shimano flightdeck nightmares

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Dan Baker, Feb 24, 2003.

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  1. Dan Baker

    Dan Baker Guest

    ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one, dont.

    Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.

    Unfortunately, they are also about the only way to get a visual indication of what gear you are in
    on a tandem equipped with STI shifters. Which brings me to the actual technical question....

    Does anyone know of a good alternative? its pretty hard to see the rear cassette on a tandem from
    the front seat!

    Also, does anyone have any suggestion on how best to get Shimano to listen to how crummy these
    things are and either fix them or take them back? I've been fooling around with mine for 4 months
    now, written emails and letters to Shimano with NO response at all.

    anyway, I am looking forward to hearing if there are alternatives to visual indication of current
    gear position on a tandem....

    dan
     
    Tags:


  2. Gary Mishler

    Gary Mishler Guest

    "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one, dont.
    >
    > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.

    < rest of post snipped ... >

    Gee, I have ridden a 6500 Flightdeck for five years and thousands of miles and never had one bit of
    trouble. Followed procedures in the manual and found it easy to set up, have had no trouble with
    buttons and it's never once malfunctioned.

    Are all the ones in your tandem club installed or setup by the same shop? I know it's really
    important to have the switches and such in the shifters set up properly.

    I don't know if there is some change between the 6500 and 6501 to account for the difference in
    performance???

    Anyone else here have similar results?
     
  3. Shimano makes a Dura Ace gear indicator. It fits in-line on your right shift cable as it come out of
    the shifter. It has a clear window with a red 'ball' that indicates what cog your rear derailluer is
    on. It's simple, easy to install and works well. I can't find a reference to point you to, but if
    you want, e-mail me off-line and I'll send you a pic.

    Dave "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one, dont.
    >
    > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.
    >
    > Unfortunately, they are also about the only way to get a visual indication of what gear you are in
    > on a tandem equipped with STI shifters. Which brings me to the actual technical question....
    >
    > Does anyone know of a good alternative? its pretty hard to see the rear cassette on a tandem from
    > the front seat!
    >
    > Also, does anyone have any suggestion on how best to get Shimano to listen to how crummy these
    > things are and either fix them or take them back? I've been fooling around with mine for 4 months
    > now, written emails and letters to Shimano with NO response at all.
    >
    > anyway, I am looking forward to hearing if there are alternatives to visual indication of current
    > gear position on a tandem....
    >
    > dan
     
  4. Nick Payne

    Nick Payne Guest

    Walk into almost any decent bike shop and ask them for a couple of the inline Dura-Ace gear
    indicators. My LBS gave me three last week when I asked for one...

    Nick
     
  5. STI Flitedeck computers have, for us, been far more reliable than we thought they'd be. Problems
    have been extremely rare, especially once they moved to the one button/side setup. My guess is that
    yours may have been installed by someone who doesn't do a lot of them. We sell over 200/year, and
    have problems of the sort you're describing with, at most, 5.

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

    "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one, dont.
    >
    > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.
    >
    > Unfortunately, they are also about the only way to get a visual indication of what gear you are in
    > on a tandem equipped with STI shifters. Which brings me to the actual technical question....
    >
    > Does anyone know of a good alternative? its pretty hard to see the rear cassette on a tandem from
    > the front seat!
    >
    > Also, does anyone have any suggestion on how best to get Shimano to listen to how crummy these
    > things are and either fix them or take them back? I've been fooling around with mine for 4 months
    > now, written emails and letters to Shimano with NO response at all.
    >
    > anyway, I am looking forward to hearing if there are alternatives to visual indication of current
    > gear position on a tandem....
    >
    > dan
     
  6. > Walk into almost any decent bike shop and ask them for a couple of the inline Dura-Ace gear
    > indicators. My LBS gave me three last week when I
    asked
    > for one...

    They're apparently not giving them to the customers whose bikes they came with. We do, and just
    ordered some new ones, and they're *not* free; if the shop that gave you three of them had to buy
    them, they'd sell for about $9 apiece.

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

    "Nick Payne" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Walk into almost any decent bike shop and ask them for a couple of the inline Dura-Ace gear
    > indicators. My LBS gave me three last week when I
    asked
    > for one...
    >
    > Nick
     
  7. David Obando

    David Obando Guest

    Curious, I've used a friends flightdeck 6501 Wireless for the last few months, and loved it so much
    that I went out just recently and bought two (one for each bike, though the unit can store
    information for up to four bikes)...

