Garmin Edge 305

This device has transformed my rides, gives you more data than you can shake a stick at. It’s a remarkable piece of kit just larger than two bike computers that tells you when, where ,how hard, how high, and if your going in the right direction.

Now I’m still pondering on how to write up this page as it is a fairly steep learning curve to get the best out this remarkable device. I’ll leave the navigation features until the end as you need to know the difference between Tracks, Courses, and Routes.

You will need a computer with a USB port to transfer data between the two, you don’t need any fancy mapping software to start with and the whole point of my purchase was to NOT carry a map. I just want to ride, have a great day out and log the ride while I’m at it.

Once you played around with the settings and set the thing up with bike and your personal details the next step is to get out there and do something. Just press the start button and it says “timer started” and go and do your stuff. Once you have finished press the button again and that’s about it. Connect the Edge up to your computer when you get home and upload your data into the Training Centre.

The Training Centre software that comes with the Edge looks fairly basic ( it is ) but it NOT navigation software. It is designed to log your rides, show very basic maps of what you’ve been up to and create Courses from your ride logs. You can program waypoints that use the basic icons built into the Edge. Turn left, turn right, Food, summit, etc it works quite well. Once you have some riding history you will be able to save logged rides as courses. Courses also support the virtual partner which is you on a good day.

If your wanting OS colour maps this is not the device for you but the Do Course function will provide you with a easy way of following a previously ridden logged route.  It supports the direction and information icons. It is important not to confuse Courses with Routes.

Routes on the Garmin Edge series can only support 100 waypoints, this is VERY important. Navigating a Route on a Garmin Edge can be a very rewarding experience. 
You haven’t had to ride this route, just program it in using route planning software. Which  can be FREE,  more importantly it is better than the purchased Ordnance Survey route planning based software.

If you only go away from this site with one piece of useful information let it be this.

” A 1:50,000 Ordnance survey map does not support street or roadnames.”

As a cyclist you need this information, your routes will be planned by others that either know where they are or know the road names and the area from years of experience.

If you receive a ride or route that mentions roadnames  your OS based route planning software is next to useless believe me I’ve been there. Far better is the Google maps based free programs out there that actually work with real life routes that you will receive.
I’ve had flak off various people on forums out there decrying the Edge as poor for navigation  etc. They are all looking for Latitude/ Longitude solutions because they are also walkers and use a map and probably an eTrex. I won’t decry the other Garmin products but they are aimed at a different segment of leisure user. I.E no heartrate, cadence, gradient, laps etc.

There are a number of free mapping programs out there but the one I am using is the Marengo one, this is similar to other Google maps based programs but with one difference. The ability to name your waypoints rather than just sequentially number them. Eg 1 LT would mean waypoint 1 Left Turn. Once you have selected navigate route as you approach the waypoint the Edge will bleep at you and give you a 10 second countdown as the display changes to indicate there is a left turn coming up.

On a ride with two of us using both the Edge 205 and Edge 305 when we rode side by side the units both bleeped at the same time as the turns came up. We don’t get lost anymore and even if we did make a wrong turning you’d be able to see if you could get back on course by going into map mode and reducing the scale.

One of the most useful features of the Edge that goes unnoticed until you are told about it or stumble across it is the backlight. Once you’ve pressed it once it will come on automatically as you approach your next waypoint while navigating a Route. The last audax I rode finished in the dark and this feature was a godsend at the end of 126 miles.

Marengo exports the route in the GPX format. To transfer the route into the Edge 205/305 I use GPSBABEL and that’s it. Select Navigation, then the route, then Navigate. One last thing enjoy your ride.

If you’ve got an important ride coming up it is best to clear all your routes and history from your Edge  as you don’t want to navigate the wrong route.

I’m going to start a page on the Discovery Channel Rider Steve Cummins Training Ride Route that appeared in Cycling Weekly. My ride is posted on MotionBased  and I’ll be perfecting the route over the next couple of rides of it.

If your doing events which is basically an organised ride then this is the device for you.

I hope the above has whetted your appetite but there is another feature  that blows the mind when you start using it: Gradient. The price of the Garmin Edge 305 is worth it for this feature alone. It measures and displays  gradient in real time, not when you get back from the ride but as you are actually riding the hill or slope. As long as you are logging the ride by having pressed the start button this feature will come up on the display.  If I’m riding with a group or a few friends I’ll shout out the gradient as it comes up. Once it gets to the 20% mark (1 in 5) I tend to forget about telling everybody how steep it is and stick to the riding. As far as I know the Garmin Edge 205  does not feature this feature.

11 May 2007 This is starting to become a very popular area of the site and I’m looking for some comments, just because it’s under a page headings doesn’t mean you can’t post a comment. Post under Anon if you want. I’m thinking of doing a step by step guide to planning, downloading and riding a route  into a Garmin Edge 205/305 but there is not much point if there is no demand.

Martyns new site well worth a visit and a subscription. Now only £5 a year.

Thanks for the comment Martyn, your software has  really transformed the way I ride.
This page now gets  750 (19June07)  (1000 Aug 07) views a month which makes it the second most popular page of the site. It is also a page that people actually read. The new page is great to use as the magnified box in the bottom right corner makes putting waypoints in a breeze.

18 Aug 07   There are a couple of important developments that may include a page re-write.  The first is that All the  Garmin products don’t support OS maps. The maps that they support on the higher end devices are their own  maps. Garmins format is vector mapping.The Ordnance Survey raster method that the other computer based planers use do not integrate with Garmin  devices  well at all. You can’t upload your digital OS maps onto your Garmin.

