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

Do You Need a Speedometer on a Bicycle

Do You Need a Speedometer on a Bicycle?

The answer is Yes! You need a speedometer on your bike if you want valuable insights about your bike rides.

Even if you’re a casual cyclist, you can gain valuable info and insights about your bike rides!

Bicycle Speedometers provide you with useful information like:

Types Of Bike Speedometers

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

These are listed below.

Analog Speedometer

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 Speedometer

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.

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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

You can typically mount bike speedometers on your bike’s stem handlebars.

I prefer to mount mine on the stem so I can see it without having to take my eyes off the road.

I recommend you buy a bike computer 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 to consider.

The best bicycle speedometers on the market offer a long battery life, are accurate to within a very small margin of error and have large, easy-to-read displays.

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. This speed will allow you to quickly get around on your bike.

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while 20 MPH is not so difficult to achieve on a bicycle, maintaining that speed for a long periods of time is very difficult.

The average speed of sport-level enthusiasts is about 15 MPH and world-class professional cyclists on road bikes ride at 25 MPH.

The best cyclists in the world can also maintain this for hours.


Are Bicycle Speedometers Accurate?

Digital bike speedometers use sensors to measure your speed, distance and other information.

These sensors are very accurate in most cases, but they do have some limitations.

For example, the sensors can’t account for road conditions or changes in elevation.

This means that your bike computer may slightly overestimate or underestimate your speed or distance.

How Long Do Batteries Last In Bike Computers?

Most bike computers use lithium-ion batteries.

These batteries tend to last for around 500 charge cycles before they need to be replaced.

This means that you should get around 2 years of use out of your bike computer before you need to replace the battery.

Some models of bike computers come with a built-in solar charger so that you never have to worry about replacing the battery.

Are bike speedometers compatible with all bicycles?

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

They are generally designed to be compatible with all types of bicycles, but there are some exceptions.

Some speedometers may not be compatible with certain types of bikes, such as BMX bikes or certain brands of bikes.

Also worth noting is that some speedometers may require special adapters in order to be used with certain models of bicycles.

In any event, it’s important to confirm bike speedometer compatibility before buying one for your bike.

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

Some bicycle speedometers are designed to be used on the rear wheel, while others can be used on either the front or rear wheel.

Since this can vary from model to model and you should read the user manual to find out the correct location for your bicycle speedometer 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.

What’s Next…

If you enjoyed this article, go check out What Is A Good Bike Speedometer!

Happy cycling!

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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