Best Budget Cycling Computers 2021:
Top 7 GPS Device

Cycling is a great way to get around, stay healthy, and have fun. And if you want to make the most of your cycling experience, using a cycling computer can help.


There are plenty of different cycling computers on the market, but not all are equal. Understanding the various features is a good place to start if you're looking for the best cycling computer for your needs.


All you have to do is read our guide, and we'll help you find the best cycling computer – whether you want a cycling computer that will give you accurate speed readings or one that can keep track of your heart rate as well as your distance and route.

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1. Garmin Edge 520 Plus Cycling Computer

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus is our top pick for the best budget cycling computer. This GPS cycling computer is packed with features, including a heart rate monitor, performance monitoring, and intelligent notifications. It also has a built-in barometer and accelerometer to track your elevation and changes in speed as you move. It even has a training calendar to help you stay motivated.


This product has two versions – the standard Garmin Edge 520 Plus and the Garmin Edge 520 Plus with Music. We recommend going for the latter if you want to use your phone's music library to listen to tunes as you cycle.

Specifications

Size: 98.5 x 62.1 x 20 mm (3.9 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches). It's not the smallest cycling computer, but it's still small enough to fit on most handlebars

Weight: 62 grams (2.2 ounces). The weight size and position on the handlebars is an essential consideration for cyclists – but luckily, this product won't add much weight to your bike.

Heart rate monitor: One of the best features of the Garmin Edge 520 Plus cycling computer is its built-in heart rate monitor that measures your heart rate even while you're cycling.

Screen: 2.3-inch display with 260 x 330 pixel resolution. The screen is a good size and has a decent resolution, making it easy to see your data while you’re cycling.

Waterproofing: IPX7 rated. This cycling computer can withstand accidental spills and even light rain showers.

Battery life: It has up to 15 hours. It is the perfect battery life for a cycling computer. You should be able to get plenty of use out of it before having to recharge.

Reasons to buy

● The GPS cycling computer is packed with features, including a heart rate monitor, performance monitoring, and intelligent notifications.

● The built-in heart rate monitor comes in handy while cycling.

● It has a good battery life of up to 15 hours.

● It's IPX7 rated, meaning it can withstand accidental spills and rain showers.

Reasons to avoid

Although the product has a good battery life and is IPX7 rated, some customers have had problems with its mounting point breaking when fitting it into their bikes..

Photo sources: online

2. Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS Cycling Computer

The Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is a fabulous cycling computer for anyone looking for a durable, no-frills product. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of some of the other cycling computers on the market, but it does have a good set of features, and it's straightforward to use.

Specifications

Size: 70.5 x 42.2 x 17.5 mm (2.8 x 1.7 x 0.7 inches). The ELEMNT BOLT is a compact cycling computer that should fit neatly on most handlebars.

Weight:  88 grams (3 ounces). It's not the lightest cycling computer, but it's still small and compact.

Heart rate monitor: This cycling computer can automatically upload your ride data to several different training and social media platforms.

Screen: 2.7-inch display with 240 x 400-pixel resolution. The screen is a good size and has a decent resolution, making it easy to see your data while you're cycling.

Reasons to buy

● It is easy to use the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT cycling computer.

● You can preload routes from third-party applications.

● It is highly compatible with heart rate monitors.

Reasons to avoid

The battery life might be shorter.

Photo sources: online

3. Lezyne Super GPS Bike Computer

The Lezyne Super GPS is an excellent choice for cyclists who want a GPS cycling computer that comes with a massive array of features – and doesn't cost too much. 

Specifications

Size: 57.4 x 31.9 x 13.5 mm (2.3 x 1.3 x 0.5 inches). This is a good size for a cycling computer.

Pair with a smartphone:  You can use the Lezyne Super GPS cycling computer to pair with your smartphone and use its features to help track your cycling data. The super GPS cycling computer also has an app to track your data via GPS.

Auto-sync: The cycling computer can automatically sync your ride data wirelessly to Strava without needing a computer.

ANT+ and Bluetooth:   This GPS cycling computer can connect to a range of different sensors and devices, allowing you to track a wide range of data. The Bluetooth connectivity might assist you in connecting to a heart rate monitor.

Reasons to buy

● The battery life is excellent – it can last up to 24 hours.

● It has an accurate and durable battery.

● It is an effective cycling computer option for biking.

Reasons to avoid

The Lezyne Super GPS cycling computer might lag the phone notifications for a few seconds.

Photo sources: online

4. Garmin Varia Vision In-sight Display Cycling Computer

The Garmin Varia Vision is a unique cycling computer in that it doesn't attach to your handlebars – it connects to your sunglasses. It makes it an excellent choice for cyclists who want a cycling computer with a small form factor.

Specifications

Convenient touch panel:  The Garmin Varia Vision cycling computer has a touch panel that allows you to transition into different screens even with your gloves on.

Vibration notification:  This cycling computer can send you incoming calls and texts alerts.

Play music: You can enjoy your favorite tunes wirelessly by pairing the Varia Vision cycling computer with a compatible Bluetooth device – like a smartphone or MP3 player.

Built-in GPS:  The wireless bike computer has built-in GPS, making it easy to track your rides.

Reasons to buy

● The Garmin Varia Vision cycling computer is a good choice if you want an in-sight display without having to attach anything to your handlebars.

● It can pair with several accessories, including heart rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors.

● It offers all of the benefits of having a connected cycling computer.

Reasons to avoid

The battery life is short.

