Garmin Edge 305 or Polar CS600

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jechilt, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. jechilt

    jechilt New Member

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    I have enjoyed bicycles since my youth but now I am a year shy or 40.
    I am rather new to road cycling. Got a decent bike last year and spent the last 12 months spinning.
    While spinning, I have learned a lot about heart rate control and tempo. I do find it a bit easier to maintain a higher tempo on my road bike than in a spinning session...not sure why???

    Anyway, I bought a Mavic Wintech and decided to put it on my wifes bike. I really want to have heart rate, cadence, and speed feedback.
    I saw the Edge 305 and think that it is probably overkill at my level but I am kinda a geeky guy that likes numbers and the idea of riding routes and then allowing the Edge to give you a time splits based on previous rides is really cool. There are a lot of features in the Edge but I am equally impressed with the cool stuff the Polar CS600 can do. Actually, I am sure the CS600 will also do more than I need but it too has some really cool bells and whistles. It does lack the GPS capability...

    So, I turn to the seasoned cyclists in the forum for their thoughts and suggestions to which of the two units I should opt for. Personally, I am leaning towards the Edge 305 but I would hope to get some good feedback to help me in the decision making process.

    BTW, great forum. I have been learning a lot!

    John
     
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  2. ottoman

    ottoman New Member

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    GARMIN EDGE! :)
    I've logged over 3,000 miles on mine and I love it! After reading the manual I knew it was designed by cyclists. It has a multitude of features but my favorite is the ability to log a ride then create a course from your ride and then race against yourself. Your no longer just spinning but you have someone else, yourself, a 'virtual partner' to ride against and measure your performance. Once your course is loaded you can see the profile and where you are, where your 'virtual partner' is, what hills are ahead of you, and how far you have to go. Also being able load a route to navigate by is extremely handy for trying new routes. Just a few of it's features.
    Go FOR IT - YOU'LL LOVE IT! :)
     
  3. jechilt

    jechilt New Member

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    thanks! I really appreciate your comments.


    john
     
  4. gpelpel

    gpelpel New Member

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    +1 for the Garmin Edge.

    I have been using a Polar 725 for the last 2 years. Great unit but I had the following issues:
    1) The HR unit is very susceptible to interferences. The result is that your HR data often jumps to 220 bpm during a ride (especially riding close to cars or high power lines). The HR belt is also very instable, it needs to be cleaned often otherwise transmission to the computer is erratic.
    2) The speed sensor is on the front wheel meaning that it doesn't work on a trainer unless you install a second sensor on the rear wheel and place the computer on the top tube when on the trainer.
    3) The software is not compatible with the Macintosh. I had to buy a 3rd party software for the Mac and still the Polar USB cable is not 100% USB compliant so a Serial to USB adapter is required.
    4) The computer screen is almost impossible to read if you wear polarizing lenses.

    The reviews about the CS series are not very good. A lot of quality problem issues.

    I got a Garmin Edge 305 last week. It is fantastic. No HR connection issue, rear wheel sensor, USB connection, Mac and PC software. The screen is fully customizable and readable with polarizing lenses. You can actually have up to 8 data values on the screen at the same time.

    As mentioned in a previous post you can compare your ride with a previous one.

    For the Mac I found a superb piece of software from Montebello Software (http://www.montebellosoftware.com). Ascent downloads data directly from the Edge, tracks your activity log and displays your ride on a map (Google Earth type) as well as a graph with ride profile, speed, HR... It's a lot of fun.
     
  5. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    Not sure I've heard any complaints about the CS series. I own the CS200 and love it. It gives me HR, cadence, speed, etc. Most of the basics. From what I have heard about the Edge, it's hard to find out where you are in bigger towns and cities because of the pluthera of roads in the area. I believe the CS200 would be plenty good for any cyclist (that doesn't need a power meter, anyway)
     
  6. velowiz

    velowiz New Member

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    Hi John,

    I have bought the edge 305 last year end of the season and very satisfy with it, as you I'm fanatic of lot of numbers and that machine gives a lot, GPS data are also very interetsing, the only "hic" is high price, but if money is no object go ahead and make you a gift!! To complete the picture, I don't know the polar 600 at all.
     
  7. beauspete

    beauspete New Member

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    I have been riding the Garmin 305 for 3 months now and love it...very easy to install only hiccup I had was I had to get a new battery fpr the chest strap and as soon as I did it worked great..
     
  8. iPAQsRock

    iPAQsRock New Member

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    I have a Polar 725 and had an Edge 305. Both are very good, but gave up on the Edge because it gave bad cadence data. It always logged 10-20% below Polar's numbers. The desplay was correct, just the saved data. All I could figure was it averaged all the 0's from coasting.

    George
    2007 S-works Roubaix
     
  9. manos

    manos New Member

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    I think that for you Garmin will be the best choice.
     
  10. J-V

    J-V New Member

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    Haven't heard about any QC issues with the Polar CS Series, either. My wife has the CS100, loves it. I just got the CS600, but haven't yet had a chance to ride (snowing outside). I think I'm going to love it, assuming the setup of the power sensor was adequate (on the first try). A friend has the Garmin, and loves it.

