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Bicycle Computer with Candence

Old 05-23-21, 03:12 PM
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Kubotafan
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Bicycle Computer with Candence

I am just restarting doing some biking for health reasons and to lose weight. I have an Electra Townie, so not into road racing or long distance biking. I would like a computer to keep an eye on cadence to try to avoid knee problems. I would also like to track distance. I am not too technological and only use an old flip phone so not into smart phones. Any suggestions for a bicycle computer that wouldn't be over kill?
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Old 05-23-21, 03:20 PM
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They are all overkill and loaded with features. Even the inexpensive ones. So knowing your budget might be more helpful. If you are several hundred dollars, you are easily in the GPS/Cyclometer territory. That'll get you the one added benefit of being able to save your ride and go back later to look at where your rode on a map.

But if saving where you rode isn't of interest, then just one of the CatEyes would be my recommendation. But you'll have to get a cadence sensor. Then you can dance too if you want!
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Old 05-23-21, 03:54 PM
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I am not concerned at the present time about maps as all my biking is close to home and on roads I am familiar with.
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Old 05-23-21, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kubotafan View Post
I am not concerned at the present time about maps as all my biking is close to home and on roads I am familiar with.
Okay, but that's not quite what I was talking about.

I don't use maps on my GPS/Cyclometer either while riding. Although it's capable of maps and navigation. The nice part of GPS for me is when I get home I save all the data from the log file on my computer as well as upload it to a website. Then I can view all the data that was gathered about that ride including where I was at any one particular moment I choose to know about. And if I'm still breathing 30 years from now and want to reminisce, I can go back through my history of rides and see exactly what I did and looking at where I actually went on a map instead of having to rely on what will probably be an even faultier memory.

If you don't have GPS data, then you won't be able to see the track of where you rode. GPS data also lets me select unique segments of my ride with just a stroke of the mouse pointer and see what my performance was for that section of ride.

But it's a learning curve depending on how well you can deal with the new fangled technology from the 20th century. If that is you then I do get it, one of my sisters and sister-in-laws struggle to do anything on their computer or phone.

So if you absolutely have no desire for that, you can get a CatEye for less than 60 bucks. Though be certain it comes with your cadence sensor. Some models it might be optional. Some the sensor requires a wire to connect it to the main head unit. Others can do it via wifi. Here is their website, https://www.cateyeamerica.com/cycle-computers/

If you aren't in the USA, then you should select the proper country or region from the link at the top right corner of the webpage.
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Old 05-23-21, 08:28 PM
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if you have a smart phone there are plenty of free apps to track the where and how fast. i use CycleMeter on a samsung. works on iPhone too.

for cadence you will need a cadence sensor. mine operates with bluetooth so i can "connect" it with the phone. i need to pay $ for CycleMeter to use the sensor data. I Believe the Wahoo fitness app is also free and will connect to sensors for free too.
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Old 05-24-21, 06:34 AM
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Cateye Strava with cadence. Speed, distance, and cadence. Change the battery every two years.
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Old 05-24-21, 06:55 AM
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For a non-GPS unit to display data, but not record the data (other than average/min/max values and odometer), I really like the Bongrager RIDEtime Elite.

Nice display size, and enough flexibility in configuring the display to suit my preferences. Most of the time, I don't even touch the computer during the ride.

Works with ANT+ sensors, so I can also use a heart rate monitor with it if/when I wish. If I ever decide to move up to a more sophisticated cycling computer, I can keep using the sensors I already have.
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Old 05-24-21, 07:20 AM
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ride by feel. You don't need one

riding on familiar roads, just ride for a certain amount of time

I have no idea what cadence has to do with knee injury, so just pedal slow
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Old 05-24-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
I have no idea what cadence has to do with knee injury, so just pedal slow
I understand on the flat a cadence of 90 and 80 on a hill is the best speed to avoid straining the knees. A lower gear to keep cadence speed up is better than a higher gear and slower cadence. I had knee pain when I first started biking, likely in part by a wrong seat height, but as there are hereditary knee problems in my family I want to try to take care of the ones God gave me when I was born.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:05 AM
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Higher cadence in itself doesn't prevent knee pain.

A high cadence just lets you keep up with the lower cadence types while using a lower gear ratio to go easy on your knees. You could save the strain on your knees just pushing a ridiculously easy gear at a low cadence. Of course you'll be slow as heck, but if your aren't trying to keep up with others or need the cooling air flow of 16 mph then who cares?

When I got older and tried to be the masher of my younger days, my knees hurt. So I pedaled ridiculously easy gears and the higher cadence thing just became more natural. I seldom get any knee pain.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:05 AM
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^ generally, yes. Higher cadence in an easier gear will place more strain on your cardiovascular system and less on your leg muscles.

https://www.amazon.com/CAT-EYE-Wired-Computer-Black/dp/B007YV1GFQ

This one will work just fine for you. Don't buy a wireless computer. That means another battery (sending the sensor signal), which is another to replace and an additional failure point.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 05-24-21 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:30 AM
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I don't think this records cadence.

