Best cycle computer for 2019 | GPS cycle computers for riding, training, touring and navigation

Top GPS cycle computers ridden and rated

GPS-equipped cycle computers are as popular now for use with social media apps such as Strava, as they are for navigation and training purposes.

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Garmin dominates the market, with units ranging from the diminutive Edge 20 to the smartphone-sized Edge 1030, but brands like Wahoo and Lezyne are  giving the GPS giant a run for the money with cool features and sharp prices.

Here we present the best GPS bike computers on the market, based on our testing in England, Colorado and Australia.

This article was last updated in April 2019.

The best cycle computer in 2019

Garmin Edge 520 Plus

The best for performance-minded riders

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Edge 520 Plus improves battery life and adds a few extra features over the 520
The Edge 520 Plus improves battery life and adds a few extra features over the 520
Bike Radar / Immediate Media
  • £259 / $279 / AU$449
  • Navigation: Good, with turn-by-turn directions, Garmin Cycle Map, automatic rerouting colour mapping and back-to-start feature
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gears (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, sunset time, workout counters and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap
  • Size: 49mm x 73mm
  • Screen: 35mm x 47mm, 200 x 265 pixels, colour

The Garmin Edge 520 Plus targets competitive riders with features such as Strava Live Segments, FTP testing and tracking, Di2 integration, a VO2 Max calculation and recommended recovery time.

The compact unit covers all the standard variations of metrics such as distance, speed, elevation and — with the use of a heart-rate strap and a power meter — heart rate and power. The 520 Plus has seven buttons, not a touchscreen like the 510 or the new Edge 820.

A Bluetooth connection to your smartphone can provide automatic wireless uploads to Garmin Connect, Strava, TrainingPeaks and more, plus on-screen notifications of incoming texts and calls.

For the 520 Plus, Garmin has improved the navigation by using the Garmin Cycle Map instead of the ‘basemaps’ loaded onto the standard 520. This means you get turn-by-turn directions, off-course calculations and back-to-start routing.

The 520 Plus also gets a major boost in battery life, in our experience lasting about twice as long as the standard 520 when using navigation.

While the 520 Plus has great navigation and colour maps, its real strength is as a full-feature training tool in a compact size.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt

The best for the smartphone generation

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a streamlined version of the original Elemnt. Love your smartphone? You'll probably like the Bolt
The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a streamlined version of the original Elemnt. Love your smartphone? You’ll probably like the Bolt
Immediate Media
  • £199 / $249 / AU$399
  • Navigation: Good, with turn-by-turn directions and a ‘take me anywhere’ feature you can use on the fly
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gears (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, sunset time, workout counters and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, EPS, Moxy, Best Bike Split
  • Size: 48mm x 74.5mm
  • Screen: 33.5mm x 44.6mm, 240 x 320 pixels, black/white

While Wahoo claims its new Elemnt Bolt GPS computer and sculpted mount are aerodynamically superior to the comparably sized Garmin Edge 520 and 820 with their respective mounts, the real selling points are the Bolt’s easy-but-robust functionality, compact size, killer battery life (triple some Edge computers when using navigation) and decent price.

The Bolt has all the normal metrics plus turn-by-turn navigation, Strava Live Segments, Live Track and a feature called ‘take me anywhere’, where you use your phone and Google’s search power to find a destination, then the Elemnt Bolt guides you there.

The Elemnt Bolt is easily configured with a smartphone app (iPhone or Android), and six buttons drive daily use, while LEDs can be configured for navigation or training alerts.

Lezyne Enhanced Super GPS

The best mid-range Garmin alternative

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Lezyne Enhanced Super GPS computer offers good functionality at a great price
The Lezyne Enhanced Super GPS computer offers good functionality at a great price
Immediate Media
  • £130 / $150 / AU$220
  • Navigation: Good, with turn-by-turn directions and GPS Ally on-the-fly destination-finding
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gears (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, sunset time, workout counters and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap
  • Size: 42.9mm x 67.8mm
  • Screen: 31.7mm x 40.1mm, black/white

The Enhanced Super GPS looks a little clunky compared to Lezyne’s ultra-sleek tools and pumps, but it generally works well. The 45-degree X-Lock mount is more secure than Garmin’s, and the wealth of data on offer is impressive.

You can have up to five pages with up to four fields on each, with seemingly every metric imaginable available. Turn-by-turn navigation, Strava Live Segments and incoming call/text notification? Check, check and check.

Similar to the Elemnt Bolt, you can use Lezyne app to find a destination and use the computer to navigate to it.

