Best Road Bike Computer [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Have you been searching for cycling computers to improve your bike riding experience?
Well, look no further because we have what you need. After hours of looking at the best bike computers, we’ve compiled a list so you can quickly see which cycling computers are worth considering.
Finding the right bike computer can be tricky as many are either cheaply made or overpriced for what they offer so it can be hard to find those GPS cycling computers that give you a reasonable balance of price and quality.
However, don’t be put off.
We’ve looked at the features that each bike computer has including the power data, third-party apps, battery life, whether they have color or a black and white screen, the GPS unit, as well as speed and cadence sensors capabilities.
The first thing you probably noticed about bike computers is that they’re pricey, with many reaching prices as high as $400. So, if you’re on a budget we’d recommend looking at our other guide on cycling computers: The Best Budget Bike Computer.
But that aside, let’s get into the list and have a look at some of the best bike computers.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
The Best Road Bike Computer
GARMIN EDGE 1030
Here’s our top pick, the Garmin Edge 1030, and it’s easily the best bike computer on this list. Explore new routes and trails, set new personal records, and keep track of your training with the latest and greatest from Garmin Edge.
With Garmin Edge bike computers you can easily determine all kinds of ride data from how fast you’re going, to how far you’ve gone, how high you’ve climbed, and how much power you’re putting out. And let’s just say the Garmin Edge 1030 is no different, in fact, it’s one of the best bike computers we’ve seen on our search.
The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Cycling Computer is the deluxe edition of the prior Garmin Edge 130 and features new additions such as a larger 3.5” display, longer battery life, and additional training and connectivity features.
On top of that.
It uses GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellites, as well as an altimeter so you can know how far, fast, hard, and high you’re riding at all times.
The Edge 1030 also has turn-by-turn navigation with turn prompts and even shows you how to get back to the start. It’s compatible with Varia cycling awareness accessories and has an impressive battery life of up to 20 hours.
And, if you’re still not convinced, this is what one customer said about this bike computer. “After only a few days of use, my Edge 1030 has become an invaluable part of my routine. Stats in real-time and history tracking are clear, easy, and exhaustive.”
So, click the link and get this one right now, it’s worth every cent.
- One of the best GPS bike computers available
- Great battery life
- An abundance of features and training data
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Quite pricey
Latest deal: GARMIN EDGE 1030
HAMMERHEAD KAROO 2 GPS CYCLING COMPUTER
Next up is one of those cycling computers that just has it all. The Hammerhead Karoo 2 prioritizes and elevates your riding experience.
It’s been intelligently designed to resolve the limitations seen in other cycling computers on the market. The Karoo 2 features a Smartphone quality touchscreen, sizeable internal storage, IP67 dust, and waterproof rating, as well as full cellular, ANT+, and Bluetooth connectivity.
You can navigate maps and commands easier than ever thanks to the fully responsive 3.2″ smartphone quality touch screen that boasts the largest color spectrum on the market.
And as if that wasn’t enough
This cycling computer is designed to offer the most user-friendly and accessible experience. You can also create routes directly from the Karoo, or download routes from any website using the Chrome Extension making road adventures simple to plan.
You won’t need to worry about replacing this bike computer either as the body of the Karoo 2 is over-molded with a shock-reducing bumper. It’s also both dust and waterproof, while also including a waterproof SIM card cover so you can take the Karoo 2 just about anywhere without fear of damaging it.
This is no basic cycling computer. With all the features included it’s easily one of the most advanced and best bike computers you can find. While the asking price is a little high, the sheer volume of bonuses from the large screen size with easy-to-use user interface and colour screen to the amazing data tracking abilities makes most bike computers obsolete.
Get it now while it’s still in stock.
- Superb mapping and navigation
- Bluetooth Smart connectivity
- Tons of training features
- None that we could find
Latest deal: HAMMERHEAD KAROO 2 GPS CYCLING COMPUTER
Garmin Edge 830 GPS Bike Computer
And taking our number 3 spot is another entry from Garmin Edge.
This bike computer provides insights on your VO2 max, recovery, training balance, heat and altitude acclimation, nutrition, hydration, and more making it a powerhouse when it comes to tracking all the data you need to improve your cycling.
One cool feature we especially loved is the PIN-protected bike alarm that will notify you on your smartphone if your bike is moved at all when you’re not on it.
The preloaded, routable Garmin cycle map offers routing which calculates routes based on the most popular rides from Garmin Connect so you can ride on all the best trails and roads that have been approved by fellow cyclists.
Also included is an MTB dynamics track jump count, jump distance, and hang time as well as Grit, plus a measure of the ride’s difficulty and Flow tracking the smoothness of descent. This bike computer is versatile and works wonders for road and mountain bike cyclists.
One happy customer said that it “works seamlessly” with their iPhone and that they actually preferred it much more than their “Garmin 1030”.
This one is a no-brainer and a must-buy for any cyclist that takes their hobby seriously.
- One of the best GPS cycling computers
- Turn-by-turn directions
- Advanced training features
- Decent battery life
- Course re-routing feature isn’t the greatest
Latest deal: Garmin Edge 830 GPS Bike Computer
Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS Computer
Next up we have the Wahoo Elemnt, a very popular and renowned cycling computer.
The Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS Computer is at the top of the pile when it comes to bike computers. Famed for its ability to connect including GPS, GLONASS, Strava, Di2 Shifting, ANT+, and iPhone. It’ll seamlessly converse with all of them.