The problem is  that their environment is PC and towards a greater extent the recently mobile Windows/phone based devices. They have failed to realise that those that use  the products like the Edge  205/305 are not interested in these formats, they just want to follow a ROUTE or a COURSE non of which they support. It looks great in a magazine with a compressed Ordnance Survey map but as they store their routes as Waypoints  (of which you have 100) the fact that you have 13000 bread crumbs is neither here nor there.

The other problem with commercial mapping software is sharing your route, in a nutshell you can’t. Unless you all use the same software the only way of sharing routes is the GPX format.  They seem to suffer GPS devices rather than embrace them. Not many walkers or cyclists carry a laptop around with them.  GPS enabled phones that support Windows Mobile seems to be their only way into the walking/cycling market. At the moment it’s really only for sitting at home with and dreaming. It is useful to cross reference the Google Maps based sites like Marengo as they do have some limitations. You only get to find these out on a ride.

So in conclusion if your thinking of buying a Garmin device and you require maps your going to be better off with the Garmin digital map products. If your looking for Ordnance Survey (or USDem) stick with paper maps. This needs to be factored into your purchase decision.

PCBasemap detail.JPGMetroguide map detail.JPG As you can see on these two screenshots there is a significant difference when you use one of the Garmin maps in the TrainingCentre. With a Garmin map loaded you could actually plot a Course in the TrainingCentre. With just the Base Map loaded it is a futile exercise that just leads to a lot of frustration.

I’ve seen Edge 205,s for around £70 on Ebay so you could be out there doing all this for not a great deal of money considering the technology.

In the UK I’ve only found one digital mapping software company that supports Garmin Edge 205/305 Courses and that is Tracklogs. The Anquet software does not support Edge 305 Courses.The Anquet software also converts trackpoints into waypoints which is the last thing you want with an Edge.It does support all the other Garmin GPS,s. In Anquet,s favour though it does support the PocketPC devices which is where I first started. Expensive to drop and poor battery life caused me to give up PocketPCs as a stopgap solution until the Edge.

More on Tracklogs when I’ve had a good play but initial impressions are favourable.
Not too expensive for the CD of Wales that I bought.

I’m planning to do a further Tutorial on Courses as there are such a lot of you visiting the Route  planning tutorial. Until you know the difference between the two a device like the Edge is little more than an expensive cycling computer.

One section I haven’t covered is the Training  section as I don’t use it that much except to do a Course. Once you start riding with a group your not going to get much chance to use it.

Updated 6 Dec07 with Basemap thumbnails and spell checked, I didn’t realise there were so many errors in the page.
Update 18 Nov 08 Recieved a comment from Mark with this link. A good site that combines Google and Ordnance Survey maps on the same page.

99 thoughts on “Garmin Edge 305”

  1. Hi Frank,

    “…step by step guide to planning, downloading and riding a route into a Garmin Edge 205/305…”

    Sounds like an EXCELLENT idea! Please do prepare this guide, I’m sure many people will be interested in it including myself.


  2. Hi Loukas,
    thanks for the comment.I’ll be looking to do it in the near future. It’s not hard to do and will be based on the Marengo-ltd software and GPSBabel utility. You won’t need anything else and I will cover all the mistakes I made. The only computer skill you will need is the ability to cut and paste into Wordpad or the like.


  3. Hi Paul,
    It won’t be this week, I’m still doing the route for the Tour of the Berwyns, work is getting in the way, spinning after work, the bike to prep, article for The Link” to sort out and keeping the blog up to date. I’ve got a few ideas but in the meantime have a look at the Marengo-ltd site, it is all going to be written around that page. After that you will need a copy of GPSBabel.
    I’ll try to detail the steps so you can’t go wrong.
    In the mean time start logging your own rides, you’ll be able to generate courses from them and get the feel of the device.
    Stick to simple courses at first, mine was a route around the block.The PDA failed on this and that is why I came to get an Edge 305.

  4. Hello Frank Just read your comments and what a relief..I thought I had purchased a Pig in a Poke..With my edge 305..It all makes sense to me well most of it does ???
    So keep up the excellent work

  5. Frank

    Awesome blog well done! I have a 305 and haven’t really used any of the navigation features yet, just logging rides. One thing i am really interested in doing is retrieving other peoples courses from places like bikeley and motionbased and then putting them as routes on my 305 so that i can do a re-run of their ride. Is this possible and if so how? Having looked at the things you have said it looks like creating a route from scratch will be fairly easy.

    Thanks, Andy

  6. Andy I’ve posted about 35 rides on MotionBased, it’s best to go into table view, select a ride and then export it. I use the export facility to enable others to see the rides in a google map which I paste the link to in the posts.
    Dave has downloaded my Steve Cummings Training Ride into his Edge and ridden it. It’s my favourite, I do it on my own and feel really good just being able to do the course.
    The Tutorial is starting to take shape in my mind, you may need to reference an ordanance survey map but you shouldn’t need to purchase any mapping software. The export facilities of some of these programs are limited so you can’t share a route without the other person having the software. The GPX format seems to be the way to go as far as I am concerned, as long as you know how to cut and paste everybody is going to be fine.


    Thanks for the comment about the Blog by the way, I really like doing it, I’ve come such a long way since I started it that even a year ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible.

  7. Hey Frank… I wish there were more sites like this…very easy to understand…thanks! Here’s the question: I have lots of GPX files from my buddies and I created few of my own at, but
    as I am using Training Center, I can not import courses; it accepts only .crs files, which I have no glue about 🙂 Then, I am also trying to use GPSBabel with poor success… I can not transfer directly to my device… could you shortly explain what to do? Does 305 even accept GPX format?

