How to Setup your Garmin or Wahoo Data Screens

by | Apr 12, 2021 | Gear, Video

In this, we’re talking about how to set up your data screens for your Garmin or Wahoo Cycling Computers and ensure you are recording good data.

Data Recording Settings

  1. Data Recording Settings – Ensure you have your Garmin/Bike Computer set to record zeros for cadence and power and that it is recording in 1second intervals (not smart recording). These settings are usually under Settings-System-Data Recording.  See this link for more details
  2. Auto-Pause – We recommend (as does Training Peaks) to NOT use Auto-pause but rather use ‘start notice’ to remind you to restart the timer if you choose to stop. This setting is usually under Activity Profiles-Auto Features (you need to adjust for each bike or ‘activity’ profile) Here for details/help to adjust Auto-Pause on a Garmin bike computer. 


Setting up your Profiles and Data Screens

What do you need/want to know for different rides (or points in a ride)?

Summary screen

What are the questions you ask yourself constantly during the ride? Here, we’re talking about the ride totals. Things like, How far have I gone? Total Climbing?

Consider setting up your data screen with:

  • Power Values – TSS, KJ (work), max power, average power for the ride,
  • Accent values = Total climbing, KJ (work was done),
  • Time – Elapsed (includes stops) or Time (excludes paused time)
  • Cadence – avg for the ride
  • Heart rate – avg for the ride
  • Temperature (this is optional)

Long rides

Questions you should be asking yourself: Am I in the right zone? How long have I been riding?

Consider setting up your data screen with:

  • Heart rate
  • cadence
  • power – average, current as relevant
  • Time – I often use lap time here to chunk up a big ride into smaller pieces instead of total time


You should be thinking about things like ‘How many watts am I doing right now, what is the average for this hill interval?’

Consider setting up your data screen with:

  • LAP TIME – this is often not used – use it and you will have better training
  • 3sec power or %FTP or current watts  *when I don’t have power I use 30secVAM (vertical speed)
  • Lap power (not average power for the ride but for this interval/hill/lap/effort)
  • Heart Rate (BPM or %MHR)
  • Cadence (if relevant)


Related Post – Use the Lap Button (functions) 

Race Screen

Short races and offroad races usually don’t need anything during the race, but using a computer to keep track of your warmups and making your start time are considerations. For racing, remember Less is more. You want to be careful you don’t see a Heart Rate or power that scares you (e.g. what do you NEED to know to race?)

Consider setting up your data screen with:

  • Heart rate – I like to think of the warmup as getting my heart rate up to around the race average and sweaty. But I would likely switch the screen so it wouldn’t distract me during a race.
  • Time of day – you need to start your warmup on time, get to staging on time
  • If it is a long race (Fondo/marathon), I might put distance on the screen or use the map (e.g. the race has a GPX file) or ascent screens to track climbs.
  • Some clients will use the lap count to count laps (but you need to remember to press lap!)



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