Setting up Lezyne’s Mega C GPS is a little convoluted – first, you have to launch the website on a desktop, then plug the unit in to check for firmware updates, and then pair it to the Lezyne Ally app (which includes activating it to be viewed by your phone through the settings menu).
It’s certainly not as straightforward to set up as the best Wahoo and Garmin units for instance, or even as simple as a Bryton. But once you’re through the slightly painful setup, things get a whole lot easier.
The latest version of Lezyne’s Ally app is a pretty slick affair and the idea of using your phone’s mapping to plot routes is particularly pleasing, offering numerous options to get you to your chosen location. The comprehensive search that this makes available is very welcome too.
It’s then simply a case of sending the route to the head unit, which provides turn-by-turn navigation.
Lezyne Mega C GPS maps
Mapping on the unit itself requires you to download tiles from your immediate area, and the detail is reasonable for a low-res screen. The colour helps distinguish the map more than on monochrome screens too (such as those on the Bryton Aero 60 or Wahoo Bolt for instance).
Be sure to download enough tiles though, because on a couple of my rides I extended beyond the boundaries of what I’d downloaded. This led to the occasional instance where the screen showed a breadcrumb trail, informing me when to turn but without any map information on-screen.
It’s also worth being aware that downloading the map tiles takes time. My head unit stated it would take three minutes to download a single tile outside of a Wi-Fi connection. So, if you want to download multiple tiles, it’s probably best to use a wireless connection.
You can, of course, just use the breadcrumb trail routing, but I’d rather have map information available, plus I like how the Mega C orientates the map to your direction of travel. It’s not quite as smart as Garmin’s mapping, but it’s certainly superior to Wahoo’s Roam with its slightly odd rotating direction arrow and fixed map.
Lezyne Mega C GPS navigation and screen
The Mega C does a decent job of rerouting should you deviate from the prescribed route, and that’s a definite improvement over earlier versions of Lezyne’s operating system. You can zoom in and out of the maps, which works okay, but you can’t scroll around the mapping.
Alongside navigation, the Mega C can also live-track your progress, sending updates to email addresses that have been added via the Ally app. It’s a neat function that means your nearest and dearest can see where your ride is taking you.
Of course, having the app running on your phone will affect its battery life, but you can keep an eye on this via the opening screen.
The small screen is reasonably visible, but compared to the similarly-sized Stages screen, it looks dimmer, even with the backlight at 100 per cent. It’s fine in daylight, but when the weather turns grim it’s not quite as visible as I’d like.
GPS pick-up took between 50 seconds and 1 minute 13 seconds, and the pick-up of sensors was quick, efficient and stayed stable too, with no drop-outs of either the GPS signal or sensors – eTap, power meter, HRM (wrist and chest strap) and Di2.
Lezyne Mega C GPS operation and compatibility
Using the head unit involves a combination of four buttons mounted on the flanks: On/Off/Return, Enter, Menu (switches between pages) and Lap, which also doubles as Stop/Start for ride recording when held.
Operation is pretty simple, but the small buttons aren’t great for gloved hands and I found myself leaving the Mega C on one screen rather than flipping through pages to see further metrics.
The mount is a sprung-fitment, so you push and twist to affix (like opening a pill bottle) and it’s a seriously stable fit with no vibrations or shakes, even over the roughest surfaces.
Lezyne includes full compatibility with TrainingPeaks, Today’s Plan and Strava (including Live Segments), so the Mega C can be a vital tool for structured training and the minimal size (and competitive price) will appeal to riders looking for a small, unobtrusive GPS.
If you leave the Ally app running on your phone, the head unit will display the calls, emails and text messages that come through. Also included in the app is a help menu that links directly to YouTube tutorials and downloadable PDFs for specific setup issues, plus there’s a link to Lezyne’s support site.
The Mega C has a huge 32-hour claimed battery life. I used it for navigation, gearing and a power meter. I also had it connected to a smartphone. And while it didn’t manage as long as 32 hours, it still achieved in excess of 20 hours, which is impressive if long battery life is important to you.
Lezyne Mega C bottom line
The Mega C is a smart little unit. Don’t be put off by the initially irritating setup that uses Lezyne’s GPS Root platform website because once you have the Mega C updated and running it does a very decent job.
How good is the Lezyne Mega C for mountain biking?
To create routes on the Mega C, you need to download the companion app, which uses Google Maps. Unfortunately, Google Maps lacks details such as bridleways and forest tracks, which isn’t ideal for off-road routes. So, despite the Mega C being able to display these routes, they won’t be included.
However, should you wish to deviate from main routes, apps that use OpenStreetMap, such as Strava and Komoot, will generate routes for off-road dalliances that can be uploaded to the Mega C via a .gpx file.
You’ll soon notice it’s not possible to scroll the map area, which makes navigation without a set route impossible. Also, the downloadable map tiles vary in size, but there’s no warning if your route is going to go beyond the boundary of the installed tile, so you could find yourself without any map data and following a line on a blank screen.
The small buttons are tricky to use when wearing gloves or when you’re on the move over rough ground, and the out-front mount is only compatible with 31.8mm bars, which reduces the likelihood of it fitting onto a standard mountain bike. The bar mount can be used on 35mm diameter handlebars, however.
Despite there being on-device rerouting, I can’t recommend the Lezyne Mega C as a dedicated navigation aid because of the lack of map scrolling, which means it can’t function fully as a GPS.
If you’re looking to use it solely to record rides and follow set .gpx routes, it’s adequate, but make sure that the map tiles you have installed are suitable for your planned ride.
|Price||AUD $407.00EUR €200.00GBP £180.00USD $200.00|
|Features||Memory: 800 hours
In the box: Out-front mount, bar mount, Micro USB cable
|Battery life||32 hours (claimed)|
|Dimensions||78mm x 50mm x 25mm|
|Display resolution||320 x 240|
|Screen dimensions||34mm x 45mm|
|Strava Live Segments||Yes|