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CatEye Quick Review

An elegant boilerplate bike computer perfect for reference and basic tracking
CatEye Quick
Photo: REI Co-op
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $65 List | $59.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Affordable, compact, simple to use, attractive and stylish, long battery life
Cons:  Limited functionality, uses disposable batteries, small display, no data transfer
Manufacturer:   CatEye
By Ryan Baham ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 3, 2019
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 13
  • Ease of Use - 30% 7
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 8
  • Features - 20% 4
  • Versatility - 20% 5
  • Water Resistance - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The wireless Cateye Quick Cyclocomputer is something like the premium version of the basic bike computer, yet remains affordable enough to be our top choice for riders on a tight budget. It offers just the no-bull bare bones. It doesn't mess around with extras or sparkles, but what it does provide is delivered cleanly and competently. It only has three buttons and a single handful of features. That makes it incredibly simple to operate - you're not going to get lost or confused trying to use it. It's designed for the pragmatic rider who only wants a record of the speed and mileage. Riders looking for more data and features will want to look elsewhere.

Compare to Similar Products

 
CatEye Quick
This Product
CatEye Quick
Awards Best Buy Award Best Buy Award    
Price $59.95 at Amazon$159.95 at Amazon$64.95 at Amazon$50.09 at Amazon$27.95 at Amazon
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Pros Affordable, compact, simple to use, attractive and stylish, long battery lifeTons of primary functionality, low-cost, solid GPS accuracy, integrations with major 3rd party training and social apps, long battery lifeSmall, lightweight, wireless speed sensorStem mount, good display size, multiple modes displayedInexpensive, easy to use
Cons Limited functionality, uses disposable batteries, small display, no data transferButtons aren’t especially intuitive, UX needs some reworking, navigation is limited, Bryton Active app is a little clunkyLacks versatility, super basic, no GPSSetup is complicated, phantom speed readingsDifficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor
Bottom Line An elegant boilerplate bike computer perfect for reference and basic trackingYou get so much of the performance of premium brands, but you need to work a little to make up for the discount you're gettingA basic cycling computer for those wanting to track distance, time, and speedA very basic wireless cycling computer, similar in function to the Cateye Strada Slim, but larger in sizeUltra basic cycling computer with wired sensors
Rating Categories CatEye Quick Bryton Rider 420 Cateye Strada Slim Protege 9.0 Wireless Cateye Velo 7
Ease Of Use (30%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Setup (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
Features (20%)
4.0
7.0
4.0
4.0
3.0
Versatility (20%)
5.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Water Resistance (10%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Specs CatEye Quick Bryton Rider 420 Cateye Strada Slim Protege 9.0 Wireless Cateye Velo 7
GPS enabled? No GPS, Glonass, BDS, Galileo, QZSS No No No
Cadence Sensor? No ANT+ or Bluetooth No No No
Heart Rate Monitor? No ANT+ or Bluetooth No No No
Power Meter? No ANT+ No No No
Smart Trainer? No ANT+FE-C No No No
WiFi? No No No No No
Weight 18g 67g 12g 57g 29g
Dimensions 3.7" x 2.1" x 1.4" 2" x 3.3" x 0.86" 1.25" x 1.8" x 0.4" 1.5" x 1.8" x 1" 1.5" x 2.1" x 0.75"
Display Size 1.25" x 1.25" 2.3" 0.8" x 1.2" 1.4" x 1.1" 0.9" x 1.2"
Battery Type CR2032-Sensor, CR1616-Display Lithium polymer CR2032-Sensor, CR1616-Display CR2032 CR2032
Battery Life 1+ years up to 35 hours (claimed) 1+ years 1+ years 1+ years
Touchscreen? No No No No No
Phone App None Bryton Active App None None None
Accessory Interface ANT+, BTLE, BT. Proprietary Analog Wireless Bluetooth, ANT+ Proprietary Analog Wireless Analog Wireless Wired
Strava Segments No No No No No
Text, Email, Call notifications No Yes No No No
Navigation No Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Cateye is perhaps best known for its dominance of basic bike computers, so it should come as zero surprise that they should earn accolades with their Quick Cyclocomputer. It offers the range of data that the average commuter would want: instant and average speed, trip distance, and total time and distance. It's also a sexy, compact design that will attract the praise and attention of even the most pretentious roadie. It's certainly no GPS computer, but we think it's probably the best basic cycling computer available right now.

