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In the Market for a Bicycle Computer...

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In the Market for a Bicycle Computer...

Old 03-03-18, 04:41 PM
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Roadwanderer
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In the Market for a Bicycle Computer...

Nothing fancy. I want something reliable that won't cost too much money ($25 or under, please) and that will tell me how fast I'm going and how far I've gone.

Any suggestions?

Wired is my preference because of longer battery life and the reduced possibility of interference between the sensor and computer If you think wireless is a better option, sell it to me.
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Old 03-03-18, 05:39 PM
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Any Schwinn or Bell branded bike computer from Walmart or Target will work just fine and can be had for under $15. The important thing is to ignore the suggested "constant number" for various wheel sizes and do a rolling measurement for the circumference of your wheel.

I commute year round, rain and snow and have found these simple devices last about 5-6 years before the display starts to go.

For my new commuter I bought a slightly more expensive Planet Bike Protege 9 because I liked the thermometer and clock mode (in addition to the speedo).

I'm with you on wired vs wireless. My bike computers usually go a year on a battery. I bought a Vetta C-5 in the 90s that would get a couple years on a battery, and lasted about 10 years.

Here's a Schwinn from Walmart.com for $3.82!
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Old 03-03-18, 05:50 PM
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The Sigma BC8.12 is a nice one, I have the wireless version on three bikes. I like the Sigma because it has a large screen and they use rubber o-rings to mount the fork sensor, so you don't have to mess with zip ties. $16.73 at REI right ow.

https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/produ...BoCWdUQAvD_BwE
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Old 03-03-18, 07:09 PM
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+1 for any wired Sigma. Their displays are crisp, their batteries last long, clocks are reasonably accurate and except maybe for some lowest ones they have back illumination and remember settings when batteries are changed.
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Old 03-04-18, 12:13 AM
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Please... don't buy a cheap computer just because it's cheap. Spend a little more and get a Garmin Edge 20. It's simple and give you what you need without all the setup fuss... and it's reliable.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:01 AM
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I like the Cateye Velo 9 for ~$16. Big screen, large font, easy to read. Clock, elapsed time with automatic pause, instant, max and ave speed, trip distance and odo. Super easy to install and set up. Takes a common battery that lasts the entire season. Wired so my blue tooth doesn't jam it
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Old 03-04-18, 06:56 AM
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I bought the cheaper Garmin Edge 20 to do exactly what you want. It works great, I highly recommend. Good display, seems to be accurate, small, easily interchangeable between bikes, no wires dangling about, and great tracking software. I had a HORRIBLE experience with the Lezyne products and seller. Would never buy or recommend those to anyone. Best of luck with whatever you get
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Old 03-04-18, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Vince Hoffmann View Post
Please... don't buy a cheap computer just because it's cheap. Spend a little more and get a Garmin Edge 20.
$100 is isn't a "little" more
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Old 03-04-18, 07:54 AM
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Bell 150 at Wal-Mart/Amazon for $8. 14 function wired. I used a Bell 200 for 3 years. It is wireless and I swapped batteries maybe once a year? Got on clearance for $5. It probably still works but I went a different direction. I do not recall ever having the speed just drop-out because of it being wireless, it just worked. It did drop out because the sensor would occasionally shift but same with wired.

A friend of mine has a Velo 9, he never complains about it.

Last edited by u235; 03-04-18 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 03-04-18, 10:57 AM
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I have been using Sigmas for years. They work very well, until stolen. I doubt anything else is better. I now use a 16.12 on each bike to separate the miles and have a 14.12 alti not tried yet. They are both discontinued now, so they are being discounted by all the sellers. The new ones are nn.16.
It's nice to have the functions like temperature if you ride in all weather. Make sure the wire can not flex at the mount. Tape it if necessary. I've ruined wires a few times. The O rings are FAR better mounts, because you WILL take them off and on.