Garmin Edge 1030

The best for touring and training

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Garmin Edge 1030 is huge in terms of performance, features, size... and price
The Garmin Edge 1030 is huge in terms of performance, features, size… and price
Immediate Media
  • £499 / $599 / AU$749
  • Navigation: Best in class
  • Training data: All the metrics you can think of, plus a few dozen more, displayed in standard numeric form or, with Connect IQ apps, in a variety of infographics
  • Connectivity: ANT+, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, Campagnolo EPS
  • Size: 59mm x 114mm
  • Screen: 3.5in / 89mm colour touchscreen, 282 x 470 pixels

Bursting with features and connectivity, the Edge 1030 replaced the Edge 1000, bringing the top-of-the-range device in line with the Edge 820’s clean, modern aesthetic.

The 1030 will display up to ten fields of data per page, customisable on the fly by holding down any field on your screen and selecting another.

Navigation with the Edge 1030 is about as advanced as you can get on a dedicated bike computer, with detailed maps, proper turn-by-turn instructions and warnings for sharp bends.

After the Wahoo Elemnt spanked the Edge 1000 on battery life, Garmin upped its game with the 1030, which will run 20 hours.

Compared to a smartphone, the screen isn’t as bright or responsive. But compared to other bike computers, it is superior.

The size, price and performance offerings are about as large as you can get for a cycling computer.

Garmin Edge 130

The best for those who want something simple

BikeRadar score 4 Stars

The little Garmin Edge 130 has a sharp screen and easy-to-follow menus
The little Garmin Edge 130 has a sharp screen and easy-to-follow menus
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
  • £169 / $199 / AU$299
  • Navigation: Basic, breadcrumb style with no basemap
  • Training data: Basic speed, distance, time, elevation, heart rate and power data fields
  • Connectivity: USB, ANT+, Bluetooth
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Varia, Connect IQ
  • Size: 40 x 62 x 17mm
  • Screen: 27.0 x 36.0 mm, black/white Memory-in-Pixel

Cycling computers can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re looking to buy your first one. There are a host of metrics, navigation, and connectivity features to wade through, which — for many — anything beyond the basics could remain unused.

As the spiritual successor to Edge 500, the Edge 130 is compact at 40 x 62 x 17mm, weighing just 33g and and has a super-sharp 303 x 230px Memory-in-Pixel display and a 15-hour battery life.

When it comes to training metrics it’s got your  speed, distance, time, elevation, heart rate and power data fields covered — it’s even got a barometric altimeter built in for accurate elevation readings.

If you’re after advanced metrics such as TSS, 1 sec or left/power, you might go for a more fully featured head-unit.

The Edge 130 doesn’t get a basemap or Garmin Cycle Map, but does offer rudimentary breadcrumb-style navigation, and will even give you a heads-up as you approach a turn.

As you’d expect from a Garmin computer it features ANT+ connectivity, and features Bluetooth connectivity for your phone and sensors too.

Mio Cyclo 505 HC (Magellan Cyclo 505 HC in North America)

The best full-featured Garmin alternative

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Mio Cyclo505CH is known as Magellan Cyclo505CH in North America
Mio Cyclo 505 CH is known as Magellan Cyclo 505 CH in North America
BikeRadar / Immediate Media
  • £399 / $429 / AU$479
  • Navigation: Easy to follow. Can direct to a destination or follow uploaded route
  • Training data: Speed, altitude, power, heart rate, cadence, calories, gears (for electronic drivetrains), distance, time, temperature, workout plans and more
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • Compatibility: ANT+, Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap
  • Size: 61mm x 103mm
  • Screen: 240 x 400 pixels, touchscreen colour

The Cyclo 505 HC suits a broad range of road and off-road users. It offers enough power meter, heart rate and interval training features to be an effective training tool, yet its mapping functionality will also be appreciated by cyclists who like to explore.

It has ANT+, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility and can talk to your phone, home computer and even your gears.

Garmin Edge 25

The best for minimalists

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Garmin Edge 25 is an excellent minimalist option
The Garmin Edge 25 is an excellent minimalist option
Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
  • £140 / $170 / AU$229
  • Navigation: Breadcrumb trail via Garmin Connect
  • Training data: Speed, distance, time, calories, elevation, heart rate and cadence (but not power)
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Compatibility: ANT+
  • Size: 40mm x 42mm
  • Screen: 23mm x 23mm, 128 x 160 pixels, black/white

The new Edge 25 is the Garmin’s second cheapest bike computer, sitting one rung above the Edge 20 in the range.

It’s a spiritual successor to the Edge 200, but smaller, lighter and slightly more capable.

You may also want to consider…

For some cyclists, especially those who are also runners, a modern GPS watch is a good option.

The following GPS cycling units scored three or more stars (out of five).

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