Best Bike Computer đŸ„‡ 2019 Recommendations |Top 10 Cycling Review Compare

Best Cycling Computer 2019

The Best Cycling Computer 2019 is looked at here across a range of types of cyclists and what they need their cycling computers for. Building on limited new models in 2018 we can hope for new models from Wahoo, Garmin and maybe even Polar.

Best Cycling Computer 2019If you are treating yourself or a loved one to a new GPS cycling computer (not watch) then you’ve come to the right place for the latest  recommendations. Luckily for you, it’s a great time to buy a great cycling ‘head unit’. At the mid- to lower end of the pricing there are many feature-full models to choose from and further up the pricing scale there are many technical innovations taking place for more serious tech-cyclists. There are also now some 2-year-old models that are still surprisingly good, awesome even, and falling in price to more sensible levels as replacement versions are released.


I’m going to cover devices from $100/ÂŁ100 and upwards to the high-end cycling computers/watches at over ÂŁ/Eu/$4-500. You are lucky in that this year there are many well-featured head units with all the key bits of functionality even at the very lower end of that price range.

I’m going to recommend the best devices for the kinds of usage you might put them to. If you are looking for a recommendation to fit within a price range then that’s not what I am doing here, sorry. I think you may well be surprised though at some of the ‘bargain’ prices in some of the categories.

Sigma Rox 12 ReviewHere are the categories and, hopefully, you might be able to best fit yourself into just one of them. Please don’t take all the descriptions of the types of cyclists too seriously…THAT is a bit of fun, BUT the recommendations ARE SERIOUS.

Which category am I?

If in doubt just work out what you can afford and then add $50 and buy the Garmin Edge with the highest number 520, 820,1000,1030 🙂

Categories and Special Categories for Best Cycling Computer


Made by whom?

Bryton? Garmin? Polar? Wahoo? MIO/Magellan? Lezyne? Acer? Hammerhead? O-Synce or Cateye? I’ve looked at most devices but have not considered some more peripheral players like Stages (Dash) where I just haven’t yet got around to it (aka it costs a lot of money to buy them all)

best cycling computer Garmin Edge 820

Edge 820: What about this one?

A standalone best cycling computer or an app or a watch?

It’s complicated.

These recommendations only look at cycling head units not smartphone apps. STRAVA is the popular & obvious choice for an app to use on your smartphone. There is a free version which is good and perfectly usable as well as a premium version offering some more features. If you are buying a high-end cycling computer then often you will also need a PAID-FOR STRAVA account to benefit from some of the innovative features. A year’s subscription to STRAVA PREMIUM can be a good present for a keen cyclist.

You could maybe also look at ridewithgps, WAHOO Fitness or sportrstracker (Suunto/Amer). Once you’ve searched for those, similar ones will come up in your app store.

Apps further complicate things as some offer high-end and/or niche functionality that you will NOT find on a cycling computer and that can work ‘standalone’ on your smartphone OR, in some case, an app within the Garmin hardware ecosystem might provide that niche functionality YOU are looking for. The usefulness of these may well depend on your level of seriousness as well as the associated sensors you already possess; notably a power meter.

Note: An app like STRAVA can be a POWERFUL AND CHEAP tool.

TOP TIP: If you want recommendations for a cycling device then make sure that the recommendation comes from a cyclist who has actually cycled in earnest with the real device and not just read the specs! Hint: You can tell by the stock photos that the ‘reviewer’ would likely not even own a wheel let alone a cycling computer. Please reward authentic, smaller sites like this whose owners are not salaried and who rely on your generosity in buying from one of the included Amazon links – thank you!

best cycling computer Wahoo-Fitness-RFLKT+-Review

Wahoo-Fitness-RFLKT+ and the Garmin 920XT – also a great cycling device as it’s also a top tri watch.

Features of the best cycling computer

To ‘train well’ you will probably consider distance, time, power, speed, cadence and heart rate. The 3 key features you should look for as a minimum are:

  • GPS
  • Heart Rate
  • Cadence

Most products will meet those criteria with a couple of, often bundled, sensors.

