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Thread: Computers

  1. #1
    Senior Member madfiNch's Avatar
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    Computers

    What kind of computers do you guys recommend? I'd prefer something wireless/easily detachable. I don't need GPS or anything, just miles, speed, avg. speed - that kind of thing. Also, please let me know if it's easy to install, or if I'm better off taking it to a shop for installation. I had one on my bike a couple years ago, but the shop installed it. It looked like it worked via magnets, and I figured you had to be pretty careful about the wheel diameter/magnet placement to get it right, but I really don't pretend to understand it...

    Thanks!

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    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    They are dead easy to install. Hardest part is noodling out the instructions to set the clock.
    To install them you attach the computer to your handlebars with (usually included) zip ties; same routine for the pickup on your fork. Attach the magnet to your spokes so it passes in front of the pickup, and program the computer with your wheel size; no more difficult than programing a remote control.
    I always get the cheepest one I can find, wired or otherwise. The only features I really care for are spedo, clock, and odometer.

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    I bought a cateye astrale 8 recently, very easy to install. Probably easier to install than a saddle bag.
    I only bought it because I had no idea what cadence I used most often. Cadence/speed is pretty important to me. At least I found out I pedal at 100rpm
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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    Computers..........

    I have tried Cateye, Panoram, and Sigma, and prefer the Sigma.

    As an older person I found the Cateye Strada to be too small, the width of a postage stamp, to be exact.

    The Panoram V12 died after three years so I decided to try something else and went with Sigma. Two actually; one for the road bike and one for the commuter.

    So far it is doing all that I need and is cheap and simple to boot.

    Everything in life is menu driven, and most computers are also. Drives me nuts, but after it is set it is pretty hands off.

    They can be had locally for just over twenty dollars and the only picky point is to keep the magnet within 5mm of the pick-up sensor. You can easily install it yourself....it may not be as neat as a bike shop but in the end you wil enjoy it.

    Here is a link to the 1106 that I have..........

    http://www.sigmasport.com/us/produkt...punkt=features

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    I've had a Cateye CD300DW for a few weeks now. It's wireless and has cadence. It's my first computer, so I don't have any comparative comments, but I like it. Pretty easy to install and operate. One feature I like, and I'm sure it's not unique, is that it can track 2 "trips" at the same time. Combined with the "auto start/stop" feature that stops the recording when you're not moving (for example, waiting at a red light), I can record my commute using both "trips," one with auto start/stop and one without. That way, I get average data over the entire trip, as well as average data over only the time I was actually pedaling.

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    I've had a Cateye CD300DW for a few weeks now. It's wireless and has cadence. It's my first computer, so I don't have any comparative comments, but I like it. Pretty easy to install and operate. One feature I like, and I'm sure it's not unique, is that it can track 2 "trips" at the same time. Combined with the "auto start/stop" feature that stops the recording when you're not moving (for example, waiting at a red light), I can record my commute using both "trips," one with auto start/stop and one without. That way, I get average data over the entire trip, as well as average data over only the time I was actually pedaling.

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    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    I use the Blackburn "Delphi 3.0" wired computer on my bike. So far its been great. It also has wired cadence with the sensor zip-tied to the laft chainstay. I completely gave up on any wireless computers because they were all a piece of crap, the last one being the VDO 'C4-DS' computer that would "zero out" at any time and not come back on for sometimes 7 miles. The other wireless computers had their own issues, like clocking me doing 75 mph down a small hill.

    So I'll just stick to the old wired computers for now.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

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    Senior Member madfiNch's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks you guys. You're being very helpful.

    Not to sound like a total noob, but what's cadence?

    Also, if it's a wired computer, can I still detach it easily?

    Edit: Also, are they all pretty water proof?

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    I've been using the Planet Bike Protege 9.0 this summer. It updates everything but the stock report. I've had a Cateye Enduro on my mountain bike for ~5 years with no problems, still on original battery.

    IMO unless you "need" wireless, get a wired computer - it's one less thing to worry about breaking.

    Both of the above computers are easy to remove [the Cateye slightly easier to remove than the Planet Bike].

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    Quote Originally Posted by madfiNch View Post
    Okay, thanks you guys. You're being very helpful.

    Not to sound like a total noob, but what's cadence?

    Also, if it's a wired computer, can I still detach it easily?

    Edit: Also, are they all pretty water proof?



    Cadence is the speed at which you pedal, measured.......I think......in RPM.

    Personally I have never had any problems in the rain but YMMV, (Your Milage May Vary).

    You can easily remove the computer from the handlebar mount in about a second. Taking the computer off the bike completely does take a few minutes. Since you will end up with spare parts when you install a computer I suggest putting them in a ziplock bag and labeling them.

    Good luck.

    Good luck.

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    I just purchased the wired Sigma BC 1106 yesterday for $25. Surprisingly easy to install. The computer comes off the bracket very easily. I went with wired instead of wireless because I've heard that 1) wireless drains batteries faster and 2) they sometimes do not have the most accurate read.

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    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Can't tell you what to buy, but I'll advise you NOT to buy the planet bike Protege 9.0 wireless.

