wireless cycle computers for uni/muni

Hiya,

as I’m getting faster and faster on my way to work, I’ve
recently grown curious of how fast I was going.

So, I’d like to invest in a cycle computer.

I was thinking of something I could mount somehow on my wrist so
that I can watch it while riding, so that would have to be
wireless.

I’ve looked around on the web, talked to a local bicycle shop
guy, and I’m not sure if that’s possible.

The guy from the shop thought they were all using infrared so
that the transmitter and computer had to be in a line of sight.

Now I can see there exist radio, even digital radio ones, but
when I look at some of the manuals that are available (such as
the Sigma BC 1606L + DTS), they say the computer has to be in a
cone no more than 30° wide and not be further than 70cm from the
transmitter on the wheel, which kind of suggests I can’t really
use it on the uni.

Have any of you guys had any luck with those and would have some
recommendation? I’m looking for something under £40/$80 and I’m
in the UK if that matters.

Thanks!
Stéphane

Probably won’t work

I have a wireless computer and I have to have the computer a couple of inches above the neck of my 24" DX or lower or else it gets no signal. It’s good to see the distance I road, my max and average speeds though.

If you want to see how fast you are while riding, I’d get a wrist GPS.

If you don’t care about current speed go ahead w/ the computer. Now knowing I can’t put the computer on my wrist, I wish I got a wired computer instead of wireless. I’ve had a few minor problems that I think would be non-issues if it was wired.

I had the same problems trying a wireless computer. I couldn’t get it lined up properly, and just went for a wired set up.

I would second the idea about the GPS, I use one, and it is really good. I use a Garmin with the a high sensitivity receiver. You can get all the information you would want from that, then download a tracklog of where you have been to some mapping software when you get home.

Innes

There’s a type of Garmin GPS thing that you can strap on your wrist. It looks like a large watch but I’m pretty sure it tells you speed. It definitely tells how far you went, how long it took you to get there, your average speed and things like that. So it’ll probably say your speed at that moment. My dad uses it when he goes jogging, works amazingly well. It was only 1ft off when we went for 1mile one direction and 1mile back.

OOPS! Accidentally deleted other comment. Think I said something about a type of garmin gps that you can strap to your wrist. My dad uses one while he jogs.

I got the Garmin 305 for Christmas. Excellent! It’s pretty lame for elevation, but then again so is my (barometer-based) Casio watch. The advantage is keeping all your data (downloaded to computer; Windows only), and being able to record your riding on any cycle. Or in your car. Or in a plane, which is fun. :slight_smile:

Re: wireless cycle computers for uni/muni

Thanks guys for the feedback.

Looks like indeed the traditional wireless cycle computers won’t
do it.

I’m not too keen on investing that kind of money in a GPS
system. It seems to me that if we can get a signal from
a satellite hundreds of miles away, we should be able to get one
from a transmitter on a unicycle wheel.

I’ve investigated a bit further. It looks like there’s a new
generation of wireless cycle computers now that use /broadband/
2.4GHz technology and have a wider non-unidirectional
reach/range.

Hard to get any reliable information on them.

The VDO ones (from £30) have a 1.5m range. It looks like the
ciclosport ones have a 2m range but it’s not clear from their
manual. Cateye (£60) may have a 5m range, again not clear, and
it comes with a cadence sensor that is of no use on a non-geared
unicycle.

I’ll try and get more accurate information from the
manufacturers (trelock and velomann have computers that look
promising).

More news soon hopefully.

In the meantime, if you have any experience with those, please
share.


Stéphane

When you’re going for ones that are that expensive, you’re heading into the price range of gps - you can get a high accuracy gps for about £50-60 nowadays.

I found with the blackburn wireless computer on my bike, it’s more hassle than it’s worth - it seems to eat batteries, you have to remember to replace two batteries, and they’re different batteries both of which are slightly odd sizes. Wired computers are great because you fit them and forget about them and they always just work, but I found wireless computers don’t have much advantage over gps.

Obviously a GPS has tons of advantages in terms of being a route finding tool, and giving you a record of your rides, including things like altitude, so you can see how fast you are up and down hills and things like that.

GPS is also really handy if you’re travelling - I was in Australia recently, and I was able to just go out riding with a GPS track I got off the internet, and to see afterwards where I went and how long I took, and to post it up on the internet easily so that the people I rode with could see it. It saved having to follow dodgy written instructions off some website, or having to remember loads of instructions given to me by a guy in a bikeshop, as I’ve done on previous trips.
http://sportstracker.nokia.com/nts/workoutdetail/index.do?id=204005

Joe

Let us know if you find any good products in the 2.4 GHz space. Yes, I guess the others use radio frequency, so there are lots of rules on how far it’s allowed to spread. Apparently not far enough to reach a receiver unless it’s on your handlebar. And no, GPS satellites aren’t hundreds of miles away, they’re something like 24,000 miles away, in geosynchronous orbit. No wonder my Dish Network signal is always breaking up… :stuck_out_tongue:

Lastly, remember my main reason for liking my GPS, it’s not attached to a single unicycle. Of course this is not an issue if you only use one unicycle, but I use many.

Communication satellites are in a geosynchronous orbit, so that they’re always in the same spot, as seen from the Earth. GPS satellites are 12,600 miles high, and you’re seeing different ones at different times.

