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El-Cheapo computer or do they all suck?

Old 04-23-08, 08:52 AM
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imcrushingyerhd
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El-Cheapo computer or do they all suck?

I put a wireless computer on my bike for the first time yesterday and it took me forever to get it working right. I called a friend and asked if I was alone in having this problem, and apparently I'm not. He said he even has to mess around with it every now and then to get it to work right.

I can't remember which one I bought but it is in fact a lower-end one. I just want to have something basic to use, mostly for training reasons. I guess I'll fork out the extra cash for a better one if I can get some insight on a good one.

As far as data options on the computer itself, they all do pretty much what I want so I don't care too much about that. What I'm looking for is a solid set-up. I don't want to be able to move the thing on the spoke around after it's tight, and I don't want to have to angle in the reader on the fork so close to my rim to get it to pick up a reading.

Maybe something that isn't advertised as "able to slap it on in 5 minutes" I don't care if I need a half hour to do it I don't want components held on to my bike with zip ties!
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Old 04-24-08, 09:47 AM
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WOW thanks for all the help.

Maybe I should say I'm a newbie looking for a new bike for $200 and I'll get some help....
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Old 04-24-08, 09:55 AM
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I've been pretty happy with Dell. They aren't the cheapest but you get a decent computer. If you have the skills to build your own though you can do better for your money via NewEgg or similar.
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Old 04-24-08, 10:03 AM
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I had a Cateye Enduro 8 wired unit that gave me no problems.

I have a Polar watch that has a wireless pickup for heart rate, cadence and speed that gave me no problems.

The Cateye was cheap but the Polar cost about $200-300. Those are the only two computers I have had experience with and they gave me no problems.

I'd just go with the Cateye as it was solid and cheap.
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Old 04-24-08, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by imcrushingyerhd View Post
WOW thanks for all the help.

Maybe I should say I'm a newbie looking for a new bike for $200 and I'll get some help....
Hey no problem. What kind of riding will you be doing on this new bike? CL might be your best bet in that price range....
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 04-24-08, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Hey no problem. What kind of riding will you be doing on this new bike? CL might be your best bet in that price range....
Actually it's not a new bike, just a new computer.. .I was being sarcastic since everyone responds to the "newbie" question we get here in the forums over and over and over...

The computer is the Ascent Delta V Wireless:

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4110

I went by my bike shop and asked them about it, and they agree with santiago's response; cateye is the better way to go for low-end computers. I should have went to them fist, instead of going to Performance. I keep relearning that lesson.

Thanks for the help.

Oh and the Dell wouldn't fit on my bike haha. I used to work there building desktops and servers. I don't remember anything mountain bike compatible And yes you can get a MUCH better computer if you build it yourself. It's ridiculous how much they charge for upgrades.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:05 PM
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I know a couple of people that went with the cheap "house" or no-name brand computers and they all had problems with them. One of my favourite places to get bike stuff is Mountain Equipment Coop and I remember buying a computer for my dad's bike. They had two models, a non-name and a German brand one. The sales guy told me the no-names always get returned but no problems with the branded one.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by imcrushingyerhd View Post
Actually it's not a new bike, just a new computer.. .I was being sarcastic since everyone responds to the "newbie" question we get here in the forums over and over and over...

Oops, Okay!!

The one I use is the cateye Vectra wireless. I have never had any problems with it at all - I've had it about a year now. It's pretty basic though, and it was something I could afford at $30. I didn't need all the bells and whistles on it.

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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 04-24-08, 12:26 PM
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Here you go. It's a little more than the bike you want but you won't have to worry about zip-ties or programing wheel size.

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Old 04-24-08, 12:30 PM
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Get a cheap CatEye.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:03 PM
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The cheap cateyes are good. I had a wired strada or a long time and though it didn't havemany features it was light and reliable.

