Cateye Strada Wireless £39.99
Many of us use cycle computers but, since there are so many on the market, which one do we choose? Well, firstly you need to decide which functions you would like. In my case, I simply want to know how fast I am going and my total and trip distances. A secondary trip would also be useful. I would also like a large, clear display with wireless set up, all incorporated in a neat slim unit that can be mounted on the stem as well as bars; that’ll be the Cateye Strada Wireless at £39.99, then!
It has 8 main functions: current, average and maximum speed, total plus two trip distances, elapsed time and a clock. Although I have used a cycle computer for years this is my first wireless version. What put me off the early generations was in part their the power saving mode; most shut down after 10 minutes or so. Whereas wired models would wake up as soon as you started riding again, the early wireless versions would usually require a press of a button to wake them up, something I just know I would have forgotten, which would have made the indicated trip distance wrong.
Trip distance is something I like to be accurate, since it is necessary for following route sheets. This is also where a secondary trip distance comes in handy since many event route sheets will list the entire route with directions and mileage points to guide. I am inclined to not view my route sheet as often as I should, often riding straight pass turning points while chatting away merrily to other riders. After I have finished blaming everyone else for going wrong I can simply zero the secondary trip between reference points when back on route. As a tip, keep this feature to yourself as many computers don’t have this, the rest of the group simply delegating the task of following the rest of the route to you, making blaming them for the next time you go wrong far more difficult.
As you can see in the picture, the information is displayed on two lines. Current speed is always the top line and, at 15mm high, the display is one of the largest displays I have seen on a computer this size. You select which of the other functions are displayed on the lower line; these numbers are 7mm high, so again quite large.
Another deterrent with earlier wireless models was their large size compared to wired models, but the head unit on this is only 30mm wide by 45mm long. The transmitter is also much smaller and neater than previously found. It’s so small and neat that it can fit on the stem just as I have done, the bracket head allowing for the unit to be fitted to the bar if that is what you prefer. The head unit unclips/slides off the front of the bracket. So, if stem-fitted, this would be a bit awkward if your stem has large front loading clamp as that could get in the way. Most have a shaped clamp like on my bike as shown so I had no problem. I also use one on another older bike with a slimmer quill stem; like many quill stems my 3T version is oval as opposed to round, so the unit was inclined to slide round to the side. On that bike I now fit it to the bars.