Cateye Strada Wireless issues

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Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:24 am

A while ago I was having some issues with a Cateye Strada cyclecomputer. This was the wired model and it would drop out every now and again and simply read 0KMh when I was moving. It was especially bad in the wet. Looking at the computer I figured the issue was the very small contacts on the base of the computer and thought they must be affected somehow. Anyway I thought I would keep the contacts clean (cleaned with isopropyl alcohol for a while) but the problem persisted. Eventually I gave up on this computer.

The thing is that this is a very well designed computer in terms of the display and the like. Nice big numbers on a small unit. Gives me an indication as to whether I'm going above or below my average speed. And, a clincher form me, the odometer goes up to 99,999 KMs. On my previous bike I had done over 20,000KMs so this was a good feature.

So, I thought I might be able to fix the problem if I got the wireless model. No contacts on the base as the signal is sent wirelessly. That should fix the problem. No such luck. The wireless is even less reliable. It constantly drops out to the extent that I am yet to have a day where the distance is correct. I replaced both batteries and this helped a bit but not a great amount. I still have some issues even when I test the computer on my bike on a repair stand. It still only works inconsistently. Furthermore, there are certain spots where it always drops out. For example, going South along Swanston St between Little Lonsdale and Lonsdale Sts in town it always drops out, sometimes for a few hundred metres, sometime a bit less or sometimes more. It also often drops out near trams, especially Z3 trams (narrow front, square headlights). Now, this is a fairly simple device, its function is to record my speed, distance average and the like. But it is a bit like a clock which only works some of the time, bloody useless unless it is reliable.

I have a couple of questions:

Has anyone else had similar problems and is there a solution?

Is there another computer available which has similar features, especially an indicator telling you if you are going more or less than your trip average and an odometer which goes to more than 10,000KMs, which is more reliable. I don't care if it is wired although wireless does appeal.

I don't really want to go down the road of GPS computers as I only commute with the bike and just want the basics: speed, average, trip distance. What I really want is one that damned well works.

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by BNA » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:02 am

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby CrashBoomBang » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:02 am

I had the same issues with the Micro wireless and the Velo wireless on my commuter. I too changed the batteries and checked for proper distance of the spoke magnet to the receiver thingy but no luck. One day it would work fine, the other a zero reading or showing a very low speed, i.e. 12 kph when I was doing 30+ kph.

Unfortunately I never found a solution as I ended up getting a second connection kit for my Edge500 that I was using on my road bike. A bit overpowered for a commute but at least it is working.

Sorry I can't offer a solution, just wanted to let you know that this issue is not something only you are experiencing.
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby Saturnstarzz » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:10 pm

I had the same issue with my wired Cateye.

Every now and then Id have to rub the unit on my knicks to get it to work.
Also make sure the sensor line is inline with the magnet.

As for the wireless one make sure the sensor is almost touching the spokes, also make sure there is nothing else near the unit on you bars (eg lights etc).
I had the same issue and found my Xperia gemini was causing the issue and interfering with the wireless signal.
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby Mozzar » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:32 pm

The biggest problem with all wireless computers is that 99% of them are affected be ambient electrical signals, it can be from either a bike light or overhead wires. The wired ones only have problems when the cable is old and damaged, connections dirty or head unit damaged, other then that they usually work better then wireless computers.
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby biker jk » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:46 pm

Mozzar wrote:The biggest problem with all wireless computers is that 99% of them are affected be ambient electrical signals, it can be from either a bike light or overhead wires. The wired ones only have problems when the cable is old and damaged, connections dirty or head unit damaged, other then that they usually work better then wireless computers.


We had six bikes, each fitted with a Cateye wireless computer and not one problem over many years of use. Used with lights as well.
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:06 pm

Got a pic of your installation Dave?

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:13 am

The funny thing is that I have a light close but I ride with the light in my bag on the way to work and it makes no difference whether it is there or whether it is on or off.

I had a quick look at a VDO online earlier and it might do the trick. I'd like to see what the contacts are like though. Might also pull out the old Strada wired and see if it wants to work any better now.

Really a measuring tool which is supposed to keep track of averages speed and distance travelled needs to be more reliable.

The sensor and magnet are so close I think they were touching this morning. I also moved the sensor as far up the forks as I can to make the distance to the main unit as short as possible. Worked a bit better but still had some strange speed readings, like 10KMh going downhill on Swanston St, then a quick change to 32KMh. I'll see how it goes but I am seriously thinking of trying the wired Strada again or buying yet another cyclecomputer, it will be wired I think!

Thanks for the replies and keep them coming. Anyone have experience of VDO computers?

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:15 am

Hmm, it does seem better at the moment. The sensor is now as close as possible to the computer. The sensor is also turned in to be about 2mm from the magnet. I really like the Cateye but it has to be reliable.

