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Basic computer with cadence?

Old 03-16-20, 01:55 PM
  #1  
KC8QVO
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Basic computer with cadence?

All,

I am on the hunt for a computer option that includes cadence and is reliable, but basic and preferably inexpensive.

I have a Sigma BC 16.12 wired unit that I used for a couple years. That has the data I am wanting but the wire system didn't hold up for the long run. I ended up replacing it with a Garmin Edge 1000, which is nice, but for the application I am looking in to (girlfriends bike) its overkill.

Are there any basic computers out there that you have had good luck with over thousands of miles without failures (other than battery replacements)?

Of course, the two sensors I am looking for are speed (on the hub or wheel/spoke) and cadence.

Another option may be bluetooth sensors with a smartphone. I do not have any experience with that and am skeptical of the solution - unless someone has a route that is proven to be robust and reliable. I'd think a separate computer would be the best option.
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Old 03-16-20, 06:48 PM
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If you can run you Edge 1000 with out cussing, then you probably will have good luck with just about any Garmin Edge. Most any should do cadence if you get the optional sensors. However double check if you get interested in one, years ago, some of their inexpensive Edge models didn't give cadence IIRC. Don't know the line up well enough today to say if the same holds true. Also, some of their Forerunners and other watches will connect to a cadence sensor and do some other cycling functions, if you/her are into running as well.

Otherwise, if you are wanting something with a GPS, Wahoo and Lezyne I've read make good units too. Some people for whatever reason can't get a Garmin to work for them, but can work another brand. So YMMV.

And there are wireless units that don't have a GPS even cheaper.
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Old 03-16-20, 07:18 PM
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Garmin 130 is on sale right now...great tech in the edge line. I think its at $149.00
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Old 03-16-20, 11:18 PM
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Yea, I'm looking for something that is just a computer - data, no GPS. For mapping I have everything covered for our trips and she has an app on her phone she uses for hiking that will work for biking as well. However, the main thing is for her to keep track of metrics and I am hoping she takes the initiative now to get out and ride to accumulate miles even when we can't ride together. Watching the numbers is sort of a "motivator" and she needs a way to track hers.

At some point a GPS version may be in the cards, but there will be a few other bigger upgrades before then I would imagine (bike being one).

I know Sigma has some wireless units as well. What are everyone's thoughts with the reliability of them? Again, aside from replacing batteries.
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Old 03-17-20, 10:35 AM
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Cateye has a couple models, I believe, that are wired and have a cadence sensor. Strava and Padrone, IIRC; about $40, and the battery should last a couple years (or more, depending on usage).
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Old 03-17-20, 02:22 PM
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Pretty sure this is what you're looking for

Wireless, with Cadence, only $73.99 and $1.99 shipping from Nashbar.

https://www.nashbar.com/sigma-bc-16....-01618/p543785
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Old 03-18-20, 03:11 AM
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Wahoo, Garmin and others sell earth induction sensors that don't require magnets to record cadence and speed. There are less expensive versions of these from XOSS and others. Most now are both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible, so you don't need an ANT+ dongle/attachment, or even a dedicated bike computer.

With those and an Android or iPhone app like Wahoo Fitness, you can record speed and cadence. The phone's GPS will handle the rest. It's not as efficient as a bike computer in terms of size, weight and battery runtime per charge, but if you don't need a viewable display on the handlebar just turn the phone off, let it record the ride and check the data later.

I only got a proper bike computer in January and while it's handy it hasn't been a radical improvement over what I was doing -- using my old iPhone 4s with a bulky ANT+ adapter (and old Wahoo device from 2012 that still works), an old set of Wahoo ANT+ only speed/cadence sensors, and a Ticker HR monitor. As long as I turned off the display it would last for about a 50 mile ride. I still carried my Android phone as my main phone.

Even if you don't think you'll need or want GPS in a bike computer now, you might eventually. And there are some fairly recent GPS bike computers that cost the same as a CatEye or similar model without GPS. I got a couple of the XOSS G+ computers in January (first one was $50, second was $25 at the time on a two-fer special). Works fine for me.