    Thanks Frank!

  8. Thanks for the comment Martyn, I’ve had a look at he route and it looks OK.
    Aki you shouldn’t be having any problems putting a route into 305 and trust me it does accept the GPX format. Save your GPX file with wordpad to MyDocuments with a .gpx suffix (a location you can find) open up GPSBabel. Input Format should be XML and locate your document in the file field.
    Output format should be Garmin serial/USB
    the port should be USB.
    Tick Waypoints and Routes and click lets go. That should do it.
    Delete everthing off your 305 before you start and try something simple to start with. I’ll take it a step at a time when I get the tutorial page sorted.

  9. Thanks for reply…but I just don’t get it working. GPSBabel says [ERROR] Send_Track: Unknown track , protocol and if I click “Import cources” in Training center, it accepts only .tcx or .crs files. Am i stupid or has it just been made damn complicated 🙂 ? Your tutorial page is highly welcome!!

  10. Frank et al\’
    Just found your site after bikerly which also looks good. Only just bought the 305 so your info is spot on for me too. I already had mem-map & was dismayed when I downloaded a 30k route only to find GPS message \”TRUNCATED\” – 99 way points don\’t seem much! Any ideas on dealing with this limitation?


  11. Aki, back to basics, this is about navigating a Route not following a track or a course. Courses are your old rides or other peoples rides.
    Duncan, Anquet is the same as Memory map and doesn’t handle Garmin Edge Routes. The technique I use is to name the waypoint as the turn direction. I’ve done a couple of 125 mile Audaxes with less than 100 waypoints, you just have to be economical with them.
    The next thing to do is use another converter program.

  12. . . . .ah thanks Frank, just beginning to understand the difference between, waypoints, tracks & routes. I like the cunning solution, it seems obvious now I understand . . doh!
    p.s. I was up your way Saturday to take a leisurely tour around the flat bit between Southport & Liverpool, very enjoyable! Also jolly impressed with your personal achievements, looks like I have some catching up to do!!

  13. Tried gpsbable with the above info:
    Input Format should be XML
    Output format should be Garmin serial/USB

    Which XML input type: tried GPXXML and then other XML, output garmin serial/usb is not listed thus selected training center xml – but no output file – just blank header

    Any Ideas – help appreciated as I have gotten myself lost a few times 🙂


  14. Chris, use GPXXML, tick the little square box next to [device] ,
    that brings up Garmin serial/usb.

    Format Garmin serial/usb
    [device] X
    Port USB

    Thats the best I can do at the moment Chris.

  15. I’m using an Edge 305 and am most impressed by it. Martyn Davies of Marengo has been sooo helpful, but how do you access the bank of routes on Marengo?

  16. Bryan, I don’t think Marengo is set up as a bank routes to search but more of a store for your own routes that you can share with others with a link. See Martyns comment and link in comment 9.
    I finally had to subscribe to the motionbased site as I just had so much on there.

  17. I just started using my Edge 305 a couple weeks ago.

    When I e-mailed Garmin Support to ask how I could get Training Center to plot time vs distance they said it can’t be done. My intent is to use a time-distance plot for a hilly, monthly, time trial and set time goals a chosen points along the course.

    Any ideas out there for a workaround or other application?

    I thought of using the tcx export and Excel but writing a macro for parsing the position and time data is beyond my capabilities.

  18. Raul, I think the first thing to do is ride the route and save it as a course. Then go into the menu and “Do” Course. Enable the virtual partner and on the map screen you should see the course and the virtual partner. I’ve used this on one of my training rides to good effect.

    If your looking at preseting tough goals all I can suggest is one of the map based programs that allows you to alter the speed of your activity when you are plotting your route. Anquet allows this but saves the route as waypoints so is not ideal in this case.

    Once you have some rides stored on MotionBased the Analyser starts to make sense. Even the Training Centre software allows you to compare history and as I have now done two time trials on the same course I can see where I was loosing time.

    Hope this helps,

  19. Frank

    Great site but need a bit of help. I have followed all your instructions and can get the “converted succesfully from GPS to Garmin”text message up but nothing seems to end up actually in my Edge – am I missing something obvious – it does seem to accept data from Memory Map OK

  20. Paul, all I can suggest is, are you looking in the right directory. Routes are in the Navigation directory and Courses are in the Training directory. I’m assuming you’ve ticked the waypoints and route boxes in GPSBabel.

    I’ll take another look at the Tutorial Page and this Page as there is now a lot of interest in them, around a third of the site traffic is for the Garmin Edge. A lot of the US visitors are using Garmin as keywords in their searches and ending up here. I don’t know what mapping system they use but I guess they have much the same problems as I have.

  21. Hey Frank,
    I just bought an Edge 305. I wanted it mainly to download other peoples trails and to be able to log my own and ad them to the ever growing data base of mountain biking trails. The Edge will be much easier than reading about a trail in a book and trying to find it. I am very computer savvy but the Edge has proved to be a somewhat difficult learning curve. Not sure I fully understand the difference between courses and routes, etc. This article you have written has helped and if you get around to creating a more in depth step-by-step that would be great.

    I have just started experimenting with GPSBabel and LoadMyTracks. I’ve been able to put some routes onto Motionbased recently but have not put any routes onto the Edge yet.

  22. Shawn, for mountain biking I would suggest Courses. Routes which are a series of Waypoints you navigate are too blunt a method for what you want. Courses are the breadcrumb tracks that you would log on a ride. Your going to need mapping software that can export a course to the Edge. Google maps is not for you in this application the offroad detail is not there.
    Download a Course off Motionbased, there are hundreds of thousands and “Do” Course. Doing a course warns you when you go off course rather than when you reach a waypoint.
    I’ll be rejigging the page when I can work out how to capture screenshots.

