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OWNER REVIEW – Sigma Sport ROX 9.0 Bike Computer

Update November 9, 2010:  Well one year and two months after I purchased the Sigma Sports ROX 9 and after I have sent it back once and communicated with the Sigma Sports Taiwan office in an attempt to get a credible customer service response from Sigma Sports my ROX 9 has come to an end. It has never worked correctly and consistently from day one and yesterday it decided to no longer communicate with the speed sensor or cadence sensor; in fact it does not bother even attempting to properly search for either sensors. The best I can get out of it is two search flashes.

Frankly I am so over the lack of customer focus at Sigma Sports that I am not going to bother to follow this up nor will I ever buy another Sigma Sports product nor will I recommend them.  For the dollars I would suggest a Garmin Edge 500 is the way to go or better still a Garmin Edge 800.

Click here for details of my continuing saga of my customer experience with Sigma Sports

img_1_zoom I pressed the button on September 19, 2009 and placed an order on Bike24.com in Germany for a Sigma Sport ROX 9.0 bike computer and second bike kit to replace my failed again Garmin Edge 305.  I decided to go with the ROX 9.0 over another Garmin because I wanted a bike computer capable of working on its battery over ride distances up to 1,200 km (Audax rides) and because the only Garmin I would consider at this time, the Edge 500 is not yet on the market.

The Purchasing Experience

A search of the web using Google and Fro ogle didn’t bring up a better price than what was offer at Bike24.com. Also feedback from others at the Australian Cycling Forums indicated that Bike24.com are a reliable online retailer.  In the past they had responded promptly to email queries so I was comfortable with placing the order with them.

Bike24.com website is easy to navigate and is in English or German.  The prices shown are in Euros and include VAT, however, once you go through to the shopping cart and select your country and payment method, VAT is removed from the purchase price.  So for me placing the order on September 19, 2009 the price of the Sigma ROX 9.0 and ROX 8.0/9.0 Bike 2 Entire Set kit 00415 was:

Sigma Sport ROX 9.0                     – 134.37 EUR  ~ AU $227.76

ROX 8.0/9.0 Bike 2 Entire Set kit –  37.77 EUR  ~ AU $ 64.02

Postage                                        -  19.95 EUR ~ AU $ 33.82

Total Cost                                     – 192.09 EUR ~ AU $325.60

Bike24.com packaging of the Sigma ROX 9Confirmation of the order was received within minutes via email from Bike24.com and three days later I received a shipping confirmation email which indicated that the ROX 9 was being shipped by Deutsche Post / DHL. Included with the email was a tracking number but no URL for the tracking website! A Google search revealed Deutsche Post / DHL tracking service can be found here and it works which is handy.  However it is in German, but a translation website should do the trick if necessary.Premium delivery?

On October 3, 2009 after being away for a week and expecting to return home to find the ROX 9 waiting for pick-up at the post office I found that the package was still in Germany according to the Deutsche Post / DHL tracking service.  The tracking service indicated that the package had a status of Departure from outward Office of Exchange in Country of Origin since September 24, 2009 some nine days earlier.  I fired off a follow-up status request to  Deutsche Post / DHL and Bike24.com on October 3, 2009 and received advice that I should expect it within days and that I could contact Australia Post for local tracking.  As it turned out the Deutsche Post / DHL tracking service updated once it landed in Australia.

According to the box, the package was sent on September 21, 2009 via Premium DE Priority service. It arrived at my local post office on October 8, 2009, some 17 days later. Not sure if I would describe that as a priority service. It seems the issue is more with the Deutsche Post service than anything.  At least it arrived but and it good condition.

 

Sigma ROX 9 in the box The Installation Experience

The Sigma Sports ROX 9.00 comes well packaged in a display box which contains:

  • The computer itself
  • A front wheel speed sensor
  • A cadence sensor
  • A heart rate monitor strap
  • A docking station for interfacing to the computer (USB port)
  • Package of mounting hardware
  • Sigma Data Centre 1.1 CD
  • A quick guide to changing the batteries. The unit, front wheel speed sensor and cadence sensor all take batteries
  • A Installation Guide for the ROX 8.0/9.0
  • A ROX 9.0 instruction manual (40 pages of English language instructions)

The Installation on the Bike instruction sheet is in the typical Sigma Sports style, i.e., very graphical.  Each step is clearly numbered and the graphics are quite large and reasonably easy to follow. I was able to install the sensors without too much trouble following the instructions.

