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Bike Computer

Old 10-24-19, 12:20 PM
  #1  
am0n
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Bike Computer

Looking to purchase a new bike computer and hoping to get some feedback to help me narrow down a large field.

I'd like it to display four data fields (Distance, Speed, Cadence, HR -or- Turn by Turn, Speed, Cadence, HR). I'd prefer buttons instead of touch screen. Since I want Turn by Turn, it'd be a GPS unit (or maybe not... I'd have my phone with me, so I don't mind if that was the GPS and the head unit was just the display). I'm hoping for an all-in around $150 (Head Unit + Speed Sensor + Cadence Sensor... already have a HRM). I don't need it to show me a map, just Turn by Turn. For Turn by Turn, it'd be nice if it short direction + distance and maybe street name (is that a normal thing?). Custom HR zones would be nice, but not a necessity.

I looked at the Elemnt Mini, but it only shows 3 fields and no Turn by Turn.

I looked at the Garmin Edge 130, which I think can do all the fields and Turn by Turn, but with a Speed + Cadence I am looking at $250 and read some complaints about GPS lagging, which seems counter to what you want on a GPS unit.

The Leyzne Macro Plus GPS seems to check off most of the boxes, including hitting the $150 price point if I buy their combo Speed + Cadence sensor, but I've read mixed things about reliability and the combo sensor, plus reports that the head unit doesn't come with a mount? And it appears to be Bluetooth only.

Anyone have any suggestions or comments?
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Old 10-24-19, 12:28 PM
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Yes, increase your budget expectation by $100 and get a Elemnt Bolt. Increase it by another $80 or so for the two additional sensors.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:24 PM
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EVERY GPS is going to have some lag as to speed display if only using the GPS signal. Its the nature of the system in that devices are only so quick at determining position, then speed from the last position, etc..,, theres about a 3 or so second lag, IME.

Using a speed sensor eliminates this, but the reality is that lag may not matter. The only time I care is on a road bike ride in a group where Im trying to maintain a steady pace while taking a pull. Outside of that scenario if it tells me I was doing 17mph 20 ft back, I dont care.

And as thought about turn-by-turn and navigation. The desire for this means you are going to be using Course/route generating software - RideWithGPS, Strava, Connect, etc..... then porting the route to the device and navigating a route. At that point you probably will want to be able to view a map of the course (you will, trust me) and where its taking you. If this is your desire Id recommend a device that does this well. A Bolt is a option or a Garmin Edge Explore at the same price and which has, IMO, superior maps and navigation displays. Likely more than your budget at $250, but worth it for what you state you want to do. Then the phone can stay in the pocket.

Last edited by Steve B.; 10-24-19 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 10-24-19, 08:58 PM
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I've used a Lezyne Macro with a Wahoo speed/cadence sensor all year with no real trouble. I've installed the sensor with an o-ring, and it moves every few rides, so I stop to adjust it, but that's the only trouble I've had. I haven't been able to figure out how to do the navigation, but I never worked at it. The Macro was $70 or $80. The new Macro looks slightly more desirable. If I had had more money to spend, I might go for, say, a Bryton 450 with OSM maps and cheaper sensors. I paid a premium for the Wahoo, and I'm not sure it's any better than the no-name speed/cadence sensors.
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Old 10-26-19, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies.
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Old 10-26-19, 09:25 PM
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I use my watch for everything in the OP, but the TBT which tells the name of the street or trail, how far away it is, and an arrow, is its own screen, there isn't a way to display it at the same time as the other data.
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Old 10-28-19, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I use my watch for everything in the OP, but the TBT which tells the name of the street or trail, how far away it is, and an arrow, is its own screen, there isn't a way to display it at the same time as the other data.
Thanks. I don't own a smart watch, so I am looking for a computer that does it for me.

Sounds like my options are Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, Garmin Edge 520 Plus or Explore, Lezyne Super Pro or Mega XL, or Bryton 450. This assumes I also want a legit map and not just bread crumb, which I still may not need. All of those are above my target price, unfortunately, but I can be patient and wait for a deal (Cyber Monday isn't too far around the corner).

