Bike computer or iPhone holder?

wayne77
wayne77 Posts: 8
edited January 2014 in Road beginners
Hello people.

I need to get a new computer for my new bike, intend doing more cycling and entering into some sportive rides as the year progresses. So, do you recommend a brand of type of cycle computer, or would an iPhone bracket be OK using an app as my cycle computer.

I would not really want to spend much more than £50-£60.

Thanks.

Comments

  • I would avoid a phone mount as the first time you crash...

    Something like the specialized speed zone would do everything you need:
    speed, cadence,time etc. it is very solid and fairly cheap, i got one for £20 and it has lasted 3 years of riding 5-6 days a week on average in all weathers and numerous crashes.

    It does't have hr, but other than that it is pretty complete
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,544
    a phone is a pretty big lump on the front, screen visibility will be poor in bright light, battery life will be grim if it's lit up all the time, then there's the lack of weatherproofing

    in ye olde days, before gps, paper maps, route notes or memory were used for unsigned routes, all still work well

    if you want something for training, look for one that'll log hrm, distance, maybe cadence too, otherwise ride free of distraction, it's nicer - i use a pm for training with hrm, etc. logged, rest of the time i don't bother, often leave the phone behind if i'm not going into the sticks or exploring unknown territory by following random roads until i get lost :)
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • shmooster
    shmooster Posts: 335
    If you've got a 4/4s you can get the Biologic iPhone holder for £13.99 on amazon at the moment (down from £40). I've crashed a couple of times with it and no issues plus visibility is fine though you need an external battery to have the screen last longer than 2-3 hours. Friend crashed with one, it flew off, was driven over by a car and was still fine so they're pretty tough. Gives you access to Strava, endomondo, run keeper and all those apps, but probably not as good as a Garmin if you can stretch your budget to a 500 (some good offers around on them recently). You can always try tracking with your phone in your pocket to see if the apps work for you.
  • ytchi
    ytchi Posts: 61
    I found the limitation with the iPhone was the battery life and if it was doing data logging and navigation (with screen on 70% of the time) I was only getting around 3 hours at best. I was using the cyclemeter app and found it pretty good except that the map wouldn't orientate in the direction of travel which didn't help.

    I've just bought a Garmin 800 in the amazon sale is it's much better - proper turn-by-turn directions plus cadence and heart rate which I didn't have before.
  • This solves the battery, waterproofing and crash problem of the iPhone 4

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mophie-Juice-Ru ... B00892CYLY
  • I have a fairly old computer (Cateye Mity) on my handlebars as on the road all I want to know is my speed, distance and average speed. Apart from rarely losing contact with the sensor in torrential rain it's worked perfectly. As I always carry my phone (Android) with me I use that to track my ride (currently using Strava but I've used other apps). The advantage of this is that the screen isn't on so the battery lasts much longer and it's tucked safely in my pocket. GPS on newer phones doesn't seem to drain the battery much and you don't even need a reliable phone signal. When I get home I can look at my ride in more detail. If my phone has lost GPS or crashed I've always got the basics on my computer. I don't monitor cadence or HR as I'm a fairly casual cyclist.
  • shmooster
    shmooster Posts: 335
    This solves the battery, waterproofing and crash problem of the iPhone 4

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mophie-Juice-Ru ... B00892CYLY

    Bit outside the OPs budget, could get this within budget

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biologic-Reecha ... s=biologic

    or this (that I mentioned previously)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biologic-Bike-M ... gic+iphone

    and this

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/PowerGen-12000m ... p_t_1_PMZX

    That powergen battery would let the iPhone run all day (>12 hours) on full screen brightness
  • Thanks guys.


    I think I will go with using an app such as Strava or Runkeeper on my iPhone, and just keep the phone in my pocket basically as a record keeper.

    So, i would like advice as to which computer I should choose to provide information while on the bike. Also should I have a wireless computer?

    Thanks.
  • shmooster wrote:
    This solves the battery, waterproofing and crash problem of the iPhone 4

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mophie-Juice-Ru ... B00892CYLY

    Bit outside the OPs budget, could get this within budget

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biologic-Reecha ... s=biologic

    or this (that I mentioned previously)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biologic-Bike-M ... gic+iphone

    and this

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/PowerGen-12000m ... p_t_1_PMZX

    That powergen battery would let the iPhone run all day (>12 hours) on full screen brightness

    Missing the point.

