electronic odometer

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#1
I have heard people mention that one should buy a bicycle type electronic replacement for their odometer instead of the OEM stuff. O.K.. But the ones I've seen at the bicycle shops have been pretty cheezy looking with a display so dim that you can't see it in the sunlight. What brands are good and where should one look to buy one.

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#3
I use the trailtech and it is very nice because it is big enough to read all 3 displays, and it has a separate memory for 2 bikes. I recommend it.

Brenda
 
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#4
So these bicylce odometers can handle creeks and roost and stuff huh? ok. On another note, just how accurate is the stock odometer? Anybody check that? Thanks.

Troy
 

Canadian Dave

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#5
Someone who races enduros could likely answer this for you........
Woodsrider anything to say on the subject?

David
 
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#6
The bicycle odometers I have used on bikes have been pretty durable. They are water resistant and most models can be calibrated based on the tire's circumference in mm's. Changing your front tire will undoubtedly effect the accuracy of your odometer.

As far as the stock odometer on my KDX220 goes, I rode 72.5 odometer registered miles last weekend and my GPS reported 69.2. I was running a Michelin S12 front tire.

The trailtech IMHO is priced a little high. It's nice to have three different measurements visible at all times but I would argue that none of them are actually readable unless you are stopped or traversing exceptionally smooth terrain. I ran a digital clock on my bars for an enduro with 1" high letters and I had to slow to a crawl to read it.

You could get a good bicycle computer for about $25, add a few bucks for a rare earth magnet (from Radio Shack) and lengthen the wire between the pickup and the computer mount. It still collects all the same data to support/refute your post ride tales.

To trailtech's credit, they do seem to offer a nice heavy duty cable and only charge a $10 premium over what you would pay for a Topeak Panoram at a bike shop.
 

WoodsRider

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#7
CDave - I'm sure I'll get flamed for this comment, but bicycle computers are best left on the bicycle.

If you need an odometer for riding enduros, it's hard to beat the stock KDX unit. Yes, it's not very accurate, but it can be easily reset to any mileage. Bicycle odometers can only be reset to zero, although I've heard the Topeak unit can be advanced, it sounded like an awful lot of work. If you're a serious enduro competitor, then take a look at what is being offered by ICO, Pacemaker or Watchdog.

If your stock odometer no longer works or you feel you absolutely need to have something that tells you how fast you're going, then buy one of those cheap bicycle odometers from Radio Shack, K-Mart, Target, etc. However, if you ride a '95-'01 KDX, ditch the sensor and magnet and buy Fredette's heavy-duty sensor and rare earth magnet. Properly mounted, these items can be used without a disc guard, will outlast the cheap computer and can be used with REAL enduro computers.
 
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#8
For what it's worth, I've used a water-proof Cat-Eye Mity bicycle computer on two bikes in 5 years and it only came off once in a bad crash. They only run about $22. Don't bother getting the "mountain bike" model of Cat-eye because the only difference is that the mount is a little beefier...doesn't matter though because the bike mounts don't usually work on motorcycle applications very well anyway. The wires are too short and they're desigined to mount on the spokes. I have always used an alarm sensor from Radio Shack Part# 49-496 ($3.99). It is the type of sensor that mounts in a door frame and it's contacts are closed when the door is closed.

The bike computers are easy to program and tune to your exact wheel size...yes, it IS a bummer sometimes that they can't be set to a certain mileage, especially when you miss a turn on the route sheet and have to back track until the next reset comes along. For less than 30 bucks though, it's not a bad way to go!

Hope this helps someone a bit.
 
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#9
I've been using the topeak panoram computer for a few months now and I like it a lot. It's been pretty durable and it's got a ton of features on it. My only complaint was the slow display time because the computer has to pick up the magnet and it can only update every few revolutions of the wheel so if you're accelerating and braking often it can be a bit off sometimes on the speed, but the odometer is still very accurate. I let Geoff at trailtech know about this and he sent me out a couple extra magnets which I put on and set the wheel circumference to half it's original circumference and it seemed to have helped a bit. But for $50 the topeak is worth it IMO.
 
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#10
I put the Topeak computer on my KDX this year, and to say the least, I am very impressed with it. TrailTech is way ahead of you WoodsRider, they sell the computer with everything that is needed to make it sturdy and reliable on an off-road bike... complete with strong sensor and rare earth magnet, they give you a plug to seal your stock odo mechanism, epoxy for the magnet, and very easy and detailed instructions to make it work without foul or interference from the elements. So far this year I've been through everything to put it to the test and it doesn't appear to have even flinched after my bike toppled over on me in a pond among other things.

God I sound like a sales rep don't I?:D

I do agree with WoodsRider on the reliability thing... nothing will outlive the torture a stock analog odo will take. If you go electronic, might as well get the best, the other stuff just won't last.

Armadas Racing
'99KDX220R
 

WoodsRider

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#11
When I ran a KDX, in enduros, the one thing I liked was being able to run my ICO odometer and timer along with the stock odometer and a wristwatch. That way I always had a back-up just in case one unit malfunctioned. Why a rider would remove the stock odometer to run an electronic unit is beyond me.
 
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#12
Dumb question, but kind of confused...Does Topeak actually make the unit and Trailtech markets it with the motorcycle mounts? They look the same.
 
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#13
Yes Trailtech is responsible for making the computer compatible and stable on an off-road bike. If you've checked out their site http://www.trailtech.net you will notice they have a kit for every major manufacturer of bike. Things like different handlebar tubing sizes, longer sensor wire, additional padding, different mounts etc. were taken into consideration for the different variations in models.
 
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#14
Take it from someone who has been through this. If you want a replacement or you are doing a Dual Sport convertion the bike modles will do a great job. If you are an Enduro rider forget it and spend the money beause the programable units are so easy to use. Ten years ago I tried going cheap and using a bicycle unit for enduros. It was a waste of my time. I went so far as to built a pulser unit so I could reset the mileage but it was still a hassel.
 

Magellan

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#15
Trailtech has a new model coming out later this summer that will allow the odometer to be set forward or backwards.

As far as the reliability of the stock odos, my gear unit was toast after a few months of trail riding.

I'd rather spend the extra $20 to get the extra features in the Trailtech unit than purchase another gear drive. For now, I'll use the bike computer and rewrite my roll charts for the resets.

Mag