The biking GPS sport is generally visible as a -horse race among the benchmark and market writer Garmin, and relative newcomer Wahoo Fitness. No other logo has been a success in cracking into this space with such force.
Nevertheless, Giant is tipping its cycling cap into the circuit with a unit developed with longtime cycling GPS participant Bryton. The new Giant NeosTrack intently resembles a present Bryton model but carries a handful of tweaks based on the feedback of the Giant-subsidized Sunweb seasoned group.
The laptop gives the standard list of functions predicted of a present-day GPS tool, such as Bluetooth, ANT+ and Wifi connectivity. Add in fully customisable settings, breadcrumb mapping, schooling options, and this unit starts offevolved searching like a feasible alternative for even the keenest rider.
IT’S NOT A BRYTON RIDER 530
Let’s first address the Pygmy elephant in the room: the NeosTrack is synthetic with the aid of Bryton and makes use of Bryton’s 530 model as its base, but it’s miles a one of a kind, unique pc. A look at the button format is evidence of this.
Jeff Schneider, Giant Bicycles’ worldwide tools advertising supervisor, has been hands-on in bringing this new pc to Giant’s developing catalog of add-ons.
“We’re not looking to tackle somebody like Garmin,” he stated. “We noticed a large opportunity, and a gap, in what become being offered inside the marketplace.
“When we first started out the undertaking, we needed to get computer systems into Sunweb’s hands speedy. The quickest manner to try this turned into to have a black and orange Bryton 530 unit given to them, with our software program. They got here again with 23 (and then a further 12) distinct functions they needed, something that they had through Tour Down Under.”
A few of those asked capabilities included that most energies turned into recorded in one-2d durations, an error warning for energy meter calibration issues, additions to the experience history summary, importing to TrainingPeaks, and compatibility with the state-of-the-art Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets.
“The standard case looks like a Bryton, but we’ve reconfigured the buttons to what we sense is greater natural and simpler to apply,” Schneider persisted.
Unfortunately, though, Giant has opted for the NeosTrack the proprietary zone-turn mount it uses on its different computer systems, in preference to adopting Bryton’s already nicely-set up the format. Giant offers numerous mounts to fit from its personal catalog, but that still limits aftermarket options.
“We’re the usage of our personal Giant proprietary mount,” Schneider stated. “We had already developed a mount for other computers. We’re also speaking with Bar Fly to make certain our (mount) % is blanketed.”
The highly low profile, the square tool appears much like many other GPS gadgets available on the market, and with exception to the (small) Giant logo above the screen, you’d be excused for assuming it’s from every other emblem, too.
The ninety-three x 57 x 20mm tool itself hosts a 66mm monochrome LCD show. A lack of touch-screen capability, in addition, simplifies things and facilitates Giant preserve the NeosTrack’s weight to 79g – pretty respectable for a device with any such big screen.
All capabilities are treated thru a 5 button layout, with on each side distanced generously aside, and an on-off button at the lowest center that also operates the backlight. This exchange on my own from Bryton’s Rider 530 is enough for me to opt for the Giant NeosTrack over its near relative.
With the easier display, Giant claims an outstanding 30-hour battery lifestyles as a key gain. Specific usage will greatly effect the exact variety, however I controlled north of 20 hours of ride time between charges – a much higher variety than the opposition. Handily, the NeosTrack will display a 30-minute caution earlier than it shuts down from a loss of electricity, but even in case you forget about that, all ride information will nonetheless be automatically stored.
Charging is carried out through an protected general micro-USB cable, with the port sealed with a rubber cap. Charging takes about 4 hours, although it’s tough to file an genuine time since the tool doesn’t permit you to recognize when it has reached a complete fee.
The device offers a water-resistant score of IPX7, correctly meaning it ought to survive anything climate you may pedal via. While I didn’t push those limits, the unit dismissed a 3-hour journey that noticed the screen constantly covered in water from an on-going release of the clouds.
Giant includes two mounts with the NeosTrack: one which attaches to stems or handlebars with o-jewelry, and a greater modern out-in-front mount that locations the display in advance of the bars.
The less difficult o-ring mount works perfectly, but the grooved rubber shim required with the out-the front mount for 31.8mm-diameter handlebars tends to force the pc askew. Looking at other critiques online, it seems I wasn’t the most effective one, and I subsequently needed to make my own to restore the difficulty. The clamp itself is also a bit wider than regular, that’s some thing to don’t forget if your bar space is already at a top class.