That said, the design of the cadence sensor and magnet meant that I had to mount the sensor to the seat post tube rather than a rear stay.  The sensor has a lip on it which takes the o-ring/cable ties. This lip along with the rather large magnet meant that I could not get good clearance with my preferred mounting point.

While the mounting on the seat post tube now works, it took a bit of fiddling to get it right and working. Not an idea mount as the magnet does not pass the sensor with full coverage.

Interesting that the cadence sensor magnet comes in two parts, to allow for large clearance gaps. Regretfully the base magnet is still too large for modern bicycles where clearance is at a minimum.  Garmin use small magnets; surly the ROX 9 can too?

Initial Impressions

 

 

My initial impressions are mixed.  The unit did not work properly from the start.  My email to Sigma Sport/Bike24 on October 15, 2009 outlines my frustrations with the unit and going by this thread at Bikeradar.com I am not alone.

 

Dear Sigma Sport Service Department

I have a brand new (about a week old) ROX 9.0 which I purchased from Bike24.com along with a STS Accessories Set (Bike 2 kit).  The order was invoiced on 21/09/2009, invoice number 40385840 and received by myself on 8/10/09.

Having installed the unit and the bike 2 kit on a second bike I am less than impressed with the performance of the unit.  So far:

(1) On the primary bike, I cannot get the computer to recognise and display the heart rate at all.  I have fitted a new battery to the heart rate transmitter and always wet the strap sensors before use. Neither attempt to get it to work have been successful.   I also tried the strap on a second person without luck;
(2) With the computer fitted to the bike 2 kit, the heart rate has been captured intermittently. On my ride yesterday it was working for approximately 90% of the time.  On this mornings ride it took nearly four minutes to start recording heart rate and then just stopped. For the remainder of the ride it did not record anything.
(3)  The attitude is displayed incorrectly, even with my home attitude set as per my GPS units. Currently it has me some 23 metres below sea level when I am on the coast approximately 18 metres above sea level.  There seems no way to correct this error.

Having paid 192 EUR for this product and having to wait over two weeks to receive it, this is extremely disappointing. I really expected far better quality from a Sigma Sport product.

In light of my problems, what are my options to either get this unit functioning correctly or replaced?

It took a couple of days to get a response from Sigma Sports and they asked what country I was in (this information is in my email signature). I replied within 24 hours and have not received any further response from Sigma Sports, however, Bike 24 contacted me asking me to return the faulty parts to them. On October 23, 2009 I sent back the computer and heart rate strap via Australia Post at a cost of $11.00. I followed up with Bike 24 on November 3, 2009 and was advised the same day they had received the unit and where forwarding it on to Sigma Sports.

Post emailing Sigma Sports and before I returned the unit, I also experienced the following:

  • The heart rate stopped displaying at all on either bike by about the third ride with the Bike 2 kit;
  • After a few days the attitude starting recording correctly, but then got stuck on the attitude of my third floor office. It does not seem to reset or adjust to the attitude at other locations even when it is left overnight;
  • Synchronising to the computer seems to play around with the date and time sometimes. Turning it off seems to have addressed the problem.
  • I also learnt the you need the little black thing with two pins – it is need to remove the batteries. Don’t loose it!  It would have helped if this was made clear in the documentation.

On November 18, 2009 I received notification from Bike24.com that package was on the way to me; contents unclear.  On Friday December 4, 2009 I received my original computer back along with a replacement heart rate chest strap, a new mounting bracket (not clear as to whether this is a Bike 1 or Bike 2 bracket) and various mounting hardware.

IMG_0479 In the meantime whilst cleaning Froggie, the cadence sensor just fell apart. I know I didn’t give it a wack or anything of that nature and at most would have run a cleaning brush over it.  The sensor itself “locks” into the mounting bracket, the male part of the lock is probably 2 mm in depth, which suggests little leverage for a good connection.  Rather than send this back to Bike24.com I have super glued the parts back together and will see how it holds.

