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Thu 6th May 2021
Review: Garmin Edge 705
Posted by: Stelios Marcou
Posted on: Thursday 12th June 2008

Tags  Edge 705  |  Garmin  |  SRM

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After weeks of anticipation I got the call! The box from Garmin had finally arrived containing both the much talked-about Edge 705 and a set of the equally new, and even rarer, wireless SRM power cranks. The hype had been building since I saw the prototypes at the cycle show in Germany last year but reading the 101-page SRM manual and the similar sized Garmin Edge package it quickly dawned on the that my limited mechanic skills might be inadequate! I was going to need some help.

Pimp my ride

With over 20 years of experience, what Kev the Cycle Doctor ( doesn’t know about bikes is probably not worth knowing. Kevin Worster runs his bike servicing business out of a unit next to Canary Wharf and it's only four doors away from Swim For Tri's new unit so you can get both your bike and your swim stroke sorted at the same time! This time, however, it was just a matter of getting the SRM crankset swapped onto the bike instead of my usual Dura-Ace and the Garmin unit set up. Had I read the 'Fitting a new chainset' article on Tri247 I could probably have done the whole thing myself as it only took a bottom bracket spanner and two Allen keys.

The trickiest part of the whole fitting process was attaching the power sensor's trigger magnet so that it is positioned close to the inside of the crankset. This sensor needs to be mounted with zip ties around the bottom bracket and down tube and, depending on the size and shape of your bike's bottom bracket, this can be a little fiddly. With Kev being the expert that he is, this only took a few minutes. We next fitted the speed and cadence sensor unit which is the same model as for all the Garmin units and wirelessly syncs with the head unit using the ANT+ Bluetooth derivative technology so it's interference-free. The unit mounts on the rear chainstay and has two sensors, one for cadence and the other for speed, which are triggered by magnets on the non-drive crank and the rear spokes respectively.

What you get in the box Close-up on the display

All that was left to do was mount the 705 and synchronise it with the SRM. The head unit comes with two mount kits, which is great if you have two bikes and fitting was a very simple process. The whole process took a mere 25 minutes and in no time we were all good to go! The 705 was powered up, 'Locating Satellites' appeared on the display and 30 seconds later we were in business!

So after being initially overloaded with information both units were surprisingly easy to install. To be fair, most of the content in these booklets is invaluable information on how to actually use the equipment and analyse the data as opposed to installation instructions. Obviously a reasonable level of handy work is needed to install the crankset but on the whole a trouble free affair. I guess it helps to have a professional mechanic at hand too! There are some additional images from the installation in the associated gallery - see the link above.

The road test

The 705 is an ingenious piece of kit. Not only does it output the basic stuff that a cyclist needs; heart rate, speed, distance and cadence but it also interfaces with the the SRM crankset to give you a constant power reading as well. Unlike the earlier Edge units which were GPS recorders, the 705 has a full GPS system so it really is like having sat nav for your bike. It can display street or topographical maps, you can upload new ones via computer or a mini SD card, which means you the option of either never getting lost again or allowing yourself to go right off the beaten track and then being able to find your way back.

Other features include a barometric altimeter which also measures the gradient of a slope in real time, this will be fantastic for post ride analysis but I doubt that it will do much for my confidence while I'm riding the Ironman course in Nice... The unit allows up to eight data fields to be displayed at once, an improvement over the six you got on the 305, so you can totally personalise your riding experience. You can view everything from average heart rate to maximum power and total ascent to current direction - the choices are almost endless!

In the weeks that I have been using the Edge 705 it has been hard to fault. Build quality is exceptionally high and it feels remarkably sturdy in the hand considering it weighs just 104.9g. At 176 by 220 pixels, the new unit's colour LCD screen is substantially bigger than the one on the older Edge 305 and it can also be backlit for easy viewing at night. Battery life has been improved, 15 hours versus 12 hours for the old units, and after extensive road testing I have found this to be quite accurate.

Proper mapping for your routesAdditional street and topographic maps are available on pre-formatted SD cards, some retail versions of the unit come bundled with these or a DVD of maps, but the stock unit comes with enough mapping capability to get you to where you need to go, follow a pre-planned route, or figure out how to get back. Believe me, the 'Return to Start' feature has sorted me out on more than one occasion on both domestic and foreign soil! The GPS is very reliable too and works well on heavily tree-lined roads and even seems to work well indoors as I discovered when I switched it on whilst using the turbo trainer. If I had to find one fault with the 705 it would be that when planning a route you cannot search for a location via postcode. You have to use street name to find your destination which can prove to be slightly long winded but not a deal-breaker by any means.

[Ed: we are hearing that people are using the Edge 705 as a hand-held GPS unit for walking and getting about in town.]

In addition to its map features and colour screen, the really big news is that Garmin has partnered with SRM to incorporate power data acquisition. While the data capture isn't as extensive as you would get on SRM's own head unit the Edge 705 syncs wirelessly with relative ease and provides more than enough information for the normal individual. The major benefit is that the SRM system is universally regarded as the 'gold standard' against which all other power measurement systems are compared so you know that the data you are getting is as reliable as if you were on an ergometer in the lab. Garmin seem to be well ahead of the game on this one!

A couple of things have stayed pretty much the same as on the older Edge units but with added twists. The Edge 705 can also communicate wirelessly with other 705 units so that riders can share courses, waypoints and even physiological data. This opens up the possibility of a virtual race against friend or foe and even has the ability to let you compare power and heart rate data. Oh, I can see the post-ride coffee shop debates already! And, for those who are prepared to forgo the caffeine, you can upload all the data to Garmin's Motion Based service ( and store, organise and share all your data. At the time of writing the service is expected to transfer to the all-new Garmin Connect system which will offer more functionality but isn't quite ready yet for the full Edge 705 data set. As they say, it's coming Real Soon Now...

So, to conclude, with an RRP of £359.99 (it can be found cheaper if you hunt online) the 705 is an invaluable accessesory whether you are a serious roadie or simply a Sunday off-road rider. And, as best of breed in a market that is becoming increasingly more sophisticated by the month, it also gets the coveted Tri247 'A-list' award.

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Have Your Say
Re: Review: Garmin Edge 705
Posted by Lump
Posted at 18:21:53 12th Jun 2008
Reply to this

I have the SRM and am getting the Garmin. How do you zero off set? Is there a place to get a "manual" for the combonation?
Re: Review: Garmin Edge 705
Posted by Stel Marcou
Posted at 16:56:49 14th Jun 2008
Reply to this

Its very easy to "Zero Offset" the unit and should be done before each ride ride. The "Zero Offset" changes with variations in temperature, as well as with tension on the chainring and crank bolts. If it is not set, all of the power calculations will be incorrect, hence in order to collect accurate data you must check and set the zero offset frequently.

Once the Garmin is syncd to the SRM go to settings on the Garmin then select ANT+ Sport. Select "Calibrate" under the Power Meter header and you get taken to another screen where you can "Zero Offset" by spinning the pedal backwards.

As for a manual for the combo, I am not sure if one exists as yet. Certainly the individual manuals are available for download on the respective websites and I am sure it will only be a matter of time before one is circulated.