Cycling computers are basically GPS devices that compute speed, distance covered, laps, location, etc., to assist you in your ride, or come with added features like Heart Rate Monitor, ANT+, Barometer, Smart Calories, etc. to aid you in your training process. If you are performance oriented, cycling computers are a must for you. A cycle computer works on the basic principle of a magnet attached to the wheel passing a sensor. The device computes the time between each signal and gives you the speed at which you are cycling. Using this data, other factors like distance, ride time, average speed, etc. can also be computed by the device (source). Depending on what kind of cyclist you are – competitive, casual, or enthusiastic, you can choose from a range of top rated cycling computers. Below is a list of most reviewed & 5 top rated cycling computers in April 2017.
|Garmin Edge 520||Polar M450
||Cateye Velo 9
||CatEye Strada Double||CatEye Strada
|Heart rate monitor||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Cadence||Can be bought seperately||Can be bought seperately||No||Yes||No|
|Battery life||Up to 15 Hours||Up to 16 hours||Up to 3 Years||Up to 1 year||Up to 1 year|
|Warranty||1 year||2 years||2 years||2 years||2 years|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Read more||Read more||Read more||Read more||Read more|
CatEye Velo 9
Easy to use
Mount is low quality
With a large screen and bigger digits for easier readability, the Velo 9 by Cateye is a cheap, easy to use and simple device. This device comes with pre-programmed tire sizes, with a default setting of 26”. It has a battery life of 3 years if used for an hour per day, depending on climatic conditions. It can record speeds up to 200 km/h. The mount provided for fitting onto the cycle is of low quality.
- Records temperature during the ride
- Small size and light weight
- Good price
- Very clever mount that easy to install
- Easy to setup
- Takes the thermometer long to adjust
- Polarflow website lacks data insight
This device is for those who take cycling seriously. It has features like GPS, Precision Barometer, Heart Rate Guidance, Training Load and Recovery Status, Tests, and Safety Focus. For those who are training, this device is ideal because it comes packed with special features like Orthostatic Test, Polar Fitness Test, Training Benefit, Smart calories, etc. The Polarflow website however, lacks data insight. The battery can last up to 16 hours on training mode with GPS and heart rate on. It is light weight and small in size so easy to carry. It also has the additional feature of recording temperature during the ride, but the device takes a little time to adjust the thermometer. It is easy to set up and for the many features it provides, the device is available for a good price. The mount is easy to install on the cycle.
Garmin Edge 520
- Powerful and fast
- Many features
- Interacts perfectly with Strava
- Integrated Live Tracking with phone
- Ability to download courses and workouts from phone
- Some issues synching with iPhone
- Confusing menu navigation
For those passionate about performance the Garmin Edge 520 is an integrated hotspot of great features. It has Strava Live segments so that you can take up challenges. When used with power and heart rate, it reports VO2 max and recovery time. It tracks FTP (Functional Threshold Power) testing, Di2 integration, etc. This device comes with many inbuilt features and is fast and powerful. It even provides live tracking with phone and has the ability to download courses and workouts from the phone. It has some issues syncing with iPhone and has confusing menu navigation.
CatEye Strada Double Wireless
- Measures cadence
- Easy to use
- Bright screen
- Very accurate
- Don’t have a heart rate monitor
This device comes with the ClickTec design for single button operation. It is a simple to use device for those who are training. However; this device does not have a heart rate monitor. The IscTec sensor helps combine speed and cadence into a single device making it easy to mount on any chainstay. It has over 30 unique ID codes that help eliminate interference by cross connection. It has a bright screen making it easier to read. The device is very accurate and highly durable.
CatEye Strada Wireless
- Easy to use
- Very accurate
- Don’t measures cadence
This has been the bestselling Strada Wireless, but it cannot measure cadence. The screen size is 23% larger and the computer thickness is 35% thinner and lighter. It is fitted with Cateye’s standard analog sensor that can be used with any type of bike, making it the most popular device. It is cheap, durable and easy to use. It is extremely accurate.
With so many cycling computers available in the market, it is difficult to choose what’s best for you. The above list of the 5 top rated cycling computers will help you decide which one is the most suitable for your kind of need. Though there are some minor drawbacks, all these devices are those with the best performance in the world of cycling.