wire or wireless???



anthonyjf

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Aug 16, 2004
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I'm putting about 50 miles/week on my Trek 1000, and I'm ready for a cyclo computer. Need advise on wire or wireless, and general features to look for. Would appreciate any specific make / model.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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anthonyjf said:
I'm putting about 50 miles/week on my Trek 1000, and I'm ready for a cyclo computer. Need advise on wire or wireless, and general features to look for. Would appreciate any specific make / model.
Wireless is a nice feature for obvious reasons; it simplifies setup and keeps things clean. There are increasingly rare issues with interference from other computers, but these days, the chief downside to wireless rigs is their increased price and their decreased battery-life.

Nearly all computers offer a basic suite of features: stopwatch, speed, odometer, tripometer, average speed, and so on. Up a rung on the ladder is a cadence meter -- think of this as RPM, for pedal strokes. Spend more, and you'll start seeing functions found on only the sexiest computers -- heart rate meters, altimeters, complex cross-functions, and systems that allow you to download and evaulate data on your computer.

Popular, reliable brands include CatEye, Vetta, Sigma, and Ciclosport. CatEye makes one of the most popular and best value computers on the market, the Astrale 8. It's super easy to use, offers a broad range of popular and practical features, and is one of the best-priced models offering cadence. It's not wireless.

You can find it for under $30 with a little luck. For less, you can get great models from all the above brands; spend more, and the sky's the limit. Good luck, and have fun!
 

anthonyjf

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Aug 16, 2004
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lokstah said:
Wireless is a nice feature for obvious reasons; it simplifies setup and keeps things clean. There are increasingly rare issues with interference from other computers, but these days, the chief downside to wireless rigs is their increased price and their decreased battery-life.

Nearly all computers offer a basic suite of features: stopwatch, speed, odometer, tripometer, average speed, and so on. Up a rung on the ladder is a cadence meter -- think of this as RPM, for pedal strokes. Spend more, and you'll start seeing functions found on only the sexiest computers -- heart rate meters, altimeters, complex cross-functions, and systems that allow you to download and evaulate data on your computer.

Popular, reliable brands include CatEye, Vetta, Sigma, and Ciclosport. CatEye makes one of the most popular and best value computers on the market, the Astrale 8. It's super easy to use, offers a broad range of popular and practical features, and is one of the best-priced models offering cadence. It's not wireless.

You can find it for under $30 with a little luck. For less, you can get great models from all the above brands; spend more, and the sky's the limit. Good luck, and have fun!
Price isn't an issue (not rich, just willing to spend a few bucks on a good computer); are there any accuracy issues with wireless? I'm pretty sure my heart is fine, but I do want to monitor my cadence. I will look into the Astrale 8. Thanks.
 

tyler_derden

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Mar 22, 2004
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From all I've read here and elsewhere, and my own experience with one wireless computer, stick with wired types. They work reliably and the battery life is much longer.

I have a Sigma BC1600. It can do cadence if you buy an add-on kit, and can even convert to wireless with another add-on (But probably not both wireless AND cadence). I like the mounting methods used for the computer and the sensor. They seem to be well thought out. The BC1600 costs about $30 US.

TD
 

gruppo

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Aug 14, 2004
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I have owned 3 wireless computers by Cat-Eye and Shimano and never had a single problem with any of them. Nor do I know of anyone who has problems with wireless.

But I sure don't like the idea of uglying up my bike with a bunch of needless wire and cable ties.
 

Claes

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Jul 5, 2004
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I would get a wired one if you have a choice. It if fekking annoying to come home after a ride, keen to see your max speed down that hill, where you killed yourself on the pedals, and you see 205 km/h from when you went under the power supply lines. Wire for me.
 

Scotty_Dog

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Jul 30, 2004
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Wire for me.

I started out with a wireless, that seemed to only transmit/receive a signal once every 3 seconds (possibly to preserve battery life??). As a mountain biker, I would often times miss my top speeds going down short, fast, 30-40 foot descents. Worked fine on the road at more sustained speeds.

I now have a wired computer and that problem is gone. Besides, the front brake cable makes for an excellent wire route to your fork - just wind the computer cable around the brake cable. Very clean look to me, but the cable also seemed to be the perfect length.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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anthonyjf said:
Price isn't an issue (not rich, just willing to spend a few bucks on a good computer); are there any accuracy issues with wireless? I'm pretty sure my heart is fine, but I do want to monitor my cadence. I will look into the Astrale 8. Thanks.
Some valid concerns here, but again, I'd stress that with today's generation of wireless designs, the chief concern is battery life. Some of the latest wireless computers are truly hot sh*t, and aren't uncommon on big pro teams.

A friend of mine has been using the new Mavic Wintech on his road bike, and it's very impressive. Aside from working flawlessly, it's got an ingenious design -- the computer is a single unit that fastens to your handelbar or stem, and the sensor is permanently integrated into the skewer. Two pieces and a spoke magnet, and you're done. It goes for about $80, I think; the only downside is that cadence is extra.

