know the mileage is more accurate with it based on the GPS system. I rode in a pack or group of other riders and there was no interference or crosstalk between my unit and other folks electronic devices which is good news. Also, the cadence and speed displays worked perfectly in that there were no spots when it didn't provide any data which to me says the cadence/speed sensor (I realize speed is primarly GPS unless there is no GPS) is working well.

The grades for the hills seemed very close between the Ciclo and the Garmin. However, the Garmin indicated that I had about 10% more climbing than what I had recorded on the Ciclo for the exact same route (I've done it 6 times in the last 6 weeks). That was good news!

Apparently there were a number of Garmin's in the group of people I was riding with today. Everyone who had one, had programmed them for "autopause" so every time we came to a stop at an intersection you would hear a lot of "beep" "beep" from the units going into pause and then unpausing as we starting moving. I thought that was kinda funny......Maybe a new marketing theme for Garmin like Aflac and the duck......Beep Beep!!

I'm not sure about the algorithm that is uses to calculate calories burned but it indicated that I burned over 6200 calories today. I really liked that. I have lots of excuses to keep making trips back to the kitchen.

I like the summary reports that gives you data in the different zones and the overall averages but I would like a "data dump" where I could do some queries on the data. As Cheeseflavor/Steve has indicated, the software is okay for high level information but it would be nice to be able to dig into a little more. I'm guessing there is a way to download the information into "for fee" software that will do more analysis. I would also like more detail (more roads) on the map it displays to be able to more easily zero in on specific hills, roads, etc. You can do if you know the mileage but to have a more detailed map would make it easier. I will admit that I have not gone to the Training Center site to see what options are out there as I'm just doing this by the seat of my pants so far (like only read the instructions afterwards!!!).

I am going to need to "tilt" the unit towards me on my stem to eliminate the glare on the glass screen. It comes with a rubber insert to do that. The numbers on the screen are not getting any bigger in broad daylight and it would be nice if they were larger. You can adjust the contrast so the background is lighter/darker and I'll keep playing with that to see if it helps. I could have less information displayed which would make it easier to see when you glance at the screen but the data I have displayed is the minimum stuff I think I need for now (HR, Cadence, Speed, Time of Day, Time of Ride and distance).

While I've only had it less than a week I'm really glad I made the plunge and got the unit. It's not perfect but it's a big leap from where I've been with information and data.
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Old 01-06-07, 03:48 PM   #2
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Keep the reviews coming! I have an Edge sitting in a box and ready to be mounted. It'll be a while here in the midwest before I can get it out on the road so keep posting your findings, as it is helpful.

Thanks!

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Old 01-06-07, 04:13 PM   #3
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Why do you say the Garmin is more accurate than your cyclocomputer? Cycling computers, if properly set up, are very accurate instruments as they measure directly along your path including all curves, uphills, downhills, etc. GPS units, on the other hand, make measurements indirectly and then calculate distance. As I understand the 305, you can use the wheel sensor, but then it's nothing more than a cycling computer. It's pretty tough to beat the accuracy of a $20 cyclocomputer.
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Old 01-06-07, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
I would also like more detail (more roads) on the map it displays to be able to more easily zero in on specific hills, roads, etc. You can do if you know the mileage but to have a more detailed map would make it easier. I will admit that I have not gone to the Training Center site to see what options are out there as I'm just doing this by the seat of my pants so far (like only read the instructions afterwards!!!).

To get more road detail you can either get a Garmin map package or use SportTracks. SportTracks is a donation/free program that I think is more powerful than training center and uses Google Maps. You can even choose the type of map you want: street, topo, and various satellite images.

http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/

I just used Google Maps to do a 3D fly over of my fairly hilly ride today and it was spectacular.
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Old 01-06-07, 04:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmac
To get more road detail you can either get a Garmin map package or use SportTracks. SportTracks is a donation/free program that I think is more powerful than training center and uses Google Maps. You can even choose the type of map you want: street, topo, and various satellite images.

http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/

I just used Google Maps to do a 3D fly over of my fairly hilly ride today and it was spectacular.
Watch out for the Google maps- I used them to try and check the height climbed on a ride and it was way out. I honestly thought that my estimated climb was at fault until I checked one paricular route and it shows the road on top of a 400ft cliff as being at 10 metres. So it is back to the ordance Survey maps - Or wait for the Garmins to come down in price for me.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
Why do you say the Garmin is more accurate than your cyclocomputer? Cycling computers, if properly set up, are very accurate instruments as they measure directly along your path including all curves, uphills, downhills, etc. GPS units, on the other hand, make measurements indirectly and then calculate distance. As I understand the 305, you can use the wheel sensor, but then it's nothing more than a cycling computer. It's pretty tough to beat the accuracy of a $20 cyclocomputer.

