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Wahoo Blue SC, ANT+/Bluetooth speed and cadence sensor | Full analysis

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When it comes to selecting a speed or cadence sensor for your bike there are several options to choose from. You can find sensors from the brands themselves (Garmin, Polar, etc) that will have specific connectivity for their devices, not in terms of only serving their brand, but for the type of standard they use (i.e. ANT+, Bluetooth or even W.I.N.D.). When it comes down to it, we're talking about a very simple device so, beyond aesthetic differences, the features you can have with all of them will be the same. What does Wahoo Blue SC offer, unlike the latter? Its dual connectivity.

The Blue SC transmits speed and cadence data to any device with ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart connectivity, and does so simultaneously, so you can pair your Garmin cycling computer or watch via ANT+ and record your route on your phone as well if you connect via Bluetooth, for example.

As you know, I always like to specify the origin of the test devices, to eliminate "bought" test suspensions. In this case, I bought Wahoo Blue SC directly in the shop and it has not been given by the manufacturer for the test. In fact, it will remain permanently installed in one of my bikes.

If you like the work I do and want to support the web, you can buy the sensor through Wahoo on your website or in one of the Amazon links that you can find further down This way you can contribute to the expansion of the web and the purchase of new devices without costing you absolutely nothing.

And once that's all cleared up, let's get down to business!

Unpacking

The Wahoo Blue SC is presented in a box where the company colours of blue and yellow predominate.

Wahoo Blue SC-002

On the back you will find information about the product and what it can do, everything is quite detailed, and in the image you can already get an idea of where the sensor will be installed.

Wahoo Blue SC-004

The opening is done by pulling the box to the right. It has a system that does not allow to finish taking the box out. The sensor is well anchored to the cardboard and the presentation is really good.

Wahoo Blue SC-005

Let's put the box outside and let's stick to the interesting stuff. And inside the interesting stuff I've got these two little manuals. As you know, once you've read this test, you can put it in the same place as the box (in a closet or in the recycling bin), because it's not going to be useful for anything at all.

The content is limited to the sensor, the two magnets (one for the connecting rod, one for the radio) and the sensor fastening system, worthy of the most advanced aeronautics company: two plastic flanges or an elastic stretch. If simple solutions work, why make life difficult for yourself?

Wahoo Blue Sc

This is the sensor. In the area of support with the bike has a rubber to prevent both the frame can be scratched, and prevent the vibrations to move from its position. You can see that consists of two parts, on one hand the main block, which houses the electronics, antennas and the cadence sensor, and on the other an arm that is used for measuring speed.

Wahoo Blue Sc

The Wahoo Blue SC uses a CR2032 button cell battery, which Wahoo claims will have a life of 2 years. On the speed sensor arm you can see the logos of the two types of communications it supports: Bluetooth Smart and ANT+.

Wahoo Blue Sc

And now we're going to put it back, which is the bike.

Installation

The installation of the Wahoo Blue SC is simple, but you will need five minutes and a tool. In order to get used to its simplicity, the most complicated part is to remove the pedal from the crank, so that you can insert the magnet of the cadence sensor.

The first thing you need to do is to place the sensor on the bike, on the rear tie rod on the side opposite to the transmission (or you can place it on the transmission side and let it fly off on the first pedal, as you prefer). The same sensor is used to measure both the pedaling cadence and the wheel speed.

You can attach the sensor to the frame in two different ways: with a rubber band or with two plastic flanges. Both options are included in the package itself, so you can choose which shape is more comfortable for you. The advantage of the rubber band is that it would allow you to remove it from one bike and mount it on a different one in no more than 5 minutes.

Wahoo Blue SC - Installation

Buscador de chollos

Once you have the sensor in the frame, the next thing you have to do is to place the magnets. First we can place the crank magnet, for which you must remove the pedal and insert the magnet through the crank. So that you can calculate the placement point there is a small mark that you can find on the sensor itself, as you see in the image. The crank magnet must have a separation between 1.5mm and 3mm for proper detection, so you simply have to tilt the sensor towards the crank if it is too far away.

wahoo-blue-sc-sensor-cadence

The next thing you have to mount is the magnet on the rear wheel (or on the front wheel, but you still can't get the Wahoo to detect it...) It is composed of two parts, a plastic support with a rubber to adjust to the spoke (valid for round or flat spokes), and the magnet itself which is placed on the support by screwing it in. Again the point of placement will be on the mark that you can find at the end of "the duck" of the sensor. The separation distance is the same: 1.5-3 mm. You can bring the sensor closer to the wheel by loosening the screw on its side. When you release it, the arm can be moved to adjust it correctly.

wahoo-blue-sc-sensor-speed

Once the sensor and the two magnets are mounted, the work is done. You can use the Wahoo application to check the correct functioning of both sensors.

