This article was updated on 9/27/2020
Whether we’ll admit it or not, the way we ride bikes has changed for many if not most cyclists because of the modern GPS cycling computer. Think about it, no more wheel magnets, no rollouts, just press the power button and let the satellites do their magic.
Indeed, now we have the ability to track fitness and form with integrated heart rate and streaming power, not to mention get real-time directions (and even text messages) delivered to that helpful screen mounted on our handlebars. But which cycling computer is best for you and your needs? We’ve come up with a list of 12 of the best cycling computers. Read on to learn more.
Garmin Edge 830 Mountain Bike Bundle
Are you ready to get every metric, even hang time and flow? Well, the new Garmin 830 can quantify that and more. Whether you’re an enduro extremist, a black diamond expert or somewhere in between, Edge 830 is ready to tame the trails with you. It tracks the epic details with new MTB dynamics such as jump count, jump distance and hang time. So, when you huck an incredible 20-footer, you’ll have the recorded data to prove it.
It’s not just for huckin’ and chuckin’ though, the Garmin 830 is a touch screen performance metric machine. It shows real-time power, heart rate data correlated with training stress and the Garmin Connect. See how your body is holding up in different environments with heat and altitude acclimation. Get in-ride notifications when it’s time to hydrate or eat. See if your last 4 weeks of riding were balanced in terms of endurance, threshold and high-intensity efforts. When paired with compatible Garmin sensors, you can even access the power curve, a new power tracking metric. Our favorite features of the new Edge 830 is the boosted battery life and easy text responding. You can preprogram responses to text and calls to let your buddies know you’re out enjoying the ride. Perfect for the rider that loves multiunit interaction and metrics galore.
Garmin Edge 530
The navigation capabilities of the device have greatly increased over the 520. The 530 comes preloaded with Trailforks data, including difficulty level. The display screen has increased by 13-percent and battery life is now a claimed 20 hours. Compared to the more expensive Garmin Edge 830, the Edge 530 doesn’t have a touch screen interface. Besides that, they are nearly identical. Get in-ride notifications when it’s time to hydrate or eat. See if your most recent training was balanced in terms of endurance, threshold and high-intensity efforts. When paired with compatible sensors, Edge 530 now displays your power curve, comparing your ride effort to your previous weeks and months. Ride with Confidence The Garmin Edge 530 device takes safety seriously as you, it allows for group messaging and tracking, so you can stay in touch when you get separated from the pack. It also has incident detection, which automatically sends your location to emergency contacts if it detects an incident. With the Garmin Cycle Map, turn-by-turn directions and navigation alerts will guide you around safely and notify you of upcoming sharp turns and road hazards. To help you ride like a local, popularity routing chooses from the roads and trails most traveled by fellow cyclists. And Edge 530 is smart enough to guide you back to the route or back to start if you deviate from it or decide to head home early.
STAGES CYCLING Dash M50 GPS Bike Computer
Stages Dash M50 GPS Bike Computer makes for an ideal head unit regardless of your goals. It’s simple to use, features an auto-dimming backlit screen that senses dark conditions and bright days and adjusts accordingly so information is always at hand, and comes packed with OSM-powered maps that go beyond showing you the roads, and instead displays critical information, like color-coded routes to let you know where the safest bike routes are, and where to avoid freeways. But the head unit is more than just a map — it pairs up with a number of cycling meters via ANT+ or Bluetooth, so you can display your cadence, speed, and power output while you ride.
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM
The ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer from Wahoo takes everything we loved about its BOLT model and gives it some significant updates making it the most powerful and intuitive computer from the brand to date. It Wahoo’s first color screen display, taking total advantage of the widescreen the new ROAM integrates Singletracks and MTB Project seamlessly. Making the ROAM a great companion while looking for new trails and exploring the unknown out of town. Wahoo uses the Element Companion App as the setup and interaction app for the new ROAM making setup and personalization a breeze.
