Whether you’re new to cycling or are training for an upcoming race or other event, you may be particularly interested in monitoring your cadence and speed. In cycling, cadence is measured as the number of pedal revolutions per minute. Many factors help determine your cadence, from gearing to effort and even your fitness level. Having the right cadence counter can make it easier to track and monitor your progress throughout the season.
If you’re an experienced cyclist, you probably have a good understanding of the ideal cadence and speed you want to maintain during workouts and races. However, if you’re just starting out, a bike cadence sensor can be a valuable tool to keep workouts consistent and track improvements. Options such as a Bluetooth cadence sensor, which wirelessly transmits data, or a device that simultaneously monitors speed and cadence, are appealing to both beginner and advanced riders.
Shopping for the ideal sensor can be overwhelming given the array of bike cadence sensors. You’ll find different types, including combination speed/cadence sensors — the most popular type — as well as sensors that only measure speed or cadence. While most bike cadence sensors work with iPhone and Android operating systems, you might find a cadence sensor for your iPhone, or a Bluetooth speed and cadence sensor for Android operating systems.
Speed sensors are mounted on the rear wheel and calculate speed based on the bike’s wheel circumference, while cadence sensors measure rotations per minute via the crank arm. Combined speed and cadence sensors transmit data wirelessly and are often ANT+ compatible.
1. Garmin Bike Speed and Cadence Sensor
A low return rate, high customer ratings and overall popularity makes this product a top choice on Amazon among cyclists looking for the best speed and cadence sensor. You can select the base model or upgrade to a package that also includes a heart rate monitor.
Each sensor is easy to install and transmits data wirelessly so that you can effectively monitor your speed and/or cadence. To use the cadence sensor, mount it to your crank arm to measure pedal strokes per minute. The speed sensor can be attached to the wheel hub to provide speed and distance, even if you’re riding indoors on the trainer.
Use both sensors to measure your speed and cadence or separately if desired. The sensors don’t require corresponding magnets and can be switched between bikes. These sensors are compatible with the Garmin Edge.
- Both sensors are easy to install
- Sensors can be switched between bikes
- Can be combined or used separately
- Only attaches to wheels with a spoked hub
- Questionable long-term durability of rubber bands that attach the sensors
- Can take awhile for sensor to adjust to changes
2. Wahoo RPM Sensor
Both the speed and cadence sensors in this set come without magnets for easy installation. The speed sensor mounts onto the wheel hub, while the cadence sensor can be attached to the crank arm or shoe. Both mounts are included, giving you the flexibility to choose the best spot for the sensor.
The sensors connect wirelessly with Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ and will work with an iPhone, Android device, or bike computer. These sensors are also compatible with Zwift along with apps such as Wahoo Fitness, MapMyRide, RideWithGPS, Strava, and more.
Price: $59.50 (15 percent off MSRP)
- Sensors come without magnets for easy installation
- Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ connectivity
- Compatible with Zwift and many popular cycling apps
- Can be tough to install on non-traditional wheel hubs
- Readings can be slightly inaccurate at times
- Some riders complain of intermittent connectivity issues
3. Magene Bike Speed and Cadence Sensor
The Magene Bike Speed & Cadence Sensor wirelessly connects to bike computers, phones and other devices with Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology. This combination speed and cadence sensor also works with popular apps such as Wahoo, Strava and Zwift. It’s also compatible with iPhone and Android operating systems. To install, just attach the sensor to your bike’s wheel hub. You can use the sensor with many types of bikes, including spinning and recumbent bikes. The battery lasts up to 500 hours per charge.
- Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology
- Easy to install
- Long-lasting battery
- Battery isn’t rechargeable
- Doesn’t simultaneously display cadence and speed
- Some complain of connectivity issues
4. CatEye Bluetooth Speed and Cadence Sensor
The CatEye bike cadence sensor works with Bluetooth Smart devices and computers. All the essential mounting hardware is included, making setup fast and easy. Additionally, it’s compatible with most road and hybrid tires. The sensors deliver high-level accuracy readings. You can use this sensor with most Bluetooth Smart devices.
