Death to VDO MC 1.0 Cyclometer

Finally blew up my VDO MC 1.0 Computer as it decided to stop working this weekend. I have yet to find a good cyclomter that I cant break within a short period, or find something about it that makes using it miserable. My main requirement other than the basic ones is Altitude gained for day. Maybe this requirement forces me into the fringes of cyclomters, but I keep getting disappointed.

HAC 4: Burned through 2 or 3 of these. They just stopped working for various reasons. Having a battery in the Unit, the Mount and the sensor was always a big problem in troubleshooting issues. Too much $$ and trouble.

Blackburn Delphi 5.0: When descending, the speed drops to zero. Very frustrating problem that lacks an easy answer. Also, this computer has a stupid climb % feature that does no real dampening and jumps all over the place as you climb rendering the feature useless.

VDO MC 1.0: I liked the altimeter on this as similar to HAC 4, it has a good dampening algorithm. When it said a hill was 15%, you could believe it. Unlike horrible Blackburn and others that have no dampening on altitutude samples and jump from 2 to 6 to 15 to 7 for climb percentage. Too bad the buttons on it stopped working. I liked this computer until it quit on me. One strange bug is it switched from Miles to KM after 24 hours of use on the Hoodoo 500.

Garmin 305: Terrible Battery life (Less than 10 hours). Horrible Climb % Algorithm that jumps all over the place. Terrible bike mount that eventually caused mine to jump away on a bump and disappear down a ravine.

Polar 700 series: Having to send the unit in to change the battery is a deal killer. I gave up once it died. Heavy unit as well. Awful.

I picked up a Ciclosport 215A that has a basic altimeter sans gradient reader for 45 bucks on line. While I am bound to like it for a while, we shall see if I render it useless in a week or two. I dont consider myself insanely hard on these units, rather the ultracycling training and events just push these units to the limit and either expose obvious flaws such as battery life, or strange bugs like the VDO that switched from Miles to KM after 24 hours on the Hoodoo 500.


nrmrvrk said…
man I hate it when I'm right about things... :) The MC computers are crap.

I recently found this one that looks interesting:

Vetta's V100A series:

I'm on my 2nd Vetta A100 (over 15K miles combined) and it's been really solid other than the first one dying at ~ 10K miles. To their credit, Vetta sent me a free replacement after talking to them on the phone.

I don't think these V100a computers have gradient functions though.

I'm surprised that the Blackburn doesn't work better. I wonder if you just have a dud. Also, isn't the HAC5 supposed to be out now?
nrmrvrk said…
Also see the Sigma Sport ROX 8.0, ROX 9.0, and the BC2006 MHR:

which have altitude.
Chris O'Keefe said…
I like the looks of that ROX computer. The reviews are pretty positive. For the price, it has a lot of features. HRM, Computer Download, Altimiter, Gradient.
jmilliron said…
Been happy with my Garmin 705. I both mountain bike and road bike with it and haven't noticed any problems with the stem mount. I don't know about climbing percents but overall elevation gain seems reasonable.

Not sure about battery life. I've never used it for more then six hours without recharging.

Too bad they are overpriced and Garmin's software is TERRIBLE. Wish there where more options for GPS enabled bike computers.
Chris O'Keefe said…
I like the looks of the 705. My main issue is battery life. Best case is 10-12 hrs and that cuts out any double century or 500 miler. There are some tricks to attach a USB battery pack, but they end up being frankenstein fixes that are not really workable. I realize Ultras are an edge case that these companies probably want to avoid, but there must be a solution.
jmilliron said…
Thought about some sort of power meter?
OMG! It's nice too know that I'm not the only one who cannot go through a whole year with out my cycling computer dying.

The only dependable 'distance' thing I can trust is my G.I jane Garmin watch I use for running/cycling I bought at Target for $80...and I've took the G.I jane watch over seas---worked great! But yea...battery life is poo. Sometimes I get really lucky, and get up to 13 hours of battery life.

I'm a little worried about GDR, due to cycling computers breaking on me. So, I'm going to use my Suunto X-10 military watch, and a really basic odometer...sometimes I think less functions the better.

I hope my local cycling shop will be able to hook me up with a "trust-able" odometer.

Best of luck with your new one!