Strengths: Lets you look at your rides in detail on your computer screen.
Weaknesses: Poor handlebar mount design is a known failure point which saw my $300 unit hit the road and smash. Battery does not make good connection and units tend to switch off on bumpy roads (the simple fix is at http://www.jimcarson.com/2009/replacing-the-battery-in-a-garmin-edge-305/). Garmin doesn't make any mention of this problem anywhere and will charge you $79 plus freight to fix it. They have apparently "fixed" the mount design, but you won't find any reference to that.
I was so attached to the data my Edge 305 gave me on my computer after a ride, I replaced the smashed one (and the handlebar mount of course)
a All Mountain Rider
from Prince William, VA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2012
Strengths: Durable. Looks great on my bike all Mad Max style. I like the Garmin Connect program and Training Center too. I only use it to look at my progression I have yet to use the route features and all that. It's been almost 3 years I probably won't start now...
Weaknesses: None I can see form my usage.
I got this as a gift about 3 years ago and I have used it regularly ever since. I have mine mounted on the stem. It looks great on my bike and I really like how old school the display is with the green back light. I have crashed with this guy installed on my bike one too many times even on my old downhill bike (Ironhorse Sunday; R.I.P.), and for the first time today before I left my house for my regular Sunday "ride out from my front door to the trail head" Ride; I noticed that the downward scroll button has given up the ghost. However, we will persevere, I will contact Garmin on Monday and see if they can service it.
All in all a great product; I would defiantly buy another Garmin. I know this unit is discontinued, but I just wanted to post up a review giving my approval of my trusty GPS.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2009
Strengths: SIMPLE to setup and use. Uploadable to your home computer with enclosed software or use Garmin Connect to keep track online. Its really awesome stuff and is a great motivational tool also. I have used mine had the past 3 months and have been only extremely happy with it.
Weaknesses: You get what you pay for so there are ZERO weaknesses with this product.
I purchased a reconditioned unit off of ebay. When I got it looked BRAND NEW. What is nice about the reconditioned unit is I got the updated bike mounts with the unit and they are heavier duty then the original ones people had problems with. They put 2 in the box which was great since I have 2 bikes. Also, it included the Cadence AND the Heart Rate sensors at no extra cost! The complete package and even the newest firmware installed with very clear instructions and full 1 year warranty directly from Garmin. I think the reconditioned model fixes all the issues people had with this model including the battery connection which cause the unit to shut off when hitting a bump, etc.
Sure there are better GPS models available but none even close to the price I paid for this one!
For $201.00 and free shipping how can you go wrong!
a Cross Country Rider
from London, UK
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2009
Strengths: Great price these days (was expensive when I bought it)
Ability to add cadence meter
Watch format means can fit handlebar (make a mount out of an old inner tube wrapped around bars and zip tied) or on wrist depending on cycling or running
Weaknesses: Slow to pick up satellites sometimes
Battery life could be longer for those all day epic rides
A great choice for monitoring almost every aspect - speed, pace, route, heart rate, calories, GPS mapping. I like the little map the watch can show of where you've been, which at first seems pointless, then suddenly useful when yo urealise it's good for seeing how close you are to sections you've just ridden, and cut back across.
A great product that I've used for 5 years for triathlon training, mtb training and general running. Hasn't gone wrong, even with constant abuse. More useful to me than a dedicated cycle only model that's too big (although I'd love the new one with the OS mapping built in).
a Cross Country Rider
from Fairfax, CA
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2009
I had to send the 305 back to Garmin due to a malfunction with the battery connectors. When riding on rough terrain (think 'rock gardens') at high speeds it would occasionally shut off. Garmin was able to replace my unit with one that hasn't given me any problems...
a Cross Country Rider
from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2009
Strengths: Product focused on cycling, great training and self-challenge features, small size, variety of mounting locations, battery life, accessories and altimiter.
Weaknesses: No base maps, no color, limited nav capabilities...accessory software can be a pain at times too (Garmin Training Centre)
I picked up one of these units as a replacement for a bike computer and heart rate monitor...but I wanted a little more in terms of functions and the ability to get into training modes to get more out of "commuter" rides.
This unit is no longer cutting edge....the 705 now deals with all my gripes (color, base mapping, better nav), but for the price, this still represents a good bit of bang for the buck.
I've added the cadence sensor for my annual "long" rides (last year was 125 miles with slicks on the FS mtb), and the batter has done me well for up to 7.5 hrs. I have an extender battery for the really long rides. The recording capabilities are pretty decent and with the altimeter and self-race mode, I have stepped up my game a fair bit.
