Garmin Edge 705

January 2009

I lashed out and bought a Garmin 705,

garmin-705

I had been thinking about buying a GPS for a while now, my choices were between the edge 705 and the Colorado 400, although the Colorado has a bigger screen I decided that it was more for those who hike and not bike (that rhymes)

So I bought the Edge, smaller screen, but heart monitor included and also it’s cheaper than the Colorado

I bought it thru amazon UK although I am living in France and as its half the French price

I have  the Isle de France Topo map  as the map that is included with the unit is a waste of time and I will only be using the 705 for off-road biking so I need all the paths / tracks details to be shown, the complete DVD containing all of France is not available yet, though should be end of march 2009 (edit Mai and still not available)  this will be cheaper and apparently they are adding some colour, so that the maps will look like ordinance survey maps which will be nice as for the moment the Topo maps are basically just two colours

comparison-topo-et-ign Comparison Topo  & IGN map (same spot on map)

The unit is small and fits real nice on the bike stem which is a 80 cm on my bike, it can be fitted to the handle bars as well, but on the stem it’s protected in a crash as nothing is overlapping anywhere

The 705 is not to complicated at first glance and I got it setup and running fairly quickly, though the Garmin handbook is rather basic, many things are not explained so I spent some time on the forums or just playing around with it, for instance I couldn’t get my heart beat to show up on the screen, until I found that in the data fields / bike computer 1 or 2, not only can you choose how many inserts/panes  can be seen in the window but also you can choose and change the data that is shown in each insert / pane, this is not really or rather not clearly explained in the handbook which is a shame as it’s really great, 1 to 8 inserts/panes in the same window, pretty neat

Its to soon to say if I have will use the work outs or the training but I shall try, being that this year I should get more biking in and it would be useful to get my training up another notch

Certain things are no good though, the alarms when for running under or over set heart rates are to quiet, and I can barely hear them in my sitting room so on the bike outside just forget it, I am 51 and going deaf with age, What about a headphone socket Garmin ???? or a blue tooth option.

Edit March 2009

The Garmin software  seems to work just fine and on Vista 64 (though it’s not 64 native) so that’s a nice surprise but not a Linux which is shame.

There are two main sites that will be of use with the Edge

http://connect.garmin.com and https://my.garmin.com/mygarmin/customers/myGarminHome.faces

Software : mapsource, map install and training center

Mapsource is a program so that you can see the trails that you have ridden but it’s really useful for creating  rides, this can use the Topo maps so that you can see all the finest of details and it can transfer the Topo map to the 705, strange thing as there is also a program “map install” to install even easier the maps to your Garmin, why the map install is not included in Mapsource I don’t know

Training Center is garmin’s ‘agenda’ so that you can see all your rides, (use SportTracks as it’s far better)

A little confusing, why two sites and two programs rather than one of each with access to both I don’t really know

Forums or sites

So far I have found a couple of sites giving useful information

http://www.motionbased.com/update : Now closed, replaced by https://forums.garmin.com/index.php note that I never use this site, using SportsTracks to keep a copy of all my rides

I’m now using http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=394087 for uploading all my rides so that they can be used by others/

http://www.gpsies.com/convert.do you will need this to make track that can be navigated

http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/ this is by far the best site and the best program that exists for the Edge 705, I have started using the program which is free of charge (you can donate to them), it replaces Garmin Connect and  MotionBased the latter programs are online site, Sportracks is on your PC, so much faster but you wont be able to access it from anothe PC. It’s really good I am amazed that it can do so much and that it’s free, the only week part is that the Topo maps can’t be ‘seen’ in it as they can only be read by Garmin software

Update July 2010 : SportsTrack version 3 is available, this is now a shareware, but the cost is very small and it’s well worth it as even better than the previous version, still the best program around for consolidating the data from your rides

Some things that might be of help to new users :

1, You have to set the ‘Position Format’ in the ‘unit settings’, this is not explained in the hand book, and there are many choices, after googling around I found that ‘Position Format’ meant GPS datum and unless I am wrong the only settings in the list for France is the UTM UPS setting ( the default after a hard reset is hddd°mm.mmm)

2, For the time zone the setting for France are ‘Central Europe’

Soft reset : sometime you might need to rest the Edge, press the Mode+Lap buttons.

