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  1. #1
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    cheap and simple computer

    I want to get one that will last and stand up to the elements (rain and sun). I'm hearing that wired is better except for asthetics.

    I just want speedo and trip meter anything more is basically clutter.

    I see one at walmart, a bell, but it has calories counting and stuff I dont need, but can deal with it if its worth not having to order online.

    But out of these two, whatcha think?

    REI has a Velo 5 for $26 shipped

    Nashbar has a Sigma BC-1606L

    Or is the Bell at WM just as good for $15
    I'm new to road bikes and y'all steered me straight so far.

    Also, ease of installation is important as I don't know what Im doing besides attaching a sensor to a wheel.

  2. #2
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    If all you want is speedo and distance, any will work. The only issue might be waterproofness. The Bell will probably be fine. If you can wait a few weeks for delivery, DealExtreme has some for 5 bucks that are probably fine too.

    The Sigma is probably overkill. I had a 1606L and it was fine but it's way more than you say you need. The Planet Bike proteges are good and super durable and known waterproof even in torrential rain; the protege 8 is pretty easy to find for $25 shipped, on ebay if nothing else.

    I would always go with wired. I don't think the wires make much of a difference, I don't know who people are trying to impress with their bikes anyway. Wired is less to screw around with.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I would always go with wired. I don't think the wires make much of a difference, I don't know who people are trying to impress with their bikes anyway. Wired is less to screw around with.
    +1 on wired. Also at Walmart, the Schwinn wired computer for $10.00. Simple and very easy to use.

  4. #4
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I have both a CatEye Velo 8 and a Sigma 906. Both have more than what you need, are waterproof, are inexpensive. The Sigma seems to have a better made sensor. Go with cheap and wireless (edit: wired, not wireless) and you'll be happy.
    Last edited by dcrowell; 06-12-10 at 11:20 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Both of my computers are wired and work fine. One is a low-end Specialized, and the other is a Sigma 906.

    Even though the control head/display of these computers may be waterproof, the connection between the control head and the receptacle on the bike might be affected by the intrusion of water in a heavy rain. If I think I'm going to encounter wet conditions, I cut a square piece of kitchen plastic wrap, place it over the control head and around the connection, and secure it with a rubber band. This seems to work fairly well.

  6. #6
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    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.d...782~r.96035782

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.24075

    How about $5.44 with free shipping? I prefer the cheaper model, although it comes with LR44 battery. The more expensive computer automatically switches to scan mode after "wakeup". Both are very accurate if you input the front tire's circumference in mm.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by furballi View Post
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.d...782~r.96035782

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.24075

    How about $5.44 with free shipping? I prefer the cheaper model, although it comes with LR44 battery. The more expensive computer automatically switches to scan mode after "wakeup". Both are very accurate if you input the front tire's circumference in mm.
    Do you know if either of these has an auto on function so I can just hop on and watch my speed, so I dont have to fiddle with it to get it to turn on?

    Wrafl, I wasnt sure if the walmart computer was Schwinn or Bell. Do you know if that $10 Schwinn you speak of is auto on?

    Thanks everyone

  8. #8
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    Both will go to sleep after about 5 minutes. Start riding and both will turn ON automatically. The cheaper unit will memorize the last screen menu...go with the $5.44 computer.

  9. #9
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I think with rare exceptions (bizarrely enough, from the name brands like Cateye), all wired computers auto-on.

    Also, good point above on the connection being susceptible to water even if the head isn't. I just smeared a little petroleum jelly on the contacts of the receptacle before sliding the head in and it stopped those problems for me.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  10. #10
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    And you're fine until the day you start thinking, it sure would be nice to analyze the data and see what I've been doing. Then you go buy the Garmin Edge 305/705 and spend a lot more money than you intended. But it's worth it!

  11. #11
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
    And you're fine until the day you start thinking, it sure would be nice to analyze the data and see what I've been doing. Then you go buy the Garmin Edge 305/705 and spend a lot more money than you intended. But it's worth it!
    Well, I'm over 21,000 miles and I still haven't had the slightest notion of being even vaguely interested in doing that. What I'm doing is getting to work and back. As long as that keeps happening, that's all I'm interested in. Even having a speed readout is just for occasional amusement, I don't really care.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  12. #12
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    Guess ya gotta be a data geek to enjoy the 305/705 then.

    (watch out... it's contagious!)

  13. #13
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjoekingz28 View Post
    Wrafl, I wasnt sure if the walmart computer was Schwinn or Bell. Do you know if that $10 Schwinn you speak of is auto on?

    Thanks everyone
    It's auto on when you get on the bike and start pedaling and auto off if not in use. I'll never go wireless again after what I went through on my wireless unit that runs wildly and record my silly max speed at 76MPH plus other false measurements. The $10.00 computer is so reliable, I'll buy 2 more to replace the computers on my two other bikes.

  14. #14
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    I got a bell from target, I think they are up to $15 now, but I think I paid $9 last year on sale. I upgraded to a wired cat eye with cadance, like $29 on sale at performance.
    They are both auto on, and work just fine.
    I like the idea of the geek stuff so I know everything I'm doing, but at the same time, I just see me running into the store and forgetting to remove it before someone else does, then there a couple hundred out the window...

  15. #15
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    been using a couple of the $10 Schwinn units from Walmart for a year through the winter and rain and stuff. they provide:

    distance
    max speed
    avrg speed
    elapsed time
    current time

    I clear it out after each ride so that I have the STATs for every ride. kind of annoying - there should be a button for "clear trip" or something like that

    http://www.viewpoints.com/Schwinn-12...r-review-50f75
    http://www.rickshawseason.com/tag/cycle-computer/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifKlfpSeYA4

    it was easy to install once I understood the basic concept: little magnet gets screwed to spoke which passes skinny sensor zip tied to fork where wwire gets wound around a brake cable up to the bars where you zip tie the bracket for the computer. the computer slides on/off the bracket.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  16. #16
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    That's one nice thing about the Planet Bike comps - they clear easily. You just push the case forward for 3 seconds and they clear the trip info.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    oh really?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  18. #18
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Oh, just general info: when installing, it's best to position the magnet and sensor as close as possible to the hub. That way the magnet moves past the sensor more slowly and it will be less likely to start missing counts at high speeds. Also, the closer to the hub the magnet is, the less effect it will have on wheel balance.

    Also be sure to mount the magnet as recommended; if you mount it sideways, it can double-trigger the sensor as first the north then the south poles of the magnet go by the sensor.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    ... & mount the sensor as close as possible to the magnet without it tapping ...

    gonna swing by REI and check out those Planet Bike computers
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  20. #20
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    http://www.k3pgp.org/schwinnmanual.htm

    I heard some of you have lost your manual when you needed to swap batteries in the Schwinn 12 function.

    I will drop by walmart and see if they have the $10 Schwinn. If not, the $5.44 comp sounds okay too.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    thanks for the manual but only distance; time and avrg speed are cleared (not max speed)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  22. #22
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    $5.44 is a rebadged Schiwnn. This unit comes with a bigger LR44 battery. The Wally World is really cheap, but I suspect they still share the same electronics.

    The $6.46 unit has more functions, including a stopwatch. Only downside is the vague buttons, and default to SCAN mode after wake from sleep. Both units are very accurate if properly calibrated...+/-0.5%.

  23. #23

  24. #24
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    Sit on the bike and measure the actual distance (in mm) of one front wheel revolution. Input this data into the computer.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    yeah, I did that last year and I'm gonna try it again. I think they call that a roll-out
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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