Cycling is an excellent sport for those who love the open road, and you can keep track of all your riding data with a bike computer. A must-have for most cyclists, there are dozens of computers to try. So which one do you choose? There are plenty of options out there based on need, skill and training level. Not everyone needs a fancy GPS that tracks their every mile along with their power output, but a relatively basic computer will be a big help to anyone looking to record their data.
Whether you’re going for a cruise along the beach and want to record your miles, want to map out your favorite routes, or are prepping for a race, we have a few hot options for your consideration. These bike computers have a lot to offer based on GPS capabilities, bundle packages, and how easy it is to upload to Strava — the serious cyclist’s go-to social networking app. So whether you’re an advanced cyclist or just like riding with the kids on the weekend, these are the best bike computers for the money.
1. Garmin 1030
This computer has everything: a smooth surface as big as a smartphone, easy touch screen capabilities, a GPS to die for, and a sweet hookup package: it comes with a Garmin heart rate monitor, cadence and speed sensor and quickly uploads to your phone. While it needs the Garmin Connect and Garmin Map apps, it will still easily upload to Strava. Showing your route based on dropped location pins makes getting around a breeze. You can plan your own routes or use one from a friend. With a 20-hour battery life, which comes in handy for back-to-back rides on the weekend, the Garmin 1030 is our top pick for the best bike computer in 2020.
2. Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt
If you have a Wahoo trainer for your bike at home, you know how streamlined and smooth Wahoo exercise gadgets are. As it’s styled distinctly for aerodynamics, this computer might not have a touchscreen but easily connects to your smartphone. Your route will pop in front of you for turn-by-turn navigation, which comes in handy on longer, twisty rides. With a battery life of 15 hours, this computer is also waterproof up to five feet. Rainy day? No problem! While much cheaper than the Garmin 1030, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is less user-friendly while on the bike, but it’s also an excellent value for those who aren’t as interested in bundle packages or touchscreen availability.
3. Lezyne Mega XL
The Lezyne Mega XL is the sturdiest of all the bike computers, so this might not be the best fit for you if weight is a factor. Its durable mount and horizontal to vertical screen readings come in at a lower price than our other contenders. It has ANT+, or Bluetooth Smart enabled heart rate monitors and speed and cadence sensors. However, its most fantastic feature is the live tracking — share your ride in real-time with family and friends. Are you going on a cross-country ride? If so, this is a good choice for enhanced GPS with a 240×400 high-resolution screen and turn-by-turn navigation features. This bike computer also comes in a variety of colors to better match your bike.
4. Hammerhead Karoo 2
Hammerhead has created an easy-to-read computer that won’t leave you scrambling for the shade to see the screen as a new contending brand within the cycling community. It connects to power sensors, cadence and speed sensors, and heart rate monitors and includes large colorful maps of your routes and accessible data. Coming in at 168 grams, this is both the biggest bike computer and the easiest to read. On a smartphone-like responsive touchscreen, some of the first-to-market features include the largest color spectrum with twice the pixel density (292PPI) of its closest rival. Additionally, the battery capacity is the largest of any head unit on the market and offers lightning speed charging power: A 30-minute charge gets you to 30% battery, and one hour gets you 50% battery life.
5. Garmin Edge 830
The Garmin Edge 830 is a pared-down version of the Garmin 1030. It’s a good pick for the casual cyclist out for an intense workout but not for a serious training session. The 830 lacks the advanced GPS navigation of the 1030, and it’s a noticeable difference. While still a sensible computer, the 830 comes in strong with its knowledge of popular cycling routes. If you’re traveling, you can check out the best rides done by the local cyclists. Mountain biking is in there, too, with local trails and data right at your fingertips.
Buy: Garmin Edge 830 (Sensor Bundle) GPS Bike Computer with HRM, Speed/Cadence Sensors, Silicone Case (Black) & Tempered Glass | Touchscreen, TrainingPeaks, VO2 Max | Cycling Computer | 010-02061-10 $514.99
6. Cateye Padrone Digital
Going back to the basics with the Cateye Padrone, this computer doesn’t have GPS. This little unit is an ideal companion for a casual rider, based solely on speed and cadence sensors. With a lack of access to Strava, this device might be left off most serious cyclists’ wishlists, but to the light-hearted, free rider, the Cateye will come in handy for immediate data on speed, distance and pace. Sometimes, it’s better to keep it simple. The most cost-efficient option available at $35; this is basic at its best. Snap this onto your handlebars and enjoy the ride.
7. Lezyne Mega C
For $200, the Lezyne Mega C has a battery life of 32 hours and can store up to 800 hours of ride data. This fact is hard to beat compared to our other picks for the best bike computers, and the Mega C also features quick uploads and immediate viewing on Strava. While it connects to your phone, messages and calls will pop up on your screen as you ride, a nice feature if you require constant contact. The only downside is syncing other maps to the computer to kick off your route or pulling out your phone to start a course. This GPS is a non-touchscreen, which can be a hassle for some users, but this is still a desirable option for the price.
8. Planet Bike Protege 9.0
Another contender for the wireless non-GPS user, the Planet Bike Protege offers simplicity with its speed and cadence sensors. Although it has an outdated surface, bulky frame and may not function as efficiently as other tech you’re used to, it still holds all the charm of a world past. It will give you the essential data, the temperature, and the time, connecting easily to your handlebars.
9. Garmin Edge 130 Plus
Another excellent option is the third Garmin on our list: the Garmin Edge 130 Plus. Keep track of all your data in one place and quickly look back on old rides and PRs. Extra features include downloading workouts from TrainingPeaks or Trainer Road straight to your Garmin so you can have the luxury of completing a workout outdoors. Use the Garmin Connect app to upload your ride data to Strava and track your fitness.
10. Cycplus GPS Bike Computer
The Cycplus bike computer is a great way to keep track of your data as well as your directions. Are you tired of getting lost on a ride with complicated roads that all seem to dead end? We’ve all been there. That’s when you know it’s time to invest in a GPS bike computer so you can upload routes beforehand and stop getting stuck on backroads that turn into gravel lanes. The cycplus bike computer works with the XOSS app, which you can find on any smartphone. Track your data via the app and compare your times to last year’s with the swipe of your finger.
11. Garmin Edge Explore Bike Touring Computer
If you’re into bike touring, you know how frustrating it is to be lost all the time. Bike touring is increasing in popularity as more people buy bicycles and discover the ease of hitting the road with a few correctly packed saddlebags and panniers. That’s when the Garmin Edge Explore comes in. With an easy-to-use touch screen, this GPS computer will take you on your journey. It includes a preloaded Garmin cycle map from other cyclists and the most popular routes with turn-by-turn directions. Compatible with any smartphone, it also has incident detection built-in.
12. Bryton Rider 420E Bike Computer
The Bryton Rider computer is an excellent choice for any road cyclist looking for an easy-to-use map system and a place to store all their bike-related data. Easily keep track of your rides, stats, and old times with the Bryton Rider 420E by uploading your data to any smartphone and then to Strava with ease. This bike computer has 35 hours of battery life and has turn-by-turn navigation. Ease your worries and enjoy the ride.
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