Can You Put a Bike Computer on the Rear Wheel?

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I don’t know if bike computers are all the rage these days. But what I do know is that they’re quite useful when it comes to tracking your cycling performance. From counting pedal strokes to displaying an estimate of total distance covered, these devices do exactly what their manufacturers claim.  

Cyclists normally fix these gadgets on the front wheels of their bikes. It’s from the front position that the computers can best track their performance. 

But what if you’re into indoor cycling and you want to use this device to track your cycling performance? Can you put any bike computer on the rear wheel? Or must you look for a specific brand to get the best performance tracking?   

The short answer is that you can put a bike computer on a rear wheel, but it must be specifically designed to work from that position. In other words, not all bike computers can work on a rear wheel.

So which ones do? 

Below is a rundown of the options that you should consider.

Bike Computers You Can Put on Rear Wheels

1. Cat Eye Padrone Wireless Bike Computer

I’ve always believed that there’s more to Cut Eye Padrone bike computer than just the big screen.  It works well on front and rear wheels, giving you the stats you need to measure your performance on outdoor as well as indoor cycling. This one displays all the basic information on the screen, from elapsed time and current time to total distance and average speed. 

The ability to save your logged miles is Cat Eye’s strongest selling point in my opinion. And you’d surely be forgiven if you don’t love this feature. After all, who’d want to set an odometer of a bike computer manually every time they change the battery? 

Navigating the Cat Eye Padrone is as easy as flipping the next page of a book. Instead of including buttons and menus that would otherwise obscure your ride, there’s a toggle option at the base of the unit that lets you swipe through functions. 

As for setup, the model’s Flex Tight Bracket makes it easy for you to mount the device and adjust it by hand if you ever need to. Since the device remains stable once mounted, you can focus more on your cycling, while getting a clear glimpse of the display as you ride your bike. 

2. Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer

Do you prefer to have a cycling performance tracker fixed on the rear wheel of your mountain bike instead of the front? Or maybe you’re into indoor cycling and you need a computer that can easily track your workout without a hassle? You should consider the Wahoo ELEMN GPS bike computer. 

I love this device because it’s wireless. You only need to plug it in, juice up the battery for a few hours, and you are good to get down to performance tracking. It synchronizes data quite fast, and you don’t even need a Wifi for this because ANT+ and Bluetooth can get the job done. 

As if a 17-hour battery isn’t impressive enough for the price point, the brand goes as far as to ensure you can integrate the device with Strava Live Segment. This, in my view, is a good addition if you take data accuracy seriously. Moreover, its IPX7 rating means it’s waterproof up to 5 feet, so it can survive a couple of drops outdoors. 

This one doesn’t feature a heart rate sensor, but you can use it alongside a cycling fitness tracker to get better performance. It’s a little expensive, though. So you may want to go for the Cut Eye Padrone if you’re on a budget. 

3. Cat Eye Velo 9 Wired Bike Computer

Cat Eye Velo 9 may be one of the cheapest bike computers out there, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful builds by the brand. With this, you get access to all significant cycling stats, from total distance and average speed to carbon offset and calories burned. 

I love this model because it’s “smart”. To be honest, that isn’t a feature you’ll find integrated in many bike computers. This smart tech works by detecting motion. It stops tracing counting your time and speed when you stop cycling. And then it gets back to work when you swing back in motion. 

The device’s ability to track calories makes it one of the perfect devices to use if you’re into high intense exercise for weight loss and keeping fit. So when it comes to actually getting an accurate estimate of the number of calories you burn when cycling, this computer will help you get the job done. 

When it comes to battery life, you surely get more than you pay for. Unlike bike computers that come with 72 hours battery life, the Velo 9’s can last up to three years.  

The only complain you might have about Velo 9 is the length of the cord. The wire is so short that you won’t be able to mount the computer on the handlebars. But since it can work very well on the rear wheel, it shouldn’t be difficult to set up. 

Final Words

There may be more bike computers for rear wheels out there, but these three are the top ones that I could find. I’ve tested these on indoor and outdoor cycling, and I can admit that their performance is promising. 

They’re generally easy to install, taking less than 5 minutes to mount on a bike. And I love that they’re relatively cheap, so you can easily get one even if you’re on a very tight budget. 

Some computers come with user manuals, so it’s important to check them out before you start using the devices. These guides often provide more information that you don’t find on product descriptions online. 

By simply reading the guide, you’ll be able to know what the device can do as well as the limits beyond which you can’t stretch its functionality. 

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