The one thing that keeps me from pulling the trigger on some bike computer is the lack of information about the odometer, the lifetime mileage on the bicycle. When you change the battery in your car, your electronic dash odometer doesn't go to zero. It would be stupid. When my Samsung Note 4 battery dies right in the middle of something, I remove and replace with my hot spare and it remembers right where it left off. I've been told not all bike computers are nonvolatile like this.

Which cycle computers are able to remember information when the battery is changed? Or better yet, is there someplace in the spec sheet or other way to find out if it has non-volatile memory without buying it?

  • 2
    Most log rides with software (e.g., strava) and let the software provide the summaries such as overall mileage
    – Rider_X
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 0:48
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is structured as a poll for people's opinions.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 5:59
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    I hesitate to close it as I believe there is a very valid question in there - what bike computers remember the odo when the battery is changed? Its kind of shopping advise, but its also a question others might benefit knowing the answer to.
    – mattnz
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 8:15
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    I think it's a valid question. I bought a cheap computer especially for recording ODO, for easier maintenance (e.g. to see how long a chain lasts). My proper GPS is also used for walking so it would be difficult to extract only the bike bits. The computer resets to zero, but it allows me to set the ODO value in the same way as I can set the time, so I can write it down before battery change and set it afterwards. However, it sometimes loses power unexpectedly (vibrations, water..), so one with permanent memory would be better. It's a no-name device, branded to a local bike shop, ca 6 UK pound.
    – uUnwY
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 8:26
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    What X has Y feature is the definition of a shopping question. Usefulness of the answer is secondary. It might be best for the longtimers to edit this question into something 1) even more useful and 2) less of a shopping question (i.e., how can one tell which units have non-volatile memory).
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 17:43

3 Answers 3


I am also searching for a computer with non-volatile memory.

Following Sigma computers retain data:

  • BC 14.16
  • BC 16.16
  • BC 14.16 STS
  • BC 16.16 STS
  • BC 23.16 STS
  • BC 10.0 WR
  • BC 10.0 WL
  • BC 12.0 WR
  • BC 12.0 WL
  • BC 14.0 WL
  • BC 14.0 WR

According to Sigma these computers do not save your values after a battery change (however, you can manually set the odometer):

  • BC 5.16
  • BC 7.16
  • BC 7.16 ATS
  • BC 9.16
  • BC 9.16 ATS
  • PURE 1 (according to the reply from Sigma customer service)
  • BC 5.0 WR
  • BC 5.0 WL
  • BC 8.0 WR
  • BC 8.0 WL

According to VDO M Zero loses memory after battery change.

But following VDO models have non-volatile memory:

  • M1.1 WR/WL
  • M2.1 WR/WL
  • M3.1 WR/WL
  • M4.1 WR/WL
  • M5
  • M6.1
  • M7 GPS

All settings must be re-entered for bike computers Prophete 0511, 0512, 0531 after the batteries have been inserted.

  • 1
    I think many such bike computers will retain the data even without non-volatile memory if the battery is changed quickly (within seconds). Like many digital watches. I certainly managed to do it on a very old (20y+) Sigma 7.
    – Zeus
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 4:47
  • I agree that it is possible to change the battery quickly but what if I drop the new battery during the change or the battery depletes during the winter. I definitely wouldn't want to describe to my dad on the phone how to reconfigure his bicycle computer after such an event. This problem should and has been solved by the manufacturers and not by the users. Therefore, we must demand to be informed about the possible choices.
    – kuzavas
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 7:04
  • It should be pointed out that Sigma computers, while not retaining the odometer value, allow you to set it manually. I edited, hope that's ok.
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 9:01

Several Sigma bike computers with model numbers that start with BC16 have persistent memory for wheel size and odometer.

I have been personally using these because they are effortless way of keeping track of totals and do not lose count when battery runs out, very accurate when calibrated and work where GPS does not.


I always log my rides on Strava. By spending a couple minutes to set up any bike I own, they show up in a dropdown list at the end of each ride.

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Yes - I have one bike that is still in single digits. "Company bike" refers to two owned by my workplace, and "Someone else's bike" is a placeholder for if I ride another bike. I don't record the second bike if I'm ghost riding two.

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