Garmin 705 in more detail

Posted: July 17, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Ok so I have had my Garmin for a week or so now and I thought I would update some of the thoughts that I had initially here.

Accuracy.  Now having done a few longer rides over various different style roads I can confirm that the unit seems to be super accurate, satalite connection is VERY strong remaining fixed through underpasses, tunnels and it even works pretty much all the way through my place of work.  I have also now installed the speed/cadence sensor to the rear wheel.

This provides a further level of accuracy using both satalite and real time data from the sensor to establish speed.  It is a dual sensor so it sits between your crank arm and rear wheel and both magnets pass close to each side of the unit, a very clever design which works really well.  This is the first computer I have had with cadence and its interesting to see what my average and max speeds are in relation to cadence.  It seems that I am pretty normal averaging around 90 rpm which they say is very efficient.

The battery life remains high on the list of priorities for me especially as during the summer I have a tendancy to do long rides and even multiday rides where I might not have access to a power point.  I am pleased to report that battery life is awesome, I can see no issues in the unit achieving the claimed 15 hours, maybe even more if your not using the HRM/Speed sensor.

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I find the collection of data something that I am really quite new at, in relation to my riding.  Cycling for a few years without any real computer at all and not really worrying about distance and speed etc.  What I am finding is, its interesting, its great fun analyzing your rides, routes and data.  You find yourself constantly trying to compete with yourself, better your previous rides and then if you don’t beat them wondering why.   It really makes you think like a professional sports person.

One of the things that I knew would be helpful is the mapping, its not a turn by turn navigation unit really although you can use route-able maps, but the option to overlay a previous ride of your own, or the ability to download a GPX file from one of the training websites is very helpful.  You can download a ride that someone else has mapped out or completed  then upload to your Garmin and simply follow the line on the map.  For someone who is new to a particular area or has a bad sense of direction this is tremendous.

The huge memory of the Garmin is also great in that you have access to all your ride data for pretty much every ride that you have done, if you run out of the 1gb space on the unit simply plug a 2gb micro sd card in and your back up and running with even more space.  Although every week or so I am starting to keep backups of the Garmin files on my Mac for extra security incase the unit breaks down or gets lost.

Th unit also performs well in the wet, although the USB cover on the rear could certainly be classed as not quite adequate, however having done a few wet rides there have been no issues to speak of to date and forums are suggesting that it is not an issue.

There are also lots of sports websites that allow you to upload your activities to the site and share/analyze and review your data.  I have been using a few such as Garmin Connect which is Garmin’s own website, this has lots of features whilst still remaining very simplistic in its appearance and easy to use.  You can download all new activities and then edit the descriptions as you see fit, each activity has a large amount of detail that can be edited (see pic below)

Garmin Connect - Activities for craigdurk

Cyclogs is also another that I have warmed to, very cycling specific and detailed info can be edited, there is also a great online community for this site, the ability to add pictures etc to your rides is also very appealing.

I am finding that my love for cycling has been rekindled and I am becoming more competitive as well, mostly against myself, however I see that as a huge plus.  I will continue to use my Garmin and continue to try and improve my results as time goes on.

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Comments
  1. Andrew says:

    G’day

    Good to hear you are happy with the 705. A couple of things to keep in mind:

    (1) The cadence/sensor, GSC 10 does not like water, so if you are going to wash the bike, cover the sensor up or you may find it not working for a few days. Lesson learnt the hard way both for me and others as per numerous reports on the interweb. It does seem to survive rain okay, just not the hose :);

    (2) It seems that the 305 and I think this applies to the 705 as well, only stores “full” data for about five rides before it starts over-riding, so using it on a tour as I did with my 305 meant that I lost data from the early days. I got a bit back via the Garmin Training Centre but other applications, e.g., Sports Track, http://Cyclogz.com etc couldn’t retrieve the early rides.

    Regards
    Andrew

  2. Jon says:

    I have been considering getting one of these units for a while… reading this is making me one one so bad! Now I just need to find some money…

  3. craig says:

    Hi Jon, yeah there a fine tool for enhancing your cycling. Hows the Surly going

  4. Jon says:

    Really good mate, I havent taken it on any long rides yet but for my commute it is perfect. It is really smooth and steady, I feel much more secure taking sharp corners and hitting pot-holes etc. I think that is partly the 26″ wheels though.

    I also got a carradice saddle bag which holds all I need (lunch, clothes etc) – really glad to get rid of the backpack!

  5. Richard says:

    Funny thing is, I just got my 705 today. You beat me by a few days! So far, I learnt the hard way that an 8GB card causes the 705 to stop functioning (only until the card is removed again), must go out and buy a 2GB card in the morning.

    I got lost cycling around Switzerland and France on the weekend, I figure I’d better have a GPS before I head out on my next big ride!

    Regards,
    R.

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