cycle computers, generally

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The utility cyclist
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby The utility cyclist » 8 Sep 2019, 7:18pm

CJ wrote:Best - most reliable bike computer/altimeter I ever had is a Ciclomaster. After getting through several Avocets (each lasted about 18 months), a Cat-Eye (inaccurate altimeter), and another brand I forget, I thought I'd try this German brand, so I bought (no free test sample this time because they don't sell in UK) my first Ciclomaster. I then used it in all weathers most weekends and on all of my tours for ten whole years! So when it finally wore out I got another that I'm still using. Because not only is this brand remarkably durable: I haven't found anything more accurate when it comes to recording the total amount of climb, which I find just as significant as the total distance. How do I know it's so accurate? Sometimes you get a really long mountain climb that never, ever goes down, so you know the total climb = summit minus valley altitude. I checked the Ciclomaster on those, and it was always spot on. I also checked it on a few ordinarily lumpy rides in UK, carefully counting contours on a large-scale map and again, I couldn't fault it.

As far as I can tell to key to Ciclomaster's truthful recording of real climbing is that it doesn't count up until you've ascended two consecutive metres. This discounts all the false data, like when the altitude display randomly fluctuates plus and minus one metre on a flat road, because the actual elevation is something-point-five, or because the wind blowing around things causes small fluctuations in pressure. I wish that Garmin would do the same, because even my latest GPS (all those I've owned had a barometer of course), although better in this respect than its predecessors, exaggerates the amount of climbing.

The one disadvantage of Ciclomaster and the reason nobody on here will tell you how good they are, is they've never sold in Little Blighty. I guess that with 100million German-speakers in Europe, each of whom is five times more likely to cycle than yer average Brit, it's not worth the bother! So I'm afraid you may have to turn on Google translate to work out which model you'd like (if I needed to replace mine I'd get CM4.41A) and then buy it somewhere like Bike24.

As for GPS, again my favourite has been mentioned by nobody so far: Garmin Etrex 30x. This is because the British cycle trade wears blinkers like a racehorse and for the same reason: all they want to know about is sport! So they sell everyone a Garmin Edge, even when an Etrex serves their purpose better. As for the Edge-Touring, it's even worse for touring than the Edge-800 it's derived from. The latest Adventure oriented Edges may be better, but they are still all touchscreens: a feature that I feel has no place in a car or on a bike for road-safety reasons. It is surely much safer to press buttons by feel and only then steal a glance at the screen. Plus I can't be doing with a non-replaceable battery that might, if I'm not careful, run out before the end of a long day's ride. My Etrex, by comparison, usually lasts for two full days of riding on a pair of rechargeable AAs, that when they do run out can quicky be swapped for another pair. I then recharge the used cells overnight and tour on. Another advantage of a general purpose outdoors GPS like the Etrex, designed for mountain and watersports as well as cycle-touring, is better weather-proofing.

The one disadvantage of the Etrex is you have to buy the bike mount extra, on which it isn't as easy to attach and detach as an Edge.

I bought a NOS 4.21 HR earlier this year for £8 posted from a UK ebay seller as it had a battered bo and the battery cover was missing (after I couldn't get my Sigma to work ... but then did as it was the sender battery that was faulty :roll: ).
Also the newer Navic 20 GPS is available through Amazon UK, Sports direct and a few sellers on ebay, less than £40 incl post in fact, I think it uses the Indian 'GPS' system as that is called Navic as well?
With a potential 50 hour battery life it could be an absolute steal!

Ciclo have just released, or being released in Oct, the Navic 400, full colour all singing dancing unit for about £210 https://ciclosport.com/produkt/navic-400/?lang=en

NetworkMan
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby NetworkMan » 8 Sep 2019, 7:47pm

But the 4.21 doesn't have an altimeter and what's more it looks as if the 4.41A has been discontinued and you have to buy the CM9.3A with PC interface at over 100 euros. Hope my 4.4A keeps going....

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The utility cyclist
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby The utility cyclist » 9 Sep 2019, 1:01pm

NetworkMan wrote:But the 4.21 doesn't have an altimeter and what's more it looks as if the 4.41A has been discontinued and you have to buy the CM9.3A with PC interface at over 100 euros. Hope my 4.4A keeps going....

I'm just saying I bought a ciclo and they are easy to obtain in the UK, I'm not talking about functionality. :?

But, why buy an outmoded model when same company offers newer/better for less than half the price?

