(Image credit: Aaron Borill)
The easiest cycling computers accessible in 2019 have come a long way since the long-established ‘Cyclometer’ invented by Curtis H Veeder, an analogue device that counted how many times a wheel rotated, and converted that into distance using a formula.Now, compact handlebar-mounted devices feature a GPS chip, Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi and a host of other metrics ranging from speed, distance, and power to schooling strain score, ‘beers earned’ and Strava Live Segments.When you’re surfing for a new cycling pc it can be troublesome to navigate the vast spec sheets that come along with even the most classic units, so in the list below we’ll help you to wade thru the tech jargon and aid to discover and buy the best cycling pc for you.Click by the use of for our guide on what to appearance for in a cycling computerWahoo ELEMNT RoamA complete featured pc that puts a best fee on user interface, now with a colour screenPrice: $380 / £300 / AU$600 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: OpenStreet Map | Battery existence: 17 hours | Colour display screen: Yes | Screen size: 2.7in / 68.58mm diagonalEasy of useRich feature setPriceAs Wahoo’s current (and most expensive) pc to date, it’s also the first to have a color reveal.
The colours, however, have been used sparingly, only performing in genuine education and navigational elements, to bring consciousness to counsel, not just for the sake of having a color screen.Roughly the same size as the brand’s fashioned ELEMNT pc, the Roam includes over the Bolts Aero shaping and plays high-high-quality with both Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors including power meters.In addition to more training metrics than maximum recognise what to do with, Wahoo has also upgraded the Roam’s navigation expertise.
The pc can help you to a vicinity stored on the device, provide directions from your current area to the birth of a course, pan and zoom on the map to find a actual region or take you back in which you started.With a claimed 17 hours of battery existence, the Roam contains over Wahoo’s nifty telephone integration for handy setup and customisation, loose all over the world map downloads and the emblem’s signature brief zoom feature which lets you augment or cut back the data fields showing with the push of a button.Garmin Edge 530Possibly Garmin’s easiest computer to datePrice: $299 / £259 / AU$499 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: Garmin Cycle Maps, Trail Forks | Battery lifestyles: 20 hours | Colour exhibit: Yes | Screen length: 2.6in / 66mm diagonalMapping is clear and simpleNew, quicker processorNew performance metricsFiddly to set upMap browsing is a button-pressing marathonThe follow up to the uber-successful Edge 520, the brand new Garmin Edge 530 expands on the rich training suite, and adds a faster processor to hugely enhance mapping, a feature that was announced with the Edge 520 Plus.With either Garmin Cycle Maps and Trail Forks pre-installed on the Edge 530, whether on the road or trail it can help you find your manner.
With a battery life of 20 hours – 40 in battery saver mode – it’s also one of the longest-lasting computers on the market.
That’s in the beyond you upload the Garmin Charge optional battery pack.You’d be forgiven for confusing the new Edge 530 and 830 as they appearance almost exactly the related, the only specific difference being the 830 gets a touch reveal and on-device route making plans for approximately 100-bucks extra.The Edge 530 also gets get admission to to the Garmin Connect store, meaning you can add apps like Accuweather, Yelp, and Komoot among others, download documents fields, and the pc can also speak to Garmin’s Varia Radar lights.On the whole, my time with the Garmin Edge 530 became into surprising.
There were a few initial headaches with setup, but once they were out of the way, the long list of features made for a unbelievable tool that changed into fast, clean, and a truly beneficial addition to my ride.Read our complete Garmin Edge 530 reviewWahoo ELEMNT BoltFull featured head unit with marvelous battery life that doesn’t cost a limbPrice: $249.99 / £199.99 / AU$399 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: OpenStreet Map | Battery life: 15 hours | Colour demonstrate: No | Screen length: 2.2in / 56mm diagonalForm factorBattery lifeBlack and white mapsWhen it became into released, the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt became into definitely a more compact ‘aero’ edition of the logo’s first computer.
