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  1. #1
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    Need a computer (Want)

    I don't really need a computer on the bike, but really want one. I have noticed there is a huge range in prices on the computers available. The only things I'm looking for are odometer, trip, average mph, and cadence. Would a computer like that have to be expensive? I've noticed a Cateye for around $30, is that going to be a POS? I'm guessing it will do just fine for me.

    Also, what does it take to install one? Would I need to have someone who knows quite a bit do it or is it something that is pretty easy to figure out?

    Thanks in advance!

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    You should be fine with a $22-$30 computer. I've owned a bunch of them, going back at least 15 years--Avocet, Specialized, Cateye and I don't remember what else (we have nine bikes in the family, down from 13 when my kids lived at home). I don't want any information other than speed and distance, really, though having an average speed is sort of fun--I don't need cadence or anything else. I don't think I've ever had a computer fail, and the cheapest ones have lasted thousands of miles.
    If there's an REI store near you, they have a range of Sigmas starting at around $25, cheaper on sale. I have the cheapest five-function ones on two bikes, and they're fine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    I use a Trek Incite 11i (about $45) but a 9i ($30) is good enough. It's pretty easy to install and configure. Here's the pdf manual for them:
    http://www2.trekbikes.com/images/own...ite_9i_11i.pdf

  4. #4
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    For reliability, stay away from the wireless. They work fine but transmission and reception issues can be aggravating. Plus wireless adds extra cost. Sigma, Cateye and Vetta are available anywhere. You can get any cheap computer to give you speed, distance and time. Look for a large display to ease reading. Planet Bikes are pretty popular.

    They are pretty simple to install. Most important part is setting up the magnet on the wheel and the pickup on the fork (or stay) so that the signal is reliably seen. Not difficult to do, just take your time. Test that the magnet is being detected before setting any double back tape or non-reusable straps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I use what you call an unreliable $30 Cateye for serious training purposes. I've had it less then a year, and it replaced a $23 Specialized that I used for 4 years and 11,000 miles. The Cateye has been through rain and blowing sand with yet a hiccup.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    I've used a Trek 11i (my bike) and 9i (wife's bike), and have had no issues with either. The 11i has even accompanied me on some off-road mis-adventures, and has stayed firmly attached to the bike (even though the rider didn't . I have also used a wireless Sigma on my road bike, and it's seen ~300 miles so far with no issues. Very recently I've installed a CatEye Enduro on my singlespeed, but that hasn't seen more than a brief test ride up and down the street (it did function flawlessly on said test ride though).

  7. #7
    Banned. Turboem1's Avatar
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    cateye astrale 8 is the most common used computer. Extremely reliable and def not a piece of crap. Intall is very easy too. Does what you need and more.

  8. #8
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    take a look at Sigma 500 series;
    they offer the most basic functions-
    speed, distance, trip time/distance and a clock,
    no cadence on this model. they are reliable,
    easy to read, inexpensive ($15-20) and connect
    nicely to the fork. all six bikes in our house
    has one; they are not fancy, just work well.

  9. #9
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    I went ahead and bought a Cateye Astrale 8. I'm going to install it this afternoon and I'll let everyone know how it goes.

  10. #10
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    Ok, installation went smoothly (as far as I can tell).

    One question, I set the computer for my tire size but the instructions didn't say anything about placing the magnet anywhere special on the spoke. I lined it up with my sensor and it did pick it up on my test ride and gave me a reading. I'm just curious whether or not there is supposed to be a certain point for where the magnet is supposed to go on the spoke. I'm curious whether my speed is going to be accurate, that is something I'll be able to tell the more I ride it, I just hope I didn't screw it up.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warden11
    Ok, installation went smoothly (as far as I can tell).

    One question, I set the computer for my tire size but the instructions didn't say anything about placing the magnet anywhere special on the spoke. I lined it up with my sensor and it did pick it up on my test ride and gave me a reading. I'm just curious whether or not there is supposed to be a certain point for where the magnet is supposed to go on the spoke. I'm curious whether my speed is going to be accurate, that is something I'll be able to tell the more I ride it, I just hope I didn't screw it up.
    Placement of magnet and sensor is moot, as the spoke travels the same distance at each point.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    ? I don't have a computer yet (looking for one alongside with a new helmet) but I thought that if you move the sensor nearer the axle of the wheel, the sensor has a smaller distance to spin around? so I think that he might be talking about where along a single spoke should he put the sensor on, like near the rim, on the middle of the spoke or whatnot?

