Back Lit Bike Computer- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Back Lit Bike Computer

    Any suggestions on a good cheap bike computer that's back lit for night riding?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    Yeah, they are hard to find. I was looking for one the other day, but I didn't buy one.

    Here's one, but it has interference at stop lights
    http://www.amazon.com/Cateye-Micro-W.../dp/B008707J90

    The one thing I like about Cateye is that you can buy parts for them 5 years from now, unlike the specialized one I have for my road bike.

  3. #3
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    I find helmet light more useful - can light up computer, gears & the path ahead

  4. #4
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    The bike computer I use is an old Vetta wired computer. It has a button that if hit back lights the display for several seconds. From what I understand most bike computers that have a back light do the same thing. This is probably because if the light ran for more than a handful of seconds it would quickly deplete the small coin size battery.

    A helmet lamp is your best bet for seeing your computer when on the road. I use a torch on the helmet but when I ride on the road at night I'm not really too worried about speed, I just want to get home in one piece. Occasionally though I'll glace down at the computer if I'm on a really long steep downhill. Not that I really need to do that because the computer will record my maximum speed as long as I clear the settings before my ride. Still it's fun to know how fast you're going when your adrenaline is really flowing.

  5. #5
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    If strictly necessary to have a back-lit cyclometer, than wired is the only way to go for night riding when your lamp is bar mounted. PWM would cause interference with a wireless model so that it would not receive any data. I own a Cateye Padrone and it craps out on me not only when my bar lights come on but when riding over truss bridges or passing through crowded urban environments where there are a lot of other wireless signals bouncing around.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    If strictly necessary to have a back-lit cyclometer, than wired is the only way to go for night riding when your lamp is bar mounted. PWM would cause interference with a wireless model so that it would not receive any data. I own a Cateye Padrone and it craps out on me not only when my bar lights come on but when riding over truss bridges or passing through crowded urban environments where there are a lot of other wireless signals bouncing around.
    This is a common trait of wireless bike computers but not always the case. The wireless cateye on my roadbike suffers from this but my fatbike which uses a cateye stealth 10 GPS (wireless) works fine. Don't think I would consider this inexpensive but I got it on sale at one point from Nashbar for around $60 which isn't too bad. It's rechargeable with a 12 hour run-time. You program in the global time zone appropriate for where your riding and it automatically turns the backlighting on and off at preset points in time that cover dusk to dawn. Works great!
    Mole

    Back Lit Bike Computer-005.jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    This is a common trait of wireless bike computers but not always the case. The wireless cateye on my roadbike suffers from this but my fatbike which uses a cateye stealth 10 GPS (wireless) works fine. Don't think I would consider this inexpensive but I got it on sale at one point from Nashbar for around $60 which isn't too bad. It's rechargeable with a 12 hour run-time. You program in the global time zone appropriate for where your riding and it automatically turns the backlighting on and off at preset points in time that cover dusk to dawn. Works great!
    Mole
    Correct me if I'm wrong but the Cateye stealth 10 doesn't use a speed sensor on the wheel to calculate speed. It uses the GPS signals to calculate the speed. Really not the same thing. Wheel sensors are faster and more accurate at calculating speed / distance. I can do the same thing with any number of apps for my smart phone but the GPS calculations for speed take more time than a conventional speed sensor. That's why people who buy the Garmin units with GPS will usually want the wireless ANT speed sensor so the speed / distance read-out is more accurate and timely.

    Now if I wanted to I could probably find an app to work with BT ( LE ) and give me an accurate speed read out if I bought a wireless BT speed sensor to work with an Android app. Then again if I'm using my navigation app I might not be able to use both apps at the same time. Of course hopefully the app I use will be upgraded at some point and include a wireless BT link for a wireless BT speed sensor. That would be nice. For the time being though I'm perfectly happy with the simple wired bike computer for accurate speed/ distance read out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The bike computer I use is an old Vetta wired computer. It has a button that if hit back lights the display for several seconds. From what I understand most bike computers that have a back light do the same thing. This is probably because if the light ran for more than a handful of seconds it would quickly deplete the small coin size battery.

    A helmet lamp is your best bet for seeing your computer when on the road. I use a torch on the helmet but when I ride on the road at night I'm not really too worried about speed, I just want to get home in one piece. Occasionally though I'll glace down at the computer if I'm on a really long steep downhill. Not that I really need to do that because the computer will record my maximum speed as long as I clear the settings before my ride. Still it's fun to know how fast you're going when your adrenaline is really flowing.
    how do you like your vetta computer? i actually would prefer a wired setup vs a wireless. Just to clarify, i'm not out to get another computer just for night riding. my current computer is starting to act up on me a lot. so i figure if its time to get something else, why not get something that's also back lit now that i'm looking at night riding as well

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong but the Cateye stealth 10 doesn't use a speed sensor on the wheel to calculate speed. It uses the GPS signals to calculate the speed. Really not the same thing. Wheel sensors are faster and more accurate at calculating speed / distance. I can do the same thing with any number of apps for my smart phone but the GPS calculations for speed take more time than a conventional speed sensor. That's why people who buy the Garmin units with GPS will usually want the wireless ANT speed sensor so the speed / distance read-out is more accurate and timely.

    Now if I wanted to I could probably find an app to work with BT ( LE ) and give me an accurate speed read out if I bought a wireless BT speed sensor to work with an Android app. Then again if I'm using my navigation app I might not be able to use both apps at the same time. Of course hopefully the app I use will be upgraded at some point and include a wireless BT link for a wireless BT speed sensor. That would be nice. For the time being though I'm perfectly happy with the simple wired bike computer for accurate speed/ distance read out.
    To the best of my knowledge you are correct on how this functions. I have no problems with accuracy on this unit though. I ride every day so I do the same routes frequently and there's no noticeable recorded mileage difference between the GPS and any of my wired computers.
    Mole

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