On December 8, 2009 I got a chance to put the new heart rate monitor strap to the test and ran with it for a few days on Sir Lancelot. The new strap works most of the time. It is slow to synchronise (can take up to two minutes) and does at times disconnect.  That is my displayed heart-rate drops to 0%. Sometimes it will come back quickly, other times I have had to remove the computer from the bracket then remount it, to force a new synchronisation.  This problem appears more prevalent on my Joondalup – Churchlands commute along the freeway which also includes riding near an electric railway line. There is one point near the Greenwood Railway Station which seems to kick out the signal. No other signals are disrupted (cadence and speed continue to work fine) and I haven’t noticed any spikes in recorded heart rate; just a lost of signal at this point. It can take a few disconnect/reconnects to the bracket to get the heart rate strap synchronised again. On other routes I noted the previously reported lost of signal but it comes back quickly.

In amongst all this I noticed that when the ROX 9 is mounted on either bike, it shows as being “Bike 1” despite a Bike 2 kit being fitted to Sir Lancelot and the computer is programmed with two different wheel sizes (700X23C 2133 and 700x28C 2149).  It seems that I needed to set the speed sensor to Bike II. This is not explained in the manual.

On a positive note, the other features that are working, work well and I find the computer easy to use. What would be really nice is to have all the features of the ROX 9 (e.g., temperature, climbing data etc) packaged up in a decent Garmin Edge. Now that would be a nice combo.  So would I buy a replacement in the future? Probably not at this point.

 

Things I Like/Things I don’t Like

What I would like improved

  1. Sigma Sports customer service!  Sigma Sports customer service has been disappointing.  Their response times, when they bother to respond are disappointing. More frustrating is the lack of response. Some emails get answered, you reply and then the world goes silent.  This is even more frustrating given this statement on their service contact page; “We are still here for you after you have made your purchase. Good service functions quickly and simply. Just contact us!”
  2. Bike24.com post sale customer service leaves a lot to be desired. After returning the unit to them, subsequent emails have been ignored. I would think carefully about shopping with them again.
  3. My maximum cadence is always recorded at 180 RPM. I don’t get anywhere near 180 RPM.
  4. There is a noticeable lag in the display in changes in heart-rate compared to my Garmin Edge 305 which is far more responsive.
  5. Slow synchronisation of the heart rate strap to the computer and the unreliability of the connection.
  6. Mounting of the cadence sensor/magnet is less than ideal on Froggie.
  7. Bike 1 and Bike 2 kits display as Bike 1 on the computer. It does not seem to recognise the Bike 2 bracket.
  8. The backlight only lasts for five seconds. This is really too short for me and I would prefer it to be either 30 seconds or at least customisable. If it reduces battery life, so be it. That is the user’s choice, no?
  9. Saving and resetting seems more involved than it needs to be.
  10. Flimsy nature of the construction of the cadence sensor.

 

Things I like:

  1. Ability to set-up Favourites A and B to suit me and that I can do this via the computer;
  2. Good clear display and easy to quickly scroll through key numbers in Favourites;
  3. Easy of connection to the computer for data download;
  4. Like the capturing of temperature data.  It seems to capture the actual temperature on the ground (e.g., heat reflected from the road) so you get a more realistic measure of what you are experiencing.
  5. Like the climbing data captured (Uphill functions). Really quite informative
  6. Heart rate zone data.
  7. The wheel magnet is attached with an Allen key. So far this meant a nice secure fitting of the magnet.
  8. The computer mount itself can go on the stem or bar without any changes to the mount.
  9. The sensors and the mount can be secured with either the supplied o-rings (more flexibility in terms of ease of use of removal) and/or cable ties for a more permanent mounting.

 

The Sigma Sports ROX 9.00

Sigma Sports have a pretty useful multimedia ROX experience on their website. It is worth checking out for a good overview of both the ROX 8.00 and ROX 9.00.  This is something other manufacturers should do with their premium products.  You can also download a demo of the Data Centre from the same website.

Also available from Sigma Sports is the installation instructions (PDF), the 80 page instruction manual (PDF) and the Data Centre Software Update 1.1b (dated July 6, 2009).

The ROX 9.0 is pretty feature rich with the exception of having no GPSr.  Its main features are speed and trip distances; cadence, heart rate, temperature, and altitude.

