Computers & Power Meters

Velocomp PowerPod

PowerPod.closeup.WEBLately, power meters have dropped quite a bit in price. But, with the PowerPod priced at $299, the others must reduce their prices by at least another 50% more to even get close. Only PowerPod works with any pedals, cranks, and wheels, provides both-leg power measurement, and is as easy to move from bike to bike. With its optional upgrades, it also becomes more than just a power meter, allowing you to analyze and improve technique, like how well you draft, how much and where you brake, how many watts you lose through pedaling and bike-handling inefficiencies.

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GPS Head Unit Roundup

Until fairly recently, the cyclist/racer had mostly low-end, limited functionality bicycle computers or a high-end, full-featured GPS head units to choose from. Now, however, many manufacturers are jumping into the middle tier with non-mapping GPS head units in the $100-$250 price range. Here is a review of the latest offerings from Cateye, Lezyne, Bryton and Sigma Sport. A bonus mini-review on the iBike Newton algorithmic power meter is also included.

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Magellan Cyclo 505

Magellan Cyclo 505 Main Screen.web

In our testing to date, the Magellan Cyclo 505 has proven to be a solid device with numerous valuable, cool and easy-to-use features. The Cyclo 505 favorably compares with Garmin's Edge 810 and 1000 series computers and is priced lower. It’s a full-featured modern bike computer that should appeal to riders looking for a great combination of ease of use, low price, high performance and lots of great features.

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Garmin Edge 800 Touchscreen Cyclecomputer

Garmin Edge 800 Metrics Screen.web As with most cycling accessories these days, you will find imperfections here and there (with the Edge 800, my quibbles have been with screen swiping and OS freeze). But, overall, I have greatly enjoyed this comprehensive training and navigational unit. If you're in the market for a top-end cycling satellite navigation system with touchscreen capability and color/moving map, the Garmin Edge 800 might be just what you are looking for.

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Polar RS800CX Bike Computer with GPS

I tested the bike version with GPS -- model RS800CX. I rode with it, ran with it and used it as a heart monitor for stationary bike workouts. Polar has a reputation for solid electronics, engineering and best-in-class heart monitoring hardware. But its products also are known to have a challenging learning curve and somewhat geeky and hard-to-use software. The RS800CX lives up to all of these characteristics.

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Garmin Edge 605 GPS Cyclecomputer

The 605 is a well-thought-out, well-designed, well-built and feature-rich cycling GPS. If you're used to running wires around your fork and frame to mount a conventional cycling computer, you'll welcome this totally wire-free instrument. And there's no need for wheel calibration because you're getting data from satellites, not your wheels on the road. This makes it easy to switch the unit among bikes without sacrificing accuracy or recalibrating.

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iBike Pro Power Meter

The most commonly used power meters use strain gauges to measure power output directly. The iBike Pro takes a different approach. It calculates power from the exterior resistance on the cyclist, including wind, road gradient, speed and rider weight. The result is a relatively small power meter that's easily transferred from bike to bike. It's considerably less expensive than the competition and rich in features.

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Garmin Edge 500 GPS Cyclecomputer

If you don't want or need the color mapping and GPS navigation features of the Garmin Edge 705/605, the 500 is a solid alternative. Its style, compact size, sturdier mounting system and lack of wires make it look at home on a high-end bike. I've found GPS cyclecomputing to be accurate and reliable, and I like being able to switch the computer between bikes. In fact, the Edge 500 comes with 2 mounting plates and O-ring sets -- nice touch. All it takes to move it is a simple twist -- no resetting of wheel size or any other fussing is necessary.

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Polar CS400 Cyclecomputer

Is a cyclecomputer without power measurement really worth $340? Only you can decide. The CS400 packs almost every other feature in a well-made, reliable package that works great alone and really shines when combined with the included training software. The IrDA feature makes data transfer a snap and certainly is a big step up from the Sonic Link used for the CS200. 

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Sigma Rox 9.0 Cyclecomputer

For the money, the 9.0 provides lots of functions, some of which I haven't figured out why I need. Maybe the fast boys know. The PC software, while clumsy in places, does work. And it's upgradable, so maybe they'll fix those annoying translation and localization errors. I characterize myself as a data and graphs person. If you are also that kind of person too, I think you'lllike the Rox 9.0.

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Garmin Edge 305HR GPS Cyclecomputer

I really like having a detailed training log, but I don't like entering all the information required to keep a log updated. That's why I was eager to try the Garmin Edge 305 with heart rate, which automatically uploads vast amounts of ride information into a personal computer. The Edge 305 captures most data via the array of global positioning system (GPS) satellites in Earth orbit. Created by the U.S. government for the military, GPS technology has been available for consumer use since the late 1990s.

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