Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: mrob239's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    64

    Garmin Edge 705 vs Joule 2.0

    So I've been trying to decide between these two computers for quite some time to match up with a powertap wheel I'm going to be building up, but I just can't seem to choose!! It's not so much the price that's the problem, but the features, reliability, durability, and overall quality.

    I also looked at the Garmin 500, but it just doesn't appeal to me.

    Overall, I love the 705 for the GPS/mapping capabilities, but the Joule 2.0 just has so much info available!

    Does anyone have experience with either of the two that could lend a hand? Thanks!

    MRob

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,490
    Quote Originally Posted by mrob239
    but the Joule 2.0 just has so much info available!
    But are you really going to look at any of that extra information while on the bike? If yes, and that's more important to you than mapping, get the Joule 2.0. But if instead you want to look at all of that data (and more, including graphs/charts) on your PC/Mac, then get the Garmin and a copy of WKO+.

    I'd say that the Garmin 705 wins on features and value, but has some problems with reliability (specifically lost activity data, though improved with latest firmware). Durability and quality seem good, and Garmin has very good customer support. It is too soon to judge the Joule 2.0 on reliability and durability, but I have heard of some users having teething problems. Saris is also very good on support issues. They may well be more motivated to fix their firmware bugs, while Garmin has beaten them down on the 705 to a manageable number and appears to have shifted their efforts to the 500.

    It's not an easy decision. For now I'm sticking with the Garmin Edge 305 and a wired PowerTap to see how all this pans out in the longer term. It would be so much easier if these companies could just make rock solid stuff that works at a reasonable price.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  3. #3
    kytyree
    Guest
    The 705 has come a long long way and I haven't had any issues with it since the last time the software was upgraded. It certainly had its headaches at first but I do think its out of the woods now. AFAIK they still haven't addressed one issue for people who calibrate their own SRM's, its doable and to me a minor issue but it would be nice to have one more digit visible on that page so you could use a larger weight. Pretty nit picky but it shows how far it has come as it used to be work just to get your ride file back to the computer but no more.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,490
    One of my friends has been using a 705 for a couple of years, and has been through all the bugs and firmware upgrades. On longer rides (7+ hours) he still has occasional problems, especially if he is following a course on the device. Generally it works well for him, but every time I ask him on a long ride how his 705 is doing I seem to curse it for him!
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: mrob239's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    64
    Thanks for the replies guys, I've been looking at both, so here's a couple more specific comparisons that I'd be curious to see if anyone can help with:
    1. Which is more accurate in terms of calculating the altitude/ascent/descent/%grade
    2. Is one more accurate in collecting power data?
    3. When uploading onto software such as WKO+, are both equal in terms of the providing detail?

    I'm sure I couldn't go wrong with either, but its so hard!!

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,490
    Quote Originally Posted by mrob239
    1. Which is more accurate in terms of calculating the altitude/ascent/descent/%grade
    Debatable - both should do reasonably well within the limitations of a barometric altimeter, but there will be differences in the algorithms used. I understand the Edge 500 is more sensitive than the 705.
    2. Is one more accurate in collecting power data?
    Theoretically, they should be the same (ANT+ and digital data streams) but in practice they are not. Both are fine for all normal use, but for instantaneous or peak 5 second power you will see differences. I would tend to trust the Saris head unit more. Check out the wattage group on google groups for more information.
    3. When uploading onto software such as WKO+, are both equal in terms of the providing detail?
    You won't be getting any GPS information from the Joule, so no maps.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: mrob239's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by ukbloke
    Debatable - both should do reasonably well within the limitations of a barometric altimeter, but there will be differences in the algorithms used. I understand the Edge 500 is more sensitive than the 705..
    Does the 705 only use a barometric altimeter or does it also incorporate the GPS for calculating elevation?

