Unplugged riding – Do you?

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  • Unplugged riding – Do you?
  • tang

    One pair I ride with are fully wired; hrm, garmin/gps/strava, smartphone on every ride and rigorous analysis of data. Others I ride with its a simpler affair; water, flapjack and a vague time constraint. Personally I’m not averse to either, but lately my riding time is so precious I’m leaning toward unplugged(bar emergency phone)and sod the data, rest of my life is dictated by the stuff and it’s devices anyway. I appreciate many race quite seriously or are training for a challenge, that aside, are you a signed up info junkie or a free from rider?


    Off road .. yes ,unplugged

    On road .. no ,wired up


    I would always use my Garmin, a year on and I usually forget it! I used it the other week and was dissapointed, it felt as though I did my fastest ever time on a section. I found out after I was 5 seconds off my fastest, this instantly brought me back down to earth.

    This is why I don’t use it that often, I don’t need to know if it was my fastest time, I just like to feel it was the fastest, this makes me want to go out again.


    On road I have smartphone on bars with strava or similar running, on mountain bike I might leave strava running on my phone in camelbak, or just make a note of start & finish time if it’s an established/mapped trail.

    Premier Icon miketually

    I always have my phone with me, but just set Strava recording and stick it in my bag; I don’t really check it while riding.

    Premier Icon adsh

    Use the 800 for distance and time. Ditched the HRM and now go on pain and just occasionaly when I’m bored at work etc look to see how much I’ve done or if I’m getting any faster (answer no). Will never do Strava and take phone for emergencies only.

    Premier Icon irc

    No Garmin. Don’t own a smartphone. I only started using a mobile 4 years ago when I started a part time job where I’d be offered shifts by phone at short notice.

    Premier Icon sandwicheater

    Unplugged. Will bring phone along in case of emergency but i’m not all that fussed how fast i am and i know where i’ve ridden so don’t need reminding of it when i get home, that’s what my brain is for.

    On the road it’s HRM/Power meter/GPS, rigorously geeked over afterward, Strava is actually pretty good for analysis as there’s generally already a segment set out where you’d be checking data anyway.

    Off road depends, if I’m on the 29er Minceweapon it’s GPS and HRM which gets geeked over, if I’m on the Blender the phone just goes in my camelback and stuff is Stava’d for a bit of fun.

    Premier Icon martymac

    i have a basic cateye on my road bike, to log total miles and average speed. nowt on mtb, i take my phone in the camelbak in case i have a problem, (bonk, crash, major mechanical etc) but thats it.
    hate faffing with ‘stuff’ i just want to ride.


    I sometimes run endomondo if I’m mtb’ing if i remember to set it. On road I just use a cateye computer to track miles and speeds.

    Premier Icon christhetall

    Plugged – well Garmin 800 anyway, no HRM, and only on proper rides, not my 2 mile commute. I like to see where I’ve been and distance covered, plus it’s been great for planning routes and generally motivating me. Done over 5000 miles in the 2 years since I bought it


    I only use Endomondo on the road for tracking. Don’t have a HR monitor or anything like that.

    Premier Icon jameso

    HRM for the turbo/training of sorts or keeping a lid on winter miles, on road. Nothing on the MTB, just don’t see the point but fair enough if you’re training for something. Bike computer very rarely in case of needing it for navigation.


    my riding time is so precious I’m leaning toward unplugged(bar emergency phone)and sod the data, rest of my life is dictated by the stuff and it’s devices anyway

    Pretty much this.

    Having a sports science and coaching background I used to be totally obsessive about it all – I now hardly have time to ride let alone plug myself in. I can’t say it affects the quality of the ride in any way and still wheeze and cough like the fat asthmatic I now am.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Garmin on with HRM and Cadence as I’m actually training for something currently and it’s going to be a bit more than I have ever done before so some prep and info is going to be useful. Like any tech it’s not using it thats the issue it’s how it uses you. I can ride with the garmin and everything and never look at it for a ride. I will sometimes analyse what I have done and other times it was just a ride. I am in control not the tech.

    Premier Icon stu170

    Always have strava running on my phone. Even for the commute. I enter the monthly challenge and have a friendly comp with mates on who can get the highest mileage. Phone is always I my pocket so for the 2 seconds it takes to turn on strava I have no issues with it…….and I’m a little addicted


    I used Strava all the time until I had a very sore off trying to beat my time on a stretch of singletrack,that reminded that that I should ride for fun

    My eyes glazed over after reading your first sentence so yeah unplugged for me. No need to turn mountain biking into gadget based tedium. I get enough of that everywhere else.


    i dont know what strava is…

    i ride my bike when i can, dont need gadgets to tell me how slow i am!


    My best road race this season was accompanied by a dead Garmin 500. I use it to count laps in crits. The power, cadence and HR are nice to see afterwards, but they all look about the same from race to race as I’m not usually the one commanding the pace 😉

    Off road I use a garmin 200 to log where I’ve been, but seldom look at it.

