13 Best Bike Computers 2021 Review

Whether you are a bike hobbyist or someone who loves to show off your riding accomplishments, having the right bike computer can make a huge difference in your overall bike-riding experience. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of bike computers evolved.

Usually attached to the handlebar, it can be a simple gadget that counts the wheel’s revolution to something more complicated. Modern bike computers will not only tell you the distance you’ve traveled but also plot where you’ve taken your bike.

We have come up with some of the best bike computers in the market today. This way, you can choose from different brands and pick the one that is right for you whether you are looking for a straightforward device with an odometer feature or something that is suited for a serious athlete.

Best Bike Computers Review

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus, GPS Cycling/Bike Computer

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is a perfect choice for riders looking for a high-end bike computer with a $600 budget. What makes it one of the best Garmin bike computer options in the market today? Garmin Edge 1030 Plus comes with a 3.5-inch touchscreen display that offers all the information that you need for your riding experience. It is something that both casual users and serious riders can enjoy.

This gives you the cycling awareness you need to improve your game, especially for serious riders. Once it pairs with the right sensors, you can monitor your VO2 max and current training load. This allows you to manage your efforts, especially when climbing uphill.

By connecting the unit on the Garmin Connect App, it can help guide you efficiently regardless if you are doing indoor or outdoor training.

Some metrics make this Garmin bike computer unique and a standout. If you are using a mountain bike, this comes with an MTB feature such as Grit that tends to rate the overall difficulty of your ride plus your flow.

So what if you are more of a guy who needs to ride a bike for your job? Is this something practical? It comes with a cycling awareness feature that tells you about road incidents and even sends out assistance in case you need help from your emergency contacts. This feature gives you peace of mind.

It also has powerful battery life. Once fully charged, the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus can run up to 48 hours depending on your usage. But apart from the price, it is a struggle to pair with some modern phones like iPhone 11 Pro.

Pros:

  • Colorful screen
  • Accurate GPS
  • Easy to mount
  • Works with different sensors
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Hard to pair with some phones
  • Expensive

Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Bicycle Computer (010-01758-00)

Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Bicycle Computer has become a popular option for lots of riders. It comes in handy for competitors, commuters, and even those who seek adventures during weekends. It is one of the top cycling computers in the market considering the data that you can squeeze from the Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Bicycle Computer.

It comes with a  3.5” screen that gives you the navigation that you need preventing you from getting lost when you go from point A to point B thanks to its preloaded Garmin Cycle Map. This also comes with a rider-to-rider messaging that lets you contact those who are also using this cycling computer. This is a handy feature especially if you will need assistance. Casual riders who use their bike for work or for exploring new places will also find the Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Bicycle comes in with the Garmin Cycle Map that can guide you for every turn. Plus, you can get new navigation alerts in case a road is closed due to construction.

Battery life can be extended for up to 40 hours making it handy even for overnight ride sessions. It simply means that you also don’t need to worry in case you find yourself traversing roads alone and you’ll need assistance.

Though it is hands down one of the best cycling GPS computer products today, there are still a few glitches. For one, it is expensive. Also, the screen is not as responsive as the older Garmin GPS bike computer options.

Pros:

  • Large screen
  • Durable
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used as a communication tool

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • The screen is not as responsive as older options

Garmin Edge 1030, 3.5″ GPS Cycling/Bike Computer With Navigation And Connected Features

The Garmin Edge 1030 3.5” GPS Cycling Computer comes with everything that you will need. This bike computer GPS comes in handy whether you are simply looking for a navigation device or you want to monitor your progress as a serious cyclist. Edge 1030 has the new in-line mount that can get your device in line with your handlebar and not above.

For casual users, the Garmin Edge 1030 is a practical tool because the Garmin Cycle Map allows you to figure out the most popular and practical routes. With this, you won’t get lost and get new navigation alerts as well.