    I bought two and have had nothing but issues. One shipped with a dead battery ($5 to replace) and the other died within two weeks. Performance has been flaky as well.

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    I have cateye astrale 8s on 2 of my bikes. Good little computer. However, it is not wireless but it is fairly inexpensive. It is easy to take off the bike but I have had 2 tabs on the handlebar mount piece that have broken off. After the second time I did not bother to replace it. The computer stays on but now it is very easy to take off when I need to.
    My next computer looks like it will be something like a Garmin Edge. Mmmm.... GPS.... mmmm....

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    Cateye Strada comes in wired and wireless formats. I have the wired, and I've had no issues with it -- it's easy to work with while riding, comes off the mount when I want it to but not when I don't want it to, and it has not "lost" the wheel magnet ever. I've had troubles in that last category with a couple different wireless models from Topeak, CDO, and Cateye. So I went back to wired, and I've been much more happy with the consistency of performance with the Strada.

    Installation was REALLY simple - no tools necessary, not even a screwdriver. And I also love the fact that it can be stem mounted, which leaves more room on my handlebars for lights and my handlebar bag when I need it.

    Here's a link to the manual. (note: it's a PDF)

    It's definitely the easiest one I've had to install, although I've installed enough by now that most of them are easy anyway.

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    Raving looney
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    My last cyclocomputer is a Filzer dB4L from MEC for the grand whopper of $13.50+tax - it has trip functions as well as regular odo/speed/max. speed, etc. The only thing I might look for in another computer would be cadence. The chief reasons for having these things are wanting to know how fast I'm going and how far I've been.

    The MEC was all cable ties and hand-threaded stuff - no tools required to install and VERY easy - as others have said, the hardest part is deciphering the instructions for wheel/clock setting

    My MTB has a Schwinn computer of some sort I got from Canadian Tire - same functions, though. This mounted with a 'proper' handlebar mount and a screw for the magnet, so I needed a Philips Screwdriver, but again, very simple stuff to install.

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    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    I'm pretty fond of my Cateye Micro Wireless. It was a breeze to install and works pretty flawlessly. Although I've never had any wireless issues just tooting around town, it does stop working as soon as I turn on my Dinotte LED headlight. My wife has a Cateye Strada wireless that is just about as easy to use as you can get. Neither computer has cadence, but they have just about everything else you could want.

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    Can't tell you what to buy, but I'll advise you NOT to buy the planet bike Protege 9.0 wireless.

    I bought two and have had nothing but issues. One shipped with a dead battery ($5 to replace) and the other died within two weeks. Performance has been flaky as well.
    I'll chime in for the Protege 9.0 wired version being awesome. I've got about 1400 miles on mine this year, and I'm about to order a second bracket and sensor so I can swap it from my commuter to my road bike. The installation was easy, the setup was simple, operation is a snap, and it's waterproof like a duck's back. The only wonky thing about it is the temperature. It's always off by a bit, and I assume that's because of where the sensor is located.
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    One more point for the first-time installer - the magnet needs to pass pretty danged close to the pickup on a lot of the models (I'd say a distance of < 2mm). So if you think it's not working, that could be it. Easiest way for me is to set the pickup so it's grazing the magnet as the wheel spins, and either letting the magnet knock the pickup slightly off it's path, or gently nudge it yourself.

    I've found the pickup slips occasionally, and I've gotten used to the touch it takes to get it right - occasionally when riding.

    In any event, it's not very hard to get it installed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenstork View Post
    I'm pretty fond of my Cateye Micro Wireless. It was a breeze to install and works pretty flawlessly. Although I've never had any wireless issues just tooting around town, it does stop working as soon as I turn on my Dinotte LED headlight. My wife has a Cateye Strada wireless that is just about as easy to use as you can get. Neither computer has cadence, but they have just about everything else you could want.
    I have this one as well & I guess it's very sensitive to RF from high powered lights as mine stops working when I turn the HID on. Oddly if I tilt it where the LCD is almost facing front it picks up a clean signal again. One piece of advice on whatever you get is to apply some clear tape to the screen to save it from scratches.

  20. #20
    Senior Member madfiNch's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I hooked up my computer today. I went with the Sigma 1606L because it was the least expensive one that still had cadence. I thought it would be useful for me to know what my rpms were because you're supposed to shoot for 80-90 rpms for a good cardio workout, right? It seems to work fine, my biggest problem was installing the components so they didn't hit each other! Getting them close enough wasn't a problem, but getting them far enough apart was.
    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenstork View Post
    I'm pretty fond of my Cateye Micro Wireless. It was a breeze to install and works pretty flawlessly. Although I've never had any wireless issues just tooting around town, it does stop working as soon as I turn on my Dinotte LED headlight. My wife has a Cateye Strada wireless that is just about as easy to use as you can get. Neither computer has cadence, but they have just about everything else you could want.
    I had the same problem with a wireless computer + flashing LED lamp - I was doing 17kmh when stopped. Never again wireless, for that reason.

    Got a wired Sigma - simple and easy to read.

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