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  1. #1
    Senior Member dennisa's Avatar
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    Cyclocomputers, so many to choose from

    So I've been researching many cyclocomputers and they all seem to have a broad range of options and price ranges from $40-$200+

    Ideally I'm looking for a cyclocomputer that can do cadence and speed. Heart rate would be cool but no a necessity as I think I might look for a simply HR monitor wrist watch as I go running sometimes as well.

    So what is the general consensus on the following brands in regards to quality and ease of use? Is there a golden standard? e.g. the goldmann tonometer is the be all end all of internal eye pressure measurement.

    In no particular order.
    Cateye
    Sigma
    Polar
    Topeak
    Vetta
    Serfas
    Mavic
    Blackburn - Delphi


    Thanks in advance for the feedback
    --
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    Four wheels good, two wheels better!"
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  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Tried a Garmin 305 a while back. It had speed, cadence and heartrate plus GPS. I would say that it performed well,
    but I have no other computers to compare it with. After awhile, I decided I really didn't need a computer and returned it. Never used one again.

    http://www.rei.com/product/737840

  3. #3
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Personally I use a Planet Bike Protege 9, it's dirt simple and rugged as hell and shows everything at once.

    A couple of years ago a friend convinced me that I absolutely HAD to have a computer with cadence, so I picked up a Sigma 1606L. It was totally fine, I liked it well enough.

    After a couple of weeks I determined that I always naturally spun at a 95 cadence anyway, so I absolutely did NOT need cadence, I sold the Sigma and put the PB back on.

    I got the Sigma for $25 on eBay, new.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dennisa's Avatar
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    So it sounds like it just comes down to the features you want. I guess there's no clear winner just personal preference.
    --
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 5 52cm Charcoal Gray
    Four wheels good, two wheels better!"
    Of all my imaginary friends, I don't think there was one that I didn't end up having to kill.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I have been using a Sigma BC1105 DTS Wireless for 3 years. I liked the readouts because they were large and easy to read. Unfortunately the sensor or something died, and it quit transmitting to the base unit. So, I recently purchased a Cateye CC-RD300W Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer from Amazon. I've had it several weeks now, and I've decided to send it back. It functions fine. But the readouts’ are too small for my tired eyes. The speed readout is OK size, but the line at the bottom of the screen for all the other functions is tiny. It's like they just stuffed it in to the lower right corner. Which considering that there is at least half a screen width going unused, it's kind of a waste. Fortunately Nashbar has a St Paddy Day sale on right now. And, they just happend to have the same model Sigma as my old one, at over 1/2 off. So I ordered a new one. I can't justify spending more that $40 bucks for a 'puter. I don't use anymore than the basic functions. Hope this helps on a few items.
    Another great day in paradise

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I like Shimano Flight Deck. The buttons are already on your bike, it displays gear selection and ratio as well as cadence without the need of a separate sensor.

    http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/tr...8_1624crx.aspx

    I have one on my ten year old bike (never had a problem with it) and just got one with my new bike.

    It costs a little more but I think it is worth it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    I like my Sigma 1606L. It has cadence, but like ItsJustMe says, once you know your cadence... you know your cadence and you won't really have to refer to it anymore.

    The computer has performed quite well. It's display is unreadable at around -20C or so, but the computer still functions so your trip distance etc will be accurate at the end of the ride. I've tested down to -37C without any issues other than the display. I've also ridden through torrential downpours, so it's water resistance is perfectly adequate. The buttons have held up well 2 years later.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
    I like my Sigma 1606L. It has cadence, but like ItsJustMe says, once you know your cadence... you know your cadence and you won't really have to refer to it anymore.