Like any GPS cycling computer, how well the NeosTrack sincerely plays its obligations is decided by means of each its hardware and software program; the device itself best acts as a shell to follow orders, and on this sense, Giant have big plans to in addition decorate the capabilities and revel in on provide. As it stands, Giant have made profitable upgrades to Bryton’s popular platform, and what’s there may be reliable and comparatively smooth to apply. With over 80 features available, I received’t cross into element of them all.
A key part of the NeosTrack is its personal unfastened laptop and telephone app, the latter being to be had for each Android and Apple iOS. This NeosTrack app performs a number of capabilities, however most considerably acts as a central hub for the uploading and downloading of facts to the tool. This consists of wi-fi software updates, trip routes, and automated facts sync with the likes of Strava and TrainingPeaks.
Initial setup of the tool, and connecting it to the app via both Wi-Fi community or Bluetooth is as an alternative clean and short to do, as is connecting the app in your Strava and/or TrainingPeaks account. Unlike Wahoo Fitness’s more app-based totally device (but simply as with Garmin), the bulk of the customisation and setup manner is done at the device itself. That stated, the menu format and popular usability within reason intuitive, and with fewer buttons, it’s arguably even easier to operate than a Garmin Edge 520.
Holding the decrease right-facet button will take you to the manipulate menu, and from right here you have smooth get entry to all of the NeosTrack’s settings. Viewing your ride records, changing between motorbike profiles, and moving your experience to the app is all to be had here, plus lots extra.
External sensors together with coronary heart price monitors and electricity meters (all bought one by one) are delivered on to man or woman bike profile settings, that means you can pre-configure the NeosTrack to pair with each bike’s precise hardware setup. The tool will realize a couple of energy meters, speed sensors, or even Di2 transferring; SRAM eTap and FSA compatibility is pending. But alas, the information fields that you see whilst you experience are not mechanically adjusted for the one’s bike profiles, a small nuisance if you want precise electricity statistics in your avenue bike, for instance, however distinct information on a mountain bike.
When it involves the facts fields of the ride screens, you may manually pick everywhere from three to ten statistics fields to display on every of the available six monitors; you could flip person monitors off, too. Choosing the data fields is relatively smooth, with each option segmented by using its greater category. For example, all possible power-associated information fields are located in the Power category.
Annoyingly, adjusting the quantity of fields shown per display screen resets the fields already decided on. In other words, in case you’re satisfied with the 4 current fields for your first display screen, however, need to add a 5th, you’ll probably need to manually set those first four once more.
Despite the tool imparting Bluetooth connectivity and a devoted telephone app, text message and call signals are not presently provided. There’s some thing to be stated for an uninterrupted journey, free from connection to regular existence, but it would be best to as a minimum have the selection. If such characteristic is vital to you, then Garmin and Wahoo Fitness continue to be the higher choices.
Likewise, the tool relies completely on its ANT+ wi-fi protocol to connect with coronary heart fee monitors, speed/cadence, and electricity meters. This isn’t a primary bad, especially given the sizeable majority of biking and health sensors nevertheless use ANT+. However, more modern gadgets forever use each, and have a much broader range of like-minded sensors as a end result. Bluetooth-enabled sensors also file extra data which includes modern battery tiers, which ANT+ sensors don’t provide.
On the plus side, that ANT+ connectivity is dependable and smooth to use, quickly pairing with the heart fee straps, velocity sensors, and Stages energy meter I used for this take a look at.
ON THE ROAD
The NeosTrack is competitively short to locate tracking satellites and whatever devices are in your motorcycle (based totally on the motorcycle profile decided on). In maximum cases, it was even faster than a Garmin Edge 520 to find satellites, however, it lacks the Garmin’s progress bar that helps you to understand how matters are going.
The display is said to be glare-loose, and while it’s pretty precise in a variety of light and pretty sharp, the claim is a touch generous in my enjoy. That said, the massive screen is straightforward to examine most of the time, with the backlight ready to use in low-light situations. My vision is missing as compared to the general public, and I had little difficulty in studying the figures displayed (and there’s always the choice for fewer, large facts points if your vision is sorely lacking). One exception to that is the time of day this is continually shown inside the top right of the display screen; the font is tiny, but that can be displayed in big digits inside the records fields in case you need.
Switching among show screens is made easy with the massive buttons, and the mount holds the unit securely whilst running it one-exceeded. In my opinion, the shortage of a touchscreen is a good factor, and regardless of how sweaty your hands are, or how thick your gloves are, you understand you’ll be capable of work the laptop.
