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CatEye - Velo 9 Cycle Computer
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- ALL YOUR FAVORITE STATS: Displays current, max, and average speed, total distance, trip distance, elapsed time, calories, carbon offset, pace arrow, and clock.
- DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STOPS: Caught at a red light? Stopping for coffee? We've got you covered. Your CatEye computer knows when you've stopped and automatically stops counting time and averaging speed.
- WIRED SENSOR: The Velo 9 comes with a wired speed sensor.
- BECAUSE YOU CARE: The Velo 9 also tracks calories and carbon offset.
- GO THE DISTANCE: With a battery that lasts up to three years, you can install it and forget about it.
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The newly designed Velo 9 is CatEye's entry level 9 function computer. The new, larger screen is even easier to read and set up is made simple with pre-programmed tire sizes. Battery life up to three years. Weighs 28g.
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The CatEye Velo 9 screen is large and easy to see. The single button operation to scroll through the displays is easy and fast. A long push on the same button will also serve to reset trip mileage and stats. Again, intuitive and easy. The unit reasonably accurate with the limited settings that a use needs to input to set it up. The automatic-ON capability is flawless; the computer senses when the wheel is moving and brings the unit up to full power. Otherwise, it eventually sleeps to save the battery and just shows the time like a watch. If you want a simple computer that fits your basic needs, then this unit pretty much fits the bill. The cost is also competitive.
Now the few bad points. Let me say that ALL of the points could easily be addressed by CatEye without much expense. So the long-winded detail here isn't about being critical just to be mean to CatEye; I am going over these things so that customers know about them and CatEye may also wish to address them.
The cord leading from the sensor to the mount is too short. The manual shows how to route the wire up the brake cable but there isn't quite enough length to do that properly as depicted. Thus, you will have to take less turns around the fork and the brake cables and the wire will be loose than it should be. (How expensive is it for CatEye to add another 8-12" of wire?)
The mount for the computer is cheapo. It mounts to the handlebar or step with some lousy double-sided rubber sticker that tears easily and is further secured by two zip-ties. If you want to move it or remount it, well buy yourself more double sided rubber stickers and zip-ties, because these cannot be reused.
Did I mention that the mount was cheap? Well, since the primary anchor are zip-ties, the unit isn't very resistant to rolling around the bars should you want to pop the computer on or off the mount, as it is designed to do. The rubber sticker isn't quite sticky enough to keep it from rolling under moderate pressure, even with the zip-ties pulled as tight as possible. Why not use a simple mount that secures to the bars with a plastic strap that tightens down with a little hand operated screw?
You get six zip-ties. If you make a mistake or need to move the sensor after initially mounting it then head out to the store to buy yourself some replacements. Six is about enough to do the job correctly, so no room for error. Two for the sensor, two for the computer mount, and one or two for restraining the wires tight on the fork so they aren't loose and catching on stuff.
The software needs improvements. First off, the calorie counter is worthless unless it takes account of the rider's weight and the weight of the bike. There is no way to do this so I assume the software just uses some kind of general estimate. Meaning a 300lb guy hauling a steel framed touring bike with panniers full of stuff is going to burn the same as a 155lb guy on a carbon frame road bike going up the same hill, according to the Velo 9. How hard is it to add these weight settings into the software? Maybe 3-4 lines of code I guess. Without this the calorie counter isn't much use, unless you happen to be exactly to whatever the default values are for the estimator. And those are not known.
Speed and mileage calculations would also be improved by allowing a setting for a wheel roll-out length, as a more accurate option, instead of simply selecting a wheel size. Again, a simple change that wouldn't take much code. **
**EDIT: 7/14/16 It was pointed out to me that the wheel roll out option IS indeed in the firmware AND the current manual. So I must have somehow missed this. Simply select tire sizes until you get the "205[ ]" display and select this, which will allow you to input the roll out length of your specific tire. Oh, and by the way, my unit is still running well years after purchase.
Came with plenty of small zip ties, especially if you wrap the cord around a brake cable. Installing the magnet was easy, but took a little tweaking to get in just the right spot. I used the double sided tape to temp the receiver in place on my fork. This allowed me to pull it off a couple times to line it up with the magnet once I found the best position for those two components. The sticky tape will hold it in place until you can zip tie it down.
The unit goes into a "rest" mode while not in use... meaning it always displays the time, which is minimal drain on the battery. As soon as you start riding, or the magnet passes the receiver... it wakes up. A recessed master reset button is on the back, so you won't lose all your accumulated data unless you push it. To reset the trip data all you do is push the main button on the front for about 4 seconds and it will clear itself out.
Also, the instructions are entirely in Japanese. I had to download an English manual from Cateye's website.
The screen is very easy to read (large numbers).
The two main attributes of this bike computer over many others (and I have had several over the years) is that it is easy to understand/read/reset and it does not lose your data easily by accident. The last bike computer I bought prior to this CatEye had a bigger display and had a night glow back light and more functions to keep me amused. But, I had trouble reading the small icon to see what function I was reading. I did not often use it in the dark and if I was in the wrong mode to resent my trip mileage I lost my YTD data.
The Cateye with one long press of the one function button sets all your trip data back to zero. However, in order to erase your YTD mileage you must take the unit off its mount and press a reset button with a tooth pick to do that. Now I really appreciate the Cateye over other since I was losing my YTD data several times a season.
I commute by bike all year long in the Chicago area. The computer will be covered in snow or ice at times or sitting out in the hot sun and it has not had a failure in two years. You can calibrate your unit by tire size or measure your wheel and enter that size for a more accurate speed and distance measures. It can be set for metric or English readouts.
The only downside is you cannot reset individual functions. The reset button resets all ride functions at once, but that is a tradeoff for its simplicity.
The only feature I would like to see is a back light for night, since I am often on the bike after dark.