Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Riding without my computer

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Riding without my computer

Old 06-01-10, 07:30 AM
  #1  
Sculptor7
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New England
Posts: 999

Bikes: Trek 1.1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Riding without my computer

Last night I went out for a short ride without my computer. Had left it at home by mistake. Found that the ride was quite enjoyable and although I had intended a leisurely ride actually made better time than usual. Sorry I had not brought a camera because there is a field nearby that has horses grazing and every evening around 6:30 pm they make a beautiful picture against the late afternoon sun. Sometimes I think the computer is like a little taskmaster that destroys the pure joy of just going out for a ride.
Sculptor7 is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 10:22 AM
  #2  
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Posts: 19,914

Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If it is a choice between the computer or the camera to be left at home- it will be the computer.

Last saturday I did a ride. It was miseable weather and I decided to fit my Front lamp instead of the computer. (They are very close together and the lamp interferes with the computer) Got a few pics to remind me how bad that ride was. It was so bad that I just pedalled to get home. 30 miles in 2 1/4 hours including pic stops was a pretty good time in that weather. So I might try it again in better weather- and without the computer.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 11:47 AM
  #3  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,682

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't even have a computer. No need.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 12:13 PM
  #4  
BITSA
Just Ride
 
BITSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 105

Bikes: Trek Domane 7 SLR // Cervelo R3T // Trek Madone 4.5 // Trek 6000D //Peugeot P6 (1986)//Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium Cyclocross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was away last week and could not ride until Sunday. Had the garmin 305 to monitor cadence, speed and heart rate for a 50 mile ride. Since I had not ridden in a week, I felt a little sore in the legs the next morning, but since it was a beautiful morning, I decided to go for a short ride. I set the computer to the elevation screen, as I just wanted to enjoy the ride. Low and behold, when I uploaded the data I ended up with a 40 mile ride that was just a little faster (17 -vs- 17.2) then the day before with a lower avg and max heart rate covering pretty much the same course.
BITSA is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 12:51 PM
  #5  
NOS88
Senior Member
 
NOS88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Variety is the spice of life.
__________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831
NOS88 is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 05:08 PM
  #6  
Kurt Erlenbach
Senior Member
 
Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Space Coast, Florida
Posts: 2,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I got an Edge 305 a few years ago and it made a real difference in my cycling. It helped me get better and made my workouts really work. It broke last summer (actually the third one broke - Garmin had replaced it twice - it was not the best made piece of electronics), and I spent a few months without a computer.

It makes for a different kind of riding. It's more leisurely and enjoyable when you're not keeping track.

Ultimately, though, I got a new Edge 500, which I've had since Christmas. I'm the kind of cyclist who needs the accountability provided by a computer. I need that weekly number staring at me from the computer to get me working harder. I wish it weren't so.
Kurt Erlenbach is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 06:26 PM
  #7  
ecrider
Senior Member
 
ecrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Posts: 270

Bikes: 2008 Trek FX 7.1, 1984 Fuji Esprit, 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I enjoy keeping a computer log to chart progress and keep track of my goals for the year. I also like the instant feedback a computer gives while riding. It's just a good tool. I've left it behind on my morning commutes but I know that distance by heart and that's the main stat I want to log.
ecrider is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 06:51 PM
  #8  
Lurch
Fossil
 
Lurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 345

Bikes: Izip E3 Path Plus Step Thru , Raleigh Misceo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One of my bikes has only a small bell and a water bottle cage as accessories and not having so much information makes some rides all that much more more enjoyable.
Lurch is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 07:00 PM
  #9  
charmed
Senior Member
 
charmed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I used to have a computer. Then I noticed I was pushing to hit 40mph on a windy downhill. I took the computer off. A few weeks later I was getting my bike adjusted at the LBS and told them they could take the computer harness off if they needed to. She asked why I don't use it. I told her I was pushing past the point of safety to see a number on the screen. She laughed and pointed to another bike they were working on. He was trying to hit 40 on the same road, and admitted to being too busy checking his speed. He wiped out.
charmed is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 07:29 AM
  #10  
Sculptor7
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New England
Posts: 999

Bikes: Trek 1.1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by charmed View Post
I used to have a computer. Then I noticed I was pushing to hit 40mph on a windy downhill. I took the computer off. A few weeks later I was getting my bike adjusted at the LBS and told them they could take the computer harness off if they needed to. She asked why I don't use it. I told her I was pushing past the point of safety to see a number on the screen. She laughed and pointed to another bike they were working on. He was trying to hit 40 on the same road, and admitted to being too busy checking his speed. He wiped out.
That's a very good reason to not have a computer on a bike. Although I like seeing my progress and keeping a cycling log that temptation to see the max speed number reach a certain point is one I have occasionally succumbed to.
Sculptor7 is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 07:40 AM
  #11  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 7,474

