I have an old wired bike computer on my custom racing bike -- the wired lead to the crank sensor is now cut, and I thought I might replace the unit with a wireless unit. Are these reliable, and what should I look for?
They appear to be reliable. I compared a new Trek ACH Digital cycle computer with my Garmin 205 over a 12 mile ride. The stats for speed (current, average and maximum) and distance were almost identical. I think the cadence was accurate also, but I didn't do a precise test.
I was told that to get wireless cadence you need to get a digital computer and it is usually an add-on to the basic computer.
The other choice is to get a GPS unit such as the Garmin that doesn't need a sensor on the bike. They're very reliable as long as you're somewhere that you can get satellite reception. Sometimes they don't work very well around tall buildings or under trees. The benefits are that you can use it at other times (or on several different bikes) since it isn't locked on the bike, you can get a map of the route you followed and you can download all the geeky stats onto your computer. You can get a mounting device for the bike so that you don't have wear it on your wrist.
I replaced my wired device with a CATeye computer. It is compact and light. It offers speed, average speed, cadence, trip odometer, overall mileage. Compared to my wired device it seems to be accurate. I love the ease and operation of it. The sensors seem to stay in place, as well, for added reliability.
Before I bought my Garmin wireless bike computer I had a CatEye wireless with cadence meter. I thought tht the CatEye was extremely reliable and the information relayed was accurate. The only reason I replaced the CatEye is because I really wanted to be able to measure the grade of the hills I was climbing and I wanted a HRM combined with the cadence meter. If you want a lot of bells ans whistles, I recommend the Garmin computer, but if you want a basic wireless I'd go with the CatEye brand.
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