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  1. #1
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    Thinking about buying a Garmin Edge for XC riding... Need help deciding which one.

    Can someone help me out here. I want to buy a Garmin Edge for riding XC. Mountain biking is still fairly new to me and I haven't tried very many trails out there but thought a GPS would be a great toy to get myself more involved in riding. The following is a list of my expectations:

    1. Track history of where I have ridden for future use.
    2. Track mileage on my bike.
    3. Plan for future rides by preprogramming a map in the GPS from a third party website.
    4. Being able to track my fitness level and progress ( I have a watch style HRM already, should I get one on a GPS?).

    It appears that (with the exception of the HRM option) all of the Edge units can perform these functions. Being that I have never touched one of these unit before I am looking for input from others who have. I have thought about going with a 305 since it is cheaper and would not be as big of a loss if it were to break in a crash. I am now contemplating on whether or not to get a 605 or 705 since I would be keeping the unit for a long time and their GPS mapping capabilities appear to be better. From pictures I have seen online it almost appears that the 205/305 have very limited mapping abilities/directions but for mountain biking I am not sure how important the details are. Do the 205/305 even have topo maps? Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    705 does everything the 305 does and adds color maps.
    both units are old so there is something better coming out (sooner rather than later.)
    for me the 705 screen is too small to read maps.
    I have the 305

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    Can someone help me out here. I want to buy a Garmin Edge for riding XC. Mountain biking is still fairly new to me and I haven't tried very many trails out there but thought a GPS would be a great toy to get myself more involved in riding. The following is a list of my expectations:

    1. Track history of where I have ridden for future use.
    2. Track mileage on my bike.
    3. Plan for future rides by preprogramming a map in the GPS from a third party website.
    4. Being able to track my fitness level and progress ( I have a watch style HRM already, should I get one on a GPS?).

    It appears that (with the exception of the HRM option) all of the Edge units can perform these functions. Being that I have never touched one of these unit before I am looking for input from others who have. I have thought about going with a 305 since it is cheaper and would not be as big of a loss if it were to break in a crash. I am now contemplating on whether or not to get a 605 or 705 since I would be keeping the unit for a long time and their GPS mapping capabilities appear to be better. From pictures I have seen online it almost appears that the 205/305 have very limited mapping abilities/directions but for mountain biking I am not sure how important the details are. Do the 205/305 even have topo maps? Any help is appreciated!
    You cannot upload or see topo maps in the 205/305.

    The 2/305 and 6/705 will do 1-2-4 above. You item 3 above is only possible with the 605/705. 605 will never allow you to add HRM or cadence / speed (only useful on a indoor trainer). The integrated HRM with the GPS data is very useful to me, and I used a computer plus a Polar HRM but could never intergrate the data. With the 305 or 705, it is easy. Here is an example of showing heart rate intensity on an aerial map using TopoFusion (www.topofusion.com)

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4ZBQnyni7iYRxhlEA4pPxg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/Sc76yv-L1_I/AAAAAAAADhk/ITUsXFCyQec/s800/CamuesaLilPine32809.jpg" /></a>

    Here is the same ride showing elevation (thin grey line in background) vs heart rate over distance using SportTracks (http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks)

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FNiXfGqKYNgCEioroPojNQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/SnSVjfkCngI/AAAAAAAAEmY/t17WV40dV6c/s800/Trail%20Little%20Pine%20-%20Canzo%203-28-2009%2C%20Heart%20rate%20-%20Distance.jpg" /></a>

    Here is the same ride uploaded to Garmin Connect in the player.
    http://connect.garmin.com/player/2815599

    Look at the lower panel where you can see time vs distance vs speed vs HR, etc.
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  4. #4
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    Slocaus, which model do you use? Do you feel that the extra features of the 705 are worth the $? Right now I am looking at roughly $160 for the 305 and $405 ($369 refurb) for the 705. I am wondering if it would be worth the wait to see what models come next in the Garmin Edge line as I imagine prices will drop with future models...

