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Old 07-26-09, 10:04 AM   #1
BND10706
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Best Cheap Bike Computer?

I had a Cate Eye Velo 5 on my bike, then on my way home today after my ride... it was missing off my bike. Im sure its somewhere on the interstate...

Anyways, I am in need of a new computer, the Velo 5 was a $20 computer, and did well for me minus the few times I wanted to remount it and it gave me a problems with read outs.

I am just curious if anyone has had any luck with cheap(er) computer models. There is a wireless bell model one at walmart for $30. Or should I just go back and buy the velo 5 again for $20 And live with the wires?

Im just looking for a good computer that works..

If anyone wants to sell me one, let me know as well. Thanks!
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Old 07-26-09, 09:16 PM   #2
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Cateye Mity 8 runs about $20.

Displays speed, max speed, average speed, trip distance, 2nd trip distance, total distance, elapsed time, clock
Dual tire size, automatic start/stop, automatic power-saving mode
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Old 07-26-09, 10:26 PM   #3
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I use the wally word wireless bel you spoke of for the last 2 weeks on you bike and I have to say the wireless is really nice
no wires needed
Now I had to tweek the starting wheel diameter numbers to get a perfect mile count
but it is nice has time temp cal burned fat burned distance and odometer plus a neat indigo blue backlight

use mine for 2 weeks and 100 miles (new bike) my other one did the now you see it now you dont on the trail one day so I got this one
I would recommend this as a "cheaper" computor that works well
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Old 07-26-09, 11:25 PM   #4
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I'm using a wired Bell F-20. Works quite well for me. I got it on sale of about $15. It calculates Calories/grams fat burned; tracks distance (trip and odo), average speed, max speed, time riding; has a clock and thermometer; EL backlight (kind of worthless IMO); and has a pause function to stop monitoring. Auto on/off and a maintenance reminder as well.
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Old 07-27-09, 03:48 AM   #5
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my wife uses the same bell wired 20 on her bike and loves it

The back light is just a cute function ......I mostly use it after i remove it from the bike never have used it on the bike but i guess if you bike at night it might be neat
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Old 07-27-09, 08:37 AM   #6
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I love this Cateye Strada Wireless Computer for $36.06.

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Old 07-27-09, 08:42 PM   #7
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Worth the extra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroozin View Post
I love this Cateye Strada Wireless Computer for $36.06.

Ditto:

I have two now. Rained on dropped several times. 1 battery change in 1 year or 4000 miles.

I have a bell wirless from wally world in the drawer and there it shall remain nuff said.
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Old 07-27-09, 11:10 PM   #8
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I have a bell wirless from wally world in the drawer and there it shall remain nuff said.
While I like my Bell (which as I said is a wired version), my friend went with a Bell wireless and the thing is miserable... very unreliable and definitely not something I'd recommend.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BND10706 View Post
I had a Cate Eye Velo 5 on my bike, then on my way home today after my ride... it was missing off my bike. Im sure its somewhere on the interstate...

Anyways, I am in need of a new computer, the Velo 5 was a $20 computer, and did well for me minus the few times I wanted to remount it and it gave me a problems with read outs.
I've had lots of problems with the mounts on Cateyes in the past year. The lock tab cracks and breaks off so the computer is much too easy to knock off. I've lost 5 of them. I like the computers but at around $30 a pop, 5 is just too many.

This spring, I decided I'd had enough and switched to Sigma. The Sigma computers have a twist lock mechanism that seems more robust. You can find them at REI for $20 to $40 for wired versions. L.L. Bean has the 1606L (lighted with cadence) for $25.
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Old 07-28-09, 10:03 AM   #10
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I have a wired Schwinn 12-Function I bought at Wal-Mart for (I think) $12. I've been running it for about a year, and it's worked great through all the weather I've thrown at it. In very cold weather (like -20*F) the display gets very dim until it warms back up, but I imagine that most any other computer would do the same.

I wish it's trip functionality worked a bit differently. The trip time and mileage are held until they're reset; resetting them also resets your average speed. I understand from a technical standpoint why they do this, but it makes the trip data pretty useless for the way I ride. I'd prefer a "time since power-on" sort of trip timer, and I'd like to be able to reset the trip timer/odometer separately from the average speed.


Overall I've been very happy with it.
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Old 07-28-09, 11:56 AM   #11
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I have a wired Schwinn 12-Function I bought at Wal-Mart for (I think) $12.
The Schwinn 17 Function is tempting at $9.99 (+ $shipping)!

Amazon Description:
Improve your workout efficiency when cycling with this Schwinn 17-function bike computer. Designed to attach securely to your handlebar, the computer tracks such info as speed, distance, time, and calories burned, helping you develop an effective workout routine with each ride. The computer is easy to install and includes a backlit screen for crisp viewing.


-------------------------------------
EDIT: I just ordered (3) of these for $29.97. I ordered (1 ea) for me and my wife's MTB bikes and one one more because it was a choice of paying $6 for shipping or purchase an additional unit for $9.99 and get free shipping on all of them. I'm sure one of my biking-buddies could use one or if someone in the San Diego area wants to stop by and pick it up for $10 send me an email (I'm keeping the penny as profit!)...

