The Magellan Cyclo 505 cycling computer is GPS enabled and has a host of features that will appeal to the rider who enjoys casual rides and touring. A sharp color touch screen with good contrast is used for menu and page navigation, much like the Garmin Edge 810. Unfortunately, the Cyclo 505 has a very limited battery life and the menu navigation is clunky and a bit confusing when compared to its competitors.
Magellan Cyclo 505 Review
Cons: Unable to load maps for other regions, no lap function, connectivity issues with third party Ant+ sensors, large and heavy, limited battery life
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cyclo 505 by Magellan is a GPS enabled cycling computer that offers routable maps as well as ANT+ sensor compatibility. The 505 was released in May of 2014, and is identical to the Mio 505 sold in Europe. Mio is the sister company to Magellan. The Cyclo 505 stands out from the crowd with both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ sensor compatibility. It also boasts stand-alone Wi-Fi connectivity, so you do not need to be tethered to a computer or connected to a smartphone in order to download your data.
Other unique functions such as Surprise Me, which selects a route for you based on time or distance requirements, are not found on any other cycling computer. In many ways, the Cyclo 505 is a direct competitor to the Garmin Edge 820. While the Magellan has features that Edge 820 does not, such as Bluetooth connectivity, it is hampered by shortcomings we just can't get past.
Ease of Use and Interface
This contender utilizes a single button that turns the unit on and off, and all other functions are accessed via the touch screen. The single round button and overall shape are more reminiscent of iPhone styling than the look of other cycling computers we have tested. Our test unit came with an out-front mount that is very similar in function to other mounts we have used in testing from both BarFly and Garmin. Start up and satellite acquisition are relatively quick, but lag a bit behind units that utilize both GPS and GLONASS satellites such as the Lezyne Super GPS. When it comes to battery life, the Cyclo 505 leaves a bit to be desired.
The claimed battery life is 12 hours, which would put the unit squarely at the bottom of the heap, but during testing we were never able to get more than 10 hours. Charging is accomplished using either the included AC wall charger or the USB cable. This is a big deterrent, making frequent charging necessary, and limiting the usefulness for riders who are doing long rides or touring. The touch screen is responsive, but not quite as easy to use as the Garmin Edge 820. Unfortunately, the screen and menu layout is not as easy to navigate as the Garmin computers we tested. One bright spot is the Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to sync ride data with the Magellan Cyclo web application without connecting to a computer or syncing with a smartphone.
The Cyclo 505 bundle comes with a nice out-front mount that puts the computer in an ideal position for viewing.
It also comes standard with a handlebar/stem mount similar in concept to the quarter turn rubber band mounts used by Garmin and Lezyne. The Cyclo mounts use zip ties rather than rubber bands, are much harder to install, and lack the stability of the Garmin and Lezyne mounts.
An ANT+ heart rate monitor strap and an ANT+ speed cadence sensor are also included with the Cyclo 505. The heart rate monitor strap is on par with the top level Garmin premium strap. It is comfortable and easy to attach. The speed cadence sensor is a bit clunky, especially when compared to the new Garmin magnet-less sensors. The speed sensor unit houses the 2032 battery and the cadence sensor is attached by a wire.
A total of four zip ties are needed to attach it to the chain stay. Magnets attach to a rear wheel spoke and the non-drive crank arm. The sensor functions well but is much harder to set up than the Garmin design.Programming and Configuration:
Initial setup is time consuming and cumbersome. You can designate up to six user profiles. Each user profile can be configured with different "Info" screens. This feature is similar to what Garmin offers with its Edge model computers, but selecting the data points you want displayed and the order you want them to come up in is confusing to say the least. The available data fields are available in an alphabetical list rather than being clumped together by function similarity. For example, on Garmin devices all power-related data fields are in one place, while all time-related data fields are lumped together in another; this makes individual metrics easy to locate base. There is also no explanation of the metrics on the Magellan.
For example, the Cyclo 505 offers an Active Time and a Training Time data field option with no explanation of what either is measuring. Magellan does have a website for the Cyclo 505. The website is where you would go for firmware updates, as well as to search for "tracks" which are user-generated and uploaded routes. Unfortunately, so few people use the platform that you may not find many tracks available. When we searched the entire Northern California Area for available tracks, only five were available for download.
The Cyclo 505 is loaded with features, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart for sensors and smartphones, ANT+, and routable maps. While loaded with features, the execution and usefulness of the features is questionable. This bike computer comes loaded with an Open Street Map continental map of the USA if the device is purchased in the USA, which is a nice feature. Unfortunately there is no way to update the map. This is supposedly coming in a firmware update in the future. Another major flaw is the inability to load a map for another part of the world. So if you buy your Cyclo in the USA and plan to use it on a vacation to Europe, you will have no maps.
We much prefer to have the ability to load our own maps via Open Street Maps, and have the option to add and delete map area as needed. The Cyclo also has some options such as the Surprise Me feature, which will self select a route based on user input criteria of time and distance. In addition to that, the Cyclo will also map you to points of interest such as a bike shop when selected from a Point of Interest list. Some of the features employed by the Cyclo are interesting and promising, but the lack of foresight in creating a system that doesn't allow for the updating of maps casts a shadow on otherwise innovative features.
No complaints here, the IPX7 rating is the industry standard and we had no issues using the Cyclo 505 in the most deplorable of conditions.
The Cyclo 505 is not a versatile cycling computer. It offers many features for the touring cyclist, but lacks the battery life to be useful on an actual bike tour. For racers and those training, the 505 omits functions such as a Lap feature. Any cyclist using a computer to track training data will be automatically turned off by the lack of a Lap button. The Lap function is the most frequently used feature by most cyclists when training and racing. Beyond the omission of critical performance functions, the Cyclo 505 is big and heavy, and you are unlikely to see one on the handlebars of a gram counting cross-country racer anytime soon.
This contender is best suited to touring or casual cyclists. The map features are nice, and the screen is large, making it easy to follow turn-by-turn navigation instructions. However, buyers should be aware that the maps are limited to the USA at this time (if purchased in the USA).
With a base MSRP of $430, the price of the Cyclo is $30 more than the Garmin Edge 810. The bundle that includes the heart rate and speed/cadence sensors brings the price up to $499. Despite being close in price to it's nearest competitor, it is not a good value. It is limited to use in the USA due to the inability to load maps for different regions. In addition, the lack of critical performance tracking metrics limits its use for training.
The Magellan Cyclo 505 has many novel features that, if properly executed, would launch it to the top of the cycling computer food chain. Unfortunately, a cascade of flaws limits its usefulness to many user groups.
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Most recent review: December 26, 2016
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