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Bike computer in mirror mode

Old 09-09-18, 09:51 AM
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HerrKaLeun
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Bike computer in mirror mode

I'm looking at the Wahoo Element Mini for about $100 and the Cateye Pardon Smart for about $60 to display data my phone gets from cadence sensor or HRM.
I don't want a real GPS bike computer because it has short battery life and (IMHO) is wasted money to me since my phone can do all tracking. I have zero need for my computer to be really smart. All I want to see on the display is instant speed, cadence and heart rate.

The Wahoo computer can get the sensor data from both the phone and via ANT+ from the sensors directly (in case signal to phone is lost). The sensors communicate with phone via bluetooth. it comes with a speed sensor (would need to buy separate cadence and HRM). It only accepts Wahoo sensors since they want sensors that use both ANT+ and bluetooth for the above redundancy. I have no legacy sensors. It gets programmed by the phone and it seems the software lets you customize the display seems neat.

The Cateye doesn't come with speed sensor and would rely on phone GPS, which would be fine. It only accepts bluetooth (not sure if it requires Cateye or is universal) sensors or I get separate sensors that communicate with the phone. The software seems less mature than the Wahoo.

Both have a small CR battery allegedly lasting for several months. Reviews on amazon are mixed, many citing communication drops to the phone. but some of the reviews seemed older, so it is likely problems where resolved. My phone is a Samsung S9+, so it is newish.

My current wired computer has cadence and on one of my bikes the cadence sensor failed. For the speed every once a while I have to take the computer off and reinsert. Sometimes I have to re-align the magnets. I would hope a wireless system not relying on magnetic sensors could work better (I assume those ANT sensors have accelerometers or similar to know when they go up and down).

Putting my phone on the handlebar is not an option for several reasons. So I need some sort of mirrored display.

Questions:
- are there other good products doing what those do? As I said, the bike computer can be the bare minimum and really only needs to display cadence, speed and cadence in real time. no average, maximum, navigation....
- do you have experience with these specific products and what is your experience? I don't expect 100% flawless operation, but don't want to be hassled. It should be more reliable than my above mentioned current wired solution.
- do they automatically start logging when i start my ride, or will i need to manually start the app. Currently I use Strava and Samsung Health to log rides, and it is a hassle to start and stop both apps before and after each ride. Both products allege to at least update data to Strave (I'm not sure if they can add Samsung Health, which would be neat)
- I have 2 bikes, so I would need 2 cadence sensors etc. Is that possible to automatically select the right sensor? I mean does the sensor wake up when it gets rotated and then connects to he phone and starts the app (Wahoo or Cadence app)?
- is this whole idea to use a mirrored display good at all? To me it makes sense since my (expensive) phone is with me all the time and re-buying battery, GPS etc. (and keeping it charged) seems redundant.

I apologize if the questions sound stupid. I have no such sensors so far and almost all threads deal with computers that have built-in GPS.

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 09-09-18 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 09-09-18, 07:54 PM
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Interesting choices, man. The Wahoo Elemnt MIni can operate without a phone, but that's not your intent. The Cateye Padrone has the larger display, but Wahoo offers the very cool out front mount for the Mini. For the second bike, the Mini defaults to the phone's GPS, no speed sensor needed. Also, for cadence, just use the Wahoo Cadence sensor and attach it to your cleat for dual bike use. In short, if you just get one each Wahoo cadence and HR strap, from what I see you don't need anything else no matter which device you buy. As far as auto sensing two different bikes, you'd likely need two speed sensors. Also, you'll probably still need to hit start and stop with both if you want the trip logged. Note: I don't own either one, but I do use Wahoo cadence/hr sensors. Tough decision.
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Old 09-09-18, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sierrabob View Post
Interesting choices, man. The Wahoo Elemnt MIni can operate without a phone, but that's not your intent. The Cateye Padrone has the larger display, but Wahoo offers the very cool out front mount for the Mini. For the second bike, the Mini defaults to the phone's GPS, no speed sensor needed. Also, for cadence, just use the Wahoo Cadence sensor and attach it to your cleat for dual bike use. In short, if you just get one each Wahoo cadence and HR strap, from what I see you don't need anything else no matter which device you buy. As far as auto sensing two different bikes, you'd likely need two speed sensors. Also, you'll probably still need to hit start and stop with both if you want the trip logged. Note: I don't own either one, but I do use Wahoo cadence/hr sensors. Tough decision.
Thanks for the advice. I have flat pedals, so likely need 2 cadence sensors.
I wonder if I can get a second one of those holders to use just one computer for both bikes.

