Garmin Edge 705 GPS Cadence/HRM: Trainer. Navigator. Edge 705 pushes you to do your best, then shows you the way back. This GPS-enabled cycle computer knows no limits. Get heart rate, cadence, turn-by-turn directions, power data the works.
Strengths: Made for cycling. Easy to navigate menu. Custom displays.
Weaknesses: Mounting. I wish there were a few more options for mounting.
I bought a 705 used off of ebay and absolutely love it. Great for laying out routes, tracking and reviewing workouts. I won't lie. It took a little getting use to navigating the menus. I'm still trying to get it just the way I want it. So many options for your output.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2013
Strengths: Easy to use. I bought the bundle with HR monitor, cadence/speed sensor and maps at a good price and it has all the functions that I need and then some. Good battery life, with the ability to charge from my PC USB connection after dumping rides to GarminConnect and/or RideWithGPS. Easy to upload and download routes. Turn-by-turn directions when riding a planned and loaded route. You can set it up for multiple bikes and customize the display screen for each bike. For example, I have cadence on display for the road bike, but not for the mtb. The unit is durable, tough and dependable.
Weaknesses: Minimal weaknesses that I have found. It does what I want it to do. Text on some of the screen is large text, so entire file names can not be displayed. Be careful when naming files so the first 10-15 charachters are unique.
I used Cateyes for years, then wanted something that would record and transfer rides and ride stats as well as allow for me to load it up with routes that I created to follow, both road and trail - this fits the bill. I've been using it for 2+ years now (since 12/2010) and have logged 300+ rides and have no complaints. I found it real easy to upload routes developed in online mapping programs, such as RideWithGPS and Garmin's site. Turn-by-turn directions are by an audible tone and a graphic on the screen telling the to turn right or left, etc. Most online programs recognize the device and will upload/download files in either direction. I has many more features that i know are there, but haven't had a need to use. Given time though, I'll find a need for the other features.
I recommend this for anyone wanting a dependable, tough and rugged GPS unit to record rides and upload routes to follow.
Strengths: Color screen, mapping, routes, tcx files that are easily read/uploaded to Garmin Connect, Training Center, WKO+, TrainingPeaks, ability to select smart or every second recording, ant+
Weaknesses: No temperature, larger/heavier unit compared to 500, no touch screen.
The 705 still in my opinion is the gold standard for Garmin's products. It seems more versatile with regards to file type, mapping, and data options (e.g. smart recording is an option, not a requirement). The battery life may not be as good as the 500 or 800, but it never let me down with a dead battery on 8+hr mountain bike rides recording every second.
Files are quite large with power/HR readings every second, but it is nice to be able to see all data in Excel with no smoothing and without proprietary software.
No other issues with this unit. Very highly recommended in my opinion.
a Weekend Warrior
from El Dorado Hills, CA
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2010
Strengths: Light, easy to use, easy to set up, more bells and wistles than you actually need.
Weaknesses: None found
I only get out about 4-6x per month but am always interested in my fitness level, ride time, etc... This thing does it all and then some. I use if for my mid-week runs too with the same benefits. I don't know why you wouldn't want it all. If you are going to buy the basic GPS, man up and spent the extra NOW instead of wanting forever. If you want to be a tool and geocache you can do that too. but really?
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2010
Strengths: Interface with computer
Weaknesses: The above mentioned product strength is about the only strength. It is useless stand alone in the field.
I don't own a Garmin myself. I considered buying one. But after using it quite a period with a friend who owns one, I wait till it does what I need.
The point is: it works beautifully if you download a track or route from the internet AND STICK TO IT. But how many people do just that without deviations or mistakes. There is always a nice inviting other track.
Last week we were at the Hermannsweg in Germany from Hörstel to Halle and back. Twenty kilometers before Halle we missed a deviation and had to find our way to Halle without any useful directions from our Garmin whatsoever. The device simply does not help you out in the field, only if you stick to the downloaded track from the pc.
However, it is equipped with a GPS and a detailed map, which should enable you to stand in the field and choose on the map a point where you want to navigate to. In my opinion that 's what you buy a navigator for. Remarkably enough Garmin can't do this primordial function. (After one hour more cycling we found ourselves further from the destination than before.) What use is a navigator which does not help you out in these circumstances? I want to choose a point on the map and ask the device to navigate me there, via another desired point or avoiding certain sections (e.g. traffic). For this simplicity I admire TomTom.
