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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lezyne Super GPS Review

LEZYNE SUPER GPS REVIEW

UPDATE 05.20.2016
It's been five months since I published this post on December 23, 2015 and while I was very supportive of the product, I'm feeling very disappointed due to the lack of product support this is getting.  For a new product, I expected them to be very motivated to refine it, but it's clearly being neglected.  Maybe they're not selling enough of these to justify investing time and money to improve the customers experience?  I don't know.  The last software update was released in December 8, 2015!  See for yourself in their software update page via the link below.

  • I'm still unable to connect to my cadence and speed sensor, so I'm stuck with the unreliable GPS based speed estimates.
  • The battery level indicator is now very inconsistent.  It takes very long to jump from 100% to 80%, then once it quickly drops to 30%, it only takes a few minutes until it tells me that the battery is actually at 0% and must stop recording to prevent losing the data.
  • The computer frequently refreshes the data fields which often leaves me with the worry that the computer lost its connection with my sensors.
  • The battery is now losing a significant amount of charge just by sitting on the bike powered off.
In hindsight, if I knew that the Lezyne Super GPS was going to get minimal support, I would have waited longer and spent the extra $100 for a computer that's doesn't function like a prototype.

ORIGINAL REVIEW
I ordered my unit from Competitive Cyclist after waiting for two months for the backordered units to arrive from Performance Bike.  Inside the box, I found the computer inside a Lezyne printed zip lock bag.
Lezyne Super GPS Zip Lock Bag
 Here's a picture of the unit outside of the zip lock bag.  I took pictures of the box from the front, back and both sides.  Scroll through the pictures if you're interested in knowing what's printed on the box.
Lezyne Super GPS Box (front)
Lezyne Super GPS Box (Side 1)
Lezyne Super GPS Box (back)
Lezyne Super GPS Box (Side 2)
Lezyne Super GPS Box (bottom).  76grams (tested below scroll down)
Inside the box, you get an instruction manual, four large heavy duty rubber bands, four small bands, one standard bar mount and a USB cable.
Here's what's inside the box.
When you first try to pull the computer from the cardboard, you'll notice that you won't be able to take it off.  Probably for demonstration purposes, they locked the computer to the cardboard with the same type of band as the ones for mounting the X-Lock mount onto the bar.  I tried using my nails/ finger tips, but couldn't stretch it enough to remove it, so I resorted to a mini flat head screwdriver.
The bands are surprisingly strong! 
Once you free the band, all you have to do is match the shapes. 
And you're free!
LEZYNE SUPER GPS SIZE
The computer is just under three inches tall and two inches wide.  It's just about as thick as my Polar CS600X, but appears to be bigger due to its rectangular shape verse the more ovalized shape of the Polar.
Lezyne Super GPS Height
Lezyne Super GPS Width
Lezyne Super GPS Depth
 Lezyne Super GPS vs. Polar CS600X (SIZE)
Sitting next to each other, the Lezyne Super GPS appears a lot bigger than my Polar CS600X, but in reality it's not by much, especially when you consider that the Polar needs a separate GPS sensor which is much larger than the Lezyne Super GPS.  I will miss the customized front screen that my Polar had.  Goodbye ESTrainSmart logo!
Polar CS600X vs Lezyne Super GPS Front
Polar CS600X vs Lezyne Super GPS Side 
Polar CS600X vs Lezyne Super GPS Stacked.
It's suprisingly not that much bigger than the Super!
 LEZYNE SUPER OUT FRONT MOUNT REVIEW
I had low expectations for the Lezyne Out Front mount due to the flexibility of the plastic.  When trying to mount the computer, it doesn't feel like a $20 mount- it feels more like something that would have been included for free in the box.  Due to the flex, don't attempt to remove or attach the computer with one hand because it will likely snap the mount.  In order to remove/ attach the computer, you need to support the mount with one hand and with the other hand, press the computer into the mount and turn until it locks.  However, once attached, it does an excellent job at securely holding the computer.  It holds so tight that the only way I can imagine the computer flying off the bike is if the mount snaps while riding.
Lezyne Super Out Front Top View 
Lezyne Super Out Front Side View 
Lezyne Super Out Front Side View 
LEZYNE SUPER GPS LOW LIGHT VISIBILITY
In the pictures below, I had set the brightness to 20 percent and contrast to 31.8 percent- it can get bright enough to warrant sunglasses.  Compared to the green glow low light feature of the Polar CS600X, I think it's pretty clear that the Lezyne Super GPS display is the winner!
In the dark, I could never see my Polar CS600X Display
LEZYNE SUPER GPS WELL LIT SCREEN VISIBILITY
The Polar CS600X is slightly clearer due to its calculator style display.  The Lezyne seems to project some shade in the "white space" which makes it a little more difficult to see the text.  The contrast setting can correct some of this, but in order to have the best compromise between the back light visbility and with the light off, this was what the screen looked like for me.  Honestly though, I haven't had any issues with reading the screen in bright conditions.  Due to the cloudy midwest weather, I haven't had a chance to test for any screen glare yet, but once I get a chance, I'll update this section right away.
Screen Visibility in bright conditions
 LEZYNE SUPER GPS WEIGHT GRAMS
Although on the box it says the Lezyne Super Computer is 76 grams, on my scale, it was 73 grams.  It's about 33 grams heavier than my Polar CS600X, BUT and this is a big BUT, with the GPS sensor, my Polar CS600X is actually double the weight of the Lezyne Super GPS.  Based on what I'm switching from, this is a huge upgrade.  I can assure you I won't miss having to strap on that GPS brick onto my arm anymore!
Lezyne Super GPS weight (73 grams)

