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Old 09-24-07, 12:58 PM   #1
hy_tek
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Smile Recommend a basic cyclocomputer please

Hello everyone!

I am 56 years old, new here, and so far impressed with the site. Lots of nice people enjoying a common interest. I am in the market for my first cyclocomputer and overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available. All I really want are the very basic functions like speed, distance, clock etc. My biking consists of mainly riding my cross bike on the mostly smooth crushed limestone trails SW of Chicago. My main requirements are: reliability, visibility and value.

Do you think some of you fine people could give me a few suggestions. One unit I read a lot about is the Cateye Mity 8. Seems to be a good bang for the buck unit which is what I am looking for basically.

I see a lot of you people recommending Nashbar as a cheap place to buy from but their prices seemed rather high to me compared to other sites. For instance they want $29.95 + S/H for a Mity 8 which is rather high compared to other online dealers.(sorry Nashbar) Any other good online suppliers as well?

All suggestions will be much appreciated.
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Old 09-24-07, 01:03 PM   #2
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I'm fond of VDO computers as they are simple to set up and navigate and are extremely durable. The basic models (C1, C2, C3) have everything that the non-competitive cyclist could want in a computer.
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Old 09-24-07, 01:15 PM   #3
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I've been using PlanetBike computers for the last five-ten years. I like how they display a lot of info all at once without having to tab through menus or hit buttons. It's less distracting that way, imo. I've also used VDOs and Cateyes. I don't spend more than $30, because eventually they break. Seems like I get about two years out of a cpu.

I recently took my cpu off my road bike in favor of just using my gps garmin forerunner 305.
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Old 09-25-07, 08:05 AM   #4
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Anyone have any feelings about the Cateye Micro Wireless one way or the other? It is on sale for about $30 delivered.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:03 AM   #5
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If you live in a city or any other place with electrical interference stay away from wireless computers, they won't read properly.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:30 AM   #6
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My main requirements are: reliability, visibility and value.
All good requirements, but the biggest concern should be functionality. IOW, how easy and clever is it to operate? Click here for reviews. Some are downright awful.

EXAMPLE: I have two Sigma computers that are virtually identical but the newest generation they decided to make the setup function part of the main keys. So if you look at the damned thing funny it goes into setup mode and starts blinking "ENGLISH." I hate the stupid thing. Funny thing the previous model i also have and the setup button is different and so I love it.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:32 AM   #7
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I love my 1st bottom of the line sigma, but they keep 'improving' their bottom of the line, making them incrementally worse each year. Now I'm on my 3rd, and therefore worst, but it's still tolerable at least in light of good will leftover from the 1st.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:11 AM   #8
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I recently purchased a Sigma BC-1606L Computer for $29.95 from Excel Sports. I considered the wireless version, but have read about quite a few glitches that people experience with wireless bike computers so I went wired (and if I recall, the wireless version was about twice the cost, roughly). The Sigma BC-1606L Computer has some pretty good reviews and I'm liking it pretty well. I'm not crazy about the wiring and routing thereof (you have to get a bit creative depending on your bike), but any wired system will likely present exactly the same wire routing challenges. But it works great and gives me lots of good data for current ride and cumulative. I was mostly concerned with distance, time of ride, and speed (so I could see how blazingly fast I was really going . . . ).
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Old 09-25-07, 10:39 AM   #9
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I recently purchased a Sigma BC-1606L Computer for $29.95 from Excel Sports. I considered the wireless version, but have read about quite a few glitches that people experience with wireless bike computers so I went wired (and if I recall, the wireless version was about twice the cost, roughly). The Sigma BC-1606L Computer has some pretty good reviews and I'm liking it pretty well. I'm not crazy about the wiring and routing thereof (you have to get a bit creative depending on your bike), but any wired system will likely present exactly the same wire routing challenges. But it works great and gives me lots of good data for current ride and cumulative. I was mostly concerned with distance, time of ride, and speed (so I could see how blazingly fast I was really going . . . ).
The 1606L is the computer to which i referred. Mine always goes into setup mode despite me doing nothing. Plus i already had to replace a harness, but i think that was my LBS's fault for how they installed it. Still I would NOT recommend this computer. I have the 1600 and love it, but hate this one.

I have two Cateye Mity 3's on a couple of bikes that are almost 5 yrs old and have been used a LOT. THey have never missed a beat and are tough as nails.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:44 AM   #10
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Vetta RT-88. Simple, wireless, inexpensive, decent quality.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:12 AM   #11
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The 1606L is the computer to which i referred. Mine always goes into setup mode despite me doing nothing.
Interesting. I don't really have anything to compare it to (this is my first), but I'm not having too much difficulty adjusting (at least, not that I'd consider out of the ordinary for a newly acquired similar device). Kind of like getting used to a digital watch, I guess, in that all of them are slightly different even if made by the same manufacturer.

