The 6 Best Bike Computers to Buy in 2018

Get more out of your ride with these top bike computers

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You can always tell how hard you hit it on the bike by the measure of soreness in your legs the next day, but with a cycling computer, you can know exactly how hard you were riding. Simple computers measure your distance, time spent riding and speed, while more high tech computers use a GPS to track your route and can connect to your phone for notifications and riding apps such as Strava. Below, we’ve got the best bike computers to hook up to your ride, from straightforward tracking devices to full-blown microcomputers that fit nicely on your handlebars.  

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Garmin Edge 520 Bike GPS

The Garmin Edge 520 cycling computer comes stacked with features for the serious cyclist. First, you’ll get GPS to track where you’ve been and where you’re going. Plus, if you’ve got a power meter or a heart rate monitor, you can connect the computer with those devices, too. The Garmin Edge also connects with Strava and your smartphone for live tracking, notifications such as texts and phone calls, as well as social media sharing. It also tracks speed, distance, elevation, cadence and shows maps (but it does not have turn-by-turn navigation). This device does have an easy-to-read color screen, but it's not a touchscreen. The computers holds 15 hours of battery life and chargers via a micro USB charger. The computer is 1.4 x 1.9 inches. It has a waterproof rating against splashes and rain or snow, as well as max immersion for less than 30 minutes at a depth of less than one meter.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Lezyne Enhanced Super GPS Cycling Computer

If you are looking for a cycling computer with GPS, but don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, opt for the Lezyne Enhanced Super GPS Cycling Computer. The computer has a quick and reliable GPS that doesn’t show maps, but does allow for turn-by-turn navigation. It also uses an accelerometer to turn off the GPS when you aren’t moving, so you'll save battery life. Plus, with the free Lezyne Ally app, you can transfer data from your phone to the computer (like through Strava) or you can enter an address and the app will create a few route options for you. It can also pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth to send notifications your way. The computer tracks your speed, distance, elevation gain or loss and cadence; it can also connect to power meters and heart rate monitors. Although there is no color screen or touchscreen, the computer does hold 24 hours of battery life and is charged with a micro USB charger. The computer is 1.69 x 2.67 inches. and it's water-resistant. 

Best Budget: SY Bicycle Speedometer and Odometer

If all you want to track is how long you have been riding and at what speed, then the SY bike computer is the cycling computer for you. It uses a large LCD screen to display your performance and has a green backlit screen in low light conditions. You’ll be able to quickly read your current speed, average speed, riding time and trip distance on this wireless bike computer.

Best Splurge: Garmin Edge 820 Bike GPS

For a cycling computer that is stocked full of features (and has a price tag to match), use the Garmin Edge 820 Bike GPS. The 820 is similar to the 520, but has a few upgrades, such as a color screen and touchscreen, Group Pair technology to pair your device with others in your cycling group and 16G of internal memory. There's also a Battery Save mode to extend your battery life, a training calendar and Incident Detection, which uses a built-in accelerometer to judge if an accident happens and then sends GPS coordinates to an emergency contact. The computer connects to your smartphone for real-time notifications and can also connect with Strava for built-in challenges on your route. The computer holds up to 15 hours of battery charge and is charged with a micro USB charger. The computer is 1.9 x 2.9 inches. The computer has a waterproof rating against splashes and rain or snow, as well as a max immersion for less than 30 minutes at a depth of less than one meter.

Best Large Display: Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Wireless

The Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Wireless cycling computer is a reliable computer that tracks the basics of your ride—current speed, ride time, and trip distance. It also displays the temperature, odometer, average speed, maximum speed and the time. There is also a function that helps you maintain a certain speed by letting know if you are going slower or faster than your average speed for that ride. The black-and-white screen displays five points of data at a time and is large enough to read at a quick glance. The computer uses batteries. 

Best Wired: Cateye Velo 9

For a cycling computer that connects via wires to the sensors on your wheels, use the Cateye Velo 9. It has a large display screen and tracks your current, average and max speed. It also tracks your trip distance and trip time, has an odometer, as well as a function that records an estimate of how many calories you have burned. You can scroll through all of the different features with a single button. The computer uses batteries.

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