Magellan specializes in GPS technology for vehicle navigation and outdoor recreation. Despite its many offerings, the company is best known for its line of GPS designed especially for bikes. We talked to Sam Muscariello, Outdoor Product Marketing Director for Magellan, to find out about their latest release: the Cyclo 505—and why it will revolutionize the way you ride.
Outdoor Tech: You’re launching a new GPS, the Magellan’s Cyclo 505, this year. What makes this model different to other bike GPS out there?
Sam Muscariello: There are a number of things that differentiate the Cyclo 505, but first and foremost, it is really easy to use. Whether you’re a novice or a hardcore Triathlete, the UI is designed to be very user friendly and intuitive. Add to that the fact that Cyclo comes preloaded with both Road and OSM maps and is compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones.
You also have the ability to display detailed Shimano Di2 information on both the road and XTR versions, and you can customize the display to give the information you want, no matter what type of cycling or training you’re doing. And last but not least, you have the ability to wirelessly sync your ride data to Strava, Training Peaks or Endomondo, so that you can readily analyze and/or share your ride data with friends and the cycling community at large.
OT: Can you tell us about the Cyclo 505’s Bluetooth® Connectivity and why this is the ultimate feature for riders?
SM: Having BLE connectivity is a huge bonus for any cyclist. Most of the time, we leave our phones in the bag or back of the shirt, and we miss important messages or calls as a result. Now, with a cycling computer that connects to both iOS and Android smartphones, you can see and reply to texts, see and answer phone calls—plus control your music or playlists, all from the Cyclo head unit. Great convenience to have.
Plus, you are also out in front when it comes to BLE sensors that are beginning to come to market in larger numbers. And the ability to send an SOS message (‘Where Am I’ feature) via your smartphone, to a preprogrammed contact, with your exact GPS coordinates is a tremendous safety net for any rider.
OT: Can you explain what is the Cyclo’s Surprise Me feature and how it works?
SM: Surprise Me is really cool. Whether you’re just tired of riding the same routes all the time, or like to travel to new places to ride, the Surprise Me feature gives you the ability to explore new places and new things without ever getting lost, or having to worry about remembering where you are and how you got there.
All you do is select the feature from the main menu, pick a distance or amount of time you want to ride and the Cyclo will present you with up to three routes you can take within those general parameters. It will also show you the ride attributes from each suggested route so that you can pick the one you like the best. And you have the ability to specify a closed loop ride, or point to point, or a point on the map that you choose.
OT: How can the Cyclo’s GPS feature improve your ride and why do riders want it? Is it about more than just knowing your location?
SM: Precise ride information is one of the primary reasons a cyclist will decide to pay for an advanced cycling computer like the Magellan Cyclo 505. And it’s the GPS data, along with the built-in Altimeter, SAC, HRM, and Power data streams that provide the cyclist with a comprehensive picture of what they’re doing and how well they’re doing it.
We all want to get better at what we do, and in cycling, (competitive or otherwise) it’s about being able to capture that critical performance information, being able to analyze that precise data, and make improvements to the way we cycle. That’s really the essence of cycling computers to begin with. The Cyclo 505 just happens to take this concept to a new higher level.
OT: Any other features that make the Cyclo 505 unique?
SM: I think the answer to that question is going to be slightly different for everyone, depending on what you are doing and why you’re doing it, but in fairness, I think there are some key areas that apply. First, if you train a lot for competition, the Cyclo line gives you the ability to create custom workouts/routes, and it’s also compatible with several smart indoor trainers, which gives you the ability to precisely simulate rides. If you tour a lot, the fact that you can create and then drag and drop .gpx files/routes to the unit in advance of your adventure, that’s a bonus. If you’re an MTB’r you have access to some of the best trail data in OSM that’s available, so again you can ride off road with confidence.
OT: Why do riders need a GPS? What are the advantages of using one—and is it just something trail riders should consider?
SM: As I mentioned before, I think there are certain use cases where having the benefit of precise location information, along with all the other benefits (sensors, altitude, topography, etc.) are very useful. I also believe that having turn-by-turn information along the route helps prepare the rider for upcoming maneuvers, which makes the ride a lot less stressful.
Adding to that line of thought, you have the ability to share your riding adventures with your friends and the cycling community at large, showing your love of the sport and your achievements over time. And for myself personally, I love to be able to go wherever I want, hop on my MTB and ride, not having to worry about figuring out where I am or how to get back. It’s just a great convenience and a very useful tool for any cyclist to have.
by Diana Bocco