This Mio Cyclo 210 Review looks at MIO’s latest navigation-focussed device. It comes in at under £200 but does it have the features to justify the price? Let’s see, although it does have a rather nice screen for starters.
Background – Mio & Me
Mio are a lesser-known competitor of Garmin. They are based in Belgium and have sold devices in the USA under the Magellan brand – I believe they have now largely withdrawn Cyclo devices from the North American market.
The Mio Cyclo 210 (review ed here) is the entry-level model in a range of 5 devices. The 210 is starting to be more actively marketed since its introduction in August 2018.
Whilst MIO’s main marketing angle throughout the entire range appears to be focussed on NAVIGATION, their devices do become much more feature-rich and performance-suited as you go up the range.
I have used the Cyclo 505HC on quite a number of occasions, mostly for navigation. Whilst the 505HC is now discontinued I still use it to navigate with – it’s probably not especially better than other offerings I’ve just got used to how it works AND the one thing it was good at was being able to load and follow VERY LONG GPX (route) tracks. My Garmin Edge devices would simply fail to load these files of over 70 miles in less than 5 minutes. Maybe it’s different now.
I have a soft spot for MIO and I already know the interface and menus reasonably well.
MIO & You
This device would suit a holiday navigator, tourer, explorer or, perhaps also a commuter.
I twill NOT be appropriate for a performance athlete.
Let’s put the Cyclo 210 in context. It’s good for a day’s worth of navigational fun on two wheels but perhaps not in a monsoon.
Mio Cyclo 210 – Sizing comparisons
Both the device and the screen are bigger than the older, but more highly specified, 505HC.
Let’s face it, you’ve probablky got no idea how big a 505HC is ! So I will compare to a few other bike computers
So, as you can see it is a relatively large device with a decently-sized screen
The grandaddy of all bike computers is probably the Garmin Edge 1030 (58x114x19mm), yet the MIO Cyclo 210 Review ed here is slightly bigger at 68x114x18.6mm. The Cyclo is 30g heavier at 151g but, most importantly, the cyclo has a superior screen resolution of 320x480px when compared to the Edge 1030 of 282x470px although the physical, usable screen size of both is pretty much the same.
Here’s a pretty picture of it from the side. As you can see it’s ‘bike computer sized‘ (68x114x18.6mm).
The point of talking first about sizing is that one of the key aspects of NAVIGATION is being able to see the map and the instructions that come from it. That’s MUCH easier on a decent and well-sized screen. We’re off to a good start.
Mio Cyclo 210 – Box Contents
Nice enough box
There’s a stem mount, the device and a micro USB charing and data transfer cable. That’s it. Oh. Bits of paper too.
As you can see the stem mount will be semi-permanently fixed to your bike with cable ties.
MIO Cyclo 210 – Around the device
There’s not so much to see.
Underneath we have a proprietary twist mount. It seems to sometimes fit into Polar mounts and Garmin mounts BUT NOT VERY SECURELY. So don’t do that.
And at the end there is a rubber-covered USB port and a memory card port. I’ve absolutely no idea why you would need to use a memory card as a full regional map is included.
On the top we have a potentially nice-looking TOUCHSCREEN with only one button for comfort. The button is multi-fuctional and performs these actions: unlock; go back and go home; and turn off/on.
Mio Cyclo 210 – Mounting Options
The stem mount is a bit on the cheap side for my liking at this price point. You can buy an out-front MIO mount if you like but I already have one on my MTB and it is looking a bit worse for wear.
I guess you could use it as a hand-held device too?
Mio Cyclo 210 – Battery Life
Officially the battery life is ‘up to’ 10 hours.
I’m getting something not too far from 9 hours with how I’m using it now – albeit somewhat haphazardly. HOWEVER once you start receiving TBT alerts and re-direct/wrong way alerts and once you leave that beautiful screen ‘always on’ you will find that 9 hours is lessened somewhat. Add in a bit of battery degradation over time and I reckon you will be looking at something like 5 or 6 hours of navigational usage. Other brands suffer equally with the same kinds of issues…it’s not just MIO. That assertion is all based on my experience with the 505HC over a couple of years – I would hope MIO have improved both the battery and poer management since then.
You can change the screen brightness and the backlight timer to increase battery life.
Mio Cyclo 210 – Touchscreen
The touchscreen is nice even though I don’t like touchscreens. Usually it works perfectly well and then sometimes less so. Nevertheless I’d give its touchiness 8/10 which is quite high praise from me.
The screen quality and readability are both AWESOME. And it’s one of the best screens I’ve seen. I’ve not seem them all but this is a GOOD screen. It’s clearly visible through sunglasses, for example.
Have a look at this image in the context of the screen quality.
The apparent quality will be lost to a degree in the act of capturing any images, maybe also maybe the 505HC (on the right) is pointing slightly the wrong way but the real-life difference between these two devices is pretty much as shown. ie the 210’s screen is MUCH better than the screen quality on previous models. The colour density, sharpness, vividness and vibrancy…however you want to look at it…it’s better.
