Best Spin Bike Computers To Track Your Progress
When exercising it can be important to keep track of the statistics, regardless of what type of exercise it is. There are step counters, rowing monitors, heartbeat monitors, and all sorts of new technologies that can take your workouts to the next level. One of these pieces of tech is the spin bike computer.
These indoor bike computer consoles help track a variety of stats that can really help track and improve your progress over time. The cadence, speed, distance, time and calories burnt are just some of the options available on many of these spin bike computers. Considering the outbreak of COVID-19, exercising at home has become the safest option for public health, and you will want as much data as you can gather.
Spin bikes (as well as other pieces of at-home exercise equipment like rowing machines) have become almost essential for anyone looking to keep up their exercise routine. The question is, how can you choose from the many different spin bike computers on the market? Which one fits your bike best and delivers the data most consistently? That’s where we come in.
We’ve sorted through all of the indoor bike computer consoles out there and have picked out the prime candidates. Using a list of factors that we will go over at the end of the article, we have come up with a list of the best computers for spin bikes. With that out of the way, let us cycle our way down and see which ones made it to our the list of the best speed and cadence computers for indoor cycles!
Best Computer For Spin Bikes Compared
|Spinning BIO Heart-Rate Wireless Computer for Indoor Cycling Spin Bikes||RPM, speed, HR, distance, calories, and time||Wireless but not Bluetooth or ANT+||Easy||No|
|Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer For Indoor Cycles and Road Bikes||RPM, speed, HR, distance, calories, and time||Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+||Easy||Yes|
|SHANREN Raptor II Bluetooth Smart Wireless Road & Spin Bike Speedometer||RPM, speed, HR, distance, calories, and time||Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+||Moderate||Yes|
|CatEye - Strada Cadence Wired Bike Computer For Road & Spin Bikes||RPM, speed, distance, calories, and time||Wired - without Bluetooth or ANT+||Moderate||No|
|Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Bike Computer For Indoor Bikes and Road Bikes||Speed, distance, calories, and time||Wired - without Bluetooth or ANT+||Moderate||No|
|Wahoo Outdoor and Indoor Cycling Speed and Cadence/RPM Sensors||RPM, speed, distance, and time||Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+||Easy||No|
Editor’s Best Spin Bike Computer Choice!
My colleagues have already picked the best indoor cycling bike fitness monitors and reviewed them down below. But to make it even easier for you and let you know which one is our most favorite, I created the Editor’s Choice. It’s where I will be regularly updating to make sure you are well aware of all the more recent and the best indoor cycling bike fitness monitors on the market. For this month, I picked the Spinning BIO spin bike screen. It is affordable and specially designed for spin bikes.
With that being said, if you don’t mind using your own Bluetooth device (tablet, phone, etc) as a screen, I highly suggest you consider Wahoo Speed and Cadence Spin Bike sensors instead of a monitor. They are cheaper, smarter (connect you to most spinning apps including Zwift), and easier to install. Keep in mind that if your spin bike doesn’t have a device holder, you will need to buy one separately.
Important: If you can afford to spend $500 or more, I recommend you to forget about both, “indoor cycling bike computers” and “sensors for spin bike”. Instead, buy yourself a pair of power meter pedals. They are smart (with Bluetooth & ANT+ technology) and provide MUCH more accurate (and extra) cycling feedback including total watt, right, and left leg watt balance.
Installation Note: In order to see how a basic road bike computer is installed on a spin bike, please check out this video on YouTube. And in order to see how Spinning BIO computer is installed, please check this video on YouTube. Also, this CatEye Strada image can give you a good idea of how to install road bike computers on spin bikes.
Quick Overview Of Best Spin Bike Monitor:
1. Spinning BIO Heart-Rate Wireless Computer for Indoor Cycling Spin Bikes
Coming in at the top of our list is the Spinning BIO Heart-Rate Wireless Computer for Indoor Cycling Spin Bikes. As the name indicates, this computer is built specifically for spin bikes. That means that every feature, design choice and aspect imaginable that went into the building of this computer was designed for indoor cycling bikes. It will continuously display all the stats that you could want for your workout.