  23. Thanks Joe, I’ve downloaded it and will give it a try. It looks like a nice piece of software. I’ve emailed Anquet about supporting courses in their software but they haven’t bothered to reply. I may even end up doing another tutorial on courses as there is such a lot of interest in the routes.

  24. Frank,
    Your loss of weight is very inspiring. I’m interested in building a battery pack charger for my Edge 305 and your comment that you hadn’t got a diy charger to work yet raised my interest. I would appreciate any information on this if you can spare the time.

    Also have you had any success in loading an Edge recorded route into Marengo. The Marengo conversion page provides a file, but Marengo thinks it has a bad ending.


  25. Thanks for the comment BobC. The battery pack charger I made up worked in a fashion but needed to have a bit more thought put in to it when mounted on the bike as it bounced down the road on a 200Km Audax. You can get USB charger packs from PoundLand that take AA batteries, the one I made up takes AAA Ni-MH rechargables.

    Part of the problem was that I hadn’t thought it through. A homebru rechargable battery pack is only every going to charge your Edge up to the 50% level. As your Edge charges up the battery pack discharges and your left with a half charged Edge and half a charge in the cells. I was looking at a DC-DC converter chip to top up the Edge to fully charged while depleting the cells in the pack.
    I didn’t want to throw money at it but have a play and learn something at the same time. Some of the battery charging solutions were £40 in the likes of Curry,s.

    I’ve not had a problem with Marengo but then I’m only using it to plan routes, everything else goes in Training Centre or MotionBased. I’ll give it a try with the Eureka 78 mile I’ve just done which was 90 waypoints.

  26. Batteries.
    Just put my 305 on a bench PSU – the one I can’t get many waypoints into,- the edge not the PSU.:-)
    It indicates charging from 4.7 Volts through to 5 Volts taking a constant 85mA. – To charge it from 4xAA’s you need is a low drop-out regulator. (78 series reg’s need about 1-2 volts to regulate which is a waste) When the batteries are fresh the votage will be kept at 5V. a simple FET, voltage reference and op amp circuit will run the batteries down to 1.2 volts per cell which is pretty flat (0.9 volts is wrung dry). I wonder whether you could run the edge from the nominal 6 volts of fresh batteries and dispense with pre-regulation completely -probably would work,as there will be a switch mode regulator in the edge itself. I went up to 5.5 volts using my PSU, don’t blame me if you bust the edge.
    You should get a good few extra hours this way – I intend to do this when I get loading waypoints sorted out

  27. Aidan, thats why the latest version has 6 1.2volt AA Ni-Mh cells. The first one I built had no regulator and that would only put in half a charge as the potentials of the batteries equalised. A flat Edge sails very close to the 500mA limit of a USB port.

  28. Sidman, are you sure it’s not for yourself?. You’ve got to remember to press start and stop at the begining an end of the ride otherwise it doesn’t do much. The fun begins when you have a bit of ride history to play with. The 705 will be with us soon but the basics will still be the same as the 305.

  29. Mark, I’ll have one as soon as they are released. I’ve seen some reveiws or wishlists in a MTB mag but nothing has hit the streets yet as far as I know. I won’t need maps or HRM or cadence sensors when it is available as I have these already.

  30. Very interesting summary. I am the creator of and wanted to bring it to your attention. This is a free alternative to I have so far tested this site with Edge 205 and 305 and a ForeRunner 201. I have not got a 705 yet, but, looking forward to get hold of that and try out with

  31. Without wishing to sound like an idiot, I’ve tried to follow the Marengo/GPSBabel ‘instructions’ and I can’t make head nor tail of them (for that matter, nor can my brother, who is a computer programmer).

    Isn’t there a simple, step-by-step, guide to using a Garmin Edge device with a maps programme IN ENGLISH somewhere?!



  32. Matthew, this is about as good as it gets for the moment. I’ve just bought a Garmin Nuvi 250W and it runs straight out the box.
    In comparison an Edge has an incredibly steep learning curve.
    The tutorial page gets loads of hits and is fully debuged. The screenshots are from this laptop and it works.
    Don’t forget you only have 100 waypoints, if you have something ticked that shouldn’t it leads to all sorts of promblems.
    One of biggest hurdles is knowing the difference between a Route and a Course. It’s the Route that you are trying to program. You ride a pre-ridden Course.


  33. mY 303 dumped approx 700 miles of history and I cannot figure out why. Recently it started losing the .sys file and I have to re-insert the CD to recover. Not sure why.

  34. Thaddeus, you probably need to update Training centre now you’ve reinstalled the CD. I had a problem with the profile and clicked the wrong button. Lost all my history and spent a long time trying to get it back. The latest version has a backup and restore function in it.

  35. Hi Frank or anyone that can give advice,

    I’ve got a 705 and am well impressed with training centre
    Basically I Don’t know which map to get I’ve read loads on here and on other site but I’m just getting more confused (prob’ just me being thick).

    Anyway – what I want it for is to ride mainly on small roads country and tracks with some towns/streets and A roads hybrid/road riding I guess.

    I’ve got a 2 meg extra card, I want to be able to upload a detailed map of North England as a minimum as I live in Leeds, and ride mainly around West York’s, but still get lost! poss some of Scotland also as hope to ride Newcastle to Ed’ via northumberland next yr.

    My Qus?
    1. What should I go for?
    2. How much should I expect to pay? (being a Tyke I don’t want to spend any more than I have to)
    3. Where from?
    4. How do you upload the maps on to the card or Edge internal mem’?(if that’s poss?) does it replace base map or over right it in some way?

