7 Best Speed and Cadence Sensors for Spin Bikes
Spin bikes can really make a fantastic workout for anyone looking to get some regular exercise in. There are spin bikes for all levels of cyclists, both beginner and professional. The bikes by themselves do the job perfectly fine. But what if we told you that there was a way to elevate the performance on a spin bike? A way to really get to that next level of athletic performance?
Fortunately, we have indeed got such a way for you to accomplish this. That way is the introduction of spin bike cadence and speed sensors. The cadence sensor records the Revolution per Minute (RPM) and the speed sensor tracks the mile per hour or kilometer per hour that one is going. The indoor bike cadence sensor attaches to one of the crank arms while the speed sensor attaches to the flywheel. With that out of the way, let us jump into our list of the best speed and cadence sensors for indoor cycling.
1. Garmin Indoor Cycling Bike Cadence Sensor 2
Coming up first on our list is the Garmin cadence sensor for spin bike. As Garmin is one one the best manufacturers of these sensors, it is no surprise that they round out the top of our list with the Cadence Sensor 2. One of the top reasons for this is the easy installation process. All one has to do is attach it to the crank arm and start cycling. Garmin claims that it fits any size crank arm, and the reviews seem to match this assessment. Another great aspect of this spin bike cadence sensor is its ability to connect to both ANT+ and Bluetooth, allowing for the connection to other devices, training apps, and so on. The only possible downside to this sensor is that some claim the placement of the battery can cause it to malfunction occasionally. Fortunately, this problem has an easy fix and the battery is also easy to replace. For a price of just around $40, this really is an excellent indoor bike cadence sensor for any cyclists out there.
- Where To Attach: On any crank arm.
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: Both Bluetooth and ANT+
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: Both front-wheel and rear-wheel.
- Additional Information: 2 Lithium Metal batteries required. Comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
2. Garmin Bike Speed 2 and Cadence 2 Sensor
Up next are a pair of sensors from Garmin, both for speed and cadence. Starting with the indoor cycling speed sensor, this allows for one to track accurate speed and distance at all times. This is useful for those who are really trying to up their workout goals and performance while also keeping track of the specific statistics. Numbers, while painful at times, can also provide some excellent sources of information on how you are doing at improving on those bikes. All that you need to do is connect this sensor to the hub of the spin wheel, and it should self-calibrate with either your Edge cycling computer or compatible Garmin device. Another cool feature of the Garmin speed sensor for spin bike is that it tracks the distance that the bike covers with odometer feature. This allows for planning of how the spin bike is doing in terms of maintenance. Then there’s the cadence sensor. As mentioned, it tracks the RPM of the workout. It will fasten to any crank arm and work like a charm. Thanks to the design of the Garmin devices, they are both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible, allowing you to send the data that the speed and cadence sensor for spin bike pick up to a variety of training apps. The combination of these two sensors can really improve the workout experience of any cyclist. They do come with a retail price of $70, so that might be a bit steep for some people. The biggest issue with this package seems to be the occasionally unreliable connection of the speed sensor. The RPM sensor for spin bike seems to be highly reliable, fortunately.
- Where To Attach: The cadence sensor goes on the crank arm and the speed sensor goes on the hub of the spin wheel.
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: It has both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: It should fit just about all spin bikes. Both front wheel and rear-wheel.
- Additional Information: Each sensor requires 2 Lithium batteries. Both come with a 1-year limited warranty.
3. Wahoo RPM Indoor Cycling Cadence Sensor
Now entering the ring is the other major manufacturer in the world of bike sensors: Wahoo! They bring their own cadence sensor on spinning bikes to the battle to be the best. Unfortunately, they don’t quite reach the top, but are most certainly still a quality cadence sensor for spin bike. It tracks the RPM like all cadence sensors are supposed to, but also comes with some nice little features to keep it competitive. It is completely wireless and can be attached to both the crank arm and of just about any bike available. Not to mention, it can even attach to one’s shoe. With the ability to connect to both ANT+ and Bluetooth, this Wahoo spinning cadence sensor can connect to a variety of devices and apps. These can be both Wahoo apps or third-party training apps for those who prefer their own. Coming in at a cost of $40, this sensor is most certainly a quality indoor cycle sensor for those looking to track some more workout data.
