Troubleshoot: Cateye Bike Computer Not Working


“Hey, my <a href=”/”>computer isn’t working</a>. Can you fix it?” I get that question all too often.


The first thing I do is poke it. It’s surprising how many people don’t know that the computers can be turned on by pushing a button (pretty much any button).


The next step is press and hold. Sometimes these little <a href=””>machines just need a good reset.</a>


If it doesn’t wake up after 5 seconds, it is time to find a new battery. Often customers will say “but I just put a battery in it.” In which case, I’ll be expecting to find the battery installed backward. It is almost impossible to do that, but, I’ve seen it done.


Most often, however, I am expecting to find a <a href=””>dead battery</a>. Even <a href=””>new batteries</a> are sometimes expired, depending on how they’ve been stored. These little batteries don’t seem to hold much charge, and it doesn’t take much to discharge them.


If I replace the battery and they still won’t turn on, then it often means that the computer is broken, and needs to be replaced.


Unfortunately, you can’t purchase a Cateye replacement without its wiring harness (that would be a good way to save money!), but you can often slip the computer right into the existing harness without rewiring everything, provided you can purchase the correct model.


Another major issue is that the computer will turn on, but won’t register activity. This requires trouble shooting the harness.


Is there anything broken on the harness? Broken cables are very common.


If the cables aren’t broke, play with the magnet alignment. Sometimes the magnet will have lost its charge and needs a new magnet. You can check that by putting a screwdriver near it and making sure there is still an attraction.


Also, the sensor has a line on it where the magnets to be aligned. Sometimes it is just a matter of microscopic adjustments to get the magnet closer to the line on the sensor.


Of course, this also has to do with the distance from the sensor. If the magnet is too far away, the sensor can’t read it. Moving the sensor further down towards the hub creates a smaller gap between the sensor and the magnet.


Finally, you have the magnetic connections underneath the computer itself. Removing the computer and rubbing those connectors with a pencil eraser or rubbing alcohol and cotton swab is perfect for cleaning those connectors.


Unfortunately, sometimes you simply have to purchase a new computer. But hopefully one of these tips will get your Cateye computer working once again.