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Computer vs Smartphone (or both)

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.
View Poll Results: Which do you use while commuting?
Bike Computer
35.62%
Smartphone
20.55%
Both
16.44%
Neither one
27.40%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

Computer vs Smartphone (or both)

Old 07-01-17, 07:58 PM
  #1  
kjmillig
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Computer vs Smartphone (or both)

Do you use a bike computer only, a smartphone only, both, or neither one while commuting?
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Old 07-01-17, 08:02 PM
  #2  
MikeOK
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Originally Posted by kjmillig View Post
Do you use a bike computer only, a smartphone only, or both?
I used to use a polar bike computer and it was good, but now I use an iPhone 7 plus with motifit ride and it's much better. More data than you can shake a stick at. One problem though, the elevation is always way off. My other gps apps are right on so I don't think it's the phone.
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Old 07-01-17, 10:27 PM
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Not really a bike computer, but my VivoActive HR tracker with a cadence sensor. Plus my phone since I started using it way before the tracker and have my history on it.
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Old 07-02-17, 07:16 AM
  #4  
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I use a bike computer. I just want current time, current speed, distance, temperature and average speed. I used to be interested in cumulative distance over the year, but not so much anymore. I tried a couple of smart phone GPS apps, but it took too much involvement for my taste, and the accuracy through downtown (Colorado Springs) was not good.

But for those who want to track, chart, analyze and share, you can't beat the convenience and flexibility of a smartphone.
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Old 07-02-17, 07:34 AM
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Neither. Arrival at destination after a safe ride is the only metric that counts for me. Same thing as driving or riding the subway.
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Old 07-02-17, 09:02 AM
  #6  
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Both, but only rarely do I use either one on commutes. In the mornings I use a "sweat-meter" - how damp my jersey is - trying to keep that to a minimum to skip the shower at work. The bike computer, used for speed only, is mainly for a reality check on perceived effort. On the more rare occasion that I do use Strava on the way home, it's on the phone, in my pocket.
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Old 07-02-17, 09:15 AM
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I record my commutes with my GPS watch and only take the bike computer on longer weekend rides. The only time I use my phone as a GPS is in the car.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:31 AM
  #8  
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I haven't gotten lost going to or from work in years. At least without planning to!

Neither.
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Old 07-02-17, 03:05 PM
  #9  
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Neither. I use a Garmin Edge 1000 with a speed sensor on the wheel. Also have a cadence sensor and HRM if I want more numbers.
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Old 07-02-17, 04:17 PM
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I use a Sigma BC5.12 on one bike. Nothing on the others. I have a nice Sachs Huret Multito I want to put on my Loft at some point. I just like keeping track of the mileage.
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Old 07-02-17, 04:28 PM
  #11  
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I don't see any need for info of any kind while commuting. It's a relatively short trip on a known course, so what else could I need to know.

If I were a surgeon, I'd probably keep a cell phone in my back pocket in case someone had to reach me in an emergency, but I'm not so I don't.

Though I don't use one on tours, I can see the use of a cell phone or GPS for navigating or making arrangements on the fly, and I'll probably start taking a smart phone for lining up hotels near the end of the day, if only a means to shop for better rates.
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Old 07-02-17, 05:01 PM
  #12  
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Neither one. I leave at the same time every day. I arrive at work at the same time, give or take five. I don't need no stinking computer to tell me that I'm only doing 18 km/h into a miserable headwind!
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Old 07-02-17, 05:11 PM
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Garmin EDGE 810 for all bike rides, from a commute to a century to a ride to the store. All rides are uploaded to Strava once they are done. Keeping excellent track so far this year of all rides, miles per bike, etc. Have lived here in town for 39 years so getting lost really isn't an issue. Have found that the GPS unit is more accurate than just running Strava on my phone, and it saves the battery on the phone.
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Old 07-02-17, 06:00 PM
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I voted neither one, even though I do have a bike computer on one bike. But I've mostly been riding my commutes fixed gear, and those bikes have nothing on 'em. And since I've never had a cell phone of any sort, there's none of that nonsense.
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Old 07-02-17, 06:33 PM
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Simplicity and reliability has its value

