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Budget computers have improved beyond recognition in recent years and with twenty-two functions, ETC’s 9-0 puts many premium brands to shame with its slim-line casing, superb build quality and crystal clear display. The inclusion of a second fitting kit offers even more smiles per mile - great for swapping between race and training mounts.
Available in a choice of three colours (red, white and black) the head unit enjoys vastly superior build quality to most thanks to a screwed down back-plate and protective internal membrane offering excellent weatherproofing-I even left our test model overnight in a bucket of water with no obvious ill-effect. Twenty-two functions is gilding the lily just a touch given they count sleep and auto start stop, but there’s current, average and maximum speeds, odometer, trip distance, speed comparator (a pacer arrow by another name), clock, backlight and unusual functions such as fat/calories burned and thermometer - it pretty much does everything bar make the tea. However, the planned maintenance function is little more than gimmick and given there’s no inputting of rider statistics, fat and calories used should be taken as guide rather than gospel.
The fitting kit is something of a mixed bag. True, wiring seems more substantial than most and is sufficiently long to allow mounting on tri-bars/extensions but while cable ties allow truly universal fitting, some care is needed to preserve a bike's clean lines. The non-slip rubberised spoke magnets are surprisingly good but experimentation suggests the unit reads equally well from traditional types and I’d be inclined to relegate them to the spares drawer. Aboard the bars, the huge display means it’s a doddle to read and placing the buttons at the base rather than atop preserves the aesthetic purity and are no harder to operate than those positioned on the face.
Despite my best efforts, riding past strong electrical currents made little impression on readout consistency. While it's ideal for winter bikes thanks to the reliable construction, I’d shy away from mounting to crossers, mtbs and rough stuff touring bikes unless wiring was meticulously tidied to prevent snagging.
Stylish and competent training aid complete with wallet friendly price tag.
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Make and model: ETC Nine.O cycle computer
Size tested: Red
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
ETC's 9-0 is a twenty two function wired computer aimed at fitness/performance riders and while one or two functions are perhaps more gimmick than substance it's very well made and stylish to boot.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Slimline head unit with screwed back plate and a protective internal membrane offers excellent defence against the elements. Functions include: current, average and maximum speeds,speed comparator, trip timer, odometer, trip meter, 12/24 digital clock, temperature, fat and calories consumption.
In the main a great deal better than most, although some of the fitting kit felt a little cheap.
Lovely to use thanks to clear display and good build quality.
Wiring seems more substantial than a very popular brand but needs careful routing to avoid snagging. Very well sealed from the elements- the time honoured smear of petroleum on the battery contacts seemed overkill.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's little to to complain about thanks to an extremely clear display providing at a glance ride data while the wired connection ensures consumate reliability. Positioning the buttons at the base of the unit earns style points without compromising function-even wearing full-finger gloves it's easy to toggle between modes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Stylish design, clear display, excellent build quality and enough functions to bore friends, family and club-mates silly.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Aside from the over-reliance upon cable ties, nothing.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)