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Dr. Miczak's X-Training BLOG
Thursday, 30 September 2010
CatEye Strada & Kestrel 4500 BT Reviews
Now Playing: Computers for Commuters
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CatEye's Strada Double Wireless Cyclocomputer CC-RD400DW helps to keep track of your mileage and commute with 9 functions!  Don't forget our Polar Bottle - Eat Clean Diet Cookbook Give-Away on October 25th so ENTER NOW!
There are some essentials you just HAVE to have if you are serious about cross training.  If you are cycling, you need to have a computer to keep you up on basics such as speed, distance, elapsed time and cadence.   If you use your bicycle for commuting, you'll what to know your speed and travel distance is to estimate your time of arrival.
I have had other wireless bicycle computers that were very difficult to program and gaining access to the various screens was a chore.  CatEye changed all of that for me with their Double Wireless Strada.
The Strada and its components are easy to mount and adjust although the included ties could have been a little better for anchoring.  You'll also need to make sure there is the right distance between the unit and the sensors but distance and calibration charts are included.
That having been said, this is a very straighforward unit and quite small but the large digits allow for easy reading.  It offers:
  • Current Speed
  • Cadence
  • Elapsed Time
  • Distance #1
  • Distance #2
  • Average Speed
  • Maximum Speed
  • Total Distance-Odometer
  • Clock
These functions are easy to access by simply pressing the whole computer while in the bracket.   The split screen allows you to see two readings at once and clearing the screen is easy.  Just hold the unit down until the screen goes blank.  The Sleep Mode helps prolong battery life, (batteries are included), and the unit itself can be removed from the brace for safe keeping.

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Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker with Bluetooth

If you are planning any time out on the road, you'll want to have one of these along with you.  The Kestrel 4500 by Nielsen Kellerman.  This unit tracks temperature, wind speed, dew point, humidity and barometric pressure plus MUCH more.  However, I think the greatest help to X-Trainers is the Heat Index reading.  This can help to prevent overheating or even hypothermia, (frost bite) when such conditions are present.

Even more important is knowing the present weather conditions, where you are as opposed to relying on a report focused on another area.  I've had storms rise up quickly, not even mentioned in the forecast.  With wind speed, a digital compass,(so it can calculate headwinds and crosswinds) and the barometric readings on the Pocket Weather Tracker,  I've been able to avoid getting caught in many a unpredicted downpour.

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Kestrel 4500 on a Mini Tripod Transferring Data

The Wireless Bluetooth feature allows uploading of data from the unit to my laptop allowing me to track trends in the weather over a period of time.  This can give you accurate readings that will help predict future trends for the season.  Storing this information is easy and the wireless tranfer a snap.

Both the CatEye Strada and the Kestrel 4500 fit neatly in the front pouch on my Terry road bike below.  Compact, easy to use, there is no reason not to have these essential computers with you as you venture out for your workout or commute!

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Posted by Author at 2:40 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 September 2010 2:50 PM EDT
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