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Garmin Edge 305 for touring

Old 12-30-06, 01:38 PM
  #1  
greenstork
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Garmin Edge 305 for touring

This little unit seems ideally suited for touring. Granted, I don't own one and I'm not exactly sure about all of the features. I was under the impression that one of its biggest shortcomings, as it relates to touring, is the inability to import route maps onto the unit. While it records your route and waypoints you mark along the way, you can't then store that in a standardized format (GPX) and share it with the world. Is this correct?

I'd be interested to hear the relative pros and cons of such a unit from experienced tourers out there.

Thanks in advance,
Dave
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Old 12-30-06, 03:10 PM
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I've heard of the same issues with 305. I ended up getting the Etrex Vista Cx and think it'd be much better suited for touring. Full map capability and with the Garmin map software, you can get turn by turn directions. Not sure if the 305 is waterproof, but the Etrex is. The 305 seems to be better for training, but most of those features are not needed for touring. Hopefully others that own a 305 can post.

Edit: The Etrex can do the things that you are wanting. If you're feeling especially nerdy, you can use it to do Geocaching also.
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Old 12-30-06, 03:26 PM
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The 305 is 'water proof' and can be completely submerged without harm (I can't recall the exact number but certainly several atmospheres of pressure).
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Old 12-30-06, 04:29 PM
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Wouldn't the 305's battery life affect its usefullness on tours? The internal, lithium battery holds a 12-hour charge, according to the website. It is also non-user replaceable.
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Old 12-30-06, 05:11 PM
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Good point. Others use 2 AA batteries and last 3 days. What's wierd is the battery indicator. I went for a ride today and it was only one bar down and was completely dead after 2 hours....
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Old 12-30-06, 09:32 PM
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I don't see what a 305 brings to touring. It won't do routing. It doesn't even have maps. the internal battery has to be recharged every day and lasts only about 8 or 9 hours, from what I hear. The 305 is a training tool designed to combine ride track data with speed, elevation, and heart rate.

If you want a GPS that is actually useful for touring, then get something like a Legend Cx and the Mapsource City Navigator software. Download the maps for the area you'll be touring and your planned routes.

BTW, it is possible to export your track data in GPX format. Motionbased.com will do it.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by supcom
I don't see what a 305 brings to touring. It won't do routing. It doesn't even have maps. the internal battery has to be recharged every day and lasts only about 8 or 9 hours, from what I hear. The 305 is a training tool designed to combine ride track data with speed, elevation, and heart rate.

If you want a GPS that is actually useful for touring, then get something like a Legend Cx and the Mapsource City Navigator software. Download the maps for the area you'll be touring and your planned routes.

BTW, it is possible to export your track data in GPX format. Motionbased.com will do it.
After researching a little, I think I understand a bit better. While the 305 has track data, it does not do routes. In essence, this is the difference between being able to export data from the GPS vs. being able to import route data to it (and then navigate by it). The Legend, now Vista, seems to be a better option for touring.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:42 PM
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I agree. The 305 is a poor choice for tours. The biggest problem being the fact that it needs to be recharged. I hear that the battery life is less than 12 hours. Even if you have a place to charge it, you have to remember to charge it. Then there is the fact that it does not do maps.

I would recommend the GpsMap 60 or the GpsMap 76. They are both just the right size for the bike. I own the 76, while it is really targeted toward marine navigation, I like the form factor better than the 60.
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Old 12-31-06, 05:54 PM
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The 305 is a great training device and cycling computer, but makes a lousy gps. Get a good mapping gps. I use a Garming GPSMap 60CS. I like the larger screen better than the ones on the eTrex series. It also beeps at me when I'm approaching a turn, something my old Vista didn't.
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Old 01-01-07, 12:29 AM
  #10  
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You can get maps from Adventuring Cycling that use no batteries and are made waterproof, and these maps cost way less then a GPS system, and unlike a GPS system the maps are designed for cycling touring. Then all you need is a compass.

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm
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Old 01-01-07, 10:41 AM
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I use a Garmin Forerunner 301, a predecessor of the 305. (That
doesn't mean that I know much about the 305!) I am very pleased
with it for training but wouldn't consider it for touring. If I talked
too much on a group ride and don't know where I went, and my wife
asks how I got to X, I download my track from the 301 to a map on
the PC at home and 'discover' where I was.
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Old 01-01-07, 11:06 AM
  #12  
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The 305 actually works fairly well as a navigation tool, though nowhere near as well as a car-style gos with street names and turning directions in advance, etc. You can upload your routes to it and it will provide you with an accurate "bread crumb" route on the unit that shows you where to make your turns and you can easily tell when you're off track. It's a bit complicated getting the routes onto the 305 using the Garmin Metroguide software (which is the fastest and most editable), but I think I have the hang of it now. Routes from the free internet-based routing programs are fairly easy to get onto the unit.
All that being said, the comments above re battery life and touring are accurate. There are external battery backs that you can make/buy that extend the life to upwards of 20-30 hours with 4-AAs.
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Old 01-15-07, 10:52 AM
  #13  
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Garmin Edge 305 for touring

This is the way I use mine. I saw several GPS with mapping capability used on bikes but was not really attracted by the size of the map. While I find gps navigation in a car a must, I don't think I would really want to follow directions or consulting a map in such a small format.

