Newb. budget cycling computer. what r u using?

I’m currently using the Wahoo app on my Android Smartphone. I’ve used the app for 3-4 yrs. I use it with my Wahoo Chest strap and a generic cadence monitor. It gets speed from GPS.

Things I like about it:

  • can track my indoor spin cycle workouts in the winter.
  • free
  • i think i can link a powermeter to it.
  • it calculates calories burned mathematically using my body stats, age and HR. I have no idea how accurate it is.
  • links to Strava

Thinks I don’t like about it:

  • when you switch phones, the data doesn’t go over to the new phone. I lost about 2 summers of riding data on it. My current phone is approaching 3 yrs old. I can nurse it along maybe for another yr max. I use my phone a lot for work. I will screenshot the main data page to see how many km’s I’ve ridden before moving to a new phone.
  • battery life on my phone isn’t great. If I charge it to 100%, it might be able to record a 4 hr ride. I’ve carried a spare USB battery booster.
  • the main metrics screen is white. I think this burns a lot of battery. If the main screen was black with white numbers, I think it would do better.

I only have the free Strava subscription. I am hesitant/reluctant to pay for the premium version at this point. I currently have a Peloton App subscription that I got near the beginning of the pandemic. I should really cancel that, as I no longer use it much.

I’d consider getting a dedicated cycling computer as it seems the majority of WCC seems to use one. Some navigation would be nice. A method to capture data for free would be nice as well.

I’d also consider getting a pedal based watt meter. I ride a gravel bike with Shimano MTB pedals/shoes. I’m not really training. I just want a metric to tell me about how many calories I’m burning, so I know how much I can eat. My cycling goals this year are to do a 100km ride without dying, and to lose a few pounds.

I was like you for the longest time – I used the Wahoo app on my phone. But, then I occasionally wanted routing (on the club gravel rides as people get spread out, and on a few solo rides to new places).

I ended up with the Wahoo Elment, mostly as I already had Wahoo sensors . It’s been pretty good. The only two occasional glitches are that once in a while it struggles to connect to my phone. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it’s coorelated with software updates and once everything is updated, it seems to be fine. The frustrating part is you discover you need to up date as you are leaving for a ride (and sometimes the updates aren’t very fast).

The other is that every once in a while, navigation does unexpected things, but this totally might be user error (or us deviating from the downloaded group ride map, then the Wahoo trying to reroute). Again, it doesn’t happen often and has never been a huge issue.

Overall, I’ve been really pleased with it. It’s nice to have the group rides loaded and have a sense of where the next turn is (especially if you are on the front). And, it’s also nice to map out new, unfamaliar routes ahead of time and know that the computer will prompt you when you need to make a turn!

I’ve had good luck with two wahoo bolts now. The first one eventually wouldn’t hold a charge anymore. The only bug the first one had was the occasional crash on 300km+ rides. The second one is the latest colour version. The colour on the map is an improvement. The screen is very legible in bright sun, and the backlight can be set to automatically adjust to changing conditions. I haven’t had any bugs or crashes with my new one though it’s only a year old. It follows routes nicely, giving the navigation prompts and all that jazz. Easy to customize the screen setup using the wahoo app.

Garmin units seem to have more features but I feel like the bolt has more stuff than I’d want in a head unit.

There was a for-sale post here for the favero assioma power pedals, they seem like the most well reviewed. I’ve heard of people running those with spd pedal bodies, might be worth looking for the post.

Most people are either Wahoo or Garmin for their head units. Bit Apple vs Android and it can get quite heated :slight_smile:

I’m all in with Garmin so a little biased but I do really like Garmin Connect (their app). Lots of useful information. I use the Garmin lights and radar as well a a Forerunner for running / tracking sleep. They all work seamlessly together. You can run the other Garmin stuff with Wahoo head units but if there are ever any issues then way easier to just contact Garmin support and they have to fix it (since they are the sole vendor!)

I have run the Assioma shi pedal spindles with both road and MTB pedals. Work great. I don’t think most people need the dual sided (I do have them) but if you are thinking of going dual sided it is much cheaper to buy them upfront as dual sided than add a single extra power pedal later.

On my gravel bike I just run a single sided 4iiii crank arm power meter. The 4iiii and Stages ones have been around for years and the current generations seem pretty bombproof. They both are on sale regularly and cheaper than the Assiomas


I’d say without power calorie estimates can be wildly incorrect. There is no accounting for wind, surface type. As much as HR formulars might work your HR will change with health and tiredness.

As for power I’ve used stages they are pretty much 100% reliable. Heard similar of 4iii. I’ve been running gamin pedals on my mtb and switching them to my gravel bike and any other bike I ride. They have hit a lot of rocks, been fully submersed on roads that were flooded, but remained really reliable. Only downsides are some shoe and pedal interfaces squeak and they struggle with large temperature changes (more of a winter problem)

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appreciate the replies, keep them comin…

i don’t think i’ll ever do a 300km ride… :stuck_out_tongue:

my son has shown me how to split screen my phone so I have run a navigation app on the phone at the same time as wahoo… it was however very glitchy. n=1; I also was running whatsapp so my family could try to keep track of me as I attempted Heidelberg to Blyth solo on the G2G trail. It was on a Giant Fathom+ ebike… very sore butt.

I am torn between the cost of dual sided powermeter vs single sided. I am sure I favour my Left leg and guard my right knee when cycling. I can’t ride out of the saddle for more than a few revolutions on the bike in real life. On the spin cycle, if I concentrate, and the resistance is high enough, I can do it. When just spinning on the road, I wonder if there is much power difference between the 2 legs when in the saddle. Most single sided power options I believe record the right leg.

Original question… Wahoo Bolt…older monochrome unit. Love it…works great all the time. Just do the updates faithfully before you need it for a ride.
Power…I have the Assioma Dual Shi. I had major knee repair surgery 2 years ago and got the pedals to work on bringing the balance back. After almost 2.5 years I’m getting close to 50/50…( I don’t know if I was balanced before), I have to concentrate to keep it balanced though. I too have issues standing and pedalling since the surgery, but it’s coming back slowly as the strength returns to the injured leg.
I was quite pleased with the price of the Assioma Shi…as you use your own pedal bodies on their power meter spindle. That reduces the cost of the units. If you’re dealing with an injury to a knee, I’d recommend the dual side so you can monitor your pedaling on the fly. I notice when I don’t concentrate, the left leg dominates.
It was a simple process to install the pedal bodies and it is easy to switch between bikes. As a bigger guy I did notice the Q-factor difference … it’s better then it was.

Good luck!

looking at the wahoo bolt v2, and garmin 530…

may also get the garmin xc100 pedals… I can also use them on my spinbike in the winter…

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Be aware the Garmin 540 / 840 just came out so likely deals on the 530 and 830 to be had

thx, i’ll keep an eye out…might put it on a Father’s day wish list…

I can vouch for the 530 and for power I did a 4iiiii single sided. In fact, I got one from them on a ‘gently used crank’ and then sent my gently used crank back for $$$. It was the most cost effective solution and gives me all the data and accuracy that I want/need.


gpscity dot ca has factory refurbished Garmin 530’s for $299 + $10 shipping… i just strongly hinted to my family that would be a good father’s day gift :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


follow up to this thread…

i was not a good enough father, and no cycling computer came… :stuck_out_tongue:

Uncle Jeff came thru though, and I found this: on Prime Day for $193 plus tax. Still learning it, but it does sync up with Strava…