GPS technology does more than keep you from getting lost. Aside from continuously tracking your positioning as you ride via satellites, you can use your GPS computer for live tracking so that friends and family can follow along as you ride, as well as to get more accurate speed and distance measurements. Unlike a non-GPS bike computer, the GPS connectivity also accurately tracks your altitude so you know just how much climbing you’ve accomplished during a day in the saddle.
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1. Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike ComputerPrice: $379.99Pros:
- Real-time tracking makes it easy for friends and family to track your rides
- Customizable LED indicators keep you on track with your performance metrics
- Waterproof for riding in the rain
- Buttons can be tough to push
- Only a few available screen colors
- Doesn't support turn-by-turn instructions for Strava
Stay focused on your ride instead of trying to read the screen, as the Wahoo ROAM has a crisp and colorful 2.7-inch Gorilla Glass display. Not only can you clearly see the necessary details for your ride, including turn-by-turn directions or your speed, this cycling GPS also has an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen’s LED and backlights based on current conditions. The sensor works outdoors and inside, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to see the screen when you switch from one setting to the next.
GPS integration provides you with user-friendly maps that you can easily navigate even if you’re venturing into uncharted territory. If you need some guidance, the ROAM automatically generates turn-by-turn prompts for all routes, including those imported from Strava and Ride With GPS. This cycling GPS is also Bluetooth-enabled and automatically sends your cycling routes to your phone. You can easily retrace your route with the push of a button and save your favorite rides for next time. If you need to get back to your starting point but can’t bear the thought of retracing your route, the computer’s on-device navigation technology finds you the shortest way back and provides turn-by-turn directions.
A live tracking portal lets you text or email a link via the app, so your friends and family can track your ride in real-time. You can customize the screen to best suit your ride, whether you want a sweeping view of your performance metrics, real-time ascent tracking or a full-screen map view. Another option is to fully customize the screens via the Wahoo app. You can press the three buttons on the top of the computer to toggle through the metrics and zoom in and out of data fields.
If you’re hunting for a PR or simply want to stay on track with your training, customizable LED indicators let you know if you’re keeping pace with your performance metrics. If you’re using the cycling GPS with a bike trainer, it’s compatible with Wahoo’s KICKR, KICKR CORE and KICKR SNAP trainers. ANT+ FE-C control lets you use the ROAM with smart trainers from other brands. The ROAM is fully integrated with popular apps such as Strava, Komoot, Ride With GPS, Best Bike Split and Relive.
Depending on your usage you can expect a battery life of roughly 17 hours per charge. When the battery is low, simply remove the GPS bike computer and recharge it with a USB cable. The ROAM pairs with Android and iOS phones and has an IPX7 waterproof rating, so you don’t have to worry about rides in the rain. Its convenient out-front stem mount makes the ROAM equally suited for road riding and mountain biking.
If you’re looking for similar functionality but don’t need a color screen, check out the more affordable Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer.
2. Garmin Edge 530Pros:
- Battery lasts up to 20 hours depending on usage
- Safety features such as live tracking and incident detection
- IPX7 waterproof rating for rain, snow, splashes and showers
- Display isn't a touchscreen
- Can't adjust how quickly screen turns off in battery-saving mode
- Power meter required for V02 max function
Garmin’s Edge 530 is a solid value if you’re looking for a performance GPS cycling computer. Highlights include a 2.6-inch color display along with the ability to add maps with popularity routing to check out fun new rides.
If you stray off course during your ride, the cycling GPS will recalculate and get you back on track. You can also easily find your way back to the starting point with guidance.
Dynamic performance monitoring provides valuable insight into the way your body is responding to training, including training load, recovery time and VO2 max. You can boost your training even more by using a compatible Vector power meter with your Garmin Edge computer. Additional training features include interval training and advanced workouts along with the ability to ride with a virtual partner. An available recovery advisor lets you know how well you’re recovering, including whether you’re over-training.
