I’d been looking into GPS gadgets mid 2008 as we live on the edge of the Wombat State Forest which has endless tracks, many unmarked and unmapped. A GPS would allow me to record my rides, for my own knowledge as well as sharing ride info with others.
As it turned out I traveled to the USA in July 2008 for work and purchased a Garmin 405, which great timing as the AU Dollar was almost level pegging with the USD at the time, and gadgets are so much cheaper in the USA!
In 9 months of use I’ve been satisfied with the 405. It picks up the signal quickly at the start of the ride and even though the bulk of my rides are through the forest it does a great job overall of keeping track of where I am and delivering usable data. There’s the odd spike on nonsensical information every now and then, but hey I guess that is GPS for ya! Overall it’s amazing technology.
The 405 is also compact compared to other watch styled GPS units. It doesn’t really pass as a day to day watch but it’s small and robust enough to not get in the way while riding and during UPD’s.
The watch interface is cool too – with the watch controlled via the touch sensitive bezel. Battery life is good too, lasting for full day rides no problem.
The 405 interfaces seamlessly with both Garmin Training (free desktop software) and Garmin Connect (free web site) via ANT which is handy and hasslefree. Get the watch near the PC and before you know it, the data is transferred. Garmin Connect has some cool features too, like ‘replays’ of rides with VCR like controls integrated with map, speed, elevation etc.