- Wireless connectivity
- Easy to set up and install
- Designed for most road and hybrid tires
- Relatively limited app compatibility
- A handful of consumers experience issues connecting to cycling computers
- Signal may periodically drop
5. Polar W.I.N.D.
Polar W.I.N.D. is a wireless device used for measuring speed and cadence. With 2.4GHz transmission, data is quickly sent from the sensor to your smart device so that you can stay on top of your training. If you’re looking for a device that isn’t too bulky and that won’t add much extra weight, consider the W.I.N.D. Cyclists appreciate its easy installation and attachment. This sensor is specifically designed for use with the Polar CS600 bike computer.
- 2.4GHz transmission
- Easy to install
- Slender design
- Some cyclists occasionally hit the magnet out of alignment
- Several users complain of poor battery performance
- Limited set up instructions
6. Gen 3 Stages Power LR
The Gen 3 Stages Power LR measures output from both legs. Whether you’re a professional gearing up for your next race or an amateur, you’ll get consistent readings as you ride. This is due in part to active temperature compensation, which ensures accurate readings regardless of the weather.
The firmware is upgraded wirelessly to keep your sensor up to date. Both the BLE and ANT+ radios have been upgraded over previous versions for enhanced data transmission. An LED indicator light signifies the current battery level.
- Improved BLE and ANT+ radios
- Wirelessly upgraded firmware
- Active temperature compensation for accurate results
- A bit heavy
- Some mention occasional syncing issues
7. Minoura Speed and Cadence Sensor
This combination speed and cadence sensor features a low energy ANT+ wireless protocol and can be used with nearly any ANT+ device. You can use these sensors to monitor your outdoor training as well as your indoor training on a bike trainer or set of rollers. Both sensors require batteries, which need to be purchased separately.
- Compatible with nearly any ANT+ device
- Ideal for outdoor rides and indoor sessions on a trainer
- Low energy ANT+ wireless protocol
- App compatibility could be better
- Uses magnets
- Batteries aren’t included
8. Pyle Speed and Cadence Sensor
Bluetooth 4.0 technology wirelessly tracks and records the total number of heart beats per minute. The heart rate monitor is compatible with iOS devices along with numerous training and fitness apps. Just connect the wireless sensor to the chest strap to get started. You can also download the free APA COACH+ app for real-time wireless feedback. Once connected, you can monitor essentials such as speed, heart rate, distance covered, cadence, RPMs, and more.
- Compatible with a variety of training and fitness apps
- Bluetooth 4.0 technology
- Chest strap is included
- Not compatible with Android devices
- Some question the durability of the zip ties for securing the sensors
- Lacks ANT+ protocol
9. Cycplus Bike Speed and Cadence Sensor
Aside from its affordable price tag, the Cycplus Bike Speed and Cadence Sensor stands out for its easy installation and Bluetooth connectivity. The sensor is also ANT+ ready and can be used with a variety of apps. If you’d rather not spend time trying to figure out how to calibrate your sensor, you’ll appreciate how this one doesn’t need to be calibrated before use.
As an added bonus, it also doesn’t require a magnet. Run time is up to 200 hours during use, and double that amount in standby. A one year warranty is included.
- Easy installation
- No magnet or calibration required
- Compact design
- Some complain of connectivity issues
- Relatively short range
- A few mention issues with the factory battery
10. SUAOKI Speed and Cadence Sensor
If you’re shopping on a budget, consider this wireless bike computer with a cadence and speed sensor. The computer is simple to mount yet can also be removed for easy transportation when necessary. Your current speed is always displayed at the top of the screen, while you can see your maximum and average speed at the bottom of the screen. A scan function cycles through information such as calories burned and a stopwatch so that you can ride without worrying about continuously pressing buttons.
Price: $21.99 (33 percent off MSRP)
- Scan function cycles through information
- Easy to mount and remove
- Can be tricky to program/set up
- Limited setup instructions
- Some complain of inconsistent cadence readings
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