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Wireless cyclometer problems--BS or ?

Old 10-14-20, 02:19 PM
  #1  
freeranger
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Wireless cyclometer problems--BS or ?

Was talking with a friend (from the York PA area) today. He mentioned that a couple of LBS's around him were only selling wired cyclometers, as they had been having problems with wireless units. Not talking fancy-just your basic cyclometer. I have 4 diff.brands on 4 diff bikes-2 have some age, 1 is relatively young, and 1 is new. Not a problem with any of them. Have you heard anything like this--sounds to me like maybe they're trying to sell the less popular wired units, but I would hope a LBS wouldn't stoop to falsehoods regarding wireless units. Anyone heard of problems with wireless units--it's a first for me.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Was talking with a friend (from the York PA area) today. He mentioned that a couple of LBS's around him were only selling wired cyclometers, as they had been having problems with wireless units. Not talking fancy-just your basic cyclometer. I have 4 diff.brands on 4 diff bikes-2 have some age, 1 is relatively young, and 1 is new. Not a problem with any of them. Have you heard anything like this--sounds to me like maybe they're trying to sell the less popular wired units, but I would hope a LBS wouldn't stoop to falsehoods regarding wireless units. Anyone heard of problems with wireless units--it's a first for me.
Never heard of that. Are they talking about a specific brand?
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Old 10-14-20, 02:24 PM
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My wireless CatEye Padrone is prone to randomly resetting trip distance during rides, which is why I no longer use it.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:39 PM
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I've had issues with a flashing headlight interfering with wireless computers. Usually fixed by moving the two devices farther apart on the bars and/or not using the strobe.

Had one other unit that failed to read if the sensor was too far from the head unit. Solved that by mounting the sensor closer to the stem than the hub.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Never heard of that. Are they talking about a specific brand?
Specific brand wasn't mentioned--sounded like in general when he was talking about it.
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Old 10-14-20, 02:51 PM
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If the transmitter and the receiver are too far apart you can get some strange behaviour such as going 200 kph us a steep hill. LOL

Cheers
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Old 10-14-20, 06:04 PM
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Wireless computers -- from simple to GPS types that can sync to mobile devices -- can be a bit finicky to set up.

As other folks noted, some LED lights can interfere with wireless connectivity. Moving the headlight or computer a few inches apart usually helps.

Some low end basic wireless computers have very limited range. I have one that can reliably transmit only 18"-24", so the sensor must be on the front wheel only if the receiver is on the handlebar or stem. No-go if I want to use it on the rear wheel for indoor trainer sessions, unless I move the sensor/display unit to the top tube closer to the saddle, or set it on a table next to the bike/trainer setup. That's the main reason I finally stopped using my first wireless bike computer.

Since then I've used a 2012 era Wahoo kit that converted my iPhone 4s to an ANT+ receiver, with magnet based speed/cadence sensors mounted on the chain stay to pick up magnets on the wheel and crank. That's great for indoor trainer sessions, but too bulky for everyday rides. The battery drained after only an hour or so outdoors with the display on. The magnet type sensors were generally reliable but there were a few areas with radio frequency interference that caused some screwy data.

Now I'm using a low priced but pretty good XOSS G+ GPS computer that syncs to Strava after rides. It's pretty basic but does what I need. It's compatible with my Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. The earth induction type speed/cadence sensor has spiky data more often than the magnet type sensors, but it's not bad.

If I was concerned about accuracy for short segments or some sort of contest, I might go back to wired computers. But all of my wireless setups have been accurate enough for my purposes. There's hardly any difference between data from my phone using GPS only, compared with magnet based ANT+ and earth induction Bluetooth sensors. The minor discrepancies in average speed, distance, time, etc., aren't worth worrying about since I'm rarely in contention for a KOM where one or two seconds might matter. On my best day I'm 2-3 seconds behind the top ten on short sprint zones, and a full minute or more behind the KOM on favorite 5-6 mile time trial segments.
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Old 10-14-20, 06:28 PM
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No issues with my wireless (non-GPS) Sigma, even when wearing a separate Polar HRM, while running an LED front blinky light.