The other hot sh*t unit is the Cateye CD300DW, which uses a single wireless sensor mounted on the chainstay to measure both speed and cadence. It goes for about $120. I plan on buying one of those to replace my very capable Astrale 8.
 

brown.be

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Jul 30, 2004
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I like wireless ones myself. Just the ease of no wires is appealing to me. I actually just bought a new one for $25 from bike nashbar. Thats damn cheap for a wireless comp!
 

dalronathos

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Aug 11, 2004
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Nashbar definately has them cheap, and you can get higher end comps on sale. Definately go wireless. I do have an odd story about the wireless, I had been wondering why the high speed reading was 75 mph, until I looked at it a few minutes ago and noticed that evidently the hard drive spinning on my computer had the odometer going like crazy. Odd anyone else ever heard of this problem?
 

tyler_derden

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Mar 22, 2004
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dalronathos said:
Nashbar definately has them cheap, and you can get higher end comps on sale. Definately go wireless. I do have an odd story about the wireless, I had been wondering why the high speed reading was 75 mph, until I looked at it a few minutes ago and noticed that evidently the hard drive spinning on my computer had the odometer going like crazy. Odd anyone else ever heard of this problem?

Try getting it anywhere near a television set that is switched on. The receiver in the computer is dirt cheap, and has little filtering at the front-end (input). It will receive almost any strong signal out there...

TD
 

malcomm

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Oct 5, 2004
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I have several bikes with both wireless and wired comps.
My mountain bike has a cheapish wired comp as its more likely to get smashed up hence cheaper to replace.
Had a wired Cateye Astrale on one of my road bikes and trying to hide the cadence wire was a real ***** as the frame's a lime green color. Eventually stuck the cable to the frame with black silicon. Might as well make a feature of the dogs balls right.
I also have a white aero framed bike and there's nowhere to hide any cables, in fact the shifter and brake cables are routed inside the frame, so I use a Cateye CD300DW double wireless on that. No cables at all, looks a hell of a lot nicer.
 

PeterF

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Sep 13, 2004
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anthonyjf said:
I'm putting about 50 miles/week on my Trek 1000, and I'm ready for a cyclo computer. Need advise on wire or wireless, and general features to look for. Would appreciate any specific make / model.
I have had both types (Sigma Sports is the brand I prefer) and I switched from wireless back to wired. The reason for the switch, is I live in Massachusetts and ride all winter. On cold days (below 30F, I know that's rare in New Orleans), the wireless would always go dead after a few miles, so I would be riding 3 hours with no data, which got frustrating. The wire model also only has one batery in the unit itself, as opposed to the wireless setup, which has batteries in the base, the computer and in the sensor. if one of them went dead, the computer was useless. I also think the wire set up looks neat in a retro kind of way. I am considering going with a Polar 720i which will give me a BC and HRM in one device. Does anyone know if this is reliable in the cold weather?
:cool:
 

bentupright

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Sep 27, 2004
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Wish I saw your interest in cyclecomputers sooner, for I just trashed two of them (wired) recently! To a commuter such as myself, extra weight should focus on good, strong metal frames (which I do NOT consider MY Trek 1000 to be adequate, so I'm looking in to bumping 'Up a notch'), ready to 'pack mule' (panniers) when I want it to!:D I just want to either 1-go to work, or 2- occasionally 'get lost', I don't care how fast or far!:D
 

OCRoadie

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Oct 5, 2004
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I had a Vetta wireless which was a total piece of ****. I went to get a wired computer at the local bike shop and they talked me into trying the Cat Eye Wireless 7. It worked great from day one and was simple to set up. It has basic functions (Speed, max speed, average, trip distance, auto start/stop) and was under $40. I think all wireless units tend to cut in & out at times, but it's been minimal with this unit. I've been thinking of going to a higher end unit that has altitude and other goodies.
 

TKOS

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Oct 6, 2004
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I have the Topeak Panoram on my Trek 820 Mountain Bike. I got it clearance for under 20 bucks and it has been great for me. The setup was simple. It doesn't do cadence though and eventually I may look into one that does. I also love the fact that it displays 4 things at a time.
 

gjmalcyon

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Sep 7, 2004
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I've had a variety of wired and wireless Sigma computers - I hand the old ones down to the wife and old Trek "beater" on the trainer. I have a BC1200 with the wireless kit, and always seem to have problems: Either the battery in the sender is dead, or the sender on the fork isn 't picking up the wheel magnet, and has to be repositioned. PITA when you're flying down the road, and notice your speed is zero. The final straw was when the handlebar mount flew apart on a stretch of bad South Jersey road. I got lucky and found all the little bits.

I finally gave up, and went back to wired; bought both the front (for road), and rear wheel (for trainer) wire harnesses, and an extra for the mountain bike, and am much happier wired than wireless.
 

chispa60

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Sep 12, 2004
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str8shooter said:
Astrale 8 gets my vote. Great computer for the money which includes cadance feature.
Same here. Got an Astrale 8 and it works great. A good low cost version using wires. I suppose the CD3000DW would be nicer but that's like 4~5 times the cost I spent on my Astrale 8.
 

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