One of my first bike computers was the Bell F12. I bought it at Wal-Mart if I recall correctly. The big screen and bright red colors instantly attracted my 13-year-old self to it, and I was excited to get it installed on my bicycle.
Of course, my brother opted for the Bell siren kit. Frankly, he might have made the better choice.
I didn’t fully understand how to calibrate it. I’m quite sure that I likely set it up for a 20″ bike’s tire size instead of the 26″ mountain bike I was riding.
Which meant I was pedaling some pretty impressive mileage each day!
As a 13-year-old, I enjoyed the bragging rights. And it was always a fun goal to try to drive more than I did the day before.
Ironically, you can still purchase the Bell F12 today. It’s design and functions don’t seem to have changed significantly. It still has a large readout and comes in that chunky red and gray design.
If it isn’t broken, why change, right? And this design has stood the test of time.
With your Bell F12, you are getting everything you need. The “F12” stands for “12 functions”.
It will tell you your speed and your distance, which are critical. So if you are trying to follow a workout plan based on distance, you can easily keep track of your goals.
It also offers an average speed and maximum speed. I like to record my distance and average speed every day, so I can see the progress I make as I work out throughout the year.
The maximum speed is just a fun tool to see how fast you were able to fly down those hills.
Setup is pretty easy. You just program your wheel size and then zip tie it — and the receiver — to your bicycle. There is a little magnet that goes on the wheel so it can measure the revolutions .
It is water resistant, so the one time my bike got left out in the rain didn’t hurt the speedometer. But I wouldn’t make a habit of that.
Probably my favorite aspect is the scan feature. You don’t find this on many of the Cateye computers. With this feature, it scans through all of your screens so you can have a constant update of information.
That said, I would not recommend purchasing this one.
There are complaints of it needing always to be reset. For myself, I crashed the bike and ripped the cord during my second month.
Which was quite disappointing. If someone wanted my advice, I would recommend getting a wireless computer or one with a thicker cord like the Enduro 8.
The Bell has good memories for me, but it is a relic of the past.