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  1. #1
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Lightbulb vintage type "cyclometer," "odometer" etc?

    I am tired of looking at various electronic computers, for recording everything from mileage to perspiration in liters, quarts or molecules; and much liked the little front wheel mount, aluminum housing mileage counter I think was French made, I'd once had:

    On a '73 Windsor Carerra Sport 27" bike-purchased new and ridden May of '79 cross country from Dallas to near Bonners Ferry via San Diego, in a month, both hitching and pedaling-1400 miles under my own power, trying to make a deadline I aced beautifully-for a gathering of Antahkarana Circle of healers, about 4000 miles total.

    I ride a very similar Windsor now, also a 27" modified with more upright handlebars; as I'm an older person-with some physical disability problems, due to spinal disease earlier in life.

    I sent an email to a large on-line bicycle parts website; who answered informatively, suggesting one eBay product they'd come up with as an example I might follow up on, or search similarly on my own. Their search specified; "vintage NOS cyclometer" amongst other things, though I've also tried "odometer" too-with other interesting results.

    I've still not seen anything exactly like what I'd gotten for that '73 Windsor; though a Schwinn 27" plastic housing model which can be reset, looks very much along the lines I'm seeking most. If anyone has any further information or ideas about finding one of these, I'd sure be interested?

    And, I really think a manufacturer could do people a favor; by producing more of these quite handy, durable, simple and nearly indestructible items-

    As opposed to contemporary complex devices, which always seem to overkill with information, easily malfunction, while frequently difficult to comprehend let alone use; when all I need is a good idea of how far I've gone, or how far I've yet to go getting somewhere:

    I'm still irked they did away with 27" which has always seemed simply to screw people who'd committed to those, now years ago.

    Nowdays seems nearly forgotten, what once had been a mantra of at least a few; that somewhere between "high tech" and "low or no tech" is "appropriate technology," which pedal power bicycle and cycling gear manufacturers seem particularly to've lost track of-in a realm where this seems most crucial, for the largest number of people, too.

    I think mainly, to turn a buck: Mimicking the computer industry's logarithmic spiral of technical expansion.

    post script: What means "NOS"?
    Last edited by bobstad; 07-17-14 at 06:13 PM. Reason: clarification, etc.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobstad View Post
    I am tired of looking at various electronic computers, for recording everything from mileage to perspiration in liters, quarts or molecules; and much liked the little front wheel mount, aluminum housing mileage counter I think was French made, I'd once had:

    On a '73 Windsor Carerra Sport 27" bike-purchased new and ridden May of '79 cross country from Dallas to near Bonners Ferry via San Diego, in a month, both hitching and pedaling-1400 miles under my own power, trying to make a deadline I aced beautifully-for a gathering of Antahkarana Circle of healers, about 4000 miles total.

    I ride a very similar Windsor now, also a 27" modified with more upright handlebars; as I'm an older person-with some physical disability problems, due to spinal disease earlier in life.

    I sent an email to a large on-line bicycle parts website; who answered informatively, suggesting one eBay product they'd come up with as an example I might follow up on, or search similarly on my own. Their search specified; "vintage NOS cyclometer" amongst other things, though I've also tried "odometer" too-with other interesting results.

    I've still not seen anything exactly like what I'd gotten for that '73 Windsor; though a Schwinn 27" plastic housing model which can be reset, looks very much along the lines I'm seeking most. If anyone has any further information or ideas about finding one of these, I'd sure be interested?

    And, I really think a manufacturer could do people a favor; by producing more of these quite handy, durable, simple and nearly indestructible items-

    As opposed to contemporary complex devices, which always seem to overkill with information, easily malfunction, while frequently difficult to comprehend let alone use; when all I need is a good idea of how far I've gone, or how far I've yet to go getting somewhere:

    I'm still irked they did away with 27" which has always seemed simply to screw people who'd committed to those, now years ago.

    Nowdays seems nearly forgotten, what once had been a mantra of at least a few; that somewhere between "high tech" and "low or no tech" is "appropriate technology," which pedal power bicycle and cycling gear manufacturers seem particularly to've lost track of-in a realm where this seems most crucial, for the largest number of people, too.

