REVIEW: Garmin Edge 305; GPS for your bike

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 10:00
Category: Review

garmin-edge-305-1.jpgMy top technology gadgets in order of priority are: mobile phone, GPS and iPod. I’ve previously posted in these pages that my automotive GPS is my second most required piece of tech hardware. For people that drive, a GPS navigation system is an indisputably great invention. The Garmin nuvi 660 is my GPS of choice because it combines a small profile with a large screen – and they built-in the traffic receiver. I previously reviewed the Garmin nuvi 360 in August 2006.
Garmin International Inc., makes a GPS for almost every lifestyle, as a mountain biker I jumped at the chance to test the company’s Edge 305 bicycle GPS.
You may be asking yourself what you’d use a bicycle GPS for. Think of it as a bicycle computer on steroids. The Edge 305 measures pedaling cadence, heart rate, speed, distance, time, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent. In fact it has over 300 features…


garmin-edge-305-1.jpgMy top technology gadgets in order of priority are: mobile phone, GPS and iPod. I’ve previously posted in these pages that my automotive GPS is my second most required piece of tech hardware. For people that drive, a GPS navigation system is an indisputably great invention. The Garmin nuvi 660 is my GPS of choice because it combines a small profile with a large screen – and they built-in the traffic receiver. I previously reviewed the Garmin nuvi 360 in August 2006.
Garmin International Inc., makes a GPS for almost every lifestyle, as a mountain biker I jumped at the chance to test the company’s Edge 305 bicycle GPS.
You may be asking yourself what you’d use a bicycle GPS for. Think of it as a bicycle computer on steroids. The Edge 305 measures pedaling cadence, heart rate, speed, distance, time, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent. In fact it has over 300 features, including:

  • Zero calibration required – just snap it in the included bike mount and go.
  • High-sensitivity GPS receiver — knows your position even in tree cover and canyons.
  • Highly efficient ANT wireless protocol — provides superior battery life and reliably transfers your performance data to the Edge 305.
  • Customizable cycle computer — shows up to eight different data fields for continuous feedback.
  • Virtual Partner – lets you “race” a virtual competitor, making training fun.
  • Courses — let you “race” against a recorded course to try to match previously set speeds at every point along the way.
  • Auto Pause – pauses the training timer when you slow down below a specified speed and resumes when you speed up again so you can focus on your ride.
  • Auto Lap – automatically triggers a lap every time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance.
  • Training Center software — gives you the ability to create workouts, manage and download courses, and create a detailed post-ride analysis that charts your performance.

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The Edge is cyclist-friendly and waterproof. It features a durable enclosure and an easy-to-read, large, backlit display that can be customized to show up to eight different data fields, as well as altitude and a map view. The Edge 305 attaches to either the stem or handlebars of the bicycle, and is easily removable.
Specifications

  • GPS: High sensitivity SiRFstarIII architecture
  • Weight: 3.1 oz.
  • Display (WxH): 1.17” x 1.44” (128×160 resolution, 4 level gray scale)
  • Physical size (WxHxD): 1.75” x 3.7” x 0.9”
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours (typical use) / Rechargeable internal lithium ion
  • Water resistance: Submersible to one meter for up to 30 minutes (including speed/cadence sensor and heart rate monitor)

In addition to the Edge 305′s on-board functionality, Garmin’s PC-based Training Center software allows you to plan and analyze your workouts. Training Center allows you to create your own workouts or download workout templates (provided) into the unit for any level of personal training. It also offers interactive analysis tools that lets you chart your performance. Speed, heart rate, cadence, elevation, and pace may be graphed all at once or individually. Currently Garmin’s software requires a Windows-based PC, but it runs well on an Intel Mac running Parallels or Boot Camp.

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The Edge 305 may be used with MotionBased.com, an Internet-based performance analysis and mapping tool for GPS and heart rate information.
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Endurance athletes may use the Edge with TrainingPeaks.com, a Web-based training system designed to help athletes train for any event.
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The Edge 305HR includes a digitally coded heart rate monitor, and 305CAD includes a speed/cadence sensor. Both come with an AC charger, USB PC interface cable, extension strap, bike mount, Training Center CD, owner’s manual and quick-reference guide.
If you’re a cyclist, whether on-road or off, the Edge 305 helps you to take your performance to a new level. The only downside is the PC-only software, but if you’ve got an Intel machine and either Parallels or Boot Camp, you can work around that limitation. The Edge 305 allows you to track numerous data points about your ride, then compare that data to last time and establish objectives for your next ride. If your a data-obsessed rider, then the Garmin Edge 305 should be on your Christmas list.
Prices
Edge 305CAD SRP: US$379.15, PN: 010-00447-00
Edge 305HR SRP: US$379.15, PN: 010-00447-20
Edge 305HR+Speed/Cadence Sensor SRP: US$433.32, PN: 010-00447-30

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