Marketed as “your first GPS bike computer” the new Shanren Miles GPS computer is a unique budget priced GPS. Like other Shanren products such as the Raz Pro taillight, the Miles computer was launched from a successfully backed Kickstarter campaign that surpassed its funding goal. While Shanren may not be as well-known as companies such as Bryton, Garmin or Wahoo they aren’t new to GPS cycling computers as they’ve developed six previous computers. With a retail price of only $89.99 the Shanren Miles GPS is a very accessible GPS computer that has full ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity for speed, cadence, heart rate and power meters. The Miles GPS also claims to be the world’s first GPS computer to feature a power estimation feature that can compute real-time and normalized power without a power meter.
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)||60 (head unit) / 6 (mount)|
|Likes||+ Customizable display|
+ Intuitive three row data layout design
+ Power estimation works well for training
|Dislikes||– Raz Pro taillight integration is limited|
– Configuration menus can be confusing
– Bike profiles only store wheel size
|Where to Buy (US)||Shanren|
The Shanren Miles GPS is shipped in a small cardboard box with Shanren white/black graphics printed on it. An overview of the features are printed on the sides of the box with a reflective graphic depiction of the computer on the front. For the head unit only option, you’ll find the following in the box:
- Miles GPS Computer
- Stem mount + O-rings
- Micro USB to USB charging cable
- Warranty Card
- Instruction Manual + Touch Screen Quick Guide
Shanren also offers low cost out front mounts as well as cadence, speed and heart rate sensors that can be purchased separately.
Shanren has incorporated a Garmin style quarter turn mount directly into the base of the Miles GPS Computer. That enables the Miles GPS to be used with a variety of third-party mounts and accessories instead of being limited to proprietary mounts like other budget GPS computer such as the Bontrager RIDEtime Elite. Included with the computer is a simple plastic handlebar or stem mount that attaches using simple o-rings. We found that the mount worked well to hold the computer securely but recommend using an out front mount instead for a cleaner installation. Shanren also offers their own out front mount the Click 2 which has a single hinged plastic construction. As with other plastic out front mounts we’ve reviewed, the Click 2 has some flex but otherwise works well and is an affordable option.
FIT & FINISH
While Shanren’s previous GPS computers were bulky due to integrated headlights, the Miles GPS is the company’s first to have a more mainstream design. With a 2.1” screen and a claimed aerodynamic shape, the Miles GPS has a tidy and compact form factor that looks equally good on commuter or high-end road bikes. Although we can’t confirm if the computer is actually aerodynamic, the beveled and smooth edges look similar to the Wahoo Elemnt computers in profile. The overall build quality feels good with consistent spacing between the display and smooth operation of the three physical buttons.
The underside of the computer hides the integrated rechargeable battery and a covered micro-USB charging port. We would have liked to see a USB Type-C interface but the micro USB port works well and has a tight fitting rubber cover for weather protection. There is also a Garmin style quarter turn adapter molded directly into the body of the computer for easy mounting. The mount is offset from the body of the computer which makes the Miles GPS compatible with nearly any third party mount and can even be attached to a Fabric Lumaray front light for extra visibility. One thing we were surprised to see were the four exposed bolts on the underside of the body as they are usually hidden with other GPS computers.
As with other budget GPS computers, the Shanren Miles GPS utilizes a non-touch screen 2.1” segmented type LCD. The screen layout uses a predefined grid of text and icons instead of using a dynamic dense grid of pixels. This design significantly limits the user interface layout but is necessary and common at this price point. There are three physical buttons located on the bottom edge of the GPS which have different actions depending on the active screen. The primary actions for each button are:
- Left Button (Data Display / Record Ride) – A short press cycles through realtime / avg / max data displays while on the data display screen, or toggles options in the configuration menu. A long press while on the data display screen starts or stops a recording.
- Middle Button (Lap / Power) – Holding this button while the GPS is one turns computer on or off, while a short press increments the lap counter during a recorded ride.
- Right Button (Page / Light Control) – A short press cycles through the display pages or configuration menu while a hold will turn on or off a connected Raz Pro taillight.
The Miles GPS also has convenient features such as auto-pausing recordings when the detected speed is zero. Although you can’t discard a recording, the long hold to start/stop rides is intuitive to use and has a small play/pause icon next to the speed display to show the current state. The main features that are missing with the interface are call/email notifications or a “start recording” notification to remind you to start recording when speed is detected. You also can’t control the backlight setting from the computer itself – this is only accessible via the Shanren Sport App.
