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  1. #1
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    Looking for a bike computer recommendation - Not too expensive, with cadence

    I just got a new road bike and am looking for a bike computer. On my hybrid I currently have an few year old Cateye Strada Cadence and honestly I like it. Is there anything much better out there?

    Here are my guidelines:
    Affordable - Under $100 shipped if possible
    Slight preference towards wireless but only if it's not going to break the bank
    Need speed, distance, cadence, trip time and that's about it.
    Easy to read at a glance, needs to be able to see at least speed and RPM simultaneously.
    Not really concerned with elevation, heart-rate or anything GPS related but certainly won't turn those features away.

    I see alot of different brands, do they have the reliability of Cateye?

  2. #2
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    I've got Stradas on both the bikes I ride the most. They work fine for me.

    If yours does what you want it to do, why would you want to change? You can get another Strada for under $50, or you can spend $500 and get a fancy new Garmin that does all the same things, is wireless, and has to be recharged periodically. Your choice!

  3. #3
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    Sigma BC 16.12. Wired, crisp display, backlight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ctpres's Avatar
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    I have Sigma BC 1609 (around $50 on eBay) wired and really like it. Very crisp touch buttons, two display lines and each display line independent/changeable while riding.
    Retired 75 YO. Got my sub 5 ET century at 50 and sub 7 RT at 75. Just want to finish at 80. USNR, USAF, USCGA - riding 2014 Zenetto Steath ZR7.1 Carbon

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctpres View Post
    I have Sigma BC 1609 (around $50 on eBay) wired and really like it. Very crisp touch buttons, two display lines and each display line independent/changeable while riding.
    BC 16.12 is an update for BC 1609/1609L. I have both and there is indeed some jump in quality. The display is brought forward inside the case, has higher contrast and there is a tad more supplementary info displayed. The plastic of the case seems a bit sturdier. The only aspect I don't like are white elements in the case, presumably there to underscore the contrast.

  6. #6
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    Another vote for the basic Sigma BC1609. I have a BC109 that has recorded over 10,000 miles of data for me and surprisingly only gone through two batteries in that time. I find it easy to use and if you really want the feature, you can buy a separate dock and use Sigma's software to download data from your computer to track your rides and graph stuff out for you. I used a little initially, but honestly I only use the computer for three things now - cadence, current speed, and total mileage. I monitor cadence regularly to make sure I'm spinning, otherwise I tend to mash too big of a gear. Secondly, I monitor average speed because I have established mental time checks for points along my daily commute, so as long as I maintain or increase my speed I can be assured of arriving to work within a certain time frame. Finally, it's kind of nice to keep a tally on total miles ridden. I have used it in conjunction with Endomondo and Strava on my cell phone and have found it's good to have the computer because sometimes (particularly with Strava), the distance and speed estimates from the phones GPS can be several tenths of a mile off and sometimes max speed can be ridiculously off by several miles per hour. Innacuracies on the phone tend to have more to do with phone GPS but it's still good to have the computer as a reality check, especially when you calibrate it exactly to the size of tire you're running versus using the generic numbers in the owner's manual.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    Ive noticed all the images are in KMH can they be switched to mph?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jporter72 View Post
    Ive noticed all the images are in KMH can they be switched to mph?

    Yes they can. .
    2011 Fuji Newest 1.0/Nice Weather Sporty-Quick bike
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    RADIOACTIVE, RETINA RIPPING, DAY-GLO, Chartreuse !!! It's the new black.

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  9. #9
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    Oh, almost forgot, Another big thumbs up for Sigma.
    2011 Fuji Newest 1.0/Nice Weather Sporty-Quick bike
    2001 Trek 520/Heavy Hauler-Epic Adventure bike

    RADIOACTIVE, RETINA RIPPING, DAY-GLO, Chartreuse !!! It's the new black.

    The "Thing" with accidents is that they are so inconveniently unpredictable.
    The "Problem" with accidents is that they are so unpredictably inconvenient.

    Stale urine and Fresh bowel movement. To me, it's the smell of Skid Row.
    (with apologies to Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Duvall.)

  10. #10
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    Short answer no.

    Either get a Garmin or stick with your current computer.

    The problem with cheap wireless is that it gets thrown off by interference from many lights. Basically, either stick with a cheap wired computer or save up and get a Garmin. Everything else will be expensive, and worse than a cheap wired computer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    I'm not the OP, but I'm also looking for a bike computer. How easy is it to install a wired computer without making the wire stand out too much? The Sigma BC 16.12 some of you mention comes in both wired and wireless configurations, and the wired version is a lot cheaper than the wireless.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    I'm not the OP, but I'm also looking for a bike computer. How easy is it to install a wired computer without making the wire stand out too much? The Sigma BC 16.12 some of you mention comes in both wired and wireless configurations, and the wired version is a lot cheaper than the wireless.
    Its relatively easy to do a pretty clean wired install. All it takes is patience and a lot of zip ties (way more than they come with).

    Speed sensor wire gets wrapped around the fork blade and zip tied in multiple location. Excess wire is wrapped and tied under the stem. Cadence sensor gets routed along the downtube, you can run it under a bottle cage to help hide it and hold it in place.

