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Bike computer

Old 04-23-20, 06:35 AM
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Flieswowings
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Bike computer

Hey guys, while I've been riding bikes for ages I'm relatively new to "cycling". I've been looking to get some sort of computer/GPS device to measure my metrics while I train. I'm looking for something affordable for an amateur. I don't own a power meter, do I need one? Should I get something cheap and plan to upgrade or something expensive and have the technology become outdated a year from now? Any advice? What about used devices? I'm just looking to find a device to improve my training.
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Old 04-23-20, 06:46 AM
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ckmak
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Garmin 130 would be a good basic computer. If that is too much you can just look at one of the simpler cateye computers, had one on my commuter to have the time and some basic information.
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Old 04-23-20, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ckmak View Post
Garmin 130 would be a good basic computer. If that is too much you can just look at one of the simpler cateye computers, had one on my commuter to have the time and some basic information.
thank you! I am going to check them out
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Old 04-23-20, 07:34 AM
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I must have 6 Cateye computers sitting somewhere in my garage. They were always a PITA to set up and calibrate. Several years ago I bought a Garmin Edge 200 and all that changed. It is basic...inexpensive...works as advertised and is reliable. If money matters I'd go with the least expensive Garmin I could get.
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Old 04-23-20, 09:05 AM
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I bought a Garmin Edge 800 in May of 2012 and it's still working perfectly, no plans to upgrade it. I bought another one for our tandem's stoker position a few months later, and it's working perfectly, too. My advice is to buy this one here, right now:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-Edge...t/264701532417

Everything you'll ever need, period. It works with power meters also, should you ever get one.
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Old 04-23-20, 08:02 PM
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I bought a Garmin Edge 800 a decade ago. I'd still be using it if I still had it. (Thief got it.) For the most part the technology doesn't really change much.

A computer isn't going to make you faster or fitter. You said you want to use it to track performance metrics, keep in mind and budget that anything really worth tracking is going to require you to buy extra stuff. Heart rate monitor and power meter are the two that are useful for performance and fitness.
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Old 04-24-20, 05:22 AM
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You can start out for free and just load the Strava or RideWithGPS or MapMyRide (or many other) free apps on your phone, start it up when you begin your ride and you will be able to track your mileage, speed, elevation, etc. Start it up and put the phone wherever you normally carry it, or if you want to look at numbers as you ride $20 will get you a handlebar mount for your phone.

If you don't want to use your phone, start out with a cheap simple one like the Cateye ones mentioned - you'll be in the under $75. If you want to get into uploading your rides to an internet site like Strava or RideWithGPS, the Garmin's mentioned above will get you there and keep you under $200.

There's another level of Garmins and Wahoo Element devices with more features, better map routing, etc that puts you above $300.

Last edited by jpescatore; 07-03-20 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:36 AM
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Thank you very much for the information
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Old 06-30-20, 09:34 PM
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I purchased a Garmin Edge 500 back in March 2011 and it's still going strong. Only use a fraction of it's capabilities. The only thing I value is the display while riding; time elapsed, speed, distance. Do not need the other bells and whistles. Maybe I'll hook up my Polar HRM chest strap and check that out one day lol. I'll do rides now and then and only look at it to start, then to stop.

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Old 07-01-20, 07:00 AM
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Currently I cycle with a normal spedometer (with a thing you fasten to the spokes) it reads the basic speed, average speed, time, distance. I like seeing those easily, especially current speed and average speed.

Then I use my phone, and the wahoo fitness app, with HR sensor, and a powermeter and cadence sensor.

I will buy a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt soon though. I am going so long now that my phone starts to run out of battery. Also, there is more customisation possible than just the phone app.

What sensors do you have? I think using your phone might be a good bet so far.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:15 AM
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+1 on the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. I use the HR, cadence, distance and upload to Strava and Training Peaks. Also sync routes, segments and workouts.

While riding I'm checking my cadence and HR zones and in general I'm a data/tracking junkie.
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Old 07-01-20, 09:30 AM
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+1 on at least getting a heart-rate monitor. Those aren't expensive.

Current training regimens are all based on power, and heart rate can be used as a rough approximation for power, but it's far from perfect (your heart rate takes ~90 seconds to catch up with changes in power output, so short intervals and other efforts can't be tracked properly). I don't have a power meter on my bike (yet) but I do have a smart trainer that measures power. So my at-home rides are all structured workouts where the training dose is closely calibrated. I don't try to be precise about my on-the-road rides—I'll basically decide on a distance, whether I'm riding hills or flats, and whether I want to ride hard or not so hard.

I'm using a smartphone app to log my road rides. I don't really monitor it during the ride, it's more for analysis after the fact. I may wind up getting a proper bike computer because they can do some things I just haven't seen in the smartphone apps, and I may wind up wanting that in-ride monitoring.

If you haven't seen it before, DC Rainmaker has exhaustive reviews of endurance-sport technology in general, including bike computers.
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Old 07-02-20, 06:14 PM
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as jpescatore pointed out if you have a smart phone you can do this for free. i use CycleMeter on my iPhone. i now pay $10/year which allows me to use my cadence meter and heart rate meter over BlueTooth. It works well and i like it.
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Old 07-04-20, 02:33 AM
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Exertional scales and a watch are every bit as good for initial use as fancy sensors, and many common smart phones have route mapping functions.
Just noting mileage and time is a solid start. Will do most of what you need.
The rest are more tools to make a game of it, and most features never get used.
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