So I will wait with buying a navigator till TomTom or Apple produces one and show how the job of navigation is done.
Recalculating a route to your destination is cumbersome. The device seems to keep the original route and all recalculations in memory. Hence is stalls.
You can't edit a route. Garmin has just one, and that's what you have to make do with.
All maps have to be purchased separately. The same applies for necessary software, like mapsource.
If you register a route which you ride, it makes unnecessary many waypoints. You cannot change the interval. At least we have not found out how to do that. As a result Google Earth takes a century to start up because it has to load all these waypoints.
Garmin seems to be fine as a trainings monitor. But that's not why I would purchase such an instrument. I need a route planner.
For the technological level and play factor on the pc: 1 chili.
Bike Setup: Scott Spark Limited Edition. Before: Cannondale Scalpel I still own an American Eagle, Death Valley without suspension.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2009
Strengths: Very user friendly, good display, amazing gps reception. Once you buy the proper mapping software it is the best thing out there
Weaknesses: Have to read the forums to figure some of the software out
This thing rocks, as i said very user friendly,those who have bought it and not followed through with the mapsorce and navigator software should take a long hard look at yourself before you complain. Would you buy a new set of wheels and not put tyres on them.
I bought it in oct. 2008, now May 2009. Took me a while to accually sit down and use mapsorce properly,loading navigable rides is not hard,and reloading rides such as favorit trails in the bush is so easy from training centre to mapsorce once you have the file conversion link from garmin, then copy and past as many you like into one mapsorce map and load it onto the sd card in the unit,so simple.
I have used it to find my way round Perth and on the sunshine coast when on the bike with no problem at all.
I particuly like the virtual race partner.
Great to be able to download rides from other sites and up load as well.
I use mainly garmin training centre and motion based to record the data, and keep the unit fairly clean as it does seem to be a little quicker that way.
I give 5+5 because the other bike computers and heart rate monitors round the same price didn't suit my application
Bike Setup: Giant atnthem XLTD,Cannondale Prophet, Giant OCR C2
a Cross Country Rider
from Ashland, OR USA
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2009
Strengths: wow factor nothing else does what this does
Weaknesses: the software
I pretty much agree with racer2008.
Save your money and wait for a more advanced version (805?) to come along before you buy one.
Using bikeroutetoaster.com I've been able to make courses for myself. This works reasonably well. Trying to go on rides in unfamiliar places used to be kind of scary/adventureous/time consuming. Now I just spend a few minutes on the website planning my course, and the 705 tells me where to go - Very Nice!!! However, I have not tried to deviate from my preset courses yet, and since I do not have the microSD card with the maps I wouldn't be able to. No, the unit only shows my course (in purple) floating in a tan field of nothingness. Occasionally there will be an impossibly straight line representing some main road, but since I like to get out into the country when I ride this almost never happens.
There are ways to install maps onto any microSD (not just the $100 one you can buy from Garmin), but I haven't ventured down that road yet, and it seems like an enormous hassle, if it even works correctly.
Now the big issue: I bought the 705 instead of the 605 or even the 305 because it is able to receive power data from my powertap hub. It does receive the that data. It even *displays* it on the screen as I ride. So far as I can tell it DOES NOT save that data, and there is certainly no way of accessing the power data in the Garmin Training Center software (version 3.4.3).
This is a big deal. What good is power data to me if I can't use it to track my training? Am I supposed to memorize the numbers as they flash by on my screen? WTF was Garmin thinking? The whole point of the 705 is the power data! If it doesn't save the data or I can't get to the data then why didn't I save a hundred or so dollars and get the 605?
a Cross Country Rider
from Paola, Ks
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2009
Strengths: I feel this is very user friendly. I have been able to figure out most of the functions without the manual. Lot of options.
Weaknesses: worried about the mount.
Compared to the previous computers, this has been the best. It is easy to set up and does have a lot of customizations available. Spoke to Garmin about using the unit while on a trainer. Mine will show there has been distance gained and he explained it is due to the movement of the satellites and you not moving. Either way definitely better than what I have had in the past
Similar Products Used: polar and ciclosport hac4 PRO
a Cross Country Rider
from North West
Date Reviewed: April 8, 2009
Strengths: Lots of variety in displays, easy to configure, cute gadget. Like the real time profile display.
