MAVIC WinTech bike computer Innovative wireless skewer sensor

The concept is brilliant and definitely one of those why-didn't-they-think-of-this-before ideas: a computer sensor mounted in the wheel skewer. No mess, no fuss and wireless to boot.

Introducing the Mavic WinTech computer, a fully digital wireless computer with cadence sensor. For me, the biggest attraction was the clean and simple installation. I was stoked to finally have a bike computer that required no mounting of a fork sensor.

My biggest initial relief was realizing the thick 100-page instruction book was written in, believe it or not, 10 languages, and the English portion was only about 10 pages. The simple instructions made mounting a snap. I had my computer fully installed and functioning properly in less than 10 minutes.

Functions include current speed, maximum speed, average speed, clock, ride time, trip distance, odometer, trend indicator (+/- vs. average speed), sleep mode and wireless pedaling cadence. During setup you can also set the odometer to match previously accumulated distance.

Weight

For weight freaks, the computer weighs in at a nimble 54 grams including battery, while the skewer and sensor sets you back 74 grams.

While the skewer sensor is a brilliant innovation, the rest of the design is rather puzzling. The computer, for example, has a large screen yet only two functions can display simultaneously. Speed displays, maximum, average or current are the only top displays that are toggled by using the left and right buttons, while elapsed time, odometer, clock, cadence and distance are below.

The middle of the screen generates a constant "Win-Tech" display, even when the computer is in sleep mode. Why not use the space for a third functional display?

Another problem is the stem-mount-only computer. That's right: The only way to secure this baby to your ride is by mounting it to your stem. Again, great in concept but poor in practice as many people today, especially with threadless headsets, have steep-angled stems that render the display difficult to read.

For those with steep stem angles, a simple shim should be provided to tilt the back of the computer higher to give you a more perpendicular (to the ground) viewing surface.

Wheels too wide

Most perplexing, however, is the fact my Mavic Ksyrium wheels were too wide for the skewer sensor when pressed all they way in. Simply stated, if I pushed the skewer all the way in, it would hit my spokes on every revolution. My solution was to push the skewer past the locking point and then slowly pull it a few millimeters away from the spokes.

Since Mavic skewers tend to engage (lock into place) at a certain point, it wasn't a huge problem, but it certainly seemed odd that their sensor wasn't designed to work flawlessly with one of their most popular all-around wheels.

For wireless operation, I found the WinTech to be flawless. I put over 1,000 miles, much of it in large pelotons, and never had an interruption in display. I also noticed the WinTech reacted to speed changes on acceleration faster than a wired computer I had mounted simultaneously for comparison purposes.

While I believe the WinTech has its shortcomings, by tweaking a few features it's easy to see why this is going to be an extremely popular computer. At a suggested retail of $99, it's also not a wallet buster.

For more info, visit www.mavic.com.


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