The Evans Cycles guide to choosing the right cycle computer. We have a look at some of the key attributes of the three main cycling computers. You can see the full range at the Evans Cycles store —

-The classic bike computer has a header unit, which connects to your handlebars, this is where the data recorded will be viewable. The header talks to the transmitter which connects to the magnet attached to the wheel, recording each spin. This computer provides a very accurate recording of your speed and distance. These computers are not very expensive and are great for the functions outlined, but with some models, they also provide extra information, including calories burnt and distance travelled.

-GPS devices provide the next level up in regards to data. Again the head transmitter is where the data is viewable and transmits information from satellites. You can also connect sensors around your bike to accurately record power output and speed, using ANT+. All the information is sent to the head unit, which can then be uploaded to a computer, allowing you to study your data in greater detail. The GPS computer is the most expensive option, but the accuracy and capability warrant the price tags.

– The most accessible and cheapest option, are readily available smartphone apps, which use the GPS functionality on your phone. The smartphone apps, such as Strava can record your position, time and therefore speed. This data can then be uploaded to a computer, allowing you to take a closer look at your rides. One downside is that there is no direct data, so you can’t review mid-ride and also the smartphones accuracy can be a little off.

If you are just getting started and looking for a cheap and simple option then start on with the smartphone app. If you are after the most up to date and accurate data, then a GPS device is the way to go.

Enjoy the ride,

More Toby investigates —
Classic Cycling Computers from Evans Cycles —
GPS Cycling Computers from Evans Cycles —

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  1. Actually a lot of the new technologies are Bluetooth-enabled so that they can be connected to the smartphone and send data.

  2. This video is plain wrong. Modern smartphones have vastly more processing power and much better LCD resolution than even a high-end Garmin 1000 .
    GPS, ANT+ / Bluetooth LE (4.0) is built in and can connect to all wireless sensors currently on the market. A lot of apps for cycling, realtime maps and navigation are also available. In case the battery drains too fast, simply buy an external powerpack for 20 bucks that attaches to the MicroUSB port and gives another 5-10h of battery.
    Even Garmin offers their apps for iPhone and Android who already have a modern smartphone. No need to buy expensive (and outdated) GPS computers.


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