Computers -- w/ or w/o wires?

I’m in the market for a [uni]cycle computer, and am not sure whether to get a wired or a wireless model.

Those of you who have wireless ones, do you have the computer permanently mounted on the uni, or do you keep it on your person? I’m thinking it would be nice to be able to read it without dismounting. I don’t have handle, so I would have to mount it under the seat or something.

I’ll probably go with a VDO unless someone tells me they have problems.

Appologies if this topic has been discussed – I did a search, and didn’t find it.

I use a wireless computer and have it mounted to the neck of the frame. I just look at it after each ride or, depending on the terrain and how flexible I’m feeling, look at it while riding. I’d definately suggest going wireless.



I prefer using a wireless, (Cateye cc something) on my Muni. But I do have a problem with the distance between transmitter reciever, sometimes when I have the computer in my pocket it doesn’t recieve the signals. I’m looking for a more reliable setup. possibly strapping it to my leg in some way.

I personally am a firm believer in wired computers. I’ve known quite a few people that have tried both and it seems they always go back to the wired computer for better reliabilty. The Schwinn model that WalMart sells for just under $10 appears to be almost bulletproof!!! At that price, if you crash and it gets lost in the bushes while on the trail, you can simply buy another!!!

My only concern with my Wal Mart special is that I’m afraid that someday my uni will be going through some underbrush (either while I’m on it or by itself) and the wire will get snagged on something. But as Kenny said, it’s only ten bucks!

The Schwinn computer has a stout wire. It’s a fairly thick wire so it’s not going to snap in two. If you strap the wire down tightly so it’s less likely to get pulled out of the sensor or mounting bracket I think it will survive crashes.

The only thing I don’t like about the Schwinn is that you can’t reset only the max speed. When you do a reset it zeros out your average speed, distance, ride time, and max speed. Some of the fancier computers let you zero out only the max speed and leave the rest of the ride data intact. But it’s less than $10 so I’m not complaining.

I just found out another benefit to my Schwinn computer. It will read speeds up to 199.9 Km/h or 120 Mile/h! I guess I’d better try and get my top speed up on my 24" wheel. :roll_eyes:

I’ve got two WalMart $10 wired computers. After securing the magnetic terminal, I neatly wrap the wire around the fork, up to the neck, where I’ve affixed the computer mount. I snipped off the end of what they intended me to use and tape the remaining tail securely in place. I cover all the wires neatly and completely with electrician’s tape. It is now impossible for my wires to snag anything because they are not exposed.

My 29er is black, so the black tape blends right in. My MUni is silver, so black tape is obvious but I don’t care. I’ve got yellow, red, blue, black, and green tape. I think you can find some silver electrician’s tape somewhere.

The little computer clips in and out of the computer mount. I suggest mounting so the computer is upside-down on the front of the frame. This way, its easy to read when you dismount gracefully with the unicycle in front (level 1 skill).

I’ve crashed them plenty and everything still seems ok. I have to dismount to see how fast I went. Boo Hoo! Its $10. Yea! There’s plenty of wire to bring it up under the seat. Maybe velcro dot it under there and bring it out to looksee occasionally. I’d UPD for sure.

For $10,000 you can get a head’s up display in your helmet. Like the attack helicopter pilot’s use. That’d be cool.

I’ve had a wired computer on my carbon MUni for years. Though the cycle doesn’t get much attention these days, I never had a problem with the wire on that one or any of the others I’ve set up. Mine use nylon cable ties to hold the wire in place, mostly without tape. Set up the ties so the fat part is on the back of the frame, and cut off the excess.

On my old racing uni (the one that was stolen in China) I had a combination of cable ties and decorative (metallic/reflective) tape running the wire up the back of the frame. Then the wire went under the seat post clamp, in the space where the gap in the frame it. This allows seat adjustment with less hassle.

But taking the seat off, to fly with the uni, for instance, can be a big hassle. I used to take the frame off the wheel, but leave the seat on so the wire wouldn’t be in danger.

Wireless computers sound nice, but I’ve also heard of distance problems. Remember on a bike, it’s a very short distance between the pickup and the top of the stem where the computer is. If you wear the computer on your person you’re almost guaranteed to be exceeding this.