    I will be selling mine for £40
    It's the best solution off extra battery, waterproofing, shock proofing and accident proofing.
    And you score loads of points charging up your mates phones when their Strava is about to die.
  • wayne77 wrote:
    Thanks guys.


    I think I will go with using an app such as Strava or Runkeeper on my iPhone, and just keep the phone in my pocket basically as a record keeper.

    So, i would like advice as to which computer I should choose to provide information while on the bike. Also should I have a wireless computer?

    Thanks.

    Wired computers are cheaper and more reliable (wireless computers can suffer from interference), but depending on how complex of a computer you want, you may not have a choice in the matter - there aren't that many wired computers available these days. Which functions do you want?
  • Thanks Simon.

    Well, I would like to be able to view my current speed as I cycle. I would also like to be able to check my distance,average speed, total distance(odometer),elapsed time,max speed and clock. Also auto stop-start would be very handy.

    Currently considering Cateye Strada or Garmin Edge 200.
  • wayne77 wrote:
    Thanks Simon.

    Well, I would like to be able to view my current speed as I cycle. I would also like to be able to check my distance,average speed, total distance(odometer),elapsed time,max speed and clock. Also auto stop-start would be very handy.

    Currently considering Cateye Strada or Garmin Edge 200.

    No problem. You'll find a lot of support for the Garmin units around here, but they cost more. A simple CatEye can give you all of those functions for less than £50, and a very basic wired computer with actual speed/trip time/trip distance under £20. I use a Sigma bc1009, which has all of the functions that you've named.
  • shmooster
    shmooster Posts: 335

    Missing the point.

    I will be selling mine for £40
    It's the best solution off extra battery, waterproofing, shock proofing and accident proofing.
    And you score loads of points charging up your mates phones when their Strava is about to die.

    Maybe if you'd mentioned you were selling yours rather than linking a new one...
  • Another advantage of a wired computer is that the batteries last for years. I've had my Cateye Mity 8 for about 5 years and use it on two bikes. I've only changed the battery once. Bit better than an iPhone :wink:
  • Leaning towards the Garmin, seems best all rounder.
  • wayne77 wrote:
    Thanks Simon.

    Well, I would like to be able to view my current speed as I cycle. I would also like to be able to check my distance,average speed, total distance(odometer),elapsed time,max speed and clock. Also auto stop-start would be very handy.

    Currently considering Cateye Strada or Garmin Edge 200.

    The Cateye is a nice unit! Alternatively you could get a Bryton Rider 20. Merlin seem to have an offer on the model with a heart rate monitor: http://www.merlincycles.com/bryton-ride ... 57158.html

    Beenfit of that over the Garmin is it has ANT+ so you can add speed/cadence sensors later if you wish, whereas with the Garmin you would need to buy a new computer as well.
  • Buckie2k5
    Buckie2k5 Posts: 600
    buy a 2nd hand garmin 705 for less then £100 these days. Does everything the 800 does except temperature reading.
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I'd save your money until you can get something that you really want. Don't go for a stop gap. I started with a phone case, then bought a cateye wired computer when in reality I should have just gone straight for the Garmin Edge 500 (or similar). It'll be all you ever need and should be good for years.
  • zx6man
    zx6man Posts: 1,092
    I used cateye strada on both my bikes before getting a garmin 800, worked perfectly and were quite cheap. Mine was even in black and yellow to match the bike....
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    I'd save your money until you can get something that you really want. Don't go for a stop gap. I started with a phone case, then bought a cateye wired computer when in reality I should have just gone straight for the Garmin Edge 500 (or similar). It'll be all you ever need and should be good for years.

    I almost did the same but went for the 500 which has worked really well for me.
  • akc42
    akc42 Posts: 43
    My son in law got an iphone holder for his bike for Christmas. We both went out for a ride on Boxing day. He used strava on his iphone (5?), I had Strava running on an Android phone (Nexus 5) in my back jersey pocket.

    For some reason his phone stopped recording after about 15 miles - he thinks because of cold. The battery was still at 80%. I recorded the complete (approx 30 mile) ride on my phone.

    A couple of days later we went out again on a 35 mile ride. Same thing happened. His phone stopped recording, mine did the complete ride.

    This time I was also using Cue Sheet (an app that replays my RideWithGPS route) to feed me turn by turn instructions (I have the version that reads out the cue sheet to me and feed that through ear pieces from the phone to my ears). My battery had not gone down at all in that time.

    I have a Cats Eye Strada Wireless on my handlebars - gives me instantenous speed, plus distance and time travelled. I find the combination of that plus Strava and Cue Sheet perfect.