    The computer has performed quite well. It's display is unreadable at around -20C or so, but the computer still functions so your trip distance etc will be accurate at the end of the ride. I've tested down to -37C without any issues other than the display. I've also ridden through torrential downpours, so it's water resistance is perfectly adequate. The buttons have held up well 2 years later.
    I look at cadence all the time, so that I stay in the zone and shift accordingly

  9. #9
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    I actually have two computers on my bike. One of these days I will stop getting steals on craigslist and drop the dough to combine all the functions of the two. I have a mavic wintech es that handles speed/avg/distance/other basics along with cadence. I don't have the cadence sensor, although it is on order. easy to read, easy to use. I also have a VDO MC1.0+. I don't think it is capable of monitoring cadence, but what I do like it for is its altimeter and gradient estimator. The thing requires calibration every time you use it if you care enough for the computer to always know what elevation it's at, but if you just want feet climbed, no calibration necessary. It's fairly accurate, although occasionally it will not jive with a gps estimation. The gradient thing I like, it gives me a feel for the true difficulty of a given slope, so when I do some research about some climbs ive never done, and it tells me gradient, i can do "ok, that is (or isn't) doable. Not strictly necessary, but I like the feature anyways.

  10. #10
    Member Oo-v-oO's Avatar
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    I've got two wired Cateye Astrale 8s and a third one on order for my new bike. Simple and reliable, and they do cadence.
    -Lee, KB1GNI
    "Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas"
    [Happiness is understanding how things work]

  11. #11
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    IMHO cadence is not very useful unless you are a very new rider.

    Heart rate is much more useful, and wireless is the only way to go. Some of the Polar brand pules chest straps cannot have the batteries replaced, so you have to spend $30 to $40 every 2 years or so. I bought a Vetta VL110Hr from performance that works well for about $80.

  12. #12
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    +1 on the Sigma 1606L. I prefer it for several reasons: 1- it has a backlight for night riding 2- it comes on automaticaly 3- it tells me everything I need to know 4- I can use it on two bikes 5- it's wired, and has a more reliable connection than wireless*. Also, as of 03-31-10 it's on sale with Nashbar for $20. I paid full price for mine and, in hindsight, wouldn't buy a different one.

    Regarding cadence, as others have said, for me it has been of little use. Just yesterday I paid attention to it for the first time since I first got the computer. I found it interesting that my average cadence is 20 rpms higher now than it used to be. I'm not sure why, just an observation.

    *I have a Cateye Micro Wireless. It has the auto-on feature and a backlight. It's a very nice computer, for my needs, but more expensive than the Sigma. In addition to the Cateye, I have an SI90HR wireless. It doesn't have the features I want (no auto-on, no backlight). I have only used the HR feature once or twice. For me, I know about what my HR is and have not let my HR dictate how I work out. I work out hard, regardless of what the monitor tells me.

    Now, why the disdain for wireless? Simply because the connection on a wired computer is more reliable. I have had numerous data problems with my wireless computers while using digitally controlled lights (NR Digital Evolution, DiNotte 200L, Fenix L2D Premium Q5, and MS900). I have never had problems with the 1606L because of the wired connection. Wireless makes sense (to me) on a bike with front suspension. With a rigid fork, I prefer the reliability and simplicity of the wired connection.

    Also, keep in mind, the fork sensor for a wireless computer will have a battery, whereas wired computers only have a battery in the main unit.
    Last edited by hopperja; 04-01-10 at 12:34 AM.
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  13. #13
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    I had a basic wired Cateye, it died after much use, and was worth the $10 I spent on it.

    I replaced it with a Sigma 1606L DTS, wireless with cadence. It occasionally has brief signal issues, and like all other wireless computers, does not turn on automatically when you start riding. Whether you buy wired or wireless depends on how much you value the aesthetics of a clean looking bike. Personally I'm in the no wires camp, and feel that the drawbacks are worth it.

    Cadence is useful when you've spent all day on the bike and invariably begin to pedal slowly. The computer will remind you to not let it fall below 80, which is what I use as my target when I'm very tired.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  14. #14
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    is the wired computers removable?

  15. #15
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    I have the Sigma 1606L DTS wireless with cadence. It was under 50 dollars on sale at Dicks Sporting Goods.

    It has a nice clear display, with a backlight, was easy to setup - after watching an online setup video.

    The instruction manual is awful. The speed is displayed on 0.5mph increments only.