  13. #13
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    Its relatively easy to do a pretty clean wired install. All it takes is patience and a lot of zip ties (way more than they come with).

    Speed sensor wire gets wrapped around the fork blade and zip tied in multiple location. Excess wire is wrapped and tied under the stem. Cadence sensor gets routed along the downtube, you can run it under a bottle cage to help hide it and hold it in place.
    Thanks. I'm not planning on adding a cadence sensor, so that should make it a little easier. Now patience... I'm not sure I've got enough of that. I will see!
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  14. #14
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    Thank you all for the recommendations. I am thinking I will go with the Sigma 16.12. Am I correct in assuming that the cadence sensor comes with the wired version but may not be bundled with all all versions of the wireless model?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Great, IMO you'll be happy with your choice. I've an older Sigma and have been very pleased with it

  16. #16
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    Decided to shell out a little extra and get the 16.12 STS CAD (the wireless one with cadence included). Managed to get it for $100 shipped on eBay which isn't too bad. Wired one would've been totally fine I'm sure but I like the idea of the easier and cleaner installation. Also the color tone of the wireless one matches my bike better (most shallow choice ever I acknowledge).

  17. #17
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    Just to clarify as well, I'm not replacing the Strada Cadence. It will remain on my hybrid. I looked into another harness and parts to allow me to switch that computer between bikes and the cost was almost the same as the wired version of the 16.12. I like the Strada Cadence but think I will appreciate the larger display of the Sigma.

  18. #18
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    Got the Sigma 16.12 STS CAD in and installed it. I've only had it on the trainer so far but it seems to be working well and the installation was pretty easy. I went for the stem mount and think it looks good IMO. There are plenty of functions for my use and I like the wireless installation. The only thing I'm a little nervous about is bumping the sensors out of alignment and have them hit with a spoke or the crank but the mounting seems solid at this point using the zipties.



    Last edited by Wiggle; 05-15-14 at 07:09 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggle View Post
    Just to clarify as well, I'm not replacing the Strada Cadence. It will remain on my hybrid. I looked into another harness and parts to allow me to switch that computer between bikes and the cost was almost the same as the wired version of the 16.12. I like the Strada Cadence but think I will appreciate the larger display of the Sigma.
    I just bought a Strada Cadence myself and mounted it on the stem (like you did your new Sigma). I like its ease of use and compactness.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  20. #20
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    Good choice on the Sigma, but I don't know about the STS. I had one of those and could never get it to work right. I always seemed to have issues with the cadence sensor. I had a replacement sensor sent to me, then eventually a whole new computer. Eventually the folks at Sigma told me that it must be getting interference from either LED lights or their battery packs, and even my cell phone sitting in a pannier or seat bag could be an interference culprit. I finally threw up my hands in frustration and sent back the STS and bought the 1609 wired version and it's worked flawlessly for about 2 1/2 years now. Hope you have better luck than me. Maybe the wireless sensor technology has improved in the last couple years. I still kinda wish I knew how well the STS worked now since it would certainly be a cleaner solution than the wired version. However, now that I ride a recumbent, the wires for cadence and speed are all right on the front of the bike so it's not so obtrustive as on a DF bike where you have to run that cadence wire all the way from the BB forward somehow.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  21. #21
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    I'm going to have it on the road this weekend at some point to test. I can say however that it has been working well on the trainer. That is with it 10 feet from my Wi-fi router and 12 inches from my phone sending bluetooth to my speakers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    I just bought a Strada Cadence myself and mounted it on the stem (like you did your new Sigma). I like its ease of use and compactness.
    The Strada Cadence is a nice unit as well. I like the larger screen of the Sigma but if you value compactness and simplicity I would say it is the superior choice. I like that the interface requires you only press the entire unit as one big button.

    I finally got the bike off the trainer and onto the road for a short ride today. Bout 40 minutes, average speed 23.5 km/h / 14.6 mph (including a brutal 20% hill and some slow chilling on a mup dragging the average down) but now I have a baseline to improve on Unit worked quite well and I was playing around with the cadence function quite a bit. Confirmed for me that I vary between 75 and 100 rpm. I will be using this to try to get more consistent at keeping the cadence in the 90+ region.
    Last edited by Wiggle; 05-16-14 at 07:49 PM.

  23. #23
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    Got about 100 miles on the comp now and it seems to be working great. As some people have indicated there is some delay to the readout. I suspect this is to give the computer more tolerance against noise and spurious measurements. For me it's ideal though, plenty of functions and relatively simple. I also finally did a proper wheel measurement and it actually came to within 3mm of what the manual suggested for a 700 x 23.

  24. #24
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    ^^^^^^Thanks for the thoughtful followups.
    2011 Fuji Newest 1.0/Nice Weather Sporty-Quick bike
    2001 Trek 520/Heavy Hauler-Epic Adventure bike

    RADIOACTIVE, RETINA RIPPING, DAY-GLO, Chartreuse !!! It's the new black.

    The "Thing" with accidents is that they are so inconveniently unpredictable.
    The "Problem" with accidents is that they are so unpredictably inconvenient.

    Stale urine and Fresh bowel movement. To me, it's the smell of Skid Row.
    (with apologies to Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Duvall.)

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