Do You Need a Speedometer on a Bicycle – Why or Why Not?

Do You Need a Speedometer on a Bicycle

So, do You Need a Speedometer on a Bicycle? The answer is Yes, you need a speedometer on a bicycle if you want valuable insights about your bike rides.

Even if you’re a casual cyclist, you should have a bike speedometer on your bike to provide you with useful information such as:

Types Of Bike Speedometers

There are two main types of bike speedometers, also known as Bicycle Odometers.

These are listed below.

Analog Speedometers

Analog speedometers are also called manual or mechanical speedometers and installing such a device on your bike is an old-school way to measure your bike’s speed. It’s the simplest type of bicycle speedometer that works with the help of a wire and wheel drive adapter.

Most Analog speedometers allow you to track only speed. However, there are some options that can track speed and distance traveled and you can also use their reset now to reset the meter reading to 0. It’ll help you measure your single trip distance easily.

Digital Speedometers/Bike Computers

Digital speedometers are the most common types of bike speedometers and they are further divided into two sub-categories, which are wired and wireless. A digital bicycle speedometer offers a whole lot of information about your rides and many of them even come with GPS functionality.

Bontrager, Specialized, Polar, Lezyne, Cat Eye, Wahoo, and Garmin Edge are some of the best bike computer brands that mostly offer digital speedometers. Some of the most popular speedometers include Xoss Bike Speedometer and Dinoka bike Speedometer.

What are the Benefits Of a Bike Speedometer

benefits of a bike speedometer

Cycling Stats

A bike speedometer measures all types of cycling stats and it puts that info right in front of you on a small digital screen.

You can measure your speed, distance traveled, heart rate, calories burned, and more. 
Some models even allow you to share data with your friends if you want. They can also be uploaded to a cycling app or cloud.

Unobtrusive and Lightweight

Bike speedometers are lightweight and compact. They don’t get in your way while you are riding.


Most modern bike speedometers are waterproof. This allows you to ride your bike even in the worst weather.

What Should You Consider In A Bike Speedometer?

Here are some factors to consider when buying a new bike speedometer:


You should buy a bike speedometer that comes with a big LCD screen so that you can read your ride data on the go. Many bike speedometers display lots of data on one single screen while others only show one piece of data at a time.

The LCD screens should also have a back-light so that you can see your current speed during the nighttime.

Mounting Options

How and where is the bike computer mounted? I recommend you buy one that has multiple mounting options.


You want to buy a bike speedometer that can serve you for years to come. Choose a durable product made by a well-known brand.

Long Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important factors that to consider.

Whether you opt for a speedometer with a wireless design that offers Bluetooth connectivity or a wired one. The best bike speedometers offer a long battery life and they. 

Longer battery life means you’ll be able to enjoy longer rides with all the features your speedometer offers. Some speedometers also have an auto-off feature that automatically turns off the speedometer when it’s inactive.

Is 20 MPH On A Bike Fast?

Is 20 MPH On A Bike Fast

20 MPH is considered to be the ideal speed while riding a bicycle. It will allow you to get to the place where you want to be quick. This speed is easily achieved but sustaining that for a long period of time is not.

The average speed of sport-level enthusiasts is about 15 MPH and the world-class professional cyclists on road bikes ride at 25 MPH that they can also sustain literally for hours.


Are Bicycle Speedometers Accurate?

Yes, bike speedometers give accurate readings but you need to make sure that you calibrate them for your bike based on your wheel size.

Are bike speedometers compatible with all bicycles?

Modern bike speedometers are compatible with most bicycles. Including folding bikes, road bikes, and mountain bikes.

But it’s important to confirm the compatibility before buying a bike speedometer.

Should the Speed Sensor Be on the Rear Wheel or Front Bike Wheel?

This can vary from model to model and you should read the user manual to find out the correct location for your computer sensor.

Final Words

If you only want to track your speed and total distance, you should go with an analog cycle computer. But, if you need more data, then you should choose a digital bike computer that offers more features & information.

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!