    I think mainly, to turn a buck: Mimicking the computer industry's logarithmic spiral of expansion.

    post script: What means "NOS"?
    NOS = New Old Stock. Basically packaged components, never used, but not modern.

    I've gone down the road recently of looking for a vintage odometer as well. There's one knock-off that you can find on amazon and ebay but it gets mixed reviews. This would probably make some money if someone made a new one with vintage aesthetics.

  3. #3
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Here's what we used to have as a kid. It counts wheel revolutions. That's all it does.

    Vintage Lucas 26" Wheel Bicycle Metal Odometer | eBay

    Way more expensive than a comp though, and much more prone to failure.
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  4. #4
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Here's what we used to have as a kid. It counts wheel revolutions. That's all it does.

    Vintage Lucas 26" Wheel Bicycle Metal Odometer | eBay

    Way more expensive than a comp though, and much more prone to failure.
    What I'd had in mind, except for 27."

    Hard to see how "much more prone to failure" however,* with so few moving parts; though I agree this one looks pricey compared to the plastic 27" Schwinn which can also be reset-someone was asking $20 for.

    I have an inexpensive Bell computer with wires down the front fork, which never works reliably...maybe I need to change the battery, yet there's always some sort of display & on rare occasion functional too.

    There were quite a few people manufacturing these, in the US, England, Italy & Japan-just from what I found on eBay yesterday; so there's probably some variability in quality.

    *Lucas electrics in British made cars were always supposed to be the worst available; so perhaps that characteristic is true of even such a mechanical device with them?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobstad View Post
    What I'd had in mind, except for 27."

    Hard to see how "much more prone to failure" however,* with so few moving parts; though I agree this one looks pricey compared to the plastic 27" Schwinn which can also be reset-someone was asking $20 for.
    Well, I remember my father had a nice all-metal one on his 1976 Super Le Tour. I managed to break it by going too fast down a hill. As I recall, there was a maximum recommended speed. Maybe if the little pointer that spun the wheel thingie on the odometer had been in perfect alignment....

    I have a slightly less nice Schwinn mechanical odometer from the early 1980s. I think it's plastic. I don't think it is resettable. You can have it for the cost of shipping (if I can find it that is).

  6. #6
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    Well, I remember my father had a nice all-metal one on his 1976 Super Le Tour. I managed to break it by going too fast down a hill. As I recall, there was a maximum recommended speed. Maybe if the little pointer that spun the wheel thingie on the odometer had been in perfect alignment....

    I have a slightly less nice Schwinn mechanical odometer from the early 1980s. I think it's plastic. I don't think it is resettable. You can have it for the cost of shipping (if I can find it that is).
    Let me know if the thing turns up; I'd be interested, for sure:

    At my age, if I get going that fast; there's probably not going to be enough left over to worry about, anyway.
    Last edited by bobstad; 07-11-14 at 10:30 PM.
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    I wonder if the 26" one would fit on a 27" wheel. Since the meter is counting wheel revolutions, it would just be a matter of getting it to fit properly on your frame.

  8. #8
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    The mechanical ones definitely break more often than the electronic ones. I had a mechanical clicker as a kid and the thing wouldn't stay lined up properly for more than a day or two.

    I've had 4 or 5 comps on various bikes, I've tried a few different ones. I have actually never had one fail, I still have all of them. I did have a bracket just die of old age once, so I had to spend $10 on a replacement bracket. That was on a Planet Bike comp after about 8 years of 4 season riding including down to -20*F. The comp is still fine to this day.

    Even the crappy Chinese eBay comp that was $4.50 delivered from China never actually failed. It was just a little weird and easy to get confused and accidentally reset the whole comp and lose my odometer settings, so I stopped using it and bought a 2nd Planet Bike comp. I kind of like the cheap little Chinese ones though, mainly because I just kind of think it's funny to get something that does so much for so close to free as makes no difference. I might try another one, there are a dozen pretty common models on eBay.
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  9. #9
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobstad View Post
    I am tired of looking at various electronic computers, for recording everything from mileage to perspiration in liters, quarts or molecules;...
    I use my smart phone and the mapmyride.com app. No installation issues, no wires, it measures distance and speed, that's all I want.
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  10. #10
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by egranlund View Post
    I wonder if the 26" one would fit on a 27" wheel. Since the meter is counting wheel revolutions, it would just be a matter of getting it to fit properly on your frame.
    The only problem being; the 26" odometer would measure around 66.641 revolutions as a mile, while one made for a 27" wheel measures about 62.247 revolutions per mile.

