Best Bike Computers [Review] in 2021
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Besides being a much-loved hobby/sport, cycling is a great exercise if you are looking to lose weight, burn calories, or just lead a healthier lifestyle.
Consistent cycling can lead to better blood flow, improved cardio, immune system, and it even opens up your vascular system.
Why am I telling you all this you may be thinking?
Well, when we pick up a new hobby we have a tendency to track every little thing we do.
That is fine, however, our iPhones and Samsungs may not be the best thing to use when it comes to cycling.
You’re going to want something that is a lot more attuned to the sport rather than a simple app. That’s where cycling computers come in!
Cycling computers help you track a variety of different parts of your cycling including distance traveled, time, calories, oxygen levels, and even beats per minute.
Can it get any better? Yes, it can…
These computers can be clipped onto your bike so there’s no need to carry it around with you, unlike a phone for example.
Anyway, let’s get into the top 10 best bike computers!
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Best Bike Computers
Garmin edge 1030 Plus
Coming in at our number 1 spot on this list is the Garman Edge GPS. This absolute monster of a GPS has got everything you could ask for when cycling. This device uses billions of previous cyclists’ data to show you the best on and off-road routes available!
This GPS is so sophisticated that it can detect sharp turns, elevation data and even show you possible points of interest. If that wasn’t enough, you could rest assured that you will never get lost when you have the Garman Edge attached to your bike, as even if you go off-route, it will still guide you back no matter where you are.
But that’s not all:
There is no need to worry about carrying your mobile phone either, as its ‘Rider To Rider Message System’ allows you to send messages to fellow riders and friends who also have a Garmin Edge in the same area.
You can train with structured workouts that sink directly to your device. You can structure your workouts on your smartphone with the Garmin Connect app or other apps, including TrainingPeaks or Trainer road.
The bike has fallen apart? No problem, use the message system to call for help! Incident detection and assistance features send your real-time location to emergency contacts in the case of an accident.
This is a true no-brainer for the savvy cyclist!
- Comprehensive navigation
- Powerful computer with turn-by-turn directions
- Starva live segment features
- 20-hour battery life
- Could use a higher resolution display
Latest deal: Garmin edge 1030 Plus
Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, then coming in at number 2 is the Wahoo GPS. This GPS is more than just a standard GPS. The guys over at Wahoo have designed this device so that you can track not only your performance but also improve it!
The vibrant, crystal clear 2.7-inch color display makes it easy to see your data and routes on the go. Plus, the Gorilla® Glass screen resists damage from scratches, bumps, to accidental drops (perfect for a clumsy rider on the mountains).
Never have to worry about your battery running out while down the trails again; this USB rechargeable battery will provide you with up to 17 hours of battery life– plenty of time to shred the trails or hit the road.
Like the Garmin Edge, Wahoo also has Bluetooth® connections that allow you to pair with your devices, sensors and sync ride data, download maps, and even connect to third-party apps to share with friends.
But wait, here’s the best bit!
It features a live track feature that will let your cycling buddies see your live performance while riding. I mean, is there a better way to motivate yourself than have a bunch of your friends watching you? This simple-to-set-up GPS is filled with different maps of nearly every country in the world.
Want to ride your bike in Amsterdam? Paris? France? You can rest assured that the Wahoo GPS has got you covered. If you’re riding your bike in Antarctica, though, then I’m not so sure this is going to be of any use…Here’s a pro tip: Don’t ride your bike in Antarctica!
Enjoy your many miles of exploration ahead of you!
- WiFi and dual band (BLE and ANT+) support
- Turn-by-turn navigation
- Preloaded maps
- Good battery and Starva live segments
- Could use a bigger display
Latest deal: Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer
Garmin Edge Explore
Garmin has once again made the third position on this list with Edge Explore. While this device is not up to the standard of the Garmin Edge 1030, it is a close second when looking at Garmin products in general.
This device has a high-resolution screen that can be used with gloves on. Like the previous Garmin model on this list, this device features LiveTrack so that your friends and family can see your live progress while you’re on the road!
This model provides insights on your VO2 max, recovery, training balance, heat, altitude acclimation, nutrition, and even hydration; you can track all the essential progress!
Now, let me tell you something:
One feature which I thought was a nice touch was that this bike computer is equipped with a pin-protected bike alarm which will notify your smartphone if your bike has been moved while you’re getting a quick glass of drink.
With up to 20 hours of battery life, this GPS is great for those long trails with all your buddies. You also get a preloaded Garmin cycling map that gives you turn-by-turn navigation through the toughest and trickiest terrains with ease.
