Every motorist almost has one: a navigation system. Whether it is built-in, a separate device or an app on your smartphone; for many motorists it is “men’s best friend”. A review of a navigation system is therefore hardly really innovative. One nonetheless, the Mio Cyclo 305 I tested is a real innovation!
The Mio Cyclo 305 is a navigation system intended for bicycles ! By bike? Yes by bike! The first question that may come to mind is: is there a need for that? I think so, in addition to navigation, the device also keeps track of speed, cadence and heart rate. This is a great innovation for a group of enthusiastic cyclists, especially those interested in Quantified Self (collecting sports performance based on heart rate, speed and distance).
The Mio is not only suitable for racing cyclists dressed in fast cycling clothing, the more recreational cyclist can also enjoy it, but above all it is of course a navigation system.
The Mio Cyclo 305 is the smaller brother of the 505 (although the device of the 305 itself is larger). The difference between 305 and 505 is in the wireless function of the 505. The 305 must be connected to your PC with a USB cable to transfer the rides to the Mioshare platform. The 305 and 505 are interchangeable, the sensor and heart rate monitor work on both devices.
Although the Mio is intended for cycling, it can also be used in the car and for running. I interpret the latter as walking, navigation during running becomes a bit difficult.
The routes are adjusted based on the profile you have created, highways are only selected if you choose Auto. It is good if you have several profiles to see which is active when you are navigating or doing a Surprise Me route to prevent that you suddenly come on an unpaved path with your racing bike.
Surprise Me option triggered me, giving you three different routes based on time or distance set by you. This appeals to me because I always cycle the same round through the dunes. You know how it goes and where you get.
With the Surprise Me function I have been several times where I have never been before. The routes are remembered so less likely to get the same route twice.
Install and assemble
The Mio consists of three parts: the navigation device itself, the heart rate belt and the cadence / speedometer. In addition, mounting material to mount everything on the bike and a small manual that can also be found online .
That mounting the cadence meter and the navigation system still has some feet. It starts with mounting the holder on the handlebar. For this you use tie wraps that you have to pull tight enough to ensure that the device stays in place.
And that is not always easy. Although all bicycles have a handlebar and pedals, there are differences. My handlebar has a corner and it is difficult to install. Still it worked. The speedometer and cadence meter must be installed on the pedals and the horizontal axis. These surfaces are not always round and attaching the sensors is equally difficult. Especially since the distance between the sensors is around 3-5 mm. I have had a number of times that the sensor shifted and ran against the wheel, especially at the rear wheel. The solution is to shift the sensor again.
The disadvantage is that the Mio is not easy to transfer to another bicycle. If you want that, you have to buy extra items such as the handlebar mounting set and the cadence / speedometer. Costs are about € 70.
The Mio is fairly easy to use. When you take it out of the box, you have to enter a number of things via the touchscreen, such as language, gender, weight, date display and distance and speed in kilometers or miles. You conclude by typing in the code (on the box) that unlocks the accompanying cards.
My test device also had to be ‘updated’. In total, this took more than two hours because three GB of maps had to be downloaded. But hey, you don’t have that every day.
You must also create a profile in which you indicate what type of bicycle you have before cycling, for example mountain bike, road bike or city bike. This affects the type of routes. With a road bike you should not cycle on a dirt road.
What can you do with the Mio?
I already talked about the Surprise me function, but there is more in the Mio. Of course the navigation option, home, to an address, a track, set coordinates or to a Point of Interest (for example a bicycle shop or catering establishment). In training mode you can choose distance, time or calories. Again the possibility to just train (you choose the route) or to be surprised.
The Surprise Me algorithm is one of the best features on the device. I have seen parts of Haarlem and surroundings where I had never been before. What you really have to get used to is the crazy routes that are taken. Certainly if you know the area you really wonder why you suddenly have to turn left to get back on the road a hundred meters further. Anyway, the Mio is the boss.
What would be nice is that you could influence the algorithm and indicate how the route is built up. Certainly to avoid crazy combinations such as left, right, right, left. In that case I prefer to drive straight ahead.
Of course also online
Mio also has a platform where you can see your results online, the Mioshare platform. Here you create a user profile and connect your Mio Cyclo 305 to your PC with a USB cable and transfer the data to the platform. Then you get an overview of speed, distance, and so on. You can see all your recordings and also the totals.
