That's the issue I want to talk about today. I like riding with GPS. I like running with GPS. What I don't like is that the Garmin Forerunners with this design (305, 205) have a short life span because of something I would call a major design flaw. I'm not going to go into it with pictures and such, but I've had two of these units with the same problem. They are fine on the cradle, charge, readout, everything, but when you go to use them, they either won't turn on, turn on but won't stay on, or turn on for a while but shut off at some point during your run/ride.
The issue is this- the case has battery contacts on one side and the battery on the other. Over time, little bits of torque on the watch case from taking it off, putting it on, and heaven forbid, occasionally dropping the unit add up to breaking the contacts between the battery and the circuit board. I'd crack my newly defunct unit open and take a picture of it for you, but I'm too annoyed. Garmin: this is a design flaw. The seam on the case (due to the curved design) allows too much flex and puts undue strain on the components inside, shortening the unit's lifespan.
A short trip through Google reveals that I am not alone in having this problem and that Garmin is all over the map from stellar to unresponsive when it comes to providing warranty service on these things. My recommendation to anyone considering buying one of these units is that they only consider buying it from a retailer with a no-questions-asked return policy who will take the unit back if it ever craps out.
Has anybody had any better experiences with other form-factor Garmin units? I'm done with these Forerunners.
I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!