Garmin Edge 705

Thanks to my brother I have taken up biking and will, together with him, participate in Vätternrundan, the traditional Swedish bike race over some 300 km which takes place on the second Saturday of June every year.

Little did I realise just how much of a gadget sport this is. I have now settled for a Nishiki Competition Carbon, an indoor trainer and some racing shoes.

To be able to track my progress, I also wanted to get a biking computer. My short list included various bike computers from Polar, Suuntu and Garmin. I ditched Polar and Suuntu when I read that they have poor Mac support. The question that remained was which Garmin model and in the end I settled on the Garmin Edge 705 with the biking kit.

Edge 705

Edge 705 sensors

Garmin Edge 705 with the biking kit comes with pulse, cadence and speed sensors. It also has a built-in GPS.

After having used it for a few weeks on my trainer I think it has a lot of nice features and it actually works quite well with my Mac for day to day activities like syncing exercises with the Garmin Connect online service. A Windows computer is required to manage the maps so before the snow melts and the roads are cleared of sand I will have to dust off an old Windows computer and fix that.

The interface is just as non-intuitive as one could expect from a non-Apple device, but it is not too bad. There are some things, however, where Garmin don’t seem to have finished their testing. One such thing is the handling of metric/imperial units. One of the first things I changed was to set it to use metric units. Even so, the preset distances for exercises are in multiples of miles, not kilometers. Fix it Garmin!

Garmin Connect

The online service Garmin Connect is a nicely designed solution that can play back old exercises. It reminds me somewhat of the Nike+ site. My only worry is that it appears a tad slow and I hope Garmin has designed and dimensioned it so that they do not run into the roof when more people start uploading their exercises.

All in all, this is a nice product that does the job. As far as cycling computers go I would give this a 4/5 rating. An easier and more consistent GUI and 100% Mac compatibility are the things I would like to see improved.