In terms of storage, you can save up to 200 hours of history and up to 100 courses. The battery lasts up to 20 hours, depending on usage. If you’re concerned about the battery you can simply switch to the battery-saving mode. An IPX7 waterproof rating means the computer can withstand splashes and showers along with rain and snow.
The Edge 530 features Bluetooth, ANT+ and WiFi connectivity and will work with iPhone and Android smartphones. You’ll also get smart notifications as you ride. Several safety features are available, including individual and group live tracking along with incident detection, rider to rider messaging and more.
If you’re more into trail riding, you might really appreciate mountain biking dynamics such as jump count and distance along with hang time. To get even more out of the Garmin Edge 530 on your favorite trails, the mountain bike bundle also includes a speed sensor and a mount that’s specifically made for mountain bikes.
The Garmin Edge 830 is essentially the same as the Edge 530, although it comes with a touchscreen display for added convenience. If you’re looking for a more basic GPS cycling computer for general training and performance, check out the Garmin Edge 520 Plus.
3. iGPSPORT GPS Bike ComputerPros:
- Automatic backlight function takes effect based on the current sunrise and sunset
- Sensitive GPS receiver tracks your location, distance and speed in real-time
- Automatically pauses and shuts off as needed
- Doesn't alert to incoming calls or texts
- Not Bluetooth compatible
- Limited third-party app compatibility
Some GPS cycling computers only connect to a limited number of accessories, such as your favorite speed and cadence sensors or heart rate monitors, but the iGPSSPORT connects with virtually any brand that’s ANT+ compatible. A sensitive GPS receiver tracks your location, distance and speed in real-time and also quickly gets your position as you’re riding.
As you ride you can see your current, average and maximum speed along with your total and trip distance, riding time, current temperature, gradient and more. When you’re done riding you can upload the files to Strava or Map My Ride to keep tabs on your training.
The cycling computer automatically pauses and shuts off as needed when out on the bike or have finished your ride. An automatic backlight function takes effect based on the current sunrise and sunset.
Three buttons on the bottom of the screen allow you to power the device on or off, record a lap or switch between modes. An out-front mount is included for your convenience.
4. Stages Dash M50 GPS Bike ComputerPros:
- Battery lasts up to 24 hours with light use and 11 hours with heavier use
- On-screen call and text notifications
- Screen can be configured in various ways
- Buttons can be hard to push
- Battery drains fairly quickly with heavier use
- Only comes with one mount
If black and white is too boring, upgrade to the Dash M50 for a full-color 2.25-inch screen. A quick glance down gives you instant access to maps with navigation along with a course elevation profile. The screen can be configured to show virtually any combination of data in landscape or portrait mode.
Setting up the computer is easy, whether you’re doing it on-screen or through the Stages app. Once the setup process is complete you can use ANT+ and Bluetooth technology to pair this Dash cycling computer to just about any device. As an added bonus, your favorite Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate monitoring straps, speed and cadence sensors and power meters are also compatible.
The app also lets you wireless transfer ride files, access your training history and receive on-screen notifications when you get a text or phone call. USB and Bluetooth data transfer is also available. An IPX7 waterpoof rating means you don’t have to worry about riding in the rain when you’re using this cycling GPS.
Other features to help boost your training rides include live interval recording and a barometric altimeter. The battery can last up to 24 hours, or up to 11 hours with heavier use such as maps, power and heart rate sensors and courses.
5. Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike ComputerPros:
- ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi connectivity
- Strava Live segments for training-oriented rides
- Larger 2.2-inch display
- Doesn't have a color display
- Lacks an ambient light sensor
- Doesn't have on-demand re-routing
Some GPS cycling computers are downright clunky and cumbersome, but the ELEMNT Bolt stands out for its highly efficient aerodynamic design. Don’t be fooled by its smaller size, though, as the 2.2-inch display means you can clearly see all your essential riding data. The Bolt weighs just 60 grams and can be conveniently mounted out front or on your bike’s stem.
