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  1. #1
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Bike Computers on Folders

    One of my planned uses for a folder (still looking) is riding to improve my (currently poor) fitness. While a bike computer isn't essential by any means, it might help with my motivation. I've heard about some issues with wireless cyclometers, and wonder about the 20" wheel (i.e. do inexpensive computers allow for programming this wheel size?). The most likely candidate for a folder purchase for me (due to local availablity) is a Dahon centre-frame-folder, such as the Mu P8.

    Any recommendations?

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    I've used a cheap cycling computer on my Dahon folder and have not had any problems with entering wheel size. You enter the wheel size in millimeters. Just make sure that when you do get your cycling computer that there is a long enough cable so that you can fold your bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnb-rare View Post
    One of my planned uses for a folder (still looking) is riding to improve my (currently poor) fitness. While a bike computer isn't essential by any means, it might help with my motivation. I've heard about some issues with wireless cyclometers, and wonder about the 20" wheel (i.e. do inexpensive computers allow for programming this wheel size?). The most likely candidate for a folder purchase for me (due to local availablity) is a Dahon centre-frame-folder, such as the Mu P8.

    Any recommendations?
    I have one from a local supermarket, mounted on my Strida 3, which has a pretty long steering tube, just 305 mm wheels, & it works fine. The steering tube on my recumbent is also very long, & I put a cheap wireless computer on that too.

    There are so many makes & variants, some probably sold only in localised regions that I suspect you'll just need to try one, & return it if it doesn't work. As the cheap ones seem fine, maybe try one of those first?

  4. #4
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    I use a Cateye Mitty, which is about $20 and allows you to enter wheel size. The wire isn't always long enough for small wheeled bikes, so to be safe, you might want one for a rear wheel.

  5. #5
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    I use a dBase 4LW (wireless) on my Swift. The maximum wireless range between transmitter and computer is 22", so if the bars on your Dahon exceed that, then you should go with the wired version. As with almost any wired computer, you might need to get a wire extension kit, or if you're crafty, splice some wire of similar gauge in-between.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    I have the wired Topeak Comp 130 on the Speed 7 and Ascent Wireless 9 on the Trek. Make sure to program it correctly before use as stated on the user's manual. You may want to consider also a HRM so you know where your avg and max heart beat. Try to keep your heart rate below your maximum. Rule of thumb is 220 - your age = your max heart rate.

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    Cateye Astrale8, Speed P8

    I've lowered the handlebars closer to the level of the seat (increasing slack for the sensor wiring). Due to xs weight (from a handlebar bag) the handlebar can twist and turn enough (when parked and or left leaning against something) to rip out the sensor wires.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Hmmm. It sounds like a regular, wired set-up will work, but particular attention must be paid to the length of wire provided, and the routing. Wrafl, I've never used a heart monitor, but years ago I had a Cateye with cadence readout and I found that was useful.

    Thanks.

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    The primary wiring length problem I have is with the cadence sensor on the Astrale8. ...I could mount the speed sensor on the front wheel, but the cadence sensor still barely makes it to the crank.

    When I was shopping, I didn't notice any other low-priced cadence computers besides the Astrale8--~30-40$. The higher priced models from Cateye had especially dubious value to me. Wireless @ 100+$ more or pace arrow & dual tire settings for use on two bikes @ +10$ (not including sensors, etc).

  10. #10
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, mkchiu. I expected that a cadence sensor would be a greater challenge on the folding bike. In my early days of cycling, the cadence meter helped to remind me to keep my cadence high. These days, a reasonably fast cadence comes pretty naturally -- and my knees are grateful!

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    I have a Cateye wireless unit on my Dahon. No issue with receiving a signal. I went with a wireless since I felt that the constant folding and benting of the wire would have issue and I just didn't want another wire on the bike. I picked up the Cateye from Performance or Nashbar on sale for about $20.

    Brian

  12. #12
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
    I have a Cateye wireless unit on my Dahon. No issue with receiving a signal. I went with a wireless since I felt that the constant folding and benting of the wire would have issue and I just didn't want another wire on the bike. I picked up the Cateye from Performance or Nashbar on sale for about $20.

    Brian
    From what I've read, the wireless units are a bit more picky about precise placement, but that shouldn't be a problem as I'll have the LBS install and test it when I purchase the bike. The other wireless issues (interference, wild readings) seem to be reported more by URBAN riders. Can I ask where you ride most, Brian?

    Of course, brand and model can sometimes make all the difference as well.

  13. #13
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Definitely get a wireless cyclometer. Sooner or later you'll rip the cable while folding, especially if you get a cheapo cyclometer with a thin wire.

    I'd skip the cadence unit though, you don't need it.

    I also recommend you do a little bit of running, maybe 2-4 miles, twice a week. Short runs won't put much strain on your legs / knees, and will tune you up right quick.

  14. #14
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    I have one folder with a wireless and one with a wire. Both work fine. Route the computer wire along your front brake cable housing to help give it extra protection against breakage when folding.

  15. #15
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Well, sometimes life throws you a curve-ball.

    I dropped by the LBS and low-and-behold they had (and I fell for) a Mu SL. I've dropped the idea for a bike computer for the moment because the SL has the suspension hub, and the mechanic pointed out that the sensors would probably "miss" each other enough to make it not worthwhile.

    In typical techie fashion, he suggested that I could put a GPS unit on the SL to track my distance.

  16. #16
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    I got a mid priced Trek computer - with wires and cadence - from my LBS, it didn't alow me to set for 20" wheels so I took it back and they gave me a free upgrade to a more expensive cateye with more or less the same spec (but which works with any wheel size).

  17. #17
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnb-rare View Post
    I've dropped the idea for a bike computer for the moment because the SL has the suspension hub, and the mechanic pointed out that the sensors would probably "miss" each other enough to make it not worthwhile.
    I would be very surprised if that was a problem, since the Pantour hubs don't move all THAT much.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Brompton M3L, Strida 5.0
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    I have a Cateye Strada Wireless on my Brompton M3L, works just fine.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I would be very surprised if that was a problem, since the Pantour hubs don't move all THAT much.
    You could be right. At a later time I might give it a go. If it doesn't work out, I can put it on my wife's bike. She's always curious as to "how far" we might have ridden.

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    I ride in Vermont, so very rural. But I also ride in Burlington, Vt (a city, though small to outsiders, its the biggest here) with no issues.

    But I see you've now gone with a suspension front end. In that case, I'd just buy a wire'd computer and a long wire kit and attach it to the rear wheel,

    Brian

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnb-rare View Post
    You could be right. At a later time I might give it a go. If it doesn't work out, I can put it on my wife's bike. She's always curious as to "how far" we might have ridden.
    Wireless works fine on bikes with Pantour hubs... I have them on 3 Pantour equipped bikes... cheapos that I got on sale from Performance...

  22. #22
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    Wireless works fine on bikes with Pantour hubs... I have them on 3 Pantour equipped bikes... cheapos that I got on sale from Performance...
    Ahhh! Thanks for the personal exerience, Bruce. That's what makes forums like these so great. They expand one's access to people who have really 'been there and done that'.

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