I tend to assume that you are ‘training’. However, I’m sure MANY of you will NOT be ‘training’ and will want a cycling computer for many other reasons like commuting and pure recreation. So…

Other key feature sets cover

  • Power meter support (for serious training)
  • Barometric Altimeter (for those who are concerned with metres climbed)
  • Navigation (for those who want to explore and those who want a BikeNav and those who want to follow simple routes)
  • Speed
  • Durability (for MTB or commuting usage)
  • Connectivity to special sensors: brake lights, proximity radar; and night lights
  • Workouts and Intervals
  • Aesthetics
  • Connectivity to other people
  • Connectivity to other services both in-ride (weather, STRAVA) or post-ride (STRAVA, TrainingPeaks)
  • Connectivity to apps, sensors and wifi

Within each feature SET, there will be many, many individual features – WAY too numerous to cover here.

The following list of recommendations links to individual cycling device reviews – there you will find the detailed features that I have taken into account when making the recommendation.


I used to ride with an early Polar sports watch and I used to strap it to my bike’s handlebars and revel in the ‘bike mode’. I think the only difference to ‘run mode’ was that it displayed speed rather than pace and it could also communicate with a miraculous thing called a cadence sensor – that I couldn’t afford at the time.

Bike tech has moved on considerably since then.

In my opinion bike technology DOES make a bit of a difference to your performance, enjoyment and perhaps even too to your motivation on those long rides or on those hard rides. But it is still the hours, miles, speed, recovery and cycling buddies that make the big differences. Whilst you might not see an Olympic track cyclist with too many gadgets whilst racing; you WILL see Grand Tour riders with the exact same kit that the Weekend Lycra boys and girls use. Those GT riders will use the tech kit to some degree, even though it has been supplied by their sponsors.


Cycling is growing globally as an activity. Cyclists and triathletes typically spend quite a bit more money on their sporting gadgets than, say, runners. In general, they also seem to want a few more bits of gadgetry than their running counterparts AND are often prepared to pay for that privilege. Cycling computers/watches are becoming part of ever-more complex apps & online sport-data ecosystems with a rider becoming ‘connected’ to: the sensors on his/her bike; the immediate environment (radar); weather; training plans; social media; locational information; fellow riders; watchers at home or the finish line; and more besides.

Garmin are at the forefront of this, covering all price ranges. Other than the smartphone, I can’t really see any other cycling computer manufacturer taking over that pedestal any time soon.

best cycling computer XPLOVA X5 (Acer) Smart Video Cycling Computer Review

Oooh, quite a few here; must be one of these surely?

Despite Garmin ‘owning’ the cycling market place it is having some of that dominance gradually eaten in to by the likes of WAHOO and LEZYNE in selected sub-markets. And whilst Garmin will release at least one new 2018 product (Edge 530) we will also see new entrants to the market, like HAMMERHEAD (KAROO, Q4.2017).

OK, enough already, let’s see how they all stack up.


best cycling computer WAHOO, elemnt, bolt, mini

Yep. They all stack up nicely 😉





best cycling computer Lezyne Super GPS

Lezyne Super GPS

OK neither of us are Nicolas Vouilloz but we still want a device that won’t fall apart at the sight of either a splash of rain or distant tree root.

We are also not to be insulted by our tarmac-bound, 2-wheeled brethren. We do have power meters. Yes really. We even know what GPS is…honest! But we draw the line at ridiculous automated bike brake lights, a real light has 6000 lumens and costs more than your neighbours ‘so-called’ mountain bike (scoff, scoff).

