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  1. #1
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    Computers: Wired vs. Wireless

    I only have experience with wired computers. I like them and am impressed that I have two of them with batteries that are almost 4 yrs old and have never missed a beat, not even in below zero temps. Will a wireless computer battery last close to that long and will it be as reliable?

  2. #2
    black betty DeadSailor's Avatar
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    im not sure how much they batteries last, im not too into computers...but theres batts in the computer and the reciever and ive seen one run out before the other

    as far as interference...doubt you would notice any.

    i like them for mtbs though. theres less stuff you can can catch branches on....no matter how clean the wrap is its still not as good as wireless

    theyre only like 20 dollars more...im sure youll see their good side if you give them a try

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    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
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    I was happy with my wireless flightdeck computer. I did get EMI with my ARC lamp on the handlebar, but no other interference problems. I haven't had it long enough to know battery life.
    Idaho

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    Don't bother. What do you gain from going to wireless besides aesthetics? Nothing.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Wireless: Interference and / or inexplicable dropouts, more batteries to replace, large transmitters, placement constraints on the receiver, inability to use on a trainer (transmitters must be on front wheel).

    Wired: Wires

    Make your choice.

  6. #6
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of wired models. They are cheap and reliable. What's a little wire running down your fork leg gonna hurt?

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    This may not be a problem for OP, but wireless in freezing temps can be a pain. My bike is often outside for hours during winter, and there is no easy way to remove the transmitter/receiver batteries when leaving the bike. Computer itself is no problem, of course. But any batteries that repeatedly sit in the freezing cold for a while will perform poorly. I finally got fed up with having to constantly replace batteries and went back to wired setup.

    --J
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  8. #8
    Senior Member RussB's Avatar
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    I had a Cateye wireless, never had a problem. Decided to upgrade to one with cadence. Tried a VDO brand with wireless cadence. It was a piece of crap. It worked fine after setting up and checking it out on a bike stand. Went for a 10 mile ride. Computer resuts were 3.2 miles with an average speed of 22mph and a top speed of 20mph Even the cadence kept droping out as well. Now how can I average faster than my top speed. And why did it keep cutting out. I tried the re-intialize setting for the wireless signals and no improvement, works great indoors, lousy outside. Also I live in the country, there are no power lines nearby. Besides it never affected my old one. I have replaced it with a Cateye Strada wired with cadence. I'll probable never buy the VDO brand again.

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    I run wireless 2:1. But I have never had a battery last 4 yrs. Maybe 2. However, I don't like wires.

  10. #10
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    I have a Trek wireless and the battery in the display unit lasted less then a year. I gave me a weeks notice by getting dim but I failed to replace the battery before it went dead.
    Treks, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I've only ever had wired, and I've never had a damaged wire in 16 years. I don't see why anyone would pay extra for wireless. It maybe takes 2 minutes longer to install, and my computers seem to last around 10 years (one or two batt changes) before the contacts get corroded enough to scrap them.

    Wired is so reliable, I don't know why you'd mess with it.

  12. #12
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    Weird... I seem to need a new battery every year in my wired Vetta...


    I haven't had any reliability problems with wired or wireless computers.

    I have a Bicycling magazine article from 1988 that shows how you can drill out your fork and stem to run your cycling computer wires through it for a clean install.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  13. #13
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    I have the older Cateye Wireless 2 for about 5 years, and the battery in the computer is the original battery and it's still running. However there is a battery for the sending unit, and that one needs to be replaced every year. My older Wireless 2 has had no issues with interference, or problems with extreme heat or rain. They do have a tendency not to work below freezing but so did the wired unit.

    I actually like the wireless verses the wired because I don't like the wire...but that's the only reason, there is no advantage of one over the other except the wired jobs have more features for less money. You also have to watch when you park the bike that the sending unit on a wireless is not lined up with the magnet or you could drain the sending unit battery faster. But those little button batteries are cheap and can be found anywhere.

    The only reason I went to the wireless was because something did snag the wire on my last computer and pulled it away from the computer, so I thought I would try the wireless; otherwise it was for looks. I also don't like a lot of gimmicks on my computer so a wireless fulfills that issue too.

    I did find out that Cateye has an outstanding customer service department when the original sending unit went bad 1 year AFTER the warranty had expired and Cateye replaced it for FREE and they included the shipping! After that experience I will never buy a different brand of computer.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RussB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    Weird... I seem to need a new battery every year in my wired Vetta...


    I haven't had any reliability problems with wired or wireless computers.

    I have a Bicycling magazine article from 1988 that shows how you can drill out your fork and stem to run your cycling computer wires through it for a clean install.
    Drill your fork & Stem? I don't think anyone would put holes in a $800 to $3000 bike to install a $30-$80 computer. Being a 1988 article it was probably talking about drilling into steel forks. I won't try it in a carbon forks (can you say @#$%), I would not even try it in aliminum parts. If you're worried about loosing areodynamics run the wires on the backside (downwind) sides of you vertical bars. Although the difference would be negligable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RussB
    Drill your fork & Stem? I don't think anyone would put holes in a $800 to $3000 bike to install a $30-$80 computer. Being a 1988 article it was probably talking about drilling into steel forks. I won't try it in a carbon forks (can you say @#$%), I would not even try it in aliminum parts. If you're worried about loosing areodynamics run the wires on the backside (downwind) sides of you vertical bars. Although the difference would be negligable.
    All I did when I had my wired computer was to wind it up (wrap it a bunch of times around as you go up) a fork leg then wind it up the front brake cable and branched off to the handlebar and covered the wire at that point with the bar tape. If you do this though make sure you leave enough wire slack where the wire jumbs from the fork to the brake cable so you can turn the handlebars from one extreme the next without pulling on the wire which is about an inch.

    I haven't done that wired thing in a while so some of my details may be off, but it's easy enough to figure out; and this method requires no use of either zipties or electrical tape...both of which look tacky to me that's why I figured out that method.

    Even my front lighting system I wrap the wire from the battery to the light around the front portion of the rear brake cable so no zip ties or electrical tape is used and then it branches off near the stem where I allow some slack for the handlebars to turn from one extreme to the other without stressing the wire.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Pro's & Con's, if I ever have any problem with the wire models I have I will try a wireless.

    I bought wires because the dealer told me they had more returns on wireless.

    I should note, I like to chase rabbits through the sage brush, been stuck riding in water so deep I had to stand on the pedals to keep my Pearl Izumi's dry, and seen so much wash board I HATE it, but no problems yet with my wires.

    I have enjoyed reading this thread.
    I hate cars,

  17. #17
    Senior Member roadie138's Avatar
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    I have had lots of wire models over the years. But I like my cateye mico wireless the best .

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    Hi RussB.
    Quote Originally Posted by RussB
    ...Tried a VDO brand with wireless cadence. It was a piece of crap. It worked fine after setting up and checking it out on a bike stand. Went for a 10 mile ride. Computer resuts were 3.2 miles with an average speed of 22mph and a top speed of 20mph Even the cadence kept droping out as well. Now how can I average faster than my top speed. And why did it keep cutting out. I tried the re-intialize setting for the wireless signals and no improvement, works great indoors, lousy outside. Also I live in the country, there are no power lines nearby. Besides it never affected my old one. I have replaced it with a Cateye Strada wired with cadence. I'll probable never buy the VDO brand again.
    I and my friend had same troubles as you with wireless VDO.
    Sincerelly yours, Viacheslav aka OxygenH

  19. #19
    Honking drivers see you noriel's Avatar
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    My wireless acts up in the city.

    I bought a wireless computer a couple of years ago, and noticed that whenever I ride around the city, my computer gets weird top speed spikes, like 50+ mph. I don't recall getting caught onto a car and being drug, so I'm thinking there's some interference that I'm running through. It really stinks when your avg speed gets screwed up and you're doing a decent ride. I don't know if any other wireless users experience this of if it's just with my computer, whose brand I cannot remember.
    Noriel
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  20. #20
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    Wired with cadence on a bike with S&S couplers is a real nuisance.
    Yesterday I replaced the battery in my VDO computer and speedo
    (cadence was OK, so far) and I was surprised that the mileage memory
    was lost and I had to re-enter the wheel size. Some may care about
    that.

  21. #21
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    Will a wireless computer battery last close to that long and will it be as reliable?
    I have owned many wired, and wireless computers. I've found the wireless to be just as good; however, you will have to replace the battery in the sensor (that mounts to your fork) about once every other year. The wireless obviously gives a more clean look.

    ... Brad

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