The difference between the Edge 605 & 705

Both units are essentially the same. The only difference is the Edge 705 incorporates a much more accurate barometric pressure based altimeter. The 605 uses GPS data for elevation, which is very inaccurate with errors up to 30meters. When using a 605, we recommend you correct the elevation data from the unit using our elevation data to get the most accurate results.
Garmin Edge 705 Cycling Computer

Quick Summary:

Map a route using our bike route planner and then export either a GPX Track if you have Garmin/OSM basemaps or a TCX file if you don’t. If you want turn-by-turn directions and have basemaps installed, the following settings on your Edge 605/705 will help:

  1. Routing => Bicycle
  2. Guidance Method => Off Road (some people swear by On Road/Distance)
  3. Lock on Road => No
  4. Recalculate => Off or Prompted (important, or it will shortcut you back home!!! I use prompted, but almost always say no)
  5. Sign in to your account and upload your ride!

Which file should I use?

Keep in mind that routes uploaded this way are limited to 15 character names. See Garmin site.

An Edge 605 or 705 can use a TCX or a GPX Track. Each have their pros and cons, so read the  descriptions carefully to understand which file format is best for you. In general we recommend using a TCX Course for pre-planned routes. I would strongly recommend trying each format on a simple test route around your neighborhood in order to get a solid feel for the pros/cons before using it for actually navigating a ride.


For navigation, good compromise between GPX Route and Track if you need custom cuesheet entries. Any cuesheet entries on a pre-planned route will be loaded on the unit along with the track, and you will receive a beep and 10 characters of the cuesheet entry. This is a great option if you don’t have a map card installed, as well as a good double check to Garmin’s own internal turn guidance.

If you have custom cuesheet entries on your route, this is the format you want to use!

One note: the TCX file is intended as a training aid. The Garmin Edge series will have a “virtual partner” that you are racing against – the partner’s speed is set by the timestamps we put in the file. For now this is very basic – we don’t set the timestamps to be of any help while training. So if you are just navigating a route, trying to avoid being lost rather than trying to maintain a certain speed, you should turn off virtual partner inside the GPS unit.

A Premium membership with Ride with GPS makes it even easier to get cue sheets on your Garmin. Not a Premium User? Find out more about our Premium Plan.

GPX Track

A GPX Track contains the hundreds/thousands of points used to draw a map, but it doesn’t contain a cuesheet, so any custom created cuesheet entries will NOT be present when you navigate this route. However, the GPS unit will strictly follow the plotted route and if you have a map card installed will also provide you with true navigation style turn by turn instructions, with a stylized map and a superimposed direction arrow. Additionally, the compass on your GPS unit will always point in the direction you need to go, and you can see your route plotted on the Edge’s map display.

How do I load a route onto the unit?

Anyone can manually load a planned route from the site onto the Edge 705. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Plug in your Garmin
  2. On the website, navigate to your route or ride.
  3. Otherwise, click the Export tab then click on your desired filetype, either TCX Course or GPX Track
  4. If your computer prompts you to save the file to a specific location, place it somewhere memorable like the desktop.
  5. Using the FinderMy Computer or other tool on your computer, open up the drive associated with the Garmin, usually labeled Garmin
  6. Open the Garmin folder located inside the Garmin drive.
  7. If you are using a GPX Track file, click/drag the exported file to the GPX folder on the unit. You may have to create the folder if it’s not already present.
  8. If you are using a TCX file, click/drag the exported file to the Courses folder. Again, if you have never done this before you may have to manually create the folder.
  9. Safely remove the Garmin (Eject on an Apple machine) and unplug it from the computer
  10. If you loaded a GPX, the file will be under Menu -> Where To? -> Saved Rides
  11. If you loaded a TCX, the file will be under Menu -> Training -> Courses

Please practice navigating a route with something simple, around your neighborhood, and don’t try this the first time right before a ride or a big event!

Installing Free Open Street Map data

Some people purchased an Edge 705 for cheap because it didn’t come with Garmin’s City Navigator maps installed. This is fine, because there is a complete and comprehensive set of free maps (wikipedia style user-generated maps) from the Open Street Maps project.

Download the maps and load them onto a Micro SD card.

  1. Choose a mapset from this link – Since I am in North America, I use either Mantlik’s contoured maps or Dave’s
  2. After downloading, copy the IMG file to an SD card. You will need at least a 4GB SD card. If you haven’t inserted your SD card into your Edge 705, you’ll want to insert it and power up the unit – this will create the necessary folders on the device. Once this has been done, insert the SD card back into your computer.
  3. The SD card can only have one IMG file on it at a time, and the name of that file must be GMAPSUPP.IMG. I keep the filename on my computer descriptive, then rename it once I copy it to the SD card.
  4. Copy the file to the GARMIN folder on the SD card, then rename to GMAPSUPP.IMG (usually accomplished by right clicking the icon and selecting rename).
  5. Once the file is copied, safely remove (right click on the icon in the lower right of screen for Windows users) the SD card from your computer.
  6. Insert the card and power up the Garmin.
  7. Go to the configuration menu, then Settings->Map, and select the map type.
  8. Enjoy!

Additional Tips

Why does my track jump to nearby roads?

If you are riding on a bike path or on a trail that is near a road, you may end up with data that occasially snaps to the road, then back to the path. When you’re zoomed out this might look like triangles or zig zags on your map. Fixing this is easy, it is just a setting on your Garmin Edge 705 or 605.

How to fix: Settings -> Map -> Lock on Road -> Off

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