The Year 11 Lezyne range (confusingly that’s 2018, Y12 already exist) are all suitable as they have very similar functionality but crucially a great mount and sturdy construction. Perhaps if you are looking for more advanced navigation for your MTB/trail rides then this might be an option as Lezyne are actively working on improving navigational functionality throughout 2018/9 (link to: The latest devices from Lezyne are mostly  just larger versions of the same models and with rotating screens

However the ENHANCED SUPER GPS just edges over others in the range it as it has: GPS+GLONASS for all that pesky tree cover; a barometer; and a 24 hour battery life. AND A GREAT PRICE.

As a guide if the device supports ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART devices as well as power meters then, broadly speaking, it’s going to be a well-featured device.

And you’ll get that for less than $150 from Amazon. Sorted.

You can get a similarly-specified Lezyne notably more cheaply from a previous year eg the Super GPS (not the ENHANCED Super GPS) but that will not benefit from the added connectivity to the improving ALLY app.

The Lezyne range IS confusingly similar. This might help

click to enlarge

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Garmin Edge 530

Pretty much everyone you know owns a Garmin. And if they don’t own a Garmin, they don’t own a bike.

As a group of cyclists, you might stick to known routes but sometimes you want to venture further afield and need some navigational input and sometimes the rest of the group don’t keep up with you and it would be nice for them to know where you are as they try to catch up. It would also be handy for your partner to know how far from home you are and that you are currently not stopped at a pub to, ahem, “fix a puncture”.

Garmin Edge 530 ReviewYou have to buy a half-decent Garmin so as not to embarrass yourself in front of your mates. Your group kit matches, so your ‘cycling head unit’ needs to match as well.

Simple mapping functionality is great (not re-routing). And live tracking facilities will help the rest of the group find you as well as keeping your nearest and dearest informed as to your whereabouts.

So you get the Edge 530

Actually the Edge 530 is a very, very powerful and extremely competent device. And the key thing for 2020 is, its finally got the early bugs all fixed. Your cycling buddies might have the supposedly fancier Edge 1030s or Edge 830s. But your 530 will mostly do everything. Their Edges may well not work…ahem…often. Don’t be tempted to go for those models with all those extra fancy functions that you will never use. You will have PLENTY of functions that you will NEVER use in the Edge 530 as it is.

I know you’re going to ignore me and get the Edge 1030 because of all the new slew of features but, hey, in 3 month’s time I’ll be saying “I told you so”.

best cycling computer Polar M450, Garmin Edge 820, Garmin Edge 810, MIO Cyclo 505HC

Polar M450, Edge 820, Edge 810, MIO Cyclo 505HC


ESSENTIAL READING: Garmin Edge 530 Review

The Edge 530 has a vast array of connectivity and data presentation options – SO MANY options that you really will never, ever see some of the more obscure menu options.

Local links to Amazon, Wiggle, PMC or REI


Even if the Edge 530 can’t do what you want there will likely be a Garmin CIQ app that can.

Alternative: a Garmin alternative best cycling computer for WEEKEND RIDERS could be sigma Rox 12 mainly because it has excellent navigation and great strava integration




You know what your FTP is. Heck, you know what it was this time last year too. Indeed you never tell anyone your FTP as FTP stated as “w/kg” is more meaningful. You will almost certainly do races of some sorts – be they triathlons or time trials or something else involving hills or lots of tight, fast corners. You have probably had some moment of self-imagined glory and stood on a podium or two at your local village fete. (This is probably me I’m describing, BTW; humour is intended…not offence)

You will either; have a coach; think you are a coach; or have downloaded a free coaching plan off the internet. You will probably have a good crack at following that plan and train seriously for extended periods in the year until work or life gets in the way to give you an excuse for why you did not quite do as well in the race as you stats predicted.

ESSENTIAL READING: Wahoo Elemnt Review

If you haven’t got a life you will probably have sufficient time to plan all of your structured workouts into a digital format and your device will most certainly need to let you follow these digitised workouts. Naturally this will probably involve linking to both a fancy power meter; as well as to a fancy indoor trainer; as well as to TrainingPeaks so your real, or imaginary, coach can also look at your data.

