“My cycle computer isn’t working.” That was a common phrase uttered by customers when I used to work at a bike shop. More often than not, it was something simple – like a dead battery. Other times, it was something just as simple but harder to see. We’ve all experienced it. If the magnet isn’t in the perfect location for the pick up on the sensor, your computer reads a big fat zero.
How to fix it? Simple. Get rid of the magnet all together…
Obviously, PowerTap is not the first company to go magnetless for their speed or cadence sensors, but the addition of their newest device makes for yet another option for consumers. Equipped with dual band Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ compatibility, the device is meant to pair with other electronics whether GPS units, smartphones, etc. and measures the rotation of the sensor with an accelerometer rather than relying on the rotation of a magnet. That should mean the days of knocking your sensor out of alignment are a thing of the past.
Able to be mounted to your hub shell for speed, or your crank arm for cadence, the sensor is designed to do one at a time. Once programmed for speed or cadence, the sensor has a light that indicates its function – white for speed, and green for cadence.
Inside is a coin cell CR2032 battery which is said to provide 200 hours of battery life, and the sensor will go to sleep in 5 minutes if there is no movement to save on battery. PowerTap claims the device has a +/- 2% accuracy, and is IPX7 water resistant. Sold for $49.99, the sensor includes a rubber foot print and rubber bands to attach it to your crank or hub.