Lezyne Super GPS Review

One of the earliest memories I have of bike computers was fishing out my old Cateye computer from the washing machine, I had forgot to taken it out of my short pockets, it didn't fare well.
Over the years I went through many phases, for a long time I went without any bike computer but then started using a wireless Cateye unit to keep track of time and distance on my road rides, and then later upgraded to a VDO M4 which had a built in altimeter and lots of other functions.  Still at heart these were quite simple computers which lacked the smartphone connections, GPS and other modern conveniences you normally would associate with more serious computers like Garmin, Polar etc.

My trusty old VDO M4 wired computer
These computers never really appealed to me, as I didn't really see the point of recording all your rides, in addition the exorbitant cost really put me off, from my point of view they cost nearly what an old iPhone would cost but with vastly inferior UI and processing power.  I had previously used my iPhone on a handlebar bracket which was fantastic for following routes I would plan ahead of time.  However this had several problems, firstly it would completely run down the battery within a few hours, usually in the middle of nowhere and secondly the touchscreen was useless during rain and/or when wearing gloves in the winter.


The VDO M4 I had purchased back in 2015 had served me really well for many years, it's altimeter allowed me to keep track of elevation, gradient as well as a plethora of functions.  VDO would soon be releasing a new model with GPS tracking as well except now it was pushing nearly £100 so I decided to look at what else was on the market.  What was I looking for?  I needed something which could navigate me along pre-planned routes, have a long battery life independent of my phone's battery, and be generally reliable and simple without too many useless bells and whistles.

I investigated several options, I looked at Garmin but they all seemed too expensive and poor value with so-so battery life and from what I could gather not that great an interface.  There was Wahoo, Bryton, Polar and a few others.  It was actually quite difficult to figure out which ones would navigate me along a GPX track which I could upload.  What I discovered is that the majority of computers are really for tracking a ride rather than guiding you through one.  In the end I ordered the Lezyne Super GPS and the Bryton 530E with the intent of returning one of them and keeping the other.  Both these computers have features which allow you to upload your own GPX files and they would navigate you there either with a breadcrumb trail and/or turn by turn directions.

First Impressions

I received the Lezyne as well as the in-front mount, one of the first things I noticed was how small the Lezyne unit was in comparison to your typical Garmins which are about the size of a small smartphone.  The Super GPS is really compact, about the size of two boxes of matches.  It's not the most handsome unit, it has a slightly almost 80's blocky look to it.

It comes standard with a bar mount and an in-front mount is also available aftermarket which I purchased. On both mounts the computer needs to be pushed into it at 45ยบ and then twisted straight at which point it locks, the amount of force you need to push is actually quite high so it means that the bar mount rotates a bit as you push and twist.  The in-front mount is a pretty thin and lightweight thing so it needs your second hand to support it as you push and twist.  However once it's in either mount it feels extremely secure.

The first test was navigating me home from work, firstly it required a connection with a smartphone to use it's main features such as turn-by-turn navigation.  I downloaded the GPS Ally app, connected it to the unit via Bluetooth and set it to auto navigate me home with turn-by-turn.   During riding it would pop up the upcoming turns with distances as well as a simple breadcrumb map, basically this is a dot representing your position going along a line which is the navigation route.    There were a few minor niggles though, the breadcrumb map did not rotate as you changed your direction, north was always up, also you had to manually start/stop the recording function when stopped at the lights.  Still the navigation worked pretty well actually and I managed to get home without any major navigational issues.

As soon as I got home I checked for firmware updates and found out that the firmware that came on it originally was about 6 months old and it appears they had released many updates since then.  I quickly updated to the latest and wow... what a difference.  Finally the breadcrumb map rotated as you did, the screens were a lot more customisable now and you could add multiple bikes each with their own settings.  The recording mode would also now automatically stop and start as it detected movement.  These were huge jumps from the original firmware which I felt made the device seem somewhat primitive, I've based this review on the latest firmware available as of December 2017.


The interface is quite simple, there are four buttons on the unit with their functions marked on the bezel.  Once you are riding the interface consists of a series of screens which you use the top two buttons to navigate through.

On powering up, you select which bike preset you want to use if you have more than one.  You can easily add and configure each preset in the app or on the unit.  If you hold the power button it will go back to this menu, another press will shut off the unit.

The first screen is a status screen, this shows the connected sensors, battery percentage, date and time.  

Pressing the right button (shown as Menu) scrolls you to the Navigation pages if you have started recording, otherwise it will flick through the stats pages shown above.  These are fully customisable in the app, different layouts with lots of different fields available to display.

Another useful feature is the passthrough for messages and notifications.  Email, text and any other notifications can be passed onto the Super GPS unit in a read-only form which means I can leave my phone in my jersey pocket, particularly useful if it is raining and I have it wrapped up in a waterproof cover.

Overall the interface is reasonably simple, beyond these pages described above there are the other function buttons, such as the menu/settings, start/stop recording, backlight and power button.  The buttons are rubberised and have a slight squishy feel with a click when pressed, perfectly useable with thick winter gloves.


