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VDO C3DS Computer

1.88/5 (16 Reviews)


Product Description

The C3DS overcame seven other wireless computers in the price range of 35 to 70 Euros. Top scores (5 stars) for functional versatility and usefulness. Menu is logical and easy-to-navigate, distinct large display and easy mounting.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Ginzo a Weekend Warrior from Scranton, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2011

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Slow response, did not work on back wheel as advertised, not accuate compared to wired unit off by 2/10. Even on front wheel the response was slow. Bad purchase...will return

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the wireless unit to install on rear wheel for winter training as stated. However, the transmitter must be within 23 inches of computer, which makes rear wheel mounting impossible. Also magnet placement way to touchy, slight movement and unit stops working. Mounted on front wheel side by side with Sigma and response to speed change was very slow and inaccuate. Compared with two different wired units.

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Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   Amazon

Similar Products Used:   Sigma wired.


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by lodya a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2011

Strengths:    Easy to read display. Nice feature set.

Weaknesses:    Multiple problems from day 1.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this on sale thinking I was getting a great deal on a wireless computer. The clip for the spoke magnet broke on installation. I contacted VDO and they sent me a couple of new magnets. Once mounted, the unit only worked intermittently; then it stopped working altogether. I replaced the battery and reset the computer - no luck. I contacted VDO with this issue but they have not responded. I will stay away from VDO products in future.

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Favorite Trail:   Monarch Crest

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Cateye Enduro

Bike Setup:   Yeti ASR 5A Pro

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Robert Broberg a Cross Country Rider from Wilsonville, OR, USA

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2011

Bottom Line:   
This is a great computer. Thus far, have had none of the problems other owners have described. An advantage is that the sensor can also be put on the rear wheel. I'm happy with it as I paid a fraction of retail ($23 vs $89), it is well constructed, good looking, has nice features including a navigator mode, and is easy to set up. Just ordered -- from Nashbar --the cadence kit for $10 instead of the $40 retail price.

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $23.00

Purchased At:   performance bike

Similar Products Used:   Also have a VDO C2 ds that seems to work fine.

Bike Setup:   Land Shark Dirt Shark

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Chris Broome a Weekend Warrior from San Luis Obispo, CA

Date Reviewed: October 19, 2009

Strengths:    Wide range of functions, automatic start-stop, dual bike capability. Its the same easily-available and inexpensive batteries for the pickups and the head unit.

Weaknesses:    I have C3DS computers on two bikes. They started to lose signals from cadence and wheel sensors. Replacing the batteries and swapping the units from bike to bike helped for a short while, but not long. I could never get the mileage to read correctly or even correspond to a second (different brand) computer on the tandem or on a second solo bike.

The orientation of the head unit on the handle bar is very, very sensitive - I guess it can't handle much variation in signal strength or direction from the pickups.

According to the user guide, you have to send the unit back to Germany for any warranty repair.


Bottom Line:   
Given VDO's reputation in other areas of electronics and instrumentation, I expected a reliable and accurate product.

This was a disappointing waste of money and a time-wasting experience.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   eBay and bike store

Similar Products Used:   Older Performance CM300's - no longer manufactured and several years old, but very reliable and accurate.

Bike Setup:   The solo bike has pickups from front wheel and cadence from crankset; the tandem picks up speed from rear wheel and cadence from rear crankset.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Yan Duval a Cross Country Rider from Quebec, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2009

Strengths:    Great features when it works. LED is a good idea on sensors.

Weaknesses:    Various problems. I had my first one a few years ago. Worked pretty well so bought a second kit for my wife. Frequent need to change batteries. My computer started to fail after 2 years. After a year, my speed sensor developped an habit of failing to work below 15C. My wife's computer was never able to calculate trip distance correctly.

Bottom Line:   
The general design is good, but there are quality problems plaguing the product. In the end, I spent so much time messing with batteries, positionning and all that requested warranty repair at MEC. They were kind enough to reimburse the whole thing.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $125.00

Purchased At:   Mountain Equipment C

Similar Products Used:   Cateye Mity: More than 10 years of flawless performance.

Bike Setup:   Stumpjumpers, Trek 1200 and Pilot 1.2

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by peter a Weekend Warrior from Richmond, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2009

Strengths:    Simple menu. easy setup

Weaknesses:    one quit after 2 weeks. Spotty signal acquisiton. couldn't get cadence to work regularly.

Bottom Line:   
The good: Mine works great! Setup and programming was very easy. I like the straightforward and simple menu. No complicated button combinations to remember. The menus are all easy to find and figure out. I did not set up cadence on my bike (never use it).

The bad: My wife's quit working after 2 weeks. Couldn't get a regular signal, cadence was spotty, etc. New battery didn't help. Electronic devices have a habit of not working when my wife handles them, but in this instance i believe it's not her fault. Exact same problems many others described.

Wondering if the cadence combo screws it up. Anyone else besides me hook up the computer only?

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   nashbar

Similar Products Used:   Cateye, Sigma

Bike Setup:   Trek 1200

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by crikki a Racer from redding, ca

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2009

Strengths:    easy to read

Weaknesses:    doesn't work worth beans!
will work for awhile then quits!
i replaced all batteries too
not worth the money


Bottom Line:   
do not waste your money!

how about coming up with some black chili's for negative reviews?

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Favorite Trail:   anywhere outside!

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   garmin 301

Bike Setup:   which bike?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeff B a Cross Country Rider from San Diego

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2008

Strengths:    Very easy to navigate. Easy to set up, if you read the instructions.