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,490
    Quote Originally Posted by mrob239
    Does the 705 only use a barometric altimeter or does it also incorporate the GPS for calculating elevation?
    I believe it uses it for initial calibration. You may find strange behavior over the few minutes while it is getting an initial GPS elevation "fix". For ascent, descent and grade the information is coming (almost) exclusively from the barometric altimeter since GPS elevation has a big error bar that makes it more-or-less unusable for short-term elevation change.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    83
    I've been using Joule 2.0 since March and really like it. The unit has been rock solid on and off the bike. Easy interface to computer and software packages. While riding the info displayed on the dashboard is very nice and easy to read. It's nice having six main metrics on the display at once....no flipping through screens and once you get used to the display it's easy to take in the data. Marking and comparing intervals on the go is a piece of cake and useful for making decisions about the workout while on the fly. Off the bike the unit really shines as well. I can easily examine multiple aspects of the ride without having to download to the computer. There are side-by-side comparisons to ride histories of different increments thus making quick snapshots of your progress. I like this aspect right after I ride while chilling out in my garage chair it's also very nice when traveling without the laptop. Overall it's a well packaged unit with a load of useful features that is very easy to use. I highly recommend.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    24
    I went though 3 garmin 500 devices, and had each one of them freeze when training with power and doing intervals, and they often froze when doing nothing in particular.

    After a month with a Joule 2.0, I am extremely satisfied with my decision to dump the garmin 500: a plastiky, gimicky, and unreliable toy in comparison to the Joule.

    The button placement on the garmin edge 500 is poor. When you attempt to push the lap button you will either push from one side, rotate the device out of its mount and onto pavement, or grip the device and accidentally depress a button on the other side of the device, like the power button, which will function very well to turn off your device instead of starting a new lap. . this is much more satisfying when you're in the middle of a hard intervals set and your garmin turns off or goes across the highway -- or maybe just freezes.

    By comparison, the Joule's top-placed interval button works simply, as does the joystick. Press the button down: new interval starts.

    The joule also doesn't freeze when you hit the interval button. In fact, mine hasn't frozen or dropped data, or lost connection to my cadence or speed sensors. My garmin edge 500 disconnected from anything and everything with perfect regularity. After going through 3 of them, I'm thinking it's bad design rather than a fluke.

    Other features which I never thought I'd use on the joule, I actually do use mid-ride, or instance:
    * I compare how many times I've hit certain w/kg values when I do sprint training
    * I look mid-ride at TSS and IF and NP during a longer tempo ride to determine how to adjust ride intensity for best effect
    * I may compare the current ride's mean-max power figures to my personal best for the last 2 weeks, or month (this is visible in the Joule) to give me a comparison point when doing 2X20s at tempo or FT. I may also display these figures in real-time during a harder ride so that if I get close to a personal best, I can keep pushing for that elusive 20-minute average instead of only realizing I almost did it when I'm at my PC after i've ridden.
    * Seeing average Watts, time, and other details in an interval table while you're doing your recovery period between intervals is perfect to evaluate when to knock off your intrevals if you're declining in average power too much, or you've done too few or too many - again invaluable stuff I had to keep in my head when using the garmin edge 500.. .

    If you're in the market, buy the Joule 1st, and don't even look at the $150 difference in list price: the time you will waste on the garmin will make that $150 look like a bargain.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,490
    New firmware (version 2.4) for the Edge 500 is available as described here. Notable new features include:
    • Fixed issue that was causing unit freezes on manual and auto laps
    • Fixed issue that was causing missing activities after reset
    • Fixed issue that was causing missing laps and bad timestamps in activities
    • ...
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    482
    I just won a Joule and I have a 705 so I hope to remember to post something soon. The 705 is nice. But I rarely use the mapping, but when I get lost it's valuable. It's navigation feature is not so useful though it does seem very car centric. It has alerts for things like min/max heart rate and power but if you're at a stoplight for ANY time it will make you wish it didn't have that feature. I've only been on one long ride where it was on for 12 hours straight where it just shut off on it's own. I've done several other rides of that length with no problem. Garmin connect is very slick and easy to upload to, but I do have a problem in that uploads take waaay too long (like 10 minutes sometimes) I have no idea what's going on. My forerunner 305 does not have this problem so it's definately because of the 705. The most annoying thing for me is that the 705 does not calculate average power like the powertap cpu does, I think it throws out 0's and does some other processing. I have avg power turned off and only use kJ. Using predefined routes has also been a problem if you're not at the start point. I may just need to read the manual to fix these issues, but they are not inuitive. Also the mount is cheesy but the unit it built pretty nicely. Took me 3 months to break a mount. I've listed all the negatives I can think of, but otherwise I'm very satisfied with the device. Hope to have more when I get my Joule.

