Cycling is a great 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 system that tracks their every mile along with their power output, but a 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. Based on GPS capabilities, bundle packages, and how easy it is to upload to Strava — every serious cyclist’s go-to social networking app — these bike computers have a lot to offer. 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
BEST FOR ADVANCED CYCLISTS
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 easily 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, it 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. Styled distinctly for aerodynamics, this computer doesn’t 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 a great value for those who aren’t as interested in bundle packages or touchscreen availability.
3. Lezyne Mega XL
BEST FOR ENDURANCE RIDES
This is definitely the sturdiest of all the bike computers, and if weight is a factor, this might not be the best fit for you. With its durable mount and horizontal to vertical screen readings, this one comes in at a cheaper price than our other contenders. It has ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart enabled heart rate monitors and speed and cadence sensors. However, its coolest feature is the live tracking — share your ride in real-time with family and friends. Going on a cross country ride? 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. Garmin Edge 830
BEST FOR INTERMEDIATE RIDERS
The Garmin Edge 830 is a simpler 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.
5. Hammerhead Karoo
BEST FOR ALL AGES
A new contending brand within the cycling community, Hammerhead has created an easy to read computer that won’t leave you scrambling for the shade to see the screen. This includes large colorful maps of your routes and accessible data. It connects to power sensors, cadence and speed sensors and heart rate monitors. Coming in at 168 grams, this is both the largest bike computer and the easiest to read.
6. Cateye Padrone Digital
BEST FOR CASUAL CRUISING
Going back to the basics with the Cateye Padrone, this computer doesn’t have GPS. Based solely on your speed and cadence sensors, this little unit is an ideal companion for a casual rider. With lack of access to Strava, this might be of most serious cyclists wishlists, but to the light-hearted, free rider, the Cateye will come in handy for immediate data on your speed, distance and pace. Sometimes, it’s better to keep it simple. The cheapest option available at $35, this is basic at its best. Snap this onto your handlebars and enjoy the ride.
7.Lezyne Mega C
BEST FOR DATA STORAGE
For $200, the Lezyne Mega C has a battery life of 32 hours and can store up to 800 hours of ride data. This is tought to beat in comparison 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’re in need of constant contact. The only downside is having to sync other maps to the computer to kick off your route, or having to pull out your phone to start a route over. This GPS is a non-touchscreen, which can be a hassle for some users, but for the price, this is still a desirable option.
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 easily as other tech you’re used to, it still holds all the charm of a world past. It will give you the essential data as well as the temperature and the time and connects easily to your handlebars.