My Cateye does not compute. I need new ideas.
December 26, 2007 1:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of changing to a wireless cycle computer. Is this a good idea?

I currently have a Cateye Astrale 8 that is starting to fail, for some unknown reason. So, I'm somewhat in the market for a new cycle computer, and I was thinking of going wireless.

For the first time in my cycling life, I'm a year-round cycle commuter (used to be a weather wuss, now I only don't ride in hurricanes, pretty much). I like my Astrale 8, but I don't like the wires - specifically, I don't like the wire running down my down tube to get to the back sensor/cadence. It gets in the way when I have to de-gunk my bike, which is quite often this time of year in the sloppy Northwest.

So, I have a few questions, both about features and about wireless computers in general.

1. Will I miss having cadence functionality? I use it a bit now, but I'm not a slave to it - but it seems like something I might miss once I don't have it, if that makes sense. I know that there are wireless computers that have cadence, but most of 'em are out of my price range (which is less than $100).

2. How susceptible to interference/misreadings are wireless computers? I've read various reviews that say everything from "not at all" to "depends on where you are" - do some brands provide more reliability than others in this regard? Anything specific I should look for?

3. Finally, any specific recommendations? I'm looking in the less-than-$100 range, I don't need a HRM or anything like connectivity to a PC (but I wouldn't be opposed to having PC connectivity if it came as part of a cheapish computer).
posted by pdb to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can tell you that I was VERY happy to abandon the wired bike computer and go with a wireless one. (But mine is a Sigma Sport 1600 . . . for sure not very fancy). The only trick is to be careful about not significantly bumping the magnetic thing on the spoke, or it won't pick up any data -- but then again, it's pretty easy to tell if it's not working. The distance and speed readings seem to be accurate.
posted by oldtimey at 4:17 PM on December 26, 2007

I've been using a CatEye Micro Wireless since this past summer, and it's been great. My first was stolen, and I liked it enough to replace it with the same model.

On one bike, I have the pickup connected to a seat stay and the computer on the top tube directly below the seat. On my other bike, I have the pickup connected to the fork and the computer on the downtube near the front. I'm not big on wanting to look at the thing while riding, just want it out of the way counting my miles. I've never noticed any interference problems, but I generally keep the two parts within 20-30cm of each other.
posted by migurski at 5:37 PM on December 26, 2007

I have a Sigma BC 1606 DTS CAD wireless cyclecomputer with cadence. I just found one on for $61.51. I got mine on eBay for even less.
I really like this computer. Has mounting options, doesn't lose odometer info when you change batteries. Records time on bike as well as the usual stuff.

i've had no interference issues. It i digital and "bonds" the transmitter/reciever combo.

Before you bail on the existing Cateye, check the battery
posted by cccorlew at 8:04 PM on December 26, 2007

Response by poster: re you bail on the existing Cateye, check the battery

Just replaced the battery about three weeks ago, and I'm still having problems - that plus the annoyance at cleaning around the wires have led me to want to examine the wireless option. Thanks all...
posted by pdb at 9:31 PM on December 26, 2007

I ditched my cyclocomputer about a year and a half ago for a Garmin Forerunner 201. When I got into triathlons, I upgraded to the Forerunner 305 for the HR monitor, cadence and better reception, but would definitely recommend taking a look at a GPS based solution and see if it's right for you. Reception on the 201 was sometimes spotty under heavy tree cover or in cities, but the 305 has been just about perfect so far.

The biggest downside for me is that you obviously can't use it inside on a trainer, if you use that kind of thing. But... you CAN use it for other activities, like runs, walks or hikes. And the data uploads to for your records and/or analysis quite easily. It's a tradeoff.

You can currently get a used 201 for under $80 on eBay.
posted by csimpkins at 9:12 AM on December 27, 2007

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