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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Computers for Folding Bikes

    Folding bikes have their handlebars a long ways away from the wheel rim. As I understand it, this is typically too far for many wireless bike computers' ranges. On the other hand wireless is very convenient for a folding bike since there's no wire to fold and unfold, thus risking tangling and/or breaking.

    I'm looking to buy an inexpensive bike computer. What have you bought? Are you happy with it? What would you have done differently? Etc.

    Edit. Bikeforums munged my posting. I've edited it to make sense again -- hopefully no further munging.
    Last edited by feijai; 04-13-10 at 05:31 PM.

  2. #2
    AEO
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    wireless or wired?

    cateye astrale 8 has the sensor for speed go to the rear wheel, which should be more than enough for the front.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  3. #3
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    i installed a VDO on my dahon mu xl which i really like. i ordered the CATEYE but didn't like it. nice thing about this is you need to press a button to turn it on. unlike others that will start automatically even at a slightest movement of your wheel. VDO C2 DS Digital Wireless Cyclocomputer is on sale now @ performancebike for $34.99 (50% off).

  4. #4
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    I have used a Cateye Wireless Strada on a Swift Folder and Brompton without issues and the numbers are big enough.

  5. #5
    screenwasher
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    I use this wireless model on my Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe. I bought mine on sale at Performance Bike for about $20 a couple of years ago. It has been trouble-free since purchase.
    http://www.filzer.com/products.php?id=7

  6. #6
    E-Folder Geekybiker's Avatar
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    I had a bell wireless computer that I found at target. Worked fine for range. I had other complaints about it, but that's another story.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by screenwasher View Post
    I use this wireless model on my Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe. I bought mine on sale at Performance Bike for about $20 a couple of years ago. It has been trouble-free since purchase.
    http://www.filzer.com/products.php?id=7
    this one is on sale also at performance bike right now.

    dB 4LW Wireless Cyclocomputer
    Regular: $49.99
    SALE: $24.99

  8. #8
    Folder
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    I've used Sigma Sport wired computers to good success, though I did break a wire once. A little solder and heat shrink tubing fixed it right back up. The fact that wired computers are so much cheaper and only rely on one battery is another plus.

    I've had less success with wireless computers. On mine, it appears that once the battery level (on the sensor?) dips a little, it can't make the distance. I had to replace batteries far more often than on my "normal" sized bikes.

    With the wired computers, I don't have to worry about it, and that's a nice feeling. Once I learned to leave some slack in the wire in the right place so that the bike can still fold, things have been good.

  9. #9
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    io bought a Bell wireless from walmart, installed on my Dahon MuSL. no problem with the wireless so far, quite accurate from what i can determine so far but no specific test on that. i am on the thinner kojaks so not sure if the number that is used will need to be adjusted for a thinner (small diameter) tire. wireless distance does not seem to be any problem..

  10. #10
    Sumerian Street Rider khutch's Avatar
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    I've had several computers on my Mu P8 and all worked fine for a while. First was a cheap Bell "15" (I think). Worked great, I knocked it off folding the bike one morning and did not notice that until later. It was long gone by the next morning.

    Next was a Cateye Strada Wireless. Worked great until it got knocked off in a spill. I did not notice it right away and a car had run over it by the time I did and got back to retrieve it. The wireless unit needed to be placed a few inches from my Planet Bike Blaze 1W headlight to prevent interference when the light was in dim or flashing mode.

    Then I got a Cateye Strada Cadence for use on a trainer over the winter. That worked great but I have since gotten a Fuji Absolute that I will use on the trainer next winter so I transferred that computer from the Dahon to the Fuji, possibly saving its life in the process!

    No real distance on it but I currently have a Cateye Velo 8 on the Dahon. I had to place things a little carefully because the wire length was a little miserly. The Mu P8 is one of the Dahon models that requires the handlepost be extended when folding the bike, putting a premium on the computer wire length. In the end it fit well. As far as I can tell this unit allows you to program your wheel size but it does not seem to let you preset the odometer to match the unit it is replacing. Disappointed in that but in the end not a huge deal. Basically with my bad luck with computers on this bike so far in terms of knocking them off and losing them I would rather use cheap units on it. Why pay extra for something you will only have a few months?

    Ken

  11. #11
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Cabling has not been issue on any of my bikes. The wire is wrapped in a spiral around the front brake cable. All of the cheap crappy ones I bought had enough cable, and all the expensive ones I bought were stolen if I left them on the bike.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  12. #12
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    I have Cateye Strada wireless on my 5 folders and have had no issues. The sensor installation is always on the right front fork and the computer can be installed on either the left or right bar or on the stem. Be sure it's oriented properly to read the signal.

    If you want backlighting in the display don't buy this computer.

