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garmin edge vs forerunner

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

garmin edge vs forerunner

Old 07-30-09, 07:27 PM
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garmin edge vs forerunner

I have been thinking about replacing my aging Avocet 45 cyclometer with a Garmin 305 (a friend that I ride with has one, and the data it generates is pretty impressive and could be a useful training tool). Does anyone have a comparison between the Edge and the Forerunner? I know that the Edge is more "cycle specific", but what are the downsides of the forerunner for cycling (I was thinking that if I wanted to I could use the forerunner for other sports, specifically running or mountaineering if I ever wanted to)? Does anyone have any real-life experience using and comparing both?
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Old 07-30-09, 08:53 PM
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I have a Edge 705 and a Forerunner 305. I use the 305 for triathlon training and it works great on and off the bike. The big difference is the size of the display.
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Old 07-30-09, 09:21 PM
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Edge 305 has a much more accurate altimeter. Also longer battery life and bigger screen.
Forerunner is smaller and can be worn on your wrist.
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Old 07-30-09, 09:54 PM
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I leave GPS devices at home for climbing/hiking/mountaineering, dead weight nobody needs to be hauling. learn to use a map before you get yourself killed.

I use a 705 on the bike and its fantastic. having HR, cadence, speed, all on the same screen is great. add on %grade, heading, and a map with course notes, now that's fabulous. if your going to use it on a bike only, get an Edge, if you need to go double duty, maybe something else is better. I know some tri guys do runs with the 705, they just hold it.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:39 PM
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Is the 705 worth the price difference of the 305HR+ ?
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Old 07-30-09, 11:17 PM
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the forerunner cannot do cadence.

I have the edge 305. its just about everything you would need.
maybe some power output meter, but thats the only limitation.

amazon has it at $160 for a refurb.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:22 PM
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The forerunner can do cadence. It uses the GSC-10 sensor, which I believe is the same as the Edge. You just have to buy it separately.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by M. Rhoten View Post
The forerunner can do cadence. It uses the GSC-10 sensor, which I believe is the same as the Edge. You just have to buy it separately.
Bingo. My girlfriend uses the Forerunner with the GSC-10 and it works just fine. There are even mounts you can buy to keep it off your wrist while on your bike.

If you spend most of your time on the bike or are not a very serious runner, the 305 is the way to go. Much better display and much easier to use. If you're equally serious about running and cycling get the forerunner because it's easy to use the forerunner on the bike. It's not that easy to run while carrying the 305.

It's also much simpler to download data through the simple USB connection on the 305. The wireless sensor used to download data from the Forerunner can be a bit finicky at times and has given my gal problems in the past.

Last edited by alpha_bravo; 07-30-09 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pinwheel View Post
I leave GPS devices at home for climbing/hiking/mountaineering, dead weight nobody needs to be hauling. learn to use a map before you get yourself killed.
Have you ever been above treeline on a glacier when bad weather rolls in and visibility disappears? Compass headings and a map are of limited use when you have nothing to take a bearing off of. If I am heading into that kind of terrain I always take a gps (and yes, I know how to use a map and compass). In any event, what I was thinking of it for was tracking ski mountaineering descents (to map afterwards) not for route-finding.

Other than that, thanks for the comments and advice.

Last edited by dmp; 07-31-09 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dmp View Post
Have you ever been above treeline on a glacier when bad weather rolls in and visibility disappears? Compass headings and a map are of limited use when you have nothing to take a bearing off of. If I am heading into that kind of terrain I always take a gps (and yes, I know how to use a map and compass). In any event, what I was thinking of it for was tracking ski mountaineering descents (to map afterwards) not for route-finding.

Other than that, thanks for the comments and advice.
2nd. Thanks for saving me a bunch of typing....
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Old 07-31-09, 11:34 AM
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I have a forerunner & like it (the 405). It works well on and off the bike & isn't too heavy for my wrist.

