MIO Cyclo 505HC – Firmware, software, configuration/pairing and sharing

This is part of the main review for the MIO Cyclo 505HC which just covers the less interesting firmware, software and configuration, pairing and sharing sections.

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Firmware & Software

a. CYCLOAGENT – Update and Transfer

You need to install cycloagent (here) to update your device’s firmware and upload your data. It works on MACs and PCs.

CYCLOAGENT is a bit clunky-looking but it works, that’s the main thing.

To benefit from the newer features on the 505HC and the latest maps you WILL need to run the cycloagent. You will also be required to create a mioshare account and register your device (you’ll need the code on the box to do that).

Be prepared for a VERY significant download. I think the latest software and maps were over 2Gb. Maps are big.

b. MIOSHARE – Viewing your exercise sessions, trips and routes online.

MIOSHARE is a basic way to view your TRACKS and your workout HISTORY. You can also create, find and upload new TRACKS.

-UPLOAD: Only works for GPX tracks. But that should be fine.

-SHARE: These routes are form other MIOSHARE users and at present these are limited in number.

-CREATE: Clicking points on a map creates a route. Simple stuff. When you click a new point to navigate to is prompts for the kind of cycling you want to do. Choosing ‘Serious’ seems to place more emphasis on off-road tracks. But, in the example below, a SUSTRANS route was avoided. (To be fair Garmin Connect also produced a very similar route)

Create A Route

c. ACCOUNT:

In your MIOSHARE account you can link to STRAVA, TRAINING PEAKS, ENDOMONDO and TP today’s plan.

If you need something more than MIOSHARE has to offer then you need to link your MIOSHARE to another web service like STRAVA.

But what if you already use another online service like SPORTTRACKS.MOBI or GARMIN CONNECT or just want to share data with people using DROPBOX? Well there’s a site called TAPIRIIK.COM (or syncmytracks or fitnesssyncer.com) which can link your data to those and more besides – for example it will take data from your STRAVA account, you could just create an account for the purpose of getting the data somewhere else further on.

Pairing

>>Settings>Pairing

The 505HC bundle comes with a heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor that is already paired. So you don’t need to do anything other than install/wear those sensors. You’re good to go.

The 505HC supports the ANT+ standard and so should pair with any relevant sensor. As a top-of-the range model in this category of product it supports all the sensors it should do, including power meters and even Di2 shifters. I had no problems with those I tested, with one minor exception.

I paired a power meter (Favero bePRO pedals) and this produced power data, no problems. However the pedals also produce cadence data. When there was another (ie 2) cadence sensor attached then there was no cadence data shown whatsoever. I have a suspicion that this is a problem with the ANT+ specification as I have noticed this with other products.

Note that certain PROFILE TYPES allow certain kinds of sensor. For example, if you choose to create a RUN profile you will not be able to add a BIKE POWER METER. That might sound silly but you might want to create a run profile for your cycling as it is the only way to create courses that take you on paths. Of course only naughty cyclists would want to do that.

When pairing a new sensor you have to make sure you get to the screen shown below by tapping, for example, the phrase/button ‘Heart Rate’. It’s a good idea to give your new sensor a name that means something to you.

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So you can only have one sensor of each type. This is probably fine for 98% of people who will buy the 505HC. It’s more useful to me to have the ability for the device to store several sensors of each type – I might have a different speed/cadence sensor on each of 4 bikes for example. Garmin have a ‘sensor pool’ in their top-end watches. In theory this almost solves the problem however it seems to cause MANY problems with the watches that lose sensor connections and keep trying to connect to sensors that are not there; as well as reducing battery life. So MIO are probably best advised to keep doing it how they are!

Configuration

The Cyclo 505HC is customisable, probably covering most needs.

a. Training Zones

The 505HC allows the creation of Heart Rate (HR) and Power training zones. They could possibly add cadence so that cadence alerts could be shown but HR and power are the most useful.

The HR zones, by default, are estimated from your age using a standard formula. You should probably devote some time to working out what yours are. However I was amazed to find that mine were exactly right (or at least what I think is exactly right). I had put in my wrong birthday…still, I’ll take that.

I was then further amazed that my power zones were also exactly right. (First time from ANY WATCH EVER that has got them both right). Power was based on just one fairly hard ride that I’d just done. Impressive. I’ll take that too!

b. WiFi

>>Settings>WIFI Sync

I configured my home WIFI network access on the 505HC. One that is done you have to manually tap this button each time you want to WIFI sync your data.

So as you bike into your drive you tap the WIFI Sync and then by the time you have put your bike away and switched on your PC to get to the MIOSHARE site you will probably find your data already there.

Some other vendors do the WIFI Sync automatically in the background and SOME people definitely prefer this. On balance I prefer MIO’s approach as it saves having a WIFI Process running in the background on the watch which may degrade battery life as well as interfering with other things the device is doing. Don’t change this MIO!

c. Profiles

You create a profile for each type of bike you have and/or each type of exercise you want to do. Commuting, race bike, MTB, Running, Walking. As said before some profiles only allow certain kinds of sensor.

You can even change each profile to say if you are male/female with your dob, weight and power/HR profiles. Presumably MIO want to encourage you to share your device with family members. I didn’t test if this confuses the profiles but it seems like a good and honest idea. Again, with other manufacturers you generally CANNOT do this sort of thing and their ‘solution’ is to buy another watch for your partner/kids.

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