Beeline Velo 2 | Tester: Christoph | Price: € 109.99 | Weight: 25 g | Intended use: navigation, route tracking | Manufacturer’s Website

User friendly, easy to mount, and a handy display, that’s what the Beeline Velo 2 promises. For just under € 110, it’s attractively priced too. But can the Velo 2 deliver on that promise, and who is it for? Read on to find out.

If you’re interested in a compact, minimalistic bike computer that can navigate, you’ve come to the right place! The Beeline Velo 2 isn’t designed to track your performance metrics, but rather to guide you to your destination as quickly as possible on pleasant routes. We’re excited about the Velo 2 – read on to find out why and what you should keep in mind.

Show me the way

Honestly, who doesn’t want simple route planning that adapts to your preferences and is based on the experiences of other riders? We certainly do, and maybe you do, too. That’s exactly what Beeline promise with the Velo 2. But first things first.

For €109.99, you can have the Velo 2 delivered free of charge to your address in the UK, USA, Italy, or Germany. Included in this are a charging cable, universal mount, and user manual. However, you probably won’t need the manual because the Beeline is intuitive to set up and use. The first time you power it up, you’ll be greeted by a QR code, which redirects you to your phone’s app store via the Beeline website. Setting up the app is quick and it pairs with the Velo 2 without hiccups.

Secure.
The Beeline Velo 2 attaches to the mount via a twist lock interface.

You’ll have the universal bracket attached to the handlebar in no time thanks to the sturdy rubber bands. For sleeker integration, you can attach the Velo 2 to the stem cap with the optional € 19.99 stem cap mount. The mount interface looks similar to Garmin’s and Wahoo’s versions, though it’s a bit smaller.

The Beeline Velo 2 has four buttons – top, bottom, left, and right. You can hardly do anything wrong here because you’ve got small symbols displaying the input options on the clear 32 mm LCD IPS screen. It doesn’t have a touch screen, but it isn’t necessary either. The feedback of the RockerTop(™) buttons could be more defined, though you won’t be using them much while riding anyway.

Where to?

Beeline provide browser-based route planning, but it’s still in the beta testing phase. Route planning is mostly intended to be done via the app on your smartphone. Just enter the destination and you’re ready to go. You can choose between three routing options: fast, balanced, and quiet. This is a great feature in itself, and it makes especially good sense when planning routes on your phone because adjusting the route on the app is very fiddly. This can get quite annoying, which makes the three different routing suggestions all the more helpful.

Show me the way
In navigation mode, the Velo 2 visually highlights the route.
Adventure Time!
In compass mode, you can find your own way and explore your surrounds.

You must initiate the navigation and/or tracking on your phone. In fact, you can’t leave home without it, because the Beeline Velo 2 uses your phone’s sensors, combined with the sensors in the Velo 2. So remember to check your smartphone battery before heading off. Comparing the navigation with a Wahoo bike computer confirms the accuracy of the Velo 2. The two devices differ only slightly from each other over a distance of about 70 km. The recorded travelling time was shorter than that of the Wahoo on all comparison rides, which our experiences confirm. The Velo 2 consistently detected stops earlier. Tip: if your phone battery is running low, you can also ride with it in flight mode, though in that case the re-routing will no longer work.

The compass navigation mode is an exciting option. In this mode, the Beeline Velo 2 only indicates the direction of your target destination with an arrow, allowing you to find your own route there. This is especially fun in unfamiliar places, if you aren’t in a hurry and want to explore the area. And not to worry if you get lost, the battery is said to last up to 10 hours with the backlight on high, which seems realistic.

I like
You can rate the route while riding – just be careful!

Better together!

Probably the most exciting feature of the Beeline Velo 2 is the incorporation of the Beeline community feedback in the form of road ratings. Beeline use this feedback to constantly improve routing suggestions, which they call Beeline Smart Routing(™). How does road rating work? The left RockerTop(™) button on the Velo 2 is marked with a red line, and the right button is marked with a green line. If you like a particular part of a route, you can save it by briefly holding down the green button. If you don’t like it, you press the red button. Of course, it all depends on the community to get involved and the personal preferences of the other Velo 2 users. We think it’s a useful feature. Nevertheless, we didn’t always choose Beeline’s suggested route in our home country, because we know the routes and know which ones we do and don’t like.

Existing routes must be imported – unless you use Strava. In that case, there’s an interface to directly access routes. Importing .gpx files is very easy via the app and the browser. If necessary, you may have to adjust the route slightly, as you might be familiar with from other tools.

Self-explanatory
Small icons show you the function of the RockerTop(™) buttons.

Our conclusion on the Beeline Velo 2 bike computer

Thanks to its intuitive operation and the help of the community, the Beeline Velo 2 might be the perfect solution for those who want no-fuss bike navigation. It’s inexpensive, has a decent battery life, is beautifully designed, and offers easy handling. What can’t the Beeline Velo 2 do? Performance metrics. For all those who want a performance tracking device with a navigation function, we’d recommend models from the likes of Wahoo and Garmin.

Tops

  • intuitive to use
  • unobtrusive, simple design
  • precise routing
  • long battery life

Flops

  • limited data for performance analysis

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Words: Christoph Staudinger Photos: Antonia Feder