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Bike computers are worthless. Change my mind.

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Bike computers are worthless. Change my mind.

Old 06-16-20, 08:33 AM
  #26  
BlazingPedals
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I'm still scratching my head over Strava not doing heart rate. I have a free account, and I can record heart rate on Strava. Apparently OP has an equipment problem and is blaming Strava instead of figuring out why he's not sending HR data.

Smart phones do the same job recording your route, but they sure use batteries faster. And of course they require an account with data. I'm a dinosaur and don't have a personal cell phone. That would cost money every month.
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Old 06-16-20, 08:37 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
No ANT+ on a smart phone, and thatís a deal breaker for a lot of my older sensors and HRMs.

Also the bike computer will work under more extreme temperatures and weather, as most smart phones will start to overheat and shutdown at around 95íF, which is easy to do if it is sitting in the sun on your handlebars on a hot day. The Garmin edge has an operating temperature of 140íF, which is way past mine. The same is true at the low temperature end as well where a smart phone Ďgives upí around 32F while most bike computers operate at far lower temperatures.

Phones are just not made to sit out in difficult environments like on handlebars for a long period.

But to each his own I suppose.
I have no dog in this fight....
But all the better smart phones have ANT.
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Old 06-16-20, 08:40 AM
  #28  
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I roll with non GPS cateye computers. All I use them for is odometer, trip mileage, and elapsed rolling time. I find them to be more accurate and consistent than GPS for mileage and speed.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:06 AM
  #29  
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I like a basic computer for my bike. Current speed, maximum speed,average speed, trip distance and odometer are all that I require. If I want heart rate I'll wear my dedicated heart rate monitor which is a chest strap unit and is EKG accurate.

Cheers
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Old 06-16-20, 10:15 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I have no dog in this fight....
But all the better smart phones have ANT.

You sure about that?
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Old 06-16-20, 10:18 AM
  #31  
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I only used the Miles data total & trip reset able counters, when on bike tours..

Write down the total before you change the battery..
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Old 06-16-20, 10:39 AM
  #32  
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For me bike computers like a Cateye are worthless. A PITA to set up. I use a basic Garmin and upload the data to Strava so I can compare my rides/segments to previous months and years. Also keeps track of my total miles.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:47 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
For me bike computers like a Cateye are worthless. A PITA to set up.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:55 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
You sure about that?
As sure as one can be after reading data from ANT sensors through a phone......

That is getting moot anyway since newer sensors move to BT, or dual ANT and BT.

A lot of the discussion here revolves around old stuff. If you plan to buy new modern equipment that isn't bottom of the barrel, many of the problems mentioned here are non existent. Much here is like saying cars don't work well because carburetors are finicky. No, ****, that's why they got abandoned long time ago.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:00 AM
  #35  
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I just replaced my Garmin 510 with a 530 and found the 530 lets me know how many times I shifted each derailleur.

I can't imagine how I lived without that.

But I do like the basic functions of HR, speed, cadence, distance, calories and others. I also like that it uploads all this info and routes to the internet.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:39 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I just replaced my Garmin 510 with a 530 and found the 530 lets me know how many times I shifted each derailleur.

I can't imagine how I lived without that.
Reminds me of when I got my Flight Deck back in 2001. Told me what gear combination I was in. Thank you, Jesus. Worked great until it didnít. One day during a charity ride it started to rain. Thing went haywire. Speed reading went up and down. At one point it had me going 60 mph up a steep hill. Eventually cut out, but for a while my average speed was quite impressive.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:40 AM
  #37  
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If you can't get nav going on your 520, you're doing it wrong.

I agree that the 520 has bad limitations. I don't think any other modern bike computer has nearly as bad battery life and map storage issues.

The last thing most people want is to drain their phone batteries even more when out riding, so no thanks to that alternative.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:55 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
The last thing most people want is to drain their phone batteries even more when out riding, so no thanks to that alternative.
Purpose built computers are generally more efficient than a Swiss Army Knife computer.

Game consoles are better at games than PC based. The new Crew Dragon is not using iPads with apps installed

Want to make your phone battery last longer.. remove all the "bloatware" put on by your carrier and stop all the apps that run int he background that you don't use regularly. Change permissions so they're only active when you're using the app. Too many are checking location and for updates all the time.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:56 AM
  #39  
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Power meter data (3 sec avg) is practically all I ever look at on my Garmin 520 while riding, and sometimes heart rate. I also set the "High Power Alarm" in the Garmin, when I know it's a recovery day/week and I don't want to over-exert myself. I also like to have navigation running with the alerts on screen. And I want battery life to exceed 4-5 hours, without having to recharge. Convince me that there's an Android app that will do these things.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:05 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I'm still scratching my head over Strava not doing heart rate. I have a free account, and I can record heart rate on Strava. Apparently OP has an equipment problem and is blaming Strava instead of figuring out why he's not sending HR data.

