Lezyne GPS cycling computers launch

Lezyne is finding its way into an all-new category with a trio of GPS enabled cycling computers, including the smallest such device ever, anywhere.

For a company that’s outwardly focused on non-electronic devices, the move to computers may seem a stretch. But, word on the street is their lights make up a rather significant portion of the company’s sales, and those LED lights led them into electronics, so this was a logical next step. As product manager Kyle Casteel explained, “We already had the engineers and the resources, and they were looking for a new challenge.”

What makes their entry into the category noteworthy isn’t necessarily the features, which are very good, but rather the price and the size, which are phenomenal…

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The computers use a highly accurate GPS chip, which Casteel says really comes down to the programming and the hardware. So that’s what they spent a lot of their time and energy developing. In fact, this project has been in the works for about two years.

Ride data can be exported as .FIT files, which means you can upload ride files to any of your favorite services like Strava, Training Peaks, etc. They’re working on more direct integration, but for now the device plugs into your computer and reads just like any external USB drive, so each ride will show as a separate file that you can upload to anyplace you want and rename as desired. Or, it can be sent directly to their app on your phone for instant assessment, or uploaded to their cloud-based system for more detailed analysis, including power profiling.

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Three models are on offer: The Mini, the Power and the Super, and the features ramp up as they go. Surprisingly, the prices don’t ramp nearly as much as you might expect. The Mini is just $140, the Power is $170, and the Super tops out at just $200!

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The Mini is the smallest one, and it connects to nothing…meaning, there’s no Bluetooth or ANT+ receivers on board. The idea was to make something super small and amazingly easy to use. So, there are no speed or cadence sensors to strap to the bike, and it won’t capture power or heart rate or anything. But it will track your speed and location and show all the basic cycling computer metrics.

Another application for the Mini is downhill and enduro, where riders may want to see descent and speed data (after the run, of course), but don’t want  a large, expensive computer on the bar.

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The Power upgrades to a larger screen and adds Bluetooth Smart. It can read data from up to 8 channels, letting you add basically as many BT accessories as you’re likely to own. It’s using the latest BT 4.1 chipset.

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The backlight on all models can be adjusted for brightness and turned on and off manually. At the dimmest setting, they say its impact on battery life is pretty small, so you could run it for the whole ride.

The Bluetooth capability lets you pair it with your smartphone and see text, email and call alerts on the screen. If you want. It also lets you wirelessly upload your ride data through their apps.

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The Super adds ANT+, allowing for simultaneous data capture from BT and ANT+ devices like power meters, speed and cadence sensors, etc.

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The screens on all three units show constant GPS signal strength and battery life at top of screen, the rest of the screen can be made to show two, three or four metrics. Speed, time and distance are fixed in the top positions, with the fourth line able to be toggled through other data or set to auto scroll through things like temperature, calories, odometer, clock, elevation, ascent/descent, average and max speeds, etc.

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The computers are set up mainly as data capture devices, so initially the GPS is for tracking your ride, not telling you where to go. One of their engineers told us turn by turn directions or mapping could be added as a firmware upgrade later, but for now they just wanted to get something out there that anyone could use. Setup is super easy, there’s no need to input wheel diameter or bike info, just add your height and weight and get rolling.

The other differentiating factor for Lezyne’s computers are the design, of course. There’s the aesthetic, with the polished metal bezel and easy to feel buttons. But there’s more than good looks. It’s uses a push lock design, so it won’t come loose or get knocked off by your knee or anything. To remove, you need to push the computer down then twist. The rubber straps that hold the mount to your stem, bar or top tube, lock into the mount. So, when you remove the mount from your bike, the straps won’t get lost in your bag or under a car seat. An out-front mount will be available separately.

The USB charging port gets a redesigned cover that locks into place so you have tactile proof that it’s sealed. That makes them IPX7 weatherproof. The display works with polarized lenses, too.

Mini starts shipping at end of March, others start shipping in May or June. The iOS App goes live soon, Android app should be live by the time the Mini ships.

Lezyne.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. Pretty cool! I was just discussing how thin this space is with the release of the SRM PC8 still having an interface like the Casio G-Shock circa 1985. Bluetooth and Ant+ is pretty cool, Garmin is lacking in the UI department as well. I’ll have to buy one of these Lezyze models to try out..

  2. Speed, time, distance, + 1 custom field are all you get to display? That’s kind of a deal breaker. I’d at least want 3s Power and average power. Are there multiple pages like on a Garmin?

