Please: Consumer Assistance



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M Powell

Guest
I've been reading the posts and FAQs about whether to have computers and helmets, and decided that I
want both. But the available choices are overwhelming to a newbie!

For a recreational rider, what might be prime considerations for computers that include cadence
function? Are there brand names that should be skipped or treasured? The online shops have 40+
models available, making this way confusing -- 1, 2 or 3 buttons; wired & wireless; wide display or
compact. I'm thinking that about $45 is my emotional limit, and I would like cadence....

I'll likely buy a helmet locally, but they range from $35 to $135 at the LBS. What criteria will
help me make an informed choice? Are there insights to help me know that I'm getting a proper fit?
Recreational rider in hot & humid Houston.

Finally, I can't find a listing to define/explain OP where it seems to refer to a newbie (like
me). Help?

Thanks, --M. Powell
 
P

Pete

Guest
"M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I've been reading the posts and FAQs about whether to have computers and helmets, and decided that
> I want both. But the available choices are overwhelming to a newbie!
>
> For a recreational rider, what might be prime considerations for computers that include cadence
> function? Are there brand names that should be
skipped
> or treasured? The online shops have 40+ models available, making this way confusing -- 1, 2 or 3
> buttons; wired & wireless; wide display or compact. I'm thinking that about $45 is my emotional
> limit, and I would like cadence....

Don't get paralysed by all the choices. Buy one in your price range, that has most of the
features you want.

People will say this one is great, or that one sucks. Only you can tell for sure what is good for
*you*. Realize that this will not be your last one.

>
> I'll likely buy a helmet locally, but they range from $35 to $135 at the LBS. What criteria will
> help me make an informed choice? Are there
insights
> to help me know that I'm getting a proper fit? Recreational rider in hot & humid Houston.

Whatever fits your melon. Heads are different shapes. Lids are built to different shapes. Try
several on for size. More money only equals (maybe) more vents (could be good or bad), fancier
strappage, and flashier colors.

They all (mostly) meet the relevant standards for whatever country you're
in.

> Finally, I can't find a listing to define/explain OP where it seems to
refer
> to a newbie (like me). Help?

OP = 'original poster'. The starter of a newsgroup thread or thread offshoot. Like you were
in this one.

Pete
 
D

David L. Johnso

Guest
On Thu, 04 Sep 2003 03:32:53 +0000, M Powell wrote:

> For a recreational rider, what might be prime considerations for computers that include cadence
> function? Are there brand names that should be skipped or treasured? The online shops have 40+
> models available, making this way confusing -- 1, 2 or 3 buttons; wired & wireless; wide display
> or compact. I'm thinking that about $45 is my emotional limit, and I would like cadence....

1) I used to think I wanted cadence, but gave it up. Cadence requires a long wire snaking down
the downtube (or beyond) to get near the crank. That wire always seemed to get caught on
something, or messed up by cleaning the bike, or otherwise damaged. I never could keep them
around long enough.

2) Wireless is more expensive, and has no more functionality -- except, you would think, for the
lack of problems like #1 above. But, there is an extra battery or 2 to wear out or otherwise
cause trouble, more sophisticated electronics -- not only at the computer itself, but the
sensor(s) as well, and possible crossed signals from other such things on your buddy's bike.

3) I like my Cateye Enduro. Thicker wire, so no trouble with that. 3 years old, which is better
than any other, and I can even read it with my polarized sunglasses.

>
> I'll likely buy a helmet locally, but they range from $35 to $135 at the LBS. What criteria will
> help me make an informed choice?

Fit? Be aware that the extra bucks do not imply extra "protection".

> Are there insights to help me know that I'm getting a proper fit?

You should be almost unaware that it is on. I sometimes have to reach up to check that I didn't
forget it. If it is irritating on your head at first, it will be excruciating after a 50-mile ride.

>  Recreational rider in hot & humid Houston.

