A Speedometer is an instrument that shows the speed of a vehicle. It usually comes together with a device known as an odometer that records the distance traveled. The speed indicating dial is shown in either kilometer per hour, miles per hour, or both in some models.
[BOLD](What does a bike speedometer measure)
A bicycle speedometer knew as a cyclometer, a cycle computer, or a cylcocomputer is a device that’s mounted on a bicycle to calculate and display information about a ride. It is similar to the instruments that are attached to the dashboard of your car. For easy viewing, the computer is attached to the handlebar of the bicycle.
The main job of a bicycle speedometer is to accurately and precisely measure your bicycling activity such as distance covered, altitude, speed, power, cadence, and heart rate.
Many cyclists are curious about their metrics, how far they traveled and how fast they ride. And this is exactly what a bike speedometer does – tells you all you want to know about your ride including your cadence and power. Others also offer navigation that is a detailed direction for your route.
[BOLD](Do you need a bike speedometer?)
Do I need a bike speedometer? This is a question I’m sure you’ve asked yourself before. The answer is if you’re into cycling especially tournaments or you regularly ride for a long time, and you want full information about the data relating to those rides, then you need a bike computer. But hey, that handset or smartwatch can also give you the required feedback about your rides. This is a good way of saving some cash while getting the whole information you need about your ride.
[BOLD](How to Use your smartphone as a bike computer)
Almost all GPS-enabled phones are compatible with cycling apps. Mapmyride & Strada are two well-known cycling apps. They provide you with performance data, allow you to navigate and download your data to analyze later. These apps also allow you to share your data and routes with your friends and correlate your rides with others in the online community. A good thing is that the basic functions of these apps like logging mileage and the routes you ride are free. For more premium features, you’ll need a subscription.
If you got a cyclist app that meets your needs, the next thing is to get a bike phone mount that you’ll use to attach your phone securely to your bike’s handlebar.
A disadvantage of using a phone as a bike speedometer is providing ride information and navigation consumes a lot of battery power. But if your phone battery is good, then this isn’t an issue to worry about. However, just know that batteries in cycle computers and fitness trackers will surely last more than phone batteries. Some cyclists also shun the idea of using phone cyclist apps as they prefer to save their battery power and use it to call in case of accident or break down.
[BOLD](How to Use a Fitness Tracker as a Bike Speedometer)
One of the most commonly used devices as bike speedometers is a fitness tracker. This is because most GPS-enabled fitness trackers feature a cycling mode that offers navigation aid and performance feedback and navigation aid. If you’re the type that enjoys many activities and is a techie on each, then Fitness trackers are a good option for you. An additional important of using a GPS fitness tracker is there’s no need to mount it on your bike as it will be on your wrist. Just look for a good and high-quality fitness tracker on Amazon or the nearest store and grab.
[BOLD](How to Use a Cycle Computer as a bike speedometer)
Using one device in different ways is of additional importance, but having a dedicated device for a certain activity is a virtue. Getting a real cyclo-computer as your bike speedometer will enable you to get more precise data and a wide range of metrics. Cycle Computers also feature customizable displays and a longer battery display for longer rides or tournaments. Just like any other gear, higher quality cycle computers provide you with more powerful processing, a more elegant user interface, and more additional features.
[BOLD](Key Features of a Bike Speedometer)
In this section, we shall take a look at the key features every good bike speedometer shall have.
- GPS Functions
Almost all bike speedometers feature Glo an l Positioning System (GPS), only the basic and most cheap ones aren’t GPS enabled and I guess you won’t go for such type. GPS monitoring deals with a lot of data control ranging from a distance, speed, elevation, and general navigation functions.
Some expensive bike computers come with a more sophisticated GPS function that enables you to connect to multiple satellite systems for precise and faster tracking.
- Wireless Technology
In the past years, the argument is always about wired and wireless gadgets. These days, wireless gears have taken over the technology world and bike speedometers aren’t left behind also. Now, almost all bike computers are wireless and operate with added sensors, phones,s or laptops. The more sophisticated ones also work with added communication technologies like Bluetooth.
- Cycling Functions
Most bike speedometers offer data like speed and distance. Advanced ones can track elevation, power, and cadence. The presence of special sensors to monitor key data improves the accuracy of data and most bike speedometers are now sold in bundles containing such sensors. If you’re intending to buy a speedometer and a special sensor, consider buying them together as bundle price is cheaper.
- Mountain Bike Functions
Most Cyclocomputers feature mountain bike functions. The great importance of this feature is that it enables you to use apps that provide precise navigational data and trail information. Other mountain bike metrics include, smoothness of you’d descent, and jumps. If possible, get a bike speedometer that features mountain bike functions as you’ll be able to enjoy getting more precise and accurate information.
- Heart rate monitoring function
Some bike speedometer provides cardio and training data on par with advanced fitness trackers. However, you’ll need to connect it to a chest strap or a fitness tracker that has a wrist-based sensor to be able to read heart rate data on your bike speedometer.
Cycling speedometers are worth buying, this is because they are purposely designed for this job. They’re high quality, crash-proof, waterproof, and aerodynamic, which makes them a safer option than phones and fitness trackers. Also, some advanced bike computers offer additional features like heart rate monitoring, cycling functions, and mountain bike functions. But, if you want to save some dollars your mobile phone or fitness tracker can do the job of a fitness tracker for you.
An important thing to take note of in bicycle speedometers is their water resistance. Generally, these gadgets are built to keep out heavy rain, but the water resistance level varies from brand to brand. Experience has shown that the bicycle speedometer model that has altitude functions should not be immersed in water, as they need a vent to enable the altimeter to work which is why they should be kept away from water as much as possible.
Another crucial thing to consider is the battery life. Here, the type of cycling you do will determine how much battery life you will need. Bike computers are designed to be used for long periods and come with batteries that last for a long time, however, the life expectancy of the batteries varies. Make sure you choose a durable speedometer that has a long battery life, at least long enough for your rides.
Most bike speedometers will last for an average of 15 to 18 hours when used conservatively. This is one of the reasons why you’re enjoined to get a bike computer rather than to use a fitness tracker or your mobile phone to track your riding information. As stated earlier, the main work of a cyclo-computer is to help you track your riding performance and at times provides navigation information, if you can’t afford a bicycle speedometer, then you can use the STRADA app which is an excellent cycling tracking app that enables you to keep track of your performance and compare key statistics such as distance and pace. With this app, you can track your progress, set goals and compare your progress with that of other cyclists in the app community.
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