Become a better cyclist with the Best Fitness Tracker for Cycling. Track your heart rate, sleep, cycling routes, and more with these amazing smartwatchesNo matter if you need a sports watch that could keep track of your rides and heart rate, or something that is more fashionable and prepared for everyday activity, there is a fitness tracker out there available for you. With a number of different alternatives and prices, it may be challenging to get the one that meets your needs, so we put together some smartwatches that suit all types of cycling needs.
The health benefits that you get from cycling are incredible and the difference between someone that goes for a ride 2 times a week compared to a sedentary lifestyle are huge. A recent study found that, on average, cycling can extend lifespans by up to 14 months.
Today wearable technologies and GPS gadgets are making it simpler and more secure than ever before to have fun with this popular sport. Cycling devices supply a number of different functions for bikers, but in most cases, we can easily group them in either the fitness or cycling accessories group.
A few years ago we can see runners strap on GPS watches, but these days the most effective cycling watches and trackers will keep track of distance, pace, and also cadence when you ride.
With this data cyclists are now able to enjoy remarkable insights in their overall performance and technique, becoming much better cyclists at the same time.
Best Fitness Tracker for Cycling – Important Features
Bluetooth / ANT+
When you use a heart rate strap, pace and cadence sensor or power meter, you are also gonna need a watch that can get connected to it. Generally, it seems like Bluetooth is the method preferred by all companies except Garmin that has his unique ANT+ protocol.
But in reality, this can create some difficulty when you tried to connect to power meters since units from SRM and Quarq only broadcast an ANT+ signal while units from Stages and Powertap are able to do either.
In the case of Bluetooth connectivity, it also enables the smartwatch to connect with your phone. The features, of course, may differ from watch to watch but the majority of them enable rides to be synced wireless, activities modes to be created and customized, and apps, watch faces and analytics to get downloaded.
The Bluetooth connection also permits the tracker to show notifications on your phone. There can be some inconsistency in regards to what app notifications each individual watch exhibits, however, they can all be restricted to just calls and texts throughout an exercise or turned off entirely.
Although Garmin’s watches utilize the ANT+ protocol to connect with sensors, they actually do have built-in Bluetooth allowing a connection to your smartphone.
Most of these trackers also have the capability to connect with your Wi-fi network to allow them to synchronize your rides without having a smartphone connection.
Almost all of the smartwatches on this group feature built-in GPS and really don’t need to require a smartphone connection to track your ride. For even better precision, most of these watches also can get connected to the GLONASS network. but have in mind that some fitness trackers with cycling abilities will require a connection to the smartphone in order to track metrics like speed and distance.
The wireless connections will get a lot of the charge on your battery. To overcome this most of the devices permit the frequency of GPS position to be switched down a little bit, which in our practical experience significantly stretches battery lifespan without having to sacrifice too much accuracy.
These days some fitness trackers are introducing wrist based optical heart rate monitors. Each of the wrist-based systems depends on an optical reading, which means that they shine light from a variety of LEDs through your skin and read heart rate depending on the blood pulsing in your capillaries.
To have a reading they must be in direct contact with your body and should not be worn on top of arm protectors or jackets, and there are also been reports of bad results read through tattoos.
The tracker should be put on tightly around the wrist. Also, you should have in mind that riding over rough surfaces might cause incorrect readings. So try to avoid them
A few of the higher-end GPS smartwatches offer some definition of breadcrumb style navigation.
The routes must be loaded beforehand into your device however the majority of the points of interest can be put at junctions so the watch will buzz when you approach them.
Similar to phones and GPS head units, a wide range of cycling and multisport watches are getting touchscreens. It really is an awesome feature to have, but don’t forget watch displays are usually small and for all those with big fingers they can be quite frustrating.
Also, not all touchscreens work particularly well when they get wet, and some others require gloves to be removed.
Button lock is another feature to look for, there is absolutely nothing worse than getting home from the ride only to discover your watch was paused Fifteen minutes in. It’s incredible how simply buttons are pushed by accident in the hand positions you go through your ride, so button lock is a great feature to have
Power meter support
In case you like to bike with a power meter you will need to make sure that the tracker that you end up getting will support your meter of choice. Many of the more fashionable smartwatches don’t have this feature, while some others might be restricted to certain units.
GPS trackers also are a big hit for the triathletes and adventure racers among us. These types of devices include much more activity settings than you are able to understand but some others will allow the ability to add or create custom ones.
For this same folks, the opportunity to variate from sports mid-activity or create activities such as ‘Swim/Bike’ or ‘Triathlon’ is very important for their workout.
