Best Road Bike Computer

Best Road Bike Computer- Outstanding Review & Buying Guide

What does it take for me to get the best performance out of my bike? How could I be able to get the best road bike computer that there is out there? What are the things to look for in a road bike computer?

The above are just a tip of the ice berg regarding what this article is going to enlighten you on. It is quite unfortunate that most people assume that by just getting any road bike computer, they are good to go.

If this were the case, then why would there be different types of the same? Why would there be different brands and why would they all go at different prices.Without much ado, let’s delve into some of the things you should look for if you really want to get the best out of your bike.

What Should I Look For In The Best Road Bike Computer?


Just as much as choosing the perfect bike lock or the best road bike helmet, getting yourself the best road bike computer does call for equal attention.The main reason as to why most people go for the bike computers is so that they can be able to keep track of how fast they really are when on their bikes or how far they really go.

Simply put, if you are really willing to better your performance, then the only way via which you can be able to do this is tracking your data with the aid of a bike computer.

You should always pay attention to every detail when it comes to the selection of your bike computer ranging from the type of sensors that they possess to how data is transmitted. Below are some of the criteria that you ought to take into consideration prior to settling for your road bike computer.

Choose From 3 Best Road Bike Computer

Product Name

Brand Name

Picture

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Raniaco Original Wireless Bicycle Speedometer

Raniaco

Raniaco Original Wireless Bicycle Speedometer
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CatEye Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer

catEye

CatEye Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer
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Cateye Velo 9 Cycling Computer

catEye

Cateye Velo 9 Cycling Computer
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GPS Computers

This is common to many cyclists whose main concern is to keep track of their speed, distance as well as the time they spend when it comes to their cycling.

As compared to the other road bike computers, the GPS-based computers are cheaper owing to the fact that they are not compatible with the ANT+ accessories or any other sensors.

Due to this fact, they are limited when it comes to the collection of data when put side by side with any other computer that has got both the GPS and ANT+ capabilities.

ANT+ Enabled Bicycle Computers (No GPS)

This is one of the best bike computers that there are out there and also one of the hardest to come across in road bike.What makes this choice one of the best options that you can get to have on your bike is that it is an open standardized protocol and it can be used by a variety of the fitness accessory brands.

This is an advantage to you since you will not be limited to go for the brands that are specifically manufactured by your cycling computer head unit.

Unlike most of the bike computers, this one is not only limited to collecting data regarding speed, the distance traveled and the time that is covered.Unlike the three-data point computers, the ANT+ enabled computers will allow you to get to transfer the data that is collected to a computer which can then be uploaded to data analysis sites.

In addition being able to share the information collected, your individual data as well as the totals can be stored hence you do not have to be worried about it getting lost under any circumstances.

Accessories And Sensors Of The ANT+ Cycling Computers


Mounts

All the bike computers normally have got their mounts. The default mounts for the bikes will allow you to either attach your computer to the handlebars or alternatively to the stem of your bike.

Some manufacturers have the ANT+ bike computer mounted inline and at the front. With this, you will be able to easily see the screen and in addition to this, your view of the road will not be distracted as you’ll not have to look down each time you want to take a look at how fast you are going.

Heart Rate Sensors

If you are looking for one of the best ways via which you can get to optimize your training, then have your heart rate in your training base. Upon working within a specific heart rate zone, you will be able to generate a physiological adaptation which will then better your respiration and overall health.

The ANT+ road bike computers mostly come incorporated with a heart rate monitor strap which will in turn allow you to have the best training.Some of the brands for the heart rate strap include Mio, Wahoo and Garmin.

The Speed & Cadence Sensors

If you are looking for the most accurate way via which you can get to monitor your speed, then the speed sensors stand out as the best choice for you. As compared to the GPS monitors, speed sensors have got a better accuracy hence the preferable choice.

Cadence measurement or the peddling rate refers to the number of revolutions of the crank per unit time which in this case is the revolutions per minute. If you know your optimal cadence regarding your power output, then cadence will be quite an effective training tool for you to be able to maintain your effort.