Built-in GPS functionality provides the guidance you need on road and trail rides, while four supported satellites, including GPS and Glonass, ensures you’ll find a signal just about anywhere. ANT+, ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi connectivity means you can use your favorite devices to enhance your performance even more. There’s also an altimeter to show your climbing stats. If the included maps aren’t enough, you can download additional maps via WiFi. If you need them, turn-by-turn directions are available via Ride With GPS and Komoot.
As long as you’re using the accompanying app you can also use on-demand route generation, retrace your route or save locations. The Bolt integrates with many of your favorite cycling apps, including TrainingPeaks for planned workouts, Strava and Ride With GPS for routing and navigation and BestBikeSplit for racing.
While this cycling computer features an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can withstand rain and snow, you may find yourself occasionally riding indoors. Fortunately, the Bolt is compatible with Wahoo smart trainers and ANT+ FE-C trainers.
Additional features include live tracking and on-screen call, text and email alerts. LED indicators make it easier to keep tabs on your power, speed, heart rate, turn-by-turn directions and more. If you’re feeling extra competitive, you can push your limits with integrated Strava Live segments.
Upgrading to the Wahoo ROAM GPS bike computer gets you a slightly larger 2.7-inch color display, along with a slightly longer battery life of 17 hours per charge. Instead of one row of customizable LED lights, the ROAM has two. You’ll also get an ambient light sensor. Turn-by-turn directions are also available via Strava and additional routing source files. Other perks include finding a route to your starting point, on-demand re-routing and the ability to find the shortest route, none of which are available features on the Bolt. You’ll also get on-demand route generation, the ability to retrace your route and save locations directly on the device, while the Bolt requires an app.
6. Garmin Edge 830Pros:
- Safety features include incident detection and rider-to-rider messaging
- Can be customized with your favorite apps and widgets
- Mountain bike dynamics track jump count, distance and hang time
- Doesn't have external memory storage
- TrailForks integration can be hit-or-miss
- Some complaints of periodic signal drop-outs
The touchscreen display on the Edge 830 adds an element of convenience to any ride, especially if you’re tired of having to press a button every time you want to check on your performance. As with the popular Garmin Edge 530, this cycling GPS also comes with a 2.6-inch color display.
Mapping technology keeps you on track, whether you’re more into road or trail riding. You can also add maps as you go to expand your cycling horizons. GPS and GLONASS sensors guide you in the right direction and can help you find your route if you take a wrong turn. This Garmin Edge also comes with a barometric altimeter to accurately track your altitude, along with an accelerometer and an ambient light sensor.
Bluetooth, ANT+ and WiFi connectivity lets you use the computer with a wide range of your favorite devices. This Garmin also works with iPhone and Android smartphones. Several safety and tracking features are available, including live tracking to let friends, family and fellow cyclists know where you are, along with group live tracking to make sure your group members meet up at the same point.
Other highlights include rider-to-rider messaging, incident detection and interval training, along with customizable data pages and downloadable training plans. You can also track your VO2 max, training load focus, heat and altitude acclimation and more.
An upgrade to the top-tier Garmin Edge 1030 also gets you a color touchscreen, although the screen is a larger 3.5 inches. The Edge 1030 also has a crisper display resolution along with a microSD slot, so you can opt for internal or external memory storage.
7. Bryton Rider 15E GPS ComputerPrice: $79.95Pros:
- Syncs to Strava, TrainingPeaks and other popular apps to upload and share data
- Battery lasts up to 16 hours per charge
- Display shows four cycling data per page, including the heading
- Doesn't measure or display cadence
- Some better-equipped computers have a longer battery life
- Display can be confusing
If you’re just looking for a basic GPS cycling computer without all the extra bells and whistles, consider the Bryton Rider 15E. In fact, all you need to do is power on this affordable cycling GPS unit and hit your favorite road or trails.
An integrated GNSS receiver ensures more dependable satellite coverage, even in places with lots of buildings or trees. As you head off for your ride, you can select between compass mode, which points north, along with map mode, which points towards your current direction. The 2.0-inch display shows four cycling data per page, including the heading. The data is customizable.
