If you want to track your progress while biking, invest in a bike computer. These devices can tell how fast you’re currently riding, the distance you travel and your average speed. Some higher-end models even feature GPS navigation and Bluetooth compatibility. With various options on the market, we did some research to help narrow things down for you. Ahead, we rounded up a few some of the best model you can buy, spanning a range of price points to accommodate different budgets. From wired to wireless options, each style offers a range of handy functions, is relatively easy to set up and features a clear display design so you can easily read it while in motion.
1. Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Bike Computer
Featuring nine functions and buttonless technology, this wired touchscreen bike computer automatically shows your current speed as soon as you start riding.
Pros: It also displays your ride time, trip distance, average speed and max speed, as well as the time and temperature. It works as a speed comparator, so you can track your progress, and features a dual odometer fit for two different wheel sizes. The four-line MacroMonitor LCD screen displays up to five pieces of data at a glance. This device is also weatherproof. It comes complete with a convenient travel case for on the go use.
Cons: Some may find it hard to read without a backlight.
2. CatEye Velo 7 Bike Computer
This seven-function device featuring a wired speed sensor displays your current speed, max speed, average speed, total distance, elapsed time and pace arrow.
Pros: It also lets you know the current time. It automatically stops counting time and averaging speed once you’ve stopped riding for accurate tracking. A simple one-button design makes it easy to operate and flip through the various screens while on the go. It’s weatherproof so you can use it while riding in the rain or even snow. The battery should last up to three years, so you can install it and forget about it.
Cons: Some may find it difficult to set up.
3. Wahoo Element Bolt GPS Bike Computer
This wireless GPS model features dual Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ connectivity technology that pairs with smartphones and sensors for easy tracking.
Pros: Quicklook LEDs can be used to monitor power, heart rate, speed, get turn-by-turn cues, incoming calls, texts, e-mail alerts and more. It’s compatible with various third-party progress-tracking apps. 170 customizable data fields lets you select, prioritize and view the metrics most important to you. You can build and retrace your routes as well as share your location with others. It offers 15 hours of use per charge and is waterproof.
Cons: Some may find the buttons could be easier to operate.
4. Garmin Edge 130 GPS Bike Computer
Another wireless option, this Bluetooth computer offers a crisp display that’s simple to read in direct sunlight and low-light conditions.
Pros: With GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellites and an altimeter, it tells you how far, fast, hard and high you’ve ridden on uphill climbs or long rides. The navigation can be activated for turn notifications or to direct you back to your starting point. You can share your location with family and friends. It alerts you of smartphone notifications and the weather. You can download courses via a special feature. The battery should also last up to 15 hours.
Cons: The Bluetooth connection may finicky sometimes.
5. Sigma BC 5.16 Wired Bike Computer
Not only does it work as a clock, this wired cycling computer tells you your current speed, distance, total distance and ride time.
Pros: It features a crystal-clear display with large, easily-legible digits and automatic start/stop functionality. You can choose from a fixed or scrolling mode as well as seven different languages. A large single button lets you switch between the information displays seamlessly. The info can be displayed in the form of symbols or icons. Waterproof construction allows you to use it during rainy rides.
Cons: Some may find the set-up instructions hard to understand.
6. CooSpo GPS Bike Computer
This bike computer features three buttons and wireless transmission for connection with a speed sensor, cadence sensor, heart rate monitor and power meter.
Pros: It also has a GPS so you know where you’re going at all times and supports fast Bluetooth synchronization. The battery is designed to supply up to 15 hours of life and 12 when using the navigation system. It’s also waterproof. Your bike data and tracking records can be saved and shared through the XOSS app to Strava and Trainingpeaks. The LCD backlit screen is easy to read in direct sunlight as well as after dark.
Cons: This model might also be a little difficult to set up.
7. Nellvita NWP-8 Bike Computer
This wireless option lets you know your current speed, average speed, maximum speed, ride time, ride distance and total distance traveled.
Pros: It also works as a stopwatch and clock. It’s water-resistant, meaning it can withstand light rain or road/trail splashes. An automatic wake-up function makes it start tracking your progress as soon as you start riding. It will shut off after five minutes of no use to help save the battery. The white backlit LCD screen provides high visibility during day and night. The sizeable screen and buttons allow for easy operation.
Cons: It may seem a tad big to some.
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