Re: wireless cycle computers for uni/muni

2008-06-5, 06:41(-05), joemarshall:
> When you’re going for ones that are that expensive, you’re heading into
> the price range of gps - you can get a high accuracy gps for about
> £50-60 nowadays.

Hi Joe. Thanks.

Which kind of model did you have in mind at that price? I’m
seeing things more around £100.

I take your points about the wireless computers eating batteries
and being unreliable.

I’ll go with a wired computer, that’ll save me from doing too
many UPDs for watching the computer while riding as fast as I
can ;).

A GPS seems a bit too overkill/bulky/pricey/need-to-be-cautious
to me at the moment.

Cheers,
Stéphane

Re: wireless cycle computers for uni/muni

2008-06-5, 15:07(-05), johnfoss:
> Let us know if you find any good products in the 2.4 GHz space. Yes, I
> guess the others use radio frequency, so there are lots of rules on how
> far it’s allowed to spread. Apparently not far enough to reach a
> receiver unless it’s on your handlebar. And no, GPS satellites aren’t
> hundreds of miles away, they’re something like 24,000 miles away, in
> geosynchronous orbit. No wonder my Dish Network signal is always
> breaking up… :stuck_out_tongue:
[…]

Thanks John for the precisions. As I was saying in my answer to
Joe, I’ll go for the wired one for now.

But I’ll post the responses to my questions to the manufacturers
(Trelock and Ciclosport) here ifever and when I get them.


Stéphane

Garmin Etrex H is the one that seems to be cheap at the moment -
70 quid on amazon or I know people have got them for a bit less off ebay.

Joe

Re: wireless cycle computers for uni/muni

2008-06-6, 08:15(+00), Stephane Chazelas:
[…]
> I’ll go with a wired computer, that’ll save me from doing too
> many UPDs for watching the computer while riding as fast as I
> can ;).
[…]

Well, with it sitting on the saddle stem, I might be able to
read it if I bend enough… that’ll end up in tears I’m afraid.

25 km/h max speed, 16 km/h average speed on my 4 km journey to
work, it’s not that bad for a 26", that’s certainly way faster
than any car on this route anyway :slight_smile:


Stéphane

Hi, I was looking for a wireless cycle computer too, and I ended up buying a Sigma BC1606L, which I first mounted on my wrist. Unfortunately the wrist does move out of reception frequently, especially with a smaller wheel. So now I use it only on the Nightrider, where I mount it on the T7 handlebar. It works pretty well like that, it has most of the bells and whistles one could ask for. If you buy another transmitter, you can set it up for two different cycles too.

There is one thing that I am wondering about though: No matter how insanely fast I seem to pedal, my top speed is always exactly the same. I always reset it it before every ride I do but my top speed is always 33.61km/h. So I wonder if that means it isn’t accurate, or if it just can’t transmit the data fast enough? I find it hard to believe that I always hit the exact same top speed. Has anybody else had this experience?

Re: wireless cycle computers for uni/muni

2008-07-14, 06:55(-05), munirocks:
> Hi, I was looking for a wireless cycle computer too, and I ended up
> buying a Sigma BC1606L, which I first mounted on my wrist.
> Unfortunately the wrist does move out of reception frequently,
> especially with a smaller wheel. So now I use it only on the
> Nightrider, where I mount it on the T7 handlebar. It works pretty well
> like that, it has most of the bells and whistles one could ask for. If
> you buy another transmitter, you can set it up for two different cycles
> too.

Thanks.

I promised I would post the answers for my questions to the
manufacturers, but I didn’t get any answer. IIRC, the Sigma ones
do specify that the receiver has to be in some not so wide cone
not too far from the transmitter.

I did get a wired Sigma, myself in the end. I’m pretty happy
with it so far except that I can’t read it while riding.

> There is one thing that I am wondering about though: No matter how
> insanely fast I seem to pedal, my top speed is always exactly the same.
> I always reset it it before every ride I do but my top speed is always
> 33.61km/h. So I wonder if that means it isn’t accurate, or if it just
> can’t transmit the data fast enough? I find it hard to believe that I
> always hit the exact same top speed. Has anybody else had this
> experience?
[…]

Those are meant for bikes that can go easily twice as
fast as that, so I wouldn’t think that to be the problem.


Stéphane

Here’s a few random bits of info I’ve learned from experimenting.

I tried a couple of wireless ones with no success at all on my N36 & T7 set up. The receiver was just too far from the wheel. They just turned out to be an expensive clock that was difficult to read!

If you’re riding a 36" wheel, you get a more accurate reading with 2 sensors, each 180’ apart. (but you have to half the roll out distance you put in to the computer). 3 sensors at 120’ and a third of the roll out distance is probably better still, but I’ve not tried it.

I had a wired cycle computer on my 26" uni that had the computer bit attached to a spring loaded retractable key chain thing that waitresses tend to use which was mounted just below my saddle. This had the advantage of being upd-proof, plus I could pull it out and read the speed whenever I wanted.

GPS really is the way to go. I already had a Windows Mobile phone, so with the addition of a GPS receiver for around £40 or so, I’ve got a much more accurate logging system. It’s not so convenient for just looking at your current speed however, but you can check that out (as well as much more) after you get home.

STM

Okay, I just checked how fast I could spin the pedals by hand while holding the N36 in the air. Maximum speed turns out to be 33,61km/h again! I really can’t believe that to be correct. Maybe two magnets would work better… Only have one though.