The 14 Best Bike Computers and Speedometers 2021

Read our review of the best bike speedometers

Unlike a car, the average bicycle doesn’t come with a speedometer that tells you how fast you’re going or an odometer that tells you the distance you’ve covered. That’s where a bike speedometer comes in; it does exactly what it says it does, and that is to measure the speed and mileage of your bike.

Beyond that, some premium bike computers can help you out with navigation and track down your performance insights. 

In this article, we’ll uncover some of the best bike computers and bike speedometers you can get your hands on. Let’s get started, shall we?

In a hurry? 

Our recommendation for the best bike computer overall is the Garmin Edge 1030 plus. 

Best Bike Computer for the Money 

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS Bike Computer

Our Pick
Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer, Stealth Black
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Quite impressive, this head unit has an aerodynamic design that reduces air drag when speeding on your bike; although to unlock its full potential, you need to install it using the KOM Cycling Wahoo Handlebar that is sold separately.

Besides that, it's a wireless GPS enabled bike computer that comes with Wi-Fi, ANT+, and Bluetooth capabilities. In other words, you can connect it to different sensors at the same time to monitor your speed, distance, cadence, and heart rate. Plus, it features an in-built map that can take you anywhere.

Did I mention, you can also pair it with your smartphone and receive your calls, texts, and emails via the head unit? Better yet, if you’re lost on the road, the live group tracking allows your friends to find you.

Despite all its advanced features, we're surprised it doesn't have a colored display like its competitors. Nevertheless, that is not a deal-breaker for most people.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled speedometer (Wireless) 
  • Screen size: 2.2 inches
  • Battery life: 15 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • It features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT+ connectivity
  • Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows systems
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Long battery life
  • Turn by turn navigation
  • Call, text, and email alerts
  • It can be synced with popular cycling apps

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t have a colored display

The Wahoo ELEMNT is a GPS enabled bike computer that is water-resistant with up to 15 hours of battery life.

Best Bike Computer For Navigation 

Garmin Edge 830 Bike Computer

Best for Navigation
Garmin Edge 830
$394.23
  •  Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer
  • with Mapping
  • Dynamic Performance Monitoring
  • Popularity Routing
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06/19/2021 11:05 am GMT

How about a bike speedometer that doesn't just tell you the speed and distance but will help you to figure out your VO2 max, training load, and recovery time. Going up a hill? It will tell you the altitude acclimation and keep a record of how fast you descend a trail.

Perhaps, this is the real revolution; if you have an accident, this Garmin bike computer will automatically send your current location to saved emergency contacts. What’s more, if your bike is stolen or somebody moves it, the head unit will trigger an alarm and send a notification to your smartphone.

If you're concerned about the battery, it can run up to 40 hours on battery saver mode; and 20 hours at optimum capacity. Of course, for a speedometer this advanced, you can download cycling apps and utilize Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT+.

Here is the kicker though; it’s damn expensive! However, if you think about what you get in return, we think it’s a bargain.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled speedometer (Wireless)
  • Screen size: 2.6 inches
  • Battery life: 40 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Very long battery life on power saver mode
  • Heat and altitude acclimation data
  • Dynamic performance monitoring
  • It can be paired with your smartphone
  • Incident detection feature
  • Bike alarm security feature
  • Live track and group messaging

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s expensive

Summary

The Garmin Edge 830 is a GPS speedometer for professional cyclers.

Best Bike Speedometer for Battery Life 

LEZYNE Mega XL GPS Bicycle Computer

LEZYNE Mega XL GPS Bike Computer, Black
$199.99
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06/19/2021 10:14 am GMT

Full credit to the team that managed to create this GPS enabled bicycle computer that can hold a charge for up to 48 hours. If you think that is unprecedented, wait until you find out that it can record up to 800 hours of data.

Thanks to its Bluetooth and ANT+ capability, you can connect it to multiple sensors on your bike to get an accurate reading of your speed, heart rate, cadence, calorie burn, and power. Additionally, if you got an incoming text, call, or message, you can receive it via the head unit.

Unfortunately, its mounting kit is sold separately but if you do it right, it can fit any type of bike (road, gravel, or mountain bike) without obstructing your view.

You can however buy a bundle from Chain Reaction Cycles. 