The cadence display allows you to see the revolutions per minute (RPM). This is the rate at which a cyclist is pedalling/turning the pedals. A rather useful measure for those looking to track how quickly you are pedaling. Then you also have the option of displaying the speed or distance on the screen. It can be swapped at a touch of a button.
Both of these stats can be extremely useful for all sorts of exercise routines. The speed counter can be useful for shorter, more intense workouts. Meanwhile, the distance counter can be used for those massive marathon rides that would take you from Arizona to Texas if you happened to be doing it outside. For those who prefer to base their workout on time, the BIO computer also displays that information on the screen.
Again, useful for those who either workout based on time or who want to keep track of how much distance they can cover in their preferred time goal. Finally, it displays calories. Everyone likes to see that calorie counter go up. After all, that’s one of the reasons we exercise. Judging effective a workout is by how many calories burnt has been a staple across gyms, workout videos and just about any form of exercise for decades.
The computer will turn on as soon as the bike starts moving and turns off 4 minutes after the end of the exercise. One of the things to consider with this computer is that it is designed to solely work with Spinner bikes. This would be a downside to the computer, if there weren’t videos like this one that displays how to install the computer on different types of spin bikes.
The BIO computer is also designed for front-drive spin bikes. One of the best parts about this computer is that it comes with a heart rate monitor that is coded specifically for that computer. It comes with a 1-year warranty for home use only. The computer cost might be a stumbling block for some. It does cost $133, which seems pretty hefty for a computer. However, it is hard to argue that the price isn’t worth it due to the quality of this spin bike computer and the fact that still there aren’t much better alternatives available. All in all it would make a good computer for sunny spin bikes (most of them, not all) and other compatible indoor bikes.
- The BIO computer is designed specifically for spin bikes.
- It has speed, distance, cadence, time and calories all available to see during the workout.
- It also has the ability to monitor heart rate with a strap. All the ideal things you want from one of these computers.
- The price might stop some people.
- The fact that it was designed for only Spinner bikes might also be a turn-off for those who buy indoor bikes from other brands.It’s also not backlit which makes it hard to see your data in low-light conditions.
2. Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer For Indoor Cycles and Road Bikes
Coming in second on our list of the best computers for spin bikes is the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer. This computer was designed for road bikes, but can be used if you attach the Wahoo Speed and Cadence sensors onto your spin bike. Unfortunately, these sensors happen to be sold separately. However, that should not take away just how good this computer can be for those looking to use it for their spin bikes.
It has an app that connects to your smartphone to collect data. This app uses an intuitive design in order to pair, customize settings, configure workout pages, and link to popular cycling apps and wireless sensors. Once the workout is over, the computer then sends the data gathered to those linked apps. It can also help you keep up with your social life while on the grind. You can pair your phone to receive emails, text messages and call alerts.
The unique social feature that comes with this console is the group tracking ability. It allows you to locate friends out riding in real time, making for a social experience. If you don’t want to be disturbed, there is also an option to turn off all those same notifications. In terms of the data that is displayed, there is quite a bit of it. It has options to display 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 curated data fields. These data fields include the regular data like time, distance, calories and so on, but it doesn’t stop there.
This computer allows you to select from 170+ data fields to configure on your screens. If we attempted to go over all of them, we wouldn’t actually be able to talk about any other aspect of the computer! The computer has other ways to display information as well. Quicklook LEDs can be used to monitor power, heart rate, speed and any incoming calls, texts or email alerts.
Meanwhile the Strava Live Segments can give you a heads up before the segment begins, a progress report when you are ahead or behind your goal, and a Final Push when you are close to hitting a PR. The Bolt computer also allows indoor bikes to replicate outdoor routes by using GPS files to simulate the various elevation levels of the outdoors. You can select up to 10 different levels of progressive resistance, which means that the harder you pedal, the more resistance you feel.
Considering that the Bolt has Bluetooth, ANT+ and WiFi connectivity abilities, it is really hard to find elements that this computer is lacking in. It can be synced with apps like Strava, Ride With GPS, Best Bike Split, Komoot, MTB Project and Singletracks. The only real hesitation someone might have is the price. Due to its quality, it does cost a hefty $229. That is also without the additional cost of a cadence and speed sensor, for those looking to track even more data. However, it is hard to find a computer with more features than this one.
- The features.
