Bike computers are perfect for you, whether you want to explore new routes or prefer the simplicity of an analog watch. These devices use GPS satellites to track your location, determine your speed, and calculate your distance from your destination. Because there are no wires or magnets involved, you can rest assured that all the information displayed on your bike computer are accurate.
More advanced bike computers can also determine your cadence, power, and heart rate. Some also have the functionality to record your route which you can then upload to sites that help you evaluate your performance.
Best Bike Computers You Should Buy in 2018
There are several factors to consider when buying a cycling computer. Some of these are WiFi, smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, sensor compatibility, and maps. We’ll talk about this later in this buying guide. For now, here are the best computers you should check out for 2018.
1. Wahoo ELEMNT Bike Computer
The Wahoo ELEMNT Bike Computer is favorite among many bikers. It comes with a free companion app which automates pairing and sets up your biking computer in a breeze.
This amazing biking computer also features automatic route downloads and syncs seamlessly with third-party apps like RideWithGPS and Strava.
The Wahoo ELEMNT Bike Computer comes in a crisp 2.7” bright display — the largest in its class. It makes viewing super easy even under bright daylight. It also boasts a turn-by-turn navigation feature. Download your routes wirelessly and watch out for pop up notifications so you’ll never miss a turn.
Pairing with your phone with means you get a call, text, and email alerts through the Wahoo ELEMNT Bike Computer as well. LED indicators to help you monitor your heart rate, power, speed, and more! Built to last, the Wahoo ELEMNT Bike Computer features tactile smart buttons for easy access and toggling between various functions.
A single purchase of Wahoo ELEMNT Bike Computer comes with an out-front mount, TT aero bar mount, and stem mount.
2. Lezyne Super GPS Bike Computer
Although Lezyne is a new player in the bike computer industry, it’s one of the best bike computers in the market at a fraction of the cost of famous brands. At only $150, the Lezyne Super GPS Bike Computer comes with mapping functions, GPS and Glonass navigation systems, and Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
Pairing the Lezyne Super GPS with its new Ally app unlocks various features to the device. Using the app, you can now create your own routes and use the computer’s turn-by-turn navigation feature to help you find your way.
Free roaming? Don’t worry. The Lezyne Super GPS Bike Computer also comes with a breadcrumb feature that maps your track so you don’t get lost on your way back. This bike computer also syncs with popular services like Strava and Training Peaks. Pairing with your phone means you get call, text, and email notification through the computer as well.
3. Garmin Edge 1030 Bike Computer
The biggest selling point of the Garmin Edge 1030 Bike Computer is its huge colored screen. This bike computer sets flush with your bar despite its size. It comes with preloaded maps from Trendline Popularity Routing which uses billions of miles of Garmin Connect ride information to guide you through the best routes — whether in the metro or offroad.
The Garmin Edge 1030 can also access third-party apps like Strava and Training Peaks. This biking computer also features Bluetooth connectivity and displays text, call, and email alerts from your phone. What’s even better is you can respond to missed phone calls or texts with prewritten messages through the device.
The Garmin Edge 1030 Bike Computer also lets you send a message to your fellow riders — making the perfect companion device for groups who love biking. Rider to rider messaging lets you send prewritten notes to your fellow rider’s Garmin Edge 1030. In just a few clicks, let them know that you have a flat tire or if they should go on without you. Too far ahead or too far behind? Your fellow riders can easily find you using Garmin Edge 1030 Bike Computer’s GroupTrack feature.
The Garmin Edge 1030 comes with an impressive 20 hours battery life.
4. Magellan Cyclo 505HC Bike Computer
Known for making one of the best GPS for cars, Magellan is also poised to make a name for themselves in the bike computer market. The Magellan Cyclo 505HC Bike Computer is one of the most advanced cycling computers available today.
The Magellan Cyclo 505HC pairs with your smartphone seamlessly and also comes with ANT+ compatibility for accurate monitoring of your power, speed, and heart rate. This bike computer can automatically respond to text messages that you’re out on a ride — quite handy, isn’t it?
The Magellan Cyclo 505HC Bike Computer is pre-loaded with detailed maps to keep you on track all the time. The maps also feature bike lanes and points of interests like malls, parks, restaurants, and of course, bike shops.
This bike computer comes in a 3” colored touch screen providing clear readability even under bright sunlight. Designed to last, the Magellan Cyclo 505HC can battle any terrain. Its IPX-7 rating also means that this computer can stay submerged under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
Another quality product from Garmin, the Garmin Edge 520 is a small, light, powerful, and reliable bike computer. It features everything a cyclist will need to ensure a comfortable, fun, and hassle-free riding experience.
