Best Bike Computers

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 22, 2019
Have you ever wondered how far you have ridden or how fast you are going? Bike computer can answer these and many more questions. Here we've reviewed 5 bike computers. Choose one of the best products and enjoy your riding! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
SPEED MEASURING RANGE
FEATURES
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
TYPE
POWER SUPPLY
SIZE AND WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS

You can use the Garmin Cycle Map to find routable road and bike paths, elevation data, points of interest, and address search. Garmin Connect lets you and many other people on the move use the app to save, plan, and share your activities. The GroupTrack feature allows you to add different users to the same group and keep tabs on everyone in your riding pack.

CONS

The user interface isn't that intuitive. 

OUR VERDICT

Garmin Edge 820 puts the features you want, nay, need, at your fingertips. The model will help you beat yesterday with a faster or longer ride or dial in your training for a race. Its advanced performance monitoring, bike-specific turn-by-turn navigation, and advanced tracking features will let you edge out the competition.

detailed parameters
SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 kmh/mh

FEATURES

Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average speed comparison, Total/trip distance, Travel time, Clock, Odometer, Cadence, Heart rate (ANT+ sensor required)

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Built-in GPS and GLONASS, Training calendar, LiveTrack, GroupTrack, Incident detection

TYPE

Wireless

POWER SUPPLY

Rechargeable battery (up to 15 hours per charge)

SIZE AND WEIGHT

1.9 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches

2.4 oz

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Using Perfect View side buttons, you'll be able to toggle between views of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 curated data fields. The model will let you choose from 170+ data fields to configure screens. The huge crisp 2.7-inch Daybright screen makes it particularly easy to view your performance metrics at a glance in high-glare and low-light conditions.

CONS

The battery doesn't last that long. 

OUR VERDICT

Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1 is a huge upgrade/improvement over its predecessor across the entire board. The Quicklook LED indicators are especially comfortable. The pop-up notifications will make sure you never miss a turn. The overall functionality relative to the price tag is absolutely nothing to complain about.

detailed parameters
SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 kmh/mh

FEATURES

Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average speed comparison, Total/trip distance, Travel time, Clock, Odometer, Cadence, Heart rate ((ANT+ sensor required)

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Built-in GPS, Programmable LED QuickLook indicators, LiveTrack, KICKR/SNAP control

TYPE

Wireless

POWER SUPPLY

Rechargeable battery (up to 17 hours per charge)

SIZE AND WEIGHT

2.3 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches

3.5 oz

WARRANTY

2 years

PROS
Compact design makes it possible to attach this computer to a short handlebar, and that will make it possible to mount additional devices.
CONS
Replacing the battery may seem difficult.
OUR VERDICT
One of the most affordable and high-quality wireless bicycle computers with all the essential and accurate data.
detailed parameters
SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 kmh/mh

FEATURES
Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average speed comparison, Total/Trip distance, Travel time, Clock
ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Auto wake, Backlight, Waterproof, Auto scan (alternate data display)

TYPE
Wireless
POWER SUPPLY
CR2032
SIZE AND WEIGHT

2.2 x 1.6 x 0.79 inches

2.92 oz

WARRANTY
Contact the seller directly
PROS

CatEye's universal speed sensor is able to work with pretty much all bikes, from 29ers and 27.5 mountain bikes to hybrid and road bikes. The FlexTight™ universal bracket keeps the device steady and secured. You'll have no issues mounting, adjusting, and/or moving the computer by hand.

CONS

Too easy to accidentally clear the ride info. 

OUR VERDICT

CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W is an excellent budget bike computer. Every necessary metric is there. It is able to track/display just about every stat. The model is universally compatible and the ClickTec™ button interface lets you focus on the road and enjoy the ride.

detailed parameters
SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 kmh/mh

FEATURES

Current/Average/Top speed, Trip distance, Total distance, Elapsed time, Clock, Stopwatch 

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Auto start/stop, ClickTec™ button interface

TYPE

Wireless

POWER SUPPLY

CR2032

SIZE AND WEIGHT

1.7 x 2.7 x 0.6 inches

1.1 oz

WARRANTY

2 years

PROS
The incredible precision of the cycling computer is impressive, its deviation does not exceed 0.1%.
CONS
The installation is somehow challenging due to wires.
OUR VERDICT
This bike computer is equipped with a large high-contrast display which permanently displays almost all the necessary information; a mode switching won't distract you while riding.
detailed parameters
SPEED MEASURING RANGE
0 - 99.9 kmh/mh
FEATURES
Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average speed comparison, Total/Trip distance, Travel time, Clock
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Memory for two bicycles, Auto wake, Thermometer, Waterproof, Odometer for two bicycles
TYPE
Wired
POWER SUPPLY
CR2032
SIZE AND WEIGHT

1.57 x 1.85 x 1.06 inches

2 oz

WARRANTY
Lifetime

Garmin Edge 820

An Actual Computer

Bike computers in general aren't really "computers". Not in the word's modern definition anyway. But Garmin Edge 820 is a little different. This thing is definitely a computer. It is able to do so much that the "computer" description is as accurate as it gets.