  3. I hope they’ve worked on the design of the screen. It’s always amazed me just how bad the screens are on garmins in sunlight. I have a 500, then I got an 800, but I returned it almost immediately as I couldn’t see the screen when it was sunny. The newer models don’t seem to address this either. I have a Cateye stealth 50 too. The screen is better, but not as customisable as a garmin. Nice backlight though, and you can set it to come on or off at certain times, which is great if you’re out and returning just after the sun goes down.

  4. These look great! Exciting to know there is a new option out there. The turn by turn update would be nice, but even a simple mapping function, that creates a “bread crumb trail”of where you have been is extremely useful. It can really help you get back, when you are in an area with no cell phone coverage and would be easier to program and require less memory than full turn by turn. This is the one simple feature that is lacking from every gps equipped smartwatch out there. A simple “bail out”map can really save a ride from being a disaster.

  5. Only four display fields makes this a toy, not a tool. Any $30 bike computer will show you time, distance & speed, and probably a whole lot more. I know it’s hard for them to jump in with both feet, but if they really were serious about competing with Garmin, they’d offer a unit that addresses the Edge 500’s most serious shortcomings, e.g. frequently dropped HRM signals, the inability to automatically recognize which ANT sensors are on a given bike, and the inability to navigate with a backloaded Topo.
    You can buy an Edge 500 for about $150 street these days, so I have a hard time imagining why anyone would pay more for one of these when they offer far less functionality as a training tool.

  6. Not competitive in current form to the Garmins.

    No navigation? Even the cheap Garmin 200 can do barebones navigation from courses/routes you created and download yourself. Perfect for riding new places the first time. These need to get onboard.

    Also no barometer in any?? A barometer is the secret to accurate elevation (using just GPS is too inaccurate to calculate elevation versus barometers). All I see is elevation listed as a feature, but not the word barometer mentioned once, so I don’t think they have one.

  7. @Jack Some of us are able to use computers without worrying about them. If you’re not, you are of course free to ride without.

    What’s up with those crazy tall, stretched digits? Cateye also does that, and it’s bad for readability. Digits should have similar aspect ratio to normal text. And no frelling italics either, thanks. Sigma and Garmin tend to get this right.

  8. Had a look at one of these that the rep brought into my shop last week, rather nice the mini is, perfect for people who just want a computer for retroactive ride tracking. The price of £100ish is pretty good too considering it’s half the size of a Cateye Velo/ a quarter of the size of a Garmin 200.

  9. his is the one simple feature that is lacking from every gps equipped smartwatch out there. A simple “bail out”map can really save a ride from being a disaster.”

    I have a several year old Garmin “Forerunner 305” GPS watch that cost about $140 and does everything these do except the Bluetooth/ANT+ functions. It does have a “bail out” function in that there is a “home” setting that will take you back to home for rides that start there and a “return to start” function that will get you back to the beginning of your current ride. It doesn’t have maps but can show a preloaded route as a single line with an icon showing that your are on it and alarms for upcoming turns.

  10. @derek, Veloscent: “Multiple screen views” is literally the first item on the “GPS comparison chart continued” image. Even if it hadn’t been, how would it be able to show your text message notifications without multiple views?

    Lezyne isn’t some crazy startup, they make decent products…

  11. I like my garmin, but for what it does, not because its garmin. And garmin is kind of like windows, you expect to have to do all these pain the ass things. Someone needs to make a “Linux” of the cycling computer world.

    What I really want are better sensors (optical) and cheaper power meters. So if they can make a line of those I have my credit card ready.

  12. here’s where it fails. It’s really too bad they only let you change the very bottom data field display. If this was 199 and let you put whatever fields you wanted on the screen it would be a very nice computer. If you think about it. This top end model is 199.00 and the garmin 510 is 330.00. This lets you get txt, email, call notifications where the 510 does not.

    From Lezyne site:
    Semi-customizable display: Two, Three or Four fields
    Manually choose bottom field, or set to auto scroll <— fail

  13. As a person that uses survey grade GPS in my professional career there is only one way to get a truly precise location measurement and that is using RTK GPS and a base station. Besides that how do you know the map you are seeing your route on is the correct map projection (earth round map flat)? Maybe the map is not accurate?

    Garmin is all most people know but they are expensive, ugly and even more money if you want maps. If you want maps, use your phone. Looking at the type of GPS they use it will be top notch for such a small unit.

