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Cadence Sensors: Wahoo vs Garmin

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Cadence Sensors: Wahoo vs Garmin

Old 09-12-16, 03:03 PM
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scarleton
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Cadence Sensors: Wahoo vs Garmin

As some of you know the latest generation of speed and cadence sensors don't use magnets, but the same type of accelerator smart phones use to detect motion. I have the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor connected via bluetooth to Cyclemeter (on iPhone). Finally I read the status via the Wahoo RFLKT+, which connects to Cyclemeter via bluetooth.

I am noticing a lag between when I change my cadence and when I see it on the Wahoo RFLKT+. I am 99% sure the lag is between the Cyclemeter and the Wahoo RFLKT+, but I was wondering if there have been any reviews done comparing the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor to the Garmin version.

I'm just curious to know if others have bothered to do any testing on this subject.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:50 AM
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I am returning my Wahoo RPM Cadence sensor, the one that that doesnt use magnet. I cant get the cadence to work. Yes, there is a 5 sec lag before you see anything. I rather have these as it can do ANT+ and BT at the same time.

I order the Garmin RPM Cadence sensor instead and too bad its only ANT+ and will pair with my new Edge 520 and see how it goes.
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Old 09-13-16, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by chong67 View Post
I order the Garmin RPM Cadence sensor instead and too bad its only ANT+ and will pair with my new Edge 520 and see how it goes.
Are you getting the one that does not need the magnet or the traditional one?
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Old 09-13-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
Are you getting the one that does not need the magnet or the traditional one?
I read the magnets one are reliable, but need to be close on the magnet.

I am getting the non magnets version. I read vibration will throw it off and there is lag. I read the Garmin ones perform better.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:25 AM
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Do you have a powermeter? I didn't realize this until after the fact, but apparently things like my powertap wheel senses the pulse of extra force when I pedal and reports the cadence making my cadence meter superfluous. At least that's what I've been told, I haven't taken off the speed/cadence meter and checked.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Do you have a powermeter? I didn't realize this until after the fact, but apparently things like my powertap wheel senses the pulse of extra force when I pedal and reports the cadence making my cadence meter superfluous. At least that's what I've been told, I haven't taken off the speed/cadence meter and checked.
I do not have a power meter yet, but it is on the short list. Once I get one, I will no longer use a cadence meter.
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Old 09-13-16, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
As some of you know the latest generation of speed and cadence sensors don't use magnets, but the same type of accelerator smart phones use to detect motion. I have the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor connected via bluetooth to Cyclemeter (on iPhone). Finally I read the status via the Wahoo RFLKT+, which connects to Cyclemeter via bluetooth.

I am noticing a lag between when I change my cadence and when I see it on the Wahoo RFLKT+. I am 99% sure the lag is between the Cyclemeter and the Wahoo RFLKT+, but I was wondering if there have been any reviews done comparing the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor to the Garmin version.

I'm just curious to know if others have bothered to do any testing on this subject.
I have a Wahoo RPM, a Wahoo BlueSC, and a 4iiii Precision Power Meter (that gives cadence). I haven't noticed there being any difference in lag between them.

That said, I found the RPM gave rather variable results. There seemed to be a lot more noise in my cadence readings than I got with the BlueSC and the PM. This feeling is largely anecdotal though.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:32 AM
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I've never really noticed much of a lag with the garmin sensor, but I guess I also don't watch it constantly.

A lag of a couple of seconds doesn't seem like all that much of a big deal. I usually just look at my cadence randomly to make sure I'm in my range and then don't pay much attention after that.
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Old 09-13-16, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
A lag of a couple of seconds doesn't seem like all that much of a big deal. I usually just look at my cadence randomly to make sure I'm in my range and then don't pay much attention after that.
I totally agree, when I would look at it from time to time to see what range I'm in, a lag didn't much matter. But these days I'm doing very targeted training rides, one of the things I am working on is getting a consistent cadence. When you don't see the change for 5 - 7 seconds, all sorts of funny things happen. A common one for me is this:

I feel like I a pedaling too slow, out of instinct I speed it up as I look for confirmation. I see the rpm is too low so I speed up even more. Than realizing more than likely I. Spinning too fast and before the display catches up, I slow it back down a bit. Sometimes I slow down too much or not enough. Eventually everything gets in sync, but it would be nice to simply look down and see the accurate number each and every time.

