Cateye Astrale 8 - first impressions



B

Badger_South

Guest
I've been in the market for a new bike computer - one that also
monitors cadence - and had been looking at several, including:

Cateye Astrale
http://www.trisports.com/cateyeastrale.html

Vetta RT77 Cadence Computer
http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=46679&cat=120&brand=274

I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.

Problems:
1. Rear wheel mount of the sensor to detect the spoke mounted magnet
was difficult to set up with the supplies in the kit. On some bikes
the chainstay may be close enough to the rear wheel spokes so that a
detector mounted on it will project the sensor rod ~1/2" and come
within the usual 5mm of the spoke magnet, but not mine. The space
between any spoke and the frame was over an inch! There were no large
spacers just a rubber pedestal ~1/2" tall into which the detector fit,
and I needed to add at least an additional inch of spacer material on
the inside of the chainstay.

2. Cadence sensor, exactly the same as the other sensor, typical
Cateye type, needed to be mounted on a slant from under the frame.
When mounted it had to project near the pedal across from a magnet
mounted near the pedal spindle, inside bottom of the crankarm. Since
the frame in that location as ovoid, not round the rubber pedestal
didn't want to stay in position, which took some fiddling. Since the
clearance between crank arm and frame was only 1/2" or less, and I
needed to find a location where the clips, or my shoe would rub
against the zip tie retaining strap, it ended up near the pedal
spindle, which is too close for a horizontal pass between magnet and
sensor. I ended up with the minimal 5mm gap, but at a lateral slant
and front to back slant of detector to pedal magnet. Will it survive a
20 mile bike ride in the rain and mud spatter? Don't know. ;-)

3. Handlebar mounting strap didn't want to fit snugly around my H/B.
My ride, being a hybrid bike, has straight bars with a smaller
circumference, apparently, than drop bars in the available space on
the H/B. Took several layers of spacers and duct tape and a couple
iterations of screwing it closed and finding it still not gripping the
bar to get it to fit. By then, and even sitting and kneeling where I
could to do the whole install, my lower back was aching. Arrgh. Note
to self. Get a better bike repair set up. I was based in a friend's
garage so I had to improvise a little.

Pros:
Otherwise install and set up were quick and easy, clear display and
large enough numerals. Button press caused a positive 'click', unit
fit into unit base with a nice snug click also. Much easier to zero
out the unit at the start of your daily ride with biking gloves on
than my other Cateye (Enduro),which I bought without much
deliberation, on sale, and in a hurry.

It's very interesting to have a cadence counter. Be careful, you'll
tend to stare at it and forget to look where you're going. ;-)

I expected my instinctive cadence count to be lower than actual and I
was right. However with a little work I can get it into the high end
of the suggested ranges. 90 to 100 seems right for spinning up. Not
sure if it stores average cadence.

More later since I've only ridden with it once.

-B
 
In article <[email protected]>,
Badger_South <[email protected]> writes:

> I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
> mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.


Thanx for reminding me; I still have yet to disencumber
my bike from the old wiring harness.


cheers,
Tom

--
-- Nothing is safe from me.
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
 
On Fri, 01 Oct 2004 18:47:17 -0400, Badger_South <[email protected]>
wrote:

>I've been in the market for a new bike computer - one that also
>monitors cadence - and had been looking at several, including:
>
>Cateye Astrale
>http://www.trisports.com/cateyeastrale.html
>
>Vetta RT77 Cadence Computer
>http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=46679&cat=120&brand=274
>
>I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
>mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.
>


Hi, I have both the earlier Astrale and an Astrale 8. The 8 that I
have, was meant to be installed on the front wheel and fork, for main
functions. The older one was meant to be installed on the rear wheel.

I just checked the manual, for the 8 and yes the instructions show a
front wheel installation. I wonder if they came both ways, what does
your manual show?

Mine has worked flawlessly for 395x.x miles. So about 4000 miles in 14
months, with out a problem, I like it!
I bought the older one on closeout, so I could put it on the old
bike, which I use in the trainer. That one is setup for rear wheel
use, ideal for the trainer.


Life is Good!
Jeff
 
Badger_South wrote:
--snippity--
> I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
> mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.


That's the computer I opted to put on my road bike. FWIW, they install
very easily on a road bike -- sorry you had to fiddle so much with yer
hybrid. I put a Sigma (front wheel mount) on my son's hybrid and had
some of the same trouble getting the sensor rod and the magnet close
enough. Maybe they need to make some bike computers that take these
larger clearances into account.