Wahoo Blue SC - Checking installation

And when you know you have speed and cadence readings, it's time to pair it with your cycling computer or watch. And remember, the advantage of Wahoo Blue SC is that you can connect via Bluetooth and/or ANT+, and simultaneously.

The next thing you should do is choose the way you want your cycling computer, watch or application to calculate the speed. You can measure the wheel circumference and enter the measurement manually or allow automatic calibration via GPS. But all this depends on the device you're using, and here the configuration of Wahoo Blue SC has little to do with it.

Operation

When you have the sensor correctly installed, all you have to do is pedal and forget about everything else. When you pair it up, you will have information about your pedaling cadence and the speed at which you are riding.

Wahoo Blue SC

The first thing that the Wahoo Blue SC allows you to do is to control your pedaling cadence. The recommended cadence is around 90 rpm, because it is the most efficient cadence for flattening. When you are climbing, this recommended cadence goes down to the range of 70-75 rpm. These figures are not counted by me, but have been obtained in several studies made by people much more competent than me. They are related to the central nervous system.

Then every cyclist may or may not agree with this recommendation, since for example there are cyclists who ride very comfortably at higher cadences, but at least what can be guaranteed is that a high cadence causes less muscle fatigue.

In the case of triathlon it is somewhat more complex, as the cadence during cycling can affect the cadence during running. Some people modify the cadence during the last few meters to adapt more to their running cadence and not leave T2 totally out of step. But I repeat, every cyclist is a world and it is best to try different cadences taking into account your particular preparation and the distance of the event in question.

If you don't want to pedal and you want to connect the electric motor hidden in the frame, the speed will still be shown on the screen even if you don't pedal, but the cadence will obviously be 0.

Wahoo Blue SC

The main advantage you have with the speed sensor is that speed changes are much more reactive than when the data comes from the GPS. In addition, in areas with complicated coverage (vigilant, MTB users) or when passing through tunnels you would lose the speed data. Not only would you be left without information regarding your current speed, but it could also affect the total distance travelled.

In this graph you can clearly see the effect. The yellow line shows the speed graph obtained thanks to the Wahoo Blue SC, while the blue line is GPS data. The development of both graphs is very similar, and in fact the final distance marked is exactly the same. But for example, when there has been a complete stop, the GPS has never reached 0.

Compare Wahoo Blue SC and GPS data

If we enlarge the graphs we can clearly see the differences in both cases. The GPS graph has the speed much more filtered than when the data is taken directly from the wheel magnetic sensor.

Compare Wahoo Blue SC and GPS data

But where the lack of reactivity can be most annoying is in moments of constant braking and acceleration (whether due to obstacles or for any other reason), not because you don't have the real data at that moment, but because it makes you doubt whether the GPS is recording correctly or not.

Compare Wahoo Blue SC and GPS data

And in short, as data addicts that we are, we prefer a graph that shows us reality to one where the data is filtered, as in the image above, where the line followed by the GPS is clearly the average of the different speed changes.

Of course, at all times we will have cadence information recorded, information that you can use to, for example, compare it with speed, power or height and determine your ideal cadence on the flat or climbing.

Compare Wahoo Blue SC and GPS data

All this data is collected regardless of whether we are training outdoors or indoors, and perhaps where the speed sensor is most important is in roller training when measuring speed and distance.

Okay, the speed and distance recorded depends entirely on the development chosen and the resistance of the roller. Varying this data is as simple as reducing resistance and increasing development, but it can be a very important data for some people in their indoor training, especially for cadence exercises.

My opinion

Speed and cadence sensors are quite common, and have been for a few years now, not only for when you are training outdoors, but also for your roller training. And I can't really think of any reason why you would want to do without one, as the information they provide is quite useful in the development (and analysis) of your workouts.

If you are interested in adding a cadence and speed sensor to your bike, the Wahoo Blue SC option is quite solid. Not only because of its simple installation (the most complicated thing you have to do is to remove the pedal with an allen key or a wrench), but mainly because of its dual connectivity. Thanks to this detail you can simultaneously connect the sensor to your mobile phone and your watch or cycling computer, or make sure that if you change devices in the future your sensor will still be fully compatible.