I do notice with some of them, like the Bolt, they only talk about pulling a route from RideWithGPS. Are there other ways to input a route? I think Lezyne's RootGPS allows you to custom create a route in their own software, are they all like that? Or are some easier than others? I don't intend to pay for RideWithGPS, so I need to ability to create and input a route that doesn't have an additional pay wall.

Edit: Looks like RideWithGPS on the web allows you to create and export for free. It's just the mobile app that has the pay wall.

Last edited by am0n; 10-28-19 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 10-28-19, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
Thanks. I don't own a smart watch, so I am looking for a computer that does it for me.

Sounds like my options are Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, Garmin Edge 520 Plus or Explore, Lezyne Super Pro or Mega XL, or Bryton 450. This assumes I also want a legit map and not just bread crumb, which I still may not need. All of those are above my target price, unfortunately, but I can be patient and wait for a deal (Cyber Monday isn't too far around the corner).

I do notice with some of them, like the Bolt, they only talk about pulling a route from RideWithGPS. Are there other ways to input a route? I think Lezyne's RootGPS allows you to custom create a route in their own software, are they all like that? Or are some easier than others? I don't intend to pay for RideWithGPS, so I need to ability to create and input a route that doesn't have an additional pay wall.

Edit: Looks like RideWithGPS on the web allows you to create and export for free. It's just the mobile app that has the pay wall.
Correct, Kamoots is another app you can create routes & turn by turn to be imported by the Bolt. Bolt will also import Strava routes but does not give turn by turn on that one.

All the importing is done automatically on the Bolt. All you have to do is link the above accounts in the Elemnt app and your done. No need to manually export and import.
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Old 10-28-19, 07:44 AM
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Thanks again.

Any recommendations for sensors? Obviously Wahoo has a Speed/Cadence package, but what about cheaper brands, like Ronde or Magene? I obviously want a Cadence sensor for cadence, but also want Speed for when I am inside on the trainer.
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Old 10-28-19, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
Thanks again.

Any recommendations for sensors? Obviously Wahoo has a Speed/Cadence package, but what about cheaper brands, like Ronde or Magene? I obviously want a Cadence sensor for cadence, but also want Speed for when I am inside on the trainer.
Never heard of those other brands. I use Wahoo sensors and have zero complaints. Wahoo customer service is also awesome if that is a consideration.

Speed sensors are also good for outside as well. GPS signals can be iffy which can impact your data.
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Old 10-28-19, 10:01 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by am0n
Edit: Looks like RideWithGPS on the web allows you to create and export for free. It's just the mobile app that has the pay wall.
Unless they have changed their app recently, that may be incorrect. I have a free account and create routes on the RWGPS mobile app on my iPad quite often. However, I don't know why you would want to attempt creating a route on a much smaller mobile phone screen. It's not that easy creating one on the iPad but it is doable.
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Old 10-28-19, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
Thanks again.

Any recommendations for sensors? Obviously Wahoo has a Speed/Cadence package, but what about cheaper brands, like Ronde or Magene? I obviously want a Cadence sensor for cadence, but also want Speed for when I am inside on the trainer.
CooSpo on Amazon. Sensors are the same as any other, very well priced, and they have fantastic customer service.
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Old 10-28-19, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
Thanks. I don't own a smart watch, so I am looking for a computer that does it for me.

Sounds like my options are Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, Garmin Edge 520 Plus or Explore, Lezyne Super Pro or Mega XL, or Bryton 450. This assumes I also want a legit map and not just bread crumb, which I still may not need. All of those are above my target price, unfortunately, but I can be patient and wait for a deal (Cyber Monday isn't too far around the corner).

I do notice with some of them, like the Bolt, they only talk about pulling a route from RideWithGPS. Are there other ways to input a route? I think Lezyne's RootGPS allows you to custom create a route in their own software, are they all like that? Or are some easier than others? I don't intend to pay for RideWithGPS, so I need to ability to create and input a route that doesn't have an additional pay wall.

Edit: Looks like RideWithGPS on the web allows you to create and export for free. It's just the mobile app that has the pay wall.
The Garmin app will let you plan routes ahead of time either on your computer or phone, and (using the phone) send them wirelessly to the device.

