Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    206

    New guy bike computer questions...

    Hey all, so I think I'm getting interested about purchasing a bike computer to keep track of things. What are some features besides distance, ave. speed, max speed, current speed, and gps do these things have? I'm just kind of curious so I can decide what I would like to look for. Also, what are some good brands/models out there that are a decent price for what they are worth? Another thing, do you guys prefer wireless or wired? Pros and cons? Thanks.

  2. #2
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    9,145
    Pretty open question. Stick with the major brands, especially if wireless, and check the MTBR reviews section before buying, and you won't go wrong.

    My favorite feature is elevation gain. For me, this is a much better way to judge a ride than using mileage alone. I've got a VDO MC1.0+ wireless (link) that I've been using for maybe 5 or 6 years now, and I love it.

    I recently bought a GPS receiver and though it duplicates most of the functions of the bike computer, I only use it when want to map a trail. It's big and clunky (yet relatively small for a GPS), and it sucks battery. For my purposes, overkill for use as a dedicated bike computer.

    Pros and cons? Wireless is great but requires at least one extra battery, and battery life overall is impacted. The con to wireless would be that it would suck if your connection isn't working, for whatever reason (dead battery or some kind of interference). But I've had damaged cables on wired units that have caused me more headache than wireless ever has, and wired computers are one more item to futz with when performing fork maintenance.

    GPS is the ultimate wireless because there's no wheel sensor at all -- you don't even have to calibrate the things -- which also means they transfer easily from bike to bike to bike to car to... whatever. They have their own quirks and overall work great, though some have problems tracking very slow speeds and overall, a bike computer can give you more precise distance measurements. But then again, how precise does one need to be on a bike ride?
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    206
    Thanks Speedup.Nate. What are some good brand names out there?

  4. #4
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    9,145
    Quote Originally Posted by bonzi13
    Thanks Speedup.Nate. What are some good brand names out there?
    All the usuals... Vetta, CatEye, Sigma, and of course, VDO.
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    206
    Sweet, thanks again.

  6. #6
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,493
    Some observations since I got my first bike computer in 1986:

    I have a handful of perfectly good computers for which mounts/wiring harnesses are no longer available. On a mountain bike the mount/harness is a consumable. Buy something you can afford to replace. If you don't train get the more basic unit, by the time you get the second one you'll have a better idea of what you want.

    The point at which the wire enters the mount has been the most problematic. The wire breaks or pulls out eventually. Look for a thick wiring harness and simple durable mount. Don't overtighten the mount to the handlebar, if it can rotate under a little pressure it won't break off as easily.

    Do an immaculate installation so that the harness is well tied down and secure from getting snagged by vegetation. Be sure the wire isn't flopping around where it enters the mount, tie it to the cables to support it.

    With wireless you deal with more batteries, higher replacement cost. You can lose/break it in an unfortunate crash no matter what you use, and we expect that going into it, I guess. Think consumable!

  7. #7
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,493
    An neat installation...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    On MTBR hiatus :(
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    9,145
    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb
    An neat installation...
    Hey, I really like what you did with the wrapping over the sensor. Is that inner tube or heat shrink or something else? No problems picking up the magnet?
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,493
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Hey, I really like what you did with the wrapping over the sensor. Is that inner tube or heat shrink or something else? No problems picking up the magnet?
    It's just a piece of recycled inner tube. You can also use just one single piece all the way up the slider leg for an extra rugged installation. Hard to break off an inner tube and the sensor is free to move out of the way if it needs to.

    No problem with the magnet.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •