How Does a Bike Computer Work?


What is a Bike Computer?

  • A bike computer is a small electronic device attached to your bicycle. Many models now come with a small solar-energy cell that powers the device in conjunction with a battery backup. Its purpose is to indicate the speed at which the bike is traveling, as well as the total distance the bike has traveled. Some high-end models allow you to program them with your height, age, weight and blood pressure so it can calculate your heart rate.

How Do You Install a Bike Computer?

  • The computer comes in two parts. The readout is connected by a long wire to a passive magnetic sensor. The second part is a magnetic clamp that you screw down into place along the inside rim of your front tire. The readout is fastened by means of several adjustable screws to the bike's handlebars, so it's in easy view. The sensor with the wire is threaded down the length of the bike's handlebars to the top of the fork. The sensor is mounted snugly at the top of the fork so that, when the tire spins, the magnetic clamp crosses directly in front of the sensor's lens.

How Does a Bike Computer Work?

  • Before the computer will work correctly, you must input the size of your bike's tires so the computer will know their circumference. With this knowledge, the computer can calculate how far you travel each time the tires make a full revolution. The computer calculates your speed based on how much time passes between sensor trips.

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