The Garmin Edge 705 Bike Computer is a top of the line bike computer. So what on earth is an Average Joe Cyclist doing with a Garmin Edge 705 bike computer, you ask? This is a bike computer Lance Armstrong wouldn’t be ashamed of, so why is it on MY bike?
Well, as Maggie puts it, it took a village to buy it. A bunch of my friends got together and bought it for my birthday. I don’t know HOW they knew this is what I wanted. It’s not like I hinted or anything. Well OK, maybe a few subtle hints. OK, maybe they weren’t all that subtle. OK fine, I emailed my friends URL’s of product reviews of Garmin Edge 705’s, and where to buy Garmin Edge 705’s. And then when no one noticed, I emailed them AGAIN.
So I admit it was hard to look surprised when a Garmin Edge 705 duly showed up on my 50th. The coolest part was it even had all the optional extras: wireless heart rate monitor, a micro SD card with maps of North America, and ANT + Sport wireless technology cadence meter.
Overall verdict on the Garmin Edge 705 Bike Computer: AWESOME!
Related: Garmin Edge 510 vs 810 vs 1000
Related: Garmin Edge Touring vs 810
Mostly I just LOVE this gadget. It’s worth every cent my friends paid. Although I have to hasten to add that I am not using it to its fullest potential yet, even though I’ve had it a few weeks now. The Garmin Edge 705 bike computer is like any computer, you can’t use its full potential all at once. It takes time to master it (and no, I‘m not being defensive. A bit slow perhaps, but not defensive).
So at this point I’m not yet getting full use out of the maps. And I don’t fully understand all the functions, even though the menus are remarkably easy to navigate. But I’ll get there. And it’s like the gift that keeps on giving – it just gets better and better the more I learn about it.
Things I really love about the Garmin Edge 705 Bike Computer
There are several really cool things about it that I have already discovered. Without a doubt the greatest thing is that the built-in GPS records everything you do: distance, time, cadence, elevation changes – even calories burned! The calories function is particularly neat – it’s basically a license to eat!
Then when you get home, you can upload your ride to Garmin Connect, and see the full glory of your ride in living color. You can see a map of where you’ve gone, and all the details of what you’ve achieved. The ride is then saved for you, forever. The web site generates stats and graphs, such as total distance cycled in the last 30 days, and total calories burned.
The absolute best thing about the Garmin Edge 705 bike computer is that you can show your awe-struck friends and kids just how far you’ve cycled. Then they can say “Awesome!” while secretly thinking “I can’t believe someone that looks like you could cycle that far!”
One Thing that’s NOT all that Great about the Garmin Edge 705 bike computer
It was really easy to install the Garmin Edge 705 bike computer on my handlebars, using the provided mount. We did it in two minutes. But it was pretty much impossible for average people like us to install the cadence meter – we had to take it to a bike shop for that. And luckily the guy at the bike shop already had one, so he knew what to do. Even for him, it wasn’t easy. But he got it eventually – thanks Jordi at Different Bikes, for coming to our rescue again!
One Thing I really do NOT like about the Garmin Edge 705 bike computer
There is one thing about the Garmin Edge 705 that is almost mind-bogglingly stupid. Say you switch off the unit, and plug it into a power supply to recharge. When you unplug, it will switch itself on, and tell you that the external power source has been removed. I already know this, because it was me that removed it! If you don’t notice that it has sneakily switched itself on, and therefore do not hit enter to acknowledge that you have received this utterly pointless and redundant message, the Garmin Edge 705 will then stay on all night waiting to be acknowledged – so that in the morning, the entire battery will have been drained, and the thing is totally dead. Whose dumb idea was this?
One thing that’s a complete MYSTERY about the Garmin Edge 705 bike computer
Before the Garmin Edge 705 bike computer, I had a Polar Heart Rate monitor that cost around $50. It worked well and was always able to record my heart rate. However, the much more expensive Garmin bike computer CANNOT READ MY HEART RATE. I know my heart is a bit unusual, but it’s not THAT unusual – after all, the cheapest Polar monitor could pick it up.
The Garmin Edge 705 bike computer does not even acknowledge that my heart exists!
I know it’s not broken, because it reads Maggie’s heart rate perfectly, even if she’s on a different bike a few meters away! I am pretty well stymied by this. I could go through the elaborate steps involved in returning the heart rate monitor to Garmin via the Internet and mail, but what would be the point? The new one most likely wouldn’t work anyway.
Why this Garmin Edge 705 bike computer will not read my heart rate is a complete mystery to me. But it really makes me sad that my otherwise perfect bike computer has such a serious flaw. Still, the problem may just be that my heart is unusual in several ways. I have not met anyone else with this problem.
Despite this, my overall verdict is that this Garmin Edge 705 bike computer is a winner. The complete package will set you back close to $800 – but if you can afford it and biking is important to you, go for it!
Update: the 705 has been discontinued, although you can still buy them from Amazon. The good news is that it has been replaced by the Garmin Edge 810 Touchscreen GPS Bike Computer – which is even better than the 705 (for example, it has touch screen control). For just $400 you can get the basic model. OR you can get the complete entire Garmin Edge 810 with heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor for around $600. Read a table with the COMPLETE specs of Garmin 810 vs Touring here, and Garmin 810 vs 510 vs 1000 here.
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Try moistening the two pads on the heart rate strap. Water or saliva will work. If you have dry skin, or like me, you more closely resemble an ape, you have to wait until you work up a sweat or give it some moisture to kickstart it. The Garmin is first and foremost a GPS unit. The fitness features are secondary and not as good as a Polar or a Suunto.
Check out http://www.ridewithgps.com or SportTracks for some nice alternatives to Garmin Connect.
Thanks Rob. I have tried moistening it, I have tried wearing it for a long time to see if it will kick in when I get sweaty. Absolutely nothing happens – it’s like I have no heartbeat. Not so much as a blip on the screen. Then my wife puts on the strap, unmoistened, and it works from 10 feet away, solid as a rock. Drives me crazy!
Alex P says
I so want one of these! Then I could rent bikes in cities I visit and not get lost.
You should totally get one. You don’t have to get the cadence meter and the heart monitor, and then it’s a lot cheaper. It’s also awesome to be able to check back on your past rides. Like for example this weekend we are cycling on Vancouver Island, and we were able to plan our journey by checking back on http://www.garmin. com and looking at the last time we did these trails, and seeing exactly how far it is, and how long it took us.
Try wearing it on your back instead of the chest, and use electrode gel. To test you can use ky or peanut butter and if it works you could buy some gel.
Garmin troubleshooting heart rate monitor
Thanks, I will give it a try!