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Old 05-25-11, 02:28 PM   #1
bikefor2
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Garmin 705 vs. other models for touring

I have read in several places that some people use Garmin Etrex, Oregon and other models for bike touring. I'm having a hard time figuring out why, since Garmin has a 705 and 800 that are bike computers capable of displaying maps and navigation. Could someone please explain the pros and cons of using Garmin GPS bike computers vs. the other Garmin models which seem to be recommended for hiking and trails? Just trying to learn what might work best for us as we want to tour in this country and in Europe.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:39 PM   #2
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I'm not sure the 705 does topo maps. My issue is that my 705 runs out of juice after 12-15 hours, so I'd have to find a place to recharge it every day, but I expect that to be a problem for all units. The routing isn't that great either, but it is functional. If you are looking to record the data from your ride, it runs out at either 3,4 or 5 hours (I think 4) so you have to hit stop and reset it to get data on your complete ride if going a long way. If you are doing lite touring (motels at night) then I don't see any reason not to use it.
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Old 05-25-11, 05:11 PM   #3
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There is no perfect gps. They've all got problems. OTOH, most will get you from A to B, usually, which is what they're suppose to do.

I have an eTrex. Don't give a flip about moving stats, but do know that if I did, would be very frustrating to try and maintain a record due to the relatively short battery life, which is also true for the 705. I also don't like all the buttons you gotta deal with.

Were I to start over, I'd check out the Dakota 20 touch screen model. All gps units will eventually be touch screen IMO. It's big downside is having a rechargeable battery only. No AAs. Not cool if touring on a bicycle.

If I were seriously interested in moving stats, I'd get me a dedicated cycling computer.
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Old 05-25-11, 06:01 PM   #4
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A very similar recent thread here.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:16 AM   #5
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Were I to start over, I'd check out the Dakota 20 touch screen model. All gps units will eventually be touch screen IMO. It's big downside is having a rechargeable battery only. No AAs. Not cool if touring on a bicycle.
I use a Garmin Oregon with a handlebar mount. It uses AAs that lasts 8 hours, not quite a full day of riding. Might be one to consider.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:35 AM   #6
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I use a Garmin Oregon with a handlebar mount. It uses AAs that lasts 8 hours, not quite a full day of riding. Might be one to consider.
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Old 05-26-11, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks, I did see the other GPS thread, but it does not address my question. My question is not about whether or not to use a GPS or whether or not to also carry paper maps. My question is for those who know the pros and cons of a Garmin 705 (which we already own) for maps and navigation as opposed to some of the other Garmin GPS models that are used for hiking (Etrex, 60, Oregon, etc). Thanks!
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Old 05-26-11, 03:06 PM   #8
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I have a 705, I tried to use it on tour a couple of times, but it kept getting me lost. And it's utterly useless for planning a route more than a few miles away, you just can't see a big picture.

Paper maps FTW.
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Old 05-26-11, 03:13 PM   #9
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bikefor2, if you've got one GPS already, you need to ask yourself what another one will do that your's won't. I wasn't thrilled with mine, but the prime feature of any other model I've seen so far is removing $400 +/- $150 from my wallet.

Ditto valygrl: paper maps!
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Old 05-26-11, 06:39 PM   #10
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I'm not sure the 705 does topo maps.
It does. In fact, Garmin sells topographic maps on SD cards that work with the Edge 705.

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My issue is that my 705 runs out of juice after 12-15 hours, so I'd have to find a place to recharge it every day, but I expect that to be a problem for all units. The routing isn't that great either, but it is functional.
As discussed in the other recent GPS thread, it's relatively easy to find battery-powered USB chargers that will work with the Garmin Edge (as well as most other USB-powered devices).

Routing isn't great, but it's on par with every other GPS device I've used: it'll get you where you're going, but it may not take the most direct or logical route. Regardless of the device, it's a good idea to preview the route before starting out. Or, better yet, layout the majority of the route using one of the many on-line mapping sites and use the device's built-in routing only for emergencies or unanticipated side trips.

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If you are looking to record the data from your ride, it runs out at either 3,4 or 5 hours (I think 4) so you have to hit stop and reset it to get data on your complete ride if going a long way.
Not entirely true. There is a 4.5-hour limit, but the limit only applies if you have the device set to sample data every second. This setting is really only appropriate if you're using the device with a power meter. For all other cases, the device should be set to "Smart Recording", which allows for at least 12 hours of data collection.

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Old 05-26-11, 08:08 PM   #11
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I use a vintage Legend simply because I have already owned it for years. I also bought the 100k US topo series to use with it. This model is very inconvenient because it only has 8 meg of memory for map data. Newer models are much better.

If I was going to buy a new GPS and did not already own one, I would give very serious consideration to the Garmin 62S and separate 100k topo maps. I was sure that the 62S was on sale right now at REI but I just checked their website and it is not listed anymore. Perhaps they ran out of them? (I looked at it in the store for a half hour this past weekend.) I would get the 100k US topo separate instead of buying the 62ST because I might want to be able to move it to another GPS later instead of having it factory installed.

I would want to be able to use AA batteries, not a proprietary Lithium Ion battery. I use rechargeable AA batteries in a lot of my gear including my Garmins.

Why do I use both a computer and a GPS? Habit. I always have the computer on the bike but I do not always have the GPS on the bike.

