Wired Vs. Wireless Computer

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Mike, Mar 8, 2003.

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  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last as
    long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues with my
    wired one. Thanks fo any input. Mike
     
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  2. Mike wrote:
    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input. Mike

    I've been really happy with wireless computers on my two bikes except in two cases. My Cateye
    cordless will not transmit when colder than -2 Celsius. I need to change batteries about every two
    years on it. Neither my Flightdeck nor my Polar speed sensor will transmit all the way from the rear
    wheel when on the trainer. Don't know how long the batteries last on these yet.

    --
    Perre

    Remove the DOTs to reply
     
  3. Cycle Guy

    Cycle Guy Guest

    Mike, If you want to get the most out of your training rides I'd recommend you look at the
    Ciclosport HAC4. I have one bike set up with their wired harness (to utilize the cadence option) and
    two bikes set up with the wireless option. (track and road bike). I neve get any "cross talk" from
    other riders.

    It gives all kinds of altitude readings on your rides (amount of climbing, % grade climbed, power
    output in watts expended (est.) as well as being a totally wireless unit. One of the best features
    is that when the batteries wear out you can change them yourself instead of sending the unit to
    the manufacturer (ie. Polar) and waiting 3-4 weeks for them to send it back) Ciclosport has
    excellent software to log and graph all of your rides. I've been using mine for about a year now
    and really like
    it. It's probably a good reason that U.S. Postal team is switching to use them this year. Yea...
    some people say they go with the one who pays them to use their product but they can have
    anything they want and they chose the HAC4.

    Mine has worked great without a glitch and I also use it to train when I run and swim (doing
    Triathlon type workouts).

    Troy

    Mike wrote:

    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input. Mike
    >
     
  4. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one.

    I think it was Keith Bontrager who said: "Cheap, reliable, or light -- pick two."

    A wired computer is one of the few items that violates that rule.
     
  5. Melon

    Melon Guest

    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input.

    Couple weeks ago there was discussion about "jamming" wireless bike devices with HID and LED lights.

    --
    Melon
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Mike wrote:
    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input. Mike
    >

    /I went wired (V100HR) with the cadence option. Very pleased with the setup. The speed/cadence
    mounting kit I got is the 'long rear wheel mount' as opposed to the 'standard front wheel mount'
    one. You have to run a wire down the down tube for the cadence anyway (assuming you want cadence) so
    you might as well twin it with the speed wire and leave the front wheel out of the setup.
    i.e. Speed sensor and cadence sensor mounted on the left chainstay. Looks quite tidy and has
    functioned flawlessly through a Vancouver winter of training.

    Base 3 starts on Monday, Peak on summer solstice. Still psyched to go fast :)/
     
  7. "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input.

    I owned a Cateye wireless computer for a fortnight 2-3 years ago as I though there would be less to
    go wrong. I took it back because it didn't work on cold mornings. The bike shop claimed that gear &
    brake cable routing was interfering - I didn't really buy this given the marked temperature effect.

    I changed to a cateye Enduro 2 (wired) and have had no problems since. In fact this seems very
    robust and reliable.

    I have bought additional mounts for other bikes. It is comforting to know that these are readily
    available in case of problems with the wire, but so far I haven't had any.
     
  8. Java Man

    Java Man Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > with my wired one.

    Wireless don't work below some minimum temperature, depending on the distance between the head and
    the sending unit, and on whether this distance is unobstructed line of sight, or obstructed by beefy
    forks such as on a MTB. I can't get mine to work below 3C on my road bike or 6C on my MTB. On
    either, they work fine at the start of a ride, but as the ride progresses (and the batteries cool
    down) the functions requiring a signal from the sending unit stop working.

    Rick
     
  9. On Sun, 09 Mar 2003 14:41:19 -0500, Andrew Webster wrote:

    > "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    >> wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    >> as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    >> with my wired one.

    I can understand wireless remote controls for TVs. After all, you are across the room, on the
    couch, and don't want to get up. But what possible advantage could there be to a wireless bike
    computer? The sensor for the wheel is all of 12-15 inches from the computer itself, and will always
    be in the same relative position. It's not like you move the computer from the couch to the easy
    chair, or whatever.

    > I changed to a cateye Enduro 2 (wired) and have had no problems since. In fact this seems very
    > robust and reliable.

    I use the same computer. Works great, and is far tougher than any other I have had. Seems to have no
    trouble with rain or cold.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you _`\(,_ | killed all of us?
    From every corner of Europe, hundreds, (_)/ (_) | thousands would rise up to take our places.
    Even Nazis can't kill that fast. -- Paul Henreid (Casablanca).
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Did you try setting the speed sensor switch to the maximum power output? Normally that is all you
    need to do to make the sensor work from the rear wheel. Chris.

