Garmin 705 – $500 computer, 50 cent mounting bracket

Posted by SuperClydesdale on April 4, 2010 under Commentary | 3 Comments to Read

Had a scare yesterday – riding on a busy road, when I heard something hit my frame, then bouncing and skidding behind me.   Looked down to see that my Garmin 705 was gone.  I look back and see the 705 in the road, with cars wizzing past it, with just inches to spare.

After I stopped screaming like an 8-year-old girl, I turned around and was able to grab it before it was smashed to bits.   I caused a four-car pile-up, but whatever – it’s my Garmin we’re talking about.  Those people probably didn’t have anything to live for anyway.

The mount just snapped off.   All that was left was half of the mount, still attached to my stem.  The first indication I had that something was wrong was when it fell off at 22mph and skidded across the road.   It’s got some road rash, but seems pretty much intact.  I’m not too happy with the crappy mount.  After I got back, did extensive research — which today means that I Googled “Garmin 705 mount broken” and found quite a few other people with the same issue – many people that had gone through several of the mounts.  One would think that Garmin would have fixed this problem, redesigned the mount and offered a replacement with a more durable design, or perhaps make it from Unobtainium, which is what the frame on my new bike is made of.    Some Australian dude has a fix for the problem, which involves glueing the two pieces of the mount together.

I don’t know exactly how many miles the mount lasted, as I ride two bikes and move the Garmin between them, but I think the mount on that bike had about 3,000 miles on it.  A cautionary recommendation to Garmin owners might be to change out the Garmin mount every time you have your cables replaced.  I read a report by one poor guy who had his 705 pop off and fall into a drainage ditch and never saw it again.  He must have killed some puppies or something to get that much bad karma.

The Garmin 705 unit itself has really grown on me, after a rough start.  When I first got it, it had a lot of problems – it would freeze up, the altimeter/gradient function would stop working, there was a time that it thought that I lived below sea level.  Sometimes, it would go into “autopause” for no reason – which is when the unit detects that you have stopped, it pauses the timer (while I’ll admit that some of my climbs are slow, I took personal offense with the unit on this one — it seemed to be mocking me).  These all seem to be fixed with updates to the firmware that can be done on-line.   It took many updates to the firmware over several months to get all the kinks worked out, but it’s been a very solid unit now for about a year.

The standard charts provided by the Garmin Connect web site.

In addition to the major bling value of the 705 (and who can deny that putting a Garmin 705 on your ride is even better than putting spinners on your Escalade?  It’s a head turner, and the women love it),  Garmin has a great web portal where you download all your stats.  It provides good reports, along with an elevation profile of the ride – superimposed with heart rate data, speed, cadence, and power (if I was willing to part with the money to get a power meter).  It’s integrated with Google Maps, and you can replay the ride, along with all of your stats during the replay – very cool.  One of my favorite features is the ability to share the ride report with others.  Simply give them the URL, and you can show proof of your epic ride to your unbelieving posse.  I used this several times to prove that I actually completed the Markleeville Death Ride to people who thought it was physically impossible for a 230 pounder.

A ride overview from the "Garmin Connect" portal that comes with the 705

The Garmin has become an integral part of my riding experience.   I love to look down to verify that I am miserable.   I can’t breath!  My heart is popping out of my chest!  Oh, I’m on a 18% grade – that’s right.

So, overall, the Garmin is a great unit, but the mount needs to be improved.   It’s too nice a unit to come with such a crap mount.

I have a new mount on order — found it for $13 on Amazon.com.

UPDATE  4/6/2010:

Just received my new mount, and I am very happy to report that Garmin has made this into a one-piece unit.  It looks much sturdier as well.   It’s good to see that Garmin has corrected the design of the mount and while that’s nice — I’m left with a banged-up Garmin 705.

  • bigsenior said,

    You want fun and no sleep Get a Garmin 800.
    The first thing you have to do is to drill a hole in the mount so you can hear the beeps when a turn is coming up.
    Not bad for a £400 bit of kit.But the mounting bracket is pretty good I will give it that.

  • bigsenior said,

    You want fun and no sleep Get a Garmin 800.
    The first thing you have to do is to drill a hole in the mount so you can hear the beeps when a turn is coming up.
    Not bad for a £400 bit of kit.But the mounting bracket is pretty good I will give it that.

  • Not happy with Garmin » Super Clydesdale said,

    [...] I wrote a while back about how my Garmin unit flew off my bike and skidded into traffic.   The Garmin mounting bracket snapped off the handlebars.  The nylon/plastic on the original bracket was too rigid, and seemed prone to cracking. [...]

Add A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.