On the going into setup mode, are you meaning that it literally goes into setup mode on its own or it goes into setup mode when you press the setup button inadvertently? If you actually mean it goes into setup mode on its own, mine hasn't ever done that. But I have made it go into setup mode accidentally while in that "getting used to how it operates" phase.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:39 AM   #12
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I recently replaced my 15+ year-old Cateye with a new Cateye Mity 8. It fit right in the same bracket as my old one and it works just fine. It is inexpensive, reliable, wired, easy to set up and use and you've got to love the compatibility over 15+ years.

-soma5
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Old 09-25-07, 12:18 PM   #13
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I am now using a Sigma BC906 and it's fine. REI had a member's sale, so the final price was $20USD. It's basic, wired, and the sensor and computer are held on by large rubber rings, so they fit a wide variety of forks, bars, and stems (if you center mount like I did). It has fairly large fonts, good for us elderly. The printed setup numbers for wheel diameter were wildly off, though, and I had to do a roll-out and measure to get any accuracy.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:13 PM   #14
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It is amazing that the same question will get different answers at different points in time.

If you do a search you will find that the majority of recommendations historically have been for Cateye products. The Mity 8 and Astrale 8 are dependable. I have both and they have worked flawlessly for a year. I believe the Astrale 8 has been discontinued but might still be available. The Estrada 8 and cadence version area also good. The Enduro 8 is the Mity 8 with a heavier duty cable.
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Old 09-26-07, 01:39 PM   #15
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I have had ecellent results from my older Sigma unit. It was simple, but well built and survived a car crash that trashed the previous bike (and luckily I was not seriously hurt). I moved it over to the new bike and has worked well for an other 1100 miles. My wife was complaining that her cheapy bike computer didn't work so I gave her mine and upgraded to a PlanetBike Protoge 9 unit for $24.99 at Nash bar and used the recent free shipping deal. To compare the Sigma is a little nicer quality, but the geek inside loved the 4 lines of information. I've only been using it for the last 2 days and so far it is fine. Besides speed you get ride time, ride distance, temp and time on the main window. You can change the view to subsitute the temp and time for average and maximum speed readings. And on one of the menues you also see total mileage. For the money it is a nice computer.

Happy riding,
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Old 09-26-07, 01:52 PM   #16
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this is a great thread..i've been looking into the same thing. glad to hear some great advice..
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Old 10-01-07, 02:06 PM   #17
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Well thanks gentlemen for your advice. My wife has an older Schwinn 12 function computer that has served her well. So at her urging I bought one. I know it's not state of the art or high tech but it serves my purpose which is distance, and a speedometer with a clock. Besides for $9.32 at Walmart if it breaks I won't feel "wallet withdrawal" from losing a ton of money.

There are several caveats which concern me in it's construction however. While the computer itself is identical to her years old Schwinn Computer and solidly built, the hardware is considerably different. The mounting "bracket if you want to call it that, consists of 2 tie wraps to the handlebar for the computer mounting base. While it is functional it is certainly low tech. The older model bracket bolted on the handlebars securely and had an adjustable arm. The other thing I noticed is the sensor wire is smaller in the new model.

The final thing and the one that concerns me the most is the wheel magnet. The entire assembly, except for the magnet itself, is cheap plastic. I mean now much money did they save by going to a plastic magnet holder?.... a few pennies (or yen)? Come on Schwinn! I am not sure about how long this will last or if it will shift. I tightened it as much as I dare and it is still relatively easy to spin it around the spoke. I worry it will reliably stay in place. Basically it is cheaper than cheap. So anyone thinking about this unit "Caveat Emptor" if absolute quality is a concern for you. But then again for $9.32 you can't expect perfection either.

On a positive note the screen is easily readable, the buttons are easy to operate while riding, and it is quite accurate when setup correctly. I will post at a later date on how well it holds up since I read in the forums that a lot of recreational riders owned or were considering this unit.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:37 PM   #18
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One of the kind of neat things about the Sigma BC-1606L is that if you buy the "Bike 2" harness for about $8 (Sigma Front Mount Kit Bike 2) and attach it to a second bike, you can use the same main computer on two different bikes. You use the Bike 1 settings and data for one bike and Bike 2 settings and data for whatever second bike you might choose. You just attach the main computer to the harness on whichever bike you're riding and set it appropriately to track the data for that bike (whichever one you've designated as Bike 1 or Bike 2). You end up with current info for whichever bike you're riding at the time and two sets of cumulative data for both bikes (cumulative time, distance, average speed). I'm splitting time between two bikes right now and have just ordered the harness for the second bike -- so I'm going to give it a shot and see how it works out.
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Old 10-02-07, 06:53 AM   #19
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I do have one more favor to ask however. When I looked at the wheel circumference chart they gave me, my particular tire is not listed. I do not have any metric measuring devices to actually measure for myself. The closest I can figure is 2150mm.

