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shimano flight deck feedback please(12 posts)

shimano flight deck feedback pleaseColorado Ron
Oct 3, 2002 2:31 PM
Looks like mixed reviews on the reviews page. Any one know if shimano is making any changes to this system for 2003?

What do flight deck users think of it?

thanks in advance
re: shimano flight deck feedback pleasemleptuck
Oct 3, 2002 3:50 PM
I bought a wireless version of the Flight Deck from Chicago Bike (, and really am pleased with it.

The installation took me about an hour all told (I had to customize the mounting on the wheel magnet to fit the aero spokes on my Shimano R535 wheels).

I have had no issues with inadvertently hitting the stop/start button like many mentioned in their reviews, and if you understand how the auto start/stop works, you won't have any problems there either.

My only small beefs are that the instructions were not as clear as they could be for the calibration phase of the installation. It took a little head scratching and trial-and-error to get everything dialed in correctly. My other issue is that you cannot directly switch between the two data modes as quickly and easily as I would like. I tend to keep my cadence as my main display datum, with mph secondary. There are times in my ride when I would like to quickly see how many miles or minutes I'm into my ride, but switching between the two main 'pages' of the unit is a little clunky.

Other than that, I'm very satisfied with my unit. Frankly, it's not significantly different than a $30-40 computer, if you disregard the wireless and virtual cadence features. Those two additional features, I think are worth the extra $60 or so (I HATE having wires all over the bike).
re: shimano flight deck feedback pleaseSpoke Wrench
Oct 3, 2002 4:19 PM
I've got a couple of them, both are the older, two button units. I really like the gear indicator function when riding my tandem. My only objection is that they have more functions than I use so it sometimes takes longer than I would like to get to the trip distance readout.

I used to have trouble inadvertantly turning off the computer until I figured out that it will only turn on and off with the computer in certain sets of functions. I generally use MPH as my main mode and cadence as the secondary mode and it won't turn off when it's set that way.
re: shimano flight deck feedback pleaseB2
Oct 3, 2002 6:14 PM
I used one for a couple of years and liked the gear indicator function enough to get the Campy version (ErgoBrain) when I built my new bike up this summer with Campy.


PS - Go wireless.
I like itboneman
Oct 4, 2002 12:51 AM
I've used the 6501 head unit and wireless setup for the last 14 months. My levers have one button each so I don't have the two buttons on one side, inadvertent reset issue that that setup produces.

I like the unit. It's simple, accurate, easy to read (illuminated back light for night riding would be nice through), and the virtual cadence is an elegant solution. The manual, a others have pointed out, is complete crap, not logically laid out and as the other poster correctly pointed, results in a bunch of aborted attempts to setup initially followed by much head scratching. Once the procedure is figured out, it's easy but clearly many users have issue with the manual.

I also have ErgoBrain on my Campy setup. I far prefer the Flightdeck as the screen is less busy, it's wireless (Campy has two wired transponders, one for the cadence which is actual and the other for the wheel magnet which covers all of the other functions. The display on FlightDeck is flush to the case while the ErgoBrain is recessed and lower toward the back than the front, the better to collect water, sweat and dirt. Buttons on the Shimano setup give more tactile sensation. ErgoBrain does offer more features in its menu so check out that aspect if it's important.

I don't know about any changes for 2003 and the only one I would want is for the aforementioned illuminated back light. I think it's a very good product if you want a cycle computer which has cadence and gear indicators. If you don't need either or both, get something simpler.
Works perfectlyEager Beagle
Oct 4, 2002 1:39 AM
I have a wired one - does everything it says on the packet perfectly.

Took 1/2 hour to put on, perhaps 10 mins to programme and test, and has been flawless ever since.

The cadence is interesting, I don't need the gear indicator, but it's there for info.

It's a lot to pay for cadence - there are other computers just a good for less without it, but it's well designed and made.
re: shimano flight deck feedback pleasepmf1
Oct 4, 2002 6:19 AM
My wife has one and really likes it. I am less than impressed with it. Its expensive and clunky. The harness/mount is lousy. Hers always comes lose and I always have to fix it. The cadence feature on it is meaningless. The gear indicator is nice, I guess. Its not something I feel I can't live without though. If I need to change gears, my legs usually tell me so, or I you can always just look.

If you get one, make sure you get the right harness for whatever shifters you have. There are several versions.
Far more information than I need or wantretro
Oct 4, 2002 7:55 AM
I've only used FD briefly on friends' bikes, but for me, there's just nothing there to justify owning one. I have no use for the cadence function (you can't tell how fast you're pedaling without a computer?), and I can't remember when I've needed to know what gear I was in. It either feels right or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, you shift in the appropriate direction until it does. I like my computer and miss it when it's not working, but Flight Deck is too much of a good thing.
I love it and appreciate the cadence featurewolfereeno
Oct 4, 2002 8:08 AM
If estimating how fast your pedaling is so easy, why not just estimate how fast you're riding and how far you've gone?! Then you can skip the computer all together :-)

I like the cadence feature but for it to work you need to set up the computer with all of the ring sizes which takes a bit of time.

The gear indicator is helpful. Being able to start and stop the actual riding time is nice. There's no down side from my point of view. I wish I had one on my mountain bike as well.

I have the wireless version.
The cadence feature is worthlesspmf1
Oct 4, 2002 8:48 AM
Its not based on how fast you're really pedaling. When you coast, it thinks you're pedaling, so your average over a ride is inflated.

Try coasting down a hill in your 39x23 and check out the incredible cadence you generate.
re: The cadence feature is worthlessthe other Tim
Oct 4, 2002 9:52 AM
I don't even know how to read average cadence on the FD, but I really don't have any use for it; I want to know my instantaneous cadence when I'm pedaling. I'm enough of a math wizard to calculate my cadence when I'm coasting. If you need average or coasting cadence, then the FD won't work for you. Otherwise it works great without any extra magnets/wires.

I like everything about the FD except the lack of true auto-start, and the battery life. I use the wireless version on a road bike and a mtb, and find the harness/mounting to be trouble-free. Having the switches in the levers is great.

When I first purchased it, I thought the gear indicator was a little gimmicky, but since the FD needs to know your gear to calculate cadence, why not display it? I found through use that the indicator is very helpful.
re: shimano flight deck feedback pleaseMrCelloBoy
Oct 4, 2002 10:48 AM
I find the Flight Deck especially helpful on our tandem where it's hard to see what gear I'm in at any given time.
I don't know that I'd get it for a single.