Detailed performance monitoring isn’t just for Garmin Edge users. Smartphone users can connect a range of devices via Bluetooth, to get the additional performance info like cadence and heart rate monitoring. Here’s a look at cadence monitors.
Cadence monitor for a smartphone
There seems to be a natural progression as people get into cycling, then discover the joys of looking at their data and using it to train more effectively.
Most people tend to start out with their smartphone and then gradually realise that there are major benefits in having a dedicated GPS unit like a Garmin.
Somewhere along that path though, you might be tempted to tool up your phone before making the switch to a Garmin. It’s quick, easy and inexpensive to bring more detailed performance monitoring to your iPhone or Android device.
Speed/Cadence monitors for your smartphone
How they work:
A sensor is attached to your frame, and small magnets are attached to one of your cranks, for measuring cadence, and the rear wheel, for measuring speed.
The data from the sensor is transmitted wirelessly using the Bluetooth connectivity of your smartphone, which uses very little power. Please note: you need to make sure your phone is Bluetooth 4 compatible. Also known as Advanced Bluetooth® Smart ( or BLE 4.0)
Topeak Panobike cadence sensor
Panobike Speed & Cadence Sensor is also compatible with other popular fitness apps in the Apple Store that use Bluetooth Smart (BLE 4.0) such as Strava, MapMyRide, Runtastic, Cyclemeter and many more.
Amazon reviews are very positive (but there aren’t that many yet).
Best prices on Topeak cadence sensor
Wahoo blue SC speed/cadence sensor
This one from Wahoo seems to get great reviews, but it is a little pricier than other options:
- Fits most bikes
- Track bike speed, pedal rotation (cadence) and lifetime mileage of your road or mountain bike.
- Easy installation with rubber band mount
- Small with low drag profile
- Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible
- Sends and receives signals up to 10 feet unobstructed
- Waterproof up to 5 feet
Amazon reviews are very favourable for this product.
Best price Wahoo Blue SC sensor
Tacx T2015 Sensor
This Tacx sensor measures your speed and cadence and transmits it wirelessly via ANT+ and Bluetooth® Smart technology to the devices it is linked to, such as a smartphone, tablet, sports watch, GPS device, bike computer or Tacx trainer. Works with popular sports applications like Endomondo and Strava.
Best price on the Tacx T2015 sensor
Runtastic Cadence & Speed sensor
The Runtastic Speed and Cadence Sensor turns your smartphone into a professional cycling computer
- Speed and cadence measurement
- Bluetooth® Smart wireless data transmission for iPhone 4s/5/5s/5c/6/6 Plus
- Bluetooth® Smart Ready Android™ devices running Android 4.3 or more recent
- Turns smartphone into professional cycling computer
- Includes installation materials
Not many reviews on Amazon UK for this, and the few that exist are very mixed.
Best price Runtastic Speed and Cadence sensor
Does that help?
For very little money you can pimp up your phone and get more data to geek out over.
And then a few months later, I’m willing to bet that you might want to get a dedicated bike GPS!