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  1. #1
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    Want to buy bike computer

    I just start searching, so I'll appreciate if guys here could tell me which brand and which model should I look into?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    That is very broad, as there are many different computers ranging from basic speed and time to training computers with lots of functions all the way to sophisticated GPS mapping computers.

    What do you want to spend?

    What do you want the computer to do? Speed, cadence, Heart rate, etc? More advanced features?

    Will you use it on multiple bikes?

  3. #3
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    If you want basic information such as speed, average, maximum speed, rolling time, individual trip distance, and odometer, go with a wired computer. I've had good luck with the Sigma computers.

    Typically, wired computers are very reliable, have one battery, and that battery will last for at least a year.

  4. #4
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    This is very much a "which bike should I buy?" with no other info type question.

    Do you want just basic functions? Do you want cadence? How about a thermometer? GPS? Ride mapping? Heart rate monitor? Wired? Wireless?

    My personal preference is a Planet Bike Protege, the 7 for basic functions, the 9 for a bit more. Very durable, absolutely dirt simple to use (just push the body of the comp forward to switch display) always works, batteries last more than a year.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    First computer was an inexpensive one that attached to front fork with magnet on spoke. No big deal. Then I got a road bike and wanted something more. A Cateye. Then more and then more, the best Cateye. Finally Garmin 500 on sale.

    Garmin is good for hiking too. GPS is wonderful. Cateye has GPS too. Less features but less expensive.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    Another vote for Planet Bike Protege models. I prefer the wired 9 version, even though it's more work to install then the wireless type.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
    Another vote for Planet Bike Protege models. I prefer the wired 9 version, even though it's more work to install then the wireless type.
    I like it for the large display and the information given on a single screen and no little buttons to push. The magnet is a little large and silver which isn't a plus for me, but the sensor is small. The wireless brands seem to have large unattractive sensors.

    Uhhh...but REI has Blackburn Delphi 5.0 Wireless with cadence and heart rate, it's a 2011 Closeout, no shipping for $46 and change. Just ordered one for next years exercise / training. Looks like a Battlestar Cylon prop.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  8. #8
    Getting older and slower!
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    You have to first decide the features you want. And cadence should be one of them IMO.

    If you can afford it, go wireless which will be more hastle free.

    Cateye is the brand I would recommend, unless you decide to go Garmin. I love my Garmin 800.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    I like it for the large display and the information given on a single screen and no little buttons to push. The magnet is a little large and silver which isn't a plus for me, but the sensor is small.
    My Proteges work fine with smaller wheel magnets. I have a bunch of the Cateye type that is relatively flat and attaches around two crossing spokes.

  10. #10
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cychologist View Post
    You have to first decide the features you want. And cadence should be one of them IMO.

    If you can afford it, go wireless which will be more hastle free.
    Differing opinion: I have no use for cadence. I got it once because a friend said I "had to have it." I used it once, determined that I naturally spin at about 90 to 95, and never used it again. I went back to my old Planet Bike Protege which gives me more than I want. All I really want is an odometer and ride time. Time of day is somewhat useful. Speed is interesting but I don't really care.

    Wireless is MORE hassle. Wired just works. It takes an extra 2 minutes to zip tie and tape the wires the first time, then you're done. No worrying about whether your lights will interfere, FAR less battery worries (I change one 25 cent CR2032 battery every 2 year - when the display has been getting dim for a couple of months, I figure it's probably about time to get around to it).
    Last edited by ItsJustMe; 11-19-13 at 03:05 PM.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I just got a Garmin Edge 200. It came in the mail yesterday, and I'm going to try it out today. I'm excited.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  12. #12
    Ancient Clydesdale 2 wheeler's Avatar
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    I vote for Cateye computers. I've owned several and they all still work, even the very first one, a Cateye Solar from the '80's!

  13. #13
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    Great info guys. I was actually thinking of getting a basic computer myself and looking for one that gives me the basic info (trip distance, current speed, avg speed, odometer). Cadence is probably something I may play around with (if it comes with it). I'm not intended to train for any race so it's not important to me.

  14. #14
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I really like the Planet Bike comps. They're easy to use even with lobster claw gloves on - there's only one control, slide the comp forward to change mode.

    I've never had one die on me - the oldest is a Protege 9 that I've had for 7 years. They need a new battery about every 2 years.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  15. #15
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    All the bike computers I have used have worked just fine. I've bought no-name ones from those Chinese web sites. I've paid as little as $7 and some even have a temperature reading.

    I have a Cateye on my McLean, and it's worked flawlessly for years. I've heard nothing but good things about the Cateyes.

    I also have a few Mach III computers I bought from Nashbar a few years ago. Simple user interface.

    I tried the Garmin yesterday, and it seems to have worked well. I set it to chime each time I reach another mile, which was encouraging, as the riding was tough, with low temperatures, strong shifty winds, and a tricky route to navigate. It included stopped time in my average speed, so the average speed readout was very low, understandably. I wonder if the auto-stop feature means it calculates only moving average. I'll look into it.

    Having tried the Garmin for one day only, now I see why people are willing to spend several hundred dollars on a bike GPS. I'm not ready for that yet, but at least I get it now. I say try at least the Garmin Edge 200. List price is $130, which is pretty low, especially if you have several bikes, because you won't need to buy a computer for each bike. No wiring work required at all. Charge by USB. Upload information for logging and analysis!

