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PioneerColor GPS Navigation Cycle-Computer
Item # PNR000T
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Best Cycling computer
I was hesitant to purchase this new cycling computer after reading about the screen dimness. Set up was easy and intuitive using the phone app. The screen is easily viewable even without my reading glasses. The only thing I can’t see is the strava segments KOM times vs my current time. This is only due to my blindness and state of denial that I need prescription sunglasses. The only issue I’ve had is the chrome Pioneer logo reflecting the sun.
Love all the data fields, included maps, and strava segments to keep things interesting.
Improvements to an already great product
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have been a power meter user for the past 8 years starting with hub based (Cycle-ops) and working my way to crank based (Quarq and Stages) before discovering the Pioneer line of power meters. I have used the previous generation product with the CA-500 head unit for the last few years on multiple bikes and have had no technical or reliability issues. Power and efficiency data have been extremely consistent over that time frame. Because of that experience, I was expecting, at the very least, the same user experience with the latest generation (Bluetooth) product and the new CA600 head unit. I have been using it for about 3 months now and their new technology has not disappointed me in any respect.....
The amount of data collected is enormous and can be used in multiple analysis apps.
The setup/configuration through the app is simple.
The amount and the quality of the data is beyond impressive and my power numbers, although lower than I would like, are consistently accurate. (interestingly, I was able to refine my saddle position, eliminate some discomfort on the bike and increase my watts just by using the force vectors and efficiency data.)
There are some fun features that allow you to see other "Pioneer" riders within your group ride. (you can see their current power, % effort, etc).
Screens are easily customized and readability has not been an issue regardless of weather or light conditions.
GPS/Turn by Turn has worked as expected and it integrates just fine with my Training Peaks, Strava and EasyRoute accounts. (Uploads/Downloads).
Finally, and most importantly, in my experience, I have not had any reason to contact technical support over the years for any reason.
I have absolutely no reservations and highly recommend this product.
Poor visibility, poor customer support
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Where to start with this device? I really wanted to like this device, but sadly it's just truly bad.
Let's start with the good, as I can get through that quickly. It's stable and works. I've never had a dropout from any sensor, calibration of my power meter works, and there are a plethora of layouts for your data screens. You can truly set up a huge number of data fields, and the layouts are really really good.
Unfortunately, once you get outside, you can't see them. I could actually get through every other issues with the device, if it was visible when out on the road at a glance, but it isn't. The contrast and brightness are really bad, and it's not transflexive. The result is that in any level of light outside, it's really hard to read. You certainly won't be able to see your data at a glance. I posted a photo of it that kind of shows this, but my phone has an auto-HDR feature that I think makes it slightly more legible in the photo. You can see how much better the transflexive display on my Garmin is in bright sunlight. I also have a Hammerhead Karoo, and it, too, is much easier to see in daylight.
I say it just works, but I am not entirely sure that everything does. I have never been able to get TrainingPeaks workouts to download, even carefully following their instructions, though they're kind of hard to follow. For example, they have steps to follow in the TP UI, but tell you to to create a "Training menu." I am pretty sure that they mean a "Workout Library," as I have spent a lot of time trying to find anything called a "Training menu" in Trainingpeaks, and can find no such feature anywhere on the TP site. A google search for "Trainingpeaks training menu" turns nothing up.
Once following the instructions as best I could, it did not work. I contacted support for help on this and they just never responded.
Beyond that, the UX is just weird. When I tried to find the display brightness settings as per the above issues with reading the screen outside, and the option is buried under the bike profile section on the device, not the settings menu, which is really weird.
Furthermore, the software that you upload rides to, Cyclo-Sphere, appears to have been designed for Windows 95. And it's SLOOOOW. Sometimes it will take a day to finish processing a ride that you upload, and then send it over to TP and Strava. When it first happened, support said they were aware of the issue, and since then it's gotten better, but it still takes many hours sometimes to finish processing your training files.
All in all, can't say I'd recommend this computer. I really wanted a good color screen, stable, Garmin alternative (that isn't as expensive as the Sigma ROX 12.0), but I think I have to keep on looking.