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Garmin 705 - do I really need one?

Old 03-16-09, 03:14 PM
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Garmin 705 - do I really need one?

I've been putting off buying a GPS cyclo-computer for a long time. I had a ForeRunner 205 from the last century and have not pulled the trigger on any of the successive generations - so far. It just feels to this weekend warrior that they're waaaaay overkill for the type of exercise & fun cycling that I do.

But alas, I'm an old techie at heart. I lived and worked in Silicon Valley and have been drinking the Kool-Aid here for too many years. Plus, following the example of our new President, we all need to help stimulate the economy, right? RIGHT!? . So, I've been eyeing the 705 lately.

So, for those who have one - how are you liking it? Are you using it as much as you thought when you first fell in lust with it? Or, do you have regrets that your child is going to CSM instead of Stanford because you dipped into his college fund for the down-payment on the 705? Does all that info help you ride better, or make the rides more fun? Will I be shunned as a neanderthal if I continue to resist getting one?

I need your help gang. Steer me in the right direction (nudge, nudge, wink, wink ).
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Old 03-16-09, 03:41 PM
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I am going to buy one eventually because I seem to get lost. My wife, who I hope will ride with me again soon, would feel much better if I knew where we are going on our bikes with kid in tow. Plus, if I know there's a viscious dog on my planned route, with the 705, I can find another way 'round.

They aren't that much are they? I wonder if Costco carries it.
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Old 03-16-09, 04:01 PM
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Not only do you need the 705, you also need a Powertap Pro+ or better so you can get POWER data as well.

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Old 03-16-09, 04:07 PM
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If you have to ask this, then you really do need one.
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Old 03-16-09, 04:25 PM
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no....

and what's wrong with CSM?
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Old 03-16-09, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
no....
Wow! I wasn't expecting this answer from you!!!

Originally Posted by uspspro View Post

and what's wrong with CSM?
errr, umm, NOTHIN'! I was just saying it's cheaper than Stanford.
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Old 03-16-09, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by spingineer View Post
If you have to ask this, then you really do need one.
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?
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Old 03-16-09, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
Wow! I wasn't expecting this answer from you!!!



errr, umm, NOTHIN'! I was just saying it's cheaper than Stanford.
I know... I kid!
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Old 03-16-09, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
I've been putting off buying a GPS cyclo-computer for a long time. I had a ForeRunner 205 from the last century and have not pulled the trigger on any of the successive generations - so far. It just feels to this weekend warrior that they're waaaaay overkill for the type of exercise & fun cycling that I do.

But alas, I'm an old techie at heart. I lived and worked in Silicon Valley and have been drinking the Kool-Aid here for too many years. Plus, following the example of our new President, we all need to help stimulate the economy, right? RIGHT!? . So, I've been eyeing the 705 lately.

So, for those who have one - how are you liking it? Are you using it as much as you thought when you first fell in lust with it? Or, do you have regrets that your child is going to CSM instead of Stanford because you dipped into his college fund for the down-payment on the 705? Does all that info help you ride better, or make the rides more fun? Will I be shunned as a neanderthal if I continue to resist getting one?

I need your help gang. Steer me in the right direction (nudge, nudge, wink, wink ).
I'm a techie too, but I'm holding-off. I can get enough info from a combination of my rudimentary cyclocomputer & Bikely. I rarely ride in unfamiliar territory, and when I do it's with the BF group, so no worries there.

I find it more enjoyable when I just get on the bike and ride, but your results may vary.

BTW, I went to Skyline, CSM & Canada for the trifecta.
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Old 03-16-09, 05:55 PM
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What data do you want to analyze? I just can't justify the expense of a 705 right now, and I sure can't justify a Quarq or other power meter. So, a 305 does what I need. GPS to record a new route or to preprogram a route, HR, and all the other computer functions.
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Old 03-16-09, 06:43 PM
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I finally gave in and picked up an Edge 305 not too long ago. At the time, I was looking into getting a new bike in the near future, and I thought it'd be nice for the new computer to be able to do elevation and grade. By then, the 605/705 had been out a while, so the 205/305 were pretty dirt cheap, so I gave it a shot.

I do kind of regret it in that while it's nice to attach a number to "steep", it ends up being even more information overload than the computer I had before. Also, there's not much in the way of software to do anything with the data that works under Linux. The best I can do is download the data, convert it to .GPX format, and upload it to a place like Bikely.

That said, being able to automatically make a map of the ride in Bikely is a pretty nice feature. The unit's portability between bikes without having to muck with sensors or anything is pretty handy, too.

The mapping functionality that the 605/705 has (but the 205/305 lacks) is probably a great tool when lost, not that that's ever happened to me.
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Old 03-16-09, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
What data do you want to analyze? I just can't justify the expense of a 705 right now, and I sure can't justify a Quarq or other power meter. So, a 305 does what I need. GPS to record a new route or to preprogram a route, HR, and all the other computer functions.
Well, that's exactly why I haven't gotten one so far, and why I'm so much on the fence. Most of my needs are met by Bikely or my basic cycle computer. I think the major benefit of the 705 is to track heartrate and elevation along the route. No real reason that I NEED to do this, I'm just a weekend warrior. But it is a cool toy, isn't it?