This was my first serious bike computer, and for a long time I had wanted a simple and reliable GPS navigation unit that would have a long battery life.  This meant as well that I wasn't really sure exactly what features I would want, was breadcrumb navigation on a monochrome LCD sufficient? Or would I really miss having a full colour Google maps turn-by-turn experience I was used to on my phone?  I used the Super GPS's somewhat basic navigation on many different rides, pure road rides as well as rides along off road trails and bridleways.  

What I realised is that I eventually preferred just using the breadcrumb navigation and found that the turn-by-turn was not as useful in reality as I thought it was; due to the small screen size there is only so much information you can fit in. The neat thing is that you can have it in breadcrumb mode which shows you a plan view of the pre-planned route so you can see what angle you need to turn at the next junction, the turn-by-turn notification will pop up on top of this a bit before each turn telling you which way to turn.  From the combination of the notification and the breadcrumb you can usually correlate it with the reality unfolding in front of you and figure out which is the right path to go down.  

The only real caveat of this is that turn-by-turn only really works if the software you use to create your maps supports it, www.ridewithgps.com which is the one I use supports this when you output .tcx files and only when you plot your routes on road.  On bridleways or off-road you are generally out of luck.  However I have generally found that the turn-by-turn doesn't add all that much, the breadcrumb navigation by itself is really simple and clear and works much better than I originally envisaged.

There are some other great features too about the navigation, once you have uploaded your route to Lezyne's GPS root website, then from your device onto the GPS unit, it runs independently.  Once loaded onto the GPS unit it doesn't require a connection to your device, unless you want on-the-fly rerouting.

The Super GPS also features Strava Live, so as you pass through Strava sections on your ride it will notify you of your times.  However as this is only available with a Strava Premium account I was not able to test this.

Sensors and other features

I've always been a bit of a facts and figures geek although I have never been the type to record my rides, partly because I didn't feel the need to but mainly because it would destroy the battery life on my phone within a few hours.  Typically my rides can last 6+ hours so this was out of the question.  However the Super GPS was able to record several 100km+ rides upload to my Lezyne GPS Root account, sync with Strava all on my iPhone and it would still have 70% battery life left!  I was mightily impressed with it's endurance, I definitely believe the 24hr claimed battery life, certainly this would be helped by the small monochrome LCD screen with no touch and only buttons.

Apart from the basic speed/distance type stats, I always liked checking the gradients of climbs and descents on my old VDO M4 computer.  However the Super GPS is compatible with the ANT+ and Bluetooth standards which opens it up to a huge number of sensor inputs; power meters, speed, cadence and heart rate just to name a few.  As I was relatively new to this world of bike/fitness trackers this was a bit of an eye opener, my trusty old VDO computer only had a wheel magnet and an altimeter, that was it.

Initially I used the unit by itself without any sensors, however I found the speed and gradient readings a bit erratic, It turned out that the speed reading depends on a constant GPS signal which was disturbed by things like tree cover or tall buildings.   I subsequently purchased a Garmin magnet-less speed and cadence sensor set, these little silicon sensors attach around the crank arm and hub shell and have movement sensors to extrapolate data.  They are a lot less fiddly than the traditional sensors which require separate sensors and magnets which need to stay aligned to get readings.

 Pairing these with the Super GPS unit was straightforward and they turn themselves on and off when they detect motion/stop, the Speed sensor achieved my goal of giving much more accurate readings which in turn increased the reliability of the gradient reading.  The cadence sensor is somewhat useful to encourage me to shift down to a lower gear and spin a bit faster, also it's neat to see if my gearing is low enough on longer climbs.  Typically most people would also use a heart rate monitor and a power meter, the latter however is quite expensive so I don't think I'll be getting one anytime soon.


At the time of this review, I have used the Super GPS now for 6 months on many rides of varying distance on and off-road.  Since I have used it with the updated firmware, the Super GPS unit has been a bit of a godsend.  Now I don't really have to worry about my phone running down, and it manages to stay on the entire duration of the ride with the breadcrumb navigation on screen.  The best part of this is that I can just concentrate on riding and navigating rather than faffing about with my phone.

Now that it is winter, I am relieved that I don't have to stop to take off my gloves to use my phone's touchscreen, I have gloves which are supposedly touchscreen compatible however this doesn't work particularly well and is useless when wet.  In addition, the physical buttons give you tactile feedback meaning you can be watching the road ahead instead of the screen which isn't possible with a touchscreen.  For these reasons, tactility and reliability in poor weather I really am convinced by traditional buttons over a touch screen.

I've only encountered one niggle on the second day of the two day touring trip where I had to wait for the computer to load a route which was longer than usual, normally this takes a few seconds but this time it didn't load until a few minutes had passed.  Otherwise the simple breadcrumb navigation has been totally reliable and meant I pretty much never had to stop on a pre-programmed route due to the Super GPS unit malfunctioning.  Generally I have found that being able to load the route at the beginning of the day and leaving my phone in my jersey pocket the rest of the ride has been quite liberating.

The unit has also been reliable in all kinds of weather, even downpours.  Lezyne says it is water resistant, not waterproof so it's not meant to be immersed entirely in water, it deals with heavy rain perfectly fine and hasn't seem to be affected in any way.

Despite the Super GPS being the top model of Lezyne's computer range, at £120 it is still less than half the price of many computers from Wahoo and Garmin .  Given some of these do have additional functions and features, however the Super GPS represents extremely good value for those that want decent sensor integration and basic navigation.


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