Review – MIO Cyclo 505HC

MIO Cyclo 505HC - Cycling Navigation Review
MIO Cyclo 505HC – Cycling Navigation Review

The MIO Cyclo 505HC is a high quality top-end bicycle satnav and training computer with a colour touchscreen.

It’s designed for a cyclist who wants to explore, navigate and, also, to train – and maybe race from time to time.

Positives: It has a huge number of positives including: pre-loaded with region-specific, cycle-, path-  and road-maps; dual ANT+/Bluetooth sensor support (yep); accurate GPS; smartphone notifications for iOS/Android; power meter & Di2 ANT+ support; many innovative navigational features, including ‘surprise me’ and ‘back-to-start’; WIFI Upload; direct links to Training Peaks and STRAVA; advanced support of some STRAVA features. I could go on…

But instead I’ll just say that I’ve used the 505HC a fair bit and it has exceeded my expectations.

Negatives: Although the 505HC does indeed allow workouts, it does not allow structured workouts with intervals. Nor does it support laps.

When following some very long trails/courses I have had problems with the unit slowing down – but I used it alongside a top-of-the-range Garmin Edge 820 which had MORE problems!

The 505’s software seems to be built on some version of Windows mobile. From time-to-time a windows error message pops up but if the message is closed the device works for me as normal.

Causing the device to frequently re-plan due to wrong turns and make frequent audio alerts reduces the battery life.

There are a few other trivial things that I could also pick fault with like ‘doesn’t support Bluetooth power meters’ or left|right power balance but that’s about it. The online MIOSHARE tool is fine but those of you who are keener will take advantage of the automatic links to STRAVA, Training Peaks and beyond. A stated battery life of 12 hours is hopeful and will be potentially less than that depending on usage; against that, you can use a portable USB charge stack to charge as you are using it. Boot time is a little on the slow side but you only have to do that once.

Comments: I would have liked the 505HC to be biased towards cycle paths and Sustrans routes more than it is. Then again I got very similar results trying to calculate the same routes using Garmin Connect. It’s a pretty much complete package for the market it is focussed at.

Competitive cyclists, training for specific events would probably not go for either the Garmin 1000 or the Cyclo 505HC. Perhaps they would go for the Wahoo ELEMNT, the Polar M450 or Garmin’s 8xxx/5xxx series.

Note: MIO Global, who make the heart rate monitors, are a different company.

Alternatives: The Garmin Edge 1000 was the original competition to the Cyclo 505HC but the 505HC was very much the superior of the two when price and reliability were taken into account. With the recent release of the Garmin Edge 1000 Explore, Garmin have closed the price gap somewhat. In 2016 Garmin released the Edge 820. The Edge 820 has a smaller screen and has been released with quite a few navigational and touchscreen bugs.

Detailed Review: To follow

Price (rrp) £323.48 (bundle)

MIO Cyclo 505HC (Bundle) £323.48 Link $373.99 Link
Garmin Edge 1000 Explore (non-bundle) £351.58 Link $449.00 Link

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