Bike Computers Vs. Smartphone Vs. Smart Watch

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Keyan, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. bigsmile

    bigsmile New Member

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    Yeah I just ordered one on Ebay which cost less than $6. But it takes ages to ship.

    I can wait. I'm in no kind of hurry.
     


  2. DarkStarling

    DarkStarling New Member

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    The smartphone just carries all the function I need, and if I want i can just use that to listen to music. I might try the others if I get some spare cash, but if you already got a smartphone you should be able to use it to fill all of your needs.
     
  3. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean to say that you have your earphones for music when you are riding? It is not advisable here because several cases of minor accidents were recorded due to that earphone, that the rider couldn't hear the speeding vehicle behind him. That is the reason why some motorcycles have the loud radio because they are forbidden to use an earphone or a headset while riding. The new motorcycles sold here comes with an accessory including a loud speaker.
     
  4. AlanManley

    AlanManley New Member

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    I have never used a bike computer so couldn't comment there.

    I use a combination of my Garmin VivoActive Smartwatch and my Galaxy S5 with Strava App. If its a 90+ mile ride I use my Strava App on my S5 with a battery case attached to keep it charged (great bit of kit!) and if its for 50 miles or less I use the VivoActive.

    I tried using the VivoActive for a 100 miler before and it died at around 80-90 miles. So know its ok for shorter rides.

    The VivoActive syncs with Strava too so all my rides are stored in the same place and give me all the same info. :D
     
  5. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Active Member

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    Smart Person works best for me.
     
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  6. glenncz

    glenncz Member

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    I don't understand the need for a bike GPS. I use a simple Bell F-12 to track MPH and ave MPH and distance. All of my rides are planned on MapMyRide. I want to know how far and where I am going BEFORE I ride. Also, I want to know the vert ft/mile ascent so I know how hard it will be. I have a lot of hills to deal with here. Having a GPS only gives me those numbers after the ride. I don't hop on my bike and ride randomly. Now the speedometer and the MapMyRide miles are off by a few percent, but i use my bike computer because i figure MMR is for a straight line ride.

    Now some of my miles are complicated on country roads, so I take a simple screen shot of the turns and paste them to a page and throw the page in my pocket. Most of the time i don't want to stop to even look at the paper for tricky turns, let alone screwing around with some bike computer.

    Also, I keep a spreadsheet of all my ride, and keep total miles by week and month and grand total. It's all custom. The ft ascent/mi is all right there, so I can compare my similar rides and check my progress. Then i have about 7 rides that are my main rides, where i keep the Personal Best records on those rides. To have all this stuff The Way I Want It on a web site is not going to happen.

    Also, I put the phone in my bag, but certainly don't want to be screwing around w/ it on a ride. The only negative is that my Bell F-12 always shows the MPH, i wish I could make it go blank sometimes and just focus on the ride. I really care about ave speed at end of ride, usually I don't look at that screen until I'm done. I out "there" to ride, not to be screwing with gizmos and worrying about number, I only want to think about shifting right and keeping right cadence to conserve my energy.
     
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  7. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    I just bought a Cateye Strada Cadence and I like it a lot. I think I do want to have GPS and personal performance tracking features eventually so I can get a sense of my performance and riding trends over time.

    Thanks a ton

    Bob
     
  8. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Apparently you have never really "used" Strava. It does all that and more. ^_^

    If you use the strava route creator thingy, you can pin point every single point of the ride and with will tell you exactly what the grade is at that point. Plus the post ride info gives you the same as well as speed, power, pin point elevation grade, at every point as well as tell you exactly at what time into your ride you were there,..............if you learn how to use it.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Some of us also work in IT and embrace the technology to aid in ride performance and with navigation.

    I find that using technology to help pacing on long rides not only makes it a more enjoyable experience but also a faster ride too - so the PowerTap power measuring hub and Garmin 810 work well. Sit on 180 to 200 watts for an all day ride and progress is good and I'm not a really tired and grumpy bastard at the finish. Add in the navigation features and it makes those brevets featuring roads never travelled before - eapecially those in the boonies after dark are navigated correctly with ease. Even for shorter local rides, a quick scoot around on google earth and then transpose that onto Garmin Connect and you can think up all manner of new routes in a short space of time. Where I live it's almost impossible to tell from a map whether a road in the country is a well surfaced, near billiard table smooth section of asphalt or a dirt track traversed only by tractors or lost cyclists... Technology is ace.

    That said, I find the devices labeled as "gps enabled" that can't offer navigation as pretty much useless if all you're using them for is speed, rpm, distance and uploading to Strava.
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Cadence is a red herring. The only metrics worth noting are power, weight and cda. Speed on hills is a function of power to weight, speed on the flat is a function of mainly power to aero and for long important rides, get the weight low, ride aero and keep the power at a level you can sustain for the duration.