    I like the idea of having reliable directions and being able to follow on a map when I come out of a wood go down a lane or whatever and get lost.

    Got a demo of Memory Map that seems to have good detail but will the edge be able to navigate me home with these maps?

    5. Kind of tried to look at a bit of Euro city nav’ from something I downloaded but the map didn’t appear to be as detailed as Mem map, but is this as good as I’ll get for what I want or should I be looking elswhere? or for another type of map source?

    Thanks for great site and to any help anyone can offer,
    I’m just an average 48 yr old, married with way too many teenage kids, trying to keep the weight and off really enjoying my cycling,.

    ps. anyone who lives near to North Leeds and willing and able to show me what how to get the best of navigating with this Edge would be Brill

  36. Simon, thanks for the comment. You do need a Garmin map for your 705 as the basemap is next to useless. I bought my CD versions off Ebay for around £20 as they are older versions. If you buy an SD card map you will not be able to put the map into TrainingCentre.

    See the end of the 705 CoursePoints and Courses page for going offroad. Garmin maps are never going to be as detailed as Memory Map.
    I prefer Tracklogs as it supports the .tcx file format for the 705.

    Try plotting a simple Course in BikeRouteToaster and riding that.
    There is nothing to stop you buying Northern England as a Digital map and plotting your Courses on it. Go for 1:50,000 as that includes paths where 1:25,000 doesn’t. I prefer to use the Hybrid button and Mapbutton on Google Maps when plotting a route.

    Whatever you do don’t buy a Garmin update as you need a previous version with a keycode to unlock it.

    Once you get a Garmin map you will be able to see the the roadnames on your Edge as they come up so you shouldn’t be getting lost.

    To start off, save one of your rides in your history as a Course and ride that.

  37. Frank,
    great site / blog. Me club cyclist (surrey) about 10 years older than you and keenest on audax/sportives. I do find the audax route sheets good but if you are paying attention to something else, such as cornering its a bit difficult to concentrate, in rain, traffic or you name it. An audible prompt has got to be good news.
    Have just got an edge 305 (ebay)and am getting to grips with it- slowly, partly because the manual is a touch over summarized.
    As it has been pre registered, but is new, Motion based do not seem to like me. I guess I could try the site ( )mentioned above when I get used to it. Even if this doesn’t work its light years ahead of my old Polar 200 for speed fitness data.
    Many thanks again for a great site.

  38. Andy, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Edge and the stuff I ride in are great for 1 day rides. Longer than that and you need to look at something with a rack and a bag of some sort. An area I haven’t got into yet.
    MotionBased has a 10ride limit before it wants to cut you off. Once you have some history in TrainingCentre it won’t be a problem.
    This year I have moved on from the 305 to the 705. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as you stick to the 305 area’s of the site.

    BikeRouteToaster is still worth a try on a 305 as the only function it lacks is the maps.
    In nutshell Routes: Marrengo. Courses, Toaster. Either take the fumbling for a map out of the equation. I own two maps and take neither on a ride.

  39. Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the prompt and very relevant response. I will persevere with the 305 and perhaps upgrade next year. By that time with any luck you will have debugged it or at least made it more understandable.
    Great work.

    Thinking out loud I use a car Navman which has a camera to produce pictures you can navigate to. I never use this function it as its too cumbersome and postcodes works fine. I wonder though if this software could be of use in future.

  40. Andy you could probably use it for Geocacheing. Paul showed me a Google ap that uses 360 degree video to show you locations like you were there. The big players are way ahead of us.
    Probably needs a high speed internet connection.

    305 is still a great device, I’ve got nearly 2 years of data on mine with all my rides logged.

  41. Hi Frank. I too took the plunge and bought a 305 which has revolutionised my rides. I have 2 questions for you though:

    1) I followed your instructions to create a ROUTE with Waypoints using Marengo and GPSBabel. The route worked well and navigating using waypoints was fine once I got used to it. However, I did not get the audible bleep before the waypoints. I was using a map view of the display. Any idea why I might not be getting the bleep?

    2) I am doing a sportive in Switzerland next weekend and want to programme in the COURSE of the ride (even though I have not yet done it)with the summits of the climbs marked so I can get a countdown of the actual distance to the top of each climb as I am doing it. Is this possible?

    Many thanks in anticipation and congrats on a site which provides so much more useful info than Garmin’s!

  42. Paul, 1.Settings/General/Tones : Key and Message
    2: Use BikeRouteToaster it works with a 305. Read the Page on Courses and CoursePoints. I rode The Wild Wales today as a Course and it was great. CoursePoints are the ones built into your 305, you’d normally place them on your course in TrainingCenter.
    BikeRouteToaster does it all for you. Just select the Summit CoursePoint instead of Generic.

    Glad to have been of help, now to write up the Wild Wales,

  43. Thanks, Frank. My mate put the sportive course on Mapmyride. I downloaded this as a .gpx file and then uploaded to BikeRouteToaster. I couldn’t work out how to put trackpoints on the route in BRT. I did download to Training Centre as a .tcx file though and put the trackpoints on in there (actually probably a better place to do it since I was only after summits and I could follow the elevation curve to get the right point on the route). I also followed the same steps to put one of my local loops on for a test and I’m pleased to say it worked fine – the 305 counting down the distance to the summit and bleeping once I got there. So at least I will know next week how many km of pain I will have to endure before cresting the cols!

    Any idea why I can’t put the trackpoints in on BRT?