This little computer is brilliant for pushing the boundaries and setting fitness goals for yourself and your buddies.
- Touchscreen interactive display
- Customizable with widgets and apps
- LiveTrack and GroupTrack features
- GPS and turn-by-turn navigation
- Could use better battery life
Latest deal: Garmin edge explore
Bryton rider 15 NEO
A step down from the Wahoo GPS is the Bryton Rider which comes in at number 4 on the list. This GPS comes packed full of 30 different features including time, calories, distance, speed, heading, altitude, and many more!
If you are worried about whether you will be after to see the display after sunset then you sleep well knowing that this device comes with an automatic backlight that will light up after the sun goes down!
This cycling computer was created with cyclists in mind, for easy operation and improved features so you can be sure to be getting the very most out of your ride. The clear 2″ screen and 3 intuitive buttons are easy to navigate and see in all weather conditions.
Whopping 16-hour battery life means you can spend the whole day riding without having to worry about finding a place to charge this amazing piece of kit.
The display on this GPS is IPX7 water-resistant meaning you can ride through wet terrains and not have to worry about any damage occurring. This cycling computer has versatile functions, durable design, and powerful satellite connectivity too.
If we had to sum this GPS up, we would say that it is a great beginner option for people who are new to cycling, it’s brilliant quality for the price!
- 16-hour battery life
- Backlit display
- 30 different functions
- Full GNSS support
- Could use a more colorful display
Latest deal: Bryton rider 15 NEO
Garmin edge 530
Garmin is back yet again with their edge 530, this time offering a more rugged and durable experience in the name of bike computers.
I love the compact and lightweight construction of this computer, making it easy to mount and also keeps the bike weight low. Plus the all-black look is sleek and low-profile, keeping things stealthy.
It includes cycling safety features like a bike alarm are included along with group chat, tracking, and incident detection. Includes Garmin’s trusty routable maps for proper navigation only to be made better with GPS support
The display can be customized with various different widgets and apps. You also get an amazing 20-hour battery life with GPS on, so you’ll never need to worry about your battery dying on you again.
The Garmin Edge 530 cycling computer is super aerodynamic and is also IPX7 water-resistant, making it easy for you to put it through the roughest terrains without a problem. Plus the MTB dynamics track jump count, jump distance and even hang time as well.
The Garmin Edge 530 is ready to shred the trails.
- Aerodynamic and IPX7 water resistant
- 20-hour battery life
- Turn-by-turn navigation
- Customizable display
- Could use more color options
Latest deal: Garmin edge 530
Garmin edge 830
Garmin is well-known for making some of the best bike computers you will find on the market. And the Garmin edge 830 is no exception to that rule. The computer is all-black with a sleek design to maintain a low profile while riding.
It is also easy to mount and is also lightweight. The display is touchscreen and comes with GPS support for mapping. Plus the dynamic performance monitoring lets you keep track of your workouts with proper data to support your training sessions.
But that’s not all:
You get cycling safety features like bike alarm, group messaging, tracking, and compatibility with Variant rearview radar. The routable Garmin cycling map gives you turn-by-turn directions to wherever you want to go.
The display is customizable with widgets and apps of your choice, and the battery life is also great at 20 hours with GPS. Overall, this is a great option for you to get.
- GPS support with turn-by-turn directions
- Cycling safety features
- 20-hour battery life
- Could use a bigger display
Latest deal: Garmin edge 830
CAT EYE, Padrone Wireless Bike Computer
While this computer is not as sophisticated as the other options on the list, it does come with the basic operations that you need when looking for a bike computer at an affordable price.
The Cat Eye Padrone Wireless Computer will display your current, max, and average speed, your total distance covered, trip distance, how long you have been riding for, and it also has a clock. No more angry mrs’s because you’re late home for the 4th time this week.
This cycling computer is brilliant for all kinds of weather conditions thanks to it being waterproof and having a Flextight bracket— you can mount it on your bike no matter the weather, cycle in the rain, and shine.
Plus, the display on this computer is large and easy to read so you won’t have to squint while trying to read the digits.
Now, you may be looking at this computer and thinking that it is too basic, well think again!
This device knows when you have stopped and will stop the timer! This is great for when you need to take a break or stop at a red light. If you are looking for the best cheap bike computer, then the Cateye is your best option.
