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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-11-04, 08:47 PM   #1
DZOO
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Flight deck front, but what about stoker

I installed a flight deck on my new Burley yesterday, but what is everyone doing for the stoker?
Will wireless computers still read from the rear wheel to the stoker bar?
If not what computers have long enough wires?
Can you spice wires to make them longer or will it effect the signal if one was to buy a cheap unit and just extend the wiring. Stoker says she doesn't care about cadance, that I can worry about that, but maybe a Cateye Astrale is the easist answer, since it reads off of the rear wheel anyway and Performance has them on sale for 25.00.
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Old 09-11-04, 09:04 PM   #2
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Look at the "Tandem Computer" thread farther down the first page. I recommended an Avocet 45TT and added a little about splicing and routing.
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Old 09-11-04, 09:26 PM   #3
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If my stoker didn't care about having HR, speed, and cadence her computer would have an altimeter!

Of course that's if our tandem was here :-(

I was thinking this morning that it wouldn't be that hard for an altimeter capable computer to calculate road grade based on the ratio of rise/fall in altitude to speed. Anyone know of a computer that does this?
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Old 09-11-04, 10:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZOO
... what is everyone doing for the stoker? Will wireless computers still read from the rear wheel to the stoker bar? If not what computers have long enough wires? Can you spice wires ...
Prior Reply On Stoker Computers: Stoker Computer
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Old 09-11-04, 10:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by turtlendog
I was thinking this morning that it wouldn't be that hard for an altimeter capable computer to calculate road grade based on the ratio of rise/fall in altitude to speed. Anyone know of a computer that does this?
Yes, CicloSport's CM434 ($149), CM436 ($209w/download interface & PC software), and HAC4 ($309 or $409w/download interface & PC software).

Of course, like most things you can find these on Ebay for a lot less (no connection with seller; just a satisfied customer). I haven't attempted warranty service but the guy selling them says they did not fall off the back of a truck and are fully warrantied. Hmmm. It's the internet; you pays your money and you takes your chances. Anyway, with the cavet "buyer beware" here is what I found and what he's presently offering:

I paid $314 for a HAC4 w/download & the cadence kit which Jenson USA sells for $488.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3696816296

CM434 without the download interface for $109.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3696817186

HAC4 without the download for $194
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3696817291

I've also got an older CM414 that I bought without the download features and absolutely loved it. However, I eventually decided to start wearing a HRM again and spoiled myself with the HAC4. It turns out that both computers will pick up the signal from the wheel rpm transmitter so I have both the CM414 and the HAC4 on the tandem these days which gives me a dash display with HAC4 = HRM & Cadence / CM434 = speed in increments of 00.0 (HAC4 displays 00) & %grade, etc. It's just easier to navigate through the various other functions on the CM414 and since I already owned it.... what the heck. Back to the HAC4, the download and PC software stuff is really slick and makes ride analysis, training log maintenance and performance comparisons a breeze. The watch holds 64 hours of data and I dump it into my laptop once a week and spend about 10 - 15 minutes looking at the data.

Data Screen Shot: http://www.ciclosportusa.com/hac-demo4.htm
Graphics Screen Shot: http://www.ciclosportusa.com/hac-demo5.htm

Debbie has a wireless Polar S720i which also has the altimeter and downloads data to the PC. However, no inclinometer or percent grade is calculated by the watch or the basic Polar software.

Last edited by livngood; 09-13-04 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 09-12-04, 12:27 AM   #6
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Mark

Thanks as always for your comprehensive post.

I was thinking that $300 is more than I'd like to spend on a cyclocomputer even though it is clearly a very cool unit... Then I noticed in one of the links you provided, that wattage is graphed. I don't see watage listed as a function of the the HAC4. Am I correct that the HAC4 does not calculate wattage. If it does, what is your feeling on the accuracy?

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Old 09-12-04, 04:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlendog
what is your feeling on the accuracy?
It's calculated not measured via the cranks or the axle so it's not really all that accurate in the Biblical sense. It cruches your speed, the % grade, rate of ascent, cadence, etc. along with a weight number for your self and your bike that you input to come up with wattage. It doesn't therefore factor in wind resistance or other things that drive power.

I look at it kind of like the cigarette lighters that come as OEM in most cars... it's there but I have no need or interest in using it.

Seriously, it's also a feature on my 2 year old CM414 and I've never used it during a ride given it's subjective value / accuracy. I've toggled-on the graph in the HAC4 software downloads just to see what it looks like and, as you might expect, it has a strong relationship with your heart rate as well as speed and percent grade. When the grade goes up, so does your HR and the watts. On the flats, when your speed goes up, so does your HR and the watts.

