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Ridden & Reviewed- Cateye Commuter Computer

August 16, 2010

Reviewed by Bill Simons – Circle C Ranch Cycling Club

Cateye Commuter model CC-COM10W

Recently, I was able to use the Cateye Commuter model CC-COM10W cycle computer and I was impressed. Below is a review of my thoughts, likes and dislikes of my experience with the unit.

Features & functions galore!

The Commuter lists 8 functions and 14 features. I’m not sure what the differnce is between a feature and a function but here they are:

Functions:

Estimated Time of Arrival – This worked flawlessly. I tracked the arrival time and distance against my Garmin and we were right on time. I even made a trip and stopped for a mid-ride refreshing beverage. It accounted for the delay and recalculated my arrival time.

Temperature – It’s nice to confirm that not only does it feel like you are riding on the surface of the sun, by the temps are similar. It’s nice to see what the temperature really is. It reminded me to hydrate a bit more than what I would have due to the heat.

Current, average and maximum speed – “nuff said. These are must have items.

Trip distance – See above

Elapsed time – Uh huh, it’s a gotta have.

12/24 hours clock

Features:

Calendar from 1/1/00 to 12/31/99, in “ddmm” or “mmdd” formats – What’s a computer without your calendar? Choose your format you prefer.

Programmable total distance (initial setup only) – This is nice if you are replacing a unit and allows you to roll the mileage over. I guess it works if you wanna be a poser too. Go ahead, set it up at 5,000 miles. I dare you.

Distances: today & yesterday, this & last week, this & last month, this year & last year, total distance. – These are easy grouping of data that make is simple to see what the total’s are.

Carbon Offset: today & yesterday, this & last week, this & last month, this year & last year, total carbon offset. – This is a neat feature I have’nt seen on other units. It’s a motivator to watch those numbers add up and leaves you with a great feel good feeling while you watch the cars stack up.

Total time – Well duh, of course.

Now enough of the manufacturers stuff and onward to the user experience.

cateye commuter compuer

Product setup – I took it out of the box and spent a few minutes reading the setup instructions. Although the instructions don’t suffer the linguistaical conversion challenges that many electronic device manuals have, it still helps to read it thouroughly. Setting the unit up can easily be accomplished by the novice nerd. I spent 30 minutes setting it up and configuring it due to the fact that I didn’t read the instructions all the way through. This can be done in 15 miutes or less.

Installation on the bike – The mount can be easily installed on both the stem or bars. The plastic nut allows you to tighten it without tools and move it from one position to another. The rotating mount insert makes the direction change of the mount a snap. My only convern is that the unit is kept in place by a pressure tab under the device. There is an absence of manual release for the unit. I wonder how secure this will be after 200 removals from a bike. It is easy to connect and remove for those who wouldn’t want to leave it unattended outside. The wireless sensor is easy to install and stays put without marring the finish due to well thought out soft rubber mounts.

Accuracy – I set the wheel size up (700X23) by using the chart that is included in the instructions. For the best accuracy it recommends to roll out the distance with the rider on the bike. Using my GPS as a control device I measured he accuracy of the distance on the setup. It is .015 short per mile as it is. I was too lazy to roll it out to see if the accuracy improves as the margin of error is too small to worry about.

ETA – This is the coolest part. It’s spot on and helps to make sure you get where you need to go on time. There is a progress bar that helps you see your progression along the route. My only knock on this is that you have to remove the unit from the mount and enter the setup features to change the ETA distance. I would like it better if it was somehow accessible from the press to click feaure.

Product design – I’ve always been frustrated with the user interface and setup on most bike computers. This was different, but not. The buttons on most unitsalways seem to require button press combinations I never seem to remember. What’s different about this is that there aren’t any buttons on the front or sides of it. Just a sleek rectangle with a large, easy to read display with a nice night time feature as well. Functions are access by simply clicking the unit down to access or rotate through differen sceens. It’s easy to use even while wearing heavy, thick gloves.

Data review – There is plenty of information to review. It’s accessible by removing the unit from the mount and pressign the menu button on the back. This takes a fingernail or pointed object to press.

Although the single click method is great for 90% of the functions, reviewing the data requires accessing tiny buttons on the back of the unit. I would prefer them to be accessbile from the side with the unit still mounted. It’s a minor thing and would not keep me from buying it.

All in all I’m pleased with the unit, would recommend it to others and find it to be a good companion to a GPS.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael Ovsen permalink
    September 25, 2010 7:11 pm

    That all sounds great, but it’s hot in TX & I do a lot of my riding at night. Why is it that they can put all those features & functions in the unit, but not a backlight? Any $10 timex watch would have that simple feature that would make it useful after dark. What kinda commuter only rides in daylight anyway, if we’re committed to the lifestyle we’re going to ride everywhere at all times and without a light I couldn’t care less about the other features as they’re useless if I can’t read the display. I sure wish these things were designed by people that might actually intend to use it themselves.

    • Jerry Sporkslede permalink
      December 9, 2010 8:29 pm

      The Commuter has a backlite!!

  2. Ray Chang permalink
    August 21, 2011 6:00 am

    The “main button” of the Commuter is on the back, but while mounted you just push the “bottom” edge (the edge closest to you, just think of it as a small iPhone or iPad, etc.) and it rocks down to push that button. If you reach behind the upper right corner there’s a backlight button where one push lights the display for several seconds. If that’s not convenient, you can hold that button for a few seconds and then the “main button” acts as the backlight button (and a little light picture plus ‘on’ icon appears in the top right corner.) Push and hold the button behind at the corner again for a few seconds to turn that off, and then the main button returns to its normal use. However, I think the backlight isn’t bright enough in some situations. For example, if you’re on a road that has regularly spaced streetlights it’s better to just wait until you’re under the next light to look because the contrast of the ambient light makes it hard to see. In a very dark environment, it’s “just right”, but I think it could be a little brighter.

    To me, this is a minor problem. I’ve had a Commuter for several months now and I’m completely satisfied with it.

    I would like to add that the temperature feature is *very* accurate! I’ve tested the Commuter against a mercury thermometer in many different environments and it’s always true. (It’s even more accurate than a pretty expensive analog needle thermometer I have in my living room.) If you stop for a while the temperature might rise if the sun is shining on it, but then it returns when moving through the air again. I’m really amazed at how accurate it is. How did they do that?

  3. Yaroslav permalink
    November 14, 2012 3:51 pm

    Hi guys,
    I use 1000 lumen MagicShine 808-E light with a battery pack under the handlebar. I wonder if it doesn’t interfere with the sensor in night time. Has anybody heard about such issues?
    Thanks.

  4. June 28, 2013 7:45 am

    Yaroslav:
    regarding the interference, I already heard from some people, that the commuter has some problems near electricity lines (shown speed sometimes drops to zero there). So there might also be problems with led lamps, I guess… Although this is always dependent on the specific lamp and setup.

    • Rick permalink
      October 1, 2016 9:30 pm

      My Cateye Commuter resets the distance by itself on a certain route. I will look down and the computer wipes out the distance and starts over

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