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled speedometer (Wireless) 
  • Screen size: 2.7 inches
  • Battery life: 48 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Long battery life
  • Up to 800 hours of saved data
  • Weather-resistant
  • It can be paired with a smartphone
  • Turn by turn navigation
  • On-screen preloaded maps

What We Don’t Like

  • The mounting kit is sold separately

Summary

The Lezyne Mega XL has one of the longest battery life spans for a head unit with GPS navigation.

Best Bike Speedometer - Budget Buy

ICOCOPRO Bike Computer

ICOCOPRO Bike Computer with Solar Energy Bicycle Speedometer and Odometer Wireless Waterproof Cycling Computer LCD Backlight Automatic Wake-up & Multi-Functions
$19.95
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06/18/2021 04:23 pm GMT

While most bike computers need to recharge most of the time, this unit comes with a solar panel so you can harvest power out in the sunshine. Well, you can also charge it directly and channel the extra power to its 2 batteries that can keep you going for more than 24 hours.

But that’s not all; you can ride it out in the rain due to its waterproof design, and even if it gets dark at night, the LCD backlight will make it easier to view the screen. Despite its small size, it can measure the speed, riding time, distance, cadence, burned calories, and temperature.

On the downside, don't expect this speedometer to give you turn by turn directions. Then again, this is one of the cheapest speedometers available.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: Wireless speedometer
  • Screen size: 1.7 inches
  • Battery life: 24+ hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Built with solar panel
  • Auto sleep function
  • Wireless and waterproof design
  • LCD backlight
  • Low budget speedometer
  • 5 language display

What We Don’t Like

It doesn't have a navigation feature

Summary

The ICOCOPRO is a low budget bike computer that is wireless and waterproof.

CATEYE - Velo 7 Wired Bike Computer

CATEYE - Velo 7
$27.49
  • Displays current, max, and average speed
  • total distance, trip distance,
  • elapsed time,
  • pace arrow, and clock.
  • wired speed sensor
  • battery that lasts up to three years
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06/18/2021 04:22 pm GMT

Here is the thing about wired bike computers; they’re very accurate and reliable. That’s because you don’t need to worry about signal inconsistency like you would on a wireless bike speedometer. Anyway, this speedometer includes a wired speed sensor in the package to make installation easier.

Once you've set it up, it can display the speed, distance, time, and clock. It's waterproof too, and almost bulletproof; nothing like those fancy GPS enabled speedometers that crack a screen at the slightest impact.

If you stop briefly at a red light or coffee shop, the bike computer will automatically stop counting the stats and continue when you get back on the road. But the best part is the battery! Wait for it……. you don’t need to recharge it, and it can last up to 3 years before it’s due for a replacement.

As you probably know, a wired speedometer will make your bike look cluttered. However, that is a small price to pay if you want something accurate and consistent.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: Wired 
  • Screen size: N/A
  • Battery life: 3 years
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Minimalism design
  • Includes a wired speed sensor
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to program
  • Very accurate and reliable

What We Don’t Like

The wire can clutter your bike

Summary

The Cateye Velo 7 is a wired bike computer that doesn’t need to be recharged.

DINOKA Bike Speedometer

DINOKA Bike Speedometer Waterproof Wireless Bicycle Bike Computer and Cycling Odometer with Multi-Function LCD Backlight Display
$13.99
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06/18/2021 04:21 pm GMT

There is nothing fancy about this wireless bike speedometer; it doesn’t have a big touchscreen or GPS navigation but it still gets the job done to measure your current speed, trip distance, and trip time. It’s also lightweight, and it doesn’t feel heavy on the handlebar when riding.

Like most high-quality speedometers on our guide, it’s waterproof enough to survive a hurricane. Also, it features a green and white-colored backlight display that makes it easier to read the screen during the day or night.

Fortunately, the package includes everything that you need to install; wireless sensors, plastic tie-wraps, stickers, 2 batteries, a mounting seat, and a manual.

However, this is not the ideal head unit if you’re looking for something compatible with your indoor training bike or electric-assist bicycle.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: Wireless
  • Screen size: 2 inches
  • Battery life: 1 year
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • The package includes everything for installation
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Day and night backlight
  • Low budget

What We Don’t Like

Not suitable for indoor train bike or electric-assist bicycles

Summary

The Dinoka bike speedometer is a durable and low budget wireless speedometer that is easy to install.