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1490 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 31 Posts
If you get there and hear the air rush by your ears there is nothing you need a computer for.
Rollfast is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 07:42 AM
  #12  
howsteepisit
Senior Member
 
howsteepisit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 4,311

Bikes: Mecian

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 500 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have been commuting to school this summer (One of the joys of being unemployed and broke), but have discovered a couple of related things. I took off my clipless pedals and fitted BMX pedals, ride in standard clothes or rain gear as the weather dictates, fitted panniers or wear a backpack, and am riding to get there. I am enjoying riding to school greatly. I am so much more relaxed, its like learing to ride all over again. I still have the computer, but am using it solely for an odometer. Its tastes like freedom. One final tought, taking off the shorts and jersey, I automatically slow down and relax more Interesting
howsteepisit is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 08:02 AM
  #13  
LAriverRat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Downey, Ca
Posts: 907
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The computer has really changed how i ride. Before i bought one i was not really sure about my speed, distance and the like. I was surprised that my distance land marks where farther than than i thought. My 5 mile mark was 5.9, 10 mile 10.9, 13 mile 14, 15 was 16, 18.5 mile 19.67. Now can get feed back on how i feel verses how am i doing. When i don't want to use it i just take it off and put it in my pack. It lets me see my improvement, break my ride into sections, compare over time on how to reach my goals. Its just a tool, its not the reason i ride.
LAriverRat is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 08:29 AM
  #14  
BigBlueToe
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I did an extensive test of riding with no computer. It was called the 70's. I know I can ride without one again (and without a helmet, and with only 10 gears - or 3 for that matter if I go back to the 60's - and with no carbon fiber, and with friction shifters on the downtube) but I like my modern doo-dads. To each his/her own.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 09:10 AM
  #15  
ak08820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 566

Bikes: MGX MTB, Fuji Supreme, Miyata 90 and a Trek 700 in the works

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had installed a cheap cyclometer (Bell) a few years ago and it inspired me as I was able to check my speed (especially zooming downhill) and distance. When the battery died, it was difficult to get the somewhat hard to find LR43 battery so I went without it for a while. Then came Google Maps. Now I just ride, I usually set a destination and route first, and then plot the route on MapMyRide.com which has a nice application to do so. Recently, the longest one was about 20 miles.
ak08820 is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 09:11 AM
  #16  
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 4 Posts
I had a speedometer on my bike fifty years ago. It was fun at first to pin the needle on downhills, but the wretched thing broke after a few months. It soured me on Stewart Warner instruments so much that, when I got into cars, I used only VDO instruments -- must have cost SW thousands. That was my last bike computer.
Anyhow "Bike Computer" is a non sequitur. The words have no natural relationship to one another. It's right up there with "Stove Cannon" or "Watermelon Anchor."

Paul
PaulH is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 09:25 AM
  #17  
serra
Some guy with a bike
 
serra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: California
Posts: 276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I used to use one, but I found myself looking down at it far to often. I prefer to "get there when I get there", and not worry about 4.5 miles left, oh my gosh I should go faster. The only time I use it is on day or weekend trips, so I can know how much farther to the next town it is, and space food and water accordingly. Also for varying speed to get somewhere before dark, because for some reason in California, everything along highways is fenced, so no free camping unless you can make the 100 mile trip to the nearest national forest. Didn't make it last time lol, but found a nice bar owner with a yard. Maybe this summer.
serra is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 10:50 AM
  #18  
Wogster
Senior Member
 
Wogster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto (again) Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,932

Bikes: Norco Bushpilot (out of commission), Raleigh Delta

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
I had a speedometer on my bike fifty years ago. It was fun at first to pin the needle on downhills, but the wretched thing broke after a few months. It soured me on Stewart Warner instruments so much that, when I got into cars, I used only VDO instruments -- must have cost SW thousands. That was my last bike computer.
Anyhow "Bike Computer" is a non sequitur. The words have no natural relationship to one another. It's right up there with "Stove Cannon" or "Watermelon Anchor."

Paul
I think they are handy for determining the distance on a route where your meandering along and exploring, but when you ride a route on a semi regular basis, your almost better off without it. I have one on the mountain/hybrid, I have another one that needs a new bracket for the road bike, but most rides are either ones I have done before or planned routes, where the mapping software gives me a rough distance. Whether I ride 2547.243 km for the year or ~2500km isn't going to make a huge difference. The other issue, does a bike computer really fit on a bike that is 35 years old? It's kinda like putting a satellite radio in a Ford Fairlane...

