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Bike Computer

By Geoffx-19 - Posted on 09 February 2009

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Hello fellow bikers.

I'm seeking advice on which bike computer to buy. I want something reliable and not too expensive. (I've spent all night researching them and can't decide!)

I'd like it to have:

Any suggestions?

So far I've almost bought a:
Cateye CC HR200DW

but I can't decide! $200 is the absolute limit and I'd prefer to spend less.


Check out Nite Riders Range. I got some at Renegade Cycles at Lane Cove.
Wireless for $79.00


Is that the rebel 2? How much for the 5 and 8?

Does anyone else have comments to add to help me decide?

Some might say that wireless is not really worth it. What you gain in clean lines on the bike you loose in annoyance of pairing and flat batteries in the sensor. When it's so easy to run a wire wrapped around a brake line I can't see the point to be honest.

OK - perhaps for out of the way mounting (cadence) it's handy, but you don't want that by the look of things.

Shame the dollar tanked as Geomangear have Edge 305 with Cad+HR for $255USD or Forerunner 305 with HR for $219USD at the mo.

So long as you stay away from shonky brands (think you're doing that) I'd just go for the one with largest display in a sleek profile (not likely to be knocked off your bars in a crash) with large buttons (easy to use when bouncing around).

Bloot recently bought one that you just press the whole unit (button is on the back and is activated by this) to do stuff. Sadly rough trails cause the thing to bounce and activate this on it's own - not good.

how far away the sensor is from the main unit. My darling better half gave me Polar wireless unit a couple of years ago but because of the length of the fork I couldn't mount the two parts close enough to each other for it to work, back it went.

The other thing to consider, and this would only be an issue if you night ride, alot of the newer led light systems have electronic controllers in them and these can interfere with the signals of you computer.

I agree with Rob, not worth the hassle

Let there be light

Based on comments, the wireless is off the requirements list now. I can live without the clean lines for the sake of reliability.

If anyone is aware of any super special prices for computers with altimeter and backlight let me know!

Interestingly, I've had 7 computers over the ( more than I care to think..) years. 3 wired and 4 wireless.

With the wiresless ones I have had most of the issues Rob mentions (particularly with a very unreliable Echowell wireless). However, I have snapped the cable on every wired one I have owned. I seem to have a propensity for veering into the bushes... Even when well wrapped round the brake cable, I still seem to snap them. Not so long ago, I bought a wired cateye strada. Beautiful, small, elegant, big display etc. Lasted 2 months before the cable snapped. I donated it to a friend who bought a new cable assembly and put it on his road bike. I'm back to wireless again. Cateye Micro Wireless.The battery is slowly dying, it doesn't look particularly svelte or elegant ( but then again, neither do I...) and its buttons are not very positive.(although I did manage to switch it off with my groin while going OTB at the dam last week)

However, it is still working reliably.


Geoff, I've had a variety of wired and wireless monitors over the years, but I now have a Garmin Edge (like Rob suggested) and they are a class above normal bike monitors because they are a GPS unit. Being a GPS there is no wheel sensor because they use triangluation to determine speed and they can also report direction, elevation, weather, etc, etc.

Not having a wheel sensor also means there are no wires, no pairing problems, no needing to measure or set circumference and they can be moved from bike to bike without having to adjust anything (they also come with two mounts for multiple bikes). Some come with a HR strap (which I personally think is a "must have" to train properly) and you can also get cadence sensors (I personally think these are useless for off-road riding).

Garmin now own Motionbased ( and this is a site you can upload your rides to analyse or share and you can even download other peoples rides and follow them using the GPS functionality. GPS's also have the breadcrumb feature to help to find home if you go exploring and get lost.

Yes these are a little bit more expensive but I think they are worth it and I also got mine from - good price and delivered within 3 days from the US - fantastic.

Having plugged the Edge, my previous monitor was a Polar CS200CAD - I have it all boxed up ready to sell if you are interested?

I'd love a GPS unit but I don't ride often enough "yet" to justify the purchase cost. I'd also be concerned with damaging the unit and or theft. (They do look good though... perhaps if there was one that doubled up as a navman to use in the car...)

Do they come with full street maps of Australia?

Yes, the EDGE 705 can work as a "Navman" in the car, too.

You can also set routing preference to "prefer unpaved roads" or "Car/Motorbike"

See earlier discussion:

Cheers, Hans
"I thought of that while riding my bike."
Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

Another issue with wired units is that in wet weather they act up. Mine starts giving all sorts of wild readings and jumps about, before flattening the battery if I let it stay damp in the mount overnight. This would be because of the low voltages and amperages used in hte name of battery conservation. Maybe others have had different experiences, but this has been mine with a couple of units.

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