If you are looking to use the Garmin Edge 1030 for fitness, it comes with a newly updated preloaded Strava live segments feature that can make the ride challenging and fun every time. It even has a rider-to-rider messaging app that allows you to connect with other cyclists. You can ask for help or respond to people who might need help within your area.

The battery life is also dependable since it can extend up to 40 hours. And if you ran into some emergency and you need help, this can send your location to your emergency contacts. The only thing that you might not like about this is its touchscreen feature. Some users reported that it sometimes shows issues.

Pros:

  • In-line mount
  • Accurate navigation
  • App integration
  • Long battery life
  • With rider-to-rider communication

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Touchscreen not as responsive as other Garmin models

Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring, and Popularity Routing & Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2 Bundle

The Garmin Edge 530 is among the high-end units produced by the brand. If you are looking for the best bike computer for the money, then you might be leaning towards the Edge 530. If you don’t have a budget for the Edge 1030, then this is a great alternative. It’s even better than the Edge 830.

It offers great performance when it comes to navigation keeping you updated on the latest routes that you might want to take. And apart from using the Edge 530 for direction purposes, it comes in handy as a tool for serious athletes. It has the ability to provide insights into your VO2 max, recovery, training, hydration, nutrition, and even your altitude acclimation in case you decide to ride in elevated locations. All you need to do to maximize this cycling computer by pairing it with the right sensor.

It can give you the data you need to assess the difficulty of the trails. This means that you are not going to get overwhelmed once you see the trail itself.

Installing the bike computer is also straightforward just like other Garmin products. The speed sensor 2 will be attached to the hub of the wheel. It then self-calibrates to give you all the data that you need.

Is it the best Garmin cycling computer?  Though it isn’t exactly the best one offered by the company, it can get the job done for most users. With wireless connectivity, you will be able to send data to your training apps using ANT+ and Bluetooth.

Now that we know about the pros of using the Garmin 530, let’s take a closer look at some of the things that you might not like. Most users are complaining about the interface freezing. You might need to check the firmware to ensure that everything is working without any problem.

Pros:

  • Insights on VO2 max, recovery, and other important data
  • Provides accurate direction
  • Self calibrates your data once attached to the hub of the wheel
  • Wireless connectivity

Cons:

  • Tends to freeze

Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring Accessory Kit

The Garmin Edge 530 is a great option if you like to do trails in different mountains. It comes with trails from 80 different countries with its up-to-date info giving users heatmaps and trail conditions. The Garmin Edge 530 is a slightly affordable version than other Garmin products that you will see in the market. However, it doesn’t mean that it is lacking in terms of data needed by serious athletes. It comes with a new ClimbPro feature that shows remaining ascent. Also, it shows you the grade whenever you are climbing a route.

It comes with features such as the ability to give users important data that can be crucial to their performance ranging from their nutrition to their VO2 max. All you need are the right sensors to get the necessary information.

You can also use this to train your body to perform better as it comes with structured workouts using TrainingPeaks. Here, you get to train smart and maximize your time riding bikes.

The most common glitch that you might see in this unit is that it tends to freeze. This can be a bit frustrating since you might need to reset your Garmin 530 every time.

Pros:

  • Affordable Garmin version
  • Provides trails for 80 different countries
  • Provides info on important aspects that can affect your training and performance

Cons:

  • Tends to hang

Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring and Popularity Routing

The Garmin Edge 530 might be the best cycle computer for some users. If you will read available Garmin bike computers reviews online, don’t be surprised if you find users who prefer the Garmin Edge 530 over more expensive Garmin products.

If you don’t find touchscreen functionality as a must-have on your device, then you might consider this as the best cycling computer that comes from Garmin. If you will do a quick comparison of the Edge 830 and 530, you might find it hard to distinguish one from the other.

The Edge 530’s screen is a bit smaller than the Edge 1030. Its screen measures 2.3″, but it is enough to see all the important details whether at night or noon. The reason why it is a favorite by most pros is simply because it gets the job done. You also have full connectivity. It can connect via WiFi, Bluetooth, or ANT+.

