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Cateye Velo 7 Review

Ultra basic cycling computer with wired sensors.
Cateye Velo  7
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Price:  $28 List | $26.85 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to use
Cons:  Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor
Manufacturer:   Cateye
By Curtis Smith ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 26, 2016
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 11
  • Ease of Use - 30% 6
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 5
  • Features - 20% 3
  • Versatility - 20% 5
  • Water Resistance - 10% 7

Our Verdict

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.


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Cateye Velo  7
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Price $26.85 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Inexpensive, easy to useMaps, GPS enabled, ANT+ accessory compatible, color touch screen, versatileCompetitive price, aerodynamic, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+, Bluetooth smart, WiFi, maps, large screen, easy to use and set up, zoom featureReasonably priced, great companion app, offline maps and navigation, long battery life, can be used in landscape or portrait orientationRoutable maps, quality color screen, multiple mount options included, small size
Cons Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensorExpensive, Garmin Connect App, no Bluetooth SmartNo color screen, slower to startupHeavier, no preloaded maps, button layout isn't incredibly intuitiveGarmin 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%)
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6
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9
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8
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8
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8
Ease Of Setup (20%)
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5
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8
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9
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7
Features (20%)
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3
10
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9
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8
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8
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9
Versatility (20%)
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5
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9
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9
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8
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9
Water Resistance (10%)
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7
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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+
Weight 29g 68g 62g 82g 63g
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
Touchscreen? No Yes No Yes No
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+
Strava Segments No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Text, Email, Call notifications No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Navigation 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.

Performance Comparison


The wired Velo 7 mounted on the handlebars for testing.
The wired Velo 7 mounted on the handlebars for testing.

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 Cateye Velo 7 and its included parts right out of the box.
The Cateye Velo 7 and its included parts right out of the box.

Set-Up


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.

Wrapping the sensor wire up the front fork. This makes installation more tedious than with wireless bike computers like the Cateye Strada Slim.
Wrapping the sensor wire up the front fork. This makes installation more tedious than with wireless bike computers like the Cateye Strada Slim.

Features


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.

Water Resistance


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.

Versatility


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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


A very basic computer that is a good buy for $28 or less.

Conclusion


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.

Other Versions


The Cateye Strada Slim, a wireless version that is the winner of our Best Buy for the Casual Cyclist Award.


Curtis Smith