The Mio Cyclo Discover Pal GPS computer is a functional navigational companion aimed at those looking for a more leisurely recreational riding experience.
It will route you from point to point, towards its pre-installed points of interest, or along a route of your choosing, but can be frustrating to use and is less refined than some of its competitors.
Those looking for a more data-driven ride experience will want to look elsewhere for a unit compatible with power meters and other sensors.
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal design and feel
The Mio Cycle Discover Pal has a large, bright and easy-to-read screen, and the quality feel to its construction is only let down a little by the charging port cover, which is a harder, cheaper feeling plastic rather than the softer more rubbery options favoured by most other brands.
For those doing longer tours who may wish to plug the unit into a power pack whilst on the go, the charging port being on the side of the unit makes this less tidy in comparison to it being tucked away underneath.
The Mio Cyclo Discover Pal uses three buttons combined with a touch screen, which works well and is easy to use with gloves on.
The on/off button doubles up as a screen lock/unlock, although this seems to be more of an unnecessary irritation than a useful feature, as accidentally switching between screens isn’t really an issue.
Though the Mio is aimed at the more recreational cyclist, it would still have been nice to see an out-front mount included in the box.
The supplied zip-tie fitting mount, feels quite basic and is harder to swap from bike to bike than the o-ring mounts favoured by other brands.
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal display and data fields
The Mio Cycle Discover Pal has a large 2.8in touchscreen display, which is bright and easy to read in all conditions.
The display is customisable within the MioShare app to a maximum of seven data fields on each page.
Given that there is no option to pair to power meters, heart rate, or other sensors, seven fields are more than enough to display the usual metrics riders will be looking for, and the map display is large and clear.
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal mapping and navigation
The Mio Cyclo Discover Pal offers clear and easy-to-read mapping, though it does feel as though it’s designed for those who don’t make and follow their own routes, and getting the Mio to sync and follow Strava routes wasn’t as quick and easy a process as with Wahoo or Garmin device.
The best way to import routes onto the Mio Cyclo Discover Pal is through the brand’s Mioshare program, where you can either create them from scratch, or if like me you like to use heat map functionality, you can create them in Strava, download a GPX, and upload this to Mioshare.
Mio’s ‘surprise me’ function will generate a route for you when given your desired time, distance, or destination.
This works well, and when tested none of the routes it provided were on busy roads I would normally avoid or had any issues.
I do question how many regular riders would use this function when riding their local roads, but it could be handy for those who travel often and don’t wish to spend time planning routes.
The Mioshare app also shows recommended activities, but despite my location being set in the UK, it kept suggesting rides in the Netherlands.
The Mio A to B function works well, generally giving a good low-traffic route to your destination.
Unfortunately, its off-course rerouting is quite slow to recalculate and tends to tell you to turn around to head back to the course, rather than quickly recalculating a route which avoids u-turning, as we’ve come to expect from Garmin.
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal battery life
Mio claims 17 hours of battery life for the Cyclo Discover Pal, which my testing confirmed to be accurate.
The Wahoo Elemnt Roam matches this while the Garmin Edge 830 boasts 20 hours, beating the Mio by three (although we should note that battery life depends on exactly how you use a device, so your results may vary).
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal training aids
With no connectivity to heart rate monitors or power meters, this isn’t a unit intended for the sportier rider or those following a training plan, but rather the more casual user. If you want tons of data, this isn’t the one for you.
That said I would argue that for its price it would be nice to see this included, if only to allow riders the option, as who’s to say the recreational rider might not want to utilise training aids at some point during the lifespan of their head unit?
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal post-ride analysis
On completing a ride, the Discover Pal directs you to view ride details in the Mioshare app.
This will also automatically share to Strava or Komoot, so you can view your ride details there.
There’s no option to review completed rides in detail on the unit itself.
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal alternatives
Photo: Joseph Branston
When comparing the Mio Cyclo Discover Pal to its closest competitors the Garmin Edge 830 and Wahoo Elemnt Roam, it comes up short in several respects.
Wahoo and Garmin software is easier and more intuitive to use, and their units offer a greater range of features and compatibility with other devices.
Were the Mio available at a discount it would be a reasonable choice for a recreational rider looking to use it as a cycling satnav, but coming up against the more established brands at the same price point there is little to set the Mio apart from its competition.
Mio Cyclo Discover Pal verdict
The Mio Cyclo Discover Pal is a solid and seemingly reliable piece of kit but it comes up short when put up against its nearest competitors. I’m left wondering why one would pick the Mio over rival offerings from Garmin, Wahoo, and others.
Photography by Rob Borek except where noted
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