Usability is quite straightforward. You can easily scroll using the buttons, access the main menu, and see important details and info including the connected hardware and all the other information that can come in handy for cycling.

The only common complaint is that the size of the buttons tends to be a bit small especially for users that have big hands.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Different trails available

Cons:

  • Size of the buttons

Bryton Rider 420 GPS Cycle Computer

If you are still undecided, the Bryton Rider 420 GPS Cycle Computer should be on top of your list. It’s one of those GPS cycling computers known for long battery life. The company mentioned that it can last for 35 hours.

It’s a close competitor to the Garmin Edge 530. With a 2.3” screen, it is the same size as its Garmin counterpart. However, the only difference is that the LCD is colorless. However, if you are going to compare the Rider 420 to other units such as the Rider 530 and Rider 310, this version has better sharpness and readability.

It provides important data including distance, speed, cadence, and power. You also get detailed information that can come in handy during training including your TSS, intensity factor, and even your power balance.

It is also compatible with a variety of sensors. And on top of that, you can connect wirelessly via ANT+ and Bluetooth. To set up the unit, you will need to have the Bryton Active App. This will allow users to sync everything.

You can use the Rider 420 if you are the type who typically gets lost. This unit is accessible via GPS, GLONASS, BDS Galileo, and the QZSS satellite which means that you will be located wherever you are in any part of the world. If you will compare it with other cycling computers in the market like Wahoo and Garmin, you will discover that it can even get signal faster in some parts of the world.

Using the Bryton app, you can easily make a route though its interface is a bit hard to navigate which can be a bit frustrating.

Pros:

  • Small and compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Provides important data
  • Can get signal faster than other cycling computers

Cons:

  • Hard to make routes

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer

Many are comparing the Wahoo ELMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer with its Garmin counterpart. To give you a better perspective, it is also a good idea to use Garmin as a point of comparison.

To start the Wahoo vs Garmin comparison, let’s start with the battery life. The Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer has a better battery life than the Edge series. Unfortunately, the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS screen only comes in black and white.

The biggest selling point of the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt is its functionality and easy-to-use design. It comes with things like speed, time, distance, heart rate, elevation, and power to name a few. It is also something that you can hook on your smartphone without any issues. You can download the ELEMNT Companion app that can configure everything without a problem.

In terms of design, it is a robust cycling GPS computer with a waterproof rating of IPX7. It can tolerate water of up to 5feet. As far as satellites are concerned, it is supported by GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU Galileo, and QZSS giving you an easier time to connect and find a signal without a problem.

You can also integrate this unit with Strava Live Segments to give you an accurate report of your progress or use it as a motivation to push towards beating your own goals.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to use
  • App integration
  • Easy to find a signal

Cons:

  • Colorless screen

Garmin Edge 130

Maybe you don’t have the money to invest in the Garmin Edge 1030 or even the Garmin 530. That’s not a problem because the Garmin Edge 130 offers a great alternative for those who are a bit short on their budget. For less than $200, you get superb features that can make a huge difference in how you hit the road.

It’s a compact and easy-to-use navigation device that takes signals from GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellites making it easy to get a signal. Plus, it has an altimeter so the rider knows the elevation of the ride. It is also compatible with most varia cycling awareness accessories making it easy to use. You can also know more about the weather. All of these important updates you can get via notifications.

However, you also have to tone down your expectations. One of the biggest differences between the Garmin Edge 130 over the more expensive Garmin cycling navigation units is that the GPS tends to lag a bit. And also, you don’t have touchscreen functionality.

Pros:

  • Easily finds signal
  • Compact design
  • Provides notification of important details about the ride
  • Comes with an altimeter
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • GPS tends to lag a bit

CAT EYE, Velo Wireless

Are you looking for simpler bicycle navigation and you don’t have any plans of spending a good amount of money on Garmin or Wahoo bike computer GPS? Then perhaps, you might want to check the CAT EYE Velo Wireless bike computer. For less than $50, it offers everything that you will need.

