Since you’re here, you probably have decided to dive into the most demanding sport- cycling. As a cyclist, you transfer your energy or power to cycle; thus, paraphernalia should gauge your work.
Swimming and running measure this effort using RPE and time measuring instruments. But those may not work with cycling. On the contrary, the bike computers convert the work done, or power exerted into watt. Bike computers can gauge calories burned, cadence, elevation, temperature, heart rate, and much more.
In this blog, we’ll provide you insights about the best bike computers as rated by our expert testers, their pros and cons, and how to choose the right bike computer for yourself.
#1. Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer
If you’re looking for our top recommendation, then you must try Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer. The excellent battery life and the simplicity of its use make it one of the popular devices used by professionals. It is unnecessary to use the smartphone to operate it—also, the robust features like ANT+ sensors and wifi connectivity. The updated version enables the users to activate ANGi sensors that detect life-threatening helmet injuries and sends alerts to their contacts by mapping the GPS coordinates.
- Wahoo’s free companion app
- Waterproof rating of IPX7
- Compatible with Strava live segments
- Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
Wahoo’s Free companion app: The app makes the screen customizable and enables easy pairing and configuration.
Waterproofing rating of IPX7: This means you can submerge the watch up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Compatible with Strava live segments: Apart from Strava, it is compatible with many third-party apps like Ride With GPS, Komoot, MTB Project, Best Bike Split, Singletracks.
Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity: It translocates data to third-party sensors to gauge your heart rate, weather, and cadence.
- Long battery life of 15 hours
- 2.2-inch screen
- Black and white screen
Wahoo has been a popular name in producing tech-integrated products. Our first recommendation is that you won’t get a bundle of so many features at such an affordable price. It comes with a charging cable, stem mount, front mount, and integrated Aero out front mount.
#2. Garmin Edge 520 Bike GPS
Garmin Edge 520 bike GPS offers its users a two-month trial subscription of Strava live segments that update their cycling achievements and best performances. They can also compare it with their friends’ performances and see their approaching segments.
- FTP tracking
- High-resolution display
FTP Tracking: Garmin edge 520 bike measures the Fitness threshold Power to allow an overall comparison of cycling dynamics. FTP enables you to measure how well you can sustain your power while cycling. Experts call FTP the “gold standard.”
Alerts: It offers live tracking, weather updates, smartphone alerts. You can even save your ride data to Garmin connect for future comparison. You can even text or receive messages or call while riding.
ANT+ sensors: The ANT+ sensors allow your device to communicate with your smartphone and display cadence, speed, and heart rate. The cadence shows the number of revolutions per minute—the higher the cadence, the lesser the strain on your muscles.
High-Resolution Display: This is a compact and lightweight device with a 2.3-inch colored display.
Water-resistant: This device comes with spectacular water resistance of IPX7. It means you can submerge it in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
- Live Tracking
- Strava live Segments
- ANT+ sensors
- One year warranty by Garmin
- Cadence and heart rate tracking
- Not touchscreen
- It doesn’t have round trip routing feature
- No incident detection
If you’re serious about biking/cycling, you must consider Garmin Edge 520 Bike GPS that offers many features covering every aspect of cycling dynamics. It’s a durable battery that lasts for 15 hours and can measure your VO2. It also calculates the time you will take to regain your energy before setting for the next expedition.
#3. LEZYNE Enhanced Super GPS Cycling Computer
Lezyne Enhanced Super GPS cycling computer is the best option for casual riders who want much cheaper equipment and don’t want to compromise on the features. Although it doesn’t come with a colored screen, it has one of the most advanced features like ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity.
- Robust battery life
- Connects with third-party sensors
- Free Ally V2 smartphone app
Robust battery life: This is perfect biking equipment for long-distance cycling enthusiasts. The battery life of 24 hours is much more than that of any of the mentioned bike computers.
Connects with third-party sensors: You can connect it with ANT+ enabled sensors to measure heart rate and cadence.
Free Ally smartphone app: The device is compatible with their free app, but when it comes to connectivity with third-party apps like Strava, the device becomes a little clumsy.
- Equipped with barometer and accelerometer
- Long battery life
- Simpler display screen
- Black and white screen
- Poor navigation
If you are a casual rider, you can go for the Lezyne cycling computer, but it is somewhat behind its competitors when it comes to navigation. It is a much affordable option to go with.