I guess you want lots of vents, then.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | It is a scientifically proven fact that a mid life crisis can _`\(,_ | only be cured by
something racy and Italian. Bianchis and (_)/ (_) | Colnagos are a lot cheaper than Maserattis
and Ferraris. -- Glenn Davies
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsk

Guest
> I've been reading the posts and FAQs about whether to have computers and helmets, and decided that
> I want both. But the available choices are overwhelming to a newbie!
>
> For a recreational rider, what might be prime considerations for computers that include cadence
> function? Are there brand names that should be
skipped
> or treasured? The online shops have 40+ models available, making this way confusing -- 1, 2 or 3
> buttons; wired & wireless; wide display or compact. I'm thinking that about $45 is my emotional
> limit, and I would like cadence....
>
> I'll likely buy a helmet locally, but they range from $35 to $135 at the LBS. What criteria will
> help me make an informed choice? Are there
insights
> to help me know that I'm getting a proper fit? Recreational rider in hot & humid Houston.
>
> Finally, I can't find a listing to define/explain OP where it seems to
refer
> to a newbie (like me). Help?

Have you found a local bike shop that you can trust? That's probably the best way to start.

If you get a computer locally and something goes wrong, chances are they'll take care of it for
you... which is also powerful motivation for them to sell you something decent. I'd recommend taking
a look at the new Cateye Astrale 11, which is in your price range (less than $40) and has a good
history of reliability... plus, it's common enough that, if you lose the programming directions,
you'll have no problem getting help for a shop or on-line. Regarding wireless, it's generally not
practical for a unit with cadence, and absolutely not as reliable.

For helmets, it's all about style, fit & ventilation. At $40 you get a *lot* of bang for the buck,
with new retention systems that almost suck the helmet into your head such that it stays there, even
if it's unstrapped. HUGE improvement over just a few years ago! Go up the food chain a bit and you
get better ventilation (more and larger vents) for around $70. At $150 you get the lightest-possible
models with the best attention to graphic details (in other words, they look cool). But it's
important to keep in mind that the amount of protection offered by a $40 model is every bit as much
as that of a $150 helmet.

There are lots of nice helmets out there; in our store, the $40 option would be the TREK Vapor,
while at just $60-70 the new TREK Interval rules the roost. Holding down the high end would be the
Giro Pneumo at $140. Those are just the ones we sell; there are many other nice helmets out there.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
 
D

David Kerber

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

...

> Finally, I can't find a listing to define/explain OP where it seems to refer to a newbie (like
> me). Help?

OP means "Original Poster", the person who first asked the question, or the one who started
the thread.

You already got good answers to the other questions, so I'll not bother being redundant except to
say that a knowledgeable bike shop is always a good starting point.

--

"Where was the ka-boom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering ka- boom!"
- Marvin The Martian
 
R

Rick Onanian

Guest
On Thu, 04 Sep 2003 03:32:53 GMT, M Powell <[email protected]> wrote:
> I've been reading the posts and FAQs about whether to have computers and helmets, and decided that
> I want both. But the available choices are overwhelming to a newbie!

I agree with your choices. :)

> For a recreational rider, what might be prime considerations for computers

IME (In My Experience), I've found that I do well by just shopping for exactly the functions I want
for the price I want to pay.

> that include cadence function? Are there brand names that should be skipped or treasured?

I have always bought with cadence, and have a Trek Sonic, a Specialized Elite, and a Cateye Astrale.
The Trek is from 97 and the other two are from the past couple years. They are all quite similar,
and I'll bet others are too.

The only important difference I've noted, besides a few minor features in the newer two that aren't
present in the older one, is that the Cateye gives me much quicker readings, especially on cadence.
I think it reads cadence even when I don't have it set to display cadence, so it's ready when I want
to see it.

Oh, also, the Cateye has some cool features about how it displays things -- you can switch cadence
to the big display and speed to the small display, for example.

Okay, I wholeheartedly reccommend the Cateye Astrale. :)

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.cfm?SKU=569&Store=Bike

It's $20 at performance right now. The only way to beat that price is to buy it from a
returned-goods section, like I did at Nashbar ($15, I think).

> The online shops have 40+ models available, making this way confusing -- 1, 2 or 3 buttons; wired
> & wireless; wide display or compact.

