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View Poll Results: Which option do you recommend?
Get a wireless cadence sensor to use with my iPhone 5 (with a cycling app). 0 0%
Get a wired cadence sensor with basic computer from the local bike store for $60. 3 100.00%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-04-13, 04:46 PM   #1
MikeDRides
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Best Cadence Sensor? Help me choose please

I ride 15 miles a day about 4-5 days a week and hoping to get that up to about 30 miles a day. While I'm not a devoted cyclist, I do enjoy the exercise. From what I've been told, cadence is really the most important stat I should be watching. Now, I'm shopping for a Cadence senso on a low budget and considering the following:

1) Get a wireless cadence sensor to use with my iPhone 5 (with a cycling app). If I go this route, what cadence sensor do you recommend for the iPhone 5 AND which app do you recommend?

2) Get a wired cadence sensor with basic computer from the local bike store for $60 (they will install it for me). It will track cadence, speed, mileage, etc...

Your recommendations and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-04-13, 07:27 PM   #2
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If you want to use your iPhone, the only option is the Wahoo Fitness bluetooth transmitter (speed and cadence).

While your charged iPhone will last for your short rides, a computer will be easier to mount and occupy less space (note that you'd need to buy a mount for your iPhone). You also might also have to worry about protecting the iPhone from weather and being dropped (or stolen) while mounted on the bike.

Personally, I like using a computer so I don't have to worry about having enough charge on my phone (I'm doing much longer rides).

I suspect that, "soon", there will be wireless bicycle computers that will used Blue Tooth (and whose transmitters will also be useable by your iPhone).

A fair number of people use the iPhone approach but it isn't going to be cheaper than a computer. If you want to also track your route, the iPhone approach will (likely) be cheaper.

You can get the Cateye Strada Double Wireless (speed and cadence) for about $60.

None of these (especially the wireless versions) are hard to install.

Installing whatever you choose might be a good way for you to get familiar enough to deal with alignment issues in the future.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-04-13 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 06-04-13, 08:22 PM   #3
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Thanks! Based on your feedback, I'm leaning toward having a wired computer installed with both cadence and speed.

While I do have a bag that is attached to my handlebars with a iPhone holder (clear cover you can control your iPhone with), it is not easy to manipulate and I wouldn't advise while riding (because its not a hard mount).

I can always have my iPhone still track my route.
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Old 06-04-13, 08:33 PM   #4
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A wired Cateye Strada, w/Cadence is a good choice. Battery life is excellent, and it is a very good, and accurate, unit. Gives a lot of info for a reasonable price.
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Old 06-04-13, 08:45 PM   #5
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Wanderer, do you mean the CC-RD200 Strada Cadence? Strada only shows the CatEye as a wireless option.
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Old 06-05-13, 11:37 AM   #6
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Im also interested in getting more info on this topic. If the wahoo is the only option for the iphone how reliable is it and how did it work for you. I don't have any battery issues with my 4s and I regularly ride 3.5h - 4hs and will still have 30-40% left depending on how many apps I keep running and won't be riding more then that without a chance to charge this season. Also to expand that topic for people trying to ride 5+ hours using an iphone, I believe the wahoo case has a external battery mount but last I heard would interrupt your ride data into separate rides, is that still an issue and or will that interfere with the speed/cadence sensor?
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Old 06-05-13, 12:05 PM   #7
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How about looking at your watch for 30 seconds and Counting?
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Old 06-05-13, 01:01 PM   #8
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How about looking at your watch for 30 seconds and Counting?
That's what I am doing now, it does work, but only while your actively counting. I want to track whole ride and another reason why I am more interested in the iphone options, where the cycle computer may be better for the OP, but for me I would like to externally examine the data so I can see what happens when not counting and "riding in the zone" or see if climbing changes or high traffic. While I need the phone for other parts of life, being able to use for my cycling helps more to offset that monthly ouch factor when the bill comes and why I don't bite the bullet and get a Garmin.
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Old 06-05-13, 01:26 PM   #9
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How about looking at your watch for 30 seconds and Counting?
It's inconvenient and not as safe.
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Old 06-05-13, 01:43 PM   #10
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Im also interested in getting more info on this topic. If the wahoo is the only option for the iphone how reliable is it and how did it work for you. I don't have any battery issues with my 4s and I regularly ride 3.5h - 4hs and will still have 30-40% left depending on how many apps I keep running and won't be riding more then that without a chance to charge this season.
I haven't used the Wahoo BT sensor but Wahoo has been around for a bit and seems like a reasonably smart company.