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 9 Sep 2019, 1:26pm

CJ wrote:As for GPS, again my favourite has been mentioned by nobody so far: Garmin Etrex 30x. This is because the British cycle trade wears blinkers like a racehorse and for the same reason: all they want to know about is sport! So they sell everyone a Garmin Edge, even when an Etrex serves their purpose better. As for the Edge-Touring, it's even worse for touring than the Edge-800 it's derived from. The latest Adventure oriented Edges may be better, but they are still all touchscreens: a feature that I feel has no place in a car or on a bike for road-safety reasons. It is surely much safer to press buttons by feel and only then steal a glance at the screen. Plus I can't be doing with a non-replaceable battery that might, if I'm not careful, run out before the end of a long day's ride. My Etrex, by comparison, usually lasts for two full days of riding on a pair of rechargeable AAs, that when they do run out can quicky be swapped for another pair. I then recharge the used cells overnight and tour on. Another advantage of a general purpose outdoors GPS like the Etrex, designed for mountain and watersports as well as cycle-touring, is better weather-proofing.

The one disadvantage of the Etrex is you have to buy the bike mount extra, on which it isn't as easy to attach and detach as an Edge.


As an eTrex user for many users I've got a lot of sympathy with that view, but the eTrex has one other disadvantage: no Bluetooth.

That means getting a GPX route onto it requires the usual dance with USB cables or MicroSD cards. That's ok at home (though it's a faff I'd rather avoid). On tour, it's doable if you have an Android, but it's basically impossible from an iPhone. I wouldn't want to awaken the Android vs iOS holy war, but suffice it to say that if you're of the iPhone persuasion, an eTrex won't cut it.

I think if I were looking for a new cycling GPS right now, I'd probably go for the Edge 520 Plus.
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NetworkMan
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby NetworkMan » 9 Sep 2019, 3:46pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
CJ wrote:As for GPS, again my favourite has been mentioned by nobody so far: Garmin Etrex 30x. This is because the British cycle trade wears blinkers like a racehorse and for the same reason: all they want to know about is sport! So they sell everyone a Garmin Edge, even when an Etrex serves their purpose better. As for the Edge-Touring, it's even worse for touring than the Edge-800 it's derived from. The latest Adventure oriented Edges may be better, but they are still all touchscreens: a feature that I feel has no place in a car or on a bike for road-safety reasons. It is surely much safer to press buttons by feel and only then steal a glance at the screen. Plus I can't be doing with a non-replaceable battery that might, if I'm not careful, run out before the end of a long day's ride. My Etrex, by comparison, usually lasts for two full days of riding on a pair of rechargeable AAs, that when they do run out can quicky be swapped for another pair. I then recharge the used cells overnight and tour on. Another advantage of a general purpose outdoors GPS like the Etrex, designed for mountain and watersports as well as cycle-touring, is better weather-proofing.

The one disadvantage of the Etrex is you have to buy the bike mount extra, on which it isn't as easy to attach and detach as an Edge.


As an eTrex user for many users I've got a lot of sympathy with that view, but the eTrex has one other disadvantage: no Bluetooth.

That means getting a GPX route onto it requires the usual dance with USB cables or MicroSD cards. That's ok at home (though it's a faff I'd rather avoid). On tour, it's doable if you have an Android, but it's basically impossible from an iPhone. I wouldn't want to awaken the Android vs iOS holy war, but suffice it to say that if you're of the iPhone persuasion, an eTrex won't cut it.

I think if I were looking for a new cycling GPS right now, I'd probably go for the Edge 520 Plus.

I'd always imagined that I'd be able to connect the eTrex 20x to the Android phone with a USB cable and suitable adaptor, set the eTrex to mass storage mode or what ever they call it and then just transfer files across. Is that what you meant? It's what I do with my Linux box so its not a big deal really.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 9 Sep 2019, 3:54pm

Yes. You can do that from Android but not from iOS.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby The utility cyclist » 9 Sep 2019, 4:06pm

How often would you need to download routes on the fly though, hardly ever, and if it's something you need to do with an e-trex then a 20g USB cable really is not that much to carry, it's also more reliable than bluetooth.
You call it a dance but the actual amount of 'faffing' is ridiculously minimal, you also don't need to move SD cards about either, there's no disadvantage to having the e-trex (I don't have one but have used one briefly), it's just a different way of getting information from one place to the other, it really is no big deal at all.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 9 Sep 2019, 5:55pm

As I said (twice now), a USB cable isn't an option on iOS. Nor is an SD card. If you don't download routes on-the-fly then you're clearly better at advance planning than me!
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Manc33
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Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Manc33 » 10 Sep 2019, 1:31am

I have had more cheap ones than I can count and not a single one carried on working properly, wired or wireless. Ended up getting the cheapest one Cateye makes (Velo 7) which is expensive and lacks features compared to wireless ones from China, but it's the only one I have had that's kept on working. I don't care about counting calories and GPS so I just got the most basic one I could, that's a brand name going back years. Surprise surprise it works properly. If I had not bought all those Chinese ones that don't work I could have easily bought a far better Cateye with the money. One memorable one was the one that said my max speed was 99.99 MPH after every 4th or 5th ride, charming!
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