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Would like help/info buying bike computer

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Would like help/info buying bike computer

Old 06-14-19, 01:17 PM
  #1  
oldfatboy
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Would like help/info buying bike computer

Ok, some background info.
I'm 66, retired, overweight, and out of shape. Some other problems, but doesn't matter here, I don't think.
I'm just getting back on a bike for exercise and fun. I've always loved bike riding, but stopped due to some physical problems.
What I want to buy is a good computer I can install on my Verve 3. I'd like to see all the info I can, so I can compare, and watch, how I'm improving and doing riding.
I created an account also on Strava, and I have a Vivosmart HR.
My memory isn't very good, so would like something that will connect to my smartphone or laptop to upload info so I can keep track of how I'm doing.
I don't know all the terms/abbreviations I see, so don't really understand all I'm reading about the many different computers.
I've been interested in the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and Garmin Edge 830, however, I don't really think I need a map since I'll just be riding the local areas here in southcentral Alaska. There are some hills in the area that aren't very long distance wise, but they are pretty steep. At least for this out of shape guy

Hope I've given enough info of what I'm wanting/looking for.
Thanks for any and all help.
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Old 06-14-19, 01:27 PM
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The maps are handy. Garmin/Wahoo are both decent. I'm told Garmin does have it's quirks, but in all the time I've owned Edge 520's & 820's they have been few & far between. Like losing a sattellite behind a mountain in some places (1 ride), missing the first 5 minutes of a ride (2-3 times), refusing to shut down, (bug, fixed) But in nearly 20,000 miles I'd call it reliable enough.

Wahoo has really given Garmin a tough run. People in the cycling group are switching over 1 by 1 & seem pleased.

At this point in tech it's more like Ford or Chevy? Coke or Pepsi? Either does what you want. I might consider a Wahoo when my 820 dies, but I think that'll be a long time from now.
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Old 06-14-19, 02:14 PM
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Wahoo Fitness is a good free app, with the advantage of interfacing seamlessly with Wahoo hardware. I've been using a Tickr for a couple of weeks. At 61 with a few nagging but relatively minor health issues, I figure a heart rate monitor is a better value than a power meter for now.

The recent update to Wahoo Fitness caused some glitches in both Android and iOS but I'm sure Wahoo will fix it. The previous version of the app was the most reliable and lowest resource activity app I'd used. The update is roughly comparable to Strava, which is generally reliable but glitches just often enough to be annoying.

I use cheap bike computers because all I need/want is current speed, average speed, distance and time elapsed. The odometer feature is semi-useful. Good bike computers cost from $12-$100, depending on features. The higher priced models may include wireless transfer to Strava, and at least one even features its own built in GPS, so we don't need to rely on our smartphones alone.

Even after almost four years back in the saddle and in pretty good shape for an old guy, I still don't feel much need for a pricey Garmin or power meter info. Monitoring my heart rate and subjective feel tell me pretty much all I need to know about my fitness. Joining an occasional semi-fast group ride of like-minded older dudes/dudettes tells me whether my subjective impressions match my actual fitness. If I can hang with the B-group's 16 mph average over 25-50 mile rides, I'm doing pretty well.
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Old 06-14-19, 04:21 PM
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Garmin, Wahoo, Lezyne are poplar and decent cycle computers with GPS. They all have those that swear by them and those that swear at them. Make sure the device will handle any of the sensors you may want now or in the future. Power and cadence are two sensors that the very inexpensive ones tend to not handle. Also, some can control your lights, cameras and even radar (Garmin Varia) if you are interested. So if such does or will interest you, be aware of whether what you are looking at will handle it.

If you know how to navigate with out a GPS telling you where to go, you might look for ones that don't have maps. IMO, that just opens up a whole new avenue for potential issues between you and your device.

Besides, your phone can show you a map if you need to know where to go. Many times it seems like the biggest issue with GPS cyclometers is the connection to the phone and subsequent upload to a website. So for me a phone link isn't even something I'd want. Me personally, I'd want an alternate way to get data from my device besides the BT or Wifi connection. I'm still more than happy to manually transfer my rides to my computer or to the websites I use via a USB cable.

The only thing I really want from my bikes gps is a log of all my data and plot of where I went. Toward that, my Garmin Edge 500 has served me well for about 10 years and is still going strong.

p.s. Don't forget that your smartphone can also do just about anything a dedicated device can do. You just have to find the right App and the right sensors to connect to it. I just don't want my phone out there on the bars where it can get knocked off. Plus I don't want to be needlessly wasting it's battery when I might need it to call for help.

