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whats your favorite computer?

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whats your favorite computer?

Old 03-27-12, 02:26 PM
  #1  
wantone
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whats your favorite computer?

Ive been riding for a couple of months now. Im stronger and go faster, so now Im curious as to how fast I am going on an average, and my distance traveled etc...

The world of computers is HUGE so I thought Id ask here for some advice on a decent wired unit that can:

show me my current speed
show me my average speed
log my miles on a per trip and annual total

Are there any other readouts that you guys love to see that I should consider?

Do you have some advice on a good reliable model or even one that you hated I should stay away from?

I want to spend less than $50 but the cheaper the better
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Old 03-27-12, 02:31 PM
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ill.clyde
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Cadence ... and one with a Heart Rate Monitor would be good too.
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Old 03-27-12, 02:46 PM
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Most computers will do current speed, average speed, trip odometer and regular odometer. It seems like when I was shopping around, the ones with cadence were a bit more expensive and might be out of the $50 range. I had a Cat Eye that was less than $50 that worked well, but the screen was so small as to be distracting when trying to glance at it. It sounds stupid but I had a hard time reading the numbers without hunching over so I got a Specialized brand computer instead. My only critique of the one I got is that it only has 1 trip odometer and 1 regular odometer. I would like to have a 2nd trip odometer to track monthly miles.
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Old 03-27-12, 03:05 PM
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wantone
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What does cadence REALLY tell you - I mean are you trying to target a range or is it more to watch your strength and endurance improve? I switch gears a lot...especially if Im sprinting trying to catch a light....but mostly if my thighs start to burn too much to switch to more cardio / faster pedaling considering that possible interference, is it still worth the extra bucks?

Screen size and read out ability is a good one for me and my bad eyes thanks.
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Old 03-27-12, 03:06 PM
  #5  
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You should be able to find one of these for $50 or less. As Big Pete 1982 mentioned, the Cateye displays are not that large and may be hard for some to read. The Sigma is easier to read.

Top Features of the Cateye Micro Wireless Cycle Computer


The latest in cordless technology

  • Features:
  • Current Speed
  • Odometer
  • Clock
  • Maximum speed
  • 2 x trip distance
  • 2 x trip time
  • 2 x average speed
  • Cordless transmission
  • Odometer set
  • Dual tyre size
  • Auto-power saving
  • Sleep mode
  • Auto or manual start/stop
  • Universal Mount
  • Backlight
  • Stem and handlebar mount
  • Pacer Arrow
  • Switchable readings(MPH/KPH)
  • Menu Screen

Top Features of the Sigma Sport BC1009 STS Wireless Cycle Computer


Besides the basic functions, the BC1009 STS wireless cycle computer provides another 3 speed values plus total trip time. Another small cycle computer with plenty of functions showing you the detail you require.
  • Features:
  • Languages setting, 7 languages
  • Automatic start/stop
  • Battery status display receiver/transmitter
  • Backup function (storage chip)
  • Actual speed
  • Average speed
  • Maximum speed
  • Trip distance
  • Comparison of current and average speed
  • Total distance (Not shown while riding)
  • Riding time
  • Clock
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Old 03-27-12, 03:27 PM
  #6  
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I think Bell or Schwinn have some at Target. They do what you asked for. I started with one of the Schwinn ones, I now use a Sigma dTs 2006 MHR for commuting and a BC2209 for weekends.

The 2006 gets a bit of interference and loose the connection to my sensors (heart rate and speed). I'd recommend spending more now on a computer than getting a cheap one just to get a cheap one.

I also had a Topeak one, but it died.
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Old 03-27-12, 03:38 PM
  #7  
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My favorite in the under-$50 category was the Bontrager Trip 4W. I don't need cadence, having built up a pretty accurate feel for it over many years of riding, and I really like the wireless aspect of it. It has the usual functions of trip and total distance, current and max speed, average speed and a pace arrow. No thermometer, but I don't really care about that.
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Old 03-27-12, 03:53 PM
  #8  
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I have the Sigma 1609.

It has all the bells and wistles, like the others, plus cadence. I really like it. Easy to use, mount and see.