Before I got the watch with maps in it, I had one with breadcrumb only. It worked better than you would think. When doing TBT it can tell you the name of the road/trail to turn on because that's embedded in the route. You can add waypoints to the map for context, to see where you are and where you're going:

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Old 10-29-19, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Never heard of those other brands. I use Wahoo sensors and have zero complaints. Wahoo customer service is also awesome if that is a consideration.

Speed sensors are also good for outside as well. GPS signals can be iffy which can impact your data.
That is true as well. I've read that GPS can show some spikey numbers. I notice the same when I turn on the Wahoo App and throw it in my jersey pocket. Speed based on GPS spikes constantly, so it'd be nice to have a sensor for a more consistent reading.

Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Unless they have changed their app recently, that may be incorrect. I have a free account and create routes on the RWGPS mobile app on my iPad quite often. However, I don't know why you would want to attempt creating a route on a much smaller mobile phone screen. It's not that easy creating one on the iPad but it is doable.
It was where I started. And yes, every time I try to Save a route, it tells me to buy a membership. The web based doesn't, but I didn't try that previously.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
CooSpo on Amazon. Sensors are the same as any other, very well priced, and they have fantastic customer service.
As per my OP, I really am just more interested in TbT for when I try a new route. Having full maps is a nice to have, but not one I likely need. I think the Garmin 130 Edge only has bread crumb, but it's not much cheaper than a Wahoo or Garmin with full maps. The more I read about Lezyne, the more it sounds like quality is lacking, even if the price is nice.

Bryton seems to have some options as well, but I haven't done a deep dive into those yet. And thanks for the sensor recommendation.
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Old 10-29-19, 04:25 PM
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Karoo Hammerhead does turn by turn and they just added long press navigation where all you do is press on the map and it will auto route you there.
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Old 10-30-19, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
CooSpo on Amazon. Sensors are the same as any other, very well priced, and they have fantastic customer service.
Thanks for mentioning that name. I've been watching them on Amazon and wondering. I might buy one or two.
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Old 11-02-19, 12:50 PM
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I use the $20 coospoo sensor with $10 locus map app for Android. The app has many customizable functions for map overlaying of data from the sensors. The automatic screen on off for turn navigation saves battery power and makes it hands free. It uses between 5 to 10 percent of the battery in my phone per hour depending on how often I manually turn on the display.
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Old 11-12-19, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
CooSpo on Amazon. Sensors are the same as any other, very well priced, and they have fantastic customer service.
I read that when using the Wahoo App, that it won't detect both a Cadence and Speed sensor from CooSpo for some reason (I know they are the same and you just remove battery to switch modes). Any insight into that? Given my outdoor riding season is over, I'm considering buying two sensors and just using my phone to show "Speed" and Cadence while I watch for a computer for the spring. However, if they both don't connect, that may make it challenging.

Also, do Wahoo products get discounts? Every place I see that is offering some kind of Black Friday deal seems to have an exclusion on all Wahoo products. Can I expect to see a Bolt on sale, or does that just not happen due to popularity?
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Old 11-12-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post

Also, do Wahoo products get discounts? Every place I see that is offering some kind of Black Friday deal seems to have an exclusion on all Wahoo products. Can I expect to see a Bolt on sale, or does that just not happen due to popularity?
Rarely and I can’t think I’ve ever seen a Bolt at anything except $249. Garmin on occasion especially as there’s a lot of other-than-cycling vendors that carry other types of Garmins. I got my Edge 1000 from some “GPS R US” vendor on line, paid $289 right after the 1030 was introduced and that’s not uncommon for Garmins to get decent price reductions. I suspect the vendor I purchased from wanted their 1000 inventory out the door and I’ve never seen it anywhere near that since. Of course for all I know I missed the “This is a refurbished unit” in the fine print.

