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Old 05-13-10, 07:18 PM   #1
Dodgensince74
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Question Simple Wired Computer

I am picking up my new bike tomorrow, its a Trek FX 7.3 and would like to put a wired computer on it. What is a good basic wired computer and are they hard to install and calibrate?
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Old 05-14-10, 08:22 AM   #2
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Just do a search on any bicycle forum and you'll get tons of options. As a first choice (without wanting one that has too many bells and whistles), I would heartily recommend Planet Bike's Protege 9 computer. Large/clear display. All the information available at one glance. No buttons to fidget with while riding or wearing gloves. There is no calibration as such - the user manual will give the circumference for your tire size and you just tell the computer that. Installation is no more difficult that assembling the easiest of Ikea furniture, should take 5-10 minutes in all or less.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:23 AM   #3
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you don't say where you're located, but if you're in Canada, Mountain Equipment Coop mec.ca has some basic ones from Filzer for $15-30 depending on features.

j
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Old 05-14-10, 11:16 AM   #4
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I have a Planet Bike Protege 9. However, at this point I'd buy whatever I could find cheapest, as long as it was water resistant. I've seen some for $6 to $10 that would be fine.

They will all perform exactly the same as far as accuracy and performance for basic speed and mileage functions.

ONE IMPORTANT TIP: put the sensor and magnet as close to the hub as you can (without going nuts). The reason is that if the magnet goes past the sensor really fast at high speeds, it'll start skipping and your speed readout will start going nuts (dropping to 1/2, 1/3 or just stop working altogether). With the magnet and sensor near the rim, the magnet is going past the sensor at almost the speed of the bike, so up to perhaps 35 MPH. The sensor can easily not see the magnet at those speeds.

If you put it near the hub, it'll be going by much more slowly, probably no more than 5 MPH or so even if you're flying.

Also get the magnet pretty close to the sensor, within 2mm ideally.
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Old 05-15-10, 12:09 AM   #5
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walmart has some pretty decent ones...


if you don't want to hear that... lol... get the cheapest cateye... they're very accurate...
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Old 05-15-10, 06:37 PM   #6
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As far as accuracy, they're all exactly as accurate. I mean, you put in the number of millimeters per rotation, and they count rotations. If they're in any way not accurate it's only because you didn't put in the right calibration number. A $5 walmart comp is every bit as accurate as a $100 comp. Some of the super cheap ones are probably not as waterproof as others. The Planet Bike comps are < $20 typically and are very waterproof since there are no buttons on top.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:25 PM   #7
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NiteRider Rebel 1.0 is rugged, has big digits and backlight. Its watch is not very accurate, though.
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Old 05-19-10, 01:49 PM   #8
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As an added question on bike computers, I've just bought a bike with a carbon front fork. Never had one before and I'm scared of damaging it. A wired , or wireless for that matter, computer usually needs cable ties fitted around the fork. Will these abrade the carbon forks finish? I have to admit I have a scary scenario of a cable tie wearing the outside finish of the fork, rain entering the weave and me coming off the bike 'cos fork has collapsed !
How likely is that? A load of rubbish or a possibility?
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Old 05-19-10, 01:53 PM   #9
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Not at all likely. The cable tie will break before it is tight enough to crack carbon fiber. Total non issue.
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Old 05-19-10, 01:53 PM   #10
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As an added question on bike computers, I've just bought a bike with a carbon front fork. Never had one before and I'm scared of damaging it. A wired , or wireless for that matter, computer usually needs cable ties fitted around the fork. Will these abrade the carbon forks finish? I have to admit I have a scary scenario of a cable tie wearing the outside finish of the fork, rain entering the weave and me coming off the bike 'cos fork has collapsed !
How likely is that? A load of rubbish or a possibility?
No problems with a computer sensor on your forks.
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Old 05-19-10, 02:35 PM   #11
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I have a Cateye Mity 8 (~$20-$25) going on 3k+ miles and ~4 years without a battery change. I like it. Although, the Cateye Strada Wireless is whats on my other bike, and other than not liking the ease of resetting it (seting my bag on the bars for a second is enough to reset the trip)... I LOVE not having wires.