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby gossy » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:47 pm

biker jk wrote:
Mozzar wrote:The biggest problem with all wireless computers is that 99% of them are affected be ambient electrical signals, it can be from either a bike light or overhead wires. The wired ones only have problems when the cable is old and damaged, connections dirty or head unit damaged, other then that they usually work better then wireless computers.


We had six bikes, each fitted with a Cateye wireless computer and not one problem over many years of use. Used with lights as well.


^^^ Same here ^^^

Have the wireless on 3 bikes with no issues ever, used with lights as well.


Seems you may have purchased a couple of dodgy ones.
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:40 am

Has been a bit more reliable but tonight it didn't start up when I set off so I stopped and ran the wheel back and forth until it woke up. Quite strange really, no idea why it does this and I was in an underground car park so no interference.

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:56 pm

My ride to and from work is about 31.8 KMs. Yesterday the Strada wireless recorded this as 3.6 KM and today a bit over 6KM. Epic Fail!

Really this is totally unacceptable. The bloody thing barely works at the moment. I think I have managed to work out the problem, I think it is the battery in the sensor/transmitter on the fork. Even though there is a new battery in that and I have tried to bend out the contacts it still doesn't work a fair bit of the time.

I'm going to give up on this and try the wired Strada again for a while. At least the Strada wired has managed to record the whole ride sometimes, the wireless has not once accurately recorded the whole ride. Not one ride has it worked for 100% of the trip. If the wired Strada doesn't work I'll try another wired computer.

I just find this amazing. A cycling computer, or speedo really, is supposed to record the whole distance not 95% or whatever. It's a bit like a clock which works 95% of the time, bloody useless. Given the progress in wireless technology you would think this could be done reliably but it seems not. As for the wired Strada, why do they try and make it with such small contacts, in fact why bother with contacts at all, I never remove the computer from the bike, why not hard wire it to the sensor? This is all so easy to solve yet finding a reliable cyclocomputer seems way too hard, most seem to have issues when you read reviews.

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:53 am

I've been using my 2 micro wireless for years and never had a problem with readout when running lights etc. I've only just changed the batteries in one of them. I think they are a bloody awesome and reliable bit of kit.
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:34 am

The reliability is the main factor for me but what also really gets me is that the Strada is a really nice design. Such a pity I can't get the damned thing to run reliably for me. I'll swap in the wired version on the weekend and give it a new battery and we'll see how it goes. If only they made the wired one with larger contacts on the mount, or, even better, just connect the computer to the sensor, I don't think many people remove these things when parked anyway (those GPS jobs are a different story as they are more expensive).

I do hear a lot of people have reliable wireless computers but it just doesn't seem to be working for me. Is there something about Melbourne (trams?) which causes problems? Then again I've had trouble with the wireless in an underground car park where mobile phones don't work so the issue is more than interference. I am convinced it is the battery in the transmitter but can't see how to coax it into sitting in there better as I have tried bending the contacts out with only very short term success.

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Got rid of mine a while ago, worked fine but the display was too small for comfort...

I can't remember the internals of the battery case but would it be possible to solder a small spring to the centre contact to add some positive pressure?
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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:45 am

I think it is the outside contact for the battery which causes the problem. I pulled up the centre contact so the battery almost jumps out when I open it up. I really like the display, small but easy to read, and I now wear reading glasses so it can't be that bad!

The wired one goes back on before next week and we'll see how we go.

Was thinking of one of these:

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Then I remembered how often they went through cables ;)

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby DavidS » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:32 am

Well I replaced the battery in the wired Strada and it is working perfectly. With wireless technology so prevalent these days you would think a popular wireless model like the Strada would be reliable but my experience is certainly the opposite. I'll have to see how the wired one goes in the wet, that has been a problem before, but for now I'm much happier. The main issue with the wired model is the very small contacts between the speedo and the cradle it sits in, and for the life of me I don't understand why they didn't just make the contacts larger.

In terms of the wireless and the battery in the sensor which sat on the forks, the issue was the contact on the side of the battery. I don't think it was well designed and I reckon it often lost connection with the battery.

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Re: Cateye Strada Wireless issues

Postby _mike_ » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:48 pm

Hi David,

Glad I found this thread. My Wired cateye strada has been doing as you described and driving me nuts. I initially thought the wire must be damaged until I read this thread. Wiggled the unit round a little whilst on the move and it went out of whack again pretty quick, so at least you've helped me nail down the problem. I also like its features, ease of use & design so i want to stick with it & try solve the problem with the small contacts. I'll take a look on the weekend and let you know if i come up with a solution.

I've noticed some wireless computers use 2.4ghz technology. Im into my RC gear (planes,boats,cars etc) & when this technology was introduced glitching and interference went out the window.

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