Lezyne Micro Color Review
Cons: Small screen and buttons, occasional inaccuracy
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Lezyne Micro Color
|Price||$140 List||$393.95 at Amazon|
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|$399 List||$379.99 at Competitive Cyclist|
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|$229.99 at Competitive Cyclist|
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|Pros||Inexpensive, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, exceptionally lightweight, compact, color screen, good companion app||Awesome features and app environment, Bluetooth Smart and ANT+, good battery life, touchscreen, radar and bike light control||Beautiful display, great navigation, user-friendly, lots of premium features||Excellent battery life, reliable, multi-color screen, tons of GPS navigation features, robust phone app||Competitive price, aerodynamic, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+, Bluetooth smart, WiFi, maps, large screen, easy to use and set up, zoom feature|
|Cons||Small screen and buttons, occasional inaccuracy||System might crash, navigation glitches, Strava Live Track integration issues||Integrations with 3rd parties is spotty, pricey, battery hog||No touchscreen, head unit relies on phone a bit too much, app setup and syncing can be a pain, routing can be clunky||No color screen, slower to startup|
|Bottom Line||Incredibly lightweight and compact, this computer features a color screen and ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor compatibility||A top-end GPS bike computer with cool, useful features and a slick touchscreen interface||Sleek, beautiful, powerful. Comes at a premium and it’s worth it||Lots of practical features and a long battery life - what more could you want in a bike computer?||Fully featured and incredibly easy to use, this computer seamlessly integrates with your smartphone and offers ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensor compatibility|
|Rating Categories||Lezyne Micro Color||Garmin Edge 830||Hammerhead Karoo 2||Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM||Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Ease Of Setup (20%)|
|Water Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Lezyne Micro Color||Garmin Edge 830||Hammerhead Karoo 2||Wahoo Fitness...||Wahoo Fitness...|
|GPS enabled?||GPS, Glonass||GPS, Glonass, Galileo||GPS, Glonass, Beidou, and QZSS||GPS, Glonass, BEIDOU Galileo, QZSS||GPS, Glonass, BEIDOU Galileo, QZSS|
|Cadence Sensor?||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart|
|Heart Rate Monitor?||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart|
|Power Meter?||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart|
|Smart Trainer?||No, but does have "Stationary Mode"||ANT+FE-C||ANT+FE-C||ANT+FE-C||ANT+FE-C|
|Dimensions||1.9" x 1.3" x 0.88"||1.9" x 3.2" x 0.8"||2.4" x 4" x 0.76"||2.3" x 2.3" x 0.7"||2.9" x 1.8" x 0.87"|
|Display Size||1" x 0.95"||1.7" x 2"||3.2"||1.35" x 2.25"||2.2"|
|Battery Type||Lithium polymer||Re-chargable lithium ion||2500 mAh high capacity||Re-chargable lithium ion||Lithium Ion|
|Battery Life||14 hours||20 hours||12 hours||17 hours||15 hours|
|Phone App||Lezyne Ally V2||Garmin Connect||Hammerhead||ELEMNT||ELEMNT|
|Accessory Interface ANT+, BTLE, BT.||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+|
|Text, Email, Call notifications||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Lezyne makes a broad range of GPS enabled cycling computers in their current product line that are all packed with features and offered at very competitive prices. In fact, the Micro C GPS we tested fall around the middle of that range that maxes out near two C-notes for the Mega XL (also tested). The C stands for color, and the small unit has a color screen, while most of the other models in Lezyne's range do not. With virtually all the same features, smartphone integration, and versatility as the Mega XL, the Micro C GPS is a powerful bike computer in an incredibly compact and lightweight package.
In fact, the Micro C GPS weighs in a full 30g lighter than any of the other GPS enabled models we tested. This reduction in size and weight doesn't reduce the number of features or connectivity; it does, however, result in a smaller screen and shorter battery life. When paired with Lezyne's companion app, the Micro C GPS features turn by turn navigation, Live Tracking, and Strava Live segments, and it is ANT+, and Bluetooth Smart enabled to pair with all your sensors including electronic drivetrains. If you're on a budget and you count every gram, then look no further.
Ease of Use
We found the Micro C GPS to be relatively easy to use. Excellent integration with the Lezyne Ally V2 app makes it easy to customize your settings, pair with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors, and sync your data to your favorite fitness tracking apps. It uses four tactile buttons, two on each side, to turn the unit on and off, control all the functions, and scroll between pages. The multi-function buttons aren't nearly as intuitive as those on the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT or the Garmin Edge 530, but with a little practice, you get used to them.
The Micro C shares the same button configuration as the Mega XL, although we found the smaller housing to be a little less user-friendly when it came to pressing the buttons. The tiny buttons are raised and easy to locate with your fingers, but the small housing makes it a bit more difficult to push them, especially with gloves on. We found ourselves occasionally pressing two buttons at the same time since they are on opposite sides of the housing, but again with some practice; you get used to it.
