Belgian brand Mio has a slightly different approach when it comes to bike GPS and it’s all about simplicity. The 405 is easy to use with a straightforward user interface that you can get used to with no fuss.
Just set up the unit by downloading software onto your laptop to enable a quick connection. You will then be able to register and sign into Mio’s own web-based hub MioShare, to add personal information and connect any cross-platform compatibility such as Strava (including Strava Live segments).
It’s all simple stuff and the MioShare website also includes a rather good route planner, which is quick, easy to use and can upload directly to your connected unit, or you can drag and drop a created .gpx file into the unit.
The unit itself is big (dwarfing even Garmin’s Edge 1030) and it closely resembles a smartphone, which also makes it easy to read. The downside is that the bulky unit takes up plenty of space and the rather tall mount can get a little wobbly when riding over rougher ground.
Talking of which, the somewhat simple mount attaches via zip-ties, which makes it secure but immovable – a pain if you want to use it on multiple bikes (which the head unit allows for in its set-up).
Mio Cyclo 405 HC usability and screen
Connecting sensors is easy enough. Using the Mio’s smart interface, which has a dedicated Di2 portal on its setup screens, I connected with my power meter, heart rate monitor (both wrist and chest strap based) and Mio’s included speed/cadence sensor without any hassle whatsoever. I couldn’t get the 405 to connect with SRAM eTap or AXS, though.
Once it’s found a sensor, it will immediately give you the opportunity to rename it. This is a great user-friendly touch and indicative of how well-thought-out the 405’s user interface is.
The touchscreen is crisp and clear, with the touch and swipe between pages working well. But it’s not keen on gloved hands and I often had to take off my winter glove to make it work. It seems that only Garmin has mastered touchscreens and gloves when it comes to bike GPS.
Mio Cyclo 405 HC icons
The main screen has six big icons including Settings, Dashboard (the collection of pages you use when riding) and Navigate where you access saved .gpx routes and tracks, and navigate to a point of interest, address or any other point on the map.
The 405 uses its preloaded maps from OpenStreetMap, which impressively contains the whole of Europe (if you buy and use a unit in Europe that is).
The History icon is just that, and you can access previous rides and see a summary from a week, a month, a year or longer.
The Surprise Me icon is a neat idea and involves a loop, which you set to a length of your choosing, to receive three route options of varying levels (easy, steady, hard) all around the length in time or distance you ask for. Or you can ask for a point of interest or address and again it’ll give a few options. This sets the Mio apart from its rivals and makes for a less formal approach to training.
The Workout icon allows you to create a workout based on distance or time, calorie consumption, heart rate or power zones. Again, like the Surprise Me function this adds a more novice-friendly approach to training than the likes of Stages, Garmin or Wahoo.
With the Mio you won’t need a coaching qualification to navigate the data it can record.
Mio Cyclo 405 HC GPS and navigation
GPS pickup was reasonable at between 50.3 and 63.6 seconds across my multiple rides, and it noted movement quickly when connected to a speed sensor. When not connected, however, it took a while before it noticed any movement (nearly a kilometre on one of my test rides).
Turn-by-turn navigation when riding a GPS route is excellent, with a nice countdown to a turn and graphically showing the junction too.
The accuracy of the positioning though does suffer from some significant drift, and I often found my map position some way off the road I was riding on.
Because the 405 is quite smart in its re-routing, if you take a wrong turn the re-route can be activated by the inaccuracy and so the unit will tell you to rejoin the track or make a U-turn even when you’re riding the right course. When you are on the map screen that’s fine, but when it comes as a pop-up on a data screen it can be a little confusing.
The data is presented in eight fields over three screens, plus there is a map screen and the excellent gradient screen, which shows the topography of your ride with a bike icon highlighting your position within it.
The data fields show the gradient and current amount of climbing left on the full ride (when riding to a .gpx file) and the distance to the next climb. All great information to have and a welcome asset when it comes to pacing yourself over longer rides.
The map screens’ data fields offer similar encouragement with current speed and a countdown of the remaining mileage when riding to a .gpx file, and on its bottom quarter you’ll see a mini-version of the topography (with bike position) as per the gradient screen.
It does pretty well on battery life too, with a claimed 15-hour run time, although I had just over 10 hours of use when using the 405 connected to power and heart rate, and using full navigation (plus there was a ride with Di2 connected too).
Mio Cyclo 405 HC GPS bottom line
The 405 is a great ride companion, and it’s worthy of admiration for its user interface and some of the innovative ways it presents data. Although it’s not without issues.
For instance, despite having Bluetooth LE to communicate with sensors (along with ANT+) and the ability to show call info, texts, WhatsApp messages etc, it doesn’t reciprocate information to your phone and there is no app available for iPhone (although an Android app is available).
This means, after your ride, you have to connect to your laptop via USB to upload rides to MioShare and Strava, which seems like quite the miss.
Overall, the Mio, like many current GPS units, shows a lot of promise but fails to deliver completely. If it could refine the product with direct uploads/downloads and an app that’s as good as the desktop experience, it would be serious competition to some other GPS devices.
In the box: Bar mount (zip tie), micro USB cable, heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor
|Battery life||15 hours (claimed)|
|Dimensions||128mm x 72mm x 20mm|
|Display resolution||53mm x 87mm|
|Screen dimensions||360 x 600|
|Screen type||Colour and touchscreen|
|Strava Live Segments||Yes|