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Garmin Speed & Cadence Sensors V2 with ANT+/Bluetooth Smart: In-Depth Review

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In the highly unlikely event that you didn’t get enough Garmin news today with the announcement of two brand new head units (the Edge 530 and Edge 830, see reviews at those links), you’ve also got yourself some new sensors to toss on the to-read pile.

This post will be part ‘finally!’, and part ‘as expected’. Today Garmin finally announced dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart variants of their magnetless speed and cadence sensors, which had previously been ANT+ only. An update was somewhat expected however, given Garmin’s announcement of a dual ANT+/BLE heart rate straps three months ago. The goal of all these new sensors is making it easy to use them with apps like Zwift or TrainerRoad on smartphones, or Apple TV.

However, what might be unexpected here is that the magnetless speed sensor actually has a bit of a party trick: It can record rides even when you don’t have an app or device actively connected to it. Yup, the little pod gained a brain and can now remember any rides you complete sans-GPS, transferring them to Garmin Connect (or even Strava) afterwards – perfect for bike commuters.

I’ve had media loaners of both sets of pods for…well…a lot of months now, so plenty of time to get into the details and nuances of how they all work (actually, way…way…way more time and detail than I ever wanted to know). Once I’m done with the flotilla of them that I now have, I’ll get them back to Garmin here in the near future – and most likely go out and get my own to equip some of my bike fleet here. But more on my plans a bit later.

Oh, and typically I don’t release in-depth product review threesomes all at the exact same second on this site. But, sometimes things planned for one time period get shifted to an entirely different period. Thus, a threesome happens. Today’s that day.

What’s in the boxes:

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I like simple boxes. Because it means I get to write less text and focus on eating more cookies. Starting with the speed sensor box, it’s grey – like the weather outside my window here in Amsterdam:

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Inside here’s what you’ve got after shaken onto a table.

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First, there’s a small manual. It explains how to use a rubber band twelve times. Once for each of the twelve languages it’s written in:

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Next, there’s a small safety guide. It also repeats everything twelve times. Specifically it tells you not to eat the batteries, and to consult a TV technician if your cadence or speed sensor isn’t working. Really, I’m not kidding.

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Oh, and then there’s a bag with the speed sensor itself. This is it:

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Next, there’s the cadence sensor box:

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And the stuffs inside:

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It too has the exact same paper stuff. In fact, it’s the same manual and safety papers for both.

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Except unlike the speed sensor, you get two baggies here. One includes two rubber bands, depending on your crank arm size. If you’ve got a large crank, you’ll use the larger rubber. If you’ve got a smaller crank, you’ll need a smaller rubber (and maybe an oversized truck to compensate).

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And then here’s the cadence sensor all put together. It looks super similar to Garmin’s past magnetless sensor, albeit an itty-bitty-bit different in terms of some slants.

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Oh, and if you happen to buy the combo box? Yup, all the exact same stuff in a single consolidated box – saving the world an extra box and an extra set of manuals telling you how to consult TV technicians and use rubber bands:

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And now my unboxing job is done. Overkill, yes. Unnecessary, absolutely. But done.

How it works – Speed Sensor:

We’ll start with the speed sensor first. Getting it installed requires either consulting with one of the twelve language iterations in the manual, or, using common sense. You can choose to install it on your front or rear wheel hub. If you install it on your rear wheel hub, then it’ll work while on most trainers (assuming your wheel stays on your bike of course).  In my case however, my rear wheel has a PowerTap power meter hub in it. As such, there’s some known magnetic interference there – so I just stick it on the front wheel instead:

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The same is true of our cargo bike which I’m also using it on – since the rear wheel is simply too big for it.

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And what if your rear wheel hub is too big for the band (as was my other commuter bike)? Well, in that case I just used a secondary rubber band. It’s hardly ideal, but it does work.

In any case, with all that done you’ll want to pair it up in Garmin Connect Mobile. You’ll go to add devices in the app, and as long as you’ve rotated your wheel a few times to wake it up, it should find it immediately.

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Next, it’ll ask for the tire size and even will allow you to enter what’s written on the sidewall exactly as its written:

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It only takes a second to add it, which then will show up in the devices menu, and allow you to tweak some settings, notably your weight and wheel size. Also, you can check for firmware updates and see the battery status, as well as learn about the sensor indicators:

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Now, before we get to this sensor’s little trick – let’s take a step back and talk a more normal configuration – pairing it to a bike computer. Here’s it paired as an ANT+ sensor to a Garmin head unit. Simply go into the sensor’s menu and either search for all sensors, or more specifically search for just speed sensors. Then add it (add the ANT+ variant if available, so you don’t eat up any of the Bluetooth channels, as there’s unlimited ANT+ channels but only two Bluetooth Smart channels):

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You can specify your wheel’s circumference, which is required for it determining distance. Alternatively, Garmin head units (and most others as well), will automatically calculate the wheel circumference if left blank, using GPS. So on your next ride, usually about 1/4th to 1/2 a mile later it’ll give you a little pop-up message that says “Wheel size calibrated”. I’d recommend doing this on roads where the GPS signal is good. Don’t do this at the start of a trail-head on a bunch of switchbacks.

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Now, since the main thing of this sensor over others is the ability to see it via Bluetooth Smart, here’s it is with a Suunto Spartan Trainer:

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And just fine with the Wahoo Fitness app:

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In fact, like Garmin’s new HRM-DUAL, this device supports two concurrent Bluetooth Smart connections (plus ANT+). Thus, in total, the sensor can sustain three+ concurrent connections:

A) ANT+: It can sustain an unlimited number of connections via ANT+
B) Bluetooth Smart #1: The first available Bluetooth Smart connection channel
C) Bluetooth Smart #2: The second available Bluetooth Smart connection channel

Of course, the main reason you’d use this sensor is to display speed and distance on your bike computer, most likely off-road. For the most part, GPS is more than accurate and stable enough these days on-road for most cyclists.  Whereas off-road mountain-biking in dense forest or with switchbacks, that’s where you’d probably want a speed sensor to give you better distance accuracy and better pace stability.

But Garmin decided to add a unique feature to this new speed sensor that gives it ‘value’ for on-road cyclists: Offline caching of your workouts.

This feature means that the sensor will automatically start a new workout (sans-GPS) every time you start pedaling. And then a few minutes after your bike stops moving, it’ll end the session. This is super interesting for bike commuters that may not really care about starting a GPS session for their daily rides, but are interested in the totals being accounted for.

So I did exactly that – I put the sensor on our cargo bike, which I use as my day to day getting around town bike and how we get the kids moved around the city (we don’t have a car, it’s Amsterdam after all).

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This meant that every time I went somewhere it’d simply record the ride. No need for me to open an app on my phone or bring a Garmin GPS device along.  After the ride, it quietly saves the file, but doesn’t sync it to your phone until the next time the sensor wakes up. So for most people that means your morning ride to work would sync in the evening when you started pedaling.  Of course, you can always go wake up the sensor and sync it whenever you want.  This results in rides that look like this in Garmin Connect Mobile:

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In fact, these rides are also transferred to platforms like Strava too. The only downside I suppose is if you use your bike a lot during the day for errands as I do – this is what your day looks like. A random Friday in my case:

IMG_5690 IMG_5695

Which in turn means I had all these also in Strava. These are considered legit workouts from a file standpoint, no different than a 5-hour ride.  My suggestion to Garmin would be to allow me to set a minimum distance threshold for sync to 3rd party services. Just don’t sync those.

