The New Stages Dash M200 & L200: Hands-On Details

Levels have simply introduced two new bike computer systems, the brand new Levels Sprint M200 and L200. These third era models are {hardware} upgrades to their predecessors, the M50 and the L50. In Levels Sprint lingo, M merely stands for a medium-sized unit, and L for the Bigger show unit. The software program options and features are equivalent, although they do have differing battery capacities.

The most important distinction within the M200 and L200 in comparison with the previous models is the considerably modified {hardware}. Gone are the depressing buttons, in addition to the extra streamlined however very fiddly mount. They’ve been changed by simpler to press buttons, and a Garmin-style quarter-turn mount – making it appropriate with principally each third get together bike mount out t., together with these constructed into quite a few bikes. However they’ve added WiFi for quite a lot of duties, together with simple map downloading.

Now apparently, this new head unit is a collaboration with Big (who makes bikes and stuff). Levels makes use of Big manufacturing in different areas of their enterprise, resembling their indoor bikes. T. will probably be variants of the Levels M200/L200 models which can be bought underneath Big branding, however in any other case equivalent internally. We’ve seen these already teased on Big’s WorldTour sponsored group, Crew BikeExchange-Jayco.

It needs to be famous that for at present’s put up, I’m going with a hands-on format relatively than a full in-depth evaluation. That is largely as a result of I merely haven’t had sufficient rides on it to really feel assured for the depth of a standard evaluation.  I’ll do a full in-depth evaluation down the highway within the subsequent month or so, as soon as I get extra road-time, and maybe a few of the upcoming software program options famous under.

With that, let’s dive into it!

What’s New:

The majority of the adjustments on the Levels Sprint M200/L200 sequence fall within the realm of {hardware}, relatively than software program. Nonetheless, a few of these {hardware} adjustments drive software program adjustments. For instance, the addition of WiFi implies that t.’s now new menus round WiFi Map downloading (direct from the unit). Additional, t. are further adjustments coming over the following few months that fill in a few of the software program gaps (extra on that in a second).

– Added WiFi for sync and map downloading
– Elevated battery from 15hrs to 18hrs (M200), battery similar at 18hrs on L200
– Elevated water resistance from IPX7 to IP57 (1-meter deep for 30 minutes, plus now mud resistance)
– Decreased weight from 95g to 77g (M200)
– Decreased weight from 127g to 105g (L200)
– Modified buttons from depressing to good
– Modified mount to quarter-turn
– Maintained similar show dimension (2.2” for M200, 2.7” for L200)
– Full large redesign of the consumer interface
– Added ANT+ E-Bike Integration
– Added computerized profile function for determining which information to show with out config
– Added computerized sensor scanning for locating new sensors (you possibly can disable it)
– Added Time in Zones information fields/web page
– Utterly new/revamped companion app (completely new app)
– Worth will increase from $249 to $279 (M200), and $299 to $329 (L200)

Be aware that all the above new software program options had been additionally added to the large software program replace that occurred final month for the Levels Sprint M50 and L50. That features computerized profiles, computerized sensor scanning, plus the total consumer interface redesign (and boatloads extra options). Once more, take a look at that vast listing to see every thing new/tweaked.

Now, it needs to be mentioned that the models nonetheless include micro-USB, which is a fairly large bummer. I hoped/anticipating USB-C. Levels mentioned they needed that too, however they merely couldn’t supply the appropriate USB-C components they needed in time, primarily based on present availability. However, they did notice they completely see USB-C as their future.

Subsequent, t. are nonetheless some apparent gaps within the lineup at present. Issues that weren’t on the unique Sprint models both, however that Levels says they know they’re brief on. All of those are within the pipeline for the following few weeks to months:

– Automated turn-by-turn for Strava & Komoot synced programs (extra on that within the put up): ~1-2 months from now
– Climbing associated function: ~3 months from now
– Di2 & eTAP sensor help: ~2 months from now
– WiFi Importing of accomplished rides (presently through USB/Bluetooth): ~Subsequent week

The corporate famous that whereas they don’t see it as an excuse for a few of these options to be omitted, the majority of their software program improvement group relies in Ukraine. That group truly largely continues to work (and Levels says their households are protected at this level), however at their very own insistence, they needed to maintain working to keep up some normalcy.

