Beeline’s new Velo 2 cycle computer presents a complete refresh from its original Velo model, getting a new navigation interface, a larger display and an enhanced app-based route planner.
The new Velo 2 features an LCD screen with rocker buttons rather than a touchscreen.
The Velo 2 is priced at £79.99 / €89.99 and available now directly from Beeline. Beeline says it will continue to support original Velo users.
Like its predecessor, which launched in 2017, the Velo 2 was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, with more than 5,000 backers pledging in excess of $400,000.
Beeline’s original Velo initially allowed users to select a specific destination point on a map and the device would route you there using what is best described as a smart compass.
The device didn’t provide turn-by-turn prompts, instead giving as-the-crow-flies navigation to highlight the general direction your destination was in.
You could then decide your own way there. For example, if you knew you had to take a left but didn’t like the look of a particular street, you could carry on and take the next left.
The Velo was updated in 2019 to offer turn-by-turn navigation but the large ‘Beeline arrow’ to follow when riding remained.
The Velo 2 offers a more typical approach to navigation, with a map interface and route line to follow.
Once you have paired the Velo 2 with the Beeline app (available for iOS and Android), you can decide whether you want the device to route you to a destination or if you’d like to head out on a loop.
If you’d like to be directed to a destination, the app will suggest three routes:
- A fast route if you simply want to get from A to B
- A quiet route for enjoying the scenery
- A balance of the two
The app also gives you the option to drop different waypoints en-route, or you can choose to follow a loop.
You can also import GPX files to Beeline via its app, or if you link your Strava account with the app, any routes you have created there will be synced automatically.
At the moment, you cannot use the device without the Beeline app, but you can use the app for navigation without a Beeline device. This could be useful if you’re a beginner cyclist and do not want to commit to buying a bike computer.
However, the in-app mapping doesn’t rely on Beeline’s Velo 2 mini-map interface, instead reverting to the ‘Beeline arrow’ of the original Velo.
Beeline says it is working on the functionality to record a ride and access live stats without using navigation, and this will be rolled out to users in a future update.
Beeline claims there is now full worldwide mapping coverage using Mapbox but smart routing coverage is only available for the UK and “a lot of Europe”. There is also smart routing for “some US and Asian cities” and the brand says it is continuing to develop and refine its coverage.
Beeline says it has focused its mapping efforts on the road and cycle paths, and that the mapping isn’t fully off-road optimised yet.
Red or green
Beeline has introduced ‘Beeline Road Ratings’ on the Velo 2.
On the sides of the device are green and red buttons, both of which are also activated by the rocker button.
If you enjoy a particular section of road, you can tap the green button while riding and it’ll register with Beeline via its routing algorithm. Conversely, if there’s an unfavourable section, you can press red and that’ll also register.
Beeline can then follow these rating trends and, ultimately, suggest better routes.
As a smaller company, Beeline says its navigation will grow stronger as more users contribute with their feedback from the device.
The Velo 2 has an auto-brightness feature, or you can adjust the brightness to suit. In addition to the navigation view, the Velo 2 also features a screen that shows other metrics, such as the time of day and distance covered. There is also a dedicated screen for live and average speed.
New mount and charger
The Velo 2 now mounts via a quarter-turn mount that is similar in style to Garmin’s.
There are two sizes of rubber mounting bands in the box to suit different handlebar sizes, or you can mount the computer on the stem.
It doesn’t matter which way round you install the mount because the device will fit into it regardless of its orientation. The mount is not compatible with cycling computers from other brands.
The Velo 2 is charged via a USB-C cable and Beeline claims the battery life is rated for “10+ hours”.
The brand says there are regular software updates, which can be performed wirelessly via the Beeline app.