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  1. #1
    Front Range Cyclist
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    Garmin "wristwatch" GPS....on a bike?

    Hey thinking of getting the Garmin Forerunner 305 or 405. My idea is this, if they are GPS based and they can be used as a heart rate monitor (with chest strap that is) isn't this the perfect "computer"? No sensors to mount to frame just use a Polar handlebar mount and you should be able to use the speed sensing function of the GPS and have heart rate too.

    I'm looking at the wristwatches vs the dedicated bike unit because I also hike and do trail running. Plus with 4 bikes by the time you buy computers for each then a stand alone heart rate monitor you have some serious $$$'s invested and you still have to program in wheel size and such.

    Oh and I'm also looking at Garmin because their software is MAC compatible which is a must for me.

    Anyone have experience with either on a bike? Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
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    Yep

    I use a Forerunner 305 whenever I want to track my heart rate (I have other GPS units to use if I'm not using HR). The 305 works just fine on the handlebars, though I have had some trouble with it losing signal when the screen is facing up. The sensor is designed to be worn on the wrist while running/walking, so it points back at you when it's on the handlebars.

    It hasn't be a big issue, but I thought I'd mention it. Otherwise it works great as an all around bike computer for speed/distance and the HR data it shows (and collects!) is a big bonus too.

    Here's one of my rides from a 305 (track color is shaded by heart rate):



    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  3. #3
    Front Range Cyclist
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    Do you need to use their speed/cadence accessory? Seems like the speed part should pick up using the GPS and nothing should be needed on the wheel. Am I right or wrong?
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  4. #4
    trail rat
    Reputation: slocaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    Do you need to use their speed/cadence accessory? Seems like the speed part should pick up using the GPS and nothing should be needed on the wheel. Am I right or wrong?
    Only on a trainer, or somewhere with really poor reception, i.e., heavy tree cover and steep deep canyon blocking satellite views to the south. Otherwise, no.

    I have one on my road bike for cadence readings.
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  5. #5
    Full of holes
    Reputation: SwissBuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    GPS... isn't this the perfect "computer"?
    It is for me. I also hike and ski as well as ride so for me the 205 (no HR monitor) is the right solution. I wear it on my wrist when biking. I have cheap odometers on my bikes too, but only because I had these before I bought the GPS. The advantages are numerous: No need to change the wheel setup for the GPS, you get a perfect record of where you rode, altitude is measured, can be used for navigating, etc.

  6. #6
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    The big difference for cyclists is that the Forerunner 305 has a GPS triangulated altimeter vs. the much more accurate barometic altimeter of the Edge series.

  7. #7
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    If you run as much (or more) as you bike, then the Forerunner series will work better. I got an Edge because I bike about three times as much as I go running. The larger screen and barometric altimeter is great,.

    When I run I either just carry it in a mesh pocket in my water belt, or just in my short pockets. The GPS signal isn't as strong as when on handlebars, but it works ok. I think there is a way to get a arm-band that will secure the Edge, but I'm not sure about that.

  8. #8
    Full of holes
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    Quote Originally Posted by trauma-md
    The big difference for cyclists is that the Forerunner 305 has a GPS triangulated altimeter vs. the much more accurate barometic altimeter of the Edge series.
    Quote Originally Posted by bstyle74
    I got an Edge because I bike about three times as much as I go running. The larger screen and barometric altimeter is great.
    I've never mised not having a barometric altimeter. Whenever I've been near a marked altitude, my GPS has been +/- 5m of the real altitude. You can't really get 'much more' accurate than that.

  9. #9
    pedaller
    Reputation: Noelg's Avatar
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    I love, love, love my Forerunner 305. I wear it on every ride and have no trouble with maintaining a signal. It's a great training tool. I bought mine from Geomangear.com (which I highly recommend) but REI has a smoking deal on it right now - at $165. I wanted to get the Edge for the better altimeter (and at the time the price was the same) but I couldn't see myself running with it. In retrospect, I made the right choice with the watch GPS. I DO miss being able to look at it on the handlebars, but not enough to mount it on there. I can still glance at it on my wrist if I need to know something...and I don't worry about crashing with it on my wrist. I did endo with it and landed right on it on a big slab of granite and it barely got a little scratch on the face...

    http://www.rei.com/product/735450
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