The Best Bike Computers For Road & Mountain Bikes
A bike computer is a bicycle-specific electronic device that is mounted to your bike so you can track your speed, distance, and more. For casual riders, you may want one so you can measure the length, distance, or speed of your ride. Those who ride for
For casual riders, you may want one so you can measure the length, distance, or speed of your ride. Those who ride for the enjoyment of the sport may be interested in their total mileage and specific trip distance, as well as average and maximum speed.
For competitive bicyclers, you may need all of the above plus a bike computer with cadence, elevation, power output, and heart rate monitor.
Regardless of your needs, here are some of the best bicycle computer reviews. Before you make your final decision, be sure to consider exactly what you expect from your bicycle computer.
Top Bike Computers Reviewed
Velo 7 Cycling Computer by CatEye
This model can be purchased for approximately for a budget price. It has 7 functions and 4 different features. Some of its specifications include:
- Single button operation
- Current, average, and max speed functions
- Elapsed time
- Trip distance
- Black/silver color
- Digital display
- Can be set according to tire size
- Fastens with zip tie bracket
- Battery operated
This model comes with all of the features needed for use by casual and enthusiast riders. While it does not include a heart rate monitor or cadence, it does have a little more than is needed for the basic rider. There are several different advantages to this first model on our list of bike computer reviews, with the first being the display. This model is larger than many others, which allows it to offer a large, easy-to-read computer screen.
The next advantage of the Velo 7 is its wide range of functions. With everything you need and nothing, you don’t, casual riders and enthusiast riders will be satisfied with all that it does.
This includes an odometer for total mileage, trip distance, a clock, elapsed time, and current, maximum, and average speeds. All of these functions come at a relatively low price, considering what you may pay for other models in its class.
Unfortunately, the first disadvantage also comes in its range of functions. The odometer does work well to track total mileage- until you have to remove and replace the battery. Once the battery has been removed, it resets itself at zero.
There is also no way to reset it to the previous mileage or input a value other than zero. Additionally, the directions for setting the clock are very hard to understand.
Two other things to consider as far as technical functionality is the auto on/off and the fact that it does not stop running when the bicycle stops. The automatic on/off is great if you forget to start it before your ride, or if you forget to turn it off once you are done.
Unfortunately, the elapsed time does not stop when you have to take a break or stop for a stoplight. Instead, you have to shut the device off to have an accurate clocking time when you stop. Additionally, there is no backlight so you cannot view the display if you are riding very early in the morning or very late at night.
The next feature to consider if you want to purchase the Velo 7 is that you can set it for wheel size. This is great because it provides an accurate reading. However, you cannot set it to a 29” wheel size. Instead, it must be set for 700c. This is the same circumference, however, it is rather confusing for those who do not know a lot about road bikes.
You should also consider the size of your bicycle before purchasing this bike computer. With this wired model, you must have the spoke chip pass within 5 mm of the sensor in the display of the model. This is a problem on larger bicycles.
Despite this flaw, it is very easy to attach. Another advantage is that the included zip tie bracket makes it very easy to remove if you must park your bicycle in public.
Probably the biggest disappointment when it comes to this specific bicycle computer is its weather-proofing.
First, if it is left in hot temperatures too long (like an enclosed car), it will fry the internal components. Second, it is not as water-resistant as you would hope. The wires may become corroded from too much exposure to water- inside and out. This will eventually cause the device to stop working.
Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer by CatEye
This is a slightly more expensive contender on the list of bike computers we’ve reviewed, however, it is wireless and comes with one additional function.
- Black color
- Current, average, and max speed
- First and second trip distance
- Total distance (odometer)
- Elapsed time
The greatest thing about this computer from CatEye is its simple setup and easy programming. It can easily be fastened to the bike using the handlebar/stem mount and it has a single button that allows it to very easily be programmed.
Unfortunately, without the proper angling, you may have difficulty getting the wheel sensor close enough to the main part of the computer. This is a common problem among CatEye models. This is made up for by its size compatibility. With the Strada computer, you can use it as one of the best mountain bike computers or for a road bike- because it mounts a stem or handlebar from 22-31.8mm and a fork from 11-55cm.
Another advantage is that this model is accurate to the hundredth of a mile. It is also very easy to reset the device for your next ride. This is because it just requires you to push the button for two seconds. Unfortunately, if you keep the bike computer on your handlebar, it makes it susceptible to being reset if you accidentally rest your hand on it for too long.
The ClikTek button is also a great feature. Even as you are riding down the road, it is very easy to switch between the different modes of the bike. This is great because this particular model allows you to change the mode based on terrain type. The waterproofing of this device is also great- as it remains intact and usable even in the pouring rain.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment with this device is the wireless function. It would make the list as one of the best wireless bicycle computers, but it is very susceptible to electromagnetic interference. If you are riding in the city, you may find that stoplights and low-hanging telephone wires are a problem. Additionally, it cannot be used with HID lights for the same reason. The interference causes the speed to jump to the computer’s maximum- 65.9 miles. This can result in an inaccurate riding time, trip and total distance, as well as the maximum and average speeds.
There are also a few other things to consider before purchasing this model from CatEye. First, the clock is slow. You may find that you lose a few minutes after using the computer for a month. Second, it is very difficult to remove this device without resetting the computer, because of the placement of the single button on the device. It is a great bike computer, but it is not without flaws.
