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Bike computer question

Old 03-20-20, 12:19 PM
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lhill 
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Bike computer question

I really enjoy reading posts and looking at bike pictures here on BF. Iíve often wondered, I donít see very many pictures with bike computer speed sensors lashed to the front fork....a few, but not many. So, do most of you nice folks use a smartphone app like RWGPS or do many of you own a bike GPS? Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 03-20-20, 12:24 PM
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Some sensors are attached to the front hub, Trek has an sensor mounting point in their NDS chainstay. Many of them just use the GPS capability of the head unit to do those calculation.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:36 PM
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On some of my bikes I have older wired speed sensors on the front fork. On my main use bikes I have wireless sensors attached to the crank arm (cadence) and the rear wheel hub (speed). This is a typical set up these days.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:37 PM
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After having taken all cycling computers off all my bikes several years ago, then finally using Strava on my smartphone a few times, I recently picked up a Garmin Edge 25 (it was on sale). It's nice to be able to switch the small unit to any bike, not worry about any wires, not worry about front wheel run-out, not worry about sensor alignment. Technology has certainly come a long way and can make your life easier, and lets you track all the things you want to on a spin.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:45 PM
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3 bikes, 3 cheap wired computers
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Old 03-20-20, 01:01 PM
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GPS bike computer for me...these are probably the most common now. My cadence sensor attaches to my shoe so it can be used on whatever bike I'm riding.
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Old 03-20-20, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by lhill View Post
I really enjoy reading posts and looking at bike pictures here on BF. I’ve often wondered, I don’t see very many pictures with bike computer speed sensors lashed to the front fork....a few, but not many. So, do most of you nice folks use a smartphone app like RWGPS or do many of you own a bike GPS? Just curious. Thanks!
Seems the trend is to cycling specific GPS devices. They can track basic position, speed and ride time, plus cadence, heart rate, power if using attachments for those metrics. Some folks attach a speed sensor to a wheel hub that uses the earths magnetic field to provide more precise speed, which then gives a better distance track. The GPS unit is than readily moved between bikes, the xtra mounts are cheap. Typically these units also can send completed ride data to online activity tracking software. I use GPS as it also does provides turn-by-turn directions and in screen map navigation.
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Old 03-20-20, 01:27 PM
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Thank you all! I just ordered a top tube bag with a window for a smartphone, Iíll give it a try. I have a wireless computer installed right now, think I will move the speed sensor to the rear too. Thanks again!
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Old 03-20-20, 01:52 PM
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With a wireless unit, I believe that moving the speed sensor and magnet to the rear wheel is not an option.The unit and sensor need to be in line and closer together. Even most wired units have a wire that is too short to mount on the rear wheel, unless it also has a cadence sensor that mounts on the crank. That kind of wiring is very susceptible to damage due to the length and locations of the wiring. For me, at this point, I have no need for a GPS unit. I do not want to track my routes, and I do not want to be tracked. I still have a flip phone that I carry with me, but usually have turned off when riding. A basic wireless computer is all I wish to have, and gives me the basic data that I use. Cateye Velo 9 wireless can be purchased for a bit more than $20, and it is very durable and gives accurate readings.
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Old 03-20-20, 02:09 PM
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Ha, I too carry a flip phone and my wireless unit is a Velo 9. 😁
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Old 03-20-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonD67 View Post
GPS bike computer for me...these are probably the most common now. My cadence sensor attaches to my shoe so it can be used on whatever bike I'm riding.
Do you mind telling me what cadence sensor you use? I wouldn't mind a cadence readout, but I'm not wild about sticking little plastic doohickies on my bike. A shoe-mounted sensor seems like a decent alternative. I've thought about trying to adapt the Garmin sensor, which is designed to attach to the crank arm without a corresponding frame sensor - not sure if it works by proximity to the frame or to the head unit - but if there's a Garmin-compatible shoe0mounted sensor out there, that would make more sense. Thanks.
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Old 03-20-20, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Do you mind telling me what cadence sensor you use? I wouldn't mind a cadence readout, but I'm not wild about sticking little plastic doohickies on my bike. A shoe-mounted sensor seems like a decent alternative. I've thought about trying to adapt the Garmin sensor, which is designed to attach to the crank arm without a corresponding frame sensor - not sure if it works by proximity to the frame or to the head unit - but if there's a Garmin-compatible shoe0mounted sensor out there, that would make more sense. Thanks.
Sorry, its the Wahoo cadence sensor that can be shoe mounted. Not aware of a Garmin shoe mount.
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Old 03-20-20, 04:23 PM
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Clearly visible. Olí skool. I also use PGSópaper guidance systemówhen I tour. Also known as cue sheets.