Weaknesses: Bike mount apparently breaks off easily leaving your expensive 705 bouncing down a hill, etc. Snaps off where the cable ties go through the guides.
Reports elevation differently each time I use it. Left home and in 1h40m my house had climbed from 1170m to 1235m (odd, never new the ground moved that much), the day before it was at ~1245m and stayed there for the duration of my ride. So I don't believe nor trust the alt. readings on the device (understand barometric pressure is influenced by weather, but this is a bit extreme). Maps are very old, came out with 2004 revision and no updates available. May as well not pay the extra R800 for the maps, 5 years a lot changes.
Auto Pause also a bit painful and I have disabled it.
HR monitor and cadence work fine, don't think the HR measurement is that scientific, just more a nifty trick.
For the amount of cash you outlay on this device it clearly is not worth it. The bugs vs. functionality vs. price don't do it.
Bike Setup: Scott Genius MC40 mods-Fox F100 RLC front shock, Sella Italia C2 Gel Flow, Scott Bar-ends and Maxxis Crossmark tyres.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2009
Strengths: GPS, Full Fitness Stats, Etc...Does everything you'd want it too.
Weaknesses: Case seems to be a bit under-built, considering it is a bike computer, and cyclist's crash!...maybe should have a road and MTB version...or sell a lexan MTB case mount.
Great product...don't listen to idiots that leave an expensive piece of gear on their bike during transport...heck a rock from a truck could have broken it too!...could be built a bit better for mtb (Just case toughness) and would be great it they allowed running metrics...as I do trail running and don't really want to purchase one of their watchs..just to use the foot pod and get reasonble calories estimation....Great product! wish I had the money for a power meter!
Similar Products Used: Various, gps units, and bike computers...but my first combined unit.
Bike Setup: Stumpy FSR
from Sao Paulo - Brazil
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2009
Strengths: its a great training tool
Weaknesses: the bike mount breaks very easily.
I lost my unit today because it felt of the bike and a car ran over it. the bike mount broke with the vibrations from the road.
the gps is great, but its a $500,00 piece of equipment and losing it because Garmin was not able to produce a better US$ 2,00 bike mount is realy sad.
lets see what garmin customer service has to say about that...
from Oxford, England
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2009
Strengths: Measures altitude (with gradient feature), route planning (stay off the main roads), Heart Rate, upload to google maps.
Weaknesses: Fireware was a little shabby to start; however, it appears Garmin have fixed most of the major issues. I can't comment about the Power Meter intergration as I don't have an ANT+ Powertap, only a legacy unit.
Used with mapsource software (not a pre-loaded) card this unit is fantastic. Following a move I recently brought the UK maps to put on my unit that I purchased in the US and it all went seemless. My only complain is the cost of the add-on maps; however, it was a one-time buy and I can't imagine the roads in the UK changing [that] often.
The backlight feature is nice for night riding. NOTE: if you wish to route plan ensure you by city navigator and NOT a pre-loaded card.
Firmware was a little flaky initially but Garmin have fixed this and the unit no longer powers-off at random intervals.
Strengths: The only bike computer with GPS on the market as of right now.
Weaknesses: Where to start?
This is a cool gadget but beware of shabby software.
As a bike computer, it works kind of OK.
It displays two screens of data, each screen can be custom configured to show up to 8 fields. For those 16 fields (8 + 8) you get to chose which data item to display and the list is impressively long – speed, average speed, average speed per lap, max speed, cadence, altitude, etc, etc. 49 total. So how do you fit 49 data items into 16 fields to be displayed on the screen? Well, you can’t. There is no way to cycle or scroll through the data. So you’ll never be able to see any of the remaining 33 data items. Not unless you go into setup and reconfigure the display to show a different set of 16 items. Totally lame.
As for the display itself, numbers could be bigger and/or more legible, the font is horrible. Example: on my first ride I was trying to read my speed and saw “195.” What the heck is that number? Then I understood, it was “19.5 mph.” The 1/10 digit is the same size as the other digits (on a good bike computer it would be smaller) and the dot is hard to see while riding a bike.