    I'd end up with more miles indicated, than traveled; the difference being about 3.7%, if my calculations are correct?
    Art is the means whereby(a) society advances: Religion is the definition
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  11. #11
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    Ah, sorry, for some reason I was under the impression that the ebay odometer was counting and displaying the number of wheel revolutions not converting anything into miles. Nevermind

  12. #12
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    I use my smart phone and the mapmyride.com app. No installation issues, no wires, it measures distance and speed, that's all I want.
    Wow; massively compounding the obvious, an inane addiction to technological processes.

    Why not find a CIA operative, then have yourself shadowed; while paying off "the company" to get your data?

    To me, the simplicity of a mechanical mile counter is the main attraction; wherein, I think having one of those which is quality made-will determine satisfaction in the end.

    There does seem to be a wide degree of difference in what I can see on line, in the relative quality which had been offered: While I doubt any of them were made to be particularly high quality, either.

    Maybe someone in the contemporary market, could offer a device combining all the best of the rest; while also establishing a high degree of quality and reliability, too? Even advances since then in various aspects of design and manufacture; could realize an affordable yet reasonably advanced, better quality unit.

    For another thing, all the electronic devices use up batteries; which are biohazards in the making: Really a confounding thing, for an interest so supposedly eco-friendly.

    Plus, I myself have become so dependent upon gadgets, such as calculators; I need to take off my shoes, to count to twenty. Imagine a war between two nations; one dependent upon robots, the other all martial artists. What sort of citizen is the culmination of each; and of which, is more worth preserving?

    I'm probably ultimately remiss, in worrying at all about my travel data; reminding me of a friend Gair Gerlinger, when during a visit in '82 for a couple weeks he'd never been more than a minute or two off compared to my inexpensive Casio watch, guessing the time of day when I'd ask.

    Someone impressive for penurious habits by the way; as an anti-war tax resister, never earning enough he'd have to report his income: Who during 2007 came up with this ingenious way of dealing with his dental problems; by becoming a medical tourist in Bali. [http://www.planetmole.org/indonesian...rism-bali.html
    Last edited by bobstad; 07-17-14 at 06:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobstad View Post
    I think mainly, to turn a buck
    I'm pretty sure that's the main objective of EVERY business. One of the first lessons I learned when I got a job out of engineering school was that the "the engineering business is FIRST and FOREMOST a business". Companies won't produce what most people won't buy. It's not about wanting to make the most advanced product (usually), it's all about maximizing profit. That's pretty much the way free market, capitalism works.

  14. #14
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenshiBiker View Post
    That's pretty much the way free market, capitalism works.
    And, I'm someone long unhappy with capitalism. The arguments against have been many; from Marx on one end, to those proffered from a variety of other sources.

    While, I think bicycling represents a realm reasonably more outside a capitalist prerogative; than say the obvious of automobiles, or motorcycles: Though reason seems often of little importance, to capitalism.

    You get phenomena where homelessness gets driven to greater extents, as I heard one radio special about; by the needs of people to gain employment, helping the homeless.

    Such things as manufacturing and marketing are not inherently capitalist; which for instance, were also important facets of feudalism. Concentration of wealth and power in the hands of only a few, does seem to be a part of capitalism: Wherein choices can often seem determined by someone's fetishes, rather than more democratic reasons.

    I remember this outfit, I see is still around; from some of the old Whole Earth Catalog: Those, some world visions-of the more autocratic Berkeley type society. [Cargo Bikes, Industrial Bicycles and Industrial Tricycles from Worksman Cycles Factory Direct Store
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    Wow this thread took quite a turn.

    That ebay odo might just count wheel revolutions, the guy who posted it (itsjustme) above mentioned "Here's what we used to have as a kid. It counts wheel revolutions. That's all it does." If that's the case you should be good to go.

