Big-screen Polar CS500 cycling computer offers a first: rocker-switch operation
By Ben Coxworth
April 15, 2010
If you’re a racing cyclist, barreling down the side of the highway at 30mph, what do you not want to be doing? Stabbing at your bike computer's little buttons, or squinting at its little displays, that’s what! Or at least, that’s what the folks over at Polar think. That’s why they’ve designed their latest cycling computer, the CS500, with a couple of unique features – an oversized LCD display, and for the first time on a cycling computer, a rocker switch.
What’s a rocker switch? It’s one of those switches that rocks to one side or the other when pressed, like a rocking horse. Your computer’s power bar probably has one. The CS500 is mounted on top of its rocker, so the whole computer acts as the switch. To change data displays on its screen, you just tap down on either side of the computer with your thumb. According to Polar, this means you can switch screens without taking your hands off the bars, although it looks like that would really only be the case if you had your hands up on the flats.
The “extra-large” screen displays data such as speed, distance, heart rate, calories burned, incline, altitude, ascent/descent and temperature. One of the optional extras is the DataLink, a wireless communication device that lets you upload your ride data to the Polar Personal Trainer online training journal. There, you can set training goals, track your progress, and even calculate your post-ride recovery time. Other extras include cadence and power output sensors.
The basic CS500 package has a suggested retail price of $US319.95.