It had all the similar features, minus one set of LED’s along the facet of the screen and longer battery life — claimed at 15 hours.Like the Roam, the Bolt is predicated heavily on the partner app for setup, in spite of this it’s a streamlined and intuitive process, and the ease of use is 2nd to none. While it doesn’t get a color reveal, the monochrome version is fantastic for archives fields, then again whilst it comes to navigation, it’s from time to time complicated to figure out where you’re intended to move.Speaking of navigation, the device comes with preloaded international maps optimised for motorcycle-friendly routes and turn by means of turn navigation.Like it’s more costly cousin, the Bolt aspects tons of education metrics, support for either ANT+ and Bluetooth, as well as WiFi for quick uploads to Strava, Training Peaks or anyplace else you’d like your rides to be stored.Wahoo Elemnt Bolt full review(Image credit: Aaron Borrill)SRM PC8The purist’s choicePrice: £679 / $749 / AU$1089 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: No | Battery lifestyles: 10-45 hours (3 weeks in standby mode) | Colour reveal: No | Screen length: 2.7in / 68mm diagonalAestheticsHeritage ExclusivityBattery lifePriceNo navigationSRM is considered the global authority when it comes to energy meters, having solid a recognition in the professional peloton as the go-to data-harvesting tool of choice for the past three decades.The SRM PC8 may also have replaced the PC7 back in 2014 then again it’s aged impressively smartly all the way through this time, both from a visual and technological element of view. The most big hardware step-ups over its forebear comprised GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, ANT+ and an accelerometer – not anything else specially progressive no, notwithstanding the PowerControl has never claimed to compete with Garmin and Wahoo or any other GPS pc on the marketplace for that matter. Screen customisation a fairly handy undertaking permitting users to populate capability metrics and documents fields by means of a cellphone app (the PC8 cellular telephone app).
The show is pretty traditional and incorporates a black and white screen which is controlled via a light-sensitive backlight – nonetheless it all works very smartly.
The PC8, however, doesn’t desire the additional garnishing, touchscreen functionality, color screen and gimmicks of its competitors; or not it’s a superior example of the less-is-more philosophy and we like that very much. We particularly love the customisable, anodised aluminium chassis, which is reachable in ten various colours. Customers have the alternative of speccing the unit in their favored colour as smartly as opting for between eight alternative designs for the sides, adding flags and other ornate graphics.(Image credit: Aaron Borrill)Hammerhead KarooDespite its size, the Hammerhead Karoo is a great choice that should not be ignoredPrice: US$399 / £329 / AU$588 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: OpenStreet Map | Battery lifestyles: 15 hours | Colour display screen: Yes | Screen size: 3.5in / 89mm diagonalScreen resolutionNavigationIntuitive operationWeightLarger than rivalsNo protective casingMake no mistake, the Karoo is a fairly substantial unit when as compared to its competitors in spite of this it is a sleek-looking unit nonetheless. The build pleasant is great and the housing itself is chunky, hardy and designed to take a beating on the road or trail, possibly that is why Hammerhead does not offer a protective silicon case, even supposing we would have fun with the choice. The Hammerhead boasts one of, if not, the easiest screens on the market.
Utilising a 0.9mm-thick sheet of Gorilla Glass, the high-definition 640×480 (229 pixel according to inch) touchscreen is super-responsive and one of its biggest drawcards.The complete-color mapping is beautifully distinct and it’s the accuracy of the routing that sets it apart, not to mention the turn-through-turn instructions which reveal on the bottom of the monitor – the agency does, after all, pride itself on its navigation proficiency. Routes can be delivered by way of loading any of the average file extensions such as GPX, FIT, TCX, KML, or KMZ. At 98 x 72 x 28mm the Hammerhead is a fair whack higher than its opponents notwithstanding the rest that didn’t fairly bother us. In fact, the larger reveal made tracking vitals such as energy and center expense less of a strain and more of a pleasure. The Hammerhead Karoo’s mapping and GPS capabilities are unsurpassed, trumping its competitors in terms of accuracy, directional prompting and point of detail. In terms of battery lifestyles, Hammerhead claims 15 hours according to charge which is on par with segment standards. A clever touch is a battery-saving mode, which allows the Karoo’s reveal to be became off even as still recording the remainder of the ride.Bryton Aero 60Similar feature set to the Garmin Edge 520, more battery lifestyles and a fraction of the costPrice: $220 / £170 / AU$300 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: OpenStreet Map | Battery lifestyles: 30 hours | Colour reveal: No | Screen size: 2.3in / 58mm diagonalValue for moneyFeature-wealthy computerUser interface isn’t always intuitiveClearly taking a few cues from Wahoo, as the call states, the Aero 60 with its dimpled back plate and streamlined silhouette is claimed to cheat the wind.In our experience, Bryton computers come with a bit of a studying curve and aren’t the maximum easy units on the marketplace, what they do be providing, however, is critical bang for your greenback and are these days used by way of Deceuninck-QuickStep in the WorldTour.With preloaded Open Street Maps, support for ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors including power meters, 78 advice fields and a claimed 32-hours of battery life the Aero 60 only prices $220 / £170 / AU$300.The Aero 60 also allows for workouts to be exported from TrainingPeaks without delay by the use of the tool, vehicle sync to third-party training software, and enables for the displays and data fields to be set up by the use of the companion cellphone app.Lezyne Mega C Colour sceen and feature packed at a brilliant pricePrice: $200 / £180 / AU$300 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: Breadcrumb, Basemap by the use of the app | Battery lifestyles: 32 hours | Colour display screen: Yes | Screen size: 2.2in / 56mmExcellent battery lifeMaps no longer preloadedPhone crucial to begin routesBest typical for flashy pumps and drool-worthy tools, Lezyne dipped its toe into the GPS cycling pc marketplace in 2016, and its line of Super GPS computers have discovered a good balance between capability and cost point.Utilising a non-touch colour screen, the Mega C boasts a claimed battery life of 32-hours, edging in simply above the Bryton Aero 60.