Smart phones do the same job recording your route, but they sure use batteries faster. And of course they require an account with data. I'm a dinosaur and don't have a personal cell phone. That would cost money every month.
I didn't read through the entire thread... I thought Strava stopped with external sensor support because they couldn't figure out how to make it stable which made their app unreliable and people getting mad losing too many or even just one important workout left a bad taste. Or in their words, to concentrate on the user experience and blamed the seonsors and the phones. I used strava natively for a while years ago and only with a Polar HRM and the Strava app was not reliable then either. I learned way back to just use the Polar app on my phone and sync to Strava afterwards and never used it since. The Polar app on my phone rarely ever crashed or glitched. I've used an Elemnt for the last two+ years and haven't lost a single ride.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:06 PM
  #41  
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OP is misleading, there's a difference between "any bike computer is worthless" and "anything over $50 is worthless vs my phone".

I'll take on #2 . A new phone could be up to $1000 out of pocket if you screw it up without insurance coverage, with insurance coverage it is easily the cost of a usable bike computer.

Plenty of decent bike computers at $200 or less. I'll take my chances on a device designed to be outdoors bouncing around and rained on versus a bulky Otterbox and compromise combo of cases to make my phone work.

A phone is super freaking fragile.

Yes "quadlock" et al........whatever. It's still a $50 mount holding up a $1000 phone in an environment it was never intended for.

A tool for every task. I'd honestly rather people ride with the phone in a jersey pocket inside of a ziploc sandwich baggie and no bike computer than with a phone prominently displayed as some kind of Tesla-esque massive touchscreen display.

Yeah, the toughmen cyclists of old did it all with no tech. But if you want tech, and you can afford a $1000 phone..........you can certainly afford a purpose built bike computer.

If you can afford a $1000 phone, a $20 bike computer is an insult to logic. I'd say if you're willing to spend $1000 on a phone you should be more than OK swinging $230 on an Elemnt Bolt.

It's just nonsensical to be so crotchety on purpose.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:07 PM
  #42  
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When on tour in unfamiliar places I rely on PGS-paper guidance system. Also known as cue sheets. I started doing that after learning the hard way that a phone isnít useful for starting a 🔥
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Old 06-16-20, 12:09 PM
  #43  
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And once again, the OP tosses out a bone and watches everyone scrap for it. Yes, the discussion of whether to use a computer of some sort may be interesting, but “Change my mind”? Go away.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:29 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
As sure as one can be after reading data from ANT sensors through a phone......

That is getting moot anyway since newer sensors move to BT, or dual ANT and BT.

A lot of the discussion here revolves around old stuff. If you plan to buy new modern equipment that isn't bottom of the barrel, many of the problems mentioned here are non existent. Much here is like saying cars don't work well because carburetors are finicky. No, ****, that's why they got abandoned long time ago.
No, itís a valid point.

As technology marches on the sensor and phone matchup might become a no-brainer. Any new stuff I make sure is Bluetooth 4+/BLE capable. Phone ruggedness can improve along with maybe an increase in battery life from better battery technology and better brighter OLED displays for direct sunlight and the phone will be the go to choice for your bike computer. I remember when no one thought phone cameras would ever replace point-and-shoot cameras, or you would 100% freak out if even a little liquid got anywhere near your phone.

Just donít think itís quite there today as the easiest and most rugged plug and play solution for cycling. For example some phones may have ANT+ hardware but no ANT+ protocol loaded in the firmware so you would have to patch that yourself.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:41 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
You know what's really useless? Broccoli. I hate it.
Broccoli is incredibly healthy, especially for gut bacteria.

We stan broccoli.

Oh and with regards to the thread, I use my phone with Wahoo Fitness app to monitor my HR, cadence and power currently. It works great. But I will still buy a computer at some time because if I fall chances of the phone breaking something are just too high, as well as the fact that in the sun you need the display brightness high to see anything and that drains the battery fast. Oh and they are un-aero af.
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Old 06-16-20, 01:06 PM
  #46  
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The biggest reason I am getting a computer for my bike is battery. I am going with a non-gps unit for a 6 month ish battery. Half my riding is at night and charge lights every other ride typically. I don't need something else to remember to charge.
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Old 06-16-20, 01:29 PM
  #47  
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Unimaginative trolling is worthless. Change my mind ...
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Old 06-16-20, 01:32 PM
  #48  
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I can't be the only one who read the title as 'Bike commuters are worthless. Change My Mind'
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Old 06-16-20, 01:41 PM
  #49  
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I think this thread sucks, convince me otherwise.
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Old 06-16-20, 01:44 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I've found that I do just fine with my phone and a small battery charger, and that my phones have survived multiple mishaps including getting hit by a car and just plain getting dropped on the road. I feel I have to carry my phone anyway for various reasons having little to do with bicycling, so I don't want to add another device.

I can't for the life of me imagine wanting to pick an argument with someone who likes and/or needs their GPS--I don't care what they think I need, and I have no idea what they do or do not need so why should they care about what I think on the subject?

This is like someone chose as a debate topic: "Resolved: Starkist is Superior to Chicken of the Sea."
Originally Posted by Bertrand Boxest View Post
This is like someone chose as a debate topic: "Resolved: Starkist is Superior to Chicken of the Sea."

Is there an echo in here?
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