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Computer or no on bikes

Old 05-08-15, 06:15 AM
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bennybenny
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Computer or no on bikes

Sorry for beginner question, but do you put a computer on your mountain bike? I will be doing a lot of trail riding in somewhat tight spaces, do the wires etc interfere with the ride? I'm sort of a geek and want to know how far I went etc....

thanks,

Benny
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Old 05-08-15, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bennybenny View Post
Sorry for beginner question, but do you put a computer on your mountain bike? I will be doing a lot of trail riding in somewhat tight spaces, do the wires etc interfere with the ride? I'm sort of a geek and want to know how far I went etc....

thanks,

Benny
Depends on what metrics you want, if any. I'm nerdy, and just take my Garmin 500 from my roadie to my MTB. But the reality is it's not very useful, mileage and time on trail is kind of nice. But keeping an eye on cadence or speed... if the handlebars aren't bouncing around too fast to read the display... you aren't having enough fun.

Garmin has wireless, magnetless, cadence and speed so no wires.
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Old 05-08-15, 09:04 AM
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my dad uses a garmin on both road and MTB.

I used a traditional, albeit wireless, computer on my road and cx for years before the past year or so, I don't bother. I track most rides in a fitness app so I can see where I'm at (and get some motivation for when I haven't been riding enough) but I don't need a cycling computer on singletrack at all. there's usually no time to look down, anyway.
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Old 05-08-15, 10:26 AM
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Garmin, no wires, can be used on other bikes, can carry it in pocket/hydration pack and it will still record data.
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Old 05-08-15, 11:52 AM
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I use my Garmin on my road and my mountain bike. All I use for tracking on my mountain bike is the Heart Rate monitor. I like seeing what heart rate zone I'm in so I can control my cadence/gear ratio appropriately. Riding the road bike I use everything. I just don't seem to get as much useful information from cadence meters or power meters on the MTB especially when I'm worried about it flying off or breaking when flying over rocks.
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Old 05-08-15, 01:16 PM
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I just used my phone running strava/endomodo/whatever app you like for a long time but I finally broke down and bought a cheap used garmin 705 off ebay last year. I bought it more for my road bike but since I have it I might as well use it on the mtn bikes too. On my mtn bike I don't really pay much attention too it and just use it to track my ride for strava.
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Old 05-08-15, 04:00 PM
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Too much Junk on the bike,,

You should have a Smart Phone with you for safety,,,, Get the Strava App' and your done...
Maps the ride, time, distance, by segment, charts your progress and your friends,, all for free... Spend $5 a month and It does more...
I see riders often, stopping and looking at their little computers during the ride to see how far they have come, ok ok thats fine.

But Try this just once, for me !
Turn the cell phone ringer off, make the thang silent. Start Strava, Stuff the thing deep In your pack, Loose the watch If you still wear one of those..
Now go ride the bike, When the sun starts getting low or you run out of water and food take It to the trail head,,THEN open Strava and see your numbers.

A computer on the handlebar ? Really ?
Bike bouncing down the single track, the crash,,

Now try and find that little thing,,

IMO you should not have anything mounted on the bar you don't need,,,

You will be tempted to look down at it.. And Right then and there you will learn that tree's can move real fast, roots too, and It's a game they play...
Knocking us off our bikes,,,yeah I have actually heard them laugh at me

My Mom used to take me for long walks In the woods,,,But I always found my way home,,,,,Made Dad so mad

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Old 05-08-15, 05:06 PM
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I never bothered with one. Cadence is kind of useless mountain biking since it's not really a consistent cadence the way it is road biking...sometimes you're pedaling, sometimes you're pumping etc. You could get a Garmin, but the trouble with GPSes on singletrack is that they don't always do a good job with all the turns plus the tree cover.
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Old 05-08-15, 10:46 PM
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Garmin Edge 200. Since I got this, I have only need one computer for four bikes. I mount mine on the stem, but it could jusy as well go in my pocket or bag. I don't care about cadence or heart rate, I just want to have a record of distance, average speed, time. the Edge 200 does that as well as a whole bunch of other cool stuff.
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Old 05-09-15, 07:55 AM
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agree with all above
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Old 05-09-15, 06:33 PM
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I ride and use strava and mapmyride just to get a gps of my ride and also share with my friends. With those apps, I have no need for a gps on my bike and I place the phone in my camelback and it gets some protection from the padding.
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Old 05-09-15, 10:41 PM
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I've been using a smartphone for several years. I use either Cyclemeter (iPhone) or B.iCycle (Android). Both work just fine. Neither one go on my handlebars, although I have a bar mount for them around somewhere. I don't need cadence, heartbeat, or times on my rides, although I could easily implement such.
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Old 05-11-15, 12:06 PM
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I don't own a smart phone or GPS device and have no desire to spend money on them. Bicycle time is time for me to unplug and have fun. Most of my weekday riding is between work and home, and I'm surrounded by computers in both places. I don't need one on my bicycle, too. When I go weekend MTBing on local trails, gravel, and single-track, it's usually with a friend or two. Since everyone but me has bike computers and/or smart phones these days, somebody is always happy to tell me how many miles when we're done.

