Best Bike Computers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 17, 2018
Have you ever wondered how far you have ridden or how fast you are going? Bike computer can answer these and many more questions. Here we've reviewed 5 bike computers. Choose one of the best products and enjoy your riding! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
SPEED MEASURING RANGE
FEATURES
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
POWER SUPPLY
SIZE AND WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS

Feature rich, including but not limited to: automatic wireless uploads, live tracking, di2 integration, smartphone alerts, relatively compact with a good-sized screen, Strava Live and more. 

CONS

The basemap is not designed for full-on navigation. The battery only lasts for about 6-7 hours.

OUR VERDICT

The Garmin Edge 520 is a great choice for a cycling enthusiast looking for some of the more extensive and complex features but will also satisfy a more casual customer who is looking for some basic characteristics with a simple, user-friendly interface.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Wireless

SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 km/h

FEATURES

Current/Average/Topspeed, Current/Average/Top cadence, Total/Trip distance, Total/Trip time, Clock

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Strava live, Recovery advisor based on the intensity and duration of your workout, V02 Max: estimated V02 max, Watts per kilo calculation, Functional threshold power, Water resistance

POWER SUPPLY

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

SIZE AND WEIGHT

4.9 x 7.3 x 2.1 cm

60 g

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Using WiFi or Bluetooth, you can synchronise this device with your smartphone. This way, you'll be able to use the live tracking capabilities of this bike computer, answer incoming calls, as well as receive text and email alerts.

CONS

The software weighs quite a lot, so it takes some time to update. 

OUR VERDICT

The Garmin Edge 25 is a powerhouse of features. The display is as good as it gets. All of the connection options will allow you to stay the course, create your own path, or beat your opponents on their very own route. The battery lasts for about 8 hours and the computer contains information about the last 10 rides.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Wireless

SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 km/h

FEATURES

Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average/Top cadence, Total/Trip distance, Travel time, Clock

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Auto wake, Calories burned, Heart rate measuring (when combined with a heart rate monitor), Garmin Connect™, Live tracking function, IPX7 water-resistant, GPS/GLONASS support, Compatible with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT+ sensors, Backlight

POWER SUPPLY

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

SIZE AND WEIGHT

4 x 4.2 x 1.7 cm

25 g

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS
Compact design makes it possible to attach this computer to a short handlebar, and that will make it possible to mount additional devices.
CONS
Replacing the battery may seem difficult.
OUR VERDICT
One of the most affordable and high-quality wireless bicycle computers with all the essential and accurate data.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Wireless
SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 km/h

FEATURES
Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average speed comparison, Total/Trip distance, Travel time, Clock
ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Auto wake, Backlight, Waterproof, Auto scan (alternate data display)

POWER SUPPLY
CR2032
SIZE AND WEIGHT

5.6 х 4.1 х 2.0 cm

85 g

WARRANTY
Contact the seller directly
PROS

The CatEye ClickTec® interface allows you to switch between seven different modes by pushing the bottom of the unit's face. Even on some of the roughest terrains, you shouldn't have a hard time doing that. The numerals are huge and easy to read.

CONS

The display doesn't feature backlighting. 

OUR VERDICT

What we have here is easily one of the most practical options on the market today. Aside from the huge screen, the model's bracket mounts quickly and securely to just about any handlebar or stem. You won't need any tools to install the monitor, so pick it up and hit the road.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Wireless

SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 km/h

FEATURES

Current/Max/Average speed, Total/Trip distance, Elapsed time, Pace arrow, Clock

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Automatic start and stop at the beginning and the end of the ride, Water resistance, Autoscan

POWER SUPPLY

Computer: CR1616

Sensor: CR2032

SIZE AND WEIGHT

8.3 x 11.6 x 4 cm

22 g

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The model will allow you to set tyre circumference. You can also set the speed scale. The unit automatically turns on the moment any signal is inputted or any of the buttons is pressed. 

CONS

The bracket that fastens the computer to the handlebar is a tad flimsy.

OUR VERDICT

The Blusmart SD-546C is nothing short of a steal. What you get in return for a measly sum of money is bordering on absurd. If you're a cycling enthusiast on a tight budget, we couldn't recommend this bike computer highly enough.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Wireless

SPEED MEASURING RANGE

0 - 99.9 km/h

FEATURES

Current/Average/Top speed, Current/Average/Top cadence, Total/Trip distance, Travel time, Clock, Odometer

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Waterproof, Backlit display, Auto wake, Freeze Frame Memory mode, Sleep mode 5 min, Scan mode

POWER SUPPLY

Computer - 1 x CR2032

Sensor - 1 x alkaline

SIZE AND WEIGHT

4.6 х 4.6 х 1.8 cm

25 g

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

Garmin Edge 520 GPS

Trend Setter

Having established itself as the first name in cycling GPS computers, Garmin now finds itself in the position of determining which feature sets appeal to certain types of riders. At Edge 500 level, their computers have always been known for offering a compact handlebar device that’s large enough for easy viewing, yet small enough that it doesn’t look like a bulky and inconvenient ‘how to ride a bike’ manual sitting on your handlebars.

