Giant Neos Track GPS Computer Review
By Justin Deeley
A few weeks ago an intriguing e-mail arrived lauding the all new Giant Neos Track GPS computer developed by Giant with the input of Team Sunweb.
Let’s not beat about the bush - I’m an avid user of Garmin’s range of GPS based bike computers, my race team was sponsored by them last year and I’ve got a considerable investment in some of the other products that co-exists in their ecosystem. That being said I think that their range has suffered somewhat since the replacement of the Edge 500 by no-so-configurable models such as the Edge 20 and 25.
The Garmin Edge 500 was the start of the revolution and until its replacement was the go-to GPS computer for a plethora of cyclists from the avid weekend warriors, to full-time pros. With connectivity to a variety of sensors, and fully configurable pages of display it was fairly easy to get the information you wanted, where you wanted it.
While the offerings from Garmin, Wahoo, Stages, Polar and others have moved forward in leaps and bounds, there are many users who wish for the ease of use and configurability of the Edge 500, coupled with some of the more useful newer technologies (bigger screens, better battery life, bluetooth connectivity) while maintaining a sharp price point.
Enter the Giant Neos Track - at $299.99 it’s well priced and you certainly get a lot of screen real estate for your money. The unit includes a micro USB cable, a quickstart guide, an out-front mount (to suit round bars) and an o-ring stem/bar mount. While similar in operation to the quarter-turn mount it is different enough to not be cross compatible but giant offer additional mounts that can be adapted for round and aero bars- I'm told supplies of the included out-front mount are about 3-4 weeks away.
The unit offers Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity and links with a companion app which is available from the Apple and Android app stores and provides for automatic syncing of rides to both Strava and Training Peaks.
Initial configuration is quite straight forward and only hampered by slow text entry using the button based interface. This is something that you’d be used to if you’ve used any of the non-touch screen based units. Fortunately once done it’s rarely revisited.
The Neos Track uses a ‘Bike’ model - you define each bike and then add the required Ant+ or BLE sensors. These can be the same sensors on each bike (such as a common HR strap) or can be unique to each bike (such as a power meter, speed sensor, Di2 connectivity). Adding sensors is fairly straightforward and I had 3 bikes defined in no time.
The user setup contains a raft of important setting such as FTP, LTHR, Max HR, Height & Weight (used for calorific calculations), Age and Sex. If you don’t know what these should be set to, the unit offers some testing features which will assist in defining and retesting these values.
After entering my vital statistics I set about defining my screens. You get up to 6 screens of data available and each screen can contain up to 10 items. The list of fields is extensive and while there are a few that I’m missing from my usual Garmin setup, there are a few more that I would love to have access to. For example; the Neos Track correctly supports LTHR allowing you to display both %MaxHR and %LTHR – something that I have to workaround on my current computer.
I've trained and raced several times using the unit and it provides the information I want, where I want it. It's easy to see, easy to start and stop, and easy to sync to the Neos Track app. My one complaint with the unit so far; the sync via Bluetooth can be a bit slower than I am used to but this can be rectified using the WiFi sync capability of the unit - it will connect to your defined wifi network when in range and sync directly to the web app.
I've used the app on 3 different bikes, with various sensors including power meters, heart, speed, speed/cadence, smart trainers, Shimano Di2 and it's connected and reconnected to all of them without issue; even prompting me for calibration of my power meters and to wake up my Di2 equipped bikes when I reconnect to each of them.
The unit supports course and routes and these can either be created elsewhere and transferred to the unit as a GPX file or created on and synced to the unit via the Neos Track app. The app is pretty straightforward to use and I was able to create and sync a route that I created. Once on the unit following a course/route is pretty straightforward and whilst it doesn't show you a base or detailed map, this course functionality will suit the casual user. As it's paired with an app, sitting down for a mid-ride coffee and plotting a route back home isn't too far a stretch (as long as you have data access).
While I still need some off the more advanced features of the Edge 820 and it's connectivity to some of the other Garmin devices, I really enjoyed the simplicity of the Neos Track and would certainly recommend it as a full functioned GPS based computer. A few of my team mates who were looking at upgrading their ageing computers have jumped on board and the response so far has been pretty positive.
Well done to Giant for providing a simple to use full function GPS based cycling computer that works with my exisiting sensors and doing it at a very sharp price point!
The Giant Neos Track GPS is available from your local Bicycle Superstore at $299.99
To check out the full specs and features click here.