  44. Frank,

    Thanks for the comment on the 13th which I missed for a while. I am still having problems with motion based but need to be more persistent. Nevertheless still in awe of the product, I did a 50 miler in North Norfolk recently and know it very well (its not all flat) there were some 4% ers, but the compass and navigate to features were spot on.
    I am doing a sportive in (Ronde- Picarde)in a couple of weeks, and will try to do something similar to what PaulW is doing (latest 305 comment above). However I did it last year and it is difficult to get lost even if you are off the front, which I won’t be.

    I will have a look at Geocaching if I get some time to spare.

  45. Hi…I’m thinking of buying a 205 so that I may log my favorite rides and then upload the gpx files to my Tacx trainer to ride this winter. My question is simple – will the 205 provide me with accurate elevation data to allow me to do this? I understand that it doesn’t have the real-time altemiter like the 305, but if it has the data when I get home to upload…that works for me.



  46. Greg, I\’m not sure if the 205 adds altitude data after the event or shows a GPS altitude. It may depend on the mapping package you have. It is not a problem with a 305.
    I\’m awaiting delivery of a Tacx trainer so I need to be up to speed on it.

  47. Greg,

    This may be a little late …. I have a Garmin 205, too.

    The elevation accuracy recorded by the GPS is relatively poor, but as Frank says, if you download a route into decent mapping software then it will greatly improve things. The following are from communications with Tracklogs Support :

    GPS Elevation : How accurate is the GPS elevation reading?

    GPS heights are based on an ellipsoid (a mathematical representation of the earth’s shape), while USGS map elevations are based on a vertical datum tied to the geoid (or what is commonly called mean sea level). Basically, they are two different systems, although they have a relationship that has been modelled.

    The main source of error has to do with the arrangement of the satellite configurations during fix determinations. The earth blocks out satellites needed to get a good quality vertical measurement. Once the vertical datum is taken into account, the accuracy permitted by geometry considerations remains less than that of horizontal positions. It is not uncommon for satellite heights to be off from map elevations by +/- 400 ft. Use these values with caution when navigating.

    How accurate is the Tracklogs mapping, regarding elevation?

    The accuracy of the elevation model is a tough one to put your finger on since the absolute accuracy varies according to the terrain and area. We normally reckon on about 5% worst case although pointy features like steep ridges may cause peaks and troughs within the accuracies. The data we use is derived from NASA satellite surveys not the Ordnance Survey, who have discontinued their own elevation products which were (like the map contours) based on manual survey in the 1930’s. Which one you believe is up to you. The case is further complicated as whilst the OS contours are also about 5% claimed, their trig points are better than that. We do actually post process the NASA data to pull the model in the direction of the trig points so like we said earlier, it’s a tough one to quantify. Ultimately the elevation is fine for recreational purposes like walking, running, cycling. If you were setting out to perform something like river flood analysis then perhaps you’d want something with more resolution.

    From the Help : TrackLogs has an internal elevation model which maps the lie of the land over the whole of Great Britain so that as well as reporting distances we can also report elevation statistics such as height gains and gradients. By feeding statistics from your route into our Naismith models we can also report estimated timings for completion of your route. The accuracy of this elevation model is generally superior to the elevation data values recorded by a GPS (with the exception of some barometric sensor models when correctly calibrated).



  48. Frank,

    An update to “The other problem with commercial mapping software is sharing your route, in a nutshell you can’t. Unless you all use the same software the only way of sharing routes is the GPX format”.

    Please check out This site is very similar to BRT, but it uses both Google Maps and OS mapping (the former with autorouting). It supports route uploads from a PC or GPS in tcx, gpx and trl file formats. The last one is interesting, the first time I’ve seen Tracklogs files supported in a web-based application (it saves a “save”). Coursepoints are not supported yet, though the author indicates he’s considering it.

    Just for interest,


  49. Mark, thanks for the link. It looks really usefull. When I met the Memory Map reps the other month they mentioned that the Ordnance Survey had released the Landranger maps for non comercial use. This looks like the first site to make use of them.

  50. Frank,

    The Help indicates a maximum of 30,000 tile requests per day …. and it tells you how many request are left.

    It also worth noting that has used OS 1:50000 maps for some time. I used to screen capture …. then I discovered Tracklogs.

    I also phoned OS about 12 years ago when they were digitising the OS 1:50000, and they quoted about £50,000 for the UK tiles!! Ah, only for business use, I replied.



  51. Frank

    I have a Garmin Edge 205, with the version 3.20 firmware. I no longer get the waypoint countdown when I use the navigation function, which I think dissapeared after the last firmware update. This is a useful feature when navigating using waypoints that I upload as a GPX file from some mapping software that I have. I called Garmin Technical Help but they didn’t seem to have a solution. Any ideas how to get this useful functionality working again?


  52. Hi Stuart, I’m using 3.20 with no problems. All can suggest is you have a look at all your settings such as Tones. Another one is Alerts in the Training section. Try doing a simple Route in Marrengo it’s never failed me.
    Or you could try BikeRouteToaster and try using CoursePoints these behave like waypoints but you’ll be riding a Course but you will have the option of seeing how far it is to the next CoursePoint etc.

    What mapping software are you using?

  53. Frank

    I am using Quo by Mapyx, as I like the Ordanace Survey map quality (1:25000 for off road use). I have been using this software pre and post the change in my Garmin functionality issue.


  54. Hi Stuart,
    I’ve just done a round the block route on Marengo and will give it a try walking it. I’m waiting for the battery to charge on the car and need to get out. Have used the 305 once since the 705 came out so I need to check it out.

