Featured Reviews Tech

Garmin Edge 510

Garmin Edge 510Simplicity in a box is really what we have come to expect from Garmin and the Edge 510 delivers just that. Sitting mid-offering in the Garmin bike computer range the 510 offers a well judged mix of features without overcomplicating things.
Set up of new tech can be a daunting prospect but the Edge 510 makes light of things – a quick charge, enter a couple of data fields and select preferences via the 4.4 x 3.5cm touchscreen and you’re good to go. Hooking to satellite connection took less than 40seconds, even on first contact, and remained strong through both built-up areas and wooded trail.
Attaching it to the bike as just as painless; the Edge 510 ships with a standard twist mount that fits to the bars via a baseplate and elasticated straps – there has always been a tendency for these fittings to ping off in dramatic style in the event of a spill so extra security comes in the form of a short lanyard (it’s a good idea to slip a couple of extra bands in the jersey pocket too – a handful ship in the box.) An optional ‘out-front’ mount is yours for £30.
The Edge 510 lacks the basemaps and the ability to add maps that is a feature of the higher end 810 and 1000 models, but then those will set you back an additional £70 or £80. In all other respects the Edge 510 delivers – ‘simplicity in a box’ it may be, but lacking in functionality it is not. All the to-be-expected metrics are here – time, distance, speed, ascent/descent, etc. – plus some nice surprises such as temperature (so often a factor in performance when it comes to post-race analysis.) Connect to the Apple or Android app and you can pick up a host of extra meteorological info too – or get social and ‘live share’ your rides with the lucky few via social media or the tracking pages on the Garmin Connect site. The mobile apps also allow for wireless uploads of completed activities to the Connect pages once your race or training session is over.
Training or race data can either be viewed directly on the Garmin Connect Mobile App or, once uploaded wirelessly from phone to the free Garmin Connect account, online. New courses and those previously ridden can be download back from the Connect site to the 510, so you can always revisit rides that went well or retest yourself on those that didn’t.
The ANT+ Sensor allows connection to a range of additional options – everything from compatible scales to heart rate monitors and more – so those that really like to chew over the numbers will have plenty to get their teeth into.
At £249.99 the Garmin Edge 510 isn’t cheap but does offer an impressive range of functionality; using it at a basic level, when that’s all that is required, is wonderfully simple and getting to grips with its deeper workings takes little time to master when you want to dig deeper and train harder.
The 510 is also available at £299.99 as a Performance Bundle including a speed/cadence sensor and heart rate monitor.
Further details at, online purchase at, amongst other places,

Featured Reviews Tech

Wahoo Fitness RFLKT

Wahoo Fitness RFLKTWhilst you would be hard pushed to find a full-function bike computer for under £100 the RFLKT from Wahoo Fitness offers an affordable and surprisingly comprehensive solution by utilising the power of the iPhone.


Put simple the RFLKT mirrors, or reflects (hence the name minus some vowels and a random K), various popular iPhone apps, including Strava, Cyclemeter and own-brand Wahoo Fitness, bringing all the data wirelessly to a neat handlebar-mounted screen. Out of the box the RFLKT includes a ‘Quick Start Guide’ so stripped back it may as well say ‘look online’, which, to all intense and purposes, it does. Thankfully the online instructions are comprehensive, easy to follow and exceptionally straight forward. It’s a quick step to pair the RFLKT with the iPhone and get the chosen app running and synced – beyond that the complexity is really up to the user with no end or tweaks and personalisation available.


There are a number of particularly useful functions to the RFLKT not least the ability to customise a number of screens to only illustrate the data you require most often – with more info available at the touch of a button, of which the RFLKT has four (slightly stiff at first use, but quickly bedding in.) And, if you’re the kind of cyclist who listens to music on the ride rather than paying attention to your surroundings, you can even control volume straight from the handlebars.


Wahoo Fitness RFLKTWhilst you could achieve much of this by mounting your iPhone direct onto the bike it’s obviously advantageous to have that tucked away in a jersey pocket or seatpost bag, safe from weather and potential tumbles. The screen, monochrome but of sufficient quality, is also much more readable than using just an iPhone screen, which are notoriously reflective in bright conditions.


There are though a couple of issues to take note of: using Bluetooth is an infamous drain on the iPhone’s already infamous battery life and you’re going to feel that extra time pressure on the longer training rides. That said the RFLKT can display the iPhone battery percentage so at least you’ll know how long you have left to get to where you’re going. Also those with smaller capacity iPhones or with lots of apps already loaded and taking up space are likely to struggle with being able to add more of the ready-made screen configurations within the Wahoo Fitness app itself. But at a basic level the RFLKT works exactly as advertised and does so very well.