It seems that the Wahoo BT sensor is made by the same company that makes the Bontrager ANT+ speed/cadence sensor. I have used the Bontrager sensor for over a year and 8000+ miles. It's been reliable for me. I suspect that the iPhone will not have any problems receiving the BT signals from the transmitter.

I have a high expectation that the Wahoo sensor would work without problems.

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Also to expand that topic for people trying to ride 5+ hours using an iphone, I believe the wahoo case has a external battery mount but last I heard would interrupt your ride data into separate rides, is that still an issue and or will that interfere with the speed/cadence sensor?
I don't see how it could "interrupt your ride data into separate rides". It's just a battery power source to the iPhone. It wouldn't be any different than plugging the iPhone into a charger or any-other battery pack.

What iPhone do you have?
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Old 06-05-13, 01:52 PM   #11
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4s
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Old 06-05-13, 02:31 PM   #12
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4s
Wahoo sells a $99 case for the 4/4S (not the 5) that includes an ANT+ receiver. The ANT+ receiver would let you use the Garmin (and others) ANT+ speed/cadence sensor. A battery pack that fits into the case is an extra $60.

http://www.wahoofitness.com/Products...for-iPhone.asp

My opinion is that you should try to avoid buying stuff that works with only a particular phone model.

I suspect that, in a few years, the Blue Tooth Low Energy stuff will become more common for bicycle stuff.

If you wanted to use ANT+ stuff on your phone, I would use the following (which I don't have any experience with) rather than the Wahoo ANT+ case.

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/02/m...-smartant.html

The cheapest and easiest thing to do is to use a normal bicycle computer.

The next cheapest solution is to use the Wahoo BT speed/cadence sensor and an inexpensive mount for your iPhone (noting that you might have to be concerned with weather). If go this route and need extra battery life, you might be able to buy an external battery pack that you could stick into a "Bento box" strapped to your top tube (and still worry about the weather) IF your case allows you to plug a cable into the phone.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-05-13 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 06-05-13, 04:17 PM   #13
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Try Amazon for Cateye Strada. Yes it's older, but might still be available.
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Old 06-05-13, 08:23 PM   #14
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I would get one that works with your phone, because I'm a bit of a data geek. I like to analyze my rides, see what how my average cadence changes over time, and with a program like Strava, you have much more data than simply writing down your average cadence after a ride.
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Old 06-06-13, 07:29 AM   #15
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I would get one that works with your phone, because I'm a bit of a data geek. I like to analyze my rides, see what how my average cadence changes over time, and with a program like Strava, you have much more data than simply writing down your average cadence after a ride.
That's the same boat I am in as I am trying to train first for weight loss then to someday ride somewhat fast. For me I think it comes down to BT or Ant+. I have thought about switching to a tablet and a pre-paid burner phone for work and then can free up a huge phone bill where I could afford more cycling goodies! In doing so I could afford a Garmin rather soon. The flipside is who really wants to deal with a POS burner phone after being spoiled by the current smartphones.

I think I am leaning to the BT route with the phone, and hoping that more manufacturers choose to support BT so there are more options then just Wahoo, but I will admit that the SC sensor from Wahoo looks rather decent and by going BT their handlebar mount is cheaper and can still plug in an extended battery. (does not include a integrated Ant+ key) And the option to use the RFLKT display for riding when you don't want your phone in plain sight or in the elements.

I sled off on a tangent there but wanted to address it because I think its all part of choosing the right cadence sensor. Plus if hit by car or injured with the phone my wife and or medical assistance can find me easier, and I am not sure if the Garmin gps systems can do that. Also points to consider vs a cycling computer since the OP said he had a smartphone, and are options that I don't think are available on a cycling computer.
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Old 06-06-13, 08:13 AM   #16
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In doing so I could afford a Garmin rather soon.
Your timing is a bit off: Garmin had a $100 rebate on the 800.