There are quite a number of cadence sensors some of which are the magnet-less that can be mounted on the crank arm with the aid of rubber bands. The magnet type on the other hand are the magnet type which are mounted on the mom-drive side of the chain stay then they in turn measure speed with the aid of a magnet mounted on the spoke.

The attachment of the latter is however quite difficult as compared to the former. The magnet-less has got a better precision hence the better choice of the two.Most of the speed and cadence sensors normally use Bluetooth or WI-FI transmission.

Normally, the cadence sensors come in three types, either the speed-only sensors, the cadence-only sensors or a combination of both the speed and cadence sensors hence you may go for the option that you deem most suitable.

It is however quite difficult for you to get a speed only cadence sensor since this is the latest variant of the cadence sensors.

The Power Meters

When it comes to measuring how much effort you put and keeping track of your acute as well as your long term training load, then the power meters are what you ought to go for.This is able to measure the exact power output that a rider is able to put out in the form of watts.

This is the best gauge of measuring your effort as compared to how fast your heart beats by the minute or the speed that you go at owing to the fact that it is not influenced by any of the external factors such as wind or getting tired.

To back up the importance of opting for power training, it is worth taking note that your heart rate at a given heart rate may be different at the same power output as a result of daily fatigue. Simply put, adopting the use of a power meter can be able to change your daily training routine hence eliminate time wastage.

Basic Computers- No GPS & No Data Transfer

This is one of the simplest computers that there are out there owing to the fact that they are only capable to record the speed, distance and time that you’ll be able to cover in your cycling.

It comes at a low price just like all the other three data point computers. Road bike computers in this class work in such a way that they are able to record data with the aid of a speed sensor that is attached at the fork which in turn records the passing of a magnet on the spoke of the front wheel.

After the computer gets to record the circumference of the wheel as well as that of the tire, it can then be able to generate the speed and distance information regarding the frequency that the magnet passes the sensor.

The sensor on these computers can either be wireless or be wired type. Regardless of the type of sensor that is incorporated on the wheel, the method via which data us obtained in both cases remains the same.

The only difference between the wireless and the wired sensors is that the former goes at a higher price than the latter. Upon settling for these computers, you need to have in mind that you will not be able to transfer any data that is recorded to a tracking device or a computer and neither will they be able to store any of your ride details.

Simply put, upon switching the battery, all the recorded data will be lost. The most preferable battery type for this computer is the CR2031

Smartphones

Owing to the fact that this is a computer-driven world, we can be able to keep track of all our daily activities just via the aid of our smartphones at the palm of our hands.With the aid of mobile phone software such as STRAVA, you can easily be able to keep a record of quite a number of data such as calories, speed, time and distance.

With the aid of third party equipment, you will be able to record your heart rate as well as cadence and your suffer score.You can get yourself an aftermarket ANT+ receiver that is going to assist you when it comes to communicating with the sensors on your bike.

You will also need to get yourself a mount which will allow you to house your smartphone while on the go.A major drawback with going for the smartphones is that you will have a limited battery life meaning that you do not have the guarantee that you’ll get to your desired destination after having recorded all your readings.

Weighing the amount of money that you may have to spend for you to get all the accessories to use your smartphone and also considering the possibility of you damaging your phone, it is best that you only go for the dedicated cycling computers.

GPS &ANT+ Enabled

If you are looking for the best cycling computers, then you should get yourself the ANT+ computers that are GPS enabled as well.

The advantage of having these is that you will be able to receive quite a large set of data from your cycling such as speed, distance, time, power, your heart rate as well as cadence.

In addition to these, you’ll have the added advantage of having your location pin-pointed with the aid of the GPS.With the GPS, you will be able to see the cycling map after transferring it to your PC.

Besides being able to see your cycling map on the PC, you will also be able to see your time on established segments with the aid of services such as STRAVA.Get to see your time gain on different terrain and also be able to do the comparison of your set of data to that of other STRAVA users.

Bluetooth Enabled

In some cases, manufacturers have their bike computers Bluetooth enabled which makes it easy for them to be able to communicate with their smartphones.