The pc also supports ANT+ sensors including power meters and can shop up to 800 hours of ride documents.
The partner app allows brief uploads and automatically pushes ride data to Strava, Training Peaks or Today’s Plan.The little head unit can also aid you chase Strava KOM / QOM’s with Live Segments, enable you recognize if or not it’s your children or work calling you all over your ride with on-screen notifications, and deals electronic drivetrain integration through ANT+.The Mega C does offer turn by way of turn navigation and even in-activity rerouting, even though you’ll desire to kick off the direction employing your cellphone phone.
In lieu of a pre-installed based map, you’ll also desire to sync offline maps from your telephone to the computer.Garmin Edge 1030Packed complete of navigational and training facets, the Edge 1030 is supremely handy to usePrice: $600 / £500 / AU$750 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: Garmin Cycle Maps | Battery lifestyles: 20 hours | Colour video display: Yes | Screen length: 3.5in / 89mmMassive color touch screenRefined interfacePriceThe giant computer on Garmin’s campus, the Edge 1030 has been the gold standard whilst it comes to cycling computers and navigation. Utilising the emblem’s cycle maps, the 1030 guides you via Garmin’s Trendline Popularity Routing, drawing from billions of miles of Garmin Connect Ride archives to assist you in opposition t more motorcycle-friendly routes.With a huge 3.5in / 89mm colour touchscreen, you can create routes at once on the device, and it will even allow you recognise if a sharp bend is coming up. The touchscreen isn’t somewhat as responsive as your cellphone, nevertheless it be fairly good as a long way as bike computers cross.Being that this computer sits at the best of Garmin’s diversity, it’s no surprise it’s got every training bell and whistle the emblem has to throw into a single unit and supports either ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors including power meters.When it comes to a benchmark cycling pc in terms of capability and great, appearance no further.Garmin Edge 1030 complete review(Image credit: Stages Cycling)Stages Dash M50Feature-laden cycling computer for records obsessedPrice: $249 / £209 / AU$364 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: Open Street Maps | Battery lifestyles: 12.5 hours | Colour computer screen: Yes | Screen length: 2.25in / 58mmHigh-resolution colour screenIntuitive set upApp functionalityStages Cycling brought affordable, lightweight records harvesting to the americans whilst it launched its variety of power meters just a few years back. This changed into presently followed through the Stages Dash – a GPS-based cycling pc designed to centralise the data-tracking experience. The all-new Stages Dash M50 merits from the agency’s new Everbrite high-resolution color screen which makes monitoring vitals such as HR, power output and distance a fairly simple recreation.
