Your bike 2.0
I don’t know why our bikes don’t come with an electrical outlet these days. We’ve got all sorts of electronics like heart rate monitors, power meters, bike computers, and I-pods; our handlebars will soon look like Times Square.
With all kidding aside, all of the gadgets out there can confuse even a seasoned pro. If you’re just starting out, there are some functions that you want to have on your bike computer.
Every watch/computer will have a stopwatch function. Speed and Distance is something you want to have, but isn’t standard on basic heart rate monitors. Any bike computer will have those options.
With each ride you should have an idea of the time or distance you want to ride for. A great way to see your progress and to plan your training is to log your miles and time in the saddle onto a calendar. Some watches let you download to your computer and will log all the info into a calendar for you. It’s a nice option, but filling out a regular paper calendar works as well and can be easier if you’re not technologically savvy.
I suggest getting a computer with a cadence sensor. Check out the blog post from 2 weeks ago on how to use your cadence to save energy.
A heart rate monitor is nice to have. For one, a decent monitor will tell you how many calories you’re burning, which you can use to track your weight loss or make sure that you’re getting in enough calories to fuel your ride. Next week I’ll explain in more detail how you can use the heart rate monitor on your rides.
Don’t worry about all the other options like power, TSS, or anything like that. A basic monitor with speed, distance, cadence, and possibly heart rate is more than you need.
Remember, riders spent half a century winning the Tour de France with none of those options. Feel free to spend some rides without the electrical furniture sitting on your bars.
Mark Izhak, RD