Iphone 3gs v Garmin edge 705

The Apple Iphone is a fantastic gadget . It has applications for just about everything . It can determine what gear you should use to ride up aple d’huez at 70 rpm in under 1 hour (shiftit )  , the distance , profile and location of almost every famous climb in Europe ( icols )  , and what length spoke you need for a 32 hole shallow rim ( spokecalculator ) .

It also has a number of gps enabled applications which give very similar information to many bike computers . One that I am using at present is runkeeper .  A few years ago , before garmins entry into the bike computer market , this would have been revolutionary . No wires  down to a speed sensor on the front fork and the ability to see your actual training spin on a google earth map would have set the cycling world on fire . But Garmin are in the cycling market and their edge 705 offers these features and so much more .




The edge is a full function complete bike computer with gps mapping and is very easy to download . You can have up to 8 display units on the homescreen or a live map with up to 3 display units or an altitude profile graph with 2 units .

The display units cover everything from all measurements of speed , heart rate , distance and cadence to altitude and percentage gradient .

The Iphone runkeeper application just gives speed , distance and pace , ie mins. per mile or kilometre ( living up to its RUN keeper name ) . However it also allows you to listen to your music library , take photos and geo tag them to the location where they were taken . It downloads to your Twitter , Facebook , bebo or whatever account you choose as soon as you get home and press send . The Garmin has to be hooked up to a laptop to do this .



So they are both useful cycling gadgets , but which should you bring with you . Personally I’ll be bringing both . I love the Garmin and wouldn’t get on the bike without it . But I like the interactive nature of the Iphone application and will use this too .

Suggested improvements for the Garmin are none  . It’s never going to be a phone , a camera or a music player . However I would love to see a bluetooth heart rate strap for the iphone , a waterproof bike mount and a bigger battery life . I was down to 10 % after a 3 hour spin yesterday . Also an application with the functions of the Garmin including gradient should be possible .

Watch this space !

Here are the downloads of yesterdays 3 hour spin on both ;

Garmin ;


Runkeeper on Iphone ;







5 thoughts on “Iphone 3gs v Garmin edge 705

  • November 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Great review! I’m the founder of the company behind RunKeeper, glad you like it so far, we have MUCH more to come! One tip: Try using the top lock to sleep the screen (button on top of iPhone), should get 5 hours+ of battery on a full charge. Also, there are battery extenders like Mophie Juicepack Air that can be used on longer rides.


    • November 16, 2009 at 9:04 pm

      Good tips there . I have a 3 hour spin planned for tomorrow and will post how much extra battery life I have at the end .


  • November 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    What about turning of 3G? Should save some battery life too, shouldn’t it?

  • November 17, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Barry, How does the Polar unit compare with these ultra modern items. I have the CS 600X. I find it very good but I don’t have the GPS on it & the battery lasts for ever, but I haven’t tried to make a call on it yet :-).

    • November 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm

      Hi Ben ,
      The bike functions and heart rate would be similar but where the Garmin etc. gains with GPS mapping and downloading the polar answers with normal watch battery life ie. years rather than hours .



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