Weaknesses:    Cadence is spotty. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it pretends to work but is giving info that can't be right (cadence of 20 when I'm doing something closer to 100)

Bottom Line:   
The computer has only ever given me problems when the batteries were dying. Once I replaced the batteries, it worked great again. I've never had any problems getting the wireless to work.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $85.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Cateye

Bike Setup:   I've used this both on my road and mountain bike.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Drummer a Cross Country Rider from Chakovec, Croatia

Date Reviewed: May 11, 2008

Strengths:    Simple and logical menus, nice keys, strong casing.

Weaknesses:    Signal range about 10". Doesn't work when mounted on the bars.

Bottom Line:   
It doesn't work. Changed all the batteries, moved the sensors and the computer itself all over the bike, nothing helps. Optimistic as I am, I also bought a cadence sensor and a complete "second bike" kit with sensors & mounts. Total cost 250 US$. Total waiste.

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Favorite Trail:   Fields & Forrests

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $70.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   VDO C2 & C3 wired.

Bike Setup:   MTB: Orbea OIZ PV Wind, roadie: Author A3303

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by David a Cross Country Rider from Boise, ID

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2008

Strengths:    Clear display, seems solidly built.

Weaknesses:    The computer can pick up the transmitter signal if it is within 3-4 inches of the transmitter. But once the computer is on the handlebar mount, it loses the signal. I have spent a lot of time over the course of a year trying to get this thing to work consistently, and nothing that I have tried has worked. It seems to have a very weak transmitter. It cannot be the bike design, as I have had other wireless computers work just fine on it. I've been unable to use it long enough to even test its weather-worthiness, or battery longevity, or the cadence kit. I've wasted enough time.

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line is that this was probably the worst cycling purchase I've made in the past 10 years. I thought VDO's reputation in other areas would carry over into its cycling products, but it has not. I wish I had read the reviews out here before "getting a great deal" on Ebay. Now I know why the seller was selling it. Maybe the wireless unit will work on a road bike with a clear line of sight between the transmitter and the computer (instead of having to communicate around a shock fork crown), but like I said, I have had no problems with other wireless units on the same bike.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Vetta C200 (an excellent older wireless computer), Cateye Strada (wired), Cateye Astrale (wired). I'm sending this VDO to the manufacturer and going back to either Vetta or Cateye.

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Hoo-Koo-E-Koo hardtail

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Harold a Weekend Warrior from Las Vegas, NV, USA

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2007

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    hard to say when the product doesn't work.

Bottom Line:   
Purchased this when I was building up the Look frame because I wanted something with cadence. I'd seen other VDO's reviews and they seemed to get fair/good ratings. I tried several times to get this thing to register with no luck. I've replaced batteries and that didn't help either. I've sent manufacturer several e-mails with no response. This has got to be the worst product I've ever used, and adding to the insult is the manufacturer complete lack of support. Spend your money on something else that works. I only wish MBR would allow me to give it negative Chili's.

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Favorite Trail:   any place in Colorado

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   on-line

Similar Products Used:   Sigma, Cateye, Specialized

Bike Setup:   Look 461

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sherwood a Cross Country Rider from Olympia, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2007

Strengths:    Easy installation, using just the quick setup pages. Very legible LCD. Logical menu structure, Using the table to set tire size gave readings that matched other "corrected" computers. While riding, one push switches from cadence to trip mileage. Double wireless synchronized well, and one the "digi reset" was run, the sensors and the CPU have stayed in synch, with no dropouts.

Weaknesses:    Manual is printed in microscopic print in many languages, solved by downloading the pdf file from the website, and printing out in large size. Unit is not easy to initialize without reading the manual first.

Bottom Line:   
I love it - best computer I've seen yet, but I would expect that from VDO. Their instruments are in the best cars I have driven.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $55.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Several Avocet computers, and most recently, a specialized Turbo Elite

Bike Setup:   Trek carbon road bike

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jeff a Cross Country Rider from Brandywine, MD

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2007

Strengths:    Color scheme matched my bike, easy to configure.

Weaknesses:    Where to start...utterly useless display, inaccurate, hates any kind of moisture to include the moisture from your breath, wireless only works when the sensor is within 1-2 inches of the computer, eats batteries.

Bottom Line:   
An abysmal product with equally abysmal support from the manufacturer. Without a doubt the worse computer I have ever owned in 20 plus years. Thank goodness, Bike Nashbar offers great support for returns three months after purchasing.

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $70.00

Purchased At:   Nashbar

Similar Products Used:   Performance, Cateye, Specialized


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brad Butler a Weekend Warrior from Oceanside, CA

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2007

Strengths:    Tons of features. Wireless

Weaknesses:    Very bad luck with the wireless reliability, both in speed and cadence.

Bottom Line:   
If you can keep the wireless functions working correctly, the unit is great. Otherwise, it's pretty much worthless. I've been beating my head against it for a while right now...can't get the speed or cadence sensors to register. Tried new batteries and everything.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pacific Coast Highway

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   Bike Nashbar

Bike Setup:   Cannondale 613

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jason Pate a Cross Country Rider from Memphis, TN

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2006

Strengths:    The functions (if they worked) would be nice, that is why I purchased it in the first place. Wireless keeps things neet.

Weaknesses:    Price, can't seem to keep it working. Tried new batteries, holding it right next to the receiver, nothing works. Came to MTBR to get the manufacturers website.

Bottom Line:   
Don't waste all that money. I have one that cost $30 and it is better.

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Favorite Trail:   Stanky

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $70.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   None this bad

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dakar Pro

Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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