Thursday, June 10, 2010

Avoid This Cheap Chinese Speedometer

Every once in a while I come across an apparently smoking deal on a bike item. Knowing how expensive bike stuff is generally, I usually jump on these deals just to save a few bucks. Such was the case when I found out about this Speedometer from Meritline and/or Dealextreme.

I think I paid about $4 shipped (from Hong Kong, I think), for this speedo. Meritline/Dealextreme will often offer % off codes like SAVE10 or SAVE20 for an additional percentage off.

For 2-3 months or so, it worked well. It had an annoying habit of cycling through a variety of functions like cadence, distance, time etc. That was ok since all I care about is tracking of my mileage.

Then, the problems began. First, the display would fade when I left the bike out in hot sunny days. In addition, the rain would somehow penetrate the display and you could see water beading inside it. To dry it out, you had to leave it out in the sun (!). I bought 2 more units and I figured I could swap one out when one needed to dry out. With about $12 invested, I figured it was a fair tradeoff. Wrong. All the units developed the same problem. Pretty soon, they all stopped working. After a few months, I had no more reserve units.

Below is a link for this product (which may be defunct by the time you read this)

I can’t believe how cheap it is to ship something from the Far East. I’m sure the cost for the labor and parts for this unit must run in the pennies with the rest of the balance being the cost for shipping. Welcome to the global economy!

Moral of the story: Get yourself a nice branded speedometer/trip computer like a Cateye from a bike shop. You won’t regret it.


Yokota Fritz said...

My experience with cheap, no brand electronics is about the same. Oh well.

2whls3spds said...

Should have saved on shipping and bought the cheap unit from WalMart if you really wanted the cheapest unit, then at least you would have the chance to return it for a refund.