The 520 iteration follows suit – measuring 1.9" wide, 2.9" tall and 0.8 inches deep. It doesn't have a touchscreen and instead uses seven external buttons to control all functions. All the buttons seem straightforward enough to navigate without having to consult with the instructions on multiple occasions. ‘On/off’ and ‘scroll up/down’ on the left, ‘ok’ and ‘back’ on the right. ‘Lap’ and ‘stop/pause’ are along the bottom of the unit. 

You can also utilise a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone that can provide automatic wireless uploads if your free Garmin Connect app is open on your tethered smartphone.

Review of Garmin Edge 520 GPS Bike Computer

Something Extra on Top

The Edge 520 has a myriad of features designed to improve your training and give you accurate data. Some of the more conventional characteristics that allow you to track the standard metrics like speed, distance, ride time, temperature, and elevation, of course, come as no surprise to biking enthusiasts, and are basically a given when it comes to biking computers of this kind of complexity. But do they justify this kind of purchase?

Some biking aficionados claim that Garmin’s dual-satellite system of GPS and Glonass is so good that using a sensor for speed and distance is unnecessary for the majority of riders. And you could find all of these features in a variety of much cheaper alternatives, including a couple from this very same company. Which is exactly why Garmin went one step ahead and added some unique additional features that will make this kind of purchase worth your money.

For starters, power can be recorded and analyzed in a variety of ways: real-time, 3sec, 10sec, Normalised, Intensity Factor, TSS, left/right balance and — if you have Garmin Vector pedals — time seated vs time out of the saddle. When paired with a heart rate monitor strap, this device is capable of calculating your heart rate. With Strava Live Segments, you can track your progress in real time over Segments that you have starred on Strava, and your Edge 520 will alert you when the Segment is about to start, a relevant best time (yours, someone you follow, or the KOM/QOM), how long the segment is and how you are doing in relation to that best time.

This product is an outstanding cycling computer. It has all of the features that cyclists have been asking for and more. The Edge 520 seems to be aimed at the serious cyclist who is engrossed in organized riding. That being said, it is also well-suited for anyone who is looking to track ride data. It has tons of advanced features, but it can also provide basic ride tracking with no sensors attached. It is small enough if some additional weight and size are a concern for you, but can carry detailed maps for those who want or need them.

Garmin Edge 520 GPS Bike Computer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Garmin Edge 25 GPS

Go to Extra Mile

The Garmin Edge 25 is a powerhouse of features. There is so much that this device can do that we would not have been able to cover it all even if we wanted to. But not all features are created equal, some are more impressive, some are more important, and some are a bit more uncommon than others. So, with that out of the way, let's jump right into it.

The majority of these features stem from the model's GPS and GLONASS support. The model uses these satellites to track and capture every bit of essential data that will help you improve your end results and achieve the most ambitious goals. You will have the ability to compare successive rides over the very same route with on-screen courses.

Having said that, as nice as the ability to compete against yourself can be, it is always more fun to compete against others. And, with the company's signature Garmin Connect, you will be able to do just that. The platform will provide you with a variety of different courses created by other riders, including their time to give you an estimate and to fuel your sense of challenge. With their software, you'll never get lost. And if you feel so inclined, you can follow suit, create your very own courses, and upload them to Garmin Connect, providing other riders with a similar challenge.

Review of Garmin Edge 25 GPS Bike Computer

Stay the Course or Make Your Path

The Garmin Edge 25 GPS is a good representation of the company's philosophy, a philosophy that puts an emphasis on connection. Using WiFi or Bluetooth, you can synchronise this device with your smartphone. This way, you'll be able to use the live tracking capabilities of this bike computer, observe and answer incoming calls, as well as receive text alerts.

Some of the more sophisticated features aside, the model covers all of the basics. Everything from distance and speed to elapsed time and time of the day is there. It will also provide you with estimated calories, elevation, and total ascent. And if you feel like investing in an external ANT+ sensor, you'll also get cadence and heart rate metrics.

