For Christmas of 2006 I bought new cycle computers for both my husband and I. I purchased a top of the line GPS enabled Garmin Edge 305. At the time they listed for $399 each, I found ours online for $250 each which I thought was a fantastic bargin. I just did a quick search on Google and right now they are selling from a low of $224 to a high of $399.
Prior to this time we were using simple cycle computer’s we purchased at Walmart for under $40. Why buy such a fancy piece of equipment? We are bike addicts and especially enjoy riding our road bikes. We don’t drive fancy cars, take expensive vacations or wear designer clothing. So I thought we could treat ourselves to a nice computer for our road bikes.
The Garmin attaches to the front of the handlebars of your bike. It comes with a wireless sensor which gets attached to the rear chain stay, a spoke magnet which gets attached to one of the spokes of the back wheel and a crank magnet which gets attached to the crank arm of your bike. It also comes with a heart rate monitor which you wear around your chest, underneath your bike jersey.
I’ve got my Garmin setup to display my speed, time in the saddle, distance, time of day, calories burned and heart rate. After I get back from riding I hook my Garmin up to my laptop computer. This is so I can recharge the battery in the Garmin and at the same time download all the information from the ride to my laptop computer. Additional data from my ride is displayed using the included software program that comes with the Garmin. The additional information includes maximum speed, average speed, cadence, elevation gain and elevation loss.
You need to turn your Garmin on a few mintues before you plan to start your ride. This is so the Garmin has time to acquire a satellite signal. Why do you need GPS on a bike computer? When you download data to your home computer or laptop, you can see a map of your exact bike route. The free program Motion Based is designed to work with the Garmin data. You can download your bike ride data to Motion Based and then see a Google Earth map of your actual ride - COOL!!!!
Other features of the Garmin Edge 305, according to the Garmin webiste, include:
Easy to install; no calibration required. Just snap it into the bike mount and go.
High-sensitivity GPS receiver tracks your position even in tree cover and canyons, making it extremely reliable for distance and speed information.
Virtual Partner® lets you race a virtual competitor over a specified distance and speed.
Courses let you race against a previously recorded workout, so you can compare your current and past performances over the same ride.
Auto Pause® pauses the timer when you slow down or stop and resumes when you speed up again, so you can focus on your ride.
Auto Lap® automatically starts a new lap each time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance.