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If you're exploring the options for a smartphone/head unit interface but would like to preserve the option of leaving the phone at home during nasty weather or races, then CatEye's flexible Padrone Smart Computer Double Bundle may be the option for you. With the unit's supplied sensors, you have the option of either running your metric-gathering operation with your phone acting as the hub or sending the info straight to your head unit, no phone needed. Either way, you'll be able to upload your ride information to CatEyeAtlas, Strava, or TrainingPeaks, depending on your preference.
The Double Bundle includes a speed and cadence sensor that frees the Padrone Smart from its smartphone dependence, letting you gather velocity-related information in the aptly named Sensor Direct Mode without taking your phone on the ride. If you do take your phone, though, the free CatEye Cycling app syncs your iPhone or Android device to the Padrone Smart head unit in the Mirror Mode, creating a back and forth between the devices that uses your phone's GPS to measure all of the usual pertinent speed, time, and altitude data. The Padrone Smart also displays text, call, and e-mail alerts — even while your phone is saving juice in sleep mode.
Despite the Padrone Smart's increased functionality, the expanded scope of information is still laid out across CatEye's generous, oversized screen first featured on the regular Padrone. The display is large and clear enough that the information on it is readily digestible at a glance — no fishing through tiny print and across cryptic icons for your heart rate during tricky descents when you're trying to bridge the gap during a nervous finale with the race on the line.
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