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Old 01-26-11, 10:24 AM   #1
late
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Old fart needs bike computer

I am getting a new bike, I hope. If it ever gets done, anyway.

I would like to get a computer for it. I need one with large numbers, wireless would be nice. I am torn between simplicity and going hi tech (HRM/Garmin/whatever).

I usually pick basic, but, you never know.

Is there something you really like?
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Old 01-26-11, 11:11 AM   #2
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Basic with large numbers -- how about Planet Bike Protege 9.0?
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Old 01-26-11, 11:14 AM   #3
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I've started using the Garmin Edge 500. For me it's so much better than any model of the Cateyes that I have used in the past. I have 4 bikes and can move it from one bike to the other. Costs more, but for me well worth the price.
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Old 01-26-11, 11:15 AM   #4
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I had a good expensive computer and I also had a heart monitor. I wanted cadence aswell so when the Heart monitor started playing up- I got a Garmin 305. Everything on one display. Can be pretty small though but The garmin can be set up for two bikes. I set one up with everything I wanted to record and the other I set up displaying just two things Current speed and HR. Larger display with just 2 things showing and If I want to look at the other items- I change to the other display and put my reading glasses on.

The garmin also gives me altimeter and Grade of slope so it does more than the "Expensive" computers have ever given me. It is completely wireless with minimal set up required. Now I have it though- I rarely use the cadence reading.
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Old 01-26-11, 12:08 PM   #5
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I have had 2 or 3 Proteges. They last a year or two and then die.
Which isn't a problem for me, I guess I am just tired of them.

The garmin Edge products sound great. But what I would want is one of the ones with
maps. Very pricey. The cheaper ones get very mixed reviews at Amazon.

I haven't tried a Protege wireless. This is a new bike year, getting an expensive
GPS will have to wait. Thanks.
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Old 01-26-11, 01:07 PM   #6
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I just bought a Garmin Edge 205 for $99 from another bikeforums member.

It is simplicity and high-tech. It's simple because you just put it on your stem or handlebars, and you don' have to connect a sensor or spoke magnet.

I'm different than many here, because I just don't like attaching stuff to the bicycle or to me, so I do cadence and heart rate the old fashioned way (count and divide). I don't care about elevation during the ride, and the software corrects the elevation after the data is uploaded.

I enjoy having the route graphs and data, (like this) and a record of all my workouts. I might get bored with that in the future.



The only disadvantages are that it needs to be recharged between rides, and the documentation is really, really bad. I pretty much had to figure out how to use it via experimentation and asking questions online.

Other than that, highly recommended.

I almost went with the Forerunner 305, which you can wear on your wrist, but the edge is better for cycling, my main activity.
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Old 01-26-11, 01:49 PM   #7
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I like Cateye, because they last for me and have better water resistance than any other brand I've used. Cadence is a nifty feature, make sure your cadence is high enough and knee problems drop. Some like wireless because it's easy to set up, I like wired because you have half (or a third) as many batteries, and there's much less interference (like from flashing LED lights, or HRMs).

Put it all together, and I'll take a Cateye Astrale.
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Old 01-26-11, 04:46 PM   #8
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I'm very happy with my Garmin 305. I can't see little numbers or print very well when they are close up, but I can see the small numbers on my Garmin. I have one screen set up with 5 data points so I can easily read heart rate. The other screen is set up with 6 data points.
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Old 01-26-11, 05:03 PM   #9
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Here's another approach to the problem for this forum. Check out the bifocal sunglasses on www.safetyglassesusa.com I've got several pair, and they are dirt cheap. I got dark grey, amber, and clear. Seveal pair of each. I have them in both cars and a few of each in the biking box. Night, day, overcast. I can see my Garmin no matter how small.
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Old 01-26-11, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctyler View Post
I've started using the Garmin Edge 500. For me it's so much better than any model of the Cateyes that I have used in the past. I have 4 bikes and can move it from one bike to the other. Costs more, but for me well worth the price.
+1

I've had mine for a couple of months and I love it.
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Old 01-26-11, 08:28 PM   #11
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Cateye Micro Wireless. My wife has two, I have one, they have been pretty rugged for us. Rain, snow, heat, cold, they work fine. The only real issue is when we get close to a automatic door opener. Moderately priced, and easy to use. The down side is that you have two parts that each need batteries, but that is true for all wireless computers.
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Old 01-26-11, 08:42 PM   #12
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I'll probably be banned or worse for this, but I've been using a Bontrager Node2 for a while now, and it's been reliable, accurate, and easy to read. Speed, cadence, altitude, distance, HR, the whole works... I'd much prefer something like the Garmin Edge 500, but my bufget won't allow it.

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Old 01-29-11, 10:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I like Cateye, because they last for me and have better water resistance than any other brand I've used. Cadence is a nifty feature, make sure your cadence is high enough and knee problems drop. Some like wireless because it's easy to set up, I like wired because you have half (or a third) as many batteries, and there's much less interference (like from flashing LED lights, or HRMs).

