It’s difficult to believe that it’s been 7 years since the Beeline first launched back in 2017! A perfect accessory for any biker or two-wheeler rider, the Beeline instantly stood out as an incredibly simple, iconic accessory that helped you get from point A to B. Working in tandem with the navigation app on your phone, the Beeline was a simple, sophisticated, and sleek-looking accessory that basically pointed you in the direction that you needed to go. No fancy maps, no bloatware, no extra data. Just an arrow you could follow till you reached your destination. The Beeline’s simple design made it easy to keep your eyes on the road too, by offsetting the need to stare at your phone for directions and potentially get sidetracked by apps, notifications, and other distractions.
Seven years and multiple products later, Beeline just announced the Velo 2, a compact navigator for bike rides. Upgraded with an IPS LCD screen (as opposed to the original’s e-paper display), the Velo 2 retains the Beeline’s intuitive approach to wayfinding, while also giving riders access to basic metrics like distance covered, ride time, speed, ETA, and a compass, alongside the ability to plan routes, share them on apps like Strava, and even rate them in retrospect. Everything sits inside the Velo 2’s compact puck-shaped design that easily snaps on and off your bicycle, making every single step of your journey intuitive and comfortable.
The Velo 2 retains the beloved features of its predecessor, popularized on Kickstarter while introducing an updated user interface and additional navigation options. It’s housed in a compact, smartwatch-like round design with a 1.28-inch circular LCD IPS display, distinguishing itself visually from traditional GPS computers. The unique RockerTop interface replaces conventional buttons or touch screens, offering a distinct tactile feedback which is a notable advantage over touchscreen designs.
Unboxing reveals an eco-friendly package containing the GPS unit, a handlebar mount with two sets of O-rings, an instruction manual, and a USB-C charging cable. The Velo 2, Beeline mentions, is designed to be both carbon and plastic-negative, lining up well with the eco-friendly mode of travel that is bicycling. The device, aside from being healthy for the environment, is also designed to be entirely repairable via Beeline’s refurbishment scheme. The mounting system, though proprietary, is effective and secure, using o-rings to attach to various handlebar diameters.
The user interface emphasizes ease of use. It’s simple and intuitive, devoid of the multi-level menus and customization found in other GPS units. This simplicity extends to its functionality: the Velo 2 focuses on GPS navigation and basic ride data, foregoing connections to secondary sensors or display customizations. The main display shows an odometer, the time, battery status, and a playful bicycle graphic that moves with the computer’s orientation.
A key upgrade in the Velo 2 is its innovative approach to navigation. It leverages user feedback to refine routing, allowing cyclists to rate roads during their ride. This crowdsourced data helps Beeline incrementally improve cycling routes, avoiding poorly rated roads. The Velo 2 offers two navigation modes: a basic compass-style display pointing towards the destination and a more detailed turn-by-turn option. It also pairs directly with Strava, letting you upload rides easily, or even share them with friends and families via GPX.
While the Beeline Velo 2 might not cater to data-driven cyclists seeking extensive metrics and sensor integration, its minimalist design, intuitive interface, and innovative routing approach make it a compelling choice for those seeking a straightforward, enjoyable cycling experience.