Mind you, if you are not doing cadence training, a lag of a few seconds isn't a big deal.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:01 PM
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Garmin's new cadence sensor uses a magnet, just not in the traditional way. It senses the magnetic orientation of the Earth and that tells it when the cranks have turned. No more alignment issues, but maybe that avoids the messy data issue from accelerometers?
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Old 09-13-16, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Do you have a powermeter? I didn't realize this until after the fact, but apparently things like my powertap wheel senses the pulse of extra force when I pedal and reports the cadence making my cadence meter superfluous. At least that's what I've been told, I haven't taken off the speed/cadence meter and checked.
I think your PowerTap wheel can be used as a speed but not cadence sensor. On the other hand, my Vector 2 pedals can be used as a cadence but not speed sensor.

Power = torque * rpms

You're measuring (torque, with a strain gauge) at the hub, so what's relevant for you is the rpms of the wheel. I'm measuring at the pedals so for me it's the rpms of the pedals themselves.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:18 PM
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"I feel like.. pedaling too slow, so out of instinct I speed up as I look for confirmation.."

Why would you speed up before taking a glance and see what it displays first? I think you're causing your own cadence problems.. not the sensor lag.

Also, please explain to me the calculation formula for revs per minute over a 2 second duration. Example; You're currently 85rpm, at zero time - you speed up to "xx" RPM, +2 seconds go by.. Do you want the computer to be calculating and displaying your average over the last 2 seconds and show precisely your current "xx" RPM? That's what it seems like you're asking for... a near zero lag time. Good luck with that.

Last edited by dwing; 09-13-16 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post
Good luck with that.
Thanks, hopefully I will find a solution!
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Old 09-13-16, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I think your PowerTap wheel can be used as a speed but not cadence sensor. On the other hand, my Vector 2 pedals can be used as a cadence but not speed sensor.

Power = torque * rpms

You're measuring (torque, with a strain gauge) at the hub, so what's relevant for you is the rpms of the wheel. I'm measuring at the pedals so for me it's the rpms of the pedals themselves.
What someone told me (and I haven't checked) was it can feel the pulse through the chain of a downstroke of the pedal and use those pulses to recapture cadence. Like I said, I haven't tested it myself, but it seems in line with their marketing messages.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
I totally agree, when I would look at it from time to time to see what range I'm in, a lag didn't much matter. But these days I'm doing very targeted training rides, one of the things I am working on is getting a consistent cadence. When you don't see the change for 5 - 7 seconds, all sorts of funny things happen. A common one for me is this:

I feel like I a pedaling too slow, out of instinct I speed it up as I look for confirmation. I see the rpm is too low so I speed up even more. Than realizing more than likely I. Spinning too fast and before the display catches up, I slow it back down a bit. Sometimes I slow down too much or not enough. Eventually everything gets in sync, but it would be nice to simply look down and see the accurate number each and every time.

Mind you, if you are not doing cadence training, a lag of a few seconds isn't a big deal.
This issue could be any number of issues. It could by cyclemeter that is giving the lag - something as simple as a setting within the app, the lag means better battery life since it's not constantly updating.

Have you tried using the Wahoo app? Is the same lag present?
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Old 09-13-16, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
This issue could be any number of issues. It could by cyclemeter that is giving the lag - something as simple as a setting within the app, the lag means better battery life since it's not constantly updating.

Have you tried using the Wahoo app? Is the same lag present?
It could be a number of things and I have not done a lot of testing, I was mostly curious to know if there are any reviews out there comparing Garmin's unit to the Wahoo.
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Old 09-13-16, 04:24 PM
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@scarleton, have you tried resetting the sensor by installing the battery backwards for 3 seconds?

