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Old 07-18-06, 06:09 AM   #1
FarHorizon
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Best computer for high-racer?

OK, so I've got a Bacchetta Corsa high-racer & want to add a computer. Questions are:

1) Where is the best place to mount the display?

2) Does the magnet/sensor go on the front or rear wheel?

3) What computer features do I need and which don't I need?

4) Since I'm already in bifocals, a large, bright, and contrasty display is a priority. Who makes them?

5) Any questions that I should be asking here and aren't?

Thanks in advance!

PS: I still haven't been able to take my first ride. I just got the fork, wheels, tubes, and tires in and the LBS is doing final assembly now. My game plan is to go ride on a large, open, grass field until I master starting, turning, & balance. That way, when I fall, I won't damage the bike or myself. I'm moderately "book knowledgable" about recumbents (thanks to ghosting this forum and bentrideronline), but my practical experience is (as of yet) nil. Any final advice while I'm still a virgin is welcome!
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Old 07-18-06, 07:54 AM   #2
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Good day, I have a RANS F5 XP. I use a Cateye Astrale 8 mounted on the handlebar. The speed sensor is on the front fork and the cadence sensor runs up the front boom and is mounted on the same tube as the front deraileur. You can select speed or cadence as the primary display which is pretty large and visible. The other stats like distance, max speed, and odo are displayed much smaller.

I highly recomend the cadence feature for your first bent. Keep it over 80 to keep from mashing and the resulting sore knees. I don't think you'll have any trouble riding, it's the starting, stoping, and slow tight turns that take a bit of practice. Once you're under way all is well.

Good luck.
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Old 07-18-06, 09:25 AM   #3
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On my Corsa I have a Vetta V100 wireless

http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup....174447&Coupon=

with a vetta stem mount

http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup....175000&Coupon=

I have the mount attached so the top of the display is just below the level of the handlebars. I have to wear glasses to read but with this unit I can see the numbers just fine. The tiny letters that tell you what's on the display I can't but it's pretty easy to remember what screen shows what.

SB
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Old 07-18-06, 11:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldPax
...I highly recomend the cadence feature for your first bent. Keep it over 80 to keep from mashing and the resulting sore knees...
Is it that important? I've got a computer with cadence on my DF bike and NEVER use the feature. What I use the most on my existing computer are the speed and odometer features. The only other thing I find I want, but don't have is heart rate.

If I must have cadence, is there a computer that does everything, including cadence and heart rate wirelessly?
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Old 07-18-06, 12:35 PM   #5
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Wireless generally isn't recommended for bents - the distance between the wheel pickup/transmitter and the receiver is usually too far for reliable operation.

I like having a cadence function, but it certainly isn't a requirement. OTOH, if I want to use my HRM I put it on my wrist, instead of my regular watch.
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Old 07-18-06, 02:27 PM   #6
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Like SoonerBent, I've used the Vetta V100 wireless with wireless cadence on my Volae. It can take a little fiddling o get the cadence transmitter attached depending on your crank, but it can be done.

Currently, i'm using the V100 on my Baron and have a basic Cateye Mity 8 (wired, without cadence) on my Volae. I'm a naturally high spinner and don't worry about cadence.

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Old 07-18-06, 02:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
If I must have cadence, is there a computer that does everything, including cadence and heart rate wirelessly?
Yes. Vetta makes a V100HR. Same as the V100 but it adds a HR monitor.

SB
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Old 07-18-06, 02:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Wireless generally isn't recommended for bents - the distance between the wheel pickup/transmitter and the receiver is usually too far for reliable operation.
I've heard this before but I haven't had any problem with the Vetta.

SB
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Old 07-18-06, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Is it that important? I've got a computer with cadence on my DF bike and NEVER use the feature. What I use the most on my existing computer are the speed and odometer features. The only other thing I find I want, but don't have is heart rate.

