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After buying a mountain bike over a year ago, I must admit I hardly ever use it. This year I've started making a few changes to my life and one is to start some form of exercise to become slightly fitter - so I bought a cycling computer !
No it won't make me fit but I thought it would act as an incentive to get me out and about because its a new gadget for me to play with but obviously have to travel far to test it properly.
Oooooookaaaaaaaay you're thinking ! but anyway, I ordered it from that lovely little place called ebay for £5.99 and thought what a bargain. Similar computers with only 9 functions cost about £15 in the shops and do less. So it arrives typically on a day I have to go to work and can't use it :(. When I get home from work I read the booklet - yes us men can read booklets its just half the time we choose not too. The instructions seemed straight forward so I got to work on it.
The package consisted of everything you need to fit it, the computer, the computer bracket, the sensor cable, a magnet, rubber bands and cable ties. You fit the computer bracket to your handle bars and loop the rubber ban around it so it is securely in place. Do not obstruct the top of the bracket because that is where the computer clips into. You must then wind the sensor cable around your handle bar and around your front fork. If you wind it around correctly the sensor should be facing the spokes either at the top or middle of the front fork, if you have it too low then the sensor is too close to the spokes and, when you fit the magnet they will hit each other. Once you're happy with the position you must fit the magnet, it clips onto a spoke but you must have it facing the sensor but off center. This magnet acts as a counter when it passes the sensor. Yay ! its fitted I think, now to just setup the computer.
Setting up the computer is slightly harder than fitting it, I have not counted them but it claims to have 29 functions. To start off with you set the language, clock, wheel size, your weight and if you have cycled with a different computer you can enter the mile you have done. As I was starting from scratch I entered what I needed, the confusing part at first is that some of the functions have 2 parts to it. The reason for having 2 parts is that you can use this computer on another bike that has different wheel size - but that got me thinking why is there only 1 sensor then ? anyway, to set the wheel size so that the mileage is worked out correctly it doesn't have standard wheel sizes - that's odd your thinking ! well its not, because even though wheel sizes stay the same (as in a 26" wheel will always be a 26" no matter what bike it's on) the tyres are different sizes even if by a few millimetres. You have to measure the outsides circumference of the tyre as that is what touches the road. For arguments sake I got 26" wheels with a circumference of 2070mm, each time the magnet then passes the sensor it will add 2070 but display in miles or kilometres. After setting it up I think that's great, enough hard work for today don't want to be over doing it now do we ! ….. and leave at that to cycle another day - lol.
One Sunday morning I woke up at 6am and had a sudden urge to try me gadget, I couldn't get back to sleep so decided to get ready and cycle to work. Having done it before I know it is about 5 miles and takes 45minutes. Also knowing that I am a lot less fit now I really should allow myself some more time, having to be in work for 8am I leave 6:45am - lol plenty of time, and off I go !
From first impressions it works very well, started off 5mph then 6,7,8,9,10 and 12, the face is showing the current time, mph and average mph of 8(due to stopping and starting etc). The digits are quite large and can bee seen easily, the buttons are in a good place if you fancy changing options while on the go. Got to work and unclipped the computer and took it in work to study all that lovely data.
This is where the functions start to show their use, I travelled 4.5 miles in 32 minutes, average speed of 11mph with a max speed of 24mph. The temperature was 12oC and when entering the office it increased to 23oC. The odometer showed 4.5 miles and tripmeter showed 4.5, and wait for it …. It burnt off 53 calories and no fat - lol After work I set off again and check the data when I got home, I travelled 4.6 miles in 37 minutes with an average speed of 8mph and max speed 19 this time. The temperature was the same and the odometer now showed 9.1 miles travelled, the tripmeter showed 4.6 and I had burnt off another 53 calories making a total of 106 calories, not even enough the burn off that packet of crisps I had at 135 calories. So all in all I was happy as it worked correctly and gave me an idea that maybe jogging would be better than cycling for burning of them calories.
Other functions that it has are ….
Fast Scan - scans through all data to save you pressing buttons, can be done on or off the bike. Service indicator - You can set an alarm to sound at a specific mileage to remind you to service your bike - I tend to fix it when broke so this is no use to me but could be a professional 12/24 Hour clock - Which ever you prefer but I like 24hr Stop watch - I probably won't use this but still a good feature 5 languages (GB,D,NL,E,F)- I only speak English but ideal for other countries it includes Comparison speed - I didn't use this but I'm guessing it compares 2 laps and gives you a readout to see how much better you done than last time. Backlight - Don't really need to cover what this is for
The computer itself has a 3 year warranty and uses a lithium battery, either a cr2032 or a cr927, I haven't checked this as I will lose my data. This is a fantastic piece of equipment in my opinion and a bargain price at £5.99, a similar computer with 29 functions could cost £25 upwards - so quick jump on ebay and get one !
The only disadvantage I can think of that some of the functions are not accurate such as calories and fat burn, due to the fact it don't take into account the gradient of roads and whether you are riding with or against the wind.
I love this little gadget as simple as it is and look forward to beating my records when cycling to work.
Great review, I bought one for £8 on ebay, you cover all points, and you are right the only fault is that the fat burn shows a big 00 and the calarie counter is way way off, i checked on a few sites which gave a calculator for calories burnt using weight,duration of cycling and speed - it was about 4x that shown on the Bikemate, try http://www.realbuzz.com/tools_and_quizzes/exercise/index.php for example. So ignore that data or multiply it by 4 - otherwise it is superb, accurate and worth every penny.
killiefan 20.06.2006 17:31
Maybe if I get one of these I would actually use my bike