There are some measurements where a bike computer alone just won’t cut it when it comes to cycling data. If you want to know your cadence – the number of rotations your pedals make every minute – you’re going to need a cadence sensor.
Understanding your pedaling speed is one of the quickest ways to see drastic improvements in your cycling.
With a sensor, you can train yourself to increase and maintain your rotations, while post-ride data allows you to compare yourself with the pros.
And the best news? You can use a cadence sensor on all bike types, including indoor stationary exercise bikes used for things like spin classes! So if you joined Peloton or Apple Fitness+, you could use these sensors to up your workout.
- 1 Need some solid recommendations for choosing your next cadence sensor?
- 2 Our reader’s favorite: the Bryton Smart Cadence Sensor
- 3 Summary
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Need some solid recommendations for choosing your next cadence sensor?
We love using a cadence sensor when we cycle. Why? Because these small, relatively inexpensive sensors really help us maximize our bicycle workout results.
Think of them as a bike version of your auto’s speedometer or a walker and runner’s pedometer.
And they are really easy to add to your bike. Attach your cadence sensor to one of your bike’s crank arms–that’s it!
With a cadence sensor, we can measure our body’s energy output in the form of rotations per minute (RPM). Knowing that information can help you stay on track by keeping your RPM at a set rate or trying high and low cadence intervals.
So let’s take a look at the top five devices that need your attention.
Garmin Cadence Sensor 2
The Garmin Bike Cadence Sensor is a great budget option. There are no magnets here. Instead, you secure the sensors to any crank arm size using one of three included bands.
It’s super easy to install and ideal for quickly switching between bikes with no exposed parts to line up. Attach and get riding.
Ant+ connectivity and Bluetooth Low Energy technology let you sync to Garmin Connect and other training apps, compatible devices, and fitness equipment for better data when you ride indoors and outdoors.
- The cadence sensor 2 fastens to any size crank arm and measures pedal strokes per minute so you can...
- ANT+ connectivity and BLUETOOTH Low Energy technology let you send cadence data to our Garmin...
Wahoo RPM Cycling Cadence Sensor
The best cadence sensor for your mobile, the Wahoo RPM Sensor, is compatible with any smartphone device.
Integrated with Bluetooth and ANT+, it allows seamless pairing with phones, tablets, and bike computers.
Track and capture real-time data using third-party apps or record figures using the official Wahoo Fitness app. Once you’ve stopped, it’s all ready to be automatically uploaded to training platforms like Strava.
The devices are easy to install. Attach the cadence sensor to the pedal or crank arm, with the speed sensor going on the front wheel hub. It’s discreet and lightweight and at $39.99 a real bargain.
- SPEED / CADENCE MEASUREMENT - Track and capture real-time cycling speed and cadence with compatible...
- CYCLING CADENCE - The number of revolutions per minute (RPM) you complete at a given speed. By...
Magene S3+ Speed and Cadence Sensor
Magene S3+ Geomagnetic Speed and Cadence Sensor’s nifty power-saving mode automatically sleeps when the sensor detects no motion for 10 seconds, waking up and transmitting data after 3 seconds of riding.
It means it’s got an incredible 400-500 hours of battery life. Easily attach the sensors using the included bands, and you’re away.
Your riding won’t be affected with the Magene only weighing 8.8 grams (0.31 ounces). It’s compatible with all devices which support Bluetooth or ANT+, giving you precise, as-you-ride data.
However, the tech doesn’t support Map My Ride and individual sensors can only record either speed or cadence, never both at the same time. Switch from cadence to speed works by taking the battery in and out.
- [Battery] Remove the insulating sheet of the pre-installed battery before usage; re-install the...
- [Mode] 1 sensor can ONLY select one mode (Speed or Cadence) at the one time.So you need 2 sensors to...
moofit Bike Cadence And Speed Sensor
NO magnets are needed. With ease, the sensor attaches to your bike’s crank arm (cadence) or wheel hub (speed).
This features both BLE & ANT+ technology making it easy to connect with your smartphone apps.
The moofit Bike sensor is compatible with almost all the fitness apps, such as Wahoo Fitness, Zwift, Komoot, E-lite HRV, Uhr, RideWithGPS, Cyclemeter, Peloton, and Openrider. Unfortunately, MapMyRide is not currently supported.
It works with most Garmin devices and Kinetic Fit and comes with bands that make it easy to attach to your bike.
