Garmin Edge 705 In Depth Review

I picked up the Garmin Edge 705 back a few months ago in early September after going out for a 15 mile bike ride and while getting horribly lost I/we ended up cycling 50 miles. Amazingly, she still stuck with me after that.

Determined to not let that happen again I decided the 705 met the bill of being the most cycling specific GPS device that also acts much like a GPS you may have in your car. A few clicks on Amazon and it arrived a day or two later. However, questions remained. Would the Tom-Tom of the bike world prove itself out on the road, or just act as a hindurance?

Like all my reviews, they tend to be fairly long – it’s just the DC Rainmaker way of doing things. Most of them are more geared towards folks who stumble onto my blog looking for a review of a device. Also, note that I did indeed pay for this device and all the accessories myself. I always try to be clear about that when I’m reviewing a product and whether it was provided to/for me, or if I bought it myself.

The box:

Garmin Edge 705 Box

It arrived in a fairly oversized but functional box. Inside there’s a slew of paper, a CD and then important stuff: a HRM strap, two different bike mounting connectors, a wall charger, a USB charging/docking cable and the Edge 705 itself.

Garmin Edge 705 Box Contents

When I originally ordered it, they only had black available. But recently they made a nifty orange color available. :(

The unit itself is much smaller than you’d think. It’s virtually identical to an Altoids tin in both height and width/length.

Garmin Edge 705 Size


Once you un-package everything it’s time to mount the pieces to your bike. It’s at this juncture that a dry run should be considered. You see, there are two different mounting attachments depending on if you plan to mount to the middle stem piece or onto the handlebars (basically depending on which way the bar is going).

Garmin Edge 705 Mounting Kits

After selecting the appropriate piece you should then contemplate which way to mount it. Otherwise you end up like me…and find you’ve managed to mount it upside down. Fail.

Garmin Edge 705 Incorrect Mounting

The good news is since it’s just zip ties (and they give you plenty extra) you simply clip and remount. All good.

Garmin Edge 705 Correct Mounting

The mounting clip is designed with a tiny little lever that you press to slide the GPS out to the right when you want to take it off the bike.


The 705 is great in that it uses a standard USB cable. Nothing funky. The same one that I use on my little digital camera works for this. Which is awesome, since I have a plethora of them floating around my house. It simply plugs into a small port on the back of the device. The port is protected by a rubber stopper than snuggly fits in.

Garmin Edge 705 USB Cover

Once you’ve connected it to your computer, it will start charging almost immediately.

It’s at this juncture you can upload to Garmin Connect or use the Garmin Training Center to access the data. Garmin Connect allows you to upload and store you workouts on a free website. The service has improved considerably since being first rolled out last spring, where it initially had a slew of issues. I find it fairly reliable now and pretty nifty when you want to share a workout with someone or just store all your training online and easily accessible from any computer.

Garmin Connect Upload from Edge 705

Garmin Edge 705 On Garmin Connect

As noted you can also upload to Garmin Training Center which is a locally installed application on your computer that needs a bit of updating from 1995. But it does do the job…sorta.

Garmin Training Center with Edge 705

Lastly, you can also use Sport Tracks (free) to interface with the Garmin 705.

Sport Tracks importing Edge 705 data

Sport Tracks imported Edge 705 ride data

Actually, one more thought on connecting – one of the really cool features of the 705 is the fact that it appears just like a USB drive does. You can see all of the data on the device in simple folders. This is GREAT because I can literally copy and paste my workout history to my computer without any software at all.

Garmin Edge 705 Folder Structure

It’s because of this capability that makes it super-easy to upload to Training Peaks (which I use to transmit all workouts to my coach). Simply select the the .tcx file and you’re done!

Training Peaks upload Edge 705 data


The 705 has a ton of built-in functionality – and in many ways has much of the same baseline features as the other Garmin GPS fitness devices (i.e. 305/405). It can record all the data you’d expect such as speed, altitude, HR, distance, etc… But it also has a lot of neat mapping and visualization screens available. For example…

The below screen is showing my ascent live as I ride. Very cool to see as you go up/down in the mountains (or hills). You can zoom in/out to adjust the scale.

Garmin Edge 705 elevation map

The next screen is what I typically leave it on – it shows me my most critical pieces of information: HR, speed, cadence, distance and time.

Garmin Edge 705 Primary Display

You can easily flip between a multitude of different pages that you’ve pre-customized. You can display up to eight different pieces of data per screen, but can also choose to display less if you’d like.

Mapping and the micro-SD card slot:

Everything I’ve discussed thus far is pretty much available on the other Garmin fitness series watches. However, from here on out it gets unique to the 705. The first thing you’ll notice on the unit is there’s a tiny little micro-SD card slot. This allows you to load maps onto the device for virtually anywhere in the world.

Garmin Edge 705 MicroSD Slot & Card

The slot then covers up with another little clip to keep it safe and sound. Honestly though – you really don’t need an additional MicroSD card for just normal riding. I think you’d only need it if you wanted to load many states worth of data. And even then, Micro-SD cards only cost $7

To load maps you open up a program that Garmin supplies called Map Source, from where you can send maps to the device. This program – also apparently developed in a stylish 1995 retro look, is simple to use and gets the job done as well.

Well…except one minor issue. The Garmin 705 doesn’t come with a very valuable base map set. What do I mean? Well, if you go out for a drive/ride, you’d want to see roads. Ya know – the things we travel on. Except the map set that comes preloaded has very few of these so-called ‘roads’. It looks like a map from perhaps the 1700’s.

Unclear on what I mean? Check out the below image of downtown Washington DC:

Garmin Training Center w/o maps

Now, check out the exact same view (below) – using a set of maps you can buy from Garmin for…about $100, or from Amazon for about $75.  Note I do NOT recommend buying the MicroSD card and instead recommend buying the DVD – as it’s much handier having the full DVD than a tiny SD card.

Garmin Training Center with maps

Huge difference. Actually…massive difference. In my mind the device is extremely limited from a mapping/directions standpoint if you don’t have all the roads on it.

However…there is some good news here. There are more and more free mapping products available on the internet to download. If you’re a tiny bit adventurous you can easily get really detailed maps for free. I wrote up a post on another forum on how to do it. Some of the options are as simple as copy/paste onto the USB connect 705. Super-easy.

Here’s an example of some of the maps you can download for it. I created this one using an Opensource (free) mapping tool.

Free mapping options

Oh, and here’s the CD I bought with the Garmin Maps on it.

Garmin City Navigator CD

So once you’ve got your maps all loaded, then you can go out and explore the world without fear of getting lost. It’s very simple to use. You can route to destinations (like an address) on the fly.

Garmin 705 Street Display

Or follow a pre-created route/course that you created on your computer. Just drag and drop little waypoints into Garmin Map Source and download it to your device. Quick and efficient.

Garmin Edge 705 Routing

Plus, it will generate really cool turn-by-turn sheets that you can print out or save:

Garmin Edge 705 Route Planning

Assuming you actually get on your bike and start riding the GPS device will give you an audible warning and turn directions when you’re coming up on a change in direction.

Garmin Edge 705 on street routing

The below photo shows the list mode you can switch to, to see upcoming streets with estimated times/mileages. The ones with zero’s next to them are ones I’ve already past.

Garmin Edge 705 turn by turn directions

Here’s a quick 90 second or so video I shot. It shows me starting the route, and a few turns, as well as correcting directions after I made a wrong turn. I just created a route (see above) that made a ton of turns on a nearby neighborhood. I casually edited out where I nearly fell of the bike. Sorry sports fans.

You can configure how long the display stays on – and even just tell it to stay on permanently, which is what I usually use in the dark, and also use when I’m indoors as it makes the screen nice and crisp.

Garmin Edge 705 backlight

Obviously, the mapping and navigation capabilities are among the major reasons to buy this device. And quite simply: It’s really awesome!


Like most Garmin devices, this one has a slew of accessories that work with it. Many of these use Garmin’s ANT+Sport technology, which allows integrate with other devices using a wireless protocol that other companies can now develop with to offer 705-compatible devices.

  • Cadence meter/indoor speed magnet: This allows you to view your cadence (RPM) – or your turnover on your stroke. In other words, how many times you rotate the pedal per minute. Incredibly valuable in both racing/training situations to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of mashing big gears. If you have any previous cadence sensor from any other Garmin device, they’re all compatible. I use the same one that I bought for my Garmin Forerunner 305 watch.