-km
 
On Fri, 01 Oct 2004 23:45:48 -0500, Jeff Starr <[email protected]> wrote:

>On Fri, 01 Oct 2004 18:47:17 -0400, Badger_South <[email protected]>
>wrote:
>
>>I've been in the market for a new bike computer - one that also
>>monitors cadence - and had been looking at several, including:
>>
>>Cateye Astrale
>>http://www.trisports.com/cateyeastrale.html
>>
>>Vetta RT77 Cadence Computer
>>http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=46679&cat=120&brand=274
>>
>>I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
>>mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.
>>

>
>Hi, I have both the earlier Astrale and an Astrale 8. The 8 that I
>have, was meant to be installed on the front wheel and fork, for main
>functions. The older one was meant to be installed on the rear wheel.
>
>I just checked the manual, for the 8 and yes the instructions show a
>front wheel installation. I wonder if they came both ways, what does
>your manual show?
>
>Mine has worked flawlessly for 395x.x miles. So about 4000 miles in 14
>months, with out a problem, I like it!
> I bought the older one on closeout, so I could put it on the old
>bike, which I use in the trainer. That one is setup for rear wheel
>use, ideal for the trainer.
>
>
>Life is Good!
>Jeff


I have the Vetta 77. No real complaints until I got caught in a heavy downpour.
I had to open it up and let it dry for days before it worked again.

Ben
 
On Sat, 02 Oct 2004 23:13:04 GMT, the black rose
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Badger_South wrote:
>--snippity--
>> I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
>> mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.

>
>That's the computer I opted to put on my road bike. FWIW, they install
>very easily on a road bike -- sorry you had to fiddle so much with yer
>hybrid. I put a Sigma (front wheel mount) on my son's hybrid and had
>some of the same trouble getting the sensor rod and the magnet close
>enough. Maybe they need to make some bike computers that take these
>larger clearances into account.
>
>-km


Thanks for the input, km. Do you find it operates ok in the rain and colder
weather? Heh, I'll be finding out, for sure, so I'll let the group know.

As far as mounting, a few rubber spacers, about 1/4" thick for the H/B
mount and a couple 1/2" and 1" spacers for mounting on the chain stay for
the sensor would have been nice. I ended up doubling up the duct tape and
making my own spacers. If that slips, I'll replace it with something more
substantial.

-B
 
Badger_South wrote:
> On Sat, 02 Oct 2004 23:13:04 GMT, the black rose
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>>Badger_South wrote:
>>--snippity--
>>
>>>I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
>>>mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.

>>
>>That's the computer I opted to put on my road bike. FWIW, they install
>>very easily on a road bike -- sorry you had to fiddle so much with yer
>>hybrid. I put a Sigma (front wheel mount) on my son's hybrid and had
>>some of the same trouble getting the sensor rod and the magnet close
>>enough. Maybe they need to make some bike computers that take these
>>larger clearances into account.
>>
>>-km

>
>
> Thanks for the input, km. Do you find it operates ok in the rain and colder
> weather? Heh, I'll be finding out, for sure, so I'll let the group know.


Cold weather, yes so far, but I haven't ridden in a real downpour with
it yet. Nor am I likely to with the weather cooling down -- I'm small
enough to have real trouble maintaining body heat when wet, and I don't
have proper clothing for it (yeah yeah I know I know, it's just that
money is going for more important things right now like medical testing
for one of my kids).

-km
 
>Badger_South [email protected]

wrote in part about Astrale 8:

>Not
>sure if it stores average cadence.
>


It doesn't. In the Cateye line only their TR100 and the CD300DW do that. I
don't know if you'd want to spend the additional $120 (www.lickbike.com sells
the CD300DW for $150 versus $30 for the Astrale 8) for that feature. Besides,
without it you can just brag, "My average cadence is ____." with no fear of
being contradicted by some pesky cyclocomputer. <g>

Regards,
Bob Hunt
 
I just bought one of these to put on the back of a tandem. I picked it
becuase of the long wires, but they still weren't long enough to get
from the stokers handlebars to the back tire. So I ended up putting
the tire sensor on the front tire and the cadence sensor on the front
sprocket, which has worked well.