  55. Hi Stuart, just got back from my walk. I didn’t have any problems, it bleeped when it should have and gave me the distance in feet and the time in seconds. I got to within 4ft at the end but it didn’t stop the navigation.
    Best try the MotionBased Forum someone there might have the answer.

  56. Hi Frank
    I think you may be a godsend…

    A friend told me about you yesterday when I was asking him how to use my Garmin 305 . I am hopeless with a computer and I may test your patience and teaching abilities I am afraid.If my questions are too stupid then just tell me.
    I am trying to work out accessing proper maps at the moment and am reeling from reading all the above comments.If you have one single piece of advice as to the best one to go for that would be a big help.

    One more specific question though,when looking at my rides on the training centre for a number of rides that I did last summer in the Alps there is no graph .The Garmin was on ok as I have ride information -it just says there is no graph available.Then when I came back to the Uk the graphs were available again .Is there a reason for that please?

    Thanks a lot and I hope you dont mind a few questions coming your way.It is a great site.

  57. Hi Frank
    Your help in getting me using my Edge 305 has been very much appreciated – my mates are rather impressed when I am able to navigate our way on new routes. I have encountered a new problem – getting a ‘course’ transferred onto my 305 for this weekend’s Cheshire Cat cyclosportive. We have been given a GPX file which is embedded in a web page (
    I am really struggling to work out how on earth I can get this course downloaded onto the 305 using my GPSBabel?
    Any help before the weekend would be hugely appreaciated (again!)
    Thanks in advance

  58. Mike, at first glance it looks like a Tracklogs file. I’ve got Tracklogs and it has gone straight into the 305. It is the medium route your riding?.
    I’ve tranfered it to TrainingCentre and exported the Course and sent it to you as an email attachment.
    Enjoy the ride.

  59. Evening Frank,

    Same problem for me, i am doing the longer route and for the life of me cant get it into either training centre or GPSBabel.

    Also my HR monitor has stopped working, i have replaced battery and rescanned but nothing. Any other ideas?

    I do home you get looked after by Garmin.

  60. Nick, I’ve been in contact with Mike. Download Garmin Communicator plugin, Upgrade TrainingCentre so it supports .TCX and take it from there.
    Belts are coded so apart from a new battery and wearing it I can’t suggest much else.
    Enjoy that ride.

  61. Thanks Frank ended up using BikeHike, looks like it will be great for mountain biking as well as has bridal paths on.

    I am from Chester originally so one day i am home i may come out for a Wirral ride.


  62. HI Frank

    Thanks for your site, I was not sure about buying a edge until I saw your site which made my mind up.My 305 arrived yesterday, its fantastic!! I am only a leisure cyclist with a hybred bike, I am aiming to cycle round the isle of whight(58 miles) in August.I managed to plan a 25 mile route round Alderly Edge in Cheshire thanks to your site, no maps required!!! I have a few question I have signed upto Merango on a trail basis, will there be a charge for this later on? Also is there a way to print the history information in Garmin training centre?

    Thanks again for a great site

  63. Stano, thanks for the comment. The Marengo trial site is free as it has adverts. I subscribed to the paid version to archive the rides I posted on the site.

    Haven’t worked out how to print history other than use the prt sc key and pasting it to a photo editor.


  64. Re: Screenshots, my favorite program I used at work was Snag-It. The user interface was perfect, but it costs money for a license. There are lots of free programs, too. Recently I have been using the free version (not the “pro” version) of Screen Hunter, only because I randomly stumbled across it and it works well. To download, go here:, click “download”, skip the mailing list by clicking “Just Download” and then under “Free Programs”, download Screen Hunter. Hope it helps!

    Also, if that step-by-step tutorial (or a narrated video of the screen?) ever shows up, that’d be fantastic. I’m working through the Garmin 305 navigation stuff right now and figuring it out…

    Thanks for making my friend’s 305 WAY better than it was!

  65. Hi Frank,
    Just had a quick look so far at the site, and great work thanks its something ive needed from the looks of it.
    Ive been struggling downloading GPX files from Bikely then converting them to Corses TCX files to transfer them to Training centre then onto Garmin 305.
    The problem arises trying to get them to load onto the Garmin, the register as the course name but no info and eventualy after many attempts much deleting and messing around I might get the course into the Garmin, which I then follow on my ride and find it realy good. Its just frustrating that I can’t seem to get the course uploaded to the device in a simple way. Have you any advice how to correct this. i am using the send to device tag in the toolbar, and have ensured ive the latest software.

    oh and yes a page on courses would be excellent

    Thanks Steve

  66. Steve sorry for the delay,
    Gpx files are Waypoints, point to point navigation.
    TCX files are Courses an entirely different beast.
    Waypoints(GPX) alert you at the junctions.
    Courses (TCX) alert you if you go off course and at CorsePoints.
    A 305 works best at GPX as it has no map.
    A TCX course means you have to stick to the Route come what may.

  67. hi Frank just had to say great site I’ve just recieved my 305. And was a bit daunted. i’ll probably be contacting you in the future with some questions if you don’t mind.Keep up the other good work.

  68. Hi Frank, I’ve posted a few comments previously since which I see your cycling (and this site) has developed in leaps and bounds, well done.
    I am still persevering with my 305. It is great for sportives and audaxes when I load the right file type. I also like the facility for marking a location so that you can use the navigate to function. It is fiddly loading the correct latitude and longitude numbers off a 1/50000 O.S map but I can usually get to within a couple of hundred metres at this scale.
    When touring, say a week in France next year, I thought I could pre-load (mark) all the destination towns/places so although I might need some hard map routing info as well, at least distance and time to, could always be on the screen. Problem is Michelin road atlas at 200,000 scale does not show latitude and longitude so although the Regional Maps do and some websites show major towns, I would need to buy quite a lot of them for such a trip. Any ideas ? Alternatively would upgrade to a 705 solve this. If so your thoughts on best map for the 705 in europe would be welcome. Did you use your 705 in Spain for which I think I saw a reference to on another part of the site. Sorry if I have missed info already covered elsewhere.