What brought me to this thread is a search for an alternative source of power for recharging on the go and was wondering if anyone used one of these solarn panel chargers now available for PDAs and MP3. They seem to have the same USB connectors and would fit in a front bag map holder or other support.
I don't think they are powerful enough to fully recharge the battery but may provide a sufficient trickle charge along the way to prolonge its life. Any experience with these?


Originally Posted by NRRider
The 305 actually works fairly well as a navigation tool, though nowhere near as well as a car-style gos with street names and turning directions in advance, etc. You can upload your routes to it and it will provide you with an accurate "bread crumb" route on the unit that shows you where to make your turns and you can easily tell when you're off track. It's a bit complicated getting the routes onto the 305 using the Garmin Metroguide software (which is the fastest and most editable), but I think I have the hang of it now. Routes from the free internet-based routing programs are fairly easy to get onto the unit.
All that being said, the comments above re battery life and touring are accurate. There are external battery backs that you can make/buy that extend the life to upwards of 20-30 hours with 4-AAs.
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Old 01-15-07, 11:34 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Cycliste
This is the way I use mine. I saw several GPS with mapping capability used on bikes but was not really attracted by the size of the map. While I find gps navigation in a car a must, I don't think I would really want to follow directions or consulting a map in such a small format.

What brought me to this thread is a search for an alternative source of power for recharging on the go and was wondering if anyone used one of these solarn panel chargers now available for PDAs and MP3. They seem to have the same USB connectors and would fit in a front bag map holder or other support.
I don't think they are powerful enough to fully recharge the battery but may provide a sufficient trickle charge along the way to prolonge its life. Any experience with these?
I have the Garmin GPSmap 76C, the screen is a decent size but you are correct it is still too small for any decent navigation. You really need to carry a paper map. You can use the paper map for the over all picture and the GPS to help define your location. It really gives a great piece of mind. If you get City Select or City Navigator then you can also plug in an address and you will get turn by turn directions to your location. It really is a wonderful tool and well worth the money IMHO.
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Old 01-16-07, 09:53 AM
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Do the navigation GPS units come with handlebar mounts so that you can see the map while riding? Or maybe hear directions instead (problematic with wind in your ears)? Or is it used mainly at stops? I'm contemplating at Edge 305 because I like the idea of storing rides on the web along with weather, elevation, etc. to go with performance data. The breadcrumb trick is good if you are repeating a ride or if you have downloaed someone else's ride. And there are a lot of those at motionbased.com.

A GPS system that did ALL of the above plus an ear piece for verbal instructions would be cool (and expensive)
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Old 01-16-07, 11:06 AM
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This is just to subscribe to this thread
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Old 01-16-07, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by iks
Do the navigation GPS units come with handlebar mounts so that you can see the map while riding? Or maybe hear directions instead (problematic with wind in your ears)? Or is it used mainly at stops? I'm contemplating at Edge 305 because I like the idea of storing rides on the web along with weather, elevation, etc. to go with performance data. The breadcrumb trick is good if you are repeating a ride or if you have downloaed someone else's ride. And there are a lot of those at motionbased.com.

A GPS system that did ALL of the above plus an ear piece for verbal instructions would be cool (and expensive)
Google RAM mount. I've used these on dirtbikes for years and they've been great....I don't know if there is a better option for a bicycle or not. About the 305...it doesn't have mapping capabilities...that's all I needed to hear.
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Old 01-16-07, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by iks
Do the navigation GPS units come with handlebar mounts so that you can see the map while riding? Or maybe hear directions instead (problematic with wind in your ears)? Or is it used mainly at stops? I'm contemplating at Edge 305 because I like the idea of storing rides on the web along with weather, elevation, etc. to go with performance data. The breadcrumb trick is good if you are repeating a ride or if you have downloaed someone else's ride. And there are a lot of those at motionbased.com.

A GPS system that did ALL of the above plus an ear piece for verbal instructions would be cool (and expensive)
Garmin sells a mount for most of their devices. And there is the RAM mount as mentioned. The RAM mounts are very solid but a bit heavy of a bicycle IMHO.

There are no portable speaking GPS devices that I know of. And since most of the speaking units are intended to be used with automobiles, I doubt any would have a earphone connection. I did see a picture of someone that mounted a Street Pilot. Since the unit does not have an internal battery, he had to also mount a battery and genset. Way too heavy IMHO. The SP alone is heavy.