Bottom line, if you're a bit of a technophile and want good logs of your rides, but don't want to do geocaching on the side, this is all you'll likely ever need in a bike computer.
Strengths: Solid build, accurate, host of features
Weaknesses: It would be nice to have a replaceable battery for those multi-day trips where a charger isn't available.
This may be one of the best purchases I've made! The Garmin Edge 305 puts all kinds of fun and a boatload of stats into your biking. Being able to track your routes, record speeds, ascents & descents, heart rate, averages, and weather (via motionbased.com) is awesome! The "race yourself" feature is very cool and if you use motionbased.com (soon to be GarminConnect) you can download someone else's performance on a trail and then ride 'virtually' against them!
Those that have lamented the lack of true GPS features obviously didn't do their homework before buying. This unit isn't meant to that. It has simple tracking, heading info, and waypoint data but the real GPS power comes when tracking your route, mileage, speed, etc. This is a huge benefit if your a multi-sport person. I can use this biking and then slip it in my armband for hiking, running, canoing, etc.
If you absolutely have to have mapping like auto GPS units then spend the extra $200 for the 705. If not, the 305 is the ultimate training tool.
Similar Products Used: All sorts of bike computers
Bike Setup: Kona Kula, all XT components, RS Judy
a Cross Country Rider
from Tucson, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2008
Strengths: Easy to use. Records tons of data. Very accurate sensor. Fast acuisition. Vista Friendly (and that's saying something)
Weaknesses: Garmin Training Center (That horse has been suficiently flogged,so I'll just leave it at that)
I think it's important to remember that this is not a navigation device, or a tool for geocaching. As it says on the package, "GPS enabled bike computer" (or something basically like that) With that it mind, I think it does it's intended duties quite well.
There are a couple of issues that I have, but they aren't so much this GPS as much something inherent to GPS rcvrs in general. For one, distance accuracy will always be slightly less with the GPS than with the wireless speed sensor for one simple reason: The GPS makes a series of a bazillion track points, then measures the distance between the points. Over a good distance, curves in the trail become are transformed into a series of straight lines. The longer the ride, the greater the inaccuracy. It's just a fact of the GPS.
Elevation change is another one. Even the best GPS rcvrs aren't perfect in the 3rd demension. The barametric altemeter helps, but that data is not recorded with the track points. You'll notice that the total ascent in the device will be different from what ends up on your computer screen.
Overall, this a great training tool, especially when comparing one ride to another. As meantioned below, it helps me get out and ride more just because I love piling up the data. (whatever it takes to get out there)
Oh, and for those below that want to get their history uploaded to a different GPS rcvr, you can convert your history in Garmin's Motion Based websiet, or at www.gpsvisualizer.com
Bike Setup: A bike...with a garmin 305 stuck to the front.
a Weekend Warrior
from Oakland, CA
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2007
Strengths: This has been the most troublefree computer I have had. Setup was easy, I did not have any difficulty with the cadence/speed transmitter. In fact the LED on the transmitter itself removed the guess work on the relationship between the sensor(s) and magnet(s). Based on my experience, if you get the LEDS to flash, you are going to get signal and info. Also, the heart rate monitor has been the most reliable of the ones I have used. Even when riding next to electric train tracks as wellas other areas with lots of EMF I get good readings The GPS is quite accurate and solid. It's important to not move while acquiring sattelites locations, but once you get a lock you're happy. I usualy mount it on the bike and turn it on in my garage as I'm getting ready and by the time I'm on the bike the unit's ready to go. I only had problems in truly dense forest/trails and that was momentary. Also you CAN share routes with others users using any basic GPS conversion tool that supports Garmin Courses (crs files). MapMyRide.com seems to work well. I've created rides online and downloaded them to the Edge without a problem. I haven't had a problem with battery life, although I haven't tried using it all day. After a four hour bike ride, I had 80% power left according to the meter. How that changes as you get closer to an empty tank I do not know. But so far so good and it charges rather quickly. Setting up the interface is pretty cool. You can have two pages on info, each with eight data fields. Garmin does provide you with a variety of data which you can monitor in those fields (e.g. speed,average speed, heart rate, heading, time of day, distance, cadence, and more). There is no power reading however, so if that's important I would look elsewhere or you will have to use another device. Compass function is cool. Punch in a waypoint/marker or course and the compass mode will be available and you can see if you're going in the right direction. Overall a great training tool to help record your ride and help you make improvements. The virtual partner is cool. It's a neat tool that allows real time comparison of a ride (or course as Garmin says).
