Last updated: August 9, 2021
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Welcome to our big bicycle speedometer test 2022. Here we present all the bicycle speedometers that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best bike speedometer for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a bicycle speedometer.




Summary

  • Bicycle speedos are available for every area of application. Whether for professional cyclists, recreational cyclists or children. There is a suitable speedometer for everyone.
  • Basically, there are two types of bicycle speedometers. The wired models or the wireless speedos. Which one is the right one for you depends on your requirements and areas of application.
  • The numerous features offer a wealth of information for a wide range of applications, from basic values such as speed and distance travelled to sophisticated data such as average speed, cadence and heart rate.

The Best Cycling Speedometer: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a bike speedo

Who is a bicycle speedometer suitable for?

In general, a bicycle speedometer is suitable for anyone who likes to keep an eye on their own performance, speed and kilometres travelled while cycling.

Rennrad mit Tacho

Modern bicycle speedometers are now available with numerous features for every requirement and every budget (Image source: pixabay.com / hudson 123)

It doesn't matter whether it's a touring bike or a mountain bike, a children's bike or a racing bike. There is even a suitable bicycle speedometer for retro lovers. Every user also gets their money's worth when it comes to evaluating the data. From simple information to detailed analyses can be recorded and displayed with modern bicycle speedometers.

Do I need a bicycle speedometer with radio or with cable?

In general, there are two types of speedometers: with radio or with cable. The information generated is the same. Only the installation and reliability differ between the two versions. Bicycle computers with a radio connection are quickly mounted on the bicycle and do not require the time-consuming laying of a cable.

The version with a cable, on the other hand, offers more reliability because it is insensitive to interference signals. Radio or cable is therefore more a question of taste and depends very much on your personal requirements and usage habits.

Is a smartphone app or GPS device also suitable instead of a bike speedometer?

Since smartphones are now almost always with you, this is a natural solution. Numerous apps are available here. A GPS device also performs the function of a bicycle speedometer perfectly, but is comparatively expensive to purchase.

Frau mit Smartphone auf Fahrrad

Mobile phones offer so many applications these days, so why not use an app for cycling? (Image source: pixabay.com / 27707)

The mobile phone can be mounted with various holders and there are also tools to protect against adversities such as rain and sun. But the enormously high battery consumption (it stops after about 6 hours) is a major drawback. The other functions of the smartphone can also no longer be used when the battery is flat.

A GPS device or bicycle navigation system certainly makes sense if the user does not only want to use the speedometer function. The purchase costs are significantly higher than for a bicycle speedometer.

What features does a bicycle speedometer offer?

Easy-to-use entry-level models offer basic values such as current speed, daily kilometres covered and total distance. Ambitious cyclists, on the other hand, use multifunctional devices to monitor training success and development.

With data such as cycling time, average speed, pedalling speed and even pulse measurement (with the appropriate additional equipment), many features are available here. Environmental measurements such as temperature and altitude can also be queried. Basic data for a solid entry-level model:

  • Speed
  • Total kilometres
  • Trip kilometres

Data for the demanding cyclist:

  • Clock
  • Cycling time
  • Average speed
  • Cadence
  • Heart rate (with additional chest belt)
  • Altimeter
  • Temperature
  • Positioning (GPS required)
  • Route calculation (GPS required)

So depending on the needs and demands, there is a wide range of features for every user.

What does a bicycle speedometer cost?

The cost of a bike speedometer varies depending on the functionality and range of features. Which device in which price range is right for you depends entirely on which functions you need. In general, the fewer functions the speedometer offers, i.e. the simpler the technology of the device, the cheaper the bicycle speedometer.

Type Price range
Speedometer with basic features from 9 - 15 €
Speedometer with sophisticated features from 15 - 50 €
Speedometer with GPS 50 - 180 €

Simple basic models with the basic features are already available from 9 €. Wireless speedometers are usually a little more expensive than classic speedometers with cables. Discounters in particular offer inexpensive entry-level models. For professional devices with a wide range of functions you have to dig deeper into your pocket. There are (almost) no upper limits.

What are the alternatives to a bicycle speedometer?

There are several different alternatives to a bicycle speedometer, all of which are more or less suitable for your cycling tours.