General Functions

  1. Available in five different languages;
  2. Two wheel sizes adjustable
  3. Automatic recognition of second bike
  4. Automatic start /stop
  5. LCD backlight
  6. Battery status display receiver/transmitter
  7. Ability to switch alarm on /off
  8. Adjustable alarm volume
  9. Watertight
  10. Bracket for handlebars and stem
  11. Memory back-up function when changing a battery (overall and set values)

Bike Functions

  1. Current speed
  2. Average speed
  3. Maximum speed
  4. Trip distance
  5. Comparison current speed /average speed
  6. Programmable trip section counter forward
  7. Programmable trip section counter backward

Cadence Functions

  1. Current cadence
  2. Average cadence
  3. Maximum cadence

Heart Rate Functions

  1. Current heart rate
  2. Average heart rate
  3. Maximum heart rate
  4. HR zones (number) 3
  5. Acoustic zone alarm
  6. Heart rate in % of max HR
  7. Graphic display of HR zones
  8. Calories
  9. Time in the HR zone(s) in minutes

Time Functions

  1. Ride time
  2. Date
  3. Time
  4. Stopwatch
  5. Countdown timer
  6. Alarm
  7. Switch between 12/24 h mode

Temperature Functions

  1. Current temperature
  2. Minimum temperature
  3. Maximum temperature

Altitude Measurement Functions

  1. Current altitude
  2. Current incline /decline
  3. Current rate of ascent / descent
  4. Calibration via current altitude
  5. Calibration via 3 starting altitudes
  6. Calibration via air pressure reduced to sea level

Uphill Functions

  1. Day‘s climb
  2. Maximum day‘s altitude
  3. Trip distance
  4. Ride time
  5. Average speed
  6. Rate of ascent m /min
  7. Maximum ascent speed
  8. Average incline
  9. Maximum incline

Downhill Functions

  1. Day‘s descend
  2. Trip distance
  3. Ride time
  4. Average speed
  5. Rate of descent m /min
  6. Maximum rate of descent
  7. Average decline
  8. Maximum decline

Favourites Functions

  1. Favourites A (choice of 10 functions)
  2. Favourites B (choice of 10 functions)

Total Values

  1. Total distance bike 1 /2 /1+2
  2. Total ride time bike 1 /2 /1+2
  3. Total altitude uphill bike 1 /2 /1+2
  4. Maximum altitude bike 1 /2
  5. Total distance uphill bike 1 /2 /1+2
  6. Total ride time uphill bike 1 /2 /1+2
  7. Total altitude downhill bike 1 /2 /1+2
  8. Total distance downhill bike 1 /2 /1+2
  9. Total ride time downhill bike 1 /2 /1+2
  10. Total calories bike 1/2/1+2

PC Interface/Memory Functions

  1. PC interface
  2. Transfer by USB
  3. Docking station
  4. Transfer settings to the bike computer

Trips memory

  1. Separate logbook
  2. Memory capacity (approx. in hours) 78
  3. Adjustable save interval (5-10-20-30 s.)
  4. Remaining time for selected save interval
  5. Waypoints

Software DATA CENTER

  1. Individual memory analysis
  2. Comparison of 2 individual memories
  3. Summary of total values
  4. Bike computer setting via PC
  5. Check battery status of bike computer and transmitter
  6. Synchronisation manager
  7. Print all analysis
  8. Notice function
  9. Graphic analysis of cycled trip (log)
  10. Analysis of HR zones distribution
  11. Subzone analysis (log)
  12. Display memory capacity and remaining times

22 Responses to OWNER REVIEW – Sigma Sport ROX 9.0 Bike Computer

  1. ksteinhoff December 13, 2009 at 8:57 PM #

    Your problems are one of the reasons I use separate devices to do separate things.

    I use a wired computer because my LBS said that they found that wireless ones ate batteries if you used the bike a lot.

    I use a Garmin 60CS GPS on my bars.

    I buy cheap heart rate monitors when I catch them on sale for about $25 each and replace them when it’s time to put it new batteries.

    The failure of one device doesn’t mean the failure of all.

    I don’t know if it’ll help you any, but here’s what I use for the magnet side of my cadence computer.

    http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/computer-magnet-goes-missing-in-action/

  2. ksteinhoff December 14, 2009 at 4:57 AM #

    Your problems are one of the reasons I use separate devices to do separate things.

