The 10 Best Biking Computers

Updated November 13, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Biking Computers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If your cycling travels involve more than a quick jaunt to the shops, then you may be interested in one of these bicycle computers. They don't just track your speed and distance on a bike, but can also monitor your heart rate, tell you the time and temperature, and upload all of your training data to your computer or smartphone. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best biking computer on Amazon.

10. Cateye Strada Wireless

The Cateye Strada Wireless is a 7-function device that uses a rear wheel sensor to track and display current, maximum, and average speeds. It also has a built-in clock for keeping time, and auto start-stop technology for accuracy on the go.
  • universal handlebar and sensor mount
  • touch-sensitive mode switching
  • tends to come loose from mount
Brand CatEye
Model CC-RD300W
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Planet Bike Protege 9.0

The Planet Bike Protege 9.0 lets you decide which specific statistics you want to display, and you can easily cycle through all of them with a press of its button. Pressing and holding it will automatically reset its counter for a fresh start.
  • shows ambient temperature
  • available in black or white
  • average speed indicators are buggy
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Bryton Rider 310

Power and ease describe the Bryton Rider 310, which doesn't require the installation of a speed sensor. Just begin pedaling and its auto start/stop functionality will keep track of up to 70 pieces of realtime data, with up to eight visible onscreen at once.
  • ipx7 waterproof rating
  • anti-glare display for daytime use
  • initial programming is cumbersome
Brand Bryton
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Suaoki Wireless

The Suaoki Wireless pairs automatically with its front wheel sensor to track your speed, cadence, and more. Each time you ride it will effortlessly begin reporting data on its easy-to-read screen, and can store information for two separate users.
  • scan mode cycles through all data
  • 7 day memory function
  • sensor can't be mounted to rear tire
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Garmin Edge 820

The Garmin Edge 820 offers a high-resolution, 2.3-inch color display with advanced performance and power analysis capabilities. It even allows you to track other riders in your group, assuming they, too, have sprung for this high-end model.
  • gps provides turn-by-turn directions
  • bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity
  • touch sensitivity can be twitchy
Brand Garmin
Model 010-01626-00
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Ranaico Wireless 546C

The easy to read and quick to install Ranaico Wireless 546C is an excellent choice for those looking for a low-cost unit with basic functionality in a fairly rugged package. This model tracks distance and the maximum, average, and current speeds for your ride.
  • two-color backlight
  • waterproof housing
  • not the most accurate option
Brand Raniaco
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Shanren Raptor

The Shanren Raptor is one of the first hybrid products to combine the functionality of both a bike light and a computer into a single device. Its rechargeable lithium battery delivers up to 3 hours of continuous use and can be supported with external power via micro USB.
  • wireless sensor syncs real-time data
  • available in four colors
  • ideal for riding at night
Model SR-BLC10
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Polar M460

The versatile Polar M460 delivers a rapidly-updating GPS, a highly precise barometer, and onscreen notifications from your smartphone, all in a sleek matte black case. However, the learning curve with this model is a bit steeper than with some of its competition.
  • compatible with bluetooth sensors
  • generates personalized feedback
  • available with a heart rate monitor
Brand Polar
Model 90065171
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

2. Cateye Velo 9

For basic, reliable speed and distance tracking, the Cateye Velo 9 eschews fancy wireless technology for single-button operation, and includes zip-ties so it's easy to strap on anywhere. Just calibrate it to your wheel size and get to cycling.
  • easy to read interface
  • tracks your carbon footprint offset
  • easy to install wired sensor
Brand CatEye
Model 1603300-P
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

1. Sigma Sport BC8.12

The ultra low-cost Sigma Sport BC8.12 features eight modes, including trip distance and average, maximum, and current speeds. An optional USB docking station allows you to download and analyze your data with Sigma's proprietary software.
  • straightforward one-button operation
  • installation requires no tools
  • displays metric and imperial units
Brand Sigma Sport
Model 08120
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Advantages Of A Modern Biking Computer

One of the main uses for a biking computer is to track the distance traveled on rides. This practice goes back to the late 19th century, with the invention of the cyclometer by Albert Rockwell. Rockwell was an inventor who brought the bicycling world coaster brakes, handlebar bells, and the first biking computer. His cyclometer was a device that measured how many times the wheels of a bicycle rotated while in motion. Each rotation moved an analog display unit on the handlebars by a preset number, roughly determining the distance traveled.