Polar CS600X Weight (40 grams)
Polar CS600X Weight (146 grams).  Exactly Double of the Super GPS!
LEZYNE SUPER GPS FUNCTIONALITY
On my first ride with the Super, I treated it just like my Polar CS600X.  As soon as I left my house, I jumped on the bike and started riding before turning on the computer.  If you're wondering how fast the computer picks up a GPS signal, despite moving at around 20 mph, the computer picked up a signal in what seemed to be less than 30 seconds.  That's as fast or faster than my Polar's dedicated GPS sensor.

The physical buttons make it really easy to scroll with or without gloves, and it's also easy to scroll fast through the menu or fields.  However fast you click, the scroll feature will keep up.

UPLOADING TO STRAVA
It was super easy to upload the .FIT files to Strava.  In the Strava website, select upload via file and select the files from the Activities folder on the unit.  There's no need to convert the files to TCX, Strava can recognize the FIT files.

LEZYNE SUPER GPS BUGS & FEEDBACK
Keep in mind that with this being Lezyne's first computer, there are going to be some bugs.  Here are some of my recommendations that I hope Lezyne will implement into future updates.
  1. Separate Pairing Options for Bluetooth Smart Speed Sensors and Cadence Sensors:  As a big aero nerd, I chose to use Polar's Bluetooth Smart independent speed sensor and cadence sensor.  They're slimmer than any other sensor on the market and more aerodynamic than the big dual speed/ cadence sensors.  I also like the ability to position the spoke magnet anywhere on the spoke.  Unfortunately, the Lezyne Super GPS can only pair with a dual speed/ cadence sensor.  I spoke with a customer representative who informed me that it would take about a month to write up the coding to allow the Lezyne Super GPS to pair with separate speed and cadence sensors.  Currently, they only allow for independent pairing through ANT+.  For now, I'm forced to only have either speed or cadence displayed on my computer.  I hope they work on correcting this in the future.
  2. Heart Rate Data Dropouts on Strava:  At regular intervals, the computer seems to be either losing or separating heart rate data at certain intervals.  This could be something good to look into for the next update, but honestly, I'd rather have the ability to see my speed and cadence first.  Thanks Lezyne!

LEZYNE SUPER GPS SOFTWARE UPDATES SO FAR
While there are bugs, Lezyne has done a great job at updating the computer and fixing bugs.  Here are some of the things they've done so far that I've noticed.
  • Corrected Speed Averages:  If you were one of the first to get your hands on this unit, you'll know that they previously had issues with speed averages.  If you'd get stopped at a light, it would include the time stopped into the average speed.  Now it seems that the averages are looking a lot more similar to what you'll see on Strava.  Check out the Screenshot below.

  • Corrected Cadence Averages:  They had the same problem here, but it appears that they fixed the zero values for cadence as well.
FINAL THOUGHTS SO FAR
As a coach and personal trainer who's on his way to Cat 2, I feel that this computer has everything needed to train effectively (of course moreso once the computer can pair with BOTH speed and cadence).  If you buy it on sale like I did, this really is a steal of a deal!  It has proved to be reliable and since it picks up a GPS signal fast, you won't have to waste time standing still or riding slowly to find a signal.  Since the computer acts like a USB flash drive, it's easy to upload and get straight to analyzing the data.  The battery life and memory won't limit how long or far you can ride either, which is a huge plus since I spend several hours on the bike everyday.  If I had to quickly describe the Lezyne Super GPS, I would say that it's like those old school, reliable wired computers that you never had to worry about, but with a boost of convenience of the new tech.