Bicycle Computer 'Gremlins'

by Shades   February 6, 2014  

What sets a wireless bicycle computer off when they're not in use? I have a Bontrager and a couple of Cat Eye variants that very occasionally either, all, or just one of them, get set off when they're stored at home. Usually it's a ridiculous speed (90mph). I've checked mobile phones, cordless phones, flashing bike lights, you name it and I still can't work out what sets them off. The only place that sets of a Cat Eye Micro wireless off is a supermarket check out and it happened once on a train. My Smart light also stopped the Cat Eye working when it was in dim mode.

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Could just be household wiring in general, mine used to do it every now and then. I put it down to power surges and a lack of shielding on the computer itself

posted by breezergood [35 posts]
6th February 2014 - 16:16

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Perhaps car remote locking, remote garage door openers? There are plenty of things that could be on the same frequency that might cause interference. IMHO, if they were well designed, they'd have a unique code and wouldn't respond to anything except your own sensors - not even another computer on a bike alongisde.

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posted by DaveE128 [221 posts]
6th February 2014 - 16:20

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In my experience wireless bike computers are useless unless you spend a lot of money and get one with ant+ signal or similar

posted by mrkeith119 [88 posts]
6th February 2014 - 18:51

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mrkeith119 wrote:
In my experience wireless bike computers are useless unless you spend a lot of money and get one with ant+ signal or similar

I've only used cheap bike computers, but I agree that wireless ones really aren't worth the bother. I had _one_ that didn't have problems at all with interference, but then I broke it (easier to do with wireless because the sensors are bigger and easier to accidentaly hit!). Wired ones are far more reliable and I don't think a bit of wire is such a drawback.

In particular, wireless ones would often go mad (a) at level crossings and (b) in a building that had some sort of wireless fire-alarm system. I hope in the latter case the interference didn't go both ways!

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [999 posts]
6th February 2014 - 19:18

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I used to have a wireless computer - but got fed up with forgetting to trip it as I started and it was eating so many batteries that they cost the price of a chainset by years end.

So now I have a computer that has wires and starts automatically. I got it for £3 off Ebay. I find it hilarious. It shows average speed, but it works this out over time and not distance. It stays on for five minutes before turning off. This means that every time I twitch a wheel while shopping/moving the bike round the shed/maintaining it etc. it adds five minutes to the calculated average...

I go really fast in reverse these days!!! Laughing

posted by Giles Pargiter [61 posts]
7th February 2014 - 2:26

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Wired is still best.

I use a VDO C08C, an old wired model that does cadence, but most importantly has longer wires to reach to the REAR wheel - essential for the turbo!

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posted by PJ McNally [600 posts]
7th February 2014 - 10:25

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My whizz bang bluetooth Flightdeck loves VW and Audis. It goes completely nuts. I wish I could accelerate from 6mph to 125mph in less than a second.

Watching the drivers faces,
"But I was not on the phone"
"Well my computer tell my otherwise!"

My Cateye Strada is set off by older mobiles occasionally when they are checking for a signal.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [465 posts]
7th February 2014 - 15:19

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Had a cateye wireless, but after a few weeks of working intermittently or incorrectly it now sits in a box in the shed - complete waste of money.
I had a similar experience with a HRM, albeit a cheap Aldi one - half way through a ride it would rise to 230bpm and then beep at me for the rest of the ride (presumably to tell me I was about to die).

My winter/turbo bike now has a wired computer with cadence & rear wheel sensor - no problems.
Splashed out on a Garmin with cadence etc for my "proper" bike. A few bugs but generally very good.

posted by BikeBud [168 posts]
11th February 2014 - 13:39