11 Best Bike Computer GPS Reviews 2022

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Bike computers or  GPS cycling computers have evolved a lot. With new models coming into the market, the devices have also improved their features. These features and attributes assist you in improving your fitness, safety, and overall enjoyment of the ride.

To bring you the most relevant, valuable and current data, we have done quite a bit of research to bring you our review of the best bike computer for your needs. We have narrowed our list down to the top bike computers and rendered our review of each one right here.

In a hurry? The test winner after 16 hours of research:

Garmin Edge 530

GARMIN EDGE 530

Why is it better?

  • 20-hour battery life
  • Customizable widgets, free apps, and data fields
  • ClimbPro feature

95/100
Overall Rating

Buying Options

Note: The price differences may occur due the additional facilities such as shipping charges. 

Please take a closer look when buying.

Buying Guide

Choosing the right GPS computer can be overwhelming and a tedious job simultaneously. Hence, we at Bikes Reviewed are dedicated to helping you find the best-rated products and most sought-after products in the bike industry. 

How We Picked

The research by our team of experts involved a thorough exploration of the best bike computers 2022 to achieve precision and comfort while riding. After going over more than 20 GPS computer brands and spending over 130 hours thoroughly analyzing these products, our team came up with the 11 best GPS bike computers.

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Last Updated: January 12, 2022

By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding bike computers available for those who are interested in combining cycling and technology. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best bike computers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  
Cycplus M2 Bike GPS Computer Cycplus M2 Bike GPS Computer Rating: 99/100 CYCPLUS →
GARMIN EDGE 530 GARMIN EDGE 530 Rating: 98/100

Jenson USA →

 
Garmin EDGE 520 Garmin EDGE 520 Rating: 97.5/100 Amazon →
Wahoo Elemnt WAHOO ELEMNT Rating: 96.9/100 Amazon →
Lezyne Super Pro GPS Lezyne Super Pro GPS Rating: 96.5/100

Jenson USA →

CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1 CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1 Rating: 96/100 CYCPLUS →
Garmin Edge 25 Garmin Edge 25 Rating: 94/100 Amazon →
cat eye strada CatEye Strada Rating: 94/100 Amazon →
Planet Bike Protege Planet Bike Protege Rating: 92/100 Amazon →
Bryton Rider 750 GPS Bryton Rider 750 GPS Rating: 90/100 Amazon →

best Bike Computers for 2021

Below, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best budget bike computers out there and highlight their benefits as well as any drawbacks they may have.

1. CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer 

Cycplus_M2__01_compact - Best Bike Computers

CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer

Why it is better?

  • 2.5inch LCD Screen
  • 1100MAH super large battery capacity
  • One charge for 30 hours use
  • Auto Standby & Manual Backlight
  • IPX6 grade waterproof

Get 5% off Apply Code: BikesReviewed

The accurate and elegant CYCPLUS M2 GPS Bike Computer has made its way to 2022 with the 2.5inch LCD screen with a backlight. For those riders who urge to intensify their training and use it while it charges, the CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer can be their ultimate choice. 

Features Of CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer

  • The 1100MAH super large battery capacity provides 30 hours of use.
  • Unlike any ordinary passive antenna, this GPS computer has a GPS active antenna with faster positioning and better signal receiving ability.
  • With a 2.5 inch screen, it becomes easy for you to read the screen quickly and clearly - be it day or night.
  • While the computer has a backlight mode, it supports automatic power-off and pause.

Specifications Of CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer

  • Screen: 2.5 inch
  • Product weight: 68g
  • Charging mode: Type C
  • Battery capacity: 1000 mAh
  • ANT+ Sensors: Speed, Cadence, Heart rate, power meter

What We Like

  • One year Warranty
  • IPX6 grade waterproof.
  • 16M Internal memory.
  • It can save about 3000km of cycling data.
  • It supports BLE 5.0.

What We Don't Like

  • No cons found

Verdict 

Your cycling dynamics embrace a new way of navigating with the CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer. 

Suppose you are also looking for a GPS computer that makes your riding more worthwhile and gives you accurate data along with allocating your stamina wisely. In that case, this device is your only getaway.

