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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

View Poll Results: Which do you use while commuting?
Bike Computer 26 35.62%
Smartphone 15 20.55%
Both 12 16.44%
Neither one 20 27.40%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-02-17, 11:18 PM   #26
KD5NRH
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Like you, I'm kind of surprised that what a short time was a luxury for the rich became a necessity for everyone.
It was mainly when prices got on par with a landline (especially if you do much long distance calling) that they became so common. Now, I sometimes have to remind employers and others that for more than half my life, the telephone was nailed to the kitchen wall, and yet people managed to build business empires, go to the moon, harness atomic energy, etc. without being able to call each other from their cars, the bathroom, the grocery store, or anywhere else besides the office and the kitchen, with the occasional exception of a phone booth.

Heck, I carried my pager for weeks after I canceled for the service because it was so nice to have it stay quiet all the time.
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Old 07-02-17, 11:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by RunForTheHills View Post
Interesting. I am a consultant (computer networking). I have carried a cell phone since the early 90's and wore a pager before that. There was a transition period where I carried both and only turned the phone on to return a page. If I had never used a cell phone, I would be a lot poorer today or in a different career. I spend a lot more on travel for work than I do on the cell phone. It is just the cost of doing business.
No one is arguing the virtues of cell phones, nor their role in making commerce easier and more convenient for many, especially those who have to travel.

However the vast bulk of personal cell phone use is for stuff that wouldn't have mattered either way. Of course they have utility, but for most people that nowhere approaches the "necessity" they've come to have.

I love irony, and one relates to the ATM system at my bank. I have an ATM card which allows all manor of transactions, and also do 99% of my banking on line (wrote only 1 check in the last two years).

So the bank as adopted a new system whereby you can access the ATM with your cell phone, and they keep trying to get me to sign up. Last time I was there, the manager tried again telling me about the greater convenience. I asked him to borrow his phone a second, then pulled out my bank card, and asked which he thought would be easier to carry, and which might fare better if I got caught out in the rain.
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Old 07-03-17, 06:33 AM   #28
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I didn't vote on the poll because I use a Garmin GPS watch for both running and biking. I like seeing the numbers add up over time and comparing months and years, etc. I occasionally use my smartphone to track, but it's redundant at that point.
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Old 07-03-17, 07:04 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
What are you?? Some kind of caveman?

Yes. The kind of caveman that has internet access.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post

I love irony, and one relates to the ATM system at my bank.

Thanks for the funny story, FB. That reminds me, my wife and I never had an ATM card either! Or, cable/satellite or any other "Pay$" TV. But we do have a rather nice cave that's been paid off for many years, a new Benz that's also paid in full, zero debt, and sizable retirement accounts. Wife has a (non-smart $15) cell phone, but service is only $8 a month and she often goes a week without using it.
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Old 07-03-17, 09:07 AM   #30
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And here I am more than happy to use Android Pay to get a bottle of soda out of the machine because I forget to stop at the bank to get cash. I keep all of my store cards in my phone so that I don't need to keep them on my key chain. Don't even need to bring my wallet into the grocery store because I can just pay with my phone.

The best part about it? Put it on silent while you are riding and don't want to be bothered. Just because you have it doesn't mean you need to be connected all the time. Very nice to have in an emergency, or to get information from, but you don't have to use it all the time.
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Old 07-03-17, 10:59 AM   #31
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I use this one

Just to follow the cumulative distance of my trips.
(The temperature here is today morning after parking under sunlight...)
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Old 07-03-17, 01:06 PM   #32
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I cannot overcome the urge to match/exceed benchmarks/round numbers/whatever with a computer on the stem staring at me so I do without. I would use a smartphone app (phone stuffed into pocket or luggage) if I found one I liked but the only one I was close to liking (mytracks) google pulled the plug on and it seems to run worse and worse since then (although I can't tell how much of that is a function of the app decaying vs my phone aging). So I do w/o 'analytics' (beyond 'felt great today!' or 'felt like crap but pushed through today!')
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Old 07-03-17, 02:16 PM   #33
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I voted neither; my ride is 7.5 miles, and I gauge how well I'm doing by what gear I'm in. I'm also a slug with a strong competitive streak, so I took my computer off. Now my speeds are too slow, too fast, or fast enough, although traffic this morning was light enough that the radar sign told me I was doing 13 mph. Not bad.

I carry a pay-as-you-go dumb phone, as I have elderly people with poor health in my life. Fortunately it rarely rings.
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Old 07-03-17, 02:23 PM   #34
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I use my Garmin 25 primarily because it is easily mounted, while keeping my phone tucked in my bag for emergencies.
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Old 07-04-17, 08:03 AM   #35
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I use a Garmin Edge 705 paired with the heart monitor strap. It works very well and the files convert to Strava etc.
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Old 07-04-17, 12:48 PM   #36
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wow, has BF really degraded to discussing cell/mobile phones.

I just turned 40 and love them as I manage people across the planet, read/write documents and conduct nearly all of my business without the need to carry a MacBook around.
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Old 07-05-17, 09:43 AM   #37
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lol

I'm also a luddite. I have a payg trac-fone that cost me less than $5 from walmart. It sits in my kittier turned off all the time. FB is right, smartphones have some amount of real utility for some people, but the vast majority of smartphone use is trivial and unnecessary.

As to the point of the post, I have a simple wired cyclocomputer (Cateye Mity 3). I usually never look at it while commuting, but I like to have it automatically accumulating all my miles, so I have a good idea what my annual mileage is like. For the past 3 years, I've put more miles on my bike than on 'my' car. Probably won't happen this year because our household added a driver, and the 2nd car is getting used a bit more, but it will probably be under 3K miles for that car.

