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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.

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Old 04-02-01, 12:36 PM   #1
RainmanP
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I got quite excited when I first saw the Sigma computer light advertised. Since my early morning commute is in the dark I cannot see my computer except when I pass under a street light at just the right angle. I am not a serious trainer, but I do like to keep an eye on my cadence. Got the LBS to order one. It's the kind of thing I would normally order myself, but they were getting some other stuff for me. Anyway, I was disappointed. The little bulb, LED, whatever, is so bright the glare prevents reading the display at all. If I move it so the light is thrown forward to try to eliminate the glare rather than back so it reflects in my eyes, the light structure blocks the view of the screen. Has anyone tried one? Any ideas?
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Old 04-02-01, 04:12 PM   #2
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Maybe you can cover the light with a translucent material that will cut down on the glare, and just let enough light through to see the computer.
PS - Glad you got this after your horrendous crash!
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Old 04-03-01, 08:51 AM   #3
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Dave,
Excellent suggestion! I don't know why I did not think of that, especially since I used to use such tricks to soften camera flash! A littl piece of plastic milk jug might do the trick.
Of course, my "MUCH SIMPLER" solution was to buy some LEDs and a 2-AAA battery holder from Radio Shack and make my own light with a little wire and a piece of coat hanger. Let me tell you, it worked pretty well. I like it better than the factory version. I think I will pursue it to refine the attachment. I did not even put a switch, just male and female spade connectors that I had around. Plug in= ON. Unplug=OFF. Strictly the high-tech stuff for me! I just left the wire long, placed the battery holder in a zip lock bag and taped it to my stem. This is strictly a prototype, you understand. I will probably develop a sophisticated container for the batteries, like the aspirin bottle I just emptied last night. I will also swap the tape for a velcro strap or something and a piece of insulated copper electical wire for the coat hanger since it would be more adjustable. Wish I had thought of this before I sprung for the real thing!
If you want a light give this a try. There is nothing to it. Tell me what color (red or green) and I will even send you an LED since I have several left over. If you have any questions I will try to help.
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Raymond
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Old 04-05-01, 05:51 AM   #4
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OK, OK! As usual when I post something like this, I discovered that the real problem was operator error. I kept moving the light around to try to reduce the glare. This morning I inadvertently moved the computer itself and, Voila!, glare gone. I had the computer angled toward me for more straight on viewing. Unfortunately, this caused it to reflect any light directly at me. I still can't read the display completely clearly, but at least enough to tell at a glance that I'm pedalling in the 80s,90s, etc., and most of the time make out the second digit, too. Now the problem is just my old eyes!
So, if, like me, you ride in the dark, this is a neat little thing.
Also, if you want a computer that displays cadence, there really don't seem to be that many. I have a Sigma 1200 which is now called the 1400. Cateye also has a model that does cadence as does Performance. i am sure there are others in the other lines. The 1400 itself is about $25-30 depending on whether you order it online or get it from your LBS. The cadence kit is another $7. I recommend spending a couple of extra bucks and getting it from the LBS and lelt them install it. Installation is very simple, but placement of the pickup and wheel magnet is critical to the accuracy. Anyone can pretty much do it, but I figure they do it all the time and know exactly how to do the measurements.
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Raymond
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Old 04-05-01, 07:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Raymond.

Once again, you have brought some useful experience and knowledge to the forum.
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Old 04-05-01, 07:18 PM   #6
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I find that my helmet light not only lets me check my sigma 1200, but also what my index indicators say, and even my chain rings, as well as warning motorists of my intentions, all without adding anything to my already crammed handlebar.
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Old 12-13-05, 09:30 PM   #7
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Rainman has a nice juryrig computer light. I saw one for sale quite a while ago in an old ULTRACYCLING (UMCA mag). It used a tiny 12 volt bulb in a shielded holder that velcroed to the computer. The shield kept light out of the riders eyes. Twin-lead wires came out of the widget, to be wired into the riders' lighting system by the rider.
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Old 12-13-05, 09:35 PM   #8
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I moved my computer down onto my stem, where it sits crosswise, and to my amusement I discovered I can read the display by the light of (*drum roll*) my self-illuminating vest. In complete darkness, anyway

Someone should just make a simple fiber-optic guide tunnel thingamabob that picks up a little light from one's headlight and guides it to the computer. I tried making one out of Lucite rod once...
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Old 12-14-05, 12:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
I moved my computer down onto my stem, where it sits crosswise, and to my amusement I discovered I can read the display by the light of (*drum roll*) my self-illuminating vest. In complete darkness, anyway

Someone should just make a simple fiber-optic guide tunnel thingamabob that picks up a little light from one's headlight and guides it to the computer. I tried making one out of Lucite rod once...
I made a fiber optic cable computer light powered by the headlight, it works great. It's very ugly. I don't use it or my Sigma computer lights anymore. I switch my lights to different bikes and the computers are in different places in relation to the headlight, so It does not fit all the bikes.

It was just some fiber optic strands taped to a steel wire, then covered with heat shrink tubing and just held onto the headlight with a Velcro strap.

Hold a white water bottle in front of and above your headlight and you can see everything on your bike, You can even use it to see the rear cogs or the pedals.

A powerful bike headlight will even reflect light with your hands to see the computer if they are not wearing dark gloves.



Not as much fun as a self illuminating vest, but it works.
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Old 12-14-05, 03:16 AM   #10
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In the dark, I will be trying a small LED on a neck string to illuminate a liquid crystal wristwatch I have mounted on my handlebars. I figure, since checking the thing requires safe surrounding conditions at that point in time, grabbing hold of the small LED won't be that much of a bother so that I can point it at the watch.
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Old 12-14-05, 05:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
Someone should just make a simple fiber-optic guide tunnel thingamabob that picks up a little light from one's headlight and guides it to the computer.
You could pick up a digital optical cable to make this light, ah, extension. Perhaps RadioShack has a cheeper version.
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