- Where to Attach: It can be attached on the crank arm or even on the shoe.
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: Both Bluetooth and ANT+
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: Both front-wheel and rear-wheel bikes.
- Additional Information: Comes with a Coin Cell (CR2032) battery that should last up to 1 year. Also comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
4. Wahoo RPM Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensor
Another combo deal, this time from Wahoo. It comes with both a cadence sensor and a speed sensor for indoor bikes. As with the other sensors, the speed sensor tracks the speed and distance data during the workout. Meanwhile, the cadence monitor for spin bike tracks the same thing that it always does- the RPM. 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. This cross-compatibility really is a convenient feature. Not that you should go swimming with these devices, but they are also waterproof up to 5 feet. However, as tempting as it is, probably spin biking in a pool is not the ideal solution. Similar to the Garmin package, the retail price of the Wahoo sensor package is $70.
- Where to Attach: Cadence attaches to your bike’s crank arm or shoe; Speed attaches to your bike’s wheel hub
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: Both Bluetooth and ANT+ are compatible.
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: Both front-wheel and rear-wheel bikes. It should also fit just about all types of bikes.
- Additional Information: Both require a Coin Cell (CR2032) battery that should last up to 1 year. Both of the sensors come with a 1-year limited warranty.
5. CooSpo BK467 Speed and Cadence Sensor
A 2-for-1 deal from outside the big 2, the CooSpo BK467 Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensor has two settings that allows for both speed and cadence to be tracked. While you are unable to have both at the same time displayed, the fact that both are able to be used in one device is pretty convenient. All that needs to be done in order to switch the function is switching out the battery. A blue light indicates cadence sensor and red light indicates speed sensor. It has both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity capabilities. This allows for connection to apps, computers, tablets and more from Wahoo, Polar, Garmin, and others. These include apps like Zwift, ridewithgps, XOSS, Openrider, Tacx, TrainerRoad and VZFIT to name a few. The ANT+ specifically works well with Zwift and TrainerRoad, which capture cadence and speed on your favorite indoor cycling platform. This sensor also allows you to save your ride data in real time for better information tracking and more improvement. Depending on which mode you are using, the sensor attaches to your bike’s crank arm or the axle of the spin wheel. This sensor costs around $30, which is not a bad deal for a sensor that provides both speed and cadence capabilities. The biggest issues with this sensor is that it doesn’t seem to last all that long. There have been reports of it dying for good in under a year. The switching of the batteries to change mode is somewhat annoying.
- Where to Attach: When in cadence sensor mode, it goes on the crank arm. When in speed mode, it goes on the wheel.
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: It allows for both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: It is compatible with most types of spin bikes. Both front-wheel and rear-wheel bikes.
- Additional Information: This sensor requires 1 Lithium ion battery, which is included.
6. Moofit Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensors
The Moofit Cyclin Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensors is another great option that allows for the measuring of both cadence and speed data. You don’t need to switch between the speed and cadence modes as they include “two sensors”. The Moofit does come with both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity capabilities, allowing for the ability to link with many apps including Zwift and Peloton and all types of smartphones. These links can be made at the same time, allowing for the recording and sharing of data to many different devices. It does have quite a lengthy lifespan, as you can expect around 320 hours of life before it starts to die. One of the rather perticular things about this sensor is that for the speed function to work, the sensor must be attached at the bike’s wheel hub. This means that on spin bikes it can be more difficult to actually attach. However, it doesn’t require any magnets to install, which is convenient. Additionally, Moofit indoor cycling bike speed and cadence sensors are equipped with IP67 water resistance sealing to work indoor and outdoor, even when the weather is rough.
- Where to Attach: On the crank arm for cadence data and on the flywheel for speed.
