Cadence feature on Bike Computer - necessity or nice-to-have?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Ac, Apr 23, 2003.

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  1. Ac

    Ac Guest

    Hi,

    My old (15yrs) cateye computer has a cadence feature. It uses a sensor next to the crank together
    with a magnet (?) fixed onto the crank itself.

    I find this useful and usually ride with the cadence displayed, as the default

    It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?

    Do most people here manage ok without it ?

    Cheers

    AC
     
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  2. Tony R

    Tony R Guest

    "AC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > My old (15yrs) cateye computer has a cadence feature. It uses a sensor
    next
    > to the crank together with a magnet (?) fixed onto the crank itself.
    >
    > I find this useful and usually ride with the cadence displayed, as the default
    >
    > It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    > because manufacturers assume people have a
    pretty
    > good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so don't need a comp. to
    tell
    > them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?
    >
    > Do most people here manage ok without it ?
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > AC
    >
    Like you, I use the cadence setting as the default - I wouldn't be without
    it. When I first fitted it it I was quite surprised at how low my normal cadence was. It was
    instrumental helping me up to a more efficient rate. Now I think about it though, I actually use
    it less now that I "naturally" pedal at a cadence of c. 90. So I'd say initially it was
    invaluable, now it's used just to confirm what my legs are already telling me. Maybe they're not
    standard issue because it's too pricey/impractical to make them cordless? It's an extra
    wire/sensor/magnet to faff around with that not everyone needs. tony R.
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    AC wrote:

    > It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    > because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    > don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?

    The extra sensor would probably make it more difficult to build from a physical point of view, and
    I'd guess that most people either don't know or care what cadence is (especially when you look at
    people spinning furiously in first on a flat road or mashing along in top) so marketing departments
    have seen fit not to worry people with it.

    > Do most people here manage ok without it ?

    I manage without a computer at all, as do millions of other cyclists across the world, so it's
    hardly a necessity. However, if you are having an information display I'd have thought it might as
    well tell you cadence just in case it's handy to you. Probably of more actual use than speed if you
    know what it means.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. Ac

    Ac Guest

    > Like you, I use the cadence setting as the default - I wouldn't be without
    > it. When I first fitted it it I was quite surprised at how low my normal cadence was. It was
    > instrumental helping me up to a more efficient rate.
    Now
    > I think about it though, I actually use it less now that I "naturally"
    pedal
    > at a cadence of c. 90. So I'd say initially it was invaluable, now it's
    used
    > just to confirm what my legs are already telling me. Maybe they're not standard issue because it's
    > too pricey/impractical to
    make
    > them cordless? It's an extra wire/sensor/magnet to faff around with that
    not
    > everyone needs. tony R.
    >
    >
    I agree that it was surprising for me as well to find that I was pedalling more slowly than I
    thought!! I think it was a very useful feature when I started cycling, but would not be so important
    now that I have a better idea of my required pedalling speed

    AC
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    AC wrote:
    > It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    > because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    > don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?

    It's bound to be the combination of extra manufacturing costs and hassle of fitting.

    > Do most people here manage ok without it ?

    Yes, I've never used a cadence computer. I spin as fast as seems comfortable and I'm very, very
    "gear aware" so I doubt it would help me to have a numerical readout of what I'm doing. ...Except
    perhaps when I'm very tired and pedalling slower than usual without realising - although perhaps
    it's then reasonable to slow the cadence anyway!???

    However, I still quite like the idea of having a cadence feature (I like gadgets!), but the extra
    expense, more limited choice of computers, and the extra wire puts me off. I take the minimal
    approach with my road bike and extra wiring and sensors would be something else to go wrong, get in
    the way and interfere with cleaning and the looks of the bike, etc.

    (I don't use a cordless computer, but the wire to fork is not much of a big deal, and is worth it
    for the reliability and low cost of computer).

    ~PB
     
  6. M Series

    M Series Guest

    Never used it, I tend to count the pedal revs in 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get a rough idea of
    my feets RPM. I use my onboard computer mostly for the distance and of course the timer to time the
    15 seconds every so often. I use my HRM more these days. The feature you talk about has never been
    on my list of desired features, auto stop start is though

    "AC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > My old (15yrs) cateye computer has a cadence feature. It uses a sensor
    next
    > to the crank together with a magnet (?) fixed onto the crank itself.
    >
    > I find this useful and usually ride with the cadence displayed, as the default
    >
    > It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    > because manufacturers assume people have a
    pretty
    > good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so don't need a comp. to
    tell
    > them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?
    >
    > Do most people here manage ok without it ?
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > AC
     
  7. Ac

    Ac Guest

    M Series <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Never used it, I tend to count the pedal revs in 15 seconds and multiply
    by
    > 4 to get a rough idea of my feets RPM. I use my onboard computer mostly
    for
    > the distance and of course the timer to time the 15 seconds every so
    often.
    > I use my HRM more these days. The feature you talk about has never been on my list of desired
    > features, auto stop start is though
    >
    I certainly agree re the auto stop/start. One of my regular routes is on a road that has a level
    crossing on. Several times I have left the comp running whilst waiting for the gates to open, or
    forgotten to turn it back on, having successfully stopped it in the first place!!