Garmin Speed Cadence Sensor

The speed magnet (part of the package) allows you to get speed and distance when indoors or otherwise in an area without satellite coverage (like a big tunnel). It works great on a trainer.
  • Heart Rate Monitor (HRM): This comes with the device unless specifically purchased without it. The HRM strap simply keeps track of your HR and records it to your performance/history files. Like the cadence meter, any previous Garmin HR straps you have work with it just fine.


Garmin Classic HR Strap

  • Vehicle Charger: I happened to pick this up on a whim when I found it on sale one day. This is great for two reasons. One – I’ve had the very unfortunate situation of arriving at my long ride location (an hour away in the mountains) – only to find the battery on my watch dead. This simple USB car-charger allows me to avoid that scenario. In addition, because it’s standard USB I’ve found it works great on other device (like the 305 with the cradle), and even my camera. Woohoo!

    Garmin Edge 705 Car Charger

  • Power Meter: The Garmin 705 is the first in the Garmin line to accept wireless data from a number of new power meter devices to measure your cycling wattage.  I use the 705 today with the Quarq Cinqo power meter, which works great.  The Edge 705 will work with any ANT+ compatible power meter.


This integration with the power meters is huge because it allows you to really bring all the technologies and different data sets together and start to put together a more comprehensive picture of a workout without juggling multiple data sets. And Training Peaks just announced on Fridaythat WKO is now compatible as well. I use a CompuTrainer today for indoor power/wattage information – but don’t have anything for outdoors.

Quick comparison to 305/405:

Just for fun, I went out one day and put all three devices together on my bike for a few hour ride. They all showed virtually exactly the same thing.

Garmin on bike comparison
(Garmin 305 on the left, 705 in the middle and 405 on the right)

Actually, one thing I have noticed while doing this – the Garmin 705 is super-duper quick in the initial satellite reception piece. Meaning, it seems much faster in picking up the satellites upon turning it on.

Garmin Satellite Reception Screen

And one day for fun, I took it out and went for a run with it – just to see how it might work. Aside from the obvious of having to carry it, it works pretty well. Except do note that you can’t show your speed in pace (i.e. 7:00/mile), but instead just in MPH (i.e. 8MPH). They did end up exactly the same though. Pretty cool. Plus, it’s kinda fun to run with a map.

Garmin Edge 705 to Forerunner 305 size comparisons

Pros and Cons:

Here’s just a quick section of pro’s and con’s as I see them.


  • Super-small form factor device, doesn’t get in the way
  • Quick menu’s, tons of different screens can be displayed
  • It looks just like a USB drive, making it easy to access data on it
  • Mapping/directional capability is really cool, makes it so I won’t get lost again for 50 miles…and thus limit my likelihood of losing a girlfriend because she wants to hurt me after getting her lost for those 50 miles
  • Can be used while running, sorta
  • Integrates with Power Meters and a slew of other accessories


  • Lack of usable maps pre-loaded onto the device, the fact that you need to obtain additional (real) maps is a big bummer
  • Fairly expensive
Sometimes it forgets to tell you to turn, and then yells at you afterwards that you missed the turn. Just like having a backseat driver. Although this is fairly rare.
Function/FeatureGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated May 27th, 2024 @ 4:57 am New Window
Product Announcement DateAUG 30, 2007Oct 11th, 2023Mar 20th, 2024March 2nd, 2023May 31st, 2023
Actual Availability/Shipping DateDEC 2007Nov 1st, 2023Apr 12th, 2024March 2nd, 2023May 31st, 2023
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYes
WaterproofingIPX7Yes - 100mYes - 100mYes - 50mYes - 100m
Dive/Snorkel FeatureNoNoNoNo
Battery Life (GPS)15 hours43hrs GPS, 140 hours ultra modes43hrs GPS, 140 hours ultra modesUp to 31hrs with GPS30 to 82 hours (depends on mode/model)
Solar ChargingNoNoNoNo
Recording Interval1-second1s1s1S or Smart1S or Smart
Dual-Frequency GNSSYesYesYesyes (all models)
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNoYesYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
Voice IntegrationGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Has Mic/SpeakerNoNoNoNo
Can make/receive callsNoNoNoNo
Voice AssistantNoNoNoNo
MusicGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Can control phone musicYesYesYesYes
Has music storage and playbackNoNoYesYes
Streaming ServicesNoNoSpotify, Amazon Music, DeezerSpotify, Amazon, Deezer
PaymentsGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNoNoYesYes
ConnectivityGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingNoYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoYesYesYes (with connected phone)Yes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoNoNoYes (with connected phone)Yes
Group trackingNoNoYes (with connected phone)Yes
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoYes (with connected phone)Yes (via phone)
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFNoNoNoYesYes
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesYesYesYes
Crash detectionNoNoYesYes
RunningGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Designed for runningNoYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)N/AYesYesYesYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)N/ANoNoYes (Built-in)Yes (natively)
Running PowerYes (built-in)Yes (built-in)Yes (Built-in)Yes (natively)
VO2Max EstimationN/AYesYesYEsYEs
Race PredictorN/ANoNoYesYes, plus PacePro
Recovery AdvisorN/AYesYesYesYes
Run/Walk ModeN/ANoNoYesYes
Track Recognition ModeNoNoYesYes
SwimmingGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Designed for swimmingNoYesYesYesYes
Openwater swimming modeN/AYesYesYEsYEs
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AYesYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterN/AYesYesYesYes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesYEsYEs
Indoor Drill ModeN/ANoNoYesYes
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AYesYesNo (it'll show rest time afterwards though)No (it'll show rest time afterwards though)
Change pool sizeN/AYesYesYEsYEs
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/A20M/Y to 250 m/y20M/Y to 250 m/y14M/15Y TO 150Y/M14M/15Y TO 150Y/M
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AYesYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AYesYesYesYes
Indoor AlertsN/AN/AN/AYesYes
TriathlonGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Designed for triathlonNoYesYesYesYes
Multisport modeN/AYesYesYesYes
WorkoutsGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesYEsYEs
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoYesYesYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Auto Start/StopYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesNo (but can give out of zone alerts)No (but can give out of zone alerts)YEsYEs
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoNoYesYes
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoNoNoYesYes
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoYes
Weather Display (live data)NoYesYesYesYes
NavigateGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYesYesYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesYesYesYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)YesYesYesYesYes
Back to startYesYesYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoYesYes
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoYesYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometricBarometric
Compass TypeGPSMagneticMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyYesYesYesYes
SpO2 (aka Pulse Oximetry)YesYesYesYes
ECG FunctionalityYes but not Afib detectionYes but not Afib detectionNoYes (Oct 2023 Firmware Update)
HRV RecordingYesYesYes (nightly and on-demand)Yes
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoYesyes
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNoNo (can control VIRB though)
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNoYesYes
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoYesYes
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoYesYesYEsYEs
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoYesYesYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoYesYes
SoftwareGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
PC ApplicationGTCPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacGarmin ExpressGarmin Express
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectPolar FlowPolar FlowGarmin ConnectGarmin Connect
Phone AppGarmin FitiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
DCRainmakerGarmin Edge 705Polar Vantage V3Polar Grit X2 ProGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Epix Pro Series
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink


In summary, I’d highly recommend the Edge 705 for cyclists or triathletes. If you’re as a triathlete and can only afford one device, then I’d recommend the Forerunner 305 or 310XT simply because of the run (and swim) capabilities. However, for cyclists it’s a perfect device. It’s small, easily portable, the battery appears to last forever, and it’s got tons of really cool features. Plus, the future of the device looks really bright as more and more 3rd party companies start offering devices that integrate with the watching using Garmin’s new wireless ANT+Sport technology.

As noted earlier, there are a few different versions available of the Edge 705 – depending on exactly which accessories you want (i.e. with cadence meter, with cadence and maps, and the uber-special Team Garmin orange one).  All of the different versions include the basic classic Garmin HR strap in them.  If you found this review helpful in your purchasing decision, you can support future reviews like this (or race fees) by using any of the Amazon links (accessories or the units themselves).  The reviews generally take 20-40 hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).

