Cycling computers can generally be divided into two main categories: non-GPS and GPS units. GPS computers not only display speed and other sensor data, but add positional data for easy ride analysis and comparison. Unfortunately, there is usually a large price gap between the two types of cycling computers with some GPS cycling computer prices rivaling iPhone prices. The CYCPLUS M1 GPS cycling computer is a surprisingly cheap computer that tries to take advantage of the price gap with a retail price of only $49.99 for the headunit. Although it’s cheap, the M1 has ANT+ connectivity and can display speed, cadence, heart rate, and power data.
The budget friendly CYCPLUS M1 GPS cycling computer boasts a large display and Garmin style mount but lacks customization options.
The M1 boasts a generous 2.9” non-touch screen display with a large font that is clear and easy to read. CYCPLUS has also incorporated a simple Garmin quarter turn style mount into the M1 which makes it easy to take advantage of various third-party mounts or the $9.99 CYCPLUS Z2 out front mount. It’s a compelling setup that even undercuts other more affordable options like the Bryton Rider GPS computers. As with other cheaper computers, the M1 does sacrifice customization and adjustability to keep the cost down.
|Retail Price||$49.99 (M1 GPS) / $9.99 (Z2 Out-Front Mount)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||76 (M1 GPS) / 32 (Z2 mount)|
|Likes||+ Competitively priced|
+ Large and easy to read display
+ Garmin style quarter turn mount
|Dislikes||– Minimal customization|
– Confusing configuration menu interface
– Auto backlight does not have user override to turn off
|Where to Buy (US)||Amazon|
The CYCPLUS M1 GPS is shipped in a small cardboard box with simple white and black graphics printed on it. Inside the box you’ll find the following:
- M1 GPS computer
- Handlebar mount + O-rings (3x)
- Micro USB to USB charging cable
- Instruction manual
We also reviewed the CYCPLUS Z2 out front mount which includes:
- Z2 out front mount
- Allen Wrench
- Screws (2x) + Washers (2x)
One thing we found amusing is that there is clearly some ‘lost in translation’ with the translated English text of the Z2 mount. For example, ‘‘suitable pipe diameter” printed on the side of the box refers to the ‘handlebar diameter’.
FIT & FINISH
At first glance the CYCPLUS M1 looks like a much more premium GPS computer than its budget price would suggest. The large 2.9” display is something you typically see on high-end touch screen computers like the Garmin Edge 830 or the Bryton Rider 750. That said, the M1 is a basic non-touch screen computer with a monochromatic FSTN LCD style display. The bezels around the screen are minimal with the CYCPLUS logo on top as well as the front edge of the computer. There are three buttons at the bottom of the GPS with labels printed both on the screen and the buttons themselves. Even with the larger 1100 mAH integrated battery, the M1 still feels fairly light and isn’t that much thicker than other GPS computers like the Bryton Rider 320.
It’s worth pointing out that while the computer feels well built, one of the buttons fell off with a few minutes of fiddling with the first unit we received. However, CYCPLUS was quick to send out a replacement, and offers a 1 year repair/replacement warranty should you find yourselves in a similar situation. The replacement we received hasn’t had any issues yet, but we’ll update this review if any arise with more riding. In terms of battery life, CYCPLUS claims upto 30-35 hours which we felt was consistent with our use as we only had to charge the computer every few weeks.
Unlike other budget GPS computers, the M1 uses a standard Garmin quarter-turn style mount which is molded directly into the base of the computer housing and provides secure rattle-free mounting. With the wide range of Garmin mounts on the market, this means you can easily use the M1 on existing third party mounts instead of having to use proprietary mounts. Included with the computer is a simple handlebar plastic Garmin mount that attaches using o-rings. CYCPLUS includes a spare (3rd) o-ring just in case you lose one of them. The mount works well and makes it easy to mount the computer on the stem or handlebar.
The CYCPLUS Z2 mount is a surprisingly affordable plastic out-front mount. It’s a one-sided design that puts the GPS computer in front of your stem and is designed for 31.8mm handlebars. While the plastic construction helps keep the Z2 price low, it also makes it look cheap and bulky with a thick rectangular profile. The Z2 uses a hinged design with an allen bolt that is easy to install. We found that the mount would flex and vibrate on the rougher roads with the weight of the computer, something we’ve never seen with aluminium out front mounts. Interestingly, CYCPLUS also includes a second bolt that screws through the underside of the mount and directly into the M1 as an anti-theft feature. It’s a clever design we haven’t seen before, and means it will at least slightly slow down would-be bike thieves from swiping the computer off your bike.
The M1 is practically ready to ride with from the first time you take the computer out of the box. There are no prompts asking for personal information, bicycle setup, or even time or date setup. Instead, the M1 comes loaded with factory defaults and uses GPS to determine speed, distance, and altitude. The configuration menu can be entered at any time, even during an active ride, by simply holding the right button down. Each configuration page has a confusing “CX” text display with small icons or text to indicate what function it changes. There are a few configuration options (C2-C7):
- C2: Connect ANT+ Speed / Heart Rate / Cadence/ Powermeters -This is fast and painfree as it finds the closest active sensor and quickly loads it.
- C3: Wheel diameter (mm) – This is only used if a speed sensor is connected to compute distance.
- C4: Time zone – This lets you pick the hour offset from GMT for the 24 hour formatted time display.