It’s the best bike computer when it comes to communicating with the bike tech computer verse. If you are heading out on a ride, the Wahoo Elemnt Roam will keep you connected with pretty much anything.
But wait, there’s more.
This bike computer also works with every bike-related app on the planet, from electronic shifting systems to oxygen sensors and social, navigation, or workout apps.
As for reviews, this is what one customer had to say: “By far best Bike GPS. I have used this on my road and mountain bike. If you use this for your mountain bike you will want a different mount. However, it comes with everything you need to set it up and ride from out of the box. Really easy to pair with your Wahoo app. Again, my favorite Bike GPS!”
Now, that’s hard to argue with. So why wait? Add it to your basket now.
- More versatile than other cycling GPS computers
- Easy-to-read data screens
- Live tracking and offline maps
- The display isn’t very advanced
Latest deal: Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS Computer
Lezyne Mega XL GPS Cycling Computer
And last but not least at number 5 place is the Lezyne Mega XL GPS bike computer.
This one is for cyclists that love data, the Mega XL is perfect with a large 2.7″ 240×400 high-resolution screen, the Mega XL has the data you want and displays it in the best way possible.
Offering simultaneous pairing with Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ devices, the Mega XL can display data from power meters, heart rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors, and compatible electronic drivetrains.
But of course, by now you know there’s more.
The Mega XL can also connect with Lezyne’s Smart Connect LED system and the Lezyne Ally smartphone app for additional customization and features.
This cycling computer is durable with its weather-resistant shell and includes a bunch of really useful features like a barometer/accelerometer, trainer mode, multiple bike profiles, navigation, route building, custom alerts, and auto presets.
Now, it may not be as jam-packed with bonuses as other entries on this list but it still throws in a lot more than other cycling computers. bets of all though is the low price of only $199 making this the cheapest GPS computer on this list.
This one has been slept on and doesn’t get as much praise as other models like the Garmin Edge 530, 830, or the Wahoo Elemnt. We think it’s time this hidden gem came out of hiding so check it out.
- Provides accurate ride data
- Great battery life
- Rivals the best in the bike computer market
- Not as many features
Latest deal: Lezyne Mega XL GPS Cycling Computer
Features Of A Bike Computer
- Trip distance
- Current speed
- Maximum speed
- Average speed
- Elapsed time
- Wireless compatible
- Calorie counter
- GPS maps
- Muscle oxygen sensor integration
- Smartphone notifications and automated responses
- Weather information
- Colour display
- Heart rate (when combined with a heart rate sensor – usually available separately)
What Are Bluetooth And ANT+?
ANT+ – ANT+ is a wireless solution commonly used to monitor sensor data either in real-time or in certain intervals. It can be used to monitor things such as tire pressure or sports tracking data like heart rate.
Bluetooth – Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows the exchange of data between different devices within a short distance.
One way that ANT+ and Bluetooth differ is that ANT+ can be used to connect one thing to multiple other things, whereas Bluetooth is a one-to-one connection.
Many cycling computers have started to work with both ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors now but some still stick to one or the other so be sure to double-check before you make a purchase.
Battery Life on GPS Bike Computers
Do you enjoy going on long bike rides through different parts of the country for hours at a time?
Well, you’re not the only one. Now, tracking your data on these trips can be a fun idea but the issue of battery life may be troubling you. You’re in luck though.
There are different types of bike computers but they’re all pretty even when it comes to the issue of battery life. On the other hand, if you’re comparing smartphones vs bike computers then you’ll see a vast difference in terms of battery life with a cycling computer being the clear winner.
Many computers will have a claimed battery life of between 15 and 20 hours, but this will vary in some cases. External battery expanders can bump up the battery life of your cycling computer though so if you’re out for a particularly long time you don’t have to worry about your power meter dying mid-ride.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do bike computers come with sensors?
Most units offer baseline data like speed and distance but you’ll need to add special sensors to monitor key data and improve accuracy. However, many bike computers are sold in a bundle that includes those sensors.
Can I use my iPhone as a cycling computer?
So, can you use your iPhone as a bike computer? Yes, you can but we wouldn’t;t recommend it unless you’re a casual rider. While it’s true that an iPhone can do everything a bike computer does and adds that layer of convenience due to most people owning one, they are at risk of breaking on your ride and the battery life can be a real hindrance if you’re cycling for any longer than 2 hours.
What should I look for in a bike computer?
Key functions include speed, distance, and odometer features, while more advanced models can also measure cadence, calories burned, elevation, heart rate, temperature, and a whole lot more.
Do bike computers have GPS?
GPS cycling computers use satellites to track your position, accurately calculating speed, distance, and time without wires or magnets. They record your route as well as any data collected including your heart rate, cadence, and power.
So now you know what the best bike computer is it’s time to make a decision and add one to your basket.
Remember, you’ll want one that has a long battery life but also has all the necessary features you want to measure for your bike rides.
Our top pick in this list was the Edge 1030 which is easily one of the best GPS bike computers available with its great battery life, an abundance of features, and training data, plus, it’s cadence sensor compatibile and has Bluetooth connectivity.
But whichever cycling computer you settle on make sure it works for you and most importantly, you feel confident buying it. If you have any trouble attaching your computer then check out our article on how to install a bike computer.
Alternatively, if you want to get the most out of your cycling computer then take a look at our other article on how to use a road bike computer.
Other than that though, the final decision is down to you so choose wisely. All of the products we’ve listed here are of high quality and from reputable brands so if you’re feeling wary about shopping online any of the 5 products discussed here are sure to satisfy your needs.
Good luck and keep pedaling.
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.