Wahoo Elemnt Review Comparison specifications Features Buy Deal Price

You will probably have ‘club mates’ rather than ‘weekend cycling mates’. If you have weekend cycling mates then they will probably belong to a cycling club and you will probably belong to a triathlon club…or the other way around. Either way these mates will lead you on many glorious adventures up hills and through forests and to seemingly pointless places that are invariably at least 100 miles away and 1.5 miles (asl) higher than they should be (IMO). Naturally this will involve you needing to occasionally navigate with your device…it will kinda help if you can read the screen and follow a mapped route on the screen and it will kinda help if it works for more than 3 or 4 hours.

The device will also need to show your bragging-rights metrics: STRAVA is a must but so are your in-ride power-based achievements.

Obviously it will display NP. Obviously. Sigh. C’mon people. OBVIOUSLY

What a stupid thought. Buying a cycling computer that cannot show NP. And yes I checked, the ELEMNT can show NP-lap and IF and 3s-, 30s-avg power and other stuff that you don’t really understand like muscle oxygenation and pedal smoothness balance – even though you only have a single-sided STAGES crank PM (perfectly fine, not knocking it)

One of the great things about the WAHOO ELEMNT is that the platform is relatively ‘open’. WAHOO is a small company compared to Garmin but because they have an open platform you can leverage powerful stuff from elsewhere.  Be that near-seamless integration with TrainingPeaks, RideWithGPS and STRAVA or connectivity with just about any sensor/device you can throw at it.

There is a polite WAHOO nod to ‘live tracking’ but that’s about it. The peripheral ‘brake light’ and RADAR accessories are not there. ALL the stuff that a ‘proper’ wannabe cyclist needs IS there but where the WAHOO also ‘wins’ is in the sheer usability of the novel interface – most of what you have to do next is only a button press or two away and NOT nested in the depths of a complex menu system.


NOTES: The BOLT is pretty much the same as the ELEMNT but a bit smaller. The ROAM is a supersized BOLT with proper navigation

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Garmin Edge 1030

If cycling computers could make a latte you would want one which could put a RAPHA logo in the milk on the top. You want every bell, whistle and foghorn that it is humanly possible to have. You already have N+1 bikes, where N is an infeasibly large number.

You have a garage but there is no car in it because…it’s full of bike stuff

Garmin-010-01758-01-2 Edge 1030Other than cycling, your 2nd main hobby is collecting Garmin Edge devices.

Perhaps you marvel at the possibilities of the tech (I do) or enjoy playing with it and learning ‘stuff’. Perhaps you are in some way feature-competitive with your cycle-tech buying buddies. You would certainly be an adopter of new technology and might enjoy reading or commenting on blogs like this, or similar to this. You probably wouldn’t mind too much if some of the features didn’t quite work first time and would be happy to trust the manufacturer to eventually fix it. Don’t get me wrong, you would still write a stern email to Garmin support bemoaning the cost of the item in the full knowledge that they won’t even read it. But you would still have your latest Edge on your handlebars the next day despite having pretended to Garmin support that it really was unusable and could you “have a replacement unit that wasn’t a refurbished unit please” in the hope that some imagined hardware problem has secretly been rectified by the Garmin factory on the 3rd day of production.

The ‘latest Garmin’ is the device you would always buy next. You might have previously bought the Edge 810 then the Edge 1000 then ‘upgraded’ to the Edge 820. You don’t really need me to tell you that you will buy the Edge 1030. Let’s face it, you’ve already ordered it haven’t you? You’re just reading this to make yourself feel good 😉

The Edge 1030 is a large, colour touchscreen format cycling navigation unit. It’s fully compatible with every sensor known to cyclekind from your TACX Neo to your MOXY Muscle Oxygen sensor to all your power meters and obscure arm-worn heart rate monitors. Yes, even the tempting-looking, Bluetooth SMART Polar OH1.

