Mio VELO Heart Rate Band Review
Are you sick and tired of that awkward chest strap? What about wasting precious time putting on a chest strap, and then having to deal with the compression and chaffage that ensues afterward? If so, you are not alone. I am surprised it’s taken so long, but companies like Mio are finally leveraging sensor technology to get rid of the awkward chest strap.
Mio VELO Heart Rate Band Overview:
The Mio VELO heart rate band falls within the “wearable” category and is targeted towards cyclists who are looking for accurate heart rate data. This band is a silicone bracelet that frees you of a chest strap and wires – enough said.
Technically, the Mio VELO heart rate band has a lot to offer. The team at Mio has managed to make the VELO compatible with nearly every mainstream operating system, workout application, bike computer, and sensor. Bluetooth and ANT+ technology push heart rate and cadence data to your phone. What sets Mio apart, is that they use electrical-optical sensors to track your heart within 99% accuracy of an EKG. The Mio VELO heart rate band also boasts an 8-hour battery life and 30M water resistance.
Setup and First Impressions:
When I took the Mio Velo Heart Rate Band out of the box, I was immediately impressed. The design of the band is aesthetically pleasing and very minimalist in appearance. When you buy this heart rate monitor, you will only find three things in the box; the Mio Velo Heart Rate Band, USB charger, and user manual.
Mio has created their own App (Mio Go). This App is capable of tracking your heart data and also tracking distance if you own the appropriate cadence sensors. After you download the Mio Go app, you can pair the device to your phone. Even if you don’t plan on using Mio’s App, I recommend that you download it so you can set up your profile. The profile that you set up will customize the heart rate zones on your device using the Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) calculation (MHR = 208 – ( 0.7 x Age )). You can also manually set your heart rate zones if you don’t want Mio to use the MHR calculation.
Additionally, when you pair the Mio Velo with the App, you pick your desired training setting. You have two options; “Training Zone Mode: and “Zone Alert Mode”. The “Training Zone Mode” uses six colors to tell you which zone you are in:
- Light Blue: Rest
- Blue: Very Light
- Green: Light
- Yellow: Moderate
- Pink: Hard
- Red: Maximum
In “Zone Alert Mode”, the LED will blink slowly to indicate whether you are below, within, or above the target HR zone.
- Blue: Below Target HR Zone
- Green: Within Target HR Zone
- Red: Above Target HR Zone
Downloading the Mio Go App, pairing the Mio VELO Heart Rate Band and customizing my settings with my phone was a snap. The VELO Band pairs with most exercise Apps, and since I am an avid Strava user I decided to pair it with Strava. The only rub here is is that you need to upgrade to Strava premium which requires a monthly fee. Similar to the experience of pairing the Mio VELO Heart Rate band with my phone, pairing the Mio Velo with Strava was seamless.
Mio VELO Heart Rate Band on the Road and on the Trail:
I’ve had the this Band for about a month and I use it for every workout. Even though it’s marketed towards cyclers, I use the Mio Velo for mountain biking, trail and road running. They even provide a pamphlet with the Mio Velo that recommends wearing the Mio Velo facing inwards for cycling and outwards for running.
Since the band is made of soft silicone, I find the Mio Velo to be extremely comfortable and have not experienced any chaffing whatsoever. Admittedly, I am an impatient person. Luckily, with the Mio Velo you don’t waste any time. Simply strap it on, hit one button to turn it on, fire up Strava, and you are on your merry way.
While cycling and running I personally found the “Training Zone Mode” to be a little annoying and quickly set up the Mio Velo Heart Rate Band to the “Zone Alert Mode”. When monitoring my heart rate data during exercise, I want simple data; am I on target, within target or over target? Once I moved over to the “Zone Alert Mode” I found the Mio VELO Heart Rate Band to be a very useful tool. After a workout, I also love geeking out on my Strava data and seeing what my “Suffer Score” was (It’s the little things). Even though, Mio Velo boasts an 8 hour battery life, I’ve been finding its more like 4-5 hours. However, they claim the battery should last for 5 years, so we will see.
Mio VELO Heart Rate Band Final Thoughts:
If you are looking to ditch the wires and the chest strap, the Mio VELO Heart Rate Band is an excellent option. This is a much cheaper alternative to a GPS watch, especially if you use Apps like Strava. Overall, I find the design, quality, and functionality of the Mio Velo Heart Rate Band to be great.
The only issue I have with this item is that you have to rely on the flashing LED during your workout to get your heart rate performance. I wish Mio had designed an audio notification that told you which zone you were in. Being that it’s winter, I tend to have my arms covered and cannot see the flashing LED. All that set aside, I think this is a great Heart Rate Monitor, especially if you are looking to add HRM capability to one of your preexisting electronic devices.