I just installed a 35ish dollar Trek computer (also wired) and I like it better. More features for less cost, though presumably heavier, as it's bigger. There's a wireless version for an exra 15 dollars but I'm not sure I see the advantage.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:25 PM
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Has anyone had both a wireless and a wired (not at the same time) and have a preference?
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Old 04-24-08, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by imcrushingyerhd View Post
Has anyone had both a wireless and a wired (not at the same time) and have a preference?
I've never owned a wireless. I have friends who have wireless on their road bikes and it seems like just one more thing to put batteries in (the pickup AND computer both take batteries). Every now and again they have issues with dead batteries in the pickup. I think it's just needless complexity, although they like the clean instal. I just like the simplicity of wires.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by imcrushingyerhd View Post
Has anyone had both a wireless and a wired (not at the same time) and have a preference?
I can see the benefit of wireless for my HRM strap and maybe even the cadence sensor but honestly the wheel magnet pick-up with the wire wrapped around the fork worked fine. As ChrisF noted, you don't have to put batteries in the pick-up of a wired unit.

The CatEye Enduro 8 is also supposed to be mountain bike compatible by having a thicker wire.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:58 PM
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How do these things mount to a mountain bike fork? My road bike computer mounts on a zip-tie like thing which I'd imagine would slip on a mountain fork. Also, will most computers fit a bike with a Lefty front fork? Maybe I'll pick up one, it would be nice to know what kind of miles I'm putting on the bike.
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Old 04-24-08, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_F View Post
How do these things mount to a mountain bike fork? My road bike computer mounts on a zip-tie like thing which I'd imagine would slip on a mountain fork. Also, will most computers fit a bike with a Lefty front fork? Maybe I'll pick up one, it would be nice to know what kind of miles I'm putting on the bike.
I just wrapped it around the fork a few times and made sure there was enough of a loop at the top to allow for fork compression. I dug through my pictures and found a couple that show how I did it.


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Old 04-24-08, 02:56 PM
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I had a CatEye Micro Wireless for about a year with no problems. Shortly after reading about wireless problems on one of the forums here, it started acting flaky. By "flaky" I mean:
  • Distance reading 20% to 30% low after cycling a known course.
  • Speed display sometimes showing half what it should be.
  • Speed display sometimes showing 2 or 3 times what it should be.
  • Very erratic speed display (15, 42, 7, 23, all within a few seconds time).
I checked the spoke magnet alignment, and replaced the batteries in the transmitter and the main unit. No joy.

I eventually replaced it with a (wired) CatEye Enduro 8, and all problems have disappeared.
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Old 04-24-08, 08:04 PM
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i run a wired vetta computer on mine .. think it's marketed for roadies, but it has worked fine for me.
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Old 04-24-08, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike Lover View Post
Here you go. It's a little more than the bike you want but you won't have to worry about zip-ties or programing wheel size.

LINKY
+1. Get one of the Garmin Edge models and be done with it (no need for cables or wheel sensors). About 18 months back I got the Edge 205 from costco.com for $130 and I'm now using the (overpriced) 705.
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Old 04-25-08, 07:32 AM
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It seems by consensus that the wireless can be inaccurate more often than the wired ones. As far as I'm concerned the thing is useless if it's not reliably accurate, so I'm gonna toss this thing on Ebay, or my 5 year olds bike and get a new one. I'll go with a Cateye wired model. I can go up to about $40 or $50, and that should get me into the quality range I'm looking for. As far as those high-end models some have suggested, they look like pretty awesome machines, but more than what I need. I bet they would be great for road bikes.

Thanks you for all of your input!
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Old 04-25-08, 01:19 PM
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I have the Planet Bike Protege 5.0 on my hardtail. Pretty cheap and displays all the data I want at once

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=2506
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Old 04-25-08, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by imcrushingyerhd View Post
WOW thanks for all the help.

Maybe I should say I'm a newbie looking for a new bike for $200 and I'll get some help....
That or people didn't have an answer for you.
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Old 04-28-08, 10:38 AM
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I have a $35 Trek unit that I boought at a LBS and it was a PITA to set up and get working correctly, but once it was up and running it has been fine. I don't know if that helps, but that is my experience.
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Old 04-28-08, 02:51 PM
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I have three of the cheap $9.97 wired "Schwinn" computers on various bikes. They work just fine. The clock doesn't keep time very well, but I don't use it anyway. I have a very nice wireless on my road bike which cost upwards of $150 at the time. Frankly, I don't think it's any more accurate than the Schwinn computers. What I do get is heart rate, and cadence, but I really don't need that in most cases.
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