You get to monitor the calories you’ve burned, the trip distance, and the total distance that you have covered over a specific period. Plus, you also get to know the current, max, and average speed. All of these data are things that can come in handy for serious athletes. It is also accurate when it comes to these simple data. It stops taking your speed when you decide to take a break.

One thing that you might not like is the fact that the screen is sometimes hard to see when you are cycling in the middle of the day. Also, you don’t have a rechargeable battery. It is powered by a CR2032 coin battery that will eventually give out and might stop in the middle of your ride. However, this type of battery can last for a year. And also, it doesn’t have GPS functionality.

Pros:

  • Data shows your average, max, and your current speed
  • Automatically stops monitoring if you decide to make a stop
  • Affordable
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have GPS functionality

CAT EYE Padrone Wireless

The Cat Eye Padrone Wireless cycling computer might look easy and far from the high-tech features that Garmin has but it is still something that you might want to consider especially if you are a practical rider. For starters, it is not a GPS unit. It means that you shouldn’t expect this to do the navigation for you. However, it does the job if your purpose is to monitor your activity whether you are trying to lose weight or if you are looking to improve your performance on your bike.

Compared to other Cat Eye cycling computers, it is a bit bigger. It comes with a screen that is 85% larger than the Cateye Urban. However, the Padrone is thinner. Just like the Cat Eye Velo, it runs on a CR2032 battery that will eventually give up.

So what can you monitor using the Padrone? It can monitor your current, max, and average speed. Also, it can track the total distance you’ve traveled and the elapsed time.

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Easy to read
  • Monitors average, max, and current speed
  • Tracks your distance and elapsed time

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a GPS
  • The battery isn’t rechargeable

CATEYE – Quick CC-RS100W Wireless Cycling Computer

The Cat Eye Quick has a unique design compared to the other cycling computers that we have featured. It comes with a unique and sleek design that looks more like a side mirror. It has an inverted LCD screen making it easy to view your numbers. You can monitor your current, average, and max speed. Plus, you can also see your total distance and trip distance.

This cycling computer is more of an entry-level option that comes with an easy to understand interface. The battery can last for around 1 year which is another thing that makes the Cat Eye Quick unique. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you the GPS functionality expected from modern cycling computers.

Pros:

  • Accurate data on speed and distance
  • Affordable
  • Sleek and easy to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have GPS functionality

CYCPLUS GPS Bike Computer Waterproof

The Cycplus GPS Bike Computer comes with a 2.9” display that allows users to have an easy time monitoring their progress. It is one of those small and less popular cycling computers that you shouldn’t miss. It has is known for showing accurate GPS that tracks your route and synchs everything via an app. It is a Bluetooth bike computer that gives you data including speed, route, cadence, and heart rate. It is also waterproof allowing you to enjoy different weather conditions without any worries.

However, the biggest problem with this bike computer is that it is sometimes hard to see on the LCD especially at night or during noon.

Pros:

  • Small and compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Hard to see on its LCD

How to Find Good Bike Computers

With the popularity of apps, mobile devices, and an internet connection, we’ve seen a huge improvement in the bike computer market. A bicycle computer today can be a simple device or a more sophisticated version that also functions as a GPS for cyclists.

A lot of cyclists tend to ask what is the best bike computer in the market today? Answering that question isn’t always simple. Every person has a different preference for what they consider as the best cycling computer. Instead, what you want to ask is how do you find a good bike computer? Here are some things that you might want to consider.

Casual or a Serious Rider?

The first thing that you want to consider is if you are a casual or serious rider. If you are a casual rider, it is common to end up happy with low-end road bike computers.

On the other hand, serious riders should stick to more sophisticated versions. Some would even want to have the best road bike GPS especially those who tend to compete in events like triathlons and Tour De France type of events.

