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Best Bike Computer

Old 07-11-13, 01:33 PM
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joshuatrio
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Best Bike Computer

I've had it with my current bike computer. It's been in use for about 1.5 years and I'm ready to throw it out the window.



See above. It's a Sigma 1609 Wireless with Cadence. At first, I loved it. It worked great. But now, it doesn't register speed half the time.

Steps Completed:

1) Replaced the batteries (several times)
2) Checked the alignment of the sensor to the magnet
3) Read instructions multiple times to make sure I'm doing it right.

The computer works slightly better when the cadence feature is not hooked up - which is fine with me at this point.

What's strange, is that it works great on my morning rides, but on the afternoon rides, it's intermittent and only registers maybe 1/4 of my ride. Other Amazon reviewers have noted the same thing.

It gets annoying when you are going for total mileage each week, and you know it's off by a long shot.

Anyhow, got some Amazon credit and am ready to pick up a new computer. What do you recommend and why? Wireless computers are nice, but I often wonder if they are more hassle than the wired. Previously owned a specialized wired computer that lasted for 7 years (perfectly) without replacing the battery.

I will not purchase another Sigma product after this terd.

Suggestions?
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Old 07-11-13, 02:55 PM
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I'm not even going to try a wireless computer. I can see trouble from a distance. I do a lot of work with wifi networks and similar things. There are so many things to go wrong that just don't exist when you use a wired bike computer.

Believe it or not, I've been quite satisfied with no-name computers that I get from Chinese web sites, Amazon, and Nashbar. They have worked flawlessly. At this point, I kind of wish I had Cateye computers, because since the mounts are more likely to be available, I could put a mount on each bike and move the computer from one to another. That is one advantage of wireless computers, but that's not big enough to sway me to use a wireless computer.
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Old 07-11-13, 03:16 PM
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I'm also interested. I've been using my Strava app on my phone and very happy with it but I want something that tracks my cadence.....preferably for less than $50
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Old 07-11-13, 03:18 PM
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Spring for a Garmin Edge (500/510) and get the speed/cadence sensor accessory. Yeah, it's 10X the cost of a cheap wired computer, but once you start looking at the data you get out of it, you won't want to go back.
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Old 07-11-13, 03:26 PM
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I got a German made Ciclomaster , that is an antique , I got it in the 80's , if I put a new battery in it ,

it works. reset wheel radius number and go.

coin battery goes in a metal screw cap closed compartment. plugs to wired sensor ..

they had one which put the sensor in the side of the computer to count the magnet pulses
from computer being on the fork blade itself.

have the bracket , but used the wire so as to pick my location..
I have it above the Rt Low rider pannier, Below the cantilever brake.



just havent needed a computer, but for an Odometer on Bike tours ..

commuting, get real , all you need is a watch, going to be late? ride faster..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-11-13 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 07-11-13, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience with your Sigma 1609. It's one less brand for me to consider.
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Old 07-11-13, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for the feedback... Yeah, the wired option is sounding nice about now, only concerned about it rubbing the finish off my new road bike. Seems the paint is much thinner on the newer bikes...

Any recommendations on solid wired and wireless devices? Anyone have a wireless one that they haven't had trouble with?
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Old 07-11-13, 05:40 PM
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Cateye Strada double wireless has been perfect. I went to a Garmin 800 b/c they were on sale for $209 and I wanted to try GPS. It's a great upgrade.
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Old 07-11-13, 07:52 PM
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Another thing to consider with a wireless computer is that hogh powered led lights will interfere with most of them.
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Old 07-11-13, 09:29 PM
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I had the much more high end Sigma computer (wireless) that measured cadence, heart rate, altitude, all kinds of other useless stuff. That thing never worked correctly. Fast forward to the present, and I've been using a wired version of the Sigma BC1609 with cadence sensor and it has worked flawlessly for thousands of miles and on two different bikes (I have mounts on both bikes). Yeah sure, you have to run wires and use more zip ties, but it really works an I never have to worry about it NOT working. I use Endomondo on my smartphone to track rides and give info, but there have been several times that Endomondo has screwed up on me and I would've had no data on a ride if it hadn't been for the simplistic wire Sigma unit. You can also get the Sigma BC1609 that is compatible with a PC docking station and software that allows you to download your ride info and graph all kinds of stuff. It's kinda neat but the smartphone apps do all of that stuff a lot more easily. I mainly use the Sigma to watch my cadence and my mph. I can watch my mph on the smart phone if I wanted but there is no option for collecting cadence data.
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Old 07-12-13, 12:56 PM
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Well, I ended up buying a Garmin 200 last night. REI was really cool about taking the Sigma back after 1.5 years (without receipt), since I was purchasing a nicer computer. Wasn't sure if they would since my father in law bought it for me a while back.

