Review: Sigma ROX 12 GPS Cycling Computer
What is it?
A full-color ultra modern touch screen GPS cycling computer from the masters at Sigma. Equipped with file sharing, on-site route creation and features you’ll find nowhere else – Interested? Read on to find out more.
- Easy to read and decipher data readouts with color display.
- Touch screen still works with sweat and mud on the screen.
- Uses a familiar Garmin style mount that is readily available.
- Comes with camera mount attachment for under the computer mount.
- Draw my Route feature is easy to use and works with the touch of a finger.
- Map features are very easy to use on the bike and offer unique features.
- Does not pair with smart trainers in the current edition.
- Inconsistent calibration numbers with some power meters
- Home address pairing has trouble drilling down to an exact address in rural areas of the USA.
- Not carried by many IBDs, so an in-person meeting with the ROX 12 may be hard to come by.
For many of us, a wired Sigma was the first computer to grace our bikes – I remember fondly routing the wires down the brake cable, getting them as tight and pro looking as possible. Next routing the cadence wire down the shift cable, down tube and the chainstay. Placing the magnets carefully on the wheels and crankarm – spinning the wheel, pedaling the crankset and waiting in anticipation for the numbers to pop up on the grey screen – success. Fast forward to today’s cycling computers where setup is as simple as turning the computer on and pressing start – with every possible metric at your fingertips in full color.
The masters over at Sigma changed with the times as well – they still offer the wired computers they’ve produced for years but also offer super modern, touch screen GPS computers as well. The ROX line is the top tier for Sigma and aimed at the performance cyclist – offering the best and most technical features that the company has to offer. Ranging from an entry level ROX 7.0 that offers heart rate, and simple training metrics – to the top of the line ROX 12 that can process nearly anything you can throw at it – maps and all.
Setup and connecting to Wi-Fi is simple and easy to figure out, even for those with limited tech experience. The same can be said about pairing with sensors – though I did experience some lag time calibrating with my Garmin pedals and my FSA PowerBox (Power2MAX) crankset, something that other computers have easily performed in the past. I found that resetting and recalibrating the unit helped and provided consistent numbers – these are the only two meters that had an issue during my review.
The ROX 12 has six customizable training pages and nearly thirty different training views. The features include some new ideas like a Draw My Route feature where the user can draw one (or more) lines in the map and the ROX 12.0 will create a suggested route for you. The user decides on the type and duration of the ride, there’s even a toggle to choose between the easiest, recommended and shortest routes.
The map features are intuitive, between the touch screen and the buttons on the side, scrolling through the maps or zooming in/out on a ride is effortless. I like the added features in the map screen, the fact that it can be zoomed in or out in the training views and a short tap the map view will change to the overview for 10 seconds – make it easy for quick navigational changes while having one hand on the bars.
Training with the ROX 12 took some time – mostly because I trained using another unit for years. I got used to the ROX interface quickly enough and in the end preferred it. The training screens are easily tailored to match training goals, power data and whatever you have a monitor for. When rides are complete, files upload to Training Peaks and Strava with zero lag time. The Strava KOM and segment features are the most exact I’ve experienced with a GPS unit and the up to second timing are very helpful when chasing those KOMs. I found myself using the drinking and eating alarm during super long gravel rides to keep me topped off, something I haven’t done before but have grown to like. The reminder can be set to anything as well – distance, time or calories needed, a great feature for a racer that forgets to eat often. The only feature that leaves me wanting is the ability to connect with a smart trainer. Like most, I find my self sweating to Red Bull World Cup replays during the winter months – counting down the weeks till I can race again. Smart trainers are fantasic training tools and are a great way to keep the fire stoked during the freezing winter months – I was bummed to learn that the computer did not have a feature inplace to connect to the trainer.
For those that ride an e-bike, the ROX 12 arrives e-bike ready and is compatible with the Shimano STEPS and ANT+ LEV e-bike drive systems. The ROX establishes a connection to the e-bike system via the ANT+ interface and shows the rider specific metrics such as the remaining ride range, battery charge, and electrical assistance level for your bike. Not a bad idea if you want only one computer on your e-bike.
As if the ROX doesn’t stand out enough, you can change the look to match your kit, bike or hair color. Sigma offers three brightly colored cases and includes colored buttons to personalize the look of your ROX 12.0 – though I opted to stay with the original classic colorway.
If you’re looking for a computer that is off the mainstream and offers tons of custimization – take a long look at the Sigma ROX 12. It may be tough to track one down but if you like mapping features and easy scrolling through endless metrics you’ll be glad you did.
$450 for full Sport with heart rate and cadence sensor
$350 for unit and mounts
For more info sigmasport.com