Its nice weather, Zwifting in the real world?

Today was a beautiful day where I live and I got my bike back from the shop getting serviced. As soon as I got home, I wanted to take the bike out, go for a ride and run it through its paces and see how she felt.

While I was riding and enjoying the nice day, I kind of missed the stream of information that comes through the screen while Zwifting. I am still pretty new to the biking/Zwifting community. Usually when I would go out on the bike, I never really payed much attention to the analytics of it all. Where I went, how fast I went, what my cadence or power was. After Zwift I find it rather interesting and fun now.

So my question is, what does everybody here do for your information fix? Is there bike trackers or little sensors, gauges and digital screens you can put on your bikes or apps on your phone? I’m not planning on going pro or something. All I have is my Specialized Crossroads which is pretty much a utility bike that covers all the bases. I just want to go get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors and look at what’s going on with everything.

When they came out with the Bluetooth OBD II sensor readers and phone apps for reading all the information on our cars I loved it. Being able to see what the sensors in the overly complicated, computer controlled cars fascinated me. The more gauges, dials and digital readouts the better. I guess I am just weird, I don’t know. :rofl:

@J_Picton Yes, the most popular is the Garmin Edge.
You can also install the free Strava App on your phone and fix it to your handlebars
Or the slightly more detailed Polar Beat App
Or the much more detailed RWGPS App
Or the crazily detailed Cyclemeter App

If you want to go nuts, you can then wear AR smart glasses connected to your phone, but I’d suggest that might be a safety hazard.

[You can wear a HR chest strap; fit speed sensors, cadence sensors, and power meter pedals to your bike; and utilize the GPS, barometer, clock, compass, map, navigation, accelerometer, and thermometer in your phone - these are the things that the apps above will display]

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That’s cool. I just bought a Polar H10 on amazon the other day and will be getting it tomorrow. Sounds like the polar app is pretty good at tracking that kind of stuff.

Another question I have is, does everybody that use phone apps just put their phone in something like a RAM mount for motorcycles on their handlebars or do you just keep your phone in your pocket?.. I just bought a Samsung S21 Ultra and the thought if it bouncing around in a mount on my handlebars makes me a little nervous. I’m not worried about it popping out and falling, just sometimes electronics don’t like the sharp jostling and vibrations.

@J_Picton The Polar H10 tracks even more interesting stuff if you also install the Polar Equine App. (It can complain about mismatched firmwares, and still works anyway)

So does the 3rd party “Polar Sensor” App, but it’s a bit clunky.

For most day-to-day use you’ll just want the free Polar Beat app, or the free Strava app.

The (free) Strava app publishes your data to Strava.
The (free) Polar Beat app needs you to have a (free) Polar Flow account to also publish your data to Strava.

The (free) excellent RWGPS app shows LOADS of data, and is associated with a (free) RWGPS website that has an enormous library of road routes that you may want to explore. The RWGPS app asks for money if you try to use it for navigation, otherwise, you are their guest to use it as a (free) cycle computer, and are their guest to follow their (free) routes by printing them, writing them on paper, transferring them to GoogleMaps, Strava, or Garmin, memorizing them, or writing them on your arm.

@J_Picton Yes, I put it in a bar mount.

Sweat sprays all over it, so I put in in a ziplock sandwich bag before clamping it in.

Yes, I’ve broken phones doing this. I keep doing it.

Wow thanks for the great ideas. That will definitely get me started. Sounds like there are lots of options out there to choose from.

I would recommend a bike computer like a Garmin or Wahoo, rather than your phone. The battery will last a lot better and they’re waterproof (and less expensive than a phone if it gets dropped etc).

You can get a power meter for your bike, either in the form of pedals (e.g…Favero Assioma) or a crank-based power meter (e.g. Stages).

It’ll be easy to set up a bike computer to then display your power, speed, heart rate etc.

Make sure to not get carried away though, and still pay attention to the road!

I bought a Quad Lock recently. I can’t put a URL here apparently but search for “quadlockcase”.

It’s superb, rock solid on my mountain bike regardless of how bumpy the trails get or how fast I’m going. You can get a waterproof cover for it too which allows the touch screen to be used still.

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Agreed. My first comment before getting carried away with phone possibilities, was the Garmin Edge.

The Garmin Edge 530 was launched April 2019, and Garmin’s Edge 5xx series has an update cadence that varies 12-27 months between releases. Based on that, there might be a new model on the near horizon

I have used a Garmin Edge for many years, first a 520, now the 530. Also have a Stages left crank arm power meter. With this, you have way more data than you could possibly look at safely while on the road. You can configure the edge with whatever data fields you want on each page. Make multiple pages. Put data fields on unique pages such as the map, virtual partner to give yourself someone to race either at a set pace or race your previous ride of that route, have Climb Pro page to show you the details of the climb ahead, and more. You can go way beyond geeking out on data. Along with all the Garmin data fields there are tons of community contributed data fields available (many for free) on Garmin’s Connect IQ site. Things like heart rate graphs over time, power graphs, etc. so data displayed can be more than just current numbers. As folks have mentioned, way more than you should be llooking at while on the road.

But that’s OK, everything is then uploaded to Garmin Connect website where you can look at all this data forever after your rides. Plan new routes, make a route out of a previous ride, etc… It’s free and automatic if you enable it. You can also upload to Strava for free if you like. Additionally, your Zwift rides can upload to Garmin Connect for storage. I use Garmin Connect as my exercise log for all things I do (I have a Garmin watch that tracks activities not on the bike). Now you can geek out on the info after the ride, compare rides, get reports and graphs of performance over time, etc…

A nice part of the Garmin devices is you are not risking your phone and the battery lasts a lot longer. Garmin makes a line of bike computers. The 800 series is similar to the 500 in size but is touch-screen. The 1000 series is a larger screen of the same functionality, etc… Pick the size and capabilities vs price point that works for you.

As someone noted, Wahoo makes a similar line of products.

Hmm that garmin sounds like a better way to go. I just bought a new Samsung S21 Ultra and the thought of it bouncing around on my handlebars makes me a little nervous now that I get to thinking about it. I am starting to see Strava is a widely used tool in the Zwifting/biking world. I might look into that as well.

I was looking at that as well. I have Ram mounts on my motorcycles that I like to use but they seem a little clunky. The quadlock looks nice and streamlined. Lots of features too. Can get spendy though.

I thought this would be about something like

(much easier now that you can run Zwift on your phone as well…)

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Haha that hilarious. I found GP lama while looking for zwift stuff and I really like his channel.