Spinning has been a massively popular fitness class. You go to a gym and the first thing you notice is a room full of people hopped on a magnetic resistance spin bike with their pedals to the metal. It looks intense but at the same time, fun.
More fun than hours of slogging away on the treadmill, I should say.
Fun isn’t the only reason that spinning is widely popular. According to research, spinning for 45 minutes can help you burn over 500 calories.
If you have gotten yourself with cycling or spinning and you’re now aware of the amazing benefits it has, you surely would want to know just how much you’ve progressed. Sad to say, not all indoor spin bikes have odometers or bike computers.
Lack of such device halts you from understanding your daily, weekly, and monthly spinning improvements.
Spin bike monitors are important for spinners, especially for new spin class enrollees who want to find out their fitness level. Having this device makes it easier for you to challenge yourself with each spin.
While not all spin bikes have computers, there are also about a hundred spin bikes that have it. But, with a hefty price tag. The good thing is, there are easy and cheap alternatives that let you mount spin bike computers on almost any spin bikes.With so many spin bike computers in the market, it could be overwhelming to pick the right one for your spin bike. Don’t fret, we’ve narrowed down the choices for you with our top five best spin bike computer in the market today.
Best Spin Bike Computer: Your Partner in Tracking Your Workout Progress
Getting yourself a spin bike computer is knowing your progress at each pedaling rate. It operates as a bike odometer that measures your top and average speeds. They also let you know how far you’ve traveled as well as how long it takes you to get there
Spin bike computers are an investment. Even more so, if you are in a spin class or training for a race and you just feel the need to keep an eye on your progress to know where to improve.
Here are 5 of the best spin bike computers in the market today.
1. Strada Wireless Bike Computer by CatEye
CatEye has been delivering products through creativity, passion, and teamwork since 1954. Founded in Osaka, Japan, they have always been one of the leaders in manufacturing cycle computers, lights, and reflectors.
From producing the world’s first flashing lamp for bikes and the very first bike headlamp using white LEDs in, they went on to meet the other demands of the cyclists around the world – bike computers. In 1981, they released the first cycle computer under their product line.
CatEye was among the first companies who were able to integrate altimeter, heart rate, and cadence technology into their bike computers. No wonder their mission is to add value to all aspects that include safety, environment, and health-related issues.
One of the spin bike computers under their product umbrella is the Strada Wireless. This best-selling bike computer features a slimmed down computer head unit with CatEye’s standard analog sensor that works perfectly with any bike, whether an outdoor mountain bike or indoor spin bike.
Strada Wireless is a neat bike computer that is smaller than an average wristwatch. With dimensions of 47.0 X 32.0 X 12.5mm, it has the screen’s space taken up with a well-laid out and easy to read numbers.
You can attach it to your bike using a head unit mount with bar or stem. This may look slightly bulky because of the tool-free approach. You can modify it to look extra tidy by fastening it with a zip-tie.
One feature that makes Strada Wireless stand out is its lack of buttons. All there is the lower part of the head that you can press to scroll between functions.
Strada Wireless’ functions include tracking your current speed, average speed, maximum speed, with two separate distances, and elapsed time. It has an odometer for all-time distance and a clock. The pace arrows it has displays if your current speed is above or below your average speed.
The small size of the Strada Wireless has a relatively large size of numbers on the screen. These numbers are easy to glance at the from the handlebars. The Distance 1 and 2 function lets you track individual rides after each ride and mileage until you decide to reset it.
Strada Wireless is a durable, reliable, and easy-to-use wireless bike computer. The set-up is quick and intuitive and can work on a wide array of bikes. All the features you would expect from a discreet bike computer are included at a reasonable price tag.
2. M4 Wireless Cycling Computer with Cadence/Speed Sensor by Meilan
M4 Wireless Cycling Computer boasts off with a large and waterproof screen. The 2.5-inch large display area screen is made with a white color backlight that has two levels of brightness.
The construction resulted in a good display effect under the sun. It makes you view the screen data both at daytime and at nighttime, as well as indoors and outdoors.
The waterproof grade it has of IPX6 means you can use M4 Wireless Cycling Computer even under the heavy rains.
You will never have to buy a battery after battery. It is USB rechargeable and you can use charging devices with a USB port to recharge.