Last edited by Iride01; 06-14-19 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 06-14-19, 04:59 PM
  #5  
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Get a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Itís the Apple of cycling computers. Very intuitive and it works every time. Garmin is like Microsoft.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:16 PM
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Garmin, Wahoo, Lezyne is like the argument Ford, Chevy, Dodge. It is a hard choice but compare the features you really need and go from there.
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Old 06-15-19, 08:50 AM
  #7  
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Thank you all for your info and comments and jadocs, I had a good laugh at yours
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Old 06-15-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Get a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Itís the Apple of cycling computers. Very intuitive and it works every time. Garmin is like Microsoft.
Bad analogy. If Wahoos vs. Garmin were like an Apple vs. Windows, the Wahoo would cost three times as much and it doesnít, itís priced comparatively. And I find my Garmin as easy to use and intuitive as the Bolt I owned, but we really donít need to rehash this argument, do we ?
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Old 06-16-19, 01:25 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Bad analogy. If Wahoos vs. Garmin were like an Apple vs. Windows, the Wahoo would cost three times as much and it doesnít, itís priced comparatively. And I find my Garmin as easy to use and intuitive as the Bolt I owned, but we really donít need to rehash this argument, do we ?
Steve, I'm totally new to all this, and as I posted, don't even know anything about them, so just out of curiousity, which Garmin is similar/comparable to the Bolt?
TIA
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Old 06-16-19, 03:40 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by oldfatboy View Post
Steve, I'm totally new to all this, and as I posted, don't even know anything about them, so just out of curiousity, which Garmin is similar/comparable to the Bolt?
TIA
Probably the 520 In terms of price, but Iíd spend the extra $30 and get a 520 Plus. If you have no real interest in using the maps, Iíd get the Bolt. Or if you want a larger unit, with a color screen and mapping, the Garmin Edge Explore is same price as a Bolt.
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Old 06-16-19, 04:19 PM
  #11  
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I'm going to also mention the Polar V650 and M460.

I own both.

The V650 display is spectacular and both are simple to use. Both will connect to a phone and upload to the Polar website which will forward the info to Strava.

Price is competitive, especially with regard to Garmin where the Polar is half the price.


-Tim-
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Old 06-17-19, 05:11 PM
  #12  
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Thank you all for your time/posts/info.
After lots of reading about every computer mentioned, and a rather long phone call, I decided to try the bolt.
Don't know what I'm in for, but will give it try. See if a newbie can figure it out Also ordered the rpm speed sensor. Hope it's easy to install.

Will post my thoughts of it after I've used it a while.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-17-19, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by oldfatboy View Post
Thank you all for your time/posts/info.
After lots of reading about every computer mentioned, and a rather long phone call, I decided to try the bolt.
Don't know what I'm in for, but will give it try. See if a newbie can figure it out Also ordered the rpm speed sensor. Hope it's easy to install.

Will post my thoughts of it after I've used it a while.

Thanks again!
Wise decision, you will not regret it.
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Old 06-18-19, 02:13 PM
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The Bolt requires you to have a smartphone, right?
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Old 06-18-19, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The Bolt requires you to have a smartphone, right?
It does not need a phone to record data

you only need a phone for:

Call and text notification
Live tracking
Page configuration
Post ride data downloading and sharing (ie. auto uploading to Strava and other apps)
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Old 06-18-19, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
It does not need a phone to record data

you only need a phone for:

Call and text notification
Live tracking
Page configuration
Post ride data downloading and sharing (ie. auto uploading to Strava and other apps)
And initial setup. It needs to be able to scan the barcode to initialize the unit. I donít think you can activate and setup without a smartphone running the app.
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Old 07-13-19, 04:32 PM
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Just to update, I have very much enjoyed the bolt. At first I was concerned about paging through screens, but just a little practice/use, and all is well
Screen is plenty large enough, and light enough, to read while riding.
The only negative, if it can be called that, is that I had to use the zip ties to mount the bolt to my Verve 3 handlebar.
Oh, there is one other negative: I don't see a way to monitor the charging when the unit turns off. I have to turn the unit back on to see if the bolt is fully charged, then turn it back off till I'm ready to ride again.
I'm very glad I bought it!
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Old 07-13-19, 07:28 PM
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Do an Amazon search for Wahoo Mounts. There’s a bunch of different models, out front (which can be turned around), top stem cap direct, top stem cap with offset, front stem bolt mount, etc...
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Old 07-13-19, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Get a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Itís the Apple of cycling computers. Very intuitive and it works every time. Garmin is like Microsoft.
I like that analogy.

I have a Garmin Edge 520 Plus. It can sometimes be a PITA, but it works for me.
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