Multi-Function Wireless Bicycle Computer by Blusmart
For its price, the functions that you get with this multi-function bicycle computer are great. Some of its features include:
- Digital code anti-interference
- Comes with wired remote
- Small steel ball automatically turns device on
- External temperature reader
- Easy to read display
- Average, maximum, and current speed
- Odometer, trip distance, total trip time
- Trip time up and trip time down
- Optional USB connectivity
- Low battery indicator
- Sleep mode
This contender for the best bicycle computer makes the list because of its affordable price for all of the functions that it offers. All of these different values are displayed on a small, but easy to read display. This includes odometer, trip distance, total trip time, average, maximum, and current speed, a clock, and a stopwatch.
One thing to note is that it comes with a backlight, unlike many other bike models. This makes it great if you are an early morning or a late night rider. It is a wireless bicycle computer, which cuts clutter on your bicycle. It is important to note, however, that the device does have a single cord that runs to the remote of the device. The remote features a single button that works the same way as the push button found directly on the device.
While the single push button makes the bicycle computer very easy to use while riding, it can be rather confusing. This is made even worse by the ridiculously small instructions that are included with the device. Even with a magnifying glass it can be hard to see and understand the company’s instructions.
Another unique component of this bike is the small steel ball that it uses to automatically shut the device on and off. Unfortunately, this may log data when you are transporting the bike and not ride it. Finally, while the temperature gauge is great, it does not work accurately when the device is in direct sunlight. Even with these small flaws, however, this contender for the best bike computer is a great deal for the price.
Finally, while the temperature gauge is great, it does not work accurately when the device is in direct sunlight. Even with these small flaws, however, this contender for the best bike computer is a great deal for the price.
Sports BC16.12 Bicycle Computer by Sigma
This bike computer is one that is a little more expensive than some bike computers out there. However, it is one of the best cycle computers with cadence, which makes it great for the slightly experienced to the professional bicycle rider. Some of its features include:
- Optional USB docking station
- Low battery indicator
- Removable memory chip
- Adjusts to 2 wheel sizes
- Cadence and average cadence
- Current, average, and maximum speed
- Trip and total distance
- Stopwatch and countdown timer
- Comparison of current and average speed
The first thing to note about this bike computer is the four buttons that are used to program it. Some users may find this is better than most of the other models on our list, however, it makes it slightly harder to use while you are riding on the bike.
It also comes with a backlight. Unlike the previous model, however, the backlight automatically shuts off five seconds after the last button is pressed. This does conserve battery really well, but it is not as useful if you are the type of rider who likes to constantly view your information as you are riding. Additionally, this model comes with optional cadence, unlike other contenders for the best bicycle computers reviewed so far.
A big advantage of this model by Sigma is that you can enter total distance into the odometer setting manually. This lets you keep your data- even when you change the batteries. Additionally, the handlebar mount rotates, making it slightly easier to position your bike computer within 5mm of the wheel sensor.
The last thing to consider before choosing this model is the wiring. The wires are rather thin and fragile, meaning that caution should be taken when setting up the device. You also have the option of studying them with electrical tape if you plan to use this on only one bike. Additionally, the wires are too short for some bike frames. Fortunately, longer wires can be purchased.
Z2PC Link Heart Rate and Cycle Computer VDO Cycle Computers
This particular bicycle computer is made for the serious trainer. Not only does it come with the hardware for the bicycle computer, training analysis software is included.
- Measures current heart rate and personal heart rate- beeps if you are above or below set limit
- Wrist-style but can also be mounted
- Software included to analyze training progress
- Six selectable timers and 50-lap timer
- Optional cadence sensor measure average and current cadence
- Indicator if you are lower or higher than average speed
- Average, current, and maximum speed
- Alarm function
- Calorie counter
- Presets personal data including weight, sex, age, and heart rate
- Can calculate or manually set upper and lower limits for three training zones
This is by far the most expensive and most advanced best bicycle computer on our list. Its obvious advantage is the very wide range of things that this bicycle computer can do. The disadvantage with this, however, is that the programming is more complicated to understand. Fortunately, the instructions are easy to understand.
Even with its many functions, the design of the programming allows the device to be used with just two buttons. This really simplifies use, especially if you are switching screens as you are riding. The buttons are less sturdy than you would expect, however, and they may become jammed if you press them too hard.
The device is also completely waterproof, which is great for the rider that is serious about their training in any weather. It even works submerged under water. Additionally, the training software that is included allows you to keep information for up to 100 hours of bicycle riding.
The major disadvantages of this particular model are minor annoyances. First, while this bike computer with cadence does have an optional cadence feature, the necessary cadence sensor is not included. Another disadvantage is that the beeping for the heart rate monitor cannot be disabled, which may become annoying to some. Even with these flaws, however, you are getting a great deal for the price.
Bike Computer Buyers Guide
So What Is The Best Bike Computer for the Price?
After reviewing all of the bike computer contenders on this list, the best computer for the price is the Multi-Function Wireless Bike Computer by BluSmart. While it is not without flaws, it does come with a lot of features for a great price.
As an added benefit, it offers wireless connectivity without the interference of other models. While it will likely not satisfy the needs of an expert rider, it does have a ton of great features that work well to ensure accuracy.
How To Install A Bike Computer
Now that you’ve decided on which computer to buy for your bike, you should learn how to install it. Luckily it’s just as easy as riding a bike, if you can do that, you can do this!
Wrapping It All Up
Now that you have read the reviews, hopefully, you have an idea of what type will meet your needs. The price often reflects the quality and features that will be included with your computer.
Remember to take this into account while you are shopping. If you are still unsure of your needs, make a list of everything that you expect your bicycle computer to keep track of then. Then, consider whether you want a battery-operated model, one that can be used for multiple bikes, or one with other additional features.
Once you have a thorough list, begin looking for the best-priced bike computer that meets all of your requirements. Happy shopping!