bike computer - Yes or No?

by Super Domestique   December 17, 2011  

After taking on pedals now I will ask the question about computers.

I use one on the road bike but not on the mtb. Do you use one and if so, is it all positive?

What I mean by that is, have you ever found it a downside having one? I know that, in the past, I have ended up reading threads (mainly when I first started road biking) about people's avg speed, etc and found myself staring at the computer and concentrating purely on the figures rather than enjoying the ride.

I am over that now - but it got to the point where I nearly took the thing off!

Just thought I'd throw it out there for discussion.

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

All the time - to the point where I don't feel 'right' being without a computer, unless it is a purely local ride to the shops or something.

1. I like to log my miles and get a year total, and while I could estimate that would feel like cheating.

2. When I'm training I use a heart rate monitor and train to a program so I need the computer to display HR. I also like to keep an eye on cadence although that is one that can be done by feel.

3. On a group ride there are times when it is useful to know your speed, rather than wait for someone at the back to start blowing up or begging for the pace to come down.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [696 posts]
17th December 2011 - 12:40


I have a very basic one, just shows me speed, distance and avg speed. I use my phone to track my GPS, Mileage and lately my heart rate through a bluetooth heart rate monitor

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9361 posts]
17th December 2011 - 12:48


i have a computer on both my road and MTB bikes, and sometimes the CX bike, if i want to fixate on the figures i look at it and worry about speed and distance and all that sort of stuff.
and handy when racing as you can see time/distance left to run.

if i want a nice ride i just don't look at it, simple, well maybe when i get home and see i've done x amount of miles and had fun doing it

posted by VecchioJo [808 posts]
17th December 2011 - 15:06


Santa is bringing me a Garmin 200 to play with !

I have only ever used the basic Cateye bike comp which gives speed, distance and time so playing with the 200 should be fun.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3235 posts]
17th December 2011 - 19:59


Sounds like my Cateye tbh. Then it did come as a freebie with the bike so can't complain.

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
17th December 2011 - 20:05


I did my first big ride without a bike computer in ages today, just because I forgot to put it on charge. I quite enjoyed not having my speed and heart rate staring up at me.

In general, I like to know how my training is going, good or bad. I don't become a slave to it, though. If my speed is slower than normal on a particular day... so what? And if it's quicker, I don't necessarily get too excited. I use if more to gauge the general trends in my fitness.

posted by Mat Brett [2196 posts]
17th December 2011 - 20:22


I have a little Garmin 500 on my road bike and wouldn't be without it. But I do admit that I sometimes fall into the trap of just sitting there looking at the numbers, not good.

But the Garmin setup is so slick that when I'm in front of the computer I can look at rides I did a couple of years ago and try and look for evidence that I am improving. That's what makes it so useful.

Don't bother logging my time spent commuting. Its a short commute in any case but I think I'm more afraid of forgetting to take the computer off the bike when I park up!


PeteH's picture

posted by PeteH [159 posts]
17th December 2011 - 21:13


I like to know how I'm progressing.

Smart phone apps are great but a dedicated cycle computer
Is handy for the noob to expert.

It's not for everyone though.

What are your riding goals?

Having fun means you can junk your computer.

I like my bike but it needs a hidden 25cc motor Smile

Fish_n_Chips's picture

posted by Fish_n_Chips [380 posts]
18th December 2011 - 13:50


i've tried all sorts of different stuff - partly by dint of having to test it - but my favourite is probably a smartphone app. you can log your rides and look at your data, but for the ride itself the phone is in your pocket and you're not so distracted by it. like garmins too though Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7855 posts]
18th December 2011 - 18:05