Thanks for reading!  As always – if you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments below.

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
PowerTap G3 ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)
$790 (hub only)
$790 (hub only)
PowerTap Pro ANT+ Power Meter (Hub)
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)
Garmin City Navigator Maps (Various Countries)
Garmin Edge Series Mini-USB Car Charger
Garmin/PowerMonkey Explorer Solar Charger (co-branded)
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!
Power2Max ANT+ Power Meter
$970 (no cranks)
$970 (no cranks)
PowerCal ANT+ Estimated Power Meter
SRAM Quarq Cinqo (Original) ANT+ Power Meter
SRAM Quarq Elsa & RED ANT+ Power Meter
$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)
$1,600 (with cranks, no chainrings)
SRAM Quarq Riken ANT+ Power Meter
$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)
$1,200 (with cranks, no chainrings)
Stages ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Power Meter

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using some of the various Garmin devices (including the Edge 500 and the Edge 705), which you may find useful.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

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  1. The 705 sounds like a nice piece of equipment. Thanks for your thorough review, it is much appreciated.

  2. I swear, you wear that camera around your head!

  3. As always a very thorough review, I was tempted but it would seem the real difference is the mapping capability only vs the 305?

    Maybe it could double up as a car GPS as well just to justify the overall cost.

  4. RE: Stuart’s questions-

    Yup, that’s the only major difference.

    I’ve tried it a bit in the car; the issue I’ve found though is that it isn’t expecting you to be going so fast. For example, it gives you 300 feet when on a bike, which is nothing at a car at 60MPH. It is functional in a pinch though. I don’t have a car GPS, so keep that in mind.

  5. Very nice write up, man! Thanks.

  6. Jen


    How does it handle rain/sweat? I did notice a bit of a rusty headset screw in picture #6, and wanted to know if it’s just as water resistant as a regular cyclocomputer. Thanks

  7. That looks awesome (but expensive). I always get super lost while I’m biking… especially when I try a new route.

  8. Wow. I think you need to send this review to Garmin. You rock. :) I would love to get this…someday…

  9. nice review – I will get mine this week and hope to have a power tap in a month or two. I’ll start posting up info on that on my blog as I get time.
    great write up though.

  10. Great review, I will be purchasing very soon. I currently use a Polar CS200, it is phenomenal. I only want to upgrade for gps functionality. Let me ask you this, does the heart rate strap need to be pre moistened with a special gel? The great thing about the Polar is the strap has cloth sensors, just wet with a little water and your good to go, no worries. Also how well does the heart rate function work all in all.

    I have already purchased a Garmin North America mini SD on ebay….

    P.S. Do you ride a Soloist carbon, or R3 (or one of the TT Cervelos)

    Thanks, Jeff


  11. Answers to various questions:

    Jen: RE Water resistance

    Yup – No problems at all with water and rain. I’ve gone out in some serious downpours with it and it’s all good. There’s nothing to rust (unlike my poor little bike, which btw – that happened when I was camping during a hurricane with the bike on the roof of the car).

    John: RE HRM strap

    The heart strap does not need to have any special gel. In comparing the Garmin HR strap to others I’ve tried, it’s by far the best. During the colder winter days where the air is super-dry I’ve found that just licking it is all I need to do. Most of the year though, I don’t need to do anything – it doesn’t have any issues. So in essence – similar to the polar – basically just good to go.

    I’ve found the HR function works great – I heavily rely on it for training, and I find it pretty consistent when I compare it to the CompuTrainers HRM output (at the same time).

    As for the bike, it’s a P2C TT/Tri bike.

  12. Wow… talk about a very comprehensive review. Wonder if any GPS Blog or Magazine has considered picking you up to do reviews for them.

  13. Hi
    That is a great review, thanks. I have just been given a 705 as a gift and was wondering – can you answer a question please?
    Can I give the rides in the history screen a name? I am not sure what the ‘Rides’ screen is showing me – I have three rides in there, two have a ‘1’ and one has ‘Block’ which is a name I gave a test route today. I am a bit confused.

  14. RE: Saving Rides as new name

    Interesting, I don’t see a way to save a given ride that’s already located in history as a different name. I believe at the end of a ride you can then save it as a different ride name. Then it shows up under “Where to? > Saved Rides”. I have some “Saved Rides” listed on mine, but they are ones I created using Garmin Training Center and then copied over. So you could theoretically import it into GTC (when you download), and then rename it and export it back.

    I’m sure there’s an easier way though…

  15. Anonymous

    Very nice review. A couple of corrections though:

    1) You can display up to 8 pieces of data per screen, not 5.

    2) You can change the time the backlight stays on in Menu / Settings / Display. Options are 15secs, 30secs, 1min, 2mins, and always on.

    Still experimenting with my 705, which I have only had for a few days but love it.


  16. Thanks Richard!

    It’s funny you mention the backlight. I actually just figured out how to do that on my 305 (why I never looked in that menu was beyond me), and was meaning to update this review since it shares much of the same UI/features.

    I’ve since updated both that section and the data fields note. Thanks!

  17. Jeff

    Re: using the 705 in the car. If I’m not mistaken, there’s a setting to specify car/motorcycle, biking, walking. So, I would assume if you changed to car/motorcycle the alerts would occur a further distance from the actual turn.

    Great review. I’m thinking of plunking down the $$ for one this spring. Previous reviews I’ve read (Amazon 1-2 stars) gave some downer reviews. They were from early in the life cycle, so I’m wondering if the firmware and related software for the computer have improved.

  18. Anonymous

    Gordon: Great write-up. I own a Garmin 405 but find myself primarily road biking (instead of running and biking). That said, do you think it would be worthwhile to upgrade to the Garmin 705?

  19. Anonymous

    DC: I left the post above. I’m Gordon. I accidentally addressed the post to myself. Sorry.

  20. Brian


    does any1 know how to access the quick menu via the map screen which is show at link to gpsmagazine.com

    in figure 28 and 29.

    I just got the 705.

    thanks, Brian

  21. Hey gang,
    I have about 3 weeks now of Power Tap and 705 use together. It’s great, not one problem or glitch. Works flawlessly and the 705 recognizes my PT and the HR strap every time. I went out Sunday and rode in the salty, wet, roads for about 2 hours and again no issues. I have been outside riding in temps as cold as 20 deg as well with no issues-other than cold toes. I have been using http://www.ismarttrain.com, Power Agent and Training Peaks with great success of uploads. The silly (outdated) Online Garmin “Motion Based software” does not work on my Apple or allow uploads to the site directly from my Garmin when it is connected to my computer.
    My only real issue is: I can’t seem to get the screen display to stay at the same brightness %(percentage) after changing it in the Display settings. It resets back to 0% after shut off and restart.

  22. Brian

    from what I have been told by a friend that has had the 705 since it came out – You have to do it everytime you turn it on.


  23. I hope someone can help me out here. I’m really on the dge of getting the 705, but I’m worried it won’t fir well on my stem (it’s a 80mm). I’m also not sure the bar is a option either. My FSA Wing Flex is a bit flat. Does anyone have the set up?

    Thanks and great write up DC.

  24. Anonymous

    To NCVC: You should have no problems mounting the 705 to an 80mm stem…that’s the set-up I use. Just in case your stem is a little different to mine, Garmin supplies a ‘mounting wedge’ which can help to keep it clear of the stem. BTW, go for it and get yourself a 705 – they are GREAT!

  25. Rick

    Really good review. I just got my 705 and mistakenly thought it had the maps preloaded on it… I’m not sure how to proceed. Do I order the North America maps from Garmin for $100? Does it slip into the 705? And, I had a hard time understanding how to get better maps on the Training Center…


  26. Rick

    Oh yeah, I’m also interested in a power tap. Where is the best/cheapest place to buy it?

  27. Anonymous

    Great review! I’ve had mine for a couple of weeks but one of the main reasons I purchased it was because it allows you to setup custom workouts. For example: an interval workout with 5 minutes in Zone 1 or with a cadence between 90 and 95 rpms, then 10 minutes in Zone 2, 5 minutes in Zone 3, etc. You do this really easy with the Garmin Training Center software and upload to the unit. That’s really the only thing the GTC software is good for.

    This type of workout was impossible to set up with my Polar S725x and its software.

