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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was a beautiful day in Southwest Missouri, and so I needed to get out and test my new cyclocomputer that I received on Friday night via U.P.S. I received an amazing deal at Gearsandgadgets.net on a Garmin 305, and couldn't resist the purchase. I paid $249, but he has since raised the price $130 since I ordered mine. I purchased the heart rate monitor version.

Installing it was very easy. It mounted on the stem with a mount a two locking ties. Took a couple of minutes to accomplish. It took three hours to charge. It is nice not having the wheel magnet on the front wheel anymore. It is much larger than the Cicliosport CM 436 Alti computer, which is on Ebay right now if anyone is looking for one. Although the size of it is really irrelevant since it takes up less that the 120mm of my stem. Size isn't the issue I thought it might be when I was reading earlier impressions.

The programing of the computer was very easy. You don't have to worry about wheel size, since it is GPS based. You just enter information like age, weight, and bike weight so it may calculate calories burned.

I like the display. The LCD presentation is very clean. However, I found it was hard to read while going down the road due to placement of data on the screen, and the amount of data on the screen. Luckily you can adjust this. The mapping option, even though it doesn't have road data on it, will give you courage to try new roads since it is easy to find your original starting point on the display. I found out later after playing it that I can add data fields to the map display. I will probably keep this as my primary screen from here on out, due to the easy read out of the display.

I love the elevation chart. I had a couple of hard climbs today, and it was fun looking at the elvation profile once I hit a flat part of the road.

I have been uploading information from my rides over the past year with my older Cicliosport computer. I like the software much better that comes with the edge. For those who have Garmin's streets programs, the Edge offers a great way to keep track of new rides. If you don't have this program, which doesn't come with the edge, the maps are blank with the exception of ride data. Which means you are looking at your route without roads. I uploaded info to both my desktop,which has the streets program, and to my laptop, which does not have the streets program. That data was worthless on my laptop.

It graphs speed, altitude, heartrate, grade. I need to play a little more with the software, before really giivng a solid opinion of it.

Overall, once I work out the quirks, and it will allow me to do that with its ability to allow you to view the screen the way you want, I think this will be a great tool to have on my bike. I am looking forward to playing around with it some more tomorrow.
 

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Metal Dave
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Hey, Thanks for the review! Mine's coming this Tuesday, I've been waiting a long time for this to come out! I got the heart rate version too, but just purchased the cadence kit after thinking about it. Hopefully the weather here in Jersey stays where it's at (55-60 degrees) for a few more days so I can check it out. I'll follow up this post with a review of my own once I get to use it for a few rides.
 

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Good review, but how does it work under tree cover? Not mountain biking dense trees but trees that hang over the road for long stretches of time? (guess this is a bad test to do in the winter....)

Just with speed and distance depending on the GPS it would seem like you'd really need the gps to never lose a signal or else you'd be really messed up. (que sheets being based on distance not absolute coordinates)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
enki42ea said:
Good review, but how does it work under tree cover? Not mountain biking dense trees but trees that hang over the road for long stretches of time? (guess this is a bad test to do in the winter....)

Just with speed and distance depending on the GPS it would seem like you'd really need the gps to never lose a signal or else you'd be really messed up. (que sheets being based on distance not absolute coordinates)
I gave it a test on a bicycle path in Springfield, MO for a number of reasons. The bike path is one of the more challenging paths I have come across due to the climb in the middle of the path. The path has a tunnel, tree cover, and bridge coverings. For saftey reasons (some kids thought it was cool to do tricks on their skate boards in the tunnel) I did not pay attention to the unit. My guess is that it catches up though. As for tree cover and bridge covering, I found no problems with the unit. I was playing with it during the bridge and the heaviest tree cover, which is about the climb right before you enter the Wilson's Creek area of the trail. That is the area of the climb where I switched to the climb profile. It maintained its connection.

I am looking forward to the next ride now that I have worked out the quirks with the display.
 

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It was a beautiful day in Southwest Missouri, and so I needed to get out and test my new cyclocomputer that I received on Friday night via U.P.S. I received an amazing deal at Gearsandgadgets.net on a Garmin 305, and couldn't resist the purchase. I paid $249, but he has since raised the price $130 since I ordered mine. I purchased the heart rate monitor version.