Good point and I didn't get into all the details. I run different sets of wheels on my bike and surprisingly the wheels/tires are different enough to where the circumference or roll-off distance is a little different for each wheel. On one set of wheels/tires I run at 140 psi and the other at 120 psi. The 140 psi tire has a slightly larger circumference so I'm guessing the tire is built up a little more plus the added pressure makes it a little larger??? You would think it would not make a lot of difference but at 1% inaccuracy that is a mile over 100 miles. It's not the cyclocomputer but the wheel factor that I program in. It's too much of a hassle to reprogram the factor for each different wheel. With the Garmin as long as the GPS is working its indifferent to which wheel is on the bike. I completely agree that a cyclocomputer that is matched to the bikes roll-off distance is very accurate.
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Old 01-06-07, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
I run different sets of wheels on my bike and surprisingly the wheels/tires are different enough to where the circumference or roll-off distance is a little different for each wheel.
OK, I'll buy that. I'm seriously contemplating a 305 unit so understand that I'm reading 305 posts with anticipation and interest. My problem, and it is my problem, is that I have a hair trigger when I see references to accuracy whether it's cycling computers vs. GPS or digital scales vs. analog scales.

Carry on!

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Old 01-06-07, 08:03 PM   #8
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I have a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is the watch (smaller) version for both biking and running. It is very good and I suspect Garmin uses that same technology in both the running and cycling version. Check out www.motionbased.com. You can upload data from your Garmin datacenter to Motion Based. There is no charge for the account unless you want the more advanced features and more storage. However, when you post, you can share your ride with everyone or make it private. If you post, do not make it private and give us your user name, we will be able to see your route on a detailed map, elevation speed, and etc. ALL your statistics. You may want to think about that, but it is a good way to share information within a group.

Check out Garmin's website and review how the technology works. It is interesting and will give you insight as to why there are times that data is not as accurate.

I have found that the GPS data is not as accurate for distance, speed and elevation as other specific function devices.
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Old 01-07-07, 12:37 AM   #9
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I have a Garmin Streetpilot 2610 for the cage, and also the map software that it came with. My training center software I received with my 305 recognized the Garmin map software, and utilizes it for very detailed maps. So, if you also happen to be in the market for an automotive GPS, consider that a Garmin unit will also be upgrading your training center map sets!
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Old 01-07-07, 07:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordoftherings
I have a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is the watch (smaller) version for both biking and running. It is very good and I suspect Garmin uses that same technology in both the running and cycling version. Check out www.motionbased.com. You can upload data from your Garmin datacenter to Motion Based. There is no charge for the account unless you want the more advanced features and more storage. However, when you post, you can share your ride with everyone or make it private. If you post, do not make it private and give us your user name, we will be able to see your route on a detailed map, elevation speed, and etc. ALL your statistics. You may want to think about that, but it is a good way to share information within a group.

Check out Garmin's website and review how the technology works. It is interesting and will give you insight as to why there are times that data is not as accurate.

I have found that the GPS data is not as accurate for distance, speed and elevation as other specific function devices.
Thanks for the advice. I'll explore Motion Based and Garmin some more. Using your link I just set up an account on Motion Based as I like to share ride info with my brother and this will be an excellent way to do that. I really appreciate your input. I find getting user's information and experiences helps me to learn more about just the things I'm interested in more quickly.
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Old 01-07-07, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
1))))))))))))))
While I don't have anything to base the numbers on, I'm assuming the Garmin 305 is a little more accurate than my Ciclosport. At least I know the mileage is more accurate with it based on the GPS system.

The grades for the hills seemed very close between the Ciclo and the Garmin. However, the Garmin indicated that I had about 10% more climbing than what I had recorded on the Ciclo for the exact same route (I've done it 6 times in the last 6 weeks). That was good news!