For less than £80 the RFLKT actually achieves an incredible amount. It’s conceivable to spend entire days experimenting with the possibilities and configuring various data options rather than actually getting out there and training. But once you do all the data you could ever require will be right at your fingertips.


The RFLKT ships with everything needed for mounting on stem, bar or via ‘quarter-turn’ mount. Whilst it works predominantly with the iPhone, there are Android options with full details of compatibility here.


Wahoo Fitness RFLKTWorth considering as an extra, and something Cyclo had on test with the RFLKT, is the Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor. Costing £39.99 the wireless sensor pairs quickly with the Wahoo Fitness app and can be mounted with zip-ties to the crank or via Velcro and a silicon pod directly onto the shoe. Those that really love crunching the numbers after a ride or race will appreciate the addition metrics.


The Wahoo Fitness RFLKT retails at £79.99 and the RFLKT +, which adds ANT+ connectivity, altimeter, and thermometer, retails at £109.99. Further details and online purchase at


Extras Featured Reviews Tech

Tangent Trainer

Tangent TrainerThe Tangent Trainer is designed for use with a turbo trainer; it’s one of those deceptively simple innovations that always begs the question why hasn’t this been thought of before? Bolted between the crank and any clip-in pedal – a painlessly simple operation, well within the grasp of most cyclists – the Tangent Trainer demands a ‘tow’ pedal action for optimum transference of energy.


It takes some getting used to of course – it’s a training tool after all – and initially using the Tangent Trainer is a little like patting your head whilst rubbing your stomach, but with practice (and starting slowly) the technique becomes almost second nature. Although we didn’t find it necessary it’s fine to start with just one Tangent Trainer attached – on the non-dominant foot – and move things on from there. It’s important not to over use it, particularly at first, and the manufacturers suggest two sessions a week of around 20 minutes – that certainly fitted with our testing regime as little-used muscle groups slowly kicked in.


Tangent TrainerThe makers say that trials are still on-going to establish true power gains from working with the Tangent Trainer, but estimate that as much as 20% could be achievable. Even sitting on the side of overly pessimistic a 10% gain would be impressive and worth the investment in the Tangent Trainer.


It may not seem that important, but we also thought the Tangent Trainer was really rather pleasing aesthetically; too often we see gadgets of one kind or another hitting the market still looking like prototypes. The Tangent is both beautifully engineered and has clearly had much attention paid to detail.


The Tangent Trainer, although not cheap at £99.99, should pay dividends for those serious about upping their game and improving their technique for either road or track. Full details, including fitting instruction video, and online purchase at

Featured Reviews Tech

Funked Up

Funked UpBack in October Cyclo reported on the news that Dublin-based custom bike manufacturers Funked Up had been awarded the prestigious 2014 Propeller Venture Accelerator program. Thankfully we were also able to get our hands (and feet) on one of their bespoke single-speeds to put to the test.


Funked up produce both ‘fixie’ and single-speed bikes. For those not in the know about the difference the latter is fundamentally a ‘regular’ bike but without gears, whilst the former is a bike with the rear cog fixed to the rear wheel hub and therefore without the ability to freewheel. Both flavours have a growing fan-base and Funked Up seem especially geared-up (sorry) to capitalise on the zeitgeist trend.


The unique selling point for Funked Up is the deep level of customisation available with a seemingly infinite number of element combinations on offer via the website. Starting with an absolute basic blank canvas for about £390 the incredibly slick and responsive site allows you to select handlebars (drop, bullhorn, etc.), wheels (standard, deep v or mag) and a innumerable colour combinations for everything from the chain to the rims. That’s eleven separate elements to ‘colour in’ for yourself like a bike-obsessed toddler – if you really let yourself go the results can be truly hallucinogenic…


Funked UpNext step is the graphics. If you don’t want the standard Funked Up logo on the top and bottom tubes you can customise things with 16 characters on each; that means you can add your name, company name or even include various mini logos such as ‘smilies’ and Superman badges. Go wild.


Okay, so regrettably we didn’t get to choose any customisation for our test single-speeder but we were sent a beautifully metrosexual model with pink rims, saddle and bar grips.