2. GARMIN EDGE 530 

Garmin Edge 530

GARMIN EDGE 530

Why it is better?

  • Speed and cadence sensors and a heart rate monitor
  • 20-hour battery life
  • Customizable widgets, free apps, and data fields
  • ClimbPro feature

Note: The price differences may occur due the additional facilities such as shipping charges. 

Please take a closer look when buying.

When you feel that it's time to take your training to the next level where the bike computer can assist you in beating your best performance, then the GARMIN EDGE 530 is the one for you. 

Features Of GARMIN EDGE 530

  • It comes with sophisticated bike functionality.
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity works with the sensors. 
  • It includes speed and cadence sensors and a heart rate monitor for better functionality.
  • With the 20-hour battery life, you are also allowed an impressive extension of 40 more hours.
  • After connecting with Garmin's Connect IQ store, it allows you to customize your Edge 530 with widgets, free apps, and data fields.
  • With the new ClimbPro feature, you can access the remaining climb and grade while following a direction and climbing a hill or mountain.

Specifications Of GARMIN EDGE 530

  • Battery Life: 20 hrs(40 hours of additional battery life)
  • Weight: 2.2 oz (62.5 g)
  • Dimensions: 50 x 82 x 20mm
  • VIRB camera remote
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Display resolution: 200 x 265 pixels

What We Like

  • Routable cycling-specific street map.
  • Recommends the most popular direction.
  • Good battery life.

What We Don't Like

  • Buttons are not intuitive.
  • You need to rely on your phone for navigational features and changes.

Verdict 

The GARMIN EDGE 530 takes your safety very seriously and boosts your confidence while you ride your bike. Whether you wish to set notifications, stay in touch with your pack, or get access to popular routes, this particular GPS bike computer can do it all.

3. GARMIN EDGE 520

Garmin Edge 520

GARMIN EDGE 520

Why it is better?

  • Advanced GPS bike computer for competing and navigation
  • Features advanced navigation, including new rider alerts and the pre loaded Garmin cycle map
  • Preloaded Strava Live Segments
  • Monitors cycling specific Vo2 Max

The Garmin Edge 520 is feature-rich and dominates the market. Designed to be the superb bike computer you will ever need, it is ANT+ compatible with every sensor and profile available.

The Garmin bike computer has a large display and has multiple lines allowing you to view different data simultaneously.

Features Of GARMIN EDGE 520

  • A full backlit display means you can see the readout in any light.
  • The cadence sensor will mount to any crank arm, enabling you to use it on any bike in your garage. 
  • The speed sensor will mount to the hub of either wheel, giving you the flexibility to monitor accurate speed and distance regardless of whether you are on the trainer indoors or the track outdoors.
  • Monitor your time in zone, power output, cycling-specific VO2 and recovery, and cycling dynamics.

Specifications Of Garmin Edge 520

  • Display size: 2.3" (58.4 mm) diagonal
  • Battery type: Rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Water rating: IPX7
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+
  • Smartphone compatibility: iPhone, Android
  • Smart trainer control
  • Shimano Di2 Synchro Shift integration

What We Like

  • Rich choice of metrics
  • Smartphone connectivity

What We Don't Like

  • Basemap is not appropriately designed for full-on navigation.

Verdict

With a price of around $$$ for a bundled set, not only is the Garmin Edge 520 a great value, it is a fabulous bike computer.

4. Wahoo ELEMNT - Best Bike Computer For Touring

Wahoo Elemnt

Wahoo ELEMNT - For Touring

Why it is better?

  • Automatically syncs and downloads routes
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS or ANT+ connectivity
  • able to view real-time data on over 170 different datasets

We don’t think there is another best cycling computer on the market today with as many features as the ELEMNT by Wahoo.

This GPS bicycle computer has the largest display you will find. A huge 2.7-inch “Daybright” display makes it easy to view your stats in any light; glare and night are no problems.

Features Of Wahoo ELEMNT

  • The ELEMNT automatically syncs and downloads routes and turn-by-turn navigation. 
  • ELEMNT uses the interface of your smartphone to pair, customize settings, configure workout pages, and link to popular cycling apps and wireless sensors. 
  • Pre and post-ride, you will be able to view your stats through the cycling app of your choice.
  • This unit will pair and sync to any sensor using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS or ANT+. Nothing to tether, no cables ever.
  • Wahoo bike computer has tactical buttons and the ability to toggle between 2 to 10 data lines; you will be able to view real-time data on over 170 different datasets. No other bike computer comes close.

