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Please recommend a bike computer for a first-timer (of bike computers, not bikes)

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Please recommend a bike computer for a first-timer (of bike computers, not bikes)

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Old 07-27-08, 05:29 PM
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Fairmont
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Please recommend a bike computer for a first-timer (of bike computers, not bikes)

I've had a few bikes over the years, but have never seriously considered a computer of any kind.

Until now.

Basically, here's what I think I want: odometer, speedometer (not that important), elevation (if possible for calculating hills), clock.

Maybe there's more I'd want.

I'm commuting four miles each way on 90% paved bike paths and 10 % light residential roads. The odometer is a must, but the rest isn't as crucial. I'd like it to be GPS based. I know there are some (or were back in the day) that had a little wheel that touched your tire to give millage, speed, etc.

I don't really like that idea due to resistance.

Anyway, any suggestions would be helpful.

Also, how about an inexpensive "be seen" light set? Since 90% of my ride is without cars, I just need to be seen and don't need to see my way.

Thanks.

I don't know what my budget would be, but the cheaper the better. For reference, I just paid 700 for my new bike (Trek Soho 1.0). So, obviously something that costs several hundred dollars is out of the question.
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Old 07-27-08, 05:42 PM
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Well I will tell you which one not to buy....



Bell 15 Function Wireless Speedometer

I bought this one and it sucks. Perhaps it is just the geometry of my bike - the distance between my forks and my wheel... I dunno.

It works fine at slower speeds, but if I get over 15 mph it doesn't register my speed. I have tinkered with it dozens of times. Minute adjustments in the spacing, various mounting positions and heights, etc. Nothing I do fixes the problem. I even thought about writing Bell about it. Perhaps others have had better experiences with this particular model. I will be watching this thread closely.
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Old 07-27-08, 05:45 PM
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Cheap as you can, No shipping cost:
http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.905

Computer:
http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-SW654-.../dp/B000DZD3FQ
Get um at Walmart $9.55 They work great
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Old 07-27-08, 06:28 PM
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http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ils&ProdID=281


this is the computer I uses on my road bike, & I actually bought a second one to go on my commuter but I never put it on because I don't need it on a that bike I disided, But I love this computer, & all shops sell it for $60 and bike island is only $40,

It is wireless, cant fully programmable, simple 2 buttons, program 2 separate bike into it, comes in black or silver(if that's a big deal) Black would work with your soho amazingly,

I have let it sit on my bike throw everthing even hard rain & never had a problem

and its wireless so not messy cords(i know I already sead that one, but that's all you need to know )
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Old 07-27-08, 06:30 PM
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That schwinn computer works fine especially for 10 bucks its a bargain! Only thing is that the magnet on the where has to be VERY close to the sensor on the fork.
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Old 07-27-08, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by amckimmey View Post
http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ils&ProdID=281


this is the computer I uses on my road bike, & I actually bought a second one to go on my commuter but I never put it on because I don't need it on a that bike I disided, But I love this computer, & all shops sell it for $60 and bike island is only $40,

It is wireless, cant fully programmable, simple 2 buttons, program 2 separate bike into it, comes in black or silver(if that's a big deal) Black would work with your soho amazingly,

I have let it sit on my bike throw everthing even hard rain & never had a problem

and its wireless so not messy cords(i know I already sead that one, but that's all you need to know )
I use that one. I like it. You can get it on eBay for $20.

As for lights, http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3040.html is all you'll need. You can get it cheap on eBay as well.
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Old 07-27-08, 06:45 PM
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Planet Bike Protege 9. Wired or Wireless.
Best value in a cyclocomputer... EVARRRRrrrrrr!
Has tons of info on screen all at one time so you almost never have to switch screens to see what you're looking for.
Only thing it doesn't have is cadence but I don't have any use for that.
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Old 07-27-08, 07:20 PM
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Go to LBS and buy the cheapest model they have and have them install and calibrate it. You will thank yourself.
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Old 07-27-08, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by d2create View Post
Planet Bike Protege 9. Wired or Wireless.
Best value in a cyclocomputer... EVARRRRrrrrrr!
Has tons of info on screen all at one time so you almost never have to switch screens to see what you're looking for.
Only thing it doesn't have is cadence but I don't have any use for that.
I have the PB Protege 8.0 wired, and I also bought the Schwinn 17 function computer. I love the PB Protege infinitely more simply due to the constant display of everything I need/want. Having to switch through 5 screens to get from time to distance on the Schwinn one is a pain in the rear. Yes, it has a scan function but I like knowing what I'm looking at right away when I look down.
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Old 07-27-08, 07:53 PM
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I have the cheap $10 Schwinn branded Walmart/target wired computer on a couple of our bikes. I actually really like it. It has resettable trip odometers and a "scan" feature. The scan is nice becasue it will just keep scrolling through your moving time, distance, max speed and Avg Speed. My ***** is I couldn't find batteries for it easily.

