The Bike List

Knog N.E.R.D 9 function wireless cycle computer

Tested by Peter Skilton, tester for The Bike List

Every ride as a child would be eeked out for as long and as far away as I could get away with. But just how far away could I escape? The answer came from a cheap, five-function Halfords cycle computer. It was complicated to fit, wires three times longer than they needed to be flapped about and the sensor didn't always work. But to a young boy it transformed freedom in to fun.

More than 15 years on and the cycle computer market has become a whole lot more sophisticated. There are no wires, designs are simple and they work consistently. As cycling became more serious so did the need for live-view data. A smart phone app running from inside a pocket wasn't quite cutting it and mounting an expensive phone on the handlebars was too risky. Instead, I opted for the nine-function, wireless Knog N.E.R.D cycle computer.

There were two things that made the Knog stand out: minimalist styling and functional mounting. It shouldn't be an influence but what the computer would look like on the bike also played a big part in the decision. There are three versions of the N.E.R.D - 5-function, 9-function, and 12-function, with price increasing from £37.99 to £53.99 and £59.99 respectively.

The simple 5-function computer includes all the basics - speed, clock, trip distance, riding time and an odometer - fine for the occasional cyclist. The 9-function adds average speed, maximum speed a relative speed graph and scanning, which displays all functions in a sequence and makes the N.E.R.D a much more useful bit of kit. Pay extra for the 12-function and you'll also get a backlight, multi-bike compatibility and distance per day - it'll only be worth it if you ride at night.

The N.E.R.D is made from the same industrial silicone as the quick-mount lights Knog is best known for. The flexible rubber band-like strap means it can be mounted quickly and easily to your handlebar or stem, the computer easily rotated in the silicone mounting to correct the orientation. The strap will stretch to fit the fattest of stems but there's no doubt this is going to shorten the life span of the rubber.

Mounting the sensor and magnet is also easy - the sensor mounts to a bike's forks using the same silicon strap idea, while the magnet screws together around a spoke. It's a weighty magnet, though and is best positioned opposite the valve to balance the wheel and remove any juddering.

The ability to view the screen on the move varies. Handlebar-mounted computers can be adjusted to the perfect angle but those at a fixed angle on the stem, such as mine, are that bit harder to see, particularly in bright sunlight making a quick glance quite difficult. Nor is it easy to see beyond the in-your-face fruit machine-like scrolling digits that make up the current speed display. The way the numbers change is neat and certainly a novelty at first but its overpowering size means the display of other info is much smaller. On weekend rides and commuting this isn't a big problem, you can easily move to see the screen but in time trials, when knowing speed and time are crucial, it can be frustrating. Another space-grabbing feature is the relative speed graph, which plots average speed against current speed in a bar graph. It's useful but you wouldn't miss it. Lose this, reduce the size of the current speed and you'd have a perfect display of decent sized information.

With such a clean design it's hard to see how the N.E.R.D is controlled. There are no buttons, instead pressing the two-inch screen scrolls through the functions. It's not a touch screen though, more of a push screen with the computer touching a rear-mounted button against the silicon casing to prompt a change. This makes on-the-go navigation very easy, particularly over high-speed, bumpy terrain.

The N.E.R.D's sometimes frustrating display is more than made up for by its simplicity to use, easy mounting and clean design. In an packed market these attributes make it stand out from the crowd but it doesn't do anything that cheaper rivals can't.

wiggle.co.uk

At a glance

Verdict You get what you pay for – simple mounting and all the easy-to-use functions you’d expect in a sturdy package.
Value
Performance

Knog says:

These brainiacs started off in buttoned-up sweaters, awkwardly holding their library books and getting milkshake poured over their heads by a cliq of pretty girls a-holes. Fast-forward 90 minutes though, the big spectacles have been taken off, the pony-tail let out and OMG - she's still a N.E.R.D, still the smartest thing on two wheels, but golly is she a foxy one.

Specifications

• Main Unit: 53 × 51 × 40 mm - Transmitter 52 × 27 × 52 mm
• N.E.R.D. 45 grams - Transmitter 39 grams
• Industrial grade Silicone
• 1 x CR2032 3V cell - Transmitter 1 x LR44 1.5V cell

• Animated rolling display with push screen functionality.
• Simple tool-less attachment to handlebar, frame or stem by re-orientation of N.E.R.D. unit.
• No signal or function interference
• flexible silicone body
• 100% Waterproof

Features

9 FUNCTION MODEL

• Current Speed
• 12/24 hour clock
• Trip Distance
• Average Speed
• Maximum Speed
• Relative Speed Gauge (output as a bar graph of current vs average speed)
• Total Riding Time
• Odometer
• Scanning (will display all functions in a looped sequence)

Supplier: Moore Large, +44 (0)1332 274252, www.todayscyclist.co.uk