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> Edge 705 - A real world review, all the gear and definitely no idea
squeeler
post May 25 2008, 09:00 AM
Post #1


Group: Members
Joined: 3-December 07
From: Lytham St.Annes



On Friday I took delivery of my eagerly awaited Edge 705 with HR and cadence sensor and a TOPO Great Britain DVD, this is my first GPS and my previous cycle computer was a simple Cateye Velo 8 so this review probably reflects that. It's also a bit long winded to which reflects my pent up nerdyness and anticipation and that I've spent so much money on such a needless luxury toy.


First impressions on getting it out of the box were slightly dissapointing, although I've been examining pics of it for months it was surprisingly large and the screen relative to the overall size of it is quite small, if you compare it to the apple iphone for example it does not ooze that sort of quality. It was however surprisingly light. As instructed I plugged it in with the supplied charger and left it for 3 hours.

The heart monitor chest strap felt and looked fine, with nice big sensor areas, overall it's similar to ones I've used in the past so no problem there.

The GSC 10 cadence and speed sensor was, again, slightly bigger that I expected but it installed easily and picked up the pedal cadence sensor and the spoke wheel magnet straight away.




I had to use the handlebar mount rather than the stem mount as my Race Face stem is a square shape the mount would not fit on properly. Considering the expense of the kit it is carrying it doesn't seem that sturdy but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now and keep an eye on it.



Back to the edge: when I booted it up I was immediately impressed with the screen quality and with the backlight options should be readable in all conditions. Aquiring satellites worked without any fuss and there I was looking at the interface. The menu system was straight forward and IMO quite intuitive as it took me thru setting up my height, weight etc. It was immediately cool to be able to see where I was in the world and in what direction I was walking, though as just about every other review mentions the basemap is just pants with motorways and large A roads about the only things it covers.


Following the instructions of the Quick Reference Guide that came with it I now went for a ride, a short 1.25 mile loop around the block and some local schools and watched with glee the route forming on the screen and ocassionally pressing the mode button to display all the stats such as speed, distance, time, cadence, HR, acent etc. When I got in I found that the layout of the screen and the stats you have displayed are all completely customisable and spent probably an hour faffing about with everything and trying out options to get it just as i wanted...brilliant!


Next up I sat in front of the PC and installed the training center software and registed it with Garmin. This all went flawlessly and although I've not looked at it in depth the basics of importing your ride data and viewing all your stats and looking at your route on a map were great. All the stats have various graphs and comparison layouts which were interesting but not essential for someone at my level. I particularly liked the show in Google earth option which loads the route up in Google earth for you to spin around in 3d and enables you to click on any point in your route and get all the usual data for it.

Next up was installation of the TOPO Great Britain and Mapsource software, this was to be quite frank a complete disaster. I will cut a long story as short as I can: It installed fine but it would not unlock the map using the code supplied with the disk, the help file would not work in Windows Vista and Garmins website support was completely useless. It now being 9:30pm on a Friday night the UK tech support was also closed so I bit the bullet and rang the US tech support which meant a 10-15 minute wait until someone was available to talk to me. When I finally got thru the guy was excellent, very polite and helpfull, he gave me a new 25 character code and that sorted everything out....or so I thought! After a rest I got back to it and realised that Mapsource wouldn't detect my edge. The auto update didn't work and after a while I realised that the software on the DVD was really out of date and not Vista compatible even to update itself so I manually dug around the Garmin website and found the latest version of mapsource to download and after installing that everything was finally working how it should.

Without too much trouble I imported a route I had created in www.mapmyride.com and I was ready to go for my first proper test ride in the morning, the route was a 60 mile loop from my home in St.Annes to Bilsborrow and Garstang around rural lancashire mostly on small roads and some canal towpaths.

All kitted out and ready to go I met up with my mate and we set off and immediately hit a problem, the route was backwards and the edge kept instructing me to make a U turn to go back! I could not find an option to reverse the route anywhere in the menus, so we just turned round, did a reset and did the route the way the computer wanted us to!

To start with it's use in the ride was excellent everything worked well and the GPS route following was brilliant. The only annoying thing was the mode button on the side of the unit would be better on the front. Pressing the little joystick tabbed between 2 customised stats screens which was brilliant but to get back to the map you had to press the quite stiff and akward mode button on the side which is not that great from a usability point of view.


It was not flawless though, about half way round it stopped picking up the cadence. This was probably caused when we loaded the bikes onto the roof of a houseboat on the canal and stopped for lunch, I must have knocked something but afterwards I could not get it working again, I will investigate further today and I can only hope it is nothing serious.

