Biking is one of our favorite activities, and when traveling, we are always looking for bike trails. Over the years, we have biked short, medium and long distances. The longest distance that we have biked in one day was 50 miles on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes last year (2022). During that same trip, we biked 42 miles on a different day on that same trail. And this summer (2023), we biked 37 miles on that trail. All of these treks were on different sections of the trail, which is a combined distance of 72.5 miles one way.
When biking medium and long distances, I am always curious about how far we’ve gone and I am frequently asking Larry throughout the treks. He uses a GPS app on his phone to track everything that we do, not just biking. I wanted something to track our biking data myself, but I didn’t want to use my phone/an app. Thus, the search for a wireless bike computer began Spring of 2023. I am not a technology-compatible person, so I needed a very basic, user-friendly product. After researching two dozen bike computers (all different brands/types), I decided on the CATEYE, Padrone Wireless Bike Computer. This device is currently available in 7 different colors.
My Trek Dual Sport 3 (WSD) came with a mount on the handlebar specifically for a bike computer, but I had difficulty finding one that was compatible with that mount. Larry checked with Trek and it appeared that the device would be compatible with the existing mount on my bike, but when we received it, we learned it was not. I had planned to return it but changed my mind once I realized that swapping out the mount wasn’t that big of a deal. The mount that came with CATEYE ended up working perfectly.
BIKE SET UP: I found the setup to be quite tedious, but for the average person I am certain that notion would not be applicable. Fortunately, I had Larry to help. The CATEYE mount is about the same size as the one that came on my bike but is just shaped a little differently. A feature that I like about the CATEYE mount is that it is easy to adjust the angulation on the handlebar using the knob on the back. Sometimes I angle it up a little higher and other times a little lower. With that said, however, it is vital to mention that if the mount is angled down too far on the handlebar, then it will be difficult to toggle between different screens on the monitor.
Once the new mount was in place, the next step was putting on the sensors and that is what took some fine-tuning. The little round sensor that attaches to the spoke on the front tire has to align perfectly with the transmitter on the fork of the bike. It took multiple attempts to line them up perfectly. After the first few tries, we thought perhaps the battery was dead, so we replaced the battery yet the monitor still wasn’t working.
Initially, we had the transmitter positioned in the middle of the fork, horizontally. We finally realized that it needs to be closer to the sensor. We then angled the transmitter inward on the fork so that it would be much closer to the sensor and they could communicate. My advice: be patient and just keep working on it till you get it right. Admittedly, I was not patient through this process.
VISIBILITY: The CATEYE, Padrone Wireless Bike Computer (4.3 x 3.2 x 1.6 inches; 4.16 oz) has a very clear screen and the numbers are easy to see. Initially, I tried to find a computer with an LED backlight but just couldn’t find something with consistently good reviews. However, I am very pleased with the visibility of this. I have no issues at all, even when biking in open, sunny areas. NOTE: I recommend taking the monitor off the mount when not in use to protect the screen; I keep it in a small bubble pouch that it came with.
EASE OF USE: To change the data on the monitor, you place the device in the mount and push down on the three little dots located on the bottom of the device; you will hear a clicking sound each time you push down. When I had the device in my hand, I kept pushing the dots and nothing happened. That is when I realized that the little dots are not a “button,” but rather serve as a marking point for the section where you push down so the gray center button on the backside of the unit will then change the data on the monitor. To “reset” the computer in between rides, you push down for a few seconds. The monitor does not have an on/off switch. It turns off by itself (like a hibernation mode) when not in use after a period of time.
Switching from screen to screen to see different data while biking is simple. Just push down on the little dots and you can easily toggle between different screens of data. While biking, I prefer to leave the screen on individual trip distance (i.e. how many miles I am currently biking). When we are finished biking, I then scroll through all of the different data that the device collects: individual trip distance; total odometer distance; average speed; max speed; elapsed time; clock.
A few things to note: When you stop biking, all data collection completely stops, unlike that of an app/program where you have to “pause” in order to keep an accurate time of the activities. I really like this feature because Larry has to pause and restart his program for accuracy; I don’t have to do that with this device. I also like that the computer keeps track of the total miles and amount of time that I’ve biked using the device. When you “reset” in between treks, it only resets the individual trip distance, clock (time per ride), average speed and max speed.
ACCURACY: On every trek, Larry and I compare the mileage data between our two different methods of collection. Between Larry’s GPS and my CATEYE, Padrone Wireless Bike Computer, the difference is usually within one-tenth of a mile. He believes his GPS data is the ultimate scale of accuracy. And while that *may* be the case, my CATEYE is close enough for my purposes. I just wanted something to give me a general idea, as I am biking, of how far we’ve gone.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I am extremely pleased with this device, as it is perfect for my purposes. Thus far, I’ve biked a total of 142.2 outdoor miles and 10.43 total hours while using this between the months of May – Aug 2023. The reason for which I specify ‘outdoor miles’ is because I have an indoor bike trainer (review coming this fall) that I also use with my Trek bike. However because the CATEYE attaches to the front tire, I am unable to use it to track my ride data. I have looked at bike computers compatible with indoor bike trainers, but I don’t feel the need to purchase one at this time.
If you are looking for a very basic, easy-to-use bike monitor then the CATEYE, Padrone Wireless Bike Computer may be a great fit for you. As mentioned above, the mileage may/may not be 100% spot on, but it is certainly close enough for those, like myself, who just want a general idea of their bike trek data.
Price Paid: $54.95 + tax
Place Purchased: Amazon
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