In terms of cycling computers, the Garmin Edge 705 is quite frankly the most useful bit of cycling kit we’ve ever seen. Garmin’s Edge 705 GPS capable bike computer does everything. It makes it easy to plan and record rides, and guides you on your way providing a vast amount of data, but it’s also well organised and once you get used to the menu-driven control, it’s easy to use. It contains a mapping GPS receiver, a heart rate monitor and a power meter head unit in one easy-to-use device and makes for an unrivalled cycling dashboard. You can also use it in the car for navigation.
Getting started is easy, the Edge 705 quickly picks up satellites, even under tree cover or in houses but may struggle if you’re surrounded by tall buildings in a city.
The display is clear and the backlight bright enough to make it easily readable in all conditions.
Controlling the unit is very simple: you use the joystick and the two well placed buttons below the screen for recording laps and starting/stopping the data recording. The other menu, mode and zoom functions are accessed via two side buttons, and all are easily usable even with gloved hands.
The display shows a variety of information: map and route; up to 16 types of data in two screens; a compass with your bearing if you’re on a prepared route; an elevation trace of the ride so far and more. It may sound a little complicated but it's straightforward to go through the options.
Racers will like the array of training workouts, and the virtual training partner where you can race a recorded course.
Routable street maps can be installed, you can then choose a destination and the Edge 705 will guide you there. As you near a junction it beeps, and the screen lights up to tell you what to do next.
Garmin’s local street maps, work extremely well for navigating suburban streets. For longer journeys, set the routing options to ‘Bicycle’ or you'll end up on the motorway.
Off-road, you can create a route as a ‘track’ and upload it in GPX format, and the unit will keep you tracking in the right direction. However, if you're using the topo maps, be aware that the lack of detail makes a major change of plan tricky. You'll still need paper maps for emergencies on the hill.
Nominal battery life is 15 hours, an improvement on the Edge 305’s 12 hours, but still not quite enough for multi-day adventures unless you've got a solar charger. The Edge will charge via any charger that has a mini-B USB plug.
Computer & web connectivity
The Edge 705 has a mini-B USB port and functions as a USB mass storage device when you attach it to a computer so you can download the TCX files that it creates of your rides and save or manipulate them.
Garmin provides two pieces of software that work with the Edge, Garmin Training Centre and Mapsource.
Garmin Training Center displays the data from your rides so you can see, for example, how much time you spent in each heart rate zone, or how your heart rate correlates to the steepness of the road.
While Training Center gives you a basic snapshot of any particular ride, you’ll want more powerful analysis software if you’re using the Edge 705 as a serious training aid.
Software like TrainingPeaks WKO+ can read the Edge 705’s TCX files. It can’t import them directly as it does for the Edge 205/305 but you just open them via the Windows or Mac file system as the Edge appears as a USB drive when you connect it to your computer.
GPS Visualizer can convert TCX files into the GPX interchange format for you.
For route planning, Mapsource plus an appropriate electronic map gives you tools for drawing routes and creating GPX files which you then load into the Edge.
What's In the box:
- The Garmin Edge 705 GPS Capable Cycle Computer
- Heart Rate Monitor Strap
- 2 Bike mounts
- A charger and USB cable (UK Plug)
- The mount zip-ties to your stem or bar and Garmin supplies two mounts so you can use it on two bikes. Use reusable zip-ties and you can swap it between even more bikes.
- A unique GPS-enhanced cycle computer that provides extensive and accurate data to make this an invaluable training partner.
- Completely wireless operation, making installation easy.
- Uses a high-sensitivity SiRF GPS receiver to track your movements.
- Virtual Partner lets you race against a virtual competitor, or against yourself when repeating a route.
- Auto Pause suspends the training timer if you slow below a given speed.
- Auto Lap automatically starts a new lap recording at a preset location or distance.
- Includes Garmin Training Centre software for post-ride analysis or workout planning.
- The large screen can be backlit at night for easy viewing, and customised to show the data you want.
- Waterproof to IPX7 standard (up to 1 metre for 30 minutes)
- Uses a rechargeable li-polymer battery, providing up to 15 hours operation.
- Heart Rate monitor uses robust ANT wireless technology for superior battery life and minimal interference.
- Includes barometric altimeter.
- Unit dimension (cm) -WxHxD: 5.1 x 10.9 x 2.5
- Display size (cm) - WxH: 3.48 x 4.36 - diag: 5.6 cm.
- Weight: 104.9 g.
- The unit accepts microSD card (not included)