    Riding at or close to the limits enables you to not just keep the effort steady fairly easily and finish faster but not smashing yourself means that hydration and nutritional issues will less likely occur. A win, win situation.
     
  11. glenncz

    glenncz Member

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    I do get all that (except power) w/ MapMyRide. My point is, I don't need GPS. I know where I'm going, I map my ride before I go out, isn't that what most people do? And in the cases where I make a detour of my plan (rarely), I just map it again when I get home. Also, I never look at time. I only care about ave speed and distance. All my Personal Records are kept by ave speed, not time, that way I can compare it to other routes with the same ascent ft/mi. MMR does show grade and elev charts, of course when I'm home, which is fine w/ me.

    Another thing. I'm a record keeping type of person. I have my notebook(that's a bunch of papers bound together) when I was a big runner. I still have my training logs 30 years later. I like that. I want to have a permanent record of my rides. Even if I quit riding for 5 years and come back to it. The trouble w/ keeping everything online is, you drop out of hobby, forget loose password, they drop your data after a time, everything gets gray and hazy over time. My spreadsheets are mine and precious and keep them forever.
     
  12. glenncz

    glenncz Member

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    I have 1500 miles in this year, 1000 last yr and 900 year before that. Real easy, i just click on my little spreadsheet and look at the tabs by year. My main course records are all there.

    I'm interested in power, but to me it's totally superfluous. I think??? I can tell what my effort is just by gauging how I feel. Do I really need all these numbers flashing at me? And I ride quite a bit of hills around here, so not wearing myself out is very important. My rides ave about 65 ft ascent/mi.

    I have a smart trainer on the way. So I'll be getting all that soon in an indoor environment. I read Friel's power book and am looking forward to fooling w/ all of that. What gets me is people just getting into cycling think they NEED all that crap. What they really need is to get out on the bike 4 times per week and put their time in, that's the hard part, not figuring out all these numbers. It's the miles put in that makes a difference. When you earn that badge, then you can worry about jumbling your mind with all this technology which really has nothing to do with general fittness which is the whole point.

    Now saying all this. My situation is I am a lone wolf. My schedule doesn't allow me to do many group rides(none this year), which I've done and wish i could do more. And I looked at the Strava routes in my area, but I only see a couple routes that were done, not the worth the trouble to compete against. It's sparse. The good news is I live in "biking paradise" with country roads on all sides and I'm busy enough just planning my rides (again I don't need GPS, I MMR before I clip in).
     
  13. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    I use both a small bike pc gadget and my phone for gps and route information. The small gadget records the time, speed, calories, and other stuff about the ride while the phone really does most of the brunt work with gps.
     
  14. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    I also have a data hoarding problem. :D

    I enjoy checking Stravas website with a beer after a ride...

    I have also deliberately pushed harder to beat my times and had more beers in the occasion of a new PR or something. :D

    But I don't really need it... It just makes it more interesting.

    But this baby does the lot and has ant+ and Le BT to connect to Le Power Meterâ„¢ when you so Pro! :D

    Good battery life too! You go buy it now! :D


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson New Member

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    I use a Garmin Edge 200 route-tracker, its the cheapest one made by them and it cost me about $70 second-hand on Amazon. It doesn't have anything too fancy on it, no map or anything, but it does allow me to upload my route onto it which it then tracks using the GPS. I used to have to stop every few minutes to check my route when I used a smartphone, and now I can just keep going. It makes exploring new places so much more fun and I wouldn't swap it even for a much more expensive model.
     
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  16. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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  17. Ulysses31

    Ulysses31 New Member

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    Garmin for following a pre-set trail, but I also have my mobile phone in my back tracking my route as its more accurate.
     
  18. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, you don't get all that with MMR. Strava is much better and it can pin point the grades on each point of a ride elevation chart, Which can be very helpful with their create a route function. Creating a route is even much better on Strava.

    But either way, I was merely pointing out that you underestimate the capabilities of online resources with your statement "To have all this stuff The Way I Want It on a web site is not going to happen." The websites do all that and more. ^_^


    As far as losing data? Uh web sites have offered printable versions for years so you can still keep a notebook. I've done 4,000-7300 miles for 20 consecutive years now. I have all my notebooks pre 2002 when I discovered online logging. Since then I have logged on line and printed my sheets as well, nothing lost!
     
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  19. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Ya know... That data is a bit "fuzzy", if not "spikey" some times...

    Don't know if its a device, software, or signal problem.

    Strava kinda "cooks" the data "they" say... ;)

    But... It doesn't matter... Especially if the wind is just a click stronger then the other day and you had the "special" last night. :p :D
     
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  20. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    I think Mr. Beanz, Volnix, Swampy1970, are all right on. I learn a lot from them. I do think that by the end of this year I'm going to buy something GPS enabled and start working with Strava.

    I'm not sure how Scott Weinstock mapped out his recent trans-America bicycle ride but from his blog, I can see he is quite sophisticated.

    Thanks a ton

    Bob Cochran
     
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