Best $100 and Under Bike Speedometers

MEILAN M3 Mini Bike Computer

MEILAN M3 Mini Bike Computer
$35.99
  • GPS Speedometer
  • Wireless Cycling Computer Bike Odometer
  • Waterproof
  • Backlight
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06/18/2021 04:20 pm GMT

With a weight of just 25 grams and a 1.7-inch screen, this is one of the smallest and cheapest bike computers that supports GPS navigation. Unlike most speedometers that rely on sensors, this doesn’t need one; the speed and distance calculations are derived via the high sensitivity GPS chip.

The LCD uses anti-glare technology so you can clearly see the screen when the sun is out, and at night it won’t be any different. Even more impressive is that you can also use it on racing cars, kayaks, motorboats, and any moving object.

Its biggest shortcoming is that it doesn’t support Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. Also, the 8-hour battery life is too short.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type:  GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 1.7 inches
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Anti-glare LCD
  • Automatic storage
  • Waterproof grade
  • Mini compact design
  • Accurate GPS location
  • Easy to install
  • No need for sensors

What We Don’t Like

  • Short battery life
  • No Bluetooth or ANT+

Summary

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose speedometer that doesn’t need sensors to function, the Meilan M3 could be a good option.

CATEYE - Padrone Plus Wireless Bike Computer

CATEYE - Padrone Plus
  • Wireless Bike Computer
  • Auto stop/start
  • LED backlight
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Suppose you want a basic wireless bike computer that doesn't need to be recharged every time you go out riding? For starters, this could be an ideal option since the battery can last for up to 1 year; although if you use it constantly with the backlight illumination, it will last for 2 months.

Even so, it will record your average speed, distance, and elapsed time via the sensors. Yes, the package includes everything that you need to install it; from the handlebar mount to the sensors. In fact, the sensor comes with its battery that doesn't need to be replaced for the next 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles).

Its Achilles heel is that it doesn't feature Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or ANT+. Then again, if it did, the battery wouldn't last very lon

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: Wireless
  • Screen size: 2 inches
  • Battery life: 1 year
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Long-lasting battery
  • It comes in a bundle of kit
  • LED backlight display
  • Auto start and stop
  • It saves data
  • Easy to program

What We Don’t Like

  1. No Bluetooth, WiFi or ANT+

Summary

A basic wireless bike computer with a battery that can last for up to 1 year.

LEZYNE Macro Plus Bicycle GPS Computer

LEZYNE Macro Plus
$99.99
  • turn-by-turn navigation
  • GPS
  • ride time, laps, lap averages, calories, temperature, Strava live segments, speed, distance, [when paired with other sensors] heart rate, cadence, power
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06/18/2021 09:54 pm GMT

At first glance, you would probably think the Lezyne Macro Plus is a stopwatch but you would be surprised how much it has to offer; turn-by-turn GPS navigation, smartphone pairing, data recording, USB data transfer, and app syncing.

It has a battery that can keep it powered for 28 hours, and the device can save up to 100 hours of performance data. Some of the displayed data include; speed, cadence, heart rate, distance, elevation, calories, temperature, and date/time.

However, it doesn’t have ANT+ support but you can take advantage of the Bluetooth connectivity or pair it with the Lezyne Ally app. If you pair it, you can even receive your calls or text via the head unit.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 1.6 inches
  • Battery life: 28 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Turn by turn navigation
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Custom route building
  • Micro USB rechargeable
  • Saves up to 100 hours of data
  • It can be paired with a smartphone

What We Don’t Like

No ANT+ support

Summary

The Lezyn Macro Plus is one of the cheapest bike speedometers with GPS navigation. 

Best Under $300 Bike Speedometers 

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS Cycle Computer

Best Mid Priced
Wiggle | Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM GPS
  • ANT+ radar detection
  • preloaded maps
  • wireless
  • app to track your stats
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This Wahoo bike computer prioritizes your safety using crash detector sensors. In case of an accident, it will call your emergency contacts for help. In addition to that, it incorporates ANT+ radar detection that will alert you of oncoming vehicles; especially from behind.

As for the navigation system, it has preloaded maps from across the world so you don’t need to rely on the internet 24/7. Better yet, it’s possible to send a route via your smartphone to the head unit. Not to mention, you can track your performance metrics to the smallest details using the ELEMNT Companion App.