Hard reset : To perform this one hold down the mode button while powering on your Edge, the Edge will ask you if you want to reset it, this should wipe clean the 705, all data will need to be imputed again.

New things tested :

Courses and virtual partner : This I like, after saving a ride from the history file to a ‘new course’ you can then re-do the ride  and have the virtual bike show you if you are riding slower or faster than the last time :  tip if you history folder has many rides this can take some time to be read, empty often your history folder to your computer, this will speed things up)

Routing

Now that I have this sussed it’s quite good, you MUST turn of the ‘lock on road’ option and the ‘re calculate’ option, this will then allow you to follow even the smallest of trails, also turn of the Auto Zoom, this is annoying as at every junction the scale settings jumped  back to about 200/300 meters where I use the 20/50 meters settings

Annoying things are : the messages ‘turn left on unpaved road’ who cares if it’s a unpaved road when doing of road riding, ‘turn left’ would do just nicely and it would be easier and quicker to read, or that it takes up another ‘pane’ on the screen rather than just over writing the pane that is already there for a couple of seconds (I use 2 small panes on at the top to show speed and heart rating)

Courses

I then transferred the same ride to a ‘course’, this is not bad as you get a pink trace to follow, the  same as the routing except you don’t get the “turn” messages, I had to juggle a little with the scale settings and sometimes I found that the screen didn’t draw fast enough and I over shot the turning, meaning that I was stopping and going back a meter or so to get back on the track, but not bad and I am sure that this takes a little getting used to.

Things that I don’t like

Nokia and track

My main grumble is the glass screen on the 705, this is very reflective and in sunlight I see myself rather the map it’s like a mirror, don’t Garmin test their own products, In the photo you can my gloves and the back of my telephone taking the photo

The handbook is crap, many things are not explained luckily the  https://forums.garmin.com/index.php or http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/Forums/ both are very good, and I found out most things from these forums

The sound or rather the volume : Ok I’m a little on the deaf side as I’ve turned 52, but the beeps I just cannot hear them and its a real shame as sometimes you need to watch where you are going and not the screen so the beeps to warn you that there will be a turn coming up are useful, but other seem to think that they are to loud, so just a volume control would maybe sort out the problem

Creating a track that can be navigated : this in itself is easy using  the mapsource program and save it as a GPX file, but you then need a another program or rather a website that modifies it http://www.gpsies.com/convert.do so that it will be work as a track that can be “navigated” , this is just plain silly. For info you upload the saved “GPX” file and transfer it to a “GPX Track” file and then save it to your 705, why the mapsource program can’t do it all I don’t know

Update : May 2009

Firmware update to 2.70, all seemed to go went well untill the first ride and the Edge just ‘locked up’ after 30 mins of riding, so I had to do a hard reset by pressing  start + mode buttons to get it to reboot, and to top it all the ride was not recorded, but reading the forums it seems that a lot of people have had to do a hard reset after updating, since then all is well though

I have done my first search for a Geocache, downloaded a cache from http://www.geocaching.com/ and even managed to find it, so do some more as it’s different and you get the impression that you’re looking for treasure :)

Update : June 2009

At last the IGN France Topo 25:000 V2 is available, I bought the “all France version” a DVD with also a SD card (that cannot be used with the edge 705 as it’s a 4gb card)