I originally bought my first Garmin in 2001 when only Garmin, Magellan and Lorance were on the market. The Garmin had buttons on the sides and the others had buttons on the front. Since I bought that GPS for kayaking on Lake Superior and with a kayak you strap your GPS onto the deck with bunge cord, I wanted the buttons on the side where the bunge could not press any buttons.
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Old 05-26-11, 11:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bikefor2 View Post
I have read in several places that some people use Garmin Etrex, Oregon and other models for bike touring. I'm having a hard time figuring out why, since Garmin has a 705 and 800 that are bike computers capable of displaying maps and navigation. Could someone please explain the pros and cons of using Garmin GPS bike computers vs. the other Garmin models which seem to be recommended for hiking and trails? Just trying to learn what might work best for us as we want to tour in this country and in Europe.
I would guess they use the Etrex or other models due to cost. I have an original Etrex, but would not consider touring with it. I bought a 705 with the Topo map on CD and put that onto a SD card (if you buy Garmin maps on SD card, you cannot print out route plans to hard copy as I found out with the North America road maps purchased on SD card).

My 705 battery lasted the full day and I used a small solar charger battery unit to recharge the 705 at night. The solar charger unit could also be charged from a wall outlet and fully charged would give 3 nights of recharging the 705. A days worth of sunlight would give me enough juice for one 705 recharge. So with good sunlight or a wall outlet every 3 days, your good to go.

You can also buy a charger that gets it's power from AA batteries.

Use the Garmin BaseMap and MapSource software to do very detailed routing and then load your planned route into the 705. You could even get away with downloading the ACA gps waypoints and refining those into a good routing extremely close or the same as the ACA map (disclaimer - not sure it would work well with the Continental Divide route- I will update the difference in a couple of years when I have done the ride and compared).

The 705 actually save me from making a few wrong turns with the ACA maps on the southern portion of the Pacific Coast route.

The pre-routing to download to the 705 is a ton of work. You will have to decide if that work is worth not making the occasional wrong turns.
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Old 05-27-11, 12:45 AM   #13
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Thanks, I did see the other GPS thread, but it does not address my question. My question is not about whether or not to use a GPS or whether or not to also carry paper maps. My question is for those who know the pros and cons of a Garmin 705 (which we already own) for maps and navigation as opposed to some of the other Garmin GPS models that are used for hiking (Etrex, 60, Oregon, etc). Thanks!
You can probably figure out the major differences just by browsing the Garmin website. Newer units may have: larger screens, more memory, touch-screen controls, a built-in camera, an electronic compass, and different battery technology (read: AA). They won't have anything bike- or exercise-related: cadence, heart-rate, intervals, ANT+ support, etc. There may also be differences in the number of waypoints and trackpoints that can be saved. In general, it seems that units designed for hiking offer more waypoints and fewer track points than the Edge-series devices.

The Edge 705 isn't perfect, but I can't say that I'm tempted to upgrade to a different GPS unit...
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Old 05-27-11, 12:57 AM   #14
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Garmin Edge 500 + Garmin 60CSx = PERFECT

The 500 takes about an hour to charge and the 60CSx takes AA batteries. There are external AA USB chargers that can recharge the 500. You could alternatively get a solar USB charger.
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Old 05-27-11, 08:36 AM   #15
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If you were to use just the Garmin 60CSx for waypoints/routing/navigation, would it be capable at those tasks for a long tour?
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Old 05-27-11, 01:12 PM   #16
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If you were to use just the Garmin 60CSx for waypoints/routing/navigation, would it be capable at those tasks for a long tour?
You would have to re-charge/change the batteries every other day on the 60CSx.
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Old 05-27-11, 06:49 PM   #17
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I think Garmin 705 is designed for racing bikes, not for touring. for touring you will need something like a Oregon or Dakota(if youc an see the screen)

I used Oregon on my last tour. I used it as a data recorder than anything else. cos there was only one way of wherever I was (Central Asia)

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Old 05-27-11, 07:21 PM   #18
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... ... If I was going to buy a new GPS and did not already own one, I would give very serious consideration to the Garmin 62S and separate 100k topo maps. I was sure that the 62S was on sale right now at REI but I just checked their website and it is not listed anymore. Perhaps they ran out of them? (I looked at it in the store for a half hour this past weekend.) I would get the 100k US topo separate instead of buying the 62ST because I might want to be able to move it to another GPS later instead of having it factory installed.
The 62S is back on their website, still on sale for $279 and change, their website says can be backordered. Sale price ends in a few days. I think it can handle heart rate monitor and cadence input devices if you are interested in that, but check that out before you buy if those features are part of the decision.
http://www.rei.com/product/805907/garmin-gpsmap-62s-gps

I use a GPS for kayaking and canoeing so I am not looking for a bicycle specific one. My preferences therefore are a bit different than many others.
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Old 05-27-11, 07:33 PM   #19
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I think Garmin 705 is designed for racing bikes, not for touring. for touring you will need something like a Oregon or Dakota(if youc an see the screen)
Why? I did a 550-mile tour with a Garmin Edge 705 and was pretty happy with it...
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Old 05-30-11, 02:51 AM   #20
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The Garmin Edge 705 IS great for race training. But that, combined with the ability to load detailed maps and ACA waypoints (or design your own route on the computer and download) make it outstanding for touring as well.

I even used the heart rate monitor to keep myself from pushing too hard on very long climbs.

You may not NEED one for touring, but it sure is a great tool to take along.
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Old 05-30-11, 06:27 AM   #21
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I have the Garmin Forerunner 305 which I have used for running. It can also be used for cycling with the optional addition of a cadence sensor which can be mounted on the bike frame. In addition, I use the heartrate monitor so essentially I have all the basic information I need. One thing that is not accurate worth a darn is the calories burned readout. It is considerably inaccurate since it calculates calories using body weight, time, and activity. For the price of around $130 it is another option worth considering. One can upload rides into Garmin Connect to track the workouts. It unfortunately doesn't have built-in maps, so I will probably just use a compact state atlas for my neck of the woods.
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