I think it's only real value is evaluating "relative improvement" over time. In other words, on a given training route you can use it as just another benchmark to compare your performance over time, similar to your average HR, average speed, rate of climb to confirm that you are either improving or not riding nearly enough.

For true power-measurement I would most likely shell out the bucks for the SRM system or a PowerTap, as that's their primary function.
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Old 09-12-04, 05:57 AM   #8
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We're looking at a GPS and an HRM for the wife. You can go as far as you want/need with the GPS units.

Garmin has a new model called the Quest that looks like it might be useful for bike touring. Lots of street information and navigational utilities. Street prices look to be around $500!!! Haven't got this one past the boss yet.

I sold the HRM on the premise that she can monitor how hard she's working so she doesn't "over do it". It is programmable and an audible alarm goes off if her heart rate goes outside of a set window (including too low ). The alarm is loud enough for me to hear. Every stoker should have one!

I have a Specialized Pro bike computer in the front that I've had for awhile now. It does speed, cadence, temperature, time, altitude, height climbed, % grade, etc. The % grade is calculated over a running data sample of, I think, 15 seconds and the altitude measurement is accurate to, I think, 2 meters. For short, quick, hills it doesn't give a very accurate % grade. For longer grades it seems to be very accurate. I think I paid $95 dollars for it two or three years ago. This computer gets switched between my road bike and the tandem.
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Old 09-12-04, 06:41 AM   #9
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It's not too hard, if you have average mechanical ability, to take most any cheap bike computer and splice in a section of speaker wire to give your stoker a speed and distance readout. I've done it several times with tandems and recumbents with good results. If you want it to be driven off of the rear wheel, it's best to start with a unit that was designed for rear wheel pick up so that you don't have to fabricate your own mounting hardware.
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Old 09-12-04, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
I have a Specialized Pro bike computer...
I tried one of those in a side-by-side comparision with the Ciclosport CM 414 and what was really eye opening was that they both used the exact same transmitter, leading me to believe they are made by the same company. Not sure if Ciclosport is a marketing company or a manufacturer, but since I'm pretty sure that Specialized is and always has been a marketing company that outsources everthing.

Regardless, I was able to run both computers off the same wheel pick-up / transmitter and previously wrote a review of the CM414, a Specialized SpeedZone Pro Classic, and an Avocet Vertech (alti only):

Cyclo-Computer with Altimeter.

If I hadn't had the opportunity to use the Ciclo CM414 first I probably would have been quite happy with the somewhat less expensive Specialized 'puter. Again, I've since added the HAC4 to the mix and have it along with the CM414 on the the bar of my road tandem (HAC4 only on my 1/2 bikes) and Debbie has her Polar S720i with the Vertech on her bars. The Vertech gives her *** climb as a default display and she likes that vs. scrolling through the alt. functions on her Polar.
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Old 11-19-04, 09:49 PM   #11
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We ran into a similar problem, but since most of our riding is in the bush here in Australia, we picked up an inexpensive GPS on ebay (under US$100) and that gives my wife a speedo as well as the all important navigation tool. We're still waiting for is a GPS/HRM/Wireless computer with one sender for both head units, plus cadence.
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Old 11-24-04, 01:45 PM   #12
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We use the small Garmin eTrex GPS for the stoker. You can customize the GPS screen so my stoker has speed, trip, average moving speed, moving time in large numbers. I tried various wireless computers without reliable success.
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Old 08-15-05, 08:05 AM   #13
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TandemGeek, I thought your comments on the Ciclosport 414 were invaluable – I just got a Ciclosport 436M with the downloadable feature, got through the installation and first download okay, but I couldn’t get the raw data (the .dat file) to load into the charts & analysis forms – I think it has to go into the .tur file format. I’m also new to Windows (I’ve used a Mac for years), a factor that I’m sure complicates my problem.

The closest I got was the following in the Help topics:

Database Recording

1.) First create a tour record [I don’t know where to do this]

2.) Import Profile or create manually. [I don’t know how to do this]

3.) Open ‘Tour Data’ window (CTRL-T, corresponding menu item in the main database or popup menu or the corresponding button in the toolbar) and make corrections if necessary.

4.) Select tour record in which the profile (the tour) should be stored.

5.) Select the APPLY button

I must be missing something obvious -- Can you tell me what little trick I’m not getting?



Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Yes, CicloSport's CM434 ($149), CM436 ($209w/download interface & PC software), and HAC4 ($309 or $409w/download interface & PC software).

