Mio VELO wrist HR monitor launches with cadence, speed compatibility

LED-based wristband works with smartphones and ANT+ sensors

On the heels of its LINK heart rate wristband launched earlier this year, Mio today launched the VELO wristband for cyclists. The VELO monitors heart rate with LEDs on the arm, and can convert speed and cadence data from ANT+ sensors to Bluetooth Smart, which is how the VELO communicates with smartphones. This allows riders with a smartphone to use it as a bike computer.

Riders can use Mio’s GO app, or other apps like Strava. 

 “Mio VELO is a great option for cyclists who want to monitor heart rate and cycling data, but aren’t willing to invest in a pricey bike computer,” Mio spokesman Duane Franks said in a press release.

The US$129 VELO is part of new waves of heart-rate monitors that don’t require the traditional chest strap, but instead measure heart rate with LEDs on the underside of the silicone strap. Lazer’s Genesis LifeBEAM helmet, for instance, measures heart rate with LEDs at the forehead.

Instead of capturing the electrical signal like a chest strap, the VELO’s optical sensor monitors blood volume and uses algorithms to convert that to a heart rate.

LEDs and an optical sensor detect heart rate, and the velo can also translate ant+ signals from speed and cadence sensors into bluetooth for smartphone connectivity: leds and an optical sensor detect heart rate, and the velo can also translate ant+ signals from speed and cadence sensors into bluetooth for smartphone connectivity
LEDs and an optical sensor detect heart rate, and the velo can also translate ant+ signals from speed and cadence sensors into bluetooth for smartphone connectivity: leds and an optical sensor detect heart rate, and the velo can also translate ant+ signals from speed and cadence sensors into bluetooth for smartphone connectivity

Communicating on Bluetooth Smart is also a relatively new trend for cycling products. A few companies have heart-rate monitors with the traditional strap but BT compatibility, such as Wahoo or Biologic. (We’d recommend Wahoo, based on our testing.) Wahoo’s latest Tickr chest strap can broadcast on both ANT+ and Bluetooth. Stages showed some progressive thinking when it debuted its power meter two years ago with BT as well as ANT+.

Perhaps most similar to VELO, the Viiiiva heart-rate monitor connects ANT+ devices like power meters and speed sensors with Bluetooth-compatible smartphones.

The Mio VELO can be used without ANT+ sensors, of course. It has configurable heart rate zones and a color-coded LEDs to indicate current heart rate zone.

Read our review on the Mio LINK here.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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