Saturday, 28 July 2018

Lezyne Macro GPS review

After 6 years of trusted reliable service, I've finally decided to give my Garmin Edge 200 the boot and update to a new GPS cycle computer.

Why? The Garmin still works and records the data I need.

  • It has no connectivity, so I need to connect to a computer to upload rides.
  • The USB cover fell out several years ago, and the port itself is feeling slack, so possibly only a matter of time before it pulls out.
  • The USB itself is a fairly old mini-USB and those leads aren't as common as I found recently when I wanted to upload a ride and could not locate a cable
  • The Garmin doesn't give me notifications or texts on the device, and the phone is a huge brick when tied to the handlebars. I often get texts on the ride home from work telling me to divert which I don;t see until I get home which kinda defeats the object.

I was tempted by the Garmin 25 which does all I need, but has a silly specific cradle rather than a standard micro-USB lead. The new garmin 130 fits the bill but is north of £150.
Various people have recommended Wahoo Elemnt computers, but again they're north of what I wanted to pay.

The Lezyne GPS devices are keenly priced and do all that I want. There are a few models and Lezyne have a good comparision chart here.

Cos I'm an old bugger now, with dodgy eyesight I quickly ruled out the micro range as too small so it boiled down to a Macro or a Super GPS. The Super adds Glonass (russian GPS), a barometric altimeter, and ANT+ all for an extra £30 or so. It does have Bluetooth so will connect to phones and HRs (I have one so may have a play again). Lezyne do BT speed and cadence sensors too if that floats yer boat.

A bit of shopping and a Macro GPS was soon winging it's way from Germany (ahh, the benefits of being in a single market). With delivery it was still cheaper than buying from UK.

It's about the same size as the old Edge 200, but a bit deeper, and a slightly more functional industrial design. It's not very aero, but then I'm not.

It's a GPS cycle computer so it does all you would expect with no surprises. It records speed, distance, time, elevation. If you have the sensors connected it will show all that info too. It'll upload to Strava cos doesn't everything now?

The startup status screen has GPS signal, and other info like battery life for both Lezyne and phone. It will also pull in similar data from Shimano Di2 and other sensors if you have them

Unlike the garmin which has a set 4 fields with the bottom one rotating, the Lezyne has a max of 5 data pages, each with a selection of layouts offering up to 8 items per page to satisfy the hardcore data geeks. It can auto scroll through the pages.

After only a couple of rides, I'm still playing with all of that, but I've already found I don't like the auto-scroll, and have distilled down to 3 pages


  • A page mimicking the Garmin layout (speed, distance, elapsed time, avg speed)
  • A second page with additional data (clock, temperature, ascent, and calories burnt) 
  • A third page with most data on a single page (Elapsed time, speed, distance, avg speed and temp)

The lezyne has some other cool stuff as well such as email and text notifications, and will display when a call comes in. It would be great if the unit could have an option to flash or similar rather than just display, but that's just me

It uses the bluetooth via the phone to auto-upload to Strava if you have the feature enabled as soon as you save the ride. You'll then have to go in to strava and rename the ride and flag as a commute etc if you need to. It will display live strava segments if you're competitive that way (which I am not) and chase KOMs like video game high scores, but you'll need a Strava Premium for that. It doesn't do it for cheapskates on the free plan. All of this also depends on the phone having internet connectivity via wireless or mobile data

There's a companion phone app (Lezyne Ally, and website ). You can create routes in either, or if you have routes in Strava or other platforms you can export as TCX and import in. There is a tease of a menu for direct strava route import but it's still "coming soon". You can then instruct the head unit to follow the route via the app.

Another cool thing the app can do is live navigation. It allows you to select a destination via a search or tapping the screen. It will then route sat nav style on the head unit giving you detailed directions rather than just a breadcrumb like Garmins. I'm not sure what mapping back end they're using but the generated routes do seem to be bike specific so that's good

There is also a live tracking feature, where you specify email contacts and when you start a ride it will automatically squirt off an email with a link for live tracking you when you start a ride. Which is nice

Included in the box is a micro-USB cable. There's also a standard mount for fitting to bars or stem with O rings. Additional bar and forward mounts can be purchased. Sadly the mounting is not compatible with Garmins, which is a shame. A standardised mount across brands would be very useful.

Whilst we're mentioning micro-USB the device's port has a rubber cover, that has a lip on each side to keep it in place, which is a lot better than the edge's press in and hope effort (although that's an old design now). I found it was so snug it was fiddle getting cable to plugin to charge.

As hinted above, Lezyne do seem to be active in adding new software features to the devices and the website and app.

The Macro GPS (and the other Lezyne units) offer a wealth of features that are useful to commuting and transport focused cyclists as well as for the more sport orientated KOM chasers. And for the features they are dirt cheap compared to the competition.

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