Originally Posted by x136 View Post
I do kind of regret it in that while it's nice to attach a number to "steep", it ends up being even more information overload than the computer I had before. Also, there's not much in the way of software to do anything with the data that works under Linux. The best I can do is download the data, convert it to .GPX format, and upload it to a place like Bikely.
There you go. Another reason I've delayed. The .gpx upload to Google or Bikely is fun. I used to do that with my ForeRunner too. But after 3 or 4 times looking at the "fly-over" view of what I just rode, I got bored with it. It doesn't functionally add any value.



Uh oh, I might be talking myself out of this thing.... HELP!
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Old 03-16-09, 07:08 PM
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It's the economy Alan.

In different times we would have scolded you for not buying quickly enough... Haha.

Kidding... I'd love to have one too, but I will wait until the 705 can be had for super cheap.... OR... Wheb the cell phone apps that utilize gps can run for several hours without killing the battery.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
There you go. Another reason I've delayed. The .gpx upload to Google or Bikely is fun. I used to do that with my ForeRunner too. But after 3 or 4 times looking at the "fly-over" view of what I just rode, I got bored with it. It doesn't functionally add any value.
I've never played with the routes in Google Earth, but what I've been doing is saving the routes in Bikely, so if I ever wanted to re-do a ride, it's right there. But since the model you have can do this already, it's not selling the 705 much.

I'm not even sure if I know of anything the 705 can do over the 305, aside from mapping and compatibility with some power-meter. Battery life must suck with the color screen, too.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:23 PM
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I've had the 705 for almost a year now.

I LOVE the navigation for when I use bikely.com I can just program a ride for unfamiliar places.
Easy as hell to set up.
16 modes on the screen within a flick of a button. 8 at one time.
Always have a satellite signal.
User friendly once you get the hang of it. Kinda weird at first though.
Color screen with adjustable brightness.


Don't like:
The mount. Broke once going 30 and watched it slide down the street for 50 feet. I do like its durability though
The software.
The fact that I rarely use the GPS.
The fact that it freezes if I leave it on GPS sometimes.

Overall, I absolutely love it.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tapeworm21 View Post
I LOVE the navigation for when I use bikely.com I can just program a ride for unfamiliar places.
Ah, I forgot, this is one of the things I was hoping to be able to do with the 305. While it doesn't do actual mapping, it'll at least show a route onscreen enough to figure out where to turn. I've never gotten that to work, but I'm sure that's more due to my choice of operating system.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
Ah, I forgot, this is one of the things I was hoping to be able to do with the 305. While it doesn't do actual mapping, it'll at least show a route onscreen enough to figure out where to turn. I've never gotten that to work, but I'm sure that's more due to my choice of operating system.
A customer of mine just told me about "sport tracks" that is a software program for Garmins. I guess it's pretty top notch. I'll look into it tonight.
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Old 03-16-09, 07:55 PM
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On the 305, I understand that its GPS function is not nearly as reliable as the 705. Do you lose the signal on the 305 when climbing OLH or Tunitas, which have a lot of trees?
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Old 03-16-09, 08:00 PM
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The only time I've lost the GPS signal is going under a bridge where the clearance is minimal.
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Old 03-16-09, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
On the 305, I understand that its GPS function is not nearly as reliable as the 705. Do you lose the signal on the 305 when climbing OLH or Tunitas, which have a lot of trees?
I don't think I lost signal on Morgan Territory last weekend. I'm hoping to do an OLH/Tunitas run this weekend, so I'll see how that goes.

Since the 205/305 is an older design by a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if the 605/705 are a bit superior.
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Old 03-16-09, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
I do kind of regret it in that while it's nice to attach a number to "steep", it ends up being even more information overload than the computer I had before. Also, there's not much in the way of software to do anything with the data that works under Linux. The best I can do is download the data, convert it to .GPX format, and upload it to a place like Bikely.
Once you have the data downloaded, you've got a set of locations, each with a timestamp. There must be plenty that can be done with that, especially in a standard format like GPX.

With my GPX data, I can call up approximate start and end times between a bunch of given points (typically intersections). For segments that I've ridden multiple times, I can compare the times, though without power or heart rate data, I have to remember whether I was riding in a pack versus solo, or whether there was a tailwind. I can also put together segments I've ridden into new routes and estimate how long they would take based on how long it took to ride each segment in the past.


To Alan's original post: If the cost is not an issue (which should be true for many Silicon Valley techies), then why not?
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Old 03-16-09, 08:18 PM
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Nice timing, I'm just thinking about blowing my REI 20% off voucher on a 305....
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Old 03-16-09, 08:18 PM
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I love my 305. I love the maps it makes, and that I can track my speed and heart rate.
Using Ascent software for the Mac makes it worthwhile. Without Ascent I wouldn't lik eit nearly as much.
Ascent also sends the data to Googlr earth and you can play back your ride as a fly through. No training value, but big fun!
I'd like a 705 for navigation, but they are too flippin' much for me right now. But you need one.
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Old 03-16-09, 08:19 PM
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Can you get Ascent for a PC?
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Old 03-16-09, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Can you get Ascent for a PC?
*sigh* nope.
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