Aside from the usual heart rate, speed, and cadence monitoring, the Garmin Edge 520 goes a step further by estimating your recovery time. Like other cycling computers featured in this article, the Garmin Edge 520 also offers in-ride challenges through Strava.
Some of the features of Garmin Edge 520 includes smart notifications, social media sharing, send/receive courses, automatic uploads, and weather updates. This device has an IPX-7 rating and stays on for up to 15 hours in between charges.
6. Lezyne Macro GPS Bike Computer
Lezyne is a dedicated cycling company and their passion for biking can be clearly seen in this bike computer. Like its Super GPS cousin, the Lezyne Macro GPS comes with the Ally app which provides various features including power meters, cadence and speed sensors, heart rate monitors, and of course, navigation.
The Lezyne Macro GPS Bike Computer last for an amazing 22 hours in between charges, making it the best option for those who love to bikepack or go on long rides.
7. CatEye Velo 7 Bike Computer
The CatEye Velo 7 Bike Computer displays all the stats a bike needs to improve his performance — speed (current, maximum, and average), trip distance, total distance, time elapsed, clock, and pace arrow.
The CatEye Velo 7 is also smart enough to detect stops. Instead of using GPS, this bike computer uses a wired speed sensor. What’s amazing about the CatEye Velo 7 Bike Computer is its battery life. Three years! You can install it and forget that its even there!
Despite its wonderful features, the CatEye Velo 7 Bike Computer is an entry-level cycling computer that’s great for those starting out. Simple and effective, this biking computer is the best option for those who are on a budget or are simply looking for basic solutions.
8. CatEye Strada Wireless Bike Computer
The CatEye Strada Wireless displays al your favorite stats in large texts and easy to read screen. It shows clock, pace arrow, two trip distances, total distance, and speed (max, current, and average).
Like its cousin above, the CatEye Strada Wireless Bike Computer can also detect stops. It automatically stops averaging speed and counting speed when you are not moving. Ths bike computer is very user-friendly. No need for complicated menus, just press the bottom of the device to toggle between various functions.
The CatEye Strada Wireless comes with their patented FlexTight Bracket for easy mounting and adjusting. It also comes with a dual tire size feature which lets you switch between bikes. How convenient is that?
Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Bike Computer
There are various types of bike computers on the market. How will you know which one is perfect for you? Consider these features.
Smartphone Connectivity – modern bike computers feature seamless connectivity to Android and iOS. Some devices offer push alerts for texts, calls, emails, and even Instagram notifications. There are also some bike computers that only allow post-ride uploads for your riding data.
WiFi – bike computers that can connect to your home WiFi is a great choice for those who want the convenience of uploading ride data automatically. By the time you’ve finished taking off your biking shoes, your ride information can be up on Strava for the whole world to see.
Bluetooth and ANT+ – currently, ANT+ is the most popular connection protocol when it comes to biking sensors (power, heart rate, cadence, speed, etc.). Bluetooth is starting to gain some traction as well. To future-proof your bike computer, pick one that connects using both (Bluetooth and ANT+) connectivity protocols.
Compatibility of Sensors – make sure you know what you are training with or for. For instance, some bike computers don’t have the ability to connect to power meters. If you need one, make sure that the device you pick is compatible.
Navigation and Maps – full-featured navigation is invaluable for those who want to explore new routes like these amazing bike trails in Arizona. Bike computers that have GPS can provide detailed maps including turn-by-turn directions. While those that don’t have GPS can only offer you breadcrumb trails so you can find your way back. Know why you are riding. If you’re the adventurer type, then a bike computer with GPS navigation is the best choice. If you just using your bike for commuting to and from work, a simple device should suffice.
Strava Live Segments Integration – Strava integration is a must have if you want to have fun and beat your friends’ biking times. This handy feature tells you exactly when the segment starts and ends.
Displays – do you really need a colored bike computer screen? Well, not really. Colored displays are only useful for complex navigation. If you are not planning to put yourself into such situation, then a greyscale screen is enough. Greyscale screens read better and easier too.
Touchscreen displays are also handy as they make navigating the app easier. However, they can get glitchy too especially when you are wearing gloves or when sprinkled with water. Experts suggest that you stay away from touchscreen bike computers — they just don’t mix well.
Bike computers are a great way to leverage technology to improve your biking experience and overall performance. Grab one of these biking computers now and see for yourself the difference they make in your day to day biking adventure.
- 1 Best Bike Computers You Should Buy in 2018
- 2 Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Bike Computer