My beef with my GPS cycle computer and Strava, since you axed my opine, is that they don’t accurately capture speed, ergo average speed. They are both about 1 MPH slower:

Rode a road with trees,
filled with leaves,
and my speed dropped by 2,
which I knew,
was total BS.
The end.
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Last edited by rsbob; 10-14-20 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Rhyme time
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Old 10-14-20, 07:21 PM
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They still sell wired cycle computers?
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Old 10-14-20, 07:53 PM
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Speaking of wired... This spring I had to give last rights to my 30 year old Avocet cyclometer with altitude functions. It was a sad day since it was so intuitive with an easy to read, yet compact, display. Too bad the company went TU.
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Old 10-14-20, 08:09 PM
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On two separate rides with my Cateye Padrone, I looked down while stopped to see that I was going 62 miles an hour and racking up huge miles by the second. I had recently decided to try wireless again after I had given it up because it would stop working when the temperature was below 25 degrees. Realizing that I only wanted basic functions anyway (I hate having my cycling experience reduced to numbers), I got a Cateye Velo 9 wired computer for each of my 6 bikes. Problems solved.
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Old 10-14-20, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
They still sell wired cycle computers?
Just bought one for the Schwinn. Sigma 7.16. One battery every 1000 hours vs two every 300 hours is six times fewer batteries consumed and three times longer I dont have to think about it. They also can attach both sensor and computer base with O-rings (rather than those annoying cable ties) and the O-Rings are reusable and dont slip. Cool.

Im riding an old bike converted to SS. I dont want my rides to turn into a research project or a social media event, but sometimes I like to confirm what I think my speed is and also to be able to get home on time. Its all good! 😊

Otto
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Old 10-15-20, 12:48 AM
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Never any problem with my Cateye Strada Slim. My wife has a far older Cateye no problems there either. I may put my light near it to see if there is any reaction.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
Never any problem with my Cateye Strada Slim. My wife has a far older Cateye no problems there either. I may put my light near it to see if there is any reaction.
That is the one I had that had issues with the strobe. Had two of them with slightly different problems with each. But like I said was easy to fix.
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Old 10-15-20, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
If the transmitter and the receiver are too far apart you can get some strange behaviour such as going 200 kph us a steep hill. LOL

Cheers
During a charity ride in heavy rain my old Flight Deck started acting up. Before it finally gave out it had me going nearly 70 mph up a steep hill. For fun I looked at my average speed and got a good laugh.
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Old 10-15-20, 09:25 AM
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Mine will occasionally indicate I'm riding at half speed. Like I'll be tooling along at 18 MPH and then it will briefly flash 9 MPH and then right back to 18. So I assume the odometer function is also only measuring half the distance for that short period. Probably not a big discrepancy but over a 10-20-30+ mile ride, I wonder how much it is off by? A half mile? A tenth? Too little to matter? I have no idea.

If I remember to do so, I might relocate the sensor up or down on the fork and see if its angle vs. the magnet makes any difference.
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Old 10-16-20, 03:39 PM
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Wireless computers can have a lot of errors and don't work so well around radio transmitters and the like. They aren't all terrible in all places but wires can be helpful unless you are going to something more modern like the "GPS" style units like Wahoo Elmnt or Garmin 1000...

I rarely if ever see problems with wired units but frequently see people with problems with wireless stuff though I wouldn't go completely agains them as that shop has.
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Old 10-16-20, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bocobiking View Post
On two separate rides with my Cateye Padrone, I looked down while stopped to see that I was going 62 miles an hour and racking up huge miles by the second. I had recently decided to try wireless again after I had given it up because it would stop working when the temperature was below 25 degrees. Realizing that I only wanted basic functions anyway (I hate having my cycling experience reduced to numbers), I got a Cateye Velo 9 wired computer for each of my 6 bikes. Problems solved.
My cycling computer wants at this point in time are similar to yours, and I don't mind the wired aspect of it. When I was looking at bike computers a few months ago, the Cateye Velo 7 was a pretty easy choice for me.
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Old 10-16-20, 04:31 PM
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no interference issues with the wahoo device, but it has "lost & attempted [successfully] to recover data during the one ride I was relying on it for data after the ride. All other rides it has been a gem. The entry cost is not for the shallow pockets, but it has changed my aggravated cycling focus onto other things.
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Old 10-16-20, 11:35 PM
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I will never trust them, any more than a used car salesman. LOL
My Sigma wired ones are 99.8 % accurate 99.8% of the time. I roll the bike by a measuring tape and then add a few mm for wiggling and loading. I'll take accuracy and ease of use over pretty, every time. I also use the temperature reading in my apartment all the time. I'm pretty sure it is 99.5% accurate for that as well.

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Old 10-16-20, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
I will never trust them, any more than a used car salesman. LOL
My Sigma wired ones are 99.8 % accurate 99.8% of the time. I roll the bike by a measuring tape and then add a few mm for wiggling and loading. I'll take accuracy and ease of use over pretty, every time. I also use the temperature reading in my apartment all the time. I'm pretty sure it is 99.5% accurate for that as well.
Same with my wireless Sigma. Love it.
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Old 10-17-20, 12:19 PM
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BS. Zero problems using Cateyes for years, before switching to BikeWest for bigger, easier to read numbers and more functions. Solar powered too, to augment battery.
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