Saturday, October 31, 2015

Magellan Cyclo 505HC GPS Bicycle Computer Review

If you like to be outdoors, cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Just as we are continually getting more and more advancements in technology, this has also trickled down in our outdoor activities. With cycling, it is in the form of cycle computers. Magellan has entered the ring with their Cyclo 505HC. Magellan is known for their GPS receivers, which is exactly what is built in to the Magellan Cyclo 505HC.

Features and specs:
3" color transflective screen
Vibrant touchscreen providing direct sunlight readability.
Simple easy to use interface
Simple menu with large control buttons that are easy to use even with gloved hands.
Rugged design
Cyclo 505 and 505hc can take any sort of terrain you can. Built to IPX-7 standards the Cyclo 505 models can be submersed in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
Detailed Road & OpenStreetMap
Preloaded maps showing cycle lanes, cycle tracks and bike shop POIs. Discover new cycle routes and bike trails or record and share your own.
Programmable Cycling Profiles
Save up to 6 profiles based on the type of rider (touring, mountain bike and road) you are. Customize the type of surface you wish to use and for mountain bikers the % of dirt a trail you want.
Surprise Me™ Routing
Specify a distance or time and Magellan's Cyclo 505 and 505hc will present you with up to three routes to choose. The difficulty and grade of each route is presented so that you can choose the ride that is right for you or your group.
Bluetooth® Connectivity
Cyclo 505 devices are the only bike computers on the market to control the music on your smartphone and notify you of missed or incoming calls or text. Calls can be answered with a Bluetooth headset (not included) or set to automatically respond that you are riding. Cyclo 505 models are currently compatible with iPhone and select Android devices – with some features only compatible with Android.
Ant+ and Bluetooth Accessory Support
Supports over 180 ANT+ Speed/Cadence, HRM and Power sensors. Set up multiple cycling profiles and save sensors associated with each one .As more Bluetooth Smart sensors come into the market Cyclo 505 and 505hc are ready to support. Cyclo 505hc comes with ANT+ heart rate and speed/cadence sensors.
Shimano Di2 Electronic Road Bicycle Shifting Systems Compatible
Record and read shifting information from compatible Di2 electronic shifting systems that have the Di2 Wireless Unit (SM-EWW01). Information displayed in either gear position, gear number or visually by a chart or graph. Battery status and alerts or warnings are also visible.
Upload your ride data anywhere, anytime with or without your computer. Once you setup your Magellan Cyclo 505 for Wi-Fi transfers you can wirelessly sync your ride to the website. If you use Strava you can set your Magellan cyclo website to automatically save your data to your Strava account. More app support is coming so stay tuned.
Shake & Share
Easily share your planned route wirelessly with other Magellan Cyclo 315 and 505 devices by selecting the feature and shaking the 315 series back and forth at another Cyclo 315 or 505 unit. Make sure everyone arrives at the destination even if you are separated or ride at different paces.
Indoor training
Create an indoor cycling profile that disables GPS functionality, but measures speed, cadence, heart rate and power. Pair with an ANT+ capable trainer and control grade, resistance or simulate the wind you want to endure.
Multiple mounts included
Both an Out-front mount and a universal cable tie mount are provided in each Magellan Cyclo 505 and 505hc package. Use the mount that is best for you and your bike.
Back track
Magellan’s Cyclo 505 models tracks your position from start to finish. Get lost in the journey and not the route. By using the back tracking feature you can always find your way back to where you started or deviated from a route.
High-sensitivity SiRFstarIII GPS
3-5 meter GPS accuracy provides a superior and accurate navigation experience for wherever your ride may take you.
Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Up to 12 Hours of battery life with a rechargeable Lithium Ion cell battery. Go strong for an entire day.
  • Dimensions (English):  2.4" x 4.06" x .74"
  • Weight (English)4.55 Oz.
  • Weight (Metric)129g
  • Battery TypeRechargeable L-Ion
  • Battery LifeUp to 12 Hours
  • WaterproofIPX-7
  • SpeakerYes
  • CPU533MHz
  • Temperature Range (F)14F to 140F
  • Temperature Range (C)-10C to 60C
  • Internal Memory<500mb span="">
  • Display Resolution, WxHWQVGA, 240 x 400
  • Screen Size3.0"
  • Display TypeColor, Transflective
  • Touch ScreenYes
  • GPS AccuracyUp to 3-5 meters
  • High-Sensitivity GPSSiRFstarIII™
  • TemperatureYes
  • Antenna TypeMultidirectional Patch
  • 3-Axis Electronic CompassYes
  • Percentage GradeYes
  • G-sensor or AccelerometerYes
  • Preloaded MapsOSM/Tele Atlas US or CA
  • Points of InterestYes
  • Turn-by-Turn RoutingYes
  • Vertical ProfileYes
  • Map UpdatesFuture S/W Release
  • Breadcrumb NavigationYes
  • Back to Start/LocationYes
  • Active Route PauseYes
  • Customizable ScreensYes
  • Backtrack NavigationYes
  • Data & Route RecordingYes
  • Surprise Me™Yes
  • Accepts GPX FilesYes
  • User Data Online SharingYes
  • Stores WaypointsYes
  • Stores TracksYes
  • Stores RoutesYes
  • Communication ProtocolUSB Mass Storage
  • USB PortYes
  • PC CompatibleYes
  • MAC CompatibleYes
  • BluetoothYes
  • Wi-FiYes
  • ANT+Yes
  • Trainer Control Support (ANT+)Yes
  • Phone Message AlertYes
  • Heart Rate Monitor (ANT+)Included in 505hc, compatible with 505
  • Bike Speed/Cadence Compatible (ANT+)Yes
  • Power Meter Compatible (ANT+)Yes
  • Music ControlsYes

