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Garmin 705 - do I really need one?

Old 03-16-09, 08:25 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Nice timing, I'm just thinking about blowing my REI 20% off voucher on a 305....
Check Amazon. I had an REI 20% coupon when I was buying mine, but it ended up being cheaper at Amazon in the first place.
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Old 03-16-09, 08:27 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
Ascent software for the Mac makes it worthwhile.
That looks pretty neat. I have an old G4 tower beating around, but it never got upgraded past 10.3.9, and Ascent requires 10.4. Bummer.

(Plus, having a second computer set up specifically for GPS downloads would be pretty ridiculous. )
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Old 03-16-09, 08:51 PM
  #28  
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I had the Edge 305 but then lost it at some point between having my bike in the shop for a month and then moving shortly thereafter. Even though I liked the product I was never able to bring myself to fork out money for a replacement.

Since then I realized that I mainly liked it for two things: 1. visualizing where I rode and 2. tracking vertical feet climbed. I now have solved the first one by mapping my rides in bikely or gmap-pedometer . It doesn't have heart rate, speed, cadence, etc. but I found that I wasn't really using that info anyway.

For the elevation, I ended up getting an altimeter watch that tracks cumulative ascent and descent. Plus it is solar powered so no need to ever worry about the battery. Also has a magnetic compass which could be useful for backpacking (haven't had a chance to test it out "for real" yet).

The only time I miss having a bike computer is for checking what speeds I'm hitting on descents

ps, I just put this together today. It's an animation of my various commutes to and from work. No Garmin product involved, just web based routing tools and some google earth/maps magic.
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Old 03-16-09, 08:57 PM
  #29  
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Get the 705, you know you want it! Or you could contribute the money toward my "upgrade the CF rain bike I'm building" fund.
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Old 03-16-09, 09:07 PM
  #30  
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I have the 305 and like it a lot. The 705 has full GPS features, maps and color. I usually know where I am going so the map feature is not that important. If I was a touring/adventurer guy I would want this feature for sure. Regarding the color feature, well I usually don't watch a movie while riding. The only thing I really like in the 705 is the extended battery life.

The 305 advantages to me:
- It's way smaller than the 705.
- It has the features I need: HRM, bike computer with cadence, GPS data recorded so I can download my rides in the computers with maps and data.
- I am a Mac user so I can enjoy all this data in the Ascent software which is great. (Garmin software is a joke).

The 305 disavantages:
- Battery life is limited to around 7 hours. If you ride centuries you will need an external battery extender such as MintyBoost (build yourself kit) or Energi To Go from Energizer (available in drugstores).
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Old 03-16-09, 09:23 PM
  #31  
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the 705 battery lasts a very long time. I get 3 3 hour rides out of it with no problem.

The 705 is also the only unit that will work with a power meter, so if you ever go the power route.

I have a 705 and rarely use the map or the directions feature (but I grew up 10 miles from where I live now and rode my bike all over the place as a kid) I like the data of the heart rate/speed and altituide correlation.

Download sport tracks for free, it is a great freeware app for measuring all of this data (if you are a data person).

Oh and to answer the actual question, if you don't want the maps the 305 gets almost all of the data except for the power stuff.
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Old 03-16-09, 09:34 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by silentben View Post
For the elevation, I ended up getting an altimeter watch that tracks cumulative ascent and descent. Plus it is solar powered so no need to ever worry about the battery. Also has a magnetic compass which could be useful for backpacking (haven't had a chance to test it out "for real" yet).
This was an option that I thought about too. Do you mind saying which watch you got?
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Old 03-16-09, 09:45 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
Check Amazon. I had an REI 20% coupon when I was buying mine, but it ended up being cheaper at Amazon in the first place.
Good call.

Problem is, that then removes the whole "well I have to buy this now otherwise the offer's toast after Mar 29" rationale that I was getting comfortable with. I'll need to find some other artificial source of urgency to justify this.
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Old 03-16-09, 09:50 PM
  #34  
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I got the Casio Pathfinder PAW1300.


One thing that I'm really happy about with it is that since it's a watch, I always have it. So for instance if I'm out for a short day hike I can just look down at my wrist and see my elevation and measure how many feet the trail climbs. It's not like a separate gadget that you have to remember to bring and to always make sure the batteries are charged.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:02 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Problem is, that then removes the whole "well I have to buy this now otherwise the offer's toast after Mar 29" rationale that I was getting comfortable with. I'll need to find some other artificial source of urgency to justify this.
Heh, true.

REI pries a lot of money out of me with that trick. Especially this time of year when I have a 20% off coupon and a dividend to spend.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:24 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
Heh, true.

REI pries a lot of money out of me with that trick. Especially this time of year when I have a 20% off coupon and a dividend to spend.
Oh yeah, and I just noticed on the back of my coupon "offer not valid on any item with GPS technology".

I mean,
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Old 03-16-09, 10:30 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
How are you liking yours, Ron? Use it a lot? Is it a key part of your rides - to analyze all the data after the fact?
I only have a 305, but I use it religiously to track my mileage, altitude climb, distance, HRM, etc ... I don't use it for trend analysis, and I probably should.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:46 AM
  #38  
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I have a 705 and recently got the Powertap SL+ hub. I don't have enough experience with the PT to comment on it but it's nice to have everything in one display.

