21. aug. 2013

Bontrager Trip 4W Test

The Bontrager Trip 4W is a cheap wireless bikecomputer, in the other end of the pricescale compared to bikecomputers like the Garmin Edge 800 I reviewed not long a time ago. It is more comparable to the Specialized SpeedZone Sport Wireless bikecomputer I also have tested. The Bontrager Trip W4 can do what the ordinary bikeriders needs. It got an odo- and tripmeter, along with showing your speed (both average and the current speed) and distance. Which in the end is what we usually look for while we are on the bike. So for that purpose it would suit more or less everybody who are in search of a bikecomputer. Especially if they want a good wireless one for not much money. This comes in at around 30-40 euro’s and is compact, light, and easy to install.

On the road
It is good. It does not seem cheap built, and the size of the screen is good. Not too big, not too small. The values on the screen are easy to read too. Your current speed is highlighted, and the screen is showing the values very clearly. Even in sunlight I have no problem reading it. The batterylife is great too. I changed it after a year where I had been using it for more than 4000 km, so it is economic then it comes to batteries too.
Also, on the same routes it is good to tell the same distances everytime. It is only doing about 20-30 meters difference from day to day per 40 km, which is more than acceptable, when you think of the possibility of the tires not having same pressure every single time, which would lead either a smaller or a larger distance per rotation.

I have experienced just a single problem occurring though. On a day with high humidity, I rode parallel with an electric fence 5 meters from me, and the signal clearly got lost. I was doing 33 km/h before getting near the fence, and then it jumped from 70 km/h to 0 and back to 50, before I was away from the fence, where it started to show the normal values once again. I have been riding past that same fence 50 times before, never had I noticed it until then, and never did I notice it afterwards. So it was a single appearance I guess, on a day where the magnetic fields could travel longer than usual due to the greater humidity. And that was the only time I experienced that it lost its signal. The signal is definitely strong enough to make it useable. I have heard about people where this happened every time they passed electric fences, which is due to poor quality. But not on these Bontragers.

The verdict
I must admit that I am deeply impressed by what Bontrager has come up with.  For such a few bucks, you get a very solid bikecomputer, a wireless even, which holds a strong signal, is light and compact, and even got a screen that is readable in sunlight. If you are searching for a bikecomputer that does not have to have inbuilt GPS, this is a good choice for money.

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