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Your cycle computer setups for multiple bikes and max versatility

Old 09-27-19, 11:12 AM
  #1  
Unca_Sam
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Your cycle computer setups for multiple bikes and max versatility

Good Denizens of the forum!

I've become accustomed to having a basic cycle computer for time, distance, and speed, but as I've added bikes, I encountered a problem where I'd have to keep buying cycle computers to dedicate to a bike. Now, I know that some are capable of tracking different bikes, and some can do that automatically. For 4 bikes, the cost is still higher than 4 basic computers.

I've also concluded that I could benefit from tracking my cadence so I can train for more spinning and less mashing. The expectations have spiraled out of control from there...

I'm considering basic computers on each bike, plus a shoe mounted wahoo cadence sensor paired to Strava. A final piece, once I save enough, could be a smartwatch capable of monitoring heart rate for advanced workout information.

Tell me though, what do YOU do, or would you do in this situation?
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Old 09-27-19, 11:18 AM
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I use 1 Cat Eye Padrone Smart for 5 bikes with separate cadence and speed sensors on eaach bike.
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Old 09-27-19, 11:19 AM
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I think a Cateye wireless computers would be less expensive than four basic computers.

I used the Cateye Stealth for a long time before upgrading to my Garmin 820.
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Old 09-27-19, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dagray View Post
I think a Cateye wireless computers would be less expensive than four basic computers.

I used the Cateye Stealth for a long time before upgrading to my Garmin 820.
Whatchou takkin 'bout? Is this an instance of quantity disagreement?

I already have two computers mounted to two bikes, inherited from their previous owners, and a wireless computer currently waiting to be mounted. The wireless is a Cateye strada and I'm not sure if I can easily track multiple diameter wheels with it. I recently bought a 4th bike, with no computer, and I'm debating if I should revamp the current setup, or keep the basic information on the handlebars while tracking other metrics like cadence, elevation, etc. with my phone in the pocket, and adding a HR smartwatch sometime later. I think the proposed setup provides the most flexibility and value because the smartwatch is useful for tracking other exercise off the bike.
I can do all of this for about the cost of a Garmin head unit before multiple mounts and sensors.
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Old 09-27-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I'm considering basic computers on each bike, plus a shoe mounted wahoo cadence sensor paired to Strava. A final piece, once I save enough, could be a smartwatch capable of monitoring heart rate for advanced workout information.

Tell me though, what do YOU do, or would you do in this situation?
I would just use Strava, and forget about the basic computer entirely. Set up multiple bikes in your gear profile and Strava will track odometer readings on each bike. You don't need a speed sensor because Strava can use GPS. A wheel speed sensor is more accurate sometimes when GPS signal is low or you are moving very slowly, but the GPS distance will be accurate for the total distance over most rides.
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Old 09-27-19, 11:42 AM
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@Caliper

I keep my phone in my pocket on rides, the computer is a nice immediate check and occasional motivation, especially if I'm trying to maintain an average pace.

Does strava keep the screen on the entire time it's recording, or can you turn the screen off and save battery?
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Old 09-27-19, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Whatchou takkin 'bout? Is this an instance of quantity disagreement?

I already have two computers mounted to two bikes, inherited from their previous owners, and a wireless computer currently waiting to be mounted. The wireless is a Cateye strada and I'm not sure if I can easily track multiple diameter wheels with it. I recently bought a 4th bike, with no computer, and I'm debating if I should revamp the current setup, or keep the basic information on the handlebars while tracking other metrics like cadence, elevation, etc. with my phone in the pocket, and adding a HR smartwatch sometime later. I think the proposed setup provides the most flexibility and value because the smartwatch is useful for tracking other exercise off the bike.
I can do all of this for about the cost of a Garmin head unit before multiple mounts and sensors.
I know that the Cateye Stealth would track at least two bikes and allow for two different tire sizes. I too keep my phone in my pocket.

I uploaded the Cateye to Strava and that way didn't worry about battery life on my phone.
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Old 09-27-19, 12:06 PM
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I use one Wahoo on two bikes and when it uploads to Strava, I just edit the ride to select which bike I was on.
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Old 09-27-19, 01:13 PM
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I use a Lezyne GPS that has mounts on each of my bikes. the GPS unit goes in my helmet along with other on body stuff I use for each ride, so its always with me regardless of which bike I use. It auto uploads to the Lezyne site/app as well as Strava.
As for cadence- I dont use a sensor because I can easily tell if I am mashing or spinning. And if I want to get real crazy, I can count my strokes to figure out what my cadence is.
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Old 09-29-19, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
@Caliper

I keep my phone in my pocket on rides, the computer is a nice immediate check and occasional motivation, especially if I'm trying to maintain an average pace.