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Garmin says they’ll consider it, but that in the meantime you can turn off the activity creation bit altogether if you want. Or, you could just disable the pairing to Garmin Connect Mobile. Either way.

Still, it’s a cool solution – and honestly, I’d love to see Garmin consider expanding it.  For example, what if that sensor actually activated GPS on your phone and recorded the GPS track. Just like Fitbit’s ‘Connected GPS’ feature’. Obviously that’d be user configurable, but again for bike commuters it’s one less step than having to start/stop a GPS session. Being able to just have it track that in the background would be nice – and likely not a huge hit for most people with short commutes.

Accuracy-wise I’ve been doing some longer concurrent rides with both the speed sensor and GPS side by side. Obviously, that’s somewhat imperfect because if I’m talking a 50KM ride, then I don’t truly know which is which. In this case though, I’m looking for it to pass the sanity test, which is to say that it should be ‘really darn close’, and not something wonky. Typically when I’ve seen magnetless sensor issues, the wonky is readily apparent in either looking at the files, or the resultant cumulative distances.

For fun, here’s Sunday’s ride:

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Now, what actually happened there is that we stopped our GPS devices at the train station, then ran like hell to make the train (rolling the bikes next to us). Since the sensor is accelerometer driven, it actually never went to sleep – even on the train due to the bumps and us occasionally moving the bikes around to accommodate people.  So it then recorded the distance post-train ride, as I rode home.

So if I stop the distance at the same point as when I stopped the other units, here’s what I’ve got:

Garmin V2 Magnetless Speed Sensor: 58.53km
Garmin Edge 530: 58.52km
Garmin Edge 830: 58.47km
Polar Vantage V: 58.67km

Of course, there’s also some nuances there too. I rode a few hundred extra meters before I started the Edge devices which the sensor accounted for. So I tried to zap that from the beginning too by looking for the paused time.

Here’s how speed overlaid on that ride between the Edge 530, Edge 830, and speed sensor. Neither the Edge 530 or 830 were paired to the speed sensor. The speed sensor was simply doing its own thing and then synced the ride to my phone after the fact:

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And, if you want to dig even further into the data fields, here’s the distance accumulation over time (also in my data set), which shows that the units are evenly adding distance. The Vantage does some weird data file stuff that hoses up the graph a bit with the dropouts, but otherwise, it’s following the same curve.

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I’ve also done countless rides between my doorstep and office door, and ended up with near precisely the same distance each time. Given I usually take one of two bike paths the same exact way each time, it’s a pretty consistent test.  Though, I have been tempted to take the cargo bike out onto the local running track. But, I don’t think that’d be looked kindly upon.

How it works – Cadence Sensor:

Switching over to the cadence sensor, it’s even easier than the speed sensor. First, you’ll utilize those rubber band skills to attach it to your crank arm. The recommendation would be to place it on the inside of the crank arm, since that gives you a bit more protection from the outside of your bike where your shoe may swipe past it:

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Note that it included two rubber bands depending on crank arm size. Also, do at least one rotation of your crank arm before you head outside, simply to validate there’s no clearance issues – especially if you have a super high-end triathlon bike with extremely low clearance to the frame. For this sensor you need 8.18mm of clearance:

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Pro Tip: Always put it on your left crank arm.

Again, for 99% of bikes out there, that won’t be an issue. But for the 1%’ers, I included the info you need to know. Plus, you can slide the sensor closer to the bottom bracket if you need to – no issue there. Usually there’s more clearance down there.

Once that’s done, it’s time to pair it up to the devices of your choice. First up I gave it a whirl on the Polar Vantage V (wanting to differentiate as much as possible). No issues.

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Here’s a ride using the Garmin cadence sensor with the Vantage V (but more on accuracy there in a moment):

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And then meanwhile on Garmin for the cadence over ANT+ (though this unit can also do Bluetooth Smart):

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I also did it via Bluetooth Smart on the Suunto Spartan Trainer, and that paired just fine. In fact, here’s the data from last month with it:

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As you’d expect, you see cadence on your head unit while you’re riding. And, if you’re using a 3rd party app like Zwift, you’ll see it there too:

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So what about accuracy? At this point, things are all good. I had some initial quirks a while back that have since been resolved through the beta process (which, is what testing and beta processes are for).  As of the last week or so I’ve actually been riding mostly outside with it paired to a Polar Vantage V series unit. Here’s how the data compares side by side to the Stages LR (dual-sided) unit also transmitting cadence, in this case to an Edge 530:

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However, that’s only a snippet of the ride. If I zoom back a bit and over to another section, then you’ll see there were some odd drops over Bluetooth Smart with the Vantage V:

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The precision of those drops is odd. and I don’t know if that’s a Garmin or Polar issue. I haven’t seen any other drops on any other devices that I’ve tested with. So this is definitely a first. If I look at my previous Polar Vantage V ride on Friday, I don’t see any dropouts (below). While it’s plausible the dropouts aren’t actually dropouts, that seems unlikely given the near-precise nature of them happening at the exact same interval.

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Again, not something I’ve seen with anything else I’ve tested – so really just a single ride artifact I think. Here’s a quick ride again, this time on Zwift via Bluetooth Smart, without any issues. In this case, I started off at normal cadence (80-100RPM), and then I slowly crept down to 21RPM, at which point it dropped out (as expected). Then I went all the way up to 180RPM steadily, no issues (obviously you’ll see slight single-second differences recording from four different head units, as normal). Here’s that data set:

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In addition, towards the end I did some super quick spin-ups, upwards of 180RPM. In that case, we do see it overcommit towards 220RPM (well beyond what I can do, I usually top out in the 180RPM range). Though, seeing cadence issues at 180RPM isn’t unheard of, and frankly affects but a fraction of 1% of people out there.

Also of note was that I was recording the Garmin cadence on both the Bluetooth and ANT+ channels. The iPad for Zwift had it via Bluetooth Smart, while the Garmin Edge had it on ANT+.

As you can see, virtually identical.  Not that I expect any issues since this is basically proven tech just adding in Bluetooth Smart connectivity. However, there’s plenty of timing related nuances to broadcasting on any protocol, especially Bluetooth Smart, that can cause issues. The good news is those don’t appear to be an issue here.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Summary:

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I totally get it – sensors aren’t all that exciting. Especially ones that should have been released years ago. The good news here is that like the HRM-DUAL a few months back, these sensors become the baseline for new sensors included in various Garmin bundles. For example, the new Edge 530 and Edge 830 units released today have these dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensors in their bundled variants. That’s a lot better than ANT+ only sensors.  So ultimately, it’ll save you money in a bundle versus having to go out and buy a 3rd party sensor that costs more.

