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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 02-09-10, 06:31 PM   #1
DanRH
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Ugh...my computer died on the daVinci. Any Garmin 705 users out there?

I hate when it happens. I swapped out the batteries for new. Still nothing. I use the Trek Incite ACH wireless on all my bikes but I believe this crappy weather and moisture is starting to kill them. Don't know...

Another excuse for me to buy a nice computer. So, I NEED (OK, I don't really need it but I want it) altitude and gradient...at least. Wireless also.

So, I know there are some Garmin users out there. Opinions, reviews, advice...Thanks
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Old 02-09-10, 06:36 PM   #2
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I think mine is great. I would get the speed/cad transducer. I use the mapping to ride new routes I plan ahead of time. If you don't need the mapping you can go with the 500.
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Old 02-09-10, 08:47 PM   #3
rdtompki
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Dan,
I've got a 705 in front, 305 in back. I've had absolutely no problem with either unit. Well maybe one shutdown. The Garmin documentation leaves a lot to be desired (I'm being kind). All the basic functions are straightforward, but there are a few different ways to navigate. If you use gpx files with the unit set to "don't reroute" you'll get pop-up prompts for turns, etc. I've come to prefer tcx files (courses) which give a small pop-up right at the turn, but have a few advantages: the unit displays a blue line of your entire intended course, you can preview elevation on a screen (can't do so with gpx) and there is no chance the sneaky Garmin software will take a shortcut.

The display is reasonable, but a bit reflective. I keep it angled slightly away from my sight line so that my jersey doesn't reflect in the screen. I also have been running the backlight on; I don't know if I would make an entire century, but 50-60 miles would be no problem.

You don't want to map a course on the unit itself. While theoretically possible the screen is very small and it would take you forever. You'll want a Garmin street map set and I would recommend the DVD over the SD card, but I wouldn't bother with using Mapsource. Lots of websites out there: mapmyride, bikeroutetoaster, bikely(sp?), ridewithgps, .... I like ridewithgps so far since it's advertisement-free and fast, but two guys in Oregon (students or post-grads?) who knows how long it will last. There is a problem with ridewithgps that they are fixing regarding course points, which are the turn indicators, but it's an easy fix so I'm hopeful I can deep-six the program I wrote to insert correct timing in the file. I particularly like that ridewithgps supports bike paths, but I'm sure some of the other sites do as well.

I do like the grade readout. I don't know how accurate it is, but it's very consistent and is a good predictor of how much trouble Sherrill and I are in.

The virtual partner could be a lot of fun especially if one rode a handful of different courses for training or just save your favorite rides and when you're going to repeat, reload the previous or your fastest trip and use the virtually partner to flog the stoker for more power.

Hope this helps. Just ping me if you'd like more info.
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Old 02-09-10, 10:52 PM   #4
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Wow! with a review like that it makes my review petty. I like my 705. Never had an issue. I like that I can download my rides. Keeps my heartrate low when I am riding a downhill curvy road that I am new at [I can tell what turn is coming and how sharp]. I enjoy the grade and feel it is fairly acurate since I live on a 15% grade hill and it reads 15%. I have used it on a double century and with only one charge. Oh yeah, I like the HR feature so I can keep my effort where it needs to be. Buy a second bike mount since the early ones break but the newer ones seem to be better [nice to have a backup now verses waiting a couple of weeks].
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Old 02-09-10, 10:59 PM   #5
Ritterview
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We have a 705 in front and a 305 in back.
  • It is great to have maps and directions. On a single bike it isn't such a big deal if you are uncertain as to your whereabouts and route, but no captain relishes a query of "Are we lost?" With the 705, you'll know where you are, and how to get to where you want to go. This keeps the stoker pacified.
    .
  • The 705 also has everything else you'll want to know, such as HR, grade, cadence, elevation, total ascent, etc
  • Something else you'll appreciate with the 705 is the large color backlit screen. You can read it at a glance, unlike many displays. I find the 305, for example, difficult to read.
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Old 02-10-10, 07:03 AM   #6
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I'm almost ashamed to admit that we also have both 705 and 305 Edge units. Cranky, I don't think any of my first 5 road bikes cost as much as the 705 goes for... but thankfully, I did not pay full price for either of the units. Full MSRP would have been a non-starter for both. But I digress.

