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Old 12-03-12, 10:28 PM   #1
skilsaw
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I want to quit.

I like to fiddle with mechanical things as much as the average guy, but I'm getting pissed off and am ready to quit.

I have a bike on a trainer and want a computer with a sensor running off the back wheel so that I can keep track of time, distance, speed... I forked out the bucks for a "good one" with a heart rate monitor and received crap. It ran OK after I figured out how set it up but it began registering intermitently and then stopped all together. (don't tell me to adjust the sensor and magnet. I'm not that stupid so I tried that first.) By accident I cut the wire (too fine to be called a cable) when I was taking it off the bike so the whole thing was f#$%^.

Today I picked up a new one by the same company with less bells and whistles. My logic being that the speed/distance sensor had a wire, I would not have to worry about a weak radio signal between the left chainstay and the handlebars. I installed it on the bike. The lights are on, but nothing works. No cadance, no speed, no distance... nada.

Tomorrow I'll take my bike with the computer mounted in to the shop where I bought the computer and see if they can fix it. If they can't get it right, they can take it off and give me a refund.

I feel like I've wasted the day, and tomorrow is a waste too because I shouldn't have to take it back to the store for them to get it right. (or not)

Good thing I have tons of excess income, (or so my ex thinks) so I can throw money at problems.

I'm having a hard enough time with motivation to ride the trainer. Getting a computer was supposed to make it more interesting. not.

Some days I just want to quit.

I know. These little annoyances shouldn't get me down, but they do.
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Old 12-03-12, 10:50 PM   #2
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Could it be simpler? Get on bike, ride. Get off bike, done. Why does all that other stuff matter?
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Old 12-03-12, 11:06 PM   #3
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My wire broke and I soldered and taped it - works fine.
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Old 12-03-12, 11:11 PM   #4
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Sounds to me like one of those overall bad days, when nothing is destined to work. Here to thinking tomorrow will be a better day. If it helps,there are days like that when bread falling apart in a sandwich will make me want to throw it in the garbage, or out into the street. I call it my irrational rage time. Fortunately I can control it, but I sure feel like doing bad things.
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Old 12-03-12, 11:23 PM   #5
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On thing I found with some older stock is that the batteries are not up to snuff for some reason. You don't mentioned whether you changed out the battery on the original computer.

Joining the wire and taping it is not an major issue, as Dnvr points out. All it is doing is transmitting the electrical impulse between the sensor and the computer unit.

But I am trying to work out why there was a wire if it was a wireless unit as you imply with your reference to a weak wireless signal (which incidentally, is not surprising...)

As to the second unit, I can't help there except to suggest a new battery (again).

FWIW, I had to figure out how to get a computer to read for Machka on the back of the tandem. Wireless was out because of the distance from the front to the handlebars, and even from the rear to the bars (same issue as you are experiencing). Heck, the wireless on the bars of our touring bikes had about an inch of wriggle room, so nothing was going to happen from the rear.

In the end, I acquired a computer of a brand that also offered an extra long cable from the sensor. I can't remember what brand it was, because it's in storage on the other side of the world. I think it was a Sigma

But it worked flawlessly. I did have to work a bit to get the sensor set up on the seat stay to get close enough to the spoke where the magnet lived.
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Old 12-03-12, 11:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
Sounds to me like one of those overall bad days, when nothing is destined to work. Here to thinking tomorrow will be a better day. If it helps,there are days like that when bread falling apart in a sandwich will make me want to throw it in the garbage, or out into the street. I call it my irrational rage time. Fortunately I can control it, but I sure feel like doing bad things.
I had one of those mornings, too. About to set off for a ride along Hermit's Rd on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, when I had to change out my rear tube. Thorn from a ride last week in New Mexico. Had trouble with the floor pump we brought with us. Finally used the crappy hand pump off the bike to get some pressure.

Went to set off... front tyre flat, too. Picked out four thorns. Used the hand pump to inflate, then (and this is the reason why the pump is soooo bad), I pulled the valve out. Used a spare tube from Machka. Finally got the floor pump to work (direct the air through the right nozzle instead of out the other one).

Finally set off, but find the front wheel a bit wobbly. Back to the car to deflate, reseat the tyre, and reinflate. Get 20 yards down the road, check brake rub on the rear. Back to the car to deflate, reseat the tyre on that one too.

The ride was very nice, though. The Grand Canyon is an incredible natural wonder.

Oh, and to ice the cake, we were pulled over by the park police near the end of the ride, and was told he had received a report of a rider in a yellow top who was swearing and carrying on at a motorist. Wasn't me, officer. All the interactions we had were positive. But we did see another guy on an MTB going in the opposite direction who didn't look too happy, so maybe he was the culprit.

We rode back to the car, and on the way out were greeted by a much better sight -- a herd of around 10 elk does and calves grazing at the car park entrance.

So... skilsaw, there can be positives if you don't quit!!
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Old 12-04-12, 04:10 AM   #7
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+1 on new battery
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Old 12-04-12, 04:18 AM   #8
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I use these, they work fine.

http://dx.com/p/sunding-electronic-b...edometer-24075

Guessing user error.
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Old 12-04-12, 04:50 AM   #9
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@OP:

Bike computers can be incredibly frustrating. They are black boxes and, when they don't work there is almost no way of diagnosing the trouble.

I put around 1,200 miles on my Cannondale this summer and it's on its THIRD computer. The computer works, but it keeps losing the signal from the sensor for some reason. Fortunately my LBS is within a mile and they have been fixing and replacing the computers under warranty.

The last time I was so frustrated I was ready to just go buy a new one of a different brand -- but the LBS persuaded me to take the warranty route one more time.