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mike wrote:
    > > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    > > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input. Mike
    >
    > I've been really happy with wireless computers on my two bikes except in
    two
    > cases. My Cateye cordless will not transmit when colder than -2 Celsius. I need
    to
    > change batteries about every two years on it. Neither my Flightdeck nor my Polar speed sensor will
    > transmit all the way from the rear wheel when on the trainer. Don't know how long the batteries
    > last on these yet.
    >
    > --
    > Perre
    >
    > Remove the DOTs to reply
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Guest

    I sometimes have that problem when using my Polar S710 (w/ Speed & Cadence sensors) together with my
    light (NiteRider Digital Evolution) that is mounted next to the Polar. The moment I switch on the
    light, sometimes the heartbeat display drops to 0. If I switch the light off, heartbeat is back
    right away.

    "melon" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > > wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    > > as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any
    issues
    > > with my wired one. Thanks fo any input.
    >
    > Couple weeks ago there was discussion about "jamming" wireless bike
    devices
    > with HID and LED lights.
    >
    > --
    > Melon
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    David L. Johnson wrote:

    > On Sun, 09 Mar 2003 14:41:19 -0500, Andrew Webster wrote:
    >
    >> "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >>> Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    >>> wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries last
    >>> as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any issues
    >>> with my wired one.
    >
    > I can understand wireless remote controls for TVs. After all, you are across the room, on the
    > couch, and don't want to get up. But what possible advantage could there be to a wireless bike
    > computer? The sensor for the wheel is all of 12-15 inches from the computer itself, and will
    > always be in the same relative position. It's not like you move the computer from the couch to the
    > easy chair, or whatever.
    >
    >> I changed to a cateye Enduro 2 (wired) and have had no problems since. In fact this seems very
    >> robust and reliable.
    >
    > I use the same computer. Works great, and is far tougher than any other I have had. Seems to have
    > no trouble with rain or cold.

    I can understand the reason for a wireless computer, assuming it works. Wires can be fragile,
    catching on stuff, breaking from fatigue, prone to water intrusion, etc. -- particularly on mountain
    bikes with suspension forks. It might be easier to build a wireless unit that's sealed, and not
    prone to these problems. Whether that's been done or not is the question. So I wouldn't necessarily
    put the blame on the concept, but the implementation.

    I've never owned a wireless one. After the hassles I just mentioned in keeping a computer on
    a mountain bike working, I've been computerless for quite awhile. I'm kinda shopping for
    one, though...

    Matt O.
     
  13. D Heath

    D Heath Guest

    "David L. Johnson >" <David L. Johnson <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 09 Mar 2003 14:41:19 -0500, Andrew Webster wrote:
    >
    > > "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:<[email protected]>...
    > >> Hi, I'm buying a new bike computer (probably a Vetta V100 Series) and am wondering if wired or
    > >> wireless is the way to go. Are the wireless as reliable as the wired ones? Do the batteries
    > >> last as long? Other than doing a nice job of wiring in the first place, never really had any
    > >> issues with my wired one.
    >
    > I can understand wireless remote controls for TVs. After all, you are across the room, on the
    > couch, and don't want to get up. But what possible advantage could there be to a wireless bike
    > computer? The sensor for the wheel is all of 12-15 inches from the computer itself, and will
    > always be in the same relative position. It's not like you move the computer from the couch to the
    > easy chair, or whatever.

    Well, let's see... maybe not having sticks jump up through your fork and wheel and rip the wires
    out of the sensor or computer, requiring you to shell out for another setup. At least in
    mountain biking, this is a very real possibility. After this happened to me twice, I simply
    swore off wires on the mtb and will never go back. Wires on a road bike are fine for me, but
    never on the trail. I have used Specialized and Nashbar wireless computers and neither ever got
    any interference from anything else. Specialized makes a good wireless setup which reads even
    very low speeds without cutting out, a valuable feature when you have to climb extremely steep
    stuff and maybe do some slow pushing.
    --
    Off to ride the mountains, Dale Heath To reply, poke out my eye.
     
  14. On Sun, 09 Mar 2003 19:32:49 -0500, D Heath wrote:

    > Well, let's see... maybe not having sticks jump up through your fork and wheel and rip the
    > wires out of the sensor or computer, requiring you to shell out for another setup.

    I still don't get it. The front of a bike has lots of wires to worry about; derailleur cables, brake
    cables, spokes. Sure, some of these are stronger than computer wires, but on the other hand computer
    wires are right up against the frame. Why are sticks so much of a concern with computer wires but
    not these other, more important, wires?

    > At least in mountain biking, this is a very real possibility. After this happened to me twice, I
    >simply swore off wires on the mtb and will never go back. Wires on a road bike are fine for me, but
    >never on the trail.

    Still, a lot of wireless computers are sold for road bikes. They don't have this excuse. What
    advantage is there?

