Whether you’re training for a big race or just curious about your cycling statistics, a bike computer provides a wealth of beneficial feedback on riding performance. These convenient handlebar devices are able to track metrics including distance, speed, time, power, and elevation, as well as personal data such as heart rate or max aerobic power — think of it as a Fitbit for your bike.
Many bike computers are built with ultra-precise GPS units which map your exact route or deliver live navigation while you ride. Additionally, companion apps often offer social features such as rider-to-rider messaging or syncing with online communities, as well as the ability to receive text alerts or calendar notifications. No matter what kind of cyclist you are, we’ve rounded up the best bike computers designed to let you get the most out of your ride.
Polar M460 ($179)
With a smooth surface and a sleek, minimalist screen, Polar’s M460 integrates high-tech functionality with a simplistic design. It showcases a hyper-accurate GPS unit paired with an internal barometer which records altitude, distance, and speed while also mapping route and gradient.
With an IPX7 water resistance rating, you can rally through tough weather and all manner of wind and rain without compromising the unit. It syncs with a companion smartphone to deliver text notifications, incoming calls, calendar alerts, and social media updates. The computer is equipped with grippy buttons, a built-in LED light, and 16 hours of battery life.
Garmin Edge 1030 ($599)
Built with a roomy screen offering metrics on speed, altitude, temperature, and a full-color GPS map, Garmin’s Edge 1030 features live navigation and Bluetooth action sports cameras to capture your rides. This 3.5-inch computer comes with preloaded Strava Live Segments that flash motivational alerts as you approach your favorite sections, offering data on your current time, along with how it compares to your PR and metrics on your friends.
The device, which is water resistant to 1 ATM, supports rider-to-rider messaging so you can chat with other cyclists in your community while you train. Not only that, you can use the computer to access Trendline popularity routing, a user-driven database of Garmin Connect feedback that showcases favorite routes among the general public.
Wahoo Elemnt Mini ($99)
Put together in a compact, 1.8-inch device, Wahoo’s Elemnt Mini provides an exceptional blend of features in a back-to-the-basics package. Featuring some of the best battery life on the market, the Mini can run for 300 hours — or a whopping 12 and a half days straight. When you’re riding with your phone, it delivers pop-up notifications for calls and texts to keep you in the loop without taking your eyes off the road.
When synced with its companion smartphone application, its Live Track feature lets you share location info with friends, allowing other riders to quickly find you on your route. It also pairs with the included Wahoo RPM Speed Sensor, as well as other Wahoo heart rate monitors and cadence sensors.
Wahoo Elemnt Mini
CatEye Strada Wireless ($49)
Inexpensive yet impressive, CatEye’s bike computer packs a remarkable number of features into the cheapest device on our list. Showcasing smooth ClickTec buttons, it allows you to easily shift through eight different modes by simply tapping the bottom of the computer’s face. Its compact screen is unimposing yet big enough to comfortably display speeds (current, max, and average), distance, time elapsed, and trip mileage, as well as an up-to-the-minute clock.
The Strada Wireless also has auto start and stop features, along with a programmable odometer and a fully customizable display you can adjust to your specific preference and riding style. Finally, the computer’s pace arrow keeps you motivated, letting you know when you’re cycling faster or slower than your overall average speed.
Giant NeosTrack ($180)
Aside from its healthy helping of built-in tech features, Giant’s NeosTrack is compatible with a slew of cycle-specific training accessories such as heart rate straps, power meters, and speed sensors. Its precise GPS system tracks specific location data, providing navigation alongside distance and time statistics. With 33 hours of battery life, the computer — which weighs roughly 79 grams — easily keeps up with multi-day races or weekend cycling trips.
Giant outfit the NeosTrack with a 2.6inch surface that’s big enough to effortlessly display all cycling metrics without feeling clunky or cumbersome — it helps that it also boasts an anti-glare screen that’s crisp and easy to view in variable conditions. The device is capable of integrating with Di2 drivetrains to show what gear you’re currently in, along with how much Di2 battery life remains.
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