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Old 03-01-07, 06:55 AM   #1
Motorad 
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Best Bike Computer for Quick Release Wheels

I did searches through the bike forum on computers, and two things are clear:
* Wired computers offer the most bang for the buck and have less problems than wireless computers.
* Of the wired computers, the Cateye Astrale 8 is, well, the cat's meow.

I plan to do frequent rides in metroparks, so I'll have to transport my bike on every ride-day. And, I'm working on the notion of transporting my bike inside the car. At a minimum, I'll have to quick release the front wheel. Down the road, I may get into the habit of quick releasing both wheels every day I transport my bike to and from the park, to make it easier for the bike to ride in the trunk.

First question: I suppose it's possible to have a wired Cateye Astrale 8, but would it be worth the hassle of either keeping enough slack in the wire for quick releasing the wheel ... or disconnecting/connecting the wire on every ride day? For that matter, would a wired computer last very long, if you plan to quick release the wheel on every ride day?

Second question: Although ... in general ... wired computers are supposed to be more reliable than wireless ... are there good recommendations for accurate & consistent computers ... that are wireless? The most important things for me would be (1) actual speed ... (2) daily odometer ... (3) total odometer. Although not critical, it would be nice if the computer provided (A) average speed ... (B) cadence.

Since wireless would be the most practical for me, I wouldn't mind paying extra for an accurate & reliable wireless that can definitely do (1) (2) (3) above, and possibly (A) (B) above.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:13 AM   #2
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i've had good luck with Sigma's 500 series cyclometers,
they are the most basic- providing speed, trip distance, ride time, total distance and clock.
each bike (7 total) in our corral has one, they have not caused any problems, plus they
are inexpensive- less than $20, purchased a couple from Calhoun cycle just before the holidays
(for the future bike); they were $10.
the spoke and fork sensors are both small and do not get in the way of wheel removal.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:16 AM   #3
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Motor,
I have read your post a couple of times and am not sure what your problem is. A wired computer is compatible with a quick release wheel. The part of the computer that contains the wire never leaves the fork, the wheel justs holds a small magnet on the spoke. If you are removing your fork everyday then you have a challenge.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martianone
i've had good luck with Sigma's 500 series cyclometers,
they are the most basic- providing speed, trip distance, ride time, total distance and clock.
each bike (7 total) in our corral has one, they have not caused any problems, plus they
are inexpensive- less than $20, purchased a couple from Calhoun cycle just before the holidays
(for the future bike); they were $10.
the spoke and fork sensors are both small and do not get in the way of wheel removal.
Thanks martianone. I've received a profound revelation that the wire from a wired computer would only be on the fork ... and not the wheel.
With that in mind, think of this thread as having a new title: BEST WIRELESS COMPUTER. I request the change in information being requested to follow martianone's thread of discussing wireless computers.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lighthorse
Motor,
I have read your post a couple of times and am not sure what your problem is. A wired computer is compatible with a quick release wheel. The part of the computer that contains the wire never leaves the fork, the wheel justs holds a small magnet on the spoke. If you are removing your fork everyday then you have a challenge.
Thanks lighthorse, you are right. My caffeine hasn't kicked in this morning yet.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:14 AM   #6
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I like the Sigma because of the large numbers.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:35 AM   #7
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Although I have heard mixed reviews---my experience with the Cateye Double Wireless cadence model has been very good. I even bought it used off Ebay. It has been compatible with my HRM as well. It took a little teaking at first---and there are some times that it will very briefly drop off line when I go under a certain powerline. But for the most part----I really like it. It has been reliable and there is something literally neat about the clean installation without all the wires.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:41 AM   #8
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Okay... Following the request for wireless cyclometer info...

I've been pretty happy with my CatEye CC-CD300DW Dual Wireless with cadence.


Things I like:

The display is clear, contrasty and well laid-out. I don't need my tri-focals to read it. It doesn't wash-out in the sun like many others I've seen. And the four things I most want to know--speed, cadence, ride time and distance--are all on the screen by default.

Secondary information relating to cadence is accessed by one button that cycles through current and average cadence, and total ride pedal revolutions all in the dedicated cadence portion of the display. Likewise, a second button cycles through the secondary ride time/distance info in its part of the display.

Its distance readings vary by only a hundredth or two of a mile (1/100th of a mile is 52 feet) over repeated rides on the same routes (commuting, shopping, etc), and seem close enough to account for subtle variations turn radius and lane positioning.

I've never had an issue with interference.