- There is almost nothing that this computer cannot do.
- It is so connected to everything while also displaying every single piece of information that you could ever want.
- Some of the route features are made irrelevant by it being used for an indoor bike.
- The fact that it requires separate cadence and speed sensors is also unfortunate.
- The price might also be a barrier for some.
3. SHANREN Raptor II Bluetooth Smart Wireless Road & Spin Bike Speedometer
Up next we have the SHANREN Raptor II Bluetooth Smart Wireless Bike Speedometer. This is another computer that is designed for outdoor bikes, but works quite well for spin bikes if there is a spot to attach the sensor holder. It tracks the normal type of statistics that you would expect. Cadence, speed, distance and time are all included for display. It comes with the ability to sync with both heart rate and speed/cadence sensors through Bluetooth.
Raptor applies some impressive connecting technology so that the computer pairs with the sensor instantly and nicely syncs with the computer in the next ride. The computer itself is a nicely sized 2.1 inches with an adjustable backlight in order to make the data visible in all sorts of lighting. One of the most impressive parts about the Raptor II is how long its battery lasts. It offers around 2000 hours of use. That is a lot of cycling. Not to mention that the battery itself is rechargeable. You essentially have an endless battery.
Because the computer is designed for outdoor use, there can be some complicated steps to get it working. In terms of installation, there is one magnet that needs to attach to the flywheel. The sensor holder needs to attach to the rear fork arm so that it can both feel the magnet on the flywheel AND feel the pedal crank arm every time the flywheel turns.
It should be noted that this computer has two sensors (being cadence and speed) that are attached together. One faces toward the pedal crank arm. So if you want to track both speed and cadence, you will need to install the piece that holds the sensors on the rear fork. This is so that on one side it can sense the magnet on the flywheel, while on the other it can sense the pedal crank arm on every pedal stroke.
It should be noted that most spin bikes don’t have the same spot in the back that road bikes do in order to attach the sensor holder. This means that you might not be able to set up the sensor holder in the optimal place. However, if you want to track the speed and your spin bike has its flywheel located in front, you could connect the sensor to the front fork and attach the magnet to the flywheel. That should help fix some of the compatibility issues this computer has.
The Raptor II is on the cheaper side of these computers. It costs about $90, which certainly isn’t bad for the value. The biggest negative about this computer is the somewhat lengthy installation process. However, once it is up and working, you can get some serious miles out of this spin bike computer.
- This computer is essentially immortal.
- It will show you the stats you need for as long as you want.
- It is also pretty cheap compared to some other options.
- The installation process on some bikes can become a bit complicated.
- Undoubtedly this is the biggest downside to the Raptor II.
4. CatEye – Strada Cadence Wired Bike Computer For Road & Spin Bikes
Up next is the Strada Cadence Wired Bike Computer from CatEye. This computer was made for outdoor bikes, though it can most certainly work on the front drive indoor cycles that many people like. It tracks your current, max, and average speed, total distance, two trip distances, elapsed time, pace arrow, clock, and cadence. Clearly it goes above and beyond the basic stats that you would expect.
Your selected mode displays at the bottom of the screen, while your current speed always appears at the top in huge, easy-to-read numerals. The battery on this computer also goes just as high. Even with regular use, the computer can last for up to two years without any need to even think about replacing it.
That is a heck of a lot of miles that you can rack up over that time. But what about when those two years are up? Surely by switching out the battery you would lose all evidence of that hard work? Fortunately that isn’t the case, as the Strada Cadence computer lets you manually set the odometer after a battery change.
In terms of the display on the screen of the computer, it is quite visible. The screen itself is large, while also having big numbers so that you can take in all the information with only a brief glance. Interface is most certainly an important part of all spin bike computers.
The Strada Cadence comes with CatEye’s ClickTec® interface. This lets you switch among 8 modes by simply pressing the bottom of the computer face. After all, nobody wants to actually spend time trying to fiddle with the computer in order to simply see different stats.
As mentioned, the computer is not designed with spin bikes in mind. Yet, a cunning customer found a way to set up his to make it work on a Sunny Health & Fitness bike. You see, the magnet will need to attach to the flywheel and the sensor needs to attach to the fork arm. That way, the sensor can feel the magnets every time the flywheel turns. CatEye’s Strada Cadence computer is a solid one, and it also happens to be quite a cheap one. It costs right around $50, which is a very good deal for such a piece of technology.
