Cateye Velo 7 Review
Cons: Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor
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Cateye Velo 7
|Price||$27.95 at Amazon||$199.99 at Backcountry|
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|$159.95 at Amazon||$140 List||$59.95 at Amazon|
|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to use||Reasonably priced, great companion app, offline maps and navigation, long battery life, can be used in landscape or portrait orientation||Tons of primary functionality, low-cost, solid GPS accuracy, integrations with major 3rd party training and social apps, long battery life||Inexpensive, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, exceptionally lightweight, compact, color screen, good companion app||Affordable, compact, simple to use, attractive and stylish, long battery life|
|Cons||Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensor||Heavier, no preloaded maps, button layout isn't incredibly intuitive, blocky-less streamlined shape||Buttons aren’t especially intuitive, UX needs some reworking, navigation is limited, Bryton Active app is a little clunky||Small screen and buttons, occasional inaccuracy||Limited functionality, uses disposable batteries, small display, no data transfer|
|Bottom Line||Ultra basic cycling computer with wired sensors||A long battery life, offline maps, and excellent smartphone integration make this one of the best bike computers around||You get so much of the performance of premium brands, but you need to work a little to make up for the discount you're getting||An incredibly compact and lightweight GPS unit with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor compatibility and a color screen||An elegant boilerplate bike computer perfect for reference and basic tracking|
|Rating Categories||Cateye Velo 7||Lezyne Mega XL GPS||Bryton Rider 420||Lezyne Micro Color||CatEye Quick|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Ease Of Setup (20%)|
|Water Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Cateye Velo 7||Lezyne Mega XL GPS||Bryton Rider 420||Lezyne Micro Color||CatEye Quick|
|GPS enabled?||No||GPS, Glonass||GPS, Glonass, BDS, Galileo, QZSS||GPS, Glonass||No|
|Cadence Sensor?||No||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||No|
|Heart Rate Monitor?||No||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+ or Bluetooth||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||No|
|Power Meter?||No||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||ANT+||ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart||No|
|Smart Trainer?||No||No, but does have "Stationary Mode"||ANT+FE-C||No, but does have "Stationary Mode"||No|
|Dimensions||1.5" x 2.1" x 0.75"||2.3" x 3.1" x 1.05"||2" x 3.3" x 0.86"||1.9" x 1.3" x 0.88"||3.7" x 2.1" x 1.4"|
|Display Size||0.9" x 1.2"||1.4" x 2.3"||2.3"||1" x 0.95"||1.25" x 1.25"|
|Battery Type||CR2032||Re-chargable lithium ion||Lithium polymer||Lithium polymer||CR2032-Sensor, CR1616-Display|
|Battery Life||1+ years||48 hours||up to 35 hours (claimed)||14 hours||1+ years|
|Phone App||None||Lezyne Ally V2||Bryton Active App||Lezyne Ally V2||None|
|Accessory Interface ANT+, BTLE, BT.||Wired||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Proprietary Analog Wireless|
|Text, Email, Call notifications||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
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 super 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 high-end models. There is no screen contrast setting options. Overall, the interface is simple and easy to learn.
Ease of Setup
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 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 versatile. 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