I'm fine with the GPs speed accuracy. I even think GPS may be more accurate since tire pressure changes circumference. I'm not concerned about losing speed for the rare occasion I'm in deep forest or in a canyon.
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Old 09-09-18, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Thanks for the advice. I have flat pedals, so likely need 2 cadence sensors.
I wonder if I can get a second one of those holders to use just one computer for both bikes.

I'm fine with the GPs speed accuracy. I even think GPS may be more accurate since tire pressure changes circumference. I'm not concerned about losing speed for the rare occasion I'm in deep forest or in a canyon.
Wahoo has cadence sensors that attach to your shoe
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Old 09-21-18, 06:38 AM
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Why not take a look a the IGPS products, the $150 you are already planning on spending could go towards a $90 IGPS50e in the US, it has everything you are looking for and the battery last way longer than your phone.

If you order them on eBay (betting the farm on getting a perfect device) you can get them for way cheaper out of China, shipping takes forever but way cheaper.

Then spend anywhere between $18 - $50 (again EBay out of China vs US) and get cadence sensor; speed sensor is over kill since the IGPS has built in GPS.

I'm sure there are other computers that would do the same stuff. I tried my phone and it just eats the battery alive running 4 radios at a time (GPS, Cell, BT, ANT+) and the display bright enough so you can see it in the day time.

Just a thought
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Old 09-22-18, 06:38 PM
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Or Bryton
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Old 09-22-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rmueller View Post
Why not take a look a the IGPS products, the $150 you are already planning on spending could go towards a $90 IGPS50e in the US, it has everything you are looking for and the battery last way longer than your phone.
If you order them on eBay (betting the farm on getting a perfect device) you can get them for way cheaper out of China, shipping takes forever but way cheaper.
Then spend anywhere between $18 - $50 (again EBay out of China vs US) and get cadence sensor; speed sensor is over kill since the IGPS has built in GPS.
I'm sure there are other computers that would do the same stuff. I tried my phone and it just eats the battery alive running 4 radios at a time (GPS, Cell, BT, ANT+) and the display bright enough so you can see it in the day time.
Just a thought
thanks, tha tlooks good and i like that it uses GPS for speed, no fiddling with wheel diameters (effort, different pressures etc.). It doesn't' seem to have nice app and screen customization like Wahoo and Bryton, though

Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Or Bryton
thanks, looks really good and the "Ride 10" is $70 with cadence sensor ($53 without). also looks like the app is good and i can customize the screen. Do you have one of those and how is it?
This one seems to have bluetooth only and no ANT. Probably not an issue since sensors are dual (BLT/ANT). But I wonder if I regret not having ANT?
the "Rider 310" also has a "power"function. i assume it derives power from altitude changes and speed.
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Old 09-23-18, 09:04 AM
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I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I'm using a Sigma BC 12.12 (wired), because my limited experience with wireless is mixed. With a cheap Axiom wireless 'puter (from Performance) and with my phone using Polar's app and Bike Computer (IIRC), I got different readings for the same ride on wireless and essentially the same readings wired. The wireless showed up to 1.5 miles shorter than the wired.

I think a speed sensor would make the distances consistent and correct, but I'm not sure.

I suggest Bryton because I understand their documentation better than IGPS's. I just can't figure out the differences between the various IGPS models.

IOW, I have no idea whether Bryton is better or worse than IGPS As far as I can see, once we get away from Garmin and Wahoo, it' hard to find reliable info, and we just have to make our best guess and hope we get an instance of a product that works.