REI carry’s Wahoo and Garmin and typically has a “no electronics” policy on their sales, but occasionally doesn’t, you have to pay attention.
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Old 11-12-19, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
I read that when using the Wahoo App, that it won't detect both a Cadence and Speed sensor from CooSpo for some reason (I know they are the same and you just remove battery to switch modes). Any insight into that? Given my outdoor riding season is over, I'm considering buying two sensors and just using my phone to show "Speed" and Cadence while I watch for a computer for the spring. However, if they both don't connect, that may make it challenging.

Also, do Wahoo products get discounts? Every place I see that is offering some kind of Black Friday deal seems to have an exclusion on all Wahoo products. Can I expect to see a Bolt on sale, or does that just not happen due to popularity?
I use a Garmin so I don't have much useful to say I wonder if it wants you to use a combined speed and cadence sensor instead? Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable can chime in here?
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Old 11-12-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
I read that when using the Wahoo App, that it won't detect both a Cadence and Speed sensor from CooSpo for some reason (I know they are the same and you just remove battery to switch modes). Any insight into that? Given my outdoor riding season is over, I'm considering buying two sensors and just using my phone to show "Speed" and Cadence while I watch for a computer for the spring. However, if they both don't connect, that may make it challenging.

Also, do Wahoo products get discounts? Every place I see that is offering some kind of Black Friday deal seems to have an exclusion on all Wahoo products. Can I expect to see a Bolt on sale, or does that just not happen due to popularity?
No I dea about the CooSpo, but FWIW I've contacted Wahoo support multiple times over the years and they've always been very responsive.

Discounts are rare but they do happen, check their social media or their website regularly. They also have a somewhat hard-to-find refurb site but it just depends if any refurb units are in stock.
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Old 11-12-19, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I use a Garmin so I don't have much useful to say I wonder if it wants you to use a combined speed and cadence sensor instead? Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable can chime in here?
From what I read, it's just the coospo sensors. Apparently almost anything else works fine.

Thanks for the replies about the discount. I think I decided if I am going to drop that large a sum, it'll be for the bolt. That said, for a trainer in the basement, my phone with a speed and cadence sensor is fine for the winter, so I'll be patient and do some more research until the spring.
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Old 11-12-19, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by am0n View Post
From what I read, it's just the coospo sensors. Apparently almost anything else works fine.
Well, crap. Sorry for recommending them then.
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Old 11-12-19, 08:11 PM
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Well, to be clear, I meant the Coospo sensor with magnets. It's the older one that they sell, and technically I would assume it's almost identical to every sensor of this type. The internals are probably made OEM by some factory somewhere, with a different outer casing. I use this with various phone apps through BT without problems, except that the speed sensor is a little too far from the magnet on my spoke, so I stuck a piece of rubber underneath it to push it closer to the magnet. The wahoo sensor and various other brands look identical similar except that those other speed sensors are encased in a rotating arm that can be adjusted closer to the magnet, but the length of the arms is too short to reach my 20" wheels, so the Coospo sensor worked for me with the sensor attached to an extended cable.

If you're talking about switching cadence and speed by removing the battery, then you're referring to the magnetless sensor. I don't have any experience with that magnetless sensor, but generally they work by using an accelerometer, like the one in your smartphone. It needs to interpret the changes in magnetic fields acceleration to detect each revolution. I read that sensors of these types sometimes give false values on bumpy surfaces. Accuracy would probably depend on how the software in the sensor decides which readings to throw away. I also don't want them activating during transport, since it's possible that you'd have to take out the battery to get them to stop activating (although I'm not sure about this point). A sensor with magnet is more consistent since it's a much simpler tried-and-true mechanism of a magnet passing over a switch.



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Old 11-13-19, 05:23 AM
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I'm not familiar with any accelerometer technology that uses magnetic fields to measure acceleration (I've worked with beam mass and thermal based). The technologies I've worked with would require a substantial and extremely low frequency EM field to cause a disturbance as the technologies have an intrinsic low pass filtering (hence why you can have one in your phone and it remains undisturbed).

As for my original question, don't feel bad Seattle. The price is right and the comments I've seen are only for the App. The head unit is apparently fine. I have no clue, was trying to see if there was further agreement with what I read else where. Any thoughts on the durability of attachment for the sensors? I notice the wahoo ones use zip ties (at least for cadence) instead of the rubber bands.
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