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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Question about replacing bike computers

    I have a cheap but functional wired bike computer on Ruby. Thinking about upgrading to get one that includes cadence. Here's an odd question:

    Can I keep the wiring on and just install a new computer and plug it in to the existing wiring? Stop rolling your eyes. I'm serious. And I'm not mechanical. Can it be done?
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  2. #2
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Typically the computer has a non-standard wire connection - usually the wires go into the base. My guess is that you will not be able to keep the wiring, about all you may get to keep in the magnet on the spoke.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    No, the ones that have cadence have two wires. One for speed and one for cadence. You will have to get a whole new one. You can probably get it installed pretty cheap if you buy it at an LBS but they reall are easy to put on.
    1.You just fasten the new bracket for the computer to your handlebars
    2. run the cables to your back wheel by winding them around your bikes cables on the down tube.
    3. put the pick ups on your chain stay (opposite side than the chain)
    4. follow the step by step instructions and program the computer
    5. test ride.

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    Probably not even if you are changing within the same manufacturer. But check.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    Very probably, NO. Wireless for the new computer, perhaps?
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

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    Yes you can keep it,but it won't plug in.On the new one,you will have to figure out which pair of wires go to the odometer and which go to cadence.Then splice the wires for the odometer(just hook them up,it doesn't matter),solder them,a little heat shrink tubing or tape,done.Run your other wire pair for the cadence.I used to do this all the time when I had wired computers.It's just a make & break circuit.

    It doesn't matter who made it,they all work the same way.I've run the same pickup with a $60 Catseye to a $2 China special.I keep the old one because it was small and didn't get in the way of my old front pannier mountings.
    Last edited by Booger1; 08-16-09 at 10:06 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Skip all the wiring and get wireless sensors!

  8. #8
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    Yes you can keep it,but it won't plug in.On the new one,you will have to figure out which pair of wires go to the odometer and which go to cadence.Then splice the wires for the odometer(just hook them up,it doesn't matter),solder them,a little heat shrink tubing or tape,done.Run your other wire pair for the cadence.I used to do this all the time when I had wired computers.It's just a make & break circuit.

    It doesn't matter who made it,they all work the same way.I've run the same pickup with a $60 Catseye to a $2 China special.I keep the old one because it was small and didn't get in the way of my old front pannier mountings.
    You have got to be joking! Certainly what you say is mostly true the fact of the matter is the OP stated he was afraid to rerun the wires let alone splice, solder and insulate them. Heck - he might just pick up the wrong end of the iron
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    No, you must buy a new bike.

  10. #10
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    All good computers must be white.
    Gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for fun new group of 50+ folks

  11. #11
    Senior Member PatrickJIV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    No, you must buy a new bike.
    TOO FUNNY!
    Old in AGE, young @ HEART!

  12. #12
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    I, justthis morning, bought a Filzer DB4LW/C, wireless speedo/wired cadence from Performancefor $19.95.
    did not need it because I have same one thats been on for years , but for that price. I get a new spare. works great...
    Bud

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    The cadence + speed/distance sensors/magnets will attach to the rear wheel, the chain stay and the crank arm. Suggest you download the manual before you buy. Some of the manuals are impossible to figure out literally.

    I bought a new model of my old cheap Cateye as the wiring harness gave out. After studying the manual for a while, I threw the cyclometer in the spare parts box and just used the new harness. I have two engineering degrees!

    When my grandson needed one, I didn't buy Cateye.

    Al

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    He asked if it could be done,it can.I know people that can't change a spark plug...but they can build a TV.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    He asked if it could be done,it can.I know people that can't change a spark plug...but they can build a TV.
    +1

    My son built his first computer when he was 15.

    He still doesn't know how to unload the dishwasher.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-20-09 at 07:30 AM.

  16. #16
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    All good computers must be white.
    They certainly should be!

  17. #17
    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
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    nice answers. love the humor too. one more vote for wireless.

    suggestion:

    magnets for cadence

    go to local hardware store get some strong rare earth magnets (didimium work well)

    attach a couple or three to your crank/pedal post on the inside of the hole. magnets will attach to the post metal.

    this will be strong enough to trip the cadence sensor without having to zip tie them to the crank arm. I was always kicking my magnet out of position on the crank arm and this strong magnet in post hole works like a charm.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikegeek57 View Post
    nice answers. love the humor too. one more vote for wireless.

    suggestion:

    magnets for cadence

    go to local hardware store get some strong rare earth magnets (didimium work well)

    attach a couple or three to your crank/pedal post on the inside of the hole. magnets will attach to the post metal.

    this will be strong enough to trip the cadence sensor without having to zip tie them to the crank arm. I was always kicking my magnet out of position on the crank arm and this strong magnet in post hole works like a charm.

    I think I'll try that. I just added a cadence/speed sensor on my mountain bike for a Garman Forerunner 305 hrm. I don't like the magnet mounting. Your approach allows moving the magnet further from the bottom bracket which means a better wheel magnet position (for this particular sensor) as well as possibly getting by with a larger than specified gap for the cadence sensor.

