Saturday, 28 July 2012

65.9mph and time to review - Cateye Strada wireless

Don't be fooled by the maximum speed
A while ago I thought I'd do a review of my wireless Cateye Strada.   I generally like to review things over a longer term rather than base a review on mere first impressions.   This has coincided with a new maximum speed and I'll say something about that further on.

The Strada is fairly modest in the Cateye range, though not the most basic.  It is an entry level wireless cycle computer and gives useful information about a ride in order to be an interesting gadget.  The set up is conventional with a spoke fitting magnet which passes a small sensor unit attached to the front fork.  The unit itself is designed to fit onto the handlebars or, as I have done, onto the handlebar stem.  This has the advantage of keeping the handlebars available for one or two LED lights or maybe a Satnav.

The unit itself is fairly small and unobtrusive, especially in black.  It is commonly available in black, white and, if you're lucky, one or two other designs.  Cost is around £40.


Allow about 30 minutes from out of the box to functioning on the bars.  It's pretty straight forward, instructions are okay and you don't need to be a bicycle mechanic to do this; just don't rush it.  Very helpfully, Cateye publish their instruction manuals online (click here) as it is all too easy to lose the instructions.  Believe me, I could not have managed without the online help when I changed the batteries.

It is also worthwhile to measure the exact circumference of your front wheel in order to programme the unit.  You can, of course, use Cateye's guide settings and you can have confidence in these.  However, tyres of exactly the "same" size do vary from one manufacturer to another and if you want a really accurate read-out, why not use the most accurate settings?

What does it do?

The large digit is the current speed and can be set for either mph or kph.
The secondary read out toggle between:
  • clock time
  • cycling time*
  • trip distance*
  • distance 2 (an odometer which can be reset)
  • average speed*
  • maximum speed*
  • odometer
*these can be re-set simply by pressing down on the bottom edge for a few seconds.  This is quite good to do for each journey.

The distance 2 feature is quite a thoughtful touch.  It could be used as a slightly longer term trip distance.  So, for example you could use it to record how far you cycled during a cycle tour or perhaps during a year.

What is it like to use?

Overall, it's good.  Would I buy one again?  Probably not but only because I find the secondary numbers are too small without my glasses.  In most other respects it is great, especially for the price.

One of the nice things about Cateye is the availability of spares.  You could also purchase a second fitting kit if you have a second bike and it can be switched across easily.  You can see in the above display the is a letter A.  This could denote bike A and then switch it across to Bike B if required.  Other spares are available.

Once the initial setting up is complete, it's a complete doddle.  There is just one "button" i.e. the bottom edge which operates everything.  Other buttons are tucked away underneath and are only used during installation.

I did notice on one occasion it wasn't picking up a signal.  It was only because the sensor had been knocked out of place.  

It is in obtrusive and arguably less likely to attract a thief - useful if you leave your bike in a vulnerable area.

Once I'd had it for 18 months the display began to fade so I replaced the batteries and it's been fine since.  How Long the batteries last depends on their use and how long the unit was sitting in a shop waiting to be solved.  I replaced the sensor unit's battery at the same time, although there was no sign of it fading.

It's good fun and brings an interest to my cycling.  It does do cadence (pedal turns per minute) or pick up your heart rate.  Both of these features are catered for by Cateye but in the form of more upmarket models.


Yes, I too was surprised at this. Alas no, I was not doing 65.9mph or anywhere near it and I'm sure I would remember that.  So maybe some kind of article could have been written about this but for now it's a mystery and I have no explanation.  It's only happened once, never before..


  1. mine has started to work on its own when im not riding or near my sensor at all :/ on the MPH setting it tended to stick to 65.9mph too and its really annoying I cant fix it, have changed the batteries and help??? im apparently doing 105.9kmh now sat inside with out and with new batteries, seems to stop when I move it away from my laptop :/ and solutions?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Many thanks for your comment and it seems we are not alone with this problem. I have had this occur a number of times and I don't think there is an easy solution.

      It has only happened to me while I have been out cycling, never at home as you describe. Someone did suggest the Cateye maybe picking up some interference from other electrical devices, or even the electrical system of a passing car. Perhaps it's picking up a signal of some kind from your laptop?

      All these things might be possible but in the meantime I suspect it will have to be a feature to live with. Otherwise I still think it is a very good, inexpensive unit.

      PLease let me know if you have any other thoughts on this.

      Kind regards, Doug.