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Cyclocomputer Recommendation
CREATED: 01/31/14 by bhbrant REPLIES: 13
bhbrant's ravatar bhbrant    JOINED: 7/2/13    POSTS: 9
Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 11:03 AM

So I just had my bike computer stolen and am looking to replace it and I would like to take the chance to upgrade. While there are some features I would like, the more important thing right now is the money.

Beyond speed (current/avg/max), time, wireless, and clock, there are some specs I would like to include (in order):

-Downloadable data (I always forget to upload after)
-Heart Rate
-Cadence (know this is important, but probably don't fully understand yet)

Any recommendations? I am looking to spend below $100. Thanks.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 398
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 3:23 PM

Chances are you're not going to find what you're looking for under $100, unless it's secondhand. Even if you find a computer (let's say, CatEye $75-100) that has cadence, you're going to have to spend another $60 on a sensor. Not saying it isn't out there, but I've never heard of one that can do all of what you're looking for and come in under $100.

Garmin Edge 500 is solid, and brand new is around $200-250(with HR strap) on Amazon. You can sometimes find it on sale. Speed/cadence sensor on Amazon for around $35 and free shipping.

The more data you want, the more you're going to pay. You could skimp and try the Edge 200, but you lose a ton of data measures and display editing. Not worth it.

For $100 or less, you're going to have to settle for limited metrics and little to no ANT+ connectivity/compatibility, and likely no download ability - at least into any mainstream analysis platform (Training Peaks, Strava, etc)

There are plenty of cheap computers out there that will give you HR and cadence but you likely aren't going to be able to download the data. If you find something, let us know.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 398
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 3:31 PM

you could also try the Garmin Forerunner 301XT...

https://www.dctriclub.org/forum/messages.cfm?tid=1654FC22-E904-243A-3FF31B9E6311DDC4&page=1

astolz1's ravatar astolz1    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 368
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 3:55 PM

Cheapest/easiest would be to get an app and mount for your phone. There are ones that do all three I believe.
You can likely get a Polar, Edge 200 ($130, $90 on CL), or Cat-eye for about $100.
I'd go with one of those 3 and you could check http://www.dcrainmaker.com/ for in depth reviews.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 398
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:05 PM

except the Edge 200 doesn't do HR or cadence, as our friend here is interested in...

I think there are a few Garmins for sale in the club forum classifieds, try there.

bhbrant's ravatar bhbrant    JOINED: 7/2/13    POSTS: 9
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:11 PM

Thanks for the insight--great advice. The difference between the Garmin 200 and 500 is pretty stark, and I would definitely be missing out on some valuable data.

astolz1's ravatar astolz1    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 368
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:16 PM

It doesn't? Why would they make something and charge that much, jeez.

bhbrant's ravatar bhbrant    JOINED: 7/2/13    POSTS: 9
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:19 PM

This has really provoked a need for me to better understand the importance of the cadence measurement for an intermediate cyclist.

TDPrange's ravatar TDPrange    JOINED: 1/14/13    POSTS: 54
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:21 PM

The cheapest option with all the sensor capability might be your phone. If you have an I-phone you could mount that to your bike. I think if with I-Phone 4 to current offering have the Bluetooth 4.0 radio which can now pair with a growing number of sensors. If you have an android phone running android 4.3 you can probably pair that phone with the bluetooth sensors as well. Though not all phone apps with pair with bluetooth devices on android. You can get bluetooth speed and cadence sensors from wahoo fitness. I think they sell a bluetooth 4.0 heart rate strap as well. Some of the new power meters also have bluetooth compatibility (Stages and the new Powertap). Those sensors can port their data directly into a number of apps like Strava or Mapmyride.

The only downside is that you will have battery life issues on longer rides due to the power drain on the phone from running the on-board GPS and powering the screen. But on the upside you only have to pay for the sensors which are usually cheaper than the control head.

Trent

TDPrange's ravatar TDPrange    JOINED: 1/14/13    POSTS: 54
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:27 PM

That all being said as a Triathlete. I would go for a Garmin 310 or Garmin 910 if you can find one that you can afford. The display size is a little small and not quite as nice as the dedicated bike computers like the Garmin Edge series but it can collect and display everything those computer can do with the exception of some of the most advanced bells and whistles found on the Edge 800/810. But unlike the dedicated bike computers you can use that watch for tacking your running and your swimming. The Garmin 910 can even track all of your indoor pool swimming as well. The dedicated multi-sport watches are a little more expensive but can replace up to three devices that you might be inclined to buy.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 398
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:40 PM

Trent is right.

Your *CHEAPEST* option is using a smartphone, save whatever the app costs and accessories you need. You'll have to figure out if it will be bluetooth or ANT+ link, plus buy compatible accessories.

You still have to buy a cadence sensor (unless you already have a crank-based power meter in which is should already be built in - but that would mean you have lots of money and this convo wouldn't exist).

You still need to buy a HR strap.

The Forerunner 910XT is great, but even further out of your price range.

Your most realistic package (to give you all of what you're looking for):
Edge 500 with a HR strap + cadence sensor for <$300.

Alternative (expensive):
Forerunner 910XT with HR strap +cadence + quick release kit- approx $500. If you forgo the quick release kit (no mounting to your bike) - $480

Alternative: Wait for someone to sell their 310XT and use that.

Don't be that guy who mounts his phone to his handlebars unless you HAVE to. If you're that strapped, be a badass and just ride, to hell with numbers. And secretly wait for someone to sell something on the forum....

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 898
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 4:56 PM

The up front "cheapest" option might be to use your smartphone, but should you end up crashing or spilling sport drink/water on it or sweating all over it, having your smartphone mounted on your bike could end up being more expensive when it stops working than paying up front for something that is water/salt resistant and can take a hard landing as most bike computers are designed to do.

bhbrant's ravatar bhbrant    JOINED: 7/2/13    POSTS: 9
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 1/31/14 7:01 PM

Well, smartphone isn't an option, so I guess that figured itself out. Looks like the edge 500 is where I am heading. The watches seem way too bulky--although I do see the power of not limiting to one sport. The 310 seems too large, and the 910 is unfortunately out of the price range.

Really appreciate all of the suggestions.

HolliMarie's ravatar HolliMarie    JOINED: 6/21/11    POSTS: 143
RE: Cyclocomputer Recommendation
POSTED: 2/01/14 7:55 AM

I posted my Garmin Forerunner 405 for sale just a couple days ago. While it's a "running" watch it does have bike mode and can display heart rate and cadence. This video briefly describes what it can do in bike mode (watch 'Bike Mode' near bottom).

http://www8.garmin.com/learningcenter/into-sports/forerunner-405/

Listed at $65. Pair that with a speed/cadence sensor from Amazon and you'll be right at $100. All ANT+ compatible.

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