Out of the box the Funked Up presents at about 80% assembled and is also exceptionally well packaged with protective niceties to ensure that your new and expansively (but not really expensively) customised bike arrives in pristine condition. 4 and 5mm hex keys plus a 15mm wrench are required for what little work needs doing to get you up and riding – peddles attached, seatpost/saddle dropped in, handlebars slipped into place and front wheel attached; no more than a 10-minute job even accounting for the bell and wheel reflectives.


Funked UpThe bike proved a joy to ride, the build quality is exceptional and the lack of gears surprisingly quick to adapt to – certainly ideal for commute and city riding. Weight is also relatively modest at around 11kg. On test we were regularly treated to the kind of ‘nice bike!’ shout-outs you might normally expect if you had just dropped ten grand on a stack of carbon; a Funked Up bike, it would appear, comes with near-instant cult celebrity status. We could easily get used to this.


The one tiny niggle Cyclo might highlight would be the bog-standard zip-ties for securing the rear brake cables; they seem very utilitarian for a bike which otherwise boasts such city-clicker coolness.


If you fancy something pre-designed Funked Up have a small range on offer including the ‘Fresh’ and ‘Rumpofsteelskin’ for around £310 whilst designing and customising your own (many fun hours on the website) will range from £390 to a little over £500 for top spec. As a bonus, at time of writing, delivery within the EU is free.


It has been both a surprise and a delight to put the Funked Up single-speed through its paces and we’ll miss it once it’s gone. Perhaps we’re ready for a true fixie – something many argue is the purest form of cycling. There’s always 2015 to find out.


Full details of Funked Up at and you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.



Featured Reviews Tech

AfterShokz Bluez 2 Headphones

AfterShokz Bluez 2 HeadphonesWhen Cyclo first looked at the AfterShokz Sportz 2 Headphones almost two years ago we were suitably impressed by the bone conduction technology that both sets them apart from other sports ‘phones and by the additional safety that they offered. Now though there are the AfterShokz Bluez 2 to consider…


The tech first: unlike conventional headphones the AfterShokz Bluez 2 and their predecessors use bone conduction technology to deliver sound through the user’s cheekbones to the inner ear, a technique that leaves the ears open to ambient sound with obvious safety advantages when it comes to listening to music on the bike. Of course the use of MP3s on the ride is a divisive issue, but if you’re going to do it there’s arguably no safer way than with the Bluez 2.


To use the tech for the first time is something of a revelation – if you’re expecting metallic vibration like picking up radio through a filling you’re in for a huge surprise; the sound – from deep bass to high-ends – is remarkably clear with little discernable difference from in-ear options and there’s really no learning curve when it comes to effectively listening to two things at the same time.


The AfterShokz Bluez 2 are wireless Bluetooth with a charging time of around 2 hours (via mini USB) that promise approximately 6 hours of playback – on test we were certainly getting close to this time, although as with most rechargeable tech this is likely to drop off a little over time and extended use.


The headphones are held in place via a one-piece wraparound headband that sits at the back of the head, drapes casually over the ears without adding pressure, and holds the headphones gently against the cheeks. An optional tension band can be added at the back for both stability and for those with smaller heads. The 45g weight feels heavy in the hand – certainly in comparison to traditional bud earphones – but once on and correctly positioned they proved perfectly comfortable on the bike. Getting everything snug under a helmet (assuming you’re not daft enough to ride sans lid and listening to music) takes a little wiggle but, once sorted, is barely noticeable.


The controls on the AfterShokz Bluez 2 do however take a little getting used to. Volume and power / Bluetooth pairing buttons sit under the right ‘arm’ whilst the multifunction button (MFB) is over the left cheek. The MFB is used for a host of functions from skipping tracks to answering calls on a connected phone, we found that using it for basic functions – like pausing the music – worked just fine, but trying to learn the more complex clicking-combinations (answering a second incoming call, whilst putting the first on hold) was beyond both our ability and desire. Definitely pure user incompetence rather then tech-fail, but as we don’t work in a call centre we won’t sweat the fact that this function will be forever beyond us.


The AfterShokz Bluez 2 pack in a huge amount of technology and innovation from the ‘Audrey Says’ voice prompting to the brilliantly named ‘LeakSlayer’, which helps reduce that annoying (to everyone else) music leakage from headphones – something you might imaging is compounded by bone conduction but isn’t.


Even if you only use the basic functionality of the AfterShokz Bluez 2 there is much to recommend them; beyond the great sound quality, improved aesthetics, and Bluetooth convenience it’s the added safety of ‘open ear’ music enjoyment on the bike that’s really likely to appeals.


The AfterShokz Bluez 2 retails at £89.95 with further details and online purchase at

Read the Cyclo review of the AfterShokz Sportz 2 here.