Best of luck with yours...
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Old 12-04-12, 04:52 AM   #10
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@OP:Bike computers can be incredibly frustrating. They are black boxes and, when they don't work there is almost no way of diagnosing the trouble. I put around 1,200 miles on my Cannondale this summer and it's on its THIRD computer. The computer works, but it keeps losing the signal from the sensor for some reason. Fortunately my LBS is within a mile and they have been fixing and replacing the computers under warranty. The last time I was so frustrated I was ready to just go buy a new one of a different brand -- but the LBS persuaded me to take the warranty route one more time.
Best of luck with yours...
Wireless?
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Old 12-04-12, 04:59 AM   #11
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Wireless?
No, wired on the front wheel. My best theory is that somehow, for some reason, the connection of the wire going into the computer base on the handlebars keeps going bad (because I have had it start working for a short time when I jiggle the wire). Conversely, it might be the sensor.

But weirdly, the same brand, mounted the same way on my Trek has worked for 1,100 miles now. The only difference is that it has a different magnet on the spokes.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:02 AM   #12
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It could be the location the magnet.

The magnet needs to close to the top or bottom of the sensor, Not in The Center if that is your case.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:11 AM   #13
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It could be the location the magnet.

The magnet needs to close to the top or bottom of the sensor, Not in The Center if that is your case.
After the 2nd replacement failed I tried pretty much every position of the magnet... The signal was erratic. it would work for half a mile then stop again... But generally it was stopped. There didn't seem to be any consistent rhyme or reason (that I could see) why it should start working after it stopped.

That's partly why I am suspecting a bad connection.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:13 AM   #14
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Sounds like some defective units.
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Old 12-04-12, 09:01 AM   #15
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Sorry for the dumb questions, but you gotta ask. Was the head unit seated correctly in the mount? That could give a sporadic reading like you describe.
I also tried to put on a wireless sending unit on the chain stay, with the head on the bars, no dice. I ended up with a cheap wally world wired 'puter to the back wheel, and the display on the top tube. Too look at it, you have to look between your legs, but you don't have to worry about taking your eyes off the road.
Usually I don't bother even looking at it. I'll put on a dvd of an old tv show and just pedal by how I feel.
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Old 12-04-12, 09:51 AM   #16
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Sorry for the dumb questions, but you gotta ask. Was the head unit seated correctly in the mount? That could give a sporadic reading like you describe.
...
Yes, I tried reseating it several times (the computer itself is meant to be removable from the base unit)... Also, I 'polished' the contacts but that didn't seem to do anything. The only thing that helped was jiggling the wires connecting the sensor to the base unit where they went into the base unit.

But, right now, it is working (after the LBS installed the 3rd new one)....

But, as I said: frustrating.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:16 AM   #17
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Now, that was a good rant. I'd just wait to see what the folks at the bike shop say. Sometimes it's simple, other times it's complicated. Let them take the next step.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:22 AM   #18
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Have you thought about a GPS watch? There are so many things I don't like about fixed bike computers I could go on a 5 line rant, but a GPS watch gives you the clear advantage of following you bike to bike or bike to run, no fuss. Obviously, not an option for a stationary trainer.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:51 AM   #19
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Have you thought about a GPS watch? There are so many things I don't like about fixed bike computers I could go on a 5 line rant, but a GPS watch gives you the clear advantage of following you bike to bike or bike to run, no fuss. Obviously, not an option for a stationary trainer.
Hmmm.... Since the bike is on a trainer, I don't think he would see much forward progress
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Old 12-04-12, 11:28 AM   #20
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Whenever I install a wireless computer the first thing that I do is to install the pickup and wheel magnet. Then I spin the wheel and hole the computer head close to be sure that I'm getting a MPH signal. Then I test holding the computer head in a variety of potential mounting locations to be sure that I continue to get a signal. Sometimes the difference between mounting the pick up in front of or behind the fork makes a difference. On my recumbents, mounting everything on the left side away from the chain made a difference. YMMV.

I've extended the wire on several wired computers by splicing in and soldering a section of speaker wire. I cover the joints with small sections of Radio Shack shrink tube.

Last edited by Retro Grouch; 12-04-12 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 12-04-12, 01:16 PM   #21
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You'll get the bike computer issue solved eventually but you may be ready to take some time off the bike to recharge your own batteries.
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Old 12-04-12, 04:08 PM   #22
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Quit? Quit? We've reached the age when you don't back down from a challenge. It says so right in the commercial.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:12 PM   #23
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Hmmm.... Since the bike is on a trainer, I don't think he would see much forward progress
I get a kick out of folks who say they went "3,000 miles" on their trainer. They must have a large house!! On second thought, how does one make a trainer move - especially 3,000 miles?

Perhaps their trainer is mounted on a truck going from coast-to-coast, and they are sitting on the trainer as it drives along?
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Old 12-05-12, 01:44 AM   #24
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(don't tell me to adjust the sensor and magnet. I'm not that stupid so I tried that first.) .
I had cooled down when I got the bike to the shop and asked them nicely to look at it.
One of their mechanics put it in the stand right away and fiddled with it.

He fixed it by adjusting the sensor and magnet!

Bike is back on the trainer, and I have no excuses not to ride.

Thanks for you constructive comments.
I can make a mountain out of a mole hill.

BTW, the "wireless" computer had no wire to the distance sensor and a wire to the cadence sensor. If I had been more cool headed, I could have soldered the wire. But I was frustrated and reacted emotionally. 58 years old, but I still need to "grow up".
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Old 12-05-12, 04:43 AM   #25
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I get a kick out of folks who say they went "3,000 miles" on their trainer. They must have a large house!! On second thought, how does one make a trainer move - especially 3,000 miles?

Perhaps their trainer is mounted on a truck going from coast-to-coast, and they are sitting on the trainer as it drives along?
You're forgetting the planet moving through space.
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