Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets - Cold resistant cycle computer
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09-10-09, 08:48 AM
I'm looking for a simple computer with cadence that will continue to function (more or less) at temperatures down to -10C / 14F. My first bad experience with that was a computer whose display went blank at low temperatures (which I can live with) but never came back when it warmed up (which I cannot). I'm guessing the LCD was damaged by the low temperature.
The computer I'm replacing had thin wiring which just broke (even though the temperature wasn't low).
I don't need any features beyond speed, cadence and odometer, although trip distance and trip average are nice. I'd prefer reasonably robust wiring. And it should be rated down to -10C or lower. I'm guessing wireless is a bad idea since that's another cold-sensitive battery to consider.
09-10-09, 09:49 AM
I've used a Sigma model 1606 I think which had cadence, for one year, and a Planet Bike Protege 9 for 4 years, both lived fine through Michigan winters down to -10*F, the Planet Bike down to -25*F. Both were sluggish and not really readable at extreme cold, but they both kept up the counts and the odometer readings were correct when they warmed up.
I'd be more suspicious of the battery or the circuit board than the LCD. All LCDs are pretty much the same, if a given temp damages one of them, it'll damage all of them.
I did have an LCD broken by cold temps when I was living in the UP of Michigan; I left a watch in the car and it got down to -40*F and stayed there for about a week. It was obviously broken though; chunks of digits trying to display, fluid had run together, really weird looking.
09-10-09, 09:50 AM
I think wireless is a bad idea in general, but probably doubly so in cold temps.
09-10-09, 10:05 AM
I used a Schwinn 12-Function wired computer all through last winter. The coldest temperature I remember riding in was -18F (-28C), though I'm sure it got at least a few degrees colder at times. We typically bump up against -30F (-34C) in the winter.
The display did go nearly blank when it was very very cold, but I had no issues with it coming back on when it warmed up. I checked the trip time on a few rides and it still counted the ride, even though the display blanked out.
Mine was $10 at my local WalMart.
09-10-09, 12:06 PM
I've used a Sigma model 1606 I think which had cadence, for one year, and a Planet Bike Protege 9 for 4 years, both lived fine through Michigan winters down to -10*F, the Planet Bike down to -25*F. Both were sluggish and not really readable at extreme cold, but they both kept up the counts and the odometer readings were correct when they warmed up...
I've used the Sigma 1606L (wired) down to -28C and pretty much had the same experience as ItsJustMe. Not useable much during the ride, but came up with the right answer post ride.
09-11-09, 08:26 PM
Buy a Garmin Cycling Gps and carry it in a pocket against the body or insulated in your back pack or panniers. You can't see that stats while you ride but it will record it all and you can check it when you get there. That is was I did last winter with my 705, when it was uber cold.
I've used wired VDO computers in temps down to -32c with the only effect of the cold being a sluggish LCD. When temps warmed a bit the LCD was back to normal.
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