Still, we are seeing Garmin ever so slightly push the envelope here. Assuming one can envision an exciting manila sensor-laden envelope. There’s no other Bluetooth Smart cadence or speed sensor on the market that accepts dual Bluetooth Smart connections, let alone one that accepts dual Bluetooth Smart connections plus an ANT+ connection. So if you’re on something like a Polar or Suunto device and want to use Zwift concurrently, now you can actually do that….via Garmin products. Go figure.

Secondly, the automatic caching of rides in the speed sensor is cool for certain audiences – namely commuters. For most roadies or mountain bike folks, you’re probably going to have a head unit on the bike anyway. But for an around-town bike, it’s a nice little touch that you get your mileage added to Garmin Connect (and even Strava) each day.  The only downside is that if you use that around-town bike a lot each day (as we do), then it frankly kinda muddies the water a bit (again, you can turn it off if you want). Still, hard to complain about that.

If you’re in the market for new sensors for your bike, these seem like an obvious choice. Like the HRM-DUAL, Garmin is basically matching the competition and then adding in a tiny few extras that you’re like ‘Ok, it’s the same price, might as well just get this instead’. So while they’re (super) late to the party….at least they brought Timbits.

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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well. 

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Garmin Speed/Cadence Sensors (new ANT+/Bluetooth Smart ones)

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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

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172 Comments

  1. Rz605

    Would using the speed sensor while on a trainer allow the edge 520 to record distance for that training?

    • John

      Yes, as long the speed sensor is on the rear wheel, this will work with any wheel-on trainer. Note that it doesn’t have to be a Garmin sensor, just has to support ANT+ support (or now Bluetooth with some of the newer head units) in order to communicate with your Garmin.

      (If you want to get into TrainerRoad or Zwift, you might also want a cadence sensor at minimum.)

    • Yup, definitely! Because it’s dual ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, it’ll basically work with any device/app/anything you’ve got out there, even pretty old stuff.

  2. Tyler

    Do you think the cadence sensor work on a crank with a rounded back (2006 Ultegra)?

    My previous Garmin sensor used zip ties, and you could add an adhesive backing for ‘irregular’ cranks.
    It would never stay in place, and eventually departed the bike, places unknown.

  3. Andrew E

    In paragraph 4, you say “new feature.” I’m assuming you meant “near future.”

    As usual great review.

  4. David

    Hi Ray

    Any idea on pricing and availability in Europe (UK actually but Europe works)? Interested in the bundle version – just bought the “old” one but it’s still in shipping from the store so can always return it and get the new one if the timing and cost equation work out.

    Cheers

  5. Tony

    Thumbs up for the Timbit reference!

  6. Great review Ray! Thank you!

    Just a quick question: Is that all the stuff you where (secretly) testing on Mallorca?
    Is there more coming? *thumpsUp*

  7. fisao

    Awesome reviews Ray, Thank you very much!

    Just one thing: please don’t ride 59.1mph on your cargo bike, with or without your children in it 😉

    • Haha!

      In case your curious how that happened, I had super quickly spun the front wheel to wake it up, which I think may have been excessive.

      The fastest I’ve managed in that thing is 35KPH with a crazy strong tail wind last summer across some farm roads.

  8. Pepe

    Since I noticed that you used the Spartan, is possible to add both sensors in the watch? I thought only one was possible as “bike pod”

  9. Joe

    Hi Ray,

    I’m confuesd. The picture for me with P1 & P2 in the cargo bike shows a Viennese tram in behind, but your writing says it’s Amsterdam? How comes?

    Greetz from Vienna
    Joe

  10. Henry Harper

    Only the Garmin-branded side of these devices seems to be shown in any photos (here or on the Garmin store site) and there’s no mention of battery recharging, or cables included. Is it safe to assume they are powered by a 2032 coin cell like the version 1 items?

  11. Mike Pipes

    How does this different from the duo trap s that also uses Bluetooth and ANT + technology?

    • John

      The DuoTrap/DuoTrap S sensors mount in the chainstay of Trek bikes and depend on a spoke magnet for speed and a crankarm magnet for cadence. They are extremely reliable as long as those two magnets stay put.

      This new version of Garmin’s speed and cadence sensors (and the previous ANT+ only version) rely on accelerometers. They are extremely reliable as long as those two custom rubber bands stay put.

    • Paul S

      Garmin actually has an FAQ about this. The speed sensor actually detects the Earth’s magnetic field rather than using an accelerometer. Occasionally people will see strange results in the presence of overhead wires because of this. Seems like a strange thing for them to do because the geomagnetic field is not very strong.

    • John

      Thank you for the correction and…

      …holy crap that explains a “random” problem I’ve been having with the V1 speed sensor as I ride under a particular high power line.

      Why would they depend on something so easily interfered with?

    • Paul S.

      It’s always seemed weird to me.

      Now that I’m sitting at my laptop, here’s the link to the FAQ.

  12. Rafael Martinez

    Hi.
    Great reviews. Been following you for a while.
    What feedback do you have on durability of the cadence sensor? Specifically the case. I’ve own several and every time is time to change battery the device just crumbles in my hands. Fortunately Garmin has stepped up to the plate and replaced both sensors each time.
    Does Garmin give you any specs on the plastics, did it change on this V2?

  13. José

    Do you notice a latency for cadence? In particular with changes in cadence (e.g. starting/stopping).

    • Zero latency. Check out the quick Zwift workout I did above where I did some crazy instant sprint high-RPM changes where I went from 90RPM to about 160RPM in 1-2 seconds. Zero issues.

  14. M430Nicholas

    For what it’s worth, I use the Wahoo magnetless cadence sensor with the Vantage V and have similar half speed dropouts. Usually only a few per hour.

  15. RobertBB

    How does the new speed sensor compare to the old one, size wise? Looks a bit narrower…

    Also, can Bluetooth be turned off to prolong battery life? (I only use ANT+ devices and an ANT+ dongle in my Mac)

  16. Fiatlux

    I have the ANT+ cadence sensor but never bothered with the speed sensor. The accuracy comparison between GPS speed and separate sensor does not seem to make a compelling case for the latter, unless I miss something (I don’t do indoor training).

    • Pavel

      You’re lucky. I’m constantly seeing speed drops on my Wahoo when going under trees, so it’s nice that there’s some competition in terms of modern speed sensors.

    • John

      Trees, tunnels, and tall buildings are the enemy of GPS-based speed. YMMV (literally!)

  17. Pavel

    Continuing the whole “automatic workout logging” thing it would be very nice to have the same feature for cadence sensor as well, or, event better, to allow it to be paired to speed sensor so it can record both speed/distance and cadence.

    • GordonFremanK

      Add wrist HR to that! And why not, Tempe… All your sensors automatically get all the data to Garmin Connect, and then Garmin just has to figure out when you were doing something and create a nice little activity out of it. Kinda like the Google Maps timeline thing, but better!

  18. Dave Lusty

    Following on from the recent genius move from Polar…any chance Garmin can/will firmware update the older sensors with BTLE? They were fairly recent too so presumably the chipset supports it 🙂

    • I’d guess zero chance.

      I think that’s mostly because the hardware Garmin has previously they didn’t plan for that. Specifically around firmware updating. In talking to them (Garmin, generally), they learned a lot about Bluetooth with these sensors. There’s a lot of nuance on some of the BT specs that is just more ‘simple’ on ANT+. We see companies often struggle with this, especially in power meters, but even more generally too.

      With the inverse (Polar adding ANT+), technically it was a much (way much) simpler thing for them to do, since they already had all the OTA bits done.

  19. zq

    To say Garmin has innovate a cool product wouldn’t be absolutely true.

    Magene (the company that produces the trainer Gravat2) has a product called Gemini which can switch between being speed and cadence sensor (2 modes) also has dual ANT+/bluetooth transmission. It has been around for like a year from aliexpress for under $20.

    The cache function for a speed/cadence is not really useful comparing to caching HR rate in Polar OH1+.

    • It wasn’t to say others aren’t doing cool stuff, but merely to point out that Garmin actually did something unique here. Also note there’s a difference between dual ANT+/BLE, and dual-BLE plus ANT+.

      As for caching, again, that examples is apples to oranges. I just easy-pedaled my daughter to a dance class halfway across the city. The cargo bike quietly recorded that ride using the magnetless sensor as a commute. I don’t care about my HR on this ride, nor the ride back in an hour. Two totally different use cases.

  20. Andrew Bonjour

    The old speed sensor when placed on the rear wheel was well known to regularly drop out from connecting to a head unit over a ride meaning a few seconds of auto-pause every once in a while which added up to an irritating amount over longer rides. This therefore forced you to place it on the front wheel where I always found it completely flawless.

    Is there anything about this new one that suggests it will be better on the back wheel in this regard? I’d really like to put mine on the back wheel if at all possible, just for aesthetics…! Cheers.

  21. Michele Badiale

    Hi Ray,
    Thank for three awesome reviews 🙂
    I am seriously loving the idea of using the Edge 530 on my MTB and I was hoping for a word on these sensors on a technical forest trail. Do you think they would hold?

    I seem to remember the normal speed sensors are rated for a satisfactory 100 hours… so I get it might take a while to evaluate the battery, but unless Garmin made miracles I’d be surprised if these can outlive the previous generation.
    Cheers!

    • I know Des from DesFit has been using the same sensors, almost exclusively on his mountain bike. I don’t think he’s killed them yet (and he’s a legit good mountain biker doing jumps and all sorts of other crazy stuff I don’t do as I prefer to stay alive).

    • Tamas

      Do you have any idea, how a GPS head unit can precisely detect jumps? just by checking when there is bike movement without wheel rotation? But during jumps the wheels keep rotating for a bit… What about wheelies?…
      Or it uses the altimeter? Would it really detect altitude changes of like half a meter or so?

    • Paul S.

      When you’re in a jump, you’re in free fall (well, close to it, there’s still some air resistance). With an accelerometer, you can see that (this type of accelerometer will show essentially zero in all three directions when in free fall). Having a big upward acceleration (one to push you up, one to keep you from sinking into the ground) before and after will help define the interval of the jump.

    • Tamás

      I dont think so. When you pedal evenly, or just coast… similarly no acceleration in any direction. Moreover, measuring the direction of the acceleration is totally unreliable, if you roll over an obstacle, but not jump, you may get the same readings…. I’m not sure purely by this logic one can precisely tell if you are jumping or not.

    • Paul S.

      There’s one big 1g acceleration up keeping you from going into the ground in that case. You’re not in free fall like in a jump. Accelerometers measure “deviations from geodesic motion” (essentially deviations from free fall). A jump should be fairly easy to detect, unlike almost everything else. I wouldn’t, for example, want to try to measure incline with an accelerometer on a gravel road.

    • Tamás

      That I understand, but still i’m doubtful if it will really work in the everyday use. imagine… if you are in a rollercoaster your accelerometer will go crazy about the accelerations in all the directions and still you are not flying because you are attached to the rails. The same with a bike on a rough trail… you can have huge vertical elevation differences and accelerations and still you are just rolling over steep bumps or into ditches.

    • Paul S.

      But all that you worry about disappears in a jump. There are (almost) no forces besides gravity acting in a jump, so for the moment there is no noise, and accelerometers are general relativists and don’t recognize the “force” of gravity anyway. Gravity is just a curvature of space-time. So this is relatively simple for an accelerometer, compared to almost everything else one can try to do with one. Now of course the accelerometer chip is not at the center of mass, there may be residual vibrations, etc., but during the jump it’s a much simpler physical situation. Once you’re on the ground again, then you need to worry about all of the other stuff.

    • Check out Des’s video on the jump metrics: link to youtube.com

      In there somewhere is his Garmin Connect screenshot showing the astounding number of jumps and metrics associated with it. He’s a fairly technical guy and I know he gut-checked some of those numbers (not sure if he actually measured them or not).

  22. Marco

    I like the idea of caching the ride with the speed sensor for my commute bike. At the moment I log these rides with my Garmin Vivoactive 3, but I need to remember to start it. With the sensor, you have no manual action required.

    Oh and a tip for commute rides synced to Garmin Connect and Strava: commutemarker.com Here you can add commute routes and this site marks the ride automatically as commute, changes the bike used and sets them as private on Strava. The last part is due to API issues not possible at this moment. But I have set Strava to set all activities to private and only my longer rides I change manually to see for everyone. So Strava is not clogged with small rides and walks, frustrating my followers 😉

    • CSH

      Thanks for the interesting link to commutemarker.com. It would be nice to see this functionality built directly into Garmin Connect though – as Ray suggests, allowing you to skip the upload of your commutes to Strava altogether, either based on a distance threshold, or alternatively based on which device you have used to track the activity. The problem with 3rd party solutions is that you need to keep track of an additional account, and their functionality may break when there are API changes (as is the case right now).

  23. srad

    will this pair with a vivoactive3 to get heart rate in the same file?

  24. Tamas

    Just a few questions:

    – For this V2 speed sensor, is it compulsory to add the tyre diameter? I dont remember V1 sensor asking for it during setup. Or am I mistaken?
    – Are these V2 sensors will be compatible with older devices (I have Garmin Edge 130)?

    Thank you

    • Michele Badiale

      Both Forerunners and Edges calibrate automatically the speed sensor by interpolating the measured distance with the GPS distance. Personally though I prefer going manual and input the measured wheel diameter. I seem to remember that Garmin Connect allows a different calibration for each workout (if you don’t upload the GPS track)

    • Paul S.

      One reason to use manual calibration is that the head units recalibrate on occasion and can get it wrong. There’s no way of forcing a recalibration from GPS that I know of when that happens. Safer to use manual calibration, where the number never changes.

    • Chris Watson

      The calibration factor is required for pairing to the Connect app, which is of course optional. It isn’t required for the pairing with your Garmin devices.

    • Paul S.

      Of course it is. Speed sensors are misnamed. They actually measure wheel rotations. In order to convert that to speed/distance, you need the circumference of the tire. Head units will automatically calibrate from GPS distance if you don’t tell them otherwise, but as I said, they recalibrate on occasion and once in a while get it wrong. You have no control over that, so it’s safer to enter a manual number, which you can adjust if necessary using GPS distance. But usually the numbers that you find in a search work pretty well. (I just got a new bike, with 700×40 tires, and the 2200 mm number I found on the Web works fine.)

