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Ooh Gorgeous! - Speedzone Comp Cycle Computer
Cycling Accessories in General
Member Name: Wease
Cycling Accessories in General
Date: 19/11/02, updated on 19/11/02 (4306 review reads)
Advantages: You can see how fast you're going, how far you've cycled, get split and lap times,, Clock, Odometer, looks good
Disadvantages: No back light, Connected by a wire, Won't fit onto aerobars too nicely
Having become rather unhealthy interested in cycling over the past few months (and having just bought a sexy new bike... is anyone else disturbed by the way I seem to fancy inanimate objects?....) I’ve been spending rather too much time browsing cycling mags for different ways to modify by fleet of bikes. One day the other week I happened upon a review of an online bike store called Wiggle. I popped over for a brief look round and noticed they were doing some deals on bicycle computers!
You see avid cyclists such as myself may often wonder what speed they’re travelling at and how far they’ve cycled. I used to go on estimates e.g. the amount of smoke coming from my tyres... yeh right... more likely how fast cars overtook me lol. However having spotted a few nice computers on the web I decided to put those days behind me and go the whole hog and purchase one!
I took particular interest in the “Speedzone” range by “Specialized”. There are 4 computers in the range, the Sport (R.R.P. £19.99), Comp (R.R.P. £24.99), Elite (R.R.P. £49.99) and Pro (R.R.P. £99.99). The difference in price relates to the number of features and whether or not the computer is wireless.
Having been congratulated on my A-level result (just did the one subject (PE) as I opted to start a BTEC Sport course and drop A-levels in my second year) by a £50 cheque from my auntie and uncle, but not wanting to go overboard (having just spent basically a grand on the bike itself) I opted for the Specialized Speedzone Comp 2002.
By not forking out double (or more) I sacrificed wirelessness and a backlight... but hey what’s a sma
ll wire running down my fork for the sake of £25 squids?!?!?!
Despite lacking those two features the Comp does boast an alarmingly exciting array of useful features!
There are 9 functions in total, which are: -
~ Current Speed – how fast you’re cycling at the present moment (unless you have a lap top on your bike or are reading a print out this should currently be 0 M.P.H. ;))
~ Average Speed – how fast you cycle on average... Einstein!!!
~ Maximum Speed – the fastest speed your computer has ever logged whilst cycling
~ Interval Timer – this is a very handy feature for training as it allows you to set a timer to remind you when certain periods of time are up... e.g. if you wished to cycle a 15 min warm up then 5 x 10 mins at race pace with a 3 min recovery you could set the timer to beep at the appropriate times to alert you to adjust your pace accordingly!
~ Lap Timer – this function works like a basic stopwatch and records no matter whether your wheels are rotating or not.
~ ATM Timer – this is another timer which only counts time if your wheels are moving (used to work out the average speed – cunning isn’t it!).
~ Clock – speaks for itself I would hope (although obviously not literally... but who knows what happens if you pay £99.99!)
~ Distance Countdown – allows you to set an alarm when the selected mileage is reached
~ Trip Distance – records how far you go in one journey.
~ Odometer – records the total number of miles you have done using the computer (only goes up to 999.99km which is a bit of a drawback if like me you average 200km a week! However the fact you can re-programme the odometer - handy if you need to change the battery – so as not to miss out any lost miles!).
The 2002 models onwards all feature a new style which has been inspired by automobile tachometers. The large round LCD display features one
of these and this allows you to see your current speed as well as 4 other functions all at once! How cleve! (Before you claim that last bit as a typo I should inform that it is a wee ditty of mine inspired by a Placebo poster in which Brian Molko is wearing a t-shirt with a piccy of Albert Einstein and the title “Clever B*stard” although with an a instead of that star tehe... however due to the angle the photo was taken from the t-shirt is crumpled and reads “Cleve B*stad” missing both of the r’s... hence the creation of my word!!!!!!!).
The computers come in a range of colours. The sport and the comp tend to come in red, black, or red AND black, with the elite and pro branching out into yellow and even silver! I opted for red and black – to match my Scott USA Elite (and also my college colours lol).
