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Thread: Bike 'puter (or something else?) recommendations?

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    Default Bike 'puter (or something else?) recommendations?

    I have a problem and I need shopping advice. You see, I commute and I ride with my cell phone in my bag or in my jacket pocket. My wife likes to text message me with critical information, and it's always while commuting. Things like "Proof of life??" or "Charlie pooped" and "My water broke," Real important info. Since I'm perpetually grinding out miles with my head down invariably into a headwind, I don't hear or feel my phone vibrating. I was wondering, what is a way to get these text notifications while riding? Do I need a bike computer? Should I get an Apple Watch? I don't want a phone mount for my bike since I don't have lots of room on my bars and I'm accident prone.

    Usually I see all the frantic messages when I stop all my rides and count all my KOMs in Strava. What are some solutions and recommendations?

    Thanks all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian74 View Post
    I have a problem and I need shopping advice. You see, I commute and I ride with my cell phone in my bag or in my jacket pocket. My wife likes to text message me with critical information, and it's always while commuting. Things like "Proof of life??" or "Charlie pooped" and "My water broke," Real important info. Since I'm perpetually grinding out miles with my head down invariably into a headwind, I don't hear or feel my phone vibrating. I was wondering, what is a way to get these text notifications while riding? Do I need a bike computer? Should I get an Apple Watch? I don't want a phone mount for my bike since I don't have lots of room on my bars and I'm accident prone.

    Usually I see all the frantic messages when I stop all my rides and count all my KOMs in Strava. What are some solutions and recommendations?

    Thanks all.
    I have a Garmin Edge 820 which can display notifications from my iPhone, such as text messages and phone calls that are coming in. It just overlays over the screen. I think the 520 can do the same?

    Regarding mounting to your bike, there are a lot of different styles available out of the box to mount onto your stem or on your bars. I use a K-Edge headset cap mount on a few of my bikes where I can't find room on the bar and the stem's too short: https://k-edge.com/shop/computer-mou...in-stem-mount/
    Last edited by drevil; 04-18-2018 at 09:07 AM.

  3. #3
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    I like getting text messages on my Garmin 1000. That said, I wouldn't recommend a Garmin 1000 over a Wahoo computer. Perhaps one of the most economical solutions would be something like the Wahoo RFLKT (https://www.amazon.com/Wahoo-RFLKT-C...ds=wahoo+rflkt), which actually uses your phone for doing the ride tracking (it's not a full GPS computer, just a heads-up display for your phone). I found reference to a firmware update that also supports displaying text messages on the RFLKT.

    I might be tempted to spend the extra $100 and get the Wahoo ELMNT Bolt, though, which is a full cycling computer (doesn't require phone) -- you'd want to confirm that it supports displaying incoming SMS messages, but I'm 99% sure it does.

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    Not sure about other computers, but the Garmin Edge 1000 also supports beacon which would allow your wife to track you while you ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I might be tempted to spend the extra $100 and get the Wahoo ELMNT Bolt, though, which is a full cycling computer (doesn't require phone) -- you'd want to confirm that it supports displaying incoming SMS messages, but I'm 99% sure it does.
    I have a Wahoo ELMNT Bolt. It's nice, although it exaggerates climbing statistics. Overall, much better than the Garmin Edge 25 (my previous GPS which lost the ability to find satellites after a particularly wet ride). The ELMNT Bolt receives text messages from a linked phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Not sure about other computers, but the Garmin Edge 1000 also supports beacon which would allow your wife to track you while you ride.
    While it doesn't support Strava Beacon, Wahoo does have their own Live Tracking feature.

    I do see that the Strava app dropped direct support for the RFLKT, so that may push one toward a full cycling computer -- though recording on the Wahoo app and syncing to Strava sounds easy enough. (But you wouldn't get Strava Beacon in that case either. Not sure if Wahoo's phone app has live tracking.)

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    Alternatively, a Garmin Fenix watch (and maybe some of the VivoActives?) can be a bike computer that will basically do everything an Edge 8xx will do, including text notifications. I have an older Fenix3 and it's a great piece of gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    I have a Wahoo ELMNT Bolt. It's nice, although it exaggerates climbing statistics. Overall, much better than the Garmin Edge 25 (my previous GPS which lost the ability to find satellites after a particularly wet ride). The ELMNT Bolt receives text messages from a linked phone.
    Same goes for the full-sized ELMNT (same software/functionality as the Bolt, but on a bigger screen). The incoming SMS takes up about half the screen. I've also found that the ELMNT is much faster at picking up (and keeping) a satellite signal near my office (near Union Station in DC) than my previous Lezyne Super GPS (which also provided SMS notifications) or the still-in-progress Hammerhead Karoo (which does not currently pair to a phone).

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    If you want a cheap alternative, you could get a Bluetooth speaker that allows you to take calls while you're riding. Yeah, getting your texts isn't an option and neither is capturing all your cycling data. But it's cheap, you get to listen to music and you can take your wife's phone calls without stopping. The Buckshot 2.0 is about $30. I haven't tried to actually have a conversation while riding, mostly because my hearing sucks. But it has been great to know when I need to stop and take a phone call.

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    Question for everyone whose devices provide text notification: does the notification include any information about the sender or the message content? My Garmin 1000, when paired with my Android phone, tells me that I received a text message, but that's it. Unless I check my phone, I have no way of knowing whether it's my monthly text from my cell phone company telling me they've debited my account, or a text message that's actually important.

    If remote live tracking is a feature that you're looking for, you don't necessarily need a bike computer for that. I've used Glympse, and I'm sure there are other, similar phone apps out there.

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