Cateye Velo 7 Review
Cons: Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor
Compare to Similar Products
Cateye Velo 7
|Price||$20.93 at REI||$399.99 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$380 List||$198.00 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$230.00 at Amazon|
|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to use||Awesome features and app environment, Bluetooth Smart and ANT+, good battery life, touchscreen, radar and bike light control||Excellent battery life, reliable, multi-color screen, tons of GPS navigation features, robust phone app||Reasonably priced, great companion app, offline maps and navigation, long battery life, can be used in landscape or portrait orientation||Competitive price, aerodynamic, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+, Bluetooth smart, WiFi, maps, large screen, easy to use and set up, zoom feature|
|Cons||Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor||System might crash, navigation glitches, Strava Live Track integration issues||No touchscreen, head unit relies on phone a bit too much, app setup and syncing can be a pain, routing can be clunky||Heavier, no preloaded maps, button layout isn't incredibly intuitive||No color screen, slower to startup|
|Bottom Line||Ultra basic cycling computer with wired sensors||A top-end GPS bike computer with cool, useful features, but may need more development||Lots of practical features and a long battery life - what more could you want in a bike computer?||Best in class battery life, offline maps and navigation, and great smartphone integration are just a few of the things we loved about the the Lezyne Mega XL||Fully featured and incredibly easy to use, Wahoo Fitness' BOLT GPS cycling computer seamlessly integrates with your smartphone and offers ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensor compatibility|
|Rating Categories||Cateye Velo 7||Garmin Edge 830||Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM||Lezyne Mega XL GPS||Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT BOLT|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Ease Of Setup (20%)|
|Water Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Cateye Velo 7||Garmin Edge 830||Wahoo Fitness...||Lezyne Mega XL GPS||Wahoo Fitness...|
|GPS enabled?||No||Yes - GPS, Glonass, Galileo||Yes - GPS, Glonass, BEIDOU Galileo, QZSS||Yes - GPS, Glonass||Yes - GPS, Glonass, BEIDOU Galileo, QZSS|
|Cadence Sensor?||No||Yes, any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+, Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart|
|Heart Rate Monitor?||No||Yes, ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes (strap sold seperately)||Yes, ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||Yes, any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart|
|Dimensions||1.5" x 2.1" x 0.75"||1.9" x 3.2" x 0.8"||2.3" x 2.3" x 0.7"||2.3" x 3.1" x 1.05"||2.9" x 1.8" x 0.87"|
|Display Size||0.9" x 1.2"||1.7" x 2"||1.35" x 2.25"||1.4" x 2.3"||2.2"|
|Battery Type||CR2032||Re-chargable lithium ion||Re-chargable lithium ion||Re-chargable lithium ion||Lithium Ion|
|Battery Life||1+ years||20 hours||17 hours||48 hours||15 hours|
|Phone App||None||Garmin Connect||ELEMNT||Lezyne Ally V2||ELEMNT|
|Accessory Interface ANT+, BTLE, BT.||Wired||Bluetooth Smart, 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 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