While the M50 possesses aspects such as GPS-primarily based speed and distance, ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, its greatest draw card is the superior battery life (12.5-hours) and capability to populate up to 12 counsel fields.Furthermore, the M50 is pretty adept even as it comes to navigation with cycling-precise Open Street Maps that feature bike paths, dust tracks and capabilities hazards. The Stages Dash however, is more approximately education metrics than GPS navigation and in this regard it has the entirety polished. Not best is the M50 programmed to observe pre-loaded workouts, it can plot metrics such as FTP, IF and TSS to aid degree efforts and pacing.Sigma Rox 12.0 Sigma has take a different course with the Rox 12.0, nevertheless the host of mapping features and unending schooling metrics make it a winnerPrice: $349 / £TBC / AU$TBC | Connectivity: WiFi | Companion app: No | Navigation: Open Street Map | Battery life: 16 hours | Colour show: Yes | Screen length: 3in / 76mmTouch screenRich feature set and ease of useLargely closed systemIt’s been a whilst considering the fact that we’ve seen a high-end pc out of Sigma, and the Rox 12 is a a little bit different approach to the GPS head unit. The complete-colour touch screen is the closest in ease of use to a cellphone that we’ve come across to date, probably because beneath the hood it’s an Android device.While it supports either Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors, interestingly, it does not attach to your telephone, as a substitute relying on your domestic WiFi for uploads, downloads and the like. With no telephone connectivity, the only apps the Rox 12 can talk to at the time of writing are Strava, Komoots, Training Peaks and GPSies, as Sigma develops both third-party app for integration without delay into the computer.With Open Street maps preloaded on the device, you can upload routes from Strava, Komoots and GPSies, and you can even seek deal with and features of attention like bike shops and restaurants among other options.It’s got some fairly nifty energy metrics like pedal smoothness and torque effectiveness in addition to all the schooling records fields you’d predict on a high-end GPS unit. You can also layout exercises at once on the pc too, or sync from Training Peaks.Pioneer SGX-CA600One of the maximum effectual power training tools, specially when paired with a Pioneer energy meterPrice: $359 / £169 / AU$299 | Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi | Companion app: Yes | Navigation: Open Street Maps | Battery life: 12 hours | Colour display screen: Yes | Screen length: 2.2in / 56mmIn depth power data when paired with Pioneer energy metersImproved touch screenScreen brightnessWhen Pioneer entered the cycling market, the logo didn’t gain its footing till the second iteration of head devices and power meters. The energy meter presented an overwhelming amount of counsel, including directional strength measurements, and the SGX-500 head unit became feature wealthy in spite of this made you need to pull your hair out.With its present GPS pc, the Pioneer SGX-CA600 hasn’t constant its naming protocol, in spite of this the head unit itself is greatly more suitable.First and foremost, Pioneer has constant the rage-inducing touch monitor and now permits for setup through your cellphone — double win. The computer also elements a bright, full-color 2.2in / 56mm exhibit, preloaded OpenStreet base map for navigation and turn by means of turn instructions, ANT+, Bluetooth, and WiFi connectivity permitting it to talk to sensors and your telephone.
The new Pioneer head unit also plays first-cost with Strava, Training Peaks and Today’s Plan, as neatly as electronic drive trains.When used with a Pioneer energy meter, the SGX-CA600 unlocks a host of in-intensity pedalling metrics and information to help you improve your method and efficiency.What to appearance for in a cycling computer?PriceJust like anything else else in cycling, attempting to figure out which computer will fall inside your budget constraints, at the same time as providing the elements you prioritise, can be a tall order.Depending on how plenty money you have to spend, your pc may have base maps, period timers, in-depth power metrics, a colour touch screen and more connectivity than you can shake a stick at, or it could be a fundamental, compact unit with a black and white show and classic training metrics.ConnectivityEvery computer on the industry will supply you files fields like speed, distance, and time. Even at the backside end of the spectrum, most computers will assist and ANT+ or Bluetooth connection to a heart cost display screen plus speed and cadence sensors. However, some less-expensive devices may also now not aid energy meters.More computers are birth to work with either ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors now. There are still a few hold-outs sticking to one or the other, nevertheless the majority will facilitate a Bluetooth connection to your telephone for on-screen notifications, firmware updates and the like. Further still, some computers also connect to your home WiFi network to allow for your ride to be on Strava earlier you’ve taken your helmet and sunglasses off.NavigationMost computers feature a GPS chip, as neatly as get entry to to other satellite networks like GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo, and be offering some definition of navigation. Many also have a base map pre-installed which enables for turn-through-turn commands, on-the-fly redirection and a few enable you to create routes and courses without delay on the device.More budget friendly head devices won’t have a base map, having said that may also still offer what’s referred to as ‘breadcrumb’ navigation, in which the computer will reveal your route as a line which you’re intended to apply.DisplayAs you move up in price, you get things like touch and colour displays, nonetheless these are now not anything else you’ll necessarily need.
While touchscreens are great for swiping through pages of metrics or manoeuvring maps, if you’re dressed in full finger gloves or if or not it’s raining, the screen can even now not function as advertised. The related goes for colour displays, which only really change into a necessity if you’re using maps.Third-party appsFinally, there are the extras like Strava Live Segments, on-monitor exercises populated by way of Today’s Plan, Training Peaks and TrainerRoad, uploadable education metrics and tips fields, drivetrain and light integration, the accomplice app and more.Where those points are accessible will rely on the computer you choose, however they are now not reserved for the top cost devices, and you’ll see facets like Strava Live Segments and drivetrain integration trickling into mid and minimize variety devices.