    Ride hard, check your stats at home. A good looking gps computer at a competitive price. I’m all in.

  14. @Trog “Truly precise” (whatever you mean by that) may be nice when building railroads or houses, or guiding cruise missiles, but when cycling the consumer GPSes and phones out there are plenty accurate enough. Even if the position reading had a 100 meters average margin of error, it would still be a useful tool for navigation, and most of the time a consumer GPS is way better than that.

    Garmin maps are indeed expensive, but thankfully, they are optional. I use an Edge 800 with free Openstreetmaps, which are great for most places I’ve ridden, and when they aren’t, I can improve them myself. Works well for me. Some people are happy with phones, good for them.

  15. Only being able to customize the bottom field is a deal breaker. Might be OK for rec riders but for intervals I want at least Lap time, lap avg power, 3s/10s power displayed. I see the Super GPS as a 500 competitor but missing a good bit of features.

  16. Are these Lezyne GPS computers rechargeable on the go? Most GPS are useful for Strava and day rides but not longer such as Audax (randonnee) or multi-day. Garmin made software changes to their higher end models in recent years so that you could start recharging while still recording, no danger of slipping back into power mode and losing your recording, however that’s a different price range and other brands (such as the Brytons I use) haven’t even bothered going that far. And the other alternative, the Etrex 30, is a brick compared to these Lezyne computers.
    A small, simple GPS computer with a good battery life, easy to read screen and OTG charging would be marvellous. Why isn’t anyone making one?

  17. Agreed that only being able to change the bottom field is a deal breaker. I have no issue with only showing 4 fields at a time, though.

    Power, time, speed, and a scrolling summary is all I need.

    Luckily, Lezyne can likely improve this in a firmware update.

    If/when they do that, I will buy one immediately. I can’t stand the Edge 510.

  18. I’ve got a Garmin 500 was disappointed that the 510 didn’t have the phone notification features and was waiting for the “520” as I have no need for maps.
    I won’t be at all surprised when the Garmin 510 gets an upgrade which provides more phone connectivity features and a price drop. Nothing like a bit of competition to get some improvements.

  19. GORILLA IN THE ROOM!
    It’s a shame that these won’t get more traction in the market place.
    I think most people will steer clear because they don’t want to have manually move ride files around. People are too used to apps and programs doing the work for them.

    I use a Sigma ROX and it’s a great alternative to Garmins, which I am always hearing people complaining about.

  20. No barometer is a bummer, as it’s indeed crucial for measuring altitude properly.

    Other than that, I’m glad to have very good options to Garmin here. My takes:
    Competitive price, bluetooth transfers (no need for USB cables, such as in 500, Garmin’s still best one), compact size, readable in the sun (510 is not), good design, memory, and battery life.

    Welcome Lezyne GPS!

  21. Barometer not included but an altimeter is included on all three models if you read the specification provided on the Lezyne website.

  22. OT but after buying a Lezyne bike pump, I am less than thrilled with their quality. Looks good, but that is about it. Maybe I’m an outlier, but mine quit working after 1 year (internal pump valve issue) and thought the “big” piston rod was nice but very sloppy so it felt cheap.
    My Serfas FP200 lasted 4x as long and really just needs a new base seal.

  23. After wasting $ on a Garmin edge 500, and then also countless softstraps for the piece of crap Garmin ANT= HR monitor.
    I am ready for anything other than Garmin. Yes the Lack of data display is annoying… but compared to the annoying factors from Garmin?
    Garmin.connect down for months at a time. Edge 500 can’t track you through a left hand turn at intersection at 20+ mph. Edge 500 randomly drops connection to satellites, and then places you 1/4 mile I’ve seen it 1/2 mile from where I was, and then puts me at 50+ mph through a field over fences, through creeks, and across ponds to eventually find me on the road again albeit 5 miles down the road.

    I mean #$%$#$!!!! Garmin! Did they hire Engineers fresh out of school? and IT guys fresh out of school?

    Garmin might be big players, but their service sucks. Their accuracy sucks, and their annoyance factor is HUGE.
    and their game, they are sorry would you like to upgrade your unit for a discount? No I would like a F******ing refund Garmin.

    so yes Lezyne sounds appealing. RidewithGPS.com even more appealing.

    In other words I will bad mouth Garmin untilt he day I die, that is the yield for them taking my $

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