But... I see some complaints from customers outside the US, particularly those who bought directly from XOSS and never received their computers, or got them but couldn't get them to work. And XOSS have been practically incommunicado since January. It's a combination of non-intuitive instructions, and the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Back in January the XOSS rep on Facebook claimed it was the "extended Asian New Year" celebration. In retrospect it was probably because the pandemic was already much worse that we'd realized here in the US, but Chinese businesses were obligated to stay quiet.

So if you check Amazon for basic GPS bike computers costing $50 or less that offer Bluetooth/ANT+ sensor compatibility for speed, cadence, heart rate, etc., be sure to check the most recent customer reviews to see if there are problems and whether the seller is responsive.

Otherwise, the Bryton Rider 10 or 15 may be the best bets at around $75-$100. And the Rider 15 offers some navigation assistance. The XOSS G+ records GPS routes but offers zero navigation aids. I use my phone for that. However, Monday's 57 mile ride was among the very few times I wish my computer had navigation aids. Heavy rain had blocked parts of my intended route and I had to stop several times to check my phone maps to choose a new route. An on-bike computer with navigation would have been a bit quicker and less drain on my phone.
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Old 03-19-20, 07:59 PM
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I use the cyclemeter app on my phone that does cadence. It supports the wahoo sensors and others.
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Old 03-25-20, 01:36 PM
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I'm still using my Garmin Edge 500 on my bike. It's a full-on GPS, which is more than the OP is asking for, but gives me full heart rate, cadence, and speed data during my rides (and also now power data since last week), and is also very small an unobtrusive. I've been using it for about five or six years now, and it's been great. I haven't felt a pressing need yet for an upgrade. I'm betting one could be found used for cheap. Just spent 20 seconds Googling and included eBay as a search term, and saw listings for used Edge 500s for under $100.

I'm giving some preliminary thoughts to upgrading to the Edge 530, primarily to get the same level of connectivity as I have through my Fenix 5, which is constantly paired with my phone and uploads runs and other non-cycling activities I do immediately after I stop and save them. It's much handier than having to take the Edge 500 and plug it into my computer over USB to get my activities uploaded. For that matter, I've experimented with recording my rides on the Fenix 5 on my wrist, but also using the Edge 500 so I have more or less the same info in front of me during the rides (it's much more convenient to look down at the Edge 500 during a ride than look at the Fenix 5 on my wrist), but then discarding the Edge 500 data after the ride. With the Edge 530 I'd have all the advantages of a bike-mounted gps, with the convenience and advanced connectivity of the Fenix 5.
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Old 03-26-20, 03:19 AM
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On my bikes with a computer I use a Cateye digital double wireless. It's been dead reliable.
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Old 03-26-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
All,

I am on the hunt for a computer option that includes cadence and is reliable, but basic and preferably inexpensive.
The cheapest solution is to buy an old iPhone 5 for maybe $15. Or maybe you have an old phone already Then pair or with a Wahoo cadence sensor. The Wahoo phone app is really pretty good and it is free. The downside is that using a phone as a bike computer drains the battery quickly. This is why I said to use an old phone. For longer rides, you need a power bank to keep the phone running. But this does what you asked it is minim price and work reliably.

I did this for a while. A literally "zip-tied" the phone to the stem. Then I bought a Garmin Edge 130. The Edge has it's own GPS and the battery will last for 15 hours. My phone was going dead after just 2 hours with the display and GPS on full-time.

Cheaper would be the Wahoo Element MINI but I notice that Wahoo discontinued it. I actually bought one and had to return it. I can see why they discontinued it. They were on sale for $49 and worth it at that price. You stil see these for sale. I'd avoid it. The discontinued them for a good reason.
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Old 03-26-20, 12:45 PM
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My wife had a Sigma wireless w/cadence on her trike and really liked it. She used it for about three years before going on to something else. It still works great but she wanted something to track her ride (GPS based) so she started using her cell phone with the Cyclemeter app connected to my old Wahoo RFLKT.
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