I tend to think of cycling more by time spent than distance ridden, such as two hours on the trails, an hour on the road, a 30 minute commute, etc. I do carry my cheap flip-phone in my pocket or in the under-seat bag, adn that eliminates the need for a wristwatch. Of course I can call for help if needed as well, which fortunately I've never had to do.

Simple is good.
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Old 05-12-15, 09:20 AM
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I use my phone to track & navigate on longer trips, or to map & save nice trail sections. I used to use MapMyRide but have since moved to Gaia GPS & AllTrails.

Recently put a Sigma BC 14.12 Alti on my handlebars. Haven't used a bar mounted computer since I was a kid but decided to try it out again. The wires don't bother me but I don't really look at it on trails - mostly just to get a peek at my current speed to have some frame of reference.

All depends on preference. If you're worried about wires snagging, go wireless or wrap everything with tape. Not hard to secure a tiny little computer on the bars and it weighs almost nothing. For hard riding there's always the potential something will break.
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Old 05-12-15, 01:10 PM
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ddeand: Is that Garmin pretty easy to figure out? You can just throw in it your pocket or backpack? I do a lot of trails but also want to track miles on a few other routes on pavement etc...

Benny
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Old 05-12-15, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bennybenny View Post
ddeand: Is that Garmin pretty easy to figure out? You can just throw in it your pocket or backpack? I do a lot of trails but also want to track miles on a few other routes on pavement etc...

Benny
It's very easy. You'll want a speed sensor, the magnetless one is nice, trails with severe tree coverage and switchbacks cause GPS inaccuracy.

Edit: I did a quick google, Edge 200 has no Ant+, I don't recommend that.
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Old 05-12-15, 01:56 PM
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I use Strava, but just to get an idea of routes - I find that mileage on a singletrack ride is not really useful data as the time and effort to go ~10 km on our local trails is similar to the time and effort to go ~50 km on the road.
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Old 05-13-15, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bennybenny View Post
ddeand: Is that Garmin pretty easy to figure out? You can just throw in it your pocket or backpack? I do a lot of trails but also want to track miles on a few other routes on pavement etc...

Benny
The Garmin 200 is the most basic computer Garmin sells for cycling. It has no Ant+ so you can't run a cadence sensor or heart rate strap. It is fairly cheap and will let you record your rides and let you upload onto Garmin Connect/Strava.

You can mount it to your handlebar/stem or you can put it in your backpack or pocket. I've never had one come off my bar. I've used it on shuttle runs and bike parks.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:07 PM
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I never use any cycling computer on an MTB. The start, stop, slow down, pass an obstacle. IMHO, it's more about having fun and not worrying about beating a previous record or seeing how fast an average speed can be achieved.
I've got enough of that crap when I ride the roadies.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:27 PM
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BITD before fancy fones and before that many well defined MTB trails, I often had a computer on the bike. I'd reset the tripometer before the ride to track distances on the USGS map so I wouldn't get lost.

Nowadays, Maps.ME on the phone, with my state already downloaded, and I'm good to go.

Haven't checked out Gaia or AllTrails.
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Old 05-19-15, 08:59 AM
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Used to use a computer when I rode road. Never on the MTB. I'm quite certain I'd crash if I was looking at the darn thing too much. Since going rigid ss I've taken all stuff off my bars that make it feel cluttered and/or loosens up when bouncing down the trail. Started out being pretty religious about MapMyRide on my phone when on the trail, but more and more I forget to even launch the app and I just ride. I do turn off the ringer too. Started out keeping it in my Camelbak, but now I keep it in my pocket in case I crash and can't get my pack off, etc.
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Old 05-19-15, 02:30 PM
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Garmin Edge 200 here as well, nice and simple for MTB. I like tracking my mileage for goal purposes, and having the ability to download trails to explore is a nice feature. No need for a smart-phone, for ANYTHING, but I will keep my flip phone for emergencies like Squeeze from above.
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Old 05-20-15, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for all the information. Its hard to get to trails at times with weather, work etc, so I was thinking a computer would allow me to make milage goals more for rides on concrete, something like I want to complete 2,000 miles this summer etc...Thinking the Garmin Edge 200 might work best, someone said you just stick it in your pocket or backpack.
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Old 05-22-15, 04:45 AM
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Garmin it's a good choice.
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Old 05-22-15, 12:20 PM
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I just use Strava on my phone for the routes I take and distance. Seeing speed and cadence on the fly wouldn't do me much good while I dodge trees. I do wish I had a Garmin though...
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