On the contrary, if you already have such a sensor on your bike, even if it doesn't have dual connectivity, it wouldn't make much sense to replace it. You won't find improvements between one device and the other. The only reason I always recommend the Wahoo model is because it offers both connectivity options. I think this possibility deserves the extra expense compared to a sensor that transmits only through ANT+, especially for the future.

However, if you're sure you won't need Bluetooth connectivity, you can also take a look at the Garmin sensor below.

Did you like the test?

I hope this test has been able to clarify all the doubts you had about the Wahoo speed and cadence sensor. Usually these detailed analyses take many hours of work. Besides, you know I am available to answer all your questions in the comments you can find below these lines.

If you want to show your gratitude, buy the device through the links below and you can support the website. Share the test in your social networks because I'm sure your friends will like it too.

Buy Wahoo Blue SC

Do you want a Wahoo Blue SC on your bike too? Well, it's very easy to get it and its price is not at all crazy. You can buy it directly through Wahoo on your website There are two models referenced, but the only difference is the graphics on the sensor. Make sure that this is the second version, because the first only had Bluetooth connectivity.

RATING

Operation - 9.5
Connectivity - 10
Design, finish and comfort - 9
Autonomy - 9
Aplicaciones - 10
Price - 8.5

9.3

TOTAL

User Rating: Be the first one !

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21 Comments

  1. Great job. I was thinking of buying the original speed and cadence sensors for a Polar M450, but given your article I'm going to go for this sensor, which is also cheaper. Have you tried it on the M450? I suppose it will be compatible with the 100%.

    1. Yes, totally compatible with the Polar. It's what I have mounted on the bike and they are the ones I used in the M450 test.

  2. Hi Eduardo, I am using this Wahoo blue SC but I have read that the Wahoo RPM speed & cadence has come out and the main difference is that it doesn't have magnets (I understand that it also has dual connectivity ANT+ and BT). I don't know if you have already evaluated it, but my question is, if I don't have any connectivity problem and the blue SC model works well for me, would I be better off changing it for the Wahoo RPM version without magnets? I have read that the main problem it has is that it has to be adjusted regularly so that the sensor and the magnet pass close by, in my case that "problem" doesn't bother me, but apart from that, does it have any substantial difference?
    Thanks for the answer you're going to give me.
    Greetings,

    1. The new one works by accelerometers, so it estimates (well) both cadence and speed.

      Honestly, if your current sensor doesn't have any problems, it's not worth it at all. Better to spend it on a few beers.

      1. Gracias Eduardo, otra consulta, cuando practique bicicleta indoor ¿alguna de las dos versiones del Wahoo me serviría para poder tener una referencia de a que velocidad estoy yendo? Se que el spinning se basa mas en resistencia y no en velocidad, pero te consulto si podría tener una referencia de la velocidad con alguno de los sensores.
        Greetings,

        1. Either can give you speed, but of course, totally unrealistic because it depends on the hardness you put on the roller... Without hardness you can easily reach 70km/h in the sprints

          1. Ok, I understand that in roller, but in spinning bike that doesn't have spokes to put the magnet or bushing to put the sensor, could you measure the (referential) speed in this case?
            Thank you.

  3. Hello Eduardo, thanks for the analysis. do you know if it is compatible and works correctly with the polar m450? , or in its defect you can recommend me another sensor of speed that is compatible? because the original of polar I have seen that it cannot be changed the battery when it is exhausted. A greeting and thanks

  4. Hi Eduardo, thanks for your great work, I've written you on Twitter but just in case you're here, excuse me 🤣, I'm behind a speed/cadence sensor for the bike that I have hooked to the roller for the moment due to an injury, I have Suunto Spartan and Ambit3 and I was thinking of following the ecosystem and taking the Suunto Bike, would you recommend it? Another one? Thank you very much

    1. Right now my option would be the new Garmin cadence and speed sensor, but the new one that has ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity simultaneously (not the previous one that is only ANT+).

      1. Pille one of Suunto for 30 euros at the end, I think it's a good price!! I have installed it and I think it goes well ... although I think it marks a few kilometers, in a 29" mtb wheel I have put a 700×23 road wheel, I have put it as a reference I think I remember now that 2300 mm ... as you see Eduardo???

        1. The best thing you can do is measure with marks on the ground (mark with the valve down, make a full turn, re-mark and measure). The road measurement will be different.

  5. Hola Eduardo, dos preshuntas 1) crees que sea compatible con el polar Vantage M? y 2) Se puede cambiar la pila de este wahoo? No quiero comprar los originales de Polar porque es un lío cambiar la pila.
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, it's totally compatible. The battery can be changed very easily, in a matter of seconds.

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