But let's pivot a little first. As impressive as the model's functionality is, we would like to start with the device's build and overall profile.

Measuring 1.9 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches in overall dimensions and 2.4 ounces in weight, the model is about as lightweight and compact as they come. At the same time, its 2.3-inch high-resolution capacitive touch display is anything but ordinary. It works with gloves as well as when wet.

As far as we're concerned, the only issue with the screen is that the user interface isn't that intuitive. Other than that, you shouldn't have any issues once you figure out the layout and its settings.

Review of Garmin Edge 820 GPS Cycling/Bike Computer for Performance and Racing

Track Your Pack

Setting the model's form factor aside, let's talk functionality. We really like the GroupTrack feature. As you'd imagine, the feature lets you add different users to the same group and keep tabs on everyone in your riding pack. Even when you pull away from the peloton, you should feel anything but alone.

Using Garmen Connect, you'll be able to pair your devices and track your riding buddies. At the same time, your companions will be able to do the same, making sure you don't get too separated.

But the biggest difference-maker has to be the model's Varia compatibility. Using the integrated accelerometer, the bike computer presents outstanding incident detection capabilities. It is able to send your map location to an emergency contact if an incident occurs.

Garmin Edge 820 GPS Cycling/Bike Computer for Performance and Racing in the use

It's Go Time

The model's built-in GPS and GLONASS is another huge detail that separates the product from its competition. You can use the Garmin Cycle Map to find routable road and bike paths, elevation data, points of interest, and address search.

Other than that, Edge 820 lets you use high-tech performance monitoring metrics like vo2 Max, recovery advisor time, and advanced cycling dynamics.

Last but not least, the bike computer gives you access to Garmin Connect. You and many other people on the move can use the app to save, plan, and share your activities. It will let you beat yesterday in your daily commute or segment competitions.

To sum it all up, Garmin Edge 820 puts the features you want, nay, need, at your fingertips. The model will help you beat yesterday with a faster or longer ride or dial in your training for a race. Its advanced performance monitoring, bike-specific turn-by-turn navigation, and advanced tracking features will let you edge out the competition.

Detailed review of Garmin Edge 820 GPS Cycling/Bike Computer for Performance and Racing

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Battery

Battery-wise, on a recent 75 mile ride, the Explore 1000, with navigation, remote and bluetooth on, but wi-fi and Varia off, I would have gotten about a total of 12 hours

Key Specs

GPS easier to use than cell phone which can have gaps in coverage.

Display

I also like the size of the device and the screen.

Features

The Varia Radar taillight is the best reason to own this expensive computer.
 

Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1

A Huge Upgrade

Right off the bat, Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1 is a huge upgrade compared to its predecessor. The model offers many improvements across the entire board.

The crisp 2.7-inch Daybright screen makes it particularly easy to view your performance metrics at a glance in high-glare and low-light conditions.

The accessible, tactile, easy-to-press front buttons let you toggle between the model's numerous features/settings, including but not limited to Workout, Live Track, Climb, Map, Text/Phone Alerts, and KICKR control.

At the same time, the model is 100% wireless. Incorporating Wi-Fi, ANT+, and Bluetooth 4.0 modules, it saves you the trouble tethering up to sync ride data, download maps, or update software. You'll be able to pair this bike computer with just about any sensor such as power, speed, cadence, heart rate, SmO2, electric shifting systems, and KICKR/SNAP trainers.

Last but not least on the form factor/profile upgrade subject, ELEMNT WFCC1 comes equipped with a rechargeable battery that is able to deliver up to 17 hours per charge.

Review of Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1 GPS Bike Computer

Easy to Follow any Road

The company's Companion app hasn't received major changes lately. But, as far as we're concerned, that is for the better. The application's intuitive interface lets you use your smartphone to pair devices, customize different settings, configure workout pages, and link to other popular cycling apps and wireless sensors. At the same time, post-ride, the app stores your workout history and automatically syncs to your linked third-party applications.

First and foremost, the model makes it easy to follow any road. It offers wireless route downloads, cycling optimized routes with Wahoo's "Take Me Anywhere" application, turn-by-turn cues from the most popular/effective/efficient apps (Strava, RideWithGPS, Komoot), and free pre-loaded maps from all over the world.

Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1 GPS Bike Computer in the use

Never Miss a Turn

ELEMNT WFCC1 will let you pair your phone with the bike computer to receive emails, text messages, and call alerts (as well as turn the do-not-disturb mode on and off). Using live/group tracking, you'll be able to locate your friends riding in real time. All in all, the device makes it easy to stay in touch when you're out on a ride.

The last major detail we would like to cover is the Perfect View side buttons. With these buttons, you'll have the ability to toggle between views of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 curated data fields. The model will let you choose from 170+ data fields to configure screens.

In conclusion, again, Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1 is a huge upgrade/improvement over its predecessor across the entire board. The Quicklook LED indicators are especially comfortable. The pop-up notifications will make sure you never miss a turn. The overall functionality relative to the price tag is absolutely nothing to complain about. 

Detailed review of Wahoo ELEMNT WFCC1 GPS Bike Computer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Raniaco Bike Computer

Simple as It Is

Bike computer from Raniaco is one of the most common among the devices. It is an excellent choice for cyclists of beginning and intermediate levels who want or need to know the details of their travels. This bicycle computer is very simple in operation. The computer can perform all the main tasks - for example, measure your speed and compare it to the average number. So, you will be aware of your results and able to maintain the correct movement rate. Raniaco automatically turns on and starts the program as soon as you start moving and stops when you stop. In other words, everything is computerized. This bicycle computer is compact and fits perfectly on any bike handlebars. But speaking of its moisture protection, you should remove and hide it when it rains. On these grounds, this bike computer will be a good addition to your bicycle for a relatively little price.

Review of Raniaco Bike Computer

Some Advice

  • The most important tools for the trip: a hexagon (preferably the whole set), a patch for the camera, and a pump.   
  • Check the tire pressure before every ride, especially if the tires are tubeless.   
  • Sealant in tubeless tires should be changed at least every three months.   
  • Regularly (at least once a month) check the tightness of the connecting rods, and if you have a new bike, do it before every trip during the first week of using it.   
  • If you care about the bike, you should not ignore squeaks, clicks, crackles and other signs of failure.

Raniaco Bike Computer in the use

More Products to Consider

Finish Line DRY teflon bicycle chain lube is a lubricant that will help you keep the chain in a good condition for a long time and reduce its wear-and-tear.

Detailed review of Raniaco Bike Computer

VIDEO
Raniaco Wireless Bike Computer | Unboxing And Review
 

CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W

Lightweight and Tiny

CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W is relatively basic compared to every previous entry on the list. It is definitely not basic compared to bike computers in general though. The model has more than enough going for it to separate itself from the otherwise basic crowd. Its functionality is nothing to scoff at, especially relative to the product's price tag. But functionality is not where we would like to start. Let's go to the model's form factor first.

Measuring 1.7 x 2.7 x 0.6 inches in overall dimensions, the computer is as tiny as they come. It barely takes away any handlebar space. The model's 1.1-ounce weight makes the product arguably the lightest bike computer on the market today. Definitely the lightest bike computer in its price range.

At the same time, relative to the device's size, its screen is massive. It will prove suitable for just about anyone who wants to enjoy a squint-free ride and a fast, simple set-up. The numbers are huge and easy to read.

That being said, the interface could use some improvement. As it is right now, the computer makes it too easy to accidentally clear the ride info.

Review of CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W Wireless Bike Computer

Universal Computer

With form factor out of the way, let's tackle compatibility. You can pair the model with the company's optional out-front mount or just about any K-Edge option, including but not limited to colors, aerobar, and stem mounts. CatEye's universal speed sensor is able to work with pretty much all bikes, from 29ers and 27.5 mountain bikes to hybrid and road bikes.

The FlexTight™ universal bracket keeps the device steady and secured. You'll have no issues mounting, adjusting, and/or moving the computer by hand. It will let you spend less time setting up your gear and more time on the road.

This is a wireless model, which is impressive considering the modest price tag. As it is usually the case, the model requires one CR2032 battery to operate. It is able to survive on that single battery for up to a year.

CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W Wireless Bike Computer in the use

Enjoy the Ride

As for the model's functionality, we'll keep things brief. The computer is able to track/display all your favorite stats, including current, max, and average speed, total distance, trip distance, elapsed time, and clock. You can manually set the odometer, meaning you won't have to start over every time you change the battery. The device knows when you've stopped and automatically stops counting things like average speed as well as time. Last but not least, it is able to measure speed from 0 to 99.9 kmh/mh.

Bottom line, CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W is an excellent budget bike computer. Every necessary metric is there. It is able to track/display just about every stat. The model is universally compatible and the ClickTec™ button interface lets you focus on the road and enjoy the ride.

