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Hi all,

I am looking at both the Garmin Forerunner 305 and the Edge 305 to meet my needs. I am looking for a training tool that will help me be more effective and get in better shape. As I see it I have a few choices:

1. Buy the Forerunner 305 and attach it to my bicycle using the built-in, but highly underdocumented bicycle mode.

2. Buy the Forerunner 301 (much cheaper) and use it in the aforementioned way plus save my pennies for an Edge 305.

3. Buy a HRM for training and forget about all this GPS stuff.

4. Get the GPS stuff because this HRM stuff is bunk.

I am currently in Iraq (go Army!) and looking for a more effective way to train while running. However my main love is cycling and I only run because I have to and it is a good idea to cross train to keep the ol' bones from becoming to osteopenic.

Any thoughts? I really don't have any experience with any of these products. I am thinking the Forerunner is primarily a running computer and I will be dissatisfied with the cycling functions.

For your reference I am a weekend warrior, but am going to start commuting when I get home and training more specifically for cycling. However, running will always be a part of my routine.

Thanks,

Kevin
 

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I have the Polar S725x HRM - it has alititude, temperature, speed, cadence, as well as all of the HRM features - it's available w/a foot pod. (It even has a somewhat problematic power attachment). A team-mate was just showing me his Garmin and I realized that the only thing I was missing was the mapping feature.

Do I need a map for my road rides? Nope - YMMV.

Edit - looking at the specs for the Edge 305 and it looks pretty tasty - as long as the HRM is up to snuff I'd say go for it!
 

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In my opinion, the GPS stuff on the Edge is a miss. The wheel sensor is going to do a better job of distance and speed calculations. None of the mentioned products support mapping - that is, you can't see roads on the screen, only a dotted line of where you've been. For my money, not very useful. You can upload or store waypoints that would tell you where to turn for a pre-determined route, and there's some value there.

I use a normal cyclocomputer along with a "standard" handheld GPS unit. The GPS usually stays at home, saving the weight and complexity of that part of the thing unless I want it. But if I do take it along, I have all the features inherent in the 305 (and many more, like the ability to invent a new route while on the bike and preview the vertical profile before I head down some unknown road.

Still, there's something convenient about having everything in one box, and if I didn't already have and use the GPS for other things, these products might look more interesting to me. But it seems that you get more capability for less money buying these functions separately - and more versatile off-bike use to boot.

The one thing that seems neat is the ability of the combined unit to chart HR, speed, elevation, and so on all together on the PC, after the added cost of the software/website membership IIRC. Not completely sure how useful that ability is, but it is cool.
 

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I just installed my Edge 305 with HR/Cad. Works great so far. I bought it from Chumba for $305 including shipping - that's a great price for the bundle. Here's the link

http://www.chumbo.com/Info.aspx?id=307702&m=false

The price sounded too good to be true initially, but some others on the "Hot Deals" forum said they were legit and everything worked out.
 

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Kevin,
First of all thanks for your dedication and your sacrifice. I was in during the first go round over there.

I have the Edge 305. I really like it overall. For the post ride data to analyze it is second to none. If you look around, you will be able to save your pennies. I pad $250 for mine new, although the e store is no longer running that special. I have the heartrate monitor function with my 305. I can't see buying a heart rate monitor seperately, if you are seriously looking at the Edge.

I have had some technical issues with mine, but overall, Garmin has been really good about putting out updates for it.
 

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I own a 301 and I've used it on the bike for a couple of years. It works great as an HRM and the ride recording features can be fun. However, I'm also a GPS nut and the 301 has come up short in that area - no maps really limits the functionality.

Took a long hard look at the Edge and decided that the continued lack of maps was a deal breaker for me. I'm going to wait until Garmin finally figures out how to jam enough memory into it and buy the later, improved model.

Just picked up a Polar 725i and it's great. HRM is reliable, cyclocomputer functions work fine and it meets my training needs. If I decide I need to map something, I throw a real GPS in my pocket. The eTrex Legend is as small and is lighter than a cell phone.

Garmin is almost there, but for me, until they turn it into a predictive mapping tool, I'm content to wait. One thing to bear in mind in your situation, there are no basemaps for Iraq so you couldn't use the mapping functionality even if it existed. It's a cool little gizmo, but I think you'd do better with the Polar, and it's also less expensive.
 

