There was a time, back before cyclometers and smartphone cycling apps, when some bikes came with novelty mechanical speedometers. While no one is suggesting bringing those back, Finnish startup Omata is taking a step in that direction – its One speedometer uses modern GPS tech to track the rider's speed, but that information is displayed on a good ol' analog dial.
First of all, there is more to the concept than simple retro appeal. According to the company, studies have shown that a straight-forward analog display is easier to read while at speed, when compared to a more cluttered and less intuitive digital screen.
The One doesn't need to be paired to a smartphone, using its own GPS module to calculate the rider's present speed based on how quickly they move between geographical points. It also tracks and displays distance travelled, vertical ascent, and elapsed time (or time of day, if modes are switched).
Additionally, it can record all that ride data for upload to training logs or platforms such as Strava. That has to be done with it hard-wired to a computer, after the ride. It currently cannot be paired with third-party devices such as heart rate monitors, although such functionality may be added in future versions.
Power is supplied by a USB-rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, which should be good for about 24 hours of run-time per charge. The combined weight of the aluminum-bodied speedometer and its handlebar mount is 97 g (3.4 oz).
If you're interested, the One is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$499 will currently get you one – in metric or imperial – when and if they ship next February. The planned retail price is $599.