There’s a new nav on the block: the SIGMA ROX 12.0. This new gadget was also seen in the professional race peloton attached to Tom Dumoulin’s bike, along with the other riders in Team Sunweb. We put it through its paces to see how it shapes up.

Built to last

There are two things that struck us as we pulled the ROX out of its box. First are the looks: the design will certainly be appealing to the lovers of classic late 1990s smartphones, and the screen bezels (the borders between the screen and the frame) are huge. The screen itself is 3″ tall and has a resolution of 240 x 400px. Big enough to keep you fully-informed during a Gran Fondo.

The second thing that strikes you when you pick up the head unit is that it’s very solid, feels strong and well-engineered. The plastic is hard, the buttons are sturdy, and it really feels like a high-end device.

High-end console

The ROX 12.0 is a high-end navigation console. This means (of course) that you can download GPX navigation files onto the device. But what makes it high-end is that it will lead you to a destination once you type in the address, in a similar way to the navigation systems in cars, and Google Maps. It is also highly accurate out on the road, and helpful when climbing tough ascents.

The navigation interface and menus, however, take a bit of learning and are a little less user-friendly than we are all used to, having been spoiled by our smartphones. But once you get the hang of the menu structure, it works fine. SIGMA has a bunch of tutorial videos for the ROX, which we would certainly recommend for the less technical bike riders.

Good specifications

The ROX has six physical buttons and a touch-screen. And technical it certainly is: the ROX is stuffed with all the latest connectivity, and includes a free 20-country map of Europe as well. Here are just some of those features:

  • 8GB internal memory (up to 128GB on SD card)
  • Wifi, ANT+, and Bluetooth connectivity are supported
  • Screen is made of tough Gorilla Glass
  • Charging time is 3hrs for around 16hrs of battery life
  • Supports power meters with ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart
  • Strava Live Segments
  • Ride sharing possible via Strava, Komoot, TrainingPeaks, 2Peaks, Facebook and Twitter

On the Road

When riding during the recent, freakishly warm European autumn, it was sometimes a challenge to see the map clearly under bright sunlight. The brightest setting on the ROX is nothing like the clarity we are familiar with on our smartphones.

And this is the tough challenge for Sigma: one of our testers had never experienced a modern bike computer before, and compared the entire SIGMA ROX experience with his smartphone. This is a troublesome comparison, and us testers with a little more bike nav smarts were a bit more forgiving.

But this does illustrate how demanding the riders of today can be, especially if you consider that this unit costs about the same price as a mid-range Android smartphone.

Training

You can set up a variety of training sessions with the ROX. Interval workouts can be set up with the intervals based on duration, distance, or heart-rate. This is quite straightforward, and the results of your hard work can be uploaded to the SIGMA Cloud, once you have set up an account. But you can also upload your data to your Strava, TrainingPeaks or Komoot account.

The SIGMA ROX basic unit package (which includes an out-front mount) costs around €400. We recommend the bundle, which in addition to the mount includes cadence and heart-rate sensors to seriously enhance your data collection. That will set you back around €480.

The ROX is also a welcome European addition to an increasingly crowded marketplace dominated by the American players Garmin, Wahoo, and Cateye.