Decent wireless computer for 36er?

There were several lengthy discussions on this a while back, and at the time the consensus seemed to be that wireless units were way too fussy and inaccurate for 36ers.

What say you now?
Has anyone found an accurate, non-fussy wireless unit?

(btw, I don’t own a smartphone, garmin, i-thing, etc., and want to stay that way.)


Thanks for asking this question. I’d also like to know…
I don’t fancy having the life sucked outta my phone, to give me a rough average of speed and distance.

I love my Garmin but if your on a budget keep an eye out for the Aldi GPS cycle computer. Costs less than many wireless speedos but has full gps tracking etc. my mate has one and loves it.

Thanks, rawcyclist – do you mean that your mate use it on a 36er?
(Apparently the extra-large diameter causes issues with signal range.)

Presumably as it uses GPS, it doesn’t matter what wheelsize you use :wink:

I know you said you don’t want GPS though, so maybe that’s not an option!

You say Aldi cycle computer… Do you mean Aldi as in the supermarket? :smiley:

Cycle computers are designed to transmit from a fork to a handlebar. Going from a unicycle frame to handlebar is often quite a bit further. From experience, with a fresh battery in the sensor a wireless computer will be fine but the range will drop off well before the battery dies.

If the issue is wire length being too short then people have cut and extended computer cables (although success seems to be mixed).

I have installed Ant+ computers on bikes that had the wheel sensor on the chainstay behind the bottom bracket. I’m pretty sure that distance is further than a uni frame to handlebar. So you might try an Ant+ computer. I have a cyclops joule gps that works great even just in GPS mode. I haven’t bought a speed sensor, but it would be an additional $30 or so.

davejh, were your experiences – range dropping – with recent wireless computers, and if so, which ones?

jtrops, thanks a lot for the info. The Ant+ technology is more ambitious than what I had in mind.

Not current, the most recent (and expensive) was a non digital cateye strada wireless. I’ll admit that a more recent/expensive transmitter design should be better, but i learnt my lesson and went wired.

From my t bar to the sensor on my 29er is 60cm. Battery lasted ~20h riding before i started getting dropped signal. On a 36er the distance between my sensor and the most reasonable computer mount point is more than 90cm.

i had a wireless cateye that also reads cadence also but could never get it all to work properly on a 700c Guni back in the day… was disappointing.

if i feel i need a speedo again i will certainly be going wired
Best of luck finding a reliable setup

You say you don’t want any of this stuff, but you don’t mention GPS specifically. I can assume that by Garmin you mean GPS, but that’s an assumption. So, do you have an aversion to using GPS? If not I have found it to be a good solution, and it can be used on any cycle (uni, bi…) without having to be calibrated. Like i said I have a Cyclops Joule GPS that I haven’t bother with a speed sensor since it works well in GPS mode alone.

The nice thing is that you can pick them up cheap used. I have an old Garmin Etrex that I got for $10 and put a handlebar mount on it. My Cyclops was $40 on Craigslist. The cyclops is small like a bike computer, and it has much better battery life than the Etrex. My phone works alright, but not as accurate as a standalone GPS.

I have a Garmin forerunner 305.
It’s this one:

It’s very very accurate, and it also has a heart rate sensor.
After 2 years of use, no problem, yet…

Thanks jtrops, tasmania, giocologgi for the tips.

Update: I was cleaning out garage this weekend and found one of the old kids’ bikes with a long-forgotten, cheapo Bell wired cyclocomputer hanging off it. I put it on the 36er and it works like a charm! (I felt a bit guilty, so I gave him $5 for it; I think he paid 10 or 12.)