A couple of weeks ago we got sent a ShredMate. The ShredMate is a mountain bike computer that tracks your distance, time, speed, g-force and jumps. It was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign and upon receiving our device things were looking good!
The packaging itself was admittedly fairly basic but looked nice, inside the box was the ShredMate unit, aSmagnet (to go on your spokes), cable ties, a rubber fork protector and instructions. Batteries were included (always a nice feature), a small tab needed to be removed to enable the connection and that was almost it for setting up the ShredMate!
The ShredMate itself is a fairly well self contained unit, it’s water resistant; I wouldn’t advise blasting it with a jet wash, but for the typical ride in the UK it will be fine. The battery cover has a small rubber seal to prevent water getting inside, the seal around the devices body seems water resistant enough so I’m happy saying water isn’t going to be an issue. The ShredMate doesn’t weigh anything, it’s a nice small form factor as well so it doesn’t look too bulky or get in the way.
To use the ShredMate you need to download the app (Android and iOS compatible), the app itself is used to track your rides with the ShredMate providing the extra information. The application itself is a little simple, I’ll be completely honest and say that not much guidance is provided on how to use the app but once you’ve used it once it is easy to use and has some nice features. The app seems stable, it didn’t crash or fail me once after I’d worked out how to use it properly, my first ride I did manage to not record anything.. (more of that later).
The ShredMate attaches to the lower area of your forks pointing forwards on the drive side (right hand side) of the bike using two cable ties (included in the box). Also included in the box is a soft rubber support that provides extra grip and protection to the ShredMate . The ShredMate attaches easily and once tightened up properly it is solid and I have no worries about it falling off. With the location of the device I don’t think it would suffer from crash damage either. The spoke magnet is simple and just unscrews into two parts then back together around the spoke, once on it does rotate around the spoke if you mess with it but it’s solid who to prevent it from sliding up and down the spokes.
Initially I mounted the device pointing directly forward so it was at a right angle to the wheel, I went for my first ride and didn’t capture anything.. on a further look I needed to angle the device closer to the spokes to enable the magnet to pass close enough (the green light flashes when it’s in range). It’s my lack of common sense that caused this! After re-positioning the ShredMate I spun the wheel while looking at the app to check it was picking up a wheel speed (it was) so time for a ride!
I tested the ShredMate at Parkwood Springs in Sheffield, a short XC loop with a few berms and jumps. At the top of the main descent I took out my phone, connected the ShredMate (using Bluetooth) and set off down the trail! To ensure it was working I did the spinning wheel test to see the speed raise. As far as I can tell their isn’t an obvious way to check if the app is connected to the ShredMate , maybe a little icon in the top could be implemented (green for connected, orange for connecting and red for disconnected?), If the app does show this I do apologise! As you are riding you can see the route you’ve taken, it’s a nice feature that you don’t need to have a mobile data connection to use the ShredMate (this saves data and let’s you use it in remote areas). Once I’d finished the short loop I stopped the ride and had a look at it, the amount of information is incredible.
I normally use a Garmin to track my rides then I push it through to Strava. The ShredMate app records your distance, route and time, the key things the Garmin does, but it further adds the jump time, landing g-force and cornering g-force. The route you’ve taken gets projected onto a map and it has a colour grade (green to red) based on your speed, this is a really good feature especially when it comes to identifying your slower sections of a trail! I found the jumps to be very accurate, it did miss one jump out but other than that it measured all of the rest perfectly. The g-force measuring is an interesting one and not something I’d usually take into consideration but at Parkwood one of the sections has quite a significant dip towards the bottom and I managed to pull 2.9G! (I have no idea how that compares to others).
After using the ShredMate a couple of times I found it really fun to use, in the back of my mind I was thinking about the results so I’d try to jump that little more or push through a corner harder than I usually would. It was interesting to see the landing g-force on the flowy jumps Vs the pump track ending one, it really gives you an idea of how smooth you are landing and plenty of people will tell you smooth = fast!
- SO MUCH DATA
- Easy to set up (just look out for the green light)
- Easy to use
- Very easy to interpret the results
- Really fun on a short loop you are doing multiple times
- Makes you more conscious of your riding style
- Can’t really compare yourself to your friends due to the lack of segments like on Strava
- App still feels like a newly released app (Not too refined)
- Having to do the wheel spin check before you set off to make sure it’s connected
The ShredMate is a really interesting idea and it’s well executed. The device isn’t too large, it feels solid and I feel it will keep working for a long time. The data collected seems accurate, the app does feel a little early in development but I’m sure it will improve over time. Once you’ve used the app and recorded a ride with it the app is easy to use however initial use does require a little bit of getting used to. Once you’ve used the ShredMate and looked into the data it makes you just want to go around again and again, I can see myself spending an equal amount of time going through all of the data as I do riding!
At the end of the day, if you like data the ShredMate is for you, even if you aren’t someone who will go on a ride just to do jumps (I’m not much of a jumper) you will enjoy using the ShredMate. I would buy one myself and would recommend it to my mates. I’d like to thank the team at ShredMate for letting us play with this one, I look forward to future app refinements and I hope you continue to support the ShredMate !
Here is a link to the Shredmate website for all of the news and information: www.shredmate.co.uk