    If you are a data weenie, it would seem that the Garmin is a no-brainer, since it gives everything but power (and more). If, however, training with power is important to you, there will be no substitute for any power meter. Being new to cycling you might not be ready to dive into power so early, but that's an issue for another thread...
     
  11. azdroptop

    azdroptop New Member

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    I have a 720i and a 305. I really like both of them and they both have their problems. The garmin is just plain fun to play with and uploading to google earth is one of my favorite things about it. I have noticed my cadence numbers to be lower as well and I'm guesing its in the way the garmin calculates the numbers when slowing, at rest etc. The calorie counter is also way overestimated with the 305. The basic software with the edge is also a little weak, but when supplemented with motionbased.com it works fine.

    The polar did give the occasional HR misreads, but it is a good solid unit and has a nice training calendar to track your workouts.
     
  12. Jim R

    Jim R New Member

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    "I am kinda a geeky guy that likes numbers"


    Of course, there is one other option that is even better yet - a Powertap.
     
  13. jechilt

    jechilt New Member

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    thanks all for your feedback. i will look at the powertrap...though i am sure it is out of my price range.

    i am going to focus on nutrition now.
    John
     
  14. darnok

    darnok New Member

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  15. jechilt

    jechilt New Member

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    thanks for the info.

    yesterday, i saw the iBike device http://www.ibikesports.com/ and think I would get it before I spent 1500 dollars that I don't have. I don't think I am a serious enough rider to need such equipment yet...but it is nice to know what the numbers are.

    I am about 99.95% sure I will get the garmin. It seems to be able to do all the things I want and as a novice rider, more than enough. As I learn more about training, how to ride properly, etc, I hope the training logs will help me develop into a better rider.

    thanks!
    John

     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    This is complete unfiltered, untreated, and a still steaming hot pile of crap. Power meters are excellent tools--probably the best--for smart training. Racing has zip to do with it. I think the biggest reason why power meters are used more my racers than non-racers is purely expense. Until recently, most riders would have thought that the cost of power meters wasn't justified without the promise of a trophy, sponsorship, or whatever.

    Now that two power meters--iBike and Polars CS600 or the 725i (I think)--are offered at much more reasonable prices, more non-racers will start buying power meters. Remember: it wasn't all that long ago that only racers used HRM....

    PowerTap does require that you have a wheel built with a PowerTap hub, but that also means that you have a huge amount of possibilities for such a build.

    SRM is used by many non-pros. Many. SRM, though, is probably the current gold standard for power meters. While expensive, I think the real disadvantage to SRM is the very limited crankset choices.

    The Garmin bike gps computers have become wildly popular very quickly. I think the only real downfall to the Garmin units is their way too short battery life. If Garmin adds a power module--and it doesn't end up looking as nasty as the Polar power module bits--they could become a really big player.
     
  17. digi-bike

    digi-bike New Member

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    iBike has ESTIMATE power, while Polar has actual MEASURED power. Estimated power can be derived from collected GPS track data. The only advantage iBike has over GPS is a wind sensor and (most likely) more accurate altitude measurement. GPS altitude is the most inaccurate part of a GPS solution. In my oppinion, iBike is over priced for a Power sensor.

    Just my educated oppinion.:)
     
  18. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    It's not an estimate. It's a calculated value, based on the equation of motion for the bicycle and constants in that equation which are derived from setup calibration.

    Over priced for a power sensor? Maybe you ought to check the prices on the other power sensors.

    From what, exactly, was your educated opinion derived?
     
  19. typ993

    typ993 New Member

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    Anyone know if a *non-coded* heart rate strap will work with the Garmin 305? For example, the PowerTap non-coded strap?

    I use my PowerTap CPU in conjunction with a Polar S410 (to show elapsed time and HR), and even though the Polar came with a coded strap, it picks up the Cycleops strap just fine. It would be great if the Garmin could do that too, so I could get the additional info the 305 provides.
     
  20. impakt

    impakt New Member

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    He wasnt asking about the S725, he was asking about the cs600. which every single one of your issues has been solved with the new cs products.

    no interference at all with the 2.4ghz freq

    for the same reason the range of the speed sensor is increased dramatically making it perfectly ok to mount on the rear wheel, i actually can pick up a speed signal 30feet away from my bike(not that i would need that)

    The crystal does not use in mold labeling, so its fine with polorized glasses

    the old USB infrared is obsolete, the new irda 2.0 adapter comes with mac drivers, running ppt or ppp on virtual pc or bootcamp with polars new infrared works fine. not serial-usb adapters or anything needed

    the new cs600 is light years ahead of anything polar has offered so far, the unit is by far the best cycling computer on the market today. And the power option is the best most affordable power alternative. the repeatability is great, im not sure exactly how accurate the wattage is, mine seems very consistent and im no pro so im very happy with it.

    I actually upgraded from an s-series polar with power to the cs600 with power.

    I am a huge polar fan after using these products.

    and yes, i have a garmin 305 as well
     
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