With or without GPS, GPS bike counters offer a wide variety of functions, sometimes useful in cycling and sometimes essential for training.
Certain functions, including those of the classic electronic meter, can be used without any connectivity, while others, like the weather, require continuous connectivity to provide more detailed information in real time. Make a tour d’horizon on these functions in our primer. A lexicon of counters bike GPS certainly not exhaustive, but who has vocation to enrich themselves over the coming innovations, but also your comments. Do not hesitate to comment!
The functions available in the current bike GPS meter
This recent meter, this function replaces magnet speed sensors. The speed of the bike is calculated through a group of sensors integrated into the computer itself.
It notifies the user according to various predefined parameters. It can be an alarm timer or alarm a distance, necessary especially in race against time or long distance training. An alarm can also intervene as part of a planned training, when it comes to stay in a zone of heart rate, for example.
This feature keeps the user informed of the reception of a call or a message on a phone set in conjunction with the meter (see ‘Bluetooth connectivity’).
This function allows the meter to provide information related to the altitude at which it is located. A meter equipped with this feature is ideal for climbing training. On a GPS meter altitude is filled on the basis of geographic data by satellite. The accuracy of vertical distance data analysed by the satellites is estimated at 20 meters, against 2 to 9 meters for horizontal positioning. The barometric altimeter, meanwhile requires a prior calibration based on an altitude of origin. However, this feature offers more accurate results than its counterpart GPS.
It is an essential function for training and the cardiotraning. The wizard can provide a wide range of evolutionary challenges depending on the user’s performance. The wizard can be set up to act as virtual competitor in a training run.
It is defined by the ability of the meter to operate after a charge or replacement of batteries. Classic electronic meters have greater autonomy, while the best-performing counters are more energy consumers, and therefore, have reduced, generally around 15 hours.
It allows to determine the velocity of the rider and to address more detailed exercises cardio aspects defining a range more precise number of revolutions of the pedals per minute. A counter shipping this feature also an asset for the competitor who wishes to improve their technique of pedaling each profile field.
This sensor measures the force exerted on the pedals or on the rear wheel of the bike. This feature allows to refine the criteria of a cardio exercise. The competitor can also use it to improve his technique of pedaling and reduce energy expenditures and dead spots in order to obtain better performance between velocity and performance. Compatible with power bike counters can also provide additional information, such as the gear ratio used.
Heart rate sensor
This function fills the rider on its cardiac performance in real time during the session, but also on his average heart rate and evolution of its performance during several sessions. The meter must be synchronized with a sensor worn at the chest or waist level. Some more performance counters however, require no additional material and capture the heart rate through the pulse of the wrist.
The cards allow cyclists on road and for practitioners of the ATV to explore the areas chosen poorly. If GPS meter ship already default maps, it is possible to download additional maps on the device. Updates by builders and Add-ons can also refine navigation on a GPS meter. It is especially possible to integrate Basemaps, benchmarks and geographical details to ensure a better browsing experience, in training and bicycle touring. Open Street Map cards are very common. IGN map funds are particularly suitable for mountain biking.
Essential function in training at the time – watch, the timer allows the rider to measure accurately the time it takes to travel a set distance. Its use can be coupled with mileage and alarm function to ensure a better training experience. The stopwatch can also be set to a function circuit based on a length of course defined by the cyclist.
Connectivity ANT +
It is a wireless connectivity technology widely adopted by additional facilities like power sensors and heart rate monitors belts to transmit data to the meter. ANT + technology offers the advantage of being less energy-consuming while keeping its transmission performance and in being unaffected by interference of the lines to high voltage.
This type of wireless connection is less present on the equipment of the bike but develops more and more. Indeed, it allows the rider to connect his meter to other electronic devices, including smartphones. Which opens the field to numerous features, such as the notiification of calls and messages, access to social networks and segments live Strava (track “Strava”).
It is variable depending on meter and defines the ability to resist the penetration of water. Waterproof meters are ideal for use in the rain. It is defined according to the IPX nome: IPX5 indicates resistance to water splashes, but not against immersion (the IPX7 can withstand 1 meter of immersion).
The GPS module provides a wide range of very precise geographic coordinates and maps on a chosen locality. This function is essential especially for cyclists in ATV or VTC hikers. Maps of different localities can be downloaded on the meter from a database on the internet. Glonass positioning meanwhile is based on the same principle as the GPS, but provides more accurate results. This technology put into service around 2008 is increasingly deployed on bicycle counters. It is especially popular for MTB use because it allows a very fast signal even acquisition in the Woods.
This feature allows the rider to have a real-time preview of the ground profile it negotiates. The length scale, a flat or a descent is filled in detail on the meter. This function represents assistance of choice in training.
It allows the meter to store the information about the activities of the cyclist and record complementary data, such as maps, roads and training programs. The internal memory is integrated by default, while some models of meters are supported memory expansion cards.
This function fills the cyclist in real-time on the climatic conditions in the area where it is located. During training or in cycling, this function ensures comfort and reliability to cycling.
Ideal for the cardio, this feature provides detailed information on the number of calories burned during a cycling session. The meter can also be set to set a goal of training over several sessions, calculate the total number of calories and provide a real-time report of efforts, compared to the objectives.
This function informs the rider on the slopes negotiated in climbing and descending a period of training.
Distance information are essential, both in training and in the cardio sessions. The meter displays distance traveled for a fixed period, during a day, and since its start-up or reset.
Through this feature, the cyclist can modulate a customized training program. The Setup can be carried out on the counter or on a computer, for devices equipped with USB connectivity. Coupled with the virtual assistant, the training Planner offers extensive opportunities for use. For example, the cyclist can set the distance that he wants to go, drops rates and weather conditions. The training Planner will provide several options of course from a defined starting point.
This gives cyclists, advanced virtual competition and training opportunities. On Garmin Connect as on Strava, a cyclist can create a segment on a course and share it with the performance it has established. Each cyclist connected on the network may subsequently, compete in the same segment, competing with other riders or to improve its own results.
Strava is a sharing network performance between cyclists and route data. Compatible with this platform counters offer a wide range of planning and interaction opportunities. For example, the cyclist can organize a race with other runners in real time. Strava also lets you organize challenges group, segment courses and establish targets for virtual competition. Garmin Connect is the main competitor to the network Strava, but focuses on the Garmin GPS counters. If the data of the two platforms are directly compatible, tools to convert a meter to another.
This accessory is supplied with certain models of meter, and settled on the handlebars of the bike. It allows the rider to control his meter while having the best support on his handlebars.
With this function, the meter provides information in real-time on the room temperature in the area in which is located the cyclist. This allows to evaluate the climate conditions in a precise way and to take the appropriate measures for the reliability of the session.