Summary: I ordered this thinking it would replace my Edge 305 with all the features of it and then some. I also called Garmin direct to confirm this. I just received my Edge 500 and cannot believe that the map is not useable unless you do a "course" ahead of time.
Summary: I'm a long-time 305 user, and I've been very happy with it. When looking for a new GPS unit, I figured the 500 was the next natural step, plus I get the ability to sync w/ power measuring products.
Summary: I purchased the Garmin Edge 500 about 3 months ago and was using it 4 or 5 days a week during my training rides. On weekends I would do longer rides and often I would download a course to follow.
Summary: The device is great - when it works. Every time I go for a ride, I have to start it 30 - 45 minutes before I ride to make sure it has enough time to lock on to satellites. Most of the time, I am 7 miles into my ride before it locks on.
Summary: Device is excellent, heart rate strap is great, comfortable and unobtrusive but the cadence detector unit will only pick up wheel speed. As I am now outside the returns window I have had to deal with garmin tech support. They give the impression that it is a common problem.