    It's gotten completely submerged, I've slammed my chest full force onto it (that log shouldn't have
    had the second log hiding behind it) I've dumped the bike everywhere from moderately hard to "Oh
    there it is about 100 yards down the hill" and the thing keeps working like nobody's business... I
    had the first 6501 installed in about 30 minutes, and the second one installed in 15... I followed
    the directions and thought the programming was rather simple, and the auto start and stop feature
    makes things a breeze! you just zero the trip meter, hit start, and the rest is just cycling thru
    (no pun intended) whichever display you might want to see... Honestly I'm no whiz at all but found
    the Flightdeck second nature to operate the 2nd time I used
    it...

    I think with all the problems you're having with yours their are only two explanations:

    1) the flightdecks suffer from very serious variations in quality off the production line, and I
    just happened to get two good one's in a row

    or...

    Come to think about it, you sound reasonably capable so I guess I only have one explanation (above)

    But what do you mean by "break"? the Harness? the mounting? the case itself? Just curious because
    mine appear to be bulletproof... and the only thing that would possess me to take it off my bike
    is the increasing tendency I am experiencing toward being a weight weenie :) (though I will never
    get to the point where I think about saving 3 grams by flushing out the lubricating grease in the
    hub seals)

    Although the cadence feature is great, second only in greatness to the visual gear display, I've
    gotten fairly decent at judging cadence by memorizing speeds in particular gear combos.

    I think the only time the thing ever gave me erroneous info is after bombing thru some thick
    underbrush and the wireless sensor on my front fork got hung up on what I suspect was a branch, and
    twisted away from the wheel... I just stopped, released the tie strap swung it back into position
    retightened, and I was on my way.

    Honestly, I think just about everyone could live WITHOUT a computer on their bike, in fact, I'm
    certain of it, but there is a coolness factor that can't be denied, particularly by a recreational
    rider such as myself. And there are those long, straight sections of trail where its just something
    fun to play around with...

    I think the only thing missing on the 6501 is a wireless heart rate sensor... Maybe that will be in
    the 6502...

    Have Fun!

    David

    "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one, dont.
    >
    > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.
    >
    > Unfortunately, they are also about the only way to get a visual indication of what gear you are in
    > on a tandem equipped with STI shifters. Which brings me to the actual technical question....
    >
    > Does anyone know of a good alternative? its pretty hard to see the rear cassette on a tandem from
    > the front seat!
    >
    > Also, does anyone have any suggestion on how best to get Shimano to listen to how crummy these
    > things are and either fix them or take them back? I've been fooling around with mine for 4 months
    > now, written emails and letters to Shimano with NO response at all.
    >
    > anyway, I am looking forward to hearing if there are alternatives to visual indication of current
    > gear position on a tandem....
    >
    > dan
     
  8. dan baker wrote:

    > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one, dont.
    >
    > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.

    many problems with flitedecks are solved by removing the connectors from the levers, bending the
    contactlips outward, and reinstalling. Make sure you do this somewhere where you have a chance in
    retrieving the tiny screws. /Marten
     
  9. Dougc

    Dougc Guest

    "Gary Mishler" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting
    > > one, dont.
    > >
    > > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.
    >
    > < rest of post snipped ... >
    >
    > Gee, I have ridden a 6500 Flightdeck for five years and thousands of miles and never had one bit
    > of trouble. Followed procedures in the manual and found it easy to set up, have had no trouble
    > with buttons and it's never once malfunctioned.
    >
    > Are all the ones in your tandem club installed or setup by the same shop? I know it's really
    > important to have the switches and such in the shifters set up properly.
    >
    > I don't know if there is some change between the 6500 and 6501 to account for the difference in
    > performance???
    >
    > Anyone else here have similar results?

    My Flight Deck, which is about a year old, has done flaky things since I got it. It sometimes will
    report a ludicrous Max speed for a ride. More often, the Avg speed for a ride will display "Err". I
    have run across other people on various forums who have experienced the same problem. My LBS tried
    replacing the head, but the replacement did the same thing. I suspect that this is some sort of
    internal software problem with the dynamic calculation of Avg speed,since the elements required to
    statically calculate the avg are present (duration,distance).

