When the original Lezyne GPS units were introduced, at a certain level I didn’t care how they functioned, so long as they did function and didn’t die on an annual basis. I’ve owned four Garmin GPS units and only one of those never got sent back to Garmin to be fixed after suffering the GPS equivalent of sad Mac while on a ride. Some of these failures resulted in outcomes that included no GPS data on a two-week trip to the Alps. What this points to is that a single brand’s Achilles heel became an outsize concern when examining other brands.
So the mere existence of the Lezyne GPS units was a positive enough development to cause me to cheer.
Then came the actual use of the unit. Operation was simple enough, though with four buttons there were opportunities to screw up and hit the wrong button if you were going hard and unable to think clearly, though for the most part, its operation is straightforward enough.
What did trouble me almost immediately was the fact that unlike most competing GPS units, the screen showed four lines of data no matter what. It’s nice to have four pieces of data you can review whenever you want. However, sometime in my 40s I began needing reading glasses. The numbers were small enough on the Super GPS that I had trouble reading them at times, particularly on rough or dirt roads. As to the text that tells you just what piece of data you’re looking at, which was displayed in something like 6 point type, that was hopelessly impossible to read. I needed to either have the arrangement of data memorized, or the number needed to show an obvious value.
Frustrating as that was, my original Super GPS unit has performed flawlessly, continuing to operate just like the day I opened the box. You never really appreciate reliability until you’ve suffered through a product with poor reliability.
Then Lezyne introduced a revamped GPS. The big change is that you can now choose from a selection of different screen layouts. Whether it’s one big number, one big number and a smaller one, three numbers or four, you now have the ability to choose a different screen layout for each different screen, and you can choose up to five different screens.
The array of functions offered with the Super GPS is, like nearly every current GPS unit, dizzying. In addition to all the usual, speed, distance, time, elevation and lap functions you are accustomed to seeing, it offers a complete suite of power functions to view, from current and max to things like your FTP and left/right balance. Click here to see a list of the full set.
Functionality has been expanded to include seamless integration with both Today’s Plan and Training Peaks, for those who use their GPS as a tool to guide a disciplined training program.
Lezyne’s pricing is such that they’ve managed to put pressure on both Garmin and Wahoo. The Super GPS alone is $149.99. With the heart rate monitor the price increases to $189.99, while the “loaded box” with a heart rate strap and speed sensor is only $229.99. By comparison, the bundle for Garmin’s 520 goes for more than $100 more. And while the Garmin 25 was positioned to be a less expensive competitor, it features shorter battery life, fewer functions and, worse, no ability to automatically upload rides upon arriving home. I mean, with a battery run time of up to 24 hours for the Super GPS, it is one of very few units that a 24-hour racer could use and finish with a single, seamless file, rather than two or three different files uploaded for multiple units.
I’ll admit that I’m not wild about receiving text messages while I’m on a ride. When I’m out, I want to be left alone. Nevermind the fact that I can’t read the text when it arrives.
Live Tracking is something that Lezyne offers on its own, so you don’t have to sign up for Strava premium. While the mapping functions aren’t as sophisticated as you may find with a unit like the Wahoo Elemnt, the Super GPS will give turn by turn navigation, and its rare that I encounter a rider who needs much more than that. I mean, as long as I don’t get lost, I’m pretty happy.
But what if you’re not moving? The Super GPS has a trainer mode that will allow you to record a workout even if you never leave the garage.
Honestly, one of the things I like best about purchasing any GPS unit from Lezyne is the collection of videos they include to help you learn your way around each of the more complicated features. Given just how bad most technical writing is (said by a technical writer often brought in to edit the work of other writers), producing a video that can show you exactly what to do is pretty genius.
Given all that the Super GPS does and what it runs price-wise, I can say that this is proof positive that some aspects of cycling have improved while actually dropping in price. This is just the sort of product I can recommend and know that nearly anyone will be completely satisfied with it.
Final thought: antidote to the cycling arms race.