Beeline — navigation experts from the UK — release the Beeline Velo 2, a new, intuitive and compact GPS bike computer. While many other navigation systems are designed more for off-road use, the new Velo 2 is aimed in particular at cyclists in the city and on excursion tours. Beeline’s goal is to offer users the best routing combined with uncomplicated navigation. The focus is on user-friendly navigation and a positive riding experience, and less on fitness and performance features.
Beeline Bicycle Navigation Hardware
The system consists of the Velo 2 GPS bike computer with its minimalist, compact design. Thanks to the included universal mount, it fits on any handlebar or stem. The color display has a diameter of 32 mm, the power supply takes over an integrated battery. During use, this is to enable a runtime of about 11 hours, the standby time is even 18 months. The Velo 2 is charged via a USB-C port; it is simply clipped out of the cradle. Thanks to the sealed casing, the bike computer is also weatherproof, so it can stay on the handlebars even in a rain shower. And for rides in the dark, there’s automatic brightness adjustment controlled by an integrated ambient light sensor.
The system is only made complete, however, with the Beeline app for smartphones: routes can be created on this, and favorite routes from other planners can also be imported via GPX, and there is access to Strava routes. During the ride, data such as speed, average speed, distance covered and remaining, time remaining and much more is displayed. In addition, data from past tours is saved for evaluation.
This means that you have to have your smartphone with the Beeline app to use the navigation display. Both devices communicate wirelessly via Bluetooth, which means that the smartphone can also remain comfortably and well protected in the pocket.
Smart route calculation
With Beeline Smart Routing, Beeline offers intelligent routing that incorporates direct feedback from the community with its over 7 million kilometers driven into route planning. The Beeline app calculates route options using normal road data (road type, speed limit, etc.) combined with feedback from the Beeline community to provide up to three route options.
The fast route gets users to their destination as quickly as possible. The balanced route is the happy medium of getting to the destination quickly and avoiding unpleasant sections with, for example, high traffic volumes. The quiet route is focused on safety and driving experience, and overall takes users along quieter roads and sections. During the tour, users can rate individual sections by providing positive or negative feedback (via +/- button in the app and right/left button of the Velo 2) or by the overall rating at the end of the tour. The personal route ratings are also visible in the heatmap.
Another feature of the Velo 2 is the compass mode: in this function, users who are eager to explore have the option of defining the desired destination and choosing the route to it spontaneously on the go. A directional arrow shows the destination in this mode, so that you don’t unintentionally stray too far from the path on the way. The Velo 2’s fast re-routing also gets users back on their planned route in no time.
With the Velo 2, Beeline offers an interesting solution for navigation in the city and on tours. While many other solutions require the — usually expensive — smartphone to be attached to the handlebars, Beeline uses a two-part solution here. The smartphone can remain in the pocket, and the additional navigation display is used on the handlebar instead. Not a bad solution, because the design of the display is quite impressive! The Beeline Velo 2 navigation system is available for around 90 Euros, and the required app is available free of charge for iOS and Android (and can be used at no additional cost).