The only I was didn't like about it was you can't "set" the odometer, as
we could with our other cateye computers. We like to keep track of
exactly how far we've ridden the bike so we can constantly recompute the
cost-per-mile figure. :)

Rich

Badger_South wrote:
> I've been in the market for a new bike computer - one that also
> monitors cadence - and had been looking at several, including:
>
> Cateye Astrale
> http://www.trisports.com/cateyeastrale.html
>
> Vetta RT77 Cadence Computer
> http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=46679&cat=120&brand=274
>
> I ended up with the Astrale 8. It's a wired, dual sensor; rear wheel
> mounted magnet/sensor for the main functions.
>
> Problems:
> 1. Rear wheel mount of the sensor to detect the spoke mounted magnet
> was difficult to set up with the supplies in the kit. On some bikes
> the chainstay may be close enough to the rear wheel spokes so that a
> detector mounted on it will project the sensor rod ~1/2" and come
> within the usual 5mm of the spoke magnet, but not mine. The space
> between any spoke and the frame was over an inch! There were no large
> spacers just a rubber pedestal ~1/2" tall into which the detector fit,
> and I needed to add at least an additional inch of spacer material on
> the inside of the chainstay.
>
> 2. Cadence sensor, exactly the same as the other sensor, typical
> Cateye type, needed to be mounted on a slant from under the frame.
> When mounted it had to project near the pedal across from a magnet
> mounted near the pedal spindle, inside bottom of the crankarm. Since
> the frame in that location as ovoid, not round the rubber pedestal
> didn't want to stay in position, which took some fiddling. Since the
> clearance between crank arm and frame was only 1/2" or less, and I
> needed to find a location where the clips, or my shoe would rub
> against the zip tie retaining strap, it ended up near the pedal
> spindle, which is too close for a horizontal pass between magnet and
> sensor. I ended up with the minimal 5mm gap, but at a lateral slant
> and front to back slant of detector to pedal magnet. Will it survive a
> 20 mile bike ride in the rain and mud spatter? Don't know. ;-)
>
> 3. Handlebar mounting strap didn't want to fit snugly around my H/B.
> My ride, being a hybrid bike, has straight bars with a smaller
> circumference, apparently, than drop bars in the available space on
> the H/B. Took several layers of spacers and duct tape and a couple
> iterations of screwing it closed and finding it still not gripping the
> bar to get it to fit. By then, and even sitting and kneeling where I
> could to do the whole install, my lower back was aching. Arrgh. Note
> to self. Get a better bike repair set up. I was based in a friend's
> garage so I had to improvise a little.
>
> Pros:
> Otherwise install and set up were quick and easy, clear display and
> large enough numerals. Button press caused a positive 'click', unit
> fit into unit base with a nice snug click also. Much easier to zero
> out the unit at the start of your daily ride with biking gloves on
> than my other Cateye (Enduro),which I bought without much
> deliberation, on sale, and in a hurry.
>
> It's very interesting to have a cadence counter. Be careful, you'll
> tend to stare at it and forget to look where you're going. ;-)
>
> I expected my instinctive cadence count to be lower than actual and I
> was right. However with a little work I can get it into the high end
> of the suggested ranges. 90 to 100 seems right for spinning up. Not
> sure if it stores average cadence.
>
> More later since I've only ridden with it once.
>
> -B
>
 
On 03 Oct 2004 16:03:18 GMT, [email protected] (Hunrobe) wrote:

>>Badger_South [email protected]

>
>wrote in part about Astrale 8:
>
>>Not
>>sure if it stores average cadence.
>>

>
>It doesn't. In the Cateye line only their TR100 and the CD300DW do that. I
>don't know if you'd want to spend the additional $120 (www.lickbike.com sells
>the CD300DW for $150 versus $30 for the Astrale 8) for that feature. Besides,
>without it you can just brag, "My average cadence is ____." with no fear of
>being contradicted by some pesky cyclocomputer. <g>
>
>Regards,
>Bob Hunt


When I get a real road bike I'll have to consider that feature. ;-)

It may have been a lucky coincidence that I didn't add a cadence feature
until I had established a rudimentary cadence, and some ability to spin up.
So in addition to seeing what my actual cadence is vs my intuitive
impression, it allows some targetting against the standards for cruising vs
pushing it. I just don't want to become a slave to the cadence display
(yeah, yeah). Some kind of weighted average computation you could check
against the ride might help with that, dunno.

Remember, I come from an era (60s-70s) where any handlebar device was
strictly analog. Big dish with a needle and numbers speedometer, diameter
about the size of a large coffee cup, with a heavy coiled wire leading to
the wheel, heh. Oh, and it had an odometer and that's it. So anything
digital on the bike still gets a 'gee whiz' reaction from me. Cheap date.

