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On board electronica(11 posts)

On board electronicaAhimsa
May 8, 2002 5:00 PM
Never been much of one for computers and heart monitors and such, but I'm reconsidering.

Coupla questions for the wired bike literate:

Heard good things about the Cateye Mity 3 here, but I'm more of a wireless (lack of clutter) type I think, and wonder if the Cateye Cordless 2 gets good marks?

Also interested in the Bell 13 function computer as Bell is a good name in my book and the look is clean.

And...that Schwinn Deluxe pinstripe model. Sexy as hell and super cheap. Good, bad, ugly?

And finally, heart rate monitors. I've no clue about these at all. Do I have to wear the watch and the chest thingy, or is the strap only for bike mounted monitors? Could I just wear the watch? What's the scoop here kids? That Polar basic model would be fine for me, but not if i need to "strap up" everytime I ride.

Cheers, and thanks in advance.

A. (Not technophobic, just never bothered with all that stuff before)
re: On board electronicaweiwentg
May 8, 2002 5:11 PM
a friend found the cordless 2 finicky on his road bike. few problems on his MTB. on his TCR (medium frame), the computer often refused to pick up the signal.
re: On board electronicaDan Q
May 8, 2002 8:06 PM
I have a Cateye Cordless 2 on my mtb and have had good luck with it in 1 1/2 years time. It does sometimes have problems in cold weather at high speed though. I have a Cateye Astrale on my road bike and would not reccomend it. It frequently has problems getting a signal. The Mity 3 is more reliable than both and really doesn't look that cluttered. It has a short/thick wire and doesn't require wrapping around the brake cable 50x.
You have probably heard that many computers break prematurely. In most cases I have found it to be the mount and not the computer unit that breaks. The Mity 3 has a good mount and that is why it lasts. I believe the Schwinn computer has a crappy mount and it probably would not last long. Look for a model with the features you want with a high quality mount.
I believe you need the strap for all HRM's.
re: Wireless computers and HRMs...guido
May 8, 2002 8:16 PM
I too have heard bad things about wireless computers. For one thing the transmitter mounted on the fork is about four times bigger than a wired pick-up, because it has this battery in it, which also makes it unreliable. I'd rather have the wire, deftly run up the back of the fork blade, held by three or four color co-ordinated plastic wire-ties, the wire then wrapped neatly around the front brake cable up to the handlebar. Very clean. When the thing stops working you know its the battery in the main unit, or the sensor isn't picking up. Very simple.

All reliable heart rate monitors use a chest strap sensor. I've had the cheap Polar Favor for about 8 years, and the chest sensor still puts out a "pulse" to the watch, which just reads out the heart rate number. There are no wires. When you take off the sensor, everything shuts down. The batteries in the watch I've had to replace every two years or so.

If you use it alot, the chest strap still lasts a long time, maybe not 8 years, but 4 or 5, and can be renewed for about $50. I've replaced the elastic on mine with better stuff than came with it. The buckle hardware holds up fine.

Chest strap sensor is the only way to get a reliable reading of the heartbeats. Others have used a sensor attached to a finger or hand, like the ones found on treadmills. I've been told they aren't that accurate.

So get used to strapping up, remembering the thread awhile back about the pros and cons of HRMs, in which a few concluded that HRMs weren't all that necessary, and often took the fun out of riding.

I do mine only once in awhile. Maybe that's why my chest strap is still alive. It's nice to know what your capabilities are, but riding by heartrate like a tachometer is almost always demoralizing: the better the number, the more I feel like $#!!+!
ahimsa....stay cool baby.....Spirito
May 8, 2002 8:51 PM
i see many riders with so much information and gizmo's that it tends to take away from the purity and real deal of the sport. kinda like timing yourself when in the bedroom with a woman......tres gauche.

and akin to fat free fois gras and low alcohol wine...puhlease!

i choose quality and to keep it fun over actual time and distance.

if you really need one email me and ill send you out an old school mechanical milage counter that attaches to your fork and has a thingie that sits on a spoke and clicks it over with every revolution....sure its for 27" wheel measurements but it has no wires, needs no batteries and for you my good sir is free!!! (its new and still in box). its hard to read but it looks cool and chicks are quick to figure out that your a man who is assured in your performance and not at all seeking instant gratification or insecure.