  13. #13
    No Crybabies
    Reputation: Fixed's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    11,698

    705 issues

    I got a 705, loaded with everything, in March. I never liked the display; mapping never really worked (e.g., it would try to route me through pastures with no more than cowpath there); despite spending the extra $100 on the map card, I was told that to map on my computer and download, I'd have to spend another $100 for the PC program, too; then it started erratically shutting down and showing low battery in June; by July it has completely failed, as it shuts down as soon as I remove it from the charger. Fortunately, Nashbar is allowing me to return it for a full refund.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    When my fist clenches, crack it open
    Before I use it and lose my cool
    When I smile, tell me some bad news
    Before I laugh and act like a fool

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7
    I have used an Edge 705 for several years now and the only reason I am still using it is the $ that it cost me. I find Garmin Connect totally useless, impossible to load data in a reasonable time frame. Maps are of little value, even if you spend the extra $ to buy the proper maps they still will route you through impossible roads or sometimes paddocks or Motorways. It does perform the normal computing functions OK, but then do all the cheaper units. I find that the value for money is not there as all the extra features either don't work or are difficult to use.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    482
    I've had my Joule 2.0 for about 2 weeks now. It's nice, but I don't think it's head and shoulders above the 705. IMO it comes down to wether you're going to miss the mapping or not. I think for me I will miss the mapping the few times I use it. I know I usually have a phone GPS with me but it's a hassle to get out when you just want to check a route. Garmin connect, for all it's flaws is also more convenient than poweragent. If you look deep into your data you might not care presuming you're using something like trainingpeaks. So, I think I'm going to go back to the 705 for outside rides.

    For indoor training the Joule is better. It works with the resistance units cycleops makes (the powerbeam pro and 400 pro). It does give you a lot of data, including data that usually doesn't make a lot of sense for outdoor riding but it cool to keep track of indoors (like kJ/hr). For indoors only, I would get a Joule 3.0. It is beautiful and I feel like I'm in a high tech fighter jet with all the numbers coming at you. It's too big to use as an outdoor computer.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tyro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,020
    I've got an Edge 500 right here next to me. It's not even a very good paper weight. I use it as a stopwatch because the heart rate function doesn't work. I vote Joule.

  17. #17
    Don't Tread on Me
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    992
    Quote Originally Posted by tyro
    I've got an Edge 500 right here next to me. It's not even a very good paper weight. I use it as a stopwatch because the heart rate function doesn't work. I vote Joule.
    What kind of problems are you having with the HR function?

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    377
    I have had four 705s this year, the first 3 would not go into mass storage when connecting to
    my mac or pc.
    Customer support is useless
    using the mapping to get me home, is a journey into the unknown if I have the time
    its quite fun I never know where it will lead me!
    At roundabouts it tells you to go right when it means straight on
    Battery life if is to short for long rides (200+K)
    If you download the maps, then you can not use them on your PC to create routes

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    482
    Wow, I must have been lucky with my 705. I agree, the on unit navigation is useless but I've had sucess using predefined routes(as long as I start at the beginning) and the mapping has been pretty good. I have the minisd card and I've used it with streets out in the boonies.

    I know for sure it lasts 14 hours of battery, although it was reporting very low towards the end. I went out for 12 hours on my joule on Saturday and it was on 1/4 bars - could have been on it's last legs or had another 3 hours. You're probably good for 200K but not 300K on either of these.

    I also have issues with the altimiter on my joule. I had it on the trainer for a couple of hours and I magically climbed 400 ft. I've had very reproducable numbers on my 705 altimiter.
    Last edited by dwgranda; 08-16-2010 at 10:50 AM.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    30
    Wow, for 500 dollars the Garmin sounds like crap. Glad I found this post, can anyone recommend a gps unit with HR, cadence and so forth which is RELIABLE?

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    482
    What are you going to use the GPS for? Tracking, navigation? What kind of software integration do you want? If those aren't that important and you just want maps and to know where you are you can use a tracking app like imapmyride for android/iphone on your phone. Lot of people having problems with the Garmin in this thread but there are a lot of us for which the 705 works pretty well (not perfect).

  22. #22
    Shrewdest Unit Mover
    Reputation: empty_set's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,485
    I've been happy with my 705. I've taken it on multi-day, offroad journeys with navigation as well as all-day rides on the road. I have a USB battery extender and can't really say I've had any problems. I've had it since they first came out.
    Moving Units

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: pferreira's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    97
    I LOVE MY GARMIN EDGE 705
    I got it a year ago and been using it from day one with no problems... I've done all kinds of riding including a century, and also use its navigation features with no problems. I've done all the upgrades and so far I can't complaint! My friend has a Joule and is now upgrading to a 705.

