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It occurred to me the other day that out of my four bikes, only one has a computer. My main racing/road bike has one- and I should eventually switch it over to metric-- but other than that, my commuter, fixed gear, and mtn bikes are all computerless.

I always wear my HRM- except sometimes when I commute. I have an 86 km mtn bike race in a few weeks, and I am contemplating riding it computerless, by estimating where I am by time, rather than distance.

This sort of started when I was riding fixed much of the time- and it seemed to fly in the face of simplicity to have a speedo. Then my commuter- which was about transportation- about getting there. Then mountain biking is about the ride-- not the distance.

Anyone else getting into the joys of riding without regard to speed or distance?
 

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Bike Wing Conspiracy
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You are describing me in a nutshell

I used to have all the stuff on my track bike. I had the Polar 710 right as soon as it came out.

I used to live and die by my HR as I rode over the Brooklyn Bridge every morning.

I would notice a deviation from of 5 either over or under what was normal.

Then the batteries ran out, I had to switch jobs, money was tighter and I was unable to maintain my gadget appetite.

Fast forward 3 years and I am back on top and still riding. My HR monitor hasnt been out of the drawer in 2 years. The ride I did on Sunday (Montauk Century) was a blast. No computer or even a watch. Just my Blackberry that I consulted 3 times during the 3 5 minute breaks I took for the whole ride.

I kind of miss the HR monitor, it is such a cool gadget. Maybe I will change the batteries for next year.
 

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It's a way of life for me.

Had 2 epiphanies on that score. The first was going for a beautiful autumn in New Englad ride only to feel bummed when it took a few extra minutes. The next was having my computer drown on a rainy ride and when I got home I felt like I hadn't done anything or gone anywhere because I couldn't quantify the effort. I didn't replace the computer and except for a few rides when I was following a cue sheet haven't missed it. For me, it's liberating to ride without one.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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like you, i have the speed/cadence on my "fancy" bike with gears. my "classy" fixie is computerless. i think if i put a computer on it the world would explode, or at least the bike would. besides, i ride it brakeless and don't want to be contemplating my cadence as someone jumps out in front of me.
 

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I had a MTB race down in the desert in Terlingua in February at which stage I had a cycling computer but on the pre-ride of the course I had an incident going through a dip that somehow resulted in me kneeing my stem mounted computer completely destroying it in the process so I did the race without it and actually quite enjoyed being freed from it.

However I do like to have it on my road bike but MTB is different.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Watch

filtersweep said:
...I always wear my HRM...
And how does knowing your heart rate change what you are doing? If you are looking at you HR and making a conscious decision on how you are changing your training then great. Do you drop out of a race because the pace is hard and you look down at your HR and decide the displayed number is too high so you quit the race? Otherwise it is just Gee Whiz information (useless) like the Max Spd display.

filtersweep said:
...86 km mtn bike race in a few weeks, and I am contemplating riding it computerless, by estimating where I am by time, rather than distance...
How is knowing the exact distance going to change the way you race and[/] help you win? When you know the exact distance aren't you really using that information to estimate your remaining time so you can pace yourself over the remaining time rather than the remaining distance?

Most of the road races I do are on circuits. So after the first lap you have a pretty good idea of the time for each circuit as well as visual clues to assist you with when things will start heating up near the end. Distance does not really matter as long as I have a general idea how to pace myself to have enough left for the finish. Knowing your speed is useless because you are just going to go the same speed as everyone else.

I have been riding for two or three years now with just a watch and find it a very liberating experience. Someone will ask how far to the finish or the next town and I can look at my watch and come up with a very close guess.
 

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Back from the dead
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The computers on all my bikes are broken, and have been for over a year. One simply needs a new battery, one needs a spoke magnet, and the other I never bothered to find out what was wrong. Currently, I just use them as clocks.

I have to admit that sometimes I would like to know how far I've gone or how fast I'm going, but at the same time, who really cares? For years I would log every ride I did, and it was kind of fun and interesting, but now I no longer care. I just ride.
 

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I went without for quite a while. I recently bought an HAC-4, and it's a fun toy to mess with (rode grades, etc.)