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: Both Bluetooth and ANT+ are compatible.
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: Most stationary bikes, though some spin bikes do have a harder time connecting with this sensor.
- Additional Information: It needs two CR2032 batteries and they are included in the purchase. It also comes with a 1-year warranty if purchased directly off of Amazon.
7. XOSS Bike Cadence Sensor & Speed Sensor
Rounding out our list of the best cadence and speed sensors for speed bikes is the XOSS cadence and speed sensor. Like other sensors on this list, the XOSS sensor has two modes, allowing it to switch back and forth between speed mode and cadence mode. To get the cadence mode, you have to install the battery until the blue light flashes. To get the speed mode, you have to reinstall the battery until the red light appears. A slightly annoying design about this flash is that it only does it once, so it becomes very easy to miss what mode it actually is on. To check that they are activated, rotate the crank arm/wheel and check the connection with whatever device you happen to be tracking it with. Speaking of connections, it is able to connect with both Bluetooth and ANT+ capability to a host of different apps and devices. The most convenient happens to be the ability to connect to the computer that the bike already has. But then there is also the ability to connect to apps like Ride With GPS, Map My Ride, Cyclemeter, Zwift, Bkool, Tacx and others. The battery in the sensor is a Lithium one and can last up to 400 hours. Translated, if you ride one hour a day you can make a single battery for a year. Unfortunately, the battery is not rechargeable. This sensor costs around $40, which is a solid value for what the sensor provides. This cadence and speed meter for indoor bike seem to have some problems connecting with Android devices, so owners of Android devices should keep that in mind when looking at this sensor.
- Where to Attach: On the crank arm for cadence data and on the wheel hub for speed.
- Type of Wireless Connectivity: Both Bluetooth and ANT+ are compatible.
- Type of Spin Bikes Compatible With: It is compatible with most bikes. Both rear-wheel and front-wheel bikes are compatible.
- Additional Information: It requires 1 Lithium-ion battery. It comes with a 30-day full refund policy, but that is all.
Buyer’s Guide to Find the Top Spin Bike Speed and Cadence Sensors
That wraps up our list of the best cadence and speed sensors for spin bikes. Now we’re going to look at some of the factors that we looked at in order to rank the best speed and RPM sensors for exercise bikes as we did. Just like when hunting for the best spin bike computers, there are some factors that you should take into account when hunting for what sensor you feel would fit best with whatever spin bike you have at home. After all, we are not savants.
The price. The price is obviously important to many people, as it usually determines how valuable the product is. Fortunately, all of these speed and cadence meters for indoor cycles are generally around the same price (with the exception of the bundles for obvious reasons).
The connection. How reliable the connection is of the sensors can determine how useful it is. Having a sensor on the bike that doesn’t actually connect to anything won’t do anybody any good. Fortunately, the spin bike cadence sensors are all pretty solid and reliable in terms of their connectivity and data displays. Some of the speed sensors can be a little less reliable in this area because of some difficulty connecting them to certain spin bikes.
The compatibility with apps. Because all of the sensors we have here are compatible with both Bluetooth and ANT+ systems, we had to look at what differentiated them. So we looked at how many training apps and systems they were compatible with. Wahoo was exceptionally impressive in this area, as they seem to be able to connect to just about every training and fitness app imaginable. Both Wahoo and Garmin also have the luxury of coming with their own fitness apps that work with each other, giving them a little bit of an advantage compared to other sensors.
A: So the first step that you will want to take when getting one of these sensors is to check whether or not the sensor comes with a battery. Most of them do, but there are some that don’t. This is important because even the best sensors in the world will not work without a battery.
An optional step (think of it like step 1.5) depends on whether or not the sensor has dual capabilities as both a speed sensor and a spin bike cadence counter. If it does, then most likely it will require the resetting of the battery or some other condition in order to switch between the pair. This step is to make sure that the sensor is on the setting that you want so that you can track the data that you want.