Installing it was very easy. It mounted on the stem with a mount a two locking ties. Took a couple of minutes to accomplish. It took three hours to charge. It is nice not having the wheel magnet on the front wheel anymore. It is much larger than the Cicliosport CM 436 Alti computer, which is on Ebay right now if anyone is looking for one. Although the size of it is really irrelevant since it takes up less that the 120mm of my stem. Size isn't the issue I thought it might be when I was reading earlier impressions.

The programing of the computer was very easy. You don't have to worry about wheel size, since it is GPS based. You just enter information like age, weight, and bike weight so it may calculate calories burned.

I like the display. The LCD presentation is very clean. However, I found it was hard to read while going down the road due to placement of data on the screen, and the amount of data on the screen. Luckily you can adjust this. The mapping option, even though it doesn't have road data on it, will give you courage to try new roads since it is easy to find your original starting point on the display. I found out later after playing it that I can add data fields to the map display. I will probably keep this as my primary screen from here on out, due to the easy read out of the display.

I love the elevation chart. I had a couple of hard climbs today, and it was fun looking at the elvation profile once I hit a flat part of the road.

I have been uploading information from my rides over the past year with my older Cicliosport computer. I like the software much better that comes with the edge. For those who have Garmin's streets programs, the Edge offers a great way to keep track of new rides. If you don't have this program, which doesn't come with the edge, the maps are blank with the exception of ride data. Which means you are looking at your route without roads. I uploaded info to both my desktop,which has the streets program, and to my laptop, which does not have the streets program. That data was worthless on my laptop.

It graphs speed, altitude, heartrate, grade. I need to play a little more with the software, before really giivng a solid opinion of it.

Overall, once I work out the quirks, and it will allow me to do that with its ability to allow you to view the screen the way you want, I think this will be a great tool to have on my bike. I am looking forward to playing around with it some more tomorrow.
Great review as I'm also considering this device. What I'm a bit confused about is the necessity for a street program. I understand this device is not like a car Nav unit and the street program is only for the PC...So if there's no maps built in, what do you see on the unit display when in 'map' view?

Also, what map program are you using with it on your computer? On Garmin's website, there's quite a few different programs. Any recommendations? You would think that should be included...but anyway, thanks for the review.
 

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A4B45200 said:
Great review as I'm also considering this device. What I'm a bit confused about is the necessity for a street program. I understand this device is not like a car Nav unit and the street program is only for the PC...So if there's no maps built in, what do you see on the unit display when in 'map' view?
When you load your ride info back into the program, you can see the ride on the street map program.
 

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Adrenalina Italiana
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Quick question concerning mutiple bike owners.

You mention attaching the computer to the stem via zipties,at least I think you did and this can be a bit bothersome changing it from bike to bike.Do you think it would be possible to use the rubber bands that are included with other computers to mount the device?

This is the only thing keeping me from purchasing this cool computer,because I would like to use it on all my bikes and keeping it on one bike would defeating its purpose for me atleast.
 

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Metal Dave
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Davesnhere said:
Hey, Thanks for the review! Mine's coming this Tuesday, I've been waiting a long time for this to come out! I got the heart rate version too, but just purchased the cadence kit after thinking about it. Hopefully the weather here in Jersey stays where it's at (55-60 degrees) for a few more days so I can check it out. I'll follow up this post with a review of my own once I get to use it for a few rides.
OK, Got mine yesterday, but unfortunetly it rained all day so I didn't get to use it on the bike. I have been playing with it though, and figured out most of the features. The only problem I had was I couldn't get my computer to recognize it when I plugged it into the usb. I'm not sure why, but it had something to do with outdated drivers (from 2003) that were from my older Garmin unit. Why it didn't just overwrite these is beyond me. My only other complaint would be the buttons seem a little hard to push, but I'm guessing these will get easier as they break in from use. I'll have more as soon as I can get a first ride impression, but for now it looks like I'm stuck here on my trainer again today!
 