My tire is a 700 x 38C. They ask for the circumference in millimeters. I can come close but would anyone have the exact figure at their disposal perhaps in a wheel chart for another cyclocomputer.

I will ask here and if nobody responds I suppose I will post a new thread for the information.

Thanks in advance you have all been a big help this far !!
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Old 10-02-07, 06:59 AM   #20
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Here's one vote for a Mity 8. That's what I've been using on two bikes for the past year and half.
There's also a Mity 3... fairly cheap on ebay sometimes. I snagged one for my girls bike, but haven't received it yet. The reason I say ebay is I sometimes have problems finding the lower-end computers at local places. My choices are high-dollar, more than I want wireless, or Target/walmart cheapies. I've had them, and they work... but I just wanted something 1 step up.

I'll second the non-wireless for urban areas. I've seen a wireless clock 90+ mph while sitting still.

Normally the instructions have a chart that will list the numbers you need to setup... the best way to measure your roll-out, cause not all tire sizes are created equal.

EDIT: wow, I really need to learn to read. sorry, didn't notice your tire wasn't listed. Measureing it will be most accurate... but maybe someone will throw you a number.

Last edited by chevy42083; 10-02-07 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 10-02-07, 07:17 AM   #21
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I do have one more favor to ask however. When I looked at the wheel circumference chart they gave me, my particular tire is not listed. I do not have any metric measuring devices to actually measure for myself. The closest I can figure is 2150mm.

My tire is a 700 x 38C. They ask for the circumference in millimeters. I can come close but would anyone have the exact figure at their disposal perhaps in a wheel chart for another cyclocomputer.

I will ask here and if nobody responds I suppose I will post a new thread for the information.

Thanks in advance you have all been a big help this far !!
Try Sheldon Brown's site and see if the info there helps.

Cyclecomputer Calibration Chart
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Old 10-02-07, 07:27 AM   #22
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I do have one more favor to ask however. When I looked at the wheel circumference chart they gave me, my particular tire is not listed. I do not have any metric measuring devices to actually measure for myself. The closest I can figure is 2150mm.

My tire is a 700 x 38C.
If you want to be really exact about it, you should measure. Often. But if you cannot measure it, I think you're close enough. Sigma's manual for example suggests 2105 for 700x35C and 2224 for 700x40C. From that, I would enter 2175mm or so, which is a whopping 1,1% above your figure. It only takes a 7,5mm change in tyre diameter to cause about the same error.

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Old 10-02-07, 07:48 AM   #23
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Try Sheldon Brown's site and see if the info there helps.

Cyclecomputer Calibration Chart
Thank you so much that was the ticket. That is a wonderful site for setting up computers initially. It appears I wasn't far off with my 2150mm measurement. The chart at the site you gave me said I should be at 2180mm for that 700X38c tire.

I wanted to test the initial accuracy of the Schwinn computer I just bought to make sure it is functioning correctly since it is brand new.

What a great and helpful forum this is!!!!!
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Old 10-02-07, 07:57 AM   #24
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Thank you so much that was the ticket. That is a wonderful site for setting up computers initially. It appears I wasn't far off with my 2150mm measurement. The chart at the site you gave me said I should be at 2180mm for that 700X38c tire.
Hey, you're welcome. And just as a side note, you ought to take a tour around the Sheldon Brown site if you haven't already done that (and bookmark it for future reference... ...you'll be glad you did). There is a true wealth of information there. Fantastic site with lots of great reference material.
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Old 10-03-07, 09:16 AM   #25
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Thank you so much that was the ticket. That is a wonderful site for setting up computers initially. It appears I wasn't far off with my 2150mm measurement. The chart at the site you gave me said I should be at 2180mm for that 700X38c tire.

I wanted to test the initial accuracy of the Schwinn computer I just bought to make sure it is functioning correctly since it is brand new.

What a great and helpful forum this is!!!!!
You stated you had no way of measuring in mm, so just to double check the chart figure, do the following: along a straight line- driveway edge, expansion seam,etc.
1. Place a piece of tape on the ground
2. Place the valve stem in the middle of the tape, & while putting some weight on the front tire, roll it one complete time around.
3. Measure with a "standard" tape measure, & multiply by 25.4 to get measurement in mm.
4. Compare this to the chart.

I did this for the same cyclometer (Schwinn 12 from wallmart) for my wife's bike. It is probably the best way to get an accurate measurement.

I thought about one for me, but I would like one that has "Cadence". Not for sure if I really need it, still trying to decide.

I had another wheel magnet, so I used that one intead of the cheap plastic one.

Good luck, & keep us posted on how it holds up for you.
Chris
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