With a miniature size and weight, the Cateye Strada Smart computer is small in size, but large in features. I’ve been testing it in mirror-mode with the Cateye cycling app for iOS.
Cateye Strada Smart Features:
- Computer-only (not tested) or mirror-mode (tested)
- Bluetooth Smart for low-power data sync
- Compact design with two-line display
- Rockered design turns the whole unit into a button
- Configurable data displayed
- Works with Cateye Cycling app for iOS and Android
- Call/email alert icons
- Compatible with Bluetooth Smart sensors (HRM, speed, power, cadence, etc.)
- Syncs data with Strava, CatEyeAtlas and TrainingPeaks
- Price: $140
Strada Smart is small and easy-to-use
The Strada Smart is built as a standalone cycling computer (not tested) or as a Bluetooth Smart mirrored device (tested). Since all I tested was mirror-mode, I don’t know how it functions as a computer, but I’ve had miles of use in mirror-mode and quite like it. It is wicked small and is easily mounted on the stem or bars. I preferred the stem mount and appreciated the tool-free install that allowed me to swap it from bike-to-bike. The same mount works equally well in either location and yes, aftermarket front-mounts are available.
The one obvious limiting feature of this unit is the two-line display. But, it makes up for it with a clear screen that’s easily read in all conditions and a rockered button design that turns the entire unit into a button for easy data viewing. The top display is fixed at either speed, cadence or heart rate. The second line allows you to view any of the following data via a single tap.
Further extending this unit, it can be paired with other Bluetooth Smart devices including speed, cadence, heart rate and power meters. Powering the Strada Smart is a single CR2032 lithium-ion battery, which has lasted quite awhile in my testing. It took about a month of use before the battery was depleted. And, when the battery did get low, it flashes a warning icon. Luckily, I was able to ride with a low battery for several rides, so consider it very conservative. Like anything that’s battery-powered, I’d prefer built-in rechargeable batteries, but the single battery lasts awhile and is easily changed.
As far as the iOS app goes, it lacks spit and polish, but is very functional overall. Syncing with the unit is easy and configuring the display is equally simple. On a few rides, I failed to put my phone to sleep, so it remained active in my jersey pocket. Not only did it drain the battery, but it ended up inadvertently pausing my ride a couple of times. So, just make sure you turn off the screen and you’ll be fine.
At the end of the ride, all the data is stored on the device and then is immediately synced to Strava with your default bike and naming convention. A quick login to Strava allows you to correct that, if desired. Overall, the app is utilitarian, but does the job.
I’ve been testing this unit against the Wahoo RFLKT+ and Topeak PanoComputer. I certainly recommend this unit over the Topeak and stay tuned for the RFLKT+ review.
- Screen is easy to read
- Phone mirroring is great for shorter rides of 3 hours or less
- Miniscule size
- Really easy to dismount and remount to another bike — I did that a lot!
- Easily paired with my iPhone
- Notification of phone calls and texts
- Lasted several rides with low battery indicator
- Limited to 2 types of visible data
- No rechargeable battery — changing the battery is a bit of a pain
- Backlight option would be nice
- I wish it showed the phone battery level
The Bottom Line: Cateye Strada Smart
In mirror-mode, the Strada Smart is diminutive in size, but functions quite well. It features a long battery life and a tool-less mount that’s equally at home on the bars or stem. It’s really a great little unit that can be extended further using other compatible sensors.
Buy Now: Available at Amazon.com