The multi-function nature of the buttons also presented us with a little difficulty; at first, we found ourselves often pressing the wrong button, scrolling the page or starting another lap instead of opening the menu or whatever it was we wanted to do. After a little time using the Micro C, however, we eventually learned which buttons to press and when, it just wasn't nearly as intuitive as the other models with tactile buttons.
Overall, screen navigation is reasonably straightforward. The device is turned on by pressing and holding the upper left power button, and it boots up almost instantly, about three seconds. The main screen shows the strength of your GPS signal, battery life, time, paired phone and its battery charge, as well as connected sensors. Recording of data is started by pressing the lower right button, labeled Lap. You can scroll through as many as five data pages by pressing the upper buttons on either side of the housing to display the data that is most important to you during your ride. You can adjust the number of pages, as well as the data fields on each page to dial it into your preferences by pressing and holding the Menu button, upper right, which brings you to the Menu where you can scroll through all of the different options. All of the programming can also be done through the Ally V2 app, which is much easier.
Navigating the pages on devices like the Garmin Edge 830 is noticeably easier due to the use of the touchscreen which allows you to swipe much like a smartphone as opposed to using a series of buttons. The Edge 530, which also uses tactile buttons, is also a little more straightforward to navigate due to the dedicated function of each button as opposed to the multi-function buttons of the Micro C. This is also the case with the ELEMNT BOLT, which has a less complicated system of buttons and the customization of settings is done primarily through the well designed and easy to use companion app.
Smartphone integration and data transfer are the Micro C's strong suits. This is thanks to the well designed and intuitive Lezyne Ally V2 app. Just download the app for free then pair your smartphone with your device and you're on your way. Data transfers quickly from the Micro C with auto uploads to Strava and Lezyne GPS Root website, and you are given the option to back it up on your phone. We also found the Bluetooth connection to work well as text, phone call, and email notifications came through during use. Data transfer can also be done through the provided micro USB cord to both the GPS Root website and Strava, but we found this process to be more complicated than necessary with the wireless data transfers working so well.
The Micro C GPS can also be set up to do Live Tracking, Strava Live segments, and turn by turn navigation through the Ally V2 app. One downside of the Micro C GPS is its lack of Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning you are dependent on your smartphone to transfer data wirelessly. While this isn't a deal-breaker for most people, devices like the Garmin Edge 820 have more wireless data transfer options because it has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Overall, we found the Lezyne Ally V2 app to be very user-friendly, similarly intuitive to the Wahoo ELEMNT app, both of which are far superior to the Garmin Connect app.
The Micro C GPS has a rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery which is recharged with the included micro USB cable. It boasts a battery life of 14 hours, more than ample for just about any ride, but a bit of a sacrifice when compared to the 48-hour run time of the Mega XL. We never found the 14-hour battery life to be an issue, and you can easily go for 3-4 hour long rides several days in a row without having to recharge it. The 14-hour battery life is competitive with most of the other GPS enabled devices in this test, most of which have around 15 hours of battery life. Once the battery has been depleted, it takes approximately two hours to recharge fully - roughly the same as most of the rechargeable units in the test selection.
Ease of Set-up
Set-up of the attachment for the Micro C GPS is about as easy as it gets. All of the Lezyne models share the same standard X-Lock mount which mounts directly on your handlebar or stem, assuming you have a rounded stem, and is held on with the included rubber bands which are included in 2 sizes.
The Wahoo and the Garmin Edge models all come with a similar mount, but both also include an out-front style mount with their devices. Lezyne's X-Lock mount is slightly more difficult to use than the quarter-turn Garmin or Wahoo Fitness mounts but only requires a little downward force while twisting to get it engaged or disengaged in the mount and feels very secure.
Programming the Micro C GPS is relatively simple. Of course, you can just turn the unit on, download the Lezyne Ally V2 app and pair it with your phone and go, but most people will want to do some basic programming.
Once on the Menu page, you can scroll by pressing the buttons on the right side of the unit to go up or down through the options. Here you can set the time, choose a language, enter personal information like age, height, weight, gender, pair or unpair your phone, and connect to ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart Sensors. The type of sensor is selected under the Sensors page on the main menu; then the Micro C GPS will search for the sensors and pair with yours following a series of prompts. Once paired, the unit will automatically sync with it every time it is turned on.
The Micro C GPS has a broad range of features, almost identical to those of the Mega XL but in a much smaller package. There seems to be much ado about the "vibrant color" of the Micro C GPS's screen, but it doesn't do all that much for us, and we feel it's really about the same as a black and white display.
The Micro C GPS offers slightly fewer features than the Garmin Edge models and the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT and therefore scores lower than these products.Basics
- Speed: Current, Average, Max, calculated from GPS data or bike mounted sensor.
- Distance: calculated from GPS data or bike mounted sensor.
- Elevation: Gain, Loss, Current, calculated from GPS data and barometer.
- Cadence: Current, Average, when paired with an ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensor.
