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Old 03-20-10, 07:26 AM   #1
mehran9o
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Waterproof Computer!

I recently bought a road bike and I don't know which computer I should buy!
There are wireless and wired, and there are waterproof and there are ones with big screens.

I am not planning to race with my bike, yet use it for training. I also have a heart rate monitor watch which can measure CAL and Heart rate and has couple of other functions for training. I might have to cycle when it's rainy. And I don't think I need navigation system for my bike right away. I also want to keep the bike light.

--Do you think computers with big screens and more functions are better than the small ones with tiny screens? Which are more practical for trainings, etc?
--Should I get a wired computer or wireless or does it all matter?
--And most importantly does it have to be waterproof? Do you think that a non-waterproof one also works in a rainy weather?
--What brand should I buy! (something that lasts long). What model?
If the colour is black and white it's a plus!

Thank you!
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Old 03-20-10, 09:15 AM   #2
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I've got an 8 year old Topeak Panoram that has never given me a lick of trouble. It's even on its original battery. It has been rained, iced and snowed upon countless times with no issue, even though it wasn't touted as being "waterproof". It has a wide screen that shows distance, elapsed time and speed all at once so I don't have to switch screens. The numbers are very large and easy to read. I wish they still made the model, as I'd buy one for all of my bikes.

My other bikes have Cateyes. They've been pretty good for me as well, although they only display one thing at a time. No water issues with them either, but those bikes don't see the weather as often as my main commuter.

I bought a cheap Chinese computer for < $5 through Meritline for my wife's bike. That one has been less than reliable. Likes to quit working or reset itself mid ride. And she never, ever, ever would consider riding in the rain.

Myself, I prefer wired because of one less battery and some reports I've heard from others who've had interference problems.
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Old 03-20-10, 10:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mehran9o View Post
I recently bought a road bike and I don't know which computer I should buy!
There are wireless and wired, and there are waterproof and there are ones with big screens.

I am not planning to race with my bike, yet use it for training. I also have a heart rate monitor watch which can measure CAL and Heart rate and has couple of other functions for training. I might have to cycle when it's rainy. And I don't think I need navigation system for my bike right away. I also want to keep the bike light.

--Do you think computers with big screens and more functions are better than the small ones with tiny screens? Which are more practical for trainings, etc?
--Should I get a wired computer or wireless or does it all matter?
--And most importantly does it have to be waterproof? Do you think that a non-waterproof one also works in a rainy weather?
--What brand should I buy! (something that lasts long). What model?
If the colour is black and white it's a plus!

Thank you!
warning: my computer wants are modest, so what works for me may not work for you. I'm about 15 years past caring how fast I go from day to day or how many calories I burn.
Having said that, I vote for going as simple as possible. There's less to go wrong, and if you've ridden for more than about a week, you probably have a feel for cadence, for instance--you don't need a counter to tell you you're pedaling at 90.5 rpm.
Just lately (at age 65), I've developed an appreciation for large screens, but that's because of a vision issue. Postage stamp size was fine until a year or so ago. I have limited experience with wireless, but seems to me a wired computer is less subject to problems and interference. Some of my old (OLD, like mid-'80s Avocet) computers are still working, no trouble at all ever. Also in my experience, they're all reasonably waterproof. I ride in the rain whenever I can (I live in the desert; rain is a treat), and I've never had a water-related failure. You can easily pull a ziploc bag or something over the 'puter to protect it in downpours--I carry a couple in my seat bag for the computer and my Brooks saddles.
As for functions, buy what you think you need, but give it some thought. The more jobs a device does, the more complicated it is to operate (worth thinking about at the end of a long, hard ride), the less reliable it's likely to be and the worse it's likely to do a given job. For me, all I want is time, speed and distance.
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Old 03-20-10, 03:39 PM   #4
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Wireless are fantastic till things stop working. Two batteries to change- And that is if that is the problem. Plenty of occasions where the range of Transmitter to computer has to be shortened with age. Interference from unusual sources like Trucks- Traffic lights and Sensors in the road have sent things haywire. But I still have them on two bikes.

Waterproofing is not a problem as a good make will have this. But I have had one record 116mph offroad once and it was down to water in the battery compartment. Took the battery out and dried the contacts and it worked for the next couple of years.

BUT- 2 years ago I changed to a Garmin Edge 305. Heart rate and cadence along with the usual Computer functions and altimeter have given me a new aspect to riding a bike. Didn't how how hilly the flat ride down to the coast was till i got one. And it is all contained in one unit.
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Old 03-20-10, 04:11 PM   #5
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If you plan to ride in cold weather (below freezing), wireless is not a good choice. Especially if your bike stays outside for any length of time. You will be changing batteries to the transmitter all the time. Ask me how I know... Wired works better in cold conditions.

Another thing, very few models are waterPROOF as per any standard tests (IPxx classification or similar). Most are water resistant, which is usually quite enough. If you're actually looking for a computer that can be submerged, you'll have to look into wristwatch models such as Garmin, Suunto or Polar.

--J

[Mod hat on] I'm moving this thread to Electronics, lights etc. (from General). [Mod hat off]
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Old 03-20-10, 04:25 PM   #6
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Bottom line is that wired just works. Wireless works most of the time. Personally I don't even know why people buy wireless, unless it's in some kind of effort to keep the installation looking clean or something. There's only about a 2 minute difference in install time, which is more than made up by having to change batteries a lot more often.
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Old 03-20-10, 09:09 PM   #7
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I've got an 8 year old Topeak Panoram that has never given me a lick of trouble. It's even on its original battery. It has been rained, iced and snowed upon countless times with no issue, even though it wasn't touted as being "waterproof". It has a wide screen that shows distance, elapsed time and speed all at once so I don't have to switch screens. The numbers are very large and easy to read.(Tundra_Man)
Quote:
If you plan to ride in cold weather (below freezing), wireless is not a good choice. Especially if your bike stays outside for any length of time. You will be changing batteries to the transmitter all the time.(Juha)
Quote:
Waterproofing is not a problem.(stapfam)
Quote:
I vote for going as simple as possible(Velo Dog)
So I 'll go for something that has a wide screen that is simple and shows everything at once. I get a wired one since it does not need too many batteries and works perfectly fine in every weather condition. And a water resistant is sufficient and I won't need a waterproof computer. I'll use my heart rate watch for other training functions. Perfect! Thank you for all the posts.
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