- A lot of display features
- Easy to read display
- No second trip meter
Latest deal: CAT EYE Bike Computer
MEILAN M4 Bike Computer
For all your guys and girls out there looking for the best bike computer under 100, you’ve come to the right place! The Meilan Computer is waterproof and comes with both a speed and cadence sensor.
If you decide to take your bike out for a spin in the dark, you can rest assured that you will be able to see the large 2.5” screen perfectly as it has three levels of brightness! This computer can also be connected to a heart rate monitor if that’s what you wish to track!
Talking of tracking, the Meilan will track average speed, maximum speed, riding distance, mileage, riding time, the current time, calories, and temperature…wow I’m out of breath just typing that!
\While most bike computers require you to have wires attached to your bike, with this computer you will not have to worry about that as it is 100% wireless!
Can it get any better?
Yes, it can. You will get a three-month replacement guarantee and a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase. The guys at Meilan really do believe in this product!
- Large 2.5″ display
- Three levels of brightness
- Can connect to heart rate monitor
- 3 Month replacement guarantee
- User manual hard to follow
Latest deal: MEILAN M4 Bike Computer
Best Bike Computers Buyers Guide
Purchasing a bike computer can really up to your cycling game; it can allow you to set goals and push the boundaries, discover and explore new terrain, send your location in the case of an accident, message friends on the trails– the options are endless.
With the high volume of GPS cycling computers on the market today, it can be quite challenging to know what to look for; with thousands to choose from, there’s no wonder people find it daunting.
But no need to worry; I’m here to guide you through.
In this guide, I’ll be breaking down all the confusing features and key features to consider when purchasing a cycling computer, as well as answering any frequently asked questions.
Use these tips and tricks below to guide your buying journey.
What Does a Bike Computer Do?
A bike computer is a small, aerodynamically manufactured electric device that is designed for cycling. It is mounted onto the cyclist’s handlebars and designed to record data such as tracking their speed, distance calories burned, and cadence.
Cyclists use bike computers to track and improve their performance, considering variables like weight and wheel size to improve for their next session. Bike computers are also ideal for emergencies, some send live location to family and friends in case of emergency, and some will even call emergency services.
Another well-known feature about the best bike computers is the GPS systems; this allows riders to navigate popular or undiscovered routes, it also allows them to plan and set new routes to explore.
Cycling computers take the hassle out of having to bring your phone or constantly having to get out and fiddle around with your phone while cycling– this can be a right pain, especially with the sun glaring over you.
Cycling computers are also much more weather-resistant, lightweight, and durable. They sit on your bike frame nicely and don’t weigh down your frame like your phone would with a big bulky case on it.
What to look for in a bike computer:
Before buying yourself a bike computer, there are some key things to consider to ensure you’re getting the very best product for the price point.
This is the main thing you look at and interact with daily. Hence, it needs to be of the highest possible quality. Features like backlit screen and touch sensitivity should also be on board for your convenience.
As you work your way up the price ranges, you’ll notice features like color and touchscreens being available, you don’t necessarily need these features, but it makes life a lot easier when swiping through metrics or looking at the maps.
However, this may not work as well as said by the manufacturer if it is chucking down with rain or if you’re wearing thick gloves that are not touchscreen friendly. So even without a touch screen display, there are still some excellent options.
We are used to batteries running out on our phones, and that might be okay but running out of battery on your bike computer is something you cannot afford. If you are stuck in a sticky situation and your computer runs out of battery, you can have difficulty with directions.
Your smartphone tends to run out before the day ends, especially if it’s hitting the two-year mark; also, when using a GPS, you may only get a few hours before it dies– not ideal!
Even when you bring a portable charger, it adds weight to your ride, and the pesky wires can get annoying after a while.
On the other hand, a bike computer the battery life is designed for longer rides and full days of riding down the trails. You don’t need to worry about your bike computer dying on you and leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere– bike computers will provide you with at least 15 hours of battery life, even while the GPS is running.
I would recommend going for a rechargeable battery model to reduce waste and prevent having to bring spare batteries on your long days down the mountains with friends.
Build quality also needs to be top-notch on your bike computer. Everyone loves to go through the roughest and trickiest terrains, and your bike computer should at least be water-resistant to see you through a peaceful and adventurous time.
Navigation and functionality features:
This category is essential as one of the main features of a bike computer is tracking you and providing you with the best turn-by-turn navigation using GPS. This is super helpful when you may be stuck somewhere or want to get somewhere you don’t know directions.
Most cycling computers will include a GPS chip and access to satellite networks like Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, and much more. Many cycling computers have a map pre-installed on the computer, some devices even allow you to create routes and courses directly on the device.