If I must have cadence, is there a computer that does everything, including cadence and heart rate wirelessly?
Well if you already have a good idea of your natural cadence, or what the varying rpm's feel like, then I guess the cadence isn't that important. It's just a common new to bents mistake to mash, and now that you have something to push against, you can really mess up the knees.
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Old 07-18-06, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerBent
I've heard this before but I haven't had any problem with the Vetta.

SB
Me, either. It's a fine little computer and isn't all that hard on batteries in the winter like a lot of wireless computers.
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Old 07-19-06, 10:01 PM   #11
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Starting out

I can't really speak to the computer model, except to say that I've got a cheap Cateye 7 wireless, mounted on my main tube within reaching distance of my seat, and the sensor is on the front wheel. The display isn't any more contrasty than my other computers on my other bikes.

Regarding how to get started:
-- Get clipless pedals. This is really the only way to go on a bent high-racer. You get speed, efficiency, and comfort. I like pedals with float, like Speedplays or BeBops.
-- Use MTB shoes, not road shoes. You need grip when you're starting/stopping, and road shoes are just too slick on the heal. I like shoes with ratchet straps, so I can really lock my foot into the shoe -- like Sidi dominators.
-- Start with your dominant foot (right if you are right handed) on the pedal, about 20 degree back from vertical at the top of the crank. Your other foot will be on the ground. Start in a middle-ish gear (it'll take practice to discover which gears work best). Push agressively on the pedal while you look where you want to go. Clip in with your non-dominant foot, and you're flying!
-- Practice stopping by unclippinng only your non-dominant foot well ahead of your stop. As you come to a gradual stop, lean the bike slightly in that direction. This allows your dominant foot to stay clipped in, while you come to a stop on your non-dominant landing gear.
-- Repeat above two steps many times until you can do starts and stops without wobbling and without unclipping your dominant foot. Practice AWAY from traffic! And remember: look where you want to go (not at the ground).
-- Then, practice while on an incline. This is harder, because you either have to clip in quickly before you loose momentum, or get good at pedalling with one foot. (That's a good skill too, by the way!)

Regarding falling over: if you're really paranoid about scratching your bike, consider laying it down intentionally on grass or carpet (gently, while you're not on the bike!). Notice where it touches. Then cover those spots with thick double-sided tape. This will provide a cushion for minor drops, and can be removed without taking off paint. If you go down hard, it won't save your paint job. If you have USS, going down will most likely do the most damage to your handlebars or shifters rather than your paint, so cushion the edges of your bars where they touch. Consider rerouting cables or shifters as needed so they aren't destroyed in a fall.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:42 AM   #12
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WHOA, BikeZen - That's a LOAD of recommendations! Thanks for taking the time to post. As a complete noob, I plan on using platform pedals until I get the hang of riding this thing. I'm just more comfy with being able to immediately drop my feet if I need to. I may eventually try some mini-clips, but my feet point out at the toes so much that I think I'll have a hard time ever using clipless.

I plan to do all my training rides on a large, flat grass field. Any fallovers will cause only grass divots. How long should it take me to get "ready for the pavement?"

Thanks!
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Old 07-20-06, 07:59 AM   #13
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I use simple TREK INCITE 9I for a computer. The sensor & magnet are on the rear wheel. I had to splice the wiring together from an old computer I had so it would work, but any low voltage wiring will do. And I had to put a couple of rubber spacers on the chain stay to move the sensor closer to the magnet, but it works great.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:25 PM   #14
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An hour or less should do it. Get knee savers.

Riding in "grass" to practice seems harder to me than picking an empty parking lot -- not enough friction to get going. But if it works for you, great!

Re. "toe out": get knee savers (http://angletechcycles.com/accessories/index.htm). This adds 20-30mm to your peddle distance from the crank. Then you should be able to clip in without bangining your heel on the cranks. Believe me, it's worth going clipless.
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Old 07-20-06, 07:02 PM   #15
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Riding in "grass" to practice seems harder to me than picking an empty parking lot -- not enough friction to get going...
I've got "all terrain tires" on my rims. They have really small nubs, but ought to have enough traction for grass.
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