Of course, like most things you can find these on Ebay for a lot less (no connection with seller; just a satisfied customer). I haven't attempted warranty service but the guy selling them says they did not fall off the back of a truck and are fully warrantied. Hmmm. It's the internet; you pays your money and you takes your chances. Anyway, with the cavet "buyer beware" here is what I found and what he's presently offering:

I paid $314 for a HAC4 w/download & the cadence kit which Jenson USA sells for $488.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3696816296

CM434 without the download interface for $109.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3696817186

HAC4 without the download for $194
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3696817291

I've also got an older CM414 that I bought without the download features and absolutely loved it. However, I eventually decided to start wearing a HRM again and spoiled myself with the HAC4. It turns out that both computers will pick up the signal from the wheel rpm transmitter so I have both the CM414 and the HAC4 on the tandem these days which gives me a dash display with HAC4 = HRM & Cadence / CM434 = speed in increments of 00.0 (HAC4 displays 00) & %grade, etc. It's just easier to navigate through the various other functions on the CM414 and since I already owned it.... what the heck. Back to the HAC4, the download and PC software stuff is really slick and makes ride analysis, training log maintenance and performance comparisons a breeze. The watch holds 64 hours of data and I dump it into my laptop once a week and spend about 10 - 15 minutes looking at the data.

Data Screen Shot: http://www.ciclosportusa.com/hac-demo4.htm
Graphics Screen Shot: http://www.ciclosportusa.com/hac-demo5.htm

Debbie has a wireless Polar S720i which also has the altimeter and downloads data to the PC. However, no inclinometer or percent grade is calculated by the watch or the basic Polar software.
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Old 08-15-05, 09:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunstan
I must be missing something obvious -- Can you tell me what little trick I’m not getting?
If it's any consolation, I'm a Mac user as well. I had to buy a laptop PC to support my HAC4...

Anyway, it would appear that the 436M uses Mastertronic, a de-tuned version of the HAC4’s Hactronic software, along with CicloTour, and CicloTrainer software. I’ll take a crack at your questions, but you’ll also find some information regarding the software in the threads that appear using the search string “hactronic” for posts by “Tandemgeek”: http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=1402054

The detailed instructions for how to use the record and downloading functions of your 436M are probably the same as the 414M available on line in this PDF file:
http://www.ciclosport.de/ger/html/do...s/cm414eng.pdf

Under Section 11: Particularities of Memory you’ll find the instructions for creating a record, e.g., when starting your ride push both buttons simultaneously and hold for 3 seconds, after which you’ll hear a beep; your record has been started. At the end of the ride you’ll need to remember to end the recording period by, once again, pushing both buttons simultaneously until you hear a beep. On the HAC4, there is a little mountain display that flashes when the watch is recording data. I suspect there is a similar icon on the 436M.

The 436M appears to be similar to the HAC4, unless you “start” and then “end” the recording process at the beginning and end of your ride you won’t have any data to download and I suspect that is what happened on your first try.

As for downloading, again, section 11 of your instructions or the 414M’s instructions explains how to cycle through the set-up menu until you get to the ‘PC’ icon. Like the HAC4 and Hactronic Software, the Mastertronic software probably contains additional instructions. However, in general, you should:

1. Have your 436M sitting in the data transfer device
2. Bring up the Mastertronic Software on your PC
3. Cycle through the set-up menu on the 436M to get the ‘PC’ icon
4. Go back to the Mastertronic software and click the watch icon in the tool bar or use the “Import Data” item from the pull down menu to prompt the software to begin a download.
5. The software will then create a pop-up menu that probably says, ready to download information
6. Push both buttons simultaneously on the 436M to start the download.
7. A progress bar will appear that shows percent downloaded.
8. Once it is all downloaded a menu will pop up that lists all of the records that have been downloaded. Obviously, for the first download only one would show-up.
9. You’ll want to save this .dat file to a folder on your hard drive and you might want to identify it by date if you plan to keep all of the data you download. I note this in that, the watch only holds 64 hours of data. It records it consecutively such that until the memory is full it will continue to hold the oldest data in the watch. After you rack up 64 hours, the oldest records start falling off (actually, they’re written over).
10. Once the .dat file is saved, go back to the table and double click your record and the full menu of tables will pop up that let you see the graphs, user data, etc…

After you have the raw data captured, what I usually do is open up the Ciclotrainer (basically your training diary) software and import the record from the .dat file. It will populate the table and it also contains some editable fields where you can input information about the ride (did you ride a road bike, mountain bike, or tandem?), you weight and resting HRM for the day, etc… Again, it’s a training diary. This Diary is one of the real values of the downloadable computers… the data don’t lie. If you rode 3,500 miles last year and successfully downloaded the computer it will be there, along with your total altitude gained (500,000ft), hours on the bike, average speed, etc… all broken down by day, week, month, and year. You’ll want to save this file in the same folder as your .dat files.

