Computer issues -- did I waste money on a Bell?



TheBugGuy

New Member
Jun 28, 2007
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I recently bought a Bell wireless computer and have been having some issues with it. I've figured out that the problem seems to be that when I get above 13 mph, the computer can no longer differentiate the individual signals from the magnet (it suddenly drops to 7 mph like it's picking up every second signal, and then to zero).

Are there any suggestions to remedy this, or should I have bought a better computer in the first place? When I first installed it it could pick up speeds up to 18 mph, but it wouldn't continue reading reliably until I moved its position to further from the hub.

I just found the computer on Bell's website, and it says "target user: 8-14." Maybe they don't expect kids to go above 13 mph . . .
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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TheBugGuy said:
I recently bought a Bell wireless computer and have been having some issues with it. I've figured out that the problem seems to be that when I get above 13 mph, the computer can no longer differentiate the individual signals from the magnet (it suddenly drops to 7 mph like it's picking up every second signal, and then to zero).

Are there any suggestions to remedy this, or should I have bought a better computer in the first place? When I first installed it it could pick up speeds up to 18 mph, but it wouldn't continue reading reliably until I moved its position to further from the hub.

I just found the computer on Bell's website, and it says "target user: 8-14." Maybe they don't expect kids to go above 13 mph . . .
One thing that could be causing your problems is a misaligned transmitter and receiver so that not all of the signals are reaching the receiver, or it might be weak batteries. Another problem with wireless is that they can be effected by electrical substations and spurious signals from radio transmitters.

Yeah, you probably should have bought a higher quality computer. Most of Bell's products are geared towards childrens bikes. They do make decent helmets that meet ANSI requirements but most everything else is low grade equipment.

Topeak makes a line of good inexpensive computers. Mavic has the M-Tech5 and the M-Tech 7, either one for less than $30.00. Avocet has some nice cycling computers too. Of course these are the basic models that give you speed, odometer, and time funtions. Most of them also include max speed, trip odometer, and average speed. For funtions such as cadence or heartrate you will be spending a lot more.

You might check out http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?category=600082&subcategory=60001035&storetype=&estoreid=http://www.nashbar.com or http://www.performancebike.com/shop/sub_cat.cfm?subcategory_id=4110. These stores are owned by the same parent company so the selection is similar, but they often run independent sales so sometimes you can find items on sale on one that are not on sale on the other.
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
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TheBugGuy said:
I recently bought a Bell wireless computer and have been having some issues with it. I've figured out that the problem seems to be that when I get above 13 mph, the computer can no longer differentiate the individual signals from the magnet (it suddenly drops to 7 mph like it's picking up every second signal, and then to zero).

Are there any suggestions to remedy this, or should I have bought a better computer in the first place? When I first installed it it could pick up speeds up to 18 mph, but it wouldn't continue reading reliably until I moved its position to further from the hub.

I just found the computer on Bell's website, and it says "target user: 8-14." Maybe they don't expect kids to go above 13 mph . . .
If cost and reliability are concerns, consider a wired computer. My Cateye Mity4 was around $25 in 2004, it's been totally reliable for 20K miles.
 

TheBugGuy

New Member
Jun 28, 2007
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Alrighty -- advice noted.

Until getting a new one, I tried setting it up higher up on the fork -- the spokes weren't so far that it couldn't pick up a signal, and moving the wheel back and forth gave readings up to about 18 or 20 mph (just spinning it by hand on a stand I couldn't move it faster than 12).

However, when I got it back on the road it wasn't stable enough to continue reading before a bump would get it out of the "zone." I've considered just getting a powerful but narrow magnet and attaching that to my spokes, so there's a larger field for the sensor to pick up. Has anyone ever tried this?