  13. #13
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    I guess I'll be going wired, and don't need much. I have been eyeing the Cateye Mity 8 and the Planet Bike Protege 9. I really like the Protege 9 because of its all-in-one screen, and dislike it because it's white (ugh). But the big problem with it is that it's auto-start only. I roll my Tikit about, when folded, on its front wheel. This is going to turn the computer on all the time and start recording tripe length and average MPH, no? The Mity 8 has a much smaller and less readable screen, and you have to button-push your way through it. But it's a mere $19 and has a manual start option. Am I thinking this wrong?
    Last edited by feijai; 04-15-10 at 09:18 AM.

  14. #14
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    I had a cheap wired one on my folder for a while. I soldered a little plug in the line so i could unplug it when folding and wheeling it around folded. That way you can use any one you want.
    Last edited by ddez; 04-14-10 at 11:20 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    ... having dismissed the Cateye Velo 8 as a miserly creature of low merit (short cable) it was spot on with the GPS today. I just used the chart to select 20" x 1.75 tyre size -152, and shoved that into the unit. Surprising speed accuracy.


    http://www.cateye.com/sites/cateye/u...s/en/VL500.pdf
    Last edited by snafu21; 04-23-10 at 07:53 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
    While it might turn the computer on and record, the percentage of time you spend pushing your bike compared to the amount of time you spend riding it is going to be tiny. Isn't it?

    And it's still 'distance travelled.'
    Distance isn't the statistic of concern: it's average speed. But maybe that's totally moot, you may be right.

  17. #17
    mjw
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    I bought the Protege 9 wireless and the wireless range was not good enough to reach from my wheel to the handlebars on my Dahon Vitesse (if i positioned the receiver much lower, it worked, but the monitor was unreadable in that position) I did not try replacing any of the batteries though. Good choice on the wired model- it's a good computer other than the wireless.

  18. #18
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    I have to add that (eating mud mode on) that I put the Cateye Velo 8 on my Vitesse last week, and the cable is only just long enough. Sheldon Brown recommmends getting the magnet as near the hub as possible for the lowest speed past the sensor and thus the best accuracy, but I cannot do dat thing.

    We need a user submitted Sticky of which bike computers fit which folders :-)

    Ken Hutch ditz: 'I had to place things a little carefully because the wire length was a little miserly'

    Perzackerly. That's -2 for the Cateye Velo 8.
    Last edited by snafu21; 04-23-10 at 02:07 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Yup, I tried to put my old cateye on it, and it didn't work out.

    But my phone has gps, so I got a krussell bike mount (I already had a case and a car mount) so go everywhere with TomTom, Google Maps, GPS cycle computer and trackme which gives you a wonderful track on google maps - and Geofence alerts: my partner gets a text when I'm within a mile of home!

    And if the phone rings, I can see who's calling and whether it's worth stopping to answer without fumbling.

    Downsides: rain, risk of snatching, short battery life (GPS is a hog), Windows Mobile (ugh!) and it's not the cheap solution you requested.

    joan

  20. #20
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    There's some chap writing in a roadie magazine this month that there's an 'app' for the Eye Phone which replicates some of the bike computer features. There is, apparently, a small power-pack from APC on Amazon which gives the Eye-phone several hours of juice, or the remarkable Dahon Reecharge, which powers the evil contraption for extended periods.

    http://www.dahon.com/accessories/201...ogic-reecharge
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  21. #21
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    I'd assume there are dozens if not hundreds of jesus phone apps for cycling. Here's an example:
    http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/maint...or-the-iphone/

    As for power, I never go anywhere without my power monkey, but I'm not mounting that on my handlebars. It means I can still make calls, even if I run the battery flat.

    The dahon invention is both cool and sad in equal amounts.

  22. #22
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post

    The dahon invention is both cool and sad in equal amounts.

    Somebody on here is, one day, going to put a pic of Satan's Blower up as an avatar. The blasted things are everywhere. :-)
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  23. #23
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    I have been using a Garmin Foretrex 101 for several years - grandson uses one too. Works great. Battery life is acceptable, and easy to carry two spare AAA's.

    Easy to remove from handle bar mount, too. Allows transfer of route info to PC and can also serve as GPS for PC mapping programs like MS Streets and Trips.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255I8W?tag=dvdmaailm

    Appears it might now be a discontinued model, but there is also the 201, 301 & 401 plus other a bit larger and more sophisticated models. Anyway, just another option.

    Lou

  24. #24
    Senior Member mrodtoo's Avatar
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    I have 3 Schwinn 12 function computer. The oldest one I installed in Oct of 2009, on my comfort bike. Then in Jan. 2010 I installed one on my Downtube 8H. they all work fine and I did not have a wire issue. I got them at Walmart for only $10.00 bucks. Is that inexpensive enough for you? Oh and the third one is on my le tour.

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