While this one doesn't have cadence/heart rate - I never used that stuff anyway.

It supposedly didn't have max speed and elevation (it doesn't on the display), but when you upload your trips into Garmin connect, you get max speed and elevation, plus a really nice map of your trip. So, it really has more data than the Sigma (I think), and my out of pocket was $55 to upgrade.

The Garmin 500/510 looks way nicer, but it has much more (display wise) that I'll never use - plus I get most of it back when I upload the trips through the connect app.

Anyhow, the photo's of the 200 online look pretty bad, but the display is actually really sweet on the bike, and no more wireless/cable crap to deal with. We'll see how GPS holds up long term.
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Old 07-12-13, 01:33 PM
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I had to go wired because my Cygolite front light screws up analog RF wireless computers in close proximity when the light is on flash mode. Apparently you have to go ANT+ digital wireless to keep that from happening. So I just got a cheap wired Bontrager computer and it's been great. I got the next model down from the one with cadence, because I didn't want to run a fat sensor wire down my frame to the rear chainstays. I think it was around $30 at the LBS.
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Old 07-12-13, 02:25 PM
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I admit that most of the statistics that the computers give aren't all that important. Distance is really the most important, and if that's all they offered, it would be fine. I've never had one that shows cadence or heart rate. The more data I get, the more time I waste poring over it, with no real benefit. It's fun, but I can't claim it's useful. I've been riding bikes since before these things came out. We had mechanical tickers to count the miles.
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Old 07-12-13, 03:53 PM
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I use the Planet Bike Protege 9.0. Good Sturdy wired computer. good display. works in bitter cold temps. As with most temperature gauges. this one is suspect in direct sunlight. I like it and I would buy it again.
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Old 07-12-13, 06:19 PM
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My son has a Sigma -wired- BC509 or something like that. He likes it and it works for him. My daughter has a $5 Chinese Schwinn/Walmart bike computer knockoff from Tmart.com. And I ride mostly $9 Bell F12 I bought in bulk from Walmart.com some years back. Cheap 2032 battery once every couple of years and wired reliability without the frills. There's not much risk of loss with those because they're almost worthless in the resale market and if someone does steal it, no big whoop.
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Old 07-12-13, 07:54 PM
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Whichever brand you pick, go wired!

I have a wired Sigma BC 1009 that gives me all the basic data and has worked flawlessly in all weather, including bitter winter cold.
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Old 07-13-13, 03:31 AM
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I just use my iPhone and the runtastic cycle pro app. It uses GPS and its accurate enough. I like that it lets people follow me on my ride.
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Old 07-13-13, 08:03 AM
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Wired is all I use too.
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Old 07-13-13, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I had to go wired because my Cygolite front light screws up analog RF wireless computers in close proximity when the light is on flash mode. Apparently you have to go ANT+ digital wireless to keep that from happening. So I just got a cheap wired Bontrager computer and it's been great. I got the next model down from the one with cadence, because I didn't want to run a fat sensor wire down my frame to the rear chainstays. I think it was around $30 at the LBS.
I have a Specialized wireless computer and my Piko 3 light was interfering. All that was necessary was to move the battery and wireing to teh light to prevent interference. It wasn't difficult and has worked fine for the last two years.
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Old 07-13-13, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by joshuatrio View Post
Well, I ended up buying a Garmin 200 last night. REI was really cool about taking the Sigma back after 1.5 years (without receipt), since I was purchasing a nicer computer. Wasn't sure if they would since my father in law bought it for me a while back.