Goddess forbid I wanted to read my power or cadence or whatever while riding at 30 mph in a tight bunch of racers banging elbows with each other. The display could be much more legible (for instance by making use of colors – the unit does have a color display but the software won’t make good use of it in cyclocomputer mode). In comparison my Powertap computer looks primitive but does a much better job displaying the numbers I want to see. The Powertap aside for it is an expensive device, there are cycling computers that cost 1/15th of the 705’s price but execute basic cyclocomputer functions much better.
As a GPS the Edge 705 falls flat on its face.
Sure it’ll do basic GPS functions, like navigate you to a destination. It’s even intelligent enough not to send you on an interstate on your bike. But finding a destination point is a bit challenging unless you know the exact address. Trying to find a point on the map is, if perhaps not quite hopeless, certainly tedious. The screen is small and the map is rendered pathetically ugly and illegible by modern standards. As for zooming and scrolling, it is painfully slow. Calculating a route takes an age. Arm yourself with ample patience and goodwill when operating this thing, it looks and feels like a GPS from the stone age. Something as basic as orienting the map north or according to your direction of travel requires that you go into setup – there is no quick and easy way to do it.
As for trying to program a custom ride into this unit (a cue sheet) and have it give me turn by turn directions, it has been a total fiasco for the first 12 hours of trying (the route would look fine in whatever mapping software I was using but once in the Garmin it would inexplicably become a succession of U-turns)… until I got advice online to try BikeRouteToaster.com. That actually worked pretty well on paper. Why on earth couldn’t Garmin provide such a tool to those that have paid quite a bit of money to buy one of their products? Oh, I get it! They want you to use MapSource which requires the purchase of City Navigator on DVD at an extra expense of $100 or so (even tho the Edge 705 model you just bought comes with City Navigator on a micro SD card). Brilliant.
So how does it work on the road? So and so. It’s prone to recalculating your route which would not be a problem if it did it promptly. But it doesn’t – it can take minutes. Or it’ll simply crashes and you have to reboot it. And if while it was taking all its time recalculating the route you have been riding in a direction it didn’t want you to ride, then it will start recalculating all over again. As for following a route (a cue sheet you have programmed), it just doesn’t seem to work all that well more often than not. But you can just display the course on the map and do your own navigation without depending on the Edge to tell you where to turn. That actually works much better. Why can’t this device give you accurate turn by turn directions I’ll never understand?
In a pinch you can also use your Edge 705 in a car and it does have a routing profile just for that purpose (it won’t avoid highways as in bike mode). But inexplicably Garmin has failed to include a simple suction cup attachment so I’m not exactly sure how you are supposed to use it in a car other than holding it in your lap. Stupid.
As a power meter… well I’d rather not try. The Edge 705 is ANT+Sport compatible and can be paired to a power meter – for instance a new or upgraded Powertap hub. But here again the Edge is far from perfect. To begin with, it’ll record your power data (or any other data for that matter – location, speed, etc) only if you have started the timer. It’s not enough that you just turn the unit on, you have to remember to start the timer. In addition, at the recording interval of 1 second (which is what you need in order to get meaningful data for WKO+), it’ll record only for 4.5 hours. So I’ve decided to save myself $100 on upgrading my Powertap hub to ANT+Sport standard and I’ll just keep the Powertap computer on my handlebars because I am just not convinced that the Garmin is a viable replacement.
So far I have mixed feelings about the Edge 705. Sure it’s a cool gadget and having a GPS on your handlebars is fantastic (I don’t have a car so finding places on my bike is important to me). But Garmin could learn how to do software better because what they have delivered miserably fails to match the potentials of this unit. The only people that could possibly give this unit a 5-star rating are those that haven’t tried to use any of the more advanced features.
As for the so-called “owner’s manual”, it completely fails to document the majority of this unit’s features leaving you totally bemused. Tech support is equally useless in my experience.
So, simply stated, the biggest problem of the Edge 705 is that it is a niche product without any competition whatsoever so Garmin can get away with delivering inferior software. I can only wish Apple would come out with an iBike GPS and teach them how it’s done.
If you don’t need a bike computer with GPS functionality right this very instant, you may be much better off waiting for a more mature product to come along. Otherwise you have no choice but the buy the Edge 705.
Verdict: 2 stars out of 5, ample of room for substantial improvements. Any device whose users go to online forums to compile long lists of issues and bugs is a device that should be avoided if anyhow possible.