You may want to make sure that firmware is up to date. Pair it with your phone and use the Wahoo app. It will check automatically.

--

I own two magnetless Wahoo RPM cadence sensors.

The Wahoo sensors drop out occassionally when connected via bluetooth to a Polar V650 head unit. The Polar shows zero RPMs for a few seconds, maybe ten times on a 50 mile ride. Zero RPM is not possible on a fixed gear bike. They are rock solid when paired with an iPhone so I know the issue is not the sensors but the Polar unit.

I have also tried VeloCal. These will not even pair with the Polar v650 but work excellent with an iPhone/app. The mount is horrible however.

Incidentally, the Garmin speed sensor is not an accelerometer but a magnetometer which works against the earth's magnetic field. These can be impacted by strong magnets and the presence of metal such as when riding over a steel bridge. Reference https://support.garmin.com/support/s...00000000000%7D. I'm not sure if the cadence sensors are the same.


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Old 09-14-16, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I think your PowerTap wheel can be used as a speed but not cadence sensor.
This is not correct, the PowerTap G3 hub does give cadence, as well as speed and power.
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Old 09-14-16, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for the correction himespau and dr_lha.
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Old 09-14-16, 09:15 AM
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I have used the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor on three bikes and it works just fine. I've used it both with bluetooth (cyclemeter) and Garmin Edge 1000. I have also used the Garmin units. I can find no practical difference between them in use. I added a Stages power meter to my road bike which supplies cadence. I can see no practical difference to that between the other sensors either.

That said, I'd buy the Wahoo sensors since they support both BT and ANT+. Garmin units only support ANT+. I am *so* happy to be done with the alignment issues on the old style magnet sensors.

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Old 09-14-16, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I have used the Wahoo RPM cadence sensor on three bikes and it works just fine. I've used it both with bluetooth (cyclemeter) and Garmin Edge 1000. I have also used the Garmin units. I can find no practical difference between them in use. I added a Stages power meter to my road bike which supplies cadence. I can see no practical difference to that between the other sensors either.

That said, I'd buy the Wahoo sensors since they support both BT and ANT+. Garmin units only support ANT+. I am *so* happy to be done with the alignment issues on the old style magnet sensors.

J.
OK, I'm officially curious! What are you guys doing that you have alignment issues with magnet sensors. The only time I align my speed/cadence sensor is when I change the battery. Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 09-14-16, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
OK, I'm officially curious! What are you guys doing that you have alignment issues with magnet sensors. The only time I align my speed/cadence sensor is when I change the battery. Am I doing something wrong?
Bump the sensor when putting it on the car, taking a wheel out, putting the bike back on the hooks in the garage, foot hit - any number of ways. Magnets not being in exactly the same place when changing wheels to different wheel set. And you find it when you start to ride and the cadence or speed is zero. Stop and tinker. Total PITA.

Then multiply that by spouse's bike and kid's bikes. All sensor problems eliminated with the new sensors.

On top of that, cleaner appearance.

Next year or two, there won't be any of the old style sensors available except on eBay is my bet.

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Old 09-14-16, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Thanks for the correction himespau and dr_lha.
Dang, I missed himespau's post. I wouldn't have bothered correcting you again if I had.
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Old 09-14-16, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
OK, I'm officially curious! What are you guys doing that you have alignment issues with magnet sensors. The only time I align my speed/cadence sensor is when I change the battery. Am I doing something wrong?
Mine always goes drive side up, which unfortunately would put the S/C receiver against the floor of the car, occasionally knocking it slightly. I'd always try not to, but you travel with your bike enough and the opportunities add up. Plus, I'm not always at best form at the end of a ride when I'm exhausted and putting my bike away.

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Old 09-15-16, 12:28 PM
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^^^ OK, now I got it. My bike is transported and stored in our Transit Connect van, standing upright with the front wheel removed, so I don't have that problem. I can see where bumping a chain stay mounted sensor can become a problem with alignment. I don't know why, but I envisioned that you guys were hitting it with the back of your shoes or something like that. Must have been a senior moment.
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