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I was in exactly the same boat as you when I was shopping for a bike computer and while you can get away with a CatEye computer for about $50 or so, there wasn't any way to get the data off the unit. Or use ST's mapping facility and analysis software either. Off the top of my head I can't think of any bike computer that is downloadable and gives as much info as a Garmin.
As a result, I bought a 305 last year and used it as a stand-alone bike computer. For Duathlons I had great results pairing it with the 301. You get a double download into ST though, but you can just combine the workouts there. I wear the 301 HRM throughout the race and just use the 305 for cad/speed/elevation.
On the trainer, the rear-wheel speed and cadence sensor is easy to set up and is wireless to boot. You have to turn the GPS off otherwise your wheelsize is all out of whack but you know that for Garmins indoors anyway.
Shop around and see what grabs you though - if you can live with the non-downloadable stuff then any bike computer will suit. The main thing is that you want a computer with a REAR wheel speed sensor if you're going to use it on the trainer because that's the only wheel that spins. Unless you're riding rollers...
If you're still set on the 305, PM me as I'm selling mine cheap because I bought a 705. I'm using all the 305 components so you get brand new HRM, bike mount etc. I didn't get the cadence/speed sensor though so you'd have to get that separately but that's pretty inexpensive. I want someone to take the 305 off my hands as I'm trying to save for a Triathlon/TT frame and boy, those things are pricey.
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
Specificity, specificity, specificity.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis
i just got my bf a garmin 305 for his birthday. he is still figuring it out. there are optional accessories including the cadence thing you can put on the bike and also a bike mount and wrist band, so you can have the unit on the bike and then quickly switch it to your wrist band. its not waterproof, so no watch for the swim. you can also get a foot pod for indoor running.
it syncs with the computor and uploads your data.
the 310xt just came out, its waterproof but has not gotten good reviews. the gps doesnt work in the water, which is what a lot of swimmers would like to measure outdoor routes and pace.
i got the 305 online(amazon.com) for around 150 dollars. there are lots of reviews. if you are using the 301, it may not be too difficult to figure out the settings for the 305.
I have a dilemma and am looking for advice. I currently have a Garmin 301 HRM/GPS. It's great, I love it, but it doesn't give me any info other than speed on the bike (and they don't make the upgrade for it like they do for newer models).
I am taking an indoor cycling class (we use our own bikes) and we are required to have a bike computer with cadence. I may also do indoor track workouts this winter, as well as group classes at the gym. I'd like to gather as much information as I can about my workouts. Other downsides of the 301 are that it is not waterproof (I'm a triathlete) and it's huge.
I also like to be able to download my workout data to my computer. I use SportTracks mostly, so I'd like something compatible. I'm debating between buying just a bike computer (which I know nothing about) versus buying a new GPS watch that can do everything.
Any suggestions? Thanks!
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3
2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)