It has great integration with STRAVA (Live Segments & Sufferscore) and it supports all the latest Garmin CIQ apps. With your power meter you can get apps that do insightful things eg BARON Biosys with XERT. Even ignoring STRAVA and CIQ you still have AN AWFUL, AWFUL LOT of stuff built into the device.

The Edge 1030 will give you all the racing, pacing and bike training features you will ever likely need. You can race against a pace or race against a previous performance. Heck you can even ride against someone’s else’s performance as your smart trainer adjusts the incline and resistance to match the course they actually raced before they sent you their race file.

It has turn-by-turn navigation and an inbuilt map – it’s a bikenav, after all. It can link to your gear shifters, turbo trainer and radar-activated rear lights (seriously, it can). The colour touchscreen is a nice size and has a good resolution.

It will tell you where your fellow group riders are and tell your family, at home, where you are. It even has incident detection; the renamed “hit-by-lorry” feature, although we shouldn’t joke about these things really.

Obviously, all the ‘old hat’ stuff like cycling dynamics and advanced cycling dynamics are included and it’s got a good enough barometric altimeter, (selected) automatic POI elevation calibration and a good-enough GPS, sometimes helped by GLONASS enablement. Yes, of course you always have GLONASS enabled (or Galileo, depending on the device) and of course you also know it makes not difference to anything other than shortening your battery life.

It has clever physiological metrics from Firstbeat like VO2max, performance condition and stress score.

It will link and sync to your phone via the improving Garmin Connect Mobile app. It has a good battery life of 20 hours and the ingenious solution of a plug-on battery pack to extend it further.

No other cycling computer has as many features.

Garmin’s app and online ecosystem (Garmin Connect) are good enough and open enough to let you send your data elsewhere to better places.

Comments: The Edge 1030 contains pretty much every Garmin cycling feature. It is unlikely to be superseded until 2020. As Garmin’s flagship cycling device, new features WILL be added as they are developed. To be honest I can’t think of anything they could add but they’ll find something you ‘need’.

Heads-Up: I haven’t yet done a review on the Edge 1030 and probably will not. I have only had limited ‘hands-on’ time but if you know the earlier Edge units there are NOT too many surprises. Evolution…not revolution.

What to watch out for: The touchscreen & teething problems. The touchscreen seems OK from the plays I have had with it.

ALTERNATIVE: Garmin Edge 830 Review. The Edge 830 is similarly functioned to the Edge 1030 & 530 and in a slightly smaller format. 



There are different kinds of commuter. Some of you will see commuting as part of training; others will see it as light exercise; others will see it as a chance to sneak a few STRAVA segments; others will just want to record the proof to your partner that you left work and went straight home.

You can install STRAVA or the WAHOO app on your smartphone and that should be good enough for most people. So my advice is to do that.

Lezyne Micro C GPS Watch

MICRO C WATCH model shown – actually an interesting variant in the LEZYNE range. This is a cycling watch that you can also wear on your wrist!

But for those of you who do NOT want to put an expensive phone on public display and unduly risk damaging it then I’d strongly suggest the LEZYNE is a good place to start looking. It’s got phone notifications and STRAVA live segments when paired with the ALLY phone app. It’s currently on Amazon at GBP100 (US$130). It will support your powermeter too. Yep. That price is not a typo.

clicks to source

The LEZYNE is also a well-made brand that has proved durable for me and for many, many others that I have seen comments from on various internet sites.

I extensively use the SUPER GPS model from the previous year as my ‘go to’ backup unit. It seems to always work and has a long battery life. Perfect for that purpose.

Using a Lezyne can be a bit fiddly at times and I find the menus counter-intuitive. But they have recently allowed device configuration additionally by the smartphone app. Which goes a LONG way to allaying my usability concerns.

The Lezyne range are all similarly featured, just being sold in different ‘sizes’ and colour/non-colour versions. the MICRO GPS is recommended mostly because of the durability, reliability, feature set (including connectivity) and price. The MICRO C version is a little more expensive and the ‘C’ is for colour BUT the ‘C’ version also includes GLONASS support.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eu130/$150/ÂŁ115 and will fall slightly in sales. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Alternative: an alternative best cycling computer for COMMUTING could be the XPLOVA X5 EVO mainly because it has a built-in looped video model for accident recording purposes. Nice to have all the functionality in one device.


