Affordability and cycling GPS computers are two phrases that you don’t usually hear together. Thanks to companies such as Coospo that’s something that is changing as they offer a variety of GPS computers at accessible price points. In this review, we’ll be looking at their most affordable option, the entry-level Coospo BC26 GPS computer. Although the brand Coospo may not be familiar to everyone, it’s actually short for Cool-Sport and was founded in 2011. At only $35.99 the BC26 is the cheapest GPS computer Coospo offers and features a large 2.3” FSTN screen. Designed to be easy to use, the BC26 doesn’t allow for any sensor connectivity and instead has a simple configuration and 20 hour runtime.
The Shanren Miles GPS computer is a budget priced cycling computer with an intuitive user interface and unique features such as power estimation.
|Measured Weight (in g)||54 (head unit) / 6 (mount)|
|Likes||+ Budget price|
+ Universal Garmin quarter turn style mount
+ Convenient rotating display option for time/distance
|Dislikes||– No gradient display|
– Unable to adjust odometer mileage
– Lacks ability to connect to any sensors
|Where to Buy (US)||Coospo|
The Coospo BC26 comes in a small Coospo branded cardboard box with orange and white color scheme. There is a large graphic of the GPS computer on the front and basic specs written on sides and back. Inside you’ll find:
- BC26 GPS computer
- Handlebar Garmin style mount
- 2 sets of O-rings (one larger than the other)
- Micro USB charging cable
- Instruction manual
Coospo includes a simple plastic handlebar mount with the BC26. It’s a simple round puck with four hooks that allow the two O-rings to attach to in a criss-cross pattern. There are two different length O-rings included with the computer to accommodate different handlebar or stem diameters. Thankfully, the BC26 uses a standard Garmin quarter-turn style mount which clicks into place with a 90 degree rotation. It’s a very common mount design which means you can easily use the BC26 on other mounts without the need for proprietary adapters. Although the handlebar mount works well, we’d highly recommend an out front mount such as the Topeak UTF mount to place the GPS computer directly in front of the stem and allow for lights or camera to be mounted underneath it.
FIT & FINISH
The Coospo BC26 has a traditional rectangular design with a large 2.3” glossy screen with fairly large black bezels on the top and the sides. Branding is limited to Coospo on the bottom of the screen and the front face of the computer. The micro USB charging port is located underneath the Garmin style mount and is protected by a rubber cover. To help conceal the integrated battery, the body of the BC26 tapers inward and has two character lines along the sides to break up surfaces. Even though the computer is only around $30, most cyclists won’t be able to tell it visually apart from much more expensive computers at a glance.
One of the primary reasons the BC26 is able to achieve such a lower price point is the simple FSTN screen. Unlike smartphone or higher-end GPS computers which have a high-resolution pixel display, the FSTN screen has a pre-defined display. This highly limits the user interface as text and icons cannot overlap which means every screen has to be carefully designed. The second reason is the lack of sensor connectivity so you cannot connect cadence, speed, heart rate sensors or power meters to the computer. Functionally, this is very similar to the CYCPLUS M1 but with a different form factor.
Using just the GPS signal, the BC26 can display altitude, speed, and distance which should satisfy most recreational riders. If you’re a more performance rider looking for data metrics we’d highly recommend something like the Bryton Rider 15 Neo which has more functionality. The Coospo BC26 does allow for seamless data uploads to Strava by linking your account on the free CoospoRide app. Although the app does require registering to access, it’s easy to use and allows you to view your ride history, do basic configuration, and even has a ride view ability if you prefer using your smartphone on your bike. As with other smaller GPS computer brands, the app has some issues such as untranslated Chinese text and occasional crashing.
Given the budget price, it’s not a big surprise that the Coospo BC26 doesn’t offer much in the way of configuration. As there is no way to connect sensors, the display itself is preset with no customization options. There are only three configuration options on the device:
- (P1) Time Zone: This allows you to set the time relative to UTC. Unlike many CYCPLUS GPS computers that only let you set the time in whole hours, Coospo allows for 15 minute increments which means riders in parts of Australia, India, and a few other countries can set the time properly.
- (P2) Unit Display: This allows you to change the distance / speed display between metric (km) and imperial (miles). There is no temperature display on the BC26 so there is no temperature unit display option needed.
- (P3) Max Speed Alert: This is perhaps one of the most confusing features of the GPS computer. You can set a maximum speed and have the computer automatically beep if you exceed it. Unless you have some aggressive police giving cyclists speeding tickets, we can’t imagine any users using the feature.
Note: You can also set the same configuration settings via the CoospoRide app which can be faster to use.
The Coospo BC26 has a three button interface with two buttons on the left and one on the right. Each button has a rubber coating with decent tactile feel and their labels printed on the top screen in high contrast white. With the limited feature set of the light, the user interface is easy to navigate and doesn’t really require the user manual. After a bit of trial and error it’s easy to figure out which buttons do what.
The right side button serves as the power button and start/stop recording functionality. The only tricky thing about the button is that you have to hold the button while a recording is paused to save it. There is no recording discard option with the computer so even zero distance recordings will still be saved and uploaded. The top left button is labeled as an up arrow and can cycle the computer between realtime, average, maximum data display, or increment values while in the configuration menu. Finally, the bottom left button is labeled as a down arrow and has some overloaded functionality depending on current state. You can cycle through the bottom display fields, lower, or cycle through options, or hold the button to open or close the configuration menu.
Although some of the buttons have context-specific actions we found the user interface to be straight forward. There are only two levels: the current activity display and the configuration menu. The main downside of the Coospo BC26 is the FSTN screen which has a pre-arranged layout. That means the configuration menu only has basic labeling of C1 / C2 and C3 without proper labels or graphics. The screen itself is divided into three regions: speed in the top right, secondary data on the bottom (time / distance / odometer / altitude), and auxiliary info / icons on top left. We found the graphics easy to understand as Coospo uses common battery / GPS and other well known icons.
Overall we found the Coospo BC26 to be an intuitive and simple cycling GPS computer. The three button interface and large 2.3” screen make it easy to view riding data and navigate the menus. We were able to start riding with the BC26 in under a minute as the only configuration options you need to change are the time zone and unit display. Although we would have liked to see sensor connectivity options and gradient display, it’s hard to beat the budget price of BC26. It’s certainly not the perfect cycling computer, but for recreational riders or commuters looking for a budget friendly GPS computer, the BC26 is easy to recommend.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Coospo. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.