This budget-friendly GPS computer supports multiple functions, including heart rate, altitude, time, speed, distance, cadence, calories burned, temperature and more. Whether you have an iOS or Android phone, you can receive call, email and text notifications as you ride, as long as you pair the unit with the app via Bluetooth.
If you have BLE sensors, the Rider 15 automatically adjusts its data display accordingly. You’ll also get an alert on the screen if a sensor battery is running low. A backlight turns on automatically based on your current longitude and latitude.
Instead of hunting down the necessary software to convert your training files, you can simply sync and share your data to Strava, Selfloops and TrainingPeaks via the accompanying app. An IPX7 waterproof rating means you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain with this GPS bike computer. The battery lasts up to 16 hours per charge for full days of riding.
8. Lezyne Mega XL GPS Smart Loaded ComputerPros:
- Stores up to 800 hours of cycling data
- Comes with pre-loaded maps that can be used offline
- Runs up to 48 hours per charge
- A bit hefty
- Doesn't always synch easily with other devices
- Setup can be cumbersome
Squinting at a screen can be tiring when you’re riding, which is where this GPS bike computer’s larger 2.7-inch display comes in handy. Not only is the screen big enough to easily see crucial data as you’re riding, it also has a crisp 240 x 400 resolution so you won’t miss any details. As an added bonus, you can rotate the screen vertically or horizontally as needed.
Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ connectivity let you quickly and easily pair your favorite power meters, heart rate monitors and speed and cadence sensors to maximize your performance. Once the pairing is complete you can check on your elevation, distance, speed, laps, calories burned and the grade.
As long as you have the app running, you can also get turn-by-turn directions and instant alerts to incoming calls, texts and messages. Pre-loaded maps are available, and you can even use them offline if necessary. There’s also a re-routing feature and custom route building to keep you on track. This bike GPS stores up to 800 hours of riding data, even with multiple users.
Despite the fact that this cycling computer is loaded with features, it can run up to 48 hours on a single charge. Other perks include a weather-resistant exterior and an included standard mount. You’ll also find a barometer and accelerometer to keep you in top shape.
9. SRM Power Control 8 GPS ComputerPrice: $750.00Pros:
- Stores up to 4,000 hours of training data
- Waterproof construction handles snow, sleet and rain
- Integrated motion sensor starts the computer when you begin riding
- A bit heavy
- Doesn't have Bluetooth connectivity
The Power Control 8 gets right down to business by providing you all the reliable and essential training tools you need, such as GPS tracking as well as ANT+ connectivity to connect with your favorite compatible power meter. In fact, you can link the cycling computer to four different power meters.
GPS technology tracks each ride. You’ll also find a barometric altimeter, which measures changes in air pressure to determine altitude changes. As you go you can monitor the PC 8’s training metrics such as your training stress score, intensity factor and normalized power to keep your workouts in check. You can also pair the computer with apps such as Training Peaks to get personalized zone settings.
An integrated motion sensor means the computer automatically starts when you do. There’s also a light sensor to adjust the backlight as needed. This cycling computer can store up to 4,000 hours of training data and comes with a large 500 MB memory. Riding in foul weather isn’t an issue, as the PC 8 has a waterproof construction that can handle virtually any miserable riding condition, from sleet to rain to wind to snow.
10. XOSS G+ GPS Cycling ComputerPros:
- Built-in barometer shows how high you've climbed on each ride
- ANT+ compatibility with your speed and cadence sensors and heart rate monitors
- App syncs with Strava
- Can't display cycling routes
- Doesn't have navigation technology
- GPS signal won't work in tunnels
If you’re looking for a cycling GPS computer with longer battery life, the XOSS G+ can get up to 25 hours on a single charge based on continuous use for an hour each day. ANT+ technology makes this cycling computer compatible with your favorite speed and cadence sensors along with heart rate monitors.
A four-satellite system, including GPS and Glonass satellites, provides a stronger signal no matter where you are. The 1.8-inch screen displays information from compatible sensors as you go, so you can track your distance, cadence, time, current and average speed and more. Once you’ve downloaded the accompanying app you can look back at each ride for a more detailed analysis. You can also use the app to sync with Strava.