Bands and Screen Material
Most of the fitness trackers will come with flexible silicon bands just for comfort sake, but with an intent to make them fancier some are available with metal bands. In some cases, they can come in leather or fabric bands. Some watches offer a ‘tool free’ strap change system, while others require a few Torx or Allen bolts to be removed to swap.
Some tracker will come with a tool-free strap to remove them, while others will need a few Torx or Allen bolts to be able to exchange them.
A scratched watch display is not useful to anyone, and gone are definitely the plastic material screens. Almost all of the latest crop of GPS watches will include a mineral or Gorilla Glass display, although the high-quality devices have a sapphire or crystal screen.
Almost every fitness trackers can accurately handle cycling activities. However, not all trackers are built the same. When you spend an important part of your time on a bicycle, regardless if you are a competitive cyclist, a mountain biker or simply just appreciate riding around your town, these top 5 models will be definitely the most effective choices for you.
Best Fitness Tracker for Cycling – Reviews
The Surge is one of the best fitness trackers out there and incredibly accurate. It offers several sensors for tracking motion making it perfect for all times of bike riding. Its route tracking function is extremely good for cyclists and easily lets you see your location or where are you going on a map.
It comes with GPS built in. It has a large LCD wrist display, and will efficiently cycle through your stats. The screen is backlit, includes a touch screen and you can control the watch by 3 side buttons.
A really useful feature of the Surge is the built-in wrist heart rate monitor. Regular chest monitors can be pretty uncomfortable, plus they are another device you have to buy. The wrist monitor allows you to easily keep track of your heart rate during the whole day. However, this frequent heart rate checking implies that the Surge does not have a long battery life like other watches.
The Fitbit Surge is the best all-around fitness watch for people who are serious about tracking the whole day, not only when they’re on their bikes. The Surge can be a little more hi-tech than other fitness trackers but has a disadvantage. If you’re a person that takes part in several activities, the inability to go swimming with this watch can be an issue.
The GPS technology will help you to keep track of your cycling route. As well, it’s going to monitor your performance with step-by-step graphs for elevation, pace, heart rate and calories burned.
GPS enables you to get your entire in-depth tracking done without needing to bring your phone along with you on the ride. You obtain exercise shortcuts, such as cycling, weights, elliptical, spinning, yoga exercises, circuit training, martial arts and kick-boxing.
When you’re prepared to cycle, you initially select Exercise on the Fitbit Surge. After this, you select ‘Bike’. The Surge will then get a GPS signal. While you’re cycling, it will highlight your time, your average speed and miles-per-hour, your heart rate, the calories burned throughout the ride and also a clock. Whenever your ride is finished, just press the ‘finish line’ button. It will then display a summary of your time, distance traveled, speed, max speed, average beats per minute, calories burned and elevation gained or lost.
You are going to also be able to see a map of where you went, a graph of your respective speed, your time in the different heart rate zones, peak cardio and fat burn. Underneath that, you will find a chart of your heart rate. Browse down further to view the calories burned throughout the ride. The final thing you will see would be the effect on your day – the calories burned and the number of minutes that you were active.
The process of monitoring is exactly the same for any other type of exercise. This gives you a pretty good idea, then, of the level of detailed analysis that you can get with the Fitbit Surge.
The Apple watch comes in three different versions the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.The only difference between the three editions is the materials that they are made of and the bands.
But for sports activities such as cycling, we recommend the Apple Sport
The built-in heart rate monitor on the bottom of the watch is excellent. It can take your heart rate every 10 mins and automatically log that details into Apple’s Health app. Additionally, it monitors your heart rate constantly throughout the workout if you work with the native Apple workout app.
The workout app lets you keep your phone at home when you go to exercise. It can calculate your distance, calories burnt and heart rate. In case you have a playlist, you can cycle with only your Bluetooth headphones and your watch.
For cardio exercises, like cycling, the optical heart rate sensor is extremely accurate. This is certainly as opposed to a lot of other brands on the market where you get a dropoff inaccuracy as the workout gets more intense. On the other hand, for exercises like weight-lifting, cross-training, and rowing, the Apple watch is not that precise.
Nevertheless, the optical heart rate sensor isn’t the only method to keep track of your heart rate data. You have two other choices: Set a Bluetooth chest heart rate monitor to your watch or Pair a Bluetooth sensor in your phone and use a 3rd party app like ‘Map My Fitness’
The app’s in your Apple watch are certainly not stand alone apps. These are simply the applications from your iPhone using a watch counterpart. You need to activate the app in your iPhone to make it show up on the watch. Your entire organization is performed in the Apple watch app on the iPhone.