Featured Reviews Tech


beatbikeThere is an indisputable love or hate factor when it comes to folding bicycles and an equally binary set when it comes to the subject of electric bikes. Where then is this likely to leave people when it comes to the two-in-one beatbike?


Divided is the obvious answer, and so it may prove to be, but stick with us on this and rest assured we were firing on all cynicism cylinders too when we first took delivery of the beatbike for an extended test period…


First the tech: beatbike has an anodised alloy frame, folds flat to around 300mm, incorporates an 80watt hub motor – powered by an internal lithium ion battery – for a maximum speed of 12mph and a maximum running time between charges of 3 hours. It ships in a carry case and, packed, looks not unlike lugging a set of golf clubs around.


Unfolding the beatbike takes a little practise – a good few minutes and some colourful language should do it on first attempt, but with a little practice it’s actually a doddle. The pedals flip up, then handlebars clip into place and are secured with a lever pad, the front upright swings into place by simultaneously pulling up a lever (this is the tricky rubbing head/patting belly trick bit at first) and the rear upright lifts into position. The only non-integrated part is the separate seat-post and saddle, which slot in and secure with a swing-fastener. Re-folding the beatbike is, obviously, just a case of repeating the above in reverse order – there’s a knack to the whole process, but it’s a perfectly simple one to get the hang of.


beatbikeThere’s something both urban and a little utilitarian about the aesthetics of the beatbike, it does lack the graceful lines that have made Bromptons such a design classic, but in a slightly industrial and brutalist way it’s really rather lovely. There are spots of tape, where a neat anodised clip would have added appeal, but most of the angularity is a functional aspect of having the majority of the tech contained within the frame. Its looks, we have to admit, grew on us considerably over time.


We’ve been taking the beatbike out on test for over two months to get a full flavour of what it’s all about and repeatedly people have flagged us down to demand to know more and, invariably, ask to have a go. Not one person got off the beatbike without an enormous smile on their face and this, perhaps, is the secret to the bikes potential success. Cycling should, after all, be fun.


To get your motor running, to channel Steppenwolf, it’s a simple matter of switching on via the controls mounted on the left side of the handlebars and selecting from the three speeds – the motor runs as long as you keep pedalling (without effort) and cuts out either as soon as you stop or when the breaks are applied (front disc, rear drum.) The breaks are sharply responsive, without being dangerously over-eager and the only things that takes any real practice is getting used to the more upright position on the bike and understanding the turning circle.


Aside from when power-assisted there are no gears on the beatbike so pedalling uphill on a 14kg frame tests the legs, but then that’s what the motor’s really for…


It’s important to put this bike in context: As a ‘final-mile’ commute bike, it makes enormous sense (the carry bag converts into a rucksack, a really nice touch), as an option to take on a canal boat or caravan holiday, ditto and for getting out and just having untold fun in a park it’s hard to beat. There are some limiting factors in terms of the distance/time between charges but the beatbike compares well here with other makes that weigh considerably more.


Are we going to convert any ‘real’ cyclists here? Maybe not, but they’re the ones missing out on the fun, which beatbike delivers in spades.


The beatbike is currently only available in anodised silver, but a larger range of colours are promised – it retails at £499.99, just about on the money for an electric folder and less than half of what you might expect to pay for something like the Raleigh Velo XC.


Cyclo is offering its readers a £50 discount on the beatbike; just use code ‘cyclo50’ at the checkout at


Featured Tech

Proviz Neutron Lights

Proviz Neutron LightsThere’s really nothing Cyclo likes more than simple efficiency and the Proviz Neutron Lights perform – quite literally – brilliantly. The Neutron is part of the Proviz own-brand range of bike lights and for those of you not in the know Proviz specialise in the retail of all things hi-viz from helmets to reflectives and cycling jackets.


Proviz Neutron Lights – one front, one back – are dinky water-resistant rubberised nodule-lights not unlike the Knog (Cyclo review here), which use a double LED to produce 36000MCD (millicandela) per light visible up to 650m. Of course that’s the distance at which the light is visible not the distance at which it provides visibility, but it does produce a decent crisp white light to front with a decent spread – there are also a choice of three modes: rapid flash, slow flash and solid.


The Neutrons attach quickly to pretty much any part of the bike by wrapping the silicone loop around and slipping it over the plastic clip – it’s a neat enough system although the plastic, the weakest point, is vulnerable in the case of a spill and is fairly unforgiving against the frame, so watch for scratches over time.