    I haven't been tracking my miles per week or month or year. Now I can do it easily. This could be useful for building and maintaining strength. I'm now 52 years old, and I figure the stronger I get now, the more I can stave off my ultimate decline at the end of my life. This isn't just a toy. It's an investment in my long term health.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Had German Made Ciclomasters , but I only put a battery in it for Bike Tours .

  17. #17
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Having tried the Garmin for one day only, now I see why people are willing to spend several hundred dollars on a bike GPS. I'm not ready for that yet, but at least I get it now. I say try at least the Garmin Edge 200. List price is $130, which is pretty low, especially if you have several bikes, because you won't need to buy a computer for each bike. No wiring work required at all. Charge by USB. Upload information for logging and analysis!
    I have a question about the Garmin 200. I've been using the free MapMyRide app on my phone, which I just stick in the pocket of my windbreaker. I have it set up to give a verbal prompt at each mile mark telling me my average speed, distance, and ride time. At the end of the ride it uploads all of that information, plus calories burned and a GPS map of my route to the website. It also tells me how much elevation I gain/lose over the course of a ride. The website keeps track of all my rides, total mileage, and so forth. I love it!

    Does the Garmin add much information to this set up? I'm planning to get a new bike in a few months, and I'm seriously thinking about not getting a computer with it and just using the phone.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I don't know yet.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    You prompted me to load the software and upload yesterday's ride. Wow, that was fun and easy.

    Click here
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  20. #20
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    You prompted me to load the software and upload yesterday's ride. Wow, that was fun and easy.

    Click here
    Wow. That's really cool. The information, including laps and so forth, is pretty similar to what I'm using, but the presentation is nicer.

  21. #21
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    The wired/wireless debate rages. I like the low cost and easy setup of wired. But my experience with two different Cateye wired computers has been problematic. The weak link is the contacts on the mount, which corrode and malfunction. I suppose if I had the discipline to clean them every couple of days, or if I didn't ride in the rain, they would have been more reliable. I recently switched to a wireless Garmin unit, and have had zero issues with it on multiple bikes.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
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  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Let me say this. The setup was extremely easy. The ongoing maintenance required from now on is brilliant. Every so often -- not even every ride -- I will connect my gadget to my computer and go to the dashboard web page. That will let me upload my data. It will give a readout like this for all the rides I've uploaded. I can share it, and if I want to go crazy, I could do deep analysis of the data. I can also make goals, and it can track and tell me how I'm doing at reaching those goals.

    This is pretty unbelievable. I do have a plan, but I don't have specifics yet.

    I'm 52 years old. If I work out a bit harder than I currently do, I can get stronger. One day, I will reach an age where working out does not strengthen me. Instead, it will slow down the natural weakening that happens when we're old. So I want to get as strong as possible for when that day arrives.

    My uncle Dave is 87 years old and has a tough life. I talked to him a few months ago. He doesn't have enough money for complete retirement, so he has to work. His body is tired. His mind is tired, too, because his wife of many years is in advanced Alzheimers, and she needs a lot of care. He says he looks at himself in the mirror and can see himself shrinking and getting weaker. To fight that, he works out every day. The result is that his body's decay is slower than it would be without working out. He says lifting weights is very important. "Tommy (that's what he calls me), you have to lift weights. I'm lifting weights. You have to lift weights. Tommy, are you lifting weights?!" So I promised to him and myself that I would lift weights and work out. He and my other uncle Abe are all I have left of my father, who died four years ago. He didn't take as good care of himself as my uncles take of themselves, and I think that's why he died sooner. He was younger than Dave and older than Abe.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  23. #23
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    My uncle Dave is 87 years old and has a tough life. I talked to him a few months ago. He doesn't have enough money for complete retirement, so he has to work. His body is tired. His mind is tired, too, because his wife of many years is in advanced Alzheimers, and she needs a lot of care. He says he looks at himself in the mirror and can see himself shrinking and getting weaker. To fight that, he works out every day. The result is that his body's decay is slower than it would be without working out. He says lifting weights is very important. "Tommy (that's what he calls me), you have to lift weights. I'm lifting weights. You have to lift weights. Tommy, are you lifting weights?!" So I promised to him and myself that I would lift weights and work out. He and my other uncle Abe are all I have left of my father, who died four years ago. He didn't take as good care of himself as my uncles take of themselves, and I think that's why he died sooner. He was younger than Dave and older than Abe.
    Your uncle sounds like a remarkable man. Best wishes for your workout plan. The electronics can be amazing motivators!

  24. #24
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Thank you. I just inspired myself to blog that post, to preserve it. Here is my new blog.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  25. #25
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_tool_man View Post
    The wired/wireless debate rages. I like the low cost and easy setup of wired. But my experience with two different Cateye wired computers has been problematic. The weak link is the contacts on the mount, which corrode and malfunction. I suppose if I had the discipline to clean them every couple of days, or if I didn't ride in the rain, they would have been more reliable. I recently switched to a wireless Garmin unit, and have had zero issues with it on multiple bikes.
    I've never cleaned the contacts on my Planet Bike comps, one is 7 or 8 years old, can't remember, and has been ridden all weathers all year round. So I guess Cateye loses that round.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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