Accessories / Bikes

How To Install Bike Computer

By: Alex Bristol

Last Update:

How To Install Bike Computer

Have you just bought a new bike computer but aren’t sure how to install it properly or maybe you just want to double-check if it’s been done correctly.

Installing a bike computer isn’t always simple and many things may be preventing you from attaching the bicycle computer to your road or mountain bikes.

For example, wheel size can affect whether a bicycle speedometer will attach correctly. If you want to know more about wheel size and how it correlates with wired and wireless computers then check out our article on how to measure bike wheel size for computers.

We’re going to take a look at how exactly to install your bicycle computer giving you a step-by-step guide as well as answer some frequently asked questions so read on and you’ll be installing your bicycle speedometer like the best bike mechanic around.

However, if you haven’t found yourself a bicycle speedometer just yet then make sure you have a look over our guide on the best budget bike computer.

Attaching Your Bike Computer – Step-By-Step

Things you May Need:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Wire cutters
  • A stripper or knife
  • Solder
  • Bicycle tools
  • Cable ties

Attaching a computer can be tricky, however, we’ve tried to explain it as simply as possible below. Follow the instructions and you’ll be cycling with your new small computer in no time. Alternatively, you could try a wireless computer as they are much easier to set up.

  1. Firstly, attach the computer sensor to the fork opposite your brakes on the front wheel mount. It doesn’t really matter where you attach it and any point along the fork will do, so choose a location that will be easy for you to access.
  2. Next, run the wire from the sensor up the back and outer part of your shock absorber.
  3. After this, you can then attach the computer mount to your handlebars in a location that’s easily visible so you can see the display easily.
  4. Secure the wire that connects the sensor and the computer mount to your bike frame with cable ties. Then you need to add a cable tie in any places that the wire may dangle or bow out from the frame but leave enough slack in the wire so your front wheel and handlebars can turn freely.
  5. Next up you’ll need to clip the magnet to the spokes of your front tire so it passes by the sensor each time your tire rotates. The sensor will pick up when your tire has made one complete revolution by sensing the magnet, so it’s key that the magnet passes within about 1/4 inch of the sensor.
  6. After that’s done you should enter the diameter of your front bicycle tire into the computer. This information is usually printed on the tire itself or will appear in your bicycle’s user manual. the diameter will help calculate your average speed accurately.
  7. Lastly, turn the tire to ensure your bike computer’s sensor is detecting the magnet as it goes by. Your display should show a nonzero speed value if the sensor is working correctly.

Extra Tips

  • Try mounting the magnet as close to the hub as possible so that it slowly passes the sensor, this will give a more accurate reading.
  • Cable ties can be pretty ugly and ruin the sleek look of your bike. In which case you may want to try using transparent plastic tape.
  • The wire should lead up the back of the fork as this is both aesthetically pleasing and aerodynamic.
  • If your bike has cantilever brakes then try and install a sensor and magnet on the left if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I place my bicycle computer?

Putting the sensor on the front wheel is good for keeping things simple as it’s much easier to route a wire to the front fork than the rear fork.

How does a wireless bicycle computer work?

The way a cycle computer works is simple. Each time a magnet on the wheel passes a sensor on the fork a signal is generated. The bike computer measures the time between those signals and works out how fast you’re going, based on the wheel dimension you gave it on the initial setup.

Where do you mount a computer on a mountain bike?

The stock mount that comes with many Garmin cycling computers allows the unit to be mounted in a variety of locations, including the handlebar, on top of the stem, or even on the top tube. Some enduro racers prefer the top tube location, as it keeps the computer safe in the event the bike goes tumbling away from them.

Do bike computers need sensors?

You’ll need to connect it to either a chest strap or a fitness tracker with a wrist-based sensor to feed heart rate data to your bike computer.

Leave a Comment