Hammerhead Karoo Review bikenav navigation


The choice of the best navigation option is tricky too. MIO’s Cyclo devices have always been good at navigating with decently specified hardware and notable efforts to include something a little bit innovative on the navigation front in each model. Recently with the Cyclo 210 they introduced a great SCREEN and, after all, that is one of the key things you need to look for ie being able to BE DIRECTED.

Sigma’s Rox 12 is also HIGHLY competent at navigation with MANY navigation features and a responsive interface.

Then you have to think about the logistics of actually getting a route onto your device. Hammerhead KAROO has good STRAVA links and Wahoo is good STRAVA and RIDEWITHGPS links. Garmin’s environment is alright and functional but still buggy in late 2018 in my experience. Polar’s V650 is a bit of a dark horse has improved greatly in the last year and a bit.

You also have to consider if you have regular and/or complex navigational needs. Then also you need to consider the GPS in built-up areas where getting your position correct CAN be tricky.

My personal favourite would be the WAHOO ELEMENT (ROAM) but that would be just for the kinds of needs that I have myself. Which are not normally onerous.

I find the high-end Garmin Edge’s too clever. Trying to do too much. Often that complicates the ease of use in getting a valid route file onto the device and then being CLEARLY directed over that route. If things go wrong on a long route their re-planning is just too slow. Then again, I’ve not used the Edge 1030 or Edge Explore.

XPLOVA’s X5 EVO had a good online route creation tool but then was not so great downstream of that.

I like the MIO CYCLO 210 it does a good job in a simple way but then it lacks pretty much ANY performance/sensor functionality other than navigation. The Mio Cyclo 605HC is the best Mio Cyclo device by a long way with LOTS of great features but the price can be a tad on the high side as a result




Garmin Edge 530

This is a tricky one for you. Your best bet is to know what brand the recipient of your generosity prefers rather than just blindly buying what some online reviewer (ahem) has recommended to be the best cycling computer. Also, find out if they are currently happy with that brand or not. Try asking the following question to the intended recipient, “You’ve got the Garmin Edge 810 haven’t you? Doesn’t <Jo> have one of the newer ones, the 835 isn’t it?“. That subtly checks what they currently have as well as mentioning a product that doesn’t exist (the 835) when they correct you, hopefully, they will correct you with the model they have been eyeing up 😉 Crafty.

Edge 530 Bible đŸ‡ș🇾 Garmin Edge 530 Review đŸ‡ȘđŸ‡ș

Otherwise: the problem you have to address is that not every cycling computer BRAND will work with every cycling accessory BRAND.

Luckily, the chances are that the recipient either has or would like, a Garmin. That’s a 90% bet in favour of you guessing right.

The Edge 520, Edge 820, Edge 1000 and Edge 1030 are all nice presents, generally good devices and current models.

  • The Edge 1030 will almost DEFINITELY support ALL OF THEIR other cycling gadgets. But it’s expensive.
  • The Edge 1000 is mostly bug free but has been, sort of, replaced by the Edge 1030 (September 2017)
  • The Garmin Edge 820 Review ed is pretty sweet and has all the bells and whistles but only supports ANT+ accessories. It will not be replaced until 2019 so you are getting a good and current model full of features. It has got everything going for it apart from the touchscreen which superficially sounds good but many people (including me) have suffered with it. This might be because we got an early model and later ones off the production line were quietly fixed. Many other people I speak to have no problems with it.
  • The Edge 520 is a full-button version of the 820 but a bit older and likely to be replaced in Spring 2018.

However, all of these Garmin devices are quite expensive. Lezyne might be a good and cheap brand to buy a speculative present from; but many of the other brands, such as Polar & MIO/Magellan, have not innovated much for a few years now.