Also when I was 8 miles or so from home the route following feature started playing up and trying to direct me a different way that what I had loaded in. I presume I had messed something up by fiddling about but wasn't familiar enough with it to know how to sort it out, I ended up just giving it instruction to "take me home" and it worked fine after that.


In summary I think it is an awesome bit of kit, but my first impressions are mixed after the teething problems I've mentioned above in only a couple of days of use. It is a complex a piece of kit and I think it will take time to get to know it before I can get the best out of it. One IMHO unforgivable mistake by Garmin is not to include a decent printed manual with step by step tutorials on how to do common things, an online pdf is fine but that does not help you when you are out on the bike scratching your head on how to use it.
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squeeler
post Jun 2 2008, 11:59 AM
Post #2


Group: Members
Joined: 3-December 07
From: Lytham St.Annes



I've a few updates to my earlier review after a couple of weeks of use:

The cadence sensor issue simply required a reset, out on the towpath I'd just not pressed the reset button hard enough, back at home I pressed it firmly with a biro tip and felt a definite click and it worked fine after.

I've no idea what happened to the lost route at the end of my Saturday ride but I've not had any other similar issues since on my other rides or commutes to work. I think I'll have to put it down to user error!

Also I went up to the North Face trail on Saturday and everything coped fine with the abuse it got there including 2 crashes one of which was a full on over the handlebar knacker cruncher that spun the whole unit and mount almost 180degrees round the handlebar.



Also after hours and hours of research into route planning I've settled onto a workflow that seems to work well for me so far:

-I draw and edit my route using the brilliant OS mapping on http://wheresthepath.googlepages.com/wheresthepath.htm which after trawling the whole web I eventually found on this forum! *
-Export the .gpx file.
-Load and save it in Mapsource (which came with the Edge) as a .gdb file.
-Pass it thru' the shareware software called GPS Babel which converts the route data into a track as there seems to be quite a low limit with Via points on the Edge.
-Load it back into Garmin Mapsource.
-Add and label any waypoints that I think I may need.
-Check it using the "View in Google Earth" option.
-Transfer it to the Edge using the "Send to Device" option in Mapsource. **


*One small problem with this, if I try to reload and edit the .gpx file I made previously it seems to filter it and optimize the route which I don't want but don't seem to be able to turn off?

**I seem have a problem here that Mapsource won't let me put more than one track on at once without deleting the previous one so I copy them manually to the edge using Windows Explorer. Unfortunately the naming seems to go wrong on the Edge display and it names the first one correctly and the others Track0000, Track0001etc?


Note: I'm sure this whole process could be easier but I can't justify forking out for Memory Map and any more map licences, I think I have spent quite enough on the 705 and Topo GB so far!
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craigf
post Jun 2 2008, 01:49 PM
Post #3


Group: Members
Joined: 16-March 07
From: Darwen, Lancashire



I was thinking about getting one of these. I'm terrible at navigating.

So after you've been using it for a while, is it worth the cash??

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Speedy Al
post Jun 2 2008, 05:22 PM
Post #4


Group: Members
Joined: 24-July 07
From: On the turbo trainer!



i recently bought the 305 edge and i use this program to convert file types.

tcx converter

http://www.visivaworld.it/blog.php/tcx-converter-by-ddaaxx

i think you might find it useful and its free .


--------------------
A friend of mine has opened a bike shop in Belper, Derbyshire
linky to Buzz cycles
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squeeler
post Jun 2 2008, 06:25 PM
Post #5


Group: Members
Joined: 3-December 07
From: Lytham St.Annes



Thanks for the suggestion, I'll take a look at TCX Convertor.

As for whether it's worth the cash? I'm not sure if it stacks up as good value for money against other GPSs but I'm certainly happy with it. Like you I'm pretty poor at navigation and on top of that my sense of direction is appalling. I like the ability to not have to think and worry about going astray and just following the arrow is already adding to my enjoyment of biking. I also enjoy faffing around pre-planning the routes at home on the computer. The performance stats are an extra bonus as well.

It's true test will be in two weekends time when I do the Whitehaven to Sunderland C2C route with all the alternative off road options. I have already planned the 140 miles of the route and loaded it onto the edge in preparation.
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craigf
post Jun 2 2008, 08:15 PM
Post #6


Group: Members
Joined: 16-March 07
From: Darwen, Lancashire



QUOTE(squeeler @ Jun 2 2008, 07:25 PM) *
It's true test will be in two weekends time when I do the Whitehaven to Sunderland C2C route with all the alternative off road options. I have already planned the 140 miles of the route and loaded it onto the edge in preparation.


