MIO CYCLO 210 GPS
166g (including mounting bracket) £199
The Mio Cyclo 210 is an entry level SatNav/GPS device for navigating you and your bike for leisure and pleasure, work or whatever you chose. Sports cyclists and those in need of detailed performance data will need to look higher up the food chain, but tourist and leisure cyclist will find lots to like amidst the Mio 210’s sturdy simplicity. It also has run and walk functions.
Pros: straightforward with a decent run time and a very effective screen.
Cons: no map options, no Bluetooth or similar connections.
Spec and features
Out of the box comes the unit, bracket, zip-ties and pads for mounting. There’s also some paperwork, including a helpful quick start guide. 114 x 68 x 19mm sits nicely in a moderately sized hand and should fit most places you’re likely to want to put it on your bike without taking too much space.
Display size is 3x2 inches (c76x51mm) which I found perfectly adequate, and larger than some other higher spec models. Incorporating Mio’s Transflective technology, the screen should be easy to read in the brightest sunshine draining the battery by pushing screen brightness up. I have to say, it works.
Once you’ve downloaded CycloAgent software to laptop or desktop, and set up your MioShare account, you are pretty much set to roll. The 201 can be managed from the device itself or form the luxury of your computer. For me, planning was best done on my laptop, whilst other management was easy on the 210 itself. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows.
Happily, for me, from hereon in things were pretty intuitive. The icons on the touchscreen are straightforward; the power button also functions as a back and screen unlock button.; a short play around familiarised the main functions. It’ll prompt you to start recording, navigating, stop it, too.
You can set up profiles – and they do matter when it comes to route selection when punching in a destination or using Surprise Me mode. Surprise Me picks out a selection of routes around a chosen distance. Not just useful when in unfamiliar territory, but interesting t find new ways round about home. The other five functions, Dashboard, Navigate, History, Settings, Tracks, are very much what they say. Time, current profile, recording status, GPs strength and battery status are also shown.
USB connection and SD card slot are hidden under a rubber cover. Tech-minded friends regard using a USB to sync to your main device pretty old-fashioned, but lack of ANT connectivity isn’t a deal-breaker, for me. Sync to Strava, Trainingpeaks, Endomondo, and TP Today’s Plan
The SD slot is currently for factory maintenance, should the worst happen. However, Mio tell us that there might be more to come.
Don’t immerse the device. An IPX5 rating does not cover that, but should be good enough to keep out even the most monstrous downpours.
In common with many others the Mio 210 uses Open Street mapping. I’d at least consider something with OS map availability for wilder work, but for general cycling there’s a lot to be said for the clarity they provide. Certainly, it’s been more than adequate for weekend touring and business trips.
Charge and run times
Suggested charge time is eight hours, so pretty much overnight. Run time is a stated ten hours. Both are pretty close to my experience, though charging through the mains has been a little quicker. Mind you, it is best not to undercook, especially on the first charge after unpacking.
Run time has been affected by very cold weather - -4C (including wind-chill) to 3C during the testing period. You’d expect so with any device. Even so, I’ve got a decent eight and three-quarter hours. Warmer weather has seen things closer to the ten. At present, we can’t really comment on long-term deterioration, though, in common with all rechargeable devices, that is inevitable.
This is simple. Chose the pad that best fits your bars or stem, tighten the zip ties, and the mount is on. True, ‘O’ rings would make porting between bikes a bit easier, but I’ve substituted a couple of reusable zip-ties.
A gentle twist clicks the unit into place and allows orientation. Doesn’t look anything special, but attempts to induce a bid for freedom over gravel and off-roading have failed.
Bar mounting initially, I eventually opted for the stem.
A sports mount is available from Mio – and the 210 fits it. Extending forward form the bar this makes glancing down at the display easier when keeping an eye-out amongst traffic.
Software and sharing
CycloAgent checks automatically for updates on each connection.
MioShare encourages sharing of routes, giving explore and share options as well as create. .gpx files can be down or up loaded. It’s pretty intuitive.
If you judge performance by syncing, technological gadgetry, or want to collect detail of your training programme, then look away now. Mio, Garmin, Wahoo, Lezyne, and a host of others will provide models of interest.
Amongst all the above, it’s easy to forget that this is a navigation device. In that sense the screen is vital. Here the Mio 210 scores highly. The promise to be clear on even the sunniest day is delivered. At night the screen brightness is fine, but can’t be adjusted.
Touchscreens aren’t to everybody’s taste. Gloved up – without reinforced finger tips which have worked fine, in our case – flipping navigating around the device is tricky to say the least. On the other hand, the map display gives speed and distance to go, so unless you really want to examine detail rather than watch where you’re going, admire the scenery, avoid running down wildlife, this is a pretty minor grouse.
The multi-functional power button is easily operable with gloves – you’ll feel a gentle click. Just remember to stop or start recording before pulling them on.
The device responds pretty rapidly, recalculating routes and so on. Three generally sounding some thirty metres or so before the next turn – depends on your speed. This was audible in all but the highest winds and heavy traffic.
There are three main modes of cycling on the profile; city-bike road, and MTB. The city-bike mode has tended to take longer routes on quieter roads and cycle-tracks; road has a willingness to hit more major roads, but has avoided them as far as possible, whilst picking up less in the way of cycle-track. MTB will take you to places where only an MTB will go. Having said that, city-bike is pretty much equivalent to trekking/touring, so I’ve followed some pretty rough bridleways and ended up carrying.
You can’t blame Mio for the limitations of mapping or cycle route builders; the above are always potential issues with any GPS device. I’ve just raised them to show that your profile matters. It’s easy enough to switch between them.
I have really enjoyed using the friendly, uncomplicated Mio 210. It satisfies the needs of this leisure, touring, utility cyclist. I’ve loved the Surprise Me option. Garmin, Lezyne and others have models in this price bracket, with higher spec. However, some comparable models are dependent on smartphone sync; some offer more in the way of mapping, but come in at a higher price. Few, in my opinion, match the screen quality, and that is my bottom line.