The Interbike ANT+ Monitor Hunt

by editors on September 24, 2012

Unknown-3We spent most of our time on the floor of the Sands Expo center at Interbike half-heartedly searching the aisles for an ANT+ monitor. Not a bicycle computer, not a GPS unit, not a dedicated nav system; just a dumb monitor that can read all our ANT+ data and display it back to us from a small unit on our bars.

We rock the iPhone for our cycling data capture. We’ve got to carry the phone anyway, and if we’re going to carry it, we might as well use it as our computer. But we’re not interested in mounting the iPhone on our bars for several reasons. One, it requires putting the phone in a new case every time we go on a ride, two, we’re not sure the iPhone will stay on the bars while we’re mountain biking, and three, the iPhone is just to big to be mounted up on the bars anyway. We’re already neck deep into Abvio’s Cyclemeter and really aren’t interested in jumping ship to a Garmin 500 for all kinds of reasons. We simply want a way to see the numbers without having to get the phone out of our back pocket. It seems like this would be a pretty popular item if it were made correctly and priced right.

Follow the jump for more. . .Well, the time has apparently arrive. Interbike 2012 featured two solutions. One that we saw, and another that we missed.


The one we actually saw in person is from 4iiiis Innovations. It’s called the Sportiiii. The Sportiiii’s unit attaches to the arm of most sunglasses and gives feedback via a simple set of small red, yellow, and green lights. Program a set speed, cadence, power, or heart rate ranges into the device and then, using the lights it will communicates back whether you’re in range or not. We can see this working really well for cadence. Set it for 100 and spin until the green light comes on. It also has a speaker for audible updates. The Sportiiiis is currently available on the 4iiii’s website for $149.99 ($199.99 for a bundle that includes a heart monitor). Click here for more info.

The Sportiiii is interesting, however, it doesn’t give all the numbers at a quick glance. That’s where the Wahoo Fitness RFLKT comes in.

Rflkt-1We didn’t see this unit at the show, however, BikeRadar did and here’s what they had to say about it:

Cycling smartphone app pioneer Wahoo Fitness is spreading its wings for 2013 and applying some of its clever design methodology to a brilliant new RFLKThandlebar-mounted bicycle computer. . . The new RFLKT, however, offers a far more elegant solution with a tiny standalone remote display that works with the company’s own app or Abvio’s popular Cyclemeter app, leaving the heavy computational lifting to the phone but providing most of the numerical information in a more durable and compact form factor.

The RFLKT, which measures 2.4 x 1.6 x .5 inches, features Bluetooth 4.0 connection to the phone. With completely customizable screen that can be paged through at the push of a button, the RFLKT can be set to anyone’s specifications. The RFLKT also will give audio feedback as well if you have headphones plugged in.

It’s like the Wahoo Fitness ANT+ gurus read our mind. It’s pretty much exactly what we’re looking for. The RFLKT will show data from ANT+ sensors if you have the ANT+ dongle on your iPhone 4s. Any other iPhone (including the iPhone 5) and you’re out of luck. As is pretty obvious this all comes down to the old ANT+ vs Bluetooth debate.

With the iPhone 5 the best currently route is to run the Wahoo Bluetooth speed/cadence and heart monitor because there is no current ANT+ dongle for the iPhone 5. But then that means getting a Bluetooth power meter (like the StageONE) as well that can be very expensive.

We’re not really up for replacing all our sensors with Bluetooth at the moment so unless Wahoo bangs out a iPhone 5 ANT+ dongle it looks like we’ll be digging in our back pockets for a while longer. At least until the 4iiii Viiiiva Heart monitor ANT+/Bluetooth consolidator comes out (read more about it on DC Rainmaker). We’ll keep you posted.

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