Sigma ROX 4.0 GPS Cycling Computer: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
The Sigma ROX 4.0 GPS unit has been run enough now, and it has been long enough now since the introduction post, that I am skipping to the final verdict here. Part of that is due to weather, scheduling, and my having had a wicked head cold which put me off the bike for a few weeks. But enough about that!
To briefly recap where I was at with the ROX 4.0, I had a good user experience with set up, and basic functions of the GPS unit were all favorable at first. I had to find out about navigation, data acquisition and review, and just see how this computer was to use on the bike out on the local gravel roads here. Following are my thoughts and opinions on those things and then a final verdict on the ROX 4.0 from Sigma will follow that.
Sensors & Data: The ROX 4.0 can be paired with a cadence sensor, a heart rate monitor, and a speed sensor, although you can also rely just on the GPS signal for speed if you want to. It seems to track alright, if you decide to just go with the head unit for speed data, but I did note that the signal can drop out under heavy tree cover. A dedicated speed sensor, which you have the option of getting and using with the ROX 4.0, will – potentially – alleviate that issue.
What I noted with this first head unit, (yes, there was more than one, read on…) was that the sensors had a hard time staying paired up and would drop out and come back on randomly. This was a bit disconcerting, as you get an alert on the screen if the sensors drop out and when they come back on again. This did not occur all the time, but enough so that I did not trust any of the sensor connections. In terms or recorded data, I did not note “gaps”, so was the sensor still working, or not? Did the Ride app just fill in the gaps? Who knows?
Speaking of the Sigma Ride App page, it does do an okay job on your smart phone of showing you general data. Don’t expect impressive, fine grained data charts or overlays of different data to peruse here. This computer/phone app is a good guide, but if you are looking to drill down at a granular level, this app isn’t for you.
Navigation: Here I was hoping that I did not have to have a smart phone tethered to the GPS head via Bluetooth to obtain turn-by-turn directions, but alas, the 4.0 model does not seem to do that. The more robustly featured ROX 11.0 may do that, but not this unit. And honestly, at the price that the ROX 4.0 sells for, it would have been an expectation too high for such a price-point item to have that feature, perhaps. Oh well…
So, I downloaded a route to the Ride App, opened it up on my phone, and started the ROX 4.0 and off I went. The unit did let me know I was off route and an arrow on the screen pointed in the direction I needed to head for to get back on track. That was a bit vague, but intuitively I figured it out. Turns are alerted by a beeping notification, and are indicated on the screen with plenty of notice. All well and good so far. However, things did not end well.
Remember how I had trouble with the sensors staying tethered to the head unit? Well, the signal dropped from my phone, which was three inches from the GPS unit at all times, by the way, and it would not re-pair unless I started all over again. Obviously that is not a desirable or workable situation for turn-by-turn navigation. Are all ROX 4.0 units like this, or was this just a glitch with the one I have here? Did I have a defective unit?
Due to inconsistent Bluetooth and sensor connections, I reached out and got a replacement GPS head.
Hitting The Rest Button: I contacted my person with whom I had arranged to do this review through and they indicated that it sure sounded like a bad head unit. This person indicated also that this experience I had was rare, and I should hold out on the review until I had some time with this new ROX 4.0. I should also mention that the first head unit was a salesman’s sample, and that it had been handled quite a lot before I had gotten a hold of it, so there is a possibility that it was damaged before I tried it out. But either way, now I was on to another, brand new ROX 4.0
Navigation 2.0: Okay, so what did I have for performance now? I had to wait until the weather cooperated to be able to try this out, but recently I did get a window to go ride with the Sigma unit and things were a lot different this time.
The turn-by-turn was accurate this time with no dropping of the signal. However; I noted an oddity this time that was new, perhaps, and a thing I would want to see Sigma change in the future. It has to do with the small circular indicator in the upper right corner of the unit.
When you get off-route, the unit beeps a warning, flashes a message on the screen, and the upper right hand circle will display an arrow as to which way you are to turn to get back on route, a useful feature.
However; if you stop, that arrow turns into a pause signal, which is a bit annoying if you want to stop for any other reason. Once you start rolling again, the arrow comes back. The unit then will alert you to when you are back on route. Then the arrow points at the 12:00 o’clock position and a little chequered flag appears. At this point, the arrow is not your friend when it comes to turns. That job then transfers to the bread crumb trail on the lower part of the screen.
At The Finish: In the end, I could use the ROX 4.0 pretty much as I would with a wireless computer – That being for simple tracking of speed, distance, and a few other features of my ride. The Ride App was okay, but compared to a Lezyne GPS ROOT data set which a Lezyne GPS computer uses and would be competitive with this Sigma, you have no comparison. The Lezyne set up is far more impressive.
The navigation is “okay“, but it is a bit strange with that upper right hand arrow being used for off-route navigation, then not being used at all for typical route navigation. I’d prefer that the arrow be used at all times, since it is easily seen at a glance and the bread crumb trail is a bit less obvious. Tethering to your phone for the route turn-by-turn feature is, again, okay. It works, but that’s one more device you have to rely on for your route navigation, and if you ride long, that may not be a great solution. Dang batteries….
The Sigma ROX 4.0 has an attractive price and feature set. The navigation set is a bit kludgy, and it is not as slick and easy as some other units, but at the price, this is typical. Sensors were picked up and information was easy to draw out afterward. I had no complaints after the first unit was replaced. If turn-by-turn navigation is not at the top of your priority list, I could recommend this for those looking for a entry level GPS computer. It’s got great battery life, it is fairly accurate, and it will do basic things well enough. It’s no GPS unit with “bells and whistles” that you hear about from the typical GPS cycling computer makers, but it does a lot for the price and is easy to navigate and use.
Note: SIGMA sent over this ROX 4.0 GPS Cycling Computer for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We were not paid, nor bribed, for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.