Garmin Edge 705 Review

Reviews & Tech

11/6/2008| 0 comments
by Dave Osborne
Garmin Edge 705 GPS bike computer.
Garmin Edge 705 GPS bike computer.

Garmin Edge 705 Review reviews Garmin's top-of-the-line GPS cycling computer. reviews Garmin's top-of-the-line GPS cycling computer.

The difference between the Garmin Edge 705 and previous Garmin models, such as the eMap, is phenomenal! The portability of the product is its strongest feature. Read the rest of our Garmin Edge 705 review to get the full picture.

Mounting was as easy as threading a few zip ties to the stem, crank arm, and chain stay. The adjustment for the sensor on the spoke on the rear tire was easy to pivot and line up. As the cadence and speed magnets pass by the sensor, a corresponding green and red light flashes to let you know that it is working. Simply slide the Garmin Edge 705 into the slots on the mount and it locks in. Now, it’s time to go for a ride.

Don’t forget to moisten the heart rate monitor strap that is included with the top of the line 705. The rubberized buttons on either side of the unit are simple push functions. The lower left “mode” cycles through five different displays such as the main map, technical info (time, speed, distance, calories, distance, elevation, etc), turn by turn directions, and a unique clock looking screen the shows distance and time to next waypoint.

The lower right “menu” button displays the choices such as target location, history, training, and most importantly, settings. The joystick in the lower center of the unit allows you to scroll and push in to select your choices. You can set up the 705 for two different bikes and enter your name into the unit.  Select the “Where To?” choice and enter your favorite pub, coffee shop, girlfriend, or Dairy Queen and ride to the front door. Every ride is saved in the history setting.

Does it seem like we’re talking too much about all the choices, settings, and options?  Garmin included every possibility except the kitchen sink. The only thing it doesn’t tell you is how much wheel sucking you did. A user may become overwhelmed with all the choices. All your training ride and race data can be uploaded to a computer. Say goodbye to handwritten training logs!

After some rides we decided to move the unit from the stem to the bars. While riding, the unit remaining firmly in place while pushing the buttons. The center joystick was continuously easy to use. It proved useful to have the map zoomed in. This made it easier to see the route clearly. It was a jumble of lines if it was zoomed too far out.

Some might think that the screen would be washed out in the sunlight, but that wasn’t the case. When the sun was shining directly on the screen, it was crisp and colorful - almost like a television screen. Riding in the shadows unfortunately wasn’t as good. The screen looked almost gray with little color. Dusk and evening riding was as simple as turning on the backlight and setting it to stay on.

Satellite signal was not lost at any point in time during testing. Not even once.

The Edge 705 has so much to offer. It is simple to use but may take some time to decide which settings and features are best for you. It is useful for recreational riding or the serious pro racer. The unit comes with an extra set of mounting brackets. Switch it out between your road and mountain bike or your road and time trial bike. challenges anyone to find something this unit can’t do.

Ok, we actually beat you to it. There is no auto-off. One of our reviewers found out the hard way. He wasn’t used to turning off a GPS at the end of a ride and just walked away from the Edge 705 when he got off the bike. The next day, there was the shiny Garmin on his bike – but with a dead battery. Hopefully such a feature will be added to the next model. We would also like to see Garmin add the ability to associate the unit with wireless headsets to make it possible to receive voice instructions while riding. The ability to receive route instructions by voice would make it easier to choose the right route when the route instructions on the display are hard to see or you are busy focusing on moves from your fellow riders or competitors. Wireless headset-compatibility could also be used to develop a feature where you could receive pre-recorded heads-ups or instructions from your own coach while riding.

Overall, highly recommends the Garmin Edge 705. Combining bike computer and GPS features it is both extremely useful and motivating as well. You deserve the best - don’t you?

Visit Garmin online at

USA: Click here to buy the Garmin Edge 705.
Europe: Click here to buy the Garmin Edge 705.


Physical & Performance:

Unit dimensions, WxHxD:

2" x 4.3" x 1" (5.1 x 10.9 x 2.5 cm)

Display size, WxH:

1.37" x 1.71" (3.48 x 4.36 cm); 2.2" diag (5.6 cm)

Display resolution, WxH:

176 x 220 pixels


3.7 oz (104.9 g)


rechargeable li-polymer

Battery life:

15 hours, typical

Water resistant:

yes (IPX7)



High-sensitivity receiver:


RoHS version available:


Maps & Memory:



Ability to add maps:


Accepts data cards:

microSD™ card (not included)

Lap history:

1000 laps




Limited by memory space available


Heart rate monitor:


Bike speed/cadence sensor:

yes (some versions)

Foot pod:


Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer):


Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data):


Garmin Training Center® software compatible:


Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person):


Courses (compete against previous workouts):


Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed):


Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap):


Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout):


Multi-sport (changes sport mode with a press of a button):


Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts):


Simple workouts (input time, distance and calorie goals):


Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace):


Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal):


Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals):


Customizable screen(s):


Barometric altimeter:


Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units):


Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible 3rd party ANT+™-enabled power meters):


Sport watch:



Operating temperature: -15°C to +50°C

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