  5. #5
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    My 305 went about 3.5 years and I changed to the 705 about March this year. I should have gotten the 705 sooner. I also own a 60CSx that was my first GPS. If I was buying now, I would get a 705, it can replace the 60CSx for what I do. Check with GeoMan www.geomangear.com, he is a MTBR member and has great prices and outstanding service.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    My 305 went about 3.5 years and I changed to the 705 about March this year. I should have gotten the 705 sooner. I also own a 60CSx that was my first GPS. If I was buying now, I would get a 705, it can replace the 60CSx for what I do. Check with GeoMan www.geomangear.com, he is a MTBR member and has great prices and outstanding service.
    Thank you for posting the graphs... It really helps to see what these things can do. I am sold on the 705 and I think I have my co-worker (who is a road bicyclist) sold on it too after showing him the interactive graphs. I checked Geomangear.com and they didnt have a 705 listed on there so I guess I will give them a call. Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    Thank you for posting the graphs... It really helps to see what these things can do. I am sold on the 705 and I think I have my co-worker (who is a road bicyclist) sold on it too after showing him the interactive graphs. I checked Geomangear.com and they didnt have a 705 listed on there so I guess I will give them a call. Thank you.
    The biggest thing in the graphs is the power of the software programs. Both GPS versions will supply the data for the programs to give tremendous analysis options.

    The real difference between the 305 and 705 is in the maps loaded into the GPS and the ability to navigate using these maps. I'd still buy the 705, since I often explore old overgrown mining roads that are great trails now, if I can find the entrance.
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  8. #8
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Love my 705, had it over a year now and still find new useful features it can perform for me while riding.

  9. #9
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    I have another question regarding the 705; Is the mounting bracket small enough to mount thae Garmin on a 75mm stem or is that too short?

  10. #10
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    I have mine on a 70mm right now, and my SS has an 80mm. It fits fine, I have 5mm spacer above the stem on the 70mm stem, and use the Garmin wedge that comes with the mounts to lift the back of the unit so it does not rub on the topcap, so yes, it will almost certainly work.
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  11. #11
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    How sturdy is the mounting system? I ride a hardtail out here in the desert and the trails tend to get pretty choppy... Whats the likelihood of the unit falling off the bike?

  12. #12
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Never had a problem with mine coming out and I've done over 40mph down rough decents with mine during the 100mile NUE races.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    How sturdy is the mounting system? I ride a hardtail out here in the desert and the trails tend to get pretty choppy... Whats the likelihood of the unit falling off the bike?
    I have five mounts that I have had for between 3-4 years and have never broken one. They have been off and on different bikes and stems and probably remounted 20 times or more. I run a road bike, a 29er FS and a rigid SS with no troubles. Some have posted here that they break mounts getting the unit off and on, and it you broke the tab in a crash, you could loose it.

    I am careful and have never had one come loose on some really rough terrain.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TCmYxNXYNk19wl3IgqrH-g?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/SXFan6BPw4I/AAAAAAAABKg/m_XiUy6bJt8/s800/P1130621.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9_2fL67tlaU3TKk7oyTKHg?authkey=Gv1sRgCJGQ-t6i8LWRngE&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/SYPSRTeTwWI/AAAAAAAACoU/OVMhznfbp_8/s800/CIMG0526.JPG" /></a>

    Garmin has recently beefed up the mounts according to this thread.
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  14. #14
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    Thank you for your quick responses. The pictures are very helpful. I'm looking forward to getting the new toy! GeoManGear doesnt have the 705 currently in stock until further notice from Garmin. I found the 705 on Ebay (new) for a very good price so I guess I will go with that seller. Thank you again for the help.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    Thank you for your quick responses. The pictures are very helpful. I'm looking forward to getting the new toy! GeoManGear doesnt have the 705 currently in stock until further notice from Garmin. I found the 705 on Ebay (new) for a very good price so I guess I will go with that seller. Thank you again for the help.
    Keep in mind that Garmin will not warranty eBay purchased units!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    Thank you for your quick responses. The pictures are very helpful. I'm looking forward to getting the new toy! GeoManGear doesnt have the 705 currently in stock until further notice from Garmin. I found the 705 on Ebay (new) for a very good price so I guess I will go with that seller. Thank you again for the help.

    I learned my lesson not to buy electronics from ebay. I bought a badass remote for my home theater there. Turned out the item was a refurb (not mentioned on seller's page), and furthermore, it's not a properly repaired refurb. So, I'm stuck with a remote that randomly decides to change the channels and locks out inputs from the keypad. Only way to stop it is to remove the batteries. Not cool.

  17. #17
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    Besides GeoManGear where else would you recommend I try to purchase this unit from? It looks like they are on backorder until later this month....

  18. #18
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    become an REI member if you aren't already and buy there. If the item isn't a sale item or clearanced, you'll generate dividend dollars (how much depends on how you pay) to use at the store next spring. Their return policy is second-to-none if you don't like it. Unfortunately doesn't look like they have any, either. Just the 605 and 305.

