ROX 10.0 GPS Bundle
Review: ROX 10.0 GPS BundleBy Scot Jarchow | Published Mar 15, 2015
I would like to start my Review of Sigma Rox 10.0 GPS Bundle (Heart Rate Monitor, Cadence and Speed Sensors), by saying that my experience with the Rox 10.0 has been greatly enhanced by a recent Firmware update F-SGB-20-1411271 and the release of the Sigma Data Center 4.0. I would also like to thank Sigma for sending Butler GPX Bar Mount for the Rox 10.0; it made viewing the 29.8 X 34.3mm screen substantially easier to see in most lighting! I was initially trying to finish this review during December, but I wanted to play a little with recent refinements, and I am glad that I did, the recent enhancements are easily worth one or two additional cow bells!
On the bike there are two aspects that I really like about the Sigma Rox 10.0, it has more functionality than riders will know what to do with and the unit is awesomely dependable. To start the Sigma Rox 10.0, is capable of providing riders nearly any data that they would like to see during a ride. In fact the Rox 10.0 has 87 functions ranging from basic functions like current speed, training time, and current lap time to more exotic measurements like work in KJ, trip time uphill and 30 second average power outputs. No power meter, no problem the Rox 10.0 Bundle can calculate that! Using GPS Tracking Navigation riders can easily upload route from the Sigma Data Center and then follow that route and be alerted if they go astray. Along with using navigation feature, riders can view over 28 of the 87 data functions at the touch of a few buttons. If during the ride, if the rider’s gets bored with those functions, they can stop their bike for a moment and switch to another set of favorites to access to over 10 more functions. With the Butler GPX Bar Mount the Rox 10.0 data is easy to read with just a glance!
During the six months that I have been testing the Sigma Rox 10.0 it has functioned really well, since the firmware update just before Christmas, the on-bike performance has been flawless! For cyclocross riders like myself, who uploads their data every day or two, and who rarely ride longer than four hours at time, they will find the battery power and a nine hours memory for data collection at the one second recording rate is not an issue. I found the Rox 10.0 was much faster at acquiring satellites than my current GPS computer from home, but about 15 seconds slower than my wife’s Garmin Forerunner 10. The Sigma’s GPS was not affected by riding or hiking in dense forest, nor was it affected by tall building like my current GPS device. On my current GPS device, I have had rides where I had extra 1,000 feet of climbing at the end of ride and could not figure out why; with the Sigma Rox 10.0 I have not experienced that issue. The Sigma Rox 10.0 is a solid GPS Cycling Computer!
As I mentioned earlier the Sigma Data Center 4.0 is a lot more pleasurable to deal with than third version of the Sigma Data Center. One of the features that I really like about the data center is the really large workout graphs. On my laptop the workout graphs are twice as wide and one and half times as long as the Training Peaks graphs, and has more data points and the ability to zoom into a segment is immensely greater with Sigma Data Center! Another facet of the data center is that riders training with power meters will really like about the Sigma Data Center, it has the ability to highlight a section, like a climb and display of how long during the climb a rider was in specific power zones. The data from the section also displays how much time the rider was climbing and descending which I found useful in determining if a climb was truly hard. The new data base is also great at converting FIT files in just a second or two; which a sharp contrast to 3.0 Data Center. Users can then easily upload those FIT files up to Strava and Training Peaks. Thanks to this review, I have discovered Strava, I really like how the data uploads manually flawlessly, and I really like how the laps display on their website. Honestly the Sigma Data Center is now an asset for the Sigma Rox 10.0, and works well enough, provides enough data that I will seriously consider canceling my Training Peaks subscription when my subscription ends in few months!
We Didn't Like
I will begin my short list of things I really do not like about Sigma Rox 10.0 with the backlight. The backlight is activated by pressing the two lower side buttons at the same time. The Start/Lap on lower left side and the Mode button on the lower right side must be pressed nearly simultaneously. Unfortunately these buttons are fairly stiff, making modestly difficult to pull off. The first time I attempted to use backlight was when I had just finished a five minute interval at my LT, on bumpy trails behind my local high school. That first time I managed to start three new laps and moved into two different modes before I was able to activate the backlight! Recently I had similar issues when I was riding uphill on Saltzman in Forest Park at dusk. On the rough trail, it took four attempts before I was able to activate the backlight! This is one instance where my current GPS device is light-years ahead of this Sigma model!