The functionality is fairly limited, in addition to the dashboard you can create a track yourself (a track is a route you make in advance) or download tracks from others to the Mio. It is striking that Chrome is not supported, Internet Explorer does work.
App or Device?
When reading this review, most people may soon have the question: why not just an app on your smartphone? It is a very legitimate question. Is it more convenient to have these kinds of functions in an app on your mobile phone or in a device? Especially if that app is cheaper or even free.
But it’s not fair to compare an app to a device. Of course, for example, Endomondo Pro can largely do the same navigation art, but the Mio can do more and (therefore) costs more.
Let’s make the cost:
The Mio Cyclo 305 HC West Europe: € 399.95
Same features (excluding smartphone):
|Pro version of a navigation app||€ 29.95 per year|
|Bike mount waterproof||€ 49.95|
|Cadence and speedometer||€ 59.95|
|Bluetooth heart rate monitor||€ 59.95|
The picture is already at € 200, and that is without the smartphone. The € 29.95 per year comes back every year as a subscription. Imagine that you have been using the app for 5 years and the price remains so then it is only a difference of € 80 (200 + 120 for the subscription) and 400 for the Mio. If you count the smartphone, you will go far over it.
Is that a fair comparison? Yes and no. Yes, because the Mio Cyclo 305 has all this, so you have to compare apples and apples. No, because the smartphone can do much more than just run the navigation app, and you may already have a smartphone.
It does indicate that just downloading a navigation app is not a comparison with what the Mio offers.
How do you like the Mio?
I made a number of trips with the Mio. In the pouring rain but also with sun. It is not only that you just encounter those weather types, but also the question of how well the Mio can be read with rain and in the sun.
And that is quite a challenge. Especially when you use the Surprise Me mode you have to look carefully which way to go now. There are audio signals when you have to turn, but the screen is the most important input.
Daarbij komt ook nog eens dat de lettergrootte niet in te stellen is en als je ogen niet meer zo goed zijn, bijvoorbeeld een leesbril, kan het zijn dat je echt moeite moet doen om het scherm te lezen. Op een gegeven moment in zonnig weer heb ik mijn zonnebril moeten af zetten om nog enigszins te kunnen lezen.
Naast het navigeren van A naar B is een andere belangrijke functie natuurlijk het kunnen zien hoe hard, hoe ver en waar je geweest bent. Dit kun je tijdens het fietsen zien maar ook op het Mioshare platform. Sommige mensen gebruiken alleen de navigatiefunctie, misschien de meer recreatieve fietser, anderen maken routes aan, downloaden routes en kijken vol bewondering naar hun eigen prestaties. Het kan allemaal. Ik zelf gebruik beide mogelijkheden.
Het is te hopen dat Mio een software update maakt die je in staat stelt om het display zo in te stellen dat met name navigatie beter zichtbaar is. Een kleine slag groter zou al handig zijn.
Er zijn een hoop dingen in te stellen op de Mio, zoals de helderheid van het scherm. In volle zon is dat een aanrader. De 12 uur van de batterij wordt dan niet gehaald. De Mio werkt niet met losse batterijen dus als deze leeg is moet hij eerst weer worden opgeladen.
Ik heb liever een apparaat zoals de Mio Cyclo 305 voor fietsnavigatie dan een app. Ten eerste omdat ik dit een toepassing vind die beter tot zijn rechtkomt op een specifiek apparaat dan op mijn mobiel, nog even afgezien van het feit dat een app op je mobiel niet dezelfde functionaliteit biedt. Voor mensen die liever automatisch via Wi-Fi routes uploaden is de duurdere Mio Cyclo 505 een optie.
- Kaarten van West Europa geïnstalleerd, dus ook op vakantie de weg terug vinden
- Ook bruikbaar voor de auto en wandelen
- Geeft veel informatie
- Handzaam apparaat
- Surprise Me functie
- Lange levensduur
- Batterij max 12 uur (bij grote schermhelderheid minder).
- Montage is even pielen met tiewraps
- Niet makkelijk over te zetten op een andere fiets
- Beeldscherm moeilijk leesbaar bij felle zon
- Online functionaliteit van Mioshare beperkt
- Mio Cyclo 305 is not cheap (€ 399)
- Font and navigation not adjustable in size
The Mio Cyclo 305 is for an amount around 399 euros for sale at:
Heb nog steeds niet kunnen ontdekken waar ik gratis kaart updates kan downloaden voor de Mio Cyclo 305
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