Specifications Of Wahoo ELEMNT

  • Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth
  • Map Type: North America
  • Battery Life: 15 Hours
  • Scanner Resolution: 200 x 265

What We Like

  • Smart navigation
  • 16GB free memory

What We Don't Like

  • It’s expensive than the old unit.

Verdict

With so many features, upgrades and available syncing with 3rd party apps and sensors, the Wahoo ELEMNT is a steal at just under $$$.

5. Lezyne Super Pro GPS

Lezyne Super Pro GPS

Lezyne Super Pro GPS

Why it is better?

  • Simple setup through Lezyne Ally phone app
  • Simultaneous ANT+ and Bluetooth® Smart connectivity
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Off-line maps and rerouting
  • 28 hours of runtime

Note: The price differences may occur due the additional facilities such as shipping charges. 

Please take a closer look when buying.

The Lezyne Super Pro GPS is all you need when you plan to navigate and record your ride. With vertical and horizontal mounting, you are provided with four buttons to navigate the data fields easily. Whether it is the performance, its super GPS functions or its build, the Lezyne Super Pro GPS excels in all.

Features Of Lezyne Super Pro GPS

  • It comes with a heart rate flow sensor, a cadence speed flow sensor, and a super pro GPS.
  • Up to 28 hours of runtime is provided. 
  • Off-line maps and rerouting are also available.
  • Micro USB rechargeable.
  • The GPS is compatible with electronic drivetrain and power meter and features custom route building.
  • It is also trainer compatibility.

Specifications Of Lezyne Super Pro GPS

  • Weight: 60 grams
  • Battery life: 28 hours of runtime
  • Physical dimensions: 70.6mm (W) x 48.16mm (L) x 26.0mm (H)
  • Barometric Altimeter: Yes

What We Like

  • Battery life is impressive.
  • Easy to mount.
  • Less expensive than the Garmin device.

What We Don't Like

  • Gear-shifting will require some time to adjust to.

Verdict

When purchasing an affordable full-function GPS computer, no other device can be as good as the Lezyne Super Pro GPS. Even though it is not a good choice for mountain biking, it can still assist you on any pavement with a clear vision of securing speed and navigating other functions.

6. CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1

CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1

CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1

Why it is better?

  • 2.5inch LCD Screen
  • 1100MAH super large battery capacity
  • One charge for 30 hours use
  • Auto Standby & Manual Backlight
  • IPX6 grade waterproof

Get 5% off Apply Code: BikesReviewed

Unlike the CYCPLUS M2 Bike GPS Computer, this CYCPLUS M1 features a 2.9-inch big screen and 30 hours long endurance time. The features it provides come as a surprise that it is available at such an affordable (cheap) price. 

Features Of CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1

  • 150H storage capacity.
  • It supports 10 types of data and renders accurate data in real-time.
  • It comes with a reliable GPS computer and data recording
  • Up to 700 hours of battery life.
  • It also provides you with an in-built accelerometer and magnetometer.
  • It features a large and easy-to-read display.

Specifications Of CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1

  • Display: 2.9 inch big screen
  • Accurate GPS
  • Battery Life: 30 hours long endurance bike
  • Storage Capacity: 150 GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, ANT+
  • Auto Backlight
  • Waterproof: IPX6

What We Like

  • Easy installation.
  • IPX6 Waterproof.
  • Good battery life.
  • Competitively priced

What We Don't Like

  • The configuration menu interface may be confusing.
  • Minimal customization.

Verdict

This CYCPLUS Bike Computer M1 has value for your money regarding reliable GPS data, ease of installation, ANT+ connectivity, and even Bluetooth connectivity. Our team of bike enthusiasts strongly recommends this bike for riders like you who would want their rides recorded and uploaded to Strava and Training Peaks.

7. Garmin Edge 25 - Best Bike Computer Cadence

Garmin Edge 25

Garmin Edge 25

Why it is better?

