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I'm looking to get a bike computer, primarily for the speedometer function. I use my bike on a trainer most of the time, and I'd like to get "speed" from that, so the sensor needs to be on the rear wheel.

I'd prefer not to spend too much, but my budget is pretty high. Right now, the only feature I want is speed, but I'll learn to use any other useful features.

I've read this question, and gotten some interesting data, but I don't really care about whether the unit is wired or wireless. It just needs to reach the back wheel and be reliable.

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Well, you should probably decide wired/wireless, since that's a major differentiator. Also, do you want cadence? (Don't know about currently, but at one point most non-cadence meters where front wheel.) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 14 '12 at 22:20
@DanielRHicks What's cadence? I really don't care whether wired or wireless, I just want the best one. – CajunLuke Apr 14 '12 at 22:37
@CajunLuke, Daniel means the cadence of your pedalling (so you can measure how constant your pedalling is and check if you keep it in the most efficient numbers for your riding style). With rear-mounted sensors, this is relatively easily achieved, as you can see on the second picture here. – Czechnology Apr 15 '12 at 0:03
Unless you use a small frame most wired "speed only" units don't have enough wire length to reach the bars.For my trainer I fabricated a mount for my quill type stem. – mikes Apr 15 '12 at 2:04
If It's a possibility for you to mount the speedometer in the top tube, almost any computer will serve the purpose. Specially using the bike in a trainer where looking up is not a priority... – Jahaziel Apr 16 '12 at 21:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've decided to go the cheap route - I got a Cateye Enduro 8 (which is wired, but not long enough) and I'll modify it to extend the wire.

If I start using my bike more (or I break the Cateye) I'll look at getting something like the Garmins @zenbike mentioned.

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Modifying the wire is iffy at best. There are real wheel wired designs but they aren't easy to find anymore. – zenbike Apr 17 '12 at 4:31
@zenbike I had several EE courses in college, I know how to solder, I can test the wire to make sure the output is the same as it would be pre-modification, and I'm willing to throw the thirty bucks down the drain if it fails. Plus, it'll be fun. – CajunLuke Apr 17 '12 at 5:33
@CajunLuke - You should do an Arduino wireless thingy and have even more fun! ;~) – user313 Apr 17 '12 at 5:52
The problem with the wire is that it's apt to be "tinsel wire", which cannot be soldered -- you must use crimp connectors. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 17 '12 at 15:47
@DanielRHicks I'll keep that in mind, thanks. If that's the case, I'll probably just replace all of the wire. – CajunLuke Apr 17 '12 at 16:08

The best single sensor, rear wheel mounted computers are made by Garmin.

The Edge 500 or Edge 800 are amazing, if a bit pricey. They do have pretty much every feature you could want in a cyclometer, and an easy to mount, stable, rear wheel only sensor.

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I'm going to be using this inside on a trainer a lot - I assume a GPS-based device wouldn't work? – CajunLuke Apr 15 '12 at 23:47
The Garmin devices have the ability to track GPS location, but they use a wheel sensor for accurate speed and distance, and as such are not limited to GPS connectivity. I use my Garmin with my trainer regularly. – zenbike Apr 16 '12 at 2:42
I assume the Garmin units reach the rear wheel since you use them on your trainer? – CajunLuke Apr 17 '12 at 5:36
@CajunLuke - Wireless. Pretty sure that the sensor does not care whether front or back. Mine is on the front, but see no reason as to why it wouldn't do the same job on the back wheel. – user313 Apr 17 '12 at 5:45
They are designed for rear wheel use, as that allows one sensor to work for both cadence and speed. It could be mounted on the front, but you'd lose the cadence. – zenbike Apr 17 '12 at 6:40

The Bontrager Trip 3 is now offered as an inexpensive, rear-wheel-sensor computer with cadence. Mine seems to do everything you'd want it to (measure speed and cadence, not catch fire.)

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This problem I have encountered myself, the wire length of most digital speedo's is not long enough to reach and be actually useable, the range of wireless speedo's are not good enough either, considering that you are only an extra 2 foot away from the receiver seems a bit much.


A cheap wired speedo is your answer, replacing the wire with a longer one is the only cheap method which reliably works, you will need to use copper wire as it better at conducting electricial impulses compared to the cheap alloy use in the standard wires, test before installing to make sure your shed altered speedo actually works.

(Cheap speedo = £5) + (length of suitable copper wire = 50p) + (ten minutes worth of time) = problem solved

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But finding good wire, suitable for the task, is difficult, as is splicing it. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 29 '13 at 0:45

Probably any wired cyclocomputer with cadence will have rear wheel sensor near crank. I had Blackburn Delphi 3.0 Wired Bike Computer with Cadence. This was not the best cyclocomputer, but at least it's that you asking for.

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