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Verdict: 
Simple-to-use PC-compatible bike computer with heart rate and altimeter functions; pricey though
Weight: 
186g
Contact: 
www.mavic.com/road/
Mavic Wintech USB Ultimate cycle computer + E-Skewer sensor
7 10

Mavic’s top-level computer provides you with heart rate and altitude data as well as your speed and distance measurements, and downloading all the information to your PC could hardly be easier.

There are four USB computers in Mavic’s range (along with two others that aren’t PC-compatible). The basic Wintech USB (£69.99) measures speed and distance; the Wintech USB Alti (£109.99) gives you altitude information as well; the Wintech USB HR (£124.99) offers – you guessed it – heart rate; and the Wintech Ultimate USB, this one, gives you the whole kit and caboodle. You can add cadence to any of them if you buy an extra sensor separately (£31.49).

Unusually, you buy the head unit and the speed sensor/computer mount separately because there are three different wireless sensors to choose from. Ours is incorporated into a front wheel skewer (£47.99) for the minimum of clutter – you just ditch your existing skewer and put this in instead. The head unit sits above your bars, leaving plenty of space for mounting lights and so on, and you can adjust the angle of the screen easily.

Okay, onto the use… Mavic have purposely kept things pretty simple. They reckon that no matter how many functions are available, most people use a fairly limited number. And, let’s be honest, they’re right. This computer gives you all the essential stuff without blinding you with science.

We won’t list everything – go to Mavic’s website for that – but on top of the basic speed and distance measurements, you have average and max speeds, an automatic stopwatch and up to nine intermediary stopwatches.

You get your current, average and max heart rates and a programmable work zone – you can set the range of intensity you want to exercise at. And the altimeter functions include the current gradient and altitude and your total accumulated climbing, along with several other measurements.

Getting the hang of the information is simple enough and scrolling through it is easy thanks to two chunky buttons on the front of the head unit – you can’t really miss them, even in winter gloves. The four lines of information on the display aren’t the biggest ever but we never had any trouble reading them, and we had no interference to the 2.4 GHz digital transmission from power lines or traffic lights.

After your ride, you click the head unit out of its mount and stick it straight into the USB port on your PC and all your ride information is stored on the Wintech Manager software that comes as part of the package. It couldn’t be easier although the software isn’t Mac compatible. Grrr!

You can alter the settings on your PC too – the wheel size, your weight and heart rate zones, for example – which is a lot easier than inputting them directly into the head unit. You can customize the screens to a certain extent as well, so that you can have the info you find most valuable displayed at the same time without having to toggle through.

Who should buy the USB Ultimate? If you train seriously and want to keep an eye on your progress, but you don’t want to be overawed by the complexity of some high-end systems, this is a good option. It’s a pricey choice, especially if you factor in the cost of a cadence sensor too, but it’s a neat little system that’s easy to set up and use – even for techno-phobes.

The total weight is 186g. That breaks down as… head unit and mount: 52g. E-Skewer speed sensor: 66g. Cadence sensor: 14g. Heart rate monitor strap: 54g.

Verdict

Simple to use PC-compatible bike computer with heart rate and altimeter functions; pricey though

road.cc test report

Make and model: Mavic Wintech USB Ultimate cycle computer + E-Skewer sensor

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? I prefer a GPS computer

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 190cm  Weight: 74kg

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

5 comments

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handlebarcam [565 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I've got a previous generation, non-USB version. Which brings me to point number 1: Mavic keep changing the bloody things, so you can't find spares such as mounts for on a second bike. Point number 2: It doesn't do average cadence, very useful for comparing two runs of an identical course, which is what I miss most from my VDO C2 DS (although I don't miss the unreliable connection between the head unit and the sensors that plagued the VDO.) Point number 3: It is archetypally French, in that it is cleverly designed, stylish, sufficiently well-built without being over-engineered, but the user interface is bizarrely inexplicable. There doesn't seem to be any logic to the selection of which three pieces of information are on-screen together at the same time. And waking it up from sleep mode returns you to any selection other than the one you had previously chosen. But you get used to it.

Avatar
Fish_n_Chips [435 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I use my Cateye V3 and wish it could be transferred to PC rather than me logging it. But spare parts are everywhere.€

The Mavic QR sensor is quite a nifty idea and suprised it has not been used before. And finally UBS data logging with spending £200.

Now the other question is do I buy a Garmin 705 or will somebody provide an App for iphone or HTC to do all the things a 705 can do-if this has been done please link it and save me money as 705 here I come!

Avatar
Kevin Steinhardt [30 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Wintech?; sounds awfully closed source. I'm guessing it wouldn't be too difficult to make a cycle computer. I wonder if this will work with my Linux boxes.

Avatar
dave atkinson [6210 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

Now the other question is do I buy a Garmin 705 or will somebody provide an App for iphone or HTC to do all the things a 705 can do-if this has been done please link it and save me money as 705 here I come!

worth taking a look at www.endomondo.com - doesn't do everything a garmin will do but it does a lot of things, for free.

Avatar
handlebarcam [565 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Or http://www.engbedded.com/veloace - that is if you don't mind strapping a PDA whose popularity peaked in the last century to your handlebars. It is GPL'ed, although Richard Stallman would probably object to anything that can't run on the Hurd.