Weaknesses: The provided Training Center software is a bare bones application. I'm using 3rd party software to accomplish things that should have been included in the training center. Cyclingpeaks is pretty good as is the previously mention MapMyRide website. But it is obvious that the Training Center software is not a major concern to Garmin, it's just too primative of an app. I have not had any problems with TC working. It just is not very powerful.
It helps to think of this as a GPS enabled cycling computer, not GPS for your bike. There is no turn-by-turn directions, no pretty colored screen to show you "YOU ARE HERE" or where the nearest Starbucks is (unless you program it to). It helps you to monitor (in real time) and critique (view the logs later) your rides. It's a good training tool. I do find it does inspires me to go out and ride and to find new courses and to beat the ones I've done before.
Similar Products Used: DeLorme Blue Logger GPS logger, Cateye and Cyclosport computers
Bike Setup: SC Blur
from North Van
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2007
Strengths: - Data logging - most sensetive GPS recevier I have used (though it needs 4 satellites to lock) - Wireless cadence and speed sensor works well (on road bikes) - Training features - customizable screens - basic, basic GPS features can help in a pinch - don't need to use wheel sensor - computer works well with GPS disabled
Weaknesses: - wheel an cadence sensor is really only designed to work on road bikes - GPS functionality is extremely limited. Can't upload tracks. Only shows a portion of your current track. Only displays lat and long when creating waypoints, and doesn't have any other datums or grids (i.e. UTM) - Typical cycling computer functions work better with the GPS turned off - GPS speed is very unreliable, and unit will override wheel sensor in favour of GPS, unless the GPS is disabled. - even through there is a wheel sensor, uses GPS data to calculate speed, which can be unreliable - General Garmin satellite locking quirkyness (these exist with every Garmin GPS I've used over the past 10 years) where the unit will not lock at all. Usually requires a re-start, or to be left out for an hour or so to sort things out. Good example is that last night I went out for a off-road ride. There was bad satellite coverage, so the unit would not lock, even after several minutes. Oh well. Went for a ride with it running, but it never did lock. Today I rode to work on the ride. The unit had 7 satellites locked, but could not get a position. I wouldn't usually care, as on the road bike I have the wheel sensor which will at least give me basic speed and distance. However, today the GPS was overiding the speed sensor, and it wouldn't work. Eventually I just disabled the GPS and things worked fine. I'll just leave the unit sitting still for an hour or so today, and it should be able to sort it out. Had similar issues where the altitude got 'stuck' and had to just be patient. - Very, very weak GPS features. Virtually useless for navigation.
I had bought this unit, hoping to be able to use it for more than riding, as it is so nice and small to carry. I've has a number of Garmin GPS's (12XL, II+, and 60CS). Unfortunately, the navigation features of even the most basic GPS are missing (partial display of tracks, no coordinate display, no heading display). It has a very good receiver, but even that is an issue in heavy tree cover, or with poor coverage at certain times per day. I thought the wheel sensor would help, but it seems that even with sketchy reception, the unit overrides the wheel sensor, resulting in speed readings that jump around.
I typically recommend to anyone that asks that they not buy one of these. You're better off getting a descent GPS and a cheap computer. When I travel off-road where navigation and map reading is required, then I carry a 60CS to use for that. The only reason to buy the garmin is if you are interested in the data logging or training features, both of which are very good.
The bottom line is that Garmin has created a GPS cycling computer that not a great cycling computer, and a pretty poor GPS.
Similar Products Used: Garmin 12XL, GPS II+, 60CS. Sachs, Cateye, Vetta, and Sigma computers.
Bike Setup: Which one? I use this thing on my road bike, DH bike and XC bike.
from Toronto, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 19, 2007
Strengths: Huge amount of info recorded.
This thing is so cool, when it works. 1st unit sent to me didn't work. I sent it back at my cost and got a replacement. It worked well for about 4 months before I started having problems. Garbled info and the unit kept turning off by itself several times during the ride. I sent it ibn for repair, again at my cost. I have been without it now for over 4 weeks and the Garmin Canada repair center has no idea when I'll get a replacement. I have contacted Garmin headquarters and they are working on a solution for me. LOTS OF FUN----when it works and if you can get it fixed.
a Weekend Warrior
from Spangdahlem AB, Germany
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2007
Strengths: Records everything that you want or need to monitor your workouts. I think it even makes coffee.