  • COMPACT
  • GPS +GLONASS
  • ANT+ COMPATIBLE
  • GARMIN CONNECTTM
  • 8 Hours Battery Life

Enter the world’s smallest bike computer: the Garmin Edge 25. Don’t let its size fool you; it packs a punch.

And because it’s a Garmin, you have access to Garmin Connect (TM). You can download courses, view personal records and analyze post-ride stats.

Features Of Garmin Edge 25

  • The Edge 25 is ANT+ compatible with speed and cadence sensors and heart rate monitor. 
  • You also can pair with GPS +GLONASS, the first bike monitor of this size to include GLONASS. Never lose your position, even under heavy tree cover.

Specifications 

  • Screen Size: 1.3 Inches
  • Item Dimensions: 0.7 x 1.6 x 1.6 inches
  • Display:  TypeHi-res LCD
  • Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth
  • Scanner Resolution: 128 x 160
  • Battery Life: 8 Hours

What We Like

  • Highly durable
  • Water resistant
  • GLONASS enables
  • 8 hour run time on a single charge

What We Don't Like

  • Battery life could be enhanced.
  • There is no ‘back’ button

Verdict

Fully capable and perfect for the casual rider and the enthusiast, the Garmin Edge 25 is an excellent deal at around $199.99.

8. Cat Eye Strada - Best Bike Computer Under 100

Strada Bike Computer

Cat Eye Strada Wireless Bike Computer

Why it is better?

  • Displays current, max, and average speed, total distance, two trip distances, elapsed time, pace arrow, and clock.
  • Dual tire size lets you use one computer for two bikes.
  • 200 Hours Battery Life

The Strada from CatEye might just be the quickest mounting bike computer today. Its super slim design and giant readout LCD screen make it easy to use and read.

The CatEye Strada is weatherproof, so you never have to worry about outside conditions.  You can track two courses or two bikes with the same unit fully customization.

Features Of Cat Eye Strada

  • Your current speed stays on the top of the screen for easy reading. Press the mode button on the bottom of the unit to scroll between 8 different functions, including current/max/average speed, total distance, trip distance for 2 courses/bikes, elapsed time and current time.
  • Customizable display.
  • A small, lightweight and sleek computer that comes in handy for all your adventures.

Specifications Of Cat Eye Strada 

  • Item Weight: 0.2 Pounds
  • Battery Life: 200 Hours

What We Like

  • Simple to use.
  • Single push-button access to all the different modes.

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks versatility
  • No GPS
  • Only used with CatEye brand sensors.

Verdict

Quick mount, easy to use in any weather, this is the most economical CatEye bike computer yet set you back only about $55.

9. Planet Bike Protege 9.0 - Best Bike Computer Wireless

Planet Bike Protege

Planet Bike Protege 9.0

Why it is better?

  • 9 functions
  • 4-line MacroMonitorTM LCD displays
  • Easy to read large display font
  • CR2032 battery
  • Ultrasonically welded to be completely weatherproof, Lifetime Warranty

Rounding out our top 5 is the Protege 9.0 from Planet Bike. This wireless bike computer has more features than you can handle.

The large display has four lines to show you up to five bits of data. You can easily program two tire sizes so that you can switch between bikes without any effort.

Features Of Planet Bike Protege 9.0

  • The Protege 9.0 tracks all your essential details:-
    • Current speed,
    • Ride time,
    • Trip distance,
    • Average speed,
    • Maximum speed,
    • Settings for two-wheel sizes,
    • A clock, and
    • A thermometer.
  • It is easy to operate.
  • It comes with a Four-line MacroMonitor LCD.
  • It allows you to fit the computer to 25.0 to 31.8-millimeter handlebars.

Specifications Of Planet Bike Protege 9.0

  • Weight: 57 grams
  • Case size: 40 x 47 millimetres
  • Screen Size: 4 Inches

What We Like

  • Good display size.
  • Easy to read the screen.
  • Completely weatherproof.
  • Auto starts when the bike moves.

What We Don't Like

  • Setup is complicated

Verdict

Great for touring and training, the Protege 9.0 can be your choice for a seamless and effortless riding that builds up your performance. Able to monitor five different sets of real-time data makes this bike computer a bargain at just over $35.

10. Bryton Rider 750 GPS

BRYTON RIDER 750 GPS

Bryton Rider 750 GPS

Why it is better?

  • 16GB storage available.
  • It supports E-Bike ANT+ LEV incl. Shimano Steps.
  • Long battery life of 20-hours.
  • Pre-Installed OSM Maps
  • Good app integration

From app integration, onboard navigation to color touchscreen, the Bryton Rider 750 renders everything you could want from a GPS unit. However, it is shocking that the device is available at a price that is less than its competitors.

Features Of Bryton Rider 750 GPS

  • It features a 2.8-inch color touchscreen with Graphical User Interface (GUI) and intuitive icons.
  • 16GB storage available.
  • It supports E-Bike ANT+ LEV incl. Shimano Steps.
  • It also comes with an Electronic Shifting System. 
  • Bryton Rider 750 GPS is provided to you with preloaded maps of major regions worldwide.
  • Long battery life of 20-hours.

Specifications Of Bryton Rider 750 GPS

  • Screen Size: 2.8 Inches
  • Map Type: Pre-Installed OSM Maps
  • Connectivity Technology: BLE ANT+ LEV FE-C
  • Control Method: Voice
  • Touchscreen
  • Display Type: LCD
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 16 GB

What We Like

  • Preloaded maps are available.
  • Long battery life.
  • Good app integration.
  • Colour touchscreen.
  • Voice-activated navigation

What We Don't Like

  • Slow processing.
  • Inferior map graphics compared to other competitors in the market.

Verdict

The Bryton Rider 750 GPS, available at such price range and equipped with impressive attributes, outweighs the drawbacks of this device.

11. Karoo 2 GPS Bike Computer

Karoo 2 GPS Bike Computer

Karoo 2 GPS Bike Computer

Why it is better?

  • 12 hours of ride time.
  • Reliable and easy-to-use Hammerhead mounting system.
  • Equipped with a responsive touchscreen.
  • Water and dustproof to IP67 rating.

With a sleek look, Karoo 2 GPS Bike Computer has stepped into the market to offer a reliable navigation source. Not only the look and feel, but the device is simply awesome spec-wise.

You can expect high-resolution display panels and numerous other features with this exceptional device that assists you in enhancing the performance of your bike equipment.

Features Of Karoo 2 GPS Bike Computer

  • 12 hours of ride time.
  • Reliable and easy-to-use Hammerhead mounting system.
  • It is equipped with a responsive touchscreen.
  • It gets fully charged in under three hours.
  • Water and dustproof to IP67 rating.

Specifications Of Karoo 2 GPS Bike Computer

  • Weight: 131 grams
  • 32GB of storage
  • 2500 mAh battery
  • Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Beeper alerts for navigation

What We Like

  • Audio notifications
  • Super-responsive touchscreen
  • Excellent storage

What We Don't Like

  • Gear-shifting will require some time to adjust to.

Verdict

An impressive device combined with navigation and training capabilities can assist you on all-out interval sessions with some Strava segment hunting and multi-day bike packing trips. While the brilliant features make it simple and easy to use for cyclists,  the unlimited spec list makes the purchase worthwhile.

What Is a Bike Computer?

A bicycle computer, also known as a cyclometer or cyclocomputer, is a device that works much like the instrument panel in a car. It attaches to your bike and displays or records trip information.

The information is displayed on the head unit which is generally mounted on the handlebars of your bike. With technology, some smartwatches can also be used as a head unit.

A bike computer will usually consist of four main parts:

  • The head unit, which displays the information to the rider
  • The wheel sensor, which calculates speed and distance and sends the information to the head unit.
  • The cadence sensor, a small magnet and receiver, will send crankarm revolutions per minute information to the head unit.
  • Transmission, the wired or wireless sending unit from the sensor to the head unit.

Most models of bike computers will display information such as current and maximum speed, distance traveled, time of day, and temperature. More advanced models will also include such information as altitude, GPS data, heart rate and even power output.

Why Use a Bike Computer?

Bike computers are used by every style of rider; from the casual to the course trainer. You can use a bike computer both for fun, and to track your trip distance and time, or you can use it as motivation to be even better next time.

