Shimano has launched a new service called Shimano Connect Lab that is designed for analysing and managing your ride data and ultimately helping to improve your cycling. It takes over from the Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere platform that Shimano turned off a couple of weeks ago.
"This service enables your ride data uploaded on the cloud to be displayed as various graphs or maps, helping improve your cycling performance and boost your motivation,” says Shimano.
The dashboard – which is a little like you’ll find on apps like Strava, Training Peaks, TrainerRoad, and so on – allows you to look back on your latest riding data and there are various ways to look at metrics like your power data. You also get calendars that show your weekly and monthly riding history.
Basic features include (in Shimano’s own words):
You can upload files in FIT format, which is commonly used by cycle computers including ones from Garmin and Wahoo, and .db format from Pioneer SGX-CA600 and SGX-CA500 computers. Shimano bought Pioneer’s cycling tech early last year and Connect Lab replaces the now deceased Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere platform.
We’ve taken a look at Shimano Connect Lab but we’ve yet to use it in detail. The power curve analysis looks interesting, as does the ability to examine pedalling force vectors (if you have a power meter that can provide the data), but if our experience is anything to go by it’s very slow, and at this stage it’s hard to see why you’d be tempted to use Shimano Connect Lab over more established platforms.
Who knows, maybe Shimano has some interesting plans up its sleeve for Connect Lab but right now it’s decidedly underwhelming.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.