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GPS based apps or odometer?

Old 02-28-24, 10:16 AM
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GPS based apps or odometer?

I use the free version of Strava to document miles ridden. Donít pay attention to elevation, time, or anything else. But several times when I look at the screen it has stopped recording. I know about the auto pause feature, but itís happened during a ride when I havenít stopped as well. Frustrating. So Iím considering getting a bike mounted odometer, hoping that would be more reliable. Anyone have experience with those?

Mike
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Old 02-28-24, 10:31 AM
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They work just fine for distance and speed.
Especially so if it offers a custom tire diameter and you take the time to calibrate them accurately.

Wired versions have only one battery to maintain.
Wireless versions have an additional battery in the sensor(s),


Barry

Edit: Cateye has three wired options.

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Old 02-28-24, 10:41 AM
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I'm worried that GPS is vulnerable to electro-magnetic disruptions/satellite attacks/etc; thereby, interfering with my cycling & fitness statistics. Odometer, and I do a roll-out every day for calibration accuracy, after filling tires to properly recommended pressure.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
I'm worried that GPS is vulnerable to electro-magnetic disruptions; thereby, interfering with my cycling & fitness statistics. Odometer, and I do a roll-out every day for calibration accuracy, after filling tires to properly recommended pressure.
Unwarranted concern, and wasted effort. Technology has addressed both of these problems.

Most GPS bike computers will also take speed and distance readings from a wheel sensor. The well sensor reading is a "back up" for when the GPS signal drops out.

The Garmin unit will auto-calibrate the speed/distance sensor by comparing it to GPS readings.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by groverdill
I use the free version of Strava to document miles ridden. Donít pay attention to elevation, time, or anything else. But several times when I look at the screen it has stopped recording. I know about the auto pause feature, but itís happened during a ride when I havenít stopped as well. Frustrating. So Iím considering getting a bike mounted odometer, hoping that would be more reliable.
Have you first tried other apps (e.g., RideWithGPS or Wahoo) or another device (e.g., another phone, smart watch)?
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Old 02-28-24, 11:03 AM
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Sounds to me like he wants something simple and cheap (since he uses free Strava) - like a Cateye - with a magnet attached to the spokes and a sensor attached to the fork. Old skool but itís simplicity at its best?

https://www.amazon.com/CAT-EYE-Compu...s%2C175&sr=8-7
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Old 02-28-24, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Unwarranted concern, and wasted effort. Technology has addressed both of these problems.

Most GPS bike computers will also take speed and distance readings from a wheel sensor. The well sensor reading is a "back up" for when the GPS signal drops out.

The Garmin unit will auto-calibrate the speed/distance sensor by comparing it to GPS readings.

Clear your handlebars and your mind will may follow.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:38 AM
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After attaching a baseball card to the seat stay, I simply count the clicks, divide by the number of spokes on the wheel, then multiply by the circumference of the tire, expressed in miles. I was pretty sad when Derek Jeter's head ripped off.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
After attaching a baseball card to the seat stay, I simply count the clicks, divide by the number of spokes on the wheel, then multiply by the circumference of the tire, expressed in miles. I was pretty sad when Derek Jeter's head ripped off.
You canít be serious! Losing Derek Jeterís head is a tragedy wrapped in a turduckin.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:46 AM
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If it's not spotty gps coverage or auto-pause, then look for settings on your phone that control battery optimization and when a app gets put to sleep. It might be putting your app to sleep or not providing it un-fettered use of the GPS. There are several of those settings or permissions that might interfere.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:55 AM
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Use both

i have a wireless Sigma computer with odometer and cadence along with other things. I also have Ride with GPS and just record my rides with it. Activate it and throw it in my jersey pocket.
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Old 02-28-24, 02:04 PM
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cyclemeter. free.
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Old 02-28-24, 02:32 PM
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I use the open source app "Open Tracks"
https://opentracksapp.com/
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Old 02-28-24, 03:37 PM
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RidewithGPS told us that sometimes, speed gets out of whack due to GPS unit not being able to keep up and/or overhead obstructions. Inexpensive old school magnet style sensor works great but new GPS/GNSS is bomb proof!
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Old 02-28-24, 03:53 PM
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Is anyone shocked that a GPS based speed/distance sensing element will lose lock with the Sattelites occasionally? Top of the line Garmin GPS (automotive) lose connections during severe weather and in when certain kinds of infrastructure are around. I've had any number of Sigma and Cateye 'computers' and they really don't warrant much discussion. No point getting too specific because what I tell you to get may not even exist. Just look for 'wired/wireless bicycle speedometer/odometer' at your favorite LBS (or on Universal Cycles online) and make a selection from the small amount of units on offer.
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Old 02-28-24, 04:01 PM
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had a wired specialized branded bike computer. occasionally on rides speed would shoot up to the moon and back. i found that if i moved it near some EM interference it would do it. i assume passing cars were the culprit. wired configurations don't solve all those GPS problems.
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Old 02-28-24, 04:04 PM
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This is my own anecdote but if if I'm looking to get as accurate as possible data for speed, I don't think anything is better than a separate sensor. There's always a slight delay in the GPS signal and more accurate when riding at a slower pace.