Step three is putting the sensor in the correct position. Cadence for spin bike always go on the bike’s crank arm. For those who are unaware, the crank arm is what attaches the pedals to the bike. This positioning is what allows for the tracking of the RPM from the device. Cadence sensors also are frequently easy to use with spin bikes because they can easily access their preferred position with no interference. Speed sensors can be somewhat more difficult.
Many speed sensors typically go on the wheel of a regular bike, where there is some space to put it. However, some spin bikes under $2000 have designs that don’t really make this as easy. Instead, it often comes down to attaching the sensor to the flywheel without getting it in the way of any moving parts. This shouldn’t be too difficult to do, and there are many videos out there dealing with getting specific sensors on specific bikes from companies like Sunny Health and Fitness and Peloton.
Step four is performing a test to see if the sensors work. This one shouldn’t be too hard as it means just hopping on the bike and starting to pedal. Because all of these are both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible, they should connect to either some sort of app on the phone or directly to the monitor already on the bike. If the sensors don’t work, then it is time to return to step three and try to fiddle with them there until they are in the correct position. If they do work, then we move onto step five which is…
Get cycling! With everything in order, that means that you can start your workout with the data coming in from your cadence sensor, your speed sensor or both sensors. Then you can use this data to keep track of even more athletic progress and how you can cycle your way to the very top!
A: The easiest way to record cadence information is to get one of the cadence meters for spin bike from above. Then plant that sensor on the crank arm of whatever bike you happen to be riding. Once the sensor is in place and the bike starts moving, then the sensor should automatically start track the RPM.
A: Technically, you don’t need any sensors for a spin bike. Most bikes have monitors that allow for the recording of certain statistics like distance, time and calories burnt. However, they do not often track the type of statistics that these sensors do. Some do give the kilometers/miles per hour on their own monitors, but not all. Meanwhile the revolutions per minute that cadence sensors track are much rarer, especially on the less expensive bikes.
A: There are a ton of apps that are compatible with both Garmin and Wahoo sensors. Wahoo is kind enough to list many of them on their website. There are apps from Wahoo such as Wahoo Fitness and Elemnt. Then there are Kickr apps such as Trainerroad, Zwift, Rouvy and Kinomap. Finally, there are third party apps that are also compatible. There are quite a few of these. Best Bike Split, BKOOL, CrewNerd, RallyMeterPro and MotiFit are just a few of the many, many apps that are compatible with Wahoo.
Garmin is a bit more complicated in terms of finding which apps can actually connect with the sensor. In 2014, Garvin announced an automatic sync with the apps Strava, MapMyFitness and Endomondo. They also released a smaller list of websites and apps that can sync with Garmin Connect. These include such places as MyFitnesspal, MapMyFitness, Nike+, Runcoach, Zwift and Weight Watchers. While they might not be as extensive of a list as Wahoo, there are certainly some popular and well known apps in that list.
A: According to Wahoo’s website “Since sensors are designed and tested to work with the Wahoo Fitness app for iOS and Android, sensor compatibility with these devices rests on their compatibility with the Wahoo Fitness app.” Therefore, depending on how well your device works with Wahoo’s app, that is how well it will work with the sensor.
As for the Garmin speed and cadence sensors for indoor cycling bike, they can connect to the Garmin app on both Android and iOS devices that meet certain criteria. For Android, it must be at least version 6.0 “Marshmallow” or later in order to connect. For iOS, it must be at least version 12 or higher to be compatible with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.
That concludes our list of the best cadence and speed sensors for spin bikes. We tried to cover just about every aspect of these sensors that we could think of, including steps on how to install the sensors. It is hard to avoid recommending the Wahoo or Garmin sensors, as they are the two heavyweights in this field, with the highest app compatibility and best sensor connection. However, for those who are looking for something outside the norm and the ability to have both a cadence and speed sensor in a single device, we included the others. Besides, only having two options is boring. Remember to keep this list in mind while hunting for your own spin bike cadence and speed sensors as well as doing research into what bikes fit best with what sensor. Now attach those indoor bike speed and cadence sensors, connect those apps and get cycling!