I know my cadence when riding, however......after a long, long, long, hill or sprints (you know the kinds that wipe you out). It helps me spin at 70 - 80rpm or more.

It also tells you the current temperature. I really like this feature. I like cool weather riding and I use it to help me dress accordingly.

It costs less than $50 (I think I paid $36). The down side is it has wires and it is not a heart rate monitor. Most brand name computers are good. Decide what features you want and go from there.

Good luck
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Old 03-27-12, 04:22 PM
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I also have the Sigma 1609.
Since it is wired, I have no inerference issues, and it has been very easy to read.
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Old 03-27-12, 04:23 PM
  #10  
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I have Bell one that I use. If memory serves me right it wasn't more than 20$ from Wal-mart. It logs speed and distance over all and also trip speed and distance that is resettable. It's been working well for me but keep in mind that I'm someone who is usually happy with low end stuff
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Old 03-27-12, 04:34 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by wantone
What does cadence REALLY tell you - I mean are you trying to target a range or is it more to watch your strength and endurance improve?
You might notice interesting things, like you get dropped every time you spend more than five minutes at less than 70 RPM but an intensity you could otherwise maintain for an hour or that you can ride threshold intervals on consecutive days past 90 RPM but not less or you hit the highest sprint speeds shifting at 110-120 RPM not 100-110 or 120-130.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-27-12 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 03-27-12, 04:54 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by wantone
Ive been riding for a couple of months now. Im stronger and go faster, so now Im curious as to how fast I am going on an average, and my distance traveled etc...

The world of computers is HUGE so I thought Id ask here for some advice on a decent wired unit that can:

show me my current speed
show me my average speed
log my miles on a per trip and annual total

Are there any other readouts that you guys love to see that I should consider?

Do you have some advice on a good reliable model or even one that you hated I should stay away from?

I want to spend less than $50 but the cheaper the better
I had a bunch of cheaper types and Planet Bike was by far the best. However, I finished up going the Garmin route and it is by far the best $ I spent on my bike. Its like having a personal trainer that records and remembers EVERYTHING you do. I can pull up performance rides from 2010 and compare then and now for improvements. If you possibly can, go for a Garmin - even used. I believe they do a Garmin 200 now that is around $150 and has the GPS tracking etc.
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Old 03-27-12, 04:55 PM
  #13  
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Data is useless unless it causes a change in behavior but It can also cause one to do bad things to make the data look better. Lets take average speed. If you cut back on your warmup/warmdown to get a better average then I'd say having that data is a bad thing. I'm a data junkie my Garmin system logs speed/cadence/heartrate every 20 seconds. I don't look at it while riding. I look at the data afterward. With it I've found that I'm faster at a higher cadence. That left to how I feel I tend to use too high a gear going against the wind. That when it's colder I do better with longer warmups and more clothing. I'm faster on longer rides if I hold my heartrate below 78% of max. Has this data changed my behavior? Sometimes it does other times I just ride I forget about going fast.
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Old 03-27-12, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wantone
Ive been riding for a couple of months now. Im stronger and go faster, so now Im curious as to how fast I am going on an average, and my distance traveled etc...

The world of computers is HUGE so I thought Id ask here for some advice on a decent wired unit that can:

show me my current speed
show me my average speed
log my miles on a per trip and annual total

Are there any other readouts that you guys love to see that I should consider?
Lap time and heart rate all on the same screen.

Most people ride intervals based on time.

Heart rate is a better approximation for how hard you're working than feel which can help with pacing - there are times when it feels hard but you can and should dig deeper, and there are times when you should back off even though it feels easy.

A back light which stays on is also nice when you ride in the evening or early morning.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-27-12 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 03-27-12, 05:06 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by magohn
I had a bunch of cheaper types and Planet Bike was by far the best. However, I finished up going the Garmin route and it is by far the best $ I spent on my bike. Its like having a personal trainer that records and remembers EVERYTHING you do. I can pull up performance rides from 2010 and compare then and now for improvements. If you possibly can, go for a Garmin - even used. I believe they do a Garmin 200 now that is around $150 and has the GPS tracking etc.
I wouldn't waste that much money on a computer that didn't include power or heart rate. Incorporating either into some planned training will help make you faster and burn more calories in a given ride time or distance while a GPS breadcrumb trail won't.