    I upload to Strava about once every three months. Sometimes I even look at it.


    I use Runkeeper on my phone for all pedally (mtb) rides, just nice to have a record of rides and especially nice if I’m riding somewhere I haven’t before so I can see where bits are later. I carry my phone anyway so pressing start isn’t an inconvenience for me .


    Endomondo logs all the riding I do – commuting, mtb and road.
    I only ever look at the phone to find/check on my route on google maps, this is normally on my road bike as I don;t bother doing that on my mtb.


    Don’t own a bike computer or GPS, don’t have anything installed on my phone

    It’s Freddy time!

    Just get on your bike and ride!


    These days my local rides (from front door) consist of a multitool, water bottle, and front door key, that’s about it. The lack of weight on your back and knowledge that “that” sound wasn’t your phone is really nice. These days even on a geared up ride I can’t be bothered messing with Strava on my phone, in my opinion bike riding shouldn’t be about the stats.

    Premier Icon keefmac

    only use strava to record distance and route, not fussed on timings – i’m out to enjoy myself

    Riding my bike is one of the few times I get to enjoy being away from technological distractions so other than a (basic) mobile phone I stick in a pocket or bag for emergencies I am ‘unplugged’. I don’t want to be constantly connected, cycling should offer a beautiful simplicity. I can judge a good ride without the use of a garmin or smartphone.


    My eyes glazed over after reading your first sentence

    ^^ this

    No need to turn mountain biking into gadget based tedium. I get enough of that everywhere else.

    and ^^ this

    I’m a bit geeky about knowing my total annual mileage so I’ve got computers on all my bikes but I’ll save Strava for route recording. On the road bike I’m more interested in the average speed for the whole ride than short sprints and a cycle computer is fine for that. I think off road segments are pretty meaningless as ground conditions can vary so much.

    Premier Icon vincienup

    I hate the idea of electronics on my bike and hate the idea of people getting hold of me when I’ve found time to ride and get away from everyone.

    I carry a phone on silent when solo, but sometimes don’t even do this if I have friends along (yes I know this means relying on their elecronics etc).

    Lights are abot as technical as it gets for me.


    Unplugged. I’ve had Strava on with my phone in my pocket when on my road bike, but usually forget to stop it at the end so gave up. I have a little bike computer to record mileage and a watch for time so don’t really need any other gadgets. Never on MTB though.

    Don’t use an HRM or anything like that as I reckon you should get used to what your is doing rather than needing a machine to tell me. I also feel that riding is one of the few chances to escape the clutter of modern life. But each to their own and if people want all the gadgets and it helps them improve then go for it.

    Although sometimes a Garmin GPS or similar might be nice but I’d rather spend to money on my bike or travel.
    Tom KP

    hate the idea of people getting hold of me when I’ve found time to ride and get away from everyone.

    This. I hate the fact people can just reach out and grab me no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Bloody leave me alone!

    Bike time is play time. I couldn’t care less about facts and figures and compiling statistics.


    Off road – mobile phone, on silent, its there for if i need help not so all and sundry can bother me on a day off.

    Road riding – sensor on the front wheel for time, average speed, distance etc….it does have a pedalling cadence function that i havent bothered to wire up yet.
    No HRM required, if i can push on then i will and if i cant then i’ll back it off a bit.
    Mobile phone in pocket and silent again.


    Road: tried the Garmin stuff but found it made me less inclined to ride. Much happier without it and exertion/the gear I push are my benchmarks now. I’ll use it for a new route though, just so I know how many miles it is for next time.

    Off-road: never, not least I like to go and do the fun bits again.


    these days I am loathe to plug any technology in and dont bother. I’d rather just enjoy the ride. I have the phone on silent in case the sh1t hits the fan and I need an exit route.


    Music while on the road through one ear (hearing in my left is a bit dodgy so always in that one). Off road though I like to hear the sounds of the trail. No Satnav/Garmin/Strada though. I can’t be bothered with the nonsense and the standing around checking Strada for half an hour before riding.

    Off road – Not a single wire, nothing, nada, diddly sqaut, etc.
    On road – I have a Polar mounted on the bars that I tend to use as a bike computer only, rarely use the HRM function these days (As I don’t want to see how scary the outcome is!)

    Might upgrade to some sort of mapping system on the road bike soon, though, as have a new area to explore!

    I’ve got an edge 800 and mounts for it on all my bikes.

    Depends on my mood and the purpose of th ride as to whether I’ll use it though.

    On group rides it’s little more than a watch to see when we should be aproaching the cake stop, and if we’re 30min from the ends drink up any remaining water, eat food etc otherwise it’s going to waste.

    On my own it’s usefull as a map.

    Round a trail center its usefull to see an average speed to encourage more effort to beet the previous.

    But I did start just putting it in a back pocket or using my phone just to log the miles into strava for the yearly total, especialy if its been a while between rides and matching the last average is impossible.


    Endomondo, always!

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