Connectivity to your phone:
Everyone will agree with me when I say that smartphones have got gradually bigger and bigger over the years. Most phones may be water-resistant, but I wouldn’t recommend leaving a $1000 phone in the rain. We cyclists tend to buy a shockproof and waterproof phone case which makes our phones look like bricks!
Luckily, most cycling computers can connect to your phone and have the same features, such as calling emergency services and sending family and friends your exact location in the case of an emergency.
Using a smartphone holder is brilliant and old, but it’s almost impossible to see your screen when the sun is glaring down on you, and without the right phone case, if you get in an accident, your phone could break too– then you have nothing to call emergency services!
Smart cycling computers are brilliant as they tend to be weatherproof, durable, and lightweight. They are also much more affordable than your latest iPhone or Android. They’re designed for rugged conditions such as riding on the mountains and provide a high level of aerodynamics.
Cycling computer screens are also much easier to read; you won’t need to squint your eyes to get even a glimpse of the screen. Cycling computers are also very durable and won’t require a bulky case to protect them– making them user-friendly even with gloves.
Some bike computers even allow you to connect to third-party apps to track your progress, plan your workout training, and upload metrics to social media. Some of these apps include Komoot, Strava Live Segments, TrainerRoad, and much more.
These tend to be in the higher-end cycling computers, so if you’re looking for a GPS unit to track your miles and calories, go for the basic options. Still, if you’d like to get the most out of your workout and looking to improve on any ride, then I would recommend a cycling computer that can connect to these third-party apps.
How to Choose a Bike Computer:
Here are some extra tips for when you choose to buy a cycling computer:
Type of Riding:
There is a wide range of cycling computers to choose from on the market and there are different types for different kinds of riding. If you ride the same bike consistently then you may want different cycling to computer to if you use a range of different bikes.
If you’re looking to create new routes to follow and explore new terrains, then a cycling computer from the Garmin range may be your perfect fit. If you ride consistently on road or mountain bikes then the Bryton Rider is an excellent choice.
The brilliant thing about cycling computers though is that they tend to accommodate all types of riding. They all tend to be durable weatherproof and designed for rugged riding.
Ease of Setup:
No one wants a cycling computer that is difficult and confusing to use, there’s nothing worse than getting lost somewhere and having no idea how to set up the bike computer GPS to get you back.
The setup not only includes setting up the device with apps, your smartphone, and much more but also the ease of mounting it onto your bike frame. You want a cycling computer that you can mount and dismount with ease and not having to spend 20 minutes fiddling with the mount.
The Wahoo Elemnt Roam comes with a standard mount and out-front mount, it is fairly easy to set up and super versatile. The setup is extremely user-friendly for the setup, they also have companion apps for your smartphone, making setup even easier.
What Is Cadence On A Bike Computer?
With cadence being a prominent feature in the list of bike computers above, it can sometimes go unnoticed. Cadence stands for RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), a metric that measures the number of times you pedal per minute.
Of course, the more fatigued you become, the less RPM your cadence monitor will record.
What Bike Computer Do The Pros Use?
The pros use the best bike computers they can get their hands on, normally either the Garmin Edge 1030 or the Wahoo Element Bolt depending on your budget.
Is A Bike Computer Worth It?
Absolutely, bike computers are great for people who are serious about improving as fast as possible and want to have a log so they can track their previous stats.
They’re super lightweight and much more durable than carrying around your phone as a GPS. Some newer models also have safety features built in such as notifying friends and family in the case of an accident, or notify you if your bike has moved.
Do All Bike Computers Have GPS?
Not all bike computers have GPS, but not every rider needs a GPS. Some riders just use their cycling computers to track and improve their progress, if riders stay within familiar roads or trails they won’t need a GPS.
The best bike computer does include a GPS unit as it allows the rider the choice to use it if they need to.
We looked at some of the best bike computers you can find on the market today. Some had great build quality providing water resistance, while others were super lightweight.
All were easy to mount and had GPS functionality for turn-by-turn navigation. Some had touchscreen displays that could be used with gloves and customized with widgets and apps, while others focused solely on providing minimal and to-the-point information.
Battery life on all was amazing, and they will see you through a long day as well as quite some years without issue.
No matter which one you decide on, you will not be disappointed. Cycling is an amazing sport and deserves the very best equipment to go with it. And you should take every chance to tech your ride out with the best in class technology.
Never stop exploring, my friends!
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.