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Computer Questions - Is Flightdeck worth it?(11 posts)

Computer Questions - Is Flightdeck worth it?julio
Aug 1, 2002 7:31 PM
My old specialized computer finally died and I'm in the market for a new one. I would like to have a cadence feature, and although it would be nice it doesn't have to be wireless. I don't want to spend more than $60. My bike has Ultegra components and I was wondering if anyone had strong opinions for or against Flightdeck (if so please explain why). Or I may just spend $30 on a cheaper model without cadence. Any recommendations?
re: Computer Questions - Is Flightdeck worth it?DrD
Aug 2, 2002 4:12 AM
Assuming your levers are compatable (because if they aren't, you won't get the virtual cadence feature anyway), for me it was worth it - I like having the buttons on the lever. Make sure you do two things if you decide to go this way - get the correct harness for your levers (older Ultegra has two buttons on the right lever, newer Ultegra has one button on each lever), and make sure you get the 6501 head unit, not the 6500 (the 6501 lets you set the odometer when you say, replace the battery, whereas the 6500 does not)

You might be able to find the wireless version online for under $60 (it cost more than that when I got it a while back, but I haven't looked recently, so I am not sure) - but keep in mind that the wireless is only from the head unit to the fork sensor - you still have the wired connectors/buttons which you have to run to each lever (so you will be removing, then re-applying the tape on your bars in the process)
worth it for geeks (like me)weiwentg
Aug 2, 2002 5:43 AM
it's the cleanest setup of all (wired) computers that have cadence sensors. as for the virtual cadence, you will either like it or not. it's accurate as long as you're putting full power to the pedals. overall, I would say the wired version is worth it, but the wireless is not ... then again, I would never consider a wireless computer.
the 6500 model has had problems (it displayed ghost shifts) but the general agreement is that the 6501 is OK in that regard.
This question comes up about once a month...jtolleson
Aug 2, 2002 7:16 AM
and the usual suspects weigh in. I'm the usual suspect that thinks the FD is overpriced and average.

It has two really great qualities: the really large screen is easy to read at a glance, and the buttons being integrated with the shifters.

But it is 2-3 times as much as some very, very fine cyclocomputers. I can't really swallow that. Also, I think the virtual cadence feature is something of a joke. It assumes that if you are going a particular speed in a particular gear, you are pedaling a particular RPM. But since cadence sensors are most helpful to get new riders not to go pedal-pedal-glide pedal-pedal-glide and to remind them to keep their feet moving when coasting, on downhills, or with tailwinds, etc., "virtual" cadence doesn't help. One who really needs cadence training needs accurate input; or once beyond that may not need cadence feedback at all.

I don't think the FD can be found for anything like $60... I'd say $80 for wired and go up from their for wireless.

With rock solid mainstays like the Astrale, etc. out there, I find it hard to justify.
Way more info than I need or want, but friends like it.retro
Aug 2, 2002 7:29 AM
It's really an individual preference thing, but to me, it's just a lot of complication to get information I don't want. The cadence feature, for instance, is absolutely useless to me--if I need a computer to tell me how fast I'm pedaling, it's time to buy a Cadillac. But I have friends who really get off on all that electrickery.
Way more information than I want or need, but I like it.Spoke Wrench
Aug 2, 2002 8:10 AM
I like the gear indicator function, especially when I'm riding our tandem with my wife. I also use the virtual cadence feature most of the time. Virtual cadence is especially cool on a tandem because it helps to know when to start peddling again after coasting down the hills.

The biggest problem is figuring out what wireing harness you need. I also don't think that $60.00 is a very realistic price for a flite deck.
re: Computer Questions - Is Flightdeck worth it?bikelee
Aug 2, 2002 8:33 AM
Got FD computer this spring for a touring bike I equipped with Ultegra triple. Thought the gear indicator display and shifter integrated control buttons would be a nice feature - it is, but not worth other poor human factors design issues, imho. I especially dislike the lack of auto start - you must manually wake up the unit to record distance after some period of inactivity - no option I can find to set autostart. Also, you need to mode shift to go between distance display and cadence display - too much button pushing and visual attention needed to change displays while you should be looking where you are going. Bought a $10 cheapie computer for Nashbar for my wife's bike (nothing but the best for her!) and actually like it better.
Virtual cadenceDCP
Aug 2, 2002 1:17 PM
I find virtual cadence very useful for determining the correct gear nearing the end of a descent and deciding when it is best to resume peddling. The gear indicator is nice.

If those features do not appeal to you, by all means, spend less.
Like a VCR/TV comboKerry
Aug 2, 2002 5:34 PM
The chance that the computer and your shifters will give it up at the same time is virtually zero. So you'll either be left with a computer and failed shifters, or a failed computer and no compatible replacement. Sounds good to me. Of course, I don't use any computer, so call me skeptical.
Aug 3, 2002 8:29 AM
I have Flight Decks on two of my bikes and they are very nice, however, I have to replace the batteries about twice per year on each Flight Deck, which seems excessive to me. On the other hand, I have a Cateye wireless on another bike and the battery has lasted for years.
I dig itDuane Gran
Aug 5, 2002 3:33 AM
I have a wired and wireless flightdeck between my two road bikes. You will be hard pressed to get the wireless version for less than $60, so I would plan for the wired one. Overall I've been very happy with the unit. The display is clear and large, but as others have said, it does eat batteries quicker than other computers. I'm not aware of any other bike computer that integrates so nicely with the bike though. The gear indicator is very handy.

The cadence indicator is a nice touch, but I don't use it very often personally. Unless you are wanting to get really scientific about analyzing your cadence, the virtual cadence will do just fine. It is accurate as long as you are pedaling.