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.
Simple to use PC-compatible bike computer with heart rate and altimeter functions; pricey though
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Make and model: Mavic Wintech USB Ultimate cycle computer + E-Skewer sensor
Size tested: n/a
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
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 been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.