Things I don't like:

It's expensive. Apparently, it contains a large amount of gold or unobtainium. That's the only thing I can think of to justify the price.

The dual-wireless sending unit is just huge. I found it difficult to mount on the slender side of an oval chainstay. It really wants a fatter or rounder chainstay. I solved this by building-up the chainstay with several wraps of electrical tape before mounting the unit.

The sensor arms are easy to break. Long pants or shoes with laces are likely to snag the cadence sensor. Mine did and snapped it off. It's now affixed with even more electrical tape. After that experience, I exercise extreme care when removing the rear wheel so that I don't catch the speed sensor with it.

It eats batteries. I'm on my third set in about 10 months and 3,200 miles to date. And each component eats them in pairs. Fortunately, I've found a place (Bike Stop) that sells them in five-packs for half the price I've been paying locally.

The backlight is useless. The button is hard to reach and depress (especially while wearing cycling gloves) , and it doesn't stay on long enough to read the display if I'm also watching where I'm going. I just wait for streetlights now.


Overall, I like the unit. The display quality outweighs most other issues.


For my project bike--where I'm also trying things out that I haven't tried before--I've just purchased a Blackburn Delphi 4.0. It's less than half the price of the CatEye, the head unit and wireless speed sensor use only one battery each and the cadence sensor is wired. This is to be a fair-weather bike, so it'll be a month or so before I can try it out.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sour01
...clean installation without all the wires.
Huh? There is only one small wire from the computer mount to the chainstay. At that point there is the cadence sensor. The wire splits and continues wheel sensor. I count only a single wire at any point in the setup. If you take a little time with positioning and fastening no one will notice the computer wire. (P.S. If you already are running Shimano, what's another wire, anyway?)
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Old 03-01-07, 10:40 AM   #10
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What am I missing here? I have wired computers on all my bikes, remove the wheels often for transport, and I've never noticed that the wire gets in the way. It runs down the head tube or brake cable, depending on setup, and is attached at some point on the fork blade. The magnet goes on a spoke--there's no connection between the sensor and the wheel, and nothing on the computer is affected when I take a wheel off.
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Old 03-01-07, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog
What am I missing here?
Just the discussion above where the OP realized that computer wires don't interfere with wheel removal.
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Old 03-01-07, 11:27 AM   #12
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I have both wired and wireless computers and the convenience of the wireless ones is worth it- Till the battery(S) go flat- or something upsets the sensors. For that reason I have gone to the Astrale range of computers and found them good. There is one- I think the astrale 6, that has a cadence meter aswell. Takes a bit of time to set up the sensors and the wiring but the cadence meter is another thing to think of.
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Old 03-01-07, 12:38 PM   #13
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I have a Cateye MC100W wireless on my mountain bike, just to avoid having a wire hanging out to snag on bushes. It worked fine until I mounted my GPS on the handlebar, too. Then it didn't work at all. Moved the GPS to a pocket on the side of the bar bag, and it works great. Other than that one problem, it is just great. I would like to have a thermometer, which it lacks.
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Old 03-01-07, 12:40 PM   #14
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The new Planet Bike Aero wireless computer has temperature. Not that you can do anything about it but its fun to know sometimes.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:19 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone. Ideally, I would of course prefer to have a wireless computer, on the notion of keeping a Rivendell bike looking as "old school" as possible. But I got turned off of wireless computers, because of the negative comments I've been reading about wireless computers.

My main attraction to the wired Cateye Astrale 8, is because of comments of it being reliable and accurate ... basically because it is a wired version. Are there newer generation ... wireless Cateye models ... that offer the following priorities ... and are considered as accurate and reliable as the Cateye Astrale 8?: The most important things for me would be (1) actual speed ... (2) daily odometer ... (3) total odometer. Although not critical, it would be nice if the computer provided (A) average speed ... (B) cadence.

