For someone who exercises alone, the tendency to drift from exercising is very high. With little support & positive reinforcement, sports equipment like a mountain bike may end up as a place to hang your laundry. So for me, a cyclometer on my bike serves as a good feedback on my achievement. Each day I try to go faster & further. So when my Cateye Mity 3 was damaged (got chased by a dog in Tmn P. Ramlee, cycled so fast that I accidentally damaged the sensor), my motivation drops and my abdomen (& other nearby anatomy) starts to sag again.
So when Bro Abedib posted that story on BikeBrain, I decided to try it out. Price was RM402.94 (including packaging & postage charges) which was a bit steep since the other cyclometer only cost me RM70. The item arrived 3 weeks later & I’ve been trying it for the past 2 weeks.
The software was easy enough to install from the CD (CD-R, therefore may be damaged in not properly stored). The equipment was easy enough to install on the bike, without the need for specialised equipment. The file for Palm is automatically installed into the Palm at the next HotSync. However the prc file for the Palm is not so inituitive. I had to go through the manual before I could use it. It also doesn’t have my tyre size. I had to refer to the Cateye Mity 3 manual to set my tyre size manually. The first time I tried it out was at night (just couldn’t wait till morning) and sure enough it worked as promised. Since it was installed on my Palm IIIc, I could easily see the display at night. The default display has a graph of my speed, digital display of current speed, average speed & distance covered. If I had set up the route on it, it would even tell me when the next turn is coming up. I could also choose any of the digital display to be displayed in the main area, instead of the graph. The case for the Palm held the it securely enough to the handlebar. However the case is not waterproof.
But over 2 weeks, I’ve had various problems with it. If the ‘System/Preferences/Serial/IR’ is set for ‘Infrared’, the apps would crash upon execution. Took me hours to find that fault. Then if ‘System/Preferences/General/Beam Receive’ is set to ‘Off’, BikeBrain wont register the movement of the magnet past the sensor. It is as though the sensor is busted. That took me the whole morning to figure out. Another day wasted troubleshooting instead of cycling. In the end, I decided that the aggravation is not worth it. To keep BikeBrain in storage would be wasteful, so I rigged it so that I can use both my Cateye Mity 3 and my Palm on the bike, connecting both to the same sensor. I could use either of them while cycling ( but not both at the same time).
(revised: BikeBrain doesn’t work with my Palm IIIc after I updated its OS to 3.52. Still doesn’t work after I updated the OS to 4.1. E-mails to the company on this problem is not answered at all)
Personally I believe that a normal cyclometer is a better option, rather than the Palm. Unless you cycle professionally, BikeBrain is far too expensive of an option to use on your bike. If you cycle professionally, you can make use of the route data to ensure that you’re racing on the right track all the time.
It is nice that you can track your cycling on the PC, but what for? As long as I cycle 80 km a week, I’m happy enough & I can monitor that easily on the cheap cyclometer. So I would not recommend BikeBrain for the on & off bicyclist like me.
P.S. But it is a nice conversation piece when you meet with a fellow bicyclist 😉