Activity Trackers: Review Mio Velo Cycling Heart Rate Wristband

Wrist-mounted heart rate monitor that can read ANT+ devices and send data to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

The Mio Velo measures your heart rate from your wrist and sends it to other devices via both Bluetooth Smart 4.0 and ANT+. It can also take data from other ANT+ devices – a speed and cadence sensor, for example – and re-transmit it using Bluetooth Smart, allowing you to link ANT+ sensors to a non-ANT+ smartphone.


The Mio VELO has a very comfortable silicone band. It is very easy to forget you are wearing it. It wraps around the wrist, through a buckle and has some posts to hold it in the band. This system works very well keeping it in place, but with winter clothing, you can sometimes accidentally unsnap the posts as you pull sleeves up and down. That can be a slight nuisance when it happens, but with the two part fastening system, you will still be getting a solid heart rate reading.


Paired with a GPS Watch

I first wanted to pair it with a watch and compare the results to my Garmin setup of a 920XT with the HRM Run heart rate monitor. I used a Polar M400 and had no trouble pairing the VELO at all. I then ran several times and the results lined up. Here is an example 10 mile run with surges with the Polar results on the top and the Garmin on the bottom.


The figures are very much in line with one another. If you look at the actual graphs below in the same order, you will see that the tracking was very close. There was a slight drop early with the Polar/VELO combo (about 1 minute in), but that often happens even with chest straps. Overall, I am happy with the results.


Paired with Android

The next test I wanted to conduct was pairing the Mio VELO with a smartphone. I started with Android for this purpose. Over the course of a couple weeks, I ran with both RunKeeper and MapMyRun. I had no trouble connecting the VELO and it work well in both apps as seen below:


Paired with Windows Phone

I wanted to keep testing the VELO with different devices and next paired it with Windows Phone and the app Track Runner. The results were interesting. The mapping and pace were both disasters in the app, but the heart rate looked good.


Mio VELO Cycling Heart Rate Band

FEATURES of the Mio VELO Cycling Heart Rate Band Reads EKG-accurate heart rate data, with no chest strap required Sends heart rate data to smartphone apps, GPS watches, and bike computers via ...

Made by: Mio, Available: In stock

Pairing with bike speed and cadence

One of the really interesting additions to the VELO is the ability to bridge Ant+ speed and cadence sensors over Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE). This is a very welcome feature. It allows you to turn your smart phone into a bike computer. All you need is the Mio VELO and a handlebar mount like the one below from Amazon.

It is really easy to set up the VELO for Ant+ sensors. Open the Mio Go app on your iPhone or Android device. Select one of the bike profiles and add your speed and cadence sensor. You may want to hold the bike up and crank the pedal with one hand to get the devices to register. Interestingly, when I added my separate Garmin speed and cadence sensors, they were picked you as Bike 2, but they registered fine.


Once you have added the speed and cadence sensors to the app, it updates the Mio VELO and as far as your smartphone knows, you have bluetooth speed and cadence sensors. It’s really quite clever. They also worked very well when I tried them working out. Both Strava and MapMyRide had no trouble picking them up in the apps.


It also worked really well on my trainer with MapMyRide. It even showed that you will have a zero speed and cadence for a while when you forget to stop recording a ride when finished (operator error).


I was able to track speed, cadence, and heart rate in one shot. Just like it was a bike computer. I even was using the VELO to feed my heart rate into my Garmin Edge 500 bike computer at the same time. The VELO does an outstanding job of broadcasting signals.


For an athlete who is tracking runs with a smartphone and wants to add in heart rate training and/or speed and cadence information from a bike; or for an athlete who can’t stand wearing chest straps, I think the VELO is an outstanding product at a reasonable price. It is very comfortable and does a great job of pairing with devices. I even was surprised to suddenly see a heart rate reading appear on a Polar Loop that I was also testing during a run. It picked up the signal from the Mio VELO with no interaction from me at all. You can find the VELO on Amazon or Mio Global with my affiliate links below. You can also find out technical information and a compatibility list for the VELO on its product page.

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Mio VELO Cycling Heart Rate Band

FEATURES of the Mio VELO Cycling Heart Rate Band Reads EKG-accurate heart rate data, with no chest strap required Sends heart rate data to smartphone apps, GPS watches, and bike computers via ...

Available: In stock
Buy on Amazon
amazon Activity Trackers: Review Mio Velo Cycling Heart Rate Wristband
I wanted to hold off until i had several rides in with my new Mio Velo. When you first put it on, it feels a little tight, but after about 5-10 minutes I forget that it is there (especially under a long sleeve jersey). When was the last time you ever forgot you were wearing a chest strap? I was a little concerned about some reviewers having trouble getting consistent data. I have used it on 6 rides from 30 minutes to 3.5 hours and got solid HR data start to finish recorded by my Edge 1000. I don't think i ever saw data that solid with a chest strap.An update after riding with it for over a month: It has worked flawlessly and has been comfortable even on a couple of metric centuries (~4 hr rides). Photo shows how i have been wearing it.
March 30, 2015
I'm pretty impressed with this unit. It seems to work, and is fairly accurate even during heavy exercise. It also actually works with the signal from the Bontrager Duotrap S (a first!). I like this a lot more than wearing a chest band. There are a couple of issues though:1. The charging cradle has a cord that is about 4 inches long. It should either be longer, or come with a female USB cable so you can plug it in.2. It is very easy to knock slightly off the charging station and have it go dead.3. The only display is a colored LED. It's fine for viewing what heartrate zone you're in, but problems like dead battery, when it's on/off aren't as easy to decipher all the time.
May 24, 2015
Works in credibly well. In fact it was the exact same reading as the ones on the treadmill. It's also very comfortable and easy to use. The app lacks a bit, but it does the job I guess. I just wish I could get a better band for it. They aren't very attractive looking. But works awesomely well!
May 25, 2015
Activity Trackers: Review Mio Velo Cycling Heart Rate Wristband
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