Most units will beep and flash the screen before a turn. You are moving slowly enough that the screen prompts are really good enough.
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Old 01-16-07, 09:43 PM
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I really have no idea what you would need a GPS for when touring, especially in the western states where the roads are few and the route extremely clear. I found that I spent way too much time looking at my cycle computer, and was debating even getting rid of that so I could just enjoy the countryside.

Almost every single group I met who had a GPS wound up either sending it home or lugging it around unused.
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Old 01-17-07, 06:30 AM
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GPS All Sport

There IS an alternative, but it incurs a monthly data charge of $15-$20 plus a monthly $7 web application charge, and that is to use your GPS enabled phone. Using GPS All Sport you can download real street or topo maps AND have it track your progress and trip data (speed, altitude, etc.). Since these same phones from Sprint/Nextel are aslo GPS Nav ready (another service charge) you can get all of this in a device that you should probably be carrying anyway (the cell phone).
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Old 05-17-08, 03:36 PM
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I got an Edge 305 for Christmas about a year ago. I mostly use it for mapping trails and routes where I live and for training, but I also use it for touring. As noted above, it's not ideal for this use but it does work quite well.

What I do is use Google Maps driving directions (with "avoid highways" enabled) to decide upon a route, then use one of the freely available Google Map to GPX tools to get it into a route, and then upload it to the Garmin. If it is a longer route then I upload it as a "training course" -- some of the routes I get from Google Maps have thousands of waypoints.

That way I can choose country backroads without worrying about looking at the map at every intersection. I've ridden like this for up to two weeks, taking along the charger cord to charge up at night. I usually get about 11 hours of use per day -- I don't use the heart rate or cadence monitoring when touring as it takes more power.

Also, it is waterproof -- up to 30 minutes in 1m of water, which is handy where I live (lots of rain).

So, all in all it's a good combination for me -- I can use it in all my bike related activities. The only thing I don't use it with is my commute to work.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-17-08, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycliste View Post
What brought me to this thread is a search for an alternative source of power for recharging on the go and was wondering if anyone used one of these solarn panel chargers now available for PDAs and MP3. They seem to have the same USB connectors and would fit in a front bag map holder or other support.
I don't think they are powerful enough to fully recharge the battery but may provide a sufficient trickle charge along the way to prolonge its life. Any experience with these?
You don't need an expensive alternative source like solar panels for recharging. There are 15 minute battery charges out there that will recharge 4 batteries at once. Just get one of these chargers and 15 rechargable batteries and you have enough to last for almost a month! You can recharge them all in one sitting in under an hour!

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 05-17-08 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 05-17-08, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by iks View Post
Do the navigation GPS units come with handlebar mounts so that you can see the map while riding?
You don't need a map to use a GPS. I've traveled hundreds of miles with GPS units that didn't have color maps. I have the Garmin CX unit with built in map but rarely use it. I make all my routes at home, upload them to my GPS, then turn on the arrow feature to point me in the right direction. Simple.

The picture below is all I need and nothing more. However, should you get lost or the route doesn't work well, a built in map is nice to have in case. This is rarely the case and I still use ONLY the direction screne pictured below.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 10-31-08 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 05-17-08, 08:39 PM
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I have Garmin 60CSx. Bought it with bicycle mount. Mount looks kinda flimsy but never actually failed. Just to be safe I wrap lanyard around bell so if mount ever fails then the unit will be rescued by it.
I use Google Earth to plan my routes in Toronto areas to cover long distances following parks and quiet residential streets and upload those as a tracks to GPS and then just follow those tracks. I love this device. It is very versatile, has very readable screen both in sunshine and in the dark. Good battery life. Can also give turn by turn directions etc, etc. It also has that very sensitive Sif Star III receiver that provides exceptional sat locking. Never failed in downtown canyons or deep ravines with the tree cover and cloudy skies. Overall I found this device indispencible for planning and following tracks.
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Old 05-17-08, 09:41 PM
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this thread is a year and a half old, long enough for the new Garmin 605 and 705 Edge cycling computers to be introduced. Full color base map of major us roads, topos and street maps uploadable to device. Real time mapping, same problem with battery life.

Ideal for touring? no. unless you're into gadgets and like having to find an electric outlet to park next to every couple of days. maybe if you add a solar panel, then why not go full bore and do wireless cellphone compact laptop computer with access to everything on the worldwide web?

you could be on a lonely stretch of blue highway and with the right stem mounted laptop holder be posting to bike forums at the same time!!!

I recall reading about a full time working cyclotourist that had his recumbent outfitted as a completely dialed high tech mobile office.....


I too have noticed the distracting effects of a simple cyclocomputer on tour, i think you'd miss half the scenery with a GPS on your handlebars!
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