Strada wireless was cheapest on ebay, but local shops on sales got down to matching that price every now and then.
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Old 05-19-10, 02:42 PM   #12
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I use a Trek Incite 11i. It is wired with speed and cadence (very useful!) the speed sensor attaches on the rear wheel/stay so it works on a trainer/rollers as well. I think its like $60 and an extra set of wires/magnets (works with 2 bikes!) are like $25 bucks from Trek. Very easy to read display. It will take some patience to install but it's not difficult.
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Old 05-19-10, 03:24 PM   #13
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I've never had the sensor tie wraps wear through the paint on my bike, so I assume it won't wear through the finish on a carbon fork either.

As far as batteries, I change the battery in my Planet Bike Protege 9 about every 2 or 3 years, so that's between 8000 and 12000 miles per battery. It's a common CR2032 cell so it's about 60 cents. I can manage that kind of expense.
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Old 05-19-10, 09:05 PM   #14
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i also have a planet bike protege 9. i really like the readout and that there are no buttons to switch modes. you can save a few bucks and get the protege 8. only difference is color and no temperature reading which is really kind of pointless for a lot of folks anyways. install was super easy, did it myself in about 5 minutes.
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Old 05-19-10, 09:26 PM   #15
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Sigma BC1606L on sale at Nashbar for $19.99. It has a back light if you decide to ride at night, has all the data most people would need, and has a second bike option. It comes with the cadence sensor if that means anything to you. I have used one for thousands of miles and like it so much, I just ordered another for another pair of bikes I have....
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Old 05-20-10, 12:54 AM   #16
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Thanks for the replies to my Q on carbon fibre damage. You've put my mind at rest.
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Old 05-20-10, 01:28 AM   #17
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I'm also a fan of wired computers. Simple, accurate and reliable.
Cateye's Mity 8 and Velo 8 are solid choices.
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Old 05-20-10, 07:37 AM   #18
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The Sigma BC1606L is a nice comp. I had one for a while, and for $20 you can't beat it, especially if you want cadence.

I sold mine after a few months and re-mounted my Planet Bike Protege 9. I just liked the display better, and none of the Sigma extra features turned out to be anything I needed; I do ride at night but I found I didn't really care what the computer said; I rarely look at it during a ride, I just use it to track mileage on tires and chains, and a little to see how long my ride was today. When I'm actually riding, I never look at it.
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Old 06-15-10, 08:19 AM   #19
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$10 Schwinn from Walmart. It may not be the best but it's been just fine for me.
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Old 06-15-10, 09:44 AM   #20
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http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.24075

Same as the Schiwnn/Wally World unit for $5 and free shipping. That's what I use. Or you can fork over $6.46 for another unit with a stopwatch. This one will automatically switch to SCAN mode after wake.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.d...782~r.96035782
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Old 06-15-10, 05:20 PM   #21
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Schwinn for $10.00 at Walmart. Very simple and easy to use.
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Old 06-15-10, 07:23 PM   #22
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I just put the $10 Schwinn from WM and its worked so far, but something annoying about it is that when your speed changes (acceleration) it take a second to update. I dont know if all comps are like that, but after I take off it wont read for a moment, then it'll kick in. It seems like a decent piece, just slow that all.
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Old 06-15-10, 08:28 PM   #23
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yeah, that's right. the wheel has to revove a few times before it can calculate speed. it relies on that magnet and sensor seeing each other every revolution. it could only be faster if it had some way to read each inch of the sidewalk like the old time units that clipped into the spokes near the hub. anyway, just be patient for a couple of seconds as the magnet makes it's way around a few times
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Old 06-15-10, 08:45 PM   #24
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I just put the $10 Schwinn from WM and its worked so far, but something annoying about it is that when your speed changes (acceleration) it take a second to update. I dont know if all comps are like that, but after I take off it wont read for a moment, then it'll kick in. It seems like a decent piece, just slow that all.
Most bike sensors require at least two wheel revolutions to determine speed.
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Old 06-15-10, 09:55 PM   #25
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I just put the $10 Schwinn from WM and its worked so far, but something annoying about it is that when your speed changes (acceleration) it take a second to update. I dont know if all comps are like that, but after I take off it wont read for a moment, then it'll kick in. It seems like a decent piece, just slow that all.
Maybe the rider is too slow.
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