    Last winter, I had problems with the Flite Deck stopping recording in the middle of a ride,
    especially in cold weather, but that appears to have been caused by poor electrical contact
    between the head and the bracket. I clean the contacts regularly now and have not had that problem
    this winter.
     
  10. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    I don't need one on my regular 4-mile commute, but they provide important feedback, and are useful
    in organized rides when you have to follow a cue sheet. Helps on longer rides, like centuries. How
    else could you know when you hit 100 miles?

    David Obando wrote:

    > Honestly, I think just about everyone could live WITHOUT a computer on their bike, in fact, I'm
    > certain of it, but there is a coolness factor that can't be denied, particularly by a recreational
    > rider such as myself. And there are those long, straight sections of trail where its just
    > something fun to play around with...
     
  11. > More often, the Avg speed for a ride will display "Err".
    I have a 6501 with 14,000 miles on it. The only issue I have is occasionally I too get "Err" for Ave
    speed. Monty
     
  12. On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 22:12:34 -0500, dan baker wrote:

    > Unfortunately, they are also about the only way to get a visual indication of what gear you are in
    > on a tandem equipped with STI shifters. Which brings me to the actual technical question....
    >
    > Does anyone know of a good alternative? its pretty hard to see the rear cassette on a tandem from
    > the front seat!

    bar end shifters
     
  13. Flight Deck manual

    Individual images in GIF format:

    http://www.neebu.net/~khuon/images/..._manual_en_gif/

    ZIP'ed archive file of GIF images (approx 8.4MB):

    http://www.neebu.net/~khuon/images/...nual_en_gif.zip

    "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "David Obando" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > It's gotten completely submerged, I've slammed my chest full force...
    > ---------
    > mine is a case of no abuse on a tandem....
    >
    > the weirdest thing is that is shows current speed, gear, cadence but WILL NOT zero the trip or
    > start/stop. I guess it might be because one button isn't registering as pushed, BUT functions
    > change with both buttons when pressed individually, so its not that.
    >
    > > 1) the flightdecks suffer from very serious variations in quality off
    the
    > > production line, and I just happened to get two good one's in a row or... Come to think about
    > > it, you sound reasonably capable so I guess I only
    have
    > > one explanation (above)
    > -------
    > thanx. ;)
    >
    > the other minor factor is that I've very carefully packed away the user's guide somewhere I
    > cant find it. I am planning on changing my big front chainring from 52 to 55, and maybe the
    > rear cassette as well.... I cant seem to access the "setup" features of the unit at all. I am
    > hoping to either get a spare from shimano, or talk someone into scanning the english section of
    > their manual.
    >
    > d
     
  14. David Obando

    David Obando Guest

    I concede your points Gary... I should have qualified my statement for the recreational/fitness/fun
    rider group that I plop myself into :) Kind of the weekend warriors of bike riding... For the more
    organized/competitive/group events I can see how an accurate computer could certainly help.

    For me I just bust up the trail and the street and stop for picnics and cruise around and every now
    and then someone says "How far have we gone?" :) But I'm planning on getting far more serious as
    I've focused on cycling in particular as something I want to do as a core for fitness...

    I may even get a road bike soon... God help me! LoL!

    Have a good one!

    David

    "Gary Smiley" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I don't need one on my regular 4-mile commute, but they provide important feedback, and are useful
    > in organized rides when you have to follow a cue
    sheet.
    > Helps on longer rides, like centuries. How else could you know when you
    hit 100
    > miles?
    >
    > David Obando wrote:
    >
    > > Honestly, I think just about everyone could live WITHOUT a computer on
    their
    > > bike, in fact, I'm certain of it, but there is a coolness factor that
    can't
    > > be denied, particularly by a recreational rider such as myself. And
    there
    > > are those long, straight sections of trail where its just something fun
    to
    > > play around with...
     
  15. Dan Baker

    Dan Baker Guest

    "David Obando" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > It's gotten completely submerged, I've slammed my chest full force...
    ---------
    mine is a case of no abuse on a tandem....

    the weirdest thing is that is shows current speed, gear, cadence but WILL NOT zero the trip or
    start/stop. I guess it might be because one button isn't registering as pushed, BUT functions change
    with both buttons when pressed individually, so its not that.

