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I'm looking to get a computer for my bicycle to give me some more information when I go on rides. I have seen and used several that belong to friends, and while they seem invaluable, the one feature they all lacked was data logging(more than simple avg. speed, avg. cadence, etc.) and the ability to pull that data onto my computer. I'd love to be able to make some graphs of my rides so that I can track my progress, this seems simple enough that it must exist, I've just had no luck finding one.

Ideally, I would like it to have the following features:

  • Speed and Cadence sensors
  • Trip functionality
  • USB interface to get data the data onto my computer.

If anyone has any recommendations for a good cycling computer it would be greatly appreciated!

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I've wanted something similar but "My Tracks" on my Android phone was really all I needed. The ability to upload to a spreadsheet after each ride (without connecting to a computer) and create maps of where I went (along with the simple stuff like average speed, etc) is amazing. Only downside is I have to remember to start a new track whenever I go somewhere. –  tooshel Aug 2 '10 at 21:43
    
Good recommendation, I have an iPhone myself, but there are several apps that appear to offer a few of the features I'm looking for. –  David Barry Aug 2 '10 at 22:47
    
I love My Tracks, but I find it a bit flaky at times (it could be more to do with my Hero's GPS) but it has measured my average speed at 350mph+ on occasion. –  Amos Sep 15 '10 at 11:57
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10 Answers

Garmin Edge-series computers coupled with Garmin Connect ... not inexpensive, but have traditional bike touch points (wheel and cadence sensors) coupled with GPS, logging and USB. Edge 205/305 are BW, 605 and up add color, ANT integration, etc ... all the modern bike computer features.

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The Garmin Forerunner 305 supposedly links with cadence sensors as well, but it's mostly a runner's device. –  Broam Aug 3 '10 at 15:51
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I have the Garmin Edge 205 and it works like a dream. I thought about using an iPhone app (and certainly GPS Motion X does the job) but the Garmin Edge is far more robust. –  Nick Pierpoint Aug 3 '10 at 23:02
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You're forgetting the Edge 500 and Edge 800 -- the newest computers of the Edge series. The 800 has a full color touchscreen with birds-eye view maps. –  Russ Warren Sep 15 '10 at 13:25
    
I use a Garmin Forerunner 410 for cycling. I find it more versatile than Edge series as it can be used out of the bike as well. It doesn't have mapping but routing feature is enough for me. –  Narcís Calvet Feb 9 '11 at 18:49
    
I have the 500 and would highly recommend it. It lasts two days with care without recharging and holds a week's tours worth of data without overwriting the early data. The second item is crucial if you don't have access to a PC during a multi-day ride. I have yet to lose GPS signal in very hilly terrain in multiple eastern seaboard states. –  john busteed Feb 15 '11 at 19:48
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VeloComputer looks like it does what you need assuming you have a compatible phone.

It's a Bluetooth module that connects to a variety of mobile phones (Blackberry, Android, Nokia etc.). It tracks distance, spot speed, acceleration and cadence and monitors a number of other metrics too. If your phone has GPS it can also do trip tracking.

The data can be exported as CSV via USB and converted to KML if you want to load it into a mapping application.

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That is a very cool accessory, make me wish I had an android phone. –  David Barry Aug 3 '10 at 18:06
    
@David it works with other phones too, not just Android –  Rich Seller Aug 3 '10 at 18:44
    
@Rich Thanks, I have an iPhone myself which doesn't seem to be supported yet. The android was what it came down to against the iPhone when buying. I'll definitely be showing this to friends with compatible phones though! –  David Barry Aug 3 '10 at 19:21
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@David It looks like they haven't yet released it on iPhone because background tasks weren't allowed (velocomputer.com/jforum/posts/list/12.page), maybe with iOS 4 out that will change. Probably worth keeping an eye on this if you don't find another solution soon. –  Rich Seller Aug 3 '10 at 19:39
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Polar's higher end heart rate monitors now offer a foot pod for tracking running distance and a bike computer (wireless as well). The data can be downloaded via the data link. Again, like ttt notes, not inexpensive. But then this level of functionality is alas, never cheap.

I recall there was a Palm Pilot app that had an interface to some common bike computer standard, but that was ages ago, and I doubt it is still around.

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Polar looks to have exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the recommendation. –  David Barry Aug 3 '10 at 21:55
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LiveRider This just popped up on gizmodo.com, requires an iPhone or iPod touch but looks like it has what you're looking for.

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Nice find Alex, that looks like a great option for the iPhone/iPod! –  David Barry Aug 5 '10 at 17:52
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How about building your own? MSDN has series of articles about building a bicycle computer using the .Net Micro Framework.

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I like this idea a lot, I've been thinking about making an arduino project out of this. That link looks to have a lot of good information, and more ideas on how to go about making my own. –  David Barry Aug 3 '10 at 18:04
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If you have a smartphone or Garmin device, you can use this site to do what you want: http://www.endomondo.com

I use it to track and map my runs, walks, bicycle rides, etc. Seems to work well for me (with their app running on my iPhone) and is web based so there is no upload issue. It also is free, which is always nice :)

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I generally use a Garmin Edge 305 which hooks up reasonably well to the computer (Mac or PC).

But I also use the RunKeeper app for the iPhone which syncs to their website.

And if you're an Android-ist, here's a recent post offering options (disclaimer, not my post, I just subscribe to the feed).

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The Sigma ROX 9 - It has every feature you could ask for from cycling computer, except the turn by turn directions of a Garmin Edge 800. Including a dock to connect to your PC and Training log software. It's also roughly half the cost of the Garmin Edge 500, and 70% less than the Edge 800, in my area at least. Includes Heart Rate, as well

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I'd be completely happy with my ROX9 if it logged cadence instead of temperature. –  Karl Jul 4 '11 at 1:22
    
Explain please. Mine does cadence.. or are you talking about logging cadence breadcrumbs on the data center? –  zenbike Jul 4 '11 at 5:02
    
Yes. It shows current cadence and max/min/avg but doesn't sample it. –  Karl Jul 5 '11 at 0:36
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I've used a CicloSport for a number of years. (Not the one linked...mine is older.) They make a number of models both with and without GPS that contain your desired feature set. I have 6 or 7 years of ride data generated by the CicloSport and a workshop wall of printed ride graphs. It tracks distance, speeds, elevation profiles, temperature, HR data, cadence, etc. And the price range is much less than a Garmin.

I had been considering using my Android phone as the bike computer. However, there are size, battery life and mounting issues that are leading me to prefer a dedicated cyclometer.

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I have used the Veloset / MainNav MG-600 which logs location using the GPS signals to give speed, trip distance and average speed. There does not appear to be any logging from Cadence sensors but the data that is logged can be downloaded to a PC. This data can then map the route you took and show graphs for speed and altitude over time.

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