    Beyond that, if you don't want to use your phone the latest in no-fuss bike computer would probably be this: Amazon.com : CatEye Velo 7 Bicycle Computer CC-VL520 : Bike Computer : Sports & Outdoors

    Which does everything you need and nothing more. Battery life is probably well over a year using just a coin cell. You can easily recycle batteries and don't have to worry about giving your data to "the man".

    There are other plastic odometers on Amazon such as: Amazon.com : Speedometer Pyramid 26/27 with Resettable Odometer : Odometer For Bicycle : Sports & Outdoors

    Might be worth trying those out.

    Let us know how those work out if you try one. Amazon reviews can be a bit hit and miss.
    Last edited by egranlund; 07-17-14 at 08:32 PM.

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    Also, regarding the issues with your current cycle computer, try to futz around with the adjustments a little bit. I'm not familiar with your particular model, but I suspect it probably uses a wheel magnet to track speed/distance. If that's the case, try to get the sensor as close as possible to the wheel magnet and also make sure you have the sensor mounted very securely so it can't vibrate away from the position you have it set at.

    I've had issues with my speed/cadence sensor slipping on a previous bike and in the end I just put a layer of duct tape under the zip ties and sensor to give it a bit more of a grippy surface to stick to.

  17. #17
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egranlund View Post
    Also, regarding the issues with your current cycle computer, try to futz around with the adjustments a little bit. I'm not familiar with your particular model, but I suspect it probably uses a wheel magnet to track speed/distance. If that's the case, try to get the sensor as close as possible to the wheel magnet and also make sure you have the sensor mounted very securely so it can't vibrate away from the position you have it set at.

    I've had issues with my speed/cadence sensor slipping on a previous bike and in the end I just put a layer of duct tape under the zip ties and sensor to give it a bit more of a grippy surface to stick to.
    I'm the sort with always a slew, of unfinished projects; so usually end up with compromises between barely functional, and ugly: Even when a concept's inspiration, is truly elegant.

    My bike has an inexpensive Bell computer from the local Rite-Aid; with once attractive plastic yellow tape, now a ragged mess covering a wire, to access a magnet on the spokes-the way the thing counts revolutions: From plenty of all weather use, with countless carries on the fronts of a multiplicity of commuter buses.

    The computer worked okay a brief while; though mostly registers as on, while giving up no data whatsoever: Which, besides I'm sure a strong Luddite streak within me too; is why having a more simple, reliable mechanical mileage counter, has such an attractive appeal.

    I've no idea in the electrical end of things, how many components and processes go into even that cheap little Bell gadget making the thing work; though even its mechanical apparatus, the wire, magnet, mounting and computer itself, contribute a gaggle of things more, than a mechanical counter. There must be some incredible difference in the ratio of middlemen, from one type device to the other.

    I'd done an especially nice job on mounting the little computer on my handlebars, improvising nicely with available items wholly unrelated; fabricating what is a truly attractive, neat one of a kind module directly above the top of the headset: All for naught, which sits there mocking me for my efforts.

    I also post as "bobstad" at the FordFestiva.com website; and have to say that some of the people there, seem to make their cars their life's work.

    The amazingly vast array of products a person can become conversant with, in caring for a car; mirrors my concern with bicycles, similarly becoming incredibly complex concerns-when their capacity of increasing eight fold a person's mobility, seems worthier without so much going on.

    I like the ethics involved in DIY; where for instance there seems to be a rough division between two camps of professional mechanics, those who appreciate my doing jobs they don't have to-and career predators, for whom I'm some sort of malign, deviant threat.

    I think the latter type may also contribute far more, to the complexity involved in mechanical apparatuses; which increasingly seems to defeat anyone, into DIY.
    Last edited by bobstad; 07-17-14 at 09:45 PM.
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  18. #18
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Old wired Avocet speedometer I have laying in my toolbox................

