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  1. #1
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    Garmin 500 and 705

    I'm getting ready to start traveling and riding. So, I THINK I have decided to buy either a Garmin 500 or a Garmin 705. Whichever it will be the bundle with heart rate monitor. I also like a cadence meter to interplay with the heart rate monitor.

    I've read just about everything I can find on them, including the never ending thread on Electronics on this Board. But, none have looked at it from the perspective of us "older folks" who are after function, not just a toy.

    So:
    >Which bundle, 500 or 705?
    >Why?
    >How easy is it, or you think it would be, to move from one rental bike to another?
    >Just how useful is the mapping function on the 705? I'd be using it mainly to find my way around strange areas on bike or car and to download things from sites like mapmyride.

    >Personal Experience?
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 03-16-10 at 07:18 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    I have the 705, and am quite happy with it. However, I've pared down how I use it more and more the longer I have it:

    - I don't use the cadence feature any more. I know how fast my legs are turning
    - I was having problems with the speed sensing magnet, so i just use the satellite for speed. Works well enough
    - I don't bother with the heart rate strap very often either

    I find in practice the visible maps aren't that useful. They're OK for following a route, but just to get the lay of the land there's just not enough real estate to see where you are and to read the names of the streets and so forth. I hardly ever use the maps.

    The 705 is also kind of big and the mount is a bit iffy. I've bounced one off of the pavement before.

    If I need another gps at some point it I would probably go for the 500.
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  3. #3
    BHF
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    I agree with JimF22003. I have a 705. I have no real need for the maps. I do use the heart rate monitor and cadence only because i have them. I mainly use most of the functionality after the fact for my training log to keep records of miles and feet climbed and routes ridden. If you take into account the price difference between the 705 and 500 where the 705, once you add the ~$100 map, is double the 500, I'd go with the 500...

  4. #4
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I have the 705 (purchased before 500 was available) with a HR, cadence / speed sensor and map stick. I purchased the 705 for HR, cadence, recording routes and the ANT+ protocol. The unit works very well and offers flexibility display options with two possible screens. I have a wireless Power Tap power meter and it interfaces with the 705 flawlessly. My key metrics are power, cadence and time. My wife has one as well and she has the Quarq power meter which also sychs up with the 705. I move the Power Tap wheel and 705 to my TT bike and I have the same capability. At the track, I put the 705 on my track bike and get speed and HR. To move the garmin around on rental bikes, you will need more tie wraps and IMO would not be a problem. I move the garmin around on my bikes but have mounts on each bike.

    I have replaced a couple of speed sensors under warranty. The plastic clip that holds the 705 on the bike is BS and we have broken 3 of them. On Sunday's road race, it had 7 miles of very rough road. We were a little worried about the Garmins coming off but it stayed on the bikes.

    I do not use the mapping on the bike but I download my files to other software and the mapping and elevation are interesting. From the Ascent software, I can map my rides on Google earth which is very cool. When I first got the 705, I tried the mapping function on the bike and it works great and could be used for routing and direction as one rides.

  5. #5
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I've had the 705 for a 1-1/2 years. I had a 305 for almost 3 years. I use the 705 as a portable GPS for business trips and I bought a device that "hangs" the 705 from a car windshield. It works well enough for that purpose (tones but no voice navigation). I have also used the navigation feature when I've been riding while on vacation and it has been very helpful with keeping me from getting too lost.

    If you don't need the maps get the 500. It does everything from a training perspective that the 705 does (HR, ANT+, tracks). The 500 is basically a re-packaged 305 with additional features.

    BTW, if you are going to use it to help your training, get SportTracks software. The software that comes from Garmin (Training Center) is almost useless IMHO.

    I've had bike computers since the early 1980s and the Garmin, though with its faults, is the best computer I've had.
    Thanks.
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    OK, let me see if I have what you've said straight:

    >The navigation function of the 705 isn't that useful.

    >The mounting bracket for the 705 isn't really up to par. Plus, if I'm moving it from rental bike to rental bike as I travel I'd need to buy a supply of them.

    >The 500 does everything one would want except for mapping. I would use the HR and Cadence functions as I've discovered over the winter that data is very useful to maintain my desired pace rather than using perceived exertion as I was doing.

    Overall, y'all would prefer the 500.
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 03-17-10 at 12:08 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Hi,

    I've had the 705 for a 1-1/2 years. I had a 305 for almost 3 years. I use the 705 as a portable GPS for business trips and I bought a device that "hangs" the 705 from a car windshield. It works well enough for that purpose (tones but no voice navigation). I have also used the navigation feature when I've been riding while on vacation and it has been very helpful with keeping me from getting too lost.

    If you don't need the maps get the 500. It does everything from a training perspective that the 705 does (HR, ANT+, tracks). The 500 is basically a re-packaged 305 with additional features.

    BTW, if you are going to use it to help your training, get SportTracks software. The software that comes from Garmin (Training Center) is almost useless IMHO.

    I've had bike computers since the early 1980s and the Garmin, though with its faults, is the best computer I've had.

    Just how useful is the navigation function in a car?


    While I would use it on the bike many of my riding locations either have trails (Denver area), or are very easy to navigate due to few roads (Alaska).
    So, much of the time I would be using the unit in a car in a big city.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  8. #8
    BHF
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    Just how useful is the nav in a car?
    It works well, but will route you differently than the nuvi series. I think it tries to avoid high traffic roads/major roads. I have a nuvi 200 and the 705. I had them both at work and tried them both on the way home. The routes were significantly different. The other diff is the nuvi talks, the 705 beeps and displays the turn directions. In an unfamiliar place the 705 would get you where you wanted to go though...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHF View Post
    Just how useful is the nav in a car?
    It works well, but will route you differently than the nuvi series. I think it tries to avoid high traffic roads/major roads. I have a nuvi 200 and the 705. I had them both at work and tried them both on the way home. The routes were significantly different. The other diff is the nuvi talks, the 705 beeps and displays the turn directions. In an unfamiliar place the 705 would get you where you wanted to go though...
    Just how visible is it say at night in a major, unfamiliar city? Just how distracting are the tones vs. a voice?