As Veeder Manufacturing Company, the 1895 inventor of the cyclometer, said in their promotion slogan: “It’s nice to know how far you go.”

what is a bike computer

Benefits of Riding with a Bike Computer

Whether you are riding for pleasure or training for the next Tour de France, the best bike computer has many advantages.

The most obvious of these benefits is in the distance traveled. Knowing how far you have gone helps in training as well as your early morning ride. Coupling distance with time or speed will benefit you by providing motivation to always beat your best.

With the ability to track your heart rate and power production, you will know if you need to change gears for that aerobic workout or taper things off to maintain your preferred heart rate.

Healthy, active lifestyles begin by knowing where you are at and knowing where you want to be. Having a best cycling computers on your handlebars will help you, in real time, know just how far you have to go to get there.

How Does a Bike Computer Work?

A bike computer uses sensors placed in various positions around your bike to send data information to a transmission.

This transmission converts to the head unit computer.

Once the computer has the data, it transforms it into human-readable information and displays it on the head unit LCD screen.

bike computer sensor

Type of Sensors

There are two types of sensors: magnetic and GPS. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

Magnetic Sensors

Magnetic sensors are generally used for cadence and speed. A magnet is mounted to the spoke of a wheel or the crankarm. A sensor is then mounted on the frame or front fork of the bike and reads every time the magnet passes the sensor.

Because the magnetic field is strong, these sensors are immune to dirt, dust, water or mud. The accuracy can be counted on in any condition.

GPS Sensors

GPS sensors use a GPS enabled device to monitor data through GPS signals. This data is then sent to the head unit by the transmission to be displayed on the screen for the rider.

While the GPS sensors can easily be moved between bicycles, they are more expensive. One downside to a bike GPS cycling computer is that the sensor runs on rechargeable batteries that will need to be regularly maintained.

Types of Data Transmission

There are two types of data transmission from the sensors to the head unit: wire and wireless.

The best bike computer for you depends on the type of rider you are (causal, enthusiast or competitive) as well as the type of bike you ride (road, mountain, hybrid, etc.).

Wired Transmission

Wired transmission models are simply sensors with a wire that must be attached to the bike frame leading to the head unit.

Besides the tangle of wires that need to be properly installed, the downside to a wired transmission is that they are not easily swapped between bikes.

bike computer data transmission

These are generally lighter units than wireless making them better for light bike needs. However, they are not the best option for mountain bike computers because the wires can come loose, get cut or ripped off the frame.

Wireless Transmission

Wireless transmission uses a signal to send data to the head unit instead of a wire. The best bike computers with GPS are going to be wireless.

Because of their nature, wireless units are generally heavier than wired units. This could be a problem for those looking to save on the overall weight, such as competitive riders.

Road riders will appreciate the inexpensive and durable wired units, while mountain bikers and competitive riders will like the efficiency and reliability of wireless units.

What Bike Computer Measures/Functions

Bike computers measure a lot more than distance nowadays.

No two models are alike and each will come with different features and measurements. Deciding what features you require and what features you want will help you determine the best bike computer for you.

Basic Functions

The basic functions of nearly all bike computers are standard. You will find functions and features such as:

  • Speed/Average speed/Maximum speed. Your travel speed is measured by an algorithm based on the data sent to the head unit from the sensors.
  • Cadence/Average cadence/Maximum cadence. Cadence is all about rhythm. Being able to monitor your revolutions per minute is important to maintaining a rhythm.
  • Ride time. How long you have been riding is important to know for most riders, even casual ones. This basic functionality will display on the head unit in minutes and hours.
  • Time of day. The obvious feature allows you to know what time it is without taking your attention off the road. Because you may be riding without a watch or able to look at your cell phone, displaying the time of day is vital for all riders.
  • Over/Under average speed. Calculating your average speed and being able to see a readout if you are over or under is a great motivation. If you are trying to beat your record time, or just be better than you were yesterday, knowing your over/under average will help.
  • Ride trip/distance. The distance you travel and the trip you take to get there are vital to knowing how well you are improving. Daily rides that are the same length with faster times will tell you that you are improving your skills.
  • Odometer. Every rider should know how far they have gone. The odometer keeps track of your trip distance as well as overall distance. This vital information is important for keeping track of maintenance as well as milestones.

