Why Choose A Wireless Bike Computer?
You’ve probably heard of bike computers while looking for new accessories for your road or mountain bike but you may be wondering the differences between the types of bike computers and probably whether it’s worth getting a bike computer in general.
Well, in this article we’re going to discuss what kind of rider will benefit from a wireless bike computer and a little bit about wireless computers and why they’re the best choice compared to wired computers.
So, now you know what’s in store, let’s take a look at wireless bike computers and why one will make a fine addition to your cycling kit.
Who Needs A Wireless Bike Computer?
You may be thinking that wireless units are only useful for hardcore riders that really want to innovate their cycling and while it’s true that the advanced features on higher-end wireless units will come in handy for these kinds of riders, the more basic cycle computers will come in real handy for more casual cyclists.
If you’re one to take part in competitions and like to keep track of heart rate, speed, and altitude then finding the best cycling computers is probably going to be beneficial for you and your cycling.
As a professional cyclist, you need to record data so you can track your performance easily. You should look for a wireless cycling computer with a cadence sensor, heart rate monitor, and should also have a built-in GPS unit. You may want to consider more expensive units so you can get all of the advanced features as well as basic functions.
Cadence sensors will assist you in achieving maximum results by measuring the rotations per minute and ensuring you collect useful data ready for any events you have planned.
Your bike computer should connect to a smartphone, have tracking systems and Wi-Fi navigation functions so that you can easily measure distance.
Enthusiastic riders may also be referred to as advanced riders and will want to consider wireless odometers with all of the convenient functions seen in the majority of wireless and wired bike computers.
You might not need the best bike computer if you’re just an enthusiast but you’ll want a wireless computer with your basic smartphone connectivity and that’s user-friendly so that you can access the information quickly.
These are the kind of cyclists who ride bikes for fun and to perhaps exercise, most of them are beginners with a basic knowledge of bikes and the cycling world.
This is the most common rider type and such a person will want to know the speed, distance, and time when looking for a bike computer. You can potentially use your smartphone for this kind of data but we would still encourage you to consider wireless bike computers and you can find out more about the pros and cons of each in our article “phone vs. bike computer: which should you use?“
Casual or beginner mountain bikers won’t need much data and may not care for it at all but if you’re intrigued by the idea of wireless bike computers then choose a bike computer that shows average speed, time, location, and altitude.
Pick a device that is light and has a prolonged battery life if you want to use it for a long time and be sure to check out our guide on “how to use a road bike computer” for some tips on how to get the most from your cycle computer.
Wired Bike Computer Vs. Wireless Bike Computer
With cheaper bike computers the sensor and handlebar unit tend to be connected with a wire whereas more expensive computers use a wireless transmitter in the sensor.
Wired cycle computers only have one battery to run down and this battery can last a very long time but you run the risk of making your bike look untidy and the wires can get damaged or even snag on the environment.
Wireless bike computers on the other hand need a battery in the transmitter as well as the head unit, but are tidier and have no wires to snag. We’d recommend checking out our tips on “how to install a bike computer” as the installation process differs greatly and often puts people off of getting a wired computer.
Benefits Of Wireless Bike Computers
Wireless units look a lot tidier on your bike and allow you to maintain that sleek look. There are no hanging wires around your bike to get caught on to. You can also adjust your cycling computer at any time without having to worry about the wires or cables that are on a wired computer.
Wireless computers are connected by a transmitter in the sensor. This cuts out the need for any cables so you just have to pair your unit, and then you’re all set. A wireless computer can be swapped from one bike to another with ease. All you’ll need to do is have sensors on each bike, and your computer unit will become a portable one.
More Advanced Features
Generally, wireless models tend to be more expensive than a wired bike computer, and with that price point comes more advanced features. So, if you’re into getting all the most advanced data from your rides so you can innovate your experience then you’re most likely going to be looking at wireless bike computers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do wireless bike computers work?
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.
Why does my bike computer not work?
The most common problems are fairly easy to fix. These can include battery problems, wiring problems, and misalignment between the magnet and the sensor.
What is a wireless bike computer?
These are two unit devices where signals are transmitted wirelessly. The battery will drain faster, but it’s worth it in the long run and safer as you don’t need to connect your handlebars and sensor with a wire.
How do bike computers measure power?
A power meter on a bicycle is a device that measures the power delivered by the cyclist. Most bicycle power meters use strain gauges to measure applied torque and, when combined with angular speed, calculate power. Power meters generally transmit wireless data and can be paired with standard bicycle computers.
What’s the best bike computer brand?
There isn’t a clear winner as there are several well-known brands that produce quality bike computers for a decent price. However, the most notable is Garmin who have long been a leading innovator of bike computers and other cycling wearables. To find out more check our article on everything you need to know about Garmin.
Wired Or Wireless: The Verdict
The answer to this lies largely with you. To determine the perfect bike computer, you’ll need to figure out what you need and prioritize when it comes to cycling.
If cost is what you are looking at, wired computers might be at a slight advantage but we’d suggest putting in the extra investment as wireless computers are a lot more convenient to use and set up plus you’re more likely to get newer and better features.
Most of the features you see on a bike computer aren’t necessary, but many riders do find them handy and if you’re serious about your cycling then you may like reading the extra stats.
If we had to choose between the two then it would have to be wireless. they may be slightly more expensive but the extra perks are easily worth the extra dollars.