For longer recreational rides I'll pay attention to the distance and avg/current speed, and if there's any good downhills, I try for a high max speed. For instance, for my annual berfday ride (recently turned 47) I rode over 47 miles and at one point went over 47 mph. Avg speed was under 12mph. (I could never do a century, I couldn't stand 8+hours on the bike!)

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Old 07-05-17, 09:55 AM   #38
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I like a tally of my miles, and I enjoy the other statistics that come with that, so I run ridewithgps on my phone most of the times I ride. I'm aiming to get stronger (and succeeding!) so I'm watching my average speed go up, so this is nice.

I invested in a nice case and mount for my handlebars, from Quad Lock. The instant speed readout isn't accurate, since it's using GPS. I could add a wheel sensor to remedy that. Another disadvantage is that it's a little tricky to operate a smart phone touchscreen while on a bike, so a dedicated bike computer would have an advantage there. But since I have the smartphone anyway, this is less expensive than a computer.
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Old 07-05-17, 10:32 AM   #39
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I have a bike computer but I can't say I "use" it. I go days without looking at it.

My phone is in use constantly. It's primarily a book reader and an audiobook/podcast player. I rarely use it to access anything on the internet (maybe once every 3 or 4 days) and even rarer use it for communications - maybe 3 or 4 texts all at once to someone every week or two.

I do own a Kindle and an MP3 player, but I don't always have them with me. Now that I have a phone that has a 2 day battery I don't worry about conserving power and it's basically the only device I use for that sort of thing.
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Old 07-05-17, 10:35 AM   #40
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i'm a neither.

i like simple.
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Old 07-12-17, 01:17 AM   #41
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I voted bike computer, but I actually use my Garmin Forerunner watch since it tracks my heartrate and I also use it for all of my other activities. It can last for a full century ride with an active display/GPS/etc with some room to spare (unlike my phone).

I also use my phone, but I only have it in my pocket and I listen to the periodic verbal updates (from the Garmin app) and streaming radio (sometimes).
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Old 07-12-17, 10:09 AM   #42
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I like numbers. I like measuring things. I like knowing how far a ride was, if I went faster than last time, if I went the same speed, but my average heart rate was lower, it means I'm getting in better shape. So, for all those reasons I've had-

Garmin Edge 205
Garmin Edge 305
Garmin Edge 705
Garmin Edge 800

I am still using the 800, it has by far the best battery life of any GPS I've ever encountered, and every time I'm tempted to go for that shiny new 820, or 1000 I'm reminded of how awesome my 800 has been and how rock solid it is.

I also use a garmin virb basic front facing cam, it turns on automatically when I start my gps, and turns off when I stop, it's mainly for safety but I confess to liking electronics.

I upload all my rides to Garmin Connect, and use that to track my miles.

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Old 07-12-17, 10:47 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
I didn't vote on the poll because I use a Garmin GPS watch for both running and biking. I like seeing the numbers add up over time and comparing months and years, etc. I occasionally use my smartphone to track, but it's redundant at that point.
Curious which watch you use and how you like it.
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Old 07-13-17, 06:21 AM   #44
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Curious which watch you use and how you like it.
I had been using the ForeRunner 405 for a few years, but recently upgraded to a 920xt. The 920 is a couple of years old (or more) already, but that meant it was a lot cheaper than the newer models.

I like it a lot. It acquires satellites quickly and has more than enough data for me. It came with a HR monitor which I use more for running than biking. It can pair with a cadence sensor if I so desired, but haven't looked into it.

After every ride or run, I hit save and it sends it to my phone via bluetooth. The phone sends it to Garmin Connect, Strava pulls it from Garmin Connect and then I get kudos from friends. Which is the real reason I commute by bike.
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Old 07-13-17, 07:43 AM   #45
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CatEye Strada Cadence, and I pretty much keep it set on cadence. Monitoring my cadence bumped my comfortable ride distance up by quite a bit within a month of getting the CatEye. Until my phone battery started getting unreliable, I was using Strava as well to keep track of daily/weekly/monthly mileage.

Seriously considering one of the Lezyne GPS computers with cadence and HR, since adding GPS to the computer would keep me from needing to keep the phone active if I start doing some light to moderate touring. Even with a new battery, the phone is only good for 2-4 hours of active GPS tracking.

to add to what you've stated about the lezyne is that the battery life for me has exceeded 20 hours of use between commuting and just general riding during the weekend. i opted to purchase the fully loaded version with the HRM and the Speed/Cadence sensor plus the outfront mount.

also, i have two bikes. and the recently updated the software to make it available for two different bikes with different tire sizes and weights and such.

the other benefit i've found to this particular unit is that since it isn't touch screen, its unaffected by rain, which i end up riding in a lot. also, i never use my phone for strava as this unit syncs my rides to strava when they're done when i get home using my cell phone.
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Old 07-13-17, 08:30 AM   #46
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Those Lezyne units are a lot less expensive than Garmin stuff!
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Old 07-16-17, 02:48 AM   #47
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the other benefit i've found to this particular unit is that since it isn't touch screen, its unaffected by rain, which i end up riding in a lot.
This is another feature I've been wanting. My phone is water resistant, but pretty much useless when there's water on the screen.

How's the ease of use with yours? I'm mostly on simple routes, but I guess if I end up touring in unfamiliar cities, the routing (and rerouting) would become important. For around here and simple city-to-city riding, cadence, HR, distance and speed are the main things I'd want to track.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:44 PM   #48
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Technically both, since I've got the computer on the handlebars, synced to the phone for Garmin's Livetrack... my wife likes knowing whereabouts I am on my ride in since I leave the house at 5am. However, I'm not watching the computer (since it's dark and I'm watching the road), and the phone is in my pocket, so neither is also a feasible response
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