The biking computer has since advanced to include measurements like cadence. The cadence of a cyclist is also known as the pedaling rate, and it is the number of revolutions the crankset makes per minute. For competition athletes, cadence is an important factor to consider, as it can help increase endurance, reduce stress on the knees, and spread the amount of work being done throughout the process of shifting.

Newer advancements made in bicycle computing include the storage and transmission of data. With older biking computers, not only was the rider limited to a smaller amount of data, they also had no way of recording that data to keep track of their progress. Modern biking computers provide a wealth of information about every ride; they can also easily store and transfer all of that data to various computer programs. This data allows riders to analyze their performance, keeping track of areas of high progress while bringing attention to areas of their ride that could use improvement.

How Healthy Is Biking?

A functional aerobic exercise is anything that stimulates the heart and breathing rates to increase the delivery of oxygen to working muscles, which provides conditioning to the cardiovascular system.

Aerobic exercises such as biking keep the body in a state of optimal health. The human body is designed for movement. Scientists find that people who do consistent aerobic exercise have a greatly reduced risk of mortality. This can be attributed to the many health benefits associated with an aerobic exercise routine such as biking.

Biking regularly can increase the health of the cardiovascular system, as well as the health of the entire body. Long term aerobic exercise such as biking also increases the efficiency of the heart. A muscle at work requires a lot of oxygen in order to feed the cells and remove toxins from the muscle tissue.

Cardiovascular exercise increases the output of the heart, improving blood volume and oxygen delivery to muscles. As the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat increases, the lungs need to increase their oxygen absorption efficiency. Biking helps to increase how much oxygen is absorbed from each breath in the lungs. As oxygen helps to eliminate toxins from the body tissues, this also equates to a healthier immune system.

It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will suffer an episode of major depression at some point in their lives. Scientists are constantly searching for ways to address this epidemic, and exercise may be one of them. In addition to pharmacological therapy, implementing and maintaining an exercise routine like biking may also reduce symptoms of depression in people diagnosed with clinical depression.

Why Biking Is Better Than Running

Bicycling is one of the most beneficial aerobic exercises for the body. The combination of a high-intensity workout with a low-impact modality makes for efficient, highly effective exercise.

Throughout history, humans walked on the surface of the Earth itself. The natural surfaces of the Earth, such as dirt and grass, act to cushion the impact of the body's steps. In modern society, however, most surfaces are paved. Modern surfaces such as concrete provide no shock absorption, which means that the impact of every step in the body is absorbed by the joints. Though the joints of the hip, ankle and knee act to cushion the bones and protect them from impact, they can wear down over time.

Jogging or running on hard surfaces like this can actually make the joints wear down faster. This is unacceptable for people looking to keep their body in shape. Bicycling works out the same muscle group as running or jogging, but removes the impact to the joints which leads to degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Unlike many other forms of exercise, riding a bicycle is also a legitimate form of transportation. Riding a bike is often exponentially faster than running, allowing a bicyclist to cover a great distance in a relatively short amount of time. This means that errands and other daily tasks can be accomplished as part of a workout. Riding a bicycle to pick up a prescription or drop off a library book eliminates the cost of gas and parking meters, and benefits the body at the same time.

Riding a bicycle to work can turn a normal commute into a workout. There is also the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint by riding a bicycle, but if the focus is just on personal benefit, bicycling is still one of the greatest low-impact workouts in modern society.

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Last updated on November 13, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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