It has everything that you need in a top-dollar bike speedometer, except that the 17-hour battery life expectancy is a little bit underwhelming.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 2.7 inches
  • Battery life: 17 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Colored touchscreen display
  • Crash detector sensor
  • Compatible with all types of bikes
  • Includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and ANT+
  • Radar integration for vehicle proximity
  • Integrated GPS for easy navigation
  • Pre-loaded global maps
  • Send route via smartphone

What We Don’t Like

  1. Short battery life

Summary

The Wahoo Elemnt Roam is a GPS bike computer that can alert you when vehicles are approaching from behind.

Garmin Edge 130 Plus

Garmin Edge 130 Plus, GPS Cycling/Bike Computer, Download Structure Workouts, ClimbPro Pacing Guidance and More (010-02385-00)
$199.99
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06/18/2021 04:22 pm GMT

This Garmin 130 Plus doesn’t just tell you how fast you’re going or the distance you’ve covered but it will also monitor your bike jumps and how far you’ve jumped. That could be useful if you’re on a mountain bike.

It doesn't stop there; you will have access to in-depth performance insights such as your heart rate, VO2 max, and elevation speed. If you want, you can also pair it with your indoor bike trainer and use the Garmin Connect app to schedule work out goals.

Another thing; you can sync it with the Garmin Connect app to compete against records set up by other cyclists online. On the flip side, its 1.8-inch screen size could be a little small for some people's taste.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 1.8 inch
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Small compact design
  • Incident detection and assistance
  • Training suggestions
  • Dynamic performance insights
  • Records up to 100 hours of data
  • Bluetooth, ANT+, and WiFi
  • It can be paired with Android and iPhone
  • Easy to read display

What We Don’t Like

  1. It has a small screen

Summary

The Garmin Edge 130 Plus one of the best cyclo computers for mountain bike riders.

Garmin Edge 530

Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike Computer with Mapping, Dynamic Performance Monitoring and Popularity Routing
$299.84
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06/18/2021 04:21 pm GMT

If you prefer a bigger head unit with a colored TFT touchscreen, this could be it. For what it’s worth, it weighs only 75 grams and it doesn’t feel heavy on the bike.

The battery life can last up to 20 hours on GPS but if you activate the battery saver mode, it could stay for 40 hours before a recharge. What we're really impressed about is the mapping system that shows you the most popular cycling routes in your area; it could be helpful if you're in unfamiliar territory.

Most importantly, it monitors everything that you need to know about your performance including recovery time, VO2 max, and training load. Besides that, you can monitor your daily progress via a performance graph and see the areas that you need to improve.

There is just one thing though; the sensors and handlebars are sold separately.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 2.6 inch
  • Battery life: 40 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Colored TFT touchscreen
  • Dynamic performance insight
  • Extended battery life
  • Advanced navigation system
  • Bluetooth, ANT+, and WiFi
  • Incident detection and bike alarm
  • Includes group messaging and live track

What We Don’t Like

  1. The sensors and handlebar mount are sold separately

Summary

The Garmin Edge 530 is a mid-range bike computer that you use for training.

$500+ Bike Computers

Best Bike Computer for Touring 

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus

Best for Touring
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus
$490.00
  • GPS Cycling/Bike Computer
  • On-Device Workout Suggestions
  • ClimbPro Pacing Guidance
  • 3.5" screen
  • Waterproof
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06/18/2021 04:21 pm GMT

With a 3.5-inch screen, this is the biggest Garmin bike computer on the market; in fact, it’s the biggest speedometer on our guide. Despite its large size, it has a sleek design and you can install it at the center of a handlebar, and tilt it down for a better viewing angle.

Like its predecessors (Edge 530 and Edge 830), what gives Garmin an advantage over its competitors is the software; it can do almost anything. If we’re talking about things like telling you when it’s time to eat or hydrate, analyzing your performance stats to getting you back on track if you get lost, this head unit can do it all.

What about safety? It comes with incident detection, bike alarm, live track, group track, and group messaging. It's basically like a smartphone customized for bike riding, and it's waterproof.

