Regroup Reviews: OMATA ONE

OMATA ONE
       As an early backer to the Kickstarter several years ago I will preface this review with my initial bias. However, with that said, these words come from hours of product use. The Omata One has summed up the modern cycling computer with one word, simple. I initially backed the Omata Kickstarter when I caught wind of it because of this simplicity.


One day prior to writing this article I was on the road with a fellow cyclist who kept looking at the
delicately swooping orange speedometer needle as we traversed rollers on our route when he piped up and asked me, “hey, what is that thing?” “It looks like the instrument panel out of a small aircraft.”


I looked to him and said, “It’s an Omata One, a digital to analog cycling computer.”

Our conversation naturally progressed too, what all does it do, does it upload to your computer, does it share data with Strava, etc. I answered my friend’s question with the simple word, yes. I told him it simply displays the essentials to any ride, speed, distance, elevation gain and ride time.
He looks at me again and says, “that’s all I ever end up using on my computer!”, as he somewhat
shamefully looks down at his high tech digital computer. It was that response that inspired me to grab my iPad and write this article. Over the last few years it has become ever more obvious to me the excessive degree of data jammed down our throats not just on our phones but now on our cycling computers. Now for those who are competing and require particular physiologic data markers this article does not apply as the Omata One is not geared toward this individual. However, for the rest of us mortals that want to go out and enjoy the open road/trail, all
that additional data is exactly that, additional data.

Omata has eloquently clustered the necessary data that we all look to on our current computer home screens and left it at that. The computer still gathers all data in digital format and uses the proprietary phone/computer app to effortlessly transfer data to your tracking app to share with your friends/competitors/or just for you. The first few rides with the computer were somewhat odd feeling as I did not see digital readouts produce across the front of my cockpit as I’ve grown used to for so long. Initially the computer seemed large off the front of the bars but as time went on using the device it became like a well chosen timepiece you’d wear out for dinner. The bezel seconds as the mode selector with three modes, “ride”, “off” and “connect”.

Turning the bezel from the “off” to the “ride” mode felt solid with a finely tuned engaging feeling as the selector locked into “ride” mode. The device mount (partnered with K-Edge, included with purchase) projected nicely off the end of the stem and gave sight to the gentle sweeping motion of the orange speedometer needle. The speedometer needle and odometer needle subtly overlap with each other as the odometer utilizes the outermost scale of numbers and the speedometer gives you seamless real-time speed with the larger font digits just interior to the outer ring. Omata went the extra mile with attention to detail by placing top dead center of the speedometer at 18mph which they tout as being the ideal riding speed, which after numerous rides with the bike I cannot argue against them as it’s quite satisfying to watch the needle hover over 18mph pointed straight forward. It should be noted that the speedometer needle pegs at 55mph which on most any ride should be ample. Strategically placed just behind the two larger needles are the smaller elevation gain, ride time and battery life gauges. My first reaction to these gauges was that they were slightly too small and not prevalent enough on the face of the device but as I rode more with the device the size of them became less and less of an issue. Since
the smaller gauges change data output so slowly with time it was clear that if they were larger it
wouldn’t serve as any benefit. As my rides came to a finish it was a pleasure to watch the needle
gracefully settle on 0mph as if closing the cover of a good book. With another ride in the books the next step is always to review and look back at your ride on Strava and share with your followers the adventure you conquered.

The upload process is rather simple, with phone in hand, open the Omata App, in front of you will be a cleanly displayed total of all recorded data. Taking your Omata One, turning the bezel from “off” to “connect” the app will automatically connect and download your ride (after having paired your device at initial setup). From the rides tab you complete the download by tapping the download arrow to file the data at which point you hit connect to Strava (after having connected your Strava account) and bam, your ride is up and ready to view. Some small notes that should be added, the device needles occasionally need calibrating which is easily done through the setting tab on the app where you can also find device updates.

In closing, the Omata One has ultimately (in my book) served the cycling world with exactly what it needed, a clean, aesthetically pleasing cycling computer that reports to you what’s necessary while you take in the ride ahead. A side note that I’m not sure Omata had in mind when creating this computer is the decreased waste effect this computer may produce. Cycling computers have historically become like cell phones in the way that we must update to the newest and latest model each year which has created this ever wasteful dump of old tech. I foresee the Omata One and models to follow to create a collection-model as we’ve seen for countless years with timepieces you can wear on your wrist. It’s possible I am way off on this prediction but it sure would be nice to see a reduction in the way that we purge “out dated” tech. At the end of the day I tip my hat to the founders and designers of Omata as they stepped into the ring with giants but have seemingly found their niche which we can only hope will deem them successful.

Additional notes:
The app is routinely going through updates which from time to time has caused some lagging on the uploads and hand calibration. The device is not “inexpensive” as it weighs in at $550USD, which when compared to model year after model year purchases it may in the end be cheaper than what you’d spend with competitors. Mentioned in the write up but again reiterated, the computer comes with a co-brand K-Edge mount which uses Omata’s specific mount insert. Currently the computer comes in two different options, KPH and MPH models which have corresponding readouts as you’d expect. Excited to see what more is coming from this simple innovating cycling computer company.

 

-Nicholas Davis