      I don’t think the Connect app pairs with sensors, anyway. It’ll get speed/distance from the head unit, so it’s using whatever the unit is using.

    • Paul S.

      Of course, Connect pairs with *this* speed sensor, but not sensors in general.

    • Yeah, this is one of the few. It also pairs with Vector 3. Mostly it hasn’t in the past due to lack of Bluetooth Smart.

      I believe that while it doesn’t pair with the cadence sensor today, they’ve setup the pipes such that they can, in the event of firmware updates.

  25. Cristian Álvarez

    Hi Ray.

    You wrote:

    And what if your rear wheel hub is too big for the band (as was my other commuter bike)? Well, in that case I just used a secondary rubber band. It’s hardly ideal, but it does work.

    Can you elaborate on this? How do you attach the secondary rubber to the first one? Where do you purchase the secondary rubber?

    Thanks for your help. Regards.

    • Just a regular rubber band. Like, one from a grocery store. 🙂 Like I said, it’s not exactly ideal, but seems to work just fine.

      I’ll take a picture tonight at home (didn’t ride that bike to the office today).

    • Cristian Álvarez

      I’m really interested in understanding your method because I’m getting a Rohloff for my mountain bike and I have been trying to figure out what and how to fix it over there.

      If you post that picture I will be eternally grateful 🙂

  26. jayson fagar

    Is there any benefit to using a separate cadence sensor over the cadence being detected by a power meter?

    • Generally no. About the only scenario I can think of is some estimated cadence metrics at higher RPM. For example, the PowerTap hub (not pedals) isn’t awesome at estimated cadence. Neither are some trainers.

  27. Stéphane

    Any idea what the cache size is? (Number of trips, total duration, etc.)

  28. Tanner Daniels

    How does a tire dimensioned 20×2.15 have a circumference of 801mm??? I get doing a rough calculation:
    20″ = 508mm
    2.15″ = 54.61mm

    so using those numbers alone (disregarding rim width) you get:
    C = π*d → C = π*508 → C = 1595mm

    • Funny you mention that…

      So, those screenshots were the last thing I did before hitting publish. I basically re-did a unit and did the screen-shots. Then that night after riding home I’m like ‘Huh, no distance. That’s weird.”.

      Poked at it more yesterday and there appears to be a bug in the latest beta app (since only beta apps can see these sensors), that’s causing something funky there. I dug through screenshots from way earlier this year when I did it and let it autocalc and it was more in-line with yours. I sent a note over yesterday. Something broke on the app side (not sensor side) in the most recent beta app build.

    • Tanner Daniels

      That makes much more sense! I was worried my 5yr Engineering degree and general love of mathematics was all a lie haha!

  29. Rene Krauss

    Is it just ne or are we missing a release date?

    Any idea? The thing is my old garmin cadence seems to have died a few days ago. Switched battery 4 times already.
    So I tend to immediately buy at least the cadence sensor

  30. Grimes

    Aw man. I was doing really well resisting Garmin’s new offerings but this speed sensor is sweet. For people using simple ANT+ bike computers this looks like a great way to upload ride info.

  31. Alessandro

    The feature of recording the ride without any app/device connected in real-time makes it particularly sweet for track cycling, since visible Garmin devices are forbidden in most velodromes.

    The official Garmin UK websites says “Available 2nd Quarter 2019” ( see link to buy.garmin.com ). Do you have any insight on the actual release date in Europe?

    Thanks!

    • Paul S.

      Would that prohibition apply to the sensor itself? I have the gen 1 sensor, and it definitely says “Garmin” on it and is easily visible on the hub. Do you use on bike speed sensors on the track?

    • Alessandro

      At least at my velodrome (the London Olympics 2012 one), sensor are not prohibited. A Garmin device is forbidden and actually only if it’s mounted on the cockpit or somewhere visible by the rider. It’s because of distractions.

      > Devices such as bike computers or digital displays must not be fitted.

    • You should start seeing them globally in the next week or two – production began weeks ago and they’ve been in stock-pilingmode. Garmin always defines availability in quarters, and so we’re in Q2. 🙂

    • Neil A.

      UCI CYCLING REGULATIONS, PART 3 TRACK RACES:
      3.2.005 Riders may carry no object on them or on their bicycles that could drop onto the track.
      They may not bear or use on the track any music player or radio communication
      system.
      In addition, any electronic device with display (for instance speedometer or
      powermeter) must be hidden to that it cannot be read by the riders.

    • Paul S.

      So you might run afoul of the first one, since in theory the sensor could come loose and drop off. I’ve never had it happen, though, and I’ve been using gen 1 since they came out and got my first one for my mountain bike where I’ve been using it ever since.

      But that brings up another question. I only ever see track cycling during the Olympics, but I though that these days track bikes had disc wheels front and back. So how would you get the sensor on a hub in the first place?

    • Mark

      Use a zip-tie on top and nobody will be able to complain it might fall off.

  32. Michael Anderson

    Would these devices work with a Garmin Edge Touring Plus?

  33. Robin White

    Another great review.
    Does the head unit calculated circumference get fed back to the sensor so it keeps that if it looses connection to the head unit (ie you are using the bike for commuting duties and can’t be arsed with the head unit)? Or does it revert to the one stored?

  34. Tim

    Hi just a quick question, are these speed/cadence sensors compatible with all edge head units? ive got a 510 for example?

    if not is it just the ‘lovely’ GSC 10 unit I need? or any other recommended versions please?

    thanks

  35. Dennis

    Nice, but sad that “the little trick” is totally useless, as long Garmin does not allow to assign sensors to the used gear (i. e. bike). I’m totally clueless, why Garmin does not allow to assign gear to (sub)activities (beside of one bike for cycling, instead of another bike for mountain biking) and/or sensors to gear. I highly doubt that many people would swap speed sensors between different bikes a lot.

    So when I take a small ride around the block (no real activity) it would very comfortable to have the sensor report and save the distance of this small ride. BUT you still have to edit this record, because the chance not very small, that you are not using this sensor on you default gear for “cycling”.

    DC Rainmaker, wouldn’t you like to suggest this to Garmin!? I could imagine that they are listening to you.

    • GLT

      While I’d agree mapping of activities to gear within Garmin Connect isn’t exactly how I’d like it, I don’t know that it makes the special features of the new speed sensor useless. Not as convenient as I could imagine, but still a nice unexpected feature.

      I would imagine the Garmin people weighed the choice of linking sensors to specific activities/gear against the support calls they forecasted would result when customers didn’t correctly configure the associations. Having the head unit never ignore a sensor may be slightly more foolproof. Whether they continue that philosophy now that GCM is pulling sensor data into GC remains to be seen.

      Making things highly configurable for experts can be difficult to achieve without making products too complicated for the basic user, or the average support person, to understand. Personally I don’t have a problem with editing an XML file to force behaviors their UI doesn’t allow, and I would have no problem at reverting the XML file to factory spec before making a support request. An the other hand, I did have to walk two of my friends through the menu cascade to change their FR per-Activity GPS selections.

