Bike computers are obviously very useful on a touring bicycle
because they help with navigation and keeping records. Bicycle computers
are also great for motivating cyclists to finish a long day or count down
the last ten miles of a day that seems twenty kilometers too long.
For various reasons, most bike tourists agree that a bicycle computer is
useful and necessary.
Bike touring requires the best bicycle computer that can withstand
months of hard traveling and 24/7 exposure to rain, snow, sun, heat, and
freezing temperatures (hopefully not all on the same day). I have used various types and brands of cycling computers during
Only a few seem to be built strong enough to last longer than 12 months on
the road. I think there is a lot of room for improvement and
I have determined that I like wireless or cordless
cyclometers. Most of the problems I have experienced with bike
computers have been with the electric wires that lead to the magnetic
pickup. Wireless bike computers are especially good
for a bike tourist who frequently pack their touring bikes in a box for
airline or (USA) bus travel. Even if a box is not required for public
transportation, the wires can easily get pulled out during handling. On
the negative side, wireless computers use much more battery and occasionally
some other radio transmission or foul weather can interfere with accurately
measuring wheel rotation.
Even though my current Sigma wireless
Bicycle Touring Computers has lasted longer than expected I know that any electronic devise
will not last forever. For my next bicycle computer I will be
looking for some additional features specific to touring cyclists.
Count down kilometers (or miles)
Most of the time on a bicycle tour there is a known distance to ride each
day. Some of the newer models can be programmed with daily distance
goals and indicate distance left to travel.
ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)
I think it would be extremely useful if a bike computer could calculate the
time of day cyclists will arrive at their destination based on average
riding speed, number of rest stops, and distance.
Altimeter to Measure Elevation
Knowing elevation and the amount of climbing and descending is extremely
Download to Laptop Computer
Currently I have to enter all of my distance and elevation information
into an online journal by hand. I would like to be able to connect
my bike computer to a laptop and download the information quickly and
HR (Heart Rate) Monitor
Knowing how fast a bike rider's heart is beating is more important than
speed and distance.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
This seems like a logical solution but I have found that they use a lot of
batteries. It has been a few years since I have researched this option
so I will keep my eye open to advances in GPS technologies before I replace
my current bike computer.
Below is a short list of good candidates of bike computers for a touring cyclist.
let me know if I have overlooked any good models.
SIGMA SPORT ROX 6.0 - Wireless Bike Computer with
Altitude, Heart Rate and Temperature
This is my current bicycle
computer that has been the most durable for me.
The digitally coded ROX 6.0 combines the classic
features of a wireless bike computer with the most important altitude, heart
rate and temperature functions. With the easy to operate 4-button
navigation, mountain specialists and touring cyclists have fast access to
all the important information on their ride. You can read 4 current values
(altitude, heart rate, speed and another optional function) in one clear
screen. All the functions on the computer can also be used off the bike
using the special hiking mode.
* Functions include wireless speed, wireless heart rate,
altimeter and temperature
* Altitude measurement functions include current altitude, gain/loss
* Walking mode features time, altitude, elevation gain/loss, temp
Track your rides with this wireless computer--it has 10
functions and 12 features to make your rides more enjoyable.
* Wireless design eliminates the need for bracket sensor
wires, allowing for clean and easy installation * Features a manual-set
odometer, dual tire-size memory, sleep mode, auto or manual start/stop,
display, auto-power save
* Backlight, stem and handlebar mount, pacer arrow, changeable speed unit
and menu screen * Includes universal bracket and sensor mounts