cycle computers, generally

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
User avatar
CJ
Posts: 2995
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby CJ » 21 Jan 2019, 8:59pm

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.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

thelawnet
Posts: 2156
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby thelawnet » 21 Jan 2019, 11:53pm

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),


Altimeters need resetting every ride unless you have GPS IME? (as they are based on atmospheric pressure) Or are you talking about the instantaneous incline measurement?

As for the Edge-Touring, it's even worse for touring than the Edge-800 it's derived from.


Well the Edge 800 is very old & obsolete at this point.

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.


My understanding:

Etrex 20x/30x, 520, 820, 820+: slow CPU
Edge Explore: ?
1000/1030: roughly 4x faster CPU
Etrex Touch 25/35 ? (probably slow?)

Storage:
Edge 520 - none, no mapping
Edge 520 plus - 16GB
Edge Explore - 16GB
Edge 820 - 16GB
Etrex 20x/30x 4GB + SD card
Etrex Touch 25/35: 8gb + sd card
Edge 1030 - 16GB + sd card

I suspect they are all a bit slow compared to a mobile phone-based solution.

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.


The Etrex is missing features which you might not need, but include Komoot/Strava route integration as well as training features such as 'workouts'. The advantages are price & replaceable batteries.

You can in theory charge a device using a powerbank or whatever, but on the ground maybe you have no cable or whatever, whereas being able to slot in new batteries is quite compelling.

User avatar
CJ
Posts: 2995
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby CJ » 22 Jan 2019, 6:33pm

thelawnet wrote:
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),


Altimeters need resetting every ride unless you have GPS IME? (as they are based on atmospheric pressure) Or are you talking about the instantaneous incline measurement?

That is true, in general. But the Ciclomaster (and probably most bike computer/altimeters) enable you to set a 'home' altitude, to which it resets when you zero the trip distance etc. So that if most of your rides start at your home that mostly takes care of things. And when you get home you will see how far up or down the altitude has drifted due to changing atmospheric pressure during your ride, and make an appropriate correction to the climb total. On tours, one learns to change the 'home' altitude to what the unit's reading when you arrive at each overnight stop, and to check the current display against any summit signs passed (though in some countries they can be way out) and/or the town-hall altitudes given on maps.

With a GPS of course, that's unnecessary, so I really wish they'd adopt the same simple way of filtering out what I call altitude noise, when they total up the climbs.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

MikeF
Posts: 3706
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby MikeF » 22 Jan 2019, 7:00pm

SimonCelsa wrote:Second time round the clock on my nearly 10 year old Halfords cheapie;

round the clock.jpg

The only fault so far is that at around 12000 miles or so the first digit 'disappeared' so it reverted 'back' to 2000 miles. Anyhow, over 20,000 miles and still alive so not bad for a tenner or so!! No need to pay big bucks for quality & accuracy!!
Is that still with the original battery??
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

User avatar
SimonCelsa
Posts: 572
Joined: 6 Apr 2011, 10:19pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby SimonCelsa » 24 Jan 2019, 5:30am

No, not the original battery, I change it roughly every 3 years or so when the display gets a bit hard to read. There must be some 'fragment' of internal power which 'stores' the odometer data whilst switching out batteries. I have similar units which tend to zero the odometer reading on inserting a fresh battery.

User avatar
plancashire
Posts: 35
Joined: 22 Apr 2007, 10:49am
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby plancashire » 20 May 2019, 8:47pm

I still have my Teasi One3 and it still works. It cost me 160 euros. The updated maps keep coming. The software has improved, with some big dips. It won't run all day on one charge but a battery pack or a USB charger off the dynamo takes care of that. It is waterproof enough. It is a receiver only, so you're not telling Google what you're up to. I have used it to note things to update and then later used the recorded track and POI to update OpenStreetMap. It works for walking, boating and skiing too.

User avatar
freiston
Posts: 665
Joined: 6 Oct 2013, 10:20am

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby freiston » 21 May 2019, 9:09am

I have a Cateye Micro wireless (basic functions with spoke mounted magnet and fork mounted sensor/transmitter) mounted on the stem and never had a known problem with its reliability until I mounted my phone on the handlebar next to it (to use for navigation) - I noticed a reported maximum speed of 62 mph (I knew this was incorrect). Next time, I kept my eye on the speedo and noticed it frequently reporting between 0 and 6 mph when my speed was more in the region of 10-15 mph - I also had a maximum of >60 mph reported. I don't seem to have the problem if I put my phone in my handlebar bag. I'm now toying with the idea of replacing with a wired unit.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

Psamathe
Posts: 10159
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Psamathe » 21 May 2019, 10:18am

francovendee wrote:That's a comprehensive post.
After trying a wireless computer I went back to wired. In my experience none last very long......