Apps

The simplest alternative is your smartphone with a corresponding app. This is inexpensive and does not require a lot of installation. It is easy to use and the display is large and clear. This is certainly sufficient for occasional cycling tours and does not strain the budget. However, it is not an alternative for professional cyclists.

GPS device

The professional cyclist will certainly use a GPS device to record the route and then analyse and evaluate it, in addition to the usual measurement data. Of course, this luxury version of the simple bicycle speedometer has its price!

Sports watches

Sports watches are helpful when it comes to tracking sport. However, the battery runs out quickly, forcing the athlete to charge the devices before sport.

This takes away from the spontaneity of sport and binds a lot to the smartphones and smartwatches that are already too often used.

In addition, the smartphone and smartwatch display is much harder to operate than the buttons on the small and compact speedometer on the bike.

Decision: What types of bike speedo are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a bicycle speedometer, you first have the choice between two functions. Both types of function have their advantages and disadvantages. There is no perfect bike speedometer, but one that best suits you and your needs and requirements.

  • Bike speedometer with cable
  • Bike speedometer with radio

In addition to these two modes of operation, you also have the choice between numerous features that both models offer. Speed and kilometres travelled are more basic values, while average speed and cadence are features of a more sophisticated device.

What distinguishes a bike speedometer with cable and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The bicycle speedometer with cable is a classic. It is considered particularly reliable because it is connected to the sensor via the cable and is therefore insensitive to interference.

Advantages
  • Reliable data transmission
  • Insensitive to interference signals
  • Low power consumption
  • Anti-theft protection through removable speedometer
Disadvantages
  • Complex installation of the cable
  • Inflexible installation
  • Cable is a wearing part

The mode of operation is easy to explain. The sensor determines the wheel revolutions in relation to time and calculates the speed with the help of the wheel circumference. Despite the cable, you can also remove this speedometer to protect it from theft.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wireless bike computer?

You can quickly install a radio bike computer on your bike. There is no need for a complicated, annoying cable. These wireless speedometers are available with both analogue and digital transmission technology.

Advantages
  • Quick installation
  • Simple appearance
  • No annoying cable
  • Flexible installation, also on the rear wheel
  • Anti-theft protection, as easy to remove
Disadvantages
  • Unreliable data transmission
  • High power consumption
  • Susceptible to interference

Digital technology offers great advantages in terms of range and reliability. Analogue computers, on the other hand, are more susceptible to interference near mobile phone and high-voltage masts, but also in the vicinity of mobile phones or electric bicycle lighting. In contrast to the cable version, radio tachometers require two batteries. One for the transmitter and the other for the receiver.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate bicycle speedos

Below you will find detailed descriptions of aspects that can help you choose the perfect bicycle tachometer for you. Here are the criteria you can use to compare the different speedometers with each other:

  • Data transmission (cable / radio)
  • Features
  • Display (indicator, lighting)
  • Memory
  • Battery
  • Anti-theft protection
  • Weatherproof

Data transmission

The main difference, as already described in detail, is the function of the speedometer. Both versions have their advantages and disadvantages. While classic cable speedos stand for reliable data transmission, modern radio speedos are inconspicuous and quick to install.

Type Advantage Disadvantage
With cable Reliable data transmission Complicated installation
With radio Quick installation Susceptible to interference

Are accurate data and reliable transmission important to you? If you ride a lot in the city, where there are a lot of interference factors, we recommend the solid bike speedo with cable. If you attach a lot of importance to the aesthetics of your bike and are therefore bothered by the mounted cable, the wireless model is more suitable for you. Your personal requirements and use will determine which bicycle speedometer is perfect for you.

Features

The numerous features offered by these bicycle speedometers are very important. From the basic speed feature to cadence and trip planning, a wide range is offered. Here too, think about which features are important to you and which you really want to use. The more features you choose, the higher the price for the corresponding model will be.

Type features
Basic speed, kilometres ridden, clock, temperature
Training riding time, average speed, cadence, altimeter
Special heart rate monitor (with additional chest belt), positioning and route calculation (GPS required)

Are you more of a recreational cyclist and just want to know how fast you are going? Or how far it was to the next ice cream parlour? Then a solid entry-level model with speed and distance display is completely sufficient.

On the other hand, are you a budding fitness freak and it's important to you to see your own performance, compare it with yesterday's performance and observe all developments? Then you can't do without a higher-quality model. It provides you with all kinds of data, from cadence and pulse rate to calorie consumption.