The display itself is a thing of beauty. It is crisp and clear, everything is easy to read and no more difficult to access. The interface is as straightforward as it could possibly be. One page is dedicated to date, time, and the battery life. Another page will give you all of the data. The third page is reserved for customisable fields, so you can program it to display the information you deem necessary.

Again, the Garmin Edge 25 is a powerhouse of features. The display is as good as it gets. All of the connection options will allow you to stay the course, create your own path, or beat your opponents on their very own route. The battery lasts for about 8 hours and the computer contains information about the last 10 rides.

Garmin Edge 25 GPS Bike Computer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Raniaco Bike Computer

Simple as It Is

Bike computer from Raniaco is one of the most common among the devices. It is an excellent choice for cyclists of beginning and intermediate levels who want or need to know the details of their travels. This bicycle computer is very simple in operation. The computer can perform all the main tasks - for example, measure your speed and compare it to the average number. So, you will be aware of your results and able to maintain the correct movement rate. 

Raniaco automatically turns on and starts the program as soon as you start moving and stops when you stop. In other words, everything is computerized. This bicycle computer is compact and fits perfectly on any bike handlebars. But speaking of its moisture protection, you should remove and hide it when it rains. On these grounds, this bike computer will be a good addition to your bicycle for a relatively little price.

Review of Raniaco Bike Computer

Some Advice

  • The most important tools for the trip: a hexagon (preferably the whole set), a patch for the camera, and a pump.   
  • Check the tire pressure before every ride, especially if the tires are tubeless.   
  • Sealant in tubeless tires should be changed at least every three months.   
  • Regularly (at least once a month) check the tightness of the connecting rods, and if you have a new bike, do it before every trip during the first week of using it.   
  • If you care about the bike, you should not ignore squeaks, clicks, crackles and other signs of failure.

Raniaco Bike Computer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Raniaco Wireless Bike Computer | Unboxing And Review
 

CatEye CC-RD 300W

Puts the Smarts in Cycling

What convinced us to put the CatEye CC-RD 300W bicycle computer on our list? Well, a few things, really. First, we dig its minimalistic appearance. Sure, some people like those models that really put the "computer" into the "bike computer". But those models definitely aren't for everyone.

This unit, on the other hand, gives you everything you need and then some for good measure. The people behind this product claim that it epimotises power and elegance. And while elegance may be a bit of a strong word for a seemingly simple device, we can't say that we feel inclined to disagree.

What makes this piece of biking gear stand out the most is definitely the size. With 11.6 centimetres in length and 8.3 in width, the model features easily the largest screen on the market.

By incorporating the largest screen, the manufacturers have also been able to implement the largest numbers, making it really easy to read the screen and make sense of the data, even if you're riding full speed in the middle of a real adventure race.

Of course, the size of the display and the numbers on it wouldn't really be worth much without the right interface. But we would say that this is one of those bicycle computers that really has no real issues on that front.

Equipped with the new and improved CatEye ClickTec® interface, the model will allow you to switch between seven different modes by pushing the bottom of the unit's face. Even on some of the roughest terrains, you shouldn't have a hard time doing that.

Review of CatEye CC-RD 300W Bike Computer Strada Wireless

Discreet Appearance

The mode that you've selected will appear at the bottom of the screen. Your current speed, on the other hand, will be displayed at the top of that screen, displayed in those huge numerals that we've been talking about just now, the sort of numerals that are really easy to read. The up/down arrow, also known as the pace arrow, will tell you just how that current speed of yours compares to your average speed.

Of course, that brings us to the model's features. Though, honestly, there isn't much to talk about here. You have your usual data, including current, max, and average speed, the distance that you've travelled, elapsed time, and a clock. Of course, the usual auto wake feature is there as well.

Unfortunately, bringing the topic back to the display for just a moment, the manufacturers didn't include backlighting, so it may be difficult at times to read the screen under the sun. That said, thanks to the huge numerals that we've mentioned a few times already, it shouldn't prove to be much of a challenge.

All in all, what we have here is easily one of the most practical options on the market today. Aside from the huge screen, the model's bracket mounts quickly and securely to just about any handlebar or stem. You won't need any tools to install the monitor, so pick it up and hit the road.

CatEye CC-RD 300W Bike Computer Strada Wireless in the use

 

Blusmart SD-546C

Back to the Basics

There's nothing quite like spending your hard-earned money on your favourite hobby. Having said that, your financial situation often serves as a reminder that the world isn't all sunshine and rainbows and you can't always have what you want. But if you're willing to lower your standards just a little bit, you should be able to get the next best thing, the wireless bike computer from Blusmart.

A single glance at this device will tell you that this is a basic model. But it would be only accurate to call it basic if you compare the computer to some of the more expensive counterparts. But, for a budget that, at the time of writing, costs less than ten quid, the model in question is anything but basic.