Ok good luck. Remember to keep us informed.
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DrBike
post Jun 3 2008, 04:50 PM
Post #7


Group: Members
Joined: 28-March 06
From: In a shed up at heathrow



QUOTE(Speedy Al @ Jun 2 2008, 06:22 PM) *
i recently bought the 305 edge and i use this program to convert file types.

tcx converter

http://www.visivaworld.it/blog.php/tcx-converter-by-ddaaxx

i think you might find it useful and its free .


I'm looking at the Edge 305 at the moment too. PC World are doing the HRM version for 99.97. I've looked at the more "feature rich" versions and decided that I'll start with a relatively simple device and if I get hooked then I'll look at getting another one.

Al, what's your opinion on the Edge 305?


--------------------
Dr Bike takes no responsibility for damaged limbs or failed relationships as the result of his advice.

Make something idiot proof, and someone somewhere will make a better idiot.
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Mad Pierre
post Jun 3 2008, 04:55 PM
Post #8


Group: Members
Joined: 2-November 05
From: Melton Mowbray



I finally got a SatMap Active 10 last Friday. I'll do a write up once I've given it the full workout but first impressions are good.


--------------------
Jaws was never my scene and I don't like Star Wars

My corner of the interweb: www.mountainbikerides.co.uk
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Speedy Al
post Jun 3 2008, 04:57 PM
Post #9


Group: Members
Joined: 24-July 07
From: On the turbo trainer!



QUOTE(DrBike @ Jun 3 2008, 05:50 PM) *
I'm looking at the Edge 305 at the moment too. PC World are doing the HRM version for 99.97. I've looked at the more "feature rich" versions and decided that I'll start with a relatively simple device and if I get hooked then I'll look at getting another one.

Al, what's your opinion on the Edge 305?



not wanting to hijack this thread ill make a nice new one for you.


--------------------
A friend of mine has opened a bike shop in Belper, Derbyshire
linky to Buzz cycles
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squeeler
post Jun 4 2008, 07:24 AM
Post #10


Group: Members
Joined: 3-December 07
From: Lytham St.Annes



QUOTE(DrBike @ Jun 3 2008, 05:50 PM) *
I've looked at the more "feature rich" versions and decided that I'll start with a relatively simple device and if I get hooked then I'll look at getting another one.


I can't count on how many times I've done this in various hobbies, then always had a nagging sense of missing out and then forked out again for the upgrade. Now I just do loads of research and get the absolute best i can afford in the first place. It works out cheaper in the long run.... honest! rolleyes.gif
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squeeler
post Jun 21 2008, 04:04 PM
Post #11


Group: Members
Joined: 3-December 07
From: Lytham St.Annes



Well last weekend i did the C2C and used the 705 as a navigator the whole 3 days across England's green and pleasant land:

The good news is that in over 16.5 hours of riding I only had to get the paper map out once when we got a little confused passing thru Keswick, I simply followed the arrow and pink line the rest of the way.
It logged and tracked everything as it should (eg: 12,887 feet of total climbing) and battery life did not seem to be a problem as I topped it up for a couple of hours in the evening with a Power Monkey.
There was a slight glitch about 25 miles into the first day as the track line i was following went all spikey but I just reloaded the route in and didn't have a problem after.
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Kevlar
post Jan 2 2009, 04:17 PM
Post #12


Group: Members
Joined: 20-December 08
From: Nottingham



Hi.

I just wanted to say "thank you" for the review and the advice.
I have owned the edge 705 for about three weeks, I think the training guide is wicked! I have found it really helpful for looking back at the training I have been doing. Plus, it has made me want to get my speed up, I have started riding further, it's great!

However I am was having some problems putting routes on there, I am rubbish at finding my way around, I even got lost at Sherwood pines (ruddy direction arrow was point the wrong way). I am going to try and plot a route and get on it tomorrow.

Thanks again for the advice.

As for anyone asking if they should splash out and spend the money...... Yes.... I think you should!

Kev
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marcliam
post Jan 2 2009, 08:47 PM
Post #13


Group: Members
Joined: 22-September 06
From: Dorking



Looks like the 705 uses the same Cadence sensor as the 305. It is surprisinly cumbersome, but no real problems setting up but i'm sure they could have designed it to be less prone to accidental damage that is oh so likely to occur on a MTB, I would guess it was really designed for road bikes.

The zip tie fixings make it easy for it to be swivelled away from the sensor, best case it stops reading cadence or worst case that bit that ticks out goes into your spokes and gets mullered. This is what happened to mine so it just picks up cadence now. Not too much of a problem because the speed sensor is only used when GPS signal is not being received which from my experience of the Garmin units is rare.


--------------------
WD40 is for spraying onto things that you think you should be performing some kind of maintenance on but have no clue where to start or what to do.
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