Skip to main content

This gorgeous smart speedometer is like a cycling computer with an analog display

Sometimes sticking to the classics is better than trying to follow every trend. Omata (pronounced like “O-meter” with a little British flair) applies this to cycling computers with the Omata One, a next-gen speedometer that looks like a piece of classic kit. This smart speedometer just launched on Kickstarter and people are backing it as fast as a mouse button will click.

To quote Disney, do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. A closer look at the 5083 Aluminum case and polyether ether ketone (PEEK) bezel reveals that the Omata One is more “elegant” than “common.” This traditional round casing is not merely a reissue of the old gimmicky speedometers that existed before the days of bar-mounted computers. The Omata One is more of a cyclo-computer with an analog display than a simple speedometer.

Related Videos

Within this timeless piece hides smart guts developed with Seiko: an incredibly accurate GPS and USB Type-C connection for data transfer and charging. The 72-channel GPS handles not only speed but route tracking: the Omata One looks like a simple speedometer, but it runs on a saves your speed and location data, lasting 24 hours on a charge. You can upload your ride to Strava or other trackers that accept GPX format data.

The analog dials of the Omata One are designed to take advantage of our natural inclinations and visual perception. Omata developed its own bespoke set of numerals for the display, called Omata Numeral Regular. It’s open and clear, yet subtly modern. It’s not a Rothman font from the 1960’s, but it still has a timeless feel and a rider can see all he or she needs at a glance.

Distance is handled by the outer ring; vertical ascent is on the left interior dial, clock and ride time on the right interior dial, and speed on the main dial at the forefront, of course. When at a stop, it shows speed average and the total trip time. By the way — the max speed is 65 mph, not 100, but you won’t need to worry about that unless you’re going to a world speed record.

Purists — this writer knows a few — turn up their nose at strapping a massive smartphone-like contraption (or God forbid, a smartphone itself) to the bars of their several-thousand-dollar steed. Rhys Newman, one of the founders of Omata, said in the video, “Everything on your bike should be as pure and beautiful as the ride itself.”

People must agree as the 200 limited edition Omata One backer rewards are already all gone. World champion pro-cyclist Fabian Canellara agrees; he’s Omata’s brand ambassador and chief tester. “This is for the people that just love riding the bike, and that’s what I also like,” he said. 2016 will be Cancellara’s last racing season. “I did 16 years professional and honestly, I want to enjoy my rides.”

Hence the Omata One’s design. “It has all the technology you could want, but it doesn’t need to show those things all the time.” That’s kind of true. As much as this writer personally loves the concept and execution, there are a few things the Omata One doesn’t do. At $499 pre-sale, a price comparable to the shiniest top-of-the-line cycling computer, it’s worth addressing what backers are giving up:

Put all that fancy stuff like theft monitoring an haptic feedback out of your mind. The Omata One doesn’t even show turn by turn directions or maps — obviously — so no following downloaded routes. Further, most committed enough to the sport to drop that amount of cash are looking for heart rate, cadence, and power output monitoring as well, which is not included at this point. One comment pointed out the device should be able to do this while sticking with the “less is more” philosophy by simply recording the data and instead of displaying it. According Omata’s Kickstarter comment, BTLE and ANT+ are engineered into the core engine, so that a future Omata speedometer “e.g., a Training Edition” could pair with sensors. The post concluded “We’ve had to make hard choices in order not to pile on an excess of features for Omata One.” Hey, this writer agrees, but those hard choices are hard to swallow at $499.

Omata’s Kickstarter campaign is less than $10,000 away from the $150,000 goal at the time of this writing. The company plans to deliver the first speedometers in February 2017. The projected retail after the campaign ends May 5 is a whopping $600, so if you want a One, get in on the ground floor.

Editors' Recommendations

The Coros Omni smart helmet makes cycling while listening to tunes safer
Coros Omni Smart Helmet

In 2016, Coros Wearables successfully launched the Linx smart helmet, bringing a number of technologies that help cyclists to stay safer on the road. Chief among the innovations was bone conduction audio, which allows riders to listen to music, take phone calls, and receive navigation cues without having to wear earbuds. This not only helps riders to stay more aware of the environment around them but allows them to continue to focus on the road, too. Now, the company is ready to release its follow-up product, which takes the existing formula and improves on it in some key ways.

On Monday, December 4, the new Coros Omni smart helmet launched on Indiegogo and brings an updated design along with it. The helmet is lighter and more streamlined than the Linx and offers 18 airflow vents to help keep the rider more comfortable. The Omni also comes with a detachable visor that makes it suitable for both road cycling and mountain biking, and it features LED lighting along the sides and back that can be adjusted for improved visibility on rides during the day or at night.

Read more
Polar introduces new M460 bike computer with smart coach option
polar m460 bike computer

Polar, known worldwide for its fitness wearables and training computers, has some good news for bicyclists. The company on Wednesday introduced its latest and greatest bike computer, the M460. With support for a long list of third-party power meters and improved power measurements, the M460 is bound to be a hit among cyclists looking to streamline their training and improve performance.

Polar leveraged its experience with training computers to produce the M460, a versatile bike computer likely to appeal to all levels of cyclists. The M460 has an integrated GPS to calculate distances and speed, and a barometer-based inclinometer that'll track the slope of the hills a rider is cycling. The bike computer also can pair with Polar's new H10 heart rate monitor, which allows a cyclist to track their exertion. The M460 also has a smart coaching feature that helps a rider optimize training and monitor recovery.

Read more
Cyclists will love this elegant smartwatch that doubles as a bike computer
moskito smartwatch bike computer 2

As a gadget nerd, it has been interesting to track the evolution of the smartwatch over the past couple of years. For the most part, these devices have struggled to attract a mainstream audience, remaining largely popular only with the early adopter crowd. At the moment, it appears that only the Apple Watch has found any measure of success in this increasingly crowded field, although even that could be fleeting.

Of course, the lack of demand for smartwatches hasn't stopped other watchmakers from trying to capitalize on the trend, with some going to great lengths to attempt to set themselves apart from the competition. An example of this is an elegant looking device called the Moskito, which recently launched on Kickstarter. In many ways, this gadget performs just like any other smartwatch, providing notifications of incoming messages, alerts, and phone calls when worn on your wrist. But, when attached to your bike, it also serves as a full-featured cycling computer capable of tracking speed, distance, average pace, and more.

Read more