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Cateye Velo 7 Review

Ultra basic cycling computer with wired sensors
Cateye Velo 7
Photo: Cateye
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Price:  $28 List | $27.95 at Amazon
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
#13 of 13
  • 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Cateye Velo 7
This Product
Cateye Velo 7
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $28 List
$27.95 at Amazon
$199.97 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$160 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Inexpensive, easy to useReasonably priced, great companion app, offline maps and navigation, long battery life, can be used in landscape or portrait orientationTons of primary functionality, low-cost, solid GPS accuracy, integrations with major 3rd party training and social apps, long battery lifeInexpensive, GPS and GLONASS, ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, exceptionally lightweight, compact, color screen, good companion appAffordable, compact, simple to use, attractive and stylish, long battery life
Cons Difficult setup, not versatile, no GPS, no ANT+, wired sensorHeavier, no preloaded maps, button layout isn't incredibly intuitive, blocky-less streamlined shapeButtons aren’t especially intuitive, UX needs some reworking, navigation is limited, Bryton Active app is a little clunkySmall screen and buttons, occasional inaccuracyLimited functionality, uses disposable batteries, small display, no data transfer
Bottom Line Ultra basic cycling computer with wired sensorsA long battery life, offline maps, and excellent smartphone integration make this one of the best bike computers aroundYou get so much of the performance of premium brands, but you'll need to work a little to make up for the discount you're gettingAn incredibly compact and lightweight GPS unit with ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor compatibility and a color screenAn 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%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Ease Of Setup (20%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Features (20%)
3.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Versatility (20%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Water Resistance (10%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
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
WiFi? No No No No No
Weight 29g 82g 67g 29g 18g
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
Touchscreen? No Yes No No No
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
Strava Segments No Yes No Yes No
Text, Email, Call notifications No Yes Yes Yes No
Navigation 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.

Performance Comparison


The wired Velo 7 mounted on the handlebars for testing.
The wired Velo 7 mounted on the handlebars for testing.
Photo: Curtis Smith

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.

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.
Photo: Curtis Smith

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.

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

Features


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.

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 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.

Value


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.

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 Quick, a wireless version that is the winner of our Best Buy for the Casual Cyclist Award.

Curtis Smith

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