I used to use Wireless ones but they all suffered. e.g. Specialized I discovered was recording miles even when removed from the bike - have it sitting on the kitchen table and watch the speed 0 ... 0 ... 10.4 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 ...12.3 ... 4.2 ... etc.). Then went for a Pro SX digital one and stopped waiting at a junction, magnet opposite side from the sensor and suddenly it claims I'm doing 46.2 mph!

Went back to a basic wired one and it works, is very tidy on the bike (spiral the wire round the brake cable) and current one has done 5 years on the same battery and ordered a replacement computer (£15) yesterday as the mount/cable suffered last LBS service (where the handle bars were removed and re-fitted).

I do also have a GPS and recently also went for the wheel sensor for it (going cheap) so I get better mileage and speed on the GPS as well (which really makes the bike computer somewhat redundant).

Riding along I do sometimes think about my "radio footprint" with the number of different radio networks I'm emitting (ANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GSM).

Ian

Caledonia64
Posts: 52
Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 5:11pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Caledonia64 » 30 Aug 2019, 8:50pm

plancashire wrote:I still have my Teasi One3 and it still works. It cost me 160 euros. The updated maps keep coming. The software has improved, with some big dips. It won't run all day on one charge but a battery pack or a USB charger off the dynamo takes care of that. It is waterproof enough. It is a receiver only, so you're not telling Google what you're up to. I have used it to note things to update and then later used the recorded track and POI to update OpenStreetMap. It works for walking, boating and skiing too.


I think I want a GPS Device. I do not want a Garmin (they do not get on with me in the least, including persistently claiming they cannot download imagery/imagery and purchased mapping tiles not available for Aberdeenshire South, Deeside and Angus, plus their inability to hold battery charges, and at times locate me when out and about: no help if I am in Fetteresso Forest and it tells me I am 10 miles out at sea, as if en route to Norway; tho' tbf I have the same issue if less intensely with the dogs' GPS trackers).

I am interested to see you write of a Teasi One4 - it is hard to find GPS reviews that feature any non-Garmin Devices - so many "GPS Reviews" are of Sports Science data computers more than of navigational devices.

I am also interested in the Blaupunkt BikePilot 2+ and maybe the Ordinance Survey/TwoNav Velo or Horizon Velo (though they are much more expensive; TwoNoav have the previous generation Velo at a more affordable price. My iissue with that iis the non-expandable memory and whether you can download maps to the computer/external USB Storage and just upload when you need that map (like one did with songs/playlists on an iiPod).

I am finding it hard to manage to research because my German is only good for basiic sentences/listed and scored comparisons, and the manufacturers seem reluctant to reply to my requests.

Psamathe
Posts: 10159
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Psamathe » 30 Aug 2019, 9:03pm

Caledonia64 wrote:
plancashire wrote:I still have my Teasi One3 and it still works. It cost me 160 euros. The updated maps keep coming. The software has improved, with some big dips. It won't run all day on one charge but a battery pack or a USB charger off the dynamo takes care of that. It is waterproof enough. It is a receiver only, so you're not telling Google what you're up to. I have used it to note things to update and then later used the recorded track and POI to update OpenStreetMap. It works for walking, boating and skiing too.


I think I want a GPS Device. I do not want a Garmin (they do not get on with me in the least, including persistently claiming they cannot download imagery/imagery and purchased mapping tiles not available for Aberdeenshire South, Deeside and Angus, plus their inability to hold battery charges, and at times locate me when out and about: no help if I am in Fetteresso Forest and it tells me I am 10 miles out at sea, as if en route to Norway; tho' tbf I have the same issue if less intensely with the dogs' GPS trackers)......

Other than the downloading mapping for Aberdeenshire South, Deeside and Angus (which I have no experience of, my Garmin does not suffer from any of the problems you list. I think the Aberdeenshire South, Deeside and Angus mapping issue is not relevant to my Garmin as it has all these maps built-in and included with the unit.

But, I can recommend avoiding Wahoo https://psamathe.net/wahoo-elemnt-navigation-review/

Ian

User avatar
plancashire
Posts: 35
Joined: 22 Apr 2007, 10:49am
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby plancashire » 30 Aug 2019, 9:24pm

Caledonia64 wrote:I am finding it hard to manage to research because my German is only good for basiic sentences/listed and scored comparisons, and the manufacturers seem reluctant to reply to my requests.

There are web services that will translate pages for you. They should be good enough to understand the gist of a page. I have used them very rarely so I can't comment on their usefulness from personal experience.