      While I’m sure Ray passes along major feedback themes to Garmin, they do have a web-based product suggestion form too.

  36. Eri

    I am now waiting for a new footpod version.

    • Journeyman

      Yep; I’m hoping that’s not far behind. Must be a stronger market for a foot pod nowadays with the advent of Zwift running.

  37. David

    Made a suggestion to Garmin sometime ago, and this is partly there…..

    Most of my bikes have a cadence sensor, that cadence is unique and therefore identified the bike in use.

    In Garmin Connect under bikes it would be quite handy if one could allocate a cadence (or speed) sensor to a bike.

    Then, when a work out is detected with that sensor the bike is automatically added.

    • LarsB

      Exactly my thought. I spend time in both Connect and Strava assigning bikes to new rides. There must be a smarter way.

  38. Phil

    Great review as usual.
    What’s the score with switching to a different wheel sized bike and calibration.
    I have an Edge 800 and a Fenix 5.

  39. Martin Sarano

    How do they compare with the Wahoo ones? My head unit is a Wahoo Bolt and my current bike has the Blue SC sensor.

    However, as I am getting a new bike in a couple weeks I need a new set of sensors so I was tempted on trying these Garmin as they are newer than whatever Wahoo has in store (I think they are at least a couple years old). Plus I have grown very frustrated with Wahoo’s new App as their engineers removed a few features that were very critical for my training.

  40. Antonio

    Thanks for the review! I wanted to ask only one quick thing: I would be willing to buy a cadence sensor for my road bike but I am undecided between version 1 and version 2 of this garmin sensor. I only go out on the street and sometimes spinning. What would you recommend? Greetings from Italy.

  41. Stephan

    Rather than suppress (i.e. do not report) very short rides (configurable distance) to 3rd party sites, I’d like to see the ability to consolidate all the short distance rides into a single “block”, over a configurable time. Say all [short distance] rides within a 12 hour period, etc.

  42. can you post a photo of the old vs. new cadence sensor thickness / stack height
    great reviews as always – thanks

  43. TXCiclista

    Can someone tell me wat program is being used to generate the graphs with rainbows rows for HR zone, etc?

  44. Thanks.
    Are you concern that rubber strap can break? Is your plan to leave sensors permanently on bike and what do you think if cable ties can be used. How to make this small units harder to disappear? 🙂 Any ideas?

  45. Paul S

    I’ve been using the gen 1 sensors since they’ve been released and never had the rubber strap break on any of the 4 that I’ve used. I’ve worn through any number of cadence sensor bands, so much that I keep spares I’ve bought from Garmin. (Never lost a sensor, though)

  46. Scott

    Does it happen to broadcast battery state that can be picked up by the Garmin 830 (or similar)?

    I always am wanting to know when to replace the battery without having to go on a ride where I just end up with no real data!

    • Paul S.

      Possibly if you look under sensor details it’s there (I can’t at the moment). What I do know is that when the battery gets low, you’ll get a very visible warning on the head unit when you pair, and you’ll keep getting it when you pair until you do something about it. The battery has to be changed about once a year for the gen 1 sensors. The warning comes in plenty of time that you can do several rides before fixing it (I have done just that).

  47. Marcin Grzegorzek

    Hi!
    any experience with mounting the cadence sensor on shoe?
    It should works and could be comfortable if you have more than one bike.

    • Paul S.

      If you have more than one bike, you can afford more than one sensor. Sensors are much cheaper than bikes. But if you really want to know, try it. The sensor won’t be rotating, so there’s a chance it simply won’t work.

    • mjciv

      Paul, whether or not I “can afford” more than one sensor is irrelevant. I have 3 bikes, which I’m guessing is not a lot by commenter standards. Buying 3 identical sensors that cannot be used simultaneously won’t put me in the poor house, but I’d rather buy 1 and allocate $80 to another line in the budget.

      The Wahoo cadence sensor comes with a shoe clip as well as 2 types of crank mounts, and works pretty well, but not perfectly. I’m also curious if the Garmin sensor works in this way, though you can also just move the sensor around from one crank to another (unlike Wahoo, which uses zip ties or adhesive).

    • Paul S.

      But you can say that about almost any part of your bikes! Why don’t you have just one chain and swap it between your bikes? Why not just one set of pedals, or chainrings, or bottom bracket?

      The sensors are part of the bike. If you have one for each bike and one ever fails (never happen to me yet) you have ready spares. Way better than messing around beforehand swapping the sensor around.

    • mjciv

      I don’t begrudge you for wanting a separate sensor mounted on each bike you own, but it’s perfectly reasonable to clip it onto a shoe that you use on multiple bikes or, heaven forbid, take 10 seconds to move it over to another shoe.

      Taking your other questions at face value…
      -My chains are all different (11s, 3/16″ SS, 1/8″ SS), and cannot be swapped due to differing drivetrain components and chainstay lengths.
      -My pedals are different (SPD-SL, double-sided SPD, single-sided SPD) and meant to suit the bike they’re mounted on, though, yes, I actually do swap them around occasionally
      -Chainrings are all different sizes and cannot be swapped due to differing mounting patterns (130 BCD, 144 BCD, hollowgram spidering) and width.
      -Bottom brackets cannot be swapped due to different interfaces (BB30, British thread + ISIS drive, Swiss thread + square taper)

  48. Sultar

    Anyone had issues with pairing the Cadence Sensor 2 with an Android phone? This sensor is not on the list of available devices in the Connect app. The sensor works since its LED lights up after a few revolutions of the crank.

    I had no issues with the Speed Sensor 2 since it’s on the list.

    • The cadence sensor doesn’t show up as a pairable sensor in Garmin Connect (only the speed sensor at this point). That’s because Garmin Connect Mobile doesn’t record workouts by itself (except for the speed sensor).

      Whereas if you were to use a 3rd party app (for example, Strava), it’ll find it.

  49. Mark

    Riding with a speed sensor through a tunnel I learned that some head units, such as the Wahoo Bolt, don’t go with it even GPS signal has been lost.

  50. Gerald

    Hello Ray,
    it dosen´t work with my Polar Vantage. I can pair both sensors, but the speed sensor then is jumping for example 25-15-25-15 then it stops and starts again. Paired for example with wahoo app everything works fine.
    Is there anyone with similar proplems using Polar Vantage V??
    Thanks Gerald

    • That’s odd. In my testing with the Polar Vantage V was primarily the cadence sensor. I had validated the speed sensor paired, but didn’t do any comparison data there. My speed data tests were mostly with the Suunto Spartan Trainer.

      Have you ensured GCM shows the correct wheel circumference (in case the Polar is trying to automatically set it)?

    • Gerald

      Yes i have the correct wheel circumference. I have now tried it again on the indoor trainer without gps signal… Same problems with speed data it jumps every second!!!!
      Cadance is shown properly – Again a problem Polar vs. Garmin.
      It´s very disappointing…

    • Cristian Álvarez

      Hello.