- Power: Current or Balance, when paired with an ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart power meter.
- Heart Rate: Current, Average, when paired with an ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensor.
- Lap: Time, Speed, Distance.
- Clock: Current time, elapsed time.
GPS and Mapping
The Micro C uses both GPS and GLONASS satellite data. It typically acquires a satellite signal within seconds of it turning on, similar to most other GPS-enabled computers.
The Micro C GPS does not have a base map or the ability to load or display detailed maps. It does have what is called a breadcrumb trail feature which traces a white dotted line of your route on a black background. We never used this feature to retrace our route anywhere, but it doesn't seem all that easy to do. When used in combination with the Ally V2 app you can locate yourself on the map using the navigation feature assuming you have cell service.
The Micro C shares a unique mapping feature with the Super GPS called Take Me Anywhere. The Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT has a similar feature called Take Me To. When using the Ally V2 app on the navigation page, you can type a destination in the search bar, then select from the options it gives you. Once selected, the app then gives you up to three route options from your location to the selected destination. After selecting your chosen route, the app then sends it to the Micro C GPS and turn-by-turn directions will appear on the screen as you proceed.
To use this unique navigation feature, you must have cell service to search for your destination and get the route information. Assuming you maintain cell service you have nothing to worry about, but once the route information is transferred to the Micro C GPS cell service is no longer required for the duration of the route - assuming you stay on the correct path. If you happen to veer off the course and you've lost cell service, however, the Micro C GPS can't reroute you.
The Micro C GPS does have the ability to follow created or saved routes, and routes can be created on the Ally V2 app or on the GPS Root website where they can be saved. You can also import .gpx and .tcx file to the GPS Root website and follow Strava segments and routes.Smartphone Integration, Live Track, and Strava Segments
In addition to the navigation functions mentioned above, the Micro C GPS integrates with your smartphone to display text, call, and email notifications on the screen. This is a relatively common feature that is also found on all of the GPS-enabled computers in this review. The Micro C GPS also syncs ride data to the Ally V2 app, directly to Strava and the Lezyne GPS Root website. It is also worth noting that all of the Lezyne models share the unique feature of a battery life indicator for your paired phone.
Similar to most of the best GPS cycling computers on the market, Lezyne has a Live Track feature which is set up through the Ally V2 app. This feature allows you to select email contacts and send them a link to track the progress of your ride as it is happening. This feature provides an additional safety net in the event of an accident. Brands like Garmin and Wahoo Fitness offer similar features with their devices, as does Strava which now has a feature called Beacon available to premium members.
Assuming you are a Strava Premium member you can view Strava segments in the Ally V2 app. Strava segments can be enabled or disabled based on your preferences. Just like the Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT, the Micro C GPS allows you to control which segments you see by only showing starred segments and allows you track your progress in real-time so you can know instantly how you performed. Garmin offers a similar feature, but loads not only the starred segments but Strava selected segments as well, the Lezyne and Wahoo Fitness models give you more control over this feature.ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart
The Micro C GPS pairs with both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors and is capable of using both sensor types at the same time, so compatibility with different sensor types is not an issue.
The Micro C GPS is an incredibly versatile and powerful little unit. Other than maps, this incredibly small and lightweight device has virtually every feature you could ever want in a GPS-enabled cycling computer at half the weight and half the price of most of its more expensive competitors. It has excellent smartphone integration, compatibility with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors, Live Tracking and Strava Live segments, and the ability to switch between several outdoor activities. The Micro C GPS is great for training, racing, and casual riding no matter what type of bike you ride.
The Micro C is IPX7 rated and is highly water-resistant. During our testing of the Micro C GPS we didn't experience much in the way of inclement weather, although we did ride through some small creeks and even gave the unit a good long submersion in a glass of water. The Micro USB port's rubber cover is slightly more difficult to close than others we tested, but assuming the rubber cover is correctly placed the Micro C GPS can resist whatever nature throws your way, or even get fully submerged in water, though that's not exactly recommended.
At its modest retail price, we feel the Micro C GPS is an incredible value. The compact and lightweight unit is packed with all the features most people will ever need. Weight-conscious and budget-minded riders need to look no further.
The Micro C is a good GPS cycling computer that comes in a tiny and lightweight package at an unbeatable price. It lost ground to its competitors due to its lack of maps and slightly less intuitive multi-function buttons. That being said, the Micro C has been packed with nearly all of the features most people could ever want with excellent smartphone integration and the ability to pair with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors. This is a good lightweight and affordable option for any type of cycling, especially users who aren't as concerned with mapping and navigation.
Other Versions and Accessories
- The Micro C GPS is offered as a stand-alone bike computer as tested. It is also available in two bundled packages, the Micro C GPS HR Loaded bundle includes a heart rate monitor and retails for a bit more.
- The Micro C GPS HRSC Loaded bundle includes a heart rate monitor and speed and cadence sensors.
— Jeremy Benson