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danl1 said:
In my opinion, the GPS stuff on the Edge is a miss. The wheel sensor is going to do a better job of distance and speed calculations.
Why do you think that? I've used both side by side and the speed & distance are virtually identical.

I have the Edge and love it, but then I'm a gadget freak. I come home and load the data into the computer - it's great to look at the speed, grade and elevation information so you can look back to see what your speed is on particular hills and grades.

I also layer the route in on Google Earth and I have a visual of exactly where I rode.

That function is really just a toy, to be sure, but awfully fun.
 

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My wife uses the Garmin Forerunner 205 (same as the 305 without the heart rate moniter) for running. The GPS reciever they are putting in these new units is really impressive. She can turn her watch on in our basement and still get a strong signal. I threw the watch in my jersey pocket a week or two ago when the speed sensor on my computer broke off. I never got to see what the watch did until I got home, but I am familiar with the route I took and it was very accurate.

I will look seriously at getting a GPS computer when I really need a new one. I fixed the speed sensor with some wire and epoxy.
 

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I thought about the Garmin Edge until I found out the lack of global mapping. I can get a hand held GPS that does that so I can find new routes, get relative distances from the nearest town, etc and use it for other things, like hiking and in the car and on the water. Someone gave me a Nike heart monitor for Xmas and I have everything else on the cyclometer but cadence which I'm thinking of adding. So, I'm getting a hand held when I get the time and cash.
 

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Can't help you with the battery life. I usually charge it every third ride or so - which is anywhere from 4 to 8 hours between charges.
 

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The Garmin Edge is designed to be a training tool, not a navigation tool. There are pleanty of navigation GPS units already on the market. The Edge has some really nice training features. Downloading your complete ride data (position, speed, elevation, cadence, HR, etc.) to your computer allows you to easily maintain your training log. All competitive atheletes maintain a training log, but keeping it up to date by hand is a real hassle. You can easily compare the results of your latest ride to past rides, e.g., looking for trends in your speed or HR. There are also some nice real-time training features like being able to race against yourself on a route that you do regularly. If these kinds of features don't interest you, then you should look at one of the more navigation-oriented GPS units.
 

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Why not consider the Timex Speed+Distance system?

http://www.prosportwatches.com/catalog/66-0-0/Timex_BodyLink_Systems.htm



kevinmd said:
Hi all,

I am looking at both the Garmin Forerunner 305 and the Edge 305 to meet my needs. I am looking for a training tool that will help me be more effective and get in better shape. As I see it I have a few choices:

1. Buy the Forerunner 305 and attach it to my bicycle using the built-in, but highly underdocumented bicycle mode.

2. Buy the Forerunner 301 (much cheaper) and use it in the aforementioned way plus save my pennies for an Edge 305.

3. Buy a HRM for training and forget about all this GPS stuff.

4. Get the GPS stuff because this HRM stuff is bunk.

I am currently in Iraq (go Army!) and looking for a more effective way to train while running. However my main love is cycling and I only run because I have to and it is a good idea to cross train to keep the ol' bones from becoming to osteopenic.

Any thoughts? I really don't have any experience with any of these products. I am thinking the Forerunner is primarily a running computer and I will be dissatisfied with the cycling functions.

For your reference I am a weekend warrior, but am going to start commuting when I get home and training more specifically for cycling. However, running will always be a part of my routine.

Thanks,

Kevin
 

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I'm really enjoying my Edge 305. I did buy the maps from Garmin for another $100 or so. The maps make everything work great. You can download your ride that day to your Edge and then the map works pretty well. I use it to wander around down roads I have never explored and find out where I went after I get home.

I like it, but if $400 sounds expensive for total optional bike gear, it isn't for you. Like most bike gear, you could get buy much, much cheaper without many problems.
 

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I have never gotten anywhere near 12 hours on mine.

kevinmd said:
Hey guys,

Another quick follow up question. Any experience with the battery life? I hear with the HRM and cadence sensor, it is well below the 12 hours advertised...
 

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magicant said:
Why do you think that? I've used both side by side and the speed & distance are virtually identical.

I have the Edge and love it, but then I'm a gadget freak. I come home and load the data into the computer - it's great to look at the speed, grade and elevation information so you can look back to see what your speed is on particular hills and grades.

I also layer the route in on Google Earth and I have a visual of exactly where I rode.

That function is really just a toy, to be sure, but awfully fun.
Would you post instructions as to how you layer the route on Google Earth. I am very interested in learning how. That sounds very cool.
 
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