First of all, it is completely wireless, so you won't have to deal with a whole bunch of annoyingly tangled wires around that handlebar of yours. Plus, you won't have to worry about rain as the device is as waterproof as any wireless bike computer on the market.

Sure, the product has its flaws, with the most notable being the construction. Well, the construction in general is fine, but the bracket that mounts to the handlebar is really flimsy, so you'll have to be careful with it. But, again, we're talking about one of the most affordable bike computers on the market right now, so we're definitely willing to let that slide.

Review of Blusmart SD-546C Wireless Cycle Computer

The Necessary Data

Now that we've mentioned the model's construction, we would be remiss not to bring the size of the unit. Featuring 4.6 х 4.6 х 1.8 centimetres in overall dimensions, this thing will not take away a whole lot of your handlebar real estate. Plus, it weighs just 25 grams, so it shouldn't really affect the gravity of your bike too much.

There isn't much to say about the interface except for the fact that it is so simple a child could make sense of it. Plus, it comes equipped with backlighting, so you'll be able to read the metrics even at night.

As for the rest of the model's features, we were pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of them. There's a proper odometer here, so you'll be able to measure the distance that you've travelled. The usual metrics, including the current, maximum, and average speed and cadence haven't been forgotten either. The model records the time you've spent on the road.

You'll also be able to set tyre circumference. And, with the help of the Freeze Frame Memory mode, you can use the device as a stopwatch and record all of the current data whenever you feel like it.

All things considered, the Blusmart SD-546C is nothing short of a steal. What you get in return for a measly sum of money is bordering on absurd. If you're a cycling enthusiast on a tight budget, we couldn't recommend this bike computer highly enough.

Blusmart SD-546C Wireless Cycle Computer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual


 

What Is a Bike Computer?

A bike computer is a really useful device, not only for professional cyclists but for bike enthusiasts, too. This device consists of two parts, the computer itself is mounted on a handlebar while the magnetic sensor is placed on the front fork to take the readings from the wheel. You can monitor your bicycle training easily with biking computers, they don't just track your speed and distance, but can also watch over your heart rate, tell you the time and temperature, and more. Sometimes, you can download all the training data to your computer afterwards.

Bike pedals are also an important element of the bike; if you want to replace your old ones with a new pair, make sure to read our selection of road bike pedals. One other piece of gear that's worth buying, especially if you prefer to bike off-road, is a bike pump.

What Features to Compare

Data Displayed

Firstly, you should decide what information you want to get from a bike computer. And depending on your level of training, the requirements will change. For example, if you are a recreational cyclist and ride a bike simply to keep fit, enjoy yourself or get to work, then you do not need to buy an expensive bike computer, the only data it should display are your speed, distance, and travel time. However, if you get your bicycle from storage as soon as the road is dry and keep using it till the first snow, spending all the free time on a bike, then you would probably want to get a bit more data. You should pay attention to the bike computer with features such as displaying average, maximum speed and trip distance in addition to its standard features. As for the pro cyclists, the more data the better; in addition to the abovementioned, we say that athletes should be aware of cadence (i.e. the frequency of pedaling), comparison of their current speed to the average value, maybe calories spending. Also, the ability to sync with a computer to graph statistics will come in handy.

Additional Features

Bike computers may have a variety of additional functions that are not essential but are very convenient and useful. To name a few, it can be a memory for two bikes, a built-in thermometer, backlighting, a weatherproof case, a timer, etc.

Type and Size

There are two types of bike computers, wired and wireless. For a mountain bike, the best choice is a wireless computer as they do not have wires (obviously) and you won't damage anything accidentally. But as for road bikes, there is no difference as long as you feel comfortable. Bike computers also come in different sizes, and the more advanced features there are, the larger the computer is. This may result in increasing the weight of your bike which is very important in some cases.

Sources:

1. John Higgins Bike Computers: How to ChooseREI. March 6, 2015.

2. Curtis Smith How to Choose the Best Bike Computer for CyclingOutdoorGearLab. January 2, 2016.

3. How to Choose a Bike Computer, Eastern Mountain Sports.

4. Michael Herlihy Choosing the Best Bike Computer for Your Needs, ACTIVE.

5. CyclocomputerWikipedia. April 20, 2016

6. Sheldon Brown 17 Tips For Installing CyclecomputersHarris Cyclery.

7. Mike Anderson Buyer’s guide: GPS cycling computersRoad Cycling UK. March 27, 2015.

8. Bike Computer Buying GuideeBay. March 10, 2016.

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