While everyone would love to have a power meter, alas, they are still quite expensive. Thankfully, there are other ways to optimize your pedaling efficiency and the Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor is a sensible way to get you started.

Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor Features:

  • Dual-band (Bluetooth and ANT+) technology
  • Includes two mounting options on the crank arm or shoe mount
  • LED power indicator
  • Replaceable battery
  • Compatible with most GPS head units
  • MSRP: $39.99
Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor Review

Easily-attached with zip ties, the RPM Cadence sensor is up-and-running in a jiffy.

Just pedaling along or pedaling with a plan?

It’s been said that knowing is half the battle and with the battle for optimal cycling performance, knowing your actual cadence is a good piece of data to have. Fortunately, the RPM Cadence Sensor is a brilliantly-simple device that measures cadence without breaking the bank or requiring significant modifications to your existing setup.

I’ve had the RPM mounted to the Campagnolo Potenza 11 groupset aboard the Ridley Fenix SLX Disc. I opted for the zip-tie mount, which consists of a rubber sleeve attached to the inside of the non-driveside crank arm. It was super-simple to install and is easy to move, should you need to do so. Double-stick tape is included should you wish to go that route, or you could go with a shoe mount (which I didn’t test).

Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor Review

Clearance can be tight with some frames.

Pairing the RPM was straightforward with the new Lezyne Super GPS. I simply rotated the cranks a bit to activate the sensor, then paired it with the Lezyne unit. All head units offer custom display data and I slotted cadence into my preferred slot and off I went.

While climbing, I used my cadence to ensure I stayed within the optimal rpm range of 80-100. I’ve long been told that 90 rpm is the ideal, but that truly varies from athlete to athlete. And, it also varies based on your chosen discipline. For triathletes, for example, mixing up the cadence will allow them to use more lungs and less muscle while maintaining the same speed, thus saving your muscles for the run.

Cyclists who enjoy climbing can benefit from maintaining a higher cadence to achieve a similar end result — keeping your legs fresh for longer distances or that last sprint to the top. Did you see Stage 9 of La Vuelta 2017 with Chris Froome sprinting for the finish? Well, his high cadence allowed him to save enough matches for that final sprint. While you can’t be Chris Froome, you can enjoy that same performance benefit by maintaining the proper cadence.

Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor Review

Not the sexiest look, but it does in a pinch. Included adhesive sticker would eliminate zip ties.

The RPM didn’t fundamentally change how I ride, but it is an easy way to spot-check my cadence and therefore my overall performance for not a whole lot of money.

I will note that the RPM may not fit on all framesets. Chainstay designs (particularly those of disc brake bikes) may limit compatibility. I had enough clearance on the Ridley Fenix SLX, but not enough aboard the BMC Roadmachine 01, for example.

The Good

  • Simple and affordable performance monitor
  • Easy to install
  • Connects quickly
  • A variety of mounting options

The Bad

  • May not fit with all frames

The Bottom Line: Wahoo Fitness RPM Cadence Sensor

Keeping things simple is just what the RPM does. It’s inexpensive, mounts in a jiffy and connects to any head unit for immediate feedback. I loved having a visual guide to confirm what I thought was an optimal pace.

Buy Now: Available at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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