Then, there are the riders who need their GPS cycling computer to save time and effort when getting from point A to point B. This applies to those who use their bikes for their daily commute or those who rely on bikes for work.

What Data Are you Going to Need?

So what are the data that you think are going to mean a lot to your performance? Are you trying to stay fit and you are looking to monitor the calories that you’ve burned? Perhaps, you are looking for a bike computer that can plot the places that you’ve visited for the day or the month. Some would even have an app that makes monitoring easy for you.

Another important detail that you might look for is your average speed. This comes in handy especially for those who are preparing for a race. Sophisticated computer bikes often have the capability to not only track the distance and the speed but even your elapsed time and elevation.

If you are the type of rider who relies on his or her bike for transportation, you might want to choose a bike GPS navigation that has an easy to understand map. You want something that can provide you with automatic rerouting in case you got confused and made some wrong turns.

As a rule of thumb, the more data that you see in your road cycling computer, the more expensive it can get. However, you also have to realize that it isn’t always a good idea to stick to an expensive road bike GPS if all these data won’t serve any purpse. It still boils down to what you need as a cyclist.

Is it easy to install?

Even top rated bike computers still need to be installed on your bike. Though most are simple and straight forward, some might require technical skills. The best gauge for installation procedure would have to be the GPS bike computers reviews online. Read at least a few GPS bike computer reviews and see if it is really complicated to install.

Sensors

Next, you also want to check the type of sensor used on the bike computer. The first type of cycling computer is a bike computer that comes with a magnetic sensor. The advantage of this type of sensor is that it is cheaper not to mention it doesn’t get drain the battery fast. However, this kind of bike computer isn’t as sophisticated as more expensive versions. It doesn’t have a GPS that can tell you about your exact location.

Another option is to have a bike computer that uses a satellite signal via its receiver. With its reliance on a satellite signal, this type of bike computer has a GPS feature that tracks your location.

Battery Life

Battery life becomes a big deal especially when you are the type who loves to ride your bike for long hours. There are bike computer GPS units that can last for around 20 hours or even 40 hours. That’s a huge difference in case you are only going to use your smartphone’s GPS which would only translate to around 5 to 8 hours. There are also those bike computers that require regular batteries.

Backlight, screen size, and operations

If you have a habit of checking your progress while riding, you want to always check the backlight. Is it easy to read even if it’s the middle of the day or at night? Also, you want to check the size of the screen. Can you switch the numbers to see your progress? Next, is it a touchscreen model or do you have to use the buttons?

Durability

Where do you plan on using the bike? Are you just going to use the bike for your daily commute to work? Or maybe, you are looking to use the bike for your outdoor activities? Be sure that the bike computer is built for the intended use. Some brands designed their products to withstand rough conditions.

Top bike computers in the market today are known for being weather resistant giving you peace of mind in case you are going to use it while it’s raining.

App integration

App integration is an important consideration whenever you are going to buy a GPS bike computer. Bike computers with GPS can be maximized if you can read the numbers on your app. Some devices connect to the app on your mobile device once you turn the Bluetooth on. Some units like Strava would even have WiFi integration wherein it automatically uploads the information once you get home. And of course, you might also want to consider if the app is easy to use.

Budget

Let’s be real. You will also have to consider your budget. How much money are you planning to spend on this unit? The good news is that it comes in different price points. Some cost as little as $50 while there are more sophisticated versions that could cost three times your basic bike computer. Some would even fall around the $500 range.

Conclusion

There is a growing number of brands offering cycling computers. Cycling computers allow users to ride safely and have a more efficient session with their bike. Whether you are a serious rider looking for the best bike computers to improve your performance or someone who needs a simple navigational tool when exploring the city, it helps to know your needs.

Also, remember that there are lots of brands to choose from. It goes beyond just Garmin vs Wahoo. And lastly, be sure to compare at least five of these products to get the best deal out of your budget.