Of all the accessories that you can buy bicycle computers are probably the coolest. They aren’t much bigger than a watch face but they can give you all of the information that you could want and more.
It's just plain fun to know how fast you are riding and how far you have ridden. And,if you want to challenge yourself, you can keep track of your progress.
Even an inexpensive and very basic computer will give you speed, distance, stopwatch, and time.
Here are some of the optional features that a bike computers can give you depending on which model that you choose.
Installation procedure - Detailed instructions always come with the computer and are very straightforward.
The read head (computer) usually mounts on the handlebar. A magnet is mounted on one of the wheel spokes and a sensor is, usually, mounted to the front wheel fork. Every revolution of the wheel will send a signal to the computer when the magnet passes the sensor and the distance is determined by counting the rotations.
The actual installation is very simple. The only tricky part is making sure that you have accurately set the wheel diameter,or tire size, when you program the computer. . This is important to make sure that you will get accurate readings.
An inexpensive bike computer usually has wires between the read head and the sensor. But, for mountain bikes, used for off-road or trail riding, it is a good idea to get a wireless unit that uses a sensor/transmitter to send the signal to the read head. (You don't want wires getting caught on brush etc.) These are readily available for a few dollars more.
If you are considering buying a computer for a bike that you will ride with a trainer you will probably want one that will work with the rear wheel. This gives you the option of using it when your bike is mounted on a trainer indoors.
It's a good idea to replace the battery on the same day each year so you don't lose power in the middle of a long ride. This never happens at a convenient time. I change mine in the spring when I set the clocks ahead for daylight savings time.