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I think I am leaning to the BT route with the phone, and hoping that more manufacturers choose to support BT so there are more options then just Wahoo, but I will admit that the SC sensor from Wahoo looks rather decent and by going BT their handlebar mount is cheaper and can still plug in an extended battery. (does not include a integrated Ant+ key) And the option to use the RFLKT display for riding when you don't want your phone in plain sight or in the elements.
The Wahoo sensor is made by the same company that makes the Bontrager ANT+ sensor (and that sensor is fine).

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I sled off on a tangent there but wanted to address it because I think its all part of choosing the right cadence sensor.
Don't expect that what you buy now will be sufficient for the future.

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Plus if hit by car or injured with the phone my wife and or medical assistance can find me easier, and I am not sure if the Garmin gps systems can do that.
Garmin has an app for the iPhone that relays position updates from the Edge 810 to a website using the cell-network. There are apps that do that without the Garmin but the Garmin approach might use less battery power (the cell-phone GPS doesn't need to be running).

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Also points to consider vs a cycling computer since the OP said he had a smartphone, and are options that I don't think are available on a cycling computer.
The big deal with the smartphone is being able to avoid spending $450 on a Garmin Edge 810. The only thing the Garmins can't do (by themselves) that a smart-phone can is report your position.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:28 AM   #17
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Don't expect that what you buy now will be sufficient for the future.
That's the key phrase. I try to anticipate the future so that I get the right one, cause paying more at first can really save you a lot of money down the road and the part that makes decisions really freaken hard. If I took the statement out of context my bad, but either way you look at it I would say it is the 1 million dollar statement.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:07 AM   #18
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I think this is the one I have, wired. http://www.amazon.com/Cateye-Strada-...d_sim_sbs_sg_1
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Old 06-06-13, 11:20 AM   #19
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Or buy a used Garmin Edge 500 from somebody who upgraded recently. I've seen them as low as $125 although that may not include the $40 cadence & speed sensor. That's higher than your apparent budget but it's also a great solution. Then you can leave your phone in your jersey for emergencies.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:27 AM   #20
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I am going to go outside the box a little. Feel free to ignore.

Want to improve your cadence? Get a fixed gear bike.

You'll be spinning like a hamster in no time.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:36 AM   #21
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That's the key phrase. I try to anticipate the future so that I get the right one, cause paying more at first can really save you a lot of money down the road and the part that makes decisions really freaken hard. If I took the statement out of context my bad, but either way you look at it I would say it is the 1 million dollar statement.
Also known as "analysis paralysis".

I'm not going to suggest that people buy useless stuff. The BT stuff (for cycling sensors), though, is a really new thing. It's kind of hard to predict now what the market will be like in a year or two.

We aren't taking about "a lot" of money.

The Wahoo BT sensor is $60 and, if it works (no reason it shouldn't) and is useful to you for a few years, it won't be a waste if the market doesn't go that way. You could go with the Wahoo sensor OR you could wait a while to make the "perfect" decision (and still be wrong).

My problem with using the phones is they don't quite have the battery life for long rides.

If you really are fixated on using your phone, $160 would cover you quite well ($60 for the Wahoo transmitter and $100 for the Mio heart-rate monitor that converts ANT+ data to BT+, which you'd only need if you had a power meter, like a PowerTap). There could be an extra cost for a phone mount and extra/external battery.

Of course, the point of using the phone over a simple computer is to be able to record data.
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Old 06-06-13, 02:39 PM   #22
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Thanks for the back and forth njkayaker. I decided to go with the Wahoo BT speed & cadence. Hope the banter helped the OP with his choice.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:05 PM   #23
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decided to go with the Wahoo BT speed & cadence.
Cool! Tell us how it works!
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Old 06-06-13, 11:22 PM   #24
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How about looking at your watch for 30 seconds and Counting?
This is dangerous. Keep your eyes on the road. Cateye "computers" are often recommended on the forums. Before I got my Garmin 500, I had a wireless Strada and it was very reliable. The wired model and the models with cadence sensor generally get good reviews. If you bike at night, some lights might interfere with the Cateye wireless; I never had a problem.
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