A built-in barometer shows how high you’ve climbed on each ride. Foul weather isn’t an issue, as the computer has an IPX7 waterproof rating and can handle the rain and snow. The backlight automatically switches on at night, although you can disable the function via the app. A standard mount makes installing the computer a quick and easy process.
Upgrade to the XOSS Sprint for a larger 2.7-inch screen and an even better battery life up to 37 hours per charge. This computer also shows your route and navigation. If you don’t need a barometer or ANT+ compatibility, check out the more affordable base G model.
11. MEILAN M3 Mini GPS Bike ComputerPros:
- Bright 1.7-inch display with anti-glare coating
- Display is backlit to see at night
- No-frills design for cyclists on a budget
- Can't wirelessly upload data
- Only comes with a stem mount
- Some complain of inconsistent altimeter readings
If you’re looking for a compact and affordable GPS bike computer, the MEILAN M3 Mini Computer fits the bill. This no-frills cycling computer shows essential cycling data such as your current, average and maximum speed, current time, altitude, riding distance and total time.
The computer can store up to 30 rides, which can be easily viewed with the push of a button. The computer relies on three satellite systems, including GPS and Glonass, to quickly and precisely find your location.
Despite its compact size, this mini-computer sports a 1.7-inch display screen with an anti-glare coating. It’s also bright enough to see from all angles, as well as in full sun. A white backlight ensures you can clearly see your riding data at night.
Do I Need a GPS Bike Computer?
GPS functionality can greatly enhance your cycling workouts by determining your location and calculating your positioning, speed and routes. However, most GPS computers are larger, heavier and have a shorter battery life than non-GPS cycling computers. They also tend to be pricier, but most cyclists agree that the extra cost is worth it, as many GPS bike computers also come with several additional features.
According to the National Ocean Service, there are over 30 GPS satellites orbiting the planet at an altitude of 12,000 miles. Once your GPS bike computer calculates its distance using at least four satellites, your location can be determined within seconds. As you ride, the satellites follow your device to continuously track you as you go.
You don't have to be a seasoned rider to appreciate the advantages a GPS bike computer has to offer. Even if you're heading out for your first ride, you can use a GPS cycling computer for essentials such as recording your route, tracking heart rate, and measuring the distance covered.
What Is the Best GPS Bike Computer?
If you want to connect with one or more cycling sensors, including those on some indoor bike trainers, consider whether the computer has ANT+ or Bluetooth connectivity. ANT+ is popular for its extended and dependable network, but an increasing number of cycling computers come with Bluetooth technology. Keep in mind that some computers may not be compatible with power meters.
Having all the essential information and more in front of you during a ride can help you become a stronger and faster rider. Many GPS cycling computers require an iOS or Android device to set up, but are generally simple to use and operate once they're up and running. Some bike computers offer little more than GPS functionality to track your ride, while others have more bells and whistles such as route tracing, finding your way back to the starting point using a different route, turn-by-turn directions to keep you on course and more.
What Is the Best Garmin for Cycling?
Garmin makes several noteworthy GPS cycling computers. Some of the most popular Garmin GPS cycling computers include the Edge 520 Plus, Edge 530, Edge 830 and Edge 1030. Only the Edge 830 and 1030 models have a touchscreen, but all computers come with a color display. The display size ranges from 2.3 inches on the Edge 520 Plus up to 3.5 inches on the 1030.
The battery lasts up to 15 hours on the Edge 520 Plus, and up to 20 hours on the other models. Except for the Edge 520 Plus, each computer has a battery saving mode.
All Edge computers have an IPX7 water rating, so you don't have to worry about getting caught in the rain. Each model has GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite connectivity to precisely find your location. You'll also find a barometric altimeter and an accelerometer on each model. Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity is standard, but you'll also get WiFi with the Edge 530, 830 and 1030.
For your safety, live and group tracking is available on each Garmin Edge computer, along with rider-to-rider messaging and incident detection. All Edge computers are compatible with power meters and Garmin Varia lights.
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