After using a Cateye Strada Wireless computer for the last year I decided to go and try a Mio 505 HC GPS computer. I was more than happy with the Strada Wireless computer (and it’s still mounted on the bike even though I’ve been using the Mio mainly). I wanted something more in depth to keep track of my rides on my own personal online calendar, this does just that.
When I first mounted it on the bike I was happy with the way it looked and it looked just as tidy as my wireless computer. I made my Mioshare account (you can do this online easily) followed instructions to set up the Mio itself with my weight, style of bike, even down to the tyre size and weight of the bike and it was ready to go. Rather than just ride out and track my ride – I wanted to test the navigation which was the second thing I was interested in. I’ve been lost locally more times than I know and this is a great tool to aid my lack of navigation skills. The main feature I use before riding is the ride planner. I love this feature, it allows you to view a map on the Mioshare website and place waypoints for your Mio to navigate to. When you tap on a junction, a red waypoint shows that you have chosen to start from that particular point. It doesn’t even have to be your current location either. If you live in Blackburn but you’re taking a trip to the Lakes, sit in your armchair and start planning your ride. Your Mio will then track your ride from that point.
The next waypoint you place down will be navigated to by the mapping system on Mio share, filling in the road with a red line so you can see exactly how you are going to get to the next point. If you are not happy with how it’s navigating to the next point, it’s easily clicked, dragged and changed! This is another great feature if you know that you want to avoid certain areas or just want to go a certain way. You can continue to drop waypoints to your Mioshare account and keep plotting your ride. Not only does this keep track of exactly how many miles you are planning to ride, it tells you your height gain throughout – so if you’re not up for a hilly ride, change it!
If you are not fussed too much about being as in depth choosing your route, click on the map to set a waypoint, find where you want to ride to and click again. Mio will then route between the two points and give you all your information that you need for that ride. Save it, give it a name, then sync it to your Mio computer! Simple!
The other way you can use Mio is for tracking your ride if you don’t want to plan your route or know it off by heart because it’s a standard club ride. Go to the “dashboard” button on screen, press it, then press record, away you go! This will now track you for as long as you have a battery charge. Running time can be up to 12 hours, but if you have bluetooth on etc you will burn the battery faster.
Using this in the night is great too, you can set the screen brightness and even how long the screen stays lit up for. If its pitch black, set it to as low as possible to save dazzling your eyes. This will also light up at the next point of navigation and will then turn the screen off after you have taken your turn. Touch sensitivity is nowhere near the likes of a £600 smart phone, though it’s easy to use and doesn’t give too much hassle when using the touch screen.
The first time I used it, it couldn’t be raining any harder. It was mid November and not too cold so I decided to pop out for a quick ride that I planned out. New stuff always makes you want to play out no matter what the weather was. I paired it with my phone, set up my tunes and headed for the hills.
Whilst I was out rain was collecting on the units’ screen – my experience in the past that water will affect a touch screen and would sometimes select a setting by itself or change something you didn’t really want to change, but this wasn’t the case here. I wiped off the excess water from the display and it didn’t upset it in any way. The audio tones to turn left or right were loud enough to hear over the music on my phone. It is easy to see where the unit wants you to go with the 3.5” screen that I mounted just in front of my bars rather than on the stem with a similar fitment to Garmin. My phone also rang whilst I was out and as I was all paired up with my phone, I pressed answer on the Mio and took the phone call. My phone was in my breast pocket and the caller could hear me loud and clear. I was very impressed as it allowed me to ride with both hands on the controls and still receive a phone call safely.
Throughout my first ride I had my screen on constant. I didn’t set it to go off at any point – this did burn the battery faster, but lasted more than enough time to do my ride. I have since then set a time out function on it to preserve battery as it lights up when you are coming to a turn on your ride. I opted for the Wifi model over the heart rate model as syncing by Wifi is so much less fuss than connecting to your computer and waiting to upload. Before I’d managed to put the bike away it had synced with my Mioshare profile and was ready to be turned off.
I’ve done a few hundred miles with the Mio now, tracking my rides to and from and also planning my rides and saving them to the Mio to navigate the way and I’ve been more than happy. I like the idea of connecting my phone to it to never miss a text or call, being constantly connected sounds like a drag for some, though if your phone is ringing and you’re riding it’s annoying to stop and see who it is, especially if it’s someone you want to avoid, with Mio, it shows you on screen without stopping.
If I had to choose again, I’d get a Mio – it recognises Bontrager Duo traps and anything ANT+ - just need a wrist mounted heart rate monitor and cadence sensor and it will be perfect.
If you’re looking for a Mio Cyclo 505 HC GPS computer check out our range of GPS computers at Formby Cycles. Happy cycling!