If you want to use it off the bike - I say go for the forerunner - but be aware that you can only see your route afterwards - you can't download maps/routes to it.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dmp View Post
Have you ever been above treeline on a glacier when bad weather rolls in and visibility disappears?
yes


hope you bring lots of batteries, and watch out for those crevasses while walking around on a glacier with no visibility.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:32 AM
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i think the forerunner 305 can be had cheaper than the edge. it goes for about $180.

i have the forerunner, and i wear it on my wrist for short rides. for longer riders, i bought some pipe insulation (foam) and cut a small piece to strap it to the bike.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jenerik View Post
Is the 705 worth the price difference of the 305HR+ ?
the 705 is a big purchase. I got it because I'm new to road cycling and the area I now live. I got sick of getting lost. the roads are ridiculous around here. They are probably designed to confuse people to prevent drivers from using local roads to bypass traffic on main roads. The 705 makes it much easier to do a route than using a cue sheet for 70 miles when the road names change 3 times in 2 miles and every road name in a whole town is a variant of 4 base names.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:50 AM
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Edge is better if cycling is all you do; forerunner is great for crossover duty. The forerunner display is more than sufficient on the bike compared to many other bike computers. It is also cheaper (I got mine for $150, sans bike mount). I like the multisport capability.

So, yeah, same thing most others said. I actually have a spare forerunner I'll probably be selling (long story), pm me if interested.
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Old 08-17-09, 04:25 PM
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I'm looking into either an edge or a forerunner (both 305s). Apart from being able to display a bit more info on the screen I can't see any benefit to the edge (I pretty much don't believe that a barometric altimeter is going to be a whole lot more useful in a unit like this than GPS).

If anybody's used both, does the extra screen real estate justify the rather considerable price difference?
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Old 08-18-09, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by subframe View Post
I'm looking into either an edge or a forerunner (both 305s). Apart from being able to display a bit more info on the screen I can't see any benefit to the edge (I pretty much don't believe that a barometric altimeter is going to be a whole lot more useful in a unit like this than GPS).

If anybody's used both, does the extra screen real estate justify the rather considerable price difference?
Ease of use on a bike is a big difference. The forerunner 405 I've used has the sensitive "touch bezel" activation for the various functions. It can be tough to use while standing still, let along engaged in running or biking. Edge wins that battle hands down. It's got easy to use buttons and menus that you can change on the fly.

If you're a serious runner, the forerunner is the way to go just because it makes the transition from run to bike better than carrying around an edge in your hand while running. If you're planning on using it on the bike predominantly, the Edge is much easier to use IMHO and will lead to less frustrations in the long run.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by subframe View Post
I'm looking into either an edge or a forerunner (both 305s). Apart from being able to display a bit more info on the screen I can't see any benefit to the edge (I pretty much don't believe that a barometric altimeter is going to be a whole lot more useful in a unit like this than GPS).

If anybody's used both, does the extra screen real estate justify the rather considerable price difference?
If you're just using it for cycling stick with the edge. Bigger screen, altitude data that actually mean something (GPS altitude data is known for being awful), and longer battery life.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:56 PM
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Thanks guys. Edge is on it's way to my house right now
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Old 08-19-09, 07:35 AM
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Don't forget about that quirky power-off glitch on the Edge when riding over rough roads or bumps. I have both, and have been considering using the Forerunner for cycling instead of the Edge because of this.
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Old 08-19-09, 09:15 AM
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^^^^ you have a defective unit. contact Garmin and see what they will do about this. is should not happen and is not normal. i have never had this take place with my 305. later.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:46 AM
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I have a Garmin Edge 305. Used it for around 20,000 miles in 4 years. It has never shut off in the middle of a ride. I have heard that there are some defective units out there that will shut off if you hit a big bump, but mine does not do this, nor do any of my friend's.

I did consider the Forerunner before buying my Edge. I chose the Edge mostly because the barometric altimeter is more accurate than the GPS altimeter in the Forerunner. Your priorities may be different from mine.

The Edge 705 is a lot more money. Remember that the cheapest bundles do not include the maps, which add another $100 or so to your price. If you frequently ride in unfamiliar areas and don't want to carry a stack of maps around with you, then this unit is worth at least thinking about. If you do the same training loop 90% of the time, then the map feature may not be worth the price.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:55 AM
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i have a forerunner 305 and love it. the gps based altitude is awful but if you use sporttracks, you can download an elevation correction plugin and all is well. i haven't used an edge but the display (even with four windows) is more than enough on the bike.
if you are going to get a forerunner, for god's sake don't get the 405. the touch bezel is awful to use and the 405 is more expensive than the 305 with little to no additional functions. however, the new 310 looks great.
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