Giant NeosTrack GPS Computer

6
£149.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Great battery life, and good for logging lots of riding, but routing isn't very good
Weight: 
115g

The Giant NeosTrack is a good GPS that packs a fair bit of functionality into a well-rounded package. The battery life is excellent and day-to-day training use is its bread and butter. Navigation is poor, though.

  • Pros: Great battery life, not expensive
  • Cons: Interface a bit clunky, route display is poor

Giant has teamed up with GPS company Brtyon to produce the NeosTrack, and Bryton has form for making some decent units, so my hopes were high.

> Find your nearest Giant dealer here

The NeosTrack is a fairly big GPS (92.9 x 57 x 20.3mm, 78g) with a 2.6in monochrome LCD screen, and attaches to your bike with a quarter turn mount. It's not quite the same as a Garmin mount (or, indeed, the Bryton mount) so you'll need to use Giant's own mounts, and O-ring and out-front mounts are supplied in the box. They're fine, with no issues with fitting the mount or engaging the computer.

Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - mount.jpg
Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - back.jpg

The NeosTrack has five hardware buttons. The one at the base of the unit turns it on, and also activates the backlight (which you can also set to stay on if you prefer). Then there are two on each side, which deal with stopping and starting recording and working through the menu system. They're a bit fiddly to use with gloves on, but not too bad.

Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - bottom button.jpg
Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - side buttons.jpg

The NeosTrack is a fully-featured GPS computer, and you can pair ANT+ and Bluetooth LE sensors to it. It can also connect to WiFi, allowing you to upload activities or download routes without going through your phone. Realistically, though, you're most likely to pair the NeosTrack to the app on your Android or iOS device. That allows you to upload activities and automatically sync with Strava or TrainingPeaks. It'll also make you aware of any firmware updates, and give you the option to apply them. You can also do this from a desktop computer, but essentially the two things are the same: the app is just a wrapper for the website, and the website is designed to mostly be used on mobile. So some of the screens look a bit bare.

Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - web 5

The app also lets you create routes on your phone, although like all phone-based routing generators I've tried it isn't anywhere near as easy as doing it on a desktop computer. Again, you can use the web portal, but the route creation isn't nearly as good as it is on Strava, for example: you can't drag points around, so if you're planning a long route and you decide to change the middle bit, you're a bit stuck. If you go down the Strava route you can drag a .gpx file onto the GPS when it's plugged into your machine, just like you would with a Garmin. 

Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - web 4

The NeosTrack has five configurable data screens: you can choose how much data you want on each, and what metrics you want to see. It's pretty easy to move stuff around, and the default sets make plenty of sense too. Setting them up isn't quite as easy as it is on some other GPS computers (especially ones with touchscreens) but it's probably only something you're going to have to do once, or at least infrequently.

Giant Neostrack GPS Computer.jpg

You can set up up to seven bikes on the NeoTrack, and input all your personal data too.

Testing and tracking

Recording your rides isn't the only thing the NeosTrack is designed to do, though. It comes bundled with a set of standard tests – functional threshold power (FTP), max heart rate (MHR), lactate threshold (LTHR) and max aerobic power (MAP) – that you can run directly from the computer, either outdoors or on a trainer. On top of that you can input your own interval sessions and follow them, although it's a pretty fiddly job to get them set up through the user interface. Obviously you're going to need to add a power meter for an FTP test, or a heart rate monitor for a MHR/LTHR test.

The tests work okay: it's not quite the interactive experience of doing one on TrainerRoad/Sufferfest/Zwift but it'll do, especially if you don't do indoors. You can store your testing data within the NeosTrack app and track your progress there.

> Buyer's Guide: 11 of the best cycling GPS units

The NeosTrack is also designed to allow you to follow the routes you've uploaded. Here it falls down a bit, because it uses Bryton's semi-3D route rendering which has always been, and continues to be, awful. Instead of simply showing you the line and your position upon it, it attempts to render a quasi-3D looking-into-the-distance view based on what's coming up. I say 'attempts' because the render is so poor, and changes so much, that it's almost impossible to use at times. And I'm not talking about picking the right road on an acute fork, I'm talking about knowing which way to go at a right-angle T-junction. I found turn-by-turn instructions worked about as well as a Garmin, which isn't really high praise, but they're usable. If following GPX routes is something you do all the time, this is probably not the computer for you.

If you just want to log a lot of riding, though, it might be. It's pretty reasonable at £150 and does a pretty flawless job of keeping track of your rides, with uploading to the cloud a simple process, even if it's a bit slow.

Giant Neostrack GPS Computer - web 1

The battery life is second to none: Giant claims it'll do over 30 hours, and while I didn't get to those heady heights (it was cold and dark, and I had the backlight on a fair bit) I did manage well over 20, which is a whole lot more than you'll get out of your Garmin Edge. Through the summer it'll probably be near what Giant claims it to be.

Verdict

Great battery life, and good for logging lots of riding, but routing isn't very good

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Giant Neostrack GPS Computer

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for

Giant says: "Designed in collaboration with Bryton, this powerful yet price savvy unit features a 2.6' screen, a massive 33 hour battery life, ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, plus turn by turn breadcrumb navigation. The unit is impressively light for the size, coming in at just under 80g. Designed to meet a variety of training needs for cyclists, there's an option to plan and perform workouts in the 'Giant lab'. The 'testing' option allows you to record your max heart rate, lactate threshold heart rate, FTP and MAP (max aerobic power). The step by step instructions on screen make it easy to follow, with the results auto imported into your account to improve your training zones and ride feedback. All of your data is stored in the NeosTrack app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi upload, available on Android or iTunes. From here, you can easily set up auto upload functions to popular training apps such as Strava or TrainingPeaks. From the NeosTrack app, you can plan routes and upload back to the head unit with ease. The Giant NeosTrack comes supplied with a charging Micro USB cable, out front mount, stem mount and band fittings in the box."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Giant:

- High-sensitivity GPS receiver

- As used by Team Sunweb pro cycling team

- Intuitive, easy to use user interface

- Navigation via GPX file upload or device ride history

- Accompanying NeosTrack APP available to download from Google Play or iOS APP store

- Connects to ANT+ or BLE devices

- Large easy-to-read 2.6' LCD Anti-glare display

- Enhanced battery life: Up to 33 hours on a single charge

- Di2 compatibility via Bluetooth

- Training Smart System: Provides a variety of power data (Current Power/IF/TSS/Pedal Balance) also with pre-loaded 'FTP' test protocol and 'To Plan' function, which allows tracking physical condition and customised workouts

- File Compatibility: Ride data saved in 'fit' file format for uploads to popular training software sites such as TrainingPeaks™, Strava™, etc.

- IPX7 waterproof protection

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Pretty well for ride logging and data display, less so for routing.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great battery life.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Route display is poor.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, so long as I wasn't relying on it for navigation.

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe, depending on what they use a GPS for.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a Good GPS, and might suit you very well if you want a ride logger and the ability to hook up ANT+ and BLE sensors. Extras such as testing will only be useful to some riders. Routing is the weak point although turn by turn is better than following the line.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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