Monday, June 27

Cateye Commuter - Flawed Good Idea

Speedy Steve - Note the MXS! Either That or Cateye Lies
I've now had my Cateye Commuter for quite some time now and it's time to do a "once you've gotten used to it" report. Originally, I did a fairly extensive report on it here.

Pretty much all the stuff I didn't like then, I STILL don't like. What's more, despite many added attempts and careful reading of the manual, I never WAS able to set the date on the computer. Fortunately, the date doesn't do anything useful and is very difficult to access in any event. I can access the total mileage, but it is about a ten minute exercise that involves removing the computer from the bike and fiddling while referencing the manual. Newly discovered is that the computer, in addition to its other foibles, occasionally picks up interference, possibly from traffic signal induction sensors of all things. As may be seen above, at the place I noticed the computer's transgression, it recorded a maximum speed of 62.5mph, which is quite a feat for a cyclist stopped at a traffic light. I suggest that if you have a bike with a wheel generator and are considering this unit, that you get it from a place you are sure will take it back if the generator causes peculiar computer behavior. One other feature I didn't comment on earlier is that, unlike many OTHER Cateye computers, this one doesn't wake up by itself when you start out again. You have to punch it a little and then, punch it again if you want to reset it.Finally, if you're wearing polarized sunglasses, the display can look a bit overdone unless you peer below the lenses.

Other than its foibles and the nonexistent backlight, this computer has worked completely reliably. It is also amusing to see just how high I can get the temperature reading to go when riding over dark pavement in the sun. My record so far is 119F. Finally, the big numbers are nice, and easy to read. All in all, it is a nice computer and would really be a good deal if it cost about $25. Unfortunately, it is more than double that price, so I recommend you consider waiting until you can get something like the Cateye Vectra Wireless” on sale - for about $25. It is what I run on the road bike and I got a second one (for $25) at the Hotter 'N Hell 100 last fall.

When I finished up my v2 commute, I never got around to resetting the commute distance. Since the new commute is only seven miles and the distance can only be set in full miles, it would give me as much as a 20% error in ETA. As it is, I know it takes me 35 minutes to ride to work if I'm not pushing hard and that it takes me an hour to return home, counting coffee dawdling time. So now, this computer usually runs so that I see the current speed and total distance since reset. Mostly, my total bike mileage is determined from my commute logs, since the computer makes it a PIA to get that number off it more than once or twice a year. Besides, none of my liberal friends were ever willing to buy carbon offsets off me anyway...


limom said...

Boy, you are like the fastest dude!
That on and off thing was one thing I didn't like about my V2 also.
Garmin baby!
More info than you'd ever need.
Though sometimes it says I spin at 250rpms.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Big Oak said...

I had a cheapo wireless Nashbar computer that would race sometimes when I had my cell phone close to it. I'd park it next to the electric meter occasionally, which did the same thing.

A couple years ago I bought a Sigma 1106 wired computer, and have been completely happy with that. It is very basic, but keeps track of mileage, ride time, total time, and max speed (which is always much lower than I think it should be). Anymore data than that and I would be in overload.

You need to find some liberal friends with money!

John Romeo Alpha said...

I also have a Sigma 1106 which seems to win the bang for buck contest. But eventually I got an internal speedometer odometer GPS cadence computer that tells me how far to ride how fast or how slow. The old Brain 1000 has good parallel processing but the memory is becoming unreliable. Sometimes it indicates a new bicycle is needed for reasons difficult to explain to others.

Tracy W said...

I've settled on the Cateye Enduro as my standard. It's not fancy, doesn't have a bunch of bells and whistles, and is a wired computer. I've got three of them, one on each of my bikes, and one on the back of the tandem (had to improvise a lengthened pickup wire). The front of the tandem has a Shimano Flight Deck.

Of those four, guess which one is down to about 1/4 working functionality....yep, it's the Flight Deck.

At about $35 locally, these things are like the energizer bunny. They just keep working like they should.

Steve A said...

That Enduro is a solid product at a good price. The Vectra Wireless is similar, but at a "can't pass up" price. I have bought two, but haven't decided yet what bike to put it on.

Anonymous said...

You can only set the commute distance after you reset the actual measurement. So have to zero out all the current lap time/speed/etc, after that you can set a new commute distance.

Post a Comment

No Need for Non-Robot proof here!