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Old 01-05-07, 12:54 AM   #1
Digital Gee
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How long do bike computer batteries last?

And do they just stop kerplunk or is there some warning so that you can replace them in time to keep things going?
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Old 01-05-07, 01:14 AM   #2
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they self destruct as soon as you decide to buy a new bike.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:52 AM   #3
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They are not a fit and forget unit so that is why I often have no computer on my bikes. Thought I would overcome it by fitting the same computer to each bike so if the battery failed, I could "Borrow" one from another bike. Problem is that I got the wireless kind that takes two batteries and it always seems to be the one on the forks that pack ups- and I do not keep spare batteries.
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Old 01-05-07, 03:03 AM   #4
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If they haven't died before just change them every 10000 miles or 1 year. They do seem to go kerplunk.
The cateye micro wireless ones I have, seem to last that long as long if I don't use the backlit option too much.
They use the CR2032 batteries which are quite easy to find in most places..
as Stapfam says its the one in the sender that seems to go first.

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Old 01-05-07, 04:59 AM   #5
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They slowly fade in brightness and the LCD screen grows fuzzy. When this happens, if you put your ear real close to the other cycle computers on your other bikes, you realize they are sentient beings. If you listen carefully you will hear your computer softly chanting "GTTL, GTTL, GTTL...." It's a very calming, soothing, reassuring sound. If you have several bikes all in the same area and the place is very quiet, you might notice they chant in a wonderful unison. It's a very mystical time. And then, somehow, they all stop, as if on que, and nothing is heard. At that time you'll notice your cycle computer's screen no longer displays any information. May it R.I.P.
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Old 01-05-07, 05:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Problem is that I got the wireless kind that takes two batteries and it always seems to be the one on the forks that pack ups- and I do not keep spare batteries.
- that's nice that your wireless only has two; my sigmas use three: fork, receiver base, and removeable computer... i have had five in use for more than two years and just had to replace one CR2032... in my case, erratic info was the indicator....

- when my wireless units crap out i'm going wired to eliminate two addt'l batteries on each bike...

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Old 01-05-07, 08:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
And do they just stop kerplunk or is there some warning so that you can replace them in time to keep things going?
purdy dang long
of 2 Cateye Micros I bought back in '90ish, one unit went bellyup from the intrusion of my sweat. The other, changed the battery on that about 3 mos. after my pedalin 're-entry' on Dec 6, 04 -rememer cause that was 4 days before my visit to the ICU...
Its still running fine on my old Limongi...
A Cateye Astral I bought on the 2nd day of my re-entry, back on Sep04, still runs fine
Current Supergo 2 units w/cadence, on other bikes, are about 1 1/2 yr old - orig batteries and still goin strong.
The Astral and Supergo units all keep 'time' so they are using some small amount of juice all the time...
Modern circuitry seems purdy efficient.
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Old 01-05-07, 08:56 AM   #8
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I find that the failure rate of the ones in my current bike computer increases in direct proportion to the hotness of each new bike computer that I see.



Otherwise, it depends a bit upon the unit, its features, backlit or no, temps you ride in, etc. Wireless units seem to eat more batteries in my experience as well.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:01 PM   #9
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Cyclometers - I hate them. My dual wireless shows all the displays but won't pick up the front sensor or gets flakey. It cost too much [cadence and heart rate too]. The TREK wired cyclometer on my MTB isn't registering either. While not fixated on statistics but it'd be fun to track total miles for 2007.

As to original question - I'd say the 3v coin batteries last a good year. You can get them online (eg ebay) for $1 each. Fifthunit.com has the 12v odd sized batteries for the wireless transmitters for about the same price but they seem to be offline now.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:10 PM   #10
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Some of the battery life might be dependent on how much it's used. In my case I generally get about 18 mos from a wired unit and about 12 mos from a wireless unit. So, I usually replace batteries once a year just so it doesn't die in the middle of an "epic ride.

BTW, with the Garmin 305-the batteries are rechargeable-you don't have to worry about replacing them but you do have to charge the thing regularly. Not a problem as you can charge it from a PC/Laptop, car charger or wall outlet.
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Old 01-05-07, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
They slowly fade in brightness and the LCD screen grows fuzzy. When this happens, if you put your ear real close to the other cycle computers on your other bikes, you realize they are sentient beings. If you listen carefully you will hear your computer softly chanting "GTTL, GTTL, GTTL...." It's a very calming, soothing, reassuring sound. If you have several bikes all in the same area and the place is very quiet, you might notice they chant in a wonderful unison. It's a very mystical time. And then, somehow, they all stop, as if on que, and nothing is heard. At that time you'll notice your cycle computer's screen no longer displays any information. May it R.I.P.
So that's what they are doing! Very insightful, Pastor! My Sigma computers go thru a battery (1) in about 12 months. YMMV
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Old 01-05-07, 06:47 PM   #12
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Happily I don't worry about when mine die - once I've plunked in a new battery, I can manually set the odometer to whatever it was when the unit keeled over. And I keep a spreadsheet on my annual mileage.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:33 PM   #13
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I'm not saying that it's been ten years since I've been on my Trek 730, which I bought in 1995. But I put a cyclometer on the handlebars in 1996, and when I was brushing the cob webs off my bike last week, the cyclometer batteries were still good and digital readouts on the cyclometer were clear. In fact, I couldn't even figure how to turn the bugger off, once the digital readouts were displayed.

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Old 01-05-07, 08:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
...If you listen carefully you will hear your computer softly chanting "GTTL, GTTL, GTTL...." It's a very calming, soothing, reassuring sound. If you have several bikes all in the same area and the place is very quiet, you might notice they chant in a wonderful unison....
In my case I made sure that it was literally chant. I may be a jazz
fan but all my bike computers are Gregorian. Weird calendar though.
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Old 01-06-07, 09:02 PM   #15
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Battery life?

My experience has been varied, some batteries seem to last forever and then some fail within a month or so of replacing.

I've started writing my accumulated milage figures down monthly so I can reconstruct as much as I can if they fail.

And I've heard equally bad stories about the wireless units, eating batteries or early failures. These units have to use more power than the wired types.

For a particular battery type, ie, 2032, do a google search and you'll find them 10 for $8 or less, probably better than the ones that have hung in the drugstore for 6 months at $4 apiece.
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Old 01-06-07, 09:10 PM   #16
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FWIW, my VDO owners manual suggests removing the wireless head from the bike when not in use. This is supposed to help with battery life.
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