- BLE 4.0 & ANT + TECHNOLOGY - Connect the speed and cadence sensor to your bike computer/indoor...
- REAL-TIME DATA - Tracking cadence /speed data in real-time on your bike computer, smartwatch, and...
CooSpo Cadence and Speed Bike Sensor
The CooSpo Cadence Sensor is one of the cheapest Bluetooth sensors on the market, setting you back at less than $20. Plus, there are no magnets and a single sensor works for either speed or cadence.
And this sensor is very easy to install!
Bluetooth and ANT+ 4.0 integration mean it works with fitness apps like Zwift, MapMyRide, Trainer Road, RidewithGPS, Peloton, Wahoo, Cyclemeter, Rouvy, and Strava.
And connecting with your phone or bike computer will let you receive real-time speed and cadence statistics.
We also love that the battery is replaceable! Just pop in a new and relatively inexpensive CR2032 battery, and you’re ready to go. The battery should last about 400 hours before you need to replace it!
The CooSpo is simple to set up and attaches directly to your bike’s crank arm or axle. However, its downfall is its inflexibility.
- First, to switch between cadence and speed recording, you have to get off your bike and reinstall the battery to reset it to switch between speed (red status light) and cadence (blue status light). This sensor can’t capture speed and cadence at the same time.
- Second, it does not work well on spinning bikes, giving inaccurate readings due to the magnetism interfering with the cadence speed sensor’s signaling.
But, for less than the price of a meal, it takes an accurate reading with brilliant smartphone compatibility.
- ✅RPM Cycling Sensor - Tracking and provide real-time cycling cadence or speed data on your bike...
- ✅Cadence or Speed Sensor – Switch the battery, it will switch between rpm cadence and speed...
The only downside is that this sensor doesn’t measure cadence and speed at the same time. However, you can switch its use between rpm cadence and speed mode.
- For cadence, attach it to the crank and wait for LED to light up in blue for three seconds.
- For speed, mount the sensor on the axle and wait for LED to light up in red for three seconds.
With this model, you cannot measure cadence and speed simultaneously. If you want both, purchase the model listed below or others discussed above.
Want to measure speed and cadence at the same time?
A version of the CooSpo Cadence and Speed Sensor, the BK8, wirelessly transmits BOTH your speed and cadence data simultaneously to compatible cycling apps or a bike computer to help you monitor your performance.
It comes with two magnetic sensors–one for speed and the other for cadence–and a receiver unit. And it offers both wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ support. Plus, it’s rated IP67, meaning it’s very dust and water-resistant!
The receiver straps onto your bike with ease! Small rubber bands and a zip tie mount this sensor combo securely. It uses a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts up to 500hrs before replacement.
This one measures both cycling cadence and speed and is compatible with many third-party apps like Zwift, Garmin, Wahoo, Strava, Rouvy, MapMyRide, Peloton, Openrider, and TrainerRoad.
While there is no on/off switch, the sensors start working and transmitting when the wheels start spinning.
- The BK805 cadence speed sensor wirelessly transmits your speed and cadence data to compatible bike...
- Integrated with ANT+ and Bluetooth technology allows you to connect and sensor with GPS bike...
Our reader’s favorite: the Bryton Smart Cadence Sensor
No magnets on this top-rated and reader-recommended cadence sensor! Just pop in a CR2032 coin battery, wrap it around your bike’s crank arm (not the rear wheels), and you’re ready to hit the road, trail, or wherever your travels take you.
And if you use more than one bike, it’s easy to move between bikes.
Plus, it supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth to connect with your smartphone or bike computer wirelessly. And if you want more, combine it with Bryton’s Smart Speed sensor to get even more data about your ride.
Bryton also offers its app where you can download your ride’s data or automatically sync to your favorite apps like Strava, Zwift, or TrainingPeaks.
- Magnet-less Cycling cadence sensor with dual ANT+/BLE technology.
- Compatible with most of the GPS bike computer/ Training App on your mobile phone and tablet...
Finding the cadence sensor that’s right for you can often be a tricky task. Did we miss out on a hidden gem? Tell us in the comments below!
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Most do not come close to magnetic-based sensors. Why? They rely on algorithms that, temp or degrade relative, may cease to work. After tens of thousands km logged on mag-based sensors, those are electromagnetic accurate (light speed) and direct, precise.