Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, not really new to cycling but new to the idea of this computer tihng. So currently I use an iPhone in my back pocket running strava to track my rides. I do understand the benefits of having a real computer especially one with cadence/watt/HR capabilities.

I have a friend who runs a Garmin 20, another runs a Bontrager Node 2.1, and I have heard good things about some cateye computers. Here is what I am looking for

Comprehensive computer that will give me speed, averages, distance, time traveled, hill incline/decline, heart rate, cadence. I also see some are ANT+ compatible and I'm not sure what that is. Ideally I'd also like something that is all inclusive meaning it comes with a HR sensor and such, I don't really want to scour the depths of the internet and order from various sites to put a package togeter unless I can save a bunch of money.

So, if we ommit color displays, navigation screens, and just look for a computer that does all of the above, what would you guys suggest as the best value option out there, or several? If it has strava integration that's a plus as well as I really like the app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,580 Posts
Basically, there are two types of wirless protocols that sensors use to talk to your 'head unit'. A head unit can be your phone, as it is in your case, or a dedicated device like the ones you mentioned.

ANT+ has been around a long time, and almost all wireless sensors use this. The downside to ANT+ is that most phones don't support it without a dongle add-on.

Bluetooth is a newer technology, and the newer versions have reduced power requirements enough that it's a viable solution for these types of sensors. The benefit of bluetooth it is compatible with almost all modern smartphones.

Wahoo (and probably others) are now making sensors that transmit in both ANT+ and BLuetooth, which means they will work with almost everything. Gen 2 Stages Power meters also transmit over both Bluetooth and ANT+.

Bluetooth sensors (or Bluetooth and ANT+) will pair to almost any modern smartphone, so there is no reason you can't use them with your phone and Strava (or any other smartphone apps).

One real benefit to an actual GPS (i.e. Garmin Edge, Wahoo ELEMNT, etc..) is the barometric altimeter, assuming elevation gain is an important stat.

Another benefit to having a dedicated device is on long rides, you aren't using your phone battery (so it's available for emergencies and such).

I'm not familiar with the specific devices you mentioned, so I'll let others respond to that.

What I will do is recommend spending some time over at Ray Makers site reading his reviews of the types of devices you are considering. He does very good independent reviews (i.e not sponsored)

Here is the link: DC Rainmaker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I am also curious about this. I was going to just get a quad lock mount and use my iPhone but have read that the iPhone is sometimes inaccurate and doesn't track routes well on Strava. Is that true?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am also curious about this. I was going to just get a quad lock mount and use my iPhone but have read that the iPhone is sometimes inaccurate and doesn't track routes well on Strava. Is that true?
I used to use mapmyride but got fed up when 3 rides in a row showed as being .01-.08 miles due to a lack of good signal. I've used Strava with no issues, though sometimes signals can get lost as it happened to a friend on one of our rides. What I'd really like is the information in front of me at all times, but the phone is not practical for that application due to battery life issues. I do use an extended battery case, which probably would not work with all the mounts out there. Also glare against the big glossy screen would suck, and I think the display is honestly too big for a heads up kind of thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,580 Posts
If you are in an area with poor GPS signal, it doesn't matter what device you use, the mapping function isn't going to be reliable.

Using a phone on your handblars is ok for short rides, but the screen being on all the time would kill the battery. Plus, for me, I sweat buckets and don't really want to be dripping sweat all over my phone. It stays in a sweatproof phone wallet in my back pocket - usually turned off unless I'm expecting an important call or message.

As far as apps go, besides Strava, I'm a big fan of RideWithGPS. They have a great route planning function on their website, and I can sync the routes I create there onto my Wahoo ELEMENT for turn by turn function (a newly added feature for the ELEMNT).

Rigth now, my preferred device is the Wahoo ELEMNT. It's pretty new and at the top end for cost compared to some other solutions out there. The screen is by far the best (in all light conditions) for any of the head units I've used. It's definitely not budget friendly though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I used to use mapmyride but got fed up when 3 rides in a row showed as being .01-.08 miles due to a lack of good signal. I've used Strava with no issues, though sometimes signals can get lost as it happened to a friend on one of our rides. What I'd really like is the information in front of me at all times, but the phone is not practical for that application due to battery life issues. I do use an extended battery case, which probably would not work with all the mounts out there. Also glare against the big glossy screen would suck, and I think the display is honestly too big for a heads up kind of thing.


I opened map my ride last night while laying on the floor watching game of thrones and it said I was going 6km/h!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
With the exception of one remote local trail, I've had good luck with a MapMyRide MVP account and Android phone. I also use a cateye bike computer. Both MMR and Cateye usually compute the same results... sometimes they differ by a few hundreths of a mile depending on the trail.

I also use a Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker to keep heart rate stats during a ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I was in the same boat as you looking to upgrade my computer when I got a newer bike. I decided to spend a little more and get a Garmin w/ GPS vs. using my phone. Not sure what your budget is, but if you can save a little, I'd definitely recommend a Garmin or Wahoo. You can always just get the computer at first, and had on the HR monitor later. Look at the Garmin Edge 520 for starters. I think you'd be happy with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SO I did find refurbished Garmin 810 for under 200 but decided to continue using my old iPhone 5 for my tracking needs. The phone supports GPS and GLONASS, and after spending $20 on a new battery for it, it actually holds a charge for my longer rides, actually for 12+ hours, so I'm happy with that.

A friend did give me a free Ranaico (or some other generic thing) cycling computer. I set it up, lasted about 5 miles and stopped reading anything. :mad2:
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top