I want to add a bike speedometer to my speedster. I would hate to get picked up for speeding . I am running wire wheels. How have you guys attached the small magnet to the wheel so they do not fly off? Has anyone hooked it up to the rear wheel so you don't have to worry about a bracket that turns with the steering?
Being a bicyclist, who has tried several different speedometers over the years, my recommendation is to save up your pennies and buy a GPS cycle computer, it dispenses with the magnet attached to the wheel and its associated sensor and wiring. Just stick the GPS unit to your car somewhere convenient with the included clamp, or even velcro. The unit can be moved from car to car (or even onto a bicycle!) with no recalibration or hassle.
Here is a link to some reviews of some of the available units:
Dena & Dennis - FWIW, I agree with Mark. I have a Garmin Edge 200 and love it. Has all the functionality I want (speed, distance, elapsed time, etc.), is small and unobtrusive, and is easy to operate. I have mine mounted at the bottom of my dash on the left of the steering column in my speedster.
What is the price range for a good bike speedometer That you show on your link. Does location in your car make any difference in the reading?
get a cheap Straight Talk Walmart smartphone. Then download the GPS speedometer appfor Android phones. Now you'll have a decent phone plus a speedometer. And you can play games while you wait for a tow truck. I have the app and its actually accurate. And the screen is very visable
The Garmin Edge 200 that Dave shows is selling for around $130.00 new on Amazon (I just looked). There might be some better deals on T-bay or elsewhere.
If you're already carrying a smartphone, the GPS speedometer app solution is an excellent choice.
Thanks for the suggestion. It does make sense. Then it can be moved from T to T. A quick look at Amazon has them from $90.00 to $300.00. I will have to do some closer looking at the different models. Thanks again for the suggestion.
The under $100.00 ones on Amazon are likely used units, read the listings carefully!
I tried buying cheaper, used units on T-bay a couple of times and the units only lasted a few months until the battery died. I tried buying and installing a new battery, but the units are not designed to be taken apart and never worked properly for me after the battery replacement.
Ditto what Mark said. The sub-$100 units are "reconditioned". (Usually small greyed print on Amazon.) Which means they're used and someone just wiped the fingerprints off of it. You buy all the scratches with these.
I would go with a smart phone app or a standard GPS unit. At least you get real-time maps. The bicycle units will allow you to view a map on your PC after the fact unless you go with one of the premium bicycle units. But these cost more than a regular GPS. Plus, the screens on the bike units are really small.
I tried to use a bike speedo for a couple of years, but had I LOT of trouble with noise from the magneto affecting it. I would program the unit to show the speed correctly, set some other items and it would work for a while, day or two, then it would go berzerk and forget everything. I have a 1926 and the coils are over the engine rather than in the car. I tried moving the pick up magnet, coil and wiring from side to side of the car etc, some spots were better than others but it never worked to my satisfaction. I spent $40 on a used GPS and this works the best for me, no problems at all.
Good Luck Mike
There are good speedometer applications for the iPhone. I have one called Speedometer+ that seems to match speedometers in modern cars pretty well. It has some cool features like Max Speed Lock!
Wow, I never really thought about a GPS system. The speedster is already a 12 volt car and we just happen to have an older GPS unit. Thanks everyone for your ideas. You saved me a lot of work.
I have an accessory steering column in my 15Touring, the Garmen edge nests right in it. I also had tried one of the electronic bicycle speedo's with poor results due to the coil interferance
I love the idea of using a smart phone. I have the iPhone app and it works well but the battery goes pretty fast, it would never last for a whole tour. How can a smart phone be powered from a 6v system?
Dena & Dennis - if the GPS speedo works with your budget, then great. But a nice bike speedo at Walmart is $25 or less. Easiest place for the magnet on the wire rims it the inner or outer edge of the lip that folds back towards the car in the center section. Get you some JB weld and mix it up, it won't take but just a little bit to hold magnet in place, and then tape it well so it doesn't move. Once it's cured for 24 hours, remove tape and clean up JB weld so it's nice and neat. You can then mount the sensor with a little bit of rod. I bent a piece so that the sensor could zip tie to it and then bent rod around the spindle arm. It was very solid and stable and painted black you would hardly notice it.
Reset the phones brightness so you can still see it, but not super bright. That will help the battery last a bit longer.
I have used a bike speedometer for several years and I think like the others the best way is to use some form of GPS. The bike speedo suffers from mag interference and I have not been able to fix it. The speedo works but the speed will vary and you have to guess the speed when it settles down.