    > 1) the flightdecks suffer from very serious variations in quality off the production line, and I
    > just happened to get two good one's in a row or... Come to think about it, you sound reasonably
    > capable so I guess I only have one explanation (above)
    -------
    thanx. ;)

    the other minor factor is that I've very carefully packed away the user's guide somewhere I cant
    find it. I am planning on changing my big front chainring from 52 to 55, and maybe the rear cassette
    as well.... I cant seem to access the "setup" features of the unit at all. I am hoping to either get
    a spare from shimano, or talk someone into scanning the english section of their manual.

    d
     
  16. Mine has worked great for 5000 km. Stan "Gary Mishler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting
    > > one, dont.
    > >
    > > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.
    >
    > < rest of post snipped ... >
    >
    > Gee, I have ridden a 6500 Flightdeck for five years and thousands of miles and never had one bit
    > of trouble. Followed procedures in the manual and found it easy to set up, have had no trouble
    > with buttons and it's never once malfunctioned.
    >
    > Are all the ones in your tandem club installed or setup by the same shop?
    I
    > know it's really important to have the switches and such in the shifters
    set
    > up properly.
    >
    > I don't know if there is some change between the 6500 and 6501 to account for the difference in
    > performance???
    >
    > Anyone else here have similar results?
     
  17. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    Often I do 30-50 mile club rides with friends. Although we stay together for the whole ride, the
    flight deck often reports an average speed of 1/2 to 1 mph less than other bike computers in the
    same group, although it reports the same distance. Go figure.

    dougc wrote:

    > "Gary Mishler" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > > "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > ...just a rant against shimano 6501 flightdecks. in case anyone is considering getting one,
    > > > dont.
    > > >
    > > > Mine, and most other people I know in the tandem club, have found them less than reliable, and
    > > > generally hard to use even when they ARE working. They have crummy buttons, are very hard
    > > > (non-intuitive) to setup, and break without warning and with alarming frequency.
    > >
    > > < rest of post snipped ... >
    > >
    > > Gee, I have ridden a 6500 Flightdeck for five years and thousands of miles and never had one bit
    > > of trouble. Followed procedures in the manual and found it easy to set up, have had no trouble
    > > with buttons and it's never once malfunctioned.
    > >
    > > Are all the ones in your tandem club installed or setup by the same shop? I know it's really
    > > important to have the switches and such in the shifters set up properly.
    > >
    > > I don't know if there is some change between the 6500 and 6501 to account for the difference in
    > > performance???
    > >
    > > Anyone else here have similar results?
    >
    > My Flight Deck, which is about a year old, has done flaky things since I got it. It sometimes will
    > report a ludicrous Max speed for a ride. More often, the Avg speed for a ride will display "Err".
    > I have run across other people on various forums who have experienced the same problem. My LBS
    > tried replacing the head, but the replacement did the same thing. I suspect that this is some sort
    > of internal software problem with the dynamic calculation of Avg speed,since the elements required
    > to statically calculate the avg are present (duration,distance).
    >
    > Last winter, I had problems with the Flite Deck stopping recording in the middle of a ride,
    > especially in cold weather, but that appears to have been caused by poor electrical contact
    > between the head and the bracket. I clean the contacts regularly now and have not had that problem
    > this winter.
     
  18. Tdwfl

    Tdwfl Guest

    >"Dave Thompson" [email protected] wrote: >Shimano makes a Dura Ace gear
    indicator. It fits in-line on your right shift
    >cable as it come out of the shifter.

    I'll vouch for the way this works. It's okay on my regular bike but I can see it being way more
    useful on a tandem.

    tim
     
  19. Dan Baker

    Dan Baker Guest

  20. Dan Baker

    Dan Baker Guest

    "Dave Thompson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Shimano makes a Dura Ace gear indicator. It fits in-line on your right shift cable as it come out
    > of the shifter. It has a clear window with a red 'ball' that indicates what cog your rear
    > derailluer is on. It's simple, easy to install and works well. --------------

    apparently these were too good and too inexpensive for Shimano to mess with... my LBS dont have any
    and dont think they can get any. ;(

    d
     
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