On the bragging, hey, why do you think I inquired? ;-D

-B
 
On Sun, 03 Oct 2004 10:30:01 -0600, Rich <[email protected]> wrote:

>The only I was didn't like about it was you can't "set" the odometer, as
>we could with our other cateye computers. We like to keep track of
>exactly how far we've ridden the bike so we can constantly recompute the
>cost-per-mile figure. :)
>
>Rich


Hmm, not sure what you mean by this. Supposedly, you have to zero the whole
thing to get the odo to zero, otherwise it keeps a running total, if I'm
reading it right. My Enduro didn't have a re-set Odo, that I'm aware, or
zero-set. It did have an odo, but durned if I can find it except by
accident (misplaced the instructions). <g>

On Sheldon's page he has some additional 'set' tips. I've used it to reset
the wheel measurement without resetting the odo on the enduro 2.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cyclecom_calibration_proc.html#cateyemity3

Nothing on Astrale 8 but a battery type, though.

-B
 
On Sun, 03 Oct 2004 09:55:15 -0400, Badger_South <[email protected]>
wrote:


>
>Thanks for the input, km. Do you find it operates ok in the rain and colder
>weather? Heh, I'll be finding out, for sure, so I'll let the group know.
>
>As far as mounting, a few rubber spacers, about 1/4" thick for the H/B
>mount and a couple 1/2" and 1" spacers for mounting on the chain stay for
>the sensor would have been nice. I ended up doubling up the duct tape and
>making my own spacers. If that slips, I'll replace it with something more
>substantial.
>
>-B
>


Hi, my Astrale 8 works fine in cold weather [low 40s] and I have been
caught in one rainstorm, where it poured so much, that my shoes filled
with water, no problem.
Of course I have only had it for 14.5 months and 4000 miles.

I think the post below was talking about the fact that when you
replace the battery, you will lose the odometer setting. It will be
back to zero. On some bike computers, like some of the Sigma Sports,
you can program in, any odometer number that you want.

Did you look at your manual, mine is designed to mount the main
functions on the front wheel and fork. It is in the instructions, that
way.


Life is Good!
Jeff
 
Badger_South wrote:
> On Sun, 03 Oct 2004 10:30:01 -0600, Rich <[email protected]> wrote:
>> you can't "set" the odometer, as
>>we could with our other cateye computers.

>
> Hmm, not sure what you mean by this.


The bike had 80 miles on it when I installed the computer, and I wanted
to set the odo to 80, but it can't be done. Our other Cateye computers
allowed that to be done. I think they were mity-somethings.

Rich
 
>Badger_South [email protected]

wrote in part:

>On the bragging, hey, why do you think I inquired? ;-D


One guy I used to ride with would always announce his average speed after every
ride. That was okay but *his* average was always at least 1 mph faster than
mine, sometimes as much as 2.5 mph faster. Since we rode together- start and
finish never more than a couple of bikelengths apart and neither of us ever had
to wait for the other- the difference in the way our average speeds varied was
a little comical. OTOH, "I pedal at a higher cadence", would be a virtually
unassailable claim so I can see its attraction. <g>

Regards,
Bob Hunt
 
Jeff Starr wrote:
> On Sun, 03 Oct 2004 09:55:15 -0400, Badger_South <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
>
>
>>Thanks for the input, km. Do you find it operates ok in the rain and colder
>>weather? Heh, I'll be finding out, for sure, so I'll let the group know.
>>
>>As far as mounting, a few rubber spacers, about 1/4" thick for the H/B
>>mount and a couple 1/2" and 1" spacers for mounting on the chain stay for
>>the sensor would have been nice. I ended up doubling up the duct tape and
>>making my own spacers. If that slips, I'll replace it with something more
>>substantial.
>>
>>-B
>>

>
>
> Hi, my Astrale 8 works fine in cold weather [low 40s] and I have been
> caught in one rainstorm, where it poured so much, that my shoes filled
> with water, no problem.
> Of course I have only had it for 14.5 months and 4000 miles.
>
> I think the post below was talking about the fact that when you
> replace the battery, you will lose the odometer setting. It will be
> back to zero. On some bike computers, like some of the Sigma Sports,
> you can program in, any odometer number that you want.
>
> Did you look at your manual, mine is designed to mount the main
> functions on the front wheel and fork. It is in the instructions, that
> way.


Mine mounts on the rear wheel. Makes sense to me -- instead of having
wires going all over the bike, there's just one joined wire clipped to
the downtube that splits, one goes to the rear wheel to measure tire
revolutions, one stays at the seat tube to measure cadence.