The activity app is clear, easy and simple to work with. You will get day-to-day calories expended goal along with a workout goal. There is also idle alerts and also a silent alarm. Your entire activity and fitness data syncs on your iPhone. After that, you can study your data in greater detail.
The Apple watch features almost all of the favorite sports apps. You could start and stop workout routines in your wrist and after that watch your workout data. There are many of running and cycling apps available. There are also health and fitness apps like ‘My Fitness Pal’ and ‘Lose It’ that you can download.
The bands for the Apple watch can be easily exchangeable and you will find a lot of band choices to let you vary the appearance of the gadget. The watch includes a touchscreen on the front side and 2 physical buttons on the side of the device. One is a knob known as the digital crown, that also clicks in like a button with the other being more tactile. On the display screen, you have your watch face. Once you click the digital crown button, you access your entire watch apps.
On the watch face, you swipe down to see all your iPhone’s notifications. Swiping up from the bottom will get you to the ‘glances’ screen. They are small cards with information on a glance, which come from your apps which you have installed on the watch. In addition, it provides you with music controls for iTunes, Spotify or whichever music platform you have.
The Apple watch battery will last about a day and a half. It also has a very good built-in gyroscope, that will put the gadget to sleep when you are not using it.
The Apple Watch comes with two cycling options. The first one is the native Apple workout app. You can as well make use of a third-party service. For track distance, calories burned and heart rate the Native app is very accurate. However, the Apple app will not graph your workout data or your pace. You will only get a list of the data points.
The Apple watch relies on the GPS from your phone to collect your workout data. That means that you need to carry your phone with you when you’re cycling if you are using a third-party service such as Runtastic.
Moov Now Multi-Sport
You might not are familiar with Moov yet this so-called Wearable Coach is definitely an interesting device. It is actually among the best cycling trackers in terms of multi-sport models. No matter if you are already a fan of fitness watches or brand new to them, the Moov watch is going to make a great impression on you
The Moov has an incredible design and is quite versatile. In contrast to other conventional fitness watches, the Moov can be put on around the ankle for cycling. This will give you by far the most accurate tracking while you’re on a bike. Don’t panic, when you get a Moov it arrives with a small band to be used on your wrist along with a large to be used around the ankle.
Getting an honorable mention in our cycling test for such a big bunch of data in a tiny package was the powerful Moov Now. And to be honest, for us it all comes down to cadence (the number of rotations the pedals makes in a minute) which is an essential metric for cyclists who want to maximise their speed.
Cyclists of all kinds get crazy for all the bike-specific features that the Moov includes. The Tallest Climb feature alone keeps track of elevation, distance, and duration of the tallest climb of your ride. Using the tracker in your ankle, it can know how fast you’re pedaling and exactly how efficiently based upon your bike’s gearing. In addition to cadence efficiency, the Moov also monitors your entire effort in order to understand whenever you need to pick up the pace or slow it down.
This Smartwatch will as well provide live coaching, letting you know when to change up a gear to eke a little more power out of your thighs or to shift down as you approach a super steep incline.
The only real bad thing is that you will have to take your phone along for your ride and use a set of headphones for the live readouts, which may be a little risky if you are avoiding traffic on the way home.
Using the Now strapped to your ankle, and offering no display screen in the first place, there is no glanceable real-time data offered. You can get a bike mount for your phone (you are going to need it with you anyway because of the lack of inbuilt GPS) but is not the best of solutions.
As an alternative, Moov comes with an inbuilt coach, with the training aid giving audio feedback during your ride. Now you have an active coach instead of a simple passive addition. As well as typical split markers every mile, the coach understands the way your cadence is changing and will provide tips like knocking down a few gears to maintain your rhythm up.
While this can provide an invaluable boost when you are struggling up a steep incline, as you slow your rotations as you approach traffic, it can occasionally be a bit quick to judge and pipe up.
We found another downside as well. Many cyclists, don’t like riding with headphones since is a bit of safety nightmare. Instead, though, you can put your phone on the backpack, put the volume to the max, and that way get live feedback without losing the sound of approaching cars. It’s not the most sociable solution, but it works.
Regardless of the device’s wallet-friendly price, the app is among the very best we have used. May possibly not be the coolest or most advanced of trackers, however, it provides the captured data to life in a remarkable way.