7 years ago I bought a Bontrager one and it was USELESS with only 1 decimal, that's 176 yards.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 03-06-18 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:12 PM
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I've used the sigmas for years without issue, but will say the temperature on my 1609 reads high
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Old 03-04-18, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Vince Hoffmann View Post
Please... don't buy a cheap computer just because it's cheap. Spend a little more and get a Garmin Edge 20. It's simple and give you what you need without all the setup fuss... and it's reliable.
More like a lot more. I've got a wife, you know. ;-) I do get where you're coming from, though. I buy high quality items where I think it will make a meaningful difference to me. For example, I don't skimp on shoes, and I'm much happier since I stopped shopping at Payless.

I'm currently leaning toward the Sigma Sport BC8.12.
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Old 03-04-18, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadwanderer View Post
More like a lot more. I've got a wife, you know. ;-) I do get where you're coming from, though. I buy high quality items where I think it will make a meaningful difference to me. For example, I don't skimp on shoes, and I'm much happier since I stopped shopping at Payless.

I'm currently leaning toward the Sigma Sport BC8.12.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic or anything The Sigma Sport looks like a good value, it should suite you fine.
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Old 03-05-18, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Vince Hoffmann View Post
Sorry, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic or anything The Sigma Sport looks like a good value, it should suite you fine.
I didn't think you were being sarcastic. And I really do understand your point of view.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:01 AM
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Okay, so my Sigma Sport BC 8.12 arrived, and was easy to install. But I could use some tips on programming the thing. I used the calculation method (diameter in inches x 25.4 x 3.14) because the chart was inconclusive. The problem is I'm not sure the readings I'm getting are accurate. For example, a journey that should have taken 7/10 of a mile only took a half mile according to the computer.

When I did the calculation, I used a value of 7.5" because that's the diameter of my tires to the edge of the rubber. I'm wondering now if a value from the chart might be better to use. The trouble is, there are two values given for a 27 X 1 1/4 and no indication of which one to choose.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:22 AM
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Either a Cateye Velo 7 or any of the basic Sigmas. Cateye Velo 7 is utterly simple to use and has a great easy to see display. I also bought the Sigma 14.12 specifically for Temp/Altitude for a tour in Iceland, it has been flawless and altitude works surprisingly well (if you bother to calibrate it every morning). Bit more complex than the Velo, though, so it's not going on any other bike, but I'd readily buy Sigma again. Still under $30, even with those functions.

Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Any Schwinn or Bell branded bike computer from Walmart or Target will work just fine and can be had for under $15. The important thing is to ignore the suggested "constant number" for various wheel sizes and do a rolling measurement for the circumference of your wheel.
I had those, and eventually got away from them. For just a few more dollars (i.e., $20ish v $12ish), one can have a basic Sigma or Cateye with far better build quality and reliability. My Bells died after a few months.

Originally Posted by Vince Hoffmann View Post
Please... don't buy a cheap computer just because it's cheap. Spend a little more and get a Garmin Edge 20. It's simple and give you what you need without all the setup fuss... and it's reliable.
$120 is $100 more than any of these computers mentioned. It does far more than I need my cyclocomputer to do, and requires constant charging.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Roadwanderer View Post
Okay, so my Sigma Sport BC 8.12 arrived, and was easy to install. But I could use some tips on programming the thing. I used the calculation method (diameter in inches x 25.4 x 3.14) because the chart was inconclusive. The problem is I'm not sure the readings I'm getting are accurate. For example, a journey that should have taken 7/10 of a mile only took a half mile according to the computer.

When I did the calculation, I used a value of 7.5" because that's the diameter of my tires to the edge of the rubber. I'm wondering now if a value from the chart might be better to use. The trouble is, there are two values given for a 27 X 1 1/4 and no indication of which one to choose.
Oops, guess I should have read the whole thread. Good choice on the Sigma

There should be an input for wheel size. I mark a spot on the pavement, put my valve stem there, then roll it two full rotations and mark again. Measure the distance between the two marks, divide distance in half, that is your wheel size.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:25 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Roadwanderer View Post
Okay, so my Sigma Sport BC 8.12 arrived, and was easy to install. But I could use some tips on programming the thing. I used the calculation method (diameter in inches x 25.4 x 3.14) because the chart was inconclusive. The problem is I'm not sure the readings I'm getting are accurate. For example, a journey that should have taken 7/10 of a mile only took a half mile according to the computer.

