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Old 02-27-11, 03:17 PM   #1
colpatrick
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Looking for a bike computer recommendation

There are so many out there, and each one has its pros and cons.

It just needs to be simple, dependable, and wireless. Distance traveled and speed, not much more. Doesn't need a clock; I alway have my wristwatch.

I see there are two-bike units out there, what's your experience with those?

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

BTW, I think I will be looking for that tire patch kit, but that's another thread...
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Old 02-27-11, 03:21 PM   #2
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Simple, dependable, wireless (and works on two bikes)

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/8003.html

Two-bike computers are nice. One computer for two bikes. You'll have to buy the second mount.
Just remember to remove the computer after each ride and put it on the bike you'll be riding next.
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Old 02-27-11, 06:31 PM   #3
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Two-bike units? Basic cyclometers are cheap enough that it doesn't make sense to me, especially if you get multiple mounts, pickups, etc.. I had three different ones on three different bikes. Now I'm using a Garmin Edge which doesn't really need pickups, though I do have the wheel and cadence pick-up on two of my bikes.

I find having a clock nice as it can be tough to see my watch when wearing a jacket and winter gloves. Temperature, altitude, gradient, HR, cadence can either add or subtract from your riding experience, depending on your goals and point of view.

One option that may work for you is to use your GPS enabled smart phone with a cyclometer app. There are handlebar mounts for iPhones (and others, I presume) and I've used both the Cyclemeter and B.iCycle apps that worked very well, plus you get a moving map, they record your rides and you can save and view them on your computer, etc.. Cyclemeter just added a feature where you can preplan a route and download it to the phone to follow. Battery life, water resistance, etc are considerations.

These apps will work showing your speed, recording your ride, etc. without data or phone connectivity because they use the GPS receiver in the phone, but the map they display comes down quasi real time so you need connectivity for that.

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Old 02-27-11, 06:49 PM   #4
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I have three of these wireless digital VDO's on three bikes - digital signal is necessary for the long distance from fork to computer typical to recumbents.

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Old 02-27-11, 06:55 PM   #5
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http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Catalog...egoryId=202654
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Old 02-27-11, 07:23 PM   #6
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I use a Sigma BC 1609 + Cadence . I've got a second bike sensor kit ready to mount on my second bike.
Why do I use a Sigma ? Mainly because almost all the LBS where I live sell Sigma and use them themselves on their own bikes and for no other reason.

There are lots and lots of good ones out there Cat Eye, VDO etc. They're all easy to program and they're not very expensive. Ask at your local LBS what they use.

I've got a Garmin 305 Forerunner but I use it mainly for HR and intervals for x-country skiing and hiking. I may swap out the Sigma and put on a Garmin cadence sensor at some point but I prefer the Sigma because it has BIG numbers and I don't have to worry about the battery life on the computer itself.

The 305 always needs a recharge after 8-10 hours. The newer ones are supposed to be better. The Sigma needs battery replacement once a year.

Just make sure that the mount is solid so that whatever unit you have doesn't fly off and make sure that you use zip ties instead of those crummy O rings they supply you with. Attaching your smartphone is a good idea too as long as you have a weatherproof cradle for it. Some phones are allergic to water and don't do very well when they pop out of their mounts when you hit a big bump and they attempt to fend off an SUV.

One more thing about usability is to make sure that you can get at the data fields you want quickly and easily while you're on the bike with gloves on. I don't know of any bike computer where you can't do that easily but you never know.

You may only want the basic functions for now but I think that getting one that measures cadence is really worth the extra $$. It's one more sensor and it costs a little bit more but it's one bit of data that is really useful.

I got the second sensor kit instead of another whole package simply because I have enough gizmos as it is and I don't need anymore to keep of.
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Old 02-28-11, 04:08 AM   #7
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I like Sigma computers. Mine are wired. They have large figures on the screen. I also have Cateye and Topeak computers (the Topeak wireless), but they have smaller figures which I have found, at times, to be quite difficult to read.

The Simga computer mounts also are very good. It is almost no trouble to twist the computers out and twist them in again. I think that makes them ideal candidates for running one computer on two bikes. The mounts/sensors are fairly easy to source.

There are three buttons, which go against the idea of reducing ways of water to get in, but the main button is large and easy to press to get through the readings.

And the base level models are quite cheap, which, for me right now, puts them ahead of GPS computers.

I've never bothered with cadence.

Last edited by Rowan; 02-28-11 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 02-28-11, 04:16 AM   #8
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One more feature to look for...........auto resume. I hate it when I'm miles into a trip, realize that I never looked at or started my record.
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Old 02-28-11, 05:13 AM   #9
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Do you need to carry a phone with you on rides? I do and that changes the decision. Also do you upload ride data? That is another thing that changes the decision. How about GPS? Again another factor. How about HRM?

