Tracking your milage.

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Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 3:06pm #

I’m pretty lax about tracking my mileage, which makes it hard to set and keep goals.

What methods work for you, to keep track of your miles and to motivate you to set reasonable goals?

-Sometimes I use Endomondo on my Android phone, but it really churns through battery power.

-I am considering getting a Cateye wired computer that also measure cadence. If I got extra wires, is it feasible to track mileage on more than one bike with the same computer?

-A paper log, anyone?

At this point, I don’t want to spring for a nice GPS unit (though feel free to mention what you love for benefit of this thread).


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 3:10pm #

I just use a basic wireless cateye. It tells max speed, moving time, moving avg, current speed, and max speed, and will give you a total number of miles for each ride or a total of all miles. I have cateyes on the bikes I use on the road.

I have been using endomondo to just put my miles in. I don’t use the app either for fear of battery drainage.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 3:25pm #

I use the Strava app on iPhone. On my older phone, it would drain the battery but I bought a few cheap external batteries for longer rides (MS 150) and turn off the Bluetooth and Wifi to help with the battery.

With the iphone 5, the battery life is so much better than I haven’t been concerned at all so far.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 3:30pm #

Some of the wireless computers (like the Strada double) are designed to be used with more than one bike. You install multiple sending units, and just move the computer from bike to bike. That sounds like your best bet.

I tried using my Android phone as a GPS for a long time but it didn’t work too well. Battery drain was a problem, and the GPS didn’t really work that well. I got the Edge 800 for randonneurs, and find it to be necessary. I’m just not that good at following a cue sheet, even with a bike computer.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 3:37pm #


phone app for live gps tracking (extra battery ftw).

but when i forget to turn it on or short rides i just enter the info (route & time) manually.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 3:40pm #

I just use a cheap cateye and paper log. I did have a better unit that also had cadence but alas, it is no more. I liked having the cadence feature, since it helped me understand how to shift on hills better.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 4:00pm #

I like this cateye – cheap, wired, cadence: . You can get extra wiring harnesses, although if you want to track per-bike miles or if the bikes have different sized wheels it may be easier to just buy 2 computers. I put the numbers into a spreadsheet monthly.

Lately I’ve been using a garmin which is nice (since the data just uploads) but a lot pricier.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 4:24pm #

I’ve been using the Garmin Edge 500 for 2-1/2 years. I’ve seen them on eBay for around $100 without HR and cadence. I love it because I can very easily move from bike to bike. When you plug into the computer via USB, it charges the unit, and allows you to download your rides to either a local app on your computer, or a web site.

I’m a stats geek, and I love the Garmin.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 4:24pm #

SO there’s questions of measurement, accounting, and motivation – three different things, three different challenges.

Measurement. I love love love exactly the same computer Salty refers to, Cateye Astrale8. I have one on each of my three bikes – even though you can set one computer up to cover two bikes, and buy an extra wiring harness for $19.

This is a great computer, I’m a cadence rider (I’m 85 rpm plus-minus 3, I really don’t care about my speed) so it’s got everything I want and nothing I don’t want. The GPS units tend to generate virtual cadence which is a secondary derived number and that has issues.

Accounting The second issue you raised is tracking miles. I suppose a simple technique would be to just zero-out the accrued mileage on the computer every Jan-1st (hey, how convenient, right around the corner!).

Motivation An athlete friend said they tell people planning their first marathon: tell all your friends you’re going to run a marathon, don’t keep it a secret. Nobody wants to be a dog in front of their friends. It works.

Personally, I need to ride my bike or they’re going to cut my toes off (diabetes). I like my toes, they help me count between 11 and 20.

Writing about my miles and my rides has been an effective technique in keeping me on the bike. Every day I ride, I write about the mileage the weather, what I encounter, I show a picture, and I document the mileage and my weight. Every Saturday I present an end-of-week summary including trend data.

So maybe you might Facebook or Twitter your rides and progress, with a picture or an anecdote from each ride? You’ve already got a following of people who know you, just leverage it.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 4:44pm #

Online, I track using Endomondo, Plus +3 Network, and Clif’s 2 Mile Challenge (all hand entry)

Use a Sigma 1200 wired computer that can switch between 2 bikes. Had good luck with them because I’m hard on gear, good build, very sturdy.

I also log on paper.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 5:15pm #

I use for logging purposes (manual entry), and make a point of downloading/backing up my logs on a regular basis.

Used the Endomondo Android app a few times…great for short rides, but chews battery life far too much for my tastes. Getting one of the fancy-schmancy rigs to derive USB power from a dynamo hub might induce me to change my mind, but otherwise I just use Cateye cyclocomputer and manual data entry.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 6:43pm #

No special technology here. I have two tabs constantly open on my browser:



On Endomondo, I have defined a list of about six of my most common trips. This covers about 75% of my riding.

For the rest, I just click away in the MapMyRide map, retracing my steps at the end of the day. I don’t save the path, but I do copy the number over to the Endomondo tab. At worst, I do this weekly; more often, daily.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 6:46pm #

I logged some 3000 miles on a $10 bell bike computer before moving here. I gave it away when I sold my bike because I figured I’d end up getting a better one eventually. Plus, for general commuting purposes, I found that having the bike computer would stress me out too much for the value of being able to track my miles. I would often look at my speed while commuting and feel as though it was inadequate, so I’d push harder. Before I knew it, my commutes became mini training sessions.

However, I am also in the market for getting bike computers. I am considering a Garmin Edge for training and touring, but it might also be nice to have a simple computer just to log miles.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 7:44pm #

@brybot I would often look at my speed while commuting and feel as though it was inadequate, so I’d push harder. Before I knew it, my commutes became mini training sessions.

I knew a woman that was a ahrd driver perfectionist. She was a grad sudent at Pitt and lived in Squirrel Hill. She could have saved time and money riding a bike – but she couldn’t tolerate that there were people who could bike faster than her, so she bussed. I never did talk to her about her apparent eating disorder.

A lot of people can’t get on a bike without it being some kind of athletic workout or race.


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 8:21pm #

I have a love hate relationship with my cateye mity computer. When it works, it tells me all the things I need to know. Expect the time. Can’t figure out hoe to reset the time. Oh, and it doesn’t tell me the distance in anything other than clicks. Can’t figure out how to change the measurement to miles. Those are obviously (easily fixed) operator errors. But why does the sensor work/not work at will? I realize that it sometimes slips out of position, but other times it just wants to record NOTHING.

Terribly frustrating. Would I be better off with a wireless set up?


Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 8:24pm #

wired is generally more reliable than wireless. how far away is the sensor from the magnet? it should be pretty close, obviously not close enough to touch but as close as possible.

Chris Mayhew

Private Message

Dec 17 2012 at 9:17pm #

I’d highly suggest a Garmin, either 200 or 500. While they as devices themselves are very very nice what is really trick is that they pretty smoothly integrate with a website that will store your data. That way you can go back and look at rides you’ve done, various parameters (miles per month for instance) and have easy access to it all.


Private Message

Dec 18 2012 at 1:09am #

I’ve been putting my phone in airplane mode when I use Endomondo. It seems to help the battery drain issue a lot.

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