      If my experience could help, I had the exact same problem as you describe with the combination Garmin Edge 520 and Magene Gemini 200 speed sensor. After long discussions with Magene which even offered to replace the sensor with a 201 model with no success regarding the problem, my solution was to purchase a Garmin speed sensor to pair it with the Garmin Edge 520. All worked correctly since then, even with automatic wheel circumference calculation.

      Regards.

  51. Marcin

    Hi. Since few days I use the speed sensor 2. Unfortunately I have doubled workouts now – first one from main unit (edge explore) and the second one from the speed sensor 2 – is that normal? GC should now that both of them were recorded in the same time and main unit should be priority. It happens even I removed the speed sensor from GC app. How can I solve the issue?

  52. Philip Chong

    Is it worth the upgrade to this new sensor? I have the last generation Garmin ones.

  53. Alex

    I have problem with pairing the speed sensor to Connect mobile because its not in the list of devices to pair. I live in sweden but that shouldnt make any difference. How do I get the speed sensor in the list so I can choose to pair it.

    • I presume you woke it up first (by either spinning your front wheel, or just twisting it a bunch of times in your hands)?

      It should have a little light illuminate briefly when you do that.

    • Alexander Livf

      Yes, when I spin the wheel the light flashes a couple of times, but the connect app doesnt find the sensor.

      My Watch finds it 735 xt and I have no problem when i start a workout on the Watch.

    • Odd. I assume Garmin Connect mobile is fully up to date? And on GCM you’re going into the ‘Add device’ option as well?

    • Alexander Livf

      Yes its up to date and the speed sensor 2 is now in the list but it doesnt find it.

    • Things to try:

      1) Pull the battery for 10-15 seconds, then re-insert.
      2) Double-check that it’s not showing as a paired device in your Bluetooth control panel. If so, select to ‘Forget’ it.
      3) Toggle airplane mode on/off for a few seconds

    • Nils

      I have exactly the same issue. I am not able to pair my speed sensor 2 to Garmin connect mobile 4.19.1 on my Google Pixel 2 XL. Does anybody know an Connect version that worked fine?

    • dodger

      I have a OnePlus 5 using Garmin Connect Mobile Android 4.19.1 I have paired the Speed Sensor 2 without any problems. I used the Garmin Connect App to pair the two as per the instructions

    • Ilie

      Sane connection issues here: link to photos.app.goo.gl

      Tried with two different OnePlus(6t and 3t) phones and one Asus Zenfone6

  54. Carl

    Hey Ray, I know you have been a solid user of the Wahoo cadence sensor on your bikes before now. Enough here to change your allegiance?

    • Yeah, I’m not sure if it would vastly change recommendations overall – nor would it be something I’d be like ‘throw away your Wahoo sensors and get the Garmin ones’, but for my specific use case of testing lots of devices – some of which are BT only (Polar/Suunto), it’s useful for me specifically to be able to connect up to two devices via BT.

      For the speed sensor side, I think it’s a bit more of a no-brainer in the favor of Garmin, assuming costs were roughly equal.

  55. Derek

    Perhaps a weird question, but is there some cheap head unit or display option that I can use to aggregate devices? I have a fenix watch and was thinking about picking up the cadence sensor for biking purposes. Would love to have the data from my watch and sensor aggregated on a handle bar mounted solution without shelling out big bucks.

    • Stéphane

      I am using Bontrager’s node for that purpose (i.e. ANT+, non-gps head — Extra Long battery life). Discontinued, but can still be found

  56. Petucky

    I have exactly the same issue – paired with Fenix and Edge without issues in both ANT+/BT modes, but couldn’t pair it in app, tried both iOS and Android…

  57. Stéphane

    Wondering if I could use the sensor for a unintended use case (chain counter on a sailboat’s windlass)

    Any idea on the maximum distance at which we can still read the sensor signal? (8M?)

  58. Panos

    Hi there,

    Anyone else having paired the cadence 2 sensor to a Polar V650? I am experiencing very inconsistent readings, with 0 values nearly every other second!

    • Panos

      Quick update: troubleshooted the issue with Garmin telephonic support (very helpful and not at all robotic) and concluded that it probably is a faulty unit, which I will be sending back.

    • Dan

      Got the same issue. Don‘t think it is a matter of faulty sensor. Paired with Wahoo fitness there is no drop. DC said that he saw a drop in his Ventage. I believe this is an issue with the Ploar unit.

    • Dan

      Did it help?

  59. iul

    any idea if it is working with the edge 500? thanks
    ….because with o-synce (another old type device) it is not – it’s pairing without problems, but the readings are more than inconsistent.

    .

  60. dodger

    Hi, In your review above you mention that you can turn off the activity creation bit altogether if you want. Or, you could just disable the pairing to Garmin Connect Mobile. How did you do that as I haven’t found the setting as I don’t want to disable the pairing as I like the idea of checking the firmware? Thank you for a great review.

  61. David

    Thought of an interesting use for the speed sensor.
    I record rides using a Fenix 5; when using GPS on the Fenix the device life is limited to 10-15 hours (haven’t measured exactly)
    Have a few long events forthcoming (20 hours plus) so the Fenix wouldn’t last, recharging on-the-move isn’t really an option.
    Thought if turning off GPS battery life of the Fenix would be greatly extended (already use an external HRM strap and Bluetooth is off)
    Speed sensor is ideal for this battery life extending as enables speed to be recorded.
    Altitude would be barometric.
    Not so bothered about location, as this is recorded from a Garmin hiking GPS and/or Garmin inReach.

  62. Artur

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if this is available for sale in Canada? Garmin Canada does not allow to purchase, and can’t find anywhere else.

    Thanks!

    • Should definitely be (especially since the team responsible for it is actually based out of Alberta).

      The exact V2 SKU’s you’re looking for are:

      Speed sensor: 010-12843-00
      Cadence sensor: 010-12844-00
      Combo package: 010-12845-00

      Alternatively, you could order it from the US via the Clever Training link to the side. Supports the site, though probably costs you slightly more (but, I suppose better than not at all).

  63. Dan Klaussen

    Ray — I’ll point out another perspective. Roadies desperately need accurate speed readings and everything seems to be going the wrong way! Why? When training in a group, you need to hold the group pace at a steady speed, say 28mph on a flat road. As you rotate up to the front, your power numbers will climb and then jump as you hit the front. Most riders will start to fade after about 30-45 seconds…but it’s very hard to tell. You’re still a hero in your head because you’re legs are still screaming (shut up legs) while your speed is dropping. Power fluctuates too much to be a true gage of fade.

    My brand new wahoo sensor, my old garmin wheel sensors both fluctuate way too much — sometimes more than GPS speed. My old bike’s wheel magnet speed sensor (bontrager speedtrap), the garmin ziptie to chain stay, the front wheel sensor, all dead on and very responsive. Nothing has come close.

    Like the Wahoo, is “consumer grade” at best. Still searching.

    • Hmm, I’ll be honest – I’ve never really had that problem. For most road riding, GPS is usually more than accurate enough for me on roads where you’d be in a tight group. And the same goes for both the Wahoo and Garmin magnetless sensors I’ve tried (which I’ve done a ton of work with in super sensitive aero testing scenarios where they have to be rock-solid for pace).