Advanced Measurements/Functions

A lot of road bike computers and mountain bike computers will offer advanced features. Depending on your riding style these advanced features may prove more useful to you.

  • Heart rate/average heart rate/maximum heart rate. When training or riding to improve your health, being able to monitor your heart rate is essential. Advanced bike computers will be able to monitor your heart rate and provide real-time feedback on the head unit.
  • Altitude/maximum altitude. Conditioning is important to the advanced rider. Being able to maintain cadence, speed and rhythm at any altitude is important.
  • Total ascent/total descent. Hills are inevitable when riding a bike. If you use hills to train or increase production then being able to monitor your ascension and descent is vital.
  • Temperature. Being able to note the current temperature is important to a rider’s health. Knowing the changes in temperature will allow you to maintain your stamina as well as hydration.
  • Gearing. More advanced models can even sense your gear changes. Keeping you informed of shifting can help provide a smooth and efficient ride.

Features

Whether you choose wired or wireless transmissions, magnetic or GPS sensors, or basic or advanced functions, each bike computer will have various features. These features will come into your decision on which model to purchase.

Installation and functionality will play a large part in your buying experience. The features listed here will explain what you should look for and the purpose of each one.

Rear Wheel Sensor

rear wheel sensor

Some models will offer the use of a rear wheel sensor.

These usually tie in with the cadence sensor on the crankarm and use a wire mounted to the frame to the head unit.

When looking for a rear wheel sensor, be sure that the model is designed for it.

Most wheel sensors are designed to be mounted on the fork of the front wheel. 

Because of the chain, pedals and gears, mounting on a rear wheel can have disadvantages.

You may be required to extend the cable, or if you are using a wireless sensor, it may not have a strong enough signal to reach the head unit.

Water Resistance

Unfortunately, we can’t always ride in perfect weather conditions. Having a bike computer that is water resistant is an important feature to look for.

While your sensors are generally going to be weatherproof (especially the magnetic sensors), the head unit may only be water resistant. You should ensure that it is rated for water resistance and take the needed precautions when riding in the rain or after a rain shower.

Checking your head unit for cracks or damage should be a part of your pre-ride routine. Having a head unit short out because of water damage will not only cost you money, but it won’t be able to record your data for that ride.

SmartPhone Pairing

A lot of the best bike computers will offer the advantage of paring with your smartphone. Either using apps or monitoring.

While smartphone pairing is still less accurate, you can use a smartphone, or smart watch instead of a head unit. This is a great feature if you want to take your progress with you even when you aren’t on a bike.

When using your smartphone as a head unit, you have certain advantages such as a larger display and easy to read mapping capabilities. However, you will need a special mount for the phone and without the proper case, there will be less weather resistance and greater risk of damage in an accident.

bike computer and smartphone

GPS

GPS features give you a lot more data capabilities than standard types. You can transfer your data to a computer, for example. Using a satellite signal to transmit your ride data is very accurate and efficient.

The downside to bike GPS cycling computers is that they require a strong signal which can be affected by weather, location and availability. Mounting the GPS is easier than standard mounts as there are no wires. This means they can be transferred between bikes effectively.

That alone could save you money by not having to purchase multiple bike computers. The units are heavier, though, and for competitive riders may not be the best option.

ANT+

ANT+ is a wireless technology that allows devices to talk to each other. Having an ANT+ enabled bike computer means no wires. Your sensors will fit one of three ANT+ profiles and be able to send data to the head unit using the ANT+ technology.

The most common ANT+ profile is speed/cadence combo sensor. Without fail, if a device is ANT+ capable it supports this profile. Speed only and Cadence only are still new ANT+ profiles and may or may not be supported by your device.

You should ensure your device and sensors can support the required ANT+ profile for your particular application.

There are also other ANT+ profiles for other devices that can be used with your head unit. Heart rate monitors, skin temperature monitors and even electric bikes.

Multi-Bike Options

Most non-casual riders have more than one bike. Different terrains and different needs require different equipment. However, you can find options for best cycling computers that allow you to use multiple bikes.