Detailed review of CatEye Padrone CC-PA100W Wireless Bike Computer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer

All at Once

The Planet Bike Protege 9.0 appears to be a nice little computer that will provide you with all the info you need on a single screen, no need to press any buttons to change the mode. This lowers the distraction quite a lot, doesn't it? LCD display, "buttonless" design, and overall compact size offer advantages to you that no other computer can match.

Review of Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer

Reliability

We would like to note the quality of this bike computer. Probably, its most important advantage is reliability. It seems nearly impossible to destroy the thing because the body material is of a really high quality. If you are still hesitating, look at its lifetime warranty - it clearly points to the fact that the manufacturer is confident enough. And we believe that this is a huge advantage of the bike computer because very few can boast of such a benefit. Also, we can not pass the opportunity to mention the ultrasonic sealing that prevents moisture from getting inside: this box is really perfectly protected.

Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer in the use

Nice and Healthy

Cycling is a truly intensive way to workout but it is also a very efficient one; you will not only lose weight but strengthen all your muscles. Even the heart muscle benefits from bike riding. Such loads also help to improve breathing, and that is good for your metabolism. Having the right training load, even children and elderly people can do the exercises. As you know, there are many different ways to keep fit, but riding a bike is the best one among them. The load while riding is properly distributed on muscles, and you will notice a positive result after one week of riding if you cycle at least 1 hour a day. And surely, your condition will be improving as to breathing and overall health.

Detailed review of Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer

More Products to Consider

While riding, your bike must be marked for the drivers to see from the distance. And nothing can make it as good as this ultra bright bike ligh Blitzu cyborg 168T USB rechargeable bicycle tail light.

Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Planet Bike Protegé 9.0 wireless displaying random numbers
 

What Is a Bike Computer?

A bike computer is a really useful device, not only for professional cyclists but for bike enthusiasts too. This device consists of two parts, the computer itself is mounted on a handlebar while the magnetic sensor is placed on the front fork to take the readings from the wheel. You can monitor your bicycle training easily with biking computers, they don't just track your speed and distance, but can also watch over your heart rate, tell you the time and temperature, and more. Sometimes, you can download all the training data to your computer afterward.

The best computers will allow you to find routable road and bike paths, elevation data, points of interest, and address search. Certain models will let you pair your phone with the computer to receive emails, text messages, and call alerts (as well as access the do-not-disturb mode.

Bike pedals are also important for riding, and we can help you with the choice here as well with our reviews on road bike pedals, clipless pedals, and mountain bike pedals.

What Features to Compare

Data Displayed

Firstly, you should decide what information you want to get from a bike computer. And depending on your level of training, the requirements will change. For example, if you are a recreational cyclist and ride a bike simply to keep fit, enjoy yourself or get to work, then you do not need to buy an expensive bike computer, the only data it should display are your speed, distance, and travel time. However, if you get your bicycle from storage as soon as the road is dry and keep using it till the first snow, spending all the free time on a bike, then you would probably want to get a bit more data. You should pay attention to the bike computer with features such as displaying average, maximum speed and trip distance in addition to its standard features. As for the pro cyclists, the more data the better; in addition to the abovementioned, we say that athletes should be aware of cadence (i.e. the frequency of pedaling), comparison of their current speed to the average value, maybe calories spending. Also, the ability to sync with a computer to graph statistics will come in handy.

Additional Features

Bike computers may have a variety of additional functions that are not essential but are very convenient and useful. To name a few, it can be a memory for two bikes, a built-in thermometer, backlight, a weatherproof case, a timer, etc.

Type and Size

There are two types of bike computers, wired and wireless. For a mountain bike, the best choice is a wireless computer as they do not have wires (obviously) and you won't damage anything accidentally. But as for road bikes, there is no difference as long as you feel comfortable. Bike computers also come in different sizes, and the more advanced features there are, the larger the computer is. This may result in increasing the weight of your bike which is very important in some cases.

Sources:

1. John Higgins Bike Computers: How to Choose, REI. March 6, 2015.

2. Curtis Smith How to Choose the Best Bike Computer for Cycling, OutdoorGearLab. January 2, 2016.

3. How to Choose a Bike Computer, Eastern Mountain Sports.

4. Michael Herlihy Choosing the Best Bike Computer for Your Needs, ACTIVE.

5. Cyclocomputer, Wikipedia. April 20, 2016

6. Sheldon Brown 17 Tips For Installing Cyclecomputers, Harris Cyclery.

7. Mike Anderson Buyer’s guide: GPS cycling computers, Road Cycling UK. March 27, 2015.

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