Anyway, if cost is no object, they're as slick as can be. We only use about 10% of their features and capabilities, but as far as computers go not having to worry about wheel magnets and signal loss with wireless units and fairly reliable info can't be beat. You have to be mindful about recharging them as they burn through their batteries fairly fast. No big deal to remember if you're taking them off to download and log your training diary on a regular basis.

Bottom Line: If your a GPS geek, training geek or gadget geek then the 705 is about as geeky as you can get short of a PowerTap or the like.

If cost is an object, there are a lot of used or lower cost non-GPS computers out there that can provide you with elevation and gradiants that are every bit as accurate or inaccurate as the 705 and 305: they all use barometric pressure for the calculation. For example, the $139 VDO wireless will give you what you're looking for for a mere pittance compared to the 705.
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Old 02-10-10, 07:54 AM   #7
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We have both a 705 and a 305. They both work great. As we are still waiting on our Tandem, they have only been used on single bikes, but anticipate setting them up on the tandem with a single cadence sensor to be read by both devices. That should be handy to allow us both to see cadence. Has others have said, the 705 has a much larger easier to read screen. The only thing that I wish it had was a gear indicator like the Shimano Flight Deck does. With the cadence sensor, it would only be a matter of software to make that possible. Overall I would highly recommend Garmin products and their customer service.
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Old 02-10-10, 08:53 AM   #8
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My Clifnotes review of the 705:
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Old 02-10-10, 03:11 PM   #9
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I have been using a 705 for a year now and am 90% happy with it. My complaints would be Garmin instructions are not easy to follow and using GPX/TCX files is not the least bit intuative. You realy have to be willing to spend some time to learn how to download routes.

The 90% I do like...........Used it on 2 vacation trips for directions(US and foriegn) no problems. I have also used the GPS in the car and it worked fine. I use it on mtn, tandem and road easy to move from bike to bike. I have a powermeter on the single and there have not been problems picking up the ANT signal. The amount of info on and off the bike is great. We run a Polar 600s for the captain and the Garmin 705 for stoker. Stokers job to keep track of where we are going.
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Old 02-10-10, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothyks View Post
The only thing that I wish it had was a gear indicator like the Shimano Flight Deck does. With the cadence sensor, it would only be a matter of software to make that possible. Overall I would highly recommend Garmin products and their customer service.
The gear selector would be nice. I use a Campy Ergobrain just for that feature to compliment the 705. I agree with the Garmin service. I had an issue with the bike mount and they sent two of the new improved versions [now I can install the other one on my single bike]. I had an issue with the speed/candence sensor and received one within a week.
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Old 03-10-10, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
.....
You don't want to map a course on the unit itself. While theoretically possible the screen is very small and it would take you forever. You'll want a Garmin street map set and I would recommend the DVD over the SD card, but I wouldn't bother with using Mapsource. Lots of websites out there: mapmyride, bikeroutetoaster, bikely(sp?), ridewithgps, .... I like ridewithgps so far since it's advertisement-free and fast, but two guys in Oregon (students or post-grads?) who knows how long it will last. There is a problem with ridewithgps that they are fixing regarding course points, which are the turn indicators, but it's an easy fix so I'm hopeful I can deep-six the program I wrote to insert correct timing in the file. I particularly like that ridewithgps supports bike paths, but I'm sure some of the other sites do as well.
......
Google is now in the game:

CNN story of Google Bike Routes
MSNBC Story

Last edited by masiman; 03-10-10 at 03:49 PM.
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