Whether you want to train for a cyclist marathon or just take an occasional weekend ride, you can probably benefit from using a bicycle computer. The device makes bike riding a more productive workout and an even more enjoyable experience. Plus, a bike computer is the perfect motivational tool – it records your maximum speed and distance traveled, which constantly inspires you to go the extra mile.
However, while using a computer is a no-brainer, choosing the right one can be a complete headache. There are hundreds of models available at a wide range of prices, but many of them are cheap knockoffs, others are useless or unreliable, and only a few are truly worthwhile. And although these devices are mainly meant to be bicycle speedometers/odometers, they can perform some highly advanced functions such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, calorie counting, and even wireless social media sharing.
The good news is that you can easily find the best bicycle computer for your personal needs among the products listed below. They’re the top ten most time-tested and effective models on the market today.
10. CatEye Velo 7 Bicycle Computer CC-VL520 – Wired
Though the CatEve Velo 7 is the only wired bike speedometer on our list, it’s also the only one that doesn’t require two separate batteries. Made with simplicity in mind, the Velo 7 can be set up and ready to use within minutes. On top of that, this computer is extremely durable and virtually weather-proof. So, if all you need is an accurate speedometer/odometer, and if you don’t mind the look of messy wiring, this device is a perfect choice.
9. Outdoormaster Wireless Bike Computer, Waterproof Multifunction Cycling Speedometer With Backlit Display
When it comes to functionality, the Outdoormaster gets you more bang for your buck than any other low-cost model. Its 3-inch screen displays three metrics at a time, while its advanced speedometer options (relative speed and dynamic speed) provide you with additional insight about your performance. The computer even comes with a six-month warranty.
8. GHB Bike Computer Odometers Bicycle Speedometer Wireless Waterproof Multi Function With Backlight
Though GHB doesn’t specialize in bicycle equipment, their wireless bike computers are high-quality and packed full of unique little features. Thanks to its rugged yet attractive design, the device is waterproof and bound to last for years to come. It features a simple, one-button interface and a large backlit display. There is, however, a slight drawback – instead of mounting clamps, the computer is held in place with plastic tie-wraps.
7. Sigma Sport BC5.12 Wired Bicycle Computer
Sigma Sport’s BC5.12 combines the simplicity of basic bicycle computers with the functionality of today’s cutting-edge technology. In addition to high-precision sensors and a modern visual design, it has seven language options, a scan mode, and a USB port. Most notably, the BC5.12 is the only low-cost bike computer with a USB port, which allows you to download your ride history to a PC.
6. Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer with 4-Line Display and Temperature
Planet Bike prides itself on using sustainable, environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing methods. The Protege 9.0 comes with dual odometers, a huge LCD display, and a lifetime warranty. As the name suggests, the unit has nine different functions and it displays up to five different metrics at a time.
5. Suaoki Wireless Bike Computer Bicycle Speedometer Bike Odometer with LCD Backlight, 5 Language Displays, Auto Power On/Off Systems, Multi Function for Cyling
Perhaps the most popular bike computer of all time, the Suaoki has definitely stood the test of time. It’s definitely a basic, low-budget model, yet it features a calorie counter, stopwatch, and even CO2 carbon offset.
4. Garmin Edge 500 Bike Computer with Cadence and Premium Heart Rate Monitor
With features like elevation sensors, live GPS navigation, heart rate monitoring and free online analytics, the Edge 500 is much more than a speedometer/odometer. Garmin’s patented HotFix GPS technology calculates your position in real time and records routing data such as temperature, heart rate fluctuations, ride time, etc. And the all-included software gives you access to Garmin Connect, where cyclists from all over the world share and analyze their data.
3. Raniaco Bike Computer, Original Wireless Bicycle Speedometer, Bike Odometer Cycling Multi Function
Raniaco makes only one wireless model, though they constantly improve it, adding upgrades and making changes according to user feedback. The computer’s slick design and relatively small size make it quite easy on the eyes. Aside from a highly accurate odometer/speedometer, it has a scan function and an acceleration prompt.
2. Polar M450 GPS Bike Computer
Polar’s M450 is a uniquely customizable high-tech bike computer. It allows you to enjoy a truly personalized cycling experience by calculating your ideal training load and recovery time. Furthermore, once you synch the M450 with the Polar Flow mobile app, it provides feedback about your training schedule. And, with Polar H7 sensors, you also get insight regarding your heart health.
1. Garmin Edge 810 GPS Bike Computer
There are numerous reasons why the Edge 810 is, by far, the very best bicycle computer out there. Garmin’s market-leading, high-precision sensors comprehensively track data and measure elusive metrics like cadence, climb/descent and power output. The device’s GPS navigator features bike-friendly routing, BirdsEye satellite imagery, and live tracking. And let’s not forget about the 2.6-inch LCD touchscreen, live weather updates, social network connectivity, and dozens of unique bonus functions.
If you get on your bike about once a month, it’s probably best to pick one of the low-cost speedometer/odometers listed above. But if you plan on riding for at least a few hours per week, you have every reason to get a Garmin Edge 810. It’ll make you want to hop on your bike every morning, held you train more effectively and allow you to enjoy the sport more than ever before.