I can't imagine not having a gps bike computer. It's such a great tool. I wouldn't want to use up phone battery while riding. It has enough to do.
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Old 02-28-24, 04:44 PM
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I use MapMyRide.
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Old 02-28-24, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Is anyone shocked that a GPS based speed/distance sensing element will lose lock with the Sattelites occasionally? Top of the line Garmin GPS (automotive) lose connections during severe weather and in when certain kinds of infrastructure are around. I've had any number of Sigma and Cateye 'computers' and they really don't warrant much discussion. No point getting too specific because what I tell you to get may not even exist. Just look for 'wired/wireless bicycle speedometer/odometer' at your favorite LBS (or on Universal Cycles online) and make a selection from the small amount of units on offer.
Also note the number of models available is decreasing. So instead of $30-40, buy two and you'll have a spare when the simple computer gives up the ghost in another 10 years. Compare that to 4-5 year life for a $500 GPS...
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Old 02-28-24, 08:13 PM
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One thing I'll add, now that I've gotten some feedback on odometers. I keep my phone in my pocket. Could this be the reason for the lapse in Strava keeping its accuracy? Maybe I'll buy a bar mount for my phone and see if that helps. That will allow me to monitor the screen more consistently.

Mike

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Old 02-28-24, 09:09 PM
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I've used Sigma for 20 years, never been disappointed. It's as accurate as you set it. I try to allow for wiggle, that I do lots of. So the mile is the road distance within 20 or 30 feet. There used to be places on the highway to set your odo, but then I need to convert km to miles I still only use.
Never once deviated from interference. I have zero faith in pure GPS to be anywhere near. My 14.12 altimeter is just a toy too tho.
One day I used free Map my Ride on my home computer, mostly dead straight highway. I dotted out a route I had ridden. MMR kept saying something 7 miles off, like it was programmed to some other route. WTH.
Bontrager only records one decimal, useless.

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Old 02-28-24, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by groverdill
One thing I'll add, now that I've gotten some feedback on odometers. I keep my phone on my pocket. Could this be the reason for the lapse in Strava keeping it's accuracy? Maybe I'll buy a bar mount for my phone and see if that helps. That will allow me to monitor the screen more consistently.

Mike
I think I probably have 15,000 miles with phone cycling apps, and other than going through tunnels or occasionally between densely spaced extremely tall buildings (Manhattan, San Francisco) I have not seen any significant GPS errors. I have used rideWithGPS, cycleMeter, and Cadence in addition to a few manufacturer specific ones, and I like cadence the best. The free version is excellent, as is the free version of rideWithGPS. if you pay, you can also add sensors etc.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by groverdill
One thing I'll add, now that I've gotten some feedback on odometers. I keep my phone on my pocket. Could this be the reason for the lapse in Strava keeping it's accuracy? Maybe I'll buy a bar mount for my phone and see if that helps. That will allow me to monitor the screen more consistently.

Mike
45,000 miles Strava history for me. Mounted on my stem with a Quad Loc.
I hang a rechargeable battery off my bar, with a cable to keep my iPhone fully charged for 4 hours plus.
Screen on the entire time, which I absolutely love. Allows me to view and send brief texts sometimes.(Home in ten minutes, honey!)
I used both free and pay Strava, preferring the features of the pay version. $60 per year, I think.
In all these years, my phone "malfunctioned" a few times when my sweat or water bottle splashed on the screen.
The only other goof occurs when I manually stop it (long coffee stops and such) and forget to restart it. Works great 99.9% of the time for me.
For my first 5k miles or so, I used a wired Sigma cyclecomputer. Mostly out of years of habit. lol
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Old 02-29-24, 09:00 AM
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I use the odometer on a bike computer. Be warned, mine is a wireless bike computer. A year or so ago working late, I moved my bike to the door nearest where I was working, to save time when leaving. The bike logged 80 miles without going anywhere. The work wireless was causing it.

That said, Strava has always been weird for me. Usually 1-2% higher than my computer. Part of that is my fault. My phone is in my pocket and logs my steps walking around during a stop. Easier to rely on the computer for miles ridden.
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Old 02-29-24, 09:23 AM
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I use Ride with GPS on my phone that sits in my saddle bag, along with a basic Cateye Padrone computer.

The Padrone has a bit larger display, which works well for my aging eyes.
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