Analog Bicycle Speedometer and how they Work

Analog bicycle speedometer

An analog bicycle speedometer obviously tracks the mileage and speed of your bike.

But what are some of the other interesting details of these devices?

Read on to find out…

What Is An Analog Bicycle Speedometer?

Analog speedometers connect to your handlebars and give you mileage and speed. of your ride.

Some come with a reset knob that you can use to reset the meter to track different segments of your ride.

Some manual bike odometers can be used with both spoked wheels and solid wheels, depending on the make and model of the odometer.

It is important to check the specifications of a particular odometer to determine its compatibility with different wheel types.

That being said, most manual odometers are compatible with spoked wheels only.

These usually include the following:

  • Speedometer dial
  • Connecting cable
  • A wheel drive adapter
  • Mounting hardware

The wheel drive adapter is the most important component, as it connects the manual odometer to the spoked wheel.

Without this adapter, the odometer will not be able to accurately measure the distance traveled.

Simple Bike Speedometer

If you’re looking for a simple bike speedometer to calculate speed and total distance traveled, then you can simply install a manual old-school bike speedometer on your bike.

Analog odometers measure speed reading in kilometers or miles per hour through a small gear that’s installed on the bike’s front wheel.

Analog bicycle speedometers are easy to install and use.

The main benefit of having an analog speedometer is that they are inexpensive, reliable, and require no external power source.

Retro Analog Bicycle Speedometer

Retro Analog Bicycle Speedometer

Retro analog bicycle speedometers are usually more expensive than regular ones because many of these are considered antique.

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They’re usually so expensive due to their rarity, as well as the fact that they are considered collectibles.

They also require more skill and expertise to install and maintain than regular speedometers.

Also, the materials used in these vintage models may be of higher quality than those found in modern versions.

The original design for a speedometer was created in 1888 by Josip Belušić, a Croatian inventor and professor of Mathematics and Physics.

Who Invented The Speedometer?

The original design for a speedometer was invented in 1888 by Josip Belušić, a Croatian inventor and professor of Mathematics and Physics.

Belušić’s design was based on a simple mechanical system that used centrifugal force to accurately measure the speed of a vehicle.

The system consisted of a rotating disk with several arms attached to it, each arm representing a different speed.

As the vehicle (or bicycle in this case) moved faster, the arms would be forced outward, indicating the speed via a needle on a dial.

The original design was made up of a magnet and a pointer and worked off of electrical eddy currents.

The design was later improved by a German inventor named Otto Schultze, who patented his design in 1902.

How Do Analog Bike Speedometers Work?

Analog speedometers gauges easily connect to the handlebars of your bicycle, and the cable attaches to your front wheel.

There is a small magnet on the end of the speedometer cable. The cable spins with the wheel, when the wheel is in motion. The speedometer cable magnet passes a small aluminum cup called a Speed Cup.

As the magnet interacts with the speed cup, it produces eddy currents which move the cup.

With enough force, the speed cup’s rotations will move the pointer of the speedometer gauge.

The pointer is precisely calibrated to reflect the amount of speedometer cable rotations.

These speedometers work with a cable that connects to your bicycle’s front wheel. The cable spins with each revolution of the front wheel which shows your speed.

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You can use these on any type of bike that comes with spoke wheels.

If you only want a simple display to show your speed and distance, then an analog bike speedometer is what you’re looking for.

In this case, you don’t need a digital speedometer because an analog bike speedometer will serve you well.

Are Analog Bicycle Speedometers Accurate?

Generally speaking, analog bicycle speedometers tend to be less accurate than digital ones due to their reliance on mechanical parts that can become worn or damaged over time.

The accuracy of analog bicycle speedometers can vary greatly depending on the quality of the components used in its construction.

The accuracy of these devices is also affected by factors such as temperature, air pressure, and wind speed.

Nevertheless, they can still provide an decent measure of your current speed if calibrated correctly and maintained regularly.

Right and Left Side Manual Speedometers

The wheel drive adapter is one of the most important parts of the analog speedometer.

It’s usually mounted on the right side of your front wheel.

It can be mounted on the left side depending on the movement of the speedometer needle.

If the cable needle is installed from left to right, then the wheel drive adapter should be installed on the right side of the wheel and vice versa.

However, there are manual odometers available in the market that can be installed on either side of the front wheel to record your ride data.

You can also buy analog speedometers that offer reading in both miles and kilometers per hour.

Final Words

If you’re a casual bike rider and like to monitor your speed and total distance covered, you can buy a simple analog bicycle speedometer that comes with a built-in odometer and install it on your bike.

The installation process is very simple and you can do it yourself without any professional help.

All you need to do is to use the steps mentioned in this guide to install the speedometer in the right way.

About Informed Cyclist
Michael Rogers
I’m Michael, a cycling fanatic and the founder of Informed Cyclist. I started this site to give back to the sport I love! My mission is to bring the very best cycling advice & know-how to my readers. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I love working on it. I put a lot of heart & effort into it!

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