Hey Paul - if you get a car charge port (the female end of a cigarette lighter) at any auto parts store ($12 or so) you can wire it right up to your 6 volt power source. A very few of the iPhone or smart phone chargers have enough electronics built in that they will not pass a charge to the phone since they aren't receiving 12 volts. But most of them are just to dumb the charge down to about 4 volts so they don't care what the input is. They charge a tad slower than if they were plugged into a normal 12 volt outlet, but work great to slowly charge your phone or at the very least maintain its power level all through your tour. I have this exact setup in my speedster and it works great. It will slowly charge my iPhone if I'm not using it for anything and keep it exactly the same if I'm running GPS or my wife is using it to search for gas or food.
You can also get an external battery pack for smart phones. They arent expensive and would likely last a day of touring if you get a decent one.
Oh, as R.S. mentioned it reminded me - make sure if you get a bike speedo that you get one that is wired. There are lots of wireless ones but they can't handle the distance from one of the wheels to anywhere on the dash. The wired one suffers from no interference issues is dead even with my phone's GPS at all speeds.
Being tight with a dollar, I've been using a $20 Cat Eye Velo 5 I got at the local bike shop. I've never had any interference problems.
I too, have a Cat Eye Velo and also enjoy no interference. I mounted the pickup and magnet at the rear of the car to be less obtrusive compared to spindle mount. The display I placed on the instrument board to the right of the switch/ammeter panel and to the left of my clock; you almost don't notice it.
I have a Garmin GPS like Mike and really like it. I installed a little cig lighter sort of out of the way and it's connected to a little battery. I use the GPS in my Tahoe and the T as well so I know my speed and total miles and speeds. It's also handy on tours so you can guess when the next turn is coming up.
The little battery last all year with no charge.
Be careful if your 12V isn't regulated because the GPS likes a controlled voltage... Don't ask how I know. No connecting it to the mag charger.
I have used both GPS and a bike speedometer in my 15 touring and settled on the bike speedometer as being the easiest to use and the least intrusive.
The bike speedometer (wired) has performed perfectly for 3 years on the same battery. It turns itself on when the car starts moving and turns of after it stops. It maintains a running record of total miles since installed and will do trip mileage.
If you take the time to calibrate it, it will be as accurate as a GPS. If you don't want it visible, it can be mounted under the dash (hood former ?) where a GPS won't work well. Once installed, there's nothing else you need to do except change the battery every 4 or 5 years.
Cost me $15 at Amazon (battery included) ;o)
I just wet my finger and hold it up when I am driving one of our T's to tell how fast were going.It's pretty accurate.
Jay the problem shows up when you try to calibrate the finger because it's length is important
If you need something between the length of your natural fingers it can become painful.
My 1924 touring cut-off has a stock engine and drivetrain, so I don't need a speedometer, I KNOW I'm not speeding!
One other thing comes to mind when the need to judge speed occurs. I pay attention to rattles!! I know what rattles at certain speeds, like the brass lights in front start to vibrate at about 35. The front fender starts to rattle at about 40. And on and on until about 45 and I START TO RATTLE!!. No need for the formality of a speedometer on the 1913. Dick C.
Viberations,rattles and shakes smooth out at 40 and are good to 57 don"t know after that.
My left rear wheel started to wobble pretty good at 65 mph. Backed her down to 60 and smoothed right out. May need to balance my wheels if I want to go faster than 65.
I have a Magellon GPS unit that I use in my old Volvo that has a 5 speed transmission from a newer car that had an electric speedometer.
Since I have no place to connect a speedo cable......
I also have an F1 pickup with the wrong rear axle and larger rear tires so the speedo is way off.
Then there's the model T and two Nashes with the wrong rear ends so the speedos are way off.
I need something that I can use in all five cars.
I don't need to know what my average speed was, or how many bumps per mile I've been hitting, I just want to know how fast I'm going.
The GPS is kind of big, the speed is barely readable down in one corner and when I leave the car parked I'm always afraid the GPS will get stolen. It's too large to carry with me.
I need smaller, more readable unit.
I have changed everything over to 12 volt for GPS reasons as well as modern radio and in the case of the pickup, for pulling a trailer/s that is/are also pulled with other 12 volt cars.
What do I need?
In addition to knowing current speed, I found great usefulness in the odometer function. I was able to accurately schedule oil changes and other maintenance and was surprised to find at the end of one season that I had traveled 2,500 miles.
Ditto Steve except I use a Planet Protege 5.......about $25 down and nothing a month.
Craig, I like that setup for the sensor and magnet. It's similar to one Dan Treace made. Much simpler and more stable than what I cobbled together. All I would add is black paint and black ties.