  28. I just bought one and was wondering if anybody has used it off road eg- really rough trails.How does it stand up to alot of pounding and shaking and how secure is the mounting setup?

  29. Great Review!!
    As a long time 305 user, I will be leading a group ride this weekend with the 705 and look forward to not blowing by a turn like usual. At least that is my hope.

    One thing I learned the hard way was I didn’t realize a 4GB micro card will not work and wasted a few dollars. The 2GB card works fine with loading the maps from the Navigator program.

  30. Eric

    re: Cory, it works great on the trails. I have never had any problems from the vibration such as it turnning off when you hit a big bump like on my old garmin eTrex. The only downside for winding trails is that the distance will be a bit off. It keeps a good signal and looks like an accurate track, but compared to my wired bike computer, the 705’s built in error correction short changes your distance on switch some switch backs. (see this by doing small circles in a parking lot). On the road it is always spot on.

    Also, I use the thing with my SRM power meter on the road/tri bike and it works flawlessly.

    The 705 had a bunch of problems early on but Garmin has been great about providing updates to the firmware. Fixing things like the 4 hour limit when recording every second has been great.

    re: CD vs SD card maps – if you want to be able to use the maps on your computer in Map Source, you need the CD. The downside of the CD is you can only ever (read lifetime) activate the CD for a single GPS device. With the SD card you just move from one device to the next. For mountain biking, though, I have found the Topo maps to be more usefull.

    I actually often take the thing with me running and have many times relied on the maps to get me home in unfamiliar places. When will they come out with a 305/405 that has the full mapping?

  31. Hey Eric

    Thanks for your response.Great info so far i like my 705 i can hardly wait until the snow melts so i can try it off road.

  32. Eric

    One other important issue with the 705 is that if you use the speed/cadence sensor, it uses that for distance over the GPS distance (compared to the Edge 305 and Forerunners which prioritize the GPS over other sensors, only using the sensor distance if no GPS signal). This fixes the distance issue on winding trails as well as the fluctuating instantaneous speed. Without the S/C sensor, the instantaneous speed bounces around a lot, so much that I don’t use it. I have noticed, however, that if you let the 705 auto-calibrate your wheel circumference, it can be off. I always manually calibrate it using a known distance and manual calculation.

    Also, one thing I didn’t mention in my last post is that the Topo CD maps are not locked so you can download those to as many GPS devices as you have. It is mostly the City Navigator maps that require activation to a single device. The main thing you can’t do with the Topo maps it auto-routing (picking starting and ending points and having it calculate that best route).

  33. These units are not waterproof, and can die if water leaks inside. I rode for 4+ hours today under a steady rain, and it stopped working during the ride.

  34. Anonymous

    Great post. Just wondering if this unit speaks the directions, or is it a visual display only?

  35. John H

    its a great little unit.. garmin connect is pretty cool as well.. the only thing i would have loved and hoping garmin is reading this.. the option to save the data to a micro sd card, or at least the option to, that way your not limited to the memory on the unit.. i know i’m going to hear comments about that, but speaking to garmin… it can hold about 4 1/2 hours of data before it starts over writing old data… i’ve got an event i’m aiming for and its about 7-8 hours long.

  36. Hi John-

    Good comments. It’s interesting that you’re only seeing 4.5ish hours. On mine, I have currently over 40 hours of older recorded rides sitting in the history folder. That takes up 8MB, out of the 500MB internal unit memory space (of which 385MB is currently free). Is it automatically resetting itself, or?

  37. John H

    hi rainmaker… those figures came from Garmin, perhaps its in reference to one session? if what your saying is correct, then fantastic… i going to be a happy boy.. is your setting 1s recording or the garmin smart recording? thanks.

  38. I’ve got it set to Smart Recording. I’ll try the higher level bitrate recording on Thursday and let you know what the data rates are.

  39. John H

    Rainmaker, it’ll be good to know real life stuff, instead of stats… thanks.

  40. Eric

    That 4.5 hour limit is long gone as long as you update your firmware (I think that was changed in September). That limit wasn’t the built in memory but actual RAM limitation. Even with 1 sec recording, it pretty much goes forever now unless you have installed a bunch of maps into the internal memory. At 1sec, depending on accessories, it seems to use between 1 and 2 MB per hour.

  41. Good catch Eric, you’re spot on. Looks like it was updated in version 2.3.

    Listed as item #1 on on the 2.3 version at:
    link to www8.garmin.com

  42. John H

    Thanks Eric and Rainmaker… i’ll check my firmware… i’ve only had it for a week so, should have latest. thanks.

  43. Everyone,
    I thought I would shoot an update here about my 3 months of 705 and Powertap use.
    Again, still NO issues with dropouts or problems.
    I was in Asheville, NC late in March and rode 4 days out of the 5 in the pouring rain for up to 6 hours each day. The 705 never failed, quit, fogged or had issues. We downloaded our daily rides and used the mapping function to follow turn by turn where we went. We never got lost. It was great. When using this feature, though, don’t forget to zoom in, otherwise on unfamiliar roads you may miss the turn, where the road has a fork or non-90 degree turn.
    My next test with the 705 will be to race against myself or prior rides along the same route.

  44. Rick

    I really like my 705, but I am having problems with the heart rate monitor and it’s pretty frustrating! Occasionally it will work fine, but usually it is very inconsistent. It can run at 230 bpm (even when I know it’s really about 140). Sometimes it “snaps out of it,” but many times it stays very high during the entire ride.

    Also, I am unable to look at info on past rides (history) regarding elevation gained, etc. Is there a way to access that without using Garmin Connect?

    Finally, is it easy to download rides onto the device?

  45. Hi Rick –

    I have the same problem semi-occasionally when the air is very dry, and the temps are cool. For example, two weeks ago it took 90 minutes before it settled out. The problem was a lack of moisture. While most times it’s fine, sometimes it just needs a little spit. Now, I also have some HRM gel that you can pickup at most running stores for a few bucks – it stays a lot longer. Give that a shot and see if it helps. Again, only on really dry/cool days – not soo much in the summer.

    To access elevation data, I just use Sports Tracks to open the files directly on the drive. It shows me elevation. Inbox, Garmin Training Center (the one you install on your computer), will also show you elevation.

    Regarding downloading workouts to the device – yup – easily.

    I wrote up a post here on how to do it:

    link to dcrainmaker.blogspot.com

  46. Kasper

    Thank you for a very good and thorough review. I really want this device since I’m currently living in Switzerland and want to ride my mountainbike without getting lost forever :-S

    My question is regarding the maps. I wrote an e-mail to garmin support who told me that if I wanted detailed maps I had to buy the garmin europe map on a micro-SD card because I couldn’t transfer maps from the same maps on DVD to the Edge705. Do you have any experience with this,? Because to be honest it seems very stupid that you have to pay for both the DVD and the micro-SD card if you want to plan your routes on the computer…

  47. Eric

    At least with the North America maps, this is the case. You can’t use the SD card on your computer. Many of the DVD maps are locked and can only be used with a single GPS device, ever! You can’t release the lock on one GPS device and then use it on another GPS device. But you can still use it on as many PC’s as you want, once it has been unlocked for that single GPS device. You then use Garmin Map Source software to download the unlocked map to your device, either the built in memory or a blank SD card. You can do this to the one device as often as you like. One exception I have seen to this is that the North America topo DVD maps are not locked so you can use them on several devices, but they have no routing information either on the computer or the device. If you don’t plan on transfering it to another device, the DVD is the better option.

  48. Anonymous

    Rainmaker, I went to your post on how to download workouts, but what I really want is to download a “map” for when I do a century ride that I’m not familiar with so I make sure not to get lost???

    Unfortunately, I bought the North America micro-SD card, but it didn’t come with an “unlock code.” Is there any way to download maps without it?

  49. Ahh… I see.

    Ok, here’s the quick version. Now – the only trick is I only have the DVD variant, so I’m not sure if the steps are the exact same if you have the SD card. You may not have to actually do anything at all if on the Garmin 705 you select the map SD card as your mapset….otherwise, here’s how to do it:

    1) Open up Garmin Map Source
    2) Go to the Waypoints Tab, and create way points on your route.
    3) Then in that left hand pane, highlight multiple waypoints and create and select to ‘create a route’. A route will then be shown under the route tab.
    4) Once you like your route, then go to the “Transfer” menu on the file bar
    5) Select “Transfer to Device”. You’ll see the option to transfer routes or routes/maps. In your case, you have the Maps already on the card – so you should just need to transfer routes. Connect your device and send the routes over.
    6) Keep in mind because you can’t actually see the same level of detail as the computer, you’ll want to choose less detailed waypoints and instead let the Garmin device do the actual routing (as it will then use the information on the SD card).

