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  1. #1
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    Sigma ROX 9.0--long term use and comparison notes

    The Sigma Rox 9.0 bike computer has been available in the U.S. for about a year now. I've had one for just under that time and thought I would discuss some long term impressions of this powerful device.

    While it will never have GPS capability, the ROX 9.0 has two things the Garmin 705 will never have: long battery life and temperature readings in tenths of a degree. These two features alone should sway some savvy shoppers to the Sigma device.

    Other important advantages over other bike computers: data not lost during the annual battery change; system does not reset when leaving the bike for a coffee break; and night backlighting.

    On the down side, the Sigma has this fault: the stopwatch will only display with the speedometer. Although heart rate, altitude, slope, and cadence normally display at all times, this area of the screen is replaced by the back and stop functions in stopwatch mode.

    When time trialing, a rider wants to know his heart rate and elapsed time at a single glance. Can't do it with this computer. See the following photos to understand:





    Also, I find it quite tough to obtain normal slope summary information on my PC. If the bike is lifted up slightly when taking a rest break, the "min/max" slope and "average" slope values are affected. However, even during a section of a ride with no rest break, average slope is most often reported incorrectly. See the attached zoomed in section of a century with unreasonable average slope (inclination) values:



    18% average uphill is not correct. I have reported this error to Sigma months ago. Still waiting for a correction to software.

  2. #2
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    I've been using one since May. September. It's an awesome device. But it definitely has room for improvement.

    Software
    - On the ride view, it would be nice if it would mark a secondary axis on the right.
    - The software doesn't have anything in the way of tracking longterm progess.
    - There is no way to add waypoints from the software, only on the ride.
    - Allow me to designate waypoints to altimeter sync points and rescale the climbing graph to make things more accurate for when barometric pressure changes during the ride.

    Hardware
    - Allow me to customize the 4 data items on the top ribbon.
    - Allow me to display 2-4 data items on the bottom ribbon.
    - Give me more Altimeter calibration points and allow me to name them.
    - Let me customize the amount of time the
    - Record a 1 minute average cadence in logs so I can get some sense of how I'm respoding to climbs.


    As far as GPS goes, from everything I read Garmin is nowhere near perfect. No one else makes a competing unit and it seems to me that there is a market opportunity for another company to make GPS cycling computers. Garmin is releasing a Rox 9.0 type unit that has no mapping capbilities. Just tracking. This would be a good place to start. I'm hoping to see a Rox10.0 GPS next year.

  3. #3
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    My Garmin 305 GPS isn't perfect for sure, but it's remarkably good for cycling. (I have the Forerunner, not the Edge.) It's actually extremely accurate on the bike since distances traveled are greater than on foot. I actually can't criticize my Forerunner's GPS at all on the bike - my only minor complaints have to do with its form factor and screen layouts.

    The Garmin 305 Forerunner + Cadence/Speed sensor (optional - GPS will work 100% without it) is the same price as the Rox, as well. Not bad for wireless HRM, GPS, stopwatch capabilities, and when using SportTracks, accurate "corrected" altitude for your entire route based on the GPS map data and online altitude maps.
    =======================================
    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearSquirrel View Post
    I've been using one since May. September. It's an awesome device. But it definitely has room for improvement.

    Software
    - On the ride view, it would be nice if it would mark a secondary axis on the right.
    - The software doesn't have anything in the way of tracking longterm progess.
    - There is no way to add waypoints from the software, only on the ride.
    - Allow me to designate waypoints to altimeter sync points and rescale the climbing graph to make things more accurate for when barometric pressure changes during the ride.

    Hardware
    - Allow me to customize the 4 data items on the top ribbon.
    - Allow me to display 2-4 data items on the bottom ribbon.
    - Give me more Altimeter calibration points and allow me to name them.
    - Let me customize the amount of time the
    - Record a 1 minute average cadence in logs so I can get some sense of how I'm respoding to climbs.


    As far as GPS goes, from everything I read Garmin is nowhere near perfect. No one else makes a competing unit and it seems to me that there is a market opportunity for another company to make GPS cycling computers. Garmin is releasing a Rox 9.0 type unit that has no mapping capbilities. Just tracking. This would be a good place to start. I'm hoping to see a Rox10.0 GPS next year.
    I like your thoughts and passion for accuracy. Named altimeter calibration points could help both vertically and laterally. You could in effect stake out your ride for input into a mapping program.

    Customizing the top and bottom ribbons would really be wonderful, especially if one could time and view a constant heart rate race against the clock with a dual heart rate/stopwatch display.

    I also think we need a master start button that sets your altimeter, resets your "Favourites" (sic) and starts your logbook.

    These hardware changes are major, but fixing the software bugs just requires smart people who understand our needs and can write the code.

    ROX 10.0 GPS with long life batteries would really challenge Garmin. Go Sigma!

  5. #5
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    Longer term report ...

    Longer term, I'm disappointed by the Rox 9.0. I really wished I had gone for the Garmin 305.

    On the hardware side, the battery life IS excellent. However, I plug the Rox into my computer so often that I'm not sure it matters.

    The mount on the cadence is pretty lousy. I've snapped two of them. Luckily, they snapped where I could find them.

    The computer itself looses contact with it's mount far too often. The best cure I've found so far is saliva. The main button on the computer itself is finicky. It's often hard to get waypoints to register. The paint on the button itself and the heartrate strap is peeling off.

    The new software has nice long term tracking features. But data importation is still cludgy. And there are still serious issues with consistency between logs and trips. The new axis on the software has a fixed altitude. So if you ride in somewhere "non-mountainous" your hill climbs will barely register. And the whole graphing feature becomes useless.

    Vs. Garmin where there are options for tracking runs as well as cycling, Sigma comes up empty. When one invests a lot of money into a computer system, you want options and there are none on the Sigma side.

