Gone Outdoors

Bicycle Speedometer Instructions

by Wade Shaddy

Modern bicycle speedometers have revolutionized cycling. These small computers allow you to keep records, make you more competitive and motivate you to cycle more miles. Don’t be intimidated by their complex sounding installation or functions. Bike computers can be very simple if you take a few minutes to understand how to hook them up and read the display.

Installation

Separate the bike computer’s sensor, magnet and display. The sensor is a small cylindrical piece of plastic with wires coming out the top that attaches to a small square cradle. The magnet is a small piece of metal encased in plastic with a small Phillips head screw. The display is the small television-type screen that gives you the readout.

Read the installation manual first, and then attach the sensor to one of your bike's front forks using the zip tie that comes with the kit. Leave it loose at first, so that it slides easily up and down the fork. Put the magnet on one of the spokes parallel with the fork and slide it up or down until the sensor and the magnet are approximately 1/8 inch apart. Tighten gently.

Run the wires from the sensor up to the handlebars gently twisting the wires around the brake cable to take out the slack. Pry open the plastic jaws of the display cradle and place them around the handlebars. Tighten the Phillips screw underneath to secure the cradle to the handlebars, facing up. Click the display into the cradle’s receiving slots.

Hold the front of the bike up with one hand, and spin the tire. The display should start reading out miles per hour. If it does not, slide the magnet closer to the sensor until the display activates and then tighten everything.

Check your instruction manual for the calibration chart. It includes settings for mountain bike, road bike and other sizes of bike tires. Check the size of your tire, select the code from the manual, and enter the code for your tire into the speedometer by clicking a small button underneath the top front of the speedometer display. The display will show codes as you click the button. When you have the appropriate code displayed, press the button on top to return to normal display.

Reading the Display

Take your bike to a deserted side street. Get on and ride the bike slowly. At the top of the screen, you will see the biggest numbers displayed. This is your speed. Pedal faster and watch as the numbers increase, pedal slower, the numbers decrease as you slow down.

Look underneath the speed readout. There will be other numbers on display, with smaller fonts. The first number is your bike odometer. Underneath that, there is a rubberized button. Push the button once, the numbers switch to ride time. Push the button again, the numbers switch to trip distance. Push the button again, the numbers switch to time of day.

To re-set the trip distance for each individual bike ride, click the button to the trip screen readout and hold the button for two seconds. The readout will go to zero, and you are ready to get the mileage for each individual ride.

Items you will need
  • Bike speedometer kit Bicycle

Tip

  • The majority of bicycles are either 26 inches for mountain bikes or 700 cm for road bikes. Your speedometer includes settings for these two sizes.

Warning

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits