Magellan Cyclo 505 Computer Review

The easy-to-use Magellan Cyclo 505 can track your fitness and plan your routes.

Photo: John David Becker

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The easy-to-use Magellan Cyclo 505 can track your fitness and plan your routes.

When the call of the open road beckons, the Magellan Cyclo 505hc is a rewarding companion. With a host of navigational and performance tracking features, this powerful computer has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+ connectivity, and for $500, the hc version comes with a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and an out-front mount. In an industry dominated by Garmin, it’s worth noting the Cyclo 505hc is $200 cheaper than the Edge 1000.

When you first turn on the Cyclo 505, it’s immediately apparent that this device was designed to be intuitive and easy to operate. All the expected features—speed, distance, heart rate and elevation gain—can be customized to display however you’d like, but the most exciting part about this computer is its navigational features. You can plug in a physical address or simply click a spot on the map to receive turn-by-turn directions. When your sense of adventure takes you a bit off course, you can find nearby bike shops, restaurants, pubs or hospitals. While most people ride with their smart phone, having access to that information on your handlebars, just a few clicks away, is incredibly convenient.

If you find yourself bored of your weekly routine, the “surprise me” feature will create a route after you’ve input your desired ride distance and difficulty level. You can specify what types of routes you prefer (dirt vs. road) and share your ride plan with other Magellan Cyclo owners wirelessly with the share feature.

The Cyclo 505 is the first cycling GPS computer to provide Bluetooth connectivity with your phone. After syncing the device, the computer will display incoming calls and texts. You can even control your music playlists directly from the device. Need to switch to something a little more upbeat for your next interval? You can leave your phone in your pocket and still find the perfect jam.

If you’re near a wireless hotspot, you can upload your rides to Magellan’s ride tracking site or Strava. Shimano Di2 users can sync their computers to record shifting information to analyze time spent in certain gears.

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Drawbacks: The Cyclo 505 doesn’t allow others to track you in real time like the Garmin Edge series. It also lacks the battery life of the Edge 1000, which claims to have up to 15 hours of run time compared to the claimed 12 hours of the 505hc. (Tests revealed that number to be closer to 10 hours.)

Best for: Explorers. The mapping technology combined with the performance tracking features make it ideal for athletes who want a computer that will direct them to the nearest coffee shop, then cleanly display their power output from the last climb.

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