- This is a very solid spin bike computer that will show you all the information that you could want.
- It also makes it very convenient to switch between these data views, with all of them being extremely visible on the monitor.
- The installation process on some spin bikes can be a bit tricky.
- Because it is cheaper than many other computers, the quality if its connection is sometimes questionable.
5. Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Bike Computer For Indoor Bikes and Road Bikes
Coming from the men and women over at Planet Bike is the Protégé 9.0 bike computer. The name of this computer is actually quite appropriate. After all, the definition of a protégé is “a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person”. It will most certainly support you in your quest to have better and more efficient workouts.
It has 9 different functions: current speed, speed comparator, ride time, trip distance, dual odometer (for 2 wheel sizes), average speed, maximum speed, clock, and temperature. Using the combination of these can turn an average workout into a really productive and inspired session. The 4-line MacroMonitorTM LCD displays up to 5 pieces of data at a glance.
You might notice that is over half the information it can possibly display. Probably the most intriguing thing about the Protégé 9.0 is that it takes a “buttonless” design approach that allows for a large Macromonitor LCD screen with most of the information displayed on one very readable page. Instead, switching displays only requires a simple tap on the computer, making it easy to operate in the midst of your ride.
A longer tap on the computer will reset the data. The screen is even usable if you are wearing gloves. It automatically starts when it senses the bike start moving, saving you the trouble of dealing with turning it on before the workout proper. When you stop, it doesn’t reset your data until you finally get off.
Because it is designed for road bikes, you will need to do a little bit of work to get this computer up and running. It will work with front drive spin bikes. Similar to the CatEye, you will need to attach the magnet to the flywheel and the sensor to the fork arm. Again, this is because it needs to feel the magnets every time the flywheel goes around and around.
Another extremely cheap spin bike computer, the Protégé is only $34. Despite this cheaper price, the computer comes with a lifetime warranty. So if it breaks or something goes wrong, then you are backed up by that deal. This sort of warranty is rather rare to see on such a cheap computer.
- The Protégé 9.0 is a very solid computer for those looking to get nice bits of data for cheap.
- Its buttonless design doesn’t feel forced and can actually be quite natural.
- The lifetime warranty is quite a bonus as well.
- The somewhat confusing installation process for some spin bikes can definitely be a downside.
- It is also a bit finicky to get working normally.
- The wire connector is also extremely long- almost annoyingly so.
6. Wahoo Outdoor and Indoor Cycling Speed and Cadence/RPM Sensors
Last but not least is a combo deal from Wahoo. Unlike most of these computers, the Wahoo RPM Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensor, is actually two separate pieces of equipment. The cadence sensor, as one might be able to guess, tracks the cadence and RPMs of the cyclist. The speed sensor allows for one to track accurate speed and distance at all times.
The impressive thing about these sensors is their connectivity. They are both able to connect to both Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. However, it’s Wahoo’s ability to connect to a variety of apps and programs that is the most impressive part. It works with more than 50 smartphone apps including Wahoo Fitness, Zwift, Trainerroad, Sufferfest, MapMyRide, Komoot and a whole lot more.
They are also able to connect to smartphones, tablets, and bike computers by Wahoo, Polar, Garmin, and more. In fact, it is their connectivity and adaptability that puts them on this list. After all, one would think that these sensors don’t belong here because of the fact that they aren’t technically a “computer.” Yet, they actually work just fine and save you from having to purchase a monitor.
You can use your own phone or tablet to track your stats with a spin bike cadence or speed sensor. All you need to do is to attach the sensor/s to the flywheel and crank arms and connect your device (tablet, phone, etc) to the sensors using Bluetooth or ANT+.
The cost of these two speed and cadence monitors for spin bike is around $70, which is more expensive than some others on this list. However, there is a good reason behind that price. Wahoo is one of the two giants behind sensors on bikes (the other being Garmin), and by using their products, you can be sure you are getting some of the best goods on the market.
This package of speed and cadence sensors for spin bike comes with a 30-day free return policy and 1-year limited warranty to sweeten the deal just that little bit more.
