A guide to the features and functions of cyclocomputers

Chock full 'o functions. The Cateye OS even remembers how far you rode on each day of the week.  Credit: Courtesy <a href="http://www.cateye.com" target="new"><b> Cateye</b></a>
A cyclocomputer provides information you can use to get the most out of every mile you ride. If you're training or competing, you'll watch your cyclocomputer to stay on pace and on cadence.

If you're touring, your cyclocomputer will help you stick to your schedule and map your progress. To choose the best model for your needs, compare the features below and see which ones best fit your needs.

What functions are important to you?
Here are some functions that are common to most cyclocomputers.

  • Speed: Records and displays current speed, your average speed and the maximum speed you reached while riding.
  • Distance: All cyclocomputers are equipped with odometers that measure your current trip distance and let you know the total distance you've pedaled since you installed your computer.
  • Time: Most cyclocomputers are equipped with a stopwatch or automatic timer to let you know how long it took to ride to your destination. Additionally, most of the cyclocomputers have a standard clock so you don't have to wear a watch while out on a ride.

    Special features
    Many cyclocomputers offer special features that cater to the specific needs of serious enthusiasts or racers looking to maximize the value of their training.

  • Cadence: This measures RPMs. Having a cadence of 80-100 RPMs allows you to ride longer without fatiguing and helps prevent knee injuries.
  • Speed comparator: This feature lets you know if you are riding above or below the average speed you have logged during your trip. This is useful in maintaining a consistent and efficient training speed.
  • Auto stop/start: Automatically starts when your wheels start turning, and stops when they stop. This gives you the option to measure only the time you're in motion, not time spent at stoplights and other delays.
  • Two-wheel setup: Allows you to use cyclocomputer with two bikes. Let's say your road and mountain bike.
  • Wireless connections: Many of our cyclocomputers; are equipped with this option, and after-market wireless kits are available for many others. A wireless transmitter makes installation easy and eliminates the possibility of a connection being broken or a wire becoming tangled in a branch.
  • Altimeter: Tells current feet above sea level, and some calculate how many vertical feet have been gained or lost since last reset. Temperature: Current ambient temperature.

    Installation and use
    Transmitters, sensors, magnets and computers are easily mounted. The included hardware adapts to most bicycle handlebars, forks and wheels.

    Large high-contrast displays and finger-sized buttons make operation a snap. All cyclocomputers on the market offer allow you to replace your own battery.

    Maintaining your cyclocomputer
    While most cyclocomputers meet high standards of impact resistance and weatherproof protection, there are still steps you can take to ensure a long life for your cycle computer.

    Always remove your cyclocomputer before you mount your bike on a car. This helps prevent loss and theft, as well as damage caused by road debris. Also, clean the contacts and the cyclocomputer itself after riding in mud or in foul weather.

    Shop for cycling gear in the Active Sports Mecca.

    Register for a race or bike tour online.

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