Well, for you to get this piece, you have to dig deeper into your pockets than you normally would if you were paying for a regular bike speedometer. We still think it’s worth it.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 3.5 inch
  • Battery life: 24 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Large touchscreen display
  • Easy to use interface
  • It can be synced with training apps
  • Dynamic performance monitoring
  • Daily suggested workouts
  • Heat and altitude acclimation
  • Nutrition and hydration alerts
  • Off-course recalculation
  • Incident detection and bike alarm
  • Group messaging and group track

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s expensive

Summary

The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus is the biggest bike computer on our guide.

POLAR V650 Cycle Computer

POLAR V650 Cycle Computer
$330.00
  • 'IPX7' code rating
  • 2.8-inch touchscreen
  • user-friendly interface
  • customize the profile to fit the type of bike that you're riding
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06/19/2021 11:40 am GMT

This cycle computer has an 'IPX7' code rating; that means, you can submerge it in water for 30 minutes and it will still be fine. Thanks to its 2.8-inch touchscreen and user-friendly interface, it's easy to operate on the road.

Definitely, its most impressive feature is that you can customize the profile to fit the type of bike that you're riding; mountain bike, road bike, and indoor training bike. Not to mention, that it shows you accurate navigation directions while at the same time monitoring your speed, distance, heart rate, and cadence.

We’re a little bit disappointed though that such a premium speedometer doesn’t support ANT+ connectivity.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Type: GPS enabled (wireless)
  • Screen size: 2.8 inches
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Waterproof: Yes

What We Like

  • Colored touchscreen
  • Very accurate GPS
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Retrace your path option
  • Customizable profile
  • Monitors speed, distance, heart rate, and cadence

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t have ANT+
  • Short battery life

Summary

The Polar V650 is a premium GPS enabled speedometer for accurate map navigation and performance analysis.

What is a bike speedometer, and why would you use it?

A bike speedometer, otherwise known as a bicycle odometer, is a device that is usually mounted on your bike's handlebar to display your cycling speed and distance covered in real-time. It's almost similar to a car's odometer, albeit a little bit smaller.

In fact, if you’re a lucky son of a gun who can afford a high-end speedometer, it will do almost anything; from calculating your speed, distance, burnt calories, elevation to monitoring your cadence, heart rate, and power. Heck! Nowadays, we even have bicycle odometers that double up as GPS units.

To put it into perspective, a bike speedometer will give you an overview of your performance statistics

What are The Different Types of Bike Speedometer?

Wired Speedometer

As the name suggests, a wired bike speedometer is connected to a wire that is attached to a mounted sensor on the front fork. As the wheel spins, the sensor captures the movement and delivers the information via a wire cable to the speedometer which calculates the speed and distance.

Wired speedometers are usually very accurate because the data is sent to the head unit on a secure cable with no signal interference. Hence, they’re very reliable especially when you’re riding in the middle of nowhere and the weather is unfriendly.

Wired bike speedometers are cheap too, and they only require one rechargeable battery. On the downside, this type of speedometer can make your bike look cluttered with wires all over the place. It could be worse if the wires break or become loose causing the speedometer to lose functionality; unless you buy a new set of wires. 

Wireless Speedometer

If you don’t want wires making your bike look untidy, a wireless bike speedometer is a good option.

How does it work? For starters, you must attach sensors to your wheels (for speed) or crank arm (for cadence) and the message will be relayed to the speedometer head unit via a wireless transmitter every time you’re on the move.

In contrast, most wireless speedometers offer more functionality compared to wired speedometers. For instance, if you have a wireless head unit with ANT+ capability, you could receive information from multiple sensors at the same time. That means, you won’t just receive the speed and distance calculations but you could also get a reading of the heart rate, cadence, and power simultaneously.

Well, there is always a “but” and in this case; a wireless speedometer will require at least 2 batteries to operate (for both the head unit and transmitter). Basically, you will probably need to charge the batteries before you go on a long trip, or you could pack an extra set of batteries.

Also, it's possible for a wireless speedometer to lose the transmission signals due to external interference; that's why we emphasize investing in a top-quality bike speedometer. 

GPS Enabled Speedometer

Technically, most GPS enabled speedometers are wireless. The difference is, this type of speedometer communicates directly with satellites to map out your location and provide navigation assistance. Because of that, most GPS enabled speedometers have a bigger screen than the typical bicycle odometer.