Tha maps are a little easier to use as that have more colours BUT the contours lines are almost exactly the same colour as the track line and can make reading difficult, also there is no explication for the colours so reading it means that you are not  sure if its a small road or a paved track for instance, there is a bug in the 705 software that sometimes makes the contours lines as thick as the track  and then you need to reboot or stop the saves rides as the screen becomes unreadable, big very thick purple lines all over the place, also I noticed that the map is missing certain smallish paths that are indicated on the IGN paper version (bit of a rip of) as its meant to be the same , I find as I was away on a biking weekend and according the Garmin there was no paths where we were and yet we were on them and the paper IGN showed them :(

It’s better than the V1 CD Rom version, but ……

Update : June 18th

Firmware update available, version 2.8, just seems to correct some smallish bugs, but does a hardware reset so note your setting before doing it

Update Have had one lock-up and one re boot while riding which I have never had before, have re installed the 2.8 but deleted all files before including profile files, maps, saved rides etc as many are still there after an update,this meant That I re installed everything and re configured everything  will see how this goes over the next couple of weeks

Changing map colours

One of the many things that bug me with the 705 maps are the colours, many being the same ish colours and difficult to read quickly especially if you are like me and need glasses for reading but not for riding …

So I have be playing with http://ati.land.cz/gps/typedit/editor.cgi to see if I could make things easier

I have changed the colours of, trails and paths from the grey colour to red

At the same time the land contours I have made them thinner and dotted and black (this seems to have cleared up the THICK contour bug that many are having)

You can download the file that I have modified from the below link and you replace the I0000186.TYP file in your Garmin file with mine renaming Red trails I0000186.TYP to just just I0000186.TYP

PLEASE make a backup of the old file (just rename it “originalI0000186.TYP” or something similar
In XP you will find this file in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GARMIN\Maps\TOPO France v2.gmap
In Vista or Windows 7 you will find it in C:\ProgramData\GARMIN\Maps\TOPO France v2.gmap

Download my file from http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?twm3yqjknon

Once the file has been replaced start Mapsource and re download your map to the Garmin

Red trails

The images show both trails and contour lines

Please note that I have done this for fun and to see if I can make my map better, please feel free to test the file and get back to me but please note that I cannot be held responsible if it doesn’t work or if your 705 melts or blows up ……

Sorry about the photo quality, it was taken with my mobile, the shadows on the screen are from my window blinds …..

I have rode with the new map, track are easier to see and the contour lines are less obtrusive

Playing with gpx and tcx files

I uploaded a route that I made using Mapsource to http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com

Interesting thing is when I ‘look’  at the route on their site it’s not quite right, the trace is all straight lines and it doesn’t  quite follow the roads or paths as it should, so I uploaded the file to http://www.gpsies.com/convert.do and convert it to a gpx track, now this should be the same (gpx file to gpx file) BUT when ‘looking’ at the now converted file in Biketoaster it’s perfect, the trace follows perfectly the paths and roads, why I don’t know, but it seems that all routes made with mapsource are better if converted with GPSies.com

Also I have found an oldish program (2006 nothing since) called Gpx2Crs, quite clever,  this adds turn points on a course file giving small arrows on the turning but no pop up directions, clever thing is you upload the program and just tell it to add these points onto a xx degree turning, 60 degrees by default, the only bug that I have seen is that it doesn’t rename the  file correctly, but that easy to correct with Foxe (this might be due to me using Vista 64)

Bike toaster is meant to be able to do this but they have to be added by hand and one by one and it is not very clear on how to do it, the instructions are as clear as mud

For me the best program is Mapsource to create trips and use TCX Converter or GPSies.com to convert them to a tcx file so that they can be used them without routing option, all other sites or programs are just no good ( at least no good for off-road riding)

Update December 5th 2009

Firmware update available, version 3.10, have just flashed the Edge and might try it this afternoon if the weather stays clear, there doesn’t seem to be many important changes on the change log, so why it went from 2.9 to 3.1 in one go I don’t know, will post if I find anything, Have managed to get out 3 times so far, no bugs, no problems with this update, all seems OK

1 year on, 4200 km later

Although not perfect this as a dam good machine, it takes a lot of getting used it is still to road orientated for me (I only ride VTT/MTB off-road) but it’s getting better with every firmware update,  the 705 plus the program  SportTracks (freeware) give you the means to see all your rides, day by day, month by month, to keep a track on your health (having been ill last month, I can see that my heart rate is not as good for the same ride a couple of months ago for instance) , your times, to see if you are faster or slower than the previous time, being able to upload your rides so that other can ride them and of course being able to download rides unknown to you and ride them when you are on holiday for instance.

