MACRO 2SXcom speed and cadence sensor

The problems with waterproofing the Garmin GSC10 has led me to search for replacements.
There don’t seem to be many options but one that seemed possible was the MACRO2SXcom from German company o_synce. These units are ANT+ compatible and should work with the Garmin 705. They are also cheaper at £29.99 each versus £39.99 for a GSC10 (prices are from Wiggle, there may be cheaper deals elsewhere).

MACRO25SXcom speed and cadence sensor

MACRO25SXcom speed and cadence sensor

In the box there is a speed sensor and separate cadence sensor that are linked by a short length of cable. The speed sensor has a separate rubber base that protects the chainstay. There are also wheel and crank magnets and five zip ties to attach all of this to the bike.
The separate speed and cadence sensors do make it more fiddly to install, but on the other hand it does allow for more precise positioning and makes it easier to get the sensors within the specified 2-4 mm distance from the magnets.
To get the unit paired with the Garmin 705 was easy once I had read the instructions that tell you to open the lid on the speed sensor and flip the battery over. It was then found by the 705 with no problems. I did have to replace the Garmin wheel magnet with the one supplied by o_synce to make the speed sensor work. The cadence sensor manages fine with the original magnet from the GSC10.
In use it works well, the cadence and speed are both picked up by the Garmin. The wheel circumference is calculated correctly. The only thing that seems less than perfect is when the Garmin switches between using the speed sensor and GPS to calculate speed. It shows a speed of zero for a couple of seconds when riding under trees, presumably because it is switching from GPS to the speed sensor. Not sure whether this is any different to what happens with a GSC10.
The final issue is whether it is any more waterproof than the GSC10, it may be too early to say although the unit has been washed along with the bike two or three times and so far has not shown any problems. It has been in use since the Shakespeare 100 in early September, will have to see how it manages over the winter before judging it a success or a failure.

Quick Update

Just rode the Exmoor Beast on Sunday 31 October 2010. This was a wet day with rain and mist all day, the unit is still working well after a rough 100 miles and then being left in the boot of the car to dry before being hauled out next day and washed. So far all is well…

21/Nov/2010 – another three wet weeks and the unit is still working correctly, this includes being washed along with the bike several times, without taking any particular care to keep it dry.

15/Jan/2011 – unit is still working correctly despite some more soakings and being washed multiple times.

3 March 2011 – The unit on my winter bike is still working fine, it has been soaked a lot when out riding and then soaked again when washing the bike so that is seven months so far without it failing.  Not sure how long the GSC10s actually lasted but suspect they would have given up the ghost well before this if subject to this amount of moisture.

2 January 2012 – The units are both still working fine in spite of multiple wet rides and bike washes. This is how a water-proof speed/cadence sensor should work but it still makes me feel pleased that they just work. It would be interesting to know whether the current GSC10 units are now properly water-proofed. I love what Garmin do for cyclists and intend at some point to update from my Edge 705 to  the new 800 model, so I am not trying to discredit the company. But I hope they have already fixed this issue or are about to fix it as not only is it expensive to replace the GSC10 but it is also hugely time consuming as you follow advise to try this and try that when the unit is corroded by not being water-proofed.

28 February 2012 – Both units still working fine,my clever plan now is to purchase a new GSC10 from Garmin and see whether it has been fixed, that should make life more interesting rather than boring it still works fine reports.

14 July 2012 – During a very wet Etape du Tour in the Pyrenees one of the MACRO2SXcom has failed as the cadence no longer works. It has lasted nearly two years on my summer bike.

25 July 2012 – I have ordered a GSC10 to see whether it will last better than the previous Garmin units. I really hope that this will now be trouble free and just work without any problems for a couple of years!

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