    WOW I guess some people just have bad luck!

  24. #24
    Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,490
    Quote Originally Posted by matty125
    Wow, for 500 dollars the Garmin sounds like crap. Glad I found this post, can anyone recommend a gps unit with HR, cadence and so forth which is RELIABLE?
    If you just look at the negative comments and the discussions on the Garmin forums, that is probably the conclusion that one would draw. However, it is not the whole truth. As others have said, for many the device just works. For some, there are annoying bugs. For some, there are catastrophic bugs. It is hard to know the ratio of happy to unhappy users, because it is the unhappy users that make the most noise. Reading between the lines, I think the silent majority is moderately happy.

    However, Garmin's track record for pre-launch product testing, bugs and firmware updates has been awful. Also their manuals leave a lot to be desired (mostly superficial with important details completely missing). On the other hand, their customer support is very good though it can take a long time to talk to someone on the phone (presumably overwhelmed with calls). If you are looking for a device with those features the Garmins are really the only integrated, fully-featured option. Maybe the phone based applications will get there someday.

    If you want a Garmin unit that works out of the box with minimal user effort and all the advertized features working, the Garmin Edge 305 may be the best bet. It has one well-known problem with a simple work-around: occasionally the device won't power up after disconnection from a computer, requiring a 2 or 3 fingered button press to wake it up. Other than that the device just works as advertized, doesn't hang or lose data. The battery is good for 6-10 hours which may be a limit for some. The firmware is solid and has not been changed in years (and probably never will be).

    The Edge 705 is the next most reliable (or next least unreliable!). It has many more features and also many more bugs or quirks. Firmware is still being released. The latest firmware (3.2) fixed a number of important bugs but firmware upgrading 3.2 killed many users' devices and that firmware has been silently pulled from the Garmin web-site. That gives you some idea as to what to expect.

    Edge 500 is the newest and probably the most unreliable at the moment. The 2.4 firmware fixed some file corruption and lost data problems, but seems to have regressed in other areas. I am hopeful that they will finally get their act together on this one. The Edge 500 was supposed to be a simple device, more similar to the 305 than the 705. It is pretty lame that they have had so many problems getting reliable firmware. There is no excuse for corrupt or lost data.

    A common "issue" to all the Garmin devices is that you have to follow a fairly strict recipe for recording an activity. If you deviate from the right sequence of button pushes you may lose or mis-record or even corrupt your activity. In brief: turn device on, push start button, do activity, push stop button, push reset for a count of 3, and then turn device off. I am amazed/shocked that someone at Garmin believes that this is a good user interface for a cycling computer.

    For full disclosure ... I have an Edge 305 which I've been using for 3 years. I've had one lost activity in all that time because I did not follow the strict button-pushing regime. I have the device-power-up issue about once every 2 weeks, and the 2 or 3 fingered vulcan grip solves it every time. Battery life is still OK. I'm generally happy. My friend has an Edge 705 - every time we go on a big ride, I ask him how it is working out, he says great, but then his device goes crazy by the end of the ride. I want to "upgrade" to an Edge 500 and have been waiting for more than 6 months for the bugs to be shaken out. I actually have one sitting at the store waiting for collection. I have not yet decided whether to pick it up or cancel the order. Also, I have absolutely no interest in using any of these devices for on-the-road mapping. They are data collection units only for me.

    Finally, it is important to have realistic expectations on accuracy. You may see occasional GPS, altitude, grade, speed or cadence spikes that don't make sense. These are rare on my 305 - the worst that I see is GPS signal issues on some shady climbs. They seem more common on 705 and 500 according to the forums, though depending on firmware. You have to realize that you are not setting out to record every second of every ride to 10 digits of precision nor that you are surveying the world to pin-point accuracy. IMHO you need to get beyond the trivia of each data point and look at the "whole picture" of your rides to get the most out of these units (from a training or data collection point of view anyway).

    Anyway, if you do decide to go with a Garmin unit (which doesn't seem likely), welcome to the Garmin customer beta testing program ...
    Last edited by ukbloke; 08-18-2010 at 08:41 AM.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

INTERBIKE

Contest

Hot Deals

Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest road bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook