When I started this review, Cyclo Version 4.0 had just come out. This review discusses Version 4.1, which came out October 2014. Version 4.1 includes several bug fixes as well as tighter integration to Di2, WiFi and new GPS speed sensor fields have been added. If you are still running Version 4.0, I highly recommend the free upgrade to Version 4.1.
One thing I am very happy to see is that Magellan is listening to and evaluating all feedback from the testers, which is ultimately making this a better and better unit. Magellan is continuously adding functionality and quickly taking care of any issues that arise, making this unit better and better with each new release of the software. As a tester who is working closely with Magellan, they are genuinely interested and committed to making this the BEST unit on the market – period. If you have any recommendations, please email the author via the Contact Us form on the website and I will make sure to forward your requests to Magellan.
MAGELLAN CYCLO 505 IS A WORTHY GARMIN ALTERNATIVE
Magellan, a Belgian company that makes GPS products like outdoors and automobile navigation systems, is going after industry giant Garmin with a new full-featured cycling computer called the Magellan Cyclo 505. The Cyclo 505 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi integration and is roughly comparable to the Garmin Edge 810/1000 in terms of features and functionality.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
Two 505 series models are available, the 505 and 505hc; the latter includes a heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor as part of the bundle. Both come standard with a micro USB wall charger, micro USB to USB cable to plug the unit into your computer, a zip-tie mounting universal bracket that can be attached to your handlebar or stem, and an out-front mount that bolts to your handlebar.
The Magellan Cyclo 505 is a handsome touch-screen unit about the size of deck of cards. It’s black, with a white border around the face and a single on/off button at the bottom front, below the 3-inch (76.2mm) diagonal color touchscreen. The mini-USB connector is on the lower back of the unit. The dimensions of the unit are 2-3/8 inches wide by 4 inches long by 3/4 inch thick (60.3mm wide, 101.6mm long, 19mm thick).
After unpacking the box, I plugged it in to charge the unit. While charging, I downloaded the Users Manual from the Magellan website. The manual is definitely worth a read. It is clearly written, easy to understand and describes all of the functionality of the Cyclo.
There is also an application/agent, called CycloAgent, which runs on your PC and through which you can upload/download as well as view and compare your rides (similar to Garmin Connect). You can also view and share ride information with other registered users. From the app, you can upload results to Strava, as well.
It took about 4 hours to initially charge the device. Depending on which functions you have turned on/off, the lithium-ion battery can provide a run time of up to 12 hours.
Mounting the unit to the bike is as easy as attaching the included out-front mounting arm to your handlebars and twisting the 505 into its cradle. If you don’t want to use the out-front mount, you can use the universal zip-tied mount that affixes directly to your bar or stem.
The two questions I get asked all of the time are
- What does the Shimano Di2 output screen look like?
- There are several Di2 screens (shown above) among which are % Di2 battery level, a graphical representation of what gear you are in, gear number (ex. 1-4) and gear teeth number you are in (ex. 53-17).
- There is also an additional screen listed under History. This screen displays the % of time spent in each gear during the recorded ride. This can be useful when using the GPS data analysis and/or GPS data display tools such as di2stats.com (more data than you would think possible). Click the picture to the right for a full size screen shot. For the data available, see my recent Saturday ride – http://di2stats.com/rides/view/732
- What should I include on the main Dashboard screen?
- For the first time Magellan Cyclo 505 user, the initial few times operating this unit might seem daunting.
Actually, Magellan has layed-out the setup and running of the unit in a very logical fashion. When starting your ride, click Dashboard. There are 3 screens that you will be of primary use – map, main data, data2. The main data screen will be the one you will probably use most and is the default screen. What I have found to be the best information boxes to include are SPEED, HEART RATE, Di2 GEAR, HR ZONE, DISTANCE, BATTERY (Magellan), ACTIVE TIME (running time not total time), Di2 BATTERY. Of course, this assumes that you have Di2 plus the EWW01 wireless unit. Click the picture to the right for a full size screen shot.
- For the first time Magellan Cyclo 505 user, the initial few times operating this unit might seem daunting.
LOTS OF FEATURES
The Cyclo 505 supports any number of ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence sensors, HRMs and power meters (and can handle the latest generation of power meters that read power from each crank arm separately) and is a snap to pair with these units.
- Pairing was easy – Easily pairing existing Garmin speed/cadence and HRM units, as well as a LifeBEAM Bluetooth helmet with optical HR sensor). If you already have speed/cadence sensors on your bike(s), and an HRM, that you’re happy with, there’s probably no need to buy the 505hc bundle unless you want to have extras.
- The 505 can be used for both indoor- and outdoor-specific training. For indoor training, you can create a new profile that disables GPS but measures speed and cadence, heart rate and power. You can even pair the unit with an ANT+ trainer and control the grade, resistance, etc.
- The 505’s Bluetooth capability allows you to pair it with either your Android or iPhone to control your music while you ride. And Android users can see text and call alerts as they ride, and even use the unit’s “Where Am I” function to text their exact coordinates to an emergency contact. (That particular feature is not available to iPhone users.)
- Using Shimano’s Di2 wireless unit (SM-EWW01), you can record/display gear position, gear number and the Di2’s battery status. For those with Di2 + EWW01 wireless integration, the Cyclo 505 will also keep track of which gear(s) you were in for which % of the ride.
- You can wirelessly sync and upload ride data after each ride. There’s no need to take the unit off the bike and plug it into the computer. You can easily upload data to your computer or download saved tracks to your Cyclo 505, all through the wireless sync.
- The Cyclo 505 can also be used as a full in-car/motorcycle GPS using CAR mode.
- Lastly, the 505 has an IPX7 water resistant rating, which means that it can be submerged up to 3 feet (1m) for 30 minutes – plenty of protection for those who sweat all over their bike or regularly ride in the rain.
NAVIGATING THE CYCLO 505
Powering it on for the first time, the setup mode is displayed. It proved very simple to program by selecting options, then clicking the right/left arrows to go to the next/previous screens. Selections consist of options such as profile name, type of riding, units (metric, imperial), language, wheel size, address (for navigating to your home), etc.
Magellan has designed and engineered the Cyclo 505’s screens to be intuitive. When the unit is powered up (after setup), it immediately connects to the GPS satellites and displays the main navigation screen consisting of links to all top-level functions:
History, Surprise Me,
Touching any of these main functions, you then “drill down” into its corresponding detail pages. Navigating to different detail pages consists of clicking either the left arrow ‘<‘ or right-arrow ‘>’ buttons or swiping from screen to screen. When changing values, prompts are displayed, allowing easy modifications.
The Dashboard consists of 3 screens. The first is a map of your current location, including a directional heading, which tracks your position from the start of your ride to the finish. A cool feature called Back Track lays down “bread crumbs,” little red dots every 50 meters or so on the map. If you ever happen to get lost, you can simply follow the bread crumbs to get back to where you started.
The other two screens are informational, with customizable fields to display whatever ride metrics you care to see on each screen. Compared to smaller bike computers with screens crammed with data fields, the 505 features fairly large, easy-to-read fields, icons and text. To navigate between these screens, you can use either the right/left arrows at the bottom of the screen or just swipe the screen with your finger like on a smartphone.
While most of our testing was done before long-fingered glove season, we slipped on a couple of different pairs to test the screen sensitivity – with mixed results. While it’s designed to be used with gloves, the swiping function left a lot to be desired. It was hit or miss. Using the right or left arrow buttons seems to be the better bet when gloved up. And it sometimes requires holding your finger on the button for a bit longer than you would normally. On the plus side, the button background changes color from white to gold to indicate that it has been pushed.
If you know your route, you can simply use these two main Dashboard data screens to see everything you need to know about your ride. To start recording, you simply push the middle (red) button at the bottom of the info screen, which takes you to another Yes/No screen. Push Yes to start recording, and you’re off. The same must be done to stop/end the recording.
When turned on, the auto-start function pauses the Active-Time counter when you are stopped.
OTHER SCREENS AND KEY FEATURES
NAVIGATE – If you don’t know where you’re headed, you can use Navigate to map out your route. On this screen, Magellan has included lots of “navigate to” options – such as home, a specific address, a point of interest (you can look up such things as a bike store, food and drink, emergency help, etc.), tracks (routes you’ve already established), a specific coordinate, or a point on a map, among others.
