Cateye Velo 7 Review
Cons: Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor
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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 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 will enter power saving mode after it sits for a full ten minutes. 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.
A very basic computer that is a good buy for less than almost any other bike computer. If you have a few bucks to spare we recommend checking out one of the wireless competitors.
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 Quick, a wireless version that is the winner of our Best Buy for the Casual Cyclist Award.
— Curtis Smith