- Quality sensors that will connect to just about anything under the sun.
- They are also compatible with a host of different third party apps that allow you to choose whichever one you are most comfortable with.
- It must be said that this isn’t a computer.
- If you are looking for one of the traditional computers like those above, you won’t find it here.
- The process of getting them to work on certain spin bikes can also be an absolute hassle.
Buyer’s Guide To Help You Find the Best Monitor for Your Spin Bike
That wraps up our list of the best spin bike computers. Now we’re going to look at some of the factors that you should consider in your own hunt for one of these spin bike digital displays.
Wired vs Wireless spinning computer. When it’s possible try to avoid “wired” spin bike computers with cadence counter. They are complicated to install and hard to maintain. Just so we are clear, I mean the wire/cable that connects the monitor to its sensors on the flywheel. Not only they can break, running extra wires can also make the bike look ugly. So, always aim for “wireless” spin bike computer with cadence monitors (like Spinning BIO) because they are much easier to install and maintain.
The design/installation. Many of these computers are designed for outdoor usage. That can make the installation process a bit of a pain, so you should keep that in mind. The rule of thumb is to look at the indoor bike computer parts before purchasing. If you think there are the required places on your spin bike to install all the parts (sensors and monitor), then buy yourself the exercise bike fitness monitor.
The price. These stationary bike computers can get a tad pricey, so make sure you know how much you want to invest in it. If you can invest $500 or more, I highly recommend buying power meter pedals instead of an indoor spin bike computer. They are easy to install and provides more superior feedbacks (including Watt which you won’t get from any indoor cycling computer).
It’s compatibility with different apps. If you already use a third party app, you don’t really want to get rid of it and switch to a new one. If the spinning cycle monitor is compatible with the app that you already have, that makes it much more convenient. Note that some of the spin bike computer consoles in this review don’t come with Bluetooth or ANT/+ and they don’t connect to any spinning apps.
Spinning data tracking capability. This is one of the most important features when looking to find the best spin bike computer for your indoor bike. The more feedback they provide, the more engaging your ride is and reaching your goal is also easier. As a rule of thumb look for indoor bike consoles that track RPM, Speed, Distance, Time, Calories, and Heart Rate. Watt (power output) would be also great but unfortunately, these monitors can’t give you the watt unless you purchase extra accessories such as power pedals.
Q: Why should I buy a computer for my spin bike?
A: Spd and RPM bike computers are mostly for those who are looking to track their stats while they workout. It can help raise the intensity or quality of their workouts, leading to better overall health and quicker goal achievement. With easier and more convenient stat tracking and the ability to connect to many different apps, these computers can really help with workouts.
Q: How do I install a computer on my spin bike?
A: We’ve outlined some instructions above to help the installation process. A quick Google search should also pull up a host of installation videos and pictures as well. Follow the instructions but more importantly use your common sense because most of these bike monitors are for road and MTB rides. So, you would need to tweak things a little bit in some cases.
Q: Is a spin bike computer necessary for a good workout?
A: Necessary? No. Highly recommended in order to elevate your exercise to the next level? Yes. These computers aren’t necessary to actually have a good spin workout. It just makes it easier to track and manage goals that you might have.
Q: What is the better alternative for spin bike monitors?
A: Cheaper alternative would be a pair of spin bike speed and cadence sensors. They are also easier to install. However, keep in mind that when using speed and cadence meter for spin bike, you will need to use your own smart device (phone, tablet, etc) to see your workouts. As for the better alternative (not cheaper) to track spin bike workouts, I highly suggest the power meter pedals.
Q: Which is the best spin bike to buy?
A: We have tried many models and based on several facts, the Stages S3 is the best spin bike to buy in 2022. It’s highly adaptable and has top-of-the-line ergonomics which makes the ride extremely comfortable and fun. Additionally, it has unique workout data tracking capability, thanks to its direct watt, rpm, and speed tracking system.
Q: What spin bikes do gyms use?
A: Keiser M3i models are probably the most popular gym use spin bikes. Fully built in the USA, M3i commercial quality bikes feature a super simple and durable design which makes the maintenance really easy. If you can afford them, they will make a lifetime indoor cycling bike for any household.