When it comes to ‘regular’ bike laptop options, it principally has every thing you’d count on today. It has twin ANT+/Bluetooth Good sensor help (together with Varia Radar help), it’s bought mapping and navigation, structured exercises, coach management, in addition to full sync of your experience to Strava and quite a few different companions. It really works each on-road and off-road.

The New {Hardware}:

So first up, we’ve bought a fast take a look at the {hardware} itself, beginning with the M200. You’ll discover the brand new buttons are so significantly better than the older ones. These are indented, which by itself isn’t actually one of the best half. It’s the truth that you possibly can press them with out feeling such as you’re going to interrupt your entrance fork attempting to get the button to register (left is older M50, proper is newer M200).

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I’d say I nonetheless just like the BOLT V2’s buttons a bit higher ., as they’re a bit simpler to press. However the M200 buttons are worlds higher than the M50’s unique ones.

Subsequent, you’ll discover the aspect button was moved from the proper aspect to the left aspect. Additionally, it bought actually excited and bought actually huge:

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This makes it fairly simple to search out/press when stopping/beginning.

Flipping the unit over, t.’s the brand new quarter-turn mount. You’ll discover the Levels proprietary mount is gone. Whereas Levels did all they might to make a gazillion mount-varieties for the outdated design (and, it was super-slim mounting). However on the finish of the day, individuals simply desire a Garmin quarter-turn appropriate mount, as a result of that’s what so many third get together mounts (and now bikes) have on them. Even Wahoo, Karoo, and others make adapter plates to mesh right into a Garmin quarter-turn mount.

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Now notably, Levels didn’t take away the ‘portrait’ mode orientation from both M200 or L200. So you possibly can nonetheless mount it sideways if you need. And that’s as a result of actually you possibly can all the time simply use a rubber-band fashion mount rotated, and even most third get together out-front mounts will let you rotate the bike mount plate in 90° increments with the screws beneath.

Right here’s a super-quick comparability between the similarly-sized/priced Levels Sprint M50 (older), Sprint M200, and the Garmin Edge 530/830 (similar dimension/display), and Wahoo BOLT V2. The display brightness ranges are *VERY MUCH* not set the identical on these. I’ll repair that for a full evaluation. However, as with earlier than, the Levels M200 display is shiny AF.

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Subsequent, t.’s the L200. All of the design choices are the identical as with the M200, so I received’t re-hash that textual content once more. However .’s the buttons (L50 at left, L200 at proper):

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The side-button:

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And the again quarter-turn mount:

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Then a comparability between the similarly-sized Levels Sprint L50, L200, Wahoo ROAM, Garmin Edge 830, and Hammerhead Karoo 2 (once more, brightness ranges weren’t normalized .…sorry!):

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Oh, and what concerning the packing containers for these? Ask and also you shall obtain. Be aware the Big-branded field in my case for the L200, w.because the Levels branded field for the M200.

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With that, onto the primary experience.

First Trip Expertise:

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The only largest change you’re going to note immediately is the vastly improved consumer interface of the M200/L200, utilizing the brand new software program design. This after all was simply rolled out to the older M50/L50 models final month, forward of the M200/L200 launch. It’s only a heck of much more logical. Gone are lots of the bizarre quirks that didn’t actually make sense by way of simply beginning a experience. Beforehand every thing was kinda scatter-brained, however now it’s logical with core groupings to search out programs, exercises, and settings simply accessible from the house display:

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As a result of I made the silly resolution to fly away from the Netherlands throughout the nicest climate all 12 months, by the point I returned it was someway snowing once more upon touchdown. And thus, the final week has been solidly depressing, snow/sleet within the morning, with 40MPH winds all day. It’s superior. So superior in truth that I figured I’d experience again to the airport to see if a airplane would take me away.

So I created a route in Strava first, then loaded it up within the Sprint M200:

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I additionally paired up my energy meter, coronary heart charge strap, and Varia radar as properly, which you’ll see .:

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The unit confirmed the info fields I’d count on with out me needing to create some new exercise profile. Definitely, I can nonetheless do all that if I needed to – however this principally simply labored straight out of the field exhibiting me the info fields I’d count on, routinely.