M4 Wireless Cycling Computer has within a built-in 860mAh rechargeable battery, and if fully charged can be used for 120 hours without backlight. This feature makes it suitable for rides with long duration.
This bike computer allows you to wirelessly connect the speed and cadence sensor. With the ANT+ and a Bluetooth feature, it can synchronize the sensor data to the bike computer. This feature allows you to view the data display in real-time which in turn better manages your training plan.
While M4 Wireless Cycling Computer has its sensor, it can also pair with several sensors available in the market. It supports external heart rate monitor, power meter, as well as speed and cadence sensor. It lets you help you master your training data in a more scientific method.
The package includes a speed/cadence sensor that reads through the screen. With the right distance of the sensor from the magnet, you can synchronize your sensor data to the bike computer in real-time.
M4 Wireless Cycling Computer has six different buttons that have a designation for every function. The power button also serves as the one you use to adjust the background light for your preference. The button at the back allows you to adjust the basic settings of this bike computer.
The buttons in front are mainly for tracking your progress and improvement. They let you see lap numbers and records. This is also the main control area where you can start and stop recording.
Reading the comments of consumers who have tried M4 Wireless Cycling Computer, the feature that stands out the most is the temperature facet. Another aspect is the function that lets the backlight go out in 5 minutes when the bike is not moving. It shuts down the computer after being idle, so it helps you save up on battery.
3. BIO HR Wireless Computer by Spinning
Spinning®’s founders have been passionate about cycling that it led them to start their company in 1991. Built from a small garage in Santa Monica, California, they united innovation in indoor stationary bike technology with their exceptional biking experience.
Their aim to design the world’s best performing indoor cycling bikes and accessories made them a household name in computer systems that let riders benefit from real-time feedback. Such features from their products allow spinners to monitor their progress over time.
With a global reach, they started a program that’s not just about exercise but classes of rides, movements, coaching, and motivation to keep every rider safe, excited and engaged. And, who wouldn’t be engaged with the products they release?
Spinning®has a multitude of product lines that you use with your cycling activities, whether indoor or outdoor. One of these is their BIO HR™ Wireless Computer.
BIO HR™ Wireless Computer is the latest from Spinning® that gives you their latest technology. The one you need in tracking your training at the same time improving your performance.
Spinning®’s latest innovation provides the perfect metric measurements and feedback with their easy-to-read, wireless monitor. This display is large enough to display feedback you need such as; cadence, speed, time, distance, calories.
BIO HR™ Wireless Computer by Spinning® is cheaper compared to the other brands. Unlike some of Spinning®’s spin bike computers, this model features an advanced wireless technology that includes a wireless chest strap.
Its wireless chest strap/heart rate monitor features a strap coded specifically for each computer. Plus, the wireless cadence monitor tracks the bike’s revolutions per minute accurately.
Other features that this bike computer showcases include countdown time/distance, automatic start/stop. This list of qualities makes it one of the most favorite by spinners who take classes trying to improve their performance.
This spin bike computer contains in its box a spin bike cadence sensor, cable ties, computer clams, the spin bike computer itself and everything you need to install the bike computer onto the bike. While it’s considered value for your money, you should know that the screen is not backlit. This feature can come a little handy when you are trying to spin in a dim-lit room.
But, the lack of backlit doesn’t make it less of a spin bike computer. Hence, the reason that made it to this list.
BIO HR™ Wireless Computer is meant for front-drive spin bikes that have at least 1-cm clearance from the flywheel to the fork arm. This bike spin computer is compatible with a lot of spin bikes in the market.
4. Velo 7 Bike Computer by CatEye
CatEye has a high number of excellent bike computers on offer, and Velo 7 Bike Computer is one of them. It is a very basic spin bike computer that provides feedback for speed, distance, and time data points using a wired speed sensor.
This spin bike computer contender stands out from other computers due to it getting the job expected from a high-end system without breaking the bank.
Velo 7 is one of the easiest to use and operate. The device automatically turns on once a movement is detected and starts recording ride data. 10 minutes of inactivity leads it to go into power-saving mode.
That single button in front lets you bike through time, distance, average and maximum speed, as well as an odometer. Displayed at the top portion of the computer screen is your current speed.
The screen of Velo 7 is large enough to be read easily, but there is no option to set contrast to your desired preference.