-km
 
Hunrobe wrote:
>>Badger_South [email protected]

>
>
> wrote in part:
>
>
>>On the bragging, hey, why do you think I inquired? ;-D

>
>
> One guy I used to ride with would always announce his average speed after every
> ride. That was okay but *his* average was always at least 1 mph faster than
> mine, sometimes as much as 2.5 mph faster. Since we rode together- start and
> finish never more than a couple of bikelengths apart and neither of us ever had
> to wait for the other- the difference in the way our average speeds varied was
> a little comical. OTOH, "I pedal at a higher cadence", would be a virtually
> unassailable claim so I can see its attraction. <g>


Heh. I recently rode that rail-trail I've been avoiding, to see if my
bike computer was calibrated anywhere near reality, on the theory that
the mileage markings on the rail-trail are reasonably close to accurate.
I started with my front hub directly over the start line, rode slowly,
and stopped with my front hub directly over the 1 mi line.

The thing ticked over from .99 mi to 1.00 mi *just* as I reached the line.

Da-yang, that was close.

I'm now running on the assumption that the speed and mileage my Astrale
reports are a reasonably close facsimile to reality. Or at least, it's
the same as the guy who marked the rail-trail.

*shrug*

-km
 
On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:44:46 GMT, the black rose
<[email protected]> wrote:


>>
>> Did you look at your manual, mine is designed to mount the main
>> functions on the front wheel and fork. It is in the instructions, that
>> way.

>
>Mine mounts on the rear wheel. Makes sense to me -- instead of having
>wires going all over the bike, there's just one joined wire clipped to
>the downtube that splits, one goes to the rear wheel to measure tire
>revolutions, one stays at the seat tube to measure cadence.
>
>-km


Hi, who installed yours? Could you look at the manual and see what it
says? Apparently there are two different harnesses and instructions
for the Astrale 8. Like I said, I know the older model was setup for
rear wheel installation.
It doesn't really matter, other than my curiousity is piqued and I may
purchase another one, so I would need to decide which mounting, I
would prefer.


Life is Good!
Jeff
 
On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:44:46 GMT, the black rose
<[email protected]> wrote:


>>
>> Did you look at your manual, mine is designed to mount the main
>> functions on the front wheel and fork. It is in the instructions, that
>> way.

>
>Mine mounts on the rear wheel. Makes sense to me -- instead of having
>wires going all over the bike, there's just one joined wire clipped to
>the downtube that splits, one goes to the rear wheel to measure tire
>revolutions, one stays at the seat tube to measure cadence.
>
>-km


Hi, who installed yours? Could you look at the manual and see what it
says? Apparently there are two different harnesses and instructions
for the Astrale 8. Like I said, I know the older model was setup for
rear wheel installation.
It doesn't really matter, other than my curiousity is piqued and I may
purchase another one, so I would need to decide which mounting, I
would prefer.


Life is Good!
Jeff
 
>Jeff Starr [email protected]

wrote:

>Could you look at the manual and see what it
>says? Apparently there are two different harnesses and instructions
>for the Astrale 8. Like I said, I know the older model was setup for
>rear wheel installation.
>It doesn't really matter, other than my curiousity is piqued and I may
>purchase another one, so I would need to decide which mounting, I
>would prefer.
>
>
>Life is Good!
>Jeff


Front mounting of the speed sensor is an option that IIRC is described in the
manual. Since front mounting only requires you to buy *one* additional wire
it's hardly prohibitively expensive if you just want to try it.
Personally, I prefer the standard rear wheel mounting because on my bike the
pickup is more protected by the chainstay than it would be on the front fork. I
think it's a "cleaner" look as well. YMMV.

Regards,
Bob Hunt
 
>the black rose [email protected]

wrote:

>Heh. I recently rode that rail-trail I've been avoiding, to see if my
>bike computer was calibrated anywhere near reality, on the theory that
>the mileage markings on the rail-trail are reasonably close to accurate.
> I started with my front hub directly over the start line, rode slowly,
>and stopped with my front hub directly over the 1 mi line.
>
>The thing ticked over from .99 mi to 1.00 mi *just* as I reached the line.
>
>Da-yang, that was close.
>
>I'm now running on the assumption that the speed and mileage my Astrale
>reports are a reasonably close facsimile to reality. Or at least, it's
>the same as the guy who marked the rail-trail.
>
>*shrug*
>
>-km


Since Badger brought up bragging rights another method of calibrating your
computer is to use a stopwatch. Ride nonstop for exactly thirty seconds. Verify
that your odometer measured 0.25 mile. I mean, you *do* have a 30 mph solo
sprint right?

Regards,
Bob Hunt

P.S.- Of course you'll have to recalculate the time and distance if you aren't
going uphill or bucking a headwind. <g>
 

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