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember _`\(,_ | that your initial
    objective was to drain the swamp. -- LBJ (_)/ (_) |
     
  15. Java Man <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Wireless don't work below some minimum temperature, depending on the distance between the head and
    : the sending unit, and on whether this distance is unobstructed line of sight, or obstructed by
    : beefy forks such as on a MTB. I can't get mine to work below 3C on my road bike or 6C on my MTB.
    : On either, they work fine at the start of a ride, but as the ride progresses (and the batteries
    : cool down) the functions requiring a signal from the sending unit stop working.

    just a data point. my wireless flightdeck has always worked down to around -6C which is as cold as
    i've ridden it (missed minnesota this year, i'm in colorado. it was 17C today!).
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  16. Java Man

    Java Man Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Java Man <[email protected]> wrote:
    > : Wireless don't work below some minimum temperature, depending on the distance between the head
    > : and the sending unit, and on whether this distance is unobstructed line of sight, or obstructed
    > : by beefy forks such as on a MTB. I can't get mine to work below 3C on my road bike or 6C on my
    > : MTB. On either, they work fine at the start of a ride, but as the ride progresses (and the
    > : batteries cool down) the functions requiring a signal from the sending unit stop working.
    >
    > just a data point. my wireless flightdeck has always worked down to around -6C which is as cold as
    > i've ridden it (missed minnesota this year, i'm in colorado. it was 17C today!).
    >
    It may vary by model. I've owned Cateye Cordless I and II, and had the same problem with both. No
    amount of fiddling with mounting position, line-of-sight from sender to receiver, or clearance
    between sender and spoke magnet made it any better.

    Rick
     
  17. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "D Heath" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Well, let's see... maybe not having sticks jump up through your fork and wheel and rip the
    > wires out of the sensor or computer, requiring you to shell out for another setup. At least in
    > mountain biking, this is a very real possibility. After this happened to me twice, I simply
    > swore off wires on the mtb and will never go back. Wires on a road bike are fine for me, but
    > never on the trail.

    I never lost wires on a bike computer riding in the woods, I would use clear sealing tape to keep
    them flush to the frame, splicing wires is no big deal anyway. Suspension forks require leaving some
    slack, but in the right place, it isn't a problem. Having lost 2 rear derailers ( & dropouts &
    spokes) to sticks, I'd say that's a much bigger problem. The really annoying thing was breaking
    computer mounts in crashes, the best solution I had was buying cheap, which definitely ruled out
    wireless. I finally asked the (obvious) question: what do I need a computer on a mountain bike for
    anyway? Life then got simpler.
     
  18. Chris wrote:
    > Did you try setting the speed sensor switch to the maximum power output? Normally that is all you
    > need to do to make the sensor work from the rear wheel. Chris.

    Yes. We set it up at the Polar shop and everything worked nicely on their bike. When I did the same
    thing with the same equipment at home it did not work. In the Polar shop I could transmit 120 cm. At
    home 65 cm with the same setup.

    The only difference was I have a carbon frame and they had a steel frame.

    --
    Perre

    Remove the DOTs to reply
     
  19. Java Man wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >> Java Man <[email protected]> wrote: just a data point. my wireless flightdeck has always worked
    >> down to around -6C which is as cold as i've ridden it (missed minnesota this year, i'm in
    >> colorado. it was 17C today!).
    >>
    > It may vary by model. I've owned Cateye Cordless I and II, and had the same problem with both. No
    > amount of fiddling with mounting position, line-of-sight from sender to receiver, or clearance
    > between sender and spoke magnet made it any better.
    >
    > Rick

    Or maybe the type of batteries they use. I have a Cateye II cordless and a Polar S720 sitting side
    by side on my winter bike. The Cateye quits after some minute of riding in subfreezing weather and
    the Polar hasn't quit on me yet. I've ridden maybe down to -12 C.

    --
    Perre

    Remove the DOTs to reply
     
  20. D Heath

    D Heath Guest

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:RP%[email protected]...
    >
    > I never lost wires on a bike computer riding in the woods, I would use
    clear
    > sealing tape to keep them flush to the frame, splicing wires is no big
    deal
    > anyway. Suspension forks require leaving some slack, but in the right
    place,
    > it isn't a problem.

    Keeping as much wire covered with tape does make a big difference, but as you mention, you can't
    cover it all on a suspension fork, having to allow for travel, which leaves a fair bit of wire
    hanging somewhere. As to splicing, I didn't have that option, since the break occurred right
    where the wires went into the unit, jerking the small gauge wire right out of it. There was
    nothing left to fit wire into either, as the attachment point was just some glue-like plastic. I
    might have been able to tear it all apart and find the right connection points inside, but it
    was not worth the trouble.

    > Having lost 2 rear derailers ( & dropouts & spokes) to sticks, I'd say that's a much bigger
    > problem.

    Indeed it is, and one that has bitten me, but the existence of another problem doesn't lessen in
    any way the reality of this problem.

    > The really annoying thing was breaking computer mounts in crashes,

    I did that too, and fortunately begged a new mounting bracket from Specialized.

    > the best solution I had was buying cheap, which definitely ruled out wireless.

    Actually, my Nashbar wireless was quite reasonable, maybe $25 (years ago), and the Specialized
    unit was a previous year model on sale for $30. While you can find cheaper for wired units,
    these were excellent prices.

    > I finally asked the (obvious) question: what do I need a computer on a mountain bike for anyway?
    > Life then got simpler.

    I'll buy that for you, though I'm afraid my own tendency to keep records won't allow me the same
    course. I also like to be able to utilize distances to certain intersections or landmarks in
    unfamiliar territory to help me keep from getting lost! Ah well. Wired or wireless or none of
    the above, let's enjoy the ride one way or another...
    --
    Off to ride the mountains, Dale Heath To reply, poke out my eye.
     
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