Again, all of these screens are easy to get to and very easy to add or select options. Once an option is selected, Navigation will start. If you miss a turn, the unit recalculates to get you back on a recommended path.
The 505 comes pre-loaded with a complete U.S. road network for audible and turn-by-turn navigation, as well as Open Street Maps (OSM), a crowd-sourced trail network showing cycle lanes, tracks and bike shops. You can even share your own trails through OSM..
NAVIGATION TRACKS – This feature uses GPX files. GPX stands for GPS eXchange format which is a device-independent data format used for GPS navigation. It is actually an XML file and why this is important is because you can edit this file (using a program such as Notepad++) and change the TRK NAME that the Magellan uses to display the title of the track on the unit. In the example to the right, “Swamis – Del Dios” would be displayed as one of the tracks on the Magellan. If you wanted to change this just edit any or all of the text between <name> and </name> and this new information will be displayed on the Magellan’s screen after copying over this new file.
Using the NAVIGATION TRACKS function, you can create a custom map route in any third party tool (my favorite is MAP MY RIDE), save it in GPX format and drag the GPX file to the Cyclo 505 – it really is as easy as that! Once on the Cyclo, click NAVIGATE then TRACKS and each of your custom route maps will be listed. Select the one you want to navigate and click GO. It’s as easy as that. The Cyclo 505 will display turn by turn directions as well as capture and collect the normal ride data. Great feature!!! This ride data can then be uploaded to Strava. This function alone is worth the price of this unit.
SURPRISE ME? – This cool feature offers up to three alternative routes around your current location. The route can be generated based on distance or time (which you input), and the three choices are listed by difficulty and grade. This is meant as a way to give alternatives so that boredom doesn’t set in by doing the same route over and over again. And it’s a handy tool to have if you are riding in an unfamiliar location, like when you’re on vacation or traveling for business.
HISTORY – Trip/training data can be saved in the History records. When the ride is completed, history data such as date/time, distance, speed, altitude, etc., can be easily viewed, by day, week, month, etc. This is also the data that is uploaded through the CycloAgent desktop app – or via Wi-Fi – to your account on the Magellan site.
WORKOUT – This mode offers a choice of working out by Distance, Time, Calories, Heart Rate Zone or Power Zone. When you choose the specific mode, it adds another info screen to dashboard so you can monitor your progress. For example, if you choose a Calories workout, with a goal of burning 2000 calories, a screen is added to the Dashboard that counts down the remaining calories (along with other data) as you ride. The Cyclo 505 beeps when your target has been reached.
CUSTOMIZING – Besides the obvious settings that can be customized (Profile name, types of roads to avoid, screen brightness, language, date/time, etc.), the layout of each DASHBOARD screen can be modified as well! The best way to do this is to create a new profile and make the screen changes to this profile. Functions can be added such as displaying Heart Rate, Power Meter, etc.
IPX7 – The IEC 60529/IPX7 is a European system of test specification standards for classifying the degrees of protection against intrusion. An IPX7 designation means that this unit can withstand immersion in 1 meter (approximately 3 feet) of still water for up to 30 minutes – provided the battery door and all jack covers are properly and securely closed. This device is not IPX8 grade; water-pressure such as washing the unit with running water which may cause damage to the unit and void the warranty. So basically, it is OK to sweat all over the unit without any problems arising. Just wipe down with a damp cloth after the ride if it gets messy.
CHARGING – This unit uses a standard +5Vdc/1.0A input. USB is +5Vdc as well as most cell/smartphone chargers so charging should never be a problem.
In our testing to date, the Magellan Cyclo 505 has proven to be a solid device with numerous valuable, cool and easy-to-use features.
The Cyclo 505 favorably compares with Garmin’s Edge 810 and 1000 series computers and is priced lower.
Maps can be updated via map downloads through the application and website. Product updates can also be easily downloaded through the website either with the included USB adapter or wireless.
It’s a full-featured modern bike computer that should appeal to riders looking for a great combination of ease of use, low price, high performance and lots of great features.
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I test prototype products for companies and have published only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.