The Proviz Neutron Lights, whilst somehow not quite up to the sleek design aesthetics of the Knogs, are bright, light (just 22g each) and small enough to slip into a jersey pocket for those ‘just in case’ moments when the weather catches you out. At just £14.99 for the pair they are also cheaper than other similar manufacturers – compare the say the Lezyne Femto Drive LED Light Set at £21.99 or the Knog Frog Stobe Light pack at £19.99 (both available from


Full details and online purchase of the Proviz Neutron Lights at Follow Proviz on facebook and Twitter.


Featured Reviews Tech

Boardman Performance Hybrid Team

Boardman Performance Hybrid TeamA frequent question posed when buying a new bike is ‘what do I get, road or MTB?’ – which might well beg the response ‘a hybrid’. And that jack-of-all-trades was a simple answer for some time, until the hybrid split into two further camps, the classic/comfort style or performance/sports. With winter is just around the corner (again) our attention turned to the latter with a decision to look at the Boardman Performance Hybrid Team, in part because in each price range the Boardman bikes are generally competitively spec’d out, but also because we are unashamedly fans of Chris Boardman – partially for his racing exploits, but more so for the commitment off-peloton for cycling in general.


We decided to order the Boardman Performance Hybrid in its box having had mixed experience with build quality in the past, and figured if we were going to spend an hour checking everything over before the first ride, we may as well assemble the bike in the first place.


It was a pleasant surprise to unbox the bike and find it nearly assembled; apart from needing to align the bars, fit the saddle, aftermarket SPD’s and front wheel, everything else was done, even the gears were indexed, and there was a nice thin layer of lube on the chain. At first look the frame appeared a little chunky, the tubes looked like they belonged on a straight MTB, even the seat stays and forks were chunky, but looks, of course, can be deceptive – weighing in just a little over its claimed weight, but still under 10kg. So far, so good…


Elsewhere the drive train came as a bit of an initial shock; reminiscent of the early 80’s when all except from the top of the top end bikes came with a real mixed bag of components. Our first thought was that the team over at Boardman were starting to consider margin gains when it comes to component costs, and this is probably partly true. The Boardman Performance Hybrid comes fitted with FSA Gossamer Compact 50x34T chain set, Microshift front mech, SRAM Apex rear mech, both controlled by SRAM S700 shifters, and a Shimano 105 11t-28t cassette; we had half-expected to see a sun tour BB but luckily this was also a FSA external – however it was all surprisingly well matched and gear changes proved silky smooth.


Its not all perfect however; even for someone with broad shoulders, the bars are a little too wide, this is where the bike starts to feel more mountain bike than performance hybrid. We’re slightly perplexed with the cassette choice too; as zippy as this bike is we think the 11t is overly ambitious, and would rather have seen the Shimano 105 12-30T with a mid cage rear mech capable of overcoming just about any hill the UK could throw at it. Also the tire choice also left us disappointed; the Vittoria Zaffiro 700 x 28c is a cheap option – an okay tire, but for the price of the overall package it felt somewhat… lacking.


Finally on the list of lows were the brakes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Avid Elixer 1 set (we actually quite like them) but on the test rides it was difficult to stop and felt very spongy. Having the same setup on our MTB we knew how well the Avid brakes can work and figured a quick bleed would sort them out – but were shocked when we pulled 3/4 of a ml of air out of the rear and about 1/2ml out of the front; this is comes down to attention to detail in the factory rather than component quality, and being that many consumers won’t have the tools (or perhaps knowledge) to bleed hydraulic brakes it really is something of a crucial oversight.


It’s fair to say that most products’ websites will normally over sell the performance or quality, so reading ‘Sprinting from the lights, braking for the next set, cornering and weaving around the traffic, then it’s out into the lanes pushing hard up the climbs and descending fast down the other side…’ we anticipated a degree of exaggeration but for once this was not the case. For a bike with a sit up and beg position, sitting on basic quality 28c tires, the Boardman Performance Hybrid really does move. Perhaps it was the thrill of the new ride, perhaps we had a slight tail wind, but comparing average min-per-mile for the year on a road bike, it was a mere one second per mile slower.


Our minor grumbles aside, the Boardman Performance Hybrid Team is still a great package with a good mix of components, topped off with the expected Boardman quality finish. This is a fast and agile bike that actually does what it claims and at (just) under £750 it remains a truly solid option when it comes to hybrids.


For full details on the Boardman Performance Hybrid Team see


This review was written by Cyclo contributor Jason Jones – you can follow him on twitter @DRJtJones