Since I need to carry a phone, like to upload ride data, occasionally need a GPS, sometimes use a HRM, I combine all these into one device. I use an iphone with ibike software and mount. It does all the functions of a traditional bike computer plus the other stuff.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:58 AM   #10
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I have a Garmin 500 and find it easy to use and amazing the info it provides back. Price wasn't too bad. Check Amazon.com
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Old 02-28-11, 01:38 PM   #11
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Cell phones would work great if you could only see them in the bright light of day. I have the HTC incredible and it has many features to use for riding but I can see none of them when out doors. I even have a good holder for the handlebars that I have tried to use to no avail as again it can not be seen.. Next phone I look at will be taken outside in bright lite to test. Love the phone just hate this feature of not being able to read it in the sun.
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Old 02-28-11, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colpatrick View Post
I see there are two-bike units out there, what's your experience with those?
I own a pair of the Blackburn Neuro 6.0, each with the second-bike unit. All four bikes are covered that way. I did it this way because I like the higher-end units. These have cadence, HRM and altimeter. The second-bike kit is $45 compared to $225 for the whole thing. If I used cheaper units, I'd just go with multiples.

Anyway, other than getting confused sometimes because one bike has different sized tires than the other, it works fine. It figures out which bike it's on automagically, and I have both units synced to the same heart strap.

EDIT: Oh, and digital wireless is the way to go. No interference.

Last edited by tsl; 02-28-11 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02-28-11, 06:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Cell phones would work great if you could only see them in the bright light of day. I have the HTC incredible...
I found my iPhone 3G to be adequately readable in sunlight. Reading street names and the like on the moving map can be tough due the small size and bouncing around with the bars but the large cyclometer font is fine.
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Old 02-28-11, 06:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Simple, dependable, wireless (and works on two bikes)

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/8003.html

Two-bike computers are nice. One computer for two bikes. You'll have to buy the second mount.
Just remember to remove the computer after each ride and put it on the bike you'll be riding next.
I have had one of these for years on three different bikes and the best part is it comes with a lifetime warrantee. They replaced mine after about two or maybe three years for free. Out side of batteries once a year or so they are great. The thermometer is not to good as the unit is in the sun and thus affected. On a overcast day it's great. I give it 5 stars.
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Old 03-05-11, 05:02 PM   #15
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twos more things to think about more thing

I'm reading that there could be electrical interference issues with some wireless computers. Any experience ?

And I'm reading folks' complaints about the space and alignment required between sensor on the fork and magnet on the spoke.

Our bikes have a shock on the front tire. Seems like that could be a problem. Again, any experience?

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-11, 06:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colpatrick View Post
I'm reading that there could be electrical interference issues with some wireless computers. Any experience ?
As I said above, digital wireless is interference-free. Analog wireless not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colpatrick View Post
And I'm reading folks' complaints about the space and alignment required between sensor on the fork and magnet on the spoke.
I'm not sure what you're referring to. Once I line-up the the magnets and the sensors, that's it, unless you move one or the other. I found cadence magnets stay put better with a wrap or two of electrical tape. I use the waterproof stuff.

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Our bikes have a shock on the front tire. Seems like that could be a problem. Again, any experience?
Only with wired ones on the front wheel.
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Old 03-08-11, 08:43 PM   #17
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you're right

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
As I said above, digital wireless is interference-free. Analog wireless not so much.



I'm not sure what you're referring to. Once I line-up the the magnets and the sensors, that's it, unless you move one or the other. I found cadence magnets stay put better with a wrap or two of electrical tape. I use the waterproof stuff.



Only with wired ones on the front wheel.
I'm back to looking for a wireless!
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Old 03-09-11, 02:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Our bikes have a shock on the front tire. Seems like that could be a problem. Again, any experience?

Thanks.
I have two bikes with fork shocks and wire computers. No problems, just be sure the wire doesn't get pinched when the fork compresses. Some advantages to going with a wired computer is less batteries to use and replace. They also cost less to buy.

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Old 03-09-11, 10:00 PM   #19
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Blackburn Delphi or newer Neuro 2.4gz line. Big numbers and dependable. Second bike mount kind of hard to find. Had the Cateye with cadence that mounts on your chainstay but it ate batteries.
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Old 03-09-11, 10:59 PM   #20
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wireless takes less time to set up.I've never had a problem with the one bike that has fork shocks. I've found that I've had spacing problems occur with the cadence magent but that's more because of a problem I have with keeping the cadence sensor still on the chainstay. I think it's time for a bit of waterproof tape.
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Old 03-13-11, 02:32 PM   #21
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Finally made a decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by colpatrick View Post
There are so many out there, and each one has its pros and cons.

It just needs to be simple, dependable, and wireless. Distance traveled and speed, not much more. Doesn't need a clock; I alway have my wristwatch.

I see there are two-bike units out there, what's your experience with those?

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

BTW, I think I will be looking for that tire patch kit, but that's another thread...
I finally made the decision. Thank to all for your input. I'm sure Iwould have made a less informed choice without the input from my bike friends. Thanks.

Finally decided on

Cateye CC-MC100W Micro Wireless 10-Function Bicycle Computer (Black). Not overly sophisticated for our needs, but it will do everything I need for now.
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Old 03-14-11, 12:31 AM   #22
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That's the same one I have. It has been very consistent. The numbers are nice size-easy to see. It has two trip functions, which I thought I might use, but haven't yet.I like the function of how long you have actually ridden since I tend to stop and ditz around. I actually used the back light the other day when I was in a tunnel. I thought it was a waste of battery, but it was nice to have it then. It is a little larger than some. The design of the fork sensor is good and fits securely on the fork. My husband has a different model with a different fork design and he is always having to mess with it. Mine stay put.

Last edited by outwest5; 03-14-11 at 12:39 AM.
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