I like the screen on my Polar V650, which is pretty good and functional. The Cyclo DOES look better. Whether it makes any material difference in the usability of the product for navigation is another matter. In reality I prefer the Wahoo in the background which has a low-resolution black and white display. But, that’s just me. If you want the prettiest display get the MIO.
Mio Cyclo 210 Review Specifications
The specifications are decent for both the hardware and for the art of navigation. As we’ve already said it’s got a good screen and, see below, the chipset is the same on from the Polar M400 – so that is alright, albeit a bit dated. Although dated could also mean ‘has all the bugs fixed‘. The GPS accuracy results are further on in this Mio cyclo 210 Review but usually GPS accuracy is fine enough for bike computers in my experience.
|Processor type||ARM Cortex-A7|
|GPS Chipset||U-blox 7|
|Display resolution||320 x 480|
|Display Size||8.9cm (3.5″)|
|Weight (gr)||151 g|
|Surprise Me Loop||Yes|
|Where Am I Function*||Yes|
|Upload To Strava||(directly via MioShare™)|
Mio Cyclo 210 – User Experience, Interface & Competence
I like the interface. Or more precisely I do NOT dislike how it looks but it is totally intuitive and I have no problems in using it. I don’t have to refer to the manual. The menus are a bit ‘dated’ in appearance but this is not a fashion parade.
In terms of what the 210 is setting out to do then there is competence on the navigational features and there is competence and breadth in the range of associated metrics that can be arranged on the various screens. These metrics range from arrival time; battery; distance to next turn; calories; sunset; heading; distance to next hilltop; grade; total ascent; remaining climb; and so on.
Routes can be configured to avoid major roads; and there are looped ‘surprise’ me navigations. If you go off-course then there are re-routing capabilities ie the device DOES contain a true navigational understanding of the roads/tracks on its maps just like your car SATNAV.
You can load your own GPX files to follow. The 210 DOES support TBT instructions contained in the GPX files. You can even create these yourself, I used Fit File Repair Tool to add TBT instructions.
The screen can be orientated in the direction of travel or ‘North up’ and the screen also has autozoom functionalities based on speed and proximity algorithms (assumed).
You send your ride data to MIOSHARE, the online platform. (AFAIK there is no app for the 210 – there is no bluetooth support).
MIOSHARE is also the repository for your tracks/routes which are all automatically kept in sync with your Cyclo 210 device whenever you link the Cyclo 210 to your computer.
To send your data elsewhere, you can export GPX tracks from Mioshare OR you can sync to STRAVA and export your rides from there.
I found it strange that RIDEWITHGPS is not linked to and supported. RIDEWITHGPS is a comprehensive route-creating tool. Sure you can do the basics of route creation in Mioshare really well but you can do much more in RIDEWITHGPS. I would imagine RIDEWITHGPS would have a large user base many of whom could be potential customers for MIO. MIOSHARE does create routes with a minimal number of route creation options however it does route creation well and would cover 90% of my navigational needs – although my needs are somewhat limited.
It would seem a more sensible strategy to me that MIO followed a similar model to WAHOO and just didn’t bother with MIOSHARE at all. Instead they could rely on one of those trendy modern things called ‘an app’ which then linked to RIDEWITHGPS for route creation and to STRAVA for routes, analysis and social stuff. They could then focus on innovating more around their hardware.
MIO Cyclo 210 Review – Navigating
The Cyclo does a good job of guiding you from A to B. Your position on the map is as you would expect and you are alerted in an appropriate manner for upcoming turns if your route supports that.
If you go off course there is a slightly longer delay than I would like for the Mio to alert you and re-plan. But it’s fine.
The one criticism I would have is that starting a route/course is mildly confusing. There could be slight delays as the 210 is off thinking about something or it could just be that I’m not pressing the touchscreen in quite the right place. Having said that there are some nice touches where you can choose to ride a pre-loaded route in either direction.
MIO Cyclo 210 Review – GPS Accuracy
The general accuracy seems fine to me and fit for the purpose. I completed a formal GPS Accuracy test and the results were excellent but that is relatively normal for cycling.
Details: Results & Methodology
Here is a hard section of the course in the formal test with the Cyclo 210 in red and the Polar Vantage V in blue. Both had similarly EXCELLENT results for the full BIKE MODE test.
The MIO Cyclo 210 review ed here is a competent or even GOOD bike navigation computer.
It navigates as well as many others but its main differentiator is the awesome-looking screen.
It lacks the performance metrics and connectivity to sensors that other navigational devices have at exactly the same price point. You could argue that why overcomplicate a device with features that many bike navigators will simply never need. And I would probably agree with you on that point.
The main criticisms that you can throw against the MIO Cyclo 510 is that it is not a different kind of device. ie I could come up with things I would like it to do but they would probably mostly be non-navigationally based. I remind you that MIO have other more feature-ful devices in their range!
However the Cyclo seems a tad overpriced to me. The only justification for the price that I can see is the screen. Then again, the screen IS a fundamental part of a bike navigation offering.
Recommendation: I’d say buy it if you want a sweet-looking bike navigation unit and do not want to pay for additional performance features that you will never use. Go for it if you are happy with the price.
Price, Availability & Discounts
There is general availability NOW in Europe. I suspect we will not see too much discounting on this until 2019.