2))))))))))))))
Apparently there were a number of Garmin's in the group of people I was riding with today. Everyone who had one, had programmed them for "autopause" so every time we came to a stop at an intersection you would hear a lot of "beep" "beep" from the units going into pause and then unpausing as we starting moving. I thought that was kinda funny......Maybe a new marketing theme for Garmin like Aflac and the duck......Beep Beep!!

3))))))))))))))
I'm not sure about the algorithm that is uses to calculate calories burned but it indicated that I burned over 6200 calories today. I really liked that. I have lots of excuses to keep making trips back to the kitchen.

4))))))))))))))
I like the summary reports that gives you data in the different zones and the overall averages but I would like a "data dump" where I could do some queries on the data.

5))))))))))))))
I am going to need to "tilt" the unit towards me on my stem to eliminate the glare on the glass screen.
1)))))))))))))) If it is like other Garmins there is a GPS screen showing where the
satellites it is receiving are in the sky. This screen will also have some kind of
indication of the error at that moment. For example if there are just 3 satellites
in view, near the zenith, in a line then the error will be high. 3 satellites near the
horizon about 120 degrees apart will provide low error. 4 satellites are required for
3D to get altitude. I don't really understand the issue but presume that the altitude
error may be 3X the lat/lon error. Over a couple of hours the averages are great
but you weren't on _that_ hill for hours! Make a few more measurements!!

2)))))))))))))) The autopause helps keep the average speed what you want it to be
and not include traffic light time.

3)))))))))))))) I have a Forerunner 301 and I'd like to understand that too.

4)))))))))))))) You can export the files from TC and you will find an immense .XML
file. Reminder from 1))))))))))))))... There may be outlier datapoints you may wish
to throw away.

5)))))))))))))) If you use polarized sunglasses wear them when you mount the unit.
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Old 01-07-07, 08:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordoftherings
I have a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is the watch (smaller) version for both biking and running. It is very good and I suspect Garmin uses that same technology in both the running and cycling version. Check out www.motionbased.com. You can upload data from your Garmin datacenter to Motion Based. There is no charge for the account unless you want the more advanced features and more storage. However, when you post, you can share your ride with everyone or make it private. If you post, do not make it private and give us your user name, we will be able to see your route on a detailed map, elevation speed, and etc. ALL your statistics. You may want to think about that, but it is a good way to share information within a group.

Check out Garmin's website and review how the technology works. It is interesting and will give you insight as to why there are times that data is not as accurate.

I have found that the GPS data is not as accurate for distance, speed and elevation as other specific function devices.
Oh my, oh my...........

I took a few minutes and registered and uploaded the data from the 100 mile ride. There is some really fun stuff on this site. I have only spent about 30 mins playing around on the site but it's an absolute hoot from what I've seen so far. The feature that caught my attention first was the page that traces your route and gives you the key stats as you're cycling along. This is just incredible.

It gives you a page that you can overlay the route on a street map, topo, satellite map, etc. Then there is this little tracking ball moving along the route with the numbers at the top of the map changing that gives you the key stats at that point in time. There's my speed, time, hr, elevation, grade, etc changing as I'm moving along. You can vary the speed that the tracking ball is moving along the course to make it go faster or slower. You can also move the tracking ball to a particular area if you'd like. It also shows where you stopped and for how long along with other key stuff.

There is also a summary page that will graph key stats and provides some interesting information. For example, one graph showed that on this route it was 20% descending, 20% climbing and 60% flat by mileage. We sorta of thought that was the case but now we know for sure.

Just incredible, incredible stuff. Now I'm even more thrilled that I acquired this new toy. This is more like the information I was interested in seeing all along. Just fascinating if you enjoy playing with the numbers. I might even get more excited about doing the Assault on Mt Mitchell again just to see the darn thing graphed out!! It would really be neat to see the profiles, grades, HR, cadence etc.

It also puts some motivation for me to go out and do some of my more familiar training rides around this area to develop a database of profiles.

Sorry if I've bored many of you but hopefully this type of information is helpful to anyone that is going down the same path I am.

Again, I greatly appreciate the tips lordoftherings and others have offered as they are most helpful and are speeding up my learning curve.
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Old 01-07-07, 10:01 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for these informative posts. I'm old school and can almost understand some of what you all are talking about. I still fly my airplane with a set of sectional maps in my lap!

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