Radfahrrer

To support your training, modern bike tachometers offer numerous features such as cadence and heart rate monitor. (Image source: pixabay.com / skeeze)

If you are a demanding mountain biker or touring cyclist, you should also consider the luxury versions with GPS transmitters. Route planning and positioning are just some of the features of these sophisticated devices. However, this is also reflected in the price. So again, your personal requirements for the device are decisive when it comes to the features criterion.

Display (display, illumination)

Another important criterion is the display of your future bicycle speedo. Is it easy to read, clearly laid out and simple to operate? Does it have good lighting and can you still see the data even in bright sunshine? It's no use if you have lots of features at your disposal but can't read or call them up because the display is too difficult to use. So take a closer look and ask questions, and maybe even look online for user reviews and tests.

Memory

Does the bike speedo of your choice have a memory? This makes sense if you want to compare your data, for example. After all, you need comparative data to track the development of your performance. With better models you can also read out the memory and then evaluate and archive your data on a PC.

Make sure that your model has a battery level indicator so that your data on the memory is not lost when the battery is empty.

Battery

Most devices require at least one or two batteries (for wireless models). As a rule, the more functions a device has, the higher its consumption. So make sure you can see when the battery is running low. Normally, you don't have a spare battery at hand at the spur of the moment. As described above, this is also useful to prevent data loss from the memory.

Theft protection

Another criterion is theft protection, and this does not mean an alarm system. Usually you have to park the bike in public, easily accessible areas. This is where you often end up with an unintentional change of ownership, in the case of expensive bicycle equipment and accessories.

The best protection against theft is to simply remove the speedometer and take it with you. This also protects the speedometer from the weather and other external influences. Now all that remains is for you to evaluate all these criteria and decide on the perfect bike speedometer for you.

Weather resistance

Many bicycle speedometers today are waterproof and thus offer athletes the possibility to be active even in the rain. You should find out whether your speedometer is waterproof before your first rainy ride.

It is often stated on the packaging or in the instruction manual, but before you decide on a speedometer, you should definitely find out on the internet whether it is waterproof or not, if this feature is a decision criterion for you.

Interesting facts about bicycle speedometers

How does a bicycle speedometer actually work?

Modern electronic speedometers for bicycles work quite simply. A magnet is attached to a wheel spoke, and the counterpart, the sensor, is attached to the fork. Whenever the magnet passes the sensor, it triggers the sensor and sends a short electrical impulse to the speedometer.

In the case of a speedometer with a cable, it transmits the impulse via the cable; in the case of a speedometer without a cable, the transmission works with radio. The bicycle speedometer now needs your information about the exact circumference of the tyre. This enables it to calculate the distance travelled.

If it puts this in relation to the time in which the distance was covered, it also calculates the speed. Of course, there is much more information that a speedometer can provide. But this is the basic function for understanding how a speedometer works.

What do the abbreviations on my speedometer mean?

Odo

Odo is the abbreviation for odometer, which is Greek and means "odometer". Speedos have this odometer built in and send the total kilometres of the distance travelled. This way you always know how many kilometres you have covered and can be proud of yourself without having to buy another device to measure the distance and attach it to your bike. This odometer counts your distance travelled from 0.001 to 99999km/m.

DST

The DST indicates the number of kilometres travelled per day. It is therefore a daily distance counter. It starts counting at the beginning of the trip and continuously displays the mileage. The speedometers are equipped with such technical extras.

SPD

SPD is the abbreviation of speed and this function shows you the current speed. It can be displayed in km/h or mph.

MSX

MXS stands for maximal speed, which means maximum speed. This means that your bike speedometer shows you the fastest speed that you have reached on your bike during the entire route.

AVS

In order to draw a useful value between the maximum speed and the current speed, AVS is also displayed, which is the average speed. With this value you can better calculate how fast you were on average and compare it with your other rides.

TM

TM tells you how long you have been cycling, i.e. how many hours and minutes you have been cycling. This shows you how much endurance you have and how long you have been active.

CLK

CLK is the abbreviation for Clock, which is displayed in either 12-hour or 24-hour format. The 12-hour format is the twice 12-hour count used in English-speaking countries, Latin America and the Philippines.