Weaknesses: Cant load tracks into a GPS. Ziptie system used to secure cadence sensor is not too smart. Training Center Software can be figity and Garmins Customer service is crap.
It started out OK with the exception of 2 things. 1. The cadence sensor came with a weak battery and I had to replace it. (I read that on amazon so I wasnt surprised and expected that) 2. You cant transfer your tracks to your regular handheld GPS. I was really hoping to build a database for all of my cycling friends to use after I roll back to the states without leaving my Edge behind. I've used it over the last 2-3 months and it's worked good. I've had some problems here lately with the Training Center (TC) software. I've updated all of the software for the unit itself, the USB drivers and the TC software itself and it worked fine for about a month. A week and a half ago I went to start up TC adn I got an error window. It gives instructions as to how to inform Garmin of this problem so they can help. I copied the info to an email and sent it off to garmin with no response. So I sent them the info from the error window again and still no reply. So i called them directly and got someone from their software dept to try and help me. The gentleman asked me to email the info directly to him and he'd look at it to get it fixed. (pretty nice of them right)(Heres where it gets good) The guy gives me his email address and we double check and triple check it to make sure it's the right email address. I emailed the info to the guy and 5 minutes after hitting the send button, it get the failed delivery email from Garmin's server. This email addy doesnt exist in so many words it says. I sent it out again and the same thing. I checked the spelling with how the guy told me it was spelled. Still the same thing about 4-5 times. I called garmin back and asked to be transferred to this guy and I got his machine and left a message for him to email me. Nothing yet. I'm not pleased with their customer service support at all. In fact I'm pretty livid about it. Maybe I'm expecting a bit too much but I paid $300+ for this thing and it should work properly and their customer service should be much better than what I'm getting. The unit itself is a good piece and it records everything you need. But with the dead battery, lack of transfer to GPS ability, the zip ties that break real easy and could leave the cadence sensor along the trail if you dont really pay attention to it everytime you stop for water and the absolutly pathetic customer srvice, I have to give it only 2 chilis. Without their customer service, the software doesnt work. Without the software you cant save any of your workout data. With being able to save your work out data, all you have is an expensive heart rate monitor that cant even tell you your GPS co-ordinates. Sorry Garmin, pull your act together.
a Weekend Warrior
from Raleigh, NC USA
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2007
Strengths: Awesome training tool. Records just about anything you could want. Easy to set up. Garmin site is useful for software updates.
Weaknesses: None so far. Others say the battery life isn't good enough but I'm not doing any 24 hour races and if I'm biking more than 10 hours the last thing I'm concerned with is battery life. I'm not that hardcore yet.
If your getting a little bored with the same old trails or are always wondering how long you rode for and how many calories you burned, top speed, elevation climbed, or just get lost in the woods this little gadget will get you excited all over again. Oh yea, the virtual trainer is bad a$$. I love trying to beat my best times when I'm out on the trails I've been riding for a while now.
Similar Products Used: Cateye, Polar, Specialized computers
Bike Setup: 07 Trek Fuel EX-8 stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Ldondon, UK
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2007
Strengths: Compact unit, waterproof, shock proof, hugely configurable, captures tonnes of data, comfy heart monitor strap, reaosnable software
Weaknesses: Battery life, Cadence sensor can be fussy and tough to fit
The Garmin Edge is the biggest motivational boost I've had in a long while. Provided you buy the heart-rate + cadence pack, it will record just about every aspect of your bike ride (the only real missing being power). Downloaded into the supplied training centre software you can see your speed, pace, heart rate, cadence, gradient and compare the values to historic performances. The unit itself is simple to use, sensible layout of the buttons means it's easy to operate while riding. The customisable readout means you can have whatever information you want on show. The trail display is great for finding your way back to the car park and individual waypoints can be marked for future reference. You can even race against your previous best times while out on the trail. The battery in the main unit lasts between 6 - 10 hours and there's enough memory that it should be able to track a full 5 - 6 hour ride.
On the down-side, the cadence sensor eats through CR-2032 batteries and the magnet needed for the crankarm might not fit if you've got cranks with a hollowed out back. Additionally, I take this between bikes, each having their own cadence sensor fitted and it doesn't like changing... can be a bit fussy to pick up a new cadence sensor.
Overall, if you're serious about improving your performance on a bike, this is a GREAT tool.