Home Reviews Smartphones & Mobile Devices Review: Magellan Cyclo 105 bike computer

Review: Magellan Cyclo 105 bike computer

Today’s lycra clad set take their two wheeled vehicles seriously, and for many the statistics of their rides are an important part of the sport or training schedules.  This GPS enabled Magellan Cyclo 105 bike computer is an option.

Unfortunately for the Cyclo 105 it begs to be compared to the very popular and venerable Garmin Edge 500, so apologies upfront for the constant referral to that device.

By introduction to those that are not aware however, a GPS enabled bike computer provides details of a ride including location, speed, distance, altitude/gradient, temperature and times.  In the case of the Cyclo105 this can also be coupled with a heart rate monitor (not provided) and any ANT+ device such as a cadence meter (also not supplied).

The basic pack does include two bike mounts, a power charger and a separate USB cable for charging and connectivity to a PC.

The Cyclo 105 physically is very similar to the Garmin measuring 67.5mm high 51.5mm wide with a height of 19.4mm.  The monochrome screen is 45mm, around the same as the Garmin.

The one we had for review had a pleasant black and white colour scheme with the angled leading edge sloping back from the bottom, the opposite of the Garmin shape.

From there we are in reasonably familiar territory, the button layout is identical to the Edge 500, power/light/back enter/menu on the left, up/start/stop and down/lap/reset on the right.  

The Magellan device takes a little longer to grab a GPS signal than my Garmin, but results will vary on this depending on your location.  The Cyclo does have a handy screen tracking satellite pick-ups during this time.

Standard screens wise the Cyclo has five customisable data screens (up from three on the Edge 500) as well as a map screen (well, a black triangle with a trailing line at least) and a compass screen that can be toggled off if need be.  I did, they are not much use.

This is where it gets a little awkward for the Cyclo.  It is a little unwieldy compared to its Garmin rival.  For example, upon start up the Garmin Edge 500 presents the first screen, and with a tap of the button – after locating satellites – will continue the previous journey.

The Cyclo 105 presents a menu screen, and needs to go into Dashboard, before enabling the Start button.  Similarly one click of the Stop button on the Garmin will pause a ride, where two clicks are required on the Cyclo.  


Essentially the Cyclo 105 has more whistles and bells to offer, such as a full Workout set of options to plan your training, and the aforementioned compass and map screens, it is just a little more difficult to navigate, something that can be frustrating when riding at night, in the rain, wearing full fingered gloves.

There is no point to recording a bike trip if you cannot show it off to your mates.  The Magellan  has its own PC software (as opposed to the Garmin’s browser and agent based combo) where you can download(!) your stored rides to.  From there you can analyse to your heart’s content, however it is much more difficult to show off to your friends than with the simple, copy the URL Garmin approach.

The Magellan is a viable alternative to the Garmin range of products and could be improved with some firmware refining.  Battery life is similar (10 to 14 hours), and there is not much else to keep the two apart except the obvious price.  The Cyclo 105 has a RRP of AU$179, whilst the Edge 500 from Garmin is listed as AU$249.00.


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Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.