Last edited by Kroozin; 07-28-09 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 07-28-09, 01:10 PM   #12
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The issue I've heard with the 17-Function Schwinn is that it has only one button (the 12-Function has two), making it easy to accidentally reset the entire unit when all you want to do is reset your trip.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
The issue I've heard with the 17-Function Schwinn is that it has only one button (the 12-Function has two), making it easy to accidentally reset the entire unit when all you want to do is reset your trip.
Hmmm... It is hard to tell by looking at the picture but one of the first reviewers talks about people being confused about which of the two buttons to push for different functionality. I suppose the buttons are located on the sides(?).
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Old 07-28-09, 08:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroozin View Post
The Schwinn 17 Function is tempting at $9.99 (+ $shipping)!

Amazon Description:
Improve your workout efficiency when cycling with this Schwinn 17-function bike computer. Designed to attach securely to your handlebar, the computer tracks such info as speed, distance, time, and calories burned, helping you develop an effective workout routine with each ride. The computer is easy to install and includes a backlit screen for crisp viewing.


-------------------------------------
EDIT: I just ordered (3) of these for $29.97. I ordered (1 ea) for me and my wife's MTB bikes and one one more because it was a choice of paying $6 for shipping or purchase an additional unit for $9.99 and get free shipping on all of them. I'm sure one of my biking-buddies could use one or if someone in the San Diego area wants to stop by and pick it up for $10 send me an email (I'm keeping the penny as profit!)...
I have one similar to these and it is great. Mine has two buttons on the face. I bought it at wal-mart for 10 bucks. I have compared the readings to friends computers that cost several hundred dollars and it is right on with them. Best 10 bucks I ever spent on bike stuff. Well, except spare inner tubes of course.
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Old 07-29-09, 03:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroozin View Post
Hmmm... It is hard to tell by looking at the picture but one of the first reviewers talks about people being confused about which of the two buttons to push for different functionality. I suppose the buttons are located on the sides(?).
Nope it has 2 buttons. I have had mine for around 6700 miles. It is the best thing and the price is ridiculous, just 10 bucks. Just be careful with the wire. I snapped it a few times and it is a pain to reconnect, but possible.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:41 PM   #16
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I lost my Cateye Mity 8 because the little tab broke off (after about a year of use). I now have a Sigma which seems to have a better locking mechanism... Time will tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I've had lots of problems with the mounts on Cateyes in the past year. The lock tab cracks and breaks off so the computer is much too easy to knock off. I've lost 5 of them. I like the computers but at around $30 a pop, 5 is just too many.

This spring, I decided I'd had enough and switched to Sigma. The Sigma computers have a twist lock mechanism that seems more robust. You can find them at REI for $20 to $40 for wired versions. L.L. Bean has the 1606L (lighted with cadence) for $25.
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Old 07-30-09, 03:07 PM   #17
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I just got a wired Bell F12, $11 at the local Target store. Have had it on my Trek 7700 for a week now, and it has been perfect (well, a week isn't enough time to determine reliability, but so far so good).

There is an error in the manual that came with it. It says that, to reset the trip odometer (not the main odometer), press both sides of the button for three seconds. This is wrong - that resets the ENTIRE computer, blowing away your trip odometer, main odometer, the calibration number that sets your wheel size, the time of day etc. Then you get to re-enter all that stuff, and your main odometer starts from zero as well as your trip odometer.

The correct way to reset just the trip odometer, is to hold down ONLY the left side of the button for three seconds. This resets the trip odometer, the elapsed-time indicator, and the max-speed only. The main odometer, wheel-size factor, time of day etc. are unaffected. This isn't a bug in the computer, it's a bug in the documentation. I've seen complaints about this going back for a year or more - apparently Bell isn't interested in revising the manual. Dommage.

Coolest thing about this computer, is that the odometer and trip odometer display distances with THREE decimal-point digit accuracy! Where the Cateyes I've seen (great computers) display their odometers with only a "tenths" digit, and their trip odometers with "tenths" and "hundredths" digits and no more... the Bell F12 has "tenths", "hundredths", and "thousandths" of a mile in both their main odometer and trip odometer! So the distance (in miles) rolls along as:

12.377
12.378
12.379
12.380
12.381
etc.

At normal bicycling speed (for me anyway, 10-15 mph) that last digit changes several times each second.

Makes me wonder how the computer decides when to change that "thousandths" digit. The way the computer knows how fast you're going, of course, is a sensor on the fork that "feels" a magnet on the wheel pass by, once every revolution. A 700c or 27" wheel moves about seven feet every revolution. But the "thousandths" digit has to change about every five feet.

If the computer is going to change its "thousandths" digit every five feet, but the only info it is getting is "Whoops, the wheel just moved another seven feet! Whoops, there went another seven! Whoops, another!..." etc.... how does it know exactly when to change that "thousandths" digit?

My guess is, it measures the time between magnet pulses, figures an approximate speed, and waits for the time that should have taken the bike to move five feet at that speed, and trips the "thousandths" digit then, sort of reading between the lines.

And looking closely as the display as I rode (no, I didn't run off the path from not looking where I was going), I noticed that the "thousandths" digit didn't always change smoothly. Sometimes it would jump from 7 to 9, etc., though I wasn't changing speeds appreciably. So I'd guess that, in addition to calculating when the "thousandths" digit should change, the computer kept track of REAL distance by simply counting the actual magnet pulses, and corrected the "thousandths" digit when necessary.

It's still very cool to have that "thousandths" digit along with the hundredths and tenths. It is a pretty good indicator of when the "hundredths" digit is about to change, and makes calibrating the speedometer for exact wheel size, much easier.

Last edited by Little-Acorn; 07-30-09 at 03:17 PM.
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