Having your smartphone connected, you can be able to stream live data to anyone you want to invite and in this case, you will be able to share with them your speed, location as well as other data sets such as cadence.

What Should Be Given The First Priority for Choosing Cycling Computer


Most people are normally at tenterhooks when it comes to making the choice between the ANT+ computer and the wired or proprietary wireless computer.

Well, if you happen to be uncertain of what you really want, the next thing that you should ask yourself is whether you want the ANT+ devices or not. Keeping track of your data via services such as STRAVA or Training Peak calls for the use of the ANT+ enabled devices.

These are also the best choice if you are looking for a way to have the best training sessions with your coach.Data transmission from these devices can be either via a cable or wireless transmission which in this case is Bluetooth.

The ANT+ sensors can be purchased as your training or cycling needs evolve and you’ll always have the option of adding more sensors to your current ANT+ sensor.The added advantage of having the ANT+ sensors is that you can be able to add sensors while on the go and these can also be from different brands regarding your choice.

Which Is Better Between A GPS & Non-GPS Cycling Computer

If you’d like to use facilities such as STRAVA, then going for the GPS enabled bike computers is the best thing that you should do.With such a computer, you will be able to upload all your cycling data to STRAVA.

Being able to upload your cycling data online is an added advantage to you since you will be able to rank yourself against other users of STRAVA.

Other than getting to enjoy all the social aspects that STRAVA has to offer you, chasing the KOM records or other personal records can be a great way for you to stay motivated in getting better results.

How Much Do You Like Exploring New Terrain

If you like to spend most of your time on your bike or exploring new grounds, then getting yourself a bike computer with maps ought to be the best thing.The best road bike computers such as the Garmin brands will allow you to be able to download detailed maps for small areas.

Though they may not be able to offer you directions at every turn you make, they will prove quite handy when it comes to mapping your cycling course.

If you are worried about getting lost, you can go for the bike computers that allow for the creation of your own routes which you can then upload and stay at while cycling.You may be in need of the services offered by STRAVA and other third party sources but not be in need of maps.

If this is the case, then you can always go for bike computers such as the Garmin Edge 510.All in all, regarding your preference of the bike computers, you may be needed to spend a little bit more if you want more accurate results.

Would You Like To Communicate With Your Smartphone On The Go?

When you think of a bike computer that will allow you to be able to communicate with your smartphone, then going for the ones that are Bluetooth enabled should be taken into consideration.

If you’d like to allow your family or allies to be able to keep track of you, then consider going for the Bluetooth enabled computers.The only setback with this option is that you will be limited to only using it when the cell reception is best meaning that if you ride in the areas with a poor reception, then it is not the best choice for you.

On the upside, you should settle for these since you’ll be able to download any set of data on your smartphone remotely

Other Details To Consider When Choosing A Bike Computer

What Type Of Rider Are You?

Normally, there are three classes namely the enthusiastic riders, the casual riders and the competitive riders.If you want to only know how fast you are going or how far you have progressed in your cycling, then you are just a casual rider and will not require going for the high end computers such as the ANT+ enabled.

Would you like to keep track of every detail while cycling? Then you are the competitive type and you’ll need more than just being able to know how far or how fast you go. Keeping track of your cadence, heartrate as well as your power output will be optimal if you employ the use of an ANT+ cycling computer.

As a competitive cyclist, you will also find the services of the third party services such as STRAVA most appropriate since you’ll be able to tally your cycling data against that of others.

The third group of cyclists is that of the enthusiastic riders. Unlike the competitive riders, you will be more concerned by your trip distance, average as well as your maximum speed and the total odometer that you achieve.

How Do The Bike Computers Work

Here, what you should be mainly concerned about is the type of sensor that you will have incorporated on your bike as well as the type of data transmission used by the computer.Normally, you can have either the magnetic or the GPS sensors.

The latter has got a magnet that is attached to a wheel spoke that then rotates past the sensor located at the front fork.If your cadence sensor is magnetic in nature, the magnet is situated at the crank arm and the sensor on the other hand is on the rear stay.