I think those old speedometers that we put on bikes back in the day were not that accurate either about 25MPH and the odometer if there was one, was maybe if you were lucky somewhere within 500 miles/year of accurate. I had one, on a 3 speed in the early 1970's, we sold the bike, accidentally on purpose forgot to take it off.
Wogster is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 11:55 AM
  #19  
doctor j
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,055
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I am a mileage junkie but not a speed junkie. I have a mileage goal for the year and log the data from all of my rides.

Every now and then, I set the display on the computer to read time of day or elapsed ride time rather than trip distance.. When I do that, I'm not quite so focused on the computer during the ride.
doctor j is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 03:44 PM
  #20  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,460

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 462 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
That's a very good reason to not have a computer on a bike. Although I like seeing my progress and keeping a cycling log that temptation to see the max speed number reach a certain point is one I have occasionally succumbed to.
Keep the computer and make use of the Maximum Speed Function. Pay attention to your riding on the way down and then, when it is safe, check the Maximum Speed. 40mph.........hooray!
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 08:00 PM
  #21  
trackhub
Senior Member
 
trackhub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Watching all of you on O.B.I.T.
Posts: 2,013

Bikes: Gunnar Street Dog

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was given a cateye cycling computer as a christmas stocking stuffer some years ago. It's in my sock drawer, I think, never used. No need for such a device.
trackhub is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 08:01 PM
  #22  
RoMad
Senior Member
 
RoMad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Citrus county Fl.
Posts: 780

Bikes: Litespeed Tuscany , Lemond Poprad, 1970's Motobecane Grand Record

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went for a while with no computer on my commuter and found myself enjoying my solo rides more than usual.
But, somewhat like Kelanbach, I need the motivation that a mileage goal gives me. I have a lot of things going on with work, family, remodeling the house, and if I don't have mileage to look at my riding starts slipping fast.
Maybe when I retire I'll take it back off.
RoMad is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 08:46 PM
  #23  
Wogster
Senior Member
 
Wogster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto (again) Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,932

Bikes: Norco Bushpilot (out of commission), Raleigh Delta

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
I am a mileage junkie but not a speed junkie. I have a mileage goal for the year and log the data from all of my rides.

Every now and then, I set the display on the computer to read time of day or elapsed ride time rather than trip distance.. When I do that, I'm not quite so focused on the computer during the ride.
I sometimes think what some of us could use is a bicycle version of the odometers they use on city buses, it's a little round device that fits onto a wheel and simply logs the distance the wheel travels, has a weight on the bottom so that the display stays upright. You simply look at it once in a while and log the distance recorded. This could be fitted on a rear hub and you look through the spokes to read it. I used to log all kinds of info, rides to the nearest 1m, time to the nearest second, have a huge spread sheet which tells me, my average speed in 2008 was lower then 2007. Right now I am simply calling ~10km as 10km, doesn't really matter if it's 9.501 or 10.499, that's close enough.

Last edited by Wogster; 06-02-10 at 09:10 PM.
Wogster is offline  
Old 06-02-10, 08:57 PM
  #24  
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 2,731

Bikes: 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 456 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 14 Posts
I have mixed feelings about my cyclocomputer. At times, I probably obsess too much about speed, and I admit that it probably interferes with my enjoyment. But there are some important pluses. It's how I know that I'm improving, and that feels great. Also, on club rides it helps me navigate the cue sheet when I don't know the route and happen to find myself between groups. Similarly, when I"m on club rides and I don't know the route, it helps to know how many miles are left so I know if I need to conserve energy or not.

As to speed, I don't pay any attention to how fast I go down hills - it doesn't really interest me. But I do pay attention to how fast I go UP hills. Seeing that speedometer dip to alarmingly low numbers is one thing that spurs me to work harder.
MinnMan is offline  
Old 06-04-10, 07:39 PM
  #25  
Bikealou
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 84

Bikes: Mongoose passed on to my son, Miyata, Tailwind, V-Rex, De Rosa, Safari, just added a Bike Friday

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like others on this thread, I like to log my miles. I've done many organized rides and a dozen week long charity rides. You need an odometer to follow the cue sheet. So far this year, I've not replaced the used up batteries in the computer on my road bike nor have I done any organized rides. I have not installed a computer on my new ride - touring style fat-tire bike - and so far not really missing it. I do check my rides on google maps to get my mileage and plan future rides and keep track of time by checking my cell phone at the start and end of my rides so I get an average speed. When I can, I put my GPS in the trunk bag and use it to check my google map mileage and it gives me max speed - after the ride. Its working for me. Guess I'm getting retro - also removed clipless pedals from my road bike and replaced them with road pedals with toe clips - metal toe clips so you can imagine how deep I dug in my parts box to find them! I don't have to wear cycling shoes and change at the gym with the clips. I haven't yet got around to putting clipless pedals on the touring bike. It's kind of amazing what I used to think was important, just doesn't matter that much to me any more. Enjoy the ride - Lou
Bikealou is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.