If you are after a simple-to-use GPS unit with full mapping and turn-by-turn instructions without any faff, the Mio Cyclo 210 is a very good choice. Its large colour touchscreen and easy-to-navigate firmware shouldn't challenge even the most hardy technophobe, plus the battery life lives up to the claims.
- Pros: Decent battery life, easy to use, loads of data screens
- Cons: No ANT+ or Bluetooth
I quite like opening up a box, getting out the instructions and settling down for an hour with a new bit of tech and setting everything up, but with the Mio I was done in about 10 minutes as it is so simple to get up and running, and there isn't really that much to configure.
First up, you head over to Mioshare, Mio's website, where you can set up an account and register your device. It's where you also download CycloAgent, the app for your desktop where you can upload your rides to Mioshare and download updates.
On the device you set up your profile, sex, height, weight – all of those things – and set up your Dashboard pages, which show the data while you are riding.
With all that done, it's time to get out for a ride.
On the go
You turn the Cyclo 210 on by holding the only button down for three seconds, and as soon as it has booted up it finds the GPS satellites very quickly, even in overcast weather.
On the screen you'll see six large 'buttons' and the quickest option to get going is to touch the screen on Dashboard, which opens up ready for you to start recording as you ride.
You get four pages of data which you can choose to fill with various selections of speed, time, distance, altitude and many more. There is a fifth page which displays the maps.
Changing screens is pretty straightforward using the arrows at the bottom of the screen, although the screen isn't as sensitive as my phone or Garmin so you need to give it quite a prod to make any changes.
The screen has a decent resolution so the display is clear, although I needed to have the screen brightness on about 25% to be able to see it in the dark and in bright sunlight. Thankfully it doesn't really affect battery life: I was easily getting the claimed 10 hours, if not a little more.
You can use the Mio like a typical sat nav by using the Navigate section, which gives you the option of searching for a point of interest that you've already saved, your home address or any other address via a street name or postcode.
Again, it is really simple to use and once you've selected the destination it gives you the address details, distance and an elevation of the profile with a grading of how hilly it is.
Once you press go you get the full map screen with your speed and remaining distance at the bottom. The route that you are following is marked in green and you get arrows in the top left of the screen which count down to the next turning.
It works well, the unit keeping pace with your riding, and the clear mapping provided by OpenStreetMaps lets you easily see where you are headed. Should you go off route or head a different way, the Mio is quick to reroute.
It also has a Surprise Me button, which is something similar to what we've seen on the likes of Garmin's Touring. You enter either a time or distance into the Mio and it gives you three optional routes to choose from.
It's great if you are somewhere new and don't know the area or you just can't decide on where to ride from home. I certainly learnt a fair few new lanes.
You can select between race, mountain or city bike plus walk/run in the routing options, so that whenever you use the navigation function it selects a route suitable to the bike you are on.
The maps showed up most of the byways around my way too, which was ideal for being out on the gravel bike.
There is also the Tracks button which allows you to follow existing routes on the device or ones that you have created on your PC and downloaded.
With a couple of storms rolling through towards the end of testing, I certainly got the chance to test out the Mio's waterproofing. It's rated to IPX5 which means it's able to restrict water ingress from a jet nozzle (6.3mm diameter if you are interested, spraying 12.5 litres of water p/m at 30kPa from a distance of 3m away) from all directions.
In the real world, that meant that none of the heavy rain got in and the water spray from riding through floods and deep puddles at speed on the gravel tracks didn't cause any issues. The rubber cover for the charge point (and memory card slot) fits securely, so as long as it's closed you shouldn't get any issues.
Connectivity, or lack of...
The only downside I can see with the Cyclo 210 is if you want to connect to anything if not straight away then in the future. It has no ANT+ connection, which is what most devices use to connect to power meters, heart rate monitors, cadence and the like.
The main thing I like about my Garmin 810 is that it has Bluetooth to connect to my phone, so that as soon as the ride is saved it uploads automatically to the Garmin Connect and Strava apps.
Having to keep getting the laptop out and connect the Mio by cable is a bit of a faff. Uploading the rides to Mioshare is easy enough, though, and you can connect your account to Strava so it takes your rides across.
Value and competition
There is quite a bit of competition at this price point from the likes of Lezyne, Wahoo and, of course, Garmin.
The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a penny cheaper than the Mio at £199.99 and it does come with the ANT+, Bluetooth Smart and Wifi that the 210 lacks, although most of it you set up via the app on your phone.
You get maps, too, although when using a Bolt for around a month I found that its small screen doesn't really make reading them very easy.
The Lezyne Super Navigate costs £200 and comes with a heart rate strap and cadence sensor included. It's a decent package, then, although you don't really get any maps and you again do a lot of things on the app on your phone rather than on the device itself. Dave found the app a little clunky too.
Garmin has the Edge 520 at £239.99, although if you want the map option you'll need the 520 Plus that we tested recently, which will set you back £259.99. Liam found it to be a very good unit and was impressed with its lack of bugs in the firmware that have plagued some of the earlier models.
It doesn't get a touchscreen, but with ANT+ and Bluetooth connected to Garmin's many add-ons plus those from third parties, the Garmin is a very capable piece of kit.
Overall, I really like the Mio Cyclo 210. It may not have all of the bells and whistles required if you are really into your performance and want to record as much data as possible, but I never really missed it.
For routing and recording the basics it does a very good job and it's so easy to use. The large screen is simple to read and I didn't have a single issue with it freezing or crashing.
The standard mount in the box is a bit basic – I'd prefer rubber o-rings so that I could swap it between bikes rather than cable ties – but on the whole it's a really good unit.
A great GPS unit for recording ride data and routing but some will miss ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Mio Cyclo 210
Size tested: 68x114x19mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Ride with style
Clarity wherever you're going
Helping you ride further with Cycle paths and road maps
Make it fun with the Surprise Me™ feature
Turn-by-turn instruction to help you reach your destination
Full European maps"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Processor type ARM Cortex-A7
GPS Chipset U-blox 7
Display resolution 320 x 480
Display Size 8.9cm (3.5")
Width (mm) 68
Height (mm) 114
Depth (mm) 18.6
Weight (gr) 151 g
Surprise Me Loop
Where Am I Function*
Upload To Strava (directly via MioShare™)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a GPS bike computer it does everything you need with great routing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are quite a few units at the £200 mark and the Mio compares well. It loses in some places but gains in others.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
For what it offers, the Mio Cyclo 210 is a simple-to-use unit that is brilliant if you use map routing a lot. I would like to see at least ANT+ connectivity for this money, though.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.