    Just guessing and wondering.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill
    ? I don't have a computer yet (looking for one alongside with a new helmet) but I thought that if you move the sensor nearer the axle of the wheel, the sensor has a smaller distance to spin around? so I think that he might be talking about where along a single spoke should he put the sensor on, like near the rim, on the middle of the spoke or whatnot?

    Just guessing and wondering.
    That's exactly what I was saying.

    I placed it pretty close to the middle and stretched the wire on the sensor until it was fairly tight. Hope it's right, I'll have a good idea tomorrow after my ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone
    take a look at Sigma 500 series;
    they offer the most basic functions-
    speed, distance, trip time/distance and a clock,
    no cadence on this model. they are reliable,
    easy to read, inexpensive ($15-20) and connect
    nicely to the fork. all six bikes in our house
    has one; they are not fancy, just work well.
    Bottom of the line sigma is my preference. I thought I wanted avg speed, but it turns out what I *really* want is one button, no more, and simple display, that has lead me to focus on current speed (and rolling time, can use that to est. avg. after the fact anyway). Instantaneous Avg speed seemed to require more buttons than I found easy to manipulate.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    one suggestion is if you happen to see one of those big speedometer things along the side of the road that tells the motorist when they are speeding too fast. You could try the machine out when it is not too busy and compare the result to your computer.

    around here we have a speed limit sign with a built in speedometer and another one of those big machine on another roads with plently of space for a cycler to be detected.

    Just a idea if you happen to spot either one of those maching on your test ride. if you are still not sure, you probably could ask ad see if you could have a friend with a computer equipped bike ride alongside you so you can compare and adjust your sensor to match the friend's computer speeds. (though if the friend's computer aren't set-up right, this mean your's will not be set up right either)

  16. #16
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    The sensors are pretty reliable. The only errors I have heard of are at high speed, sensor failure or interference with wireless setups . At high speed and with the sensore near the rim, there is speculation that the sensor does not see the magnet long enough to register the passage of the magnet. I.e., it goes by too quickly. I have only seen a few people mention it. I have never experienced it and occasionally get to 53. They have quite low failure rates and problems overall. That said I usually mount about 2/3 - 1/2 the distance toward the rim, typically closer to the rim than the hub.

  17. #17
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    Just had my first ride with the computer isntalled. Readings seemed like they were pretty accurate. The only problem I encountered was the computer didn't record an average speed. I guess it's back to the owner's manual to figure that one out.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warden11
    That's exactly what I was saying.

    I placed it pretty close to the middle and stretched the wire on the sensor until it was fairly tight. Hope it's right, I'll have a good idea tomorrow after my ride.
    I've just realized why the placement is moot. even if you put the sensor very near the axle, it still will pass the other sensor the same amount of time the outer tip of the spoke. It not like the spoke near the axle will spin faster than the outer spokes.

    So it shouldn't be that much of a issue.

    P.S. Sometime I wish that the schools are more serious about maths/physic. I was the top of the entire K-12 school by middle school and still was having a huge difficulties with some of the entry level college math course when I graduated in 2004.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kpumpy's Avatar
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    Sigma 1106 is the bomb, like $30 or thereabouts. Easy to install and never had a problem with it, and it's extremely accurate. Just got a second sensor for it for a second road bike as well, and extra magnets since I swap out wheels based on seasonal riding preferences. The second sensor on the Sigma requires no adjustment when you swap the computer from one bike to another -- it automatically determines your wheel size.

    Other brands have had failure issues, like magnet loosening and falling off wheel, computer failing, sensor got wet in the rain and stopped working, etc.

  20. #20
    Senior Member RussB's Avatar
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    My newest computer is actually the least expensive I've bought yet. I went with a Cateye Strada with cadence. $45 at performance.com, $40 at amazom.com $35 new on Ebay.

  21. #21
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    I bought a cateye astrale 8 (with cadence) for 25 bucks on ebay, and yes, that price has shipping included in it.

    Not bad eh?

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