    • Dan Klaussen

      Appears to be a problem a lack of averaging. My other sensor lie to me with a short term average (just a few seconds is enough) and smooth out the reading. (Good.)

      My guess is that I’m being exposed to the ‘jitter’ exposed to the device sampling rate and the ant+ broadcast being slightly out of sync. Like riding with instant-read power, it’s super annoying to be riding smoothly along with number jumping up and down. Wishing for a 3-second ave.

      Garmin as the option to expose it or not – making a competitive product appear inferior, less helpful.

  64. Sam C-D

    Anybody else getting issues that the speed sensor duplicates rides if you also track it with a gps? I would have thought that Garmin would have implemented a system for ignoring the speed sensor ride if there is a matching one from a gps unit.

    • LarsB

      Yes, indeed, all rides are doubled. Garmin, read this!

    • Sam C-D

      Oh god, I was hoping there was just something odd with my setup. That’s pretty awful if Garmin have completely overlooked this. Surely it would be incredibly simple to implement, just check to see if a speed sensor ride has an overlapping time with a GPS ride with speed data. There’d be other complications, but I’m sure it could get done easily.
      Typical Garmin, good idea, not quite finished.

    • Sorry, meant to circle back on this. For those with the 530/830/1030 you can enable a deduplication feature where the Edge tells the sensor not to record. For others, Garmin is is enabling this in Garmin Connect Mobile shortly.

      However, this is more of a blanket all or nothing thing. Which, i think is what folks want anyway (and technically you can already achieve by just depairing it from Garmin Connect Mobile).

      I struggle to see a scenario where you’d have a bike that has a GPS device on it, but also a speed sensor that you want to routeinly record the offline file as well. I’d think it’s far more common to have a secondary bike (like a commuter bike, cargo bike, etc…) where you do want it recording the offline file (sans-GPS), since you simply don’t record a GPS ride there.

    • Sam C-D

      Hi Ray, thanks for responding to this.

      Good to know they are on it. I’ll be upgrading to the 1030 shortly so I’m glad to learn that will solve the issue.

      I can see that for a lot of people, just unpairing it from connect with be fine, as you say. Though some people commute and train on the same bike, either because of a lack of space to store extra bikes, or just not being able afford them.

      I myself commute and tour on the same bike as it is pretty ideal for both jobs. It’s not a massive bother to go and delete the extra activities from Garmin Connect and Strava, but it is a bit of faff it seemed could have been eliminated fairly simply.

      Overall I love the feature. I wouldn’t have bothered upgrading had it not had headunit free recording.

      As a complete aside: Another trick would be matching sensors to bikes in Strava, so it automatically assigned the right bike to it. Though, I don’t think the data Strava gets from connect includes the sensor ID, so probably not possible.

    • “Another trick would be matching sensors to bikes in Strava, so it automatically assigned the right bike to it.”

      Woah woah woah, let’s not get crazy now. That’d require Strava to actually add features. Can’t have none of that action.

    • Rick H

      Having the sensor paired to GCM is (slightly) useful in that it lets you access the battery state (I don’t know how granular that is) &, potentially allows for software updates on the sensor (I noticed it checked for an update when I paired my newly acquired speed sensor this week).

      I didn’t need a v2 sensor but had more wheelsets in use than sensors & that was what my local bike shop came up with. The “deduplication” option in GCM would be useful (not there yet in GCM v4.20) otherwise I may just unpair it for now & try again when GCM gets updated.

  65. Xtina

    Hi Ray!
    Any luck pairing and using these with an Apple Watch?

    • Natively the Apple Watch doesn’t support cycling sensors, so you’d have to use a 3rd party app to do it. It should work though with the appropriate 3rd party apps, assuming they (the apps) follow the standard BLE specs.

  66. Michael Sare

    DC: great review. this is the only place i could find on the web that fully describes the new features of the two sensors. Thank you!

  67. Larry

    Just picked up the Speed V2 for an older bike. The bike has an old Dura Ace front hub which has a small diameter. The sensor band was limp when installed and would have fallen off if left like that. Made a shim out of a piece of old tube and it mounted fine. This is the other end of the spectrum from those having problems with big hubs. Would have been nice if Garmin included some nice shims you could cut down similar to what you often see with other accessories which attach to handlebars, forks, seat stays, etc. FWIW, I also have the Wahoo magnetless speed sensor on another bike and tried it on this wheel and had the same issue.

  68. paul123

    I want to simultaneously connect using ANT+ to my Lezyne and BT to my iPhone. Anyone see any potential issues with this setup?

  69. Ty

    Hey DC,

    Thank you for another great in depth review! Sadly these aren’t compatible on my Instinct, as per Garmin’s site. I’m actually surprised, any thoughts on the matter?

    • Ty

      Also having a tough time tracking the older model down.

    • Paul S.

      The older model wouldn’t be any different. Both buy.garmin.com and Ray’s review says the Instinct will support speed sensors, so buy one from somewhere that allows returns and try pairing it. The 2 is an ANT+ speed sensor with extra tricks. If you can’t use the tricks, you can at least use the basic sensor.

  70. Juro

    I bought this because I think the offline caching is a great idea.

    A couple of observations:

    “After the ride, it quietly saves the file, but doesn’t sync it to your phone until the next time the sensor wakes up.”

    This is not fully accurate. It syncs either after the workout ends (if your phone is in range) or when sensor wakes up (confirmed this twice today when the workout synced when the stop workout pause threshold has been triggered).

    Which leads me to second issue – no ability to configure the timeout period that ends the workout. I think it’s OK if the sensor goes to sleep after let’s say a minute or two – but the workout shouldn’t necessarily end. The current setup makes my grocery store trip two workouts… and two entries on GC and Strava.

    • Hmm, that’s odd. Mine definitely doesn’t do that. I can walk back past the bike or stand next to it – but unless I wake up the sensor, nothing gets transmitted.

      I think what you’re running into is that it’s actually ending the session before you really want it to, and thus, it wakes up and sends you that first piece. No?

    • Juro

      I don’t think so. I went into a shop, left my bike outside. As I was browsing, the sensor ended the ride (arguably earlier than I wanted to as I wanted to register the trip to and back as one activity) and a GC notification that an “Activity is available” appeared on my phone. Same thing when I got back home.

  71. David

    My Speed Sensor 2 event is showing up with a time 4 hours later than my MoveIQ cycling events from the same ride. The time the Speed Sensor gets may be UTC. I need to check if there is a time setting available via Garmin Connect’s device setting menus.

    • David P Bradway

      So it appears to be a bug with GCM app not showing the timezone in the My Day > Heart Rate timeline view. The website version of GC does show the time in UTC but it lines up properly on the daily summary timeline.

  72. Juro

    I don’t think so. I went into a shop, left my bike outside. As I was browsing, the sensor ended the ride (arguably earlier than I wanted to as I wanted to register the trip to and back as one activity) and a GC notification that an “Activity is available” appeared on my phone. Same thing when I got back home.