Photo sources: online

5. CatEye Strada Slim Wireless Bicycle Computer

The CatEye Strada Slim wireless bicycle computer is a good choice for cyclists who want a cycling computer with a simple, easy-to-use interface.

Specifications

Size:  39.5 x 29.5 x 10.3 mm (1.6 x 1.2 x 0.4 inches). It is good for handlebars, but it might be too big to fit on the bike's stem.

Lightweight: The CatEye Strada Slim weighs 23 grams (0.8 ounces).

Go to start:  You can press the “go to start” button and then enter your weight, height, age and gender – and the CatEye Strada Slim will estimate how many calories you burn.

Auto power-off: The cycling computer automatically powers off after three minutes of inactivity.

Reasons to buy

● The CatEye Strada Slim is a lightweight and compact cycling computer that is easy to use.

● It has an auto power-off function to save battery life.

● It can estimate the number of calories you burn.

Reasons to avoid

The CatEye Strada Slim cycling computer might be too big to fit on the stem of some bikes.

Photo sources: online

6. Sigma Sport BC 6.12 Wired Bicycle Computer

The Sigma Sport BC 6.12 wired bicycle computer is for cyclists who want a cycling computer with a large display.

Specifications

Large display:  The Sigma Sport BC 6.12 has a large screen that can show you up to eight different pieces of information at once.

Battery life indicator:  This cycling computer comes with an advanced battery that can last for four months. 

Reasons to buy

● It comes with advanced functions such as calorie consumption and speed comparison.

● The battery life indicator is helpful.

● Easy to read backlight display.

Reasons to avoid

There might be no light for nighttime exercises.

Photo sources: online

7. Polar M450 GPS Bike Computer

If you want a cycling computer with a GPS heart rate monitor, the Polar M450 GPS Bike Computer is suitable.

Specifications

Daily activity tracking:  The M450 has built-in daily activity tracking, allowing you to keep an eye on your step count – even while cycling.

Heart rate monitoring:  This cycling computer can measure your heart rate, thanks to its built-in wrist-based heart rate monitor.

Personalized feedback and guidance: This cycling computer has a personalized sport setting that allows you to get the most out of your workout.

Reasons to buy

● It can measure your heart rate – which is a good indicator of how hard you’re working.

●  You can set daily activity goals and track them on the go with this cycling computer.

● You can receive personalized feedback and guidance on your workout. Sync to the application and create a plan.

Reasons to avoid

The Polar M450 GPS bike computer might need you to scroll through pages while cycling. 

Photo sources: online

Buyer's guide to GPS cycling computers

A cycling computer with GPS functions can be a good choice for cyclists who want detailed information about their training.

While you don't need a GPS cycling computer to cycle, it might be worth considering one if you plan on using your bike as part of your regular exercise routine –and if you want more advanced features than those available on a primary cycling computer.

We've put together this buying guide to help you find the best GPS cycling computer on the market. 

Navigation

Basic cycling computers are suitable for cyclists who want essential functions, such as time, distance and average speed.

A GPS cycling computer with navigation functions is a good choice if you plan on using your bike for training purposes – or if you’re planning on exploring new roads during your rides.

Many of these devices will also allow you to send and receive phone calls and text messages – which is convenient if you don't want to carry your phone during training.

If you plan on making use of the navigation functions, it’s worth considering a device that allows you to download maps – so that you can access them offline.

Connectivity

Many basic cycling computers are not Bluetooth-enabled, which means you can’t connect them to your phone or other devices.

If you want to track your ride data on a larger screen, it's worth considering a Bluetooth-enabled cycling computer.

You can then use an app to track your ride data and analyze it in detail. If you want a device with in-depth performance data, you should also consider buying a cycling computer with ANT+ connectivity.

An ANT+ cycling computer can connect to heart rate monitors and cadence sensors – giving you access to more advanced fitness metrics.

Cycling computer training functions

A cycling computer with training functions can be a good choice if you use your bike to improve performance.

Many of these devices come with features such as lap timers, power calculators and altitude measurements – which can help you track your progress and set new goals.

Screen size and display type

The screen size is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a cycling computer.

A device with a small screen might not show all the information you need – while one with a larger display could be challenging to read.

It’s also worth considering the type of display used by the cycling computer, as this can affect how easy it is to read the data.
LCD screens often have a backlight – making them easy to see during the day and night. Touchscreens are also easier to use, especially when wearing cycling gloves.

Mapping

If you plan on using your cycling computer for navigation, it's essential to consider the mapping and routing capabilities of the device.

Some cycling computers come with detailed maps of specific areas – while others allow you to download maps for use offline.

It's also important to consider how the device calculates routes. Some devices allow you to input a start and endpoint – while others will automatically create a route for you based on your current location.

Battery life

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a cycling computer is battery life.

Most devices will last for at least 10 hours – but some can last for up to 24 hours.

It's important to consider how long the device will last, mainly if you use it for long rides or overnight cycling trips.

GPS watches and smartphones

They can also be used as cycling computers – if you're looking for a more convenient option. The best GPS cycling watches can provide functions like a regular cycling computer, such as distance and average speed calculations.

They are also easier to use than most dedicated cycling computers, although they don't perform well in some areas. For example, GPS watches are less accurate than cycling computers when measuring heart rate and cadence.

They can also be more challenging to use while cycling – which is why dedicated devices might still be better for some people.

Conclusion

The best cycling computers should provide all the features you need to track and analyze your ride data.

Before you buy a cycling computer, it's also essential to consider connectivity, mapping capabilities, battery life, and screen size. The article has come up with the top picks to pay attention to while shopping – go through it.

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