Sigma Sport BC 1200 – Review

Sep 7 2005

A basic, middle-of-the-line computer from your favorite German fitness product company. Avg. speed, ridetime, stopwatch, ride distance, max speed, total odo, and even a countdown odometer (for those of you who can’t subtract). Retail is $25, a wireless mount (which I got) is 15 more.

Set-Up: 4. Pretty simple. After you find the hidden button on the back that resets it, just punch buttons (there’s only two) through the menus, enter the special 4-digit code for your wheel size, set your clock, and it’s good to go. Barely need the manual at all. Kinda sucks that you can’t mount it on the stem without having it rotated 90-degrees, though.

Use: 5. God, it’s so easy. One button goes between modes, the other starts/stops. Both buttons together reset a given mode. Plus the display is so flippin’ huge that even Laurent Fignon could read it without glasses. Average speed stops measuring when the wheel stops rolling, as does trip time, so you can stop to take a leak without messing up your data.

Maintenance: 3. Could have been better. Sigma’s dumb stock magnet doesn’t fit bladed or radically butted spokes. The sensor (on my Look fork, anyway) moved around a lot. I’d say about once a week I’d look down while riding and find my current speed at 0.0, and have to realign things.

Durability: 2. I flip the bike upside-down for maintenance, and it didn’t seem too damaged by it. I also packed in pretty hard one time (around 20mph) and computer stayed put on the bars. But after changing its location to the stem so I could mount aerobars, I started sweating on it alot, and after 1820 miles, it stopped working. Changed all the batteries, bought a new wireless mount, new magnet, still nothing.

Features: 4. Everything I need, nothing I don’t (except the stupid trip countdown – aren’t Germans supposed to be good at math?). Actually, it would have been nice to have a cadence option, and a backlight, but that might be asking too much from a $25 dollar computer.

Final Thoughts: For me, it comes down to ease of use vs. reliability. Maybe if you buy a Mavic magnet, superglue the wheel sensor in place, and don’t sweat on it, it lasts longer and requires less tweaking. The sheer frustration of trying to use the CatEye I have now makes it seem worthwhile to stay with the BC 1200 and just replace it every 2000 miles.

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7 Responses to “Sigma Sport BC 1200 – Review”

  1. a thank full person February 14, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for this Review

  2. Levi February 19, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    I was running the same setup for a couple years and mine mysteriously died too. Same thing, couldn’t pinpoint any problem!

    Got my money’s worth though :)

  3. BarbX August 8, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    I wondered what BC 1200 means when the display is in screensaver mode. After 3 yrs of faultless use just found out that it means model number :)

    Strange way to show model number, but perfect gear anyway.

  4. CycleLogic April 7, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    I got the wireless sensor, too, and it worked flawlessly. However when I got my bike on the road the next spring, I couldn’t get the sensor to work. I replaced the battery, but it still didn’t work. The shop told me the sensor was kaput and sold me a new one (I didn’t have the receipt, so they wouldn’t honor the warranty.)

    When I installed the new sensor it still didn’t work! After I rode the bike computerless for a couple of days, I found myself staring at the empty receiver that the computer attaches to on the handlebars, and wondered why it was so huge.

    I took the receiver off, and sure enough it has a battery too, which was dead. Replacing it fixed the problem.

    So if your wireless Sigma dies, check ALL THREE batteries: the one in the computer, the one in the receiver/mount, and the one in the transmitter/sensor.

    And no, the manual doesn’t mention this either. (So much for German engineering!)

  5. passerby July 6, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    6000km and still rolling with the wired version. You should’ve bought the same. Wireless is just needlessly fancy (and troublesome).

  6. KH August 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Found your review while looking for information online.

    I have two of these and I like them for the simplicity and ease of use. Over 4 years on these units and still going. I have both wired and wireless mounts. I switched to wireless after I killed one of my rear wheel wired mounts (probably overstretched the wire by accident), and surprisingly the wireless worked in the back too (right at the 70cm distance limit).

    Interestingly, the 12/24 hour clock mode depends on the KM/MPH setting (12-hr only in MPH mode!).

    BTW the wired mounts can be rotated. Just have to remove the 4 little screws on the bottom and rotate the base.

    I too can’t stand the cateye computers.

  7. herrpierre March 9, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Thank you, CycleLogic – like you I searched the manual for mention of the sender unit, without success.
    I am still using wired BC800s on my “hack” bike (well over 10,000 miles) and my Sunday-best bike after more years than I care to remember, but bought the BC1200 for my wife’s very fancy Hetchins a few years ago. This is the first time I’ve changed the batteries on the BC1200, as the Hetchins doesn’t do many miles – no mudguard clearance + lots of chrome + British weather.

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