I went from the 205 to the 705. The biggest upgrade I liked were:
1. improved battery life
2. larger screen
3. color display that is much sharper
4. GPS is nice but I don't use it very much

Negatives:
1. $$$
2. worry about losing it or having it fly off the bike
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Old 03-17-09, 09:36 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by kster View Post
2. worry about losing it or having it fly off the bike
Don't worry, you'll hear it hit the ground.
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Old 03-17-09, 10:13 AM
  #40  
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Yeah, but that's one sound I don't really want to hear. Because I when I get home, I'll be hearing "that thing costs how much to replace?"
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Old 03-17-09, 11:44 AM
  #41  
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Just my 2cents.

I've been using the 305 for over a year, and while it got off to a rough start (replaced 2 of them), it has been a pretty nice little tool. I usually don't 'venture' out when I ride, so the mapping function would not be all that useful to me. It has way more functions then I currently use, but it was easy to configure, and setup.

Its always fun to look at the calories burned data too, lets you know how much pizza you can eat
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Old 03-17-09, 02:16 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Ty.S View Post
Its always fun to look at the calories burned data too, lets you know how much pizza you can eat
That feature right there makes it worth the money.
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Old 03-20-09, 12:57 AM
  #43  
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I just got a 705 a couple weeks ago and i'm really happy with it. I got the bundle from REI with 2 bike mounts (and then picked up a 3rd), cadence /wheel sensor, and SD card with all of north america local street maps. Yeah I splurged but I have been lusting after one for ages.

I'm really happy with it. The mapping is super helpful, I set it up on the rear stem of the tandem so Jen can navigate when we're out in unfamiliar territory (and so she can go "what? 36 MPH! AWESOME" ) and on my 2 single bikes. Aside from the pretty graphs (I use Ascent like Curtis, it's awesome, and also upload to garmin connect for easy web sharing) I am using the data to be more systematic about my rides and specifically figure out what I could be doing to climb stronger. For example I recorded tonight's climb up montebello..

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/2644317

The Player view shows me that after I 'popped' over 170bpm in mile 11, after the second switchback up montebello rd, i never got back into optimal 165-167. If I had been able to keep it down at the bottom I probably would have kept a faster pace at the top.

(yes the data for the first 10 mins of the ride is completely insane, -100 ft below sea level and 210 bpm heart rate?!?)

So there ya go! What more justification do you need?
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Old 03-20-09, 03:37 AM
  #44  
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I bought the 705 to solve one problem - getting lost on pre-planned rides over routes I've never ridden before. I was sick of using maps that someone else made and missing turns and getting lost. It ruined several rides for me.

Now I can enter the route using Garmin's mapsource software and maps and download to the 705. Its been very reliable at telling me every turn on the route and I have enjoyed riding over strange territory a lot more.

The 705 automatically makes a meticulously detailed recording of every ride I make, including route, HR, elevation, speed, cadence. I rode a 65 mile route with some friends recently that I really enjoyed and would like to do again, but had no clue what route we were taking. The garmin gave me a perfect recording over every step of the way so I can do it again in the future.

I must admit, I purchased the 705 at a nobrainer price. I bought it new complete with HR and cadence for $409 on ebay and got a $125 rebate from MS live.com, so it cost me under $300.

I read recently about a guy asking for a price match at performance bike against the price on some British web site and they sold it to him for under $350.

I noticed a few glitches in the software when I first got it, but these have all been resolved by software updates released by Garmin. The put out free updates every few weeks or months that can be installed from the internet.

Yeah, I am very happy with mine.

Bob
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Old 03-20-09, 08:39 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by wrobertdavis View Post

I must admit, I purchased the 705 at a nobrainer price. I bought it new complete with HR and cadence for $409 on ebay and got a $125 rebate from MS live.com, so it cost me under $300.

I read recently about a guy asking for a price match at performance bike against the price on some British web site and they sold it to him for under $350.
Wow! At that price, I wouldn't have needed this whole discussion, although it's been very helpful. I'm going to try the price matching tip. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 03-20-09, 08:39 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Ty.S View Post
Its always fun to look at the calories burned data too, lets you know how much pizza you can eat
Cut that number by at least a third. It's very optimistic.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:14 AM
  #47  
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Darn, you got me lusting after one, too.

I have a question. Does the 705 come with North America maps or do you have to also get the SD card with the NA maps?
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Old 03-20-09, 09:30 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
Darn, you got me lusting after one, too.

I have a question. Does the 705 come with North America maps or do you have to also get the SD card with the NA maps?
You have to buy the maps. You can either buy them stand alone on an SD card or order the DVD package with mapsource to create routes and load the maps/routes to the Garmin. I bought the SD card originally for a lower cost on ebay than I could get the DVD. I ended up buying the DVD anyway because I wanted to use mapsource to create routes. You can use mapsource to load GPX routes to your garmin that are created from other sources (mapmyride, etc), but it won't be able to use the garmin maps on the PC.

If anyone wants to buy a cheap, legal North American garmin map on SD, I will sell mine for $20 plus postage. Its the first 2009 edition.

Bob
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Old 03-20-09, 01:01 PM
  #49  
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My wife just sent me an email saying she orderd me a 705. Last fall she got a PT then about a month ago she got the 705. I am slow. I kept telling her I would order a PT. Well finally this week I ordered one. She told me to also get the 705. I am so non techie. I just wanted to get used to one thing at a time. Oh well, At least it is nice to have a wife who is forcing you a buy expensive bike stuff as opposed to the other way around.
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Old 03-21-09, 01:12 PM
  #50  
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All I've got to say is "curse you, SesameCrunch!"

Your rationale for getting a 705 is almost exactly like mine; the only difference is that I don't live in the Silicon Valley. I love tech toys like this.

So I bought one on Ebay this morning (after getting the wife's blessing, of course). I am so psyched; I can feel the economy turning around already and I did my part.
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