ko_te_jebe@mac.com

s'pose, to be really flash you could stick it on the rear chainstay and have it facing behind you to sort of snub your nose and provoke the many that you pass on each ride. give em more data to worry about and lose concentration on.

if you are going to get one - supergo has wireless computers that will have change from $25. they work fine and have the same innards as the more expensive names....er.....so ive been told. i count pedal strokes on the fixie and then work it out on the abacus when i get home ;-)

of course you could attempt the world record for the hour and have others measure it all for you.

straps, cadence, batteries, wires.......so not sexy or pretty looking.

oh, i found a new retro bike for you....as it is geared i think you could do a trans-continental crossing in a day....ill be in a support vehicle with my abacus and a case of makers mark with elvis shades, a hawaiian shirt and a troupe of vegas show girls cheering you on. actually i might need a bus as the girls will be counting your pedal strokes.....we may need more than a few as im sure they will run out of fingers and toes........

:-)
Spirito, you have found Liberty's stealth rideAllisonHayes
May 9, 2002 2:28 AM
This is Liberty's mach 5 black beauty that requires a skin suit due to the g forces encountered during high speed manuevers.

The inspiration for Liberty:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. "

President John F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961
Ah, yer right bro.Ahimsa
May 9, 2002 8:37 AM
I'll skip the computers and rig up a disco ball from the bars instead.

Who needs electronic gizmos when I'm already a babe magnet, eh?

Abacus? Bwahahahahaha!

A. (Mmmmm...Vegas showgirls...)
re: On board electronicaDoc
May 9, 2002 3:46 AM
I have a Specialized wireless which has worked pretty well.
re: On board electronicaJS Haiku Shop
May 9, 2002 4:59 AM
enduro2 and mity3 working pretty well for me. do a search on "wireless" and "cordless" and see what comes back. i asked the same type question awhile back, and got mixed reviews on the wireless types. decided to order another mity3 from nashbar. the velo1/enduro2/mity3 mounts and sensors are all interchangeable (sp?).

have zero knowledge of the bell stuff.

you're right, that schwinn 'puter is pretty darned ugly.

hrm: i have a polar a1 (basic model, no frills, just heart rate, and time in bar-increments, and an average hr at the end of your session). it was given to me. the watch part is the receiver, and you have a belt for transmitter that goes around your sternum. after a few minutes it's like you're not even wearing one. i assume they're all the same (receiver/transmitter).

i'd sure like to have one of those $350+ models that does temp and altitude and is also a cyclocomputer, but free is good. i figure i'll use whatever i have, and before i had it, i didn't use one, and got along fine. that said, i recently conquered a big personal challenge, using the hrm as an important tool along the way.

good luck.

pps. not sure, but the a1 transmitter/belt might work with the other polar models. if this is so, you could pickup the a1+belt for the price of a belt replacement, and when you decide to get a better one (or not), you'll have a spare transmitter. don't take my word for this, though. not sure if they're compatable.
Old dogs can learn to use new electronica.onespeed
May 9, 2002 6:30 AM
As a messenger for 8 years I never had a computer. I thought they were trick little gadgets, just not for me. I held that opinion for another 6 years after I stopped being a messenger, while I got into triathlons, and general riding with friends.

No one could understand the reason I didnt have a computer. Neither did I, it just seemed sily to get one after going without for so long. Did I really need to get one after never having used one for so long? I just kind of estimated mileage on solo rides-around 50 or 55 yesterday.

Then about a month ago I did the 200k Brevet in NJ with some friends of mine and I looked at the turn (70-75 turns) sheet and realized if there was ever a need for a computer, this was it. The distances between were so precise that having a computer would have meant I could have gone solo. Not having one meant that I had to rely on other people to do most of the navigating.

Even after the ride though, I wasnt interested in going out to buy a computer. One of my cousins though for my birthday gave me a Topeak wireless Panoram. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. I actually have my commute and training rides down to the exact mile now. I cant wait to try it on my next Brevet. I didnt find it at all difficult to install and the wireless feature works just fine. I already ordered a second mounting kit so I can switch it from my one speed to my other 2 bikes.

Old dogs can learn to use new electronica.
Thanks folks. I'll be in touch. [nm]Ahimsa
May 9, 2002 8:37 AM