    A quick google search turned up some, many of which appear to be at pretty shady stores. The rest I have no experience with, so I can't say.

  19. #19
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    Yeah, I am seeing a lot of shady looking shops when I do a google search as well. I did come across Full Cycles Bike Shop which was rated a top mtbr.com shop for 2008. Their site gives a very poor description of the Garmin 705 but it is on sale for $374 plus $8.77 shipping. I am about to place an order with them but still am somewhat hesitant.

    EDIT: They are on backorder as well. I found that the price listed was under their special order catelog - cyclocomputers and not under their normal listing for computers. The price shows that it is on sale although their normal listing does not. It seems like it may be a refurb although I called and was informed that it is not. Sounds like it may turn into a headache and a wait for the item so maybe I will keep looking.
    Last edited by FireLikeIYA; 08-05-2009 at 04:43 PM.

  20. #20
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    I have a question for you guys.

    How hard is it to take someone ELSE'S map, that they've posted on a blog or on Google Earth, etc, and download it to your 705 so you can get guidance while you're on trail as to which forks to take? I think this would be an awesome feature but it's not clear to me how easy it is from researching.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by donoman
    I have a question for you guys.

    How hard is it to take someone ELSE'S map, that they've posted on a blog or on Google Earth, etc, and download it to your 705 so you can get guidance while you're on trail as to which forks to take? I think this would be an awesome feature but it's not clear to me how easy it is from researching.
    Easy peasy. As long as where you want to grab the ride track from can export in a format that Garmin can accept. Most are good. Example:

    Here is one of my favorite rides.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/2815599

    Scroll down just a bit, and to left center you will see "Send to Device" click that and you can upload directly to your 705. Easy, like I said
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  22. #22
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    along the lines of using someone elses data....I suggest using TopoFusion (free version...or pay for it to remove some watermarks) to convert whatever format you get into the format your GPS accepts....whichever brand that is. I currently use a 705 because I like the ability to have a topo map behind my position and to be able to upload various tracks for long days involving different routes. FWIW...I've had mine for 14 months or so here in Arizona and have had no problems except for the release tab on the mount breaking off...I simply ordered a new one. I have never had an issue with the unit falling off the mount while riding. In the situations where I've wrecked....the unit has stayed on the bike and has taken some hits as well with no problems other than cosmetic scratches.

  23. #23
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    The Swiss Army knife of GPS file converters is GPS Babel.
    GPSBabel converts waypoints, tracks, and routes between popular GPS receivers and mapping programs. It also has powerful manipulation tools for such data.

    By flattening the Tower of Babel that the authors of various programs for manipulating GPS data have imposed upon us, it returns to us the ability to freely move our own waypoint data between the programs and hardware we choose to use.

    It contains extensive data manipulation abilities making it a convenient for server-side processing or as the backend for other tools.

    It does not convert, transfer, send, or manipulate maps. We process data that may (or may not be) placed on a map, such as waypoints, tracks, and routes.
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  24. #24
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    I've been looking for a 705 as well, also from a reputable dealer and can't find a single one. Seems like they just aren't avail and will be replaced soon so who knows if they will even ship any more

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    Hey slocaus. If you don't mind me asking; how long did it take you to learn how to do all that? I confess to being somewhat tech challenged, but man is that stuff slick.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    Easy peasy. As long as where you want to grab the ride track from can export in a format that Garmin can accept. Most are good. Example:

    Here is one of my favorite rides.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/2815599

    Scroll down just a bit, and to left center you will see "Send to Device" click that and you can upload directly to your 705. Easy, like I said
    So, when you're on a trail your 705 will be able to tell you which trailhead to take to follow your route?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by donoman
    So, when you're on a trail your 705 will be able to tell you which trailhead to take to follow your route?
    Yes, but I began riding that trail in 1982, so I kind of know the route!

    Actually, I have used a mapping GPS more often to find a trail head than I have in navigating on a trail. I do go exploring for old overgrown fire roads and the GPS can be helpful if I have marked a waypoint of where I think the intersection is at from a map,

    Quote Originally Posted by Zudnik
    Hey slocaus. If you don't mind me asking; how long did it take you to learn how to do all that? I confess to being somewhat tech challenged, but man is that stuff slick.
    I do not mind at all. I have about four years now using a GPS, and I am a technoweenie, so it comes natural for me. It is not hard to learn, the only thing I think I do that is different from those I know locally who use a GPS is to spend time reading tutorials and using the free forums provided by TopoFusion and SportTracks, plus the GroundSpeak Forums (those guys are hard core geeks! ). As I read, I try things with the GPS and the PC software. Kind of my own take off on the old Nike slogan.