My Specialized has 3 buttons, but I find that it only uses one button for all the things I do, which
is annoying. The Cateye and the Trek are both two-button and well balanced between the buttons.

Wireless is good if you want it. I don't know if you will find one with wireless cadence, though, so
you will have to run wires either way -- they're no problem, just find some nice place to wrap them
so you don't have ugly excess wire hanging out all over the place.

I wrap excess wire around a cable housing near the handlebar.

Wide display vs. compact: No clue. I imagine you get to see everything at once with wide display,
but that could get difficult to pick out what you want to see, and could cost a little drag (if
you're concerned with aerodynamics at all).

> I'm thinking that about $45 is my emotional limit, and I would like cadence....

Can't beat the Cateye Astrale. :)

> I'll likely buy a helmet locally, but they range from $35 to $135 at the LBS. What criteria will
> help me make an informed choice? Are there insights to help me know that I'm getting a proper fit?
> Recreational rider in hot & humid Houston.

You know you have a proper fit when you can wear it without it feeling too weird. I've always bought
inexpensive helmets; but more expensive ones may provide better ventilation. I live in hot & humid
Rhode Island, and survive with cheap helmets, though I sweat profusely, regardless of whether I'm
wearing a helmet or not.

> Finally, I can't find a listing to define/explain OP where it seems to refer to a newbie (like
> me). Help?

OP == Original Post[er]. The first message in the thread, or the person who posted that message.

> Thanks, --M. Powell
--
Rick Onanian
 
T

Tanya Quinn

Guest
"M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> For a recreational rider, what might be prime considerations for computers that include cadence
> function? Are there brand names that should be skipped or treasured? The online shops have 40+
> models available, making this way confusing -- 1, 2 or 3 buttons; wired & wireless; wide display
> or compact. I'm thinking that about $45 is my emotional limit, and I would like cadence....

Hi - I'm pretty happy with my Cateye Enduro 2 - it does not have cadence on it though, but there are
other computers in the Cateye line that do. Probably more buttons make it easier to do the various
functions without having to differentiate between say "press" and "press and hold" to do different
things. Pick a display you find nice to read. A friend of mine complained that his wireless computer
sometimes skips readings depending on location (under electricity wires?), so I decided to go with
wired - plus wired ones are cheaper. Other features some computers may have that others don't:
waterproof (important if you want to ride in the rain), ability to quick switch between two wheel
sizes (makes it easy to change between say a mountain bike and road bike)

> I'll likely buy a helmet locally, but they range from $35 to $135 at the LBS. What criteria will
> help me make an informed choice? Are there insights to help me know that I'm getting a proper fit?
> Recreational rider in hot & humid Houston.

For one thing, you want the helmet to feel comfortable. Try several different brands on until you
find the one you like the best. If the helmet doesn't feel good, you won't want to wear it. You'll
want a fair number of vents in order to keep your head cool in the humidity - the cheapest models
usually have the least. And more expensive helmets in addition to more vents are usually
lighterweight. A good LBS will help to adjust the helmet so that its a good fit. You want it to fit
snug on your head. You also don't want it to come off your head during a collision, so if you hit
the front of the helmet with your palm, you don't want the helmet to go backwards off your head.
 
M

M Powell

Guest
Many thanks to the group for the assistance. And I feel a proper rube for the OP question! I listen
in on about 5 other groups, but this one was new to me.

Thanks!

--M. Powell

"M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I've been reading the posts and FAQs about whether to have computers and
<SNIP
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsk

Guest
> Many thanks to the group for the assistance. And I feel a proper rube for the OP question! I
> listen in on about 5 other groups, but this one was new to me.

Many thanks also for getting back to the newsgroup! It's so often the case that somebody posts a
question, gets lots of helpful replies, and is never heard from again. Very nice of you to respond.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com

"M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Many thanks to the group for the assistance. And I feel a proper rube for the OP question! I
> listen in on about 5 other groups, but this one was new to me.
>
> Thanks!
>
> --M. Powell
>
> "M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > I've been reading the posts and FAQs about whether to have computers and
> <SNIP
 
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