In addition to all of the traditional quick hit data (time, distance, calories) the Moov will take things one step further by showcasing key cycling-specific metrics just like your tallest climb and route difficulty. For the price tag, the Moov Now is hard to beat, it’s lack of heart rate sensor, however, can be a major drawback.
Being a cycling tracker, Moov converts your data into powerful information, displaying exactly where you performed the best and the best way to become a much better, more effective cyclist. View your speed, distance, cadence, and much more while you ride and listen to periodic updates so you no longer need to look down. Gear coaching concentrates on how you ride and advice you on when you should change gears in order to save energy.
Altogether, this fitness tracker is designed to teach you the principles of a healthy lifestyle. It provides a fun way to workout and will appeal both to the average person trying to become more active, and the hard-core fitness pro trying to improve their technique.
Garmin Edge 520
The Garmin Edge 520 is a popular fitness tracker for more advanced cyclists. The Edge 520 cycling tracker will provide GPS and barometric altimeter functionality for you.
Plan your required route before you start your ride and all measurements are going to be recorded automatically. Apart from basic metrics like time, distance speed and ascent, VO2max and functional threshold power (FTP) will also be exhibited.
In order for you have access to the HRM data available you will need to pair the Edge 520 via ANT+ with an HRM tracker of your choice. However, the Edge 520 can also be paired with a power meter.
As an extra, you can challenge your friends and compete on your favorite routes through Strava live-segments.
This is one of the best cycling GPS units around today. Garmin Edge 520 features a high-resolution 2.3-inch color display screen, providing an incredible visibility in a compact and lightweight form factor.
The tracker comes loaded with advanced analysis features like time in zone, cycling-specific VO2 max and recuperation time (when combined with a power meter and heart rate monitor), indoor trainer support, cycling dynamics (when utilized with Vector or Vector 2 power meter) as well in-ride challenges through Strava and Garmin Connect segments.
Connected features include things like live tracking, smart notifications and automatic uploads to Garmin Connect. Garmin Edge 520 works with both GPS and GLONASS satellites, which means you really benefit from much more signal options, wherever your ride takes you.
The Polar V650 is Polar’s most in-demand bike computer for serious cyclists. The V650 is a lot more than the usual regular bicycle computer since it will highlight comprehensive statistics as well it will offer helpful training tips.
A large and bright display makes it simple to read and navigate through the streets. For even more features think about acquiring the Polar Look Keo Power Essential Pedals that can link by using Bluetooth to your V650 computer.
In combination with additional sensors, the V650 will provide you with a lot of well-designed functions:
- Speed tracking
- Heart rate monitoring (with additional HRM sensor)
- Calories counting
- GPS tracking
- Download OpenStreetMaps
- Keep track of your pedal force vectors along with active force pedals
- Incline measurement
- Distance measurement
- Altitude measurement
- Superior cycling computer with built-in GPS and one of a kind Smart Coaching training features. Includes Polar H6 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor
- Large 2.8-inch color touchscreen- easily monitor training data even at high speeds
The V650 tracks your ride with integrated GPS and provides you altitude data thanks to a built-in barometric pressure sensor. Polar’s device features a 2.8-inch color touchscreen and is compatible with Bluetooth smart heart rate and cycling sensors to provide you with speed, cadence and heart rate data.
In addition, the V650 incorporates free maps (software edition 1.2 and above), helping you to see your location and route on the map throughout your trips. Whenever it runs out of battery, use its USB port to recharge.
Alternatively, you may opt for its more affordable version, the M450 (Amazon). It throws sophisticated power analytics, Strava live segments and smart notifications on the mix, but you’ll miss out on the route import and guidance of the V650.
Without a doubt riding a bike is a great workout for your overall fitness, it builds your stamina, burns calories and stimulates your mind. Research has also demonstrated that being outdoors is extremely beneficial for people and cycling is ideal for getting into your nature time. The proper fitness tracker can definitely change your workout time while biking. You will find these 5 models online or in retail shops that stock fitness gadgets.
If you are serious about cycling( we are talking weekend 100 milers no for daily trips to the shops) the Garmin Edge is considered the most advanced of this list. Just what offers when it comes to absolute power and extensive features lists, having said that, it lacks in finesse, meaning it’s not gonna be right for everyone.
In case you are looking for the best all-around fitness tracker for cycling then the Fitbit Surge with inbuilt GPS. is the one to choose. It will provide you with all the detailed monitoring of your cycle that you could ever ask for, and even better you won’t need to take your phone along for the ride.
So whatever you end up choosing you can come back here for tips. Have a good ride!