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Best wireless bike computer?

Old 03-24-11, 05:03 PM
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DarthShadious
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Best wireless bike computer?

Hi all. Just looking for some input. I'm currently in the market for a good wireless computer with cadence. Got the chance to mess around with a Bonty Node 2 and like it very much. It's a bit pricey, but the Node 1 would probably fit my budget a lil better. I do know the sensors cost extra, so I know it's gonna run me at least $150 or so for the Node 1 with speed and cadence. I have a compatible HR strap that will work with it. It's ANT+. Was curious if there were any other good cadence wireless comps to consider in this price range. I'd love to get a garmin but a bit out of my price range. Thanks in advance guys
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Old 03-24-11, 05:10 PM
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Look at the Garmin line, ie Edge 500 or maybe a refurbished Edge 305 but the 305 doesn't have ANT+. A Garmin will also cost more than $150 but they are great cycling computers.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:31 PM
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Garmin edge 500. Nothing else can compare.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:45 PM
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I know it's not what you really asked, but go ahead and save for the Garmin. You can get cadence by counting revolutions for 6 seconds and multiplying by 10 in the meantime.

Watch the sales as Performance just had a markdown on electronics, including the Edge 500.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Garmin edge 500. Nothing else can compare.
I have had a 305, now have a 705 and if money wasn't so tight I would replace my 705 with an 800. I think all of the Garmin Edge products are great.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I have had a 305, now have a 705 and if money wasn't so tight I would replace my 705 with an 800. I think all of the Garmin Edge products are great.
Yeah, I get you. I meant Garmin in general is great, not just the 500; I chose the 500 for the smaller size and where I live , roads are on a grid and it is next to impossible to get lost. This summer I will be cycling in New England and out there I think the map feature would be good.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:38 PM
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Like others have said, go Garmin or wait. I've seen the 500s go as low as $160 if you can find deals online. I know it's out of your price range but it's one of those things down the road when you get buyers remorse on buying the cheaper computer.

I had a cateye v2c for 2 years thinking I would never need a Garmin. Now that I have a 500 with cad/hrm it's totally changed how I ride. I've noticed much improvement because of the data readouts.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:58 PM
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I've been looking at the Cateye Strada Double Wireless... I think its $90 on PB... I'm just trying to convince myself that I "need" a cadence sensor...
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Old 03-24-11, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
I've been looking at the Cateye Strada Double Wireless... I think its $90 on PB... I'm just trying to convince myself that I "need" a cadence sensor...
i have one. really like it. the only problem i've encountered is that the little plastic tab on the mount breaks if you take it off and put it back on too many times, but a replacement mount bracket costs less than $2 with shipping, so it's really not an issue.

i've also had one or two instances of interference with a heart monitor, but i'm not even sure the bike computer was the issue.

i don't "need" cadence, but i like having it. and it's a good computer anyway. i'd definitely recommend it.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by climber7 View Post
i have one. really like it. the only problem i've encountered is that the little plastic tab on the mount breaks if you take it off and put it back on too many times, but a replacement mount bracket costs less than $2 with shipping, so it's really not an issue.

i've also had one or two instances of interference with a heart monitor, but i'm not even sure the bike computer was the issue.

i don't "need" cadence, but i like having it. and it's a good computer anyway. i'd definitely recommend it.
thanks for sharing, testimonials go a long way for me.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthShadious View Post
Hi all. Just looking for some input. I'm currently in the market for a good wireless computer with cadence. Got the chance to mess around with a Bonty Node 2 and like it very much. It's a bit pricey, but the Node 1 would probably fit my budget a lil better. I do know the sensors cost extra, so I know it's gonna run me at least $150 or so for the Node 1 with speed and cadence. I have a compatible HR strap that will work with it. It's ANT+. Was curious if there were any other good cadence wireless comps to consider in this price range. I'd love to get a garmin but a bit out of my price range. Thanks in advance guys
You want a downloadable bike computer since that'll let you calculate training stress for any ride so you have a better idea of when you should rest and when you should dig deeper and can ramp at a sustainable rate, know where your intervals are starting too hard or easy, etc.