Alternatively, you can go for the GPS sensors whereby you will be aided by the satellite receivers that convert the GPS signal to ride data that you can interpret.When it comes to the mode of data transmission, you can go for the wireless computers that have the magnetic sensor that has got a signal transmitter to the display unit.

These are normally the GPS sensors.Still at the mode of transmission, you can go for the wired sensors that are composed of a wire that transmits the signal to the display unit. The downside of this option is that it cannot be easily swapped between bikes.

“Upon searching for the best bike computer over the internet, you’ll probably see a variety of the bike computers that are grouped in different criteria.Basically, they all revolve around the possibility that they are either GPS-enabled or not.

The former will measure your speed, elevation gain or loss, distance as well as a number of other metric units with the aid of GPS signals. The latter will be installed on your bike and collect data via tracking wheel rotations.

Using your smartphone may also be an option but on the downside, you’ll have to purchase additional gear such as their housing for you to be able to mount them. You will also be limited to going in areas with a strong internet connection and you’ll definitely be worried about the charge capability.

How easy is it to set up? How complex is it for you to operate? What about visibility and durability? These are some of the things to consider prior to making your pick of the bike computers. All in all, always ensure that you get the best for your buck. ”

Curtis Smith

Best Road Bike Computer


Raniaco Original Wireless Bicycle Speedometer

The only way that you can get to have the smoothest cycling sessions is if you will be able to get so see all your readings with ease. The Raniaco Original Wireless Bicycle Speedometer comes with a large LCD display that guarantees you will neither have to strain nor lean downwards for you to check your readings.

Being small sized and light weight, you will get the benefits of having both a speedometer and an odometer. Get to know your speed distance traveled as well as the time taken- the three major things that define a serious bicyclist from this one.

If you are worried about durability, grab yourself one of these waterproof designs and you’ll no longer have to be worried about the computer being damaged when caught in the rain.

Regardless of where you love to do your cycling most, the Raniaco Original Wireless Bicycle Speedometer will prove the most flexible choice as it can be incorporated on the mountain bikes, folding bikes, common bicycles as well as the road bikes.

CatEye Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer

With the elegance of this bike computer, you will have the best power as a result of its wireless capability.When it comes to setting it up, you can easily be able to mount it as it comes with a universal handlebar and sensor mounts.

With the new Cat Eye ClickTech interface, you will be able to switch among seven different modes just by pressing at the bottom of the computer. Some of the sets of data that you can be able to take a look at with the CatEye Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer include your current speed, average speed, the total distance to travel as well as the time.

Whereas most of you may be worried about how long the battery will last, this bike computer comes with two batteries meaning that you’ll be able to use it for a longer span of time.

Cateye Velo 9 Cycling Computer

One of the things that most cyclists look for upon shopping for a bike computer is whether they can be able to take a look at their readings well enough.Upon settling for the Cateye Velo 9 Cycling Computer, you’ll get to enjoy a large as well as easily visible screen and more so, the single button operation of the computer allows you to scroll via each of the displays fast enough.

As for the mounting of this bike computer, it comes with a bracket that can be easily mounted on the stem as well as the handlebars.The Cateye Velo 9 Cycling Computer can be able to record quite a number of data sets such as calorie consumption, your carbon offset, the total distance that you’ll travel, elapsed time, your speed and you’ll also be able to compare between your current speed, average speed and your maximum speed.

If you are looking for one of the most accurate bike computers out there, then you’d better consider trying this one. As for measuring the calorie intake, this bicycle computer will use your heart rate, age and weight and will give you readings that are off by only 20 calories.

Despite having all these features, the Cateye Velo 9 Cycling Computer is quite light and you won’t regret spending your dime on it at all.

Garmin Edge 500 Bike Computer with Cadence and Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Germani stands out as one of the best companies when it comes to the manufacture of the bicycle computers.With the Garmin Edge 500 Bike Computer with Cadence and Premium Heart Rate Monitor, you’ll get to have more than just casual bike readings of your distance, speed and time.

