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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in New Zealand, the Garmin Edge 305 HR is marginally cheaper than the Polar S725X (without the cadence option for both units). So while both does essentially the same thing, the Garmin has GPS. From what I've read, the GPS feature works only to record and playback the route travelled and not so much for navigation in search of new routes (i.e. replacing the need for a street map while cycling). That being the case, is the GPS feature still an advantage over the Polar S725X? how useful is it to record your routes? is it necessary or it is gimmickry?

boon
 

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well...

I havent used the s725x-- I used a much older one-- the xtrainer extreme or some crap like that. It worked, but interference from powerlines and whatever else would interfere w/ the speed sensor.
The garmin, which I use now, is incredible-- the thing has NEVER cut out on me (been using it extensively for 2 mos now-- its battery has lasted for a century, and the Motion based software is pretty good-- you can look at where you were and your stats HR, speed, altitiude, grade.
If the garmin is cheaper, I'd go w/ it.
 

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I have had the Edge for a couple of weeks. I bought it at Chumbo.com for $280. This is the "bundled" package that includes heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. You also get a battery charger and cable for connecting to your computer. This is much cheaper than I could fine a Polar 725. It is easy to install and has worked well. The only time the HR monitor did not work was when I rode directly under high voltage transmission lines. Much less interference than with various other monitors to include Polar that I've owned. I think the software package is better with the Polar, but you can get Cyclingpeaks to work with either one. I haven't tired Motionbased yet.
 

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I have a Polar 720i and a Garmin 60CSx GPS that I use in conjunction. The main thing that turned me away from the Edge 305 is that the GPS functionality is pretty limited compared to the dedicated GPS units. The Polar seems to be a bit low on the elevation gain, the Garmin seems to be a bit high but I can usually get a solid number by averaging the two.

I like the Polar software, as it makes reports/graphs really easy and customizeable. The Edge looks like a great product if you don't need the extra GPS functionality. And I've only had one time in the past two years that my Polar picked up interference (HR jumped to 212), but when I downloaded the workout it seemed it had autocorrected itself.
 

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I haven't needed the GPS function yet. Fun to see the map of the course that I rode, but I know where I rode. The GPS does allow you to do certain things I haven't needed to do such as compare times on a course or portions of a course from previous rides. It will also let you create a phantom rider to race against. I didn't buy the Edge for the GPS function but for the other features at $280. Downside seems to be as i posted above that the software isn't is good as Polar. I haven't tried the fee Motion Based basic software. I think you upload to a web site to use it. If you think you may want to buy the Polar Power Meter in the future you should get the Polar.
 

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I have a Forerunner 305 (very similar to the Edge 305 except for it is for running/cycling) and I had the Polar s625x which is the same as the the s725. The Garmin is much more intuitive. It was also easier to setup, easier to read, and has been more reliable. Using USB to download is more reliable and easier than IR as well. Plus you get to see where you have ridden. Lastly, although I haven't used the feature, in the manual it describes setting up a course and then using it to navigate the course with arrows.
 

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I like the GPS mapping because it allows you to go back over your ride and see your speed, heartrate, cadence and altitude along your course. This has helped me even out my effort and actually go faster.

Dancer

boon said:
do you guys find the GPS feature useful? the main things that i'm looking for is HRM and altimeter. so GPS would be a bonus but only if it is of any real use.

boon
 

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I was in the same postion, 725 or Garmin. My mate had 725, then got a Garmin 60csx GPS - then bought Edge ! I got to test all from him for week or two. Originally I thought the Edge was going to be the bees knees. Then I found out how indepth the Polar software is, and how poor the Garmin software is from a training and record keeping perspective. Then he started having problems with the Edge, it has now been changed by the local dealer 3 times for a new unit.
The diference is 20 + years of product development vs 6 months. If you are cyclist/athlete first get the Polar. If you are explorer/adventurer first get a GPS or give the Edge some development time......as I plan to do :)
 