- C5: Speed unit (MPH / KMH)
- C6: Temperature unit (Co / Fo)
- C7: Factory reset – Resets all configuration options back to the factory defaults
As you can see, the M1 has very limited configurability options compared to even simple computers like the Bontrager RIDEtime Elite. While the budget price of the M1 makes it easy to overlook the lack of features such as bike profiles, calorie display, heart rate, we felt that some essential features like setting the odometer, adjusting the backlight or screen display or view the recent lap stats are missing.
Despite the large screen, the M1 uses a simple matte non-touch screen design with three physical buttons. Each of the buttons are clearly labeled and do different actions depending on whether you do a short or long press. The main three buttons are:
- Left Button: A short press starts or pauses an active recording. Holding the button down powers the computer on/off.
- Middle Button: A short press during an active recording will increment the lap. Holding the button down saves a paused recording.
- Right Button: A short press switches between the 5 different display screens or through the configuration menu if in setup mode. Holding the button down enters/exits the setup screen.
We found that the design is fairly intuitive although we found ourselves glossing over the manual to understand the functionality initially. Compared to two button computers like the Bontrager RIDEtime Elite, the CYCPLUS M1 is far easier to use as all actions are either a short or long press instead of using different length holds to activate features.
The budget price of the M1 is reflected in the simple LCD screen which significantly limits where numbers/text can be displayed. That means there everything is placed on a tight grid that limits the user interface to predefined regions. Although other computers like the Bontrager RIDEtime Elite allow for display customization, the M1 has only 5 predefined data screens. The speed and sensor data are always shown, while the auxiliary data changes depending on the visible page.
- Page 1 – Speed / Sensors / Time + Distance
- Page 2 – Speed / Sensors / Odometer + Gradient
- Page 3 – Speed / Sensors / Ascent + Altitude
- Page 4 – MAX Speed / Sensors / Gradient
- Page 4 – AVG Speed / Sensors / Gradient
We’d highly recommend watching our video review and the user manual before deciding to buy the M1 to ensure the limited screen displays will work for you. Compared to other GPS computers that offer 99+ options for data field displays with everything from left/right pedal to heart rate zones, the M1 offers a very limited data display. The M1 computer also lacks any notifications or audible alerts which means basic actions like starting/stopping ride or saving a ride must be done manually (note, the computer does auto-pause active rides if you come to stop). That means you’ll need to remember to start and stop recording instead of relying on helpful reminder dialogs.
The M1 can also be connected to the XOSS app using Bluetooth which is available on both Android and IOS. Unlike the Bryton Active, Garmin or other apps which have a suite of options, the XOSS app is very simple as it can only be used to view / sync data or firmware updates. It’s easy to quickly connect the M1 by using the ‘find device’ menu and once connected view any recorded rides. Although the XOSS app is useful for linking Training Peaks or Strava accounts to automatically sync the recorded rides, we wouldn’t recommend using it for much else. Uploading rides is very slow and the interface for viewing ride information is pretty limited. We found that the altitude display was consistently incorrect and that lap data was not shown.
One of the most obvious signs of the budget price of the M1 is the bright backlight. Not only can you see the light array between the screen and display when looking at the computer from an angle, it is also uneven. At the bottom of the screen are five obvious bright spots where the bottom light elements are located. It’s something we haven’t seen in other bicycle computers and gives the computer a cheap appearance. The backlight is automatically on between 6pm – 9am and turns on for 10 seconds during button presses at any other time. This is similar to the auto backlight feature of the Bryton Rider computers but the important difference is that the M1 doesn’t offer a way to change the backlight setting or turn it off. That means if you do any morning or evening rides during the auto on time, the backlight will run down the battery and could also be a distraction.
Overall, we found the CYCPLUS M1 to be a budget friendly GPS computer with a large and easy to read display. The lack of integration and configuration features of the M1 means it isn’t a replacement for more expensive Garmin or Bryton computers. Instead the M1 is ideal for riders looking for a simple GPS computer that can connect to ANT+ devices that is easy to setup and use. With a Garmin style mount, the M1 can also be used with the variety of existing mounts on the market or with the affordable CYCPLUS Z2 plastic out-front mount. The main two issues we found with the M1 are the uneven backlight that can’t be turned off between 6pm-9am and the inability to adjust the display screens. That said, if those two issues aren’t a deal breaker, the low price makes the M1 hard to beat.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by CYCPLUS. 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.
8 Replies to “CYCPLUS M1, a $50 GPS Cycling Computer”
which button remembers the route traveled for the answer in advance, thank you
You have to hold down the middle button to save an active recording. Don’t forget to start the recording (left) when you start your ride too. That’s one of the downsides to this GPS computer, most computers will remind you to start the recording when they detect motion and make saving it a lot more obvious once come to a stop.
The initial altitude is estimated at power on time from GPS and after during trips the altitude changes are calculated from barometer air presure sensor data. So to avoid large altitude offset, power on the computer outside house, in place with good GPS signal. Second thing to mention, the wheel size is not diameter bit circumference of the wheel.
Great point and clarification! Other computers like Bryton allow you to change the altitude for better calibration, but the Cycplus doesn’t offer that.
Does it work with strava segments
No it is not. I doubt there are many $50 GPS computers that would be. You can see a full list of compatible devices here – https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/223361887-Strava-Live-Segments-Compatible-Devices?mobile_site=false&page=1#comments.
The weak point of cycplys M1 are the micro switches in the buttons, mine stopped working after less than a year. The aliexpess seller, the official Cycplus store, does not respect the guarantee and offers a refund of 5 USD,
Sorry to hear that. I’d recommend trying their direct support or warranty email addresses to see if they can be of any help. I believe our M1 also had a button fall off initially, but they quickly sent a replacement and we didn’t have any issues after that.