||ABOVE AND BEYOND
||WHO NEEDS IT
|Sigma Sport BC600
||Has only the six essential functions of a cyclometer, which is precisely why we like it. Also tiny, at 1.5 inches square. Pony up an additional $23.50 for an optional wireless kit, which works with any Sigma cyclometer.
||Simple setup—no tools required.
||The prominent top line always displays speed while the bottom lets you flash easily through the other modes.
||Road racers—they just want to know how far it is to the finish line.
||Monitors altitude and temperature, tracks altitude gain over a single trip, and compiles total gain over multiple rides. Easily swaps between English and metric units for foreign excursions. Only cyclometer of the bunch that has a backlight for after-hours use.
||Screw-down handlebar clip wired to fork-mounted sensor.
||A labyrinth of eight different displays can leave you completely lost. The two primary buttons are big enough to operate with full-fingered gloves.
||Boulder roadies who climb 5,000 feet in one ride and need to know how cold they'll be on the descent.
||Compact wireless transmitter mounts to fork and beams info to a bar-mounted display. Dual wheel-size function; dual odometer lets you track mileage between trail markers without erasing trip distance. Pace arrow flogs you if your speed dips below your current ride average.
||No wires, no hassles. Computer and sensor clamp down in a jiffy with zip-ties. Two minutes, tops.
||Enormous, half-inch-tall numbers on the top line will have passing motorists checking out your data. Both control buttons depress with distinct clicks.
||Mountain bikers; there's no wire to snag on grabby trailside shrubbery.
|Shimano Flight Deck
||Connects to ubiquitous Shimano shift levers on both road and mountain bikes. Tells you at a glance which gear you're in and calculates cadence based on speed and gear ratio—thus avoiding the rigmarole of running a second wire to the chainstay.
||Fussy at best. Requires partial disassembly of brake-shift levers. Roadies will want fresh bar tape.
||Nubby little control buttons molded into shift levers let you scroll through modes without taking a hand off the bars.
||The serious cyclist who can get away with sporting a pock.et protector as well as a tattoo.
||$70 for road version, $102 for mountain
|Specialized P Brain
||Built-in heart-rate monitor and altimeter turn handlebars into mission control. For an extra $50, you can download 33 hours of training data to a PC via a wireless interface (Mac version slated for 2001). Overlay your heart rate on the elevation profile to see just what sort of stamina you have.
||Bolt on a handlebar bracket that's wired to a fork-mount sensor. Software loads up easy as can be.
||Plenty navigable, considering the myriad functions: An arrow for each of the two display lines points to one of 14 icons around LCD's border.
||Meticulous training-log types—and my buddy with the $7,000 mountain bike.