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Old 03-20-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lhill View Post
Iíve often wondered, I donít see very many pictures with bike computer speed sensors lashed to the front fork....a few, but not many.!
There's no reason to prefer the rear over the front for a speed wheel sensor.

One reason the rear wheel is used is to detect pedal rotations (cadence) and wheel rotations (speed) in one sensor.

It's possible that, given the rear is already busy, having the sensor on the rear looks better.
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Old 03-20-20, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
,,,, not worry about sensor alignment.
The newer magnetless sensors do away with this problem.
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Old 03-20-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
With a wireless unit, I believe that moving the speed sensor and magnet to the rear wheel is not an option.The unit and sensor need to be in line and closer together.
If the sensor uses ANT+ or BT, it should be OK to use on the rear.

There are wireless sensors that don't use ANT+/BT that work from the rear wheel (they sometimes support cadence too).
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Old 03-20-20, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonD67 View Post
Sorry, its the Wahoo cadence sensor that can be shoe mounted. Not aware of a Garmin shoe mount.
thanks - might be OK though, as both my Garmin and the Wahoo sensor are ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. Should work.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
thanks - might be OK though, as both my Garmin and the Wahoo sensor are ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. Should work.
i have the wahoo sensor. Came with my kicker. When I mounted it to my shoe I always got erratic readings at low cadence (<50). Once I mounted it to the crank it was fine.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i have the wahoo sensor. Came with my kicker. When I mounted it to my shoe I always got erratic readings at low cadence (<50). Once I mounted it to the crank it was fine.
I had mine on the crank for 6 months or so before I got a new bike and moved it to my shoe so I could use 1 sensor on two bikes. Performance is the same on the crank or the shoe. I never pedal less than 50 rpm (is that even possible?) so I canít speak to that.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:50 PM
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The latest (last 2-3+ yrs) of wireless speed sensors mount to a hub with rubber bands. I have mine on my rear. Any picture from the side of a bike usually looks from the cassette side, so it would be completely hidden in a photo.

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Old 03-20-20, 08:08 PM
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All types have some sort of drawback. I use a GPS unit to show me speed. i use it on 2 bikes and it is nice to not need to set the correct bike for the correct wheel diameter. the only drawback is it needs to be re-charged frequently (GPS uses more power than wired magnetic sensors). But I have to plug the lights in anyway.

i used to have simple wired sensors for speed and cadence. the problem is the wire cna get damaged (and will) and the magnets are not strong and you need to get he sensor very close. i ended up buying larger magnets and managing to make my own sensor mount. Not the cleanest solution and also subject to damage.

Something in the middle are the wireless sensors for speed (they likely use an accelerometer to detect turning of the wheel). But in times of GPS speed seems best doen with GPS.

I like cadence, but you need to find a spot on the crank to reliably attach the sensor and it needs to be removable to replace the battery. I've successfully used $10 no-name bluetooth (or ANT?) sensors off ebay. Batteries seem to last half a year. Only drawback is between my two bikes i need to change the bike on the computer for it to use the cadence sensor. The cadence sensor is nice if you think about drivetrain upgrades and where you would benefit from more range.

Fro tracking I use my phone. The biek computer can do that too, but then uploading data to the phone takes time and doesn't always work. The bike computer basically is just used for instant data.

At some point I had a chest HRM. but got fed up with strapping it on, and not paying attention anyway. When I'm cold, HR is low, when I'm exhausted, it will be high. What am i supposed to do with that information?
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Old 03-20-20, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonD67 View Post
I had mine on the crank for 6 months or so before I got a new bike and moved it to my shoe so I could use 1 sensor on two bikes. Performance is the same on the crank or the shoe. I never pedal less than 50 rpm (is that even possible?) so I canít speak to that.
on steep hills I am below 50 sometimes.
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Old 03-20-20, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
At some point I had a chest HRM. but got fed up with strapping it on, and not paying attention anyway. When I'm cold, HR is low, when I'm exhausted, it will be high. What am i supposed to do with that information?
Since I donít have a power meter I will be using the hrm as a proxy for power.
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Old 03-20-20, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
Since I donít have a power meter I will be using the hrm as a proxy for power.
It isn't. HR is only loosely correlated with power.

The ultimate power meter is speed. the fastest rider wins the race. No one cares about the most powerful rider.
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Old 03-20-20, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
It isn't. HR is only loosely correlated with power.

The ultimate power meter is speed. the fastest rider wins the race. No one cares about the most powerful rider.
sure it is. have a look at definition #4...https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/proxy

i think there are some on BF that would challenge your assertion about speed vs power. me...? i'll stay out of that one.
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