Computer Review: Planet Bike Protege 9.0

After I discovered that my Aero wireless would freeze up when I was using the Ixon light, I swapped it for the venerable Vetta C-15 on the Cannondale.  That 25 year old unit is still ticking along, but after using the Aero, I’m spoiled into thinking that I need to see both elapsed time and trip miles at the same time, plus knowing the temperature has now become invaluable.

So once again through the miracle of Ebay, I scored a used Protege 9.0 for $15 with shipping.  I chose this unit because it’s basically a wired Aero, with a slightly different appearance.

That brings us to the good points about this rig:  You get four lines of data without having to scroll through screens.  If you want to, you simply push on the bottom of the receiver, and the fourth line changes to give you lesser useful data like average speed, max speed, and total odometer.  It also accomodates two wheel sizes, and the clock remains visible after the unit has gone into sleep mode.  What this rig does have is Autostart, which is a complete winner in my book.  Finally, the cable is heavier guage than what I’ve found on other units, so I expect it to be pretty robust.

With changing these units around as much as I have this last year, I can mount one up in about 15 minutes.  Setup is very intuitive as well.  My only complaint here is that they could have easily configured the mount to go on the stem as well as the bars.  Further, they only provide a large bar mount (31.8) and then shims to use to get it snug on regular diameter bars, which ends up looking ugly.  I don’t think anyone using a wired computer would be prone to use large diameter bars – they are basically for the carbon/racing crowd who are using high end wireless units.  Finally, for some reason they switched to a white plastic case for 2007 from black, which makes it stand out on the bike that has mostly black bits, but that’s minor stuff.

So my conclusions are kind of like with the Aero:  for $15, you get what you pay for, which is all I need.  You can pick up new ones on-line for around $28-35.  If it holds up anything like the Aero, it should last a long time.



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