Reasonable cycle computer that doesn't break the bank?

Since this whole 'lockdown' thing i've been getting out on my bike much more and i'm really enjoying it and it's something i'd like to keep up.

I currently run Strava on my phone but the battery on it is pretty awful. When i've seen other cyclists who've been on the segments i've been on i see their 'gear' and notice that many of them are using various cycling computers at varying prices. Some really eye-watering prices.

I don't have a budget as such but forget £500 for starters. Let's just say I don't know what needs to be spent to get something decent. I may accept it or i may decide that's too much, i don't know.

I was looking for something that'll track the journey and upload to Strava for starters.
An 'on' display showing various info would be a decent feature. Speed, average speed, duration.

I've taken to getting lost and seeing what happens while getting out on my bike the past couple months so it would be helpful if it also acted as a sat nav of sorts. Not necessarily Google Maps but something. Screen clarity would be pretty important too as i've seen some units that don't really look so great in this area.

Can be battery powered or USB chargeable (if that's even a thing? Would probably be better if that was an option) but a decent battery life is pretty important.

Not really sure where to start.


  • John_John_ Forumite
    925 Posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    I use a Garmin eTrex, it’s not bike specific but you can get a bracket for the handlebars and it then will store what routes you’ve done.
    if you don’t need directions on the screen then I’d suggest a fitness watch or one of the cheaper Garmin Edge bike computers. Here’s an article in cycling news about them.
  • edited 17 May 2020 at 5:47PM
    Nebulous2Nebulous2 Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 17 May 2020 at 5:47PM
    For gps cycling computers Garmin were pretty much the only game in town. Their stuff wasn’t always very good with buggy software and quite a few foibles. They weren’t updated very often and were expensive. 

    Then along came Wahoo and stole Garmin’s lunch. They had a different approach. Instead of fiddling about with the buttons on the computer you did most of the setting up on an app on your phone. They weren’t as fancy, but probably most importantly they actually worked. 

    Garmin have responded though and although I haven’t tried them I understand the new 530 and 830 are much better. It depends what you want to do, but they do more than I have ever needed, pairing power meters and radars in addition to mapping, speed, heart-rate etc. 

    If if you want to navigate you’re probably looking at a wahoo or a Garmin 530. If you only want to log your rides you’ll certainly get a GPS computer more cheaply without mapping. Here’s a breakdown of cycle computers to go with the review of Garmins previously posted.

    If you are interested in one of them there’s a guy called DC Rainmaker who does in-depth reviews. Look for his review of the one you are interested in and he’ll tell you more than you’ll ever need to know. 

    Edit to add. If you’re not a dedicated cyclist don’t rule out a GPS watch. Again I’ve never used one, but some people who cycle do. They’re the go to thing for triathletes for instance. 
  • Andy_LAndy_L Forumite
    12.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Would a cheap, but big battery phone (or a new battery for you current phone if possible) be cheaper than a dedicated bike computer
  • Apjs87Apjs87 Forumite
    119 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have a Garmin edge 25 to track my rides. Basic and wireless. Does everything you’ll need. Speed, cadence, distance, distance climbed etc etc. Will also connect to a heart rate monitor if needed. Cheapest I’ve seen is £75
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