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Fat Guy in a Little Coat
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Closeburn said:
I was in the same postion, 725 or Garmin. My mate had 725, then got a Garmin 60csx GPS - then bought Edge ! I got to test all from him for week or two. Originally I thought the Edge was going to be the bees knees. Then I found out how indepth the Polar software is, and how poor the Garmin software is from a training and record keeping perspective. Then he started having problems with the Edge, it has now been changed by the local dealer 3 times for a new unit.
The diference is 20 + years of product development vs 6 months. If you are cyclist/athlete first get the Polar. If you are explorer/adventurer first get a GPS or give the Edge some development time......as I plan to do :)
This cyclist/athlete bought the Polar s725x, then reconsidered and bought the Edge 305. Your choice should be driven by a couple of factors. First, do you plan on incorporating power? If so, the Polar probably makes more sense. If that isn't inportant in your training regimen, ease of use goes to the Edge. In fact, my Polar is in a box downstairs waiting to be returned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well, at this stage i am not considering the power feature. the two main thing for me are HRM and altimeter.

now, i do a bit of alpine mountaineering and so i could see some other use of the Garmin Edge, however i think the GPS feature probably isn't quite suitable for alpine mountaineering, not the mention the short battery life. anyway, has any used the GPS feature in the edge for other non-cycling related activities?

one other benefit i see is that it uses GPS for speed/distance, which makes it cheaper for multiple bikes unlike to Polar, which would require additional speed sensors.

one other question for those who has used both: how do the HRM feature compare between the Edge 305 and the Polar, including the software package?

boon
 

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What HR features does the Edge have?

I dont want to hi jack the thread but im considering an Edge myself. Ive seen the website, Im assuming it doesnt give an av. HR or calculate time spent in zones. Am i correct?
 

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Fat Guy in a Little Coat
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Piles said:
I dont want to hi jack the thread but im considering an Edge myself. Ive seen the website, Im assuming it doesnt give an av. HR or calculate time spent in zones. Am i correct?
Both average heart rate and time in zones are collected. Average heart rate is one of the display fields you can set on the unit. There are up to 5 programmable zones, and the supplied software will give both a chart readout of time in each zone, as well as a graphical readout showing each zone you've set, if that is preffered.
 

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boon said:
well, at this stage i am not considering the power feature. the two main thing for me are HRM and altimeter.

now, i do a bit of alpine mountaineering and so i could see some other use of the Garmin Edge, however i think the GPS feature probably isn't quite suitable for alpine mountaineering, not the mention the short battery life. anyway, has any used the GPS feature in the edge for other non-cycling related activities?

one other benefit i see is that it uses GPS for speed/distance, which makes it cheaper for multiple bikes unlike to Polar, which would require additional speed sensors.

one other question for those who has used both: how do the HRM feature compare between the Edge 305 and the Polar, including the software package?

boon
Boon,

The unit is easy to switch between bikes as there is no calibration necessary for wheel size (Obviously good if you have a tendency to switch between road and mountain bikes). The unit can be calibrated for a particular bike(s), but I don't really think there would be a large difference in the data gathered. Keep in mind that if you want cadence, you will need seperate cadence sensors on the bikes, but these are pretty inexpensive and easy to mount on the chainstay.

With respect to heartrate and software...the heartrate feature is good on both; I didn't really see differences between the two in what the units did or how they performed. I have not had any problems with the Edge, and had no problems with my Polar. With respect to software, the Polar that I used was an S410; the software used was PC coach. I personally think the software supplied with the Edge is easier to use. You also have the option of exporting the data to www.motionbased.com for more detailed analysis. This is a free service, although you can pay the about $80 a year to be able to have full access to your historical data. Log on to the site and see which would be best for you.

Just to be clear, I did not use my s725x, so I never opened the software. It might be quite good. However, the menus for the unit itself were almost exactly like the S410, which was extremely hard to navigate, set up, etc. by comparison. I truly feel that by going with the Edge, the only discernable difference you will have is the lack of adding power.
 

