Ordnance Survey has launched the Trail 2 Bike GPS unit, an update to the national mapping agency’s original in-house cycling computer, and it’s said to offer improved satellite coverage, longer battery life and an updated touchscreen.
While most GPS computers offer satellite tracking via the GPS and GLONASS systems (operated by the United States and Russian governments respectively), the Trail 2 Bike also uses the European Union’s Galileo satellite, launched in 2016.
That gives the Trail 2 Bike access to more than 200 satellites, and results in faster lock-on speeds and improved accuracy, according to Ordnance Survey.
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The computer’s touchscreen remains the same size (3.7in) and resolution (480 x 640 pixels) as its predecessor but is now said to be more intuitive, with users able to pinch and zoom like a smartphone. Four frontal and two side buttons continue to take care of the majority of controls.
The Trail 2 Bike comes preloaded with 1:50k Landranger mapping for the whole of Great Britain, as well as three years’ access to OS Maps for route planning.
The computer also comes with six free OS 1:25k Explorer map tiles. Additional maps can be bought, downloaded and synced when required, including international maps via TwoNav.
Mapping may be central to a bike computer from Ordnance Survey but the Trail 2 Bike also tracks more than 120 data points, displayed on customisable screens, while ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity means the unit can be paired with power meters, heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors. WiFi connectivity ensures automatic uploads to services such as Strava.
That’s nothing out of the ordinary, of course, but one of the computer’s more interesting features is the ability to broadcast your location to up to 20 friends and family, without requiring a smartphone, thanks to the Trail 2 Bike’s built-in SIM card.
The SeeMe safety tracking sends a link to selected contacts once you start an activity. You can also send an emergency alert with your exact coordinates via text and email to your chosen emergency contacts.
SeeMe is a subscription service, however, with six months included for free.
The Ordnance Survey Trail 2 Bike is priced at £399.99 and can be purchased directly from the OS online store. The computer comes with a stem mount (an out-front mount is sold separately).
The price of the Trail 2 Bike is comparable to Garmin’s top-end 1030 GPS head unit. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the Trail 2 Bike includes the aforementioned UK-wide OS 1:50k mapping. You would have to pay a £150 premium on top of the 1030’s RRP to get the same OS coverage.
It will be interesting to see whether this is enough to tempt riders away from more established players in the GPS bike computer market.
Ordnance Survey Trail 2 Bike key features
- Ordnance Survey 1:50k Landranger Great Britain mapping pre-installed
- 6 x OS 1:25k Explorer map tiles
- GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite tracking
- Ant+, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity
- IP67 waterproof rating
- QuickLock stem mount
Ordnance Survey Trail 2 Bike key specs
- Price: £399.99
- Size: 80 x 131 x 20 mm
- Claimed weight: 220g
- Screen size: 3.7in (480 x 640 pixels) with automatic backlight
- Claimed battery life: up to 20 hours