Wait for the Garmin, with Edge 500s going on-sale for as little as $150.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:01 PM
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Garmins are vastly overrated just get a cateye double wireless, you will save $$,Garmin wont make you faster
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Old 03-24-11, 08:03 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the replies. Does the Edge 500 come with all necessary sensors and what not? Like, cadence, speed, heart rate, etc? Also, what else does it come with? I do like the idea of GPS though.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:14 PM
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OK, so I looked online at Edge 500 prices and they are all $200 or more. In order to get all the sensors with it, it's like $300 for sure. This was the main reason I was looking at the Bonty Node 2. It is compatible with power meters and such just like the garmin but doesn't upload data for later comparison. I can get a Node 2 with speed, cadence and the included HR for just under $200. I just dont know if the data comparison/saving, is something I would use and I dont have anything for power output reading. What are other features the 500 has thats a great features you guys may have used or really like? I guess I'm trying to justify the price for the garmin. One more thing, is the gps maps based or just coordinate based? Like Lat and Long?
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Old 03-24-11, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by climber7 View Post
i have one. really like it. the only problem i've encountered is that the little plastic tab on the mount breaks if you take it off and put it back on too many times, but a replacement mount bracket costs less than $2 with shipping, so it's really not an issue.

i don't "need" cadence, but i like having it. and it's a good computer anyway. i'd definitely recommend it.
Second this. I have been using one for 1700 miles and I like it. One complaint is that it seems to be slower than a hard-wired computer when it comes to shutting down/sleeping. I usually use average speed as a gauge of how hard I rode, overall, and I've learned the hard way to check immediately after the end of a ride. Once I have stopped, it seems to take a while for the computer to realize I have stopped, and it will include the extra time (between the end of my ride and when I check the computer for summary statistics) in my averages. So, for example, if I ride 40 miles at a 17mph average (as reported right at the end of the ride), twenty minutes later it will tell me I rode 40 miles at 16.8 mph or whatever.

My second complaint is the stock numbers that come with the computer for tire circumference seem to be off. I ride on 700x25c Gatorskins, and according to the instructions that came with the computer, 700x25c tires have a 2105 mm circumference. I measured the actual circumference and it was more... 2155 mm IIRC. Their figure was off by about 2%.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
Second this. I have been using one for 1700 miles and I like it. One complaint is that it seems to be slower than a hard-wired computer when it comes to shutting down/sleeping. I usually use average speed as a gauge of how hard I rode, overall, and I've learned the hard way to check immediately after the end of a ride. Once I have stopped, it seems to take a while for the computer to realize I have stopped, and it will include the extra time (between the end of my ride and when I check the computer for summary statistics) in my averages. So, for example, if I ride 40 miles at a 17mph average (as reported right at the end of the ride), twenty minutes later it will tell me I rode 40 miles at 16.8 mph or whatever.
if you wheel the bike around after - e.g. up the driveway, into the garage, whatever - it's still moving and the computer still records data. data in this case is like 2 minutes at 2 mph, so obviously your avg speed goes down. i check immediately when i get off because of that, but i've never had that problem when the bike wasn't actually moving. clock stops maybe 5 seconds after the bike does, at least for me.

Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
My second complaint is the stock numbers that come with the computer for tire circumference seem to be off. I ride on 700x25c Gatorskins, and according to the instructions that came with the computer, 700x25c tires have a 2105 mm circumference. I measured the actual circumference and it was more... 2155 mm IIRC. Their figure was off by about 2%.
i'll have to check that...if it's true, maybe i'll gain some free speed!
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Old 03-24-11, 08:56 PM
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I have 2, one has already been mentioned, the cateye strata double, I think its pretty decent, Id give it 8 of 10. my other one is a vetta vl110. I like it slightly more, 9 of 10. for the price they are both plenty sufficient, wireless, rearwheel, cadence.
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Old 03-24-11, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthShadious View Post
What are other features the 500 has thats a great features you guys may have used or really like?
I plug a USB cable into it and download my rides onto my laptop.