And FWIW I only spent $150 on my new-in-box Edge 500.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-27-12 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 03-27-12, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
I wouldn't waste that much money on a computer that didn't include power or heart rate. Incorporating either into some planned training will help make you faster and burn calories faster while a GPS breadcrumb trail won't.
I have the 705 with heart rate and cadence. I have no use for power at my skill level. Too expensive and unescessary for a hobby cyclist IMHO.
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Old 03-27-12, 06:35 PM
  #17  
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Ive bought a few of the Chinese units on ebay usually $5 or so. They last for years and provide odometer/speed/trip and more.

I also bought 10 of the blinking LED taillights from ebay (China) for $20 (total) shipped. They're very bright, have 6-7 modes of operation and seem to last just fine.
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Old 03-27-12, 06:40 PM
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I use a Cateye Velo 8.. simple & inexpensive
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Old 03-27-12, 07:00 PM
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I finally broke down and bought a Cateye Strada wireless. It has it's problems (it resets pretty easily) but it does everything I want without having to worry about wires.
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Old 03-27-12, 08:26 PM
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Something like this is economical and might work for you - note that you have to spring for their docking station if you want to actually transfer the data (and why wouldn't you!?) A friend of mine has this one and he's reasonably satisfied

https://www.amazon.com/Sigma-Triple-W...2901381&sr=8-1

I picked up an edge 500 on ebay (with HR and cadence/speed) for 219 shipped and frankly, it rocks. I don't use the cadence sensor but I plan to get it going one of these days but everything else is 100% customizeable. You can put up to 7 fields on any of 3 screens, and you can put ANY field ANY where you want. How cool is that? I usually pay attention to the grade % (although it lags a bit), the HR, my speed and occasionally the compass bearing. Time is of lesser importance to me because I have a watch and when I get that dadgum cadence sensor working right, i'll care about that again.
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Old 03-28-12, 12:17 AM
  #21  
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Cadence! After years of cycling I too thought I had a pretty good feel for mine. And, I did, sort of. What I found when I added a computer with cadence last year, was that while I thought I was cycling at around 90 rpm. I was in fact averaging from 80-90 rpm. With the inclussion of cadence on my computer I've found that I'm now usually one gear lower than before and averaging 90-100 rpm. With this came a noticable improvement in my endurance, average ride speed and active recovery times while still cycling. These changes were also noted by my riding companions who noticed an almost overnight improvement in my cycling.

I recieved a Garmin 500 w/cadence and heart rate for my birthday. That's well out of your price range. However, you can find computers with cadence for less than $90 and I think that having it would be well worth the money. With regard to heart rate, I find it interesting and am glad it's there. However, it takes a considerable price increase to make it a consideration. You really need to be training, with some goals in mind, to make it really worth while.
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Old 03-28-12, 12:54 AM
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+1 to cadence. I always thought my cadence was OK until I actually got data proving otherwise. Despite what people say, its pretty hard to just "feel" what your cadence is, since your senses will be off when you're tired.

If you're actually training toward some kind of goal, a heart rate monitor is pretty useful, since it gives you an actual number to compare your training with.
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Old 03-28-12, 10:28 AM
  #23  
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I bought a Cateye Strada Cadence Wired when I bought my new bike a couple weeks ago. It's right in your price range. I went with wired on purpose so the sensor is on the rear wheel. That way, I can use it while the bike is on the trainer in my living room! I love it. It is very easy to get from screen to screen. There are no buttons to search for. You just tap the front of the unit to change the display! Very slick.
As far as the wires go, I was very careful when I installed it to keep the wires out of the way and as out of site as possible. Unless you REALLY look for them, you'll never see them!
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Old 03-28-12, 10:32 AM
  #24  
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I read the title and started to say "Windows XP, 'cause Windows 7 just drives me bonkers" LOL
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Old 03-28-12, 11:05 AM
  #25  
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Do you have a smart phone (with GPS)?
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