I could define myself as a "nerdy cyclist", so while my interest in Arduino is steadily growing (have not bought or used yet), my first idea for a project would be:

  1. Instrument a bicycle with some sensors (accelerometer, reed switch, etc) and an Arduino;
  2. Ride long distances (that is, four hours or more, sometimes non-stop);
  3. When at home, download some sort of "data file" (from SD card, I think);
  4. Analyze results with Python/Matlab/whatever.

So my questions:

  • Is any model of Arduino suitable for this purpose?
  • What is the expected sample rate vs number of channels? 100Hz per channel would be excellent for my purposes, for example.
  • Can I keep incrementally saving to SD "forever" (that is, while battery and card space are available)?

2 Answers 2


First of all your idea project is feasible. And to answer to your questions:

  1. There is no right Arduino for your project simply because theoretically every Arduino board can do the job. But as you said it has to be portable you might use Arduino nano/mini or even Uno if you have enough room or space.

  2. The acquisition rate depends on the on the type of sensor you have. So if you have let's say one analog reading you can use the built in function in Arduino which is capable of making about 10000 readings at time. So if you have multiple outs you can easily for the calculation. There are also sensors which has a digital output in this case in order to read your value you communicate with Tue sensor board through Two wire interface or I2C communication interface, for this there is a library you can use. Usually the speed at which this communication work s very high, at 100kHz( if I'm not wrong).

    3.Yes you can save data on the SD card until you don't exceed the memory or the battery doesn't die.

I have a suggestion for your project, as you're going to acquire some sort of data and then analyze it on your computer, do less calculations on your Arduino board and let the PC handle the hard work.

Useful links:

  • I would venture to say that any Arduino can be portable for an arbitrary definition of "portable". Mar 25, 2015 at 21:34
  • You're right but I was thinking about the space that the board itself occupies. Obviously any Arduino board can be used to do the job as I wrote.
    – Harry
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:44
  • In a long distance bike, I think the Uno is still considered portable. Putting it ahead of the headtube (possibly even inside a basket) would be acceptable I think (at least experimentally). Mar 25, 2015 at 21:59
  • I would accept the answer, but you could please post links to what you are talking about. For example, "there is a library for that" doesn't teach me much, you could make it a link to the library itself. Mar 25, 2015 at 22:01

Another idea - I believe if you are making electronics you must be using some smart phone? If I am correct why don't u utilize your smart phone with Arduino? 1) Connect sensors to Arduino 2) Use Bluetooth or WiFi shield 3) Store data locally until memory available 4) Transfer to your phone or to web via phone network every hour or 5 hours. This will make battery consumption less and also make device Compaq.

Regards, Pathik SHAH

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