Performance Comparison



The Cateye Quick is small, but mighty. Maybe it doesn't have GPS and...
The Cateye Quick is small, but mighty. Maybe it doesn't have GPS and all that, but it's simple, good-looking, and all some riders will ever need.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Ease of Use


It doesn't get much easier than the Cateye layout. It uses a simple set of three buttons. On the front is the Mode button, which is the primary functionary. On the back are the Menu and AC (All Clear/Reset) buttons. The only real limitation is that each button has multiple functions that need to be memorized. That's not a serious ask, but when you compare it to the high-end computers, they're either touchscreen or their buttons have fewer functions (Navigate, Select, Light), so there's no brainwork required.


Now, when you're out on the road, the display doesn't get much easier to understand. The only information displayed is moving time, trip distance, average speed, clock, odometer/total distance, and max speed.

There are three states for this computer: On/recording, Power-Saving, and Sleep. If you're out riding, it's on and recording, If you step away for 10 minutes, it will enter Power-Saving, and the screen goes partially blank to, you know, save power. Once you come back, it should pop back into recording mode. If you stay away for an hour or more, it will drop down into sleep mode, which requires you to press the Mode button to wake it back up before you can begin recording again.

Two back buttons and a single button on the front mean each button...
Two back buttons and a single button on the front mean each button has an annoying range of functions, but luckily it's a set it and forget it computer.
Photo: Ryan Baham

The computer should start recording as soon as you start moving, but it has some trouble waking up sometimes, so you might need to press the mode button to get it to start. Each time the computer turns back on, and you start rolling, you start a new trip. You can restart your trip data by going to the measurement screen and holding Mode for 2 seconds to clear out the data. It should keep the odometer data.

The computer's battery should last for a year (at an hour a day every day), and the speed sensor battery should last 6,250 miles before needing to be replaced. When you finally do need to change the battery, you can confirm the odometer number, so if that's important to you, make sure to text the number to yourself before you do the replacement.

Ease of Setup


The setup for this computer is straightforward. As the name implies, it's a quick process. It's meant to be a set it and forget it computer, so you throw it on and basically forget about it. Minimal fiddling is required to use and maintain it. We break it out into the physical attachment and the programming.


Physical Attachment

The physical setup for this computer is pretty straightforward. You'll need the tiniest bit of manual dexterity to make it happen. You'll need a 2.5 mm hex key and maybe a pair of scissors. First, you'll mount the bracket to your handlebars. You might need to use the included rubber pad if your handlebars are narrow. That shouldn't take more than a minute or so. Next, you'll mount the speed sensor to your fork using the rubber padding and zip ties, cutting off the excess ties. Because it's wireless, this is a much easier process than in the old days of wrapping wires around the fork and tubes like a sloppy vine and trying to zip tie them cleanly.

Attaching the speed sensor and magnet is really quick and easy. Just...
Attaching the speed sensor and magnet is really quick and easy. Just be sure that the sensor's reading before you do your final tightening of the ties.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Once you get that handled, which shouldn't take more than a minute or two, the magnet needs to be attached to a spoke to pass by the sensor. The sensor needs to be within 70cm of the computer and within 5 mm of the magnet as it passes by. Now you can mount your Quick to the bracket and give it a go. Turn it on, configure it, and try spinning the wheels to make sure it's reading speed. If it's not quite catching, move the sensor closer to the computer or closer to the magnet. The whole process shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, and you don't have to worry about it again until it's time to change the battery.