Other than that, a GPS enabled head unit can be connected to sensors to keep track of your speed, mileage, heart rate, cadence, and power. Some GPS enabled speedometers can be connected to a computer or a laptop if you want to extract your saved data and analyze it to the smallest details.

However, there is always the risk of a GPS enabled speedometer losing its bearing due to signal interference.

Road Bike Speedometer Price Range 

Basic 

At the basic level, most of your options will be wired bike speedometers with button controls. Don’t expect anything fancy, and for less than 50 dollars or 40 pounds, most speedometers will only measure the speed, mileage, ride duration, and time.

However, just because they’re cheap, it doesn’t mean they’re low quality. For some folks, it could be useful if you just want to know your speed and trip distance; nothing else.

Quite surprisingly, it's not just for beginners; some professional riders use low-budget wired speedometers on their road bikes due to the accuracy and reliability.

Mid-range

Anything between 50 dollars and 150 dollars and you get into the territory of wireless head units that come with a bigger screen, connectivity options (Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi), and a feature that allows you to connect to athlete applications such as Strava.

Of course, they can do more than just calculate your speed and trip distance; you will get to know your heart rate, burnt calories, cadence, work out time, and power.

But if you want more options on your mid-range wireless bike computers, it all comes down to how many sensors can be connected at the same time. For instance, if you want to monitor both your speed and cadence, you must attach a sensor on your front or rear tire (speed) and another sensor on your crank arm (cadence).

Premium 

Premium bicycle odometers are the crème del crème and they can do almost anything you can imagine. We’re talking about advanced features such as GPS navigation system, color touchscreen, smartphone compatibility, voice control, WiFi, Bluetooth, ANT+, long battery life, training plan suggestions, altitude acclimation, and nutrition alerts.

Better yet, we have top of the range bike speedometers that can receive data from your cycling mates in a 10-mile radius and show you their current location on the map.

What if you got into an accident? No problem, the best premium speedometers will sense it and automatically call your family and friends. It doesn’t get better than this!

Otherwise, they will record your speed, distance, calories, heart rate, time of day, cadence, and power.

7 Things to Consider When Looking for a Good Bike Speedometer

Bike Speedometers come in bundles of kit 

The best bike speedometers are sold with extra accessories such as speed sensors, cadence sensors, and heart rate monitors. Sure, you could buy the accessories separately, but you would save money if the bike speedometer comes in a bundle of kit.

What’s more, most speedometers work better when matched with their specific brand accessories.

Display and How Easy it is to Use

Do you want a touchscreen or a button control display? Of course, it all depends on your preference and budget but if you’re going to think about the display, consider something with a backlight feature that makes it easier to read the screen during the day or night.

Beyond that, if you want to reduce the weight as much as possible especially on a road bike, a button control display is ideal. This is because button control units are lightweight with smaller screens; you would probably mistake one for a stopwatch. 

On the other hand, touchscreen displays are easier to use and configure compared to a button control display. If you’re into GPS enabled speedometers, it would make sense to choose a colored touch display with a big screen.

Connectivity

The best bicycle computers have Bluetooth, WiFi, and ANT+ capabilities. This will make it easier to receive information via the sensors and access cycling apps such as Strava and MapMyRide.

But if you have to choose between Bluetooth and ANT+, you should prioritize ANT+. Why? In contrast, ANT+ makes it possible to connect your head unit to multiple sensors at the same time; while Bluetooth pairs your head unit to one sensor at a time. Then again, why can't you choose both?

Alternatively, if you opt for a wired head unit, you could choose a head unit with a USB connection if Bluetooth and ANT+ is not your concern since you don’t need to connect it wirelessly.

Durability

Let’s face it, there will be days when you’re riding and it starts to rain or snow; you could even be caught up in a gust of wind or the heat could be too much. If you have a bike speedometer that is weather-resistant, it could survive the harshest conditions.

But how do you know the tolerance level? Most speedometers products that are waterproof will be written on the label. However, if you’re not so sure, you can check the IP Code on the product label if available.

As it goes, the higher the IP code, the better the resistance; 1 means it can withstand dripping water and 9 is the highest level of water-resistant which indicates the device can resist high-pressure water jets.