    Seems to me in a car one would want the freeways, etc. I know I just did when I was in Miami.

    Nowhere had I read that the 705's algorithm kept the user off the major roads, or was different than the one used in other Garmin products. That is significant information!
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 03-17-10 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Add and Clarify
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  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    How would the Garmin Forerunner 305 do for tracking and mapping routes?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Latitude65;10538782]OK, let me see if I have what you've said straight:

    >The navigation function of the 705 isn't that useful.

    >The mounting bracket for the 705 isn't really up to par. Plus, if I'm moving it from rental bike to rental bike as I travel I'd need to buy a supply of them.

    >The 500 does everything one would want except for mapping. I would use the HR and Cadence functions as I've discovered over the winter that data is very useful to maintain my desired pace rather than using perceived exertion as I was doing.

    Overall, y'all would prefer the 500.[
    /QUOTE]

    The navigation function when used on the bike is useful, if one wants or needs it. I know my routes and look at other metrics. I download my data to mapping software in my computer and I use that feature after rides.

    You only need one mounting bracket (maybe a spare) when transferring the bracket from rental bike to rental bike. The bracket is held on by tie wraps. You will need multiple tie wraps since you must cut the tie wrap to remove the bracket.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    I have used the Edge 305 for more than two years and just purchased an Edge 500. I contemplated the 705 but decided that I do not need the maps (I have an iPhone), I was looking for a smaller size and for longer battery life.
    The 500 has all the features the 305 had but in a smaller package and with a battery life that is close to double.
    The bike mount of the 500 is also way better: no clip to break, sturdier hold of the computer, and easily moved from one bike to another (rubber bands instead of zip ties).

    The Edge 500 is definitely a well thought out unit. I just wish it was offered in other colors.

  13. #13
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I also have the 705 and the 305. The thing I probably like the most about the 705 that others have not mentioned is the larger screen and numbers on the 705. If the 500 has the same screen size as the 705 I'd go for the 500. I also have the map stick but like others, other than knowing what the upcoming road is, the mapping is pretty useless. I pull out my blackberry and look at maps via gps which has a wider field of view. The most lost I've ever been was on one of my inaugural rides using the 705 and trying to depend on the mapping feature.

    I still use several features such as cadence and heart rate and like that I can get all the data visible by toggling from screen 1 to screen 2.
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  14. #14
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    I really like my 305, but I do wish the screen was a tad bit larger. If the 500 has the same basic functions with a larger screen that's the way I'd go next time.
    The thoughts and opinions expressed by this poster are his own and should not be misconstrued as gospel. They are and were not meant to inflame, enrage or otherwise tick anyone off, usually. ©
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  15. #15
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
    The Edge 500 is definitely a well thought out unit. I just wish it was offered in other colors.
    Ask and ye shall receive:
    Garmin releases team Edge 500/nuvi
    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/a...and-nvi--25391
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  16. #16
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    Navigation:
    So the 705 mapping is useful. It is just that some folks have other tools. I just checked my BB Curve. It needs an external Bluetooth linked GPS machine to have navigation. Of course in some cities, like Denver, much of the biking is on designated first class "trails", more like one lane of a highway.

    But the comment that the 705 seems to be biased towards indirect routes raises the question of how useful it would be in a car in a strange city.

    Mount and Moving from Bike to Bike:
    I've read that the mount is a weak spot. But, y'all seem to think it is OK, if not first class. I don't mind a bit of hassle moving the unit from one bike to another. But, I sure don't want to lose the thing when I'm running from the attacking dog on a farm road somewhere.

    Readibility:
    Y'all seem to like the larger, more readable screen of the 705.

    End?
    So, if a person can put the navigation function to use it seems the consensus is that the 705 is the way to go.

    Good summary?
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 03-17-10 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Clarity
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  17. #17
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    I have both the 705 and 500. I use the 705 which I move between 3 road bikes and the 500 on my Tri Bike. For both of them, I really only use basic functions, that is Speed, Distance, HR, Cadence and Grade.

    The KEY pro and con that I find between the two is readability. I wear glasses which I don't wear when riding so that compounds the problem with the 500. In very bright sunlight or rainy muddy conditions, the 500 is difficult to read. I had to reduce the number of fields on the 500 main screen to 3 in order to see anything. I do however like the mount for the 500, it seems much more secure.
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  18. #18
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    I just talked to Garmin Product Support. Here are the answers to the questions raised above:

    >Routing:
    The post above said the Nuvi selected a direct route while the 705 selected an indirect route. According to the Garmin person what route the 705 selects is a function of which option is selected on the unit's menu. With one option it will select the same route as a Nuvi would. With another it will avoid roads like interstates and other places where bicycles are not allowed.

    >Mounting
    According to Garmin the problem with 705 mounts failing has been corrected by a redesign. He said also moving the unit from one bike to another is really no problem as long as the user has a supply of zip ties and something to cut them.

    >500 GPS
    >The GPS in the 500 has very limited function. It is used to record and display some data that can then be downloaded into a computer for analysis. One can load a preplanned route into it from a computer and then give directions to follow that route. But, one cannot, for example, ride a route and then use the 500 to back track over the same route; unless the reverse route had been entered also. Very limited function.


    All in all it seems the 705 is a far more versatile and useful tool than the 500.
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 03-18-10 at 01:58 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Thanks to all for your input. It gave me the information I needed to get through the decision process.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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