    Overall I like it a lot

  16. #16
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    The 1606L is good. I bought mine on eBay for $26 new, but eventually I sold it and went back to my Planet Bike Protege, since I didn't need either the cadence (I apparently just naturally spin at 95 to 105 RPM, and was ok with that) or the backlight (I don't really care enough to look at the computer at night).
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  17. #17
    Here to Learn SwingBlade's Avatar
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    I've had a number of wired Cateye bike computers over the years. I recently decided to get a cadence and heart monitor capable bike computer. After looking at everything out there, I went with the wireless Garmin Edge 500 with cadence and heart monitor based on several strong expert recommendations and my own research. It cost more than I wanted to spend but now that I have used it for awhile, I'm very glad I chose what might be the best and most cost effective GPS based wireless unit out there. The ease of installation and simple foolproof setup was impressive and so far I've seen zero indications of any potential for sensor slippage and I've seen no unusual variances in displayed parameters. All parameters seem consistent and accurate.

    The screen size is just right and the user can select one, two or three data display pages with anywhere from 1 to 8 completely customizable data displays per page so finding a balance between content of display and size of font requires minimal compromise for each users needs and vision. There are currently 42 different data display choices which includes 8 different power display choices for those that want to link a 3rd party power meter in addition to the cadence and heart rate capabilities. I currently have setup 3 pages: A general info page with 8 parameters; a heart and cadence page with 6 parameters; and a climbing page with 8 parameters.

    If desired, the display can be set to automatically rotate between the 3 available display screens at three variable speeds or I can push a side button to jump pages. All batteries are replaceable and the main computer rechargeable battery lasts for weeks of use. If I like, I can download and display routes on Google Maps. Garmin has really done their homework on this unit.

    The ability to see corresponding changes in cadence and heart rates and percentage of max heart rates and zones is very interesting and beneficial. Being able to see both the current and average parameters as well as setting optional alarms for going above or below desired rates makes it easy to set and maintain goals.

    I still carry my iPhone 3Gs for emergencies and I can always use it if I ever get lost or want to know how to get somewhere new.

    I've had a number of wired Cateye bike computers over the years. I recently decided to get a cadence and heart monitor capable bike computer. After looking at everything out there, I went with the wireless Garmin Edge 500 with cadence and heart monitor based on several strong expert recommendations and my own research. It cost more than I wanted to spend but now that I have used it for awhile, I'm very glad I chose what might be the best and most cost effective GPS based wireless unit out there. The ease of installation and simple foolproof setup was impressive and so far I've seen zero indications of any potential for sensor slippage and I've seen no unusual variances in displayed parameters. All parameters seem consistent and accurate.

    The screen size is just right and the user can select one, two or three data display pages with anywhere from 1 to 8 completely customizable data displays per page so finding a balance between content of display and size of font requires minimal compromise for each users needs and vision. There are currently 42 different data display choices which includes 8 different power display choices for those that want to link a 3rd party power meter in addition to the cadence and heart rate capabilities. I currently have setup 3 pages: A general info page with 8 parameters; a heart and cadence page with 6 parameters; and a climbing page with 8 parameters.

    If desired, the display can be set to automatically rotate between the 3 available display screens at three variable speeds or I can push a side button to jump pages. All batteries are replaceable and the main computer rechargeable battery lasts for weeks of use. If I like, I can download and display routes on Google Maps. Garmin has really done their homework on this unit.

    The ability to see corresponding changes in cadence and heart rates and percentage of max heart rates and zones is very interesting and beneficial. Being able to see both the current and average parameters as well as setting optional alarms for going above or below desired rates makes it easy to set and maintain goals.

    I still carry my iPhone 3Gs for emergencies and I can always use it if I ever get lost or want to know how to get somewhere new.

    Lastly, the "Courses" feature, allows you to train and compete against your previous best time over previously ridden courses. The course line is displayed on the Garmin Edge 500 unit and a "Virtual Partner" will race you around the course. You can see yourself riding in relation to the Virtual Partner as the ride progresses and you try to exceed your previous best time.
    Last edited by SwingBlade; 05-16-10 at 04:22 PM.

  18. #18
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    Like Oo-V-oO, I have multiple Cateye Astrale 8's. Currently five different bikes w/various tire sizes. They work well and are simple to use. Being wired is a plus for me, as I had previously discovered that my wireless computer was unuseable at night with my Niterider MOAB HID headlight. The interference from the light completely shut down the computer.

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