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Daily Archives: March 5, 2016

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Cycling Computers: High Tech or Low Tech?

With spring only days away, I picked up a computer for the Trek yesterday and installed it, a black Bontrager Trip 100 Wireless Computer…  I’ve had a great low-end, wireless computer on the Venge for a couple of years now, but it’s become increasingly important to finally get one for the Trek.

It’s a decent wireless computer but it’s only got the bare minimum as functions go but that’s the way, uh huh, I like it.

I don’t use a power meter or a heart monitor or GPS…  I don’t need the data anymore.  I don’t need to relive the routes I ride on the computer anymore.  I don’t need to know how fast I was going at what mile…

I’m free.  Kind of.  Well, for the most part.

I want three stats, maybe four, from a computer, in order of importance:

1.  Current speed.  I have a tendency to pull just a little too hard when I’m with my friends and wife.  Having my current speed helps keep me from blowing up one of my friends, and it also allows me to take longer turns up front because I’m not unnecessarily too “on the gas”.

2.  Distance.  We almost always have a prearranged distance we’re shooting for…  If I know how far I’ve been, I know how much more I have to gut out.  Gotta be careful with this one though.  This information must be used for good.

3.  Average Speed.  It shouldn’t matter but it does, and everyone knows it.  Usually I only look at this after the ride but we also like to use it for those last five or ten miles push that last little bit to beat a time on a route we know.

4.  Max Speed.  Max Speed is pure fun.  It’s always fun to know, “yeah, we bombed down that hill and topped 50 mph.”

This is all I need.  Anything more would be a waste – maybe not for someone else but for me, this is so.  Since coming to grips with the fact that I am good enough, fast enough, and because I chose to quit tracking my rides on my phone, I get just enough to satisfy the stat junkie without wasting time after a ride… Or worse, worrying during a ride.  Oh, and one more thing:  It’s gotta be wireless.  While I may not need a lot of data, I don’t need my computer to be a product of the 90’s either.

More important, I have just enough to be a good cycling bud, something I’ve enjoyed on the Venge for years. Going by feel sounds awesome…  “Speed doesn’t matter, just the breeze through the hair and good times riding with friends”.  I get that, and that works on a 30 mile coffee shop ride, but when you’re trying to push it right to the edge on a century, well that’s another story.