    Hope this makes sense!

    Map Source can be downloaded from Garmin’s site: link to www8.garmin.com or link to freegeographytools.com

  50. Eric

    Correct, with the SD card,there is no unlocking to do. Just put it in the device and turn it on. Without the detailed maps of the DVD, you might be better off creating the course with third party software such as bikeroutetoaster.com. It’s free, generally seems to do a good job, but does take a little getting used to.

  51. So, after 18 months with the 705, are you still just as happy with it?

  52. I’ve had it about 9 months now, but that said – absolutely. I love it, and I can’t wait to get a power meter and really start taking advantage of all the 705’s capabilities. I wouldn’t trade it for anything right now.

  53. Hey Ray,

    I’ve been eyeing the 305 and 705. Does the 705 come with a watch strap for wearing on your wrist? Is it even capable of adapting like watch? This would be a useful feature for running, this way I can just get the 705 for both cycling and running. Thanks for the review!

  54. Hey Meng-

    No, nuttin to be able to strap onto your wrist with. You’d have to hold it or stick it in a (big) pocket. Also, because it can’t show in the ‘Minute/Mile (or KM)’ format, but only MPH, it’s not entirely ideal. It also doesn’t support the running cadence sesnor (onloy the bike one).

  55. Great review!

    I have been using the Forerunner 405 for my running and cycling, but decided to buy the Team Garmin bundle because I found it on eBay for $500! Can’t wait to use it on my next ride.

    Team Garmin Edge 705

  56. Anonymous

    Thanks for the detailed review, Rainmaker. I now have the 705 and am still learning the ins & outs of it. I have a question that perhaps someone here can answer….. I mapped a short route (couple of turns) just to get a feel for the process. The first turn is a mile away but the road is curvy. At every bend in the road, the 705 is telling me to turn. I’m sure there’s a setting somewhere that will eliminate this but I’ve not been able to find it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    And one comment WRT mounting the 705. I have found that tie wraps on a handlebar, even snugged down, didn’t make for a real tight mount. Road vibration eventually caused it to rotate down. I will end up remounting the unit over a few wraps of electrical tape, just to give the tie wraps something to bite into.

    Thanks. Bill

  57. Anonymous

    This is a follow-up to the message left on Aug 12 by anonymous. My wife & I did a metric century today using a cue sheet and gpx map from http://www.mapmyride.com. The 705 was spot on wrt turns. It would beep ahead of time and change the display to indicate which way to turn. I would prefer left & right to east & west but the arrow leaves little doubt as to which way to turn. What was annoying to the point of distraction was how the 705 would beep every time your heading changed by some number of degrees. Your next turn might be 4 miles away but the 705 will beep every 100 feet if you happen to be on a curvy road. What this also means is you can’t know how far it is to your next turn because if you step through the route what you will see is how far it is until the next heading change. I called Garmin and the tech support person I spoke with said that’s the way it works. I can’t believe, I don’t want to believe that this is the case. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks for any input you may have.

  58. Rick

    I need help! I’ve been using Motion Based and Garmin Connect to download my rides and emailing them to friends. Motion Based is now gone and Garmin Connect has been down (unable to download anything). Any other free programs that are good?
    Thanks, Rick

  59. Great review Rainmaker,its great that you say that the 305 cadence sensor is compatible, I was wondering how robust the sensor is-does it still work now grand? (seen as your original post was 9 months ago), nice one bud

  60. Hi Eugene-

    Re: Cadence sensor

    Yup, still ticking away without issue (the sensor) and on both bikes that I have them from. One’s almost two years old, and the other about a year and a half I think.

    As for the Edge 705, it’s now been a year and I’m pretty happy with it. There was a rough patch over the summer due to newer firmware releases causing data loss, but that’s now been solved with v2.9 – so I’m again happy with it.

  61. Think that the 305 is a more versatile unit if you have more than one Bike. One thing I think is worth mentioning is that users need to be aware of the dangers of constantly looking at these devices especially while riding. This was made apparent to me 2 years ago when I headed out for a ride with a Forerunner 201. I looked at the screen for a little too long, when I looked up I was 2 Feet from the back of a stationary car doing 17 mph! I went clean through the back window, lost half a Tooth, almost bit off my Tongue and knocked myself out. I have not used a Computer at all since the accident. I think that, for me, these devices are for post ride reviewing ONLY, isn’t hindsight great. Thanks for the review, apart from the 90 second video, which does not look too safe.

  62. For those of you who wants a map that’s more or less usable on the Garmin 705 without paying the premium (yeah, it’s expensive), you can always download pre-rendered OSM maps from link to garmin.na1400.info

    This should get you started nicely, although depending on your area, some places are less detailed than others (and coastal areas really suck).

    Certain countries however, have their own detailed site for maps that are freely downloadable, for example, Singapore, Malaysia and some parts of Thailand, one would go to http://www.malfreemaps.com where details are better than what Garmin commercial maps can provide.

    For routing or courses, one can pre-plan with http://bikeroutetoaster.com I find that to be invaluable, and a lot faster to use than MapMyRide.

    Also: Edsel: >I looked at the screen for a little too long, when I looked up I was 2 Feet from the back of a stationary car doing 17 mph!

    That will happen to anyone with a GPS, whether you’re on a motorbike, a car, a truck, etc viewing on a GPS/Radio Station/iPod/Mirrors, etc, for too long. A simple rule of thumb is to use less details as possible, down to just what you need. My map screen contains just heart rate and grade, I’m not concerned about speed or cadence, I have the 8 fields of display for other information which is a button press away.

    Since I know where to look after some mental training, I’d just glance down and quickly look up. If there is a need to ‘study’ an area when looking at the map, it would be wise to stop first and do what you need to do.

  63. Thank you for the great review. I just got the 705 and have only used it for indoor training. I plan to use it outdoors this spring and need to buy a map.

    I’ve read the comments and it seems the consensus is buying the map on DVD is better than buying it on an SD card assuming you only have one GPS device. The advantage of the DVD being you can create a route on your computer and than downloaded to the 705.

    My question though is can you download, not just routes, but the entire DVD map onto a blank SD card in the Garmin? Or can you download only routes from the DVD to 705? Many times I don’t have a route when I go out riding, I just go and want to use the Garmin to help me get back, especially in an area I haven’t been before. I don’t want to predetermine a route.

    Also, it seems if I get the map on the SD card from Garmin, I can just use third party free websites to map my route and download it to my Garmin. Is that correct? I’ve been using ridewithgps.com and it looks a lot easier to use than the Garmin routing options.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  64. Hi CheerfulDragon:

    RE: Maps on SD card or DVD

    I’d highly recommend the DVD route. It’s the same price, and this way you are tied to just that one little SD card (which is easily lost or broken). The key difference between something like RideWithGPS.com (and otherslike MapMyRide, etc…) is that they aren’t giving you street-by-street navigation on the unit itself. Meaning, the unit doesn’t know that you’re actually on ‘Main Street’ and turning left on ‘Maple Street’ – these sites simply tell it at GPS coordinates XYZ change compass heading to ZYX. As such, it can’t reroute clearly. What the maps from Garmin do (on SD or CD) is that they provide actual streets to the unit – so it can navigate just like a car GPS would.

  65. Excellent write up. I also checked out your Edge 500 review…excellent as well!

    I just received a Garmin 705 for a new recumbent trike I just bought and also want to use it on another bike of mine. I can’t really find anywhere in the instructions where it states how to switch the 705 from one bike to another when heading out on a ride i.e. how do I know that I am adding my days ride on my trike to the trike profile instead of accidentally adding it to my other bike’s profile and vise versa?

    I have set up the bike profiles for each bike including changing the names to keep them straight. One thing I noticed though is this renaming doesn’t seem to carry over to the “Data Fields” set up area where it just says “Bike Computer 1” and “Bike Computer 2.”