Put it all together, and I'll take a Cateye Astrale.
+1
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Old 01-29-11, 02:22 PM   #14
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I will agree with the Garmin Forerunner 305 especially if you are into running or hiking etc as it has a running mode too. It's fully downloadable, very easy to use and mine has been completely trouble free for years. It recently met it's demise when it came off bar mount while ridding and got run over by an suv. They are inexpensive work great. I have ordered a new Garmin 800 thanks to my wife and my birthday coming up. If you decide to get one I have the accesories for the cadence and bar mount. Just put a rubber band around it when on the bar mount so you don't loose it like I did. Good luck
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Old 01-29-11, 07:48 PM   #15
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I like my edge so much that I told my daughter I'd get her a forerunner for her birthday if she wants (she does running and triathlons). But, she has an android phone with GPS, so she's looking into whether an app for that would work.
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Old 01-29-11, 10:25 PM   #16
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Honestly, IMO a bike computer is there to record miles and not much more than that is needed for most riders. It isn't really worth spending extra bucks for a high tech gadget to do this basic function although wireless is certainly cleaner looking and less risky to that very thin wire from the sensor to the computer. The downside is the extra battery required and sometimes interference if you run an LED headlight at night.

For some riders, cadence, heart rate, pulmonary zones, miles, trip, avg speed, auto-start/stop, dual lap timers, altitude, GPS and all the other gizmos make sense. But for most, "How many miles did I ride today?" is enough. Me, I can average my own speed and don't really care to know that I was in zone 5 on every climb with a heartrate of 190 for 3.6 minutes yada yada yada... It is enough for me to know that I was out there keeping fit and enjoying myself. YMMV.
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Old 01-29-11, 10:41 PM   #17
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I think NealH here has a Garmin 500 that he might want to sell. He is thinking of moving to the 800. I have the 800 and while I can't see using the mapping feature, I generally know where I'm going, I like the display and the interface with my powermeter. Also, the elevation is much more accurate with the barometric equipped units like the 500 and 800. The Forerunner 305 uses much less accurate gps based data for elevation. It's pretty much useless for anything more than conversation. Since I climb on every ride, keeping up with that data is important to me.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:57 AM   #18
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I prefer old git to old fart

I've had good luck using my cheapo Sigma digital speedo. It was originally on my Cannondale but last year I switched it to my Triumph due to it's 150mph max readout.

The small analog speedo on my Triumph was hard to read while at speed, but the digital Sigma corrects this. It's pretty basic, but all I need is speed and distance. Plus, It's more accurate than the Triumph OEM speedo.

When cycling, nordic skiing, or kayaking, I'd rather not have a computer, just a watch. I know my cadence, and more importantly my
effort level.
Only 112mph ... a slow day


Magnet and sensor setup....


Multi-Tasking with one computer ...

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Old 01-30-11, 08:22 AM   #19
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Well, it depends. It can be fun to have a computer with all the possible bells and whistles. It gives you something to monkey with whilst you are riding.

I don't really need a gps because I almost always know where I am and if not I can find my way home by back tracking, if worst comes to worst.

So I have the cheapest wireless computer I can find - no wires and average speed, trip distance, current speed and MAX speed maybe a few other things I don't pay attention to.

You can get the cheap one and see if you have a yen for more.

If you are directionally challenged a gps computer could be a god send. I wonder if you can download maps onto a computer and I bet you can. Having the route and the turns already in it would be nice if you don't know your route already.

Also, a garmen can give you % grade, feet of climbing and other stuff if you like keeping track of your rides in excrutiating detail.
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Old 01-30-11, 09:58 AM   #20
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Another advantage I discovered of the GPS unit is that it gives you a detailed record of your rides.

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Old 01-30-11, 10:15 AM   #21
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For cycling computers on the cheap, I would recommend the Bell/Schwinn wired versions (they are basically the same). There is a $12 version and a $20 version available at most major department stores, the difference being that the $20 version will give you ambient temperature, estimated calories and fat calories burned. I have one of these on several of my bikes, and they've lasted me several thousand miles. The only problem I've ever had is one of the buttons seizing up and becoming hard to push (this could be just because I'm hard on electronics and bump them a lot when working on the bike), and the computer resetting on rare occasions (usually when the battery is low). I've ridden some pretty heavy rain and not had any problems from water getting in, though I've probably don't ride in the rain as often as some of the posters on this forum.

The Cateye Astrale is a little higher in cost, but it gives you pedalling cadence, which is good if you're in a hilly area and need help perfecting the timing of your shifting.

I do NOT recommend the Bell Wireless Speedometer, mine suddenly quit working only after a few hundred miles of riding. When it did work, It could have been the battery on the bottom sensor that quit working, I never checked it; even if this is the case, the battery should last more than a few hundred miles (in my opinion; I refuse to buy 20-30 batteries per year for a computer). I found that there were signals in the ambient environment that would cause it to go haywire, for example, if my bike got near the sensors that are placed under the road surface at stoplights, it would start registering a very fast speed even though the bike was standing still. I'm not sure if other brands of wireless computers pick up this kind of interference from the environment, but it would be something that I would research before buying one.

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Old 01-30-11, 10:45 AM   #22
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The only problem I've ever had is one of the buttons seizing up and becoming hard to push
This happens on my watch every few months. Spray liberally with WD-40 while pushing the button repeatedly always fixes it.
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Old 01-30-11, 10:59 AM   #23
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I've used Sigma, Ascent and a couple others, but have had best service from the Polar CS100 with HRM.

But I am embarking on Garmin Edge 500 changeover right now and expect great things.
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Old 01-30-11, 12:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Another advantage I discovered of the GPS unit is that it gives you a detailed record of your rides.

I'm curious...what software produces that calendar?
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Old 01-31-11, 08:55 AM   #25
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It's part of the Garmin Connect web site (http://connect.garmin.com). Works quite well.
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