Though we're loathe to admit it, we aren't always gentle with our gear. We also don't always baby it the way that premium cycling kit necessarily warrants. That's why Lezyne's beat-the-hell-out-of-it design ethos makes the brand a popular favorite in the Competitive office. The Micro Color GPS HR Loaded Watch adapts that durable philosophy to life off the bike, too, letting us punish our gear through misuse, neglect, and the occasional catastrophic user error whether we're spinning wheels on asphalt and gravel or enjoying autumn's colors on a GPS-assisted mountain trek. And though we don't always take care of our gear the way we should, we do still expect it to take care of us. Lezyne includes two additional features here that help it do just that: a heart rate monitor and a full-color screen.
The included Heart Rate Flow Monitor takes advantage of the Micro Color GPS Watch's Bluetooth capabilities to send biometric data from your chest to the display, and the unit's color screen means that the addition of heart rate data doesn't turn that display into an unintelligible pile of numbers. The color screen lets Lezyne code each data field with color, letting you quickly identify information at a glance so you can keep more attention on the road or trail and lessening the chance of the catastrophic user errors we mention above.
Though its name suggests otherwise, the Micro Color GPS Watch enjoys an expanded list of features that put it on par with Lezyne's more robust GPS units. the Micro picks up features that the Macro drops, including Glonass connectivity, ANT+, and a built-in barometer and accelerometer. It still connects to the GPS network and broadcasts via Bluetooth, but the added features make it even more effective. This is especially true of the barometer and accelerometer, which reduce the dead spots and wonky readings that occasionally result when a handheld device is communicating on a sub-meter scale with a positioning satellite some 12,550 miles removed from your handlebars. By cleaning up the data, the Macro GPS provides more pinpoint accuracy; in a sport where centimeters often make the difference, that clean data matters.
As with all of Lezyne's latest generation of GPS units, the Micro Color Watch uses smartphones as portals to link up with Lezyne's new Ally app, which addresses one of the only critiques we had of the previous generations. By syncing with a smartphone via Ally, you're able to create or dial up pre-programmed routes. The Micro Color will then give turn-by-turn directions to keep you on track, letting you switch your brain off and just ride, no stem notes required. If you're into just free roaming, then a bread crumb feature handles out-and-back training jaunts or lets you ignore everything but the scenery, letting you get "lost" on a stroll through the woods without actually getting lost.
Lezyne Ally also keeps tabs on Strava segments, displaying live updates on the watch when you're on the hunt, and it autosyncs with Strava and other popular third party sites like TrainingPeaks. It can also provide text and call notifications—but we'd often just as soon avoid that particular feature while we're out on the bike. After we've returned and sifted through all of those unanswered texts, Lezyne's GPS Root makes for one of the easiest data-dump processes in the industry: just head to the company's homepage, plug the Micro Color in, and transfer the ride with the click of a mouse.
Even without a smartphone, the Micro GPS reads, displays, and records ANT+ and Bluetooth broadcasts from heart rate monitors, power meters, cadence sensors, and whatever other ancillaries you've got hanging on your frame or body. This data is all packaged for tidy transfer to Lezyne's Root GPS program, which is accessible through the brand's homepage and which provides an upload interface every bit as intuitive as the Micro Color's four button navigation. If you're already established on a third party program, the Micro Color probably has you covered; through Lezyne Ally, it connects to popular training programs like Strava—as mentioned above—and TrainingPeaks.
- A GPS watch for the cyclist who lives an outdoor lifestyle
- Full-color screen makes parsing info easier at a glance
- Provides GPS navigation prompts and route mapping
- Wirelessly connects with cycling and biometric peripherals
- Automatically uploads to Lezyne's online data manager
- Syncs with popular third party training sites and apps
- Stay in touch or escape with optional smartphone notifications
- Weather-resistant body demonstrates Lezyne's typical attention to detail