    I always use a little Shoe-Goo for added bonding around the edge of the magnet and the semsors. They won't come off until you want them too.

    Al

  19. #19
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    +1 on the hardware store magnet.

    Like Bikegeek57, I knocked the stock magnet off my crank. I looked at the Garmin site to get another one and decided to go to the hardware store. I epoxied the magnet onto my crank, almost at the end of the crank. It works great. If I ever want to remove the magnet, I'll just hit the magnet / epoxy with a hair dryer and it will come right off.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    Yes you can keep it,but it won't plug in.On the new one,you will have to figure out which pair of wires go to the odometer and which go to cadence.Then splice the wires for the odometer(just hook them up,it doesn't matter),solder them,a little heat shrink tubing or tape,done.Run your other wire pair for the cadence.I used to do this all the time when I had wired computers.It's just a make & break circuit.
    .
    This will work--I've done it--but it's more trouble than just running the new wires. We're talking, what, 18 inches of wire and two or three zip ties? It takes 45 seconds.
    On the part of your question you didn't ask (and about which you don't want my opinion), why do you need cadence? It's sort of a pain to install, and it doesn't give you any information you don't already have. You can tell how fast your legs are moving without a computer.

  21. #21
    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
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    thanks for the reminder about distance to magnet/sensor.
    this fixed a major problem with my setup with the magnet never being really close enough to the sensor. the spread between my crank and chain stay is quite wide. I had to jury rig a spacer in there to get it close enough 5 mm is not much distance. the powerful rare earth magnet made that irrelevant I've got probably 2-3 inches between magnet and sensor and it picks up perfectly and does not interfere with the speed side sensor. I use a Garmin GSC10 sensor. No need to glue anything to the crank. I have used these magnets as is for over a year and never lost one. if your pedal post is not iron based then you might have a little problem but that socket is just the right size for these magnets. The magnets only stick out a very short distance and are nearly invisible. it works for me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    .

    why do you need cadence? It's sort of a pain to install, and it doesn't give you any information you don't already have. You can tell how fast your legs are moving without a computer.
    "Need" is not relevant. I like (but do not need) cadence to train. Part of the reason I ride bikes is fitness. I can relate heart rate, cadence and speed to not only get and to keep my heart rate up when I want, I can optimize my climbing speed/endurance on climbs while trail riding. It's all great fun if you like to play/experiment and study exercise physiology.

    I can very often keep up with a lot younger folks though I'm 70 by being scientific about the process. Very mentally stimulating as well.

    Doing mental arithmetic to get cadence is ineffective and takes concentration. With my Forerunner 305, I get curves of heart rate, cadence, speed, even altitude vs either miles or time just by plugging it into the pc.

    As far as pain, I hooked up wired cadence on my road bike about 4 years ago and it just keeps on ticking. My recent ATB installation must have taken less than 20 minutes. It's all really no big deal. And for someone who never done it and appears afraid to try, it would be a beneficial exercise not to mention mind expanding.

    Al

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikegeek57 View Post
    thanks for the reminder about distance to magnet/sensor.
    this fixed a major problem with my setup with the magnet never being really close enough to the sensor. the spread between my crank and chain stay is quite wide. I had to jury rig a spacer in there to get it close enough 5 mm is not much distance. the powerful rare earth magnet made that irrelevant I've got probably 2-3 inches between magnet and sensor and it picks up perfectly and does not interfere with the speed side sensor. I use a Garmin GSC10 sensor. No need to glue anything to the crank. I have used these magnets as is for over a year and never lost one. if your pedal post is not iron based then you might have a little problem but that socket is just the right size for these magnets. The magnets only stick out a very short distance and are nearly invisible. it works for me.
    I guess that's what I'm using (GSC-10) on my mountain bike. Surprisingly, I'm running a few mm more gap than specified with the Garmin magnet for both cadence and speed/distance. It just worked while I was installing so I left it that way. On my road bike with a wired sensor, I needed a big spacer. It's ok though as Shoo-Goo is tough stuff.

    I'm hoping with the stronger magnet to get the sensor further towards the rear to move the spoke magnet away from the rim. The rear wheel on a full suspension is further back do to the chain-stay pivot.

    Al

  24. #24
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I'm waiting for a cadence device that has no bike frame attachments. I would like something that attaches to the shoe and when the pedal stroke hits bottom, 6 o'clock position, it registers because its close to the ground. Maybe something like a Doppler effect.

  25. #25
    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    I'm waiting for a cadence device that has no bike frame attachments. I would like something that attaches to the shoe and when the pedal stroke hits bottom, 6 o'clock position, it registers because its close to the ground. Maybe something like a Doppler effect.
    hmmm... an accelerometer would do the trick? GPS for speed/distance. all wireless nothing on frame.

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