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The Best Cycle Computers for 2017: a Buyer’s Guide: Cycling Computer
Here’s our pick of the best cycle computers for 2017.1) CatEye - Strada Cadence Cycle Computer | 2) Wireless Bike Computer, iKross Cycling | 3) VDO M3 Wireless Cycling Computer | 4) CatEye Strada Wireless Universal Computer | 5) Bryton Rider 530 GPS Cycling Computer | 6) SIGMA BC1706HR DTS Wireless Bicycle Speedometer | 7) Suaoki Wireless Bike Computer Bicycle | 8) Garmin Edge 520 Bike GPS | 9) Cateye Stealth 50 Cycling Computer | 10) Garmin Edge 25 GPS Cycling Computer | 11) CatEye - Strada Digital Wireless Cycle Computer | 12) Trail Tech 912-2036 Voyager Stealth Black Moto |
A cycle computer will enrich your ride by keeping a record of where you have been, when and how fast. We round up the best cycle computers on the market.
It’s rare to see a cyclist riding without a cycle computer on their handlebars these days, they’re almost a part of the cycling landscape. However, all units are not created equal – so which are the best cycle computers?
At bargain basement level, cycle computers start from below £20, but they can cost up to £450. At the higher end of the pricing scale, you get GPS mapping, connectivity with fitness tracking apparatus and clever performance features such as alerts to tell you how you’re performing, and what you need to do to better tailor your training.
What Sort of Cycling Computer is Right for You?
If you just want to know how far you cycled and how fast, a basic unit may be appropriate. It will be smaller, lighter and usually have a longer battery life than a pricier option.
Mapping and navigation functionality usually means you will need a larger and more expensive unit, with a much more sophisticated display. And those interested in collecting other data – heart rate, pedalling cadence and power – will need connectivity to peripheral data collection devices.
Cadence sensors and heart rate straps can be bought as extras or are often sold bundled with the GPS unit, though power meters are a much more expensive proposition.
Gone are the days of cables and wires to connect all your sensors to your data collection device. Even for the more modestly priced GPS unit wireless capabilities generally come as standard. The majority of new GPS units – but not all – provide an ANT+ interface.
More and more data collection devices using Bluetooth Smart are becoming available. Not all GPS units support this, as it is more geared towards smartphone users. Likewise most smartphones do not support ANT+, although adapters are available for some phones.
If you want to track your activity across other sports too, a wrist-mounted multisports watch may suit you better and there’s always the option to use your smartphone to log activity too, though without a bar mount you won’t be able to see data on the move.
Cycle Computers in Summary
However much you want to spend and however much data you decide to record, a GPS unit will enhance your ride by leaving you a permanent record of where you have ridden, when and how fast.
It will give you the option to delve further into your performance and the tools to improve and broaden your cycling experience. You will be able to share ride data with friends, compete against others and improve on your personal bests.
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