What really bugs me is that IGPS sensors look a lot like copies of Garmin's ... which makes me wonder if IGPS is actually Garmin's supplier.
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Old 09-23-18, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I'm using a Sigma BC 12.12 (wired), because my limited experience with wireless is mixed. With a cheap Axiom wireless 'puter (from Performance) and with my phone using Polar's app and Bike Computer (IIRC), I got different readings for the same ride on wireless and essentially the same readings wired. The wireless showed up to 1.5 miles shorter than the wired.

I think a speed sensor would make the distances consistent and correct, but I'm not sure.

I suggest Bryton because I understand their documentation better than IGPS's. I just can't figure out the differences between the various IGPS models.

IOW, I have no idea whether Bryton is better or worse than IGPS As far as I can see, once we get away from Garmin and Wahoo, it' hard to find reliable info, and we just have to make our best guess and hope we get an instance of a product that works.

What really bugs me is that IGPS sensors look a lot like copies of Garmin's ... which makes me wonder if IGPS is actually Garmin's supplier.
There is a difference between normal wireless and the BLT/ANT. The regular is more prone to disturbances (from wifi, LED light with PWM etc.).

Yes the Bryton looked much better. All those sensors get supplied by an OEM and Wahoo etc. re-label them and add their own software (like Wahoo making their unit not work with other manufacturer's).

The reviews for all manufacturers are... mixed. All seem to come with potential problems. Maybe I'm just realizing this, but many review articles are sponsored, and many amazon et al reviews also are fake (especially the glorifying ones). so getting advice from a forum user here can be much more valuable.

Right now I'm also exploring the phone use. Maybe I start by buying an HRM since i can use that for my weight lifting etc. exercises.
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Old 09-23-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post

I think a speed sensor would make the distances consistent and correct, but I'm not sure.

.
Speed sensors help in 2 ways. 1) They reduce tracking errors inherent in GPS receivers (dedicated and phones) when using in areas with a lot of tree coverage (or steep walled canyons such as Manhattan). Thus and if mt. biking or gravel road riding in a national forest, as example, having a speed sensor improves distance and speed accuracy. 2) GPS alone tends to lag in displaying actual speed AT THAT MOMENT. The only time I've found this lag to be annoying is when doing fast group rides where I'm trying to maintain a steady speed and using the computer to verify that speed.
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Old 09-24-18, 07:07 AM
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Yep, once you get away from the big dog Garmin (which comes with its own problems and cost), the whole world of devices are pretty much all over the map (not in terms of where they are made, pretty much all out of China). I read the 3 and 4 star reviews, that usually tells me what I'm actually going to experience. The 2,1 are a combo of not knowing, or not understanding while the 5's are cheerleaders. I liked both the Bryton and the IGPS products. I liked the BT data sync with the app that IGPS had, but the Bryton displays looked better. I don't recall which unit it was, but there are some that rely on your phones GPS since the unit doesn't actually have its own GPS...I'd stay clear of those. I think the only reason i went with the IGPS, was that I got turned off by the 'you can get caller ID on the bryton'...I'm riding, I could give an absolute zero about a phone call.

I did receive a bad unit from IGPS, it worked, just during manufacturing there was a wrinkle in a piece of plastic under the glass between the glass and LCD. Wasn't a big deal, Amazon replaced it instantly...I could have paid around 50-60% less going on eBay and getting the unit direct, but that exchange alone was worth the extra dollars. I will admit, I did buy the cadence sensor off eBay, that I just couldn't see spending $35 when I could get it for $14.

I also have an alternative strategy, I bought the white one...once my wife saw my computer she immediately wants one (she likes the fact it matches her bike). So, I get the luxury of trying the IGPS out before I gift it to her and then I get to have fun trying to figure out what I missed with the 50E and get to re-decide if stepping up a model or changing manufacturers is going to benefit me. I'm still OK with the 50E, but the cool color displays have me interested but I know battery life usually will suffer.

