The best GPS bike computers you can buy
Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- A bike computer with GPS can be an invaluable training tool and an even more useful navigation tool.
- Modern bike computers gather all kinds of location and training data for amusement and analysis.
- After testing many bike computers, we think that the intuitive and reliable Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is the best of the bunch.
Bike computers, or head units, are a great way to gamify and quantify your training. A good GPS computer can not only tell you how far and fast you've ridden, but also connect to other devices on your bike and body via Bluetooth or ANT+. That way, you can gather data from all kinds of sensors like heart rate monitors, power meters, and cadence sensors.Many bike computers will also include altimeters, barometers, thermometers, and accelerometers to measure weather, feet climbed, and gradient as well as auto starting and stopping rides. Most modern units also feature navigation, so if your ride gets you somewhere you didn't expect to be, the computer will get you home again.
When selecting a head unit, it's important to think about what you want out of it. A lot of GPS functions can be outsourced to a cellphone, and if all you want is to log your mileage and share rides to a social network like Strava, you might be able to get away with a phone in your pocket. Putting a phone on your bars isn't the best idea, it tends to make the front end of your bike cluttered and heavy and puts your cellphone at risk. Basic computers will rely on your phone and mirror the data on a screen.
More advanced devices will offer training metrics on customizable screens and turn-by-turn navigation. If you want a computer to improve your training and racing, something small and black and white will be reliable and lightweight. If you want navigation, shoot for a bigger screen and more memory. If you want to really dig down into the minutiae, a more powerful and larger unit with a color screen is just the ticket.
Here are the best bike computers you can buy:
- Best bike computer overall: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
- Best bike computer for bikepacking and touring: Lezyne Mega XL
- Best bike computer for data nerds: Garmin 1030
- Best bike computer for the value: Topeak Panocomputer X
- Best bike computer for navigating: Sigma Rox 12.0
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.