Last edited by Kubotafan; 05-24-21 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kubotafan View Post
I don't think this records cadence.
I'm sorry. I misunderstood. I can't help you with recording cadence. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that. Even the ability to see cadence becomes unnecessary once you develop muscle memory.

You'll be able to estimate your cadence accurately after a few months of riding. You can guess cadence and then take a peek at the display to check how close you guessed. So the data will become increasingly less useful to you. Just my experience.
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Old 05-24-21, 09:03 AM
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If it were me I would just get a basic GPS based computer and a wireless cadence sensor. Entry level computers are pretty reasonable, the Stages Dash L10 is like $75.
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Old 05-24-21, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post

I have no idea what cadence has to do with knee injury, so just pedal slow

That is one of the things that causes knee problems.
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Old 05-24-21, 09:12 AM
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If you have a fitness watch/electronic gadget with a cycling profile ability you can get one of these. $35 on the Zon. Tried it this weekend with my Polar watch. It works.

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Old 05-24-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
That is one of the things that causes knee problems.
pedaling slow causes knee pain?
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Old 05-24-21, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Kubotafan View Post
I understand on the flat a cadence of 90 and 80 on a hill is the best speed to avoid straining the knees. A lower gear to keep cadence speed up is better than a higher gear and slower cadence. I had knee pain when I first started biking, likely in part by a wrong seat height, but as there are hereditary knee problems in my family I want to try to take care of the ones God gave me when I was born.
Here is the product mentioned above:

STRADA CADENCE | PRODUCTS | CATEYE
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Old 05-24-21, 09:28 AM
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Cateye is probably a good choice. Many years ago I used a bike computer with cadence and it was wired. Not a big fan of routing wires down to the crank, but had no problems and no extra batteries to keep up with.

Even before Lance, I had heard that higher cadence was better to increase speed and endurance. Never really questioned it, but used cadence on my bike computer to monitor. But if your technique is spinning after awhile monitoring cadence is of little value. You just turn the cranks fast. It is fun to spin out on flats with a tailwind, or downhill.

I think being too enamored with high cadence, is a bad approach. When I first started mountain biking I learned really quickly that low cadence power was a real benefit when I couldn’t stand on a climb because the rear tire would break loose. Looking back high cadence was not the panacea I thought it was and has probably hurt more than it helped.

I’ve had few knee issues. When I have encountered some pain, changing the bike setup helped. But my knees would feel it when pushing too high a gear, or grinding up a hill, with a slower cadence, especially since I tend to spin too much.

You would be wise to not focus too much on 80/90rpm, but vary the cadence to maintain performance and comfort. Having strength across a range of rpms will probably serve you better.

John
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Old 05-24-21, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Kubotafan View Post
I don't think this records cadence.
I have never heard of a bike computer of the kind I think you are talking about that records cadence. I seriously doubt one has ever existed. What would be the point?
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Old 05-24-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
pedaling slow causes knee pain?
This question is fraught with ambiguity. What you think you mean is likely not what people are saying.

If one chooses a gear that can only be turned at low rpms due to muscle/power limits by the rider, then the result is strain in the knee joint. For short durations (like rolling climbs), this can be okay. For longer periods, it's not okay.

The opposing theory is that if one can select a gear that can be turned at a higher cadence for longer, then the result is greater strain on the cardiovascular capacity and less stress on the knee joint.
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Old 05-24-21, 09:35 AM
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to clarify. when I said to "pedal slower", was not saying to push some massive gear slowly (or didn't mean that). Pedal slow in an easy gear
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Old 05-24-21, 09:47 AM
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Cadence is not the only thing that needs to be considered if we are talking about preventing knee pain. I don't think it's accurate to say high cadence is bad or causes more pain to the knee. It depends on how much torque you are putting out. If you have little to no resistance and a high cadence, there is minimal stress on the knees. Same with low cadence and no resistance. Now when you start increasing torque, that's what impacts the knees more. Cadence + Torque = Power.
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Old 05-24-21, 10:54 AM
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I have a Sigma Sport 23.16, it logs the data during the workout, you can download them later. It is not a GPS unit.

I think Sigma 14.16 and 16.16 wireless can show cadence, but they do not record it. In addition, 14.16 can show the gradient using its barometric altimeter.
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Old 05-24-21, 01:02 PM
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I'm another rider (along with the OP) who likes to 'keep an eye' on my cadence.
After reading this thread and doing a quick online search, I realized I should appreciate my wired bike computer a lot more!!
20 years ago I bought a cheap ($15-20?) Echowell F2 wired bike computer. It displays speed and cadence and has some odometer functions.
It needs a new battery every few years. Still working fine, though it hasn't had a tough life as I don't commute on my bike or ride in bad weather.
Now, 'computers' like that are 'No longer available'.
Instead, there's an array of wireless sensors (each requiring a 'button' battery) and display heads at $100 and up and up. Or I could just buy a pair of wireless transducers (cadence+speed) and pair them with my $$$ phone, wiht the addition of a waterproof case and a good quality mount to hold it. And a charging system to keep it powered up.
Wow, that's progress!!
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