#4. GARMIN EDGE 1030
Garmin Edge 1030 would have notched the first position if not for its price. It comes with comprehensive navigation and other features.
- Trend line mapping
- Wide display
- Strava live segment
Trend line mapping: It allows to find the best on and off routes according to the frequency of routes taken.
Wide Display: It has a commendable display size of 3.5 inches which is the best screen size.
Strava Line Segment: After you head back home, you can transfer your data to the Strava segment to compare your past performances.
- 3.5-inch display
- High display resolution
- Robust battery life of 20 hours
If you are not a cost freak, then you must try Garmin Edge 1030. The reason for not buying it would be that you probably don’t need all the features it offers. We leave it to you to decide, is it a boon or a bane?
#5. POLAR UNISEX V650
Finally, we have a touchscreen bike computer! One of the main reasons it loses the race of top 3 bike computers is the missing ANT+ feature. Let’s look at some more features for you to decide whether to pounce on this one or make a miss.
- Touchscreen display
- Colored screen
- Front LED
Touch screen display: This is conducive to its better functionality of the 2.8-inch widescreen. To sum up the smartphone look, the screen size is bigger than that of Garmin 520. Unlike most bike computers, the colored screen makes the display pretty impressive and easy to use.
Front LED: the device has a front LED display that turns on automatically as the night approaches. This nightlight is a beguiling feature for those who are concerned about the looks.
- Beautifully crafted design
- Colored display
- Lacks ANT+ technology
- No Strava integration
It is much more attractive and appealing than Wahoo and Garmin bike computers. But it lacks ANT+ connectivity and thus works only on Bluetooth monitoring. This lack of ANT+ can be frustrating for tech-savvy cyclists. The monitor compensates for the missing Strava integration by its Flow software which is as good as Strava in maintaining your rides’ data.
Buyer’s Guide: Best Bike Computer With Cadence and Heart Rate
Choosing a bike computer might cost you extra dollars when you can simply do a smartphone with a cycling app or a fitness tracker. If you are a newbie, then probably you don’t need a bike computer which is a more professional gadget.
If you are deeply entrenched in cycling or preparing for competitions, bike computers are the thing for you. Some of the key features that you must look for in a bike computer are:
Mostly all bike computers come with an inbuilt GPS to navigate and provide a step-by-step guide to your destination. Apart from GPS, a highly technical bike tracker must have an incident detector to detect a dangerous incident with the cycle and inform all the paired contacts within 30 seconds.
Apart from the time and speed, a bike computer must show cadence. Cadence is the number of revolutions per minute. Monitoring cadence gives accurate data of the efficiency of the cyclist.
Most biking instruments come with a colored screen, but the display quality should be good even if the screen is black and white. Based upon the price considerations, companies offer touch screens as well as non-touchscreen displays.
Heart Rate Monitor
A chest strap acts as a conduit to feed heart signals to a bike computer. A bike computer with cadence and heart rate is preferable.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Bike Computer With Cadence and Heart Rate
Is It Worth Getting a Heart Rate Monitor for Cycling?
A heart rate monitor is worth your money if you are in the habit of going for long cycling sessions. A heart rate monitor is usually for pacing after recovery to check upon the extent to which you can stretch yourself. You can also do without a heart rate monitor, but seeing if you’ve got more under the hood, a heart rate monitor is beneficial.
Do I Need Cadence on My Bike Computer?
Cadence is the number of revolutions per minute. Cadence gives an accurate measure of your efficiency and the power you can produce on the cycle. Many trainers and professionals use cadence to gauge their performance.
What Is the Best Cycle Computer?
Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt notches the top position when it comes to a bundle of features at an affordable price.
Which Is a Better Wired or Wireless Bike Computer?
Wired bike computers have been there in the market for many years now, but they are much more cumbersome. On the contrary, wireless bike computers are much easier to handle, and their setting is hassle-free.
Can I Pair My Garmin Heart Rate Monitor With a Zwift?
Yes, you can easily pair any heart rate monitor with Zwift. All you have to do is search for the heart rate monitor on Zwift and pair it with the device, and you’re ready to go!