General Cycling Discussion - Bike Computers what do you recommend?
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I'm just getting started biking and I would like to get computer to tell me mileage and speed etc but I know NOTHING about them.
I don't THINK I need something too sophisticated but I want something reliable that will give me the info I need simply. Also hopefully it will be somewhat cost effective :p
Do you have any tips on this? Brands, features, how much should I expect to pay? Any good deals out there?
Thanks for the help as always.
04-08-03, 01:46 PM
Good post! I'll be in the market soon, was wondering about the following features:
Cadence - Seems to only be available on the higher end computers - Is it a worthwhile investment?
Dual tire size memory: - I'm thinking use on both road bike and MTB - look for this feature or buy 1 computer for each bike?
Wireless: Is it worth the extra bucks? I know some people expressed having problems in earlier threads.
04-08-03, 02:02 PM
I have a Sigma BC 1400. I´m happy with it in whole, I just miss a backlight funktion so I can see speed/distance/clock in the dark. If you have two bikes make sure you can program two different wheel (tyre) sizes.
If you are a road biker then cadence may be a good feature. If you can´t stand the wire then go for a wireless alternative. Personally I do not mind the cable, if you do a nice job it´s barely visible.
04-08-03, 02:08 PM
I have a Vetta wireless on my MTB and it seems to have problems keeping good times etc when it is moist. I mean just humidity in the air and it will throw off or not record your time. The only way around this was taking it off and cleaning the contacts prior to every ride.
I have a Cateye wireless on my road bike and while it is not as advanced as the Vetta it appears to be bulletproof. While the Vetta has a sending and receiving unit that is seperate from the "clock" the Cateye sends directly to the clock. That said I prefer the Cateye.
In the past I had a hardwired Cateye and had a problem when I crashed and ripped the wire out. I think that when all is said you would be better off with a wireless unit.
04-08-03, 02:36 PM
Sigma Sports BC1400 with or without wireless.
Cadence is an excellent option if you're trying to develop an efficient pedal stroke. Similar to a heartrate monitor, cadence provides you with a way to make sure you're staying in your target performance range.
Wired mounts are a no brainer and the level of tidy-ness is directly related to your attention to detail. Cadence requries a wire that will run up your down tube so running a second one up the fork and front brake wire is NBD. Colored plastic tape can usually be found that's "close enough" to hide wires and keep wires from getting pulled loose. Wireless mounts are getting better but fork pick-ups are still large and they quadruple the cost of battery replacement every 2 years or so given that there are 2 - 3 additional batteries associated with most wireless transmitters and receivers.
We use wireless for two reaons:
1. Off-road tandem -- Wireless mounts are ideally suited for long travel triple crown FR fork.
2. CicloSport's CM414 is only sold with wireless mount in US -- no sense in spending more for a wired mount.
04-08-03, 02:46 PM
I would recommend any Cateye cyclocomputer, I've had nothing but good luck with those.
Try this link were this topic was discussed previously. ;)
I have been using the Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Cyclocomputer
on sale for $30 @Performance Bike, (got mine @ the LBS for $24)
No buttons, 100% waterproof. Four lines on the LCD display that provides up to 5 pieces of data at once. To switch modes, just push the computer body forward. Auto on/off, H/D oversized wire harness. Functions: current, average, and maximum speed, +/- average speed indicator, trip distance, total distance, clock, stopwatch, ride time, and temperature read-out.
Down side is no cadence.
Protégé 9.0 Cyclocomputer (http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=12273)
04-08-03, 03:30 PM
I use the Planet Bike 9.0 computer too.
No buttons to push, everything is on the display at once.
Cheap, easy, lifetime warranty.
And, 25% of Planet Bike Corp's profits go back into contributions to cycling advocacy groups.
04-08-03, 03:42 PM
same with me i use a Planet Bike 9.0
Seems to work good so far
04-08-03, 03:51 PM
I would make sure you get avarage speed and top speed functions. I had a sigma Sport 400 that did not have them (for 5 years). Now I have an 800 that has these functions and I use them all the time.
04-08-03, 04:44 PM
I've got to go with Trek4100 and recommend Cateye, they are robust, cheap and (once calibrated) accurate.
Along with all the good advice given so far; Performance online will show many choices:
They range from simple to exotic and corresponding prices.
04-08-03, 05:01 PM
I am real happy with a Sigma BC1400. I use the cadence function on my road bike, it was very useful in spin classes. It gets swapped between a road and a mountain bike.
I've been told that getting a computer with a cadence function on an MTB might have problems with getting the wires tangled due to brush and other plants sticking out from the trail, because of its long wire and position through the chainstay. Has anyone with a wired computer ever had this problem?
I would have to echo the Cateye folks. I went to an LSB and pushed the buttons on a whole bunch of brands and they all had this cheap plastic click feel to them, and the casings seemed cheap. The Cateye's buttons had a solid feel to them and the casing seemed stronger. I did not test out the Ciclosport but heard they were good just over my price range.
I ended up with the wireless Cateye and so far has taken rain without a hiccup and seems to be very accurate and easy to use. The only reason I settled for the wireless was to eliminate the wire for a cleaner look. I had a wired job before-nothing wrong with wired units-just wanted something different.
The Cateye does make a unit called a Enduro which has a slightly thicker gauge wire and stronger connections to the pickup and to the computer to try to prevent snags or the wire pulling out. My old wired job worked find until one day the wire came loose from the computer, not sure why though, but if I were to buy a wired job I would get the Enduro for greater wire protection. Of course wireless eliminates this problem, however wireless units are a tad heavier due to the sending unit.
Unfortunately, the Enduro doesn't come with a cadence function ... the Astrale is the only one that does, as far as I know, and it isn't wireless ... or is it? Are sending units adaptable to wired computers?
04-09-03, 11:12 AM
If you buy a cateye el-300 light in the white color enough light comes out the side to light your computer. I put black tape on the top to keep it from ruining my night vision and the system works great! I use a Supergo $10 cheapie and have had no complaints so far!
04-09-03, 11:50 AM
PaulL - It's good to hear that the el-300 puts off enough light for you to see the computer. Does anyone here know of a backlit computer?
04-09-03, 08:49 PM
I'm going to go aganist the grain and recommend Specilized Classic. Not the new Endros that look like a misplaced watch. There are three levels and all cost under $60. The wiring is thicker and more durable then others I have seen and used (Vetta, Cateye, Avenier, Bell, Avocet).
04-10-03, 02:52 PM
I highly recommend the Cateye Astrale. good easy to use computer and it has cadence. I had knee pain whenever I rode since I started 6 months ago, turns out I was pedaling too high a cadence (around 110-115). I now spin between 85-95 and haven't had anymore knee pain. cost me $45, a little high but well worth it to me.
04-10-03, 03:58 PM
I have a cheapie sigma one on mine.. it works... I did just put a $15 Supergo computer on my wifes bike... that thing is sweet.. has all the functions.. and was pretty cheap too
04-10-03, 04:30 PM
The Cateye Astrale is on sale now at Performance for $29. I'm planning to pick mine up this weekend. The comparable Performance Axiom can be had for $25-$35 although I have had difficulty finding them in stock although they've been advertised several times over the winter.
04-10-03, 04:57 PM
Currently use a sigma BC1400 with cadence, but the cadence meter didn't work very well for me, used to get cadence*1.5 about every 1 out of 3 readings, and I repositioned it, it's stopped working altogether. The top buttons are also too hard to push, whilst the bottom one is good. Apart from that though it's a nice easy to read and has a lot of functionality.
For a first bike computer, I would get a cheaper one though, just get something with average speed, I liked my first one a lot, a VC3 or something, was cheap but stopped working after a year and it wasn't the battery :(
I have the Performance Axion 8.0 wireless. Nothing fancy. Decent price. has worked well for me.
04-11-03, 10:50 AM
I have a cateye 2 wireless I think its called. HAs avg speed, max speed, trip distance, total distance, timer, clock. Havent had any problems at all with it. Very simple to set up and wireless does make it nice not having to worry about where to put another cord
For my mountain bike I grabbed a CatEye Enduro 2 at performance for like $30 - nice big thick wire, too...not worried about breaking that thing. booya!
another vote for the planet bike protege 9.0. They only thing with it is the temperature function is not the most accurate but otherwise its great
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