    Read all you can and be patient. The information to do far more than you hoped for is out there. Expecting someone to take you buy the hand and lead you through it is called college, you pay for the guiding hand, but all the info is out there for free.
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  28. #28
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    Oh man, then that is awesome. So many times I go to a mountain bike place and I don't really know which trails to take. This is going to help me out a lot.

  29. #29
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    Just make sure you have a realistic expectation of what the GPS can do. It has its limitations like everything else in this world. The majority of the cool stuff you can do with a GPS depends on the software you use on your computer. Finding tracks for remote, infrequently used trails sometimes is impossible. In that case, you have to make your own. It's a little trickier to navigate when all you have is a log of where you've been, but it's better than a sketchy guidebook map (I've used those before I got a GPS many years ago).

    Unlike slocaus, I've paid out for that guiding hand of university instruction. That doesn't help a lot with simply utilizing tracks from a ride I've done. It's helped me a lot more for more complicated tasks like mapping a whole trail system.

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    Slocaus - do you have any of the Topo maps with your 705? The problem I've got with mine is it's great for the road, but trails - not so much. Once I leave the roads it's just a blank screen with whatever path I take.

    I'm curious how well it'll work if I save a race as a course and then try to repeat the race. Since many of the trails we rode on weren't officially marked (race day had ribbons and sings), it might not be able to figure it out - or perhaps better said, I might not be able to figure out where I'm supposed to turn.

    Any experiences with this?

    thanks,
    Chris

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    Ahh, looks like this option kind of blows based on some of the other posts. I tried Garmin Connect - guess not many people have Garmins where I ride as next to no data to use.

    Oh well.... At least I didn't drop $100 or more getting maps that didn't do much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zonevbkr
    Slocaus - do you have any of the Topo maps with your 705? The problem I've got with mine is it's great for the road, but trails - not so much. Once I leave the roads it's just a blank screen with whatever path I take.

    I'm curious how well it'll work if I save a race as a course and then try to repeat the race. Since many of the trails we rode on weren't officially marked (race day had ribbons and sings), it might not be able to figure it out - or perhaps better said, I might not be able to figure out where I'm supposed to turn.

    Any experiences with this?

    thanks,
    Chris
    Hey Chris,

    You can get nice commercial ones directly from Garmin of various detail levels (depending upon price and location).

    If you are looking for free topo maps try here: http://www.gpsfiledepot.com

    You can also create your own Garmin maps if you have a lot of spare time on your hands: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin

    I don't have a 705 (I have a GPSMAP 76C). I would really like to get a 705, but the 76C does the job. It's just a monstrosity mounted on my stem...

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    Also, if you are just looking for rides and trails to download (not maps) checkout http://www.geoladders.com

    To replay them on your edge GPS (even on a 305), download them to the GPS, then use the "Where To" feature. Non-edge GPSs like mine use the Track-Back feature to do the same.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonevbkr
    Ahh, looks like this option kind of blows based on some of the other posts. I tried Garmin Connect - guess not many people have Garmins where I ride as next to no data to use.

    Oh well.... At least I didn't drop $100 or more getting maps that didn't do much.
    Garmin Connect is not the only option. As mentioned already, geoladders is an option (I've never used it), and so is mapmyride.com. I'm sure more are out there, too.

    Basemaps do plenty. Trails are such changeable features that 1. it's not worth putting them on, as the mapping company will have to update FREQUENTLY and 2. trails are not quickly mapped like streets are. Have you seen any of the automated mapping cars that some of the various mapping companies use to create those basemaps? They streamline things really well, but you can't do that on a trail.

    You use your basemap for reference purposes. Distance/direction to nearest stream/road/peak/pass/etc. Learn how to use a map & compass and things should start to dawn on you regarding the GPS, too.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonevbkr
    Slocaus - do you have any of the Topo maps with your 705? The problem I've got with mine is it's great for the road, but trails - not so much. Once I leave the roads it's just a blank screen with whatever path I take.