The most useful piece of kit for anyone that rides a lot or seriously

Update : Avril 2010

I have noticed two things lately that are annoying, when down loading certain rides made or modified with Mapsource and or when adding extra sections of maps from Mapsource to the Edge, the Garmin settings get changed and ‘Lock on road’ or ‘Recalculate’ under routing gets ticked. This is a right pain and I have been caught out several times already so be careful when downloading to the Edge, re check you setting before riding. update : I have never been able to suss out what if anything changes these settings, but if I download a track / gpx file I always check before starting the ride)

Update : June 22nd 2010

New firmware update available 3.20, have just uninstalled it, as usual I emptied all files from the Garmin while plugged in to the computer, then added the update, re booted and after I did a hard reset, this apparently is not needed, but old habits die hard, I like to reinstall when updating firmware on all my gadgets.

Update : June 27th 2010

Have ridden three rides, all have speed spikes that are not normal, 70km this morning, 55 yesterday (both off-road riding), I’m fast ‘ish’ but not that fast, so it seems that there is a problem with this latest update , and quite a lot of people seem to have this problem on the Garmin forum, for the moment I have re-installed the 3.10 firmware

http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=3987

Dropbox : I use Dropbox on all my computers, I regularly empty my history files folder from the Edge saving them in the Dropbox , this not only does this  keep my history folder nice and clean but also gives me the possibility to see all my rides no matter where I am as long as I’m next to a computer, at the same time give me a permanent backup of all rides.

Update : 8gig SD card. I finally got around to changing my old SD card for a 8gig class 6, with this I have installed all of France on this card, it’s also faster than the old one as it’s a class 6, rather than a class 4, having the map on the card leaves all to memory on the Edge for the rides. Update I ride quite a lot but have never been able to fill the memory, also I copy my rides (history files) to a folder in Drop Box and them delete them from the Garmin, only keeping about a  month’s of rides on it.

Update december 22nd 2010 :  New firmware 3.3 available from Garmin, Have updated my 705 using the Garmin web updater, reset my data screens and now ready to try it. As it’s lousy wet, cold and snowy weather here in France, it might take me a while to get on my bike (Need to though, to get rid of the Xmas food that I’m going to be eating for the next couple of days though) Fingers crossed to see if the firmware is better than the last one that was all f**ked up.

Update : Have managed to get two rides done, le 31rst December & 2nd of January, as the ground is extremely muddy, both were on my Singlespeed and on the road, no problems so far with the latest firmware, the auto pause works correctly, though I haven’t been able to try it out in wooded areas to test how it works while under trees and cover etc. but so far so good, Update again … 700km so far in 6 weeks, now being able to get out on the MTB as the weather is getting better, no problems noticed, even under trees in the woods, all is just fine .

Update 2011

2 years on, 10 000 km later

I’m still pleased with the 705 , I now use only SportsTracks to record my rides and keep track on them all, recuperating the parcours, heart rate, distance, time etc and whether the ride is a MTB, mixed or singlespeed on the road,  I use Mapsource to map out a new ride if need be, sometimes TCX converter or GPSbabel if I need to work or convert a file.

Update April 2011 all is still good with this machine, although the power button seems to be a bit tired, the last firmware 3.3 is still OK.

I have no real gripes with this machine, except under certain sunny conditions  it’s difficult to read thru the glass , I still say that there is a bug when using some downloaded rides that switch on the ‘lock on road’ option, even if Garmin says no. I rarely use GPX tracks, preferring the TCX version as these don’t give directions, having directions is nice but it slows the 705 down, you have already read, gone around the corner and the instructions are still on the screen instructing  you to turn ….