Setting up this spin bike computer is a little difficult than the others we reviewed. This is mainly due to its use of the wired sensor instead of a wireless one.
The sensor needs to be attached to the fork leg with the zip ties, then wires wrapped around the fork leg up to the front brake cable. Its mounting base attaches itself to the handlebars using zip ties, too. The spoke magnet should be attached to a spoke at the front wheel with a clearance of 5mm between it to the sensor.
Aside from speed, time, distance, average, and maximum speed, it also features another indicator. An arrow on the upper left of the screen points up if the current speed you have is higher than your average. Likewise, it points downward when your speed goes below your riding average.
CatEye Velo 7 claims to be waterproof, but we don’t see any IP rating. Some have reported moisture getting into the battery compartment after being transported in a roof rack through the storm. The good news is, it didn’t affect the computer’s performance.
While Velo 7 is intended to be used with road bikes, you will have no problems using it with an indoor spin bike, too. However, take note that with its sensor design, it could be tough achieving the required 5mm spacing. Also, transferring it to another bike means you will have to untie and re-do all the fastening of zip ties, and that takes some time.
This bike computer is perfect for a casual spinner who is just getting into this sport.
5. Velo Wireless Bike Computer by CatEye
Velo Wireless Bike Computer is CatEye’s third entry to our list of bike computers. This simply means CatEye is one trusted brand when it comes to biking and biking accessories.
CatEye’s Velo Wireless is their wireless version of Velo 7. And, with all the advancement in technology, especially with computers, CatEye presents Velo Wireless as a reminder that nothing needs to be complicated. Including your bike computer.
Its price tag does not differ from the other bike computers from their product line. And, when we say, it is not one of the most complicated bike computers, it means that it doesn’t come with GPS tracking.
With its thinner and more stylish design, this evolved version of wired Velo is one bike computer you can rely on. It is packed with a programmable odometer and menu screen. They can go with almost any bikes, including spin bikes.
It does a good job though in serving its purpose. Especially if you are just getting into cycling. The sizeable display screen and calorie consumption feature allows you to easily check the benefits to your health.
Understanding and operating Velo Wireless Bike Computer is a complete cinch. On the display reads your speed time at the top. Another metric at the bottom is present as well. This metric can be altered by pressing the button on the unit’s front.
The Velo Wireless Bike Computer package includes speed and cadence sensor that sticks to your bike’s seat stay, as well as a couple of magnets that you fasten to the shank, plus a spoke of the rear wheel. With a convenient position, it shows you its measurement of your current, average and maximum speeds, ride time, total riding distance, time of day, including calorie consumption.
Just like most of CatEye’s computers, Velo Wireless Bike Computer has an auto-start/stop. It detects inactivity and shuts itself down to conserve battery. At the sign of movement, it instantly runs and records, activity.
The mount is easy to attach to the bars and holds the computer securely. If you are worried about dropping it in the middle of a spin session. The build of the computer is above average, with high-quality plastic, it feels sturdy.
Velo Wireless Bike Computer is easy to install and very reliable. The feedback it gives is just as accurate like that of the wired version of Velo. Compatible with almost any bike, you won’t go wrong with tracking the progress of your fitness goals with this device from CatEye.
These Items Made it to This List Because…
Bike Computers are intended to take a digital note of your work out details so that you can keep track of your day to day progress, especially if you are enrolled in a spin class or if you are training for a ride. They allow you to see whether what you are doing results in gaining or losing.
Thus, most spin bike manufacturers integrate bike computers into their products. While a lot of spin bikes already have their tracking system, some still doesn’t.
At the same time, some cyclists also prefer to get a bike computer that is not permanently attached to a bike so they can use it on another bike.
So, whether you are spinning to lose weight or training for a ride or a race, a reliable bike computer is an item that should be on your list. Hopefully, the bike computers that we reviewed gave you your criteria for picking.
For our team, it is simple. The 5 bike computers we have on the list made it there because they are versatile, they serve their purpose well, and are basic. They are not complicated to use nor install and most of all, you don’t need to break your budget to get one.
Buying Guide: What to Consider in Picking the A Bicycle Computer For Your Spin Class
Spin bikes that have its bike computers cost a lot. This is one of the reasons spinners prefer to get bike computers separately. Aside from the idea that they can use it on their other bikes too.