I changed out the bars on my bike and I need a computer that would mount on my Stem. Went with the wired Cateye Cadence. I really like the Cadence feature but I do miss the "Scan" mode of that cheap Wall word computer. Performance and a few other places sell a wireless version and a version with cadence now. It is the same manufacture but branded as "Ascent".
This is the wireless version. All the complaints listed I didn't have with the $10 wired wally world.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4110
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Old 07-27-08, 08:02 PM
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I use the Cat Eye Velo 5, it's their entry level computer. got it for $20 at my LBS. it's got odo, speed, and a clock. i think to get elevation you'll have to get an actual GPS unit (cheapest is around $100), and even then it wouldn't be too good at elevation. best thing to do there is figure out where you're going/where you went and enter that into something like bikely or google pedometer to get a profile w/ elevation.

just wondering, what's the cheapest cyclocomputer that mounts to the stem, and is wireless?
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Old 07-27-08, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by talleymonster View Post
Well I will tell you which one not to buy....



Bell 15 Function Wireless Speedometer

I bought this one and it sucks. Perhaps it is just the geometry of my bike - the distance between my forks and my wheel... I dunno.

It works fine at slower speeds, but if I get over 15 mph it doesn't register my speed. I have tinkered with it dozens of times. Minute adjustments in the spacing, various mounting positions and heights, etc. Nothing I do fixes the problem. I even thought about writing Bell about it. Perhaps others have had better experiences with this particular model. I will be watching this thread closely.
I got the schwinn one rather than the bell and that has worked fine for me... I have them on both of my bikes... it does the basics, odo, distance, speed, max speed, avg speed, trip time, and has a time trial "feature" that "freezes" the values for when you can get to your car... I like it and the newer models use the same computer harness so that you can upgrade very easily... oh, and it cost something like 10$ from an xmart store...
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Old 07-27-08, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Grim View Post
I have the cheap $10 Schwinn branded Walmart/target wired computer on a couple of our bikes. I actually really like it. It has resettable trip odometers and a "scan" feature. The scan is nice becasue it will just keep scrolling through your moving time, distance, max speed and Avg Speed. My ***** is I couldn't find batteries for it easily.

I changed out the bars on my bike and I need a computer that would mount on my Stem. Went with the wired Cateye Cadence. I really like the Cadence feature but I do miss the "Scan" mode of that cheap Wall word computer. Performance and a few other places sell a wireless version and a version with cadence now. It is the same manufacture but branded as "Ascent".
This is the wireless version. All the complaints listed I didn't have with the $10 wired wally world.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4110
have you tried radio shack? thats where I got my replacement battery...
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Old 07-27-08, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by e0richt View Post
have you tried radio shack? thats where I got my replacement battery...
My local radio shack is gone and the only one nearby is in the mall. I don't like the mall.

I need to hit Batteries Plus I guess or get the Ninja gear out for the mall trek.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by d2create View Post
Planet Bike Protege 9. Wired or Wireless.
Best value in a cyclocomputer... EVARRRRrrrrrr!
Has tons of info on screen all at one time so you almost never have to switch screens to see what you're looking for.
Only thing it doesn't have is cadence but I don't have any use for that.
+1

I think i have the Protoge 8.0 wired version on my commuter bike (my other two bikes have a Cateye Astrale 8 because i want the cadence). The thermometer is also handy even if it's not super accurate during the day.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:56 AM
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I've used a couple of the cheap Schwinn ones, available at Target or maybe Wallyworld.

They have a magnet that clips to your spoke, so no resistance from little wheels or anything. When you first get one, you need to calibrate it to your wheel size. Roll your wheel one revolution with load on it, measure how far that is, convert to millimeters, and enter that in the computer.

Biggest drawback is that they lose all their settings (including total accumulated milage and calibration number) when the battery goes dead, which was like after 6 months for me. New battery was $5 at Radio Shack. So unlike a car odometer, you can't tell how many miles on the bike.

I really like having one. It helps to keep my speed constant, so I don't pass someone and then slow down in front of them. Helps to improve my speed. Helps to know how far I've gone, how far I have to go. I don't use the time function.