    AC
     
  8. Rory

    Rory Guest

    "AC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I agree that it was surprising for me as well to find that I was pedalling more slowly than I
    > thought!! I think it was a very useful feature when I started cycling, but would not be so
    > important now that I have a better idea of my required pedalling speed

    I've just added one on my road bike (it's wireless, for a Polar s710 HRM) and was suprised how fast
    my cadence was, averaging 80 bpm over a 100k ride, topping out at 128. I guess it's because I ride a
    175mm crank commuter all week, and spin the 170mm crank on the road bike that much faster. I'll get
    one for the commuter now and see if there is any difference.
     
  9. Guy Chapman

    Guy Chapman Guest

    > It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    > because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    > don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?

    Price, for sure. It requires additional cabling, double the number of sensors and magnets, plus more
    electronics. But the Cateye Astrale is still good value, with cadence.

    > Do most people here manage ok without it ?

    Yes. It's a nice-to-have, and it helps you build good technique, but it's far from essential if
    you're not a sporting type.
     
  10. AC <[email protected]> wrote:
    >It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    >because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    >don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?

    "Peddle" is what the manufacturers are doing. "Pedal" is what you are doing.

    Cadence is certainly more expensive, with a second sensor and either wireless transmitter or set of
    wires, and a smarter computer.

    I suspect the set of people who both care about cadence and cannot determine it from their displayed
    speed and awareness of their gear ratios is quite small.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
     
  11. In message <mHC*[email protected]>, David Damerell
    <[email protected]> writes
    >AC <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    >>because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    >>don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?
    >
    >"Peddle" is what the manufacturers are doing. "Pedal" is what you are doing.

    .... it to. You are "pedalling". ("Pedal" is what you do.)

    >Cadence is certainly more expensive, with a second sensor and either wireless transmitter or set of
    >wires, and a smarter computer.
    >
    >I suspect the set of people who both care about cadence and cannot

    ..... be bothered to ....

    >determine it from their displayed speed and awareness of their gear ratios is quite small.

    .... as a proportion of the cycling universe but not insignificant in terms of actual numbers.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  12. Peter Grange

    Peter Grange Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, AC
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Hi,
    >
    >My old (15yrs) cateye computer has a cadence feature. It uses a sensor next to the crank together
    >with a magnet (?) fixed onto the crank itself.
    >
    >I find this useful and usually ride with the cadence displayed, as the default
    >
    >It seems that most computers these days don't have a cadence feature (although some do). Is his
    >because manufacturers assume people have a pretty good estimate of peddle speed themselves and so
    >don't need a comp. to tell them, or is it expensive to include or is it another reason ?
    >
    >Do most people here manage ok without it ?
    >
    >Cheers
    >
    >AC
    >
    >
    I have had a cadence display since I first bought a bike computer sometime back in the 80's, and
    like it a lot. I run most of the time with cadence on the big display and average speed on the small
    display. My old cateye was broken by British Airways a couple of years ago. I can display the same
    cadence/average speed on the replacement( cateye astrale) but only in auto start/stop mode, which I
    like less than starting and stopping it myself.
    --
    Peter Grange

    (remove crude spam trap to reply)
     
  13. AC wrote:
    >> Like you, I use the cadence setting as the default - I wouldn't be without it. When I first
    >> fitted it it I was quite surprised at how low my normal cadence was. It was instrumental helping
    >> me up to a more efficient rate.

    I don't have cadence on my computer but what I did was to calculate the road speed for target
    cadences (80,90,100) for my three top gears and taped it to my handlebar stem. This gave me the info
    I needed whn trying to increase my cadence.

    Kennedy
     
  14. Kennedy Fraser <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I don't have cadence on my computer but what I did was to calculate the road speed for target
    >cadences (80,90,100) for my three top gears and taped it to my handlebar stem.

    This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say that not everyone who cares about cadence needs a
    cadence computer. Similarly I know what 70 and 90 rpm corresponds to in my usual gears.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Distortion Field!
     
  15. Geoff Bowles

    Geoff Bowles Guest

    My new ergobrain shows cadence - it seems my "normal" rate is about 68, only going over 70 when
    pushing a big gear downhiill or with a tailwind. Not essential, but nice to have
     
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