Sigma BC 1609: 9.7 / 10
- Wired, so no interference problems like with wireless models
- Good battery life
- Lots of useful functions for a fair price
- Never falls out of its bracket
- Can be mounted on handlebar or stem
Cycling computers have come a long way. For starters, most of them aren't simple speedometers anymore. Sigma BC 1609 is no exception. It offers more features (especially cadence) than any other computer in its price category. And it does that without skimping on quality. And being a wired bike computer, it has none of the problems associated with wireless computers, like interference from front lights, other wireless computers, etc.
Being an owner of the older Sigma BC 1606L computer, I was glad to see the improvements in its successor, Sigma BC 1609. The 1609 model has a temperature function, which was absent in the older model. Also, the BC1609 rounds the current speed to one tenth of a mile (15.0 --> 15.1 --> 15.2) per hour. The older 1606L rounds them to the closest 0.5 mph (15.0 --> 15.5 --> 16.0). It never really bothered me, but for some people that was an inconvenience.
Included in the package are the following items:
- Sigma BC 1609 computer.
- One CR 2032 battery, which you'll have to install yourself. Fortunately, you'll only need a coin to open the battery compartment. If you're a snob, use a gold coin.
- Bracket (docking station, where the computer is mounted).
- Magnet, you'll attach it to a spoke.
- Sensor, goes on the fork.
- 2 rubber rings.
- Cadence kit: sensor and magnet.
Previous models like my BC1606L had the batteries installed by Sigma before packaging. They displayed the current time (standby mode) and the battery slowly discharged in some warehouse/bike shop, until someone bought them. That's why I had to buy a new battery about a year after purchase. A friend of mine bought Sigma's BC 1609 about a year ago. He commutes to work everyday, a 30-mile round trip. The battery is still alive and kicking. Don't use the backlight all the time though, or you'll need a lot more batteries than me! The neat thing is, when you change the battery, you won't lose your valuable data!
Installation was easy. Both the computer's docking station and sensor are mounted using rubber rings. These make the installation a snap. You're worried that the rubber rings will eventually fail? Don't. I've ridden my bikes in cold (-5 degrees F/ -20 C) and hot (102 F/ 39 C) weather, for thousands of miles, and the rubber rings are still in good shape. I even reused them recently when I installed the BC1609 on another bike. In addition to the rubber ring, the bracket is securely held in place by an adhesive tape that sticks to the handlebar (or stem).
The following official video from Sigma shows the BC1609 installation and initial computer setup. Sigma is a German company, that's why the computer in the video is set to German and shows kilometres per hour, not miles. Don't worry though, as the language can be set to English, and mph can be used instead of metric.
At first, navigating the menus might be confusing. But after a couple of rides, you'll be pressing those buttons without even thinking about it.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger view. Press arrow keys or click on the left/right of the picture to see previous/next one.
For the price, Sigma BC 1609 offers a lot of features. Especially the cadence feature, which is very hard to find in similarly priced computers. You can get for $30 or so on Amazon.
Sigma BC 1609 Features:
Sigma BC 1609 General Functions:
- Auto start/stop
- MPH or KPH
- Large display, font and icons easy to read
- 7 available languages
- Integrated storage chip for data backup
- Low battery indicator
- 2 adjustable wheel sizes for 2 bikes
- Automatic recognition of bike 2
- Current temperature
- PC compatible
- Current speed
- Average speed
- Maximum speed
- Trip distance
- Current/Average speed comparison
- Total distance bike 1/bike 2/bike 1+2
- Current and average cadence
- Programmable trip section counter
- Ride time
- Clock (12/24 hr)
- Countdown timer
- Total ride time bike 1, bike 2 & bike 1+2
Is it really weatherproof? Yes! I rode twice in heavy rain, and my Sigma BC1609 is still alive. Last winter I rode when it was -5 F (-20C), and was amazed to see the computer's display didn't completely freeze! The LCD did slow down considerably, though.