“OK, first things first. Cycle computers and the ways we use them have changed. It’s no longer enough to say, “I rode 42km today”, and leave it at that.
In the last two years there has been an explosion in the number of GPS based ride tracking websites, all with their own features and users. I think it’s fair to say that Strava has been the most influential in this revolution, and whether you think it’s a good thing or not, the simple fact is that Strava and others like it are here to stay.
With the rise of such sites, a parallel surge of GPS enabled devices has hit the market, and old favourites from manufacturers such as Garmin have been updated and improved. The addition of heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, barometric altimeters, power meters, detailed mapping, and route planning among others has lead to some extremely sophisticated and impressive hardware and – crucially – rising prices.
This upward trend in technology and price however, seems to have forgotten the large majority of riders who don’t care so much about their VAM or average wattage over a 10 mile TT and just want to compare their times with their friends, and their own previous efforts. Sure, Strava (other GPS tracking websites are available) has a smart phone app, but not everybody has a smartphone, and not everybody that does wants to take it with them on a ride to face the elements and the possibility of an unexpected rider/ground interface. Into this void in the market, enter the Cateye Stealth.
What Cateye has done with the Stealth is to take their extremely popular Strada computer, remove the wheel magnets, sensors and wires, and add GPS tracking in their place. Those familiar with Cateye’s previous cycle computers will instantly recognise the format and functions (I’ve had one since 1991 and they’re basically unchanged – if it ain’t broke etc…). A large display shows current speed, with a secondary section showing distance, average speed, top speed and so on. So far so good: basic information to look at while riding, and not too much to distract you from pushing the pedals around.
The fun stuff starts when you’ve finished your ride and plug the Stealth into your computer. A neat little charging cradle USB connection means that although you can’t use your existing mini-usb cable to connect the Stealth, it is fully sealed against the elements – which is always a good thing in the UK. Using software downloaded from the Cateye website, the Stealth sets about downloading the GPS data that’s been quietly recording while you were out enjoying the ride. Once it’s finished, you can save the file and upload it to whatever website you prefer, including Cateye’s own CateyeAtlas. The big bonus for a lot of users though is the one-button upload to Strava function. One click and your ride is right there for you to compare to your heart’s content, or just log those miles against your own personal goals.
The Cateye plugs in via a USB so you can upload your rides
Simplicity is the beauty of the Stealth. Those who love to analyse every pedal stroke won’t find much to sing about here – those who watch their wallet will be overjoyed. Go for a ride, get basic information while you’reout there, and check the details when you get home. With this simplicity comes a build quality and reliability we’ve come to expect from Cateye, and during all my testing so far – faultless GPS tracking.
Software is simple and easy to use despite having been through the Japanese/English translation wringer a few times, and is compatible with both PC and Mac (nice work, Cateye). The only downside perhaps is that if you cycle to and from work, you’ll need to take the cradle with you to upload your ride in the morning, but only if you *really* can’t wait until after the return journey. There’s always aftermarket spares though. And on that note, it’s worth mentioning that the Stealth uses the same flex-tight mounting system as the Strada and many other Cateye products. This means that if you already own a Cateye product, the chances are that you already have a spare bike mount, so you can switch between bikes quickly and easily. Oh and because it’s all done with satellites, there’s no fiddling about with wheel sizes either – just switch it on and ride.
Under the hood there are some features to tweak if you wish – what time of day the automatic backlight comes on, 1, 3, or 5 second GPS point recording and so on. Nothing fancy but all functional stuff.
To sum up then, the Cateye Stealth 10 fills a gap in the market with a low-cost but quality product with the minimum of fuss. It’s fair to say that this is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been looking for a while, and I’m particularly glad that it’s Cateye who have created it as I know it will continue to work for many years to come.”