Much like Lezyne’s Mega C, the Mega XL’s setup is a little convoluted and involves launching the Lezyne GPS website on a desktop, plugging in the unit to check for updates, downloading the mapping relevant to your location, and then pairing 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, Sigma and Garmin units, or even as simple as Bryton.
Although you can sync the unit directly with Strava, TrainingPeaks and Today’s Plan, and set up notifications on-screen from your phone.
The ‘Loaded’ in the name refers to the package itself, as within the camera-style hard case you get a fully-loaded setup with a cadence sensor, heart-rate strap, spring-loaded bar mount and micro-USB cable.
There’s also a clever out-front mount (the Direct X-Lock), which replaces the two bottom bolts of a four-bolt stem face-plate, linking them to a mount.
This means the unit sits neatly and directly in front of the stem – something I’d pay separately for (and indeed you can for £40).
Lezyne Mega XL Loaded – Ally v2 app
The unit can be set up to work in both landscape and portrait, with Landscape mode best suited to representing the multiple data cells on each page. All of this is set up via Lezyne’s latest Ally v2 app.
The Ally v2 app has a good route-creation aspect and I enjoyed plotting routes on the app, then quickly sending them to the unit. Until an iOS update put a downer on it… The app still works, but route creation has since crashed the app.
I tried deleting and reinstalling the app, informed Lezyne of the issue and was told it would be looked into. Hopefully, it’ll be resolved soon, as it was a good function.
Lezyne Mega XL Loaded GPS and mapping
GPS pick-up is reasonably quick, locating a signal within 45 seconds after switch-on.
The mapping is black and white, and similar to the smaller, cheaper Mega C, but it works fine, and the button press to zoom works well enough when you get used to it.
Sensor pick-up is good, and there was no trouble finding the SRAM power meter, Lezyne’s heart-rate strap and the wrist-based HRM and Di2.
There were a few issues, however, after a mid-ride cafe-stop, when the XL had trouble reconnecting to sensors that had either gone to sleep (the power meter) or gone out of range (the HRM), which led to plenty of riding around in circles in the cafe car park pushing buttons, trying to get it communicating once more.
Lezyne Mega XL Loaded navigation
The turn-by-turn navigation is decent and the map-screen redraw is reasonably quick, though in more complex built-up areas it did occasionally have to ‘think’ in order to draw in the detail quickly enough.
The Lezyne Mega XL Loaded requires a Bluetooth connection to your phone for rerouting duties. The rerouting is pretty smart and it needs to be, as the map screen can’t be scrolled around to always centre your position.
If you’re looking for an alternative route to a closed road, then you’ll either rely on rerouting or be reaching for your phone, as the GPS map doesn’t allow you to look outside your immediate area.
Lezyne Mega XL Loaded operation
The four buttons – Power/Return, Enter/Backlight, Menu/Pages and Start/Pause/Lap – are fairly small and firm. This is mostly fine, but with winter gloves on it can be a bit fiddly, and you might have to brace the other side of the unit to push the buttons firmly enough.
Some of the on-screen prompts are a little confused too – for instance, when you start up the unit it prompts you to launch the Ally v2 app for no apparent reason.
Also, when it detects movement, it prompts you with a small arrow to start recording, which can lead to pressing the wrong button until you get used to the unit fully.
Like most non-touchscreen GPS units, the user interface isn’t quite so intuitive, and the XL’s multi-function buttons can be a little confusing.
The firm buttons offer little movement, which can create doubt as to whether or not they’ve been pressed. For instance, I pressed the page-switch button more than once, as the slight delay in screen-switching led me to believe it hadn’t registered the first time. This often meant I flicked past the screen I wanted.
Lezyne Track is a nice addition, and it works in much the same way as Garmin’s Live Track – or Specialized’s ANGI-equipped helmets.
The XL, in conjunction with the app, shares your current position with your nearest and dearest – or anyone from your phone’s contacts. However, this does rely on having a phone signal to relay the information, and you may be riding in the wilds where coverage is poor, but I’d still rather have the function than not.
Battery life is claimed at an outlandishly long 45 hours. And while I don’t think that’s achievable when connected to a full suite of sensors and a phone, I managed to log 32 hours with most of those connected to my phone (although I wasn’t always connected to sensors, or navigating a GPX route).
Post-ride uploads are pretty sluggish and the onwards upload to Strava via the Ally app has a bit more of a delay.
Lezyne Mega XL Loaded overall
I like that this XL package has plenty of extras and the improvements to Lezyne’s web pages and app (not including the app’s route-creation issues).
When it comes to battery life – long-distance riders and Audaxers take note – you won’t find better than the XL.
The downsides are a clunky interface, small stiff buttons, sluggish uploads and page-switch delays, and the occasional slow map redraw.
Aside from the included extras, there wasn’t much of a noticeable upswing in performance from the much cheaper Mega C, which overall had a nicer user experience and an equally long battery life.
|Price||AUD $605.00GBP £270.00USD $300.00|
In the box: Cadence sensor, heart-rate strap, out-front mount, bar mount, micro USB cable
|Battery life||45 hours (claimed):|
|Dimensions||78mm x 35mm x 25mm|
|Display resolution||240 x 400|
|Screen dimensions||58mm x 35mm|
|Screen type||Mono lcd|
|Strava Live Segments||Yes|