This stands out as the best bike computer for both enthusiastic, casual as well as the competitive cyclists.The ANT+ power meter comes with a wireless technology that will connect with your heart rate monitor wirelessly as well as the speed and cadence sensors.Battery power is one of the distinguishing factors when choosing the best bike computer.

While still at that, it is worth taking note that upon settling for this Germani product, you’ll get to enjoy a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last up to 18 hours.

The Germani Connect feature allows you to keep track of your training, set your goals, set a workout routine as well as compare your training results with those of other cyclists. All you have to do so as to enjoy this is connect it to your computer and with a simple click join a universal connect via the Garmin Connect.

Bike Computer Blusmart Bicycle Speedometer

For those who are used to or cannot get enough of the touch screen technology, then this is the #1 choice for you.

A gentle touch is just enough for you to control this bike computer hence there are no inconvenience of forceful pressing it while cycling.With the large LCD display with a green backlight, you’ll easily be able to see the screen even in low light such as when you are going through a tunnel- just a simple touch on the screen will be enough to turn the display back on.

The Bike Computer Blusmart Bicycle Speedometer comes with 22 functions which will be just enough to meet all of your different riding needs. Some of the data metrics include the comparison of speed, your average speed, maximum speed, the time consumed as well as your fat and calorie consumption.

If durability is what you are mainly concerned with, then the water-proof design of this computer will not be a disappointment to you at all.

When you think of a trendy, fashionable and simultaneously durable design, always have the Bike Computer Blusmart Bicycle Speedometer in mind.The response time and accuracy of this computer also does deserve some credit.

A simple touch on the screen when you want to start the ride is enough to commence the recording of data.

Sigma Sport BC5.12 Wired Bicycle Computer

If you are looking for just a simple bike computer, then this should not miss out on your shopping list whatsoever. For starters, it comes in a waterproof design meaning that you’ll not have to worry about it being damaged by the rain.

Visibility will definitely be in your favor upon settling for this computer as you’ll not have to lean downwards or squint each time you want to take a look at how far you’ve gone or how fast you are cycling.

The installation of the Sigma Sport BC5.12 Wired Bicycle Computer will prove quite easy even for the newbies to cycling. When it comes to the installation and the ease of programming, you’ll definitely find this computer quite handy.

How long the battery keeps your bike computer going is also a matter of concern when it comes to the selection of a bike computer. The battery that comes with this one will last about 2-3 months but after replacing it, it will go for about a year- just what every cyclist needs.

Garmin Edge 25 Bike Computer

If you are looking for one of the lightest that there are in the market, then grab the Garmin Edge 25 Bike Computer that comes at only 25 grams. Being the smallest GPS computer that there is for a bike, this stands out as one of the best computers for your travel.

The Garmin connection will allow you to be able to keep a 24/7 track of your bike statistics. Other than recording your statistics, you will also be able to download your cycling courses as well as tally your statistics against those of your allies.

The use of the Garmin Connect network will in the long run see to it that you get to optimize your training.This computer is also ANT+ compatible. The Pair Edge 25 has got a heart rate monitor, a cadence sensor as well as a speed sensor which altogether will enable you to get the most out of your ride.

The top-notch features of this computer are backed up by the ease of taking your readings- no more squinting or leaning forward upon settling for this computer.

Final Verdict

Like all of the other components of a bike, the bike computer demands just as much attention.Getting yourself just any computer won’t be able to do the trick; where you do most of your cycling and the data metrics that you need to collect also need to be taken into consideration.

Do consider factors such as the mode of transmission of data, would you prefer a wireless transmitter to a cable transmitter?

Would you like the Magnetic or the GPS enabled road bike computers? These are some of the things that you need to have in mind when choosing your computer.

Considering the areas that you prefer to do your cycling, be able to decide which computer is best for you. If exploring new terrain is what captivates you, then go for the GPS enabled road bikes. If you’d like to use your smartphone for transmission, then you’ll only be limited to areas with the best cell reception.

Best Road Bike Computer- Outstanding Review & Buying Guide
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