    It's still a good computer. There are some issues that Sigma is not working out. I'm inclined to switch to Garmin.

  6. #6
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    The Garmin 305 is just hard to beat for the price.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

    Now ridding a
    Felt AR4 with Mavic Super light Premium wheels
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    If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

    In God we trust

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearSquirrel View Post
    Longer term, I'm disappointed by the Rox 9.0. I really wished I had gone for the Garmin 305.

    On the hardware side, the battery life IS excellent. However, I plug the Rox into my computer so often that I'm not sure it matters.

    The mount on the cadence is pretty lousy. I've snapped two of them. Luckily, they snapped where I could find them.

    The computer itself looses contact with it's mount far too often. The best cure I've found so far is saliva. The main button on the computer itself is finicky. It's often hard to get waypoints to register. The paint on the button itself and the heartrate strap is peeling off.

    The new software has nice long term tracking features. But data importation is still cludgy. And there are still serious issues with consistency between logs and trips. The new axis on the software has a fixed altitude. So if you ride in somewhere "non-mountainous" your hill climbs will barely register. And the whole graphing feature becomes useless.

    Vs. Garmin where there are options for tracking runs as well as cycling, Sigma comes up empty. When one invests a lot of money into a computer system, you want options and there are none on the Sigma side.

    It's still a good computer. There are some issues that Sigma is not working out. I'm inclined to switch to Garmin.
    Since the ROX 9.0 has been on the market, Garmin has come out with the Edge 500 and now the Edge 800. Sigma has only updated the software and come out with another color. Not much in this competitive market.

    I strongly agree with two of your points: the silver finish on the heart rate strap and computer wears off over time and the new software altitude axis always starts at zero. Imagine if this were done with the Dow Jones Average graph--100 point swings would look like mere blips.

    The computer does become loose after repeated removals from the mount. To fix this I just put a piece of electrical tape on the back. My cadence sensor mount and magnet work well, but I frequently need to reset the computer in its mount to make both cadence and heart rate pickup.

    In Sigma's defense, when I last rode in the mountains with my group, a Garmin user called out the incline during a moderate climb. His instantaneous numbers were much higher than my steady, more believable ROX 9.0 display. I still believe that the computer display data along with trip data are averaged over a longer period than the 5 second logbook data I record. This may account for minor differences in max incline, speed, and total distance.

    All in all, I still enjoy having the device and look forward to another software update.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Anybody know whether the new ROX 9.1 addresses any of the issues?

  9. #9
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    i think so,Longer term, I'm disappointed by the Rox 9.0. I really wished I had gone for the Garmin 305,thank you

  10. #10
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    Bought mine in 2011. As many said , good but can be improve.

    I also would like to customize the 4 items ribbons, and get the option to display only 2 but with bigger letters.

    Chrome paint flake when it came out of my drawer at the beginning of the season and the black rubber pain at the back was sticky. The altimeter is now crazy. Number are drifting. 200 m level difference from the beginning to the end of a 45 km round trip ( it should be close to 0, since the starting point and the end point are de same). Yesterday, I climb a hill at 35 to 78% slope ???? That is what the computer said, not me.

    The other function work. OK. I feel that 3 years of used is a bit short, and will certainly looking at all the option before buying another one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierrabob View Post
    While it will never have GPS capability, the ROX 9.0 has two things the Garmin 705 will never have: long battery life and temperature readings in tenths of a degree. These two features alone should sway some savvy shoppers to the Sigma device.
    So how good is Sigma's temperature measurement? I had a stand-alone electronic thermometer on my bike and found serious latency problems. Say in winter, there would be a considerable temperature difference between the garage and outside. After ten minutes of ride, the thermometer would be still showing a temperature closer to the garage than to the outside. Also, while the thermometer was showing tenths of a degree, it was off by about 1.5F, not very convenient if you wanted to know whether to expect ice melting under your tires or water solidifying into ice.

    I have since gone to a bimetal thermometer and it is excellent. The reading moves right away as I pull the bike in front of the garage and it gives local temperature variations during the ride. E.g. the reading goes down when I am on an overpass etc.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    So how good is Sigma's temperature measurement? I had a stand-alone electronic thermometer on my bike and found serious latency problems. Say in winter, there would be a considerable temperature difference between the garage and outside. After ten minutes of ride, the thermometer would be still showing a temperature closer to the garage than to the outside. Also, while the thermometer was showing tenths of a degree, it was off by about 1.5F, not very convenient if you wanted to know whether to expect ice melting under your tires or water solidifying into ice.

    I have since gone to a bimetal thermometer and it is excellent. The reading moves right away as I pull the bike in front of the garage and it gives local temperature variations during the ride. E.g. the reading goes down when I am on an overpass etc.
    I don't really rely on the computer temperature. As soon as its in the sun, the unit pickup heat and the temperature become innacurate.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slareau View Post
    Bought mine in 2011. As many said , good but can be improve.

    I also would like to customize the 4 items ribbons, and get the option to display only 2 but with bigger letters.

    Chrome paint flake when it came out of my drawer at the beginning of the season and the black rubber pain at the back was sticky. The altimeter is now crazy. Number are drifting. 200 m level difference from the beginning to the end of a 45 km round trip ( it should be close to 0, since the starting point and the end point are de same). Yesterday, I climb a hill at 35 to 78% slope ???? That is what the computer said, not me.

    The other function work. OK. I feel that 3 years of used is a bit short, and will certainly looking at all the option before buying another one.

    I manage to fix my pressure sensor (altimeter) , by washing the pressure sensor port with some water and soap. Likely, there was some juice or that manage to get in the port. I just spray the water in the port hole with a bottle, and dry it after that....

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