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How to Upload a Route to Your Garmin Cycling Computer

Written by Brian Accord, March 12, 2013

 

This write-up is limited to the Garmin Edge 305 and the Garmin Edge 500, as these are the only units I have direct access to, however, these instructions will likely help you figure things if you're using another model.

 

Garmin Edge 305:

I've used Garmin Training Center to actually load the file to my 305. But first, it likes a .crs file (Garmin course file), rather than a .tcx, .gpx, etc. The others may work, but I've found that .crs files work better (less file space). Few programs use the .crs format, so you need to use a secondary program like GPSies.com

to convert a .gpx file to a .crs file.

 

The basic steps are something like this:

Save a .gpx (preferred) or .tcx file to your computer from RideWithGPS.com or some other program

Use GPSies (or other converter) to turn the .gpx or .tcx file into a .crs file and save that to your computer

Upload the .crs file to Garmin Training Center

Use Garmin Training Center to export your courses to your Edge 305

 

Garmin is no longer supporting Garmin Training Center, but they are no longer supporting the Edge 305. I haven't used Garmin Base Camp or Garmin Connect, so I'm not sure how easy those are to upload a course to your Garmin Edge 305. If you need it, here's a link to the Garmin Edge 305 User Manual.

 

Garmin Edge 500:

The newer Garmins, like the 500, are recognized by a computer like a memory stick/flash drive. This makes it much easier to upload a file. I've had better success with the .tcx file format from RWGPS with the 500.

 

The basic steps are something like this:

Download and save a .tcx file to your computer from RideWithGPS.com or other web site/application.

Plug your Garmin 500 into your computer using the USB cable that came with the unit. The Garmin will show up as a "drive" or "disk" on your computer, similar to the way a thumb drive, flash drive, or camera might show up after you've connected it. You'll note that the Garmin has a folder structure just like any other storage device. One of the folders to make note of is the "New Files" folder.

Copy and paste, or move the .tcx file you saved in the first step into the Garmin's "NewFiles" folder in the Garmin directory

After the file has finished copying, "eject" the Garmin (required on Mac), or simply remove it (Windows). The Garmin will automatically turn off.

Power up your Garmin 500 and it should "process" the .tcx file and convert it into a .fit file. The device will also automatically transfer the converted file and place it into the Courses directory on your 500.

If you need it, here's a a link to the Garmin 500 User Manual (see p. 13 & 35).

 

Links to RideWithGPS.com instructions for each Garmin model:

Garmin Edge 305

Garmin Edge 605/705

Garmin Edge 500

Garmin Edge 800

 

Links to Garmin support pages for other models (older to newest releases):

Garmin Edge 705

Garmin Edge 800

Garmin Edge 200

Garmin Edge 510

Garmin Edge 810

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Special thanks to longtime CF member Carl Costas for contributing many of the professional photos on this site. See Carl's work at CarlCostas.com.