While this one doesn't have cadence/heart rate - I never used that stuff anyway.

It supposedly didn't have max speed and elevation (it doesn't on the display), but when you upload your trips into Garmin connect, you get max speed and elevation, plus a really nice map of your trip. So, it really has more data than the Sigma (I think), and my out of pocket was $55 to upgrade.

The Garmin 500/510 looks way nicer, but it has much more (display wise) that I'll never use - plus I get most of it back when I upload the trips through the connect app.

Anyhow, the photo's of the 200 online look pretty bad, but the display is actually really sweet on the bike, and no more wireless/cable crap to deal with. We'll see how GPS holds up long term.
I recently switched to the 200 and love it. I do a lot of road riding as well as commuting and the elevation/mapping is really useful for that. The old wired one was a Sigma I bought from REI on sale a few years back for $15.
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Old 07-13-13, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I admit that most of the statistics that the computers give aren't all that important. ... The more data I get, the more time I waste poring over it... It's fun, but I can't claim it's useful. I've been riding bikes since before these things came out. We had mechanical tickers to count the miles.
I still remember using the "tick" as a pacer and get my speed up. Faster ticks, faster ride. Heh. On the tech side, I recently tried to use my Android as a real-time GPS - the goal being able to know where I'm at when off the normal routes. Complete fail for me, so just back to post-ride Endomondo analysis of the ride just for fun. Maybe next year with a larger phone and handlebar bag...

More on-topic; even though I don't like the looks of wires, I purchased a wired Planet Bike Protege 9.0 comp just for the reliability. REI is an awsome retailer. Sometimes a little pricy, but the service is outstanding.
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Old 07-13-13, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
I just use my iPhone and the runtastic cycle pro app. It uses GPS and its accurate enough. I like that it lets people follow me on my ride.
I like to see my speed, distance, or sometimes the time or time elapsed throughout my ride. Keeping the iPhone screen active for all that would destroy the battery life. With Strava running and the phone in my jersey pocket, battery life is still quite good. Hence my need for computer on the bars.

Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I have a Specialized wireless computer and my Piko 3 light was interfering. All that was necessary was to move the battery and wireing to teh light to prevent interference. It wasn't difficult and has worked fine for the last two years.
So you didn't move the light away from the computer? I'm not totally following. My Cygolite ExpilliOn has an integrated self-contained 18650 cell, and it really can't be moved any farther away from where the computer is located.
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Old 07-13-13, 04:33 PM
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The Piko 3 has an external battery pack. I had to move the battery and wiring, that is where the interference was coming from on mine, or rather, how it was being transmitted. Once the wiring for the battery was moved, the computer worked fine.
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Old 07-13-13, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by joshuatrio View Post
What's strange, is that it works great on my morning rides, but on the afternoon rides, it's intermittent and only registers maybe 1/4 of my ride.
I use wired computers and never have any problems but...

Is it possible that you're riding through wi-fi hotspots that are interfering with the signal? (Or a radio station? TV broadcast antenna? Or a high-energy physics lab?) Maybe there's little wi-fi activity in the morning so your computer works well, but lots of wi-fi activity during your afternoon rides, causing the problems you are experiencing? Do you ride the same route every day? Maybe try a different afternoon route and see what happens.

Just a thought...
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Old 07-13-13, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I like to see my speed, distance, or sometimes the time or time elapsed throughout my ride. Keeping the iPhone screen active for all that would destroy the battery life. With Strava running and the phone in my jersey pocket, battery life is still quite good. Hence my need for computer on the bars.
i just turn my screen off, I just touch the screen if I want to see all ths information. To each there own but I can ride 5 plus hours with the app running and pandora.
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