I've got a really soft spot for the Knog Nerd, it's a well designed, easy to use, durables and fun gadget but I've also got to admit that there's a wealth of wireless models that will do much more for the same and in some cases, considerably less money.
Knog's NERD Wireless 5 Function cycle computer is basically a scaled down version of the 12 function model. Losing none of its bigger sibling's charms, its delightfully simple to set up (I had ours calibrated and installed in six minutes), intuitive to use and the display could only be bettered with a backlight. Build quality remains impressive - my 12-function is still going strong despite an unplanned tour de washing machine and this one has sniggered at winter's procession of showers, sleet and plummeting temperatures.
In essence we have an oversized head unit and fork sensor encased in the brands' trademark silicone duvet. This monocoque design comprises of straps for a truly universal fit around the complete zodiac of fork and handlebar diameters while insulating electrical components from the elements, competing signals and potentially damaging vibration.
It's a shame you can't purchase these separately for the last word in colour coordination when swapping between bikes. A mere five functions comprising of 12/24hr clock, current speed, trip distance, ride time and overall distance isn't going to blow anyone's mind but is arguably less irksome than manufacturers including wireless and twin-bike settings amongst the modes. Ours was a very fetching baby blue, complimenting my Ilpompino perfectly but there's black, green magenta, red or white should you prefer.
Faithful to the blurb, it starts registering data 1.2 seconds from standstill and a neat little graph nestling beside the prodigious numerals indicates how current speed compares with average without needing to toggle through the modes. Incidentally, this is performed by gently depressing the 'activation area' at the bottom of the screen- the sensation feels a little unnatural to begin with but is broadly comparable with time honoured two button configuration. Prodigious 53x51x40mm dimensions mean its an absolute doddle to read-even on those kamikaze descending missions, so perfect for those urban riders who like to combine commuting and training.
Beautifully designed, easy to use computer albeit expensive compared with ordinary wireless models.
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Make and model: Knog N.E.R.D. Wireless 5 Function Cycle Computer
Size tested: Light Blue
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"These brainiacs started off in buttoned-up sweaters, awkwardly holding their library books and getting milkshake poured over their heads by a cliq of pretty girls a-holes. Fast-forward 90 minutes though, the big spectacles have been taken off, the pony-tail let out and OMG - she's still a N.E.R.D, still the smartest thing on two wheels, but golly is she a foxy one.". In short its a very chic, user friendly handlebar mounted computer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MAIN UNIT SIZE 53 – 51 – 40 mm
TRANSMITTER UNIT SIZE 52 – 27 – 52 mm
FUNCTIONS 5 function models
BATTERIES N.E.R.D. 1 x CR2032 3V cell - Transmitter 1 x LR44 1.5V cell. Batteries last for approx 1-2 years with normal operation
MATERIALS Medical grade silicon
Both the NERD 5 and its 12 function sibling seem well built.
Our twelve function NERD is still going strong a couple of years on.
Very easy to read and simple to use thanks to the large display and touch screen control.
Nigh on forty quid is very steep given the modest specification.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The baby Nerd has all the charms of its bigger siblings, namely funky styling,intuitive design and accurate readouts. However, a backlight would've been welcome and five functions feel very low rent by modern standards.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Colour, style and huge, easy to read display.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing aside from price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not at full retail price
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes but only if form presided over functions
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)