I've just started looking for a Garmin (or similar) GPS and was wondering what advice others might have. Would certainly need HR and cadence, with no power meter. Elevation a plus.
What are the differences between mapping and/or directions and uploading routes etc?
For a lot of good information, DC Rainmaker has a review on just about all Garmins:
That said, I have the 310xt. Gives me the information I need on the bike, but can also use it on runs. It comes with it's own wrist band, but there is an optional wristband/bike accessory to connect it to your bike but also take it off with a quarter turn and connect it to a wristband. Can use it for swimming but I haven't used it that way yet.
My brother has the 705 and loves it. Does all the mapping, heart rate etc. Can't really run with it though, thus I didn't get it.
A word of warning on the 310XT. They are very, very fragile. Mine fell about 18 inches and shattered the face. 2nd one got dropped after a run putting it back on the bike, and now it doesn't get a GPS signal.
Also, if you want accurate elevation, you need something with a barometric altimeter. GPS does not reflect height accurately.
Garmin sells fancy mounts that let you attach GPSes to handlebars. I imagine that they make fixing/removing the GPS faster and hold the device more securely.
However, I object to buying gimigacks without good reason, so I use an old inner tube to affix my Garmin to the bike.
Cut a length of inner tube - a foot or so will do - and wrap the rubber around your bars. This provides a thicker, soft attachment point for the Garmin. Then strap the Garmin around the rubber-covered part of the bars. I've been doing this for a year or two and the watch has never come close to falling off.
The Edge 800 is sweet. I was using one this past weekend and it would be the best gift ever, to receive. There is a lot of information on the screen, but if you can look at the road just enough not to crash, perfection.
I use the Garmon 310xt. I had my first one for over a year. It got water in it after Timberman. Sent it back got a new one free of charge. My buddy broke the.lense on the face of his dropping it. They just sent him a new one free. I use the quick release. So I have it on my swim. Bike then run. All with just a twist and it is off.on on my bike. Their customer support has been great along with tech support when you can't figure.out why something wont work. Usually operator error or not downloading the updates. I like it.
Look into the Garmin 305. I have used it for 2 years now for running, biking and tri's and I love it. The ONLY difference between the 305 and the much more expensive 310XT is that you can't use the 305 in the water. But, what they don't tell you about the 310XT is that it won't track distance or HR while you swim, just time. So, what i do is wear my old ironman watch for the swim and either ditch it or leave it on in T1.
The 305 is on sale on Amazon gof a ridiculous $128 right now. You will also need the bike mount kit (this allows you to pop the GPS receiver from your wristband to your bike, takes 3 secs and, in a race, you only do it once since you'll leave your 305 mounted to the bike while you're out there on the swim). You will also want to get a Garmin speed/cadence senor. This allows your GPS to track...ummm...bike speed and cadence. The coolest thing about it is that unlike almost every other speed/cadence sensor out there, Garmin's attaches to the REAR chainstay. In other words, it tracks speed off the rear wheel, not the front. Why is this cool? Because you can use it on your bike trainer all winter too (when your front wheel doesn't move).
Of course, the 305 tracks all of the data you'd want to plot and play with..and then some. Also, it seems much more durable than the 310XT. I have crashed on my bike with it, fallen several times while running with it...and, while it will, on occassion, pop off of the bike mount or wrist band when you take a hard fall, it hasn't cracked or lost any functionality at all.
This is a bunch of great input - and really helpful. In looking at the options do any of you have thoughts on the 705 versus the 305 or 800? Is there some major difference in features here or how it would be used?
Eric - Garmin's web page allows you to compare different units. I don't think there's much difference between the 705 and the 800. The 305 is 1/3 the price, and you're giving up ANT+ (but Garmin's wireless cadence/speed sensors work fine), color displays for mapping, and less than 1/2 the battery life.
I think it boils down to $$ and whether you want turn-by-turn navigation, as compared to post-ride mapping analysis. Also, if you are thinking about a powermeter in the future, you'll want ANT+.
For my road bike, I never bought a computer because I already had the 405. I was surprised to find that I like it better than a computer. I use it for running, it helps me keep track of brick workouts, and you can set up the display so that it's just like a bike-mounted computer--you just get creative about wrapping it around your stem or handlebars.
But I prefer to just keep it on my wrist. Plus, when it's cold, I can use my nose on the touch-bezel instead of taking off my gloves. Pretty nice and versatile. (You can add a cadence sensor.)
You're welcome to borrow it if you wanna try it out.
I got a 305 in December, and so far it hasn't delivered on the following promises:
-faster hill running ability
-reduced hours at work to increase workout availability
-automatic beep to warm me of pending rocks, roots and other nasty obstacles.
other than that, it's great :)
I have the Garmin 500 for biking and love it. It gives you a ton of info on each screen. Way more than you need, but it's still fun to check out. Like all the Garmins you can customize what you want to see on each screen. It's compatible w/ my powertap ANT+ which gives me power and cadence. If you don't have an ANT+ PM and want cadence, then you'd need to buy that additional attachment. Priced around $250. As someone mentioned before, check out DC Rainmaker for everything you ever wanted to know about the 500 or most of the other Garmins.
Lots of great advice! Thanks to everyone, especially Sarah for convincing me that the 305 won't get me what I want. And I'll probably take Patrick up on a test drive because I'm sure I'll learn a ton of what I want and don't need.
This just popped up in my inbox:
Save $150 on a Fully-Loaded Garmin Edge 705
For one day only, you can take home one of the most powerful cycling computers on the market, the Garmin Edge 705, for just $499. The 705 bundle, regularly $649, includes heart rate, speed, cadence, and a data card with street maps, all displayed in full color through a clean and efficient wireless setup. Visit any Revolution Cycles location to learn more about this special offer, but don't delay- supplies are extremely limited.
*Offer good on Saturday, January 22, 2011 only. While supplies last, no special orders, no refunds or exchanges, no rain checks and cannot be combined with any other discounts or coupons.