Programming

There is probably no easier computer to program than the Quick Cyclocomputer, which is exactly what you'd expect from a straightforward bike computer. All you need to do is install the battery, turn it on, press the AC button to reset the device, and clear any data that might be there. Then you press the menu button to select your unit of measurement, then select the tire circumference, then set the clock, and press menu again to save it, and you're ready to go. The most complicated part of the process is determining the wheel circumference, which can be easily divined from the tire size noted on the wall of your tire and the tire size guide provided by Cateye, or easily found with a Google search or by actually rolling your wheel out and measuring the millimeters it covered. Most folks run 700x30C on a road bike, which corresponds to 2096 mm.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Features


This bike computer can't go head-to-head with the higher-end devices because it is meant to be a basic, streamlined bike computer that will only capture a few details, like speed, distance, and time. It's necessarily thin on the features. That means no GPS or mapping, no Bluetooth, ANT+, or smartphone connections, no third-party integrations, no Strava uploads.


It's a utilitarian bike computer that will record your fundamental ride data, so don't count on any communication from it outside of the visual display, which will show you a few data points. If you want to upload data, you better employ your hands and do it manually on Strava or wherever you'd like to keep your records.

For the most part, what you see is what you get with the Quick -...
For the most part, what you see is what you get with the Quick - which is why we like it so much, honestly. It's simple and...quick.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Versatility


Because the Cateye bike computer records off of the wheel magnet, you'll find that it's limited to cycling, so no luck on hiking, running, or kayaking, unfortunately. That's the advantage of a bike computer with GPS.


Still, it doesn't have to be totally dedicated to one bike. It's wireless and not too hard to swap it between bikes, so if you also have a mountain bike or something else that you'd like to get some data off, you can easily change it between them. That'd be a huge pain for a wired computer or a computer that uses zip ties for fasteners.

The Quick is best suited for tooling around on one bike, ideally on...
The Quick is best suited for tooling around on one bike, ideally on the road, but it can accommodate MTB and trails, just remember that you'll need to switch the magnet and sensor over to the other bikes, which can be a PITA.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Water Resistance


The Cateye Quick doesn't list an IPX rating, but Cateye describes it as weatherproof. This necessarily requires us to speculate a bit, but it's probably safe to go out for a ride in the rain every now and then without a problem. That said, we wouldn't recommend being as cavalier as you might with a computer that carries an IPX7 (waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a meter of submersion). This is meant to be an affordable, functional little thing, not a dive computer.

The Cateye Quick is weather-proof, so there's no problem going out...
The Cateye Quick is weather-proof, so there's no problem going out for a ride in a nice spring shower, but try not to ride into any rivers.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Value


There are a few models out there that cost less, but they don't look as good as the Cateye Quick, and their functionality might not be as simple and clean. That is, it comes in at a slight premium to basic bike computers, but it's still a low-cost computer that will get you your basic riding data. We think it's worth the price.

Weight weenies will find the Quick irresistible when they see that...
Weight weenies will find the Quick irresistible when they see that it's a fifth the weight of a fancy GPS computer and there's no cost premium associated with those savings! They're incorrigible...
Photo: Ryan Baham

Conclusion


The wireless Quick Cyclocomputer is a simple wireless machine that kicks out only the numbers you need. It gathers and displays just enough data to give you the relevant reference points when you're riding and the totals when you're finished. You get time on the bike, current speed, average speed, and total miles. To the data-obsessed riders looking for second-by-second power output and an accompanying map showing how many repetitions per second they were hitting and where, in geographic space, it was happening, this computer isn't going to cut it. But lots of riders just want the basic numbers to know how far they've gone and how fast they did it and there's no better bike computer to get that from than the Cateye Quick.

the Cateye is made for cruising around and collecting just the basic...
the Cateye is made for cruising around and collecting just the basic data. It's perfect for tooling around and touring around the local pubs and breweries.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Ryan Baham