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  1. #1
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    Is the Garmin Edge 800 a good choice for mountain bikers?

    I am debating about buying the Garmin Edge 705 and the Garmin Edge 800. I want to be able to use the device for some car navigation (finding the trail head), on road use and off road use. Some of the reviews say the 800 is easily scratched and not as durable as the 705. Can anyone comment on this? I would not mind buying the newest version, but I do not want to get something that works great on the road and not so well off road.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
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    It's not going to work so well in the car, I can tell you that much. You'd be better off buying a cheap car GPS in addition to the bike GPS you wind up choosing.

  3. #3
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    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by clj2289
    Is the Garmin Edge 800 a good choice for mountain bikers?
    Yes, that is what it is designed for.

  4. #4
    You know my steez...
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    I have no experience with the 800 but I've been using my 305 since 2007 for mountain, road and running. It works great.
    I'm unique, just like everyone else....

  5. #5
    trail rat
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    There are dozens (probably hundreds) of posts with users experiences on this forum and in the Garmin Forums. You just need to browse a little to find all the information related to your questions.
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  6. #6
    3D guy
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    I love my edge 800...

    - touch screen works with gloves
    - large display with lots of data fields possible
    - good map support (with SC card can easily get road maps for road biking or riding to the trailhead along with topo maps (well rendered in color) on the device)
    - good data recording
    - I like VAM (rate of ascent which I think earlier devices lack) it seems to be grade based but it is a good overview of how fast you are heading up (does lag as the grade calculation is smoothed thus lags a bit)
    - battery life seems good
    - good accessory compatibility (cadence/speed. HRM, power... all work)
    - start warning and auto power down are very good


    others
    - not as easy as 305 to read with backlight off (note just touching the screen turns the back light on)
    - with 8 data fields it is a bit crowded, but I am likely pushing it showing the full 8
    - do not use SD card to store workouts (seems like a good plan with a multi-GB SD card, training center does not recognize workouts on the card, other programs also do not, I instead read the .fit file directly with a program that could read them)
    - not much else, like it alot
    Geoff Stahl
    San Jose

    BLTc, Chameleon Single Speed, Speedvagen Road

  7. #7
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    800 vs. 705

    I have both the 800 and the 705. The 800 is much better and I no longer use the 705 for biking.

  8. #8
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    I've been using my Oregon 450 on my rides and I love it...switched over from Edge 500. I can't be happier. It works especially well when you doing a ride that you never been on...you won't get lost.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf
    I have both the 800 and the 705. The 800 is much better and I no longer use the 705 for biking.
    This is a great thread, as I was just getting ready to start a new one because I want to buy either the 705 or 800.

    Could you please elaborate your post? I am used to bringing my Garmin 60CSX along on my mountain bike rides to log new rides, measure elevation gain, and view rides on Google Earth. I bought my first road bike in August and it's just too big for the road rides. I want to get an HR Monitor and am thinking either the 705 or 800 is the way to go. This way I also won't have to pull my phone out of my jersey pocket to find my next turn on a new road route (Google Maps).

    I'd much rather save a little money and buy a 705 for much cheaper than the 800, however, you're post is making me wonder if the 800 is just leaps and bounds above the 705. Could you explain why you like the 800 better so I can make a good choice?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    I just started using mine today and still learning how to use it. This is my first gps and so far i find it easy to use and am really liking it.

  11. #11
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    Touchscreen

    Quote Originally Posted by royta
    Could you explain why you like the 800 better so I can make a good choice?
    Thanks.
    Touchscreen makes it so much easier to use.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    It's not going to work so well in the car, I can tell you that much. You'd be better off buying a cheap car GPS in addition to the bike GPS you wind up choosing.
    I have to disagree. I admit it's not as good as a car GPS because it only beeps instead of giving vocal instructions. That said I've used my 705 many times in the car with a mount ziptied in the air duct and it's good enough for me. I rarely need it in the car but when I'm heading to a new trail or friends house it does it's job pretty well. Since I put it right beside the steering wheel a quick glance when it beeps and I know what to expect in the next 15 seconds.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf
    Touchscreen makes it so much easier to use.
    Any actual performance and technological breakthroughs other than the touch screen? For me, touch screen isn't worth an extra $200 to $300 bucks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil
    I have to disagree. I admit it's not as good as a car GPS because it only beeps instead of giving vocal instructions. That said I've used my 705 many times in the car with a mount ziptied in the air duct and it's good enough for me. I rarely need it in the car but when I'm heading to a new trail or friends house it does it's job pretty well. Since I put it right beside the steering wheel a quick glance when it beeps and I know what to expect in the next 15 seconds.
    It'll work better in the car than an eTrex due to the touchscreen interface, but the screen is going to be awful small for car use. That is my main beef. Can be used in a pinch, but I wouldn't count on it for frequent car use.

    Any actual performance and technological breakthroughs other than the touch screen? For me, touch screen isn't worth an extra $200 to $300 bucks.
    You must not have tried to enter much text for waypoints and stuff using the joystick common to the etrex and earlier edge models, huh? That alone is worth a good chunk of the price difference. Add support for raster maps as well as custom user maps (HUGE), and you've added enough extra capability, imo, to easily make up for the price difference.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    It'll work better in the car than an eTrex due to the touchscreen interface, but the screen is going to be awful small for car use. That is my main beef. Can be used in a pinch, but I wouldn't count on it for frequent car use.
    I was talking abotu the 705 FWIW. Sure it's small but you're not watching the Superbowl, right? All I need to see is the line of text at the top "Turn right", "Turn left", "Keep left", etc. and I stop looking at it... I rather concentrate on the road.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    You must not have tried to enter much text for waypoints and stuff using the joystick common to the etrex and earlier edge models, huh? That alone is worth a good chunk of the price difference. Add support for raster maps as well as custom user maps (HUGE), and you've added enough extra capability, imo, to easily make up for the price difference.
    No, I am used to the 60CSX, where I use a directional 4-way keypad to select letters, numbers, etc. You don't have to scroll one letter at a time either, as the entire screen shows the numbers and letters and I move the cursor to the letter I want to choose. The joystick on the Edge and eTrex scrolls the letters/numbers one at a time don't they? I have used a friends eTrex many years ago, and I thought that's how it was.

