2015 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Computers And Power Meters
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From $80, Cateye.com
The draw: Perfect commuter computer
The Strada Smart is probably the coolest bike computer that Cateye has ever released. It has two modes—the first is a standalone mode that doesn’t require a phone but still connects to Bluetooth Smart sensors. The second mode can leverage your phone’s GPS and even upload to Strava and Training Peaks after the fact. It’ll show you text and e-mail notifications, making it perfect for an inexpensive bike commuting computer.
The draw: Reliable and accurate power
Power2Max is the little power meter company that has quietly encroached on all the major players over the past few years. The company’s crank-based power meter is ideal for those who often swap to race wheels, ensuring you get power for both training and racing. The Type S lineup has been expanded to support a flotilla of crank arms, which—combined with their solid accuracy levels—is why it’s now found within the pro cycling peloton just as often as on the Ironman course.
The draw: Mapping capability
If you’re looking for a display that’s almost as clear as your phone’s and with just as much mapping information, the Edge 1000 is the granddaddy of bike computers (in size and functionality too). The unit includes maps to guide you on complex routes into unknown territory, while also recording everything from Di2 gearing to your VO max. It’ll then wirelessly upload it later via WiFi at home or Bluetooth Smart to your phone.
The draw: Just the facts, simple to use
The Navi2Coach is a great alternative to the Garmin lineup, competing well with the Edge 500. It contains all of the same data metrics you’d see on other cycling computers while also giving you a slightly larger screen without the larger price tag. The unit is well supported by third-party software apps, making it easy to continue to upload to your favorite training log sites and apps.
$400 (crank arm not included), 4iiii.com
The draw: Power affordability
This is the one product everyone in the power meter industry is watching. It’s just coming onto the market, but initial results look promising. The unit attaches DIY-style to your crank arms and can be used as a single pod (like Stages Power) or dual left/right configuration (like Garmin Vector). It transmits on both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, so you’re good to use it with virtually any head unit or phone app out there today.