    On other bike computers I have owned it was pretty obvious which bike profile I was recording data to while riding but I haven’t seemed to be able to crack that nut on my new 705. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Springfield, VA (DC Metro Area)

  66. Hi Larry (from a mile away from me…)

    RE: Switching between bikes

    Yes, unfortunately the data fields are across all bikes. When it says Bike Computer 1/2, it’s merely talking about the screens. I suspect this is because on the 310XT/305 you also have “Run 1”, “Run 2”, etc.. and thus in that case the Bike Computer 1/2 would be different. At any rate…

    ..to switch between bikes, simply hold the ‘Mode’ button for 1-2 seconds, and it’ll show you which bike you want to select. That’s it!

  67. Ever taken the 705 skiing?

  68. Anonymous

    Fantastic review! Thank you very kindly. I am thinking of taking advantage of the current $50USD rebate and buying a 705 shortly. Can anyone suggest the absolute best price or perhaps anyone with a sale?
    Thanks again!

  69. Hey neighbor!

    Beautiful…works like a champ. I’m also embarassed to say that now that I know how to do it I did a search for the word “switch” and this comes up on “PAGE 1” of the manual: “Press and hold to switch bike profiles.” I think I was just looking too hard. That said, this is the ONLY mention I could find in the entire manual on switching bike profiles. Oh well, now I know. Thanks!

  70. Hi Ollie-

    RE: 705 while skiing

    Yup, I’ve taken it skiing quite a few times. I usually just toss it in my backpack and it works perfectly as I ski around. Not so ideal for seeing exactly what you’re doing at the time, but great for post-skiing analysis.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Best Price

    There’s a lot of options out there, I generally find Amazon one of the cheaper ones though.

    Hi Larry-

    RE: Switching bike profiles

    No problem at all, glad you were able to get everything all hooked up!

  71. Hello,

    Enjoyed reading this and the subsequent comments.

    One thing I enjoy about it that I don’t think I saw mentioned (although I might have missed it) is that with a Power Hub (or I assume other ANT power devices) it will pick up your cadence from the hub – no need to attach the cadence sensor.

    I’ve played with this a fair bit and it is quite accurate.

    As far as price mine was $368 from Amazon. Refurbished, but comes with the Garmin warranty.

  72. Whoops – I meant $339

  73. Hi Steve!

    RE: Cadence from hub

    Indeed it will. The cadence from the PowerTap is a bit derived – meaning, it’s not an exact known, but rather more of an equation – but it’s generally good enough for most applications. On the Cinqo, it’s an exact item as the cadence is built into the crankset.

    Nicely done the price! Good deal!

  74. Anonymous

    I am little confused as to how to upload a route onto my 705. i want to map out a route beforehand and then put it on the 705 so i can follow it. Do I go to mapmyride.com? What do you recommend?

  75. Hi Anon-

    RE: Mapping Routes

    Yes, to do mapping your best bet is a site like MapMyRide.com and then use the Export to Garmin option. From there it’ll push it to Garmin Training Center, which in turn syncs it to the 705.

  76. Anonymous

    Really enjoy your review postings. I’m looking to upgrade my basic bike computer and am feeling a lit bit overwhelmed with all the info. Here’s what I’m looking for: basic bike info (speed, distance, odometer, etc), heart rate monitor, cadence and I want to be able to use indoors on my trainer. I like the Forerunner 310xt for the versatility but I’m not sure how much I will end up running. Then again, I’d hate to have buyers remorse. I’m also looking at the Edge 500 realizing that would be strictly for the bike. Any thoughts/guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks…

  77. Hi Anon-

    RE: Which item to choose

    I don’t think you’ll have any buyers remorse with the 310XT. But I think given you’re just using it with the bike, then the Edge 500 is probably better suited. The only way you’d have buyers remorse with the Edge 500 is if you decide to go for a run – in that situation, the 310XT would be better suited.

    From a bike functionality standpoint – given you don’t have a power meter – the 310XT and 500 are basically the same. Both support being indoors on a trainer without issue, and unlike the 705 – neither have Tom-Tom like GPS mapping while enroute.

    Hope this helps some!

  78. Anonymous

    705 vs 500

    Trying to decide which way to go. It seems the biggest difference between the two is the mapping and turn by turn directions avaialable on the 705. Is that a fair assessment? So if price was not that much a factor, would you recommend the 705 then over the 500?

  79. Hi Anon-

    RE: 500 vs 705

    It really all comes down to one thing in my mind: Do you want mapping. If so – then go the 705, if not – then go 500. If you’re not sure…then I’d gamble you’ll probably never using the mapping anyways – and thus I’d suggest 500.

    When I first got the 500, I thought I’d end up using the 705 still for my day to day rides. But in reality, I use the 500 every day. My 705 is sitting here on my desk…and hasn’t moved since I wrote the 500 review.

  80. Anonymous

    Great review DC, thanks. I am wavering b/w the 500 and 705. Am leaning slightly to 705 and mapping because I am planning century rides and RAGBRAI this summer. Two questions:

    1) What has your battery life been like with the 500 and 705?

    2) I’m intrigued by your comment to the previous Anon where your 705 has been sitting on your desk since you got the 500. Why do you think you are you finding the 500 more useful now?

  81. Hi Anon-

    RE: Battery life

    I find them roughly equal – but I also haven’t turned them both on and run them down to nothing. For me, I usually end up charging them before they get to that point. Meaning, I’m highly unlikely to go out and do a 15 hour ride where I have to even think about battery.

    RE: 705 sitting on desk

    I think at the moment it’s mostly because the majority of my rides are on a trainer right now. Also, the Edge 500 mount is on my bike (and it’s different than the 705 mount). The mount works for both the 310XT using the quick release kit, as well as the Edge 500, so I can easily swap back and forth between devices – thus kinda pushing me towards mostly just using the Edge 500 ‘system’ versus the 705.

    Thanks for reading and posting!

  82. Endo

    Great review!

    A question: when taking a different route than planned at a certain point (due to a broken up road, or wanting to remain on a nice road I’m already on), how does it reroute?

    Does it simply redirect you to the exact point you left the planned route, or does it keep calculating new ways of getting back to the closest point of the planned route? I hope my question’s understandable.

  83. Just got my 705 and I’m in the learning curve.
    The first problem I have is I can’t mount the cadence monitor. I have a BMC SLC01 and the arm of the monitor when mounted on the stay hits the spokes. Any suggestions or has anyone else had the same problem. How do I fix this? I would really like to use the Cadence monitor!

  84. Hey Endo-

    RE: Re-routing

    If you divert from the planned route, it will re-route you to your next waypoint. Menaing, it won’t force you to backtrack back to the exact portion of the road where you left, but instead will get you to the next waypoint (milestone).

    Hi Mike-

    RE: Cadence Mounting

    Hmm. The little arm will actually (if loosened) rotate all the way up (or down), which should allow you to move it out of the way of the spokes. In my case, the arm is actually all the way down and flush against frame, so it’s not really sticking out any. Also, you can try and rotate the cadence sensor body outwards away from the bike (kinda tilt it towards the crank/pedals), to give you slightly more clearance on the wheel side. Hope this helps some!

  85. here’s a killer question for the assembled wisdom of the ‘net. Thanks very much to DC Rainmaker for his exhaustive and comprehensive reviews. He’s clearly done more work than I every could.

    I pedal a velomobile, a fully enclosed human powered three-wheeled commuter. It’s somewhat more elaborate than a recumbent, so there’s some mounting issues.

    I’m not so concerned about mounting the display as much as I am about mounting the cadence/speed sensor. I very much want to have both sensors working but my pedals are not even slightly close to the wheels.

    Obviously there is no wired capability built into the 705, so I asked Garmin about using two sensors, one for cadence, one for speed and got a “no-can-do” answer.

    I have to now envision some way to relay the signal to the speed/cadence sensor, but I’m at a loss to figure out how. I’d probably place the factory sensor near the pedal assembly, since it’s inside the vehicle, out of the elements and just an all-round good location.

    It would be no stretch to pick up a standard bike sensor and secure it to register wheel speed. How does that translate to the speed sensor within the unit?

    Most bike units use ordinary, simple reed switches to count magnet passes. Does anyone know if that’s the case in the 705 sensor?

    If it is, then it should be possible to crack the case and make a wireless sensor into a wired one, yes?

    Does anyone have a broken sensor on which I can experiment?

    Suggestions are very much welcomed.


  86. Hey Fred-

    Hmm…interesting thinking.

    So – breaking the sensor in half seems unlikely. Now, I can say from personal experiance that you can break off one chunk and the other will still keep recording. Meaning, if you break the cadence arm, it’ll still send out speed.

    The challenge is that you really need to specific sensors. Now, you could use the Bontragger ANT+ speed-only sensor, and then perhaps combine that with the Garmin Cadence sensor. I don’t know though if you’ll be able to then turn-off the speed portion of the cadence sensor in that configuration, as I don’t have the Bontragger sensor.

    Why wouldn’t you want to use GPS for speed, and then just the speed/cadence sensor to gather cadence? You can mount that sensor anywhere you can jam crazy-glue. It can be 10-15 feet away, so distance isn’t an issue.

    As for using any other sensor type, it has to be an ANT+ sensor – and at the moment there’s only a few on the market. There are some new ones coming out in June, but they’ll be combo sensors again, unlikely to be splittable and combinable.

    Hope this helps some!

  87. Anonymous

    Hello, I have two questions that I hope you can answer:
    1). Does the 705 display and record power data from your powermeter? I have heard that ANT+ data is only displayed and cannot be review later on your PC.

    2). Can you start biking in the morning (for example) and ride for a few hours and then have it tell you the shortest route back home? As you know the 305 will help you get back to your starting point by following the same route you took, but can the 705 simply direct you to a new way back home?

    Awesome review, thanks for putting this together!


  88. I missed your reply, Rainmaker, but I did find a solution. Garmin confirmed that the sensors are reed switches, and in another forum, specifically recumbent oriented, I was given the answer that surgery can be performed on the dual-purpose sensor. Apparently the speed unit can be pried apart, which will expose some fine gauge wiring. A skilled enough person can then solder extension wiring and place the sensor as needed. I’m skilled enough to perform this, but may yet do without the speed sensor relocation. I’ve read many posts that suggest that the GPS is accurate enough, but have also read of “artifacting” with the GPS which results in some inaccurate readings.

    Half of one, six dozen of the other, I suppose.

    I expect delivery tomorrow, Wednesday, of my 705 and am looking forward to a new gadget. I’m still uncertain about mounting and may mount it on the inner surface of my cockpit cover. It’s a tight fit anywhere in the vehicle, but the cockpit cover will give me a “heads-up” display of sorts. Should be interesting.

    I’ll also be able to use the 705 on my Focus Designs Self-Balancing Unicycle to finally determine my speed while riding. I have a CycleAnalyst mounted, which gives me speed readings, distance and other valuable battery-related data, but it’s under the seat and can’t be viewed while underway. I should be able to hold the 705 and enjoy the real-time information, just for the halibut.

  89. Hi Erik (Anon)-

    RE: 705 recording power data

    Yes, the 705 not only records power data, but also displays it. All ANT+ data that is visible can be recorded. I do this today with the 705 any my power meter without issue. Works great!

    RE: Routing short way home

    Yup! In fact, if you add your home as a favorite location you can do super-quick routing in about three button presses. Works really well and will do on-street routing using whatever is shortest. The key difference between this and all the other Garmin devices is that this ‘understands’ roads – just like a normal car GPS, whereas all the other ones simply understand the GPS breadcrumb trail you took.

    Hi Fred-

    RE: All sorts of fun Garmin cadence hacking

    Very interesting, and cool. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to hear how it all works out, as well as any pics you might have. Might be something fun for me to tackle…just for the fun of it.

  90. The primary answer I found is located here:
    link to bentrideronline.com

    and includes some photos, but not ones I’ve taken.

  91. Anonymous

    I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! Well… Maybe not. Debating.

    After reading through your Edge 500/705 reviews I’ve decided to purchase the 705. Mind you this is after spending months reading up on GPS devices.

    I finally got tired of using my spare Treo+GPS (bluetooth) receiver via pathaway. To many gadgets with too many accidental disconnects. (And no routing with directions either unless I pick up another bluetooth GPS receiver and use a secondary device Itouch/Treo)

    I plan on doing as much riding as possible this summer and completing my first century (provided that a sudden attack of Vertigo doesn’t jump me again this summer and take me out for a few months).

    I truly appreciate your reviews.

    I’ll be getting the SHRM bundle and buy the DVD as well. I hope there won’t be any issues transfering the map to a Micro-SD card on the device.

    Ps. I’ll be sending you my CC bill as well. :)


  92. Hello,

    First let me say very good reviews, I enjoyed reading them.

    I’ve started cycling again, mostly for fitness (don’t know if I’ll race at all), and I’m in a new area, so the GPS mapping aspects are attractive. I’m also doing some treadmill running, and might even run out of doors at some point. I also might get a trainer also for rainy days. I’m looking for one GPS that would cover running outside and on a treadmil, and cycling outside and on a trainer, but I don’t think there is one that will do all that. Do you know of any GPS that can do that? I do also want my heart rate info.

    I’m thinking that since the running portion is so small, to not include that in my buying decision.

    Finally, have you had any chance to look at the Garmin Dakota 20 GPS? It can use the cadence and HR sensors.


  93. Hi Anon!

    Sorry about pushing ya over the ledge! ;) Good luck with the century, and thanks for reading!

    Hi Mike-

    RE: Which device

    Hmm, that’s a tough one. I don’t have any experiance with the Dakota ones unfortunately, though I have heard of folks using them for cross-country bike treks. But I’m unclear about it on running. You may be best following your instincs in going with a cycling-focused device, and ignoring the running piece. The Edge 705 would do everything you describe, except running (technically you can use it just fine to record running, just would show MPH and not pace).

  94. Anonymous

    Will Mapsource work on my mac

  95. Seriously considering the 705 — thanks so much for your site!

    Questions about routing: Is the routing capability “bike-savvy”, meaning will it take you only on “safer”, legal routes to your destination, or will it just go with the shortest route, even if that includes an interstate or major highway (bad)? Even better — does it know about jogging&bike-only paths (such as through a city park or along a river) that it might choose during its routing calculations?

    Thanks again!

  96. RWCoffin, only just today did I have the circumstances come together to use the routing feature of the 705. I punched in an address and told it to make it so.

    I prefer multi-lane roadways for my commuting via velomobile, but the 705 detoured me almost immediately to side roads. I know the area well enough to recognize that it would have been almost zero traffic, but a boat-load of stop signs.

    Ignoring the directives, I continued on my usual route and watched the “calculating” window appear at almost every intersection. In more than one case, the directions were to take me away from my destination, in order to stay on those quieter side roads.

    I’m sure it would come in handy in areas of which I am not familiar.

    I can’t address the bike trail aspect of things, as we have none in this area. As a bike computer/cyclometer, it’s really darn great. I use the HRM and the speed/cadence pickup. The speed pickup is about a half-percent off from my other speed devices, and without it, the speed and distances are five percent and higher in error. GPS speed and distance alone just doesn’t cut it for me. Your mileage may vary, California mileage will be less.

  97. I bought a 705 due to this great article. It does wonders, only question I have has to do with elapsed time. I have version 3.1 software. I start a ride at 5:30 and end it 6 hours later at 11:30, but the elapsed time on Garmin connect shows 14 hours elapsed time. It seems to happen on all my rides, the elapsed time is many hours longer then the actual elapsed time.

  98. Hi Terry-

    That’s strange. Typically elapsed time is total time including any stops. So if you started at 9AM and finished at 6PM, it would be 9 hours – even if you only spent 6 hours riding and 3 hours eating/sightseeing/etc…

    I haven’t seen the issue you described. Sorry!

  99. Kim

    I have read both your Edge 705 and 800 reviews. Given that the 800 release date keeps slipping and that the 705 (with HRM) can be purchased for about $100 less that the 800 base; would you wait for the 800 or pick up a deeply discounted 705? I’d like to have a working unit (as an upgrade to my 305) before heading south for two months in mid Dec.

    Kim from Laramie WY

  100. Hi Kim-

    RE: Edge 800 or 05

    I’d wait for the Edge 800, especially since it’s now trickling into the retail channel. :)

  101. Anonymous

    Great reviews! I’m stuck between the 500 and the 705. It’s not that I care that much about the mapping but it seems like the 705 is more stable than the 500? (freezes, fireware issues) Or is that just my reading too many old posts from a year ago?