As far as speed sensors, yeah if your GPS drops out due to whatever conditions (pretty rare but it happens) and its true the update lag is noticeable (as it also would be with a phone), the speed sensor would be a plus (and again only $14 on eBay). Probably worth the $$ if you are serious about speeds.
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Old 09-24-18, 07:05 PM
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I kind of had narrowed it down to the Bryton 310. There is a $125 combo of the 310, cadence sensor and chest HRM.

But now I'm getting second thoughts on if I want a chest HRM or should look for a watch HRM. i realize the chest HRM is a bit more accurate. But a watch I may wear all the time and also for other activities can just see what the HRM is unlike a chest strap i need the phone to "see" HRM. I'm also not sure if i will like the "strapped" feeling on my chest.
I'm also exploring to use the phone, just don't have a neat and safe mounting solution. My S9+ is huge in its case. i have one of the cheap handlebar devices i used on a trainer bike to watch videos while training, but no way i trust that thing to hold my phone riding.
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Old 12-09-18, 06:26 PM
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I ended up with the Bryton 310. It works well for what i want and setup was easy.

I paid $117 for the computer, cadence sensor and HRM. As I learned later I inadvertently bought an older stock unit. No difference in the computer, but the sensors were ANT only (newer ones have ANT and BLT). so watch out. I also ordered 2 of the F-mounts to have the computer project forward so I don't have to look down so much. The lack of BLT is not an issue since my phone also supports ANT. The cadence sensor is a dud for me since the old one requires a magnet attached to the crank and the sensor mounted on the chainstay. That won't work well and i sell it. I ordered a cheap one for $12 and will try out (The bryton smart cadence sensor cost $30). The smart sensors just attach to the crank and have an accelerometer detecting revolutions, so no magnet needed that only works a few mm away. Even with that, I still think I got a good deal.

I like:
- it has 32 hour battery life. Many cheaper models had 16 (Bryton) or even only 5 hours (iGPSport)
- The display automatically re-arranges depending on what sensors are detected. It is very clean and shows me all available instant data inc. elevation gain and time ridden for hat ride (and not past rides etc.). It doesn't show me things i don't need. Other computers seemed to clutter up the display much more.
- The HRM works very well and is barely noticeable on my chest. It also starts right away, not just after "sweating". It also doesn't move around as I feared.
- It syncs to Strava
- display is nice and automatically illuminates when going through a tunnel. I disabled that time-dependent display illumination, though (I have a helmet light that would illuminate the display when I look at it)
- GPS works very well and stable. I don't want and need a speed sensor and with swapping it between bikes this just simplifies things. I didn't ride through deep canyons (I'm in WI), so couldn't test GPS speed there, but if i was doing technical riding in a deep can yone I wouldn't care about my speed at that moment anyway. It worked perfectly fine on the forested MTB trails we have here.

It also has other features like training intervals etc. I don't use those.
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Old 12-12-18, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for the update. I'm using a Wahoo Blue SC, Wahoo optical HRM, and my phone temporarily and I'm looking for a cheap 'puter that will display HR. With the speed sensor, I'm getting distances very close to my wired 'puters got, and my goals are distance-based.

I think I'll go with an IGSport 50 in a few months, since I'm on a trainer now.

2nd year in a row at 1000+ miles, and more miles in 2018 than 2017.
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Old 12-12-18, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Thanks for the update. I'm using a Wahoo Blue SC, Wahoo optical HRM, and my phone temporarily and I'm looking for a cheap 'puter that will display HR. With the speed sensor, I'm getting distances very close to my wired 'puters got, and my goals are distance-based.

I think I'll go with an IGSport 50 in a few months, since I'm on a trainer now.

2nd year in a row at 1000+ miles, and more miles in 2018 than 2017.
I wouldn't get hung up on actual distances. My phone tracks (Samsung Health) a different distance than the computer. and once the computer syncs with Strava, Strava changes things again, especially elevation climbed. Maybe a 1-2% difference in distances.
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