I have used my Cateye for 12 years and 56,000 miles, in winter and summer. An iPhone would be better for the wealth of data but simplicity and reliability has its value.
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Old 07-02-17, 07:52 PM
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I have started using the phone in addition to a Garmin 520 so I can broadcast livetrack and see text messages.- really the phone is only for emergency location since I do ride out on some trails.
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Old 07-02-17, 08:20 PM
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I'm really only interested in total mileage and current speed, and hate the thought of wasting cellphone battery life to do the job. So I use the cheapest wired bike computers I can get.
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Old 07-02-17, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
I voted neither one, even though I do have a bike computer on one bike. But I've mostly been riding my commutes fixed gear, and those bikes have nothing on 'em. And since I've never had a cell phone of any sort, there's none of that nonsense.
Are you serious? Curious to know what your age is.
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Old 07-02-17, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
Are you serious? Curious to know what your age is.
Absolutely serious. It tickles me that so many can't fathom getting through life without 24/7 phone access. It wasn't all that long ago that EVERYBODY somehow managed to survive without cell phones. Only kids and young adults haven't.

On top of all the money I have saved (well over $10,000!) by not buying a phone and paying for monthly service, I rather like not ever being pestered by it... and the reaction I get when people learn I don't have one!

Oh, I'm 56.
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Old 07-02-17, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Absolutely serious. It tickles me that so many can't fathom getting through life without 24/7 phone access. It wasn't all that long ago that EVERYBODY somehow managed to survive without cell phones. Only kids and young adults haven't.

On top of all the money I have saved (well over $10,000!) by not buying a phone and paying for monthly service, I rather like not ever being pestered by it... and the reaction I get when people learn I don't have one!

Oh, I'm 56.
What are you?? Some kind of caveman?
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Old 07-02-17, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Absolutely serious. It tickles me that so many can't fathom getting through life without 24/7 phone access. It wasn't all that long ago that EVERYBODY somehow managed to survive without cell phones. Only kids and young adults haven't.

On top of all the money I have saved (well over $10,000!) by not buying a phone and paying for monthly service, I rather like not ever being pestered by it... and the reaction I get when people learn I don't have one!

Oh, I'm 56.
I'm with you. I had cell phones for a few years because I relied on them for business, but rarely used them for anything else. BTW - that when cell phones were just cell phones, before they got smart.

Currently I have a cell phone on a pay as you go plan that ends up costing me about $100/year. I got it because it's cheaper than a land line, and it lives where my home phone used to. I will occasionally take it out of the house, but that's the exception, and everyone knows not be expect me to be reachable 24/4.

Like you, I'm kind of surprised that what a short time was a luxury for the rich became a necessity for everyone.
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Old 07-02-17, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Absolutely serious. It tickles me that so many can't fathom getting through life without 24/7 phone access. It wasn't all that long ago that EVERYBODY somehow managed to survive without cell phones. Only kids and young adults haven't.

On top of all the money I have saved (well over $10,000!) by not buying a phone and paying for monthly service, I rather like not ever being pestered by it... and the reaction I get when people learn I don't have one!

Oh, I'm 56.
I don't know anyone that doesn't have one, not out of want, but out of need. I know a lot of people in the medical field, and they take call and you need to be available at a moment's notice. Most of the time I don't need one, but I did get one call late one night back in 2008 that changed my life forever. After that call, I have mine with me 24/7/365. I don't always answer it, or reply to emails or texts, but I do know that I will never almost miss a call like I did that night.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:18 PM
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Interesting. I am a consultant (computer networking). I have carried a cell phone since the early 90's and wore a pager before that. There was a transition period where I carried both and only turned the phone on to return a page. If I had never used a cell phone, I would be a lot poorer today or in a different career. I spend a lot more on travel for work than I do on the cell phone. It is just the cost of doing business.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:50 PM
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Garmin 500
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Old 07-02-17, 11:12 PM
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CatEye Strada Cadence, and I pretty much keep it set on cadence. Monitoring my cadence bumped my comfortable ride distance up by quite a bit within a month of getting the CatEye. Until my phone battery started getting unreliable, I was using Strava as well to keep track of daily/weekly/monthly mileage.

Seriously considering one of the Lezyne GPS computers with cadence and HR, since adding GPS to the computer would keep me from needing to keep the phone active if I start doing some light to moderate touring. Even with a new battery, the phone is only good for 2-4 hours of active GPS tracking.
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