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When do you replace your bike computer?

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When do you replace your bike computer?

Old 04-29-21, 08:15 AM
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NoWhammies
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When do you replace your bike computer?

So I'm having a bit of FOMO. I read a review of a new running watch - I currently have the FR235 - and that started me thinking about getting the new FR745. Mind you I cycle more than I run, and my Edge 520 is now old tech and the 530 is looking good. But...

My FR235 works just fine and does everything I need in a watch. My 520 works just fine and while the battery life is starting to shorten, the battery still has enough life for all of the riding I do.

So...When do you replace your tech? What is the motivating decision? Thank you.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
...
So...When do you replace your tech? What is the motivating decision? Thank you.
Some of my 10 to 15 year old electronics are still working fine. Thus, still using them.

Five years ago I decided to replace my GPS that at that time was 15 years old, the amount of memory in it was measured in megabytes, not gigabytes. Plus, the bracket broke and I had to use a rubber band to hold it on the bike for the last three weeks of my bike tour.



But I know people that upgrade every few years, they hate to be perceived to be behind the times. To them the approval of their acquaintances are more important than the capability of their devices.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:32 AM
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Battery life and any annoying software and/or hardware bugs.

I went from a Garmin 810 to a 1000 when the 810 kept crashing and spontaneously powering down. It had a reputation as a flaky unit so I cut my loses and sold it. I went from a 1000 to the 1030 when the rubber surrounding the power button started to crack on the 1000, this is a known issue. I Found a 1030 for $439 and grabbed it, otherwise I would have waited till the button on the 1000 got really bad.
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Old 04-29-21, 09:34 AM
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You replace it when your need for a feature of the new device that yours doesn't have outweighs the cost to purchase the new.
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Old 04-29-21, 01:44 PM
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My Edge 500 still works great.
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Old 04-29-21, 01:46 PM
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When it breaks. I'm still using my Garmin Forerunner 310XT as my cycling computer.
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Old 04-29-21, 02:20 PM
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When it stops working reliably.
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Old 04-29-21, 02:20 PM
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I had a Garmin 800 series (tons of software glitches, power-downs, and problems consistently finding my Bluetooth power meter), which had the touchscreen completely stop responding after 3-4 years, maybe due to water ingress and then freezing during winter rides, who knows? Replaced it with the Garmin 520 in 2016, and have had ZERO issues with software glitches, power downs, or BT power meter connectivity, and its only problem is that it has a slowly degrading battery life, as is expected, where it now only gets maybe only 4-5 hours (and maybe 12 hrs when new? I forget). So my longer 5+ hour rides require that I bring an external battery pack to recharge it mid-ride. Not a big deal since it can be recharged without interrupting recording. I'll replace it once I can no longer get 2+ hrs. out of it for short rides, assuming a battery replacement isn't an option. But if I can get a battery swap, I'll keep the 520 forever if I can, since it's rock solid and has every feature I need, and some I don't.
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Old 04-29-21, 04:25 PM
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I was having trouble with the Avocet 35 that was on my Raleigh International, so I replaced it with this...




fyi: it's an Avocet 20, which came onto the market somewhere in the early to mid 80's, if memory serves.

Generally, my needs are pretty simple. I've stopped chasing new tech for the sake of new tech a long time ago.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-29-21, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I was having trouble with the Avocet 35 that was on my Raleigh International, so I replaced it with this...
...
fyi: it's an Avocet 20, which came onto the market somewhere in the early to mid 80's, if memory serves.
...
My first computer was mid 80s, about 4 inches wide, took AA batteries. Yours might be newer than you think.
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Old 04-29-21, 10:44 PM
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I replaced mine when I realized the 520 was a piece of crap compared to just about anything released afterward. But then again, I needed reliable BT connection, a way to program in a new route easily without being at a computer, something that wouldn't require me to regularly have to plug into a computer to update the satellite cache lest I be forced to wait minutes absolutely still outside before acquiring a GPS lock, the ability to switch screens without taking multiple seconds lag, and occasionally do crazy (absolutely insane!) stuff like zoom the map without it requiring half a dozen button presses each with that aforementioned lag. Not to mention go through an incredibly arcane process of using a third-party site to create updated maps that won't be too large for the microscopic available storage, like heaven forbid tens of megabytes.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My first computer was mid 80s, about 4 inches wide, took AA batteries. Yours might be newer than you think.
back in those analog days, it was harder to record exactly what was going on.
I recall having the Avocet 20 in college, which puts it at 1986 or slightly before.
Checking my NOS Avocet 20 and warranty, the only clue is the 1987 copyright on the warranty sheet...