If there is a specific bit of German that seems crucial I could translate it for you. The Teasi does work in English - mine is set that way and it is perfectly understandable. The instructions are also available in English here: https://tahuna.com/en/service/instructions/

Caledonia64
Posts: 52
Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 5:11pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Caledonia64 » 30 Aug 2019, 9:28pm

plancashire wrote:
Caledonia64 wrote:I am finding it hard to manage to research because my German is only good for basiic sentences/listed and scored comparisons, and the manufacturers seem reluctant to reply to my requests.

There are web services that will translate pages for you. They should be good enough to understand the gist of a page. I have used them very rarely so I can't comment on their usefulness from personal experience.

If there is a specific bit of German that seems crucial I could translate it for you. The Teasi does work in English - mine is set that way and it is perfectly understandable. The instructions are also available in English here: https://tahuna.com/en/service/instructions/



Thank you: I have translated some. I shall have a look at that.

NetworkMan
Posts: 645
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 11:13am
Location: South Devon

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby NetworkMan » 31 Aug 2019, 10:34am

CJ wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
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),


Altimeters need resetting every ride unless you have GPS IME? (as they are based on atmospheric pressure) Or are you talking about the instantaneous incline measurement?

That is true, in general. But the Ciclomaster (and probably most bike computer/altimeters) enable you to set a 'home' altitude, to which it resets when you zero the trip distance etc. So that if most of your rides start at your home that mostly takes care of things. And when you get home you will see how far up or down the altitude has drifted due to changing atmospheric pressure during your ride, and make an appropriate correction to the climb total. On tours, one learns to change the 'home' altitude to what the unit's reading when you arrive at each overnight stop, and to check the current display against any summit signs passed (though in some countries they can be way out) and/or the town-hall altitudes given on maps.

With a GPS of course, that's unnecessary, so I really wish they'd adopt the same simple way of filtering out what I call altitude noise, when they total up the climbs.

I'm another of the select few with a Ciclosport alti computer. I bought mine after reading the CJ review in Cycle partly because after moving to South Devon I'd suspected that the terrain put it in the highest CJ hilliness ratio category which it turns out it is with 3 miles into town the back way being 1:47 for example. Mine is a 4.4A wireless and I like it so much that I bought a mounting kit for a second bike from Bike24 (you can choose bike 1 or bike 2 with it).

We discussed altitude filtering a while ago on here Should a ride over a humpback bridge be recorded or not, for example? Also it's not clear if calculations based on GPS tracks do any filtering and if so what it is.

I also use an Etrex 20x bought for walking but if I know where I am and know where I'm going I don't bother with it - I just use the Ciclo and I don't miss not having a compass or atmospheric altimeter so no Etrex 30x.

Caledonia64
Posts: 52
Joined: 23 Aug 2019, 5:11pm

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby Caledonia64 » 8 Sep 2019, 3:18pm

plancashire wrote:
Caledonia64 wrote:I am finding it hard to manage to research because my German is only good for basiic sentences/listed and scored comparisons, and the manufacturers seem reluctant to reply to my requests.

There are web services that will translate pages for you. They should be good enough to understand the gist of a page. I have used them very rarely so I can't comment on their usefulness from personal experience.

If there is a specific bit of German that seems crucial I could translate it for you. The Teasi does work in English - mine is set that way and it is perfectly understandable. The instructions are also available in English here: https://tahuna.com/en/service/instructions/



I have bought a Teasi One4 and am delighted with it: intuitive, works, maps for free, integrates with Bike Map (for which I took out a trial subscription I think I shall maintain), and so you have Cycle Map/paths.
It does not have a GeoCaching facility but my phone can do that (or I can enter the specific coordinates), and does not have a facility to buy or use (that I can see) OS maps with the layouts I prefer. But then I have a squillion paper maps of this area, and can use them supplemented by the Teasi and the OS App (though I think one has to pay for that, and it is phone signal permitting).

But no doubt there is a workaround to upload OS -style/drafted maps to the Teasi somehow (in fact you can get the 1:50K via MapMagic if you have a PC and their softwar, of course, and I daresay 1:25K too in time or via some cheat; we do have a cheap windows laptop that is gloriified hi-fi as it happens to have a Bang and Oulfsen sound software/card somehow...I think that might have been a production error, so it could be updated and pressed into service for the maps, having ascertained that mixing the OS controlling it won't mess with the device).

The Garmin is being returned and a refund of the device and especially of all the purchases which would not adequately download/fucntion demanded....

mercalia
Posts: 11107
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: cycle computers, generally

Postby mercalia » 8 Sep 2019, 4:11pm

I have the cheapo Lidl wired one. Stays on the bike all the time has never been stolen. And if it was I have 2 spares to replace it. Gives me all the data I want and also a thermomenter, which was interesting during the heatwave we had