    I see your point and I do thank you for the information. Are you able to save waypoints along a ride and then upload to MapSource and save as a .GPX file with the 705? How about the 800? With the 60CSX, I am able to do this, but I can select which information is uploaded. Tracks or Waypoints or both together. I can also download the Maps and Routes I have saved on the 60CSX, but that's not something I ever do unless I am doing a complete backup of what I have stored on the GPS unit.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil
    I was talking abotu the 705 FWIW. Sure it's small but you're not watching the Superbowl, right? All I need to see is the line of text at the top "Turn right", "Turn left", "Keep left", etc. and I stop looking at it... I rather concentrate on the road.
    My car GPS is only a basic one and when it says, "turn right" it sometimes does so a block or two before the actual turn. It's vital that I'm able to see the map clearly and quickly to be able to see which turn I need to make. I tried using a handheld 76CSx before I got the car GPS and it was difficult to catch it. Not to mention the beep was not as loud as the car GPS's announcements.


    No, I am used to the 60CSX, where I use a directional 4-way keypad to select letters, numbers, etc. You don't have to scroll one letter at a time either, as the entire screen shows the numbers and letters and I move the cursor to the letter I want to choose. The joystick on the Edge and eTrex scrolls the letters/numbers one at a time don't they? I have used a friends eTrex many years ago, and I thought that's how it was.

    I see your point and I do thank you for the information. Are you able to save waypoints along a ride and then upload to MapSource and save as a .GPX file with the 705? How about the 800? With the 60CSX, I am able to do this, but I can select which information is uploaded. Tracks or Waypoints or both together. I can also download the Maps and Routes I have saved on the 60CSX, but that's not something I ever do unless I am doing a complete backup of what I have stored on the GPS unit.
    Even that 4-directional keypad is a PITA if you use it to enter much text. compare it directly to a touchscreen where you only have to push the letter, instead of several button pushes to move the cursor to the letter you want to select. If you don't enter much text, you might not notice it much, but I'll mark a waypoint at a problem spot on the trail and enter a description so I remember what the problem is for a maintenance day.

    Yeah, the 705 and the 800 allow you to save waypoints. On the 705, it's not as easy to access that feature as it is on the 60/76, though (it's similar to the etrex here). I would assume the 800 is similar to my Oregon with that. No quick "Mark" button on the keypad, but easier to get to than the 705.

  18. #18
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    The 4-way certainly isn't perfect, but definitely useable. I think I'll be able to live with the joystick too. I believe with my first GPS, a Garmin 12CX, I had to scroll one at a time to enter text.

    Once proficient, scrolling through the menus to perform specific tasks will become second nature.

    Please don't think I'm trying to convince myself, or someone else for that matter, the 705 is a better unit than the 800. I don't know enough about either to be able to do that. I can come up with the scratch for a 705 with HR (maybe with speed/cadence too). I don't want to spend the extra on an 800. Though, my local shop said he could get me the 800 for $100 more than what he could get me the 705 for.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by royta
    The 4-way certainly isn't perfect, but definitely useable. I think I'll be able to live with the joystick too. I believe with my first GPS, a Garmin 12CX, I had to scroll one at a time to enter text.

    Once proficient, scrolling through the menus to perform specific tasks will become second nature.
    After using an Oregon with a touch screen that simplifies text entry so much, I will tell you that I will never go back to the 4 way rocker switch and absolutely never to something with that stupid little joystick. it is that big of a deal for me.

    if you can put up with that tedium, more power to you.

  20. #20
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    I bought the Garmin Edge 800 after watching youtube videos of people using the Edge 705 and he Edge 800. It looked like a struggle to navigate around the 705, even for an "expert" user, compared to the 800. I can say that NateHawk is right, the 800 is very usable. I had an old eTrex and that was a pain to use.

    I worry that I am making a durability trade off by choosing the 800, but it seems that Garmin is pretty good about replacing devices.

    I will post my results after a couple of rides.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the idea of watching YouTube videos.

    The durability issue is certainly something that I've considered. I've read hear and there that the 800 display is made of a softer material and that some users have scratched it, whereas the 705 is made of harder material and has remained scratch free even after two years of use.

  22. #22
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    Slightly off topic, but you folks that have an 800/705/500 did you get the heart rate monitor and cadence/speed sensor bundle? I can see using the HR monitor, not so sure about speed cadence... Do you use it? Is it useful?

  23. #23
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    I got a speed/cad sensor with the 705 I bought, but really only used it when I rode the trainer.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by royta
    Thanks for the idea of watching YouTube videos.

    The durability issue is certainly something that I've considered. I've read hear and there that the 800 display is made of a softer material and that some users have scratched it, whereas the 705 is made of harder material and has remained scratch free even after two years of use.
    A few rides after I got my 705 a branch hit it while I was riding and cracked the display. I lost the 705 sometime after that and now I have an 800. I like both units, the display of the 800 is fine with me. I wouldn't let that discourage you from the 800.

  25. #25
    Goats Rule!
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    Maybe the 800 screen is getting more scratches than the 705 because...it's a touchscreen device so you have to touch the screen?

    Put a screen protector on it. The ones for the 800 are $10 or you can find one for old, discontinued PDAs or smart phones for around $4 and cut them to size.

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