A GPS computer that thinks outside of the box
While GPS cycling computer features can vary a lot between companies and models, visually they all tend to look the same. That is not the case with the CYCPLUS M2 GPS computer. With its 2.5” diameter round profile, the CYCPLUS M2 doesn’t look like any other cycling computer on the market. Although it looks unique, it’s still affordable with a current sales price of $69.99 from the $99.99 retail price. CYCPLUS has integrated a 1100 mAh battery with USB Type-C charging port for an impressive 30 hour runtime. The computer also features a Garmin quarter turn style mount which allows the GPS to be secured to a variety of mounts.
The CYCPLUS M2 comes in a small cardboard box with CYCPLUS branding and specifications printed on the box. Inside you’ll find:
- M2 GPS computer
- Garmin style handlebar mount + rubber pad
- 3 sets of O-rings (one is a spare)
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Instruction manual
The instruction manual is actually more of a booklet with 91 pages as it’s printed in seven languages. Although the size of the booklet is large, the actual interface is straight forward.
The CYCPLUS M2 GPS uses a standard Garmin quarter turn style mount molded directly into the base. This very common mount design allows the M2 to be used on a wide variety of third-party mounts rather than limiting the computer to proprietary mounts. CYCPLUS also includes a simple O-ring style handlebar mount. The plastic mount uses two o-rings that can be easily used on a handlebar or stem and works well to keep the GPS securely in place. As always, we highly recommend using an out-front mount such as the Topeak UTF mount for a cleaner mounting solution that places the GPS directly in front of the stem.
FIT AND FINISH
What sets the CYCPLUS M2 GPS apart from most computers on the market is the round profile which is rarely seen except for smaller Cateye computers or the uber-expensive Omata GPS computer. Unlike the $700 analog Omata, the CYCPLUS M2 retains a simple digital LCD display with grid layout. As with other CYCPLUS computers, the M2 has a plastic body with a glossy screen. Branding is limited to CYCPLUS on the top of the screen along with an orange accent ring and button label icons. Even though the plastic body and light weight of the M2 gives it a cheap feel, the computer has stood up well to daily use. The 2.5” diameter screen is also quite large which means the M2 is bigger than most GPS computers in terms of width.
Although the round design is visually unique, it’s not an optimal way to display digital data fields. Nevertheless, CYCPLUS has done a great job minimizing dead space with a five row layout. The top row is reserved for the standard temperature, battery, GPS, Bluetooth, and record on/paused icons. Below that is the large speed display with 1/10th precision, the lap counter and additional indicators for MAX / AVG / NOW (real time data) data modes. The third row has two side-by-side fields with auxiliary data fields in three different pairings: time / distance, altitude / ascended height or odometer / gradient. Using the top right button the display can cycle through five total options: the three auxiliary data pairings, AVG display and MAX display with altitude / gradient shown.
The fourth data field row is reserved for heart rate, cadence, and power data from connected sensors. Unlike higher-end computers that offer 10+ ways of displaying heart rate or power, there is only a real-time setting here. As with the CYCPLUS M1, in the absence of a sensor the display space remains blank, however, with the CYCPLUS M2’s data layout it is less of an eyesore. Finally, the bottom field is reserved for the current time which is convenient to always have visible. The M2 doesn’t offer any way to customize the display aside from cycling through the auxiliary data and realtime / max / average displays. Although the default display of speed / time / distance / sensors should work for most cyclists, we would have liked to see at least basic customization to change the third row pairings (i.e. to allow gradient + ride time display at the same time).
Despite the unique visual design of the M2, the computer shares the same software design as other CYCPLUS computers. It’s nearly identical to the M1 with a 6 page configuration menu:
- (C2) Sensor Connection: The M2 GPS can connect to ANT+ speed, cadence, heart rate sensors and power meters. Unlike other computers such as the Bontrager RIDEtime Elite, you can only sync the sensors all at the same time. We found the syncing process to be quick and easy.
- (C3) Wheel Diameter: If you’re using a speed sensor, then you need to input the wheel diameter in mm for accurate metrics. This is an easy measurement to look up or measure directly for your wheel and tire combination using a tape measure.
- (C4) Time Zone: Set the time relative to GMT in 15 minute increments.
- (C5) Speed Unit Display: Switch the distance / speed display units between km and miles.
- (C6) Temperature Unit Display: Switch temperature display between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
- (C7) Factory Reset: Reset the device back to factory settings.
Note, although the CYCPLUS M2 GPS does support the XOSS app, you cannot do even basic configuration changes from it. Also you may notice that there are some common configuration features missing on the M2 such as odometer setting, bike profiles and screen configuration. These are features that the $70 Bryton Rider 15 neo have, which is why it’s a bit disappointing to not see them on the CYCPLUS M2.
The CYCPLUS M2 GPS uses a four button interface to navigate the menu and toggle features. There are two rubber buttons on each side of the computer which offer excellent tactile feel and have labels printed on the screen. With the use of four buttons, CYCPLUS is able to keep each button’s action limited to only a single press or a long hold. Holding the top left button powers the computer on or off, while a short press starts or pauses a recording. Below that is the lap button which increments the lap counter or switches the field while in the configuration menu. Pressing and holding the top right button opens or closes the configuration menu, while pressing once changes the center row display or configuration menu. Finally the bottom right button controls the backlight – on or off (note the backlight automatically turns on when buttons are pressed as well.
With the lower-end LCD display, all elements on the screen are pre-defined which highly limits the user interface which means no circular data display fields or graphics as you’ll find in higher end computers like the Bryton Rider 750 GPS. The other side-effect of this display design is that the configuration screens are limited to “CX” displays and no labels to indicate what is being changed. For fields such as the temperature or distance, this is less of an issue as icons are used; while more abstract options such as wheel diameter don’t offer much context. Although you may need to reference the instruction manual once or twice, the learning curve for the CYCPLUS M2 is pretty low and should be easy to use for even novice cyclists.
Overall, we found the CYCPLUS M2 GPS computer to be unique and easy to use. The large 2.5” round profile makes it stand out from the crowd and easily fit a five row display format. Even though the computer is a non-touch screen design, the four button interface is relatively straightforward to use with large labels. While the display cannot be customized, CYCPLUS has done a great job with the layout and minimizing dead space. It’s also great to see the USB-C charging port which supports on-the-go charging as well as the universal Garmin style mount. The main negatives with the computer are the lack of features that are found at this price point such as layout customization, bike profiles, and odometer setting. You’ll also need to at least refer to manual once as the LCD display screen has somewhat confusing configuration menus that lack labels or clear icons. That said, the CYCPLUS M2 is still a budget friendly computer with full sensor connectivity that offers a unique visual design.
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.