Planet Bike Protege 9.0 Bike Computer

By | May 31, 2008

Since upgrading my bikes, I began riding more, so I wanted to know how far, how fast, and how long I’ve been riding. A bike computer can do that and more.

The Protege 9.0 Wireless Bike Computer can keep track of important biking stats for up to two bikes. These stats include:

  • Current speed
  • Average speed
  • Min/max speed
  • Ride time – this timer runs only when the bike is moving. It pauses when the bike is stopped.
  • Trip odometer
  • Cumulative odometer – measures total ride distance across rides. It stores distance for two bikes individually, plus a combined total of both bikes.
  • Outside temperature – no other computers I’ve researched have this specific feature for this price.
  • Clock

All stats can be reset by going into the computer’s programming mode, however; a simple reset feature only resets ride stats like ride time, min/max/avg speed, trip odometer.

The package comes with everything you need for one bike including batteries (two – one for the transmitter, one for the computer). For about $33 from Amazon, it’s a great deal!

The package contains the computer, a wheel magnet, and the transmitter. The package provides the necessary items for one bike only. I had to buy a separate transmitter for the second bike. This was about $22.

Installation was a breeze. The most important part of the installation is getting the magnet and the transmitter to line up correctly. ┬áThe transmitter mounts to the front fork and the magnet mounts to a spoke on the front wheel. As the bicycle wheel rotates, the magnet passes by the transmitter, triggering the transmitter to relay this information to the computer. From this, the computer can derive speed and distance by timing the magnetic “pulses”. For the Protege to work properly, the magnet must pass the transmitter within a clearance of no more than 2mm. This is tight when compared to other computers I’ve researched. I didn’t have any problem though. The transmitter offers a lot of flexibility and fine-tuning to get the clearance right. On two bikes I was able to accomplish this quite easily.

The computer bracket is mounted to the handlebar easily enough. If your handlebar is small, you’ll need the rubber spacer (included) inserted into the mount.

Once the hardware is mounted, the computer must be configured for each bike’s wheel size. This is important to recording proper speed and distance measurements. The computer readily accepts many standard wheel sizes, or, you can do a manual configuration. Manual configuration is accomplished by rolling your bike’s front tire one complete revolution on the ground and measuring the distance between the starting point and ending point of the revolution. The measured distance is then entered into the computer.

I gave the computer a test run of about 12 miles. The unit performed flawlessly. Mileage seemed to track accurately according to trail mileage markers. I can’t attest to the speed accuracy, except to say that I can assume it’s accurate based on the mileage calculation. Both are derived from the wheel size. This past weekend, I also took it on a 50 mile trek to and from Valley Forge National Park. Again it performed flawlessly. In one area I passed under some high powered electrical lines and I have heard that this can cause the units to go a bit loopy and glitch, but I had no such problem.

For about $33, I think the Protege is a great deal. It was one of the only low-priced computers that actually measure the outside temperature. The temp guage was suceptible to direct sunlight, quickly registering a warmer temperature as the unit’s case heated up. In shade this is not a problem. This was the only fault I could find. The wireless feature is nice too, giving the installation a cleaner look. Overall, it’s a great value that’s hard to beat.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Secure Hosting February 21, 2011 4:13 pm

    Biking is a great thing to do in a big city to avoid the mad rushes of traffic. Though, biking also comes with safety risk of it. This looks like a great tool, and I’d love to keep track of my riding; but I also stop a lot to go to the store, the bank, etc. Is the computer easily removable? I would hate for it to be stolen.

  2. rcgrabbag February 21, 2011 4:21 pm

    Yes, it is very easy to remove. It comes with a mounting bracket, and it snaps in and out. The mount grips the computer quite sturdily, so there is no issue with it popping out while riding. I’ve had it mounted on my mountain bike while doing actual mountain biking, and it stayed put. A firm push on it, and it pops out of the mounting bracket.

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