Review Price £199.99
Mio Cyclo 105 HC: Heart-rate Monitor, Cadence Sensor and Verdict
Mio Cyclo 105 HC: Dashboard modeIn Dashboard mode, many different screens of information are available. The first shows current speed, distance travelled and time taken. A second provides time, heart rate and altitude, a third calories, lap time, speed and slope, and a fourth various lap statistics. There are also clock and compass screens, but the latter appeared to require motion to read correctly, so isn't a full digital compass as found on an iPhone. The Cyclo has a built-in barometer, too, although we couldn't find a way to show its readings on the device itself.
Mio Cyclo 105 HC: Heart-rate monitor and Cadence SensorBring the heart-rate monitor and cadence sensor supplied with the HC version into the equation, however, and you do get a lot more information. The heart-rate monitor is a strap with a sensor in the middle that you position across your chest, and then pair with the Cyclo. The cadence sensor is a complicated multi-part setup. The wheel and pedal portions are connected by a wire, and have to be positioned on the nearest frame crossbar that will place them next to the wheel and pedal they will be monitoring. You then have to attach the devices these sensors detect to the pedal and wheel so they pass close enough to the sensors to be detected.
This all seems rather complicated, fiddly and potentially prone to failure. However, the pieces attached to the wheel spoke and pedal are essentially just magnets, so relatively cheap to replace if they did fall off. You need to take more care with the sensor, and ensure the two portions of this are very securely attached to the bike frame using the supplied cable ties. A replacement would set you back around £40, so this is something you wouldn't want to lose or damage. We didn't have problems with this during testing, but vigorous off-road mountain biking could dislodge the cadence and wheel sensor and its supplementary bits, and they hit a foot, pedal or wheel they probably wouldn't survive the experience.
Once you have a training session stored on the Cyclo, it's time to upload it for analysis. Mio doesn't supply the Mio Share software in the box, and this isn't covered in the Quick Start Guide. Instead, another small booklet hides the necessarily URL for download alongside a request to register your product. Following this URL then leads you through a Web-based installation. Once this is set up, you can then download your workouts to the site and view your training routes on a map, then drill down to find out more information about how your performance varied across the session.
In use, we found the Cyclo paired with its accessories reliably and picked up information well as we travelled, although we didn't punish it with excessively rough terrain or test the GPS lock with heavy tree cover. The heart rate monitor proved particularly effective, giving useful information about the effort we were putting in and telling us how this fitted in with the norm for our agegroup. Having all this data to look at is rather addictive, if you like this kind of thing, and gives you a numerical benchmark that you can strive to beat each time you ride.
VerdictMio's products are usually well into the value territory, and the Cyclo 105 HC undercuts direct competitors such as Garmin's Edge 500 heart rate and cadence bundle, although only by £20 or so. There's a wealth of information available from the GPS, heart-rate monitor and cadence sensor, which a serious cyclist could put to good use to help improve their performance. The bike fixings aren't really designed for easy detachment and use on a second cycle, which is a downside for very serious cyclists, so a second set of fixings would be necessary, and we have our worries about the durability of the cadence sensor attachment. But overall this is a feature-packed bike training GPS for a reasonable price.
Scores In Detail
- Battery Life