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Cateye Strada Slim Wireless bike computer

5 Oct 2020

If you just want to know how far and how fast you’re riding, the Strada Slim is a simple, cheap option

Cyclist Rating: 
Small • Light • Easy to use
Gives you the basics only

If you’re after a pint-sized package that gives you the basics for your ride, the Cateye Strada Slim Wireless bike computer fits the bill nicely.

It’s tiny and with mount, sensor and wheel magnet weighs just 32 grams. That weight is comparable to the lightest GPS-based bike computers, but in a smaller, lower profile package.

Unlike a GPS device, the Strada Slim tracks your cycling using a wheel magnet screwed to a spoke that passes by a sensor strapped to your fork blade, which in turn passes this info to the head unit.

You can fine tune the computer based on your wheel’s rolling diameter, which will depend on your tyre size. But I found that out of the box with a 25mm tyre mounted on a 700c wheel its distance recorded was within around 100m in 10km of that shown by a GPS, which seems pretty good.

Since you’re not having to lock onto a GPS signal, the Strada Slim just starts recording as soon as you move and there’s none of the 'GPS signal lost' problem that can afflict GPS-based computers under thick tree cover.

Where the Cateye Strada Slim scores is its really low profile; it sits much closer to the bar or stem than a GPS unit. But despite this, it’s easy to read.

GPS makers could take a lesson from its simple display too; the top line shows your current speed and the lower figure scrolls between distance, average speed, max speed, elapsed time and other data. Despite the small size it’s easy to read, even if like mine, your eyesight isn’t the best.

To scroll between the numbers you just have to press the bottom of the unit. It’s far simpler than any GPS at this price, where you need to press one of several buttons on one or other side of the unit, something I invariably get wrong when riding.

If you do want to alter any of the settings, that’s done via a Settings menu, accessed via another button on the bottom of the unit. It’s slightly fiddly, but achievable.

Of course, what a GPS gives you that you don’t get with the Cateye Strada Slim is info on where you’ve been. You can’t upload data to Strava or connect a power meter or heart rate strap either.

But if you’re not interested in such info and the opportunity to analyse it endlessly once you get home, that may not be a problem. For a rider who’s regularly covering the same routes or a commuter, that 'how far and how fast' may be all that you want.

The Cateye Strada Wireless comfortably undercuts the price of the cheapest GPS devices from the leading brands, although Bryton’s most basic unit and some no-name units on Amazon aren’t that much more expensive.

But for most riders, there’s an even cheaper alternative if they do want more data: use the Strava app or similar on a smartphone.

Usually free, the basic versions of these apps use your phone’s GPS chip to log your ride. You can buy a mount to fix your phone to your bars if you want to see your data as you ride, or just keep it out of the way in a pocket and analyse your data later.