Its 2.7in screen is slightly larger than the 2.2in display of the BOLT and its durable Gorilla Glass lens makes viewing your data and following routes easier than ever. The Quicklook LEDs provide an easy way to monitor power, heart rate, speed, turn-by-turn directions, and other notifications. The ROAM adds LEDs on the vertical axis as well and while you’re in a custom-curated data page, its Perfect View Zoom, lets you zoom in and out for larger font or more fields. The ROAM is a great companion for the KOM hunter as well, its GPS capabilities and software integration let you tap into Strava Live Segments which alerts you before the segment begins, displays your progress status for the goal you set, and even gives you a unique “Final Push” when you are close to hitting a PR or taking a KOM.
Its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ connectivity allows for easy firmware updates and pairing with sensors that read power, heart rate, speed, cadence, and even muscle oxygen. If you have the sensor, it can display the data. It even reads your electronic drivetrain, displaying data from Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS, and even FSA’s new WE system with details such as gear display and battery life. Lastly, the ROAM pairs with its KICKR Smart Trainers allowing you to train in four different modes: Route simulation, ERG, Level, or Passive allowing you to record your workout while controlled by another app.
Garmin Edge 1030
The big dog of touch screen GPS units, the Garmin Edge 1030 is like having a training partner with you on your ride. The Edge 1030 has an impressive feature list, including the ability to reply to incoming text messages or phone calls with a prewritten message, as well as sending messages from one Edge 1030 to another Edge 1030. It also has integrated incident detection to automatically share your location with emergency contacts if you have an accident.
Strava fans can chase their friends down in Strava Live Segments, while Strava Summit users will get further access to real-time races against personal best times. The Segment Explore feature allows you to view popular nearby segments, star them and charge. If you want to use the Edge 1030 for training, Garmin has developed the new Training Peaks Connect IQ app to let you input your daily workouts on the Edge 1030. The app will guide you through the workout in real-time with intensity targets and intervals.
Pioneer and power data are becoming synonymous and for good reason. Their dual-sided power meter is used by many pro teams and their technology has trickled down to an affordable single-sided meter for the masses. All that data needs to go somewhere, and what better place than Pioneer’s color GPS. The SGX-CA600 can lead riders along highlighted routes, and it’s equipped with cue sheet directions and route downloading from Strava and Ride With GPS. When used with the Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere, riders receive a text and email notifications, and Di2 or eTap drivetrain status all without taking out your phone.
Lezyne Mega GPS XL
Landscape or portrait option, customizable screens, and top-notch battery life make the Lezyne Mega GPS XL a viable option for any rider looking to explore and train. It has a large, 2.7” 240×400 high-resolution screen with the choice of vertical or horizontal viewing. Turn-by-turn guidance is easy to follow, and the large screen is excellent for keeping an eye on your stats. Landscape mode is particularly useful when performing intervals and keeping a watchful eye on power. The cascade of numbers is easy to digest, with enough room to monitor the battery life of you auxiliary units (heart rate, phone, power meter, etc). Bombproof construction and ease of use make this a great cycling computer for those who want to see power and alerts without breaking the bank.
Garmin Edge 130
Compact and bright, the Garmin Edge 130 is the perfect race day computer – just enough info to get you stoked and not lose concentration. The Edge 130 has nearly everything you need to navigate your ride, monitor stats, and stay connected with friends all in a small but powerful 33-gram package. The 1.8″ display is sharp and easy to read in bright or low-light conditions. The unit has a claimed 15 hours of battery life between charges. With GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellites and an altimeter, you’ll know how far, fast, hard, and high you’ve ridden. You can also download courses from the Course Creator feature in Garmin Connect and race in real-time against Strava Live Segments. Heck, if it’s good enough to be Nino Schurter’s go-to race computer, it’s good enough to be yours.
Sigma ROX GPS 11.0
The Sigma ROX GPS 11.0 is for serious training and metrics tracking without cluttering your handlebars. All the data you want is transmitted to the computer via ANT+ thanks to the Sigma’s R1 DUO and R2 DUO COMBO sensors. Riders can set up profiles on the Sigma training app and dial in zones. Also, Strava Live segments will update you on times and best efforts. The ROX is simple and to the point, making it an excellent training companion.
MSW Miniac 333
The MSW Miniac 333 is a great GPS unit for riders looking for a full-featured computer without a lot of fuss. It comes encased in a durable rubber coating and boasts 20 hours battery life. The MSW Miniac tracks speed, distance, altitude, and ride time with Bluetooth uploading to Training Peaks, Strava, or other ride tracking websites. The unit is easy to program and connects to a variety of heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, and power meters via Bluetooth.
More Info: mswbike.com
Wahoo ELEMNT Mini
Wahoo ELEMNT MINI is the sensor-based bike computer for those that want max data in a mini package. ELEMNT MINI is designed to work with Wahoo dual-band sensors only and offers two different configurations to meet your ride needs. The ELEMNT MINI pairs seamlessly with the Wahoo RPM Speed Sensor included in the box, as well as other Wahoo heart rate monitors and cadence sensors. It also works with their free ELEMNT Companion App that allows you to set up your data fields, customize profiles, track performance, and share ride data effortlessly – no more confusing menus. When paired to your smartphone, the ELEMNT MINI gives you ride tracking, full ride data analysis, and call and text pop-up notifications.
Whether you ride and run or like to know you’re heart rate at the drop of a hat – wearable fitness monitors are becoming more refined and easier to operate. Now that integration is standard, more and more athletes are looking to wearables to track rides and all-day fitness. The following are the best in class for modern wrist-worn tracking and GPS watches. So get ready for metrics from all day and recovery scores that you can hang your hat on – the new wearable devices.
For those that love the outdoors and would like to keep their data sets in one place, the Suunto Traverse is worth a long hard look. It has five available colors to choose from, and the sleek interface is easy to read and navigate. The Traverse is versatile enough to handle all cycling disciplines and other sports while still looking like a “regular” watch. The GPS functionality is accurate and is variable to allow for increased battery life during activity. The user can record routes and discover new ones with the Suunto App. Along with the robust GPS features, it is also rugged enough to withstand scratches and can withstand being submerged in water. Along with all the other features, it also tracks the activity of other sports; heart rate, pace, and speed, which you can then evaluate after each workout by syncing to the app. Perfect for the outdoor lover and multisport athlete.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Garmin is a household name with cyclists and probably the first they are going to trust when diving into the world of wearables. The Fenix series is a great option for anyone who likes a rugged, sophisticated design that is jam-packed with features. The new Fenix 6 series features an always-on 1.3” (18-percent larger than previous fēnix models) sunlight-readable display with bezels in stainless steel, titanium or diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating. The all-new enhanced wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox helps keep track of your vitals as well as support advanced sleep monitoring. A new feature in the Garmin connect app is altitude acclimation at high elevations and advanced training features include PacePro for grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your activity. Speaking of the Garmin Connect app – the app seamlessly integrates all the VO2 max and training statuses that you accumulate with other devices such as Edge or Forerunner and lets all your devices know of you training stress and recovery needed. A very cool, modern feature that makes going from device to device a breezy. For those that really like to explore the Fenix navigate the outdoors with preloaded TOPO maps, ski maps for over 2,000 worldwide ski resorts, multiple global navigation satellite system (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) support and built-in sensors for 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.
If you like simple user experience and app support the Fitbit blaze is a must-have. Easily see simplified heart rate zones for quickly checking intensity during workouts with Fitbits PurePulse continuous, wrist-based heart rate monitoring. Use multi-sport tracking to track runs, cardio, cross-training, biking and more. Effortlessly and automatically record other workouts to your dashboard with SmartTrack Enable connected GPS to map your routes and see run stats like pace and duration on display when your phone is nearby. The Fitbit pairs with MyfitnessPal and other fitness optimizing sites so you can make the most out of your workouts and training.
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