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Using only Edge 500 (No speed/cadence sensor)

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Using only Edge 500 (No speed/cadence sensor)

Old 01-15-11, 01:45 AM
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wrr1020
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Using only Edge 500 (No speed/cadence sensor)

So my new bike is coming next week and i wanna use my edge 500 but don't have a spare speed/cadence sensor for it. Will it work fine if i only use the 500? How accurate are the speeds from the satellites? I'll be using my HRM still, if its not so great i'll just go ahead and order another sensor. Thanks.
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Old 01-15-11, 02:21 AM
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I'll work just fine. My MTBs don't have the sensor.
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Old 01-15-11, 05:56 AM
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I would think the GPS is plenty accurate enough for what you need, but I really like the extra sensor for speed on the trainer and for the cadence, very much worth the $35 to me
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Old 01-15-11, 08:04 AM
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It'll be fine without the sensor. My "backup bike" has no sensor. Sometimes I notice a slight lagging behind in the speed display, but not too often.
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Old 01-15-11, 09:42 AM
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The few extra bucks for a speed, cadence and heart rate are Definitely worth it. Speed by satellite is very accurate.
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Old 01-15-11, 09:54 AM
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If you ever plan to get a powertap, it will do wheel speed (when on the trainer) and cadence, sort of makes the Garmin speed/cadence sensor unneeded. Obviously, this is only a good choice if you really want power and plan to get a PT in the future.

To answer your original question, the GPS speed is very accurate, but it's nice to have cadence.
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Old 01-15-11, 09:57 AM
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You don't really need it. As mentioned, the accurate speed sometimes lags a bit. But its not a real problem. At least no more misaligned magnets after a wheel change.
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Old 01-15-11, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tylerwal View Post
I would think the GPS is plenty accurate enough for what you need, but I really like the extra sensor for speed on the trainer and for the cadence, very much worth the $35 to me
Yes.

The speed sensor is probably more accurate than GPS at very low walking speeds, or when stopped. The GPS tends to drift around a small area when the bike isn't moving. And it works on a trainer, too.

I thought I knew my cadence pretty well from counting it for 20 seconds X 3. But the Garmin cadence is updated continuously, and I do use it all the time. My mental estimate of cadence can be off by 10 or 15 rpms.

In general, the GPS track is pretty accurate, so the speed will be, too. Here's an uploaded GPS track from a ride last month: mapmyride link. Click the Map button, change to Satellite, and zoom in. You can see that it (mostly) shows which side of the road I was on. That's accurate.
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Old 01-15-11, 10:15 AM
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Powertap cadence can be very inaccurate. It doesn't measure it, it infers it from power spikes. If you are a smooth pedaller or don't make much power then it will read high. I know I can't do a cadence over 200 rpm.

So if you care about cadence, you should use the Garmin cadence sensor.
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Old 01-15-11, 10:15 AM
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I haven't ever used the speed/cadence sensor. No problems.
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Old 01-15-11, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
Powertap cadence can be very inaccurate. It doesn't measure it, it infers it from power spikes. If you are a smooth pedaller or don't make much power then it will read high. I know I can't do a cadence over 200 rpm.

So if you care about cadence, you should use the Garmin cadence sensor.
I'd agree that it can be inaccurate for a moment, particularly on a jump or high cadence burst, but I find it suprisingly accurate overall. So much so, that I stoppped using the Garmin sensor. The only difference I see between the Garmin and PT data are the spikes where the PT is trying to re-calculate when I make a big change or push, but they are breif. Unless you are doing specific cadence drills that require absolutely real-time feedback, I find it works well, but I don't every hit a cadence over 200 (It doesn't suprise me there is a problem with that).
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Old 01-15-11, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the comments, i'll try it out without the sensor but i'll probably just end up getting one as its gonna be my primary bike. I have a sensor on my old bike but don't want to take it off as i'm still gonna ride it, will be my crit bike as well.
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Old 01-15-11, 05:48 PM
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Hi,

I only use the speed sensor on my track bike which I use at an indoor velodrome. I have a sensor on my TT bike but I only use it for cadence. I don't have a magnet on my rear wheel. Actually, I have a magnet on my spare wheel that I use during warm up on a trainer.
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