But, how do you know you are paying for the best bike computer? Consider the following factors we listed down to help you make your wisest decision.
Backlit Display Screen
The spin bike you are getting a bike computer for is probably your own, therefore you have the option to ride it however you do; dim lights, closed doors, etc., It is just right that you get a bike computer with a screen that is visible in low light condition.
It may not be a big of a deal to keep your lights on as you bike if your bike computer doesn’t have a backlit screen, but how would you deal if you have to use this device in situations that don’t give you the option to have light.
Pick the bike computer that is easy to look at even at dimmest lighting conditions. Some of the products we have on the list have large LCDs that are backlit too.
It wouldn’t be fun to have to limit your movements to avoid getting yourself into accidentally pulling off wires from the device. Neither does a bike computer that requires you to run a wire through the frame along moving parts of the bike.
Wired bike computers, while reliable can be difficult to use. They are strenuous to install, looks messy with all the wires, and you always have to be careful you don’t get stuck and pulled.
Wireless bike computers may be pricier than wired but, is more user-friendly.
RPM (Revolution Per Minute)
Cadence is your pedal stroke revolutions per minute (RPM). This means that each time your foot comes at the top and makes a turn, it is one revolution.
RPM is an essential measurement factor when you are spinning for a class or working out with spinning apps. Cadence computer for spin bikes lets you control how intense your workout is going to be.
Having an accurate measurement of RPM is a good method to increase your sense of personal achievement on various resistance levels.
Watts are a way of gauging a cyclist’s power output as he turns the pedals during a stationary bike workout. There is no exact watt number for riders as wattage goals vary from person to person.
But, generally speaking, a beginner may average around 75-100 watts in an hour of workout. A more experienced and fit rider will average more than a hundred watts. A professional cyclists peaks at 400 watts per hour.
Bike computers that show spinning watts help the riders measure how hard they worked and not how fast they ride.
To find out how far you’ve ridden in a spin bike, you need to know the tire’s circumference. Then you multiply it by the number of revolutions. That’s your trip distance.
However, you shouldn’t bother doing the math if your bike computer has with it an odometer.
Heart Rate Monitor
Some prefer to wear their monitors on their wrist. Some by the chest. It doesn’t matter where you want your heart rate monitor positioned. Just make sure your bike computer has one.
It is not just a fancy accessory. Heart rate should be monitored during a workout so that you can maintain a minimum and maximum heartbeat range. This, in turn, helps you improve your fitness as well as your heart condition.
Max and Average Stats
Usually, bike computers let you know the minimum, average, and maximum statistics of your cycling run. It helps you decide whether you need to push yourself harder or if you want to chill down a little.
Installing a Bike Computer on A Spin Bike
Manufacturers of bike computers usually include instruction manuals that you can follow to install their device to your spin bike. However, reading a lot of reviews revealed that a lot of these instructions can be confusing.
Installing bike computers on spin bikes aren’t as hard as you think. The first thing you want to remember is to leave a narrow gap between the flywheel and the frame. Then that spot where you can tie down the sensor to it.
The idea is to position the magnet on the spin bike’s flywheel and attach the sensor where it can sense the magnet every time the flywheel spins.
First time to attach a bike computer to your spin bike? We’d recommend some help. You want to make sure you have extra parts to get the device up and running. Some of it are phone holder – to mount your device on the handlebars, cable ties, magnets, and dual-sided Velcro.
Though they are not required, it is still better to have them handy. After all, it is better to have them and not need them, than not have them and need them.
Here’s an [instructional home video] on basic setup and installation of a bike computer on a spin bike.
Final Saying - Who’s the winner?
There is no doubt about the brand that topped this review. But, with three of their products on the list, which one is the best bike computer?
Our money is going to Strada Wireless Bike Computer by CatEye. While it is originally intended for road bike use, there had been no reported issues when used with spin bikes. It accurately reads speed, time, and distance with the wireless sensor mounted to the fork leg.
Strada Wireless Bike Computer by CatEye stood out from other bike computers due to its incredibly low weight. The way it is supposed to be attached with rubber straps instead of zip ties also had us choose it. While it is not GPS enabled, it still serves its purpose as the easiest training tool for your spin bike.
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