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Old 05-22-12, 03:11 AM   #1
bradleyheathhay
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Computer advice for a new guy?

Hi everybody. Just picked up a Trek 7.4 FX (SpeedTrap compatible fork) and after ten years of not having a bike I'm ready to get back out on the road again. Mostly I just want to get out and get some exercise for what's probably gonna be somewhere between 5 and 15 mile rides. My ride information needs aren't that great, and probably a less advanced computer would do me just fine. But, having no knowledge of modern bike computers I'm wondering now which one of these things I should be looking at. Any suggestions for a good SpeedTrap compatible bike computer for my bike?

Thanks, I'm all ears!
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Old 05-22-12, 04:47 AM   #2
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There are a variety of companies that make cycling computers. Vetta, CatEye, and Sigma Sport all immediately come to mind. All those companies make a range of products. More expensive models have more features, not better accuracy. Even the basic models though will have some standard features such as average speed, current speed, distance ridden, time ridden, etc.

All computers work fine with all bikes.

I'd look through the above companies web sites and determine which one you think looks good, seems simple to operate for you, and go from there.
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Old 05-22-12, 05:09 AM   #3
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Cateye make a good product. I'd consider what you want your computer to do. If you only want speed/distance/time then a simple wired computer is IMHO the best option. If you want heart rate/cadence etc then a wireless all singing all dancing unit could be better. You could even get one with navigation functions built in if you want to go the whole hog.
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Old 05-22-12, 05:38 AM   #4
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I guess I can't help much. The Speed Trap(tm) is a sensor that mounts *in* the fork, and sends at 2.4 GHz. So you need a 2.4 GHz wireless computer. I'm not sure if the signal is encoded or if any 2.4 GHz computer will work. The Bontrager Node 1.1 is about $70 = not very cheap.
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Old 05-22-12, 07:54 AM   #5
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I guess I can't help much. The Speed Trap(tm) is a sensor that mounts *in* the fork, and sends at 2.4 GHz. So you need a 2.4 GHz wireless computer. I'm not sure if the signal is encoded or if any 2.4 GHz computer will work. The Bontrager Node 1.1 is about $70 = not very cheap.
Just because the SpeedTrap sensor is there doesn't mean you need to use it... There are certainly options that are cheapar than $70 out there.
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Old 05-22-12, 08:00 AM   #6
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Make sure to get a model that does auto start/stop when it sees the wheel turning as well as auto wake from sleep mode. I have one (an Ascent IO) computer that I otherwise like, but it does not wake from sleep mode on it's own. I frequently forget to wake it up after a break and then it doesn't record the next part of my ride. One it is woken up, it auto starts/stops just fine.

If you are on a budget and just need basics, a wired model for about $20-30 will do just fine. You can find a decent one even less if you shop the sales.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:05 AM   #7
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If you have an iphone, consider using one of the ANT+ setups. I have the Wahoo Fitness speed/cadence sensors plus the heart rate monitor. It isn't terribly cheap, but it utilizes my iphone and I can't be far from my phone! There are lots of free apps for all of the different smart phones out there as well that use GPS to give you a ballpark idea of what you are doing on your bike. Good luck!
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Old 05-23-12, 01:24 AM   #8
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Well, I may have spoken too soon. After looking into current computers a little more I've decided I'd like to have just the basic functions like are on all computers plus cadence tracking, current and average, and heart rate. So that'll bring us up into a more pricey computer I'm sure. Also, I don't mind for the front sensor to be wired, but I'd like for at least the cadence sensor to be wireless. So if anyone has suggestions for a computer with just minimal functions plus cadence and heart beat please let me know.

Last edited by bradleyheathhay; 05-23-12 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 05-23-12, 05:51 AM   #9
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If you want speed + cadence + heart-rate, I'd start by taking a look at Polar's cycling-specific heart-rate monitor offerings.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:55 AM   #10
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why has the "speed Trap" Kit been discontinued,?
have you asked the bike brand's dealer? Trek

Trek/Bontrager, has other computers , in several price points. zip ties on.

Or .. why do you need one at all?

just ride the bike , watch where you are going!

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Old 05-23-12, 07:44 PM   #11
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pick a computer with a nice big readable display
prefferable that displays primarially speed in big text, plus one single switchable item (dist, time, etc)

as opposed to a computer which has tiny text and tries to display every item all at once, you'll never be able to read it all while in motion
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Old 05-31-12, 09:20 AM   #12
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I was wondering if Cateye still only recorded max speed in 0.5 mph increments? I liked that it always displayed current speed at the tenth of a mph but that max was halves. Likewise with Sigma, I wish it showed current speed to the tenth but I do like that max speed is in tenths. I suppose it's a trade off. I have a Cateye Mity 8 in my box of bike parts, but so far I like that Sigma has a more precise max speed. Current speed is always close enough because average speed is always properly reflected.
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Old 05-31-12, 09:47 AM   #13
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I think that wheel-rotation based bike computers are going the way of the print newspaper.

I'm a retro grouch and even my next bike computer is going to be some Garmin or I-Phone thing.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:59 AM   #14
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I think that wheel-rotation based bike computers are going the way of the print newspaper.

I'm a retro grouch and even my next bike computer is going to be some Garmin or I-Phone thing.
I hit an issue with using my iPhone to track my rides this weekend when I did my first ever semi-longish route (42 miles). In that the battery was draining dangerously and if I kept the GPS tracking going the entire ride instead of just the first 17 miles or so it would have died completely. As it was, I ended up at under 5% battery by the time I got back home.

I'd love to get a dedicated garmin unit for that purpose, but it's pricey. So I settled on the good ol' wheel rotation based computer and called it a day until I can spend the cash on something more sophisticated.
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