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Bicycle Fitness Using GPS - Garmin Edge 305 vs Edge 705

Updated on July 8, 2014


Athletes (and the rest of us) that prefer aerobic exercise are often obsessed with monitoring our progress. Garmin has made this an easy process with first the Edge 305 and more recently the Edge 705. Both ate lightweight yet durable GPS receivers that mount onto either the stem or the handlebars of a bicycle.

Ease of operation is possibly the best feature that the Edge GPS units offer. Just attach and ride. No need to calibrate because the GPS receiver inside uses satellites to monitor distance traveled which in turn makes the Edge units very accurate when measuring speed and time. Additional data that is automatically recorded is the amount of calories you burn and even the elevation of the route. A heart rate monitor can be used to monitor your heart rate as well.

Garmin Edge 705
Garmin Edge 705
Garmin Edge 305
Garmin Edge 305

The Edge 305 is packaged either with a heart rate monitor or a cadence sensor (how many times you turn the pedal) or both. The Edge 705 is packaged with options of a heart rate monitor or both heart rate monitor and cadence senor or the previously mentioned heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and preloaded maps on microSD card.

The maps cannot be transferred or viewed on a computer. The maps that are preloaded on the microSD card are City Navigator US version, Canada and Puerto Rico street maps. The Edge 705 has both the Basemap and the ability to add maps where the 305 does not have either.

I appreciate the Auto Pause feature found on both the Edge 305 and 705. If you stop to rest or slow down for some reason the Edge pauses the timer. Once you increase your speed again the timer kicks back in. This saves the aggravation of trying to adjust your workout data to allow for breaks in training.

Auto Lap is fun feature and is also included on both the Edge 305 and 705. You can preset a specific place or preset a specific distance and the Edge will record it as a new lap. Laps are my favorite reason to run on the high school track. It is a great way to visually see improvement from one work out to the next.

These two Gamin GPS receivers - the Edge 305 and the Edge 705 have much in common. Number one they are both intended for use on bicycles. Moving beyond the obvious these are their similarities.

  • Water resistant - great for those moist days
  • 1000 lap history record
  • 100 Location Waypoints
  • Heart Rate Monitor - check versions
  • Cadence Sensor - check versions

There are also differences between the Edge 305 and the 705. The price may make the difference for you but moving on...

  • 305 measures - 1.75" x 3.7" x .09"
  • 705 measures - 2.00" x 4.3" x 1"
  • 305 screen size - 1.17" x 1.44"
  • 705 screen size - 1.37" x 1.7"
  • 305 weight - 3.1 oz.
  • 705 weight - 3.7 oz.
  • Battery 305 - lithium ion 12 hour life
  • Battery 705 - li-polymer 15 hour



Working out to some means walking, jogging, running or biking. Those activities are aerobic in nature. Working out to others mean weight lifting, crunches, sit ups, push ups and squats. Those activities in contrast are strength training in nature. The interesting fact is that any of these activities will be enhanced when some training is of the opposite type. I know from myself, I get pretty aerobically depleted when I do very many push ups.

My exercise of choice is walking and jogging but I own a bicycle that I used to ride quite often. I just feel that riding my bike is not as strenuous so I do not feel that I am getting a great workout. Perhaps I should rethink my opinions and get one of these Edge GPS gadgets. If they are good enough for some of the Tour de France riders it should be good enough for me.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I agree w amazer98.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Debbie-- Your post helped me a-lot. Obviously amazer98 has some issues. I note in particular that the post (at least as of today) shows both units and pretty clearly displays the 305 without a map, which (while not dispositive) clearly suggests there is likely no map display. Anyway, ignore the haters!

    • Debbie Cook profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Cook 

      10 years ago from USA


      I honestly do not know what to say to you. I do not understand your hostile response to this hub.

      I do ride a bike - in town. That is why I get a better workout by jogging. I wear a Garmin Forerunner 305 when I jog and I love it.

      I enjoy the ability to track and record a workout even if I am not trying for a personal best. I cross train and I appreciate that people enjoy different activities.

      I would never deliberately mislead my readers. If I write inaccurate information I will gladly correct it.

      I appreciate that you took the time to read my hub.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I hate to say this, but this is the most facile and misleading review I've read in a long time. It omits the key differences between the two units. The 305 has no mapping display-- that's right-- it uses GPS to figure out things like your speed, distance pedaled and total elevation gains, but has no maps. The 705 does have maps and a color display, and is significantly more $$. The reviewer really doesn't make this difference clear-- she writes that the 705 comes with preloaded maps, but the fact that the 305 doesn't is easy to miss.

      Plus, the fact that this reviewer writes that bicycling isn't strenuous is completely ridiculous and inane, not to mention bizarre to anyone who has pedaled more than 10 miles in their life. When I take my regular 21 mile loop ride, my heart is banging away the whole time. It depends on how hard you push yourself, of course. If you leisurely pedal 2 miles down the flat city street, ok, maybe your heart beat won't budge much. But I suspect that this reviewer is as qualified to write a review about bicycle GPS units as I am qualified to write about ionic transduction inverse oscillation units on the space shuttle. I usually hesitate to call anyone an idiot, but this review is causing me to re-evaluate that policy.

    • Ivy Carla profile image

      Ivy Carla 

      10 years ago from Melbourne

      HI Debbie! I had fun reading. NOw I know a lot better when it comes to GPS units :-)

    • Marie Dwivkidz profile image

      Marie Dwivkidz 

      10 years ago from UK

      I love Garmin for cycling and running. This is a great review - very useful analysis of the features. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Jason Stanley 

      12 years ago

      Good to know about the water resistant feature - I spend several months a year doing research in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where it is either very humid or very humid and raining.

      Thanks for the reviews.


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