Unusually, the whole device menu is disabled while in journey mode. Only backlight and sound manipulate are available; preventing will permit full menu get entry to. This has similarities to how many infotainment capabilities in automobiles are disabled when the vehicle is in motion, however, it’s a nuisance though and often delays the begin of your trip in case you want to quickly recalibrate an energy meter, switch to mapping mode, or switch on c program language period schooling. Thankfully, it’s a software feature Giant is looking to restore.
Speaking of navigation, the NeosTrack does offer breadcrumb-type mapping, however, it requires rides to be either uploaded from the NeosTrack app or transferred across as a GPX report with the device plugged right into a pc.
This breadcrumb mapping feature is pretty basic, without landmarks or places given for in addition steering. It truly is an issue of following the squiggle at the display. The NeosTrack will let you recognize if you do go off course, however, it won’t necessarily let you know the way to back down.
Using the NeosTrack app to create a direction is easy enough, despite the fact that on a couple of events I stuck it suggesting routes the usage of nearby hearth trails that have been much less pleasant to road bikes with thin tires. I’d propose taking a close examine the advised path before uploading it to the NeosTrack cloud for wi-fi download. Additionally, while the app works with worldwide mapping, it only offers acknowledged physical addresses and key locations. So whilst it may direct you to Bondi Beach, it can not take you to guy-made landmarks or groups that aren’t inside the database; you’ll want to get the cope with yourself one by one.
The NeosTrack additionally offers a number of particular education and testing alternatives with its Giant Lab function. Testing options encompass guided maximum coronary heart price (MHR) and Functional Threshold Power (FTP), amongst differently related checks. You also can create interval workouts within the tool or upload plans from TrainingPeaks.
When it involves education, the NeosTrack offers plenty of detail, especially if you’re using a strength meter. Here, ride display alternatives for normalized power, TSS, left-right balance, and much greater are present.
In an age where we assume our virtual era to be as short as our reactions, the NeosTrack has a frustrating micro-2nd lag with every button press. My impatience struggled with this, in the beginning, often resulting in me wondering I didn’t push the button. It’s something I quickly were given used to, however, is really worth mentioning for those used to the latest and maximum advanced devices (or more likely, coming from using a present-day cellphone).
AFTER THE ROAD
Once the pedaling is over, you clearly press “prevent” at the device, for which it gives you the option to save or discard the journey. Saving the journey continues it at the tool, and prepares it for the following Wi-Fi or Bluetooth add to the NeosTrack app.
While there are plans to make the facts transfer between app and tool absolutely computerized, presently this kind of switch happens with a manual click on from the main menu. The wireless transfer of trip statistics is reliable, but especially slower compared to a Garmin Edge 520.
Perhaps a trick was taken from Strava, that Garmin Edge 520 also gives you extra instantaneous remarks on your rides, along with any extraordinary personal statistics or other achievements. By evaluation, the NeosTrack’s handiest personality indicates with its greeting whilst turning it on and stale. It’s all business right here.
The information captured (and proven stay) tracked carefully with a Garmin Edge 520 used on the identical time. However, on one moist experience within the hills (claimed 1,500m elevation), the NeosTrack recorded the elevation at most effective 1131m. Uploading it to Strava corrected the range to 1431, but I suspect the issue could have been remedied with the aid of calibrating the barometer to the beginning altitude – something the NeosTrack lets in deep inside its menus.
Using the laptop become expectedly reliable, besides for one occasion. Here, I managed to get the computer stuck in a loop wherein it turned into constantly showing a “busy” warning. It changed into still recording the experience, however, I had to show the unit off in an effort to clean it. Thankfully the automobile-shop feature meant the trip information became saved, now not misplaced.
IT’S ABOUT THE PRICE
The NeosTrack jogs my memory lots of the antique Garmin Edge 705. Its easy button layout, black-and-white display, and large display provided almost the whole thing I nevertheless am searching for in a tool. By evaluation, the NeosTrack offers a handful of more modern functions together with fantastic battery life, all at an outstanding price of just US$180 / AU$three hundred. And it’s this low rate that units it aside from what Garmin and Wahoo Fitness presently have on provided with similar functions. In an unusual twist, the Giant NeosTrack is higher than the Bryton it’s primarily based on, a computer which became already considered a strong alternative for the budget-minded. Yes, the NeosTrack lacks a number of the advanced features of better-end opposition, but if you’re searching for an excessive-cost choice, the NeosTrack offers you little to complain about. And if Giant can carry some of its planned software program releases to the cloud, the fee of the NeosTrack will only enhance.
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