The Cateye Velo 7 is a basic cycling computer that provides speed, distance, and time data points. It uses a wired speed sensor that attaches to the front fork and a small spoke magnet to record speed. Nothing fancy, just the basics, but it gets the job done and can be purchased for less than the price of mounting brackets for other computers.
Cateye Velo 7 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use
Cons: Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor
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Cateye Velo 7
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|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to use||Maps, GPS enabled, ANT+ accessory compatible, color touch screen, versatile||Competitive price, aerodynamic, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+, Bluetooth smart, WiFi, maps, large screen, easy to use and set up, zoom feature||Reasonably priced, great companion app, offline maps and navigation, long battery life, can be used in landscape or portrait orientation||Routable maps, quality color screen, multiple mount options included, small size|
|Cons||Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor||Expensive, Garmin Connect App, no Bluetooth Smart||No color screen, slower to startup||Heavier, no preloaded maps, button layout isn't incredibly intuitive||Garmin Connect App, no Bluetooth Smart, slower startup, shorter battery life|
|Bottom Line||Ultra basic cycling computer with wired sensors.||The Edge 820 is an advanced cycling computer in a small package; the best Garmin unit to date.||Wahoo Fitness' BOLT is a fully featured GPS cycling computer thats easy to use and setup, offering ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensor compatibility and seamless smartphone integration.||The Mega XL is the biggest and best Lezyne cycling computer we've used with a long battery life, offline maps, and excellent smartphone integration.||The Edge 520 Plus is an updated version of Garmin's popular Edge 520 that does everything the old model did with more advanced navigation features.|
|Rating Categories||Cateye Velo 7||Garmin Edge 820||Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT||Lezyne Mega XL GPS||Garmin Edge 520 Plus|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Ease Of Setup (20%)|
|Water Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Cateye Velo 7||Garmin Edge 820||Wahoo Fitness...||Lezyne Mega XL GPS||Garmin Edge 520 Plus|
|GPS enabled?||No||Yes, GPS/Glonass||Yes, GPS/Glonass, BEIDOU Galileo, QZSS||Yes, GPS/Glonass||Yes, GPS/Glonass|
|Cadence Sensor?||No||Yes, any ANT+||Yes, any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+, Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+|
|Heart Rate Monitor?||No||Yes, any ANT+||Yes, any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes, ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+|
|Dimensions||1.5" x 2.1" x 0.75"||1.9" x 2.9" x .8"||2.9" x 1.8" x 0.87"||2.3" x 3.1" x 1.05"||1.9" x 2.9" x 0.8"|
|Display Size||0.9" x 1.2"||1.4" x 1.9"||2.2"||1.4" x 2.3"||1.4" x 1.9"|
|Battery Type||CR2032||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Re-chargable lithium ion||Re-chargable lithium ion|
|Battery Life||1+ years||15-20 hours||15 hours||48 hours||15 hours|
|Phone App||None||Garmin Connect||ELEMNT||Lezyne Ally V2||Garmin Connect|
|Accessory Interface ANT+, BTLE, BT.||Wired||ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+|
|Text, Email, Call notifications||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This contender is a basic cycling computer that uses a wired sensor. It stands out from other computers in our test with its low $28-or-less price tag. If you are looking for an entry level cycling computer for your road bike, this one will get the job done and not break the bank.
Ease of Use and Interface
The Velo 7 is easy to use. It automatically turns on when movement is detected and begins recording ride data. It goes into power saving mode following 10 minutes of inactivity. A single tactile button located on the front of the computer allows you to cycle through time, distance, average speed, maximum speed, and odometer. Your current speed is always displayed on the top portion of the screen, so at any given time you have two different data points displayed on the screen. The screen is easy to read, but not as good as other computers we tested such as the Garmin Edge 520. There is no screen contrast setting options. Overall, the interface is simple and easy to learn.
The Velo 7 is more difficult to set-up than other computers we tested such as the wireless Cateye Strada Slim. This is primarily due to its use of a wired sensor rather than a wireless sensor. The sensor must be attached to the fork leg using zip ties, and then the wire is wrapped around the fork leg and up the front brake cable. The mounting base is then attached to the handlebars using zip ties.
A spoke magnet must then be attached to a spoke on the front wheel with a clearance of 5mm between it and the sensor. Once the computer is attached, you must go through the basic setup using small buttons on the back of the computer. A wheel size chart is included in the instructions so you can get an accurate wheel and tire circumference. This contender is only capable of storing one wheel size, so if it is moved to a bike with different sized wheels, you will have to reset the wheel size.
This contender is a basic computer. Data fields include speed, time, distance, average speed, max speed, and odometer. It also has a small indicator arrow on the upper left portion of the screen that points up if your current speed is higher than the ride average, and down if your speed is lower than the ride average. It keeps track of your overall mileage, but does not store individual ride data.
Cateye claims that the Velo 7 is water resistant, but does not reference any particular standard. We did have some moisture get into the battery compartment after transporting it on a vehicle roof rack in a rainstorm. After letting the battery compartment dry out, we had no issues with the computer.
This contender is not a versatile computer. It is designed to be used on a road bike. Due to the sensor design, it is difficult to achieve the required 5mm spacing between the sensor and the spoke magnet on mountain bike or cyclocross frames. Transferring the computer between bikes requires that you cut several zip ties and unwrap the sensor wire from the front brake line and fork. Definitely not something you will want to be doing on a regular basis. Also, you cannot upload your data from this computer to any third party data tracking services like Strava.
The Velo 7 by Cateye is best suited to casual cyclists who ride a road bike. It is not a good option for those who wish to transfer their computer between multiple bikes.
A very basic computer that is a good buy for $28 or less.
The Cateye Velo 7 is a wired cycling computer that provides basic data. It is affordable and a good option for the casual cyclist who is just getting into the sport.
The Cateye Strada Slim, a wireless version that is the winner of our Best Buy for the Casual Cyclist Award.
— Curtis Smith