Apart from these gripes the rest is OK, The 705 is a good machine, coupled with the above mentioned SportsTracks http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/sporttracks/ they make a perfect couple for those who ride a lot and like to keep track on their rides and or their performance. I have now ridden over 10 000 kms since I bought the 705 in January 2009, either off road MTB or on the roads with my Singlespeed.


13 Comments

Filed under Bikes - Mountain bikes & Singlespeed, Gadgets & toys

13 responses to “Garmin Edge 705

  1. Can anyone tell me how to wipe clean all the Courses in the edge 705? I’ve done the Hard re start and they stay? My Garmin TC has duplicated courses over the last year every time I down loaded data so i have 7 or 8 courses loaded over a 100 times! I need the Edge to erase “everything” so i can start over…any ideas

    • Hi

      Plug your Edge into the computer,

      Access your courses folder and delete the files that you see inside, et voilà :)

  2. Andrew

    Can anyone tell me what topo scale i need for France for my Edge 705?

  3. Hello minty95,

    I’m supporting a program WinGDB3 as an extension to Garmin’s MapSource for a couple of years. This summer I added .tcx file support, converting tracks to courses and Edge 605/705 upload support. Maybe you’re interested in this program. Try version 3.50, it’s stable now.

    I’m of course interested in your opinion.

  4. onidPT

    I use an offline tool to convert tcx/gpx files, is called TCX Converter
    (http://www.teambikeolympo.it/TCXConverter/TeamBikeOlympo_-_TCX_Converter/TCX_Converter_ENG.html)

    I work with Mapsource, save in GPX and after convert to TCX!

  5. The problem with on-line sites like Bikeroutetoaster is that they may be OK for road riding but of road riding you need a real map such as the Topo maps for the Garmin

    Tcx file can be useful as you don’t have navigations windows popping up at every turn, you just follow the coloured line, but you can insert small icons to show you to turn left, right etc

    Garmin is rather strange in having two or more different file formats that basically do the same thing, TCX, GPX makes life complicated

    With Bike Toaster I tried to add course points to a pre ridden file that I uploaded but it just kept trying to modify the trace so I gave up on it

    I still find Mapsource from Garmin an excellent program to make rides of and on road

  6. I use Bikeroutetoaster.com to create my routes (not Mapsource) and it will save them directly to the 705 or you can save it to a .gpx file which then goes in the GPX folder and can be used to navigate via “saved rides > navigate”. Works pretty well for me! Used to use Bikely but the site was too flaky, often down, etc.

    Not sure why anyone would want to try and navigate from a tcx file, or in fact what the use of a tcx file on the fly even is… I suppose if you’re trying to do a course that you know well at a faster time it might be useful? Otherwise, why?

  7. Just on the verge of buying a 705 and also living in France. Is the version usually advertised as ‘Europe’ the one I need? Or will I still have to buy add-on maps afterwards?
    Agree that Garmin user manuals are pretty non-intuitive (my wife rides with a 305) and their online advertising follows suit.
    Thanks, in advance, for any advice.

  8. Rich

    cheers for the info about the France maps. Will keep an eye out for the DVD

  9. RaiulBaztepo

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  10. Rich

    Hi
    I’ve stumbled across this post while trying to look for topo maps of France. I bought a 705 in October and have the North England topo map installed. I agree the builtin maps are useless for mountain biking.
    We plan to do some biking in the Alps region of france this year and a topo for this area would be valuable. I’ve searched high and low and cannot find any detailed maps for the 705 for France. Do you have any links?
    PS I love my Garmin 705

    • Hi did you get my previous message ??,

      For info about the end of March the DVD containing all of France will be available, apprently the maps will look a lot better, prices will be about 250 euros for all of France

      get back to me if you need more info