"Get truly lost" with new Garmin bike GPS units

Mapping, power measurement, altitude & more from new do-everything super-widgets

GPS maker Garmin has announced two new additions to its Edge range of location-driven bike computers, the Edge 605 and Edge 705.

Both of the new units provide mapping capabilities, street navigation and a 2.2in (5.5cm) colour display plus tracking vertical profiles, climb and descent, altitude, speed, distance, and time.

The Edge 705 looks likely to prove popular with riders looking for a serious, high-tech training tool as it incorporates an interface to the SRM power-measuring crank. Garmin claims this gives it a first: the ability to display GPS position, power, heart rate, speed, cadence, altitude and gradient on the same display.

The Edge 705 will also be able to communicate wirelessly with other Edge 705 units so that riders can share courses, waypoints and even physiological data. That opens up the possibility of a virtual race against a fellow rider that even lets you compare power and heart rate along the way.

Previous Edge units have provided directions for preset courses, but the two new units will handle street or topographical maps on preloaded data cards, allowing you, as Garmin puts it with tongue slightly in cheek, to get truly lost.

Both units also provide altitude measurement, perhaps the best fallback for post-ride bragging rights. ("I might have only done 65km on Sunday, but there was 1,000m of climbing in there." Well, it's always my excuse anyway.) The Edge 705 will use a barometric altimeter, while the Edge 605 gets its altitude from GPS positioning.

Both units will also connect with Garmin's new website. The company's existing online presence, motionbased.com, will be phased out in December and its replacement, Garmin Connect, will launch in October for users of the company's new Forerunner 50 GPS. Garmin Connect will be available to other Garmin users in December. The new site will expand on motionbased.com and make most of its features available for free.

The new models will be available in December 2007. The Edge 705 with heart rate monitor is expected to have an estimated retail price of £329.99 / €499.99. A version with speed/cadence sensor will be £359.99 / €549.99. The Edge 605 has an estimated retail price of £269.99 / €399.99.

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