- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 25 September 2013
In the world of GPS cycling computers, Garmin have dominated the market. According to Magellan brand manager, Paris Basson, with the launch of the new Cyclo 500 Series today in Sydney, this will change.
Overlooking the Opera House, Magellan launched the Cyclo 500 series for cyclists which includes three versions: the Cyclo 500, Cyclo 505 (with ANT+), and Cyclo 505HC (with heart rate monitor and cadence and speed sensor). As you would expect from a modern cycle computer, you get a full colour touch screen device with cycle computer and GPS functionality and the ability to save and share ride data, for example with Strava.
While these are the essentials in creating product to compete with the Garmin Edge, in the effort to differentiate and even lead, a standout feature of the Cyclo 500 series is localised Australian cycling maps. On top of Australian street map information, the Cyclo 500 series has bike map information from Bicycling Australia (Where to Ride series) as well as cycle route and cycling path data from governments which will provide cyclists with better routes and mapping. With this cyclist friendly mapping, Magellan aim to open up their audience beyond performance orientated cyclists to also appeal to mountain bikers and recreational cyclists and touring cyclists who can benefit from having this relevant mapping and routing ability.
Additional features include Wifi Sync so that map data can be automatically uploaded at the touch of a button; the ride data can be automatically shared with preferred services. Rides can also be shared with riding buddies by shaking the device; when your riding partner shakes their Cyclo 500 device the units can ‘pair’ and map data shared. Basson was also quick to point out forward compatibility with the integration of BLE – Blue Tooth Low Energy which, as the name suggests, allows for low energy data transfer.
The GPS cycle computers will be available in November 2013 and priced at $379 for the Cyclo 500, $399 for the Cyclo 505 (with ANT+) and the Cyclo 505HC with heart rate monitor and cadence/speed sensor kit for $479. Further details will be available on www.magellangps.com.au
A new runners product called the Echo was also released and, at first glance, is less suited to cycling. The Echo is a watch like device worn on the wrist that is basically a receiver for smart phone apps. There are a number of apps that can be easily paired and will send customised data to the watch.
While a wrist watch device would generally not appeal to a cyclist who is after a handlebar or stem mounted cycling computer, many cyclists carry a smart phone anyway so the Echo provides functionality that would be very useful for cyclists – imagine the potential of using your favorite GPS and training app on the smart phone and sending the crucial data to a simple and compact handlebar mounted display; the smart phone does the hard work. I would love to see this as a entry level type GPS cycle computer for runners. The wrist watch Echo is priced at $140 (or $199 for the BLE HRM version).