For example, 7 am (ante meridiem = before noon) and 7 pm (post meridiem = after noon). The 24-hour format is the astronomical hour count, which counts from 1 to 24. On the speedometer you can choose which hour count you prefer to see.

How do I mount the bicycle speedometer correctly?

There are two types of bicycle speedometers: models with cable or with radio. Since the way they work is different, each variant has to be installed slightly differently.

Mounting a bike speedo with a cable

The wired bike speedometer is a little more complicated to install, but with the step-by-step instructions you can do it easily.

  1. Fixing the bracket: First, fix the bracket to the handlebar with cable ties or an O-ring. Depending on what is included in the delivery.
  2. Fix the cable: In the second step, guide the cable along the frame to the fork. You can wrap the cable around the frame or fix it with cable ties. It should fit tightly.
  3. Fix the sensor: Fix the sensor to the inside of the fork with cable ties or an O-ring. Pay particular attention to the distances between the sensor and the magnet specified by the manufacturer. If these are not correct, malfunctions may occur. When tightening, make sure that the magnet can pass directly through the sensor.
  4. Fix the spoke magnet: Then mount the spoke magnet on a spoke that is not too far away from the sensor. Check the distance between the sensor and the magnet again.
  5. Mount the speedometer: Now you can insert or screw the speedometer into the holder. Before doing so, read the operating instructions to find out exactly how to do this on your model. Otherwise you may damage the bracket or the speedometer.
  6. Program the speedometer: Finally, you only have to program the speedometer. The most important programming is the correct tyre size. Only if the tyre size is correct will you receive real data later.

Mounting a radio bike speedometer

To install the radio-controlled speedo, follow the same procedure as described above for the wired model. Only step two, i.e. the cable installation, is omitted. Here we show you how to do it step by step, so you're sure to get it right!

How do I set up the bicycle speedometer?

Basically, the configuration of a wireless speedo and a wired model is the same. Of course, fine-tuning of the transmitters may be necessary if you use an extra sensor for cadence, for example. The manufacturer describes this setting precisely in the operating instructions. For the normal configuration, proceed as follows:

  1. Remove the protective foil from the battery and insert it into the bike computer.
  2. Set the date and time: Set the current date and time.
  3. Determine tyre size: Now determine your tyre size. Normally, the measurements are always written on the side of the tyre. Enter these measurements and the wheel circumference. Basically, the more exact you enter the value, the more accurate the measurement result will be.
  4. Configure features: If your bike speedometer offers special features, you may have to enter additional data (e.g. body size and weight to be able to determine calorie consumption) Depending on the type and scope of your additional features, this point may be longer or shorter.

Can I find operating instructions for my bicycle speedometer online?

If you want to find your user manual online, all you have to do is enter the make and model in a search engine on the Internet and you can download the user manual for most speedometers as a PDF file. If you can't find them, just go to the shop where you bought your bike computer and ask if they have a manual for you.

Can I use the bike speedometer on a motorbike, Vespa or quad bike?

Mounting a bicycle speedometer on a motorbike, Vespa or quad bike sounds strange at first, but it does have advantages. A bicycle speedometer provides a wealth of valuable information that can also be useful for motorised two-wheelers and is not available to them in this way.

Current speed

A bicycle speedometer is much more accurate because it is set to the wheel circumference in millimetres of the respective wheel. The speedometers of motorised two-wheelers deviate up to 15% upwards. This is an advantage for riders who like to ride at the maximum permitted speed.

  • Average speed Important for planning daily stages (e.g. in the mountains)
  • Maximum speed Only for information purposes and to indicate
  • Comparison of current speed to average speed Helps to maintain a constant speed
  • Programmable trip odometer up/down
  • Driving time Pure driving time, for evaluation of break behaviour
  • Backup function through memory chip Values are stored and can be compared later
  • Stopwatch
  • Current temperature Also offered by one or the other motorbike speedometer.
  • Countdown timer
  • Total riding time (hidden during the ride), Shows the pure riding time

Mounting the bike speedometer on a motorbike is a little trickier than on a bicycle, but with a little patience and fingertip feeling it works.

A bicycle speedometer can also be useful for motorised two-wheelers and provide a wealth of useful data.

Alternatively, you can of course also use a motorbike navigation system.

Image source: pixabay / Free-Photos

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