Sep 7, 2009

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Garmin Edge 305 cycling GPS system review

Posted on 7:25 PM by abhishek jain

In January this year we met Clark Weber at the CES expo in Las Vegas. Clark is responsible for Motion Based a company recently acquired by Garmin for its expertise in GPS analysis software. This was significant for us because Garmin also showed some new Sports and Fitness GPS devices. One of these was the new Garmin Edge.

The Garmin edge is based on the highly sensitive SiRFStarIII chipset and is a GPS system dedicated to the sport of cycling. One of my favourites. Garmin have designed the Edge 305 specifically for the cycle enthusiast who wants to monitor performance over time. Not only does it record the normal GPS historical data, but it also has the capability to record heart rates and cadence as well.

This is where Motion Based comes in as the data can be uploaded to the Motion Based system and then analysed in detail and comparisons made with past performances. The data can also be exported or shared with other users in the Motion Based community.

As there are a number of different disciplines in cycling we have decided to do a slightly different review for the Garmin Edge. Apart from my normal review we have taken the opinions of a number of different cycle users and seen what their views and usefulness of the Edge is to their cycling life.

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User Reviews

Analysis Software



The Garmin Edge 305 Manufacturers Specs

The following specifications have been obtained from the Garmin website

Training timer features Training data: Can display training time, pace, distance, lap pace, lap time, lap distance, average and best pace, elevation and calories

Customizable screens: Choose from up to 37 data types

Lap History: Automatically records up to 1000 laps by day or week; stores approximately two years of data. Download histories to your PC using included software

Training assistant Courses: Download recorded courses and compete against previous workouts

Auto Pause®: Automatically pauses the training timer when you slow down below a specified resting pace; timer resumes when you start running again

Auto Lap®: Automatically triggers a lap when you reach a specified distance or location. Allows you to run anywhere and still get accurate performance data

Auto Scroll: Cycles through data pages during a workout

Multi-sport: Set up profiles for running, biking and another sport

Advanced workouts: Set up workouts with specific durations and targets (speed or heart rate)

Quick workouts: Allows you to input training goals based on time, distance and pace

Virtual Partner™: Displays a graphic “virtual partner” that will run with the set goal, so you can see at a glance if you are keeping up or falling behind. Works with courses and workout features

Pace alert: Alarm sounds if you are slower or faster than the pace you've input

Time/distance alert: Alarm sounds when you reach the specified time or distance

Interval training : Allows you to set up exercise and rest intervals and number of reps

Navigation features Receiver: SiRFstarIII™ high-sensitivity GPS receiver

Antenna: Built-in patch; points to the sky when wrist’s in motion for optimum performance

Mark location: Mark and save up to 100 locations

Find location: Look up and navigate to stored locations

Map mode: Electronic map shows your location, along with marked locations. Pointer arrow shows direction to travel when navigating to a stored location


Display: 1.3"W x .8"H, 160 x 100 pixels

Size: 2.1"W x 2.7"H x .7"D

Case: Waterproof to IEC 60529 IPX7 standards

Temperature range: -4° to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C)

Analyze Workouts

Garmin Training Center™: Included software lets you create and schedule workouts, analyze your data and store it. Full comparability with Windows and future full compatibility with Mac

MotionBased™: Web-based application from Garmin that provides more in-depth analysis of your workouts. provides an online training log, interactive mapping and the TrailNetwork, which allows you to post and share routes with fellow athletes. Full compatibility with Windows and future full comparability with Mac

Features unique to the 305 Heart rate monitor:

wireless design; eliminates crosstalk

Display: Shows heart rate (beats per minute) and zone (between 1 and 5)

Alerts: Alarm sounds if you reach specified minimum or maximum heart rate

Forerunner series comparison guide

Here's how the units are different:

Forerunner 205:

Measures time, distance, pace, altitude and calories burned
Forerunner 305:

Measures heart rate, time, distance, pace, altitude and calories burned
Compatible with Garmin speed/cadence sensor, GSC 10, to monitor pedaling cadence when cycling

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