Most good online cycle stores sell the Specialized range (although I haven’t seen many for sale “in real life”) but in the end I bought my computer (seems like such an ill-fitting name for such a small device lol) from the wonderful store that is Dalescycles.co.uk. This choice was based on the fact that they charge £2.50 delivery fee (no matter how many items you order) compared to the £3.99 charged by wiggle.co.uk (once again you pay a flat rate no matter how many items you order).I’ve used Dales before and always been mightily impressed with them... but this time – whoa!!!! FLASH ahhhhhhhhhhhhh... (he saved everyone of us doooooon dooooooon doooon doooon... just a maaaaaaaan... with a man’s powers....)... ordered approx. 6pm BST Tue... arrived approx. 9.30am BST Wed!!!! Sent recorded too! (I did have to sign for it so I would advise you to check about this if you order from them... might have to ask them to deliver to your workplace etc).
It arrived in a nice wee plastic see-through presentation case (which was buried inside a cardboard box full of lovely bubble wrap (I&
#8217;ll be occupied for days popping it all!). Inside a discovered a mini-instruction booklet (ever so cute looking but a tad hard to read at times), a battery (a lithium model CR2032, Specialized P/N 481-3004), battery door, mounting bracket, speed sensor wire attachment, wheel magnet, mounting bracket sizing straps (to fit different tube sizes – clever t’ain’t it!) oh and of course the Speedzone Comp itself!
The computer is much larger than I thought it would be – but it’s still light and the size of the bezel (round with a circumference of approx. 3.5cm) just makes it easier to see the info needed whilst whizzing around. There are 3 main buttons – one at the top of the bezel on the reverse side which is used for the timer functions, and two at the bottom of the bezel. They are nice and big which makes them easy to press without having to concentrate too hard! One is for the settings the other is for the mode – how ingenius!
The display is similar to the tachometer of a car... you have numbers around the outside ranging from 0 – 45 M.P.H. I think this is a good range to have (as it takes into account that it is possible for some cyclists to travel at these sort of speeds (well come on if top sprinters travel at like 25-30 M.P.H. think what people do on bikes! My triathlon coach allegedly once got stopped for doing 35 M.P.H. in a 30 zone!!!) Also bare in mind some computers only register speeds of up to 30 M.P.H. When activated an arm appears on the LCD display and points to the speed your are currently travelling at. In the middle of the screen is a traditional clock, this shows the time to the nearest 5 mins (it moves between segments only after the 5 mins is up). At the bottom of the screen there is a space to see your selected function be that average speed, current speed, time etc etc
Get the wee manual out and have a good look through – it contains all of the vital info! It fea
tures 168 pages, 26 of which are actually in English! You’ll need to concentrate fairly hard – due to it’s small size and precise instructions it would be easy to misunderstand one or two of the suggestions.
First things first chummy! After you’ve oggled over it’s beastiness for a few mins/hours/days (delete as appropriate... based on personal experience I wouldn’t make any appointments for the next few hours... took me at least 3 to avert my attention from it!) you will need to install the battery. This is easy enough... just take it out of the bag... pop it in the appropriate space and screw the battery cover on (pop it in place and use a coin to turn it about 45° clockwise).
As soon as the battery is in the computer the LCD display will be permanently on. When activated the default function shows your current speed in M.P.H. and the tachometer arm will appear, and when asleep you will only see the hour clock and the time in digit format (you can choose between 12 or 24hr display). Now you can fiddle about – set the time, browse through the functions etc – with it.
Mounting the actual computer bracket is very easy... simply unscrew it.... wrap it round your handlebars (this is the most common place to pop it!) then screw it back up!
Next you will need to mount the wheel sensor (I mean mount it on your bike deary... not straddle the poor thing!) which is a tad more challenging (although on the scale of 1-10 of challenging it still rolls in at a lowly 2 lol). Simple ask someone to hold the wire in place along the inside of your front fork whilst you attach the little plastic ties (like gardening ties). These will hold it in place but don’t tighten them too much before you ensure the sensor is in the correct place.
Now attach the wheel magnet. This should be placed on the spoke about which is about 1-2mm away from the sensor on the fork at the time. Simply unscrew, atta
ch and screw up! Now give the wheel a spin and see if anything comes up on the monitor – it should show the wheel prepared icon. If it does then tighten the plastic ties and your all set! If it doesn’t you will need to re-align it slightly... the problem is most probably that the wheel magnet is a little too high or too low on the spoke... very easy to configure! Now you’re ready to go!
In conclusion I can say if you’re looking for a fairly cheap and functional, yet sleek, cyclocomputer then this is a must with it’s many features and three golden assets – water resistance, ease of use and mounting attachment which can only be removed with a screwdriver – making it much harder to nick!