Setup

Obviously, it would be easier for you to set up a cyclocomputer if it came with a mounting system. Alternatively, you could buy an aftermarket mounting bracket separately if the seller doesn’t offer it with the package.

Currently, one of the best mounting systems in the market is the out-front mount that lets you tilt your speedometer up or down to switch the viewing angles. Then again, where you choose to mount your speedometer depends on the type of bike that you ride.

In most cases, the ideal spot is the right, left, or center of the handlebar; just make sure it doesn't obstruct your field of vision.

Does the bike computer have a powerful battery?

Believe it or not, most basic wired speedometers that look like stopwatches have longer-lasting batteries than those fancy bike odometers that look like smartphones. This is because, on a basic speedometer, the battery life isn't drained by touchscreen, satellite connections, screen brightness, smartphone link, air temperature, recording intervals, Bluetooth, WiFi, and ANT+.

However, just because a speedometer is wireless and GPS enabled, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a long-lasting battery. We have GPS enabled bike computers with large, dynamic, and color touch screens that can hold power for up to 24 hours; if you switch to battery saver mode, you could have it running for longer after recharge.

Which navigation features do you need? 

For most people, current location and simple turn guidance are more than enough in a GPS enabled bicycle odometer. But if you want the best out of GPS technology, you ought to consider units that come with the full navigation package; it will cost you more though.

We’re talking about navigation features such as turn by turn directions, elevation data, street names, address database, and points of interest. 

Throw in something extra like group tracking that shows you the current location of your cycling friends on the map and it will be fun. Well, if something happens to you on the road, the bike computer will automatically send your GPS location to your friends.

Bike Computer FAQs

Q. Is there a cheaper option than a bike speedometer?

A. Not really. Sure, it’s possible to use your smartphone to track your speed, riding distance, and time. However, a smartphone is fragile, and you could easily damage it if you topple your bike.

Actually, if you think about it; there are plenty of basic speedometers that are sold for less than 20 dollars but you can’t say the same about smartphones.

Q. How accurate are bike speedometers?

A. Bike speedometers are very accurate since they access information via magnetic sensors connected to your wheels and crank arm. Every time you spin the wheels or step on the pedals, the sensors will send a message to the head unit for an accurate translation. 

Q. Can I use a speedometer on any bicycle?

A. Yes, you can use a speedometer on any type of bicycle. That means you can use it on road bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes, and hybrid bikes.

Q. How do I put a speedometer on my bike?

A. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before you install a speedometer on your bike; every product is different. However, the process is usually straightforward since you need to mount the speedometer on the handlebar and connect it to sensors and a transmitter.

Q. How do you calibrate a bike speedometer?

A. To calibrate your bike speedometer, you need to go settings and enter the size of your tires; but that should be done after you've installed the sensors. In some advanced bike computers, you can also enter your height, weight, age, or any other relevant information.

Q. How do you fix an inaccurate speedometer?

A. Every time you change your bike tires, you have to recalibrate the speedometer; otherwise, it would just be inaccurate.

Alternatively, you could ride a specific distance that you know the exact measurement (kilometers or miles) and check if the odometer is accurate. If the reading is off, you can adjust it accordingly; divide the distance by revolutions to find out the exact wheel circumference and diameter.

Q. Can I get a bike speedometer for a kid's bike? 

A. Yes, it’s possible to use a bike speedometer on your kid’s bike to measure speed and distance.

Q. Does Strava have a speedometer?

A. No. But you can get a speedometer that can sync to Strava so that you have a statistical analysis of your performance data.

Q. What bike computer do the pros use?

A. One of the most sought out bike computers by professional cyclists is Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS Bike Computer . This is because it’s easy to use and it can be integrated with cycling apps. 

Q. Which is better, Garmin or Wahoo?

A. In our experience, Garmin is better when it comes to advanced navigation features and connectivity options. The only issue we have with Garmin is that they’re pretty darn expensive.

On the other hand, if you want a cheaper option with a simple user interface, you could choose Wahoo.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, we think the best overall bike speedometer is Garmin Edge 1030 Plus. This is because it has everything that you need in a bike computer from advanced navigation software, dynamic performance monitoring, security features to a long-lasting battery. 

However, if you’re on a tight budget, the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS Bike Computer is a solid option. Alternatively, you could choose the CATEYE - Velo 7 Wired Bike Computer if you just want something basic. 

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