These two ‘awards’ also go to the WAHOO ELEMNT. Actually, you could buy the ELEMNT BOLT instead as they are nearly-identical apart from the BOLT being a smaller format.

WAHOO ELEMNT / BOLT on the wahoo kickr kickr17 smart trainer review

The downloaded workout and some details

The ELEMNTs tick all of the boxes that need ticking for most of you with general cycling needs. I’m talking data metrics as well as usability boxes. So, as I semi-jokingly talked about it incorporating the NP metric (above), that was to illustrate the depth of metrics available. The screen does lack slightly in resolution when mapping BUT that is MORE than compensated for by clarity & readability across many light conditions. Whilst you might like the idea of a touchscreen, the ELEMNT’s buttons are VASTLY superior and will work in the cold when you are wearing gloves AND work in the hot when your sweat lands on the device.

ESSENTIAL READING: Wahoo Elemnt Review

WAHOO KICKR3 new KICKR v3 2017 detailed review

Cassette side

Polar V650 ReviewI use mine to control a WAHOO KICKR17 smart trainer via FE-C whilst Zwifting away in the Pacific and it’s great to follow structured workouts created on TrainingPeaks and elsewhere.

It has had some serious creative design going into it with a unique button-controlled, zoom-down facility on the data screens and a super-simple setup just to name two nice quirks. LEDs can also be configured to tell you which zone you are in at a glance; a number could too but the LEDs don’t take up any of the valuable screen real estate..

Finishing up on the TRI/RACER front. I know that quite a few triathletes, me included, seem to have moved towards a bike computer on the bike for the stats in the right place and then using the tri-wrist watch as the recording device for the bike leg. It does make some sense to do that if you are using a TT bike/aero bars so this recommendation would also hold true for pure bike TTs where hitting that target pace is key. The BOLT has a neat pin retaining mechanism to avoid loss or theft whilst left unattended on your bike in transition (I’ve had two attempted thefts). Avid readers will also remember that the BOLT claims to be more aero than any other cycling computer (seriously) and it may well save you half a watt…or so.

It looks sweet. And it works reliably in my experience.


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The Navigator

If you are undertaking a LOT of navigation where, perhaps, you might be on multiple touring holidays then y ou will probably err towards a top-end bikenav like the Edge 1030. Here you are getting exactly the same sort of re-routing abilities that your car’s satnav has.

At the other end of the navigation scale, most devices will allow you to follow a simple ‘line route’ /breadcrumb trail. For infrequent navigation of relatively straightforward routes, these are fine. However, you will REALLY struggle on more complex routes, especially off-road where the next ‘turn’ is not so obviously marked.

Going up one level would give you a nice compromise of something like the Polar V650 where you get a ‘proper’, high-quality map effectively with your route drawn over the top

Essential Reading: Polar V650 Review

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Going up a level again you might look for Turn By Turn notification and the ability to re-route back on course or to the start of the route. The new Mio Cyclo 605HC might be good on that front? As might the Sigma Rox 12. Also consider if your device has the ability to plan routes from within the ecosystem or if routes need to be created elsewhere eg Wahoo’s ELEMNT use routes created, for example, in STRAVA and RideWithGPS. The Polar is a good choice from a stable vendor as would be Wahoo.

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7 thoughts on “Best Bike Computer đŸ„‡ 2019 Recommendations |Top 10 Cycling Review Compare

  1. My ONLY criticism of it so far is that, although it allows a sensor pool, it does not allow device IDs to be given a NAME – thus if, like me, you have a crazy amount of sensors it can be a bit difficult to manage the connections by ANT-ID number alone.

    Really? Bummer.

  2. I am a self-admitted electronics nerd, and have been riding with various Garmin cycling units over the years. I have had the Edge 705, 800, 510, and most recently, the 810 for a couple years. Recently, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a brand new Wahoo ELEMNT. I feel as though I have been a beta tester for Garmin for 10 years with negative compensation (buying a new unit when one breaks). With that said, I chose a few areas of key criteria to review in a friendly competition between the Garmin Edge 810 and the Wahoo ELEMNT. There are numerous areas where the two units are fairly similar, so I chose to focus my attention to the issues where they differ. Let’s get to it

    Ease of Initial Setup and Adjustability
    If one was to just turn the unit on and ride with default settings, then the Edge 810 would win this competition. But nobody who buys either one of these units does this. We bike nerds want customizability and adjustability! We want all of our screens and settings to be perfect. The Edge 810 is clunky in this way. It takes a long time for the user to set up all applicable settings and fields. This is where the ELEMNT shines. The user simply has to scan a QR code to pair the phone and ELEMNT together via bluetooth. Then nearly all settings and adjustments are made from within the phone app, which is very user friendly. Adding and editing training screens is a breeze. Each main training screen can hold up to 10 fields, and they are also complemented by a map screen and an elevation screen. A second added bonus is that the ELEMNT phone app can be seamlessly connected to various external sites. I connected mine to Strava and RideWithGPS, and now all of my planned routes download to my Wahoo device and all of my completed rides automatically upload them.
    Winner: Wahoo ELEMNT

    Screen Contrast
    I didn’t even know that this was an issue for me until I received my ELEMNT. The screen contrast is noticeably much darker and sharper than that of my Garmin. When the sun is low in the sky (morning/evening), seeing the Edge 810 is very tough from certain angles. This doesn’t happen with the ELEMNT. It looks crisp from all angles, regardless of sun glare. It also looks a little clearer with the backlight display turned on than the Edge does with the same setting.
    Winner: Wahoo ELEMNT

    The Garmin empire was built around maps and navigation, so you’d expect the Edge 810 to be head and shoulders above the competition in this category. While it is definitely better, it’s not by much. The Edge offers turn-by-turn navigation with an audible “beep” notifying the user of an upcoming turn. The ELEMNT lays out a “breadcrumbs” trail over a map. While there is a “beep” and LED flash if the user is off course, there isn’t true turn-by-turn navigation. I have, however, read that Wahoo has plans to implement that in a future firmware release. Initially, I thought that the lack of turn-by-turn would be somewhat of a deal-breaker for myself and others, but it wasn’t too bad at all. While the ELEMNT map screen doesn’t show road names, it does lay out the roads in extremely clear contrast. I had no problem following the ELEMNT course for a 40 mile ride.
    Winner: Garmin Edge 810 (for now)

    Customer Service
    Customer service can make or break a person’s decision when deciding to throw down hundreds of dollars on an electronics device. With that said, this competition isn’t even close. I have never had a good experience dealing with Garmin customer service, whether it be through email or phone calls. Their customer service reps don’t seem to have a good handle on the intricacies of the specific units that they carry. Additionally, when I’ve had problems with faulty units, they told me that I had to pay for a refurbished one. Wahoo seems to have been proactive from the very start. They are constantly monitoring (and responding to) various forums and comment sections of blogs. They also have a daily presence in the Wahoo ELEMNT Google Group. I had an issue with one of my data fields when I was initially setting up the ELEMNT, so I gave their customer service a call. Within a minute, I was on the phone with an actual real live human being. She was extremely helpful and polite. Five minutes after that, my problem was solved and I was stoked!
    Winner: Wahoo ELEMNT

    In conclusion, the competition isn’t even close, with the Wahoo ELEMNT as the clear winner. That’s not to say that the ELEMNT doesn’t have a lot of room for improvement. I’d like to see true turn-by-turn navigation rather than just a “breadcrumbs” trail. I am also looking forward to the integration with Strava live segments, which is reportedly down the road. Battery life could also be improved a bit. But Wahoo is off to an amazing start. The device is only a couple of months old, and a few firmware updates could make a huge difference. Once Wahoo addresses those issues and a few others, they will have a true Garmin-killer!

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