When I did the calculation, I used a value of 7.5" because that's the diameter of my tires to the edge of the rubber. I'm wondering now if a value from the chart might be better to use. The trouble is, there are two values given for a 27 X 1 1/4 and no indication of which one to choose.
Measure the wheel yourself. I never use charts.

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Old 03-19-18, 09:29 AM
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Whatever you get, I would avoid getting one that has the control buttons mounted on the bottom part of the computer that is closets to you, especially if you tour. I shipped my bike to a LBS for the start of tour. I asked it to slap an inexpensive computer on. They put on a Sigma. During the first 10 miles of the tour I noticed the computer had reset a couple of times. Did it a couple more times the first day. Took me most of the day to realize what was happening. When I would stop to take photos while straddling the bike, the weight of the front panniers and the way I stood would cause the from wheel (and thus bars) rotate to the left, bringing the bottom of the computer in contact with my left leg. The pressure depressed the button and caused the reset unless the display was set to the clock.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:31 AM
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I've had an old Sigma for years. I bought several mounts to swap the head unit from bike to bike. The wires can be a problem, so you have to be careful. I have wireless sensors on two bikes, and one wired one that I had to replace when the wire broke. It's a pain keeping track of all the batteries, since the wireless sensor, handlebar mount and head unit all require separate batteries, where the wired unit is head unit battery only, which lasts a long time. When I first got my Garmin, I kept the Sigma because the Garmin kept freezing up, and the Sigma gave me instant speed and miles data while the Garmin screen was scrolling. The Garmin is more solid now, but I still have the Sigma on two bikes.

+1 on the Garmin, no extra sensors to worry about, easy to transfer from bike to bike, and you can add heart rate and cadence sensors if you want later. I have an 810, but I got it on sale when the 1000 came out. There are cheaper versions out there.
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Old 03-19-18, 10:01 AM
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Do you have a smartphone? You have all you need then. Google maps will track your time and mileage. Of course then you have to transpose some numbers manually to paper or spreadsheet. Or add apps to it, many for free... Strava, Ridewithgps, mapmyride, oryxmaps and a plethora of others. They'll eliminate the pen and paper and give you additional options to add sensor data such as heart rate, cadence, wheel speed and power if you ever decide to spring for cost of them.

Though I still prefer and use my Garmin Edge 500. Old but still works. Newer models with more features available. Lezyne and Wahoo make well respected and cheaper gps cyclometers.

If you don't have a smartphone, I guess I can see spending for 25 dollars of really old tech. But if you have a smart phone, put that 25 bucks toward a HR strap or cadence sensor.
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Old 03-19-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you don't have a smartphone, I guess I can see spending for 25 dollars of really old tech. But if you have a smart phone, put that 25 bucks toward a HR strap or cadence sensor.
Smartphones are nice for analyzing a ride after the fact, but I use mine in conjunction with a wired computer. Much better for quick stats at a glance like speed or distance or time than trying to pull out the phone to look at, the display is always down there and on.
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Old 03-19-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mr igh View Post
i like the cateye velo 9 for ~$16. Big screen, large font, easy to read. Clock, elapsed time with automatic pause, instant, max and ave speed, trip distance and odo. Super easy to install and set up. Takes a common battery that lasts the entire season. Wired so my blue tooth doesn't jam it
+1
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Old 03-20-18, 07:40 AM
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As for using a smart phone instead of a cheap bike computer, not me. I ride too far and long, the battery never last more than about 4 hours when GPS is active. My phone goes on silent and is stored during the ride. I only carry it for emergencies. It's about disconnecting and enjoying the moment.

Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Measure the wheel yourself. I never use charts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITJiguy-T3U
A better way is to measure the rollout with the actual rider on the bike with the tyres at standard pressure.
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Old 03-20-18, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
A better way is to measure the rollout with the actual rider on the bike with the tyres at standard pressure.
I've done it both ways and there was no real difference since the majority of the weight is on the rear.
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