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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Sigma Sport BC5.12 Bike Computer

I decided that it would be fun to stick a bike computer on Bowen's bike. GPS units are now so cheap you can get the Pyle Bike Computer for $60. I was seriously tempted to pick that up, but on second thought decided that I had enough devices to charge as it was, and a child's bike computer only exists for fun value (and so I can actually check on things like chain wear at appropriate service intervals), so the $15 Sigma Sport BC5.12 it is!

The device showed up, and being familiar with previous models, I wired it up and had the magnet ready to go. To my surprise, the wheel size on the manual didn't go all the way down to the 14" wheels on Bowen's bike, so I had to manually measure the circumference of the bike and convert to mm to enter the data. I was also surprised that the battery on the device was dead, but fortunately I have a stash of the CR2032 batteries sitting around, so I just popped a new one in (yes, I popped the old one in and out just in case the device had gone into "deep sleep", but nope, it was dead as a door nail) and the bike computer was in business. Sigma estimates the battery life of these things to be in the 1 year range, but in my experience, I've never worn out a battery before some other accidental damage took out the wiring of the device.

Bowen was excited to try it and immediately took it out for a ride. My first thoughts was that I'd made a horrible horrible mistake installing the bike computer on his bike. He paid so much attention to it that he almost hit a stationary car! My constant yelling at him eventually got through to him, however, and he stopped paying much attention to the bike computer after that. Now it's just a fun thing for him to look at when he stops, though on occasion, he'll decide he wants to see how fast he can get going and really let her rip so he can see the numbers go up. Fortunately, I can still run fast enough to keep up and grab him if he gets in trouble, and intervals are supposed to be good for you, right? (For what it's worth, his top speed's somewhere around 10mph, which is a full on sprint for me)

So, the device works, and seems reliable. But the wisdom of putting it on a 4 year old's bike is questionable. I wouldn't do it unless you're confident you can keep up with the kid. Fortunately, his recent crashes (not the fault of the computer) have made Bowen quite a bit more cautious when cycling than I expected.

Recommended. But yes, you need to roll a wisdom check before you put it on a kid's bike.

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