cycle computer suitable for 26" wheel electric bike

russell

Pedelecer
Oct 15, 2008
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Would anyone be able to advise me please on an inexpensive cycle computer that I can fit to my electric bike.. I have tried 2 already both of which were very difficult to fit , in the end I gave up. I go out on my bike most days and ride an average of what I thing is about 18 miles but never sure. When I try to fit the sensor to the frame no matter where I tried to fit it the magnet was always too far away from the sensor. I cant justify an expensive one as I am too old to be going very far but I would like to know, speed, time, distance, heart rate, calories. In addition to this when I go out the battery indicator has 5 levels but I have no idea how far I can go and though the computer might be helpful inworking it out.. Thank you
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
1,383
374
Would anyone be able to advise me please on an inexpensive cycle computer that I can fit to my electric bike.. I have tried 2 already both of which were very difficult to fit , in the end I gave up. I go out on my bike most days and ride an average of what I thing is about 18 miles but never sure. When I try to fit the sensor to the frame no matter where I tried to fit it the magnet was always too far away from the sensor. I cant justify an expensive one as I am too old to be going very far but I would like to know, speed, time, distance, heart rate, calories. In addition to this when I go out the battery indicator has 5 levels but I have no idea how far I can go and though the computer might be helpful inworking it out.. Thank you


What bike do you have? Even though my magnet is only about 4mm away from the sensor, it still goes haywire after 27mph - displays 0 then 27 then 0 ... 4mm isn't close enough! Installing my speed sensor was a nightmare - very tight cable ties are needed... double sided sticky tape initially till it was in the best position (it wasn't obvious, had to do a lot of repositioning, I tried all over the place), totally straight wheels and a lot of fiddling about, may well get you there with the two that you've already got? I might try using a neodymium magnet pulled out of a hard drive, if I regularly travel over 27mph.
 
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Scorpio

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Apr 13, 2020
221
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Portugal Algarve (temporary)
Hi Russell, maybe a fitness-type watch would be a cheap and easy solution for you?

A common and popular watch is called a Fitbit - either search in the box at the top of this website or look on Google etc.

My watch is made by company Huawai the model is Band3 Pro, it cost about £50 a few years ago, When I go out for a ride I start it recording and it tracks speed, distance, heartrate, gps route, and more. When I get home I use a smartphone to view all the details (I think you can also view on a pc but I've not tried). The only thing you asked for that mine doesn't record is blood pressure (but I think hear rate is a good alternative). When I use gps the battery lasts for several hours, without gps it lasts more than a week before I need to charge it.
 
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pentiumofborg

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Dec 13, 2020
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Hi Russell, maybe a fitness-type watch would be a cheap and easy solution for you?

A common and popular watch is called a Fitbit - either search in the box at the top of this website or look on Google etc.

My watch is made by company Huawai the model is Band3 Pro, it cost about £50 a few years ago, When I go out for a ride I start it recording and it tracks speed, distance, heartrate, gps route, and more. When I get home I use a smartphone to view all the details (I think you can also view on a pc but I've not tried). The only thing you asked for that mine doesn't record is blood pressure (but I think hear rate is a good alternative). When I use gps the battery lasts for several hours, without gps it lasts more than a week before I need to charge it.


Is a fitbit any more accurate than an app?


 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
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Basildon
Would anyone be able to advise me please on an inexpensive cycle computer that I can fit to my electric bike.. I have tried 2 already both of which were very difficult to fit , in the end I gave up. I go out on my bike most days and ride an average of what I thing is about 18 miles but never sure. When I try to fit the sensor to the frame no matter where I tried to fit it the magnet was always too far away from the sensor. I cant justify an expensive one as I am too old to be going very far but I would like to know, speed, time, distance, heart rate, calories. In addition to this when I go out the battery indicator has 5 levels but I have no idea how far I can go and though the computer might be helpful inworking it out.. Thank you
Use your phone. There are loads of free cycling apps. They'll give you eveything except heart rate. If you want heart rate too, you'll need a heartrate monitor. That means that you'll need to buy a proper one or use a smart watch. You can buy used Fibit Charge 3 on Ebay for about £30. A charge 2 does the same. they're about £25 used. That'll give you everything you want via your smartphone. I had one of those first, then I upgraded to a £100 Huawei watch gt 2e, which has SPO2 as well. Here's my heart rate from yesterday. It tracks it 24 hrs a day. The spike to 130 is wheren I rode my bike up the hill from the town centre. It's quite steep for about 1/2 mile. As it was only a short ride, i didn't track it as a ride, which you do by a simple tap on the screen at the start and finish. That gives a map, times, distance, calories, ave speed and everything like that. The calories are based on heart rate, while as the simple cycle apps guess at calories based on weight and time.


41054
 
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vfr400

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Is a fitbit any more accurate than an app?


The Fitbit Charge 2 and 3 use the GPS data from your phone, so it's exactly the same, except it superimposes your heart rate onto it and calculates the calories more accurately. Some of the other Fitbits have GPS in them, but that makes it a bit more fiddly to start and stop your ride because you have to switch on the GPS too. The Huawei must switch on its GPS automatically because it's much simpler. The Huawei is better in many respects than a Fitbit. There are a load of cheap Chinese fitness trackers, but it's worth paying more for one of the branded pones, where it's a bit more predictable what they can actually do. Some of the cheap ones are useless.
 