Does strava keep the screen on the entire time it's recording, or can you turn the screen off and save battery?
You can set the screen to turn off or stay on, or just manually turn off the screen as normal. Just make sure you give Strava background data permission, or else the GPS loses your location (did that)

Actually, I'm hearing that Strava may be ending support for external sensors on the phone app. Big thumbs down on that if you want a cadence or HR sensor, so you may try something like Ride With GPS that gives many similar features to Strava. Seems that Strava may be expecting users to have an external GPS bike computer. I have gone to a computer personally, and then added a Wahoo mount to my bikes.
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Old 09-29-19, 04:19 PM
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One of mine is a Cateye Padrone wireless. It can be taken off the handlebar simply by unscrewing the knob from the mounting strap and then strapping on another handlebar. I have sensing magnets on a spoke of a few different bikes, so all I have to do is moving the computer/strap from one to another. Takes a couple of minutes. If you want to keep track on the stats on each individual bike, it will not do that. You would have to keep a log.
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Old 09-29-19, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post

Actually, I'm hearing that Strava may be ending support for external sensors on the phone app.
You wouldn't have a link for that, would you?

Edit: Is it this?

Seems like you can feed the data from another app, just not into strava?

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 09-29-19 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 09-29-19, 11:56 PM
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I use one Garmin 520 Plus for all my bikes. I use separate sensors on each bike. I then use the Garmin Connect app to send my data to Strava.

It works flawlessly.
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Old 09-30-19, 05:51 AM
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I have a Garmin Edge and a mount on my cross bike and both road bikes. Simple click out and click in to the next bike.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:15 AM
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I use a Bryton One for several different bikes. Has a cadence sensor too but I only have one and sometimes forget to transfer it to the bike in use. It uploads straight to Strava too after ending each ride. Overall I like it.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
I would just use Strava, and forget about the basic computer entirely. Set up multiple bikes in your gear profile and Strava will track odometer readings on each bike. You don't need a speed sensor because Strava can use GPS. A wheel speed sensor is more accurate sometimes when GPS signal is low or you are moving very slowly, but the GPS distance will be accurate for the total distance over most rides.
Strava is just a logging site that accepts .fit files from a gps device such as Wahoo or Garmin. You can get a free Strava account. I've seen folks mount their smartphone to their handlebars, but it'd be better to use a real gps device which will be smaller and not eat your battery. A gps device will easily move from one bike to another, no matter how many bikes you have since it doesn't need to be calibrated to your wheel size. You may want to get extra mounts to make the moving easier, though.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:43 AM
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I use a Wahoo Elmnt Bolt, and have separate speed and cadence sensors on each bike. Then I have the Wahoo stats upload automatically in to Strava, and track each bike's stats separately.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
You wouldn't have a link for that, would you?

Edit: Is it this?

Seems like you can feed the data from another app, just not into strava?
From the horses mouth, I had seen this posted on a GCN Facebook group:

https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/...bile_site=true

Yes, seems that they now are expecting new users to use another app and then upload to Strava. I think this will hurt their incoming new user base however. In fact, the person who posted it had switched to the Wahoo app and dropped Strava.

I know I used the phone app for years, including using a HR and cadence sensor, before getting a dedicated GPS computer and still do depending on the bike. Not having the ability to collect sensor data probably would have made me use a different app back then.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:47 AM
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1 Garmin 520. several mounts on different bikes
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Old 09-30-19, 07:48 AM
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Separate sensors, same computer. Just buy more mounts. Elemnt Bolt.

It stores all your sensors and just uses what's active.

I do this across 3 different bikes and a power meter equipped gym ergo as well. Works great.

Shoot, I even toss it in my pocket and run with it and a HRM as well. Then just convert the activity type in Strava and TP after it uploads.
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Old 09-30-19, 08:07 AM
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You want a GPS type bike computer, with a separate mount for each bike. That way you can just put the unit on the bike your riding. The you can upload the data to Strava or what ever you choose to get total miles, etc.
I use a Cateye Stealth that my son got me a few years ago. Works like a charm.
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Old 09-30-19, 08:28 AM
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I appreciate the responses, keep them coming!

A lot of votes for a Garmin Edge 520 with multiple mounts.
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Old 10-03-19, 07:23 AM
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Let's refine the question

Is there a way to do this without having to buy 4 sets of wireless speed and cadence sensors?

I would like to track rides on any bike, and wouldn't mind having cadence and maps on demand rather than in a pocket.

If we're tracking information per bike, it's probably easier to do in an app or website. I'm not going to keep a logbook of my data, I'm busy being a dad most other times. I'm still hoping I'll get more recommendations.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Is there a way to do this without having to buy 4 sets of wireless speed and cadence sensors?

I would like to track rides on any bike, and wouldn't mind having cadence and maps on demand rather than in a pocket.

If we're tracking information per bike, it's probably easier to do in an app or website. I'm not going to keep a logbook of my data, I'm busy being a dad most other times. I'm still hoping I'll get more recommendations.

Lezyne computers can be switched from bike to bike using GPS, but, if you want cadence, each bike has to have cadence sensors set up. I used to do cadence, found it didn't vary much on all different type rides, don't worry with it anymore. Now, when using my Lezyne Mega, I just switch it from bike to bike, select the bike I'm riding when I power it on and presto. The only dedicated part on each bike is a mount. Remember though there is some variance in GPS of computers. When I ride with my brother, our total distance varies .1 to .2 miles on total distance but that could also be in the way we take turns, etc as that adds up if you take different lines. A GPS style computer requires no speed sensor but it cannot track cadence without sensors as it counts pedal revolutions.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:16 AM
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Regarding cadence sensors:

I have the kind that you can attach to your shoe so you can easily switch from bike to bike or person to person.
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