I was wondering if there could be problems with a wireless if there are several people using them in close proximity. Is it possible to pick up someone else’s signal and get a reading much higher then it should be?

Another solution that I saw some guy use on a 100 mi bike ride was a GPS unit. I’m not sure what the intended purpose was of the device, but it looked cool. He wore it around his arm, and it told him all the vitals, ie. time, distance, max speed, average, etc.

Not sure how much it cost, but I’m sure it was more then 10 bucks.


Only if they’re so close you can breathe down their necks. :smiley:

The wireless computers have something like a security code so that you only pick up the signal from your own transmitter.

A GPS isn’t a good speedometer or odometer for a bicycle or unicycle. A GPS if very good for telling you where you are at and general overview and statistics for the ride. But they aren’t an accurate speedometer or odometer at low speeds.

A GPS has accuracy errors. It can only get your posistion within a couple of yards at best and within several hundred yards or more at worst. You’ll be riding along and the GPS will take your position which may be off by several yards. Then a few seconds later it will take your position again but it may be 10 yards to your right and 20 yards behind you. And it keeps doing that every couple of seconds. You end up with a zig-zag path even when you were going in a straight line. The GPS uses that zig-zag path to figure out your current speed, average speed, and distance. The errors tend to average out in the end, but it’s not as accurate as a cycle computer.

At highway speeds and a clear view of the sky a GPS can give accurate speeds. If I was in my car and my car speedometer says I’m doing 50 mph and my GPS says I’m doing 54 mph I would believe the GPS. At walking speeds and unicycling speeds I would not trust the GPS speeds.

I use one of the bike nashbar Dual computers. It comes with one computer and two mounts with hardware. One is mounted on my MUNi and the other mount is going to go on my 29er. It is only $14.41, btw.

It has a thick cable and I one time when I dumped my MUni on a creek crossing and the computer was submerged for several seconds, it continued to work.

I use some extra cable ties to keep it close to the frame. It’s never caught on a dump, but the spoke magnet moved up when it went over a cliff and fell into some chaparral.

It also seems like it might be able to be set for a Coker size wheel, but I haven’t checked it out if it will do that.

The computer mounting bracket keeps the computer secure. Swapping out the computer is easy.

Hmmmmmm, but for these cycle computers or speedometers is what I usually call them (am I wrong?), counts the number of times the magnet passes the sensor on the fork, correct? So I would think that you would have to only pedal forwards to get an accurate reading in speed, elapsed time, and also distance. One revolution of the wheel, one pass of the sensor. Otherwise if the sensor is on the spoke of the uni such that each time you idle (say left pedal down), and then magnet passes the sensor two times on one idle (back and forth) then you will get a high speed reading, when in reality you are staying in the same couple of feet. While if you idle on the other side, right pedal down, the sensor won’t read anything. Hmmmm I am just thinking out loud, but is my logic right?

:thinking: Jeremy :thinking:

Yes, you are correct. If you want accurate readings (and who doesn’t) you need to be careful about where you position the magnet in relation to the cranks. You don’t want the magnet to be taking readings while you’re idling or in you’re in your favorite hopping position. If you position the magnet so it goes by the sensor each time you idle you can end up with some very strange max speed readings and your distance readings will be off if you do a lot of idling.

Re: Computers – w/ or w/o wires?

On Tue, 29 Jul 2003 15:32:34 -0500, racingnismo
<> wrote:

>I am just thinking out loud, but is my logic

Your logic is right but yet two observations:
(1) I think my max rpm exceeds my usual idling speed (even if it
counts double), except maybe on very long cranks; therefore ‘bad’
magnet placing wouldn’t hurt me. I just realise the funny phenomenon
that idling speed goes down on shorter cranks while max revving speed
goes up.
(2) Having the magnet in ‘idling position’ may even be advantageous as
it would allow to check for the truth of the statements in (1) which
is a good thing in itself.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“the helmet is to protect the brain, not replace it. - iunicycle”

Re: Computers – w/ or w/o wires?

Computers, computers – not “cyclometers”! That’s what they’re called
here. Computers.

stiller ( at ) quip ( dot ) net

Has anyone tried a polar heartrate monitor cycle computer? Polar have wireless transmission sorted. This will give a wrist mounted cycle computer. Pretty cool but pricey.