    Putting the fun between my legs.......
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    In '72 I had one like this
    Amazon.com : Speedometer Pyramid 26/27 with Resettable Odometer : Odometer For Bicycle : Sports & Outdoors

    but the part that attached to the front wheel was a thin piece of metal that fit in between opposing spokes. That and the dynamo light lasted till I lost the bike in 88

  20. #20
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangowolf View Post
    In '72 I had one like this
    Amazon.com : Speedometer Pyramid 26/27 with Resettable Odometer : Odometer For Bicycle : Sports & Outdoors

    but the part that attached to the front wheel was a thin piece of metal that fit in between opposing spokes. That and the dynamo light lasted till I lost the bike in 88
    Oh man, I had one of those too. It was on a huffy with a banana seat.
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  21. #21
    Junior Member bobstad's Avatar
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    The only thing about the aluminum housing, mechanical "cyclometer" on my first Windsor Carerra Sport, I didn't like; was the sound of the striker hitting the cogged wheel on the device.

    There were alternatives though, which used a little pulley not much larger than a quarter in circumference; that reason says would be silent or nearly so. Those were more expensive, and also larger; since I believe for one thing, they may've had more functions?

    I think now I'd still like my original choice; where I'd probably find the little clicking sound more comforting than previously. And folks, in case no one notices these sorts of things; there is A LOT more traffic on the roads-so a little clicking isn't as big a deal.



    My sole cross-country journey, for instance; took place May of '79 in the middle of an "energy crisis" when gas lines formed in urban areas, while across west Texas, New Mexico & Arizona the only things on the road besides myself, were either semi trucks or Winnabegos.

    A total manic thrill were the cattle trucks with a second trailer; since I got used to hearing the roar of a big truck engine beside my left shoulder only feet away, as a huge whoosh from the air blasting me simultaneously would wobble the bike vigorously;* all just as the notion struck, a truck was passing me-everything happening instantaneously...hitching later, I found these can be traveling more than ninety miles an hour.

    By the time this happened, events happening so quickly, I'd seem to be relaxing already from the effects; except when a rig with two trailers, since a second big blast of air would hit me just as strong-while I'd be limp and relaxed, from the first & thinking the ordeal over.

    A person would never willingly subject themselves, to this sort of thing; though once an enforced reality, unavoidable-you have to admit there's nothing else, which compares.

    *I'd a pretty good load, so with panniers or similar front and rear; I think that kept me from being air-borne...or close enough.
    Last edited by bobstad; 07-19-14 at 01:52 PM.
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  22. #22
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Wow, lots of deep thoughts...The best part of getting an aluminum shelled version of the mechanical odometer is that you can pound it into tin-foil and cover your head after it breaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobstad View Post
    Wow; massively compounding the obvious, an inane addiction to technological processes.

    Why not find a CIA operative, then have yourself shadowed; while paying off "the company" to get your data?

    To me, the simplicity of a mechanical mile counter is the main attraction; wherein, I think having one of those which is quality made-will determine satisfaction in the end.

    There does seem to be a wide degree of difference in what I can see on line, in the relative quality which had been offered: While I doubt any of them were made to be particularly high quality, either.

    Maybe someone in the contemporary market, could offer a device combining all the best of the rest; while also establishing a high degree of quality and reliability, too? Even advances since then in various aspects of design and manufacture; could realize an affordable yet reasonably advanced, better quality unit.

    For another thing, all the electronic devices use up batteries; which are biohazards in the making: Really a confounding thing, for an interest so supposedly eco-friendly.

    Plus, I myself have become so dependent upon gadgets, such as calculators; I need to take off my shoes, to count to twenty. Imagine a war between two nations; one dependent upon robots, the other all martial artists. What sort of citizen is the culmination of each; and of which, is more worth preserving?

    I'm probably ultimately remiss, in worrying at all about my travel data; reminding me of a friend Gair Gerlinger, when during a visit in '82 for a couple weeks he'd never been more than a minute or two off compared to my inexpensive Casio watch, guessing the time of day when I'd ask.

    Someone impressive for penurious habits by the way; as an anti-war tax resister, never earning enough he'd have to report his income: Who during 2007 came up with this ingenious way of dealing with his dental problems; by becoming a medical tourist in Bali. [Dental Tourism: Bali - Indonesian News - Bali, Daily, Denpasar - Planet Mole
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

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