    I'm curious how well it'll work if I save a race as a course and then try to repeat the race. Since many of the trails we rode on weren't officially marked (race day had ribbons and sings), it might not be able to figure it out - or perhaps better said, I might not be able to figure out where I'm supposed to turn.

    Any experiences with this?

    thanks,
    Chris
    Yes, I have Garmin Topo and CityNav plus the free CA topo from GPS File Depot and Ibycus road maps. I will likely take CityNav off since I also have it in a 60CSx that I use in the truck. Many trails are not on the maps. Here in California, many of our trails evolved from old roads that grew over, so they may be on the maps.

    Yes, you can save a track and then use it to navigate or download a track from one of the online repositories and use that. It works very well, in my experience. I go to new places and use that all the time. I did the same with my 305 with no maps. It will show turns and may be off by a few feet, but when you are on a trail and a turn is indicated, it is very obvious when you are there.

    Same with when I ride a new area with others who know the route. We tend to go along and I do not "learn" the trail in the same way I do my home trails. Going back later with the GPS track and following it as a course makes it very easy and the trail conncetions very obvious. Even if you have a split with two choices and you are not clear, 100 feet down the trail you will know if you took the correct branch.

    For those looking for tracks, don't be afraid to use Google.
    Search for "GPS trail tracks gpx (insert your state)"
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkus
    To replay them on your edge GPS (even on a 305), download them to the GPS, then use the "Where To" feature. Non-edge GPSs like mine use the Track-Back feature to do the same.
    Great discussion guys, thanks very much. This noobie is really struggling with the decision between the Forerunner 305 (or the new bike 500) and the edge 705. I really don't need to see maps while riding but I would love to be able to get to a fork in the trail and know if i need to go left or right.

    From the quote above it looks like the forerunner 305 may be able to do this? So if I download this ride from Garmin Connect can I load it into a 305 Forerunner and have it tell me turns or even when I am off track (after making the wrong turn)? Having to stop at each intersection and take a folded paper map out of my pocket really sucks.

    And finally, I would only need this information on 10% of my rides - the other 90% I just want to track my log for analysis later as its on trails I do know.

    Thanks very much in advance.

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    The GPS will not know trail intersections unless you've ridden the whole network of trails and have mapped them all and loaded them onto your GPS. You will still have to figure out using other means which way to turn at an intersection. The GPS will only give you a pointer that shows which way the recorded track goes. For some intersections, that may be enough...but with others where the forks are close together, it may not tell you enough.

    It will tell you if you're off track, however...so you shouldn't have to go too far before you find out whether you've gone the right way or not. If a paper map of the trail system is available, it's probably a good idea to carry a copy anyway

    If I am recording a ride so I can come back and do the same ride again, I like to use my 76CSx and mark waypoints at the intersections. That way, I can put direction information there about whether to turn right or left for finding my way the next time I ride (or for sharing my loop or whatever).

    Quote Originally Posted by ejfiii
    Great discussion guys, thanks very much. This noobie is really struggling with the decision between the Forerunner 305 (or the new bike 500) and the edge 705. I really don't need to see maps while riding but I would love to be able to get to a fork in the trail and know if i need to go left or right.

    From the quote above it looks like the forerunner 305 may be able to do this? So if I download this ride from Garmin Connect can I load it into a 305 Forerunner and have it tell me turns or even when I am off track (after making the wrong turn)? Having to stop at each intersection and take a folded paper map out of my pocket really sucks.

    And finally, I would only need this information on 10% of my rides - the other 90% I just want to track my log for analysis later as its on trails I do know.

    Thanks very much in advance.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    The GPS will not know trail intersections unless you've ridden the whole network of trails and have mapped them all and loaded them onto your GPS. You will still have to figure out using other means which way to turn at an intersection. The GPS will only give you a pointer that shows which way the recorded track goes. For some intersections, that may be enough...but with others where the forks are close together, it may not tell you enough.

    It will tell you if you're off track, however...so you shouldn't have to go too far before you find out whether you've gone the right way or not.
    Thank you. What I'm wondering is if the Forerunner 305 will do this as well as the edge series?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejfiii
    Thank you. What I'm wondering is if the Forerunner 305 will do this as well as the edge series?
    I have not used one, nor do I know anyone who does, but looking at this page, https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=349#specsTab

    Maps & Memory:
    Basemap: no
    Ability to add maps: no
    Accepts data cards: no
    Lap history: 1000 laps
    Waypoints/favorites/locations: 100
    Routes: 50
    The fact that you can load waypoints and routes tells me yes.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

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