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WASTED MONEY(14 posts)

Jan 21, 2003 7:27 AM
Are cycling computers a waste of money vs Heart rate monitors with cycling abilities? Like the top end models such as the "Flight Deck or the Ergobrain" vs the "Polar S710" with all the bells and whistles.
Need to know your thoughts.
Jan 21, 2003 7:54 AM
Only you can decide.

If your goals as a cyclist are to understand were the bike and it's engine are at peak performance levels, enjoy crunching numbers 4 different ways to find 4 different views of your time on the bike, probably something like a combined HRM & bike computer is the right choice for you.

If riding for you a form of exercise and realease and data about it is merely interesting vs crucial, then probably a stand alone bike computer will meet your needs.

So, what are your needs. If you can explain the requirements your trying to meet, you'll get lots of good info here.

DependsWild Bill
Jan 21, 2003 9:28 AM
I know it is personal choice.
To use the computer and or HRM everyday. Training, group rides, touring, etc, etc.
Is the S710 complicated to use? Would you be pushing buttons all day? What is the benefit of having cycling options on your HRM vs just having a cycling computer and a HRM?
The "Ergobrain and Flight Deck" and HRM vs the S710 HRM?
Are two instruments better than just one?
Jan 21, 2003 9:43 AM
I've never used an HRM/Cyclocomputer combo (right now I'm without a working cyclocomputer at all).

The combo would allow you to compare bike speed, cadance, and HR all in the same download. With study, you could determine your wattage sweet spots and leverage that knowledge to enhance your performance.

Now, if the data will make you happier while astride the saddle, only you can say.

For me, the answer is no. All work and no play make me a dull boy, and that kind of analytics is too much like work to me, but that's just me.

Maybe with more experience in the saddle the day will come where I'll want to know, but for me, todays not that day.


Kinda like a car with air conditioning ...pmf1
Jan 21, 2003 8:00 AM
once you buy one, you'll never buy one without again.

Personally, I prefer a simple computer like a Sigma Sport. They're cheap and pretty useful. I can't imagine doing a century without one.

I don't use a hrm, but I hear you kind of get what you pay for.
It depends..DINOSAUR
Jan 21, 2003 8:46 AM
I rode for the first couple of years without using a computer and did fine. Although I later found out I was cutting myself short on ride miles and was riding a shorter distance than I tracked out using the odometer of my car. I've tried a couple of wireless computers and settled on a CatEye Enduro 2 on both of my bikes. They are plain and simple and bullet proof (as long as you don't pull out the wire on the computer display). I use every function. Sometimes I use the 2nd bike setting to measure certain distances on my rides to break things up and I do little mini time trials. I would think that if I had a Ergo Brian I would use it also , but I might be spending too much time looking at the thing. Sometimes I turn my computer on the clock function and just ride. But I can't see myself riding without a computer. There is no way to get an accurate count of your miles and they are what I go by for maintenance on my bikes. I never say never on anything anymore...
separate unitsDaveG
Jan 21, 2003 9:34 AM
While there is an advantage to combining everything together, especially for downloadable units, I like having a separate computer and HR monitor. That way if/when I break my cheapie <$20 Mity 3 I can toss in in the trash and get a new one without any pain. That's a bit more severe with a $200 HR/computerunit. Also, I like keeping the HR separate because I use it for other stuff besides cycling. If your goal is to have integarted speed/HR data that you can analyze then the S710 is pretty nifty
re: WASTED MONEYmacalu
Jan 21, 2003 9:56 AM
I don't use either one, ride by pure instinct.
Hey Macalu --Gregory Taylor
Jan 21, 2003 10:09 AM
Ummm... Did you used to ride a Vitus? Just a wild guess.
Hey Macalu --macalu
Jan 22, 2003 5:14 AM
Hey, I've been outed! Still do, but riding/commuting on the macalu for the winter. Been pretty cold!

You got that right...Gregory Taylor
Jan 22, 2003 6:09 AM
It's been pretty haphazard on Sundays, so you haven't really been missing much. I'd like to get one entire day on the weekend and do a breakfast ride (steady pace, enjoy the scenery) to Leesburg, temperature be damned. If you leave at 7:30, you can hit the Leesburg Restaurant by 10:30. Funky old place, decent food (eggs, pancakes, bacon). Round trip is 100 miles.
re: WASTED MONEYscary slow
Jan 21, 2003 10:12 AM
I ride with both a computer and hrm. However, I would say my most enjoyable rides are when I ride without either and just enjoy the buzz of my tires and the scenary.
Jan 21, 2003 12:14 PM
if you don't make use of the features, it's a waste of money. in fact, sometimes if you DO make use of the features, it's a waste of money. the flight deck is so cool, but it's a waste. ditto for the ergobrain, but multiply that by 2 ('brains are at least twice as expensive as FDs). you only NEED a basic $20 cycling computer like a Mity 3. but what you WANT is up to you.
re: WASTED MONEYgrannygear
Jan 21, 2003 1:19 PM
If you're simply curious, an inexpensive cyclecomputer/hrm (Supergo sells one for <$40) will likely fit your needs. If, on the otherhand, you intend to train, a hrm is imperative. If you crosstrain (run, hike and/or swim) it might prove useful to have a heartrate monitor which downloads to a computer for analysis - the s710 would be a good choice.