For about a year now I have been using a Magellan Cyclo 505 and my cycling computer/GPS navigation device. It’s been a good device throughout that time but it hasn’t been without its problems.
When it was first released in the US & AU in April of 2014 (the UK already had it for a year prior) it came with software version 4.0. It worked right out of the box, paired with my Bluetooth sensors perfectly and worked as expected. Bluetooth was important to me as I already had those sensors from when I was using my iPhone. If I had gone with a Garmin I would have needed to replace those senors with ANT+ versions. Unfortunately my good fortune wasn’t experienced by everyone and there were many reports of users suffering from what was dubbed the “distance doubling bug”. What would happen is when some people paused their ride (either manually or automatically) and then resumed their ride the Cyclo would double the distance they had traveled. In some cases the error would correct itself later in the ride, other times it wouldn’t and sometimes it would propagate itself to the Magellan Cyclo website where rides are uploaded to. Thankfully services like Strava disregard many of these false stats and re-calc the rides themselves. Support tickets were created and users were assured a fix was in the works.
Fast forward to October 2014 and 4.1 was released which was to take care of the distance doubling bug. For some uses it did just that, but for others, like me, it actually introduced the bug into their rides. Of course I updated right before a 100k charity ride which got recorded as 469575.82 miles instead of the usual ~60 miles. After some testing and compiling of data from users on the CycloGPS.com forum we figured out the bug only seemed to affect certain BTLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sensors and did not seem to affect ANT+ sensors at all. I logged a ticket and was told a fix would be out in about “2 weeks” which seems to be their standard line, which equates to about 6 months. To band-aid the problem some users just stopped using sensors, others took the magnet off their wheel and just used GPS speed or others, like me, went out and purchased ANT+ speed & cadence sensors. So what once was a selling point for me mattered no more.
That’s right folks, I got myself a Magellan… no, not that Magellan, but a Magellan Cyclo 505 cycling computer/GPS. Long gone are the days of using my iPhone and hoping the battery wouldn’t die before the end of the ride. The 505 has a 12 hour battery life so it should far exceed any distance that I can ride.
It just arrived yesterday and I haven’t had a chance to use it yet but this certainly puts some pressure on Garmin as it is a serious contender to their new Edge 1000 model. Personally I never considered purchasing a Garmin because they still don’t support Bluetooth LE sensors even with their latest and greatest. Not to mention the 1000 is substantially more expensive than the 505 the decision was easy – use my existing sensors and pay less!
Now I’ve only been able to take it out of the box and set it up but first impressions are everything and I’m impressed. This is a nice unit packed with features I hope to explore over the summer. I think my favorite feature is going to be the “Surprise Me” function where I can tell it how far or long I want to ride and it will generate some routes for me to choose from. This will be most useful for those after work rides where I might not have a lot of time but do want some variety. So stay tune for future posts as I put this device through the paces.
And climbing we did.
We had great weather for Saturdays group ride. It was low 60’s all day with very little wind. I was dressed in shorts, cycling shirt, arm warmers and a wind vest to start. Total distance was just shy of 34 miles with lots of climbing! Ride with GPS (which the group uses for mapping/cue sheets) said ~2100ft of climbing, but all the Garmins in the group showed about 3200ft by the end of the ride. Of course Strava can’t agree with either can comes up with 1800ft. I’m inclined to agree with the Garmins because it was just one hill after another, after another and even the ride leader was surprised with the amount of climbing. It was a good workout though and we all had fun.
I’m still riding on the semi-slick 32c CX tires and since there wasn’t much dirt on this ride I probably should have switched out to the more road friendly, and more importantly lighter, 25c slick tires. The 32s roll fast but they are definitely heavier which you can feel on the hills. Nevertheless I hung on with the group but did have to work a little more at times. This tire switching nonsense just highlights why I need that Roubaix Expert even more. 😉
At our coffee stop midway we met these two pups just looking for some free muffin handouts. Unfortunately for them no one in the group succumbed to their soulful eyes.
Jet & Maggie at the coffee shop.