First I pull them into Golden Cheetah. The ride plots tell me if I should have started intervals easier, gone harder for the duration, or whatever. Sometimes interesting things come out of it, like the realization that I could ride at 90% of critical power two days in a row if I kept my cadence up. As my critical power curve goes upward I increase intensity to compensate. I try for a sustainable ramp rate and stress balance usually using power information but have reverted to heart rate since sending my Powertap in for maintenance.

Then I upload to Garmin Connect so I can relate points on rides geographically to the plots. I can pick land marks/intersections for starting and ending intervals on routes, find a particular hard effort, match a hill and how I was feeling to a point on the ride plot, etc. I can also send the route to other people like if my wife wants to go for the same ride.

The screen is also configurable to show up to 8 of the fields which interest you most in whatever order.

The back light can be configured to stay on so you can ride at night and still use the computer for pacing intervals.

I guess I'm trying to justify the price for the garmin. One more thing, is the gps maps based or just coordinate based? Like Lat and Long?
No maps.

There's a course feature that will tell you where you should be to follow a downloaded course but that requires creating the course in Garmin Training Center under Windows or Mac so I haven't gotten around to trying it.
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Old 03-24-11, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Garmin edge 500. Nothing else can compare.
For price vs. features this is probably the one. A very decent computer with good info during the ride and post ride data analysis.
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Old 03-24-11, 09:24 PM
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Ok, so the Garmin sounds nice. I think it's a lil more than I need though. I need to get a good comp in the next week so I'll have it when my new bike comes. I'm going to keep my eyes open online for a garmin over the next few days. If I cant find one in my, now expanded, budget, I'm just going to get the Bonty Node 1 or 2.
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Old 03-24-11, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
I've been looking at the Cateye Strada Double Wireless... I think its $90 on PB... I'm just trying to convince myself that I "need" a cadence sensor...
Might be a bit more $ but take a look at the Blackburn Neuro 5 or 6 model. You also can find the older Blackburn Delta wireless models on scambay for lots less. Had the Cateye and the thing eats batteries.
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Old 03-26-11, 02:14 PM
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Keep watching the sales and keep an eye on Ebay
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Old 03-26-11, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rusted_rider View Post
Garmins are vastly overrated just get a cateye double wireless, you will save $$,Garmin wont make you faster
No garmin's will make you faster. They make you smarter, you have a better appreciation of what you are doing and what you have done. The gamin connect is awesome.
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Old 03-26-11, 02:54 PM
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My Edge 500 made me faster. Way faster. Using the cadence and HR monitor data and uploading all of my information into Garmin Connect and analyzing where I needed to improve and where I was losing time really helped me.

Yeah you can get cadence by counting for 6 seconds and multiplying by 10, but you can also get mph by marking the roads with white chalk at 1 mile increments and counting the time to get between them. You'll never find me doing either.

I look at cadence far more than mph or HR. In fact I think it's all I look at now with an occasional glance at average speed if I'm feeling fast.
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Old 03-26-11, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
Second this. I have been using one for 1700 miles and I like it. One complaint is that it seems to be slower than a hard-wired computer when it comes to shutting down/sleeping. I usually use average speed as a gauge of how hard I rode, overall, and I've learned the hard way to check immediately after the end of a ride. Once I have stopped, it seems to take a while for the computer to realize I have stopped, and it will include the extra time (between the end of my ride and when I check the computer for summary statistics) in my averages. So, for example, if I ride 40 miles at a 17mph average (as reported right at the end of the ride), twenty minutes later it will tell me I rode 40 miles at 16.8 mph or whatever.

My second complaint is the stock numbers that come with the computer for tire circumference seem to be off. I ride on 700x25c Gatorskins, and according to the instructions that came with the computer, 700x25c tires have a 2105 mm circumference. I measured the actual circumference and it was more... 2155 mm IIRC. Their figure was off by about 2%.
1. All brands of 700x25c tires are not exactly the same circumference.
2. Did you measure the roll out circumference with your weight on the tire, i.e. sitting on the bike.
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