Scorpio

Pedelecer
Apr 13, 2020
221
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Portugal Algarve (temporary)
Is a fitbit any more accurate than an app?
I'd guess they will be the same for speed & distance as they use the same GPS system, not sure how apps show maps and your routes but I'd expect them all to be similar.
A watch will also give accurate heart rate and calories which I find useful so I can see my fitness levels improve on familiar routes.
 

pentiumofborg

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Dec 13, 2020
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The Fitbit Charge 2 and 3 use the GPS data from your phone, so it's exactly the same, except it superimposes your heart rate onto it. Some of the others have GPS in them, but that makes it a bit more fiddly to start and stop your ride because you have to switch on the GPS too. The Huawei must switch on its GPS automatically. There are a load of cheap Chinese fitness trackers, but it's worth paying more for one of the branded pones, where it's a bit more predictable what they can actually do. Some of the cheap ones are useless.

Do you know if the fitbits with internal GPS modules, use A-GPS exclusively, or GPS plus A-GPS? Before "Smart" phones arrived, I used to use a really good phased array type affair on my Dell Axim PDA, had TomTom for the whole world installed, it was wonderfully accurate and used GPS exclusively. It also makes phone calls, and the apps run without leaking all of your data. I still have it, for when civilisation descends into chaos post-Covid's (if there is a "post Covid") economic and societal collapse. The advantage is of course, you could be in the middle of the Amazon rainforest or up a remote mountain, and still know your location.
 

Scorpio

Pedelecer
Apr 13, 2020
221
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Portugal Algarve (temporary)
The replies crossed - Huawei turns on gps automatically when you start a recording "session", but they don't record your heart rate continously (it is always displayed but it's only recorded when needed).
The gps is internal on the watch as it works even if you don't carry your phone but I don't know what gps-spec it uses. Huawai have a map for each country, so it you abroad you get working gps dot on a blank map until you download the country map. I have 3 maps installed as I travel between then a lot,
The heart rate not recording on my smartphone might just be because my phone is an older model (the app has a screen for it but it's always blank)
 
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slowcoach

Pedelecer
Dec 11, 2020
65
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I have only experienced a problem on one bike (non electric) when fitting a speedo. Got over it by making a packing piece to go between the sensor and front fork. Used a piece of that "hard foam" often used as packaging. Stuck it to the fork with double sided tape than zip tied the sensor over it. Job done.
 
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Nealh

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Aug 7, 2014
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I bought a wireless £25 Cateye for my gravel bike then the damn unit was lost after it came off the mount, I replaced it with cheap wireless £6 or £7 jobbie off ebay and am happy with it. Basic functions are wheel size input in mm, time, odo, speedo, avg and alt I think all I need to know on a ride. Heartrate, cadence and calories I have no interest in seeing or recorded.
Waterproof MTB Cycle Bike Speedometer Wireless Bicycle Meter Computer Odometer | eBay
 

vfr400

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Jun 12, 2011
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pentiumofborg

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Dec 13, 2020
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I have only experienced a problem on one bike (non electric) when fitting a speedo. Got over it by making a packing piece to go between the sensor and front fork. Used a piece of that "hard foam" often used as packaging. Stuck it to the fork with double sided tape than zip tied the sensor over it. Job done.

Neat! I may do that, if I find myself ebiking beyond 27mph. Sadly, that only happens downhill at the mo, because some pesky law abiding part of me is stubbornly resisting the addition of a throttle and the derestriction of speed...
 

Nealh

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Don't you have an LCD with your controller that already gives that data?
The Revos kit on the bike has no display/control panel at all, so a simple wireless comp is more then adequate.
 

WheezyRider

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Apr 20, 2020
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Neat! I may do that, if I find myself ebiking beyond 27mph. Sadly, that only happens downhill at the mo, because some pesky law abiding part of me is stubbornly resisting the addition of a throttle and the derestriction of speed...

I've used Cateye for some years and have not had a problem recording speeds >30 mph. However, they are not perfect. The wireless version only has a short range and can be blocked by interference from some flashing LED lights. Also, I had an almost new transmitter fail after only a few months.
 
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Nealh

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Aug 7, 2014
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My Cateye was fine until the head unit disappeared on a ride, it may have been a bump that dislodged it. I didn't notice it fall off but was too late when I realised it had. I still have the mount and sensor etc.
 

WheezyRider

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 20, 2020
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My Cateye was fine until the head unit disappeared on a ride, it may have been a bump that dislodged it. I didn't notice it fall off but was too late when I realised it had. I still have the mount and sensor etc.
Hang on to the sensor, as I had a new Cateye that had a sensor failure. Luckily I kept the sensor from an older model which had fallen off like yours and that worked with the new Cateye.
 

Charliefox

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Feb 11, 2015
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I bought a wireless £25 Cateye for my gravel bike then the damn unit was lost after it came off the mount, I replaced it with cheap wireless £6 or £7 jobbie off ebay and am happy with it. Basic functions are wheel size input in mm, time, odo, speedo, avg and alt I think all I need to know on a ride. Heartrate, cadence and calories I have no interest in seeing or recorded.
Waterproof MTB Cycle Bike Speedometer Wireless Bicycle Meter Computer Odometer | eBay
Hells Bells! Even cheaper than the InBike ones I bought from Baangood. I'll buy one just to see how long lasting the senser unit is. Does yours work below freezing? Both of mine gave up the ghost in my unheated bike shed this winter as it was so long and cold up in the Highlands.
 

Nealh

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Aug 7, 2014
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My bikes live in luxury either indoors or in the garage which never gets below a few degrees C. The bike I us e it on is my lightish gravel bike, it has no guards so I only use it for dry running.