Looking for a bike computer but don’t know where to start? The best cycling computers today come with a great number of features. They help you collect important data to track your performance and improve your health.
But what if you don’t need an overloaded cycling computer and just want a GPS device that will make sure you never get lost on the road again? In this list, we’ve included both the top-tier bike computers for advanced cyclists, as well as more simplistic options for cycling enthusiasts.
- A smartphone turned into a bike computer
- Beautiful bright screen
- Great integration with other apps
- Long battery life
- SIM-card slot
- 28GB of memory for saving your routes & maps
- Steep price
- Bigger and heavier compared to other bike computers
Karoo 2 by Hammerhead is what you’d expect from a 21st Century bike computer. In fact, it’s more like a cycling smartphone. It runs on the Android OS and has a SIM-card slot for data connectivity. However, you can still use most Karoo 2 features without the SIM card.
The selling point of this bike computer is its beautiful bright screen. Karoo 2 has a high resolution 3.2” display panel that delivers high-quality visuals. If you love looking at maps and routes while you’re cycling, this computer will take that experience to a new level for you. And with 28GB of storage available to download new maps, you don’t have to worry about your device running out of space. The scratch-resistant anti-glare panel on top of the screen is the perfect finishing touch, especially if you’re someone who often rides off the road.
Karoo 2 is one of the smartest bike computers out there with its ability to integrate with various cycling apps like Strava, Training Peaks, Ride with GPS, Kamoot, and MTB Project. You can sync your routes from these apps with the Karoo 2 or upload any routes in GPX, FIT, TCZ, KML, KML file formats.
Our Verdict: Best Overall.
- Beautiful touchscreen
- Excellent navigation (both on- and off-road)
- Good battery life
- Quick setup if you’ve previously owned a Garmin device
- More expensive than other bike computers in this tier
- Takes up a lot of space on your handlebar
- For best integration, you need to be a part of the Garmin ecosystem
If you have a history of owning Garmin devices, Garmin 1030 Edge Plus is an excellent option for you. It’s a can-do-it-all bike computer packed with useful features and impressive 24-hour battery life.
The 1030 Edge Plus also excels in the navigation field. It comes pre-loaded with detailed maps of your home region and the ability to download more maps as well. The big bright touchscreen allows you to zoom in and out the map, so you can get your turn-by-turn directions both on- and off-road.
However, if you want to make the most out of this cycling computer, you need to be a part of the Garmin ecosystem. If you’ve previously owned a Garmin bike computer, you can sync all of your data with 1030 Edge Plus and complete the setup process in minutes. You can also pull this data from Garmin Connect.
Unfortunately, the integration won’t be as smooth if you aren’t part of the Garmin ecosystem and prefer third-party apps. In that case, we’d recommend you take a look at a different cycling computer.
Our Verdict: A solid runner-up.
- Affordable Price
- Crisp color display
- Performance on the same level as the more expensive Garmin Edge 830
- No touch screen
- Shorter battery life (claimed up to 20 hours)
Looking to join the Garmin data team but don’t want to splash out on a 1030 Edge Plus model? Garmin Edge 530 offers all the same basic features as the more expensive 830 and 1030 models but for a mid-range price. The only big downside here is the absence of a touchscreen, but if that’s not an issue for you, then the 530 is the best value option on the list.
As for the navigation, you’ll mostly have to stick to the pre-planned courses as navigating maps using the external buttons can be time-consuming and frustrating.
Our Verdict: Best value option.
- User-friendly setup
- Aerodynamic design
- Good battery life
- Third-party app integration
- No touchscreen
- You have to connect your Wahoo computer to your smartphone on setup
Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is an excellent GPS cycling computer suitable for beginners and advanced riders. Wahoo claims that this computer’s selling point is the aerodynamic design and mount. In reality, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt has more features that make it stand out, like its functionality, long-lasting battery life, and all that at a reasonable price.
Wahoo Elemnt Bolt also has an interesting “take me anywhere” feature, where you can use your smartphone to find a destination, and then your bike computer will take you there. The only downside of this cycling computer is that you have to have a smartphone to set it up and configure it later.
Our Verdict: Best mid-range option.
- Low price
- Small and simple
- Old-school design
- Expect only the basic features
- Looks chunky
Lezyne Mini GPS is the perfect cycling computer for those looking for a neat and straightforward device that won’t take up too much space on their bike and is easy to set up and use.
This computer covers all essential functions like collecting your training data (speed, distance, time, elevation, calories, heart rate, etc.) and navigation using the Lezyne smartphone app. It’s compact, lightweight, and is an excellent option for anyone looking for a budget bike computer.
Our Verdict: Best budget option.
- Simplistic yet attractive design
- Cheap price
- Extensive battery life
- Limited functionality
- No connected features
Cateye Quick is the most simplistic cycling computer on our list. If you’re looking for something basic with a minimalistic design, this is the unit for you.
This compact and lightweight bike computer comes with a battery that will last long enough that you don’t have to worry about charging it daily or even weekly. However, the number of features on this bike computer is somewhat limited. The Cateye Quick will show you your current speed and the distance, but there’s no GPS tracking or connected features. That means you can’t record or export your data from this computer.
Our Verdict: Best minimalistic option.
- Bright colored screen
- Customization options
- Secure mount system
- Limited navigation functions
- Need to use a smartphone app to preload the routes
If you’re looking for a solid unit that can survive anything, including mountain biking and off-road biking, you’ll enjoy using the Stages Dash M50. It comes with the most secure mount system possible, made from metal and not plastic.
Another attractive feature of the Stages Dash M50 is its screen. It’s bright and easy to read no matter the lighting conditions. You’ll only find a better screen on Karoo 2 from this list.
The downside of the M50 is its limited navigation. The computer can only handle turn-by-turn navigation of preloaded routes that you have to create using the Stages Link app or import from a third-party app like Strava or Ride with GPS. The M50 only allows you to follow the pre-loaded course and will reroute you if you get off the path, but nothing besides that.
Our Verdict: Best for mountain biking and off-road riding.
The Best Gift for a Bike Enthusiast
A cycling computer is undoubtedly the best gift for anyone serious about cycling. Any bike enthusiast in your life will probably enjoy the bike computers above as a gift. And yes, if that person is yourself, it still counts as a holiday present.