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enki42ea said:
Just with speed and distance depending on the GPS it would seem like you'd really need the gps to never lose a signal or else you'd be really messed up. (que sheets being based on distance not absolute coordinates)
I have an old Garmin GPS III that I sometimes carry with me while roller blading, and usually use in my car. It calculates speed and distance by comparing points, so if you disappear under trees, and pop out later, it just calculates how far you traveled and in what time, so it gets it right, unless you are making a lot of turns while it can't see the sats.
Note however that GPSs are notoriously bad at max speed, and their accuracy on instantaneous speed gets worse the slower you go.
 

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What about multiple rides?

Can you ride over several days without downloading the information and after you get back home, download each day as a separate ride?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To answer a few questions about the Garmin

Garmin did a reallly cool thing with this unit. THEY PROVIDED AN EXTRA BIKE MOUNT (which is what the cable ties are for). You can easily swap it back and forth on bikes.

As for the software, it does not load map info on the GPS unit, however when you upload your ride info to the PC, if you have a street map product from Garmin, it seamlessly links the two software titles together to provide street data for the Training Center software. All you get on the GPS unit is a bread crumb trail with way points that you program in.
 

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Garmin did a reallly cool thing with this unit. THEY PROVIDED AN EXTRA BIKE MOUNT (which is what the cable ties are for). You can easily swap it back and forth on bikes.

As for the software, it does not load map info on the GPS unit, however when you upload your ride info to the PC, if you have a street map product from Garmin, it seamlessly links the two software titles together to provide street data for the Training Center software. All you get on the GPS unit is a bread crumb trail with way points that you program in.
So does the actual GPS unit provide any type of directions if you're lost? This is where I'm a bit confused. It seems this GPS (besides providing basic cycling computer functionality) only gathers data for you to use later on your PC.

I have a Flight Deck on my bike now so I don't really need another cycling computer. I do like the elevation reading the Garmin provides...but from what you're saying, it just draws via bread crumbs w/o any street references.

My car Nav has a 'bread crumb' feature too...its cool in that it draws your route in an unmapped area...but kinda usesless if you want to navigate thru it. I suppose it can be useful to find your way back.

I really was hoping that this would have mapping functionality so that you can just ride into unfamilary roads/routes w/o carrying an actual map. When I first saw this product, I thought this was the ultimate Nav unit for a bike...guess not??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Spinnerman said:
Can you ride over several days without downloading the information and after you get back home, download each day as a separate ride?

Thanks
Yes, once the memory is full it overwrites the oldest information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A4B45200 said:
So does the actual GPS unit provide any type of directions if you're lost? This is where I'm a bit confused. It seems this GPS (besides providing basic cycling computer functionality) only gathers data for you to use later on your PC.

I have a Flight Deck on my bike now so I don't really need another cycling computer. I do like the elevation reading the Garmin provides...but from what you're saying, it just draws via bread crumbs w/o any street references.

My car Nav has a 'bread crumb' feature too...its cool in that it draws your route in an unmapped area...but kinda usesless if you want to navigate thru it. I suppose it can be useful to find your way back.

I really was hoping that this would have mapping functionality so that you can just ride into unfamilary roads/routes w/o carrying an actual map. When I first saw this product, I thought this was the ultimate Nav unit for a bike...guess not??
There is a basic navigation function on the GPS that uses waypoints you program in. However, it only gives you the basic direction of that way point. It does not give street to street directions. That would be nice when wanting to ride on new roads, but it doesn't perform that operation.
 

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I see that they offer a wireless speed/cadence option....do you have to have this to get speed and distance? I would probably get the cadence anyways, but the advertising is a bit confusing on the available options. Given your experience, which version would you buy now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
scottie said:
Are there any other software programs compatible with the 305 or must one use Garmin specific software to build detailed ride maps afterwards?

http://www.bollar.org/edge305.htm
There is an online A.S.P. that is soon to be compatible with the Edge. It is currently compatible with a number of Garmin products, and the Edge is soon to follow. I am unsure of the URL at the present time, but the information comes packaged with the Edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
scottie said:
Are there any other software programs compatible with the 305 or must one use Garmin specific software to build detailed ride maps afterwards?

http://www.bollar.org/edge305.htm
There is an online A.S.P. that is soon to be compatible with the Edge. It is currently compatible with a number of Garmin products, and the Edge is soon to follow. I am unsure of the URL at the present time, but the information comes packaged with the Edge.
 
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