Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Product Review: Cateye Double Wireless

I think I'm calm(er) now. I just fired off a really pissy e-mail to the folks at Cateye, makers of the "double wireless" bike computer that initially cost me a lot of money and continues to cost me time and aggravation.

Simply put, despite (or maybe because of) being stuffed with all sorts of technology and wiz-bang features, the damn thing doesn't work. It has never worked for more than two consecutive rides, and has not worked in ANY of the races I've done to-date. Re-setting doesn't help. Changing the batteries doesn't help. Adjusting sensor and computer positions hasn't helped.

It's been back to the bike shop of purchase once (soon to be twice) and we spent more time on it yesterday during my bike-refitting, all to no avail. The only comfort that gives me is, if the experts can't figure it out it's probably not operator error.

My expectations for the product get lower every day. I've abandoned all hope of figuring out (or being able to use) the more sophisticated features, and would now happily accept simple readouts of speed and cadence. How freakin' hard is that?

What's that you say? There may be solutions in the manual? That thought occured to me too. Unfortunately, to find out you must slog through a document that was first written in some obscure third-world dialect, then poorly translated into Swahili and Norwegian on its way toward some semblance of English. Then, to compensate for the impenetrable prose and generally disorganized approach they added lots of diagrams and pictures. Uh-huh. OK.

My evaluation: too many features, not enough functionality. Poorly-engineered, unreliable and useless.


Flatman said...

You need to get a Cateye Astrale 8. I know, I know, it is a wired computer. But, I have never had problems with it. Very solid and reliable. Plus, it costs about a fourth of the CDW300. I almost bought one, but had heard several negative reviews.

God love the internet, what did we do before we could ask 200 people what they thought about something before we bought it?

Comm's said...

Awe thats great Flatman, well said.

I have a Cateye cadence computer but no idea of the model. Other than some laziness by the tech putting it on Lucille, my bike I named my bike, is that okay?, its been awesome. Don't know what I would be like without cadence to follow.

Wil said...

That pretty much sucks there, VM. I have a cateye, too, not that model, a much cheaper version. I think it was like $60 or something.

Will they just let you exchange it at the bike shop? They should if they sold it to you, otherwise I'd look for a different bike shop!

Phil said...

I feel your pain! I had a "Cat Eye", last year, that consistently didn't work! I'm a slave to Average Speed - and feel akward, when I don't know what it is.

I lucked out this year, with a brand called, Filzer, a Canadian company that (I think anyways) re-skins cheap Asian products. I got wireless speed + wired cadence for $25 Canadian .... (approx $19 US).

....although something tells me, you didn't write this post hoping to hear of other people's success stories. Alright, enough salt in the wounds.. ;-)

Vertical Man said...

Actually I welcome other people's success stories; I'm gonna bite the bullet and replace the whole thing.

Phil said...

Figures... I had to open my big, fat mouth.... Last night in a training race... my Cadence sensor STOPPED working!

Brendan said...

God love the internet, what did we do before we could ask 200 people what they thought about something before we bought it?

Amen. I almost bought this thing. I don't know which way to go for wireless cadence/speed now....

Vert, are you going wired then?