Use the Sky Mounti Inclinometer to read the percent of a hill's grade as you climb and descend down the other side. IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN the screws. Doing this can weaken or break the under-bracket.
WARNING: If you're descending a steep hill, don't take your attention away from the road to read the bubble (especially if you're going really fast). Better to stop and read the bubble if you really want to know the percent grade.
I do a lot of hill climbing and knowing the steepness of hills is an important aspect of gauging the difficult of a climb. Other than the laborious task of measuring distances and elevations on a topo map, there aren't a lot of easy ways to do this. The Sky-Mounti inclinometer is the least expensive and easiest method I've found. Its main limitation is that judging steepness to within one percent is sometimes difficult, since the tick marks on the level are very close together and the bubble shifts slightly with minor accelerations and decelerations. But plus or minus a percent or so, it works great. Alternatively, I've found a good cyclometer/altimeter, the VDO MC 1.0+, that gives percent grade as a readout and seems to work very well. But it costs >$100.
Those hills were sooooo steep!
A customer from Arlington, VA on 9/8/09
This is a great device for letting you know how steep that hill was. A couple of concerns...there are no real instructions for installing, it seems simple but its important to have the bike perfectly level when installing (and after moving the bike on your car rack etc.). It also seems quite pricey for such a simple device...it is really just a level. I like having it but feel a bit ripped off by the pricing.
A customer from Bowie, MD on 6/1/10
I recently used it on 500 mile bike tour in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In short, I found it accurate though somewhat hard to use. The bike had to be exactly parallel to the incline with absloutely no lateral handle bar movement, somewhat difficult on a heavily loaded touring bike in a very low gear on a steep incline. Otherwise the bubble would bounce. The viscosity required to keep the bubble from bouncing also made it slow to react, sometimes still showing a decline after reaching the bottom and starting back up a mountain. Still, I found it interesting and useful in managing my pace in the mountains.
Sky-Mount Inclinometer needs upgrading
Sandy Kobrock on 8/23/10
It only fits on narrow diameter handlebars! :( Many handlebars are of a wider diameter and the inclinometer won't fit at all!! I almost sent it back, but found one of my bikes with a handlebar it will fit. Unfortunately I bought it for my husband, and it doesn't fit on any of his bikes.
Thanks for asking!!!
Nice, but with design problems
A customer from Puyallup, WA on 9/9/10
It is always nice to know your incline when climbing or descending. The Garmin Edge provides incline measurements, though is slow to respond and averages measurements over time, so I thought I'd try this device. This device has several problems, including...
1. It barely fit my handlebars and I was limited on the bar where I could position the altimeter
2. Accuracy depends on the handlebars being exactly straight and perpendicular to the slope.
3. The bubble in my unit only filled 3/4 of the central area between "0" and "0". Thus, it was always at least 2 degrees off in either ascending or descending when I would set the bubble in the middle.
4. When installing the inclinometer, "calibrating" to zero is a problem, since the bicycle needs to be setting on a perfectly zero incline surface with the handlebars straight ahead, and the screws need to be tightened down slowly, which slightly moves the orientation of the device on the bars. It would be better if the company installed a calibration screw to fine adjust calibration once the unit is installed.
re Sky-Mounti Inclinometer
Bob Green on 10/6/10
The mounting ring of this of the inclinometer was too small, does not fit the handlebar and is not adjustable.I had to "jury rig" a solution.
The bubble is quite large and not that easy to read on the go.
George Simmons on 10/27/10
How nice to have something so accurate without wires, batteries, or a computer to depend on. This little gadget simply works. I've always wondered about the %grade of some of the hills I climb, and now I know. I wish everything else was this simple. Excellent product, durable, and reasonably priced.
Sometimes a little too much info
A customer from Pleasant Hill Ca on 11/4/10
I have enjoyed using my inclinometer, although in a recent trip through the Sierra Nevada's in California, towards the end of an 8 hour day, which was spent climbing 8-10 degree grades all day, I thought if I had another reading of 10 degrees I would go crazy. The inclinometer worked well, was easy to install and easy to read. I think it is expensive considering that it is basically a line level. This is a splurge type purchase.
simple and accurate
A customer from Saint Pete Beach Florida on 10/31/12
We got the first of these Inclinometers about 15 years ago from a friend of a friend in Germany. We assumed that it was accurate and it always gave the same reading within one percent. The only reason we bought a new one was for a second bike but the percent markings do fade and become hard to read after a few years, also two of the mounting screw holes stripped out . I replaced the screws with brass threads and knurled nuts.
fun but not a vital tool
Jeremy Parker London UK on 3/20/14
I'm glad I got the inclinometer, but it has it limits. The bubble in the spirit level can't tell the difference between acceleration and gravity - and your speed tends to be variable on hills - so the supposed gradient tends to bounce around a bit. Also, if you are paranoid about overtightening the mount, as the instructions advise, the inclinometer might slip and not stay horizontal. Carry another little spirit level, for example the Stanley Line Level, to check this.
Mind you, the competition, GPS, has its limits too, thanks to the jitter between GPS readings. GPS is ok for the average gradient up a long pass, but not for the slope at any one place.
As a result, you really have to come to a stop to get a good reading.
Also the mount will not fit round a very fat handlebar
*store note: we now carry a 31.8 version for oversize handlebars*
A reliable product
Salvo Colosimo Naples Italy on 3/18/2016 on 3/18/16