BikeRadar recently put the Magellan Cyclo 105 HC to test, a GPS device that aims to birth the Magellan brand amongst cyclists. Magellan (sold as Mio in Europe) have a long history in portable GPS units, but the name is lesser known amongst the Garmin-dominated cycling market.
It’s natural to compare the overall design and button layout with the longstanding benchmark – the Garmin Edge 500. Slightly larger than the Edge 500 and with a wider screen, the Magellan packs a host of features into a still-compact unit. The Cyclo 105 sacrifices on-bike navigational mapping in exchange for its petite dimensions and a healthy 15-18 hour battery life.
Compared with the Garmin, satellite reception was marginally quicker, the buttons were just as responsive and menus as easily navigated. The backlit function was effective at night, with a clear white tint. The Cyclo 105 worked reliably for the whole test period without any bugs or quirks.
The Cyclo 105 is built around the popular ANT+ platform, so it can be synced to work with a wide range of power meters, heart rate monitors and cadence/speed sensors.
The Cyclo 105 HC version as tested is the bundle pack, including a cadence/speed sensor and heart rate strap. The two-piece heart rate strap was comfortable and reliable, with electronic receiver doubling as the belt clip.
The ANT+ cadence/speed sensor is fiddly to mount, and features a coated wire that connects the individual cadence and speed monitors. This isn’t an aesthetically pleasing sensor, but it was reliable and accurate all test.
The ANT+ Speed/Cadence sensor: it works well, but it’s not pretty.
The Cyclo 105 uses a familiar ¼ turn mount bracket – we tested ours on a Garmin mount and it worked fine. With out-in-front-style bar mounts a hot accessory at this moment; the Magellan is compatible with a host of aftermarket options. The single provided Magellan mount does offer a more secure hold, but the zip tie attachment method is far fiddlier.
The Magellan 1/4 turn mount is rock solid – but only one is given.
Uploading to third-party sites such as Strava was a slower process than when using a Garmin product. Strava won’t allow direct uploading from the Magellan, so you must import rides into the Magellan fitness tracker before then exporting them for Strava upload. Magellan will, though, soon be launching a web-based upload solution to fix current issues, including the current lack of Mac compatibility.
Next to the Garmin Edge 500, the Magellan is incredibly close in function, but at a keener price – AU$279, including the heart rate and speed/cadence sensors. However, while the Edge 500 is still available, the Edge 510 is considered the new standard in GPS-based cycle computers. With this in mind, the Cyclo 105 is already looking a little dated.