Any GPS unit will quickly move to another handlebar. There are also bike computers on the market designed for multiple bikes. When using the same device for multiple bikes, you need to have a few extra pieces.

The mount should stay on the handlebar, so you will need multiple mounts. You should ensure that your unit is multi bike ready. Different wheel sizes and frame distance from sensors to handlebars will affect the units.

Make sure that your device is capable of either manual input for tire size, or can easily be calibrated.

Back Light

One important feature for night riders, or early morning riders, that is often overlooked is a back light. Most riders already have a headlight on their helmet. However, the glare from the headlight might impede the viewing of the LCD display.

Having a head unit with a back light means you can see it at any time. Not only does a back light provide visibility of the head unit in any lighting conditions, but it is also a safety feature.

By keeping your headlamp on the road as well as your eyes and attention, you can avoid accidents and wrecks.

bike computer back light

Multiple Data Screen

Why bother tracking different data if you can’t view it? With multiple data screen capabilities, you can monitor multiple inputs at the same time.

Tracking speed while monitoring the temperature or altitude, can give you real-time feedback on your performance. Likewise, watching your heart rate and cadence together can be useful for training purposes.

Readability

Head units come in different sizes and shapes. Being able to read the display quickly and return your attention to the road is important.

If you have less than perfect eyesight, you may need to opt for a larger display. Another option is to pair your device to your smart phone. The bright, vivid display will allow you to quickly keep tabs on your data and your attention on the road.

What to Consider When Choosing A Bike Computer

There are several factors to consider when choosing which is the best bike computer for you. Needs and functionality are among the top factors. However, you should also decide your wants, expectations and even the type of rider you are.

These factors will help you narrow your choice down to the best bike computer for you.

What Type of Rider Are You?

Knowing the type of rider you are will go a long way to determining the bike computer that will best suit your needs. Casual, trails, training or competitive, the best bike computer for you depends a lot on how you will use it.

If you like to torque on the heavy tread and hit the trails, then the best mountain bike computer will better suit you than the best road bike computers. 

Likewise, if you are trying to train or increase your cardio workout, then you will be better suited for a road bike computer. Deciding on features is easier when you can narrow down how exactly you will be using your bike computer.

what's the best bike computer

Common FAQs

What is the most accurate bike computer?

Devices like GARMIN EDGE 520 and CYCPLUS M2 are counted amongst the bike computers with the most accuracy in their data. However, as an intermediate rider or advanced one, it becomes your responsibility to search for the best bike computers in 2022 to come across the most accurate bike computer. 

What bike computers do the pros use?

  • GARMIN EDGE 520
  • WAHOO ELEMNT
  • GARMIN EDGE 25
  • CAT EYE STRADA
  • PLANET BIKE PROTEGÉ 9.0
  • Are bike computers worth it?

    The bike computers briefly mentioned in the list are worth it because they make route planning, mapping, and tracking seamless. They provide you with reliable data while enjoying extended battery life and offering more hardware and software integration. 


    Which Bike Computer Has The Longest Battery Life?

    A GPS bike computer with 20 hours of battery life can help you a lot more than any other standard GPS computer. Garmin 530 and the Bryton Rider 750 GPS are the best Gps computer brands with the most extended battery life.

    Which is better Garmin or Wahoo?

    Garmin is a much more superior option here. It has an easy interface, a simple setup, and the best overall features.

    Which is the best Garmin cycling computer?

    Garmin Edge 520 Plus. is the best Garmin bike computer option for most riders.

    Can I use my iPhone as a bike computer?

    You can turn your phone into a bike's computer by using the cycle meter option if you are okay to put your phone between handlebars.

    Where do you mount a bike computer?

    Mount your bike computer close to the hub. The closer you mount, the more slowly it will pass by the sensor, it will offer more time to respond.


    Conclusion

    With BikesReviewed, where we are committed to doing the hard job of finding the right product for you, you can get information on the best bike products available in the market. So what are you waiting for? Explore our buying guides today, or keep this article handy when you plan to get new bike gear.

    editors pick
    Garmin Edge 520

    GARMIN EDGE 520

    Why is it better?

    • Large display
    • Precise speed sensor
    • Easy to install

    93/100
    our score

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