The only other 1986-ish benchmark that I've got is the 1986 Palo Alto Bike Shop catalog, complete with a photo of Jobst Brandt climbing the rocky Gavia Pass on the cover.
The only speedometers listed are the mechanical type with the moving needle....




Poking through my March 1985 issue of Bicycling, I do see an ad that lists a few different electronic bike speedometers/computers, including Cateye. No Avocets listed.



Based on all of this.. it's probably safe to say that the Avocet 20 came onto the market sometime in 1986.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-30-21, 09:27 AM
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I replace when something fails, or when I actually need a new capability that some new tech offers. Part 2 almost never happens.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
back in those analog days, it was harder to record exactly what was going on.
I recall having the Avocet 20 in college, which puts it at 1986 or slightly before.
Checking my NOS Avocet 20 and warranty, the only clue is the 1987 copyright on the warranty sheet...
...




...
Good documentation. I like the Cycle Goods ad. In the 70s I worked as a bike mechanic at Wheel Goods. They had a catalog business, bike shop and also ran a wholesale business. After I left they sold their catalog business to someone that started up the company Cycle Goods. That Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis address is where I used to work.

I did a google search, found a previous post on this forum with a photo of my bike computer that took the AA batteries. There was one battery in each side, upright. It was about 3 inches tall, maybe 4.5 inches wide.



I doubt you are interested, but if you are that photo is from this post.
Equipment/Product Review (1983) Bike Computers
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Old 04-30-21, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
.........

I did a google search, found a previous post on this forum with a photo of my bike computer that took the AA batteries. There was one battery in each side, upright. It was about 3 inches tall, maybe 4.5 inches wide.

I doubt you are interested, but if you are that photo is from this post.
Equipment/Product Review (1983) Bike Computers
I'd forgotten about that thread.
There were some computers that I certainly don't recall. Honestly, there were a bunch that just didn't seem viable, but I won't deny the fun of designing stuff and thinking it's the greatest thing in the world.... even when it's nowhere close.

I wonder if anyone has opened up one of those early computers and reverse engineered it? They look like they might have been built around early CMOS microprocessors.
The Avocet is the first that I recall that was properly small and low power, although Cateye might have had something close.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-30-21, 12:56 PM
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I think my Avocet was from '85. That thing lasted for a lot longer than I expected. I think I finally took the magnet ring off 20 years later. I think something was mechanically wrong with the ring and I also decided I didn't really like having an odometer. But after a while, I decided I wasn't great at navigating at night and bought a Garmin 800. I finally got rid of that because I was tired of the bugs they wouldn't fix. Granted, most of the bugs only affected people that rode long distance. I saw some reviews of the 830 by randonneurs who were happy with it, so I decided it was time for a new unit. Still not particularly interested in an odometer.
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Old 05-02-21, 09:40 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback/information.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:43 AM
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Garmin Power

I love my 5:20 it's been very reliable and does everything that I wanted to including power. I love the fact that it has buttons instead of touch screen for when I wear gloves. The battery was getting low after 3 or 4 hour ride so I picked up the additional power pack that Garmin makes it that goes right on the holder. $130 some dollars but it goes with all the newer bigger devices too if I decide to upgrade if my 5:20 ever stops working.
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Old 05-04-21, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by hayden52 View Post
When it breaks. I'm still using my Garmin Forerunner 310XT as my cycling computer.
The replacement glass for my 310xt is on the way.

In the meantime, I picked up a Forerunner 35, which has been very pleasingly functional and offers the advantage of uploading via Bluetooth instead of having to warm up the laptop every time.
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Old 05-04-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Outnumbered View Post
I love my 5:20 it's been very reliable and does everything that I wanted to including power. I love the fact that it has buttons instead of touch screen for when I wear gloves. The battery was getting low after 3 or 4 hour ride so I picked up the additional power pack that Garmin makes it that goes right on the holder. $130 some dollars but it goes with all the newer bigger devices too if I decide to upgrade if my 5:20 ever stops working.
"520" (not "5:20"). If you think that's a minor thing, keep in mind that your comment won't be found by people searching for the actual name.

If one doesn't want to spend $130 and has the place for it, one can use a $10 external battery.
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Old 05-04-21, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
So I'm having a bit of FOMO. I read a review of a new running watch - I currently have the FR235 - and that started me thinking about getting the new FR745. Mind you I cycle more than I run, and my Edge 520 is now old tech and the 530 is looking good. But...

My FR235 works just fine and does everything I need in a watch. My 520 works just fine and while the battery life is starting to shorten, the battery still has enough life for all of the riding I do.

So...When do you replace your tech? What is the motivating decision? Thank you.
One point of adding features and improving products is to exploit FOMO. To get people to buy things they don't need.


​​​​​​If what you have currently works for you, the sensible thing is to hold off replacing it.

FOMO just keeps repeating itself.
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