How To Install Bike Computer
You may not know how to setup and install bike computer properly or you may just want to make sure everything was done correctly.
It’s not always easy to install bike computer, and there may be several obstacles in your way of doing so for your road or mountain bikes.
Small computers that you may attach to your bicycle to measure the rotation of your tyres are called bicycle speedometers. Your speed is determined by the computer using data from sensors that are installed on your bicycle tyre. Other details like your mileage, the time, your heart rate, or the altitude are frequently provided by these computers. Even if you are not a bike mechanic, installing a speedometer is simple. However, in order for the sensors to accurately measure speed, your computer needs to be properly programmed. Bring your bike and computer to a bike shop if you are unsure of your abilities to install a cycling computer.
Table of Content
In this guide we have covered the following areas to properly install bike computer:
- Tools you need to install bike computer
- Instructions and tips to install bike computer
- Sensor Alignment to correctly install bike computer
- Front Mount Cable Routing
- Rear Mount Cable Routing
- Bike Computer Installation FAQs
Tools Use To Install Bike Computer:
You need simple tools to complete this small and easy task.
- Wire cutter
- Soldering iron
- Stripper or knife
- Bicycle tools
- Cable Ties
Instructions And Tips To Install Bike Computer:
Although attaching a computer can be challenging, we’ve attempted to make the process below as simple as we can. You’ll be cycling with your new little computer in no time if you follow the instructions. A wireless computer can be a better option because they are considerably simpler to set up.
- Depending on the spoke arrangement of the wheel, you typically have a choice of numerous locations on the wheel to attach the spoke magnet with one-magnet cycle computers. In general, mounting the magnet as close to the hub as possible is recommended. It will travel by the sensor more slowly the closer in you attach it, allowing the magnetic switch on the sensor more time to react. The computer may provide unpredictable results at greater speeds if the magnet is too far away.
- Attach the sensor to the fork or stay once the magnet has been fitted. Before securing the wire or fastening the mounting shoe to the handlebar, test the computer and make any necessary adjustments to the sensor or magnet position.
- Plastic tie-wraps are typically included with cycle computers to fasten the wire to the frame. These function reasonably enough, however unless they match the color of the frame, they look awful. If you secure the wire with clear plastic tape, your work will look better and be more professional. I’ve discovered that clear mylar package-sealing tape works the best. It is often offered in 2-inch broad rolls with a convenient dispenser / cutter. Before taping the wire down, wash your hands and make sure the essential frame and fork components are clean.
- Turn the bike over in the repair stand with the sensor magnet and magnet placed before removing the front wheel. The wire can be secured more easily as a result.
Front Mount Cable Routing:
- The wire should incline slightly inward as it climbs the back side of the fork blade. This makes the wire less obvious while also making it more aerodynamic. Make sure the wire crosses back on the inside of the fork blade if the sensor is installed in front of the blade. Just in case later modest sensor adjustments are required, leave a very small amount of slack between where the wire exits the sensor and where you start to tie it to the fork.
- The most typical error in wire routing is to fasten the wire to the frame’s head tube. With a front-mount cyclometer, you should never do this since it forces you to leave two sizable loops of slack where the wire enters and exits the head tube so that it won’t be pulled as the handlebars rotate. The front brake cable should always be followed by the wire. The wire can be secured all the way along its length because the fork, brake, and handlebars always move simultaneously.
- Typically, I like to run the wire up the back of the brake cable and attach it to the cable securely. The extra wire can be wrapped and tucked into the steerer tube’s bottom if it is longer than is necessary.
- It is more convenient to wrap the wire around the brake cord in a spiral for bikes that are likely to be serviced frequently. This makes it simpler to unplug the cable for tasks such as replacing handlebars or servicing a headset. The spiral wrap method has a drawback in that it can be unsightly, especially on bicycles with brightly colored brake cable housing.
- Install the magnet and sensor on the left side, if possible, when mounting a front-mount cyclometer on a bicycle with cantilever brakes. This enables you to run the wire in along the left side of the transverse cable and out along the back of the cantilever to the main cable. It will still be possible to release the brake for wheel changes by unhooking the transverse cable because the transverse cable is often fixed on the left side of front cantilevers.
- Cyclometer mounting is actually simpler on suspension forks. Follow the cable housing to the handlebar after running the cable up the slider to the brake bridge.
- Some cycle computer sensors won’t fit the suspension forks’ large-diameter legs. You were right to keep any old, useless front derailers in a box if you have them. Instead of the hinged clamp found on more recent models, many older front detailers were fastened to the frame using two bolts that passed through a “pillow-block” type clamp. To secure the sensor to the fork blade, two of these clamps placed back-to-back can create an extremely sturdy, tasteful-looking clamp. You must need a tiny shim if the fork blade is less than 1 1/8″ in diameter.
- If all of that bothers you, a rear-mount kit is a simple method to mount a cycle computer on a suspension bike.
Rear Mount Cable Routing:
- To keep them hidden, wires from rear-mount cycle computers or cadence pickups should be run under the free hub, the bottom bracket, and the down tube.
- Attach the wire to one of the gear-change cables that run from the down tube to the handlebar-mounted shift lever on hybrid or mountain bikes.
- It is typically best to run the wire from the down tube directly to the bottom of the front brake cable on bikes without handlebar-mounted shifters, and then proceed as with front mounts. The wire must have enough slack to allow the handlebars to turn as far as they can without being pulled in either direction, otherwise the wire will break.
- Keep the slack loop away from the tyre. If the wire is able to touch the tyre, it will, and it will quickly wear away to nothing.
- The rider could unintentionally tug on the wire while trying to shift if the slack loop is not kept out of the way of the down-tube mounted shift levers’ regular operation.
Additional Information, if needed:
If you need additional information on setting up the bike computer, watch this video tutorial on youtube.
Install Bike Computer FAQs:
How does a wireless bike computer work?
A cycle computer operates in an easy manner. A signal is produced each time a magnet on the wheel moves past a sensor on the fork. Based on the wheel dimension you entered while setting up the bike computer, it calculates your speed by timing the intervals between those signals.
Where do you mount a computer on a mountain bike?
Many Garmin cycling computers come with a stock mount that enables the device to be installed in a variety of places, including the handlebar, atop the stem, or even on the top tube. Some endure racers choose mounting the computer on the top tube because it protects it in the event that their bike rolls away from them.
Where should I place my bicycle computer?
It’s best to keep things simple by mounting the sensor on the front wheel because a wire can be routed to the front fork much more easily than the back fork.
Do bike computer need sensors?
To transmit heart rate information to your bike computer, you’ll need to link it to either a chest strap or a fitness tracker with a wrist-based sensor.
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