  69. Hi Andy, you should be using the Google based planning sites like BikeHike where you can get it down to a couple of feet. I did use my 705 in Spain and also on the Etape and a few rides during the week.
    I’d buy a 705 with a UK and Europe map you can leave it on map mode and just ride around. If you get lost you can always use the onboard routing to get you where you want to go.

  70. Hi Frank, Many thanks. Actually I do prefer bikehike at present and used it to pre-log a sportive ride in Brittany in June 09 and found the 305 invaluable back up showing where the major climbs were. Did the marmotte in 2008 which was when I decided never to use a polar again it went haywire 1/2 way thru.
    I will get a 705 now after your advice. Other parts of the site recommend getting the DVD mapping as opposed to SD cards, I wonder if you agree.


    PS Garmin should be funding you somehow

  71. Hey Frank,

    Very nice forum. A lot of usefull info.
    I’ve been training using an EDGE 305 for 8 month and now a problem apeared.
    I connect the Edge by usb to the pc, and it’s recognised. From 1 day to the next, the garmin training center wasn’t able to send/receive anything from the edge.
    I started using Garmin Connect website and everything works 100%.

    So, I uninstaled everything regardin garmin and instaled all again. Now, with the last version os the training center everything works well except sending/receiving courses.

    Do you have any solution for this problem?



  72. Frank,

    Just found your site. I have a 305 edge coming that I just bought used and was looking for some more info on navigating with the 305 and found this link. Is very helpful!! Best I have seen actually. so thanks for your work, and yes, merry christmas.


  73. Thanks Fred,
    Still got my 305 but haven’t used it for a while. The same principles apply to the 705 but it has a much steeper leaning curve. Good for 200 km audaxes with no map so it can’t be that bad.
    The Google maps make it easy to plan your Routes, learn the difference between a Route and a Course and you’ll be fine.
    Merry Christmas,

  74. Hi Frank, the Edge 305 is a super gadget, had it for over a year now, use it for MTB. I have a question for you if you could spare the time to answer.
    I download courses on to the 305, it shows transfer complete but cannot see the course on the unit, have looked in training/courses but not there. The unit does not have any courses so I don’t know what the problem is. Previously have downloaded courses and trained with them but not happening now. Appreciate your advise and time to this. Thanks Brian.

  75. Hi Brian, I’ve dug the 305 out and saved a Course to it from TrainingCentre with no problems. Make sure all your drivers are up to date and TrainingCentre can see your 305. With the 705 you can see the files on your computer, this is not possible with the 305.
    Also try Create New in Training which should bring up the History page on your 305.
    If that doesn’t work try contacting Garmin.

  76. Hi Frank, thanks for taking time out reply to my query. Yes I could transfer courses to my device. Thanks again. Ride safe.

  77. No problem Brian, today was to be a ride day but events turned out differently the blog should make a good read if your a 705 owner.

  78. Hi guys, if you want a more detailed map than garmin’s topo GB with street names,poi’s etc then look no further……

    I use this mapping which is freely available, and it works a treat on my 605, remove the original from your microsd card using a card reader and replace it with one of these……

    Read the Readme.txt file first and enjoy.

  79. how do i send a downloaded course from training center to my 305 edge i`ve downloaded the route i want for next sundays ride .. from bikely i`ve got them as gpx and tcx i can see the files i just cant send them to the edge or if i have i cant find them on the edge , hope i`m making sense ,sorry to be thick , there not in menu . training , courses

  80. or history .. training center upto date and it finds device ok can upload to garmin conect ok ect , 1 st time i`ve tried to put a route onit (god damn sportives),, must be me read most of ,,305 pages .

  81. Hi their great information on the 305 egde big help for me as I love this device but just cannot seem to get my head around plannig a trip or map into my edge system I want to sound dum but can u email me back with step by step instructions how to plan a ride after a ride in away so that 2 year can under stand as this is the only thing that is letting me down and I am begining to get frustrated . This would be a massive help to and to give me the conferdance to do more route planning for the future many thanks for your time and I will look forward to your responce.

    1. Hi Martin, look at the Route planning Tutorial to plan a Route or any of the Course planning sites to plan a Course. They are not the same and it depends on what type of ride you are planning. If you are planning on doing a Course look at the 705 planning sites. It will be the same ride but you won’t have the benefit of a map when a turn decision come up.
      The Marrengo site is still the only site that will plan a Route for a 305, it even stops you using more than 100 waypoints.

  82. Hi, great site! I am doing a large charity ride later in the year and bought an edge 305 thinking it would be a good idea. I have since discovered that it won’t do what I thought it would do , i.e tell me where to go! However it is a great training aid! So my question is , is there any software that can turn the 305 into a naviogation device or do I need to buy a different device? If so would you recommend one? many thanks

    1. Hi Graig, read the Route planning tutorial that uses the Marrengo site. This was how it all started out, I’ve done 200 km Audaxes with the 305. You are basically navigating from waypoint to waypoint. If you want the luxury of a map you need a newer device.
      The Edge 800 is the one to go for these days as it supports OS maps as well as the Garmin NT maps. Take the time to analyze which map you require as they are keenly priced as a bundle. A UK OS map will not cover Europe for instance.

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