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Old 12-23-10, 02:14 PM   #1
TrekmanDan
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Cyclometers - Wireless vs. Wired

Just two more days until I get to put the new bikes under the tree! And now, I'm already thinking about which cyclometer to get. From what I've read here, the wireless ones with the cadence feature are the latest and greatest. However, a lot of people have mentioned that they have some issues with their wireless cyclometers not working properly when they're around power lines, cell phones, etc. My wife and I have some cheap cateye wired cyclometers on our MTB's that haven't given us any issues in the past. With that said, what do you all use? Is it weird to have wired cyclometers on a road bike?
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Old 12-23-10, 03:22 PM   #2
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I think that's another example of why they have both chocolate and vanilla.

Wireless for a clean looking installation. Wired for reliability and less battery consumption. For the record, we're currently all wireless at my house.
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Old 12-23-10, 03:29 PM   #3
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TmD, I prefer wired for their lack of issues with radio interferance.

Brad

Here's how to properly wire one:

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Old 12-23-10, 03:36 PM   #4
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The frequency at which my wireless Cateye or Garmin drops out is so low and its accompaniment impact so minor that I don't have any wired computer installed on any of my bikes. The horror stories may be from older models or from off-brands. Just get one from a reputable brand like Cateye and you should be happy.
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Old 12-23-10, 03:57 PM   #5
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Wired = 1 battery to replace, wireless = 2.
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Old 12-23-10, 04:50 PM   #6
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I got wireless because I included a heartrate monitor and I couldn't see having a wire from my chest strap to the computer, even if anybody made one like that. The computers I got are Sigma and some of the reviews complained about dropping signals. It happens some on most rides, but it's not a huge deal for me. If you need the signal to work constantly, either go wired, or high-end. Check the reviews before you buy wireless or you may get something less than you're expecting.
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Old 12-23-10, 04:51 PM   #7
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Wired, even for cadence. IMO.

Fewer batteries, and to get a wireless that doesn't suffer interference (such as the Cateye I had, which refused to work with a Dinotte headlight nearby) means getting a 2.4 GHz model that drains batteries more quickly. Not so quick that you'd replace them every week, but still, when a wired computer can go for a few years on one battery, you get kinda spoiled.

If I were to go wireless now, I'd spring for something that uses a power meter, too. There isn't much info I can get wirelessly that I can't also get with a wired version.

There's a relevant thread that started in the Road forum last night:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...cling-computer
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Old 12-23-10, 05:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
TmD, I prefer wired for their lack of issues with radio interferance.

Brad

Here's how to properly wire one:

IF this don't settle the wired vs wireless debate nothing will!! WELL DONE! VERY WELL DONE INDEED!!
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Old 12-23-10, 08:14 PM   #9
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My last three computers have been wireless. I change them every time I see some new and sexy. I've only have an interference problem with one of them and that only occurred a few times. Seems my computer showed that at one point in my ride (always the same spot) my max speed was 95 mph. Wow, that's a new land speed record.

I vote you get wireless. Just don't go cheap.
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Old 12-23-10, 09:06 PM   #10
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Wow... it seems like it's pretty much split down the middle. BradTx, awesome job you did with the wired setup!

If I did decide to go wireless, are there any decent ones for under $50.. or would i have to spend an arm and a leg to ensure I get minimal interference?
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Old 12-24-10, 12:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrekmanDan View Post
Wow... it seems like it's pretty much split down the middle. BradTx, awesome job you did with the wired setup!
Doesn't everyone wrap their wires like that?


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If I did decide to go wireless, are there any decent ones for under $50.. or would i have to spend an arm and a leg to ensure I get minimal interference?
It's a bit hard to get a wireless cadence model at under $50.

For a non-cadence, I have good luck with the Cateye Strada wireless. It's sleek, light and battery consumption is quite low.

For ones with cadence, get its cousin the Cateye Strada double wireless. They're usually about $70, but there's currently an almost new one for $50 Buy-It-Now, shipping included (disclaimer: not affiliated).

Skip the older generation that looks like this. It takes four CR2032 (2 at the head unit, 2 at the sensor/transmitter) and goes through batteries like they are free. Don't ask how I know. The Strada is 1+1 and battery life is much improved at maybe a change every year with normal (5000-6000 mile) usage.
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Old 12-24-10, 12:16 AM   #12
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If I did decide to go wireless, are there any decent ones for under $50.. or would i have to spend an arm and a leg to ensure I get minimal interference?
I think it depends on what else you have on your bike. Like RonH and some others have said, you might see a spike in your speed sometimes just because of traffic sensors or a radar trap or something like that, and that's the only problem you'll have.

In my case, with my headlight's controller circuit, any setting other than full brightness caused enough interference that my Cateye wouldn't give a reading at all. The light's mid- and low-power "steady" settings were really just super-fast blinking, so it must have been producing a high-frequency RF buzz that freaked out the cyclometer. I didn't know this would happen, of course, so rather than ditch the light, I got a Blackburn 2.4 GHz computer instead (although I probably would've been happier with a Cateye V3 anyway).
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Old 12-24-10, 12:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I think that's another example of why they have both chocolate and vanilla.

Wireless for a clean looking installation. Wired for reliability and less battery consumption. For the record, we're currently all wireless at my house.
Doesn't sound very "retro" to me. Shouldn't a true retro grouch be running a mechanical axle mounted mileage ticker?
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Old 12-24-10, 09:57 AM   #14
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Doesn't sound very "retro" to me. Shouldn't a true retro grouch be running a mechanical axle mounted mileage ticker?
I had one of those on my first bike. I was stoked when I passed 10 mph.
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Old 12-24-10, 10:26 AM   #15
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Doesn't sound very "retro" to me. Shouldn't a true retro grouch be running a mechanical axle mounted mileage ticker?
Sometimes my "retro" side is at odds with my "grouch" side. The mechanical mileage tickers "tick" me off.
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Old 12-24-10, 12:59 PM   #16
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Sometimes my "retro" side is at odds with my "grouch" side. The mechanical mileage tickers "tick" me off.
lol
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Old 12-24-10, 03:07 PM   #17
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Doesn't sound very "retro" to me. Shouldn't a true retro grouch be running a mechanical axle mounted mileage ticker?
That's what I run...it is wireless BTW

I do have one cycle computer on one bike, it happens to be a wired model. I have had issues with wireless on my bikes with generator hubs.

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Old 12-26-10, 02:06 AM   #18
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Wired for me. Its cheap, simple, reliable.
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Old 12-26-10, 02:44 AM   #19
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I have a basic wireless Specialized. It's waterproof, easy to set up, looks good (white computer matches my paint), and gives me the basic information I want (speed and tripometer). I read about some people having problems with the computer falling out of its mount (mostly MTB guys), and when I bought mine from an LBS I asked them about it. Specialized has redesigned the mount so the computer slides in from the side and clicks into place. Mine has never come loose in 150 miles or so thus far. Oh, and the odometer is neat to have as well... I put the computer on my new bike before my first ride, so I know exactly how many miles are on the bike

I don't really care about knowing my cadence or heart rate, and don't need GPS. Worst comes to worst, I always ride with my iPhone, which has GPS.
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