What about the Cateye Strada Wireless (RD300W)? Is this a relatively new version, and has people found it to nearly reliable as a wired cyclocomputer?: http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/408
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Old 03-01-07, 06:33 PM   #16
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The Cateye Strada RD300W is very new and opinions may not be available yet. I like TSL above have the CD300W (previous generation??) and have had no problems. I bought it new on EBAY for about $85 and like it like the Astral 8 because it reports rear wheel speed and is useful on the trainer as well as on the road.
It is however somewhat pricey and it is a bit of a battery hog.
Road bikes have little problem with wired computers.
Mountain bikes are more prone to damaging wires due to harsher terrain. Again, the Astral 8 scores well here because the wire is relatively heavy duty
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Old 03-01-07, 09:58 PM   #17
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I've been pretty happy with my CatEye CC-CD300DW Dual Wireless with cadence

Me too with 2 small issues. 1) To reset you have to press all 3 buttons at the same time. Because of the way it is mounted it can not be done while riding and is difficult when stopped. 2) The speed and cadence sending unit is mounted to the chainstay. Certain bikes with curved chainstays, you just have slippage of the mounting unit(or at lease I have). I am working on a better way to mount the unit. Other than that all good for me.
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Old 03-02-07, 02:22 AM   #18
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Do you use the cadence feature much?

I've never tried it, and wonder how much that information adds to your self-awareness as a cyclist. (I would assume that it does!)
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Old 03-02-07, 07:10 AM   #19
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For me, cadence is more important than speed. It helps me keep my cadence up. I find it especially helpful when climbing and when I'm fatigued, as when riding home from work or the second half of a century. If I go strictly by feel, I often end up fooling myself with a lower cadence and wondering why my legs hurt. Although winter riding has helped a lot too, since I discovered that higher cadences make better use of available traction.

Anyway, as I work at reducing the differences between the cyclometer's average cadence (upper 70s), maximum cadence (upper 100s to lower 110s) and what I perceive as my typical cadence (mid 90s), I'm finding I feel better during and after a ride. Since I have a poor--or at least variable--sense of timing, an external device is hugely helpful.

I wouldn't bother with a cyclometer without it.
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Old 03-02-07, 07:20 AM   #20
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I like my Topeak Panoram V12 Wireless. It wasn't all that expensive, is reasonably accurate, and easy to read:

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Old 03-02-07, 07:56 AM   #21
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I go for the cheapest I can find on sale at Nashbar.com or Performancebike.com. As long as they have speed, mileage, top speed and time, that is all I care about. Generally about $15 bucks, or thereabouts.

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Old 03-02-07, 08:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike
I like my Topeak Panoram V12 Wireless. It wasn't all that expensive, is reasonably accurate, and easy to read:

This is a nice one too, Mike. When I googled it, I noticed an interesting point. When listing pros and cons, it was indicated that it may not work well with fenders.

While I don't foresee using fenders, does having fenders on your bike become an issue as far as using a wireless computer? Or any other bike component such as a bike rack, that interferes or prevents radio communication between the sensor and wireless computer?
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Old 03-02-07, 08:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
While I don't foresee using fenders, does having fenders on your bike become an issue as far as using a wireless computer? Or any other bike component such as a bike rack, that interferes or prevents radio communication between the sensor and wireless computer?
None of my bikes have fenders so I can't really speak to that. I can see how it might mess with the signal however. That's a good question. I just bought a new Cannondale T800 Touring Bike and am getting the "extras" for it. I decided to splurge and ordered the Garmin Edge 205. Can't wait to get it on my bike. Amazon had it (I believe it's a refurbished one, but I have had good luck with refurbished things) for $119.00 (regular price is around $249.00) if I recall. I'll be able to swap it to any bike very easily.
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Old 03-02-07, 09:00 AM   #24
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I'm just now getting used to the idea of road bikes without lugs. Now I'm supposed to accept the idea of no computer wire spiraling down the brake cable to the front wheel? NEVER!
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Old 03-02-07, 12:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl
For me, cadence is more important than speed. It helps me keep my cadence up. I find it especially helpful when climbing and when I'm fatigued, as when riding home from work or the second half of a century. If I go strictly by feel, I often end up fooling myself with a lower cadence and wondering why my legs hurt. Although winter riding has helped a lot too, since I discovered that higher cadences make better use of available traction.

Anyway, as I work at reducing the differences between the cyclometer's average cadence (upper 70s), maximum cadence (upper 100s to lower 110s) and what I perceive as my typical cadence (mid 90s), I'm finding I feel better during and after a ride. Since I have a poor--or at least variable--sense of timing, an external device is hugely helpful.

I wouldn't bother with a cyclometer without it.
I have a cadence computer and when we got it- it was nice to be able to find out what cadence figure was comfortable. Especially on the Tandem where one rider may be riding at a compromise to their normal cadence. Thing is that now we know the actual figure- It is no longer necessary- We just ride at the cadence that is comfortable. And that may be at our joint preferred Ca of 90 or it might be slower. Only good point is that if Stuart starts speeding up- I just let him have the reminder of " What's the cadence like?"
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