    Does the larger size of the 705 bother you?

  102. What a great review on this, I want to buy one garmin gps and i don´t know which one, I hope that after reading your reviews I will know what to buy, I have a question to you, I live in Guatemala in Central America, I don´t know and I don´t think that Garmin has maps of my country, so I wouldn´t be able to preload any maps, what happens if I don´t do this? Can you use this gps computer without loading it and instead just creating new ones with my cycling routes?? thank you for your answer!

  103. Hi Anon-
    RE: Edge 500 freezing?

    I don’t see the Edge 500 freezing, and even the 705 is pretty good on the latest firmware these days. Anything older than a year is pretty much outdated when it comes to the freezing issue. It’s basically gone on the Edge 705.

    Hi Martin-
    RE: Maps

    You can pickup maps from OSM – which should have them covered there…for free!

    Thanks all!

  104. Anonymous

    Hi Rainmaker,

    Thanks very much for your review! I am in a massive debate with myself regarding purchasing the 500 and the 705 (both with cadence).

    The 500 would be a substantial outlay for me in the first place, but I am worried about then experiencing buyers remorse and longing for the 705.

    Is there any way to follow a route on the 500, or is the gps solely for reference on the computer after completing the route?

    Regarding the open street maps and openmtbmaps, are they a worthy alternative to the official garmin ones? I don’t want to be left with an expensive device, requiring further outlay in order to use it effectively!

    Thanks very much in advance!


  105. Terence

    Awesome reviews and very helpful. Just wanted to know If I can get trails loaded onto the 705, so when I mountain bike the gps will tell me where to go. Will the garmin connect help with that?

  106. I will be traveling to Italy with my 705 and want mapping capability while on the bike. I can either purchase maps for Italy/Greece in SD card or DVD format. What would you recommend? Any other advice?

  107. Hi Alex-
    RE: Follow route on Edge 500

    Yup, it’s a breadcrumb trail though – and not mapped based.

    RE: Opensource options

    Yup, they’re very competitive to the Garmin maps.

    Hi Terrence.
    RE: Trails onto Edge 705

    You can load offroad maps, but the Edge 800 handles it better.

    Hi Bryan-
    RE: Mapping card

    I recommend the SD card format since it’s easier to switch around. Enjoy!

    Thanks all, and sorry for the delay here – been a bit of a crazy few months with wedding and honeymoon, just getting a chance to catchup on all the past comments.

  108. Anonymous

    Hey Rainmaker

    I just bouht a 705 and went on a ride that i had never been on. I got lost so my question is how to you set the 705 to get back to your starting location?

  109. E

    Hi Rainmaker,

    Apologies if this has been asked before but do you know if the 705 pairs with the new Bontrager Interchangable Cadence/Speed sensor ie the one that doesn’t require buzz ties ?


  110. Yup, works just fine. See my ANT+ Speed/Cadence sensor post below for details. But the Bontrager sensor is considered a standard ANT+ SPD/CAD sensor, just the same as the GSC-10.

    link to dcrainmaker.com

  111. David

    My 705 reads altitude at home as 544ft and my Brunton ADC-Pro indicates 892ft; not certain which is correct but leaning towards the latter. First, do you know of a website that can determine elevation at a location.

    Secondly, and more importantly, the 705 shows me underwater when I am on the water or near the water (sea level in Victoria, BC area). Yesterday, on a 3 ferry cycling trip the unit read -350ft on the ferries. Other times riding along side the water, I will get -30 to -70 feet or more. There is nothing on the unit to permit a re-calibration and Garmin Tech Support hav been no help. I eep it updated so firmware should not be the problem. Have you come across this problem and found a way to calibrate the 705 as this brings all elevation data on rides into question as well as when use it for hiking.

  112. Bruce

    What will I miss if I buy the 705 v the 800? Is garmin still selling / supporting the 705?
    Thanks, Bruce

    • DC Rainmaker

      They stopped making it about 18 months or so ago. I wouldn’t pickup the 705 at this time, and instead focus on the newer units.

  113. Tisztul_A_Visztula

    An interesting observation.

    I have a Cycleops ANT+ speed sensor and a Cycleops ANT+ cadence sensor on my trekking bike.

    So I set YES in Settings at Cadence on my Edge 705.

    I did not expect to get cadence on Edge, because I had read that it requires an ANT+ spd/cad sensor (maybe I’m wrong), and indeed it was not shown on my Edge 705. My cadence sensor is perfect, my other gadgets were able to show the cadence.

    Although cadence was not displayed on Edge 705, surprisingly I realized at home that there was cadence data in the .tcx file.

    Just a small conundrum….

    I mentioned that I have no

  114. Ramesh Nair

    I have been using edge 705 from 2008. It works fine to date. Happy customer.

    Tried it a couple of times to double up as a car gps. it worked fine.

    The cadence sensor gave way though. Sometimes linking the ant+ devices can be annoyingly slow, but hey that can be the extra time used for warming up.

    Got the FR 610 now after reading your review :) Lets see what the future holds..

  115. JR Namida

    I have been using a Garmin Edge 200, but that does not allow me to use any ANT+ devices. Under the holiday tree this morning was a 705 that looks like it is new, with the Garmin Cadence Sensor (GSC 10) & Sram QuickView computer adapter. I am charging the unit now, and reading your review, to try and determine what the unit will provide as an upgrade to the Edge 200 I have been using the last 2.5 years.

    The Edge 200 has been great letting me record my rides on Mapmyride & Strava. I can not use Garmin Connect because my household computers have been 64 bit Linux since 2007. I also find there is no Garmin applications for the Acer Chromebook I love to use, but both Mapmyride & Strava works well with the chromebook when I travel.

    For now I will use the Cadence Sensor with the new to me Garmin 705, to help me discover more information about my riding skills.

    First off I want to determine if the 170 compact, or 172.5 mid compact work best for me on the Local River Mountain Loop & South to North Red Rock Ride. Then fine tune with either the 11-28/30 compact or 11-32 with mid compact setup, watching my cadence in known repeat ride sections.

    Thanks for keeping this older review on-line to let me read about the benefits of ANT+ devices with an older style cycling computer.


  116. ridone

    Garmin 705 good.

  117. Nelson

    Where can I get the plastic cap that protect the microSD card?

    Any one has one to sell me from an used unit?

  118. junjun

    i went out for a ride with my Edge 705 the very 1st time and i Didint get a Distance reading. is there anything i did wrong? all sensors were detected.

  119. Junjun

    Thanks. I will try that soon

  120. Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Is there anyone around who knows how to disassemble an Edge 705 in a way that one could replace the front cover? I have a scratched one and saw that a replacement could be bought on ebay for just GBP10, but dont know whether it is possible to replace it at all.

    For me 25 pieces sold are not a proof that disassembly is possbile, just an evidence that quite lots of people have broken their units :-)



  121. Hi Ray,

    Amazing website, what an incredibly wealth of information you put for free! Well Done!

    Just a simple question, which I am struggling to answer via Google.

    My beloved Edge 705 (constant companion for 9 years) appears to have died (PC/Mac etc not picking it up – device works fine, and tried different cables etc – tried the reset technique, but still neither a mac or a PC pick it up, guessing the micro USB port is knackered). A bit miffed that my expense European Map purchase is now probably a waste.

    So, in terms of a replacement, which of the myriad of the new products in the range is closest to the features that 705 has?
    Don’t need any crazy new fancy technology (power meters etc) just ability to send courses to it, and it give me turn by turn directions, and records speed, ascents, cadence and heart ……

    Thanks, and well done again,

  122. Neil Mckenna

    Hi, my 530 is currently getting repaired and i need to use oy old 705 edge. I cant get my HR working on the 705, it just doesn’t seem to be able to pick it up. Is there any way to get it going?

    Many thanks


  123. mark

    My 705 wouldnt power up. I replaced the battery and it still wouldnt power up . The PC will see it but it is is now a brick. Apparently I am not alone with these older units finally giving up. I suppose 16 years was a good innings. The current top of the range is now roughly twice the cost of this unit. Can you do address based searches on the Explore 2 ?