They are fiddly, like a digital watch, where you have to press this button and then that button, etc., while reading microscopic directions.

I accidentally bought the cordless version and discovered the sending unit wouldn't fit between my fork and my spokes. No problem with the normal version.

I've not used the more expensive computers, so can't comment on them.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:09 AM
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+1 I bought this one and had no luck with it at all. I could get it to register at walking speeds, but once I started moving it would consistently go blank. Piece of crap...

I ended up buying a Trek model, the 6i I believe. It was setup as a rear wheel model but the physical layout of my rear wheel would not allow the sensor to be close enough to the spinning magnet so I had to move it to the front wheel. Only issue was I now had a LOT of wire to wrap around my cables to take up the slack. Works great though.

I know the Cateye computers are pretty popular but I find them hard to read, maybe I am getting old :-)

Originally Posted by talleymonster View Post
Well I will tell you which one not to buy....



Bell 15 Function Wireless Speedometer

I bought this one and it sucks. Perhaps it is just the geometry of my bike - the distance between my forks and my wheel... I dunno.

It works fine at slower speeds, but if I get over 15 mph it doesn't register my speed. I have tinkered with it dozens of times. Minute adjustments in the spacing, various mounting positions and heights, etc. Nothing I do fixes the problem. I even thought about writing Bell about it. Perhaps others have had better experiences with this particular model. I will be watching this thread closely.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Biggest drawback is that they lose all their settings (including total accumulated milage and calibration number) when the battery goes dead, which was like after 6 months for me. New battery was $5 at Radio Shack. So unlike a car odometer, you can't tell how many miles on the bike.
true, but it does have a feature where you can set the odo start value so that you can keep a "running" total if you want to... and if you buy 2, you could set one to the current odo, then switch out the older one for battery replacement...
I plan on doing that myself, just have to find one, (my walmart doesn't seem to have them recently....)

oh and the wheel setting of 2124 is for the 700c size wheels which is what is generally used on a road bike...

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Old 07-28-08, 09:46 AM
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Cateye Strada. Cheap (~$27), spedo, average speex, max speed since reset, timer, freezes data if bike isn't in motion, odometer and two trip meters. Easy to install and calibrate yourself. Great customer service - my bracket broke and they overnighted me a new one. It's wired, but they provide you with sufficient wire that unless you're riding a chopper it'll be ok
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Old 07-28-08, 10:17 AM
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I've been very happy with Planet Bike's computers. They are reasonably priced (less than $30) and unlike many bike computers, display many different lines of info at the same time. They also donate a chunk of their profits to bike advocacy.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by nahh View Post
I use the Cat Eye Velo 5, it's their entry level computer. got it for $20 at my LBS. it's got odo, speed, and a clock. i think to get elevation you'll have to get an actual GPS unit (cheapest is around $100), and even then it wouldn't be too good at elevation. best thing to do there is figure out where you're going/where you went and enter that into something like bikely or google pedometer to get a profile w/ elevation.

just wondering, what's the cheapest cyclocomputer that mounts to the stem, and is wireless?

I have one of the Cateye Velo 5 on my MTB although I normally despise their lights I quite like their comps. Only draw back is you have to switch it on when starting on your journey and a few times you'll forget and so lose some miles.

I have a more expensive cateye Micro Wireless on my Salsa, I really like that one.
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Old 07-28-08, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by d2create View Post
Planet Bike Protege 9. Wired or Wireless.
Best value in a cyclocomputer... EVARRRRrrrrrr!
Has tons of info on screen all at one time so you almost never have to switch screens to see what you're looking for.
Only thing it doesn't have is cadence but I don't have any use for that.
+1 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AO9R8C/



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Old 07-28-08, 01:33 PM
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I've been happy with the delta v from performance on sale at 19.95

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4110
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Old 07-28-08, 02:13 PM
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Another vote for the Protege 9.0 from Planet Bike. I've got the wired version, and it's been fantastic so far. I've used it for almost 3 years, year 'round in Seattle; so it's seen rain, sun, more rain, constant rain, snow, and survived a couple of drops off my counter onto a tile floor.

One disclaimer: The thermometer function is pretty well useless. I've never seen an accurate reading from it, except in my apartment, while stationary. The rest of the functions are phenominal, and the readouts are some of the most easily readable I've seen.
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Old 07-28-08, 02:32 PM
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I've got 3 Sigma Sport BC 800's and they are quite accurate and reasonably priced. There are even several websites about having them fitted to motocycles as replacement speedo's. Anything in their line is probably of the same or better quality.
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