Data display options are fairly limited to the usual options such as speed, distance, time, power, cadence, and gradient. We were a bit surprised to see a left / right power percentage display option though as that’s typically seen in higher priced computers. That said, the options should be more than enough for most riders unless you want to see lap data or different power averaging options. Also, the Miles GPS doesn’t allow for workouts such as interval training or full bike profiles. The computer does allow for a road or mtb option which stores different wheel circumferences only – not different sensors or settings as typical bike profiles offer. We found the overall design and three button interface to be easy to use, particularly compared to the Bontrager RIDEtime Elite and Cycplus M1 computers.
The Shanren Miles GPS claims to be the world’s first GPS computer with power estimation. The proprietary algorithm utilizes the GPS data, cadence information, user input weight, and wheel circumference. Although we didn’t have a power meter on-hand to compare the data against, the display real-time and normalized power looked consistent. We noticed the power data lagged when starting sprints or high-effort climbs but we’d attribute that to the fact that the computer is using filtered GPS and cadence data as inputs. The power data is a great feature as you can use it to better gauge effort instead of comparing more variable data such as speed and use it as a part of your training to structure your rides. Note: A cadence sensor must be synced to the computer to use the feature as it is a necessary input to the algorithm.
RAZ PRO INTEGRATION
One of the unique features of the Shanren Miles GPS computer is that it offers integration with Shanren’s Raz Pro taillight. The Raz Pro is a smart taillight which is one of the most customizable taillights on the market. With the Miles GPS, the taillight can be connected via bluetooth to the GPS computer. Once connected, the Miles GPS syncs the multi-color LED next to the Shanren logo to match the current state of the taillight. It’s a clever feature that lets you see what flash mode and color the taillight is actively on, but we’re still on the fence whether this is a useful feature or not. Even in flash modes, the LED display isn’t distracting while riding and even lets you see when the taillight detects braking or bumps as the color and flash pattern momentarily changes.
Once you’ve synced with the taillight, the Miles GPS allows you to also turn it on or off by holding the right button. We found that it only turns the taillight on a standby mode and would recommend manually turning it off to prevent battery drain. The computer also can’t turn the taillight on from a complete off state, only from the standby state which means you still need to manually turn the taillight on using the power button. While the taillight integration is a nice feature, we feel like Shanren could have incorporated more features such as Bontrager RIDEtime Elite’s ability to auto turn on/off the taillight based on speed or switch between day/night modes based on time. We would have also liked to see a way to toggle the flash modes of the taillight directly from the Miles GPS which would make the LED indicator much more useful.
SHANREN ACTIVE APP
The Miles GPS computer can also be wireless connected to the Shanren Sport App which is available on both iOS and Android. We used the Android version (V184.108.40.206) which consists of three primary pages: home, ride history and profile. From the home page you can view any connected devices, sync ride data, navigate to destination, or access heart rate training. Not surprisingly, the app lacks refinement and has a lot of little issues such as oddly translated words, some untranslated Chinese text (in the HR training section) and hard to read gray menus. Although the app does offer ride analysis, we’d recommend using Strava or other more comprehensive training apps for a more intuitive data presentation.
The advantage of the Shanren Sport App is that it allows for syncing ride data to Strava as well as configuring the Miles GPS. Not only does the app mirror most of the configuration options on the device itself (i.e. display units / altitude calibration / etc) but you can do basic firmware updates and additional customization for the backlight and data layout. The backlight strength can be adjusted and even set to always on / auto (based on time) or only on button presses (default). Display fields on the three pages can also be adjusted using a simple touch screen / drop down menu interface. The bottom field can only display the speed, while the top four fields each have 2 options per field. Although you can’t change field sizes or show graphical displays as you can with more expensive GPS computers like the Bryton Rider 750, it’s a nice feature to see on a budget GPS.
Overall, we found the Shanren Miles GPS to be easy to use and well designed. The data layout makes the most of the 2.1” display with an easy to read 3 row setup. Even with the segmented style LCD, the user interface is well laid out and easy to navigate through. The Miles GPS also offers features not typically seen at the sub $100 price such as power estimation and left/right power display. The computer can also connect to the Shanren Raz Pro taillight which allows you to turn the light on/off as well as view the current color / flash mode on a multi-colored LED indicator. While the synced indicator is a unique feature, we do wish Shanren had incorporated more functionality. Compared to other computers such as the Bryton Rider 15 neo, the Shanren stands out with the estimated power and actual power meter connectivity. If you’re on a budget, the Miles GPS is definitely one to consider as it offers a lot of value and a surprising amount of customization.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Shanren. 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.