As mentioned in my other posts on the Hactronic, I’ve played around with the CicloTour software but don’t use it all that much. I get what I need from the Hactronic and CicloTrainer. However, like the Ciclotrainer, you can open CicloTour and then import the data from your .dat file. I don’t bother with shortcut keys, e.g., Cntl-T and, instead, use the drop-down menus and icons on the toolbars to do most of the navigation in these products.

In closing, the more time you spend reading through the documentation and on-line manuals (help screens) the more you’ll understand about how the darn things work.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 08-15-05, 07:39 PM   #15
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I also looked at the Quest which can be bought for less than $400 since a newer version is coming out. It would be a nice unit to share with use in a car but it uses a rechargeable battery, not AA's so it would be tough to use on a long touring trip if you didn't have access to recharge. I think the battery life is about 20 hours.
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Old 11-20-05, 05:14 PM   #16
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Stoker Kay has no interest in a computer for herself . . .
After 30 years of tandeming she has a nice 6th sense of what's happening.
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Old 11-22-05, 05:43 PM   #17
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The Trek Incite 9 comes with a 150 mm wire which will work for front or back wheel...list price is $39.95
http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=0

My stoker is very happy. It has the temp too! I am looking at the new Garmin Edge 205 for me. XMAS time is almost here!
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Old 11-22-05, 06:40 PM   #18
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That Garmin Edge 205 looks SWEET! Suddenly my Christmas wish list just got a little longer...
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Old 11-22-05, 07:42 PM   #19
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Call me "el cheapo", but I have a fairly basic Enduro 3 on the cockpit, and 9-year-old first stoker has an Enduro 8 on hers. When she knows how to read, 5-year-old second stoker will get similar treatment.

On the tandem, the stoker computer uses a longer cable made for pickup on the rear wheel... except it goes to the front.
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Old 11-22-05, 10:41 PM   #20
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We also use the Garmin etrex (Ledgend model) GPS for my stoker. It's wonderful with all of the features. At just over $100 + a few more bucks for the bicycle mount you get a lot of capability. We are also ham radio operators and with the addition of some additional hardware and a small handi-talkie type transceiver, our position, speed, path, etc. can be instantly tracked via a site on the internet. When we recently took a cross country trip, family members knew exactly where we were, how fast we were going, and where we had been. Ain't technology wonderful?? OHB
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Old 11-22-05, 10:42 PM   #21
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We also use the Garmin etrex (Ledgend model) GPS for my stoker. It's wonderful with all of the features. At just over $100 + a few more bucks for the bicycle mount you get a lot of capability. We are also ham radio operators and with the addition of some additional hardware and a small handi-talkie type transceiver, our position, speed, path, etc. can be instantly tracked via a site on the internet. When we recently took a cross country trip, family members knew exactly where we were, how fast we were going, and where we had been. Ain't technology wonderful?? OHB
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Old 11-23-05, 05:42 AM   #22
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Spend your computer money on something else. Is there really a need? I ran through so many computers, with all the fancy new tricks, when I raced that I got tired of buying them. I sure don't miss them. Enjoy the view instead. Wanna know how far you went? A map serves that purpose and others.
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Old 11-23-05, 08:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElRey
Spend your computer money on something else. Is there really a need? I ran through so many computers, with all the fancy new tricks, when I raced that I got tired of buying them. I sure don't miss them. Enjoy the view instead. Wanna know how far you went? A map serves that purpose and others.
Is this supposed to be flamebait? I can't imagine reasonable dialogue following from this comment.

Or, ElRey, perhaps you meant to write something like:

Quote:
Originally Posted by perhaps_ElRey_meant_to_write
I decided to spend my computer money on something else. I found that I didn't really have a need... etc.
-Greg, who has suddenly seen the light thanks to this post, and will now trash his flight deck. Oh, wait, no, I think I'll keep it for a bit yet.
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Old 11-23-05, 08:50 AM   #24
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No, that's my actual assessment and one which others share who know something about riding a bike. Not a vast majority, no. You sure didn't supply any "reasonable dialogue", like citing some actual need- you know, data you can't live without. Or do you just not like my haircut? You want flames, you can't handle the flames!!!!
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Old 11-23-05, 09:18 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElRey
Is there really a need?
The great thing about cycling is that you can drop as much cash as you have around on anything you want, not necessarily need. It's limited only be the imagination and the paycheck.

I mean, come on--if actually needing something becomes a standard, we'll have to do something about the tandems with 150,000 cubic inches of cargo space that show up for 25-mile club rides

That was, of course, supposed to be funny.

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