    I use a wired computer because my LBS said that they found that wireless ones ate batteries if you used the bike a lot.

    I use a Garmin 60CS GPS on my bars.

    I buy cheap heart rate monitors when I catch them on sale for about $25 each and replace them when it’s time to put it new batteries.

    The failure of one device doesn’t mean the failure of all.

    I don’t know if it’ll help you any, but here’s what I use for the magnet side of my cadence computer.

    http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/computer-magnet-goes-missing-in-action/

  3. Glen January 13, 2010 at 10:20 PM #

    I use a Rox 9.0 as well and apart from an issue at one stage with temperature reading a bit high due to an incorrectly set altitude .. the thing is great … I only doing about 200-250km per week but it is great for recording everything … the only hassle I have atm is find a replacement cadence sender as I lost mine off my crank (use good cable-ties)

  4. Glen January 14, 2010 at 6:20 AM #

    I use a Rox 9.0 as well and apart from an issue at one stage with temperature reading a bit high due to an incorrectly set altitude .. the thing is great … I only doing about 200-250km per week but it is great for recording everything … the only hassle I have atm is find a replacement cadence sender as I lost mine off my crank (use good cable-ties)

  5. Aushiker January 13, 2010 at 10:34 PM #

    Hi Glen. I am struggling to see what altitude setting has to do with the temperature. The unit should be able to determine the temperature irrespective of the altitude. Temperature is one thing I find that works okay. Still good to see yours is working okay.

    Andrew

  6. Aushiker January 14, 2010 at 6:34 AM #

    Hi Glen. I am struggling to see what altitude setting has to do with the temperature. The unit should be able to determine the temperature irrespective of the altitude. Temperature is one thing I find that works okay. Still good to see yours is working okay.

    Andrew

  7. Mark February 2, 2010 at 7:10 AM #

    Interestingly enough, mine has just started playing up which is quite annoying. I did pay much less, ($250.00 or thereabouts) from ebay, but even though this is the case, I would have expected more than 300kms before a sensor failed or went flat. My speed sensor started playing up, reading and then not, and simply carked. Also, my light doesnt come on (manual says top and bottom left buttons together) but this makes my screen go completely blank and then re-appears shortly after. I should have bought a garmin, but a mate influenced this sale.

    • Steven May 25, 2012 at 5:15 AM #

      Hi

      If your display goes dim whn activating the light function. Your batteries are going flat.

      • Aushiker June 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM #

        Thanks for your input but I don’t think batteries are Mark’s problem here.

  8. Mark February 2, 2010 at 3:10 PM #

    Interestingly enough, mine has just started playing up which is quite annoying. I did pay much less, ($250.00 or thereabouts) from ebay, but even though this is the case, I would have expected more than 300kms before a sensor failed or went flat. My speed sensor started playing up, reading and then not, and simply carked. Also, my light doesnt come on (manual says top and bottom left buttons together) but this makes my screen go completely blank and then re-appears shortly after. I should have bought a garmin, but a mate influenced this sale.

  9. Bogdan February 3, 2010 at 3:15 PM #

    Hello,
    I found your website by “googling” this type of Sigma computer. I am in England and found a good offer for rox 9, it seems to be what I want. I never had a cycle computer except the ordinary one which measure speed/distance..

    The extra functions that interest me in this rox9 are the altimeter and temperature, I am not interested in cadence and heart rate and the reason I prefer it to a Garmin is the long life battery (even at the Edge 500 the battery last 18 hours) because I go camping/cycling and I might not always be able to recharge battery.

    Considering the above, do you find this Sigma to be a reliable computer, is the battery lasting long (I assume 1 year is what they say). Can you recommend a better one?

    Thanks and regards, Bogdan

  10. Bogdan February 3, 2010 at 11:15 PM #

    Hello,
    I found your website by “googling” this type of Sigma computer. I am in England and found a good offer for rox 9, it seems to be what I want. I never had a cycle computer except the ordinary one which measure speed/distance..

    The extra functions that interest me in this rox9 are the altimeter and temperature, I am not interested in cadence and heart rate and the reason I prefer it to a Garmin is the long life battery (even at the Edge 500 the battery last 18 hours) because I go camping/cycling and I might not always be able to recharge battery.