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The one factor I didn’t get although, and stunned me (which means, I’d forgotten about it), was that Strava routes that sync routinely, don’t get turn-by-turn directions. I suppose I’m simply used to that on Garmin/Wahoo/Hammerhead.

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As an alternative, you simply get a line you’ll observe manually (and off-course warnings):

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To be able to get turn-by-turn directions, you have to export out the course file from these platforms, after which import it in (which is able to embody the directions). Clearly, in 2022 that’s not ok. Levels mentioned although that correct turn-by-turn directions is coming to the Sprint, doubtless in about 1-2 months, for these platforms.

In any case, I stored on using alongside into the wind, rain, whereas JET A wafted by from the overhead 747s:

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The whole lot else labored precisely as anticipated. It was fairly simple to press the buttons utilizing my gloved fingers, and the response time was immediate and environment friendly.

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The one factor you do see a bit although is a few show distortion on the decrease edge once you press the buttons in sure eventualities, however solely on the decrease edge. Levels mentioned that is anticipated due to the upper high quality show they use, and that it doesn’t damage the show. It’s exhausting to see indoors, however is barely extra noticeable whereas using.

General although, my experience went properly, with out concern. If I take a look at the GPS monitor, it’s largely good and matched the Edge 830 and Garmin Descent G1 on highway, nevertheless, t.’s some slight GPS variation within the bushes after I went by way of some forested areas. Thus, I’ll most likely do some correct mountain biking as a part of my full evaluation, to make sure issues are crispy t. as properly.

Lastly, since one of many new options is the WiFi, I figured I’d briefly point out that. I’ll dive into it in additional element in my evaluation although down the highway. First although, you’ll add a WiFi community both from the smartphone app or the unit itself (I did two networks, one through every technique). It’ll validate the connection after which be good to go.

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As of proper now, the WiFi connection is especially used for map downloading – however coming subsequent week it’ll additionally do exercise sync. For map downloading, you possibly can both select a map from the app or the unit itself. Once more, that’s all the time been a theme of Levels – select w.ver you need to handle something you need.

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Because it begins downloading the maps through WiFi, you’ll see a progress bar. It’s fairly fast, taking solely a minute or two for the Netherlands. Far faster than Garmin’s Fenix 7/Epix sequence models obtain over WiFi (which may take 3-4 hours over WiFi for the bigger map units). Granted, the wearables have far decrease energy constraints than a bigger bike laptop. Additionally notably, you are able to do this on the per-country stage – w.as Garmin teams nations collectively. And within the US, on the per-state stage.

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Roughly talking, it was downloaded at 2-3MB per second (or 120-180MB/minute). For random reference, France was about 1,100MB, and Spain about 400MB. So about 2-3 minutes for Spain – and about 5-8 or so for France. Maybe it downloads quicker whereas plugged in, I didn’t attempt.

Nonetheless, that is all super-easy to do.

Wrap-Up:

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For Levels, the transition from M50/L50 to M200/L200 was clearly closely skewed in the direction of {hardware}, with them clearly working behind the scenes to stage up the usability of your complete Levels Sprint household (together with older models) with the most important software program launch. This implies they’ve largely eliminated any hardware-related complaints one might have about their models (save maybe annoyances with lack of USB-C), and still have made their models far simpler to make use of – particularly out of the field.

The following step for Levels is catching up on a few of the software-related options, particularly the turn-by-turn navigation and climbing-related features. Each of that are crucial to bike computer systems in 2022. The excellent news t. is Levels says they’re only some months out from having these accomplished, in addition to some extra minor lingering issues to tweak (like Di2/eTAP sensor help – which is beneficial, however not a serious factor in my thoughts).

General, the responsiveness and value of the brand new consumer interface is stable, and the buttons are an enormous step-up from earlier than. The show continues to be a lighthouse of brightness and readability, and so they preserve the 15-20hr battery life that the majority different models on this value ballpark are at.

I’ll be doing extra rides – each on and off-road over the approaching month or so to place them by way of their paces, together with getting some elevation sooner or later too, to validate that side of it. So keep tuned for a full in-depth evaluation down the highway…or path.

With that – thanks for studying!

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