The other cool thing is that it's downloadable, so I can just put it somewhere I can't see it during the ride, and check out all the stats for what I just did on the computer when I get 'ome.

I still rarely use the HRM, though. chest strap annoys me too much.
 

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Have good, get give
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Keeping up with Junior said:
And how does knowing your heart rate change what you are doing? If you are looking at you HR and making a conscious decision on how you are changing your training then great. Do you drop out of a race because the pace is hard and you look down at your HR and decide the displayed number is too high so you quit the race? Otherwise it is just Gee Whiz information (useless) like the Max Spd display.



How is knowing the exact distance going to change the way you race and[/] help you win? When you know the exact distance aren't you really using that information to estimate your remaining time so you can pace yourself over the remaining time rather than the remaining distance?

Most of the road races I do are on circuits. So after the first lap you have a pretty good idea of the time for each circuit as well as visual clues to assist you with when things will start heating up near the end. Distance does not really matter as long as I have a general idea how to pace myself to have enough left for the finish. Knowing your speed is useless because you are just going to go the same speed as everyone else.

I have been riding for two or three years now with just a watch and find it a very liberating experience. Someone will ask how far to the finish or the next town and I can look at my watch and come up with a very close guess.


Not everybody races.

HRM is good for up tempo rec rides where you can sort of tell how long to spend at the front, 1-front, 2-front, and towards the back. For me I've figured out I have an energy bank of about 30 minutes above 165 and I'm thru. So spreading that over the whole ride is key.
 

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jaseone said:
I had a MTB race down in the desert in Terlingua in February at which stage I had a cycling computer but on the pre-ride of the course I had an incident going through a dip that somehow resulted in me kneeing my stem mounted computer completely destroying it in the process so I did the race without it and actually quite enjoyed being freed from it.

However I do like to have it on my road bike but MTB is different.
I agree. On my mtn bikes it ia all about the terrain. The beauty of a sunrise across the misty marsh from a maritime forest. I can only dream of the south west- Moab, etc.
 

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No computer here

At first, I thought just getting rid of the pace arrow would be enough; however, for the past few years I've lived without a computer quite happily. I commute and tour, and the only racing I do is if I see someone ahead of me on the road :) . It's nice to have clean handlebars.
 

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Cannot bench own weight
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At this point I don't like riding without computers. My joy is to feel the road moving beneath my tires, and the wind blowing in my face. As fast as I can pedal :D

I'll admit to being a stats junkie. I have every "real" ride i've done, logged. My computer died twice while out on long rides, and it drove me nuts. I actually drove the route the following day to get the distance :scared: (It was a family drive by the way, that's how I justified doing it).
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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" Watch

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"And how does knowing your heart rate change what you are doing? If you are looking at you HR and making a conscious decision on how you are changing your training then great. Do you drop out of a race because the pace is hard and you look down at your HR and decide the displayed number is too high so you quit the race? "

I disagree. I almost always wear my HRM. If I'm on a solo ride, or a breakaway from the group on a club ride, my brain sometimes tells me I'm working real hard. Maybe I ought to back off a bit. Then I take a quick glance at the HRM & it says 142. HAH! I've got plenty in reserve. I should be picking it up, instead of backing off. Without the HRM, it a tougher decision for me to make.
 

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My cool bike that sees about 4K a year has a wireless Specialized Turbo computer that has basic functions. In a group training ride I want to know my speed since I am often the one to set the pace. My commuter that sees around 8K a year has no computer. It once had an old cateye that I bought in 1993, but it would stop working in the rain and in Hawaii, that just won't fly. The computer itself did actually fly, one afternoon in a downpour I launched it into the Pacific Ocean. My commute is 13 miles each way, I live on an island, it just doesn't vary much.
 

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Sometimes I'll wear the HRM but I'm pretty aware what level I ride at. Otherwise, I use the bike pooters so I know how long I've been in the saddle and what my average speed was over the distance. The rest of the info...:Yawn:

Sometimes I'll say I'll be gone for a half and time passes when having fun. I've told myself, just one more block, it's only five more minutes...no big deal. In that rythm, I lose track. The time and distance keeps me aware.
 
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