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tjspahr said:
Just to be clear, I did not use my s725x, so I never opened the software. It might be quite good. However, the menus for the unit itself were almost exactly like the S410, which was extremely hard to navigate, set up, etc. by comparison. I truly feel that by going with the Edge, the only discernable difference you will have is the lack of adding power.
I've found my Polar is really easy to setup via the Polar software, not actually doing it on the wrist unit itself. You can make changes and then upload those changes to the wrist unit.

That being said, I do like MotionBased.com a lot. I've just been using the free version for now as I don't take my GPS with me on road rides, just mountain bike rides. I switch my Polar between my Roubaix and my 575 quickly and easily though, takes me about 10 seconds total to select which bike I'm on and then go.

I use PC Coach some, but find the Polar Training Zones software to be really good for everything except setting up a training program, which I tend to take on that task for myself. The one thing I do like using PC Coach for is to auto-setup my next 5 excercises and upload them to the unit. That really takes the guess work out of setting up an interval day or the like.
 

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I've been fiddling with a freind's Edge for a while, and the GPS isn't of much use in the way that we normally think of GPS - mapping, routing, location, and so on. It has some abilities, but they are very limited.

Where the GPS shines through though, is in calibration of the altimetric/grade and speed functions. The Edge primarily uses a barometric altimeter and wheel sensor for these functions, with the GPS as calibration and alternate calculation. It makes using the thing much more user-freindly and accurate, and the tracklogs and such are simply side benefits.

I predict that soon they'll have a firmware upgrade (or a newer, more expensive model) that will allow for uploading of routes from some of their mapping software, rather than having to pre-ride the route to allow it. I've heard some rumors of users kludging their way into something, but haven't found the details yet.
 

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Fat Guy in a Little Coat
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danl1 said:
I predict that soon they'll have a firmware upgrade (or a newer, more expensive model) that will allow for uploading of routes from some of their mapping software, rather than having to pre-ride the route to allow it. I've heard some rumors of users kludging their way into something, but haven't found the details yet.
This was a misconception that I had originally...that I had to ride a route in order to "save" it. Actually, there are several places that allow you to create a course, save it, then download to the Edge. You can then "race" a virtual competitor, etc. The virtual partner sounds neat, but I have yet to use it...it may be useful if you are doing a monthly time trial to guage fitness and want to race against a previous time you had for comparison, but I have yet to use it for this.

Creating a course is extremely easy. It can also be modified after the fact if necessary, such as allowing a modification to a route for road repair, etc.
 

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Could be faster
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for all your responses. i think i'm currently leaning towards to Edge 305 but there is something about the Polar that seems to pull me away. i think that it's probably because the Polar is a watch that I can wear anywhere casually whereas the Edge would probably only reside on the bike.

boon
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
calories calculation

i downloaded the garmin Edge 305 manual to get a taste of what the product features are and it doesn't really say how calories are counted, i.e. based on heart rate or speed (like what Cateye non-HRM computer does). Anyone have any idea about this?

boon
 

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boon said:
Here in New Zealand, the Garmin Edge 305 HR is marginally cheaper than the Polar S725X (without the cadence option for both units). So while both does essentially the same thing, the Garmin has GPS. From what I've read, the GPS feature works only to record and playback the route travelled and not so much for navigation in search of new routes (i.e. replacing the need for a street map while cycling). That being the case, is the GPS feature still an advantage over the Polar S725X? how useful is it to record your routes? is it necessary or it is gimmickry?

boon
Not sure they do the same thing. The Garmin Edge is a great computer. I have used mine for navigation. The compass on it is great in case you do get disoriented. I can't tell the number of times I think I made a right turn thinking I was going one direction, and wound up going another direction. The Edge gives me that peace of mind of knowing which direction I am going when I am trying out new roads. I like looking at my rides after I get done, and looking at other possibilities for new rides based off roads I didn't take. This is a great computer, and I am certain the future of high end cycling computers will embrace GPS technology.
 
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