    Considering the above, do you find this Sigma to be a reliable computer, is the battery lasting long (I assume 1 year is what they say). Can you recommend a better one?

    Thanks and regards, Bogdan

  11. Bob Grant March 5, 2010 at 3:43 PM #

    The ROX 9.0 works quite well IMO but is not perfect. Learning to use it effectively takes time and requires the rider to adapt his behavior to the computer. Just to start a ride requires many steps: put on moistened chest strap, set altimeter, reset trip memory, set logbook interval, start logbook, and select Favorites A or B.

    When the backlight fails to come on, as Mark reported above, the main computer battery needs replacement. even though the computer does not report a weak battery. My main issue with the ROX 9.0 involves the software: when set to mph/feet, the inclination (slope) and rise rate (vertical speed) calculations are off by a factor of 5.280. The code uses the metric unit conversion when setting up the altitude gain to distance traveled ratio. The new software release in a few months should correct this error.

  12. Bob Grant March 5, 2010 at 11:43 PM #

    The ROX 9.0 works quite well IMO but is not perfect. Learning to use it effectively takes time and requires the rider to adapt his behavior to the computer. Just to start a ride requires many steps: put on moistened chest strap, set altimeter, reset trip memory, set logbook interval, start logbook, and select Favorites A or B.

    When the backlight fails to come on, as Mark reported above, the main computer battery needs replacement. even though the computer does not report a weak battery. My main issue with the ROX 9.0 involves the software: when set to mph/feet, the inclination (slope) and rise rate (vertical speed) calculations are off by a factor of 5.280. The code uses the metric unit conversion when setting up the altitude gain to distance traveled ratio. The new software release in a few months should correct this error.

  13. Darren April 14, 2010 at 12:42 AM #

    Great comments. I’ve got a Rox 9.0 as well, and haven’t had any of the issues you describe. The only problem I have sometimes is the heart rate getting ‘stuck’ at one value for a while (several minutes at a time) before it updates again. This shows up as flat lines on the heart rate graph, which is quite unlikely 🙂 However, all of the other functions are working properly for me.

    In order to switch the “Bike 2” sensor I recall reading that there’s a button you have to press on the speed transmitter to ‘switch’ it between Bike 1 and 2. I haven’t tried, but you may want to check the manual again for this! I have my full review up on my website at: http://darrencope.com

    Cheers!

  14. Darren April 14, 2010 at 8:42 AM #

    Great comments. I’ve got a Rox 9.0 as well, and haven’t had any of the issues you describe. The only problem I have sometimes is the heart rate getting ‘stuck’ at one value for a while (several minutes at a time) before it updates again. This shows up as flat lines on the heart rate graph, which is quite unlikely 🙂 However, all of the other functions are working properly for me.

    In order to switch the “Bike 2” sensor I recall reading that there’s a button you have to press on the speed transmitter to ‘switch’ it between Bike 1 and 2. I haven’t tried, but you may want to check the manual again for this! I have my full review up on my website at: http://darrencope.com

    Cheers!

  15. Linda June 20, 2010 at 4:43 AM #

    Help! I’ve got a Rox 9.0 that is frozen in a Spanish menu that is displaying Cambier? and flashing an actual altitude of 1183 m ( with the first 1 flashing) even though I live at sea level. Pressing any of the 5 buttons on the computer does not change the display. Do you know how to get the display back to English or unfreeze the screen? Earlier I was trying to get the unit to display my correct heart rate ( just shows 0 even with a damp chest belt) and speed ( also showing zero) and the screen froze in English- a few more buttons presses and now I’m in a frozen Spanish computer wasteland! Any help from anyone would be appreciated…..

  16. Aushiker June 20, 2010 at 10:10 AM #

    Hi Linda

    I have uploaded the manual here. Should be a pretty straight forward task to change the language back to English. As to the altitude I have given up on that being right. My shows around 178 metres below seal level when I am about 5 metres above sea level.

  17. Pepijn2010 September 24, 2011 at 3:57 AM #

    I had a problem with adjusting the elevation levels as well, but I found the solution: press the upper and the bottom (right or left – I forgot which one) button on your ROX 8.0/9.0. This should reset the elevation level !

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