My next dislike is not a true dislike, but is something definitely worth mentioning for riders who train a lot at dusk and dawn. Initially when I started testing the Rox 10.0, I placed the unit on my stem, which has a 10 percent rise, immediately I noticed a pretty bad glare on computer from the midday sun. After receiving and mounting Butler GXP Bar Mount the unit visibility improved significantly under the midday sun. In January I was having trouble get outside midday, and ended up riding later in the day. Unfortunately I was finishing my ride right around dusk, despite the adjusting angle of the bar mount, I still was have difficulty reading the display because of glare and shadows. I attempted to use the backlight, but it was still light enough outside that the backlight was not very useful. The next evening, in similar light I brought my current GPS device, I noticed the flat screen was easier to read in the dwindling light than the more concave screen on the Rox 10.0.
My main dislike of the Sigma Rox 10.0 is that Sigma’s four main function buttons are too stiff! Ok initially I was not fan of the Start-Lap & Stop buttons on the left side of the units body, but I got over it within a couple of weeks, however, the same cannot be said of those main function buttons. In my 30 years of riding I can only remember one other device that had buttons as stiff as the Rox 10.0. After a few rides I figured out pressing the top half of the buttons at about 45 degree angle, is far easier than pressing the entire button, but either way they are really stiff. I was curious if I was the only one who thought the buttons were stiff, so I asked a couple riding friends, what their first impression was without tipping them off, without fail each rider mentioned the stiff buttons. Two of the riders said that the buttons would be the deal breakers. Then I was curious if my vibrant 10 year old daughter was strong enough to even turn the device on, so I showed her how to turn it on, she eventually did with a great deal of difficulty. When Sigma 11.0 rolls out, I hope they make the buttons easier to operate!
The Final Say
The Sigma Rox 10.0 bundle is very good GPS bike computer, with a few changes this could be great a GPS computer! The most important change they could make is with the buttons. The buttons are just too stiff! The second things I would do is change the orientation of the buttons, I would have likely swap the Start button to the Enter button positions. This is the first device I have used in 30 years of riding that I seen Start/Lap button on the left side of a device. Next given how cell phones screens encompass 65% to 70% of a phone’s area, I would strive to have taken up at least 55% to 60% of the screen, or match it. I have a feeling that very soon cell phones will be the bike computer industries main competition. Currently the display on Sigma Rox 10.0 occupies just 35% of the computers frontal plane, given today’s technology one would think they could make the screen bigger, or reduce the size of the computer. Finally the storage memory needs to be increased with more riders using power meters and collecting data at one second intervals the 9 hours is not enough storage space. This especially true for our friends who ride audax events or are going to Canary Islands for week of riding in isolation on Tenerife…
Final Thought: If you ride a different path than most, are a fan of the little guy and would like to save a few dollars in process, consider the Sigma Rox 10.0 for your next GPS Bike Computer!
Additional Comments: 1. In my experience with hiking and running with the Sigma Rox 10.0, the temperature gauge is not even in the ballpark as the actual temperature outside for those activities. For example right before the end of year, I snuck out on a midnight run; it was cold, crisp and ever so peaceful night. The Weather Underground weather gauge at the park across the street, said it was 22.1 degrees Fahrenheit when I finished running. Mind you I carried the Sigma unit in my hand as I ran, so obviously my hands radiant heat influenced the temperature of the unit, which read 45 degrees when I finished. After my run, I walked over to the Weather Underground weather station at the park, and placed the unit on a park bench five feet away the weather station. The Rox 10.0 cooled down to 36.1 degrees after sitting for 15 minutes and stayed at 36.1 for the next three minutes, so I am pretty sure that is as low as it was going to get. All the Weather Underground stations within 15 miles radius all read between 21 and 24 degrees, so it wasn’t the weather station with the wrong temperature. While riding I think the temperature is really accurate after about 10 minutes if the unit was in the garage prior to riding, and about 15 to 20 minutes into the ride if the unit was in a toasty house.
2. All year I have used an Ant+ Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence Bike Sensor with my GPS based cycling computer. Initially Ant+ compatible Sigma Rox 10.0 worked perfectly with my Garmin Sensor, then one day it just stopped working; however, my regular unit continued working just fine. I brought the issue up with Sigma; who said they were aware of the issue, and solved it with a firmware update just before the holidays.
3. Remember how to find/use the short menu because the directions are not obvious! Simultaneously pressing the Back/Stop button and Enter button accesses the short menu and that allows the rider to change bikes, favorites and altitude setting among other things. Personally I wasted a lot of time trying to find that information via the internet.
4. Note: Strava uses the GPS mileage which sometimes will surprise you with extra 1.5 or 2 miles after a 3 hour ride. Personally I now need breakout the old metric tape measure to determine what my tire circumference really is.
5. At the time of posting this review, the lap portion of the FIT file is not displaying the lap information correctly on Training Peaks. Both Training Peaks and Sigma are aware of the issue. On March 8th I noticed that Sigma release Sigma Data Center 4.06, uploaded to my computer, but the update did not address this issue.