The Magellan Cyclo 505HC came in standard great looking colored printed box with photos of the product as well as its features and specs. Opening the box revealed the Magellan Cycle computer, along with the handlebar mount, wireless wheel sensor, as well as cadence and heart rate sensor. Also included is the manual. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic, but quality of materials used was very good. Build quality and fit and finish was excellent, which is a good thing with it being water resistant.

Having GPS on the bike sounded really cool, so I couldn't wait to get it on. Installation proved to be very simple. It was just a matter of mounting the bracket on the handlebar, and the speed and cadence sensor on the frame. The heart rate sensor was easy to wrap around my chest. Taking my time I had them on in about 15 minutes, and I was ready to ride!  One small potential problem is what was provided to mount ties.  While they work, they also do not allow for moving it from bike to bike....unless you want to go thru a lot of zip ties.

The Magellan Cyclo 505HC is truly a premium device. and it is loaded with features! All of the standard cycle computer features can be found, like speed and distance. In addition it also has premium features such as Bluetooth. Add to that the cadence and heart rate monitors, and you can easily monitor your workout. So for training, the Magellan has you covered. The Magellan Cyclo 505HC has the features you would find in a premium cycle computer. But add the built-in GPS, and it has just taken things to a whole new level. And I love the color display!

Using it was a cinch.  The user interface was really easy to figure out.  Having the large buttons on the touch screen made using it easy.  The touch screen was sufficiently sensitive.  And it was bright enough to see well during the day.  To save on battery life it also has sleep mode to turn off the display when not needed, and had different settings to choose from, such as 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, to always on.  Pairing it to my smartphone was easy.  Being able to see incoming texts and phone calls was very handy, especially on long rides.  Being able to control your music without having to pull out your phone was also really cool!

Up to this point I would have to say I was very please with the performance.  Magellan is one of those companies that continues to have me unsurprisingly impressed.  They continue to deliver products that time and time again impress and perform as promised.  Hence, being unsurprisingly impressed.  If you are in the market for one of their products, they are a safe bet.  Even though they are not a bicycle computer company at heir core, the standard bike computer features worked very well.

When it came to testing the GPS part of it's functionality, I was tickled pink!  It was as easy as entering in the address of where I want to go.  And then it gave me the option of using it for bike or car.  So you could also use it in your car as well.  I had the map on display, as well as a directional arrow of the direction, and distance to the next turn.  There was also an audible beep when I came to my turn.  There was also the menu, where you could select POI's along your way for pit stops, like a bike store.  When it was time to go back home from your destination, that was as simple as a button.  There was also a Home button, where you could program in your home address.  So if you had multiple stops, and Home was not where you immediately came from.....getting home would just be a button away.

The GPS functionality of the Cyclo 505HC was not perfect however.  It did turn out to not have quite the sophistication of a car GPS receiver.  GPS receivers do not always give you the fastest routes.  Being familiar with my area, I punched in a buddies address.  When I took a different street than I was routed for, I was expecting to get the standard "recalculating" and have the directions change to the route I was taking.  Instead, I got nothing.  It gave me instructions to turn around for the route I was originally given.  So while it seemed to lack the sophistication for recalculating and give you different route options when you deviate from the original route, it still worked.  Staying on the original route given always got me to the correct destination.  So in the end, I ended up getting to where I was needing to go.

The Magellan Cyclo 505HC is what a modern bike computer should be.  It gives you all your data such as speed and distances, will do cadence and monitor heart rate for training, and even has Bluetooth for pairing with your smartphone for text and phone notifications.  It will even control your tunes while you're riding.  But what had me the most impressed was the GPS functionality.  I just loved having the GPS.  It is one of those features that you may not have realized you really needed.  And once having it you wonder how you ever got along without it!  This would be especially true for anyone that uses their bike for commuting.  And if you ever hit the trails, that's what the USB cable is for.  Just download the trails from your computer, and pull them up on the Cyclo 505HC with